Kirmser Undergraduate Research Award

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The Kirmser Undergraduate Research Award recognizes and promotes outstanding scholarship among K-State's undergraduate students. Awards are given to winners in the freshman individual, non-freshman individual, and group project categories. Research projects must have been completed as a requirement for a K-State course. They may encompass any academic topic. Applications are evaluated based on the use of library resources.

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 52
  • ItemOpen Access
    An Overview of the Correlation between Societal Influences, Bodybuilding, and Muscular Dysmorphia
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) Quinn, Aidan
    Data suggests that there is an underlying connection between societal influences (i.e. childhood, advertisements), bodybuilding training, and muscular dysmorphia, a condition in which a patient believes they are "too small." This relationship is discussed and explored in this literature review.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Émile de Rousseau: La pédagogie, la volonté, l’independence
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) Murphy, Matthew
    Émile ou de l’Éducation (1762) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau presents an ideal world within which the relationship of the teacher and the student has been changed greatly from the contemporary norm. While society at the time suggested an educational system that treats the child as if they were young learning adults and encouraged reading the classics, Rousseau suggests an environment wherein the education of the student is centered around their volition to independently increase their own epistemological understanding of the world through physical experience and play. Drawing upon the works of Enit K. Steiner and Eliyah Rosenow and their theories on the totalitarian contradictions of Rousseau’s writings, I will be analysing the Bois de Montmorency episode from book 3 in the hopes of examining the role of the student and mentor in greater detail, showing the paradoxes between Rousseau’s ideals and his philosophical actions. This presentation represents a part of a larger project in which I am examining this student-mentor relationship across multiple episodes of Emile in the hopes of further elucidating the claims of Steiner and Rosenow and continuing this discussion of an anti-utopian system of concealed control by means of environmental conditioning.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Correlation between Self-Consciousness and Depression in Adolescents
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) Cazella, Kimberly; Poole, Morgan; Urban, Miranda
    The purpose of this research proposal is to study the relationship between high levels of self-consciousness and depression among adolescents. In the context of this study, a positive relationship between the study variables is expected to reflect that adolescents are more at risk for the development or continuation of depression or depression symptoms when they experience or maintain high levels of self-consciousness. To assess adolescents’ levels of self-consciousness and severity of depression, participants in this study will be expected to complete a survey questionnaire. The use of these instruments incorporates quantitative data as numerically ranked measurements of personal reflection within a reliable screening. The Revised Self-Consciousness Scale (SCS-R) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) will be in a combined survey distributed to 100 adolescents aged 9-12 years old. Data will remain anonymous and be collected through a classroom setting. The results of this study are expected to help health professionals, parents, educators, and individuals consider self-consciousness as a more emphasized and prevalent element in adolescent depression and mental health.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Outdoor Lighting and the Effects of Artificial Light at Night (ALAN)
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) Satzler, Stacia
    As Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are replacing High Pressure Sodium (HPS) street lights, some groups have concerns about the health and environmental effects of blue-rich LED lights. The AMA released a report recommending that all street lighting have a CCT of less than 3000K, but other organizations felt this threshold was arbitrary and unfounded. To shed light on this dispute, I researched the effects of artificial light at night (ALAN), particularly concerning LED lights, to determine what policies design companies should set concerning outdoor lighting. I have learned that artificial light at night (ALAN) has been linked to many serious health conditions, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Light sources with high intensities of 450-500 nm light disrupt our bodies’ circadian rhythm and make it more difficult for our eyes to adjust to darkness. LEDs, even low-CCT LEDs, have a spike in intensity in that range. Studies have also shown that sources with high blue light content impact natural photosynthesis cycles, disrupt animal behavior, and affect skyglow and star visibility much more severely than warmer sources like HPS. Unfortunately, I also discovered that CCT, often the only metric that manufacturers release about the light source in a luminaire, is a poor descriptor of blue light content. On average, higher-CCT sources will have higher levels of blue light, but two sources with the same CCT can have wildly different levels of blue light, meaning that a designer cannot know the effects of the light source they choose. This presents a challenge and an opportunity for lighting designers. To provide exceptional design to clients, designers will need to be pioneers in calling for new light sources and metrics to describe spectral distribution, while continuing to serve their clients excellently with limited information.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Association Between Childhood Trauma and Social Anxiety among Adults
