The Undergraduate Research Awards selection committee selected three recipients for this year’s $300 award. The winners are Kaitlin Bare for her poster on “Online Safety Education for Parents and Children,” Sizun Jiang for his presentation on insect juvenile hormones, and Stephen Zellmer for his analysis of “The Penguin Book of Haiku.”
Each of the award winners presented their work at the Undergraduate Symposium at the Memorial Union on Tuesday, April 12. Ms. Bare’s poster explored the effectiveness of intervention materials to promote discussions between parents and children about online safety. Based on a review of relevant scientific literature, educational materials, and marketing principles, she developed an online safety booklet. Thirty parents with children between ages 7–12 were surveyed about how they used the prepared materials. The goal of her project is to determine the effectiveness of using an educational book as an intervention to promote parent-child discussions about online safety.
Sizun Jiang, who worked with faculty mentor Walter Goodman of the Department of Entomology, received his award for a project entitled, “Characterizing Recombinant Juvenile Binding Protein.” Jiang took on this project despite having no background in entomology and immediately sought help from the reference librarians at Steenbock Library when starting his literature review. In addition, he used the assistance of our Grants Librarian to prepare a proposal for the Trewartha Senior Thesis Grant, which he also received. In his statement of faculty support, Dr. Goodman wrote, “I believe that Sizun’s thesis project is outstanding, both for its training value as well as its contribution to endocrinology. I also believe that Sizun is on track to becoming a first-class scientist.”
Stephen Zellmer reviewed English-language literature on the Japanese poetic form known as haiku, discovering that a “grand narrative” has emerged that has significantly distorted haiku in its historical context. It has defined haiku as an ancient art with strict requirements, such as a 17-syllable format, seasonal imagery, and Zen influence. Working with his mentor, Prof. Adam Kern, Zellmer sought to challenge this “grand narrative” and provide a more historically grounded view of haiku and confront problems of translation that have risen from these misconceptions.
For a compilation of abstracts from the 2011 Symposium, please see the online PDF.