Funding Available: URECA

BY ANITA PARRISH
For the UAS Whalesong

If you have a research or creative project that you would like to undertake, the Research and Creative Activity Committee (a Faculty Senate subcommittee) has funding of up to $2500 per student to help you design and complete your project with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Since 2011, URECA has funded 47 student projects that have made positive changes on our campus and in our communities. Did you know that the vegetable oil kiln used to fire  ceramic projects was created by a URECA grantee? Student Boni Parker with guidance from Jeremy Kane brought that project to fruition, and she has since gone on to graduate work, pursuing her passion. Other creative projects have included play performances, large-scale photography exhibits, and literary collaborations between UAS and the Lemon Creek Correctional Facility.

Students from natural science, business, social science, career education, and the humanities have all had the opportunity to dig into something they were curious about and investigate, learn and create with the help of URECA funding. In 2015, Jamie Pierce was awarded $2500 for a project to develop a framework for monitoring snowpack stability around Juneau in real-time, while Henry Masters received $1870 to study the changes in body shape of the Brook Trout recently introduced into the Salmon Creek reservoir. Pierce, Masters, and all URECA awardees have benefitted from the chance to work closely with a faculty mentor on their project. Eran Hood served as the mentor for Jamie’s project while Carolyn Bergstrom provided guidance for Henry’s work. Carolyn has also mentored a student project exploring the effectiveness of different types of bait for catching Dungeness crabs and another exploring the effect of body type on the metabolic rates of Starry Flounder.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Amanda Sesko has mentored four student projects to date. In 2013, student Sofia Tenney researched a unique form of gender discrimination known as the glass cliff, where women are more likely to be hired as leaders in times of crisis then men, and explored how race and other characteristics affect selections for organizational leadership. In 2014, Izzy Rowland and Ashley Troupin worked with Amanda to explore other aspects of workplace discrimination (e.g., the effects of stigma, and the role of attractiveness and gender prototypicality in hirability of Black and White females). In 2015, Christy Perrin designed a study to investigate the consequences experienced by women who selected non-normative birth methods. Last year Izzy and Ashely travelled with Amanda to the annual meeting of The Society for Personality and Social Psychology and presented posters of their work, and later this year Christy Perrin will present her research at the upcoming meeting.

UAS students have completed documentary film projects, painting and sculpture installations, ethnohistory investigations, buyer behavior studies, poetry compilations, and so much more with funding from URECA. A full listing of the past 47 student projects to date can be found on the UAS website at http://uas.alaska.edu/research/students/index.html.

Do you have an idea for a URECA project? Talk to your potential faculty mentor and head to the research website (http://uas.alaska.edu/research/index.html) for application and instruction materials. Hard copies are also available in the Soboleff office suite and in the Anderson Building. The deadline for applications is 5:00 pm, December 13, 2015. Funding for successful applicants will become available beginning in January 2016, and projects must be completed by June 15, 2016. If you have questions, please contact Brian Vander Naald (bpvandernaald@) or Kelly Jensen (kelly.jensen@). It could be the opportunity for you!

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