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) Bird, Conor; Collom, Kristen; Kindscher, Jessi
    The purpose of this proposal is to study the relationship between Adverse Childhood Experiences and social anxiety in adulthood. The relationship is expected to be positive, meaning that experiencing any form of childhood trauma will result in high levels of social anxiety in adulthood. Using a cross-sectional research design, 200 participants between the ages of 21 and 30 will be invited to complete a self-administered survey that will assess what specific adverse experiences in childhood correlate with social anxiety in adulthood. The independent variable, exposure to trauma, will be compared to the dependent variable, social anxiety experienced as an adult using both the Childhood Traumatic Events Scale and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale. This research would help mental health professionals gain a better understanding of the impact of childhood trauma on social functioning, coping skills, and behavior in adulthood.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Group Oral Policy Analysis Presentation
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) Hobbs, Annaleigh; Roggenkamp, Suzanne; Tonjes, Jade
    For this project, the main goal was to analyze one specific expenditure or tax policy from a nonpartisan position and then present it to the class. The oral presentation was required to be 10 minutes long with a visual and citations to back up the claims. Since it is nonpartisan, we were not allowed to sway our audience to think one way or another about the issue. Rather, we were to recite a plethora of research about the topic. After presenting, every group would be asked a number of questions about their research, such as research methods used or how systems work. Within the project, we were asked to cover topics such as economic theory, costs, benefits, published economic research about the topic, and how the policy works. We were required to have at least 10 sources used in the project, but it was recommended that you utilized more. We then had 1 and a half months to work on our projects.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Human Understanding of Garments: An Exploratory Study on Technology Inspired Clothing Design for Young Adults with Anxiety
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) Brinkley, Tamara; Bynum, Kaylee; Filinger, Claudia
    The purpose of this exploratory study investigates the clothing preferences and choices of people who have anxiety issues. The goal of this project is three-fold: 1) studying the relationship between people's anxiety and their clothing choices; 2) experiment with different apparel technologies to accommodate the wants and needs of people who have anxiety issues, and 3) developing an apparel collection that incorporates apparel technologies to address the anxiety issues of the wearer. The basis for this project revolves around innovative apparel technology, anxiety issues, and their relationships with clothing preferences and choices. The research study included questions about the effect of color, comfort, and fit in clothing in correspondence to participants' anxiety as well as their demographics. Our project “HUG” is focused on the subjects within our 18–25-year target market.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Role of Economics in the Fight Against Climate Change
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) McClain, Tom
    Over the past century, humans have drained our planet’s natural resources and altered its climate through increasing carbon emissions. Efforts to protect the environment and mitigate warming have yielded little progress. This project seeks to provide a starting point for policymakers, academics, and voters alike by applying economic research and principles to climate change. An analysis of the issue reveals that markets fail to incentivize businesses to consider the long-term health of the planet when making decisions. If market deficiencies are to blame for the conditions that cause pollution and global warming, then economics has powerful potential to direct firms toward more environmentally responsible behaviors. With this foundation in mind, the paper identifies three criteria that can be used to evaluate policy instruments that seek to address climate change. First, policies must force firms to account for the environmental cost of their emissions. Second, policies must incentivize the innovation of more sustainable business practices. Finally, policies should not be so complex or heavy-handed that it is impossible to raise the political support needed to enact them. These criteria are applied to four major policy tools: command and control approaches, information disclosure programs, emissions trading systems, and pollution taxes. In each case, this paper reviews the economic debate on the policy option and examines the varying degrees of scope and success achieved by these policies when implemented. Carbon taxes are identified as a particularly promising candidate for reducing emissions on a large scale. The project concludes by emphasizing that well-designed policy action by wealthy nations, especially the U.S., is critical to stopping climate change and protecting the planet.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Water Contamination from Pesticides in Crop Runoff
