2018 Pioneer Scholars

Carroll University recognizes the 2018 Pioneer Scholars and their mentors for their academic and scholarly achievements. Read descriptions of the research projects explored during Summer 2018. 

2018 Pioneer Scholar students and faculty mentors

Allison Calteux & Philip Krejcareck

Nightmares and Daydreams: A Study of Surrealist Photography and its Application to Portraiture

The surrealist movement was expressed heavily in the works of painters and poets of the early 20th century, but its influences are seen through many forms of art—including photography. Surrealism explores the subconscious mind and juxtaposes images and/or words that seem an unlikely fit. Through the use of photography, one can capture similar oddities and peculiar scenes as those seen in classic surrealist work; however, through the employment of real objects, people and settings the photographic medium delivers a superior sense of eccentricity. Through my research, I hope to learn about the roots of surrealism in photography, explore how it is still utilized today, and use this knowledge as inspiration to create my own original images accompanied by poetry and other texts to communicate hidden themes and connect to the origin of the surrealist movement.

Alexis Kaenel & Abigail Markwyn

From the Joy Zone to the Gayway: Presenting women at the 1915 and 1939 San Francisco World’s Fairs

The first world’s fair was The Great Exposition held in London in 1851. Its purpose was to show the prosperity of Queen Victoria’s England and this exposition especially promoted manufacturing achievements from the industrial revolution. While it lasted only six months, The Great Exposition led to a myriad of similar fairs. The first major US exhibit was held in 1876 in Philadelphia, and cities across the country hosted dozens of expositions between 1876 and 1940. Two San Francisco Fairs were put on to celebrate its city and its people. Both events, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) in 1915 and the Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) celebrated the city of San Francisco in its time. While the PPIE marked the completion of the Panama Canal, the GGIE was created to commemorate the completion of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. These fair contained defined sections exhibiting technological and manufacturing advances, international exhibits, and almost always an entertainment section. Studying these fairs gives historians a unique insight into the culture at a specific place and time. Often history is looked at from above: from the government and political level. Fairs are uniquely cultural places that allow a window into the representations of people as they were accepted at the time. One of the most interesting examples of this is the entertainment section of the fair often referred to as the Midway. The sideshows, animal attractions, rides, and the general entertainment were usually all housed in this sector of the fair. In The 1939 GGIE Gayway was vastly changed from its predecessor the Joy Zone only 24 years before in 1915. The goal of this project is to explore the visible shift from the imperialist ‘15 fair to that of the “Wild West” Gayway at the fair of ‘39, specifically for women. The early 20th century was a tumultuous time for America culturally, especially ​for women. 

I intend to compare these fairs and their Midways through the lens of gender history in order to see how the roles and expectations of women changed in the 24-year span. I hope that through this research we can get a greater understanding of how women’s lives changed in the early 20th century, especially concerning their representations in entertainment. While women in entertainment have been studied in other eras and other fairs, there has not been any work on women at these fairs at this time. This research would especially focus on female presentations at the fair concerning advertisements and performers. This will hopefully show what the expectations for women in the early 20th century. The two fairs have very different presentations of women, especially concerning sexuality and western themes. In the 1915 fair the Women’s Board and the YWCA partnered with ministers to pressure the PPIE to shut down female “muscle dances”, but Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch was a quintessential show at the 1939 fair. This stark shift begs the question of how the “Wild West” themes and imagery evolved from the fair in 1915 where “western” San Francisco was downplayed, to 1939 where there was an emphasis on these themes? Why would there be such a stark shift in the portrayal of the city in 24 years? This project will be heavily focused on primary source research using digitized regional newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune. In addition, we will be using sources from the fair itself including brochures and pamphlets that are in Dr. Markwyn’s personal collection of fair material. Online sources such as films, photographs, and postcards from the California Digital Library and the San Francisco Public Library. Dr. Markwyn also has obtained several other relevant research materials such as official histories, oral histories, and manuscripts from research libraries in California.

Sofie Kautzman & Lara Karpenko

Reinventing the Idea of the Angel of the House: Exploring the work of Julia Margaret Cameron and Clementina Hawarden

