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March 07, 2012
2012 Chlapaty Science Fellows Selected

Eight University of Dubuque students from the Department of Natural and Applied Science (DNAS) have been designated as Joseph and Linda Chlapaty Science Fellows for 2012.  Selected by a DNAS faculty committee, the students will carry out their Fellowship projects the summer of 2012.

"We are grateful to Joe and Linda Chlapaty for their unfailing generosity to the University," commented President Jeffrey F. Bullock.  "While their names are most often associated with buildings on campus whose construction they have funded, they have quietly and consistently provided funds to undergird the University's academic program.  This particular gift that underwrites the Chlapaty Fellows program creates a significant opportunity for talented undergraduates in the sciences and mathematics to do scholarly research with a senior scholar-mentor, to do special preparation for graduate entrance examinations, and to build a network of professional contacts."

The Chlapaty Science Fellowship program is a competitive program designed to aid in the preparation of talented undergraduate students for graduate study.  Fellowship projects are to be completed during the summer following the students' sophomore or junior years.   Awardees are expected to commit 40 hours each week for 10 weeks to the Fellowship and up to eight students may be awarded this Fellowship each year.  Each Chlapaty Fellow will receive a stipend of $5,000, and an additional $500 for research supplies or travel costs associated with their research project.

These eight students and their advisors will focus on the following projects during the first summer for the Chlapaty Science Fellowship program:

Elizabeth Bainbridge (senior, Teeds Grove, IA) and Dr. Gerald Zuercher, associate professor of biology; Gender Differences in Home-Range and Activity Budgets of Southern Flying Squirrels in Eastern Iowa

Heather Barkhurst (senior, Peosta, IA) and Dr. Rasika Mudalige-Jayawickrama, assistant professor of plant biology; Discovering How Orchid Genes Paint Their Flowers

Chelsie Cruise (sophomore, Dubuque, IA) and Dr. Gerald Zuercher, associate professor of biology; Population Ecology and Habitat Relationships for Southern Flying Squirrels in Eastern Iowa

Melissa Englert (junior, Chana, IL) and Dr. Mark Sinton, teaching specialist faculty of chemistry; An Analysis of The Thermophilic Activity of Tyrosinase

Megan Johnson (junior, Viroqua, WI) and Dr. Gerald Zuercher, associate professor of biology; Spatial and Temporal Variation of Vesper Bats in Eastern Iowa

Lea Kieffer (junior, Dubuque, IA) and Dr. Richard Cowart, professor of biology; Horizontal Gene Transfer in Human Liver Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

Shelby Marr (junior, Baldwin, IA) and Dr. Adam Hoffman, assistant professor of environmental chemistry; Zebra Mussel Colonization and Distribution Among Native Freshwater Mussels in Pool 12 of the Mississippi River

Kyle Redmond (junior, Long Grove, IA) and Dr. Gerald Zuercher, associate professor of biology; The Impact of Habitat Variation on Small Mammal Distribution

"Joseph and Linda Chlapaty have again given a wonderful gift to the students of the University of Dubuque in the form of the Chlapaty Science Fellowship Program," commented Dr. Adam Hoffman, assistant professor of environmental chemistry and director of the Chlapaty Science Fellowship Program.  "I'm very excited for this program, as its unique three-pronged approach will afford the Chlapaty Science Fellows an unbelievable opportunity to become better scientists and will prepare them to excel in their future graduate school endeavors. It is going to be a real pleasure to work with the extremely talented and motivated individuals that were chosen as Fellows this year. As a department, we've seen an increase in students attending graduate school, and this program will only increase the opportunities for our science majors."

The goal of the Chlapaty Science Fellowship Program is to increase the probability of success of UD students in graduate studies in science and mathematics by focusing on three areas: 

      1.   To demonstrate strength in independent scientific research.
                 - Complete a scientific research project, under the supervision of aUD faculty member
                 - Present research results in written and oral form

      2.  To prepare for graduate school entrance examinations (such as the MCAT and GRE).
                 - Participate in a test review course
                 - Complete practice tests

       3.  To develop a network of professional relationships beyond the University of Dubuque.
                 - Visit graduate schools and science professionals in the region
                 - Participate in regional science conferences