Skip to nav Skip to content

Boyd Fund

Dr. Richard A. Boyd (’51, H’84), former University Trustee, and Marye McPherson Boyd (’54) established the Boyd Fund for Undergraduate Scholarship to promote broadly defined scholarship among Capital University students. The opportunity to participate in undergraduate scholarship in collaboration with a faculty mentor is a distinctive feature of a Capital University education.

These funds, administered by the Office of the Provost, support Capital students’ scholarship projects that lead to dissemination, such as presentations at the Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship and publication in Epistimi, Capital’s undergraduate research journal, or ReCap, Capital’s literary and arts journal. 

How to apply

Submission Deadlines

Funding requests may be submitted at any time during the academic year. Proposals should be submitted to Although requests may be submitted at any time, funds are limited so students are encouraged to apply for funds as early in the semester as possible. Students will receive notification of whether or not their proposal was funded within 2 - 4 weeks of submission of a complete proposal.

Submission Criteria

The Boyd Fund Application template, accessible by faculty, is located on CapPoint under Academic Departments>Academic Resources (Calendar)>Grants and contains the following required components:

  1. Proposal Title
  2. Student Name and Contact Information
  3. Faculty Mentor Name and Contact Information
  4. Description of the Scholarship Project – Give a clear statement of the problem or purpose of the project, and a description of the research method or process of inquiry. Limit of 1000 words.
  5. Product of the Scholarly Activity – What outcomes or products are anticipated to result from this project?
  6. Plans for Dissemination – How, where, and when will the results be disseminated?
  7. Budget and Budget Justification – Awards are limited to $1,000
  8. Letter of support from Mentor – The faculty mentor should briefly discuss the student’s proposal and capability to complete the project.

Download the Boyd Fund for Undergraduate Research Application

Student Expectations

All projects that require the use of human or non-human animal subjects must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), respectively. Applications may be submitted prior to approval by these committees, but, if awarded, funds will not be expended until a copy of the approval letter is submitted to the Office of Honors and Undergraduate Scholarship. A copy of the final product (e.g. paper or poster) of the scholarship project must be submitted to the Office of Honors and Undergraduate Scholarship.

Fundable Expenses

Funding is competitive; a limited number of grants will be available each year. Funds may be used for supplies, books, software, and equipment necessary to complete undergraduate scholarship projects with the understanding that these items become property of the University. Travel to major libraries, art galleries, museums, and science laboratories at other institutions central to enhancing the scholarship project are considered fundable expenses.

Expenses Not Fundable

Non-allowable expenses include travel to conferences and symposia for project presentation (please see Scholarship Travel Guidelines for these funds), educational programs, tuition, room and board, and textbooks.

Funding Amounts

The proposed budget may not exceed $1,000 per project and must be expended in the awarded semester. 

Student Eligibility

Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at Capital University, remain enrolled during the period of funding, and have a minimum earned grade point average of 2.75.

Need more information?

Contact us at

2018 Boyd Fund Awards

Spring 2018

Student: Orion Brock (Faculty Mentor, Jennifer Larson), Biological and Environmental Sciences
Project Title: Identifying the Role of Cdc7 in DNA Damage Response Pathways
Summary: Genetic screens have led to many major discoveries in biology including how the cell cycle works and how cells respond to DNA damage. A new genetic screen was recently begun to identify new proteins involved in the DNA damage response (Larson, et al., 2014). Through this screen, we have found that the major cell cycle regulator Cdc7 plays a previously unstudied role in the DNA damage response. Cdc7 has already been identified as an essential gene in many organisms. Cdc7 requires a partner, NIMO in Aspergillus, for its function. Most studies have focused on Cdc7’s role during DNA synthesis but its role during mitosis has not yet been fully characterized. The objectives of our research are to characterize the role of Cdc7 and NIMO in the DNA damage response and further analyze the function of Cdc7 during mitosis. Our aims will be as follows: Aim 1: Determine if the Cdc7 mutant is involved in the same DNA damage response pathway as sonB1; Aim 2: Determine if other Cdc7 alleles suppress the temperature sensitivity of nimA1; Aim 3: Determine if nimO18 (a regulator of Cdc7) suppresses the DEO sensitivity of sonB1. Our study will not only characterize the roles of Cdc7 in the DNA damage response and mitosis but will also provide a solid framework for future studies to explore Cdc7 as a DNA damage response protein.
Dissemination: Student will present his project at Capital’s Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship, April 2019. The final results are part of a paper submitted to a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Student: Daniel Robey (Faculty Mentor, Jeffrey Gress), Education
Project Title: Ordinary Days and Extraordinary Theater Education (Honors Capstone)
Summary: The purpose of this project is to delve into the rehearsal and production of Adam Gwon’s musical entitled Ordinary Days and its implication on future educational theater pursuits. I am an English Education Major with a Theater Studies Minor; with this background I have found very few opportunities on campus to merge these fields together. I am hoping to get a better grasp on theater education to one day earn a high school theater teacher/director position. Throughout the rehearsal and production phase of the project, literature research will be conducted to gather pedagogical strategies pertaining to theatrical arts. As these strategies are applied, anonymous surveys will be given to actors in the cast to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. The data gleaned from online research will be synthesized with the authentic data collected from the rehearsal process to evaluate effective strategies when teaching theater.
Dissemination: The play was produced and presented on campus fall 2018. The related research project will be presented at the 2019 Capital Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship.

