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  • Welcome to the Fifteenth Annual

    April 11th, 2018

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  • Keynote Speaker: Dr. Darlene Kertes  

    Darlene Kertes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and is affiliated with the University of Florida Genetics Institute. Dr. Kertes focuses on the antecedents and consequences of stress in health and development. Her research examines the role of life experiences and epigenetic processes on activity of a stress-sensitive neuroendocrine system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical system. Dr. Kertes further studies the genetic and gene-environment interaction effects on stress-related emotional and health outcomes from childhood through adulthood, including effects on depression and alcohol dependence. Dr. Kertes completed a Ph.D. in child psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota and an NRSA Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Dr. Kertes has received several nationally competitive awards to pursue her work, including awards from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Kertes also served at the National Institutes of Health as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), where she was involved in launching the Genes, Environment and Health Initiative. 


  • Fifteenth Annual Morningside College   Palmer Student Research Symposium Schedule 

    Wednesday, April 11​th​, 2018   

    Opening Remarks 7:45-8:00 Provost Deeds ​Yockey Oral Session I 8:00-9:00 Education and Agriculture (Quantitative) LC 102 1. 8:00-8:15: Best Practices for Differentiation Using Technology

    in the Middle School Classroom Nicole Dillin Technology permeates nearly every aspect of our everyday lives, so it only makes sense that it has a special place in our classrooms. This research, titled “Best Practices for Differentiation Using Technology in the Middle School Classroom,” consists of a review of the current educational literature and an analysis of survey data to determine how teachers use technology to differentiate, or individualize, the content, the instruction, and the assessments in middle school classrooms. Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Celia Stevenson

    2. 8:15-8:30: ​The Importance of Ethics within the College

    Curriculum Zoe Knudsen This research study will evaluate the effectiveness of teaching philosophy-based ethics in higher education, or if a degree-based ethics course would more applicable and valuable for students. This study will also examine the benefits and risks of requiring a degree-based ethics course. According to Funk & Wagnalls’ New World Encyclopedia, Ethics is a branch of philosophy which attempts to help us understand right and wrong using reason rather


  • than tradition or faith. Data will be gathered through use of student surveys and the input of a Philosophy professor. Right now there are a plethora of studies done on the importance of ethics within the medical field; doing research on the importance of ethics within a generalized field will help shed light on a neglected area of research within the world of ethics. Faculty Sponsor: Mrs. Melanie Bloom and Dr. Thomas Paulsen

    3. 8:30-8:45: Agriculture in the Media: College Students’

    Perceptions of Agriculture’s Portrayal in the Media Rachael Arnts News coverage, if not presented objectively, has the capability of swaying viewers to a particular viewpoint. If agricultural news gets portrayed in a biased way, then the audience could develop negative connotations towards the agricultural industry. Previous research indicates a direct connection between a recipient’s acceptance of a communicated message and the credibility of its source. I developed a quantitative survey of current Morningside College students which indicated their perception of agricultural news and its potential influence on the selection of a career in the agricultural industry. Quantitative results from this survey will be presented. College students preparing for agricultural careers should be prepared to educate their peers regarding agricultural concepts. Recommendations for the future development on fact-checking resources in agriculture should be implemented in courses at Morningside College. Faculty Sponsor: Mrs. Melanie Bloom and Dr. Thomas Paulson

    4. 8:45-9:00: Teaching with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Perceptions of Iowa Agricultural Education Teachers Summer Beery Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs/drones) have transitioned from initial military uses to various current commercial applications. In agriculture, UAVs have been used in numerous operations which include field trials, biomass research, crop growth monitoring,


  • food quality evaluation, and precision farming. This Morningside SURP study sought to determine the perceptions of Iowa secondary agriculture teachers regarding the teaching of UAV technology in the curriculum and their willingness to participate in professional development training. Using a reliable, validated, and pilot-tested electronic survey instrument, thirteen of fourteen UAV-related curricular components were perceived Very Important for integration in the high school curriculum. Teachers (n=117, 51% response rate) in this census study further identified having No to Some Capacity for teaching twelve of the fourteen curricular criteria. Borich’s weighted mean discrepancy scores (WMDS) were calculated to prioritize respondents’ professional development needs. We conclude Iowa secondary agricultural education teachers are in urgent need of training opportunities. Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Tom Paulsen

    Oral Session II 8:00-8:30 Humanities I LC 103 1. 8:00-8:15: Millennial Sociolinguistics: My Observations

    Amy Jackson Communication through CMC (computer-mediated conversation) is hazardous. The commonality of CMC misunderstandings suggests this conclusion: proper grammar is not always adequate for expressing meaning. Many attempts have been made to bridge the gap between CMC and speech, but while academics were inventing fanciful additions to the keyboard, millennials were developing their own tactics for inserting nuance into CMC. Although some observers are quick to accuse millennials of illiteracy or laziness, dissection of these trends reveals that, since millennials engage in CMC at far higher rates than older generations, they have subsequently developed a number of grammatical quirks intended to mimic the nuances of face-to-face conversation in CMC. Through examining millennials’ treatments of sarcasm and emphasis as examples, the purposes behind these


  • linguistic trends will be revealed, hopefully explaining if not outright justifying the phenomena. Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Stephen Coyne

    2. 8:15-8:30:​ ​Next to Normal: A Dramaturgical Analysis

    Joey Volquartsen According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 1 in 5 Americans experience some form of mental illness. However, even with this statistic, the topic of mental health is one that only comes up in the event of a tragedy where the person’s mental health can be blamed. This project explores the representation of mental illness, particularly bipolar disorder, in theatre using Morningside’s Fall 2018 musical, ​Next to Normal, by Tom Kitt and Brain Yorkey, as a basis. The project uses dramaturgical research including the history of the show and scholarly resources addressing bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses to analyze the plot and characters. Research and analysis by a dramaturg can be utilized in developing the characters, designing the set, and influencing the overall feel and direction of a show. Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Taylor Clemens

    Oral Session III 8:00-9:00 Qualitative Research LC 104 1. 8:00-8:15: Title IX

    Ally Hecht For the Palmer Research Symposium, I plan to focus on Title IX’s guidelines specifically regarding violence against women. My overall goal is to create a call to action in advocating for women’s rights on college campuses, through discussion of Title IX policy. This will be accomplished through several focus areas, which include the History of Title IX, Obama-Era regulations, current status, and a call to action. Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Valerie Hennings


  • 2. 8:15-8:30:​ ​School Counseling for the Modern Age

    Jesse Nitzschke What is the role of a school counselor and what sh