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Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity

2013 Award Recipients and Project Abstracts

Ghert Abbott, The Very Interesting Case of Jennie Lynch Miguel Rohrbacher, St. Pius X mission school Ethnohistory project
Cal Giordano, Timemachinist Mark 8 Model of 1888 Karissa Sleppy, Poetry for the Busy Student: Creating and Publishing
Heather Haven Evoy, Laxsgiik; Yesterday to Tomorrow: cultural changes experienced by the Tsimshian eagle clan Sofia Tenney, The glass cliff revisited: Why stereotype endorsement predicts leadership selection
Kate Laster, An Exploration of Fine Art Techniques in the Production of Comic Books Melissa Williams, Microalgae in Aquatic Ecosystems of Southeast Alaska


Ghert Abbott

The Very Interesting Case of Jennie Lynch. Mentor: John Radzilowski ($2500) The immediate goal of the Jennie Lynch research project is to access various legal and personal records currently archived in Anchorage and Juneau.  The information attained from these records will be used along with information available in Ketchikan to construct a research article laying out the persons, events, timeline, outcome, and social-historical importance of the lengthy Jennie Lynch case.  This article will be sent to Alaska History for peer review and publication, providing a foundation for expanded research on this topic. Return to Top

Miguel Rohrbacher

St. Pius X mission school Ethnohistory project. Mentors: Robin Walz and Dan Monteith ($2187) An Ethnohistory of the Pius X mission school, which was a Catholic boarding school for Alaska native children that operated from the 1930's until the late 1950's. This research is the result of interviews with students as well as church and civil documents. Return to Top

Cal Giordano

Timemachinist Mark 8 Model of 1888; Mentor: Pedar Dalthorp ($2500) The Timemachinist Mark 8 Model of 1888 will be a nautically themed, life size bronze bust. My inspiration for this project is my love of the sea and my life on the water. The styling will be based on science fiction, retro fantasy and the marine environment. My motivation is to advance my knowledge of cast bronze sculpture and to teach others what I have learned. Return to Top

Karissa Sleppy

Poetry for the Busy Student: Creating and Publishing. Mentor:Emily Wall ($2232)  With funding from the URECA grant, Karissa will attend AWP, the largest writer’s conference in North America. While there, she will go to several craft workshops to refine her writing skill and learn insightful publishing tips. Karissa will return to UAS with intent to produce a manuscript of poetry, as well as a quick-reference manual to advise fellow students on how to publish their own work. Return to Top

Heather Haven Evoy

Laxsgiik; Yesterday to Tomorrow: cultural changes experienced by the Tsimshian eagle clan. Mentor: Dan Monteith ($2212) This project focuses on the Tsimshian Eagle clan migration from British Columbia Canada to Southeast Alaska. Over the last century and a half many Tsimshians have moved to Metlakatla Alaska and experienced cultural changes that will be examined. The research methods employed will be elder and community member interviews; archival work, specifically with Viola Garfield's papers and field notes at the University of Washington; and work with contemporary anthropologists on my family genealogy. Return to Top

Sofia Tenney

The glass cliff revisited: Why stereotype endorsement predicts leadership selection. Mentor: Amanda Sesko ($600) This research focuses on a unique form of discrimination termed the glass cliff, the process by which women are preferentially selected for leadership positions during times of crisis, while their male counterparts are more likely to achieve those positions during times of success. The study was designed to fill a gap in existing research by investigating whether these well-established findings are moderated by race and the endorsement of common stereotype content domains of warmth and competence. Ultimately, the purpose of this research is to contribute to our current understanding of workplace inequality by offering an explanation as to the conditions under which White women, Black men, and Black women are systematically underrepresented in organizational leadership positions. Depending on the outcome of the data, a discussion of the findings will be submitted in the form of a research article to a social psychology journal, with the end goal of publication and possible presentation at next year’s Annual Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conferences. Return to Top

Kate Laster

An Exploration of Fine Art Techniques in the Production of Comic Books. Mentor: Pedar Dalthorp ($1950) The URECA Grant has provided me with an opportunity to step outside of my own comfort zone and learn new skills and techniques in the production of original comics. Attending the Stumptown Comics Fest will give me access to a larger community of visual storytellers. Not only will I meet artists I admire, but also peers working in the same medium of narrative art. The cumulative creative outcome will involve responding to these new ideas and techniques and incorporating them into the creation of my fourth comic. Return to Top

Melissa Williams

Microalgae in Aquatic Ecosystems of Southeast Alaska. Mentor: Christopher Donar ($2390) The area around Southeast Alaska has numerous complex freshwater and marine ecosystems.  The biodiversity of many of these ecosystems have yet to be examined in great detail.   We are focusing on microalgae because these organisms are very informative about the waters quality conditions. The goal of this project is to produce a digital image database and a taxonomic reference collection of diatoms and other microalgae collected from lakes and aquatic ecosystems in the vicinity of Ketchikan Alaska.  Through this project we hope to develop a useful reference tool that can be used by many agencies in order to improve biomonitoring efforts and improve our understanding of these ecosystems. Return to Top