Undergraduate Student Research  

Student Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Symposium

A campus-wide colloquium of significant contributions to academia.
The goal of the symposium is to showcase the outstanding quality and diversity of research at AQ by providing students with the opportunity to put into practice and demonstrate the depth of their research skills with those outside of their disciplines. The symposium is also designed to demonstrate the importance of research and scholarship within our community via formal presentations, recitals, writings, poster sessions and art exhibits.
Symposium Events Held: April 27, 2011
Symposium Submissions: Academic Year 2010-2011
Department of Art Department of History Department of Music
Department of Biology Insignis Honors Program Department of Sociology
Department of Business Department of Mathematics Theatre Program
Department of Chemistry Department of Modern Languages Department of Theology
Department of Communication    


Owen Fifield
Bachelor of Fine Arts Candidate
Owen Fifield

Artist's Statement: Darkness is ambiguous - as a veil, it may conceal the most substantial thing imaginable, or it may be devoid of anything at all. In a room with the lights out, we may irrationally imagine that our deepest fear is manifest in the pitch black, when we could just as easily imagine something familiar, inviting and comfortable. To a thief, darkness is an opportunity for mischief; to romantics, it is a place of abandon and intimacy; to the blind it is a fraction of normal existence; to many others, darkness represents everything that cannot be controlled. With the setting sun, our known world is blanketed and the places we know well - our homes, our back yards, and even our closets - become foreign realms in which we are visitors. Naturally, our various attitudes towards darkness are necessarily contingent upon our respective experiences, but ultimately it is our will that dictates whether we are to be controlled by the dark or master it.

In my work I create large, black, formless areas. I do so with an insistence upon the idea that what we cannot see is every bit as crucial as what we do see. As in the poignant lyrics of Anberlin, “It’s not the lies that you sing, but what the silence will scream.” Every picture is, in a word, unfinished, and waiting for its completion in the mind. Even in broad daylight, we may only see one thing in a full room - the thing we have to get done, the person we

are in love with, the mistake we made, the conversation we need to have, or the food item that would absolutely hit the spot. Rarely do we see “the whole picture.”
Our outlook on things unseen and beyond our control is a life-long theme. For me it is furthermore imperative to an understanding of the Christian God. Theologically speaking, the Christian God is considered omnipresent - everywhere at all times. This divine characteristic that comforts me may make you anxious or even afraid. Loving the dark cannot grant faith. However, coming to terms with one’s perception of the dark may clarify one’s relationship to things unknown. That... is beautiful.


Patrick Maguire
Bachelor of Fine Arts Candidate
Patrick Maguire Artist's Statement: As our economy pushes away from our industrial ties, nature reclaims the remnants of manufacturing that once structured much of our society. Through the creation of this work I address these circumstances occurring in the Midwest. This fascination with the decay of industry comes from my travels throughout many of these great Midwest manufacturing states.
My paintings of structures are meant to evoke a sour taste of abandonment. By simplifying color, structure, and tone in my paintings I hope to produce a pungent, or burning feeling that one might get while looking too long at the sun. In these distressed scenes, I provide a desolate landscape surrounding the raw structures to further a sense of isolation, yet in my depiction of landscape and architecture I try to create equilibrium between the two. One does not become more dominant than the other in my painting, as I contemplate the outcome of this socio-economic gamble that our society has thrown.
Laura Steinbacher
Bachelor of Fine Arts Candidate
Laura Steinbacher

Artist's Statement: The three series of works started with my metal sculptures.  The first collection brought about a major change in my art. While working on it, I developed a new interest in abstract forms as well as new way of executing a piece. I never planned the finished product while working with the sculptures. I allowed them to form naturally by using connections that already existed within the metal. The end products are these morphing forms that have a strong sense of movement. Many of the sculptures have a feeling of reaching out away from the center, then being pulled back toward itself. There is organic quality to the metal which contains a warping or twisting aspect.

The second collection, a series of paintings of my sculptures, was created to continue exploring the elements revealed through my metal work. The paintings became powerful by taking away the ability to show the dimensional form and simply capturing one interesting angle. I apply paint in a rough manner to construct a form raised from the surface of the canvas. This increases the illusion of movement in the paintings.

The bone series is the culmination of what I felt in my sculptures and paintings of my sculptures. The transition came out of a curiosity to explore the idea of a form that changes shapes and moves with in its own elemental qualities. These paintings are the result of my exploration of the simplistic, elemental qualities in these organic structures.