Summer 2018

Student: Allison Kerman (Faculty Mentor, Craig Burgdoff, Religion and Philosophy), Political Science
Project Title: Summer Scholar 2018 project trip “Uncharted History: The Beginning”
Summary: The goal of my project is to start at the very beginning and identify more hidden, important components of the founding of the United States. The focus points will be on little known political contributions of the Haudenosaunee peoples, frequently called the Iroquois Indians, and little-known facts about the Founding Fathers. As examples, the Haudenosaunee had developed the concept of separation of powers long before the United States adopted the concept and many of the Founding Fathers had a love for the arts, including music. I have been invited to the Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center and for a meal on the Onondaga Nation with a professor from Syracuse. This is such an honor and will be a valuable learning experience. I will be able to speak with historians, explore the history from the Haudenosaunee perspective, and experience the culture. After this trip, I plan to continue on to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. In order to further my research into the founding of the United States and creation of the Constitution. I will visit sites such as Independence Hall, The Benjamin Franklin Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Archives, and many others. Each of these historical sites will aid in my project by giving me a deeper connection to the material and providing more valuable information. Finally, I will be able to take pictures of historical landmarks and documents that I will include in my finished research product.
Dissemination: The student presented her project at the Ohio Association of Economists and Political Scientists (OAEPS) Conference in September 2018. She will present her project at Capital’s Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship, April 2019

Fall 2018

Student: Bri Smith
Project Title: Examining the Effects of Algae on Human Pathogens
Summary: Antibiotic resistance has increasingly become a major epidemic throughout modern day medicine. Many factors have contributed to this, such as the over prescription of antibiotics, low regulations for agricultural use, and a lack of development for new antibiotics (Duong, 2015). It is time that science looked to new, innovative ways to develop new treatment methods for common illnesses. Algae has been known to carry many health benefits. These include rich vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (Jennings, 2017). Certain species of algae have been known to carry antimicrobial properties that have the potential to inhibit pathogen growth, specifically, D. salina and R. subcapitata. My hypothesis that I will be testing is, if algae extract and secretion from D. salina and R. subcapitata, is added to pathogenic strains of S. aureus, K. pneumoniae, and S. pyogenes, then pathogenic growth will be inhibited. D. salina and R. subcapitata are the algal species that will be used to test this hypothesis. D. salina is a unicellular flagellate marine green microalgae. R. subcapitata is a motionless, freshwater green algae. Because these are two different environmental algae (marine v. freshwater), they carry different chemical properties. D. salina is a marine green algae, so it will display halophilic (high salt affinity) properties. R. subcapitata, on the other hand, is a freshwater algae. The chemical properties for it will be different than that of D. salina. By testing both forms of green algae, we can examine,which algal species produces more effective antibiotics.
Dissemination: Student will present her findings at Capital’s Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship in April 2019.

2017 Boyd Fund Awards

Spring 2017

Student: Kiley Buchanan (Faculty Mentor, Megan Beard), Health and Sports Sciences
Project Title: Analysis of Eccentric Hip Strength and Functional Performance in Recreational Runners
Summary: Currently a variety of functional and clinical tests are utilized by athletic trainers to determine weaknesses or abnormalities within injured populations. In addition, these tests have been utilized to screen individuals and determine those at a higher risk of sustaining an injury. The populations assessed in these studies are predominantly limited to high school and collegiate athletes, as well as acute injuries such as ankle sprains and anterior cruciate ligament ruptures. There are approximately 8.3 million collegiate or high school athletes, whereas there are over 51 million recreational runners in the United States.(NCAA, 2016; USA, 2013) Of these runners, up to 80% will go on to sustain a running-related musculoskeletal injury (RRMI) each year.(van Gent et al., 2007) There is currently sparse research investigating tests that can be used to determine which recreational runners are at risk of developing a RRMI. Therefore, it is the purpose of this study to establish performance by healthy recreational runners on functional and clinical tests. Furthermore, the proposed study will identify differences in performance between males and females, and previously injured and non-injured runners. The results of this study will help drive future research utilizing the functional and clinical tests to identify recreational runners at risk of sustaining a RRMI.
Dissemination: Student presented her project at Capital’s Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship, April 2018. Project also submitted for presentation at the National Athletic Training Association meeting for summer 2018.