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) Barrett, Olivia
    When deciding on my research topic, I applied what I had learned in a few of my classes to the real world. Most places in Kansas get their drinking water from local streams and rivers, and it is a big issue if pesticides are flowing into the streams and rivers from crop runoff. In recent years, many places in Northeastern Kansas have had increased rainfall and there has been more runoff from the fields. Most fields are located in flood plains or near creeks and rivers. I thought it would be interesting to see how pesticides from crop runoff affect the local rivers and streams. This is an important topic that does not get discussed very often. I did some background reading to make sure this was the topic that I wanted to focus on, but it was my own family experience that refined my topic.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Friend or Foe: The Importance of Identifying Bacteria with Biochemical Tests
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) Schieferecke, Grace
    Identifying bacteria by utilizing biochemical tests is important, as bacteria can have a great impact on humans. Some bacterial strains are helpful while others are harmful, and having the ability to precisely identify bacteria can be crucial in maintaining human health. Biochemical tests generally consist of both selective and differential medias. Selective media only allows particular organisms to grow on it, while differential media will produce differing results, like a change in color, with the growth of different species. In this report, two bacterial strains were identified by performing a Gram stain and a series of selective and differential tests. Using an expected results table, the strains were identified as _Enterococcus faecalis_, a probiotic, and _Proteus vulgaris_, a potentially pathogenic bacterium. Correctly identifying bacteria is important in determining further steps after discovering bacteria in area from the food industry to the medical field.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Integrating Sensory Feedback into a Neural Bypass Device
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries) Schmitz, Ceci
    The objective of the project was to identify a problem or opportunity with a company process or product and propose a change based on thorough research. For my project, I chose the NeuroLife neural bypass device produced by Battelle. The device was designed to provide hundreds of thousands of people with the opportunity to overcome devastating neurological damage and disorders. However, the current design focuses only on restoring motor function. As a result, the patient faces challenges and limitations when moving a limb due to lack of immediate feedback to the brain to inform subsequent movements. My proposed change was to integrate sensory information to build a bidirectional neural bypass device to improve patient usability and device performance. Therefore, I investigated three primary cortical stimulation techniques being researched and developed for restoring sensory feedback. I also evaluated each technique based on prominent challenges that accompany brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). The three main methods for stimulating the central nervous system include magnetic stimulation, optogenetics, and electrical stimulation. The areas I used to evaluate each method were tissue damage, specificity of neuronal excitement, ethical considerations, and types of sensory information that have been successfully restored. Based on my research and the evaluation criteria, I propose integrating electrical stimulation into a neural bypass device because it would be the most feasible and reliable. I also provide recommendations for Battelle as possible steps for implementing my proposal.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Intersection of Big Data and Anthropology
    (Kansas State University. Dept. of English, 2019) Copple, Ethan
    The intersection of big data and anthropology is important for both academics and private sector leaders in both fields to understand due to the joint applications and capabilities created. Through the inter-disciplinary intersection, both big data and anthropology could be mutually and greatly impacted, but due to the widespread perception that the fields function aversely, seemingly few people are investigating. The intersection has already illuminated fascinating research and practical applications that could revolutionize how data is interpreted and is utilized both in academia and the private sector. The literature review will seek to showcase these applications through a number of both academic and nonacademic sources which relate anthropology and big data.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Children Victims of Parental Substance Abuse and Future Incarceration
    (Kansas State University. Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, 2020) Hughes, Jennifer; Cooper, Jaedn; Rios, Samantha