Kayla Berigan
Using Phage Display to Characterize IdeZ Activity
To develop a reliable protocol for quantifying human IgG cleavage by the enzyme IdeZ using Phage Display.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Hess
Though the Streptococcal enzyme, IdeZ, is known to cleave human IgG antibody, adequate research has not been done to quantify the extent of the enzyme’s activity. The process of quantifying IgG cleavage by a method known as Phage Display is promising. In this method, experiments can be designed such that the infection of E. coli cells by bacteriophages is dependent upon the phages’ prior cleavage from chromatography beads by the enzyme IdeZ. Using an indicator to allow for easy counting of infected bacterial colonies, investigators can calculate the number of phages that were able to infect a given E. coli culture and thus the number that were cleaved by a known amount of IdeZ enzyme. Recent research in this laboratory has involved implementation of the phage display method and experiments to develop a protocol which can produce readable, accurate results while minimizing contamination.


Caylee Fias     
Implementing and Development of a MetroHealth Partners Pediatric Pain Management Protocol
To develop the beginning materials necessary to start implementation of a pediatric pain management protocol and continue to help MetroHealth Partners to best serve its community.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Thomas Bahl
Presently, Metro Health Hospital does not have a plan in place to manage pain for its pediatric patients. Formulating and putting such a pain management plan in place would benefit the patients, the families and the hospital. To begin the process of bringing about this pediatric pain management plan, various studies will be examined and compiled to provide information about the products available for pain management purposes and how other hospitals have implemented such plans and a cost-effective analysis will be completed through interviews of hospital staff with a pediatric pain management plan in place.  Implementing a plan will improve the quality of the patient’s life while in the hospital, will increase patient retention, will decrease cost to the patient because less time will be spent waiting and will decrease the cost to the hospital.  The implementation of a pain management plan will benefit all parties involved as the following compilation of information will relate.


Andrew M.  Howard
Proteolytic Comparison of IdeS and IdeZ and Novel MWCO Filtration with ELISA Assay Enzymatic characterization of IdeZ
Presentation information: Michigan Branch of the American Society for Microbiology,
Michigan State University, Lansing, MI, October 9, 2010. 
Won “Best Poster Presentation by an Undergraduate” and West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference (WMRUSC), Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, October 30, 2010.
Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Jennifer Hess
The immunoglobulin-degrading enzyme of Streptococcus pyogenes, IdeS, is an unusual cysteine protease produced by group A streptococci for which the only known substrate is immunoglobulin G (IgG). IdeS and a homologous cysteine protease, IdeZ, originating in Streptococcus zooepidemicus, have not been found to cleave any of the other known synthetic substrates that typical cysteine proteases hydrolyze.  In this study, we have compared the proteolytic activity of catalytic site-directed mutant IdeS with homologous mutants from IdeZ to determine if there is any direct or indirect association between the cleavage activity of IgG-degrading enzymes.  Using both qualitative protein immunoblotting and quantitative ELISA techniques, the IgG cleavage profiles of IdeS and IdeZ do not appear to be significantly different.  Enzyme variants of IdeZ in which critical amino acids found in the active site of the enzyme were changed as a consequence of site-directed mutagenesis were found to be non-functional. The presence of these various bacterial cysteine proteases with such similar substrate preferences remains intriguing and merits further analysis, especially with respect to the expression pattern in infected hosts and the potential implications for clinical applications of research concerning these enzymes' activities. 


Jacob Jeffers  
The Selection of Trees by Woodpeckers for Nesting and Foraging Purposes 
The objective of the study was to help develop better forestry management purposes by understanding woodpeckers’ interactions with snags (dead trees).
Presentation information: September 18, 2010 and September 22, 2010 at Pierce Cedar Creek and Aquinas College
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robb Bajema
In this experiment we looked at woodpeckers (Family Picidae) and their selection of trees by comparing snags (standing dead trees) that were used for foraging or nesting with those that were not.  One goal of this experiment was to develop better forestry management practices.  On some properties such as Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI, dead trees are removed to upkeep the property.  This could have a negative effect on woodpeckers because snags are typically used for nesting, foraging, and roosting. Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI) in Hastings, MI offered a variety of different forest types where dead trees are left standing. By taking several measurements such as diameter, height, surface area, density of wood, and number and sizes of cavities, we were able to get a better understanding of which snags woodpeckers use most often. 


Genevieve Kendall
Preferences for Socialization with Colony- or Non-Colony-Mate in Periplaneta americana (American Cockroach)
Determine whether a cockroach will choose to associate with another animal from its same colony, or if it will associate with an unknown animal.
Presentation information: October 30, 2010 at Van Andel Institute
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Thomas Bahl
Truly social, or eusocial, insects such as bees, ants and termites display strong preferences for their home colonies.   However, other insects are also found in colonies, albeit not as socially organized as eusocial insects.  Benefits from life in a colony might include heat generation and protection from predators 1.  Cockroaches are many times found in groups or “colonies” including all different life stages.  There has been limited research as to colony-mate preference in cockroaches 2.  This study aims to determine if the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, displays a preference for individuals or small groups from its home (or familiar) colony over those from a different colony.  In this study, an adult cockroach was given a “choice” between a colony mate or a non-colony mate.  It was hypothesized that female cockroaches would prefer familiar animals, possibly retaining the scent of the home colony where her oothecae may have been deposited, rather than animals from a different colony.  And male cockroaches might also prefer a colony-mate, but may possibly be pursuing new mates, thus might prefer unknown females.  It was found that females chose to associate with familiar males (p<.03), and males more often chose familiar females (p<.07).  Females did not show a preference for familiar versus unfamiliar females, and in a simulated colony situation, males did not show a preference for a "mini" home colony versus and unfamiliar one.