This project focuses on two female Victorian photographers, Clementina Hawarden (1822-1865) and Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879). Both women produced their work during an era where the Angel of the House ideal spread throughout Victorian England – an ideal that celebrated the disciplined, timid, virtuous, and domestic woman. As Elizabeth Langland points out, the Angel of the House ideal proliferated throughout conduct manuals, novels, popular magazines, and even university lectures. To be an Angel of the House, a woman was not only expected to act in a disciplined manner but also had to fulfill the ideal of the salon body—the small, controlled, middle-class pure body. This project will explore the Angel of the House ideal and the depiction of the salon body in the work of Cameron and Hawarden arguing that both women sought to portray interiority in their feminine subjects. Cameron originally started dabbling in photography as a hobby, which quickly developed into a career. She soon became a well-established photographer whose work circulated around England. Cameron often photographed her female subjects slightly out of focus and made sure they had a thoughtful expression on their faces. Cameron made sure to express a heightened cognitive ability in her female subjects through strategic poses. Like Cameron, Hawarden also started photographing as a hobby. Though unlike Cameron, Hawarden’s work never became popular and was seen only by those in her small, close knit circle. Her primary subjects were her family, specifically her daughters. Hawarden used her photography to express the intimacy between mothers and daughters and between sisters. To challenge the ideal of the Angel of the House, Hawarden exclusively photographed females. Since there were no males to assume the ideal male figure in Hawarden’s work, the women she photographed assumed that role. This gave the subjects a sense of interiority because they assumed the role not typically associated with the women of that time. By examining Cameron and Hawarden’s work through Laura Mulvey’s theories on the male gaze, this project is poised to explore how female artists of the Victorian era worked to challenge masculine norms and expectations of feminine embodiment and behavior.

“Reinventing the Idea of the Angel of the House” will explore what it meant to fit the salon body as well as how Cameron and Hawarden subvert the gender norms of this era.

Ashley Labodda & Kevin Guilfoy

Biomedical Ethics: Comparative analysis of collectivistic and individualistic cultural influences on the practice of medical informed consent

Today, the topic of biomedical ethics, especially related to informed consent, is highly discussed in modern medical practice and is the topic of exploration for this project. Every living being experiences and cannot avoid illness, disease, or injury. When ailments cannot be evaded, we as humans seek treatment of some kind from a healthcare professional or someone knowledgeable in medical treatment. Today, in what is considered the western practice of medicine, we expect to be told about our condition; we want to be fully informed; and we believe should be allowed to make choices related to our care. This concept of patient medical autonomy is what informed consent is based on; however, this was not common practice until relatively recently. Since then, the evolution of informed consent and the autonomy it is based on has devolved into many different forms and practices that go beyond complete patient autonomy. A lot of these interpretations and practices are influenced by the people’s cultural practices and values that are involved. Who is involved in giving consent and who can give consent? Only the patient? Only the family? A combination of both? What cultural practices inform these perspectives? In this project, the cross-cultural views and practices will be compared and studied using literary review and conducting interviews with current healthcare professionals to better understand the usage and practice of informed consent from a cross-cultural perspective. The focus will be an investigation of how different cultural practices and relationships influence the moral and ethical basis for informed consent in relation to the collectivistic mentality or familial organization compared to more individualistic mentality or autonomous organization.

Millar Minahan & Roberto Brenes

Environmental and physiological effects of the metabolite Emodin produced by the invasive species “Buckthorn” on the mice population at Carroll University’s Greenfield Station in Southeastern Wisconsin

Invasive species like the common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), introduced from Europe in the 1800’s and widely distributed in southeastern Wisconsin, have shown to have deleterious effects in ecosystem function and biodiversity in its host environment. Common buckthorn is known for producing allelopathic substances to avoid competition from other plants as well as secondary metabolites to avoid predation from insects and other herbivores. Emodin; an anthraquinone metabolite produced by the leaves, bark, and fruit of the common buckthorn has been reported to produce morbidity and mortality in invertebrates, embryotic fish, and developing amphibians. Although the effect of emodin in wild mammals has not been tested; laboratory experiments conducted in mice have demonstrated laxative properties of the chemical as well as liver damage like congestion and hepatocellular necrosis when exposed to high concentrations. Recent studies demonstrated that emodin can stops activity of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins in mice, inhibiting weight gain (4), and leading to malnourishment and emaciation. Hence, animals inhabiting areas with high abundance of buckthorn will be expected to present a decrease of overall health. In the Fall of 2017, a small mammal pilot survey was conducted in areas with high concentration of buckthorn at Carroll’s Greene field station. Animals collected during the survey showed signs of malnutrition and poor health. Thus, our objective for this project is to: 1) describe the small mammal community at the Greene field station, and 2) identified the effects of the common buckthorn on the overall health of the small mammals inhabiting areas with high concentration of buckthorn within the property. To establish a standard of overall health, we will also conduct surveys at an area where the common buckthorn is not present. Surveys will be conducted twice a week and trapped animals will be measured, weighed, and identified for any signs of diseases or malnutrition. A sub-sample of the animals will be sacrificed for histopathological analysis of the liver and kidneys, the organs where the detoxification of emodin takes place.  Our results will contribute to the determination of the small mammal species inhabiting the Greene field station, while assessing the effect of the invasive buckthorn in the overall health of the population. 

