2017 Chlapaty Fellows to Conduct Research Over the Summer

Jun 14, 2017 | Stacey Ortman, director of public information

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Fifteen University of Dubuque students will spend their summer researching topics ranging from freshwater turtles to effective community policing as part of the Joseph and Linda Chlapaty Summer Fellowship.

In its sixth year, the competitive fellowship program was designed to help prepare talented undergraduate students across all disciplines for graduate or professional school.

“The Chlapaty Summer Fellowship program creates a significant opportunity for talented undergraduate students to conduct scholarly research with a faculty scholar-mentor, to prepare for graduate entrance exams, and to build a network of professional contacts,” said UD President Jeffrey F. Bullock. “We are grateful to Joe and Linda Chlapaty for their investment in these undergraduate students.”

Students, who were selected based on faculty review of their research proposals, will commit to 40 hours a week for 10 weeks this summer to complete their projects. Awardees will receive a stipend of $4,500 and an additional $500 for research supplies or travel costs associated with the project.

“Students have used the program as a boost to get into a professional school, a graduate program, and/or the career of their choosing. Students and mentors in the program often cite additional gains in creativity, problem-solving ability, and written and oral communication. Furthermore, students report greater clarity on goal setting and increasing success in finding a career in their field,” said Ken Turner, Jr., EdD, co-director of the Chlapaty Summer Fellowship program and assistant professor of science education. Dale Easley, PhD, professor of natural and applied sciences, is also a program co-director.

The following students were named Chlapaty Fellows for 2017:

Meagan Albon - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Meagan Albon
, senior biology major from Chicago Ridge, Illinois

Project: Bat Communities Along the Upper Mississippi River: Does Variation Exist Along a Latitudinal Gradient?

Advisor: Gerald Zuercher, PhD, professor of vertebrate ecology

Quotable: “It is such an honor to be named a Chlapaty Fellow. Being part of such a prestigious group of students is an amazing opportunity and has been a goal of mine since my first year here at University of Dubuque. My project goal is to find if there is a variation in the populations of bat communities along the Mississippi River following a latitudinal gradient. Hopefully I will discover new home ranges of bats and learn if different species of bats are breaking their previous boundaries.” – Albon

Abigail Fabris - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Abigail Fabris
, senior chemistry major from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

Project: A Stop-Flow and Substrate Analog Analysis of Tyrosinase’s Mechanism

Advisor: Mark Sinton, PhD, assistant professor of natural and applied sciences

Quotable: “What an amazing opportunity it is to have been named a Chlapaty Fellow! I feel so blessed and honored to have been given this chance to grow as a person and a scientist. I am truly grateful for this experience. I hope my project will add to the scientific community allowing for future research to be built upon it. I also hope that it will broaden my knowledge on both Tyrosinase and the general research process.” – Fabris

Janaan Fink - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Janaan Fink
, junior biology/chemistry major from La Motte, Iowa

Project: Discovering an Efficient Method of Orchid Transformation Using Silicon Carbide Whiskers

Advisor: Rasika Mudalige-Jayawickrama, PhD, associate professor of natural and applied sciences

Quotable: “Being named a Chlapaty Fellow is a great honor. I am very excited for the knowledge and hands-on experience I will gain working with Dr. Mudalige-Jayawickrama this summer. I hope our project helps with understanding the orchid’s complex genome.” – Fink

Holman Taline - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Taline Holman
, senior biology major from Gurnee, Illinois

Project: Lyme Disease Causing Bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, in Rodents and Ticks

Advisor: Kelly Grussendorf, PhD, assistant professor of biology

Quotable: “To me, being named a Chlapaty Fellow means that I have been given a unique opportunity to further myself and hopefully make an impact on the scientific community. I hope that my project will be able to shed light on the prevalence of Lyme disease in the Dubuque area as well as help science and health professionals to further understand Lyme disease.” – Holman

Marissa Joers - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Marissa Joers
, junior business major from Racine, Wisconsin

Project: Effective Community Policing

Advisor: John Shook, MPA, assistant professor of criminal justice and sociology and head of the Criminal Justice Department

