Alabama's Public Liberal Arts University

News and Events

Wednesday Memo
March 25, 2015

Undergraduate research day is today

Annual Run for Research to take place April 9

President’s travel awards applications available

UM hosts chess tourney


Undergraduate research day is today

The 18th Undergraduate Research Day will take place Wednesday, March 25, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Harman Hall. The event will feature the work of undergraduate students from across campus as they present their research through oral and poster presentations. Presenters, their advisers and their projects follow.


  • Kimberly McWhorter, (S. Stephens), “An Investigation of Dimensionality through Printmaking for Practitioners in Art and Design.”

Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • Vibhaas Basukala, Anna Dixon and Lindsey Bennett, (J. Burling and K. Gilbert), “Correlation Between Social Media Pervasiveness and Positive Attitudes Toward Multitasking.”
  • Katie Best, Russell Bradburn Kelly Haberstroh and Maggie Horschel, (J. Burling and K. Gilbert), Extremism: The Correlation Between Religiosity, Personality and Prejudice.”
  • April Davis, Maci Gardner and James Kinney, (J. Burling, K. Gilbert and G. Longo), The Relationship Between Health Behaviors, Religiosity, and Environmental Awareness in Association With Morality.”
  • Jacob Guyton, (G. Longo), The Relationship between Individuals’ Characteristics and Color.”
  • Taylor Hubbard, (R. Barone), English Reformation: The King’s Vision of Reform.”
  • Cynthia McGinnis, (J. Bawden), “Iberian Conflict and the importance of the Azores Islands.”
  • Emily Moses, (J. Day), “The Spark in the Magic City.”

Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics

  • Joseph Alanaeme, (H. Byrd), “Hydrothermal Synthesis of Metal Coordination Polymers.”
  • Alexia Carter, (C. Tidwell, D. Mathews and P. Bharara), “Copper Porphyrin.”
  • Emily Johnson, (H. Tinsley), “Plasticity in the use of Nest-Building Materials in the Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis).”
  • Marguerite Little, (S. Tanner and J. Daft), “Antimicrobial Peptide Gene Expression and Functionality in P-glycoprotein Deficient Models of Colitis.”
  • Nicholas Rivers, Perrin Windham, (H. Tinsley) “The Significance of PKGIB in cGMP Induced Death of Breast Cancer Cells.”
  • Steven Sartor, (D. Mathews), “Study on the Effects of pH on the Efficiency of an Anthocyanin Dye Sensitized Solar Cell.”
  • Racheal Ward, (M. Maxwell), “Item Response Theory: Ability Estimates.”
  • Andrea Willard, (C. Tidwell, D. Mathews and P. Bharara), “Manganese Complex of a Novel Porphyrin.”
  • Anna Williams, (C. Sestero), “Efficacy of Surface-Level Disinfectants on Killing Bacteria Implicated in Hospital-Acquired Infection.”

Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Business

  • Eileen Larsen, (C. Tidwell, D. Mathews, P. Bharara and B. Motii), “Making Lab Green” – Reducing Waste, Pollution, and Expenses in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Laboratories with the Microwave Chemistry Technique.”

Communication Science and Disorders

  • Bria Hines, (D. Valentine), “Comprehension of Novel Idioms in Hip Hop/Rap and Country Music: The Role of Musical Preference.”

Communication Studies

  • Ryan Kirkland, (S. Hardig), “More Land to be Conquered: The use of Metaphor in the Sermons of Fred Shuttlesworth.”

English and Foreign Languages

  • Melanie Berry, (R. Stoops), “Les Maquis Espagnols: Unknown Heroes of the French Resistance.”
  • Zachary Clifton, (G. Conway), “Transgressive Voices: Gender Perception within Creative Writing.”
  • Lindsay Hodgens, (A. Beringer), “The Necessary Good: Consumer Culture in the Comics of Chris Ware.”

Game Studies and Design

  • Garrett Roth, Amy George, (C. Martin), “Ollie’s Game.”


  • Allison Bartlett, (S. Bishop), “How Does Caffeine Supplementation Affect College-Age Females in a 1-Mile Run?”
  • Gabrielle Pringle, (M. Galafassi) “Mood, Motivation, and Socialization in Group Exercise Programs.”

Kinesiology and Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Rosemary Austin, Allison Bartlett, Kelly Glenn, Kristen Herman, Anna Nabors, Kyle Stuller, Victoria Marriott, (S. Culpepper, R. Mathisen and P. Pettit), “Investigating the Effects of Food Presentation on Fruit and Vegetable Acceptance in Children – A Pilot Study.”


  • Christopher Holder, (J. Sargent) “The Life and Music of Lluìs Benejam.”
  • Lauren Jones, (J. Sargent) “Identifying Subjectivity in Musical Expression and Interpretation.”

University of South Alabama Department of Pharmacology

  • Anna Williams, (D. Alvarez), “Bioengineering Rat Lungs with the Use of a Bioreactor.”

University of South Alabama, Mitchell Cancer Institute Proteomics Lab

  • Perrin Windham, (L. Pannell), “Method Optimization for the Comparison of N-linked Glycan Fingerprints in Pancreatic Cancer vs. Control Patients.”