Student: Christian Phillips (Faculty Mentor, Eva George), History
Project Title: From ‘The Tennessee Waltz’ to ‘Dancing on My Own’: Why the American Social Dance Floor Moved from Twirling Couples to Individuals Bouncing Off Each Other (Honors Capstone)
Summary: No other time period in history has seen the dramatic changes to social dance as has the sixty-six years from 1950 to 2016, with much of these changes originating in the United States. I propose to investigate and detail this transformation, align it with the various musical genres and trends, and place the ever-evolving American social dance floor into its proper historical context. To this end, I will investigate the plethora of visual media featuring dance, create a questionnaire to be distributed to willing participants who have spent time dancing socially, research articles and books, and interview professional dancers concerning their views on how social dance has changed during their lifetime. I expect to be able to tie specific modifications on the dance floor not only to transformations within popular music but to the broader social revolutions which occurred within the larger American society. To date, I have found no research into the American social dance floor; dance research and critique typically investigates professional performances, specialty forms of dance, or the mechanics of a specific choreographed or historical dance. This project will showcase the link between major societal and musical changes and how Americans have chosen to physically express themselves in their contemporary search for acceptance and companionship, while bringing to light an underappreciated and seldom-represented aspect from the life of the average American.
Dissemination: This project was presented at the 2017 Capital Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship. Christian is currently pursuing publication of this paper in an appropriate peer-reviewed publication. 

Summer 2017

Student: Rachel Dumke (Faculty Mentors, John Mersfelder and Andrea Karkowski), Biology
Project Title: The Influence of Gut Microbiota on Physical and Psychological Health (Honors Capstone)
Summary: The human body hosts a diverse ecosystem of microbiota that assist in important functions including immunity and metabolism. In humans, the microbiota is composed of mainly bacteria and most of these bacteria reside in the gastrointestinal tract or gut. These cells outnumber human cells in the body by tenfold and include mostly Bacteriodes and Firmicutes. Microbial stability and diversity are used as a measurement of physical health while dysbiosis is linked with many different types of disease (Bercik, Collins & Vredu, 2012; D’Argenio & Salvatore, 2015; Fond et al., 2015; Luna & Foster, 2015). Factors such as early life events, diet, and stress levels are known to affect microbiome composition and diversity (Anglin, Surette, Moayyedi, & Bercik, 2015; Rhee, Pothoulakis, & Mayer, 2009). Bacteria are so vital to our health, the human microbiome may even be considered an additional organ (Heijtz et al., 2011). Increasing evidence suggests alterations in the microbiome may affect our psychological health through pathways such as the gut-brain axis and HPA axis. The current study will investigate the interactions between gut bacteria, the HPA axis, and psychological well-being.
Dissemination: Rachel presented this project at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), April 2018 and at Capital’s Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship, April 2018 

Student: Joshua Tomsick
Project Title: Investigation of the Unfolding of Riboflavin Binding Protein Using Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy (Chemistry Summer Research Fellow)
Summary: During summer 2017, Josh and his faculty mentor collected data to determine the melting temperature for riboflavin binding protein (RBP) using a variety of methods and instruments in the chemistry laboratory on the campus of Capital University. The instruments used were a fluorescence spectrometer and a ultraviolet-visible spectrometer (UV-Vis). These instruments provide information about the environment of the riboflavin cofactor and tryptophan residues in RBP as RBP unfolds and refolds as a function of temperature. The researchers would like to collect further information using a circular dichroism spectrometer (CD). This instrument can provide information about the secondary structure of the protein as a function of temperature. All of this information together will provide us with a more complete understanding of how RBP unfolds in response to increased temperature and how the protein refolds when the temperature is decreased. Capital University does not own a CD instrument. To collect this data, Josh traveled with Sherry Hemmingsen to Jasco Inc headquarters in Easton, MD, where this instrument is available. Josh and Dr. Hemmingsen also worked with CD experts at this location on the interpretation of the data. Josh and Dr. Hemmingsen are working together in an internship during fall 2017. Visiting Jasco headquarters gave Josh valuable firsthand experience with JASCO and the sales industry, which he used in his internship projects with JASCO fall 2017.
Dissemination: Josh and Dr. Hemmingsen have published a white paper on the use of the Jasco equipment for investigation of the unfolding of RBP. Josh presented his work at Capital’s Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship, April 2018