Kennen Less
The Effect of MIG-6 on Mesenchymal Progenitor Cell Differentiation
To determine the effect of Mitogen Inducible Gene 6 (MIG-6) on mesenchymal progenitor cell differentiation, specifically osteoprogenitor cells in relation to osteoarthritis (OA).
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jeff McKelvey
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a severe cartilage degradation disease characterized by extreme joint pain and potential loss of joint use. OA has been linked to Mitogen Inducible Gene 6 (MIG-6) due toMIG-6’s role in maintaining homeostasis in joints, and suppression of MIG-6 in mice has led to OA. Comparative proliferation of resulting mesenchymal cells from MIG-6 knockout mice and Wild type mice can be measured to interpret the specific activity of MIG-6 in OA. So far, osteoprogenitor cells from mouse calvaria and bone marrow have been studied with an interest in RNA expression, calcium levels in correlation to bone mineralization, and the appearance of cell samples. Further studies may implicate a way of treating OA without surgery by administering mesenchymal progenitor cells to the OA site.


Matthew Miesch
The Effect of Lrp5, Lrp6, Kras, and Pten on Bone Formation

To determine the effect of several gene lines in relation to bone fracture healing.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Summer Silvieus
Osteoblasts are mesenchymal cells that regulate bone formation.  Their proliferation is regulated by certain growth factors, that in turn, activate enzymes such as phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K).  PI3K promotes cell survival via the activation of the cell-signaling pathway, Akt/PKB.  A gene like Pten inhibits PI3K, which results in the stoppage of any further cell proliferation.  In mice, Cre-mediated recombination can cut out the Pten gene via two loxP sequences, promoting significant bone growth.  There are many genes that play a role in the process of bone ossification as well.  The knockout of genes such as Lrp5 and Lrp6 of mice further promote bone brittleness, which usually results in a fracture.  Thus, the further expression of such genes can help strengthen and promote osteoblast development via further activation of the Wnt pathway.  Genotyping the presences/absences of such genes can further lead to the shortening of bone fracture recovery periods.



Brittany Beck, Ashley Ford, Sam Gavitt, Daniel Schoonmaker

Meta-evaluation of Unique New Peer Review Techniques

To explore whether new techniques are able to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and ethicality of peer review processes.

Faculty Advisor: Ron Visscher, Undergraduate Business Administration 

Peer review is the primary method used for evaluating professional research. Yet, little evidence exists, as measured by inter-rater reliability, that the process is objective or effective.  Our team is conducting a meta-evaluation of new peer-review techniques to determine whether their adoption would enhance peer review. For example, we are exploring whether analytical methods designed to recognize subjective values of reviewers could improve administration of peer-review.  We helped facilitate the peer review process for a global conference focused on impact evaluation of international development efforts. For this conference, being held this summer in Quernavaca, Mexico, we facilitated the web-based review of abstracts from over 300 anonymous authors by 29 anonymous reviewers located all over the world. While evaluating the new techniques, we are also conducting a review of existing literature on peer review processes and related areas where significant improvements might be made. 



Lauren Cichon
Thermal Behavior and Phase Transitions of Ionic Liquid Crystalline Compounds of Transition Metals with Dimethyldihexadecylammonium and Hexadecylamine Ligands
This project had three main goals: one, to synthesize two series of compounds,  [(C16H33)NH3]2MBr4 - hereafter (1-C16)2MBr4 - and [(C16H33)2N(CH3)2]MBr4 - hereafter (2-C16)2MBr4 - with M=Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn.  The second goal was to determine which of these compounds have mesophases using DSC and Mel-Temp analysis.  The third objective was to compare these compounds to others from the literature and identify any trends in transition temperatures.
Presentation information: October 30, 2010 at West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference at Van Andel Institute
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Jensen
Aquinas College Chemistry Department, Mohler-Thompson Summer Research Program
Synthesis of the complex salts [(C16H33)NH3]2[MX4] (M= Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn and X=Br, Cl) and [(C16H33)2N(CH3)2]2[MBrx] ( M= Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn and x=4 for all metals except Fe, where x=5) was performed and their liquid-crystalline behavior was evaluated by differential scanning calorimetry and Mel-Temp analysis.  Synthesis was performed using a variety of hydrous and anhydrous metal halides and a ligand with different solvents.  Ten of the synthesized compounds were observed to exhibit a thermotropic liquid crystal phase beginning between 51°C and 123°C.  Compounds that did not exhibit a mesophase either decomposed or sublimed around 200°C.