The generosity of the UM Foundation, Alumni Association and friends in supporting Undergraduate Research is gratefully acknowledged. Special thanks to Jo A. Rayfield ’62 for her continued interest and support.


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Annual Run for Research to take place April 9

The 9th Annual Run for Research is set for Thursday, April 9. The event will include a 5-K Run and a 1-Mile Walk.

Registration will begin at 3 p.m. and the race will begin promptly at 3:45 p.m. at the McChesney Student Activity Center parking lot. (In the event of inclement weather, registration will take place inside the SAC.)

The first 75 registrants will receive a free event T-shirt if registration is received on or before Monday, April 6. After April 6, T-shirts may be purchased for $10 each.

The entry fee is $5 for students and $10 for non-students. All on-site entry fees will be $10.

Checks should be made payable to “UM - Run for Research.” Completed entry forms and payment should be submitted to Tonja Battle, Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Hill House, Montevallo, AL 35115. Completed entry forms must be received by Monday, April 6, to be considered for a free T-shirt. The entry form was sent campus-wide via e-mail on Tuesday, March 24.

All proceeds will benefit UM’s Undergraduate Research Foundation.

Questions? Contact Cindy Tidwell at



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President’s travel awards applications available

The Faculty Development Advisory Committee, in partnership with the Office of the President, has recently announced the President’s Travel Awards. These awards will offer grants to full-time faculty for professional travel during summer 2015. Awards of up to $2,000 are available.

Applicants should submit a letter of application to and by Monday, April 6 at 5 p.m. Awards can be used to support a variety of professional development activities requiring travel, including but not limited to academic and professional conferences, developmental workshops, research in libraries and archives, artist retreats, exhibitions in galleries requiring the artist’s presence, etc. Applicants are expected to make the case that the funded travel activity will significantly enhance the their professional development.

Letters of application should include the following elements, in the order in which they appear.

Destination and purpose of travel, e.g., to attend a conference/workshop where a paper may or may not be given, to present at a scholarly meeting, to give a gallery talk, to develop a piece of fiction at a writer’s retreat, to conduct research at an archive or research center, etc.

Travel dates. Keep in mind that travel must be concluded before the beginning of Fall semester 2015.

Description of the way travel will contribute to the individual’s development as a teacher, scholar, and/or professional. Applicants may wish to indicate what they expect to learn (e.g., advances/new content in the field; new teaching strategies; new and emerging practices in an area) and/or the opportunities travel will provide (e.g., to collaborate with others in the field; to advance research for scholarly or creative projects; to meet like-minded researchers). They may wish to comment on the contribution they will make to the intellectual, creative, or pedagogical vitality of the University as a result of the funded travel.

Detailed and itemized budget. May include conference registration fees, travel to destination (if flying, cost of ticket; if driving, mileage), meals, lodging, ground transportation and other expenses. Be sure to include the total amount requested. Note: In some cases the grant awarded may be less than the total amount requested. If you are unable to travel without full funding, please explain.

Other sources of funding (if applicable).

It is anticipated that these grants will be highly competitive. Applicants are encouraged to be as detailed and specific as possible and to provide supporting documentation when possible. All proposals will be reviewed by the Faculty Development Advisory Committee (FDAC) and their recommendations endorsed by the provost and VPAA.

The President’s Travel Awards are awarded annually in amounts varying with the availability of funds. The awards are intended to continue the spirit of the Gergen Travel Awards offered in 2013, when the Fall 2012 commencement speaker, David Gergen, generously applied his speaker fee to faculty development.

Questions? Contact Joseph Sargent at



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UM hosts chess tourney

UM Assistant Professor of Mathematics Scott Varagona, left, presents the Falcon Chess Invitational to Stephen Adams of Birmingham.


Contributed by Scott Varagona

The inaugural Falcon Chess Invitational tournament took place March 7 at the University of Montevallo and featured a very unusual format: “doubles chess.”

A game of doubles chess is played by two teams of two players each. One team controls the white pieces and the other controls the black pieces. The two players on a team take turns making the moves for their side, but teammates are not allowed to confer with each other at all during the game. Of course, this unique format presents some interesting new challenges to the participants. A player must not only fight against an opposing team, but also try to coordinate with a teammate that he or she cannot communicate with directly.

The Falcon Chess Invitational was a four-player doubles chess competition featuring the top three teenage chess players of Alabama, as well as UM Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Chess Club of Montevallo adviser Scott Varagona. As an added twist, the teams would change with every round, so that every player partnered with every other player exactly once. Games were scored as follows: if a team won a game, each member of the winning team received a point, whereas the losing team’s members received 0 points. In case of a draw, all players received half a point. The overall winner was the individual with the highest total number of points by the end of three rounds.

Stephen Adams of Birmingham, the reigning Alabama State Champion, won the Falcon Chess Trophy with a score of 2.5 of a possible 3. Adams played aggressive, creative chess and did an excellent job of coordinating with his teammates.

The first-place trophy, a chess knight made of Lego bricks, was custom-made to resemble the knight in the Chess Club of Montevallo’s logo.

The Falcon Chess Invitational was sponsored by the Chess Club of Montevallo and the University of Montevallo’s Game Studies and Design program. This is the second chess tournament UM has hosted in recent years, having hosted the Alabama State Scholastic Chess Championships in 2014.