Students Selected for Kapp Honors Day Prize
Oral presentations on the morality of war, African integration, avian influenza and the effects of caffeine were student research projects selected for recognition at Alma College’s annual Honors Day on Thursday, April 2.
Kevin Bilbrey, Brittany Law, Joye Kallgren and Christopher Duymich were awarded the Ronald O. Kapp Honors Prize, worth $500, recognizing their outstanding Honors Day presentations in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
A panel of judges from each division selected the prizewinners after assessing the presentations for quality of scholarship as well as how well the material was presented.
From left:Kevin Bilbrey, Brittany Law, Joye Kallgren, Christophyer Duymich and Rebecca Bruning.
The prize is named for the late Ronald O. Kapp, an Alma biology professor for 32 years and vice president of academic affairs for 20 years. The prize is open to all students and groups.
In addition, Rebecca Bruning won a $100 prize from the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society for best scientific poster presentation. Senior Anderson Minnick was an honorable mention.
Kevin Bilbrey, Monroe senior, presented “An Ethical Analysis and Evaluation of Defensive Wars.” Bilbrey explored the morality of war, weighing the basic right to human life against the aim in war to kill as many of the enemy as possible. He analyzed many views of warfare, from pacifism to defensive warfare, and used a model to determine when war is morally justified.
“I actually considered attending the Naval War College at the U.S. Naval Academy — but I found out I don’t take orders well,” he says. “I’ve had an interest in military ethics for a long time.”
Bilbrey’s sponsor was Nicholas Dixon, Dykstra Professor of Philosophy. A graduate of Monroe High School, he is the son of Larry and Donna Bilbrey of Monroe.
Brittany Law, Hartland senior, presented “Prospects for African Regional Integration.” The African Union was created in 1999 as an effort to unite the continent politically and economically. However, there have been difficulties in the integration, resulting in regional agreements. Some compare these regions to other African states to determine if the union is working, but Law argues instead to look at trade and the economic climate in the entire continent as a measure of success.
“I’ve always been interested in international development,” she says. “I analyzed one area of the continent to see if the efforts are working and the results are promising.”
Law’s faculty sponsor was Robert Cunningham, associate professor of economics. A graduate of Hartland High School, she is the daughter of Victor and Lisa Law of Hartland.
Joye Kallgren, Trenton senior, and Christopher Duymich, Simi Valley, Calif. junior, presented “Design, Synthesis and Evaluation of Group-1 Specific Neuraminidase Inhibitors.” Kallgren and Duymich designed 10 molecules to fight avian influenza, based on current FDA approved therapies for human influenza. Currently, they have completed four of the molecules. They discussed current and future research strategies and presented preliminary binding results and syntheses that have been completed.
“I’ve always been interested in infectious diseases, and I am thinking about attending pharmacy school,” Kallgren says. “I started this research as a sophomore, and to have the ability to do research like this is at Alma amazing.”
“I have always wanted to go to medical school, but this experience is making me seriously consider getting an MD/PhD, because I love being in the lab,” Duymich says.
Their faculty sponsor was Jeffery Turk, assistant professor of chemistry. Kallgren is a graduate of Trenton High School and is the daughter of Scott and Cynthia Kallgren of Trenton.
Duymich is a graduate of Garber High School in Essexville and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart Duymich of Simi Valley, Calif.
Rebecca Bruning, Rogers City senior, presented “Effect of Rehydration with a Caffeinated or Non-Caffeinated Beverage on Hydration Status After.” Her co-author was Ellsworth sophomore Robert Danbert. While caffeine is blamed for having a diuretic effect at rest, few studies have been done to see if it has the same effect after exercise-induced dehydration. Bruning had volunteers exercise in a hot, humid chamber for one hour, losing two to three pounds in water. In a double-blind fashion, they were to drink either water, caffeine-free Diet Coke or Diet Coke for 24 hours after the exercise, and their hydration status was measured.
“I played volleyball at Alma, and I am a habitual caffeine user,” she says. “My coach kept telling me it was negatively influencing my recovery time, so I decided to do a study to see if that was true. I found that drinking a caffeinated beverage after exercise rehydrates equally to water.”
Bruning’s faculty sponsors were John Davis, Charles A. Dana Professor of Exercise and Health Science, and Maurie Luetkemeier, professor of exercise and health science. A graduate of Rogers City High School, she is the daughter of Michael Bruning of Rogers City and Suellen Mertz of Rogers City.
Posted: Tue, April 7th, 2009 at 3:41PM