Student Research 2013-14
Autumn Palmer is the second freshman fellow working with faculty mentor Dr. Judy Puncochar. She is researching this year’s and last year’s UNITED Conference. All of the data from the conference evaluations have been put into spreadsheets and organized by presenter. This information will then be categorized by male versus female, then white versus non-white to see if there is any underlying theme in the comments for each gender/race. The information collected will be used to determine the importance of UNITED to the NMU curriculum and encourage other colleges and universities to sponsor an event like UNITED to get their campuses excited about diversity.
Autumn is used to being busy since she was involved in many activities at Groves High School in Southfield, Michigan. She was in theatre, Imagine Club, National Honor Society, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys card games and tricks, hiking, camping, swimming, canoeing, sailing, reading, and writing.
When asked what Autumn likes most about NMU, she responded with, “I love being able to do my homework on the top of a mountain, if I so choose.”
She is currently working on her backup plan to become a magician!
Christine Wilson is a very busy gal as a Freshman Fellow. She is working with mentor Dr. Judy Puncochar and Autumn Palmer (another Freshman Fellow) and researching the UNITED Conference. This diversity conference is held annually on the campus of NMU and encourages individuals to become more diverse and learn about new cultures by listening to various featured speakers. The research group is looking back on the UNITED history and compiling the data to see what the high and low points were of each conference. All of the evaluation ratings from past years have been entered into an Excel form which will be used in their research. Once this project is completed, they will move on to organize the Elect Her Conference which prepares campus women for the upcoming Associated Students of Northern Michigan University (ASNMU) election.
A graduate of Baraga High School, Christine was involved in many activities in high school that prepared her for such a busy college life: Class President, Student Council, basketball stats, Yearbook and Prom Committee, International Travel Club, National Honor Society, Baraga Great Explorations Kid’s Club, and High Five Mentor.
Some of Christine’s hobbies include hiking, fishing & hunting, having fun with friends, camping, gardening, and working with kids. She is an Elementary Education Major with a Double Minor in Language Arts and Mathematics.
Christine’s favorite thing about NMU is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. “Everyone really makes the U.P. look great, and being a Yooper, I’m really pleased with that.”
Italy…Germany…Switzerland…Austria. Christine has been lucky enough to visit all four countries!
For William Mason’s freshman fellow project, he is researching how pH effects riboflavin-binding proteins. Riboflavin is an important nutrient in fetal development, and pH can drastically affect riboflavin-binding protein’s ability to transport it. William and his mentor, Dr. Mark Paulsen, are testing various pH’s in order to see at which pH the protein has an optimal binding capacity. In order to test this, they are using spectrophotometry to assess whether or not the protein is protonated or deprotonated (with riboflavin attached, or without).
A graduate from Lake Orion High School in Lake Orion, Michigan, William was actively involved in cross country, band, forensics, and Earth Club. In his spare time, William enjoys running, biking, rock climbing, working on his car, and spending time with family and friends.
“I love the atmosphere here at Northern. It’s small enough for you to feel like you know everyone, but still large enough for you to always be meeting new people and to experience new things. It’s such a friendly campus.”
One interesting fact about William? He enjoys running barefoot!
Michelle Vander Hyde graduated from Comstock Park High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she was a Freshman Mentor President, NHS member, and played tennis for four years and was a Captain—all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA!
For Michelle’s Freshman Fellow project, Dr. Carlson has her working with quite a few upper level psychology and graduate students proctoring students through their current experiment. It is called the Characteristics of Attentional Bias where a dot-probe task is used to study the relationship between certain stimuli and the side of the computer screen that the dot appears. The group is currently changing certain aspects of the experiment, but the focus is still, of course, attentional bias. They will begin using an EEG machine to enhance their studies of how the attentional bias occurs.
“I love everything about NMU!,” exclaims Michelle. “The friends I’ve made are wonderful and easy-going. The people you meet on campus are always friendly, sincere, and open for conversation. My classes I’m currently taking toward my major are so exciting because I’m finally learning about things I have such a passion for. Also, the hockey team is phenomenal and so much fun to go watch…especially versus Michigan Tech!
When hockey isn’t on her agenda, Michelle enjoys reading, school, going to the movies and watching TV shows with her boyfriend, and traveling.
An interesting fact about Michelle? She is the youngest of six girls! When her mother went into labor, the doctor looked up at her father and just said, “How about you do this one?” That’s how Michelle’s father not only cut the umbilical cord, but delivered his little girl entirely.