Erica Eddy
The Synthesis and Analysis of Artificial Bone: The Study of Calcium Hydroxyapatite  
The purpose of the project was to synthesize and examine calcium hydroxyapatite for the potential usage in common bone implants and replacements.
Presentation information: April 14, 2011 at 12:15 p.m. in AH 106
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Jensen
The purpose of the project was to create and analyze different samples of the primary constituent found in human bones, calcium hydroxyapatite. Two of the samples studied were synthesized (in slightly different procedure) and the third sample, the control, was bone ash.
The solid products of the syntheses materialized over a twenty-four hour time period in a water bath held at a constant temperature of 30ºC. Both syntheses developed from a mixture of calcium/collagen and buffer (including poly-DL-aspartate) solutions. An extra solution, simulated body fluid, was added to only one of the solutions. Both syntheses resulted in solid products which were filtered for analysis.  
Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to thermally analyze the samples. EDTA titrations determined the concentration of the calcium ion present in the solid samples. Degradation was determined by analyzing the calcium ion present after samples were subject to a slightly acidic solution, the freed Ca2+ ion was calculated by atomic absorption (AAS) spectrometry.


Rebecca Hyatt
Validation of the DEENA-m Automated Sample Digestion System: The Process of Developing a Novel Scientific Method
This research was performed while I was an intern for Amway Corporation’s Quality Assurance Chemistry Laboratory.  The goal of this research was to develop a new sample preparation method for sunscreen products containing zinc oxide so that the concentration of this active ingredient in the products could be tested. 
Presentation information: This work was presented originally for Amway in August of 2010. It will be presented again at the Grand Rapids Intercollegiate Honors Conference on April 9, and again during the Insignis Honors Symposium on April 25. The April 9 presentation is part of the GRIHC Conference, which begins at 9 a.m. The April 25 presentation will be at 4:40 p.m.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Jensen

The following study was performed under the direction of Amway for the development of a new sample preparation method for the detection of zinc oxide in cosmetic products containing sunscreens.  Sunscreen products are classified as drugs in some countries; this classification requires that the concentration of any active ingredient match the specifications of the label claim before it can be distributed to consumers.  The project was pursued initially because the former sample preparation method for zinc oxide products was very labor intensive, expensive, posed significant supply chain risk, and involved a great deal of hands-on analyst time.  To remedy these issues, a new automated method was developed using the DEENA-m Sample Digestion System.  The method uses a combination of heat, strong acids, and an oxidizer to break down the organic components of the sample matrix to release the active ingredient into solution for subsequent detection by atomic absorption spectrometry.  Following the method development process, the method was validated using the parameters of precision, accuracy, specificity, linearity and range, and robustness.  The new method passed all validation criteria and was approved for use. 


For the listed presentations, the following information applies to all:

Date of Presentations:

Poster Sessions on Wednesday, April 27; Presentations on Saturday, April 30
Location of Presentations: Poster Sessions: Academic Building, second floor; Presentations: Jarecki Lacks Hauenstein, room 215
Faculty Advisors:  Penny Avery, Ph.D. and David Weinandy, Ph.D.

Presentation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Presenters: Ellie Devroy & Kiera Sandoval

Title: The Power of Peer Persuasion: Influencing the Social Drinking Habits of First Year College Students Determined by Biological Sex
This study examined whether first year college females or males are more effective in persuading members in their peer group to drink socially.  The targeted group was selected because of the potential pressure to participate in social drinking during this phase in the college experience.

Presentation Time: 10 a.m.
Presenters: Jacqui DeFouw & Kayla Zane
Title: Disconfirmation in Parent-Adolescent Conflict: Parents' Need to Disconfirm First
This study examined one-on-one conflict between parents and their teens ages 13-17. The focus was on the initiation of disconfirming messages. It was hypothesized that parents are more likely to initiate disconfirming messages than are their teens.
Presentation Time: 10:45 a.m.
Presenters: Jodi Emms & Morgan Duits
Title:  How Different Sources Affect a Biracial Person's Identity
This study explored how different sources may have an effect on bi-racial individuals' identity. The sources evaluated were media, parents, and peers.  Subjects shared their perceptions of which source had the greatest impact on their racial identity development.
Presentation Time: 11:15 a.m.
Presenter: Chelsea Korchak
Title:  Perceived Credibility and College Students
This study explored the potential relationship between college professors' body type (endomorph, mesomorph, or ectomorph) and how college students perceived the credibility of those professors. Body type as a source of evaluation for credibility has been explored in other contexts, and this study extended previous research to the classroom setting.