    The purpose of this mixed-method design study is to discover if the Adverse Childhood Experience(ACE) of having (a) parent(s) with a substance abuse issues effects the likelihood of the child being incarcerated in their future. In background research, we found that it is very common for abusive parents or other ACE to affect the child’s success, especially within their own future family violence and their presence in the criminal justice system. This study will survey approximately 100 inmates in the Topeka Correctional Facility and 100people in the Topeka, Kansas area who have never been incarcerated or arrested. The self-administered paper survey will ask questions about the individual’s parents are their parents use of substances when they were children and being incarcerates as an adult. The average score between the inmate group and the non-criminal group will be compared to see if there was a difference in their parent’s substance use severity in their childhoods.Finding these results is significant because it will show us a correlation between parental substance abuse and the link it has to their children’s future involvement in the criminal justice system (Correctional facilities).It also provides us with more specific information in relation to parental substance abuse and its effects on the child who falls victim and their future. If we find that this is a common issue and trend that parental substance abuse raises the likelihood of future incarceration for the child, we can also begin researching ways to combat this social issue.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Effects of Childhood Separation: A Study on Mental Health
    (Kansas State University. Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, 2020) Josenberger, Taya; Griffin, Cole; Castle, Rebekah
    This study examines the impact of child separation at the US/Mexico border.Since 2016, immigration has been a large part of the republican policy platform and has led to policies like ending DACA and the “zero tolerance” policy, researched here. This research will study the trauma responses of migrant children who were separated at the border as well as the trauma responses of parents who have had their children taken from them by US border agents. It is important to know how a country’s immigration policy affects those it targets and include data about mental health in those discussions. Our study contributes to that data. Participants will be examined via a mixed-method trauma questionnaire and an in-person interview. This data will then be compared to the surveyed“control group” made up of immigrant families in similar detention centers that are still intact. This is done to limit extraneous variables. We expect to find that separation intensifies trauma associated with migrant detainment in both parents and children. This knowledge will fortify the advocacy for the well-being of immigrants in hopes of ending family separation and the “zero tolerance” policy at large. Findings can be used to hold lawmakers accountable for their actions and contribute to the discussion on immigration on a global level.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Waiting Room
    (Kansas State University. Dept. of Music, Theatre, and Dance, 2020) Berland, Jackson
    This 10-minute playattempts to answer what truly makes life worth living. Through the eyes of ayoung man who recently suffered a fatal car accident, this story follows theemotional journey of this man coming to terms with how he spent his life onEarth.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Moral Dilemma to Antibiotic Overprescription
    (Kansas State University. Dept. of Philosophy, 2019) Brull, Kate
    When creating our final project for Moral Philosophy we were tasked with investigating a moral issue. My ethical concept centered around the morality of antibiotic prescription. In particular I reviewed three main moral concepts in the topic being 1. Should our current use of antibiotics be restricted our of consideration for future generations? 2. Who is the physician's main moral duty towards a) future of public health b) current patient demands 3. How much responsibility falls on the patient to refute antibiotic treatment? Within searching to answer these questions I including many philosophical concepts such as the use of a prisoner's dilemma in order to better understand the topic.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Action Research in Underserved High Schools: Effective Pedagogy in Music Classrooms
    (Dept. of Arts and Sciences, 2019) Brummel, Jessica; Davidson, Sidnie; Giles, Abigail; Howard, Addyson; Meek, Alex; Robinson, Abigail
    Given widespread educational crumbling infrastructure, a difference in the quality of education is addressed in the areas of pedagogies, quality of space, amount of resources, and socio emotional support from teachers. In collaboration with students of schools in the KCK area, seniors of the Interior Architecture and Product Design (IAPD) program at Kansas State University, and my research team, we will design a collaborative creative experience utilizing the tenants of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to create innovative curricular design. The purpose of this study is to identify issues present in underserved schools (Darling-Hammond, 2010) and research pedagogies and classroom design strategies that prove to be both the most effective for student learning and easily implemented in the classroom. The students’ perspectives in this study align most closely with the six tenants of culturally relevant pedagogy. (Ladson-Billings, 1994) These six tenants are divided into two areas; pedagogical and ideological prongs. The three pedagogical prongs are Cultural Competence, Sociopolitical