Shanna Mogden & Natalya Zinkevich

Mitochondrial ROS Production in Human Cultured HEK293 Cells Under Varying Concentrations of Serum and Glucose

In order to learn more about the mitochondria, we will expose cultured human cells to various concentrations of glucose and serum. The high levels of glucose should increase the production of ROS because they put stress on the mitochondria. The morphology of the mitochondria in the high stress environments will be compared to the control cells. MitoSox will be used to measure ROS production from the mitochondria, and images will be taken. To count the cells, a hemocytometer will be used.

Mikal Shankey & Monika Baldridge

Effect of Bisphenol A and Modified Growth Conditions on Mitochondrial Free Radical Production in Human Cultured HEK293 Cells

Research scientists and the public have growing concerns about Bisphenol A’s (BPA) association with human diseases such as cardiovascular injury, reproductive disorders, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. The chemical BPA is commonly found in polycarbonate plastics, which many water and baby bottles are made of, and epoxy resins, often used in the coatings of food cans and pipes that carry our water supply. BPA can be leeched into our diets, and is influenced by the temperature a bottle is subjected to and its age. Because of leeching, BPA may be found in breast milk. Low doses of BPA have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system. BPA binds to nuclear estrogen receptors and can mimic natural hormones like estradiol, but can lead to overstimulation and potential deleterious effects on the reproductive system. 

Bisphenol A has also been linked to oxidative stress, an imbalance of free radical production and the body’s ability to detoxify itself of the free radicals. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are unstable compounds that contain oxygen, and are important to the normal functioning of the reproductive system at low to moderate levels. At high levels, ROS can cause tissue injury in the ovaries by altering molecules such as nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins, all which play a vital role in the structure and function of a cell. The damage produced causes oxidative stress in the ovaries, which leads to apoptosis and follicular death.

Human embryonic kidney cells, HEK293 cells, will be cultured under normal conditions and with appropriate serum concentrations. Next, the cells will be cultured using low serum concentrations, the purpose being to cause oxidative stress in the cell culture. Last, cells will be cultured with BPA, which causes added production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and more oxidative stress. The effects of ROS on mitochondria will be examined at the conclusion of the experiment. It is expected that the cells cultured with BPA will be damaged. 
Bisphenol A has been shown to cause the production of reactive oxygen species in cells. The damage to the cells can be noted when examining the mitochondria and their functioning. Damage will ultimately lead to follicular atresia, death of ovarian cells, eventually leading to infertility.

Hailey Von Dross & Jennifer Huck

Assessing Women Reentry Programming in Wisconsin

Incarcerated women are a vulnerable population. Seventy percent of women who enter the prison system are 19-45 years old, and face sentences spanning from 2 to 15 years (ODRC, Bureau of Research, 1997). Some female prisoners live very difficult lives prior to incarceration as their lives are marked with adverse experiences that lead to neglected health (Condon et al., 2007). Compared with women in the general population, incarcerated women are more likely to have experienced childhood abuse (Bloom, Owen, & Covington, 2004; Browne, Miller, & Maguin, 1999; Chesney-Lind & Pasko, 2004; Jordan et al., 1996; Owen & Bloom, 1995; Singer et al., 1995). Incarcerated women are more likely to suffer from a drug abuse problem when entering the prison system than men (Alves et al., 2015). On average, women entering into the prison system are young, poor, women of color, single mothers, who have substance abuse issues, and have committed a crime in relation to their drug use (Inciardi et al., 1997). Most women in prison are from a lower socioeconomic class (Feinman, 1994). When compared with their male counterparts, incarcerated women are less likely to have committed a violent crime, but have a higher incidence of coexisting psychiatric disorders, lower self-esteem, higher hard-drug use, and a greater likelihood to test HIV-positive (Chandler and Kassebaum,1994: Maden, Swinton & Gunn,1994: Schilling et al., 1994). Incarcerated women are more likely than non-incarcerated women to have a history of mental illness, substance abuse, and physical and sexual abuse. Parallel assessments of women in prisons and women in the general population were conducted and found that women in prison are more likely to have higher incidence of severe mental disorders including depression, dysthymia, antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), and incident of sexual and physical abuse (Ladwig & Anderson, 1989; Jordan, Schlenger, Fairbank, & Cadell, 1996; Sargant, Marcus-Mendoza, & Ho Yu, 1993; Teplin, Abram, & McClelland, 1996; U.S Department of Justice, 1994). Thus, incarcerated women have high risk and needs while incarcerated and after release upon the reentry into society.

Alec Wendland & Thomas St. George

Numerical Solutions to Nonlinear Boundary Value Problems Using Bernstein Polynomial Reproducing Kernel Method

This project is focused on helping Dr. St. George analyze a new way of applying reproducing kernels to solve differential equations with boundary conditions numerically. The goal is to determine whether this new method works, implement it in a sophisticated programming language such as Sagemath, Python, or Matlab, and compare the results to work that has been done. If time permits, the project will take on studying how this procedure can be extended to solving systems of differential equations numerically.

Panoramic View of campus