Presentation Time: 11:45 a.m.         
Presenter: Chrissy Maziarz
Title: Perception and the Validity of Art
This study explored whether external factors of sponsorship, artist credibility and monetary value influence viewer perception regarding the validity of art. This study sought to discover which combination of credibility factors most influenced perception of the validity of the art pieces presented.

Presentation Time: 1:45 p.m.
Presenters: Liz Oates & April Feldpausch
Title: Message Design Logic and Athletic Outcome
This study explored the relationship between coaches' communication style and athlete motivation.  Specific focus was given to the potential impact of coaches' use of the conventional message design logic on athletes' perception of motivation.

Presentation Time: 2:15 p.m.
Presenter: James Gulvas
Title: Sexual Self-Discloser through Electronic Means of Communication in Interpersonal Adult Relationships

This study examined patterns of self-disclosure for males between the ages of eighteen and twenty four.  A focused comparison was conducted between disclosure of sexual thoughts by means of electronic communication also known as computer mediated communication (CMC) and face-to-face (FTF) interactions.

Presentation Time: 2:45 p.m.
Presenters: Dave Brunett & Alyssa Freehafer
Title: The Nature of the Workplace Relationship’s Affect on the Target’s Response to Bullying
This study explored bullying in the workplace environment.  Special attention was given to the potential impact of the relationship type (top-down vs. lateral) on the target's likelihood to confront the aggressor.
Presentation Time: 3:30 p.m.
Presenter: Ruth Leikert  (No Poster Session)
Title: Intrinsic Motivation in Cross Country Runners: A Study of Aligning Coaches’ Messaging With Primary Love Languages and its Affect on Intrinsic Motivation
This study examined the possible relationship between cross-country coaches' motivational messages as representative of "love language" types and the athletes' reported intrinsic motivation.  The degree of alignment between the coaches' actual message techniques and athletes' preference of message techniques was assessed.
Presentation Time: 4 p.m.
Presenter: Mat Slee
Title: The Likelihood to Initiate Romantic Relationships Out of Friendships:  A Study of Sex Differences
This study explored the possible relationship between biological sex and the likelihood to attempt to move friendships into the romantic relationship domain.  Young adults age 18-24 were the focus of this investigation.  It was hypothesized that men would be more likely to initiate this relationship change than would be women.


Allyson Putt
“Ask Gleaves” Book Editing & Writing
Presentation information: April 26, 2011 at 2 p.m. in Donnelly Center
Faculty Advisor: Mr. Gleaves Whitney
Insignis Honor Society & History
This project began with editing and compiling a series of articles on the American presidents already written by Gleaves Whitney with publication as the goal.  It evolved into student research on the first ladies to be included as a part of the book.


Allyson Putt
The Free Will in Machiavelli’s Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
Historical research presented in paper format (Independent Study)
Presentation information: April 27, 2011 in the Academic Building, room 231
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Charles Gunnoe
Independent student project using primary and secondary sources to analyze and present a conclusion on Machiavelli’s lesser-known work, The Discourses. The main part of the paper is based on the student’s conclusion’s on Machiavelli’s text.


Insignis Honors Program

Date of presentation for group below: April 25, 2011 in Donnelly Center

Katie Luebke

"Honors Programs:  Active Learning, Participation and Development"
Presentation Time: 3 p.m.

Mentored by Dr. Molly Patterson


Rebecca Hyatt
"Validation of the DEENA~m Sample Digestion System: The Process of Designing a Novel Scientific Method"
Presentation Time: 4:40 p.m.
mentored by Dr. Elizabeth Jensen


Date of presentation for group below: April 26, 2011 in Donnelly Center

Allyson Putt
"Ask Gleaves' Book Editing"
Presentation Time: 2 p.m.
Mentored by Mr. Gleaves Whitney

Michelle Hornak
"Private Property: Catholic Social Teaching as the Via Media for the Modern World"
Presentation Time: 2:20 p.m.
Mentored by Dr. Robert Marko
Caylee Fias
"Implementing and Development of a MetroHealth Partners Pediatric Pain Management Protocol"
Presentation Time: 2:40 p.m.
Mentored by Dr. Thomas Bahl
Lydia VanRaalte
"The Advantages of Living Learning Communities: Growth & Development in College Freshmen & Sophomores"
Presentation Time: 4 p.m.
Mentored by Mr. Terry Keller
Liz Beam
"Comfort Level of Undergraduate Students of Aquinas College in Working with and Understanding Diagnoses of Mental Disorders"
Presentation Time: 4:20 p.m.
Mentored by Mr. Terry Keller

Lydia Van Raalte
The Advantages of Living Learning Communities: Growth & Development in College Freshmen & Sophomores
Presentation information: April 26, 2011 at 4 p.m. at Donnelly Center
Faculty Advisor: Terry Keller, MSW/MBA, LMSW, ACSW

Within the Residence Life Department we are continuously experiencing changes, taking on new challenges, and refining work that has been done to provide the best living experience possible for our students at Aquinas.  In defining the "best" living experience we offer students the dignity to be adults, make choices, have consequences, and learn from mistakes.  This means offering the opportunities to grow academically, mentally, and socially through safe and unique means. 