Consciousness, and Academic Achievement. The three ideological prongs are Strong Conception of Self and Others, Teacher’s Strong Conceptions if Social Relationships, and Conceptions of Knowledge. The methodology of our qualitative research study is action research. (Pelton, 2010) This is obtained through our partnership with two high schools, the IAPD department, and professors from the IAPD and Music Education program at Kansas State University. We will interview the students and teachers of those two schools on their educational experiences to discover effective implementation of those 6 tenants listed above. We hope that through this project we will learn how recreate current spaces and curriculums into tools to support student success and inspire other teachers to do likewise, especially in underserved areas of the United States and beyond.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Learning History from Patent Medicines: Newbro’s Herpicide in Early Twentieth Century Kansas
    (Kansas State University. Dept. of History, 2018) Wolf, Natalie
    The material culture research project "Learning History from Patent Medicines: Newbro's Herpicide in Early Twentieth Century Kansas" explores the history of Newbro’s Herpicide, a product designed to kill the “dandruff germ,” in the early twentieth century through its connections to hair culture, patent medicines, and newspaper advertisements, particularly focusing on its presence in Kansas. It does so by first examining the prevailing characteristics associated with healthy hair in the early twentieth century in the United States for both men (virility) and women (beauty). It then moves specifically to the subject of dandruff, first exploring some practices of the day that could have helped contribute to the condition (tall hairstyles, products such as pomade, infrequent bathing) before taking a look at the medical opinions of the time regarding the causes of dandruff and baldness, and the apparent discovery of a “dandruff germ” that could be linked to both conditions. This project then looks into how the patent medicine Herpicide, claiming to kill this “dandruff germ” was created and began to spread like wildfire, especially within Kansas, as seen through its significant presence in local newspaper advertisements. Finally, this project then concludes by discussing the eventual decline of herpicide, due to such possible reasons as increased federal regulation regarding pharmaceuticals and the rise of shorter hairstyles among women, and its lasting impact on American popular culture. The project is overall based on a bottle of Newbro’s Herpicide found at the Clay County Museum and Historical Society. It uses newspaper ads for Herpicide as its foundational primary source while also employing a number of other primary and secondary sources on subjects such as medical journals, histories of hair and hat styles within the U.S., and contemporary short fiction.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Conviction as Divine Influence or Human Manipulation: LGBTQ+ Christians and a Harmful Habitus
    (2020-03-12) Jarrard, Clayton
    Experiencing same-sex attraction can be a devastating situation for a young Christian growing up within a condemning religious community, as it is often seen as sinful and morally wrong. Religious conviction always plays a central role in the difficulty of reconciling faith and an LGBTQ+ identity, since it is accepted to be of divine influence. There is an underlying tension through this piece of whether conviction is of divine or human origin. Using research conducted with LGBTQ+ Christians, this essay offers an examination of religious conviction as a social process. Bourdieu’s concept of the habitus provides a helpful tool in understanding the occurrence of conviction through the learned processes, internalizations, and embodiments of LGBTQ+ Christians as they navigate a Christian social field--structured by fundamental concepts of the human, human nature, and how to live a life of flourishing that are constrained by knowledge-power relations--that rebukes their experience as sinful. By drawing on critiques of the habitus , studies of feeling, emotion, and the processes of assigning these meaning, and ethnographic work in a manipulative Christian setting, this paper questions the purpose for many of the afflictions LGBTQ+ Christians face and illuminates the elaborate, pervasive process involved in LGBTQ+ Christians developing a habitus within Christian social fields that inflicts harm.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Feasibility Study of Bioretention Cells
    (Kansas State University. K-State Libraries., 2019) Busenitz, Aubrey
    This project is a formal report outlining the need for storm water mitigation in Manhattan, KS. I focus on bio retention cells, also known as rain gardens, as an effective solution to alleviate storm water runoff. For the purpose of this project, I am a hypothetical Project Engineer for the City of Manhattan reporting on a solution for the recent floods. Prior to this formal report, I wrote a proposal identifying the need for the research. I wrote the report to two main specific target audiences, expert engineers and business executives. I start the report by explaining the problems associated with the recent floods in Manhattan. My research analyzed the efficiency of bio retention cells to alleviate storm water runoff. I also reported the cost to design, construct, and maintain bio retention cells. I end my report with my final recommendations and conclusions for the City of Manhattan.