Office of Undergraduate Research

SURF (Stipends for Undergraduate Research Fellows) Awards

The UWM Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is pleased to announce the following recipients of Stipends for Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) Awards for 2008-2009. This program provides undergraduate students with stipends to assist faculty members in their research endeavors.  In total, OUR awarded more than $140,000 to UWM undergraduate researchers through this program for their assistance on the research projects listed below.

Recipients from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences are:

  • Senior Peter Sieber, for his work with Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Nikolai Kouklin on “Carbon Nanotube-based Infrared Sensors and Detectors.”
  • Junior Daniel Spiewak, for his work with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Tian Zhao on “Domain Specific Programming Using Higher Order Programming Languages.”
  • Juniors Joseph Barr and Vungkou Xiong and Senior Vong Yang, for their work with Associate Professor of Materials Nidal Abu-Zahra on “Synthesis and Characterization of Polyurethane-Nanoclay Composites.”
  • Seniors Naveen Gundumogula and Suganth Mohan, for their work with Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Susan McRoy on “Annotating Discourse Structure in Biological Text for Text Mining.”
  • Senior John Harms, for his work with Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Arash Mafi on “Bandwidth Improvement in Multi-mode Optical Fibers via Scattering from Embedded Inclusions.”
  • Junior Samuel Alberts, for his work with Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Kevin Renken on “Development of an Electrokinetic Nanotechnology System to Clean up Radioactive Contaminants.”
  • Senior Zach Jensen, for his work with Professor of Mechanical Engineering John Reisel on “Lab Measurements of the Effect of Intake Air Humidity Level on Air Compressor Performance.”
  • Freshman Quoc Le, for his work with Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Junhong Chen on “Synthesis of Nanoparticles for Gas Sensors.”
  • Senior Prahdeep Virk for his work with Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Lei (Leslie) Ying on “Improving the Imaging Speed of Parallel Magnetic Resonance Imaging.”

From the Lubar School of Business, the recipient is:

  • Senior Joseph Vlasak, for his work with Assistant Professor of Business Zhijian Huang on “Home Bias in the Job Market for Finance and Economics Ph.D.s”

From the Collegeof Letters and Science, the recipients are:

  • Junior Jill Droba, for her work with Assistant Professor of History Gregory Carter on “Uncovering Interracial Marriage: The Milwaukee Manasseh Club.”
  • Senior Phoebe Devitt, for her work with Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Yi-Qiang Cheng on “Antiobiotics Discovery from the Great Lakes.”
  • Senior Larry Buroker, for his work with Associate Professor of Physics Prasenjit Guptasarma on “Probing Atomic Structure-Electronic Property Relationships in Magnetoelectric Oxides.”
  • Senior Seth Frye, for his work with Associate Professor of Physics Prasenjit Guptasarma on “Transport and Optical Properties of Nanotubes of Oxides and Carbon.”
  • Senior Alyssa Hartson, for her work with Biological Sciences Professor Sara Hoot during the fall semester on “Phylogenetic patterns in Ranunculales,”  and during the spring semester on “The Phylogeny of Berberidaceae.”
  • Senior Christopher Halbrook, for his work with Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Guilherme Indig on “Mitochondrial Targeting of Multidrug Resistant Tumor Cells.”
  • Junior Peter Koester, for his work with Assistant Professor of Anthropology Ingrid Jordt on “Capacity Building in Burmese Civil Society Groups in the Wake of Cyclone Nargis.”
  • Senior John Dang, for his work with Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Graham Moran on “Ornithine Hydroxylase: The Reductive Half-Reaction.” 
  • Senior Mike Schrauth, for his work with Associate Professor of Physics Sarah Patch on “Thermoacoustic Tomography Testbed – Phantom Properties Quantification.”
  • Junior Sarah Vignavong, for her work with Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication David Pritchard on “Evaluating the Success of a Media Campaign to Foster Healthy Eating Among Native Americans.”
  • Senior Rachel Schmidt, for her work with Professor of English Michael Noonan on the Bodic Reconstruction Project.
  • Junior Anke Keuser, for work with Assistant Professor of Geography Woonsup Choi on “Spatio-temporal Patterns of Urban Climate in Wisconsin and Minnesota.”
  • Junior Lorri Kais, for her work with Assistant Professor of Psychology Christine Larson on “Understanding How Humans Detect Threat.”
  • Senior John Peters, for his work with Professor of Mathematical Sciences Paul Roebber on “Improving Prediction of Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Activity.”
  • Senior Vince Tripi III, for his work with Professor of History and Interim Director of the Center for 21st Century Studies Merry Wiesner-Hanks on the Center for 21st Century Studies Blog.   
  • Senior Ryan Mader, for his work with Associate Professor of German Garry Davis on “The Wermelskirchen Dictionary Pilot Project.”
  • Senior Jessie Pucel, for her work with Conservation and Environmental Science Program Coordinator Mai Phillips on “The Edible Green-Roof Pilot Project of Urban Campus Student Housing at UW-Milwaukee.”
  • Senior Brett Heim, for his work with Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Rafael Rodriguez on “The Function of Vibrational Signaling in Insects.”
  • Senior Nooria Al-Wathiqui, for her work with Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Rafael Rodriguez on “Allometry and Genotype X Environment Interaction in Insect Genitalia.”
  • Junior Wonseok Jang, for his work with Lecturer in Biological Sciences Gerlinde Hoebel on “Digit Selection for Skeletochronology in Treefrogs.”
  • Senior Matthew Follett, for his continuing work with Professor of French, Italian, and Comparative Literature Lawrence Baldassaro on “Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball.”
  • Junior Megan Schultz, for her work with Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Peter Geissinger on “Fabrication and Optimization of an Optical Fiber Sensor for Dissolved Oxygen in Water.”
  • Junior Hannah Wagie, for her work with Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Peter Geissinger on “Extending the Dynamic Range of a Fiber-Optic pH Sensor Using Mixtures of Fluorescent Dye Derivatives.”
  • Senior Amanda Whisler, for her work with Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages and Linguistics Hamid Ouali on “The Core and the Periphery: Dialectical Variation in the Arab World.”
  • Sophomore Kevin Todt, for his work with Professor of Political Science Uk Heo on “South Korea since 1980: Democratization, Economic Struggle, and Nuclear Crisis.”
  • Junior Cara Campbell, for her work with Professor of Foreign Languages and Linguistics Fred Eckman on “Markedness and Learnability in Second Language Phonology.”
  • Senior Johann Andes and Junior Lisa Sexton, for their work with Professor of Communication Renee Meyers on “Building an Online Resource for Group-Centered Learning.”
  • Senior Erin Moore, for her work with Assistant Professor of Psychology Katie Mosack on “Bisexual Identity Development and Disclosure in College-Age Women.”
  • Sophomore Dathan Lythgoe, for his work with Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Stefan Schnitzer and Senior Academic Librarian Susan Peschel on “Archiving the UWM Tropical Forest Photo Collection.”

