UMF research scholars named

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FARMINGTON – Among the many University of Maine at Farmington students conducting undergraduate research projects this semester, 11 have recently been recognized by the UMF Undergraduate Research Council as fall 2008 Michael D. Wilson Research Scholars and Fellows.

Under the Wilson program, each student’s original research project is awarded funding that underwrites expenses and helps encourage and promote continuing academic investigation. These awards are funded by a generous gift from Michael and Susan Angelides, Stonington, Conn., in honor of their good friend and UMF alumnus Michael D. Wilson, class of 1976, who died shortly after graduating.

“We are so proud of this year’s Wilson Research Scholars and Fellows,” said Theodora J. Kalikow, UMF president. “These projects promote the highest level of learning with a focus on purposeful scholarship, leadership and student/faculty collaboration. This ongoing effort enriches the educational experience for the entire campus.”

The annual Michael D. Wilson Research Scholar Program has been supporting single-semester research, scholarship and creative projects at UMF since the fall of 2006. The program was expanded in the fall of 2007 to include two full-year Wilson Research Fellow awards to support more substantive research projects. The students are nominated by a UMF faculty sponsor and, after a competitive selection process, are chosen by the UMF Undergraduate Research Council led by chair David Heroux, assistant professor of chemistry.

The fall 2008 Michael D. Wilson Research Scholars are: Joshua Case, New Vineyard; Ben Engel, Westford, Mass.; Isaac Frith, Randolph; Jaimie Gagne, Gorham, N.H.; Caroline Gallant, Concord, N.H.; Eric Munson, Belfast; Stephanie Nobrega, Phillipston, Mass.; Victoria Pearson, Skowhegan; William Roy, Turner; and Samuel Valentine, Farmington. The 2008-2009 Michael D. Wilson Research Fellow is Daniel Allen, Gardiner.

University of Maine at Farmington Fall 2008 Michael D. Wilson Research Scholars and Fellows are (left to right) first row: Jaimie Gagne, Caroline Gallant. Second row: Joshua Case, Ben Engel, Victoria Pearson, Stephanie Nobrega, Daniel Allen. Third row: Samuel Valentine, Eric Munson. (Not pictured) Isaac Frith, William Roy.

Additional Information on the 2008 Michael D. Wilson Research Scholars and Fellows and their research:

Daniel Allen of Gardiner:
A junior majoring in mathematics, Allen is the full-year 2008-2009 Wilson Fellow. Allen’s research project involves computing the sigma invariants of braid groups found in knot theory. His faculty sponsor is Nicholas Koban, UMF assistant professor of mathematics.

Joshua Case of New Vineyard:
A senior with a double major in mathematics/music and mathematics, Case is composing a series of original musical pieces to be performed by professional musicians for his senior recital. His faculty sponsor is Philip Carlsen, UMF professor of music.

Ben Engel of Westford, Mass.:
A sophomore environmental science major, Engel is exploring ways in which to passively store excess solar heat to regulate greenhouse temperatures. His faculty sponsor is David Heroux, UMF assistant professor of chemistry.

Isaac Frith of Randolph:
A senior with a double major in history and interdisciplinary studies in political science and social science, Frith is examining the public image of Joseph P. Kennedy during his time as ambassador to Great Britain. His faculty sponsor is Christopher O’Brien, UMF assistant professor of history.

Jaimie Gagne of Gorham, N.H.:
A senior majoring in history, Gagne is researching class issues in the suffrage movement, as seen from the experiences of working-class women involved in the movement. Her faculty sponsor is Allison Hepler, UMF associate professor of history.

Caroline Gallant of Concord, N.H.:
A senior majoring in environmental science, Gallant is seeking to better understand the relationship between climate and water temperature in high elevation ponds in western Maine. Her faculty sponsor is Julia Daly, UMF associate professor of geology.

Eric Munson of Belfast:
A senior majoring in history, Munson is examining the court martial of Commodore Saltonstall following the Penobscot Expedition of 1779. His faculty sponsor is Walter Sargent, UMF assistant professor of history.

Stephanie Nobrega of Phillipston, Mass.:
A junior majoring in rehabilitation services, Nobrega is examining undergraduates’ knowledge and experience of person first language, the word ordering technique that emphasizes the person rather than their disability. Her faculty sponsor is Jewel Jones, UMF associate professor of rehabilitation services.

Victoria Pearson of Skowhegan:
A senior majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry, Pearson is investigating antibiotic resistance and co-evolution in E. coli. Her faculty sponsor is Jean Doty, UMF associate professor of biology.

William Roy of Turner:
A senior with a double major in psychology and English, Roy is conducting a study grounded in theoretical psychology that will examine whether college students value wisdom or happiness. His faculty sponsor is Steven Quackenbush, UMF associate professor of psychology.

Samuel Valentine of Farmington:
A senior with an individualized interdisciplinary major in globalization studies, Valentine is investigating the implementation of collaborative online work environments in the classroom. His faculty sponsor is John Messier, UMF assistant professor of economics.

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