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Friday, September 19, 2003

Goshen College students spend summer in research

Goshen College students spend summer in research

GOSHEN, Ind. -- What do garlic mustard, perlocutionary speech and children who tell lies have in common? These were research subjects for Maple Scholars this summer at Goshen College.

The eight-week Maple Scholars summer research program provides Goshen College students with the opportunity to do in-depth research in an area of their choice. Each student is paired with a faculty volunteer, who assists the undergraduate in designing, carrying out and presenting their research project.

The program was initially introduced in the sciences -- biology, chemistry, physics -- but has expanded to students doing research in history, art and psychology as well. For students interested in graduate school, the Maple Scholars program provides opportunities for independent research and possible publication. While many universities sponsor research projects, involving undergraduates in original research is unique.

"I plan to attend graduate school after college, and get into research in the future," said Shu Tu, a junior from China. "This program gave me an insight of what research really is." This summer, she entered her second year of research with Professor of Biology James Miller, studying the effect of the drug phloretin on membrane transport in red blood cells.

Valery Howard (So., Elkhart, Ind.) and Reyna Hernandez (Jr., Goshen, Ind.) worked to discover a mutant gene that permits potassium to enter a special strain of yeast. A large part of their work was in learning to use specialized equipment and techniques necessary to work with yeast DNA.

"They learned to prepare media, grow yeast, make crosses between yeast strains, dissect tetrads of spores produced on demand by the yeast, genetically transform yeast cells with especially prepared bits of DNA and test for multiple genetic traits expressed by the special strains of yeast we use," said Stan Grove, biology professor and supervisor for the project. As with a number of Maple Scholars research topics, this is an ongoing project and both Howard and Hernandez hope to continue working on the research through the next school year.

Sarah Pachulicz (Jr., Osnabrueck, Germany) was supervised by Professor of Psychology Vic Koop in researching the moral development of children. Pauchulicz played a game with children involved in the research project, during which the child was asked to tell a lie; electrodes were used to detect the child’s stress level. Through her research she hoped to discover at what age children first show signs of stress when they lie.

Jason Kauffman (Sr., Goshen, Ind.) and Lauresta Piper-Ruth (Sr., Boise, Idaho) researched garlic mustard, an alien species from Europe that has taken over forest floor ecosystems from native species. Specifically, the pair studied the impact of the garlic mustard on local insect populations that may feed on native plants in northern Indiana with Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center as their home base. After setting up pit traps to collect insects, they identified two types of beetles and one spider.

"My work this summer at Merry Lea also provided me with a good insight into how actual field research functions because of the difficulties that were faced this summer with variables that could not be accounted for when thinking about how to go about doing our research." said Kauffman. Kauffman is the son of Armon and Bernice Kauffman and graduated from Bethany Christian High School. Piper-Ruth is the daughter of Roger and Pam Piper-Ruth and graduated from Boise High School.

Andrew Histand (Sr., Goshen, Ind.), Chellie Ramer (Sr., Harper, Kan.) and Kaleab Abebe (Sr., Goshen, Ind.) worked with Professor of Mathematics David Housman at open mathematical problems. "The three students chose interesting open questions, made some progress at obtaining answers, communicated their progress to others in the program well and plan to continue the work in the future," said Housman.

Histand is the son of James and Linda Histand and graduated from Bethany Christian High School. Ramer is the daughter of Heber and Cheryl Ramer and graduated from Chaparral High School. Abebe is the son of Zenebe and Barb Abebe and graduated from Goshen High School.

Katie Yoder (Sr., Goshen, Ind.) researched the history of Mennonite Central Committee work in China after World War II. She studied letters from that period from her grandfather, Wayne Yoder, and interviewed Goshen College President Emeritus J. Lawrence Burkholder, who served in China during that period.

Yoder is the daughter of Mary and Michael Yoder of Goshen. She graduated from Goshen High School. Yoder was supervised by John D. Roth, professor of history.

Adam Derstine (Sr., Harrisonburg, Va.) was paired with Paul Keim in studying maledictions, or curses of condemnation, from the Bible and the Ancient Near East. Derstine is the son of Kenton and Rhoda Trost Derstine. He graduated from Bethany Christian High School.

Matt Bauman (So., Lancaster, Pa.), Aeron Huang (Jr., Shanghai, China) and Becca Johnson (So., Archbold, Ohio) worked with Professor of Physics Carl Helrich. The research investigated ion channels formed by an antibiotic, Nystatin, in membranes. The presence of these channels in the cell wall kills fungus. The group studied the dynamics of these channels and the dependence of the dynamics on Ergosterol in artificial phospholipid membranes. The research is of interest to the pharmaceutical industry, and may someday help scientists unlock the keys to diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Bauman is the son of Dave Bauman and Sue Stoez Bauman of Lancaster. Bauman graduated from Lancaster Mennonite Schools and attends Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster. Huang is the daughter of Jin Xu and ZhongXing Huang. Johnson is daughter of Mike and Barbara Johnson. She graduated from Archbold High School and attends Grace United Methodist Church.

– Tim Nafziger

Goshen College is a national liberal arts college known for leadership in international education, service-learning and peace and justice issues in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program and exceptional educational value, GC serves more than 1,000 students in both traditional and nontraditional programs. The college earned citations of excellence in U.S. News & World Report and Barron’s Best Buys in Higher Education. For more information, visit the college's Web site at www.goshen.edu.

Editors: For information, contact Jodi H. Beyeler at jodihb@goshen.edu or (574) 535-7572.


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