From the WATER Institute, the recipients of this award are:

  • Senior Colin Hempel, for his work with Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Ava Udvadia for “Regulation of Neuronal Gene Expression during Adult Neurogenesis.”
  • Seniors Lauren Splittgerber and Leah Rielly, for their work with Assistant Scientist Henry Tomasiewicz on “Transgenic Zebrafish Expressing Human Tau –GFP as a Model System for Studying Neurodegeneration.”
  • Sophomore Ulrike Galasinski, for her work with Professor of Biological Sciences J. Rudi Strickler on “How to be a Successful Invader.”
  • Senior Joel Weinberger, for his work with Assistant Scientist Rebecca Klaper on “The Effects of Fluoxetine on Reproductive Behavior in Fathead Minnows.”
  • Freshman Jason Farina, for his work with Senior Scientist Russell Cuhel on “Invasive Quagga Mussel Ecology: The End of the First Life Cycle.”


From the Peck School of the Arts, the recipients of this award are:

  • Seniors Charles Perkins and Sebastian Juarez, for their work with Professor Richard Blau on photographic book projects and website development.
  • Junior Lucy Derickson, for her work with Associate Professor of Visual Art Yevgeniya Kaganovich on “Solidified Gesture Specimen/Hypered Experience Device.”
  • Senior Kristin Karls, for her work with Assistant Professor of Film Colleen Ludwig on digitally archiving an Animation Catalog. 
  • Senior Lauren Hafner Addison, for her work with Assistant Professor of Dance Luc Vanier on a video to accompany Vanier’s book, “Dance and the Alexander Technique: Exploring the Missing Link.”
  • Sophomore Ann Vollrath, for her work with Senior Lecturer of Theater Stephen White on “The Incorporation of Green Technologies in Theatrical Lighting.”
  • Senior Julie Voigts and Sophomore Bridgette Lovrek for their work with Associate Professor of Theater Robin Mello on “Winter Constellations: Unfix the Stars.”
  • Sophomore Julie Nitz, for her work with Lecturer of Visual Arts Amy Mangrich on “Documenting Temporary Public Art in Milwaukee.”
  • Senior Garrett Gharibeh, for his work with Assistant Professor of Visual Art Nathaniel Stern for “Temporal Images: Combining Video Art and Traditional Printmaking.”