The first portion of the project will result in a literature review on the well-being of college age students, student development and successful living learning communities.  The second part of the project will be a one page analysis of successful LLCs of Aquinas College’s benchmark schools.  The third part includes a manual for Resident Assistants that are part of the LLC program and a training session that will allow them to understand how best to work with their residents.   



Nathan Poirier
Alhazen’s Billiard Problem in Hyperbolic Geometry
To find the mathematical relationship between Alhazen triangles in Euclidean and Hyperbolic Geometry
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michael McDaniel
In 1997, it was proved that constructing an inscribed isosceles triangle in a given circle with each of two given points on a leg is impossible with compass and straightedge. That was in Euclidean space. We are attacking the hyperbolic case. We found a bijection between the two geometries and will demonstrate the proof, and give examples.

Tayler Spellis
k-step Domination in Select Families of Graphs
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Joseph Spencer
The k-step domination number of a graph G is the minimum number of vertices in a set S such that every vertex in G is either in S or a distance k from some vertex in S.  The families of graphs we studied included stars, flowers, bowties, and I-beams. We found the k-step domination number for these families of graphs as a function of m, n, and k, where n is the index of the graph, k is the distance, and m is the number of branches, petals, or arcs.


Modern Languages

German 303: Business German

Mentored by Dr. Katharina Häusler- Gross.

For their Semester Project students in the course German 303: Business German created three different company profiles (Firmenprojekte) that focused on either selling a product or service in Germany. Each company profile had to be researched and written in German and include the following required components:
1.  Company Name (logo, business cards, letter head),
2.  Site/Location (including rationale for and analysis of local conditions),
3.  Price Estimate (financing of the company, legal structure and form of the organization),
4.  Detailed description of Product or Service offered,
5.  Target Group/ Audience (use and value of product or service for potential customers),
6.  Facilities/ Space (infrastructure, external suppliers, market analysis),
7.  Business Structure (including writing a job advertisement for potential employees),
8.  PR (advertising samples for online, TV or print media),
9.  Personal Rationale/ Conclusions

Aimee Shemanski, Jackie Reedy, Jessica Spagnuolo, Alina Dhaseleer
Company Profile #1
Wanderschaft Deutschland: An Active Travel Alternative
We developed a German business model for the Travel & Tourism Industry that was based on our research of German business culture and current market trends. Our tours are specifically geared to serve outdoor enthusiasts (backpackers, cyclists, adventure seekers) and include guided excursions to the towns of Alpirsbach in the Black Forest, and Hameln in the Weser Mountain Region.

Erika Hallatschek, Geneen Hunt, Ashley Kesselring
Company Profile #2
Der Phantasie-Gasthof: Lodging Fairy-Tale Style
For our project we researched German business culture and practices to design a hotel near Alpirsbach in the Black Forest region. Borrowing from the rich history, mythology and literary culture of the region (location of Grimm’s Fairy Tales) our hotel offers a variety of lodging options and programs suitable for different interest groups (tourists in general, families with children, etc.)
Casey McMurray, Yashowanto Ghosh, Andrej Tavic
Company Profile #3
McGhović im Schwarzwald: International Cuisine in Germany
During this semester we studied how German firms are structured and what is required to establish them. With this knowledge we researched and developed our own company profile and founded a chain of ethnic restaurants in Germany. Our company specializes in creating and serving ethnic and faux-ethnic cuisine from Ireland, India, and Croatia to Germans as well as tourists.

Andrej Tavic
Battle of the Giants - Adidas vs. Nike: Marketing Strategies in Germany and the U.S.
To provide a compare-contrast analysis of marketing and advertising strategies based on selected examples from the sports industry.         
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Katharina Häusler-Gross
Through this independent study, I will demonstrate the differences in specific marketing strategies used by two competing franchises: Adidas, an originally German brand, and Nike, a brand founded in the United States. This research project primarily focused on the description and compare-contrast analysis of marketing strategies used by Adidas and Nike over the past ten years. The products used for the analysis were featured apparel and footwear on the company’s websites and commercials (TV, Print Media and the Internet).
The objective of this research project is to provide answers to the following main question: How do marketing strategies of Adidas and Nike in Germany and the U.S. differ based on specific factors that influence the approach and results in the advertisement of sports apparel? The determining factors that were explored for this research project included specific cultural differences, different target audiences, and the popularity of certain sports in Germany and the U.S.