Quotable: “Being chosen to participate in the Chlapaty Fellowship program was a humbling honor. Every student on campus knows how prestigious it is to be awarded one of the fellowship positions, and I do not plan on wasting even a second of this incredible opportunity to grow personally and actually take part in accomplishing something to help others. My project aims to establish realistic and applicable guidelines for police departments to implement effective community policing programs that will foster positive relationships between law enforcement and the community. I hope to be able to disperse this knowledge to police departments for their use to begin to bridge the divide between officers and those whom they are serving to protect.” – Joers

DeShaun Madkins - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
De’Shaun Madkins
, senior criminal justice/sociology major from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Project: Enhancing the Lawsuit Against Dakota Access LLC

Advisor: Angela Brandel, EdD, associate professor of education

Quotable: “Being a fellow allows me to not only continue my independent studies of indigenous people, but it also helps me separate myself from my peers. Having the ability to connect with people in my field of interest and work on real-world issues is not only an accomplishment, but also a huge milestone in my academic career. Throughout my research this summer, I hope to make connections with potential graduate schools and potential employers once I have completed my studies. I also hope to apply the things that I have been taught as an undergraduate to the professional world I will be entering this summer.” – Madkins

Whylder Moore - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Whylder Moore
, senior biology major from Rockford, Illinois

Project: Crystal Structures of Potato, Mushroom, and Apple Tyrosinase

Advisor: Mark Sinton, PhD, assistant professor of natural and applied sciences

Quotable: “The Chlapaty Summer Fellowship is an independent research, professional networking, and graduate/professional school entrance examination preparation opportunity that few students are rewarded. It grooms students to be prepared for the next step whether that be the work force or continuing education. To be selected is a tremendous honor. My adviser, Dr. Mark Sinton, and I hope to link the crystal structure to the enzymes functionality and to find key differences in structure as well. The end result will allow us to be the first to upload structures of tyrosinase from these subjects to the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank.” – Moore

Makky Mouse - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Makky Mousa-Makky
, senior biology major from Iowa City, Iowa

Project: Analyzing the Effects of Endocrine Disruptor Exposure on CD-1 Mice

Advisors: Adam Hoffman, PhD, associate professor of environmental chemistry, and Gerald Zuercher, PhD, professor of vertebrate ecology

Quotable: “Being a Chlapaty Fellow is a chance to put my ideas to the test. It means that my research project has some sort of significance, which is why it was selected for funding. Being a Chlapaty Fellow not only provides time and funding for research, but it also involves having the privilege to help others with their research as well. Hopefully my project will validate that exposure to endocrine disruptors is not harmless. I want to prove that these hormone-mimicking chemicals have adverse effects on people and wildlife. I would like to establish this relationship because I feel that if people know that these chemicals are causing harm to the environment, then maybe we could take the time to find a solution to this problem.” – Mousa-Makky

Nate Pauli - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Nate Pauli
, senior environmental science/English major from Eldridge, Iowa

Project: The Effects of Urbanization on Bee Species Richness and Abundance

Advisor: Adam Hoffman, PhD, associate professor of environmental chemistry, and Gerald Zuercher, PhD, professor of vertebrate ecology

Quotable: “I'm extremely honored to be a Chlapaty Fellow. This is a great opportunity to show what skills I have gained over the last three years here at UD. Through my research, I hope to help the Dubuque community change their thoughts on pollinators in their neighborhood. I want the people of Dubuque to realize how great an opportunity this is to begin strengthening the bee populations in this area. Hopefully, from my research, we can begin to get the ball rolling in creating more efficient and safer ways of planting our urban gardens to get the most out of our native bees in the area.” – Pauli

Daniel Pike - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Daniel Pike
, senior environmental science major from Monticello, Iowa

Project: Analyzing Fish Diversity Based on Hydrology and Seasonal Change

Advisor:  David Koch, PhD, associate professor of natural and applied sciences and head of the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences

Quotable: “Being named a Chlapaty Fellow is a huge honor. I have known since my first year at UD that I wanted to eventually conduct my own research. Thanks to the support of Joe and Linda Chlapaty, I finally have the ability to do so. This opportunity will allow me to have a head start on graduate school. My research will give me a better understanding of fish species distribution during low and high water patterns. As a side project, I will also be looking for signs of a parasitic disease known as Black Spot Disease. Surveying for Black Spot Disease will hopefully lead to future research projects as well as an understanding of its prevalence in the Mississippi River. I would like to again thank Joe and Linda Chlapaty for their support of my project. I would also like to thank my research adviser, Dr. David Koch, and all of my peers who have helped me throughout the process!” – Pike

Ramon Riley - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Ramon Riley Jr.
, senior fine and performing arts major from Fayetteville, North Carolina

Project: Las Primicias: Archival Research and Oral History on Latinx Experience at University of Dubuque

Advisor: Brian Hallstoos, PhD, associate professor of history

Quotable: “To me, being a Chlapaty Fellow means being a determined Spartan who stands out from the rest of his/her peers. A Chlapaty Fellow is a student who strives for an academic challenge and who hungers for higher learning. The University of Dubuque has many amazing opportunities, being a Chlapaty Fellow is just one of the many opportunities this University has to offer. When it comes to my project, I hope to document and study the experiences that our Latin American alumni and students have gotten from this University. One reason that makes the University of Dubuque stand out from the rest is our rich culture and diversity that our faculty and students bring. For my project, I'll specifically be looking at Latin American students and documenting their experiences and journey to UD.” - Riley

Alec Rutherford - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Alec Rutherford
, senior environmental science major from Grimes, Iowa

Project: Response of Bee Species to Habitat Transition from Prairie to Temperate Deciduous Forest

Advisor: Adam Hoffman, PhD, associate professor of environmental chemistry, and Gerald Zuercher, PhD, professor of vertebrate ecology

Quotable: “Being a Chlapaty Fellow is an honor that I am truly grateful for. I get to utilize the skills that I have gained here at the University to better myself educationally and to help do something I am very passionate about. I hope that my project will help people see the importance of native bees to our ecosystems and to hopefully create an ongoing research project here at the University of Dubuque for years to come.” - Rutherford

Katie Silberstein - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Katie Silberstein
, senior biology major from Solon, Iowa

Project: Using C. elegans as a Model to Study the Molecular and Cellular Role of the Muscle Protein FER-1 and its Implications in Muscular Dystrophy

Advisor: Kelly Grussendorf, PhD, assistant professor of biology

Quotable: “To me, being a Chlapaty Fellow means being able to take my research further and to make a larger impact in the scientific community as well as the Dubuque community. With this program, I am able to put in the time and effort that this project deserves and I can serve it justice. I am very thankful for the opportunities that the Chlapaty Fellowship has provided me with and I am looking forward to pursuing the opportunities to come.” - Silberstein

Audri Woessner - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Audri Woessner
, senior environmental science major from Asbury, Iowa    

Project: Impact of Urbanization on Bats

Advisor: Gerald Zuercher, PhD, professor of vertebrate ecology, and Michele Zuercher, teaching specialist

Quotable: “To be a Chlapaty Fellow means that I have been given something that not all students get to do – research. I am honored that I was chosen and will do my best to make the Chlapatys and my advisor proud that they chose me to do this research. I hope my project will give some insight on whether urbanization is affecting the way that bats are living and where they are living. We have endangered species in this area and if the urbanization is causing problems, then it needs to be brought to people's attention.” - Woessner

Jake Wolfe - Chlapaty Summer Fellow 2017 (150x200)
Jake Wolfe
, senior environmental science major from Marion, Iowa

Project: Monitoring the Differences in Catch Success of Freshwater Turtles with Varying Location and Nets on Pool 12 of the Upper Mississippi River

Advisor: David Koch, PhD, associate professor of natural and applied sciences and head of the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences

Quote: “It truly humbles me to be selected as a Chlapaty Fellow. It means that someone has faith in me to do well in school and continue my education in graduate school enough that they want to give me a huge boost in my endeavors. I have multiple hopes for my Chlapaty project: 1) I hope that all my research on turtles will help the future of the turtle project at UD. 2) I hope to take out many experiences and skills from conducting research that I can use in graduate school and future employment.” - Wolfe