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Scope of IUP Innovation Seen in Research Appreciation Week, April 1–5

Research Appreciation Week takes place April 1–5, showcasing in one of the most exciting academic events of the year the innovation and scope of research that IUP faculty and students conduct universitywide.

The week offers student research presentations at the Women in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Program on Monday, April 1; the Undergraduate Scholars Forum on Tuesday, April 2; and the Graduate Scholars Forum on Wednesday, April 3. President Michael Driscoll will give remarks at the two forums.

The event schedule also include awards events recognizing the most exceptional research and scholarship of the year; workshops for researchers sponsored by the Applied Research Lab and School of Graduate Studies and Research; and, in the spirit of collaboration and celebration, an informal networking reception open to all current and aspiring student researchers and faculty at Cozumel's restaurant.

Hundreds of presentations and posters cover a wide array of research topics. Here are just a few highlights.

Fishing for Kidney Regeneration

Tobe Ukah Research Appreciation Week 2013Tobechukwu Ukah, Presenting at the Graduate Scholars Forum

Tobe is a second-year master's degree student in the Department of Biology. In his research, mentored by Professor Cuong Diep,Tobe is attempting to generate a genetic model of inducing kidney injury in order to study kidney regeneration in zebrafish. Their molecular data suggest they have successfully generated their final DNA construct and will be ready for injection into the zebrafish embryos.

Helping the cause: A fantastic new aquarium recently opened in Weyandt Hall, thanks to National Science Foundation funding. Before this, Diep and his team were required to commute to the University of Pittsburgh for access to zebrafish samples.

How Tobe and Diep team up: "Professor Diep is an excellent teacher and research resource. He's always ready for discussions and troubleshooting options that make you realize the best in you."

Exploring What Affects Principals' Leadership Styles in School Crises

Joyce Henderson PhD Professional Studies EducationJoyce Henderson, Showcasing ARL Support of the Research Enterprise

Joyce is a doctoral student in Professional Studies in Education. In her dissertation research, advised by Professor Valeri Helterbran, Joyce is examining how school principals' perception of their leadership style relates to their anticipated responses to a school crisis and their knowledge and execution of the school’s crisis management plan.

Real-world research impact: "School safety is an ever-present issue for school leaders. My passion centers on the challenge to keep children safe, a responsibility primarily assumed by the leadership of the school. The responsible, skilled, professional leadership in our schools is, and always will be, the first level of defense against any threat that has the potential to harm children."

How Joyce teams up with Helterbran and the ARL: "Dr. Helterbran is an excellent role model for success. Her high standards of performance and her personal investment of time and support continue to inspire me to complete my dissertation.The strength of the ARL lies in the professional and knowledgeable people available for research support. Their expertise and ability to convert ideas into data are their finest strength."

Seeing the Neuroscience on Stage

Rick Kemp Research Appreciation Week 2013Professor Rick Kemp, Recipient of 2013 New Investigator Award

Theater professor Rick Kemp takes an innovative neuroscientific approach to studying performance, incorporating areas such as cognitive linquistics and neurobiology to identify and describe the cognitive activities, such as empathy or the relation of self to character, that are involved in performance.

Kemp has published his research in his new book, Embodied Acting: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Performance (Routledge). He also taps it in exploring new performance teaching methods. In 2012 he collaborated with his theater colleagues and students, the IUP Communications Media Department, and the Slippery Rock University theater department to create a course using real-time video in theater instruction. The project was supported by a PASSHE FPDC grant and led to a grant for further collaborative research from the University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center.

Where research and teaching meet: "Grounded in the context of daily teaching, researchers at IUP can immediately test their findings in pedagogy."

Can Green Technology Take the Heat?

Paige LaDuca Research Appreciation Week 2013Paige LaDuca, Presenting at the Undergraduate Scholars Forum

Paige is a senior majoring in Environmental Planning in the Geography and Regional Planning Department. In her research, mentored by Professor Calvin Masilela, Paige is exploring whether green technologies such as solar canopies more effectively reduce the urban heat island effect than do cheaper strategies like xeriscaping (native vegetation) and cool roofs. The company Paige interns for recently installed solar canopies, and she says they've proven useful for solar energy, reducing the urban heat island effect and sky glow.

"Certain strategies work better for certain areas of development, depending on how much impervious surface is present. Essentially, the usefulness of each technology depends on how a neighborhood is set up."

Room to grow: "Not all new technological applications have been studied, and therefore the data isn't out there. For example, I would've liked to also compare the heat radiation of pervious and standard pavement types, but this hasn't been widely studied."

How Paige teams up with Masilela: "Professor Masilela has assisted me in multiple research projects, and encourages me to continue my work and continually add to it and revise it. With this research in particular, his advising was helpful in narrowing down my study area."

 

Deborah Klenotic