Performances and Displays
Displays and live performances will take place beginning at 3:30 p.m. on April 27, 2011 on the Lower Level of the AMC featuring the following scholarship in the Music Department Showcase.

Assisting Musicians include: Larry Biser, Adjunct Associate Professor of Music, William Marfink, Staff Accompanist, AQ Vocalists and Instrumentalists, and Barbara Witham McCargar, Associate Professor of Music


Elizabeth Christian
"The Breadth of the Butterfly" Senior Recital of Elizabeth Christain, piano
Faculty Advisor: Mary Hurd
"The Breath of the Butterfly" was a senior piano recital compiled from composers like Bach, Chopin, Bartók, Mozart, Debussy, and Rachmaninoff.  As a whole, it partakes of a variety of literature from various time periods and styles.  Included was an original composition for solo voice and piano named "Beginnings", which ties in the theme of the butterfly and a choral performance of "Home and the Heartland" from River dance with guitar and percussion accompaniment. >Download the Program (pdf)

Antonio Fligger
"When We Two Parted"
Faculty Advisor: Barbara Witham McCargar
"When We Two Parted" is a song that I have written this year and recently premiered at Aquinas.  The poem is originally written by Lord Byron.  I wrote the music first and then based on the emotion I wanted to portray, I found the poem. 
The emotion I want my listeners to undergo is grief.  The introduction to the piece is two people secure and happy in love when suddenly, one dies.  How does the one left behind cope with this?  Then as the song moves on the perspective changes to the one that has dies and how that one deals with what has happened.  This section is my way of portraying "the voice of the dead."  By the end of the piece the listener is meant to feel peace with the saddening dissonance leading to the hopeful resolution.
Kathleen Lally
"If Music Be the Food of Love..."
Faculty Advisor:  Barbara Witham McCargar
Songs by Henry Purcell, Mozart, Brahms, Hundley, Satie.
>Download the Program (pdf)
Erin Sprague-Rice
"An Evening with the French Romantics"
Faculty Advisor:  Barbara Witham McCargar
"An Evening with the French Romantics" was the title and theme of my junior recital.  I wanted to take some of the most beloved French art songs and arias and bring them together with art and poetry.  I wanted to create a glimpse, or amuse, of everything that is subtle and beautiful about French music.  I allowed for my concert program to follow a progression from early Romantic Period music to the 21st Century all the while maintaining the feelings of subtlety and restraint grouped with deep, longing passions. NOTE: This recital took place on Saturday, April 2, 2011. 
>Download the Program (pdf)
Other Music Department Concerts and Events 2011*

Spring Choral Concert

Sunday, March 20 at 3 p.m.

>Download the Program (pdf)


Student Honors Recital
Saturday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m.
>Download the Program (pdf)


College Band and New Dimensions “Percussion Plus” in Concert
Sunday, March 27 at 3 p.m.

Dr. Paul Brewer and Steve Anzivino, directors


AQ Lecture Series: Women Composers
Tuesday, March 29 at 12:30 p.m.
The Music Faculty and Students present a lecture recital highlighting Rhene Jaques, Libby Larsen, Amy Beach and more.


AQ Guitar Ensemble and Soloists Spring Concert
Thursday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Andrew Bergeron, instructor


An Evening with the French Romantics
Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Students and Faculty present everything French in this multi-disciplinary program of solos by soprano, Erin Sprague-Rice, art, poetry and chamber works.


Spring Jazz Night
Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Featuring the AQ Jazz Band directed by Dr. Paul Brewer.

Location: Amphitheater, Art and Music Center


Senior Recital of Elizabeth Christian, pianist
Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m.


Spring Music Department Concert
Sunday, April 10 at 3 p.m.
Featuring all of the Music Department Ensembles


Dr. Paul Brewer with The Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra
Thursday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Featuring music composed and arranged by ‘Doc’ Brewer


Joint Piano Recital
Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 3 p.m.
Advanced students of Mary Hurd perform in recital: Kathleen Lally, Mary Lothschutz, Timothy Parker, Bethany Pattison, and Theresa Wasinski.

>Download the Program (pdf)


AQ Student Research Symposium – Arts and Humanities
Wednesday, April 27 at 3 p.m.


“New Dimensions” Percussion Plus Concert
Wednesday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Steve Anzivino, director

Location: Amphitheater, Art and Music Center


Senior Tuba Recital of Brian Wyman
Saturday, April 30 at 3 p.m.

*Unless otherwise noted, all events are in the Art and Music Center.