From the College of Health Sciences, recipients of this award are:

  • Senior Ashley Juds, for her work with Assistant Professor of Communications Sciences and Disorders Jay Bauer on “Relationship of Voice Fundamental Frequency (F0), Production Accuracy, Pitch-Perception Sensitivity, and Voice F0 Error Correction Ability.”
  • Senior Amber Galarowicz, for her work with Professor of Health Sciences John Dellinger on “Minimizing Pharmacotherapy during Withdrawal & Initial Treatment Using Vagal Tone Monitoring.”
  • Seniors Timothy Haacker and Jennifer Payton, for their work with Assistant Professor of Human Movement Sciences J. Carson Smith on “The Neuroscience of Exercise.”
  • Senior Michael Aleksandrowicz, for his work with Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Wendy Huddleston on “Cortical Contributions to Attention-Mediated, Visually-Guided Behavior.”   
  • Sophomore Abby Krempasky, for her work with Professor of Health Care Administration Mary K. Madsen on “Reducing Barriers to Prenatal Care in African-American Teens.”
  • Junior Andrew Beron, for his work with Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Marcia Firmani on “A Retrospective Epidemiologic Study of Tuberculosis in Milwaukee.”
  • Junior Kelsey Krentz, for her work with Professor of Health Sciences John Dellinger on “Substance Abuse Risk Surveys for Great Lakes Tribal Youth.”
  • Junior Leah Squires, for her work during the fall semester with Professor of Human Movement Sciences Ann Snyder on “Energy Expenditure during Ice Hockey Practices and Games;” and her work during the spring semester with Assistant Professor of Human Movement Sciences Ann Swartz on “Utilizing Tailored Step-Count Feedback to Enhance Physical Activity in the Elderly.”
  • Senior Karalee Knox, for her work with Assistant Professor of Human Movement Sciences Jinsung Wang on “Concurrent Adaptation of Opposing Visual Rotations during Targeted Reaching Movement.”
  • Senior Jennifer Tillema, for her work with Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Bhagwant Sindhu on “Identifying the Association between Pain and Functional Status among Adults Living at Home.”
  • Junior Ronald Wahl, for his work with Assistant Professor of Clinical Lab Sciences Jeri-Anne Lyons on “The Effect of Near-Infrared Light on the Induction of Autoimmunity.”

From the School of Education, the recipient of this award is:

  • Senior Nakeysha Roberts, for her work with Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction Donna Pasternak on “The Affects of Participation in an Invitational Summer Institute on the Writing Practices of Teachers.”
  • Freshman Samantha Shaw, for her work with Director of Academic Services Robert Longwell-Grice on "The Impact of Academic Advising on First-Generation College Students."

From the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, the recipients of this award are:

  • Seniors Mitchell Anderson and Kyle Weisman, for their work with Assistant Professor of Architecture Gregory Thomson on “UWM Solar Decathlon: Carbon Neutral House Project.”
  • Senior Aaron Klug, for his work with Associate Professor of Architecture Josef Stagg on “Exploring Architectural Theory with Animation.”
  • Senior Tas Oszkay, for work with Assistant Professor of Architecture Maureen Zell on “K-12 School Typology.”
  • Junior Hanna Rutkouskaya, for her work with Assistant Professor of Architecture Manu Sobti on “Building and Rebuilding the Palimpsest of Urban Memory: Urban Spaces in Medieval Silk Road Cities.”

From the College of Nursing, the recipients of this award are:

  • Senior Keegan Wickham, for work with Assistant Professor Sarah Morgan on “The Caregiver Self-Management of Unmet Needs Intervention.”
  • Senior Katie Oaks and Junior Rastriyata Subedi, for their work with Associate Professor Mary Pat Kunert on “The Influence of Estrogen on the Structure and Function of Skeletal Muscle Microcirculation.”
  • Sophomore Crystal-Rae Evans, for her work with Professor Karen Marek on “Home Care Medication Program for the Frail Elderly.”
  • Senior Trina Nance, for her work with Dean Sally Lundeen on “Institute for Urban Health Partnerships Evaluation of Health Outcomes for Vulnerable Populations.”
  • Juniors Jori Russ and Ruth Ivalis, for their work with Professor Sandra Underwood on “Factors Affecting HPV Transmission: Cervical Cancer Screening and Condom Use Among College-Age Adults.”
  • Junior Katelyn Vioski, for her work with Professor Beth Rodgers on “Experience of Persons Living with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.”
  • Senior Jacqueline Conarchy, for her work with Associate Professor Sandra Plach on “Patient-Centered Intervention: Symptom Management in Older Heart Failure Patients.”

From the School of Information Studies, the recipient of this award is:

  • Junior Lesya Melnyk, for her continued work with Assistant Professor Maria Haigh on “The Role of Language in Library Service Provision of the Former Soviet Block: The Case of Ukraine.”
  • Senior James Patterson, for his work with Assistant Professor Maria Haigh on “International Comparison of File Sharing Practices and Attitudes Toward Copyright.”
  • Senior Andrew Girard, for his work with Associate Professor WooSeob Jeong on “How People Organize their Digital Photos.”

From the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, the recipient of this award is:

  • Junior Daniel Trifone, for his work with Assistant Professor of Social Work David Pate on “Am I My Brother’s Keeper: An Exploratory Examination of Adult Low-Income Male Access to Healthcare in Milwaukee.” 

Congratulations to all recipients. Please visit the OUR website at www.our.uwm.edu for current and future research opportunities for undergraduate students at UW-Milwaukee.