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Kapp Prize Awarded to Top Student Presentations

Research on humanities, natural and social sciences receive recognition at annual event.

ALMA — Student presentations on vaginal douching, high school physics instruction and blood flow during exercise were chosen for recognition at Alma College’s 26th annual Kapp Honors Day, held on April 7.

Lainie Ettema, Jackson Nordbeck and Jack Poling were recipients of the Ronald O. Kapp Honors Day Prize for their outstanding Honors Day presentations in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, respectively.

The prize is named for the late Ronald O. Kapp, who was an Alma College biology professor for 32 years and vice president of academic affairs for 20 years.

Lainie Ettema Lainie EttemaEttema, a senior art and design major from Howell, presented “No One Needs a Douche; Causes and Implications of Vaginal Douching and How it Sustains Patriarchal Oppression.”

In her study, Ettema provided a literature review and analysis, addressing “the causes and consequences of vaginal douching practices through an examination of mental manipulation by douching manufacturers, the physical health effects of vaginal products, and an analysis of cross-cultural factors to demonstrate that douching reinforces patriarchal systems of power that are complicit in women’s oppression.”

Ettema’s project was sponsored by Prathim-Maya Dora-Laskey, associate professor of English, women’s and gender studies.

Jackson Nordbeck Jackson NordbeckNordbeck, an integrative physiology and health therapy (IPHT) major from Livonia, presented “Chronic Effects of Ischemic Preconditioning on 1.5 Mile Run and Blood Flow.”

In his project, Nordbeck studied ischemic preconditioning — the use of blood pressure cuffs to restrict blood flow to the limbs prior to exercise — and how it affected run times and resting blood flow with members of the Alma College cross country team over the course of six weeks.

Nordbeck’s study was sponsored by Alexander Montoye and Jennifer Vranish, assistant professors of integrative physiology and health science.

Jack Poling Jack PolingPoling, a secondary education major from Grand Rapids, presented “Investigating Impacts of Professional Development on High School Physics Teachers’ Collaboration and Lesson Planning.”

In his study, Poling looked into the professional development of high school physics teachers and how the teachers’ lesson planning and collaborations were altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Poling’s study was sponsored by Brian Hancock, assistant professor of education.

A panel of judges from each division selected the prize-winners after assessing the presentations for quality of scholarship as well as how well the materials were presented. The prize is open to all students and groups.

Story published on April 19, 2022