Leah Kicinski
Acquisition of Information on Available Community Services
Presentation information: March 27, 2011 at 9:45 a.m. at the Annual Meetings of the Midwest Sociological Society, St. Louis, Mo.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kathy Kremer
Food pantry users have a variety of needs served by both the pantry and other community agencies. For people in need, obtaining information about how to access services is essential, and agencies use a variety of strategies to disseminate this needed information.  This research was completed for a food pantry network in Grand Rapids Michigan interested in using a video loop system to provide information to pantry users.  Using interviews with a stratified sample of pantry users, the services they utilize, how they became aware of these services, and how they prefer to acquire information about other services are identified.  Interviews with pantry directors identified their preferred strategies to disseminate information.  Findings suggest incongruity between the agencies desire to use technology to disseminate information, and pantry users preferred methods of acquiring information on available community services.

Regina DeVries, Breane Proctor, and Leah Kicinski
Desire for Home Ownership and Perceptions of Neighborhood Quality in the Creston Neighborhood
Presentation information: March 25, 2011 at 12:15 p.m. at the Annual Meetings of the Midwest Sociological Society, St. Louis. Mo.
Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Kathy Kremer
The U.S. housing and economic crises have resulted in decreases in home ownership, and increases in foreclosures and vacant dwellings in many cities. This research examines one neighborhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan where this is the case. In partnership with the neighborhood association, we collected data from a sample of the hardest hit areas regarding home ownership programs, weatherization programs, and participation in the neighborhood association initiatives. Findings suggest an increasing rental population with little interest in becoming home owners in the neighborhood. While renters and homeowners share concerns regarding their housing quality and neighborhood crime, home owners point to the increasing number of renters as a source of these problems. Renters were more likely than home owners to be satisfied with their housing and the neighborhood.


Life is a Dream
September 30, October 1 & 2, 8 p.m., October 2, 2 p.m.
Astrological omens predict that if King Basilio's son Segismundo is crowned, he will become a horrible tyrant who will bring destruction to his kingdom. Basilio imprisons Segismundo for life, but decades later he decides to let his son prove his ability to defy the stars. Allowed to rule the palace, Segismundo wreaks bloody vengeance on the kingdom, confirming the prediction of the stars, and the prince is returned to his prison. Is life a dream or merely an illusion?


The Troll and the Elephant Prince

Directed by Mackenzie McElroy
November 5, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m., November 6, 7 p.m.
A terrifying troll demands payments of gold from the all the gold makers of Troll town in return for protecting them from the Awful, One-Eyed Slithering Zanies. Jack, a peasant, wanders into Troll town with his faithful toy Elephant and finds a friend in Dana, the daughter of the apple grower. While searching for Elephant’s lost herd, Jack and Dana stumble upon an even bigger adventure that could affect the entire future of Troll town!

December 2-4, 8 p.m., December 5, 2 p.m.
Edgar Allan Poe has long been considered the master of the macabre and the sinister. His own life, however, could easily have been one of his stories. This haunting musical enters the shadowy mind of the man who wrote 'The Raven,' 'Annabel Lee,' and 'The Pit and the Pendulum,' examines his obsessions with the various women in his life, and asks dark questions about which is preferable: genius or happiness?
Snow Angel
February 24-26, 8 p.m., February 27, 2 p.m.
When the quiet town of Deerpoint, Vermont is hit by the biggest blizzard in 107 years, a mysterious girl named Eva steps out of a snow bank and into the lives of 15 confused teenagers who are asked to help her in her search.
These Shining Lives
April 14-16, 8 p.m., April 17, 2 p.m.
This play is the story of four Depression-era women newly introduced to the working world at the Radium Dial factory, where they form friendships and build a shared life while painting tiny numbers onto watch faces. But their newfound independence is rocked by the discovery that the paint they're using is radioactive, leading to health problems and a lawsuit against the factory. Based on the true story of the women who... made history in Chicago at the early part of the 20th century by changing labor laws to protect the health of workers.


Michelle Hornak
“Private Property: Catholic Social Teaching as the Via Media for the Modern World”
To gain insight into the relationship between Scripture, tradition, and experience in the social thought of the Catholic Church through its teaching on private property. 
Presentation information: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 2:20 p.m. in the Donnelly Center
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Marko
The mission of this investigation can be understood in three parts: first, to discover helpful resources that act as a guide to the Catholic social tradition; second, to find the Church’s stance on property ownership; and third, to address the perspective of Catholic social teaching as a third way or via media for the modern world.  The results of the investigation were surprising in how they illustrate the relationship between Scripture, tradition, and experience in the natural development of Church teaching.  To summarize, the Church affirms those ideas that agree with the truths of Christian doctrine, acknowledges the kernel of truths in others while interpreting them in light of the Incarnation, and rejects those ideas that contain no truth at all.