Fall 2017

Student: Mary Avery and Kait Roughton (Faculty Mentor, Stephanie Gray Wilson), Psychology
Project Title: Personality and Habit Formation
Summary: The goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of the role of personality in habit formation. A secondary goal is to explore the validity of claims made in Gretchen Rubin’s (2015) Better Than Before; that certain personality tendencies determine how habits are made, broken, and maintained.
Dissemination: The researchers presented their project at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), April 2018 and the Midwestern Psychological Association conference, April 2018. The students also presented their project at Capital’s Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship, April 2018.

Student: Fairleigh Keaka (Faculty Mentor, Christine Anderson), Biological & Environmental Sciences
Project Title: Bioinformatics in Conservation of Lyme disease reservoir species Peromycus leucopus
Summary: Peromycus leucopus, or the white-footed mouse, is widely distributed across the eastern United States. The mice perform a variety of ecosystem services, acting as trophic links but also as a reservoir for Lyme disease. These mice are abundant, and occupy a variety of habitats ranging from forests to agricultural fields, potentially increasing the geographic distribution of the disease. Field work performed during the past five summers at Capital University’s Primmer Outdoor Learning Center in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio has shown that densities fluctuate between moderate to high levels in a secondary growth deciduous woodlot habitats and a agricultural fencerow habitat. Fairleigh’s previous research on population genetics has demonstrated migration between these two mouse populations. As a competent and prevalent reservoir, the white-footed mouse may pose a threat to human health. Furthermore, the habitats that white-footed mice occupy have become increasingly fragmented, increasing human interaction and the chance of transmission. If we are to gain a comprehensive understanding of Lyme disease, then our knowledge regarding modeling the movements of one of its potential reservoirs must increase. This study will utilize bioinformatics and molecular genetic techniques to test landscape – level populations dynamics of wild mice. While previous studies have quantified these interactions at the individual level, the understanding at the population level remains insufficient. This study will employ a diverse array of techniques to further our understanding of population dynamics of the white-footed mouse. Initial analysis will be performed using molecular genetic techniques, and the microsatellite analysis programs Geneclass, MIGRATE, and BayesAss to estimate recent migration and long term gene flow. Additional analyses will include isolation by distance, genetic variation, inbreeding, and population structure. These programs will provide initial data and become the basis for further investigation with the programming language R and geographic information systems (GIS). The utilization of R and GIS will allow for simulations and analysis of sample sizes that would be impossible to perform in the field due to time and monetary constraints. Moreover, R and GIS opens the door to a variety of statistical analyses and visual methodologies that would provide a data set that is comprehensive and conveyable to the public. By developing a greater knowledge of white-footed mouse population we will simultaneously gain an insight into the intricacies of the potential spread of Lyme disease. Future work will involve testing the mice for Lyme disease.
Dissemination: The results of this project were presented at Capital’s Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship, April 2018; the Beta Beta Beta regional conference; and the Ohio Fish and Wildlife Conference. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal is being pursued.

Student: Kaleigh May (Faculty Mentor, Stephanie Gray Wilson), Psychology and Communication
Project Title: Lying on the Job: The Impact of Lying Games on Organization Members’ Creativity (Honors Capstone)
Summary: This research examines whether dishonest game play stimulates organizational creativity. No known research explores using dishonesty to increase creativity in organizations. Participants will play card games, one of which encourages lying. The Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA) will be used to assess creativity. Data will be collected at undergraduate student organization meetings. At these meetings, one group will play a lying card game, and the other will play a control card game. The two groups’ creativity scores will be compared to determine if there is a difference in creativity scores as a function of the type of game played.
Dissemination: The results of this project were presented at Capital’s Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship, April 2018. The project was also presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Scholarship (NCUR), April 2018.

Student: Austin Rush (Faculty Mentor, Kimberly Heym), Biological & Environmental Sciences
Project Title: Does the Type of Musical Training Influence Working Memory? The Effects of Instrumental, Vocal or Music Technology Training on Working Memory
Summary: Science professors at Capital University rely heavily on the use of PowerPoint in the classroom. This means students have to process spoken words from the professor, visual text, and images all at the same time to understand the information. Furthermore, because every student on campus is required to take a lab-based science class to graduate, classes like Biology 151 have both science and non-science majors enrolled together in the class. Previous work by Heym, Rush, Klacik and Dumke show that years of music training positively correlates with the ability to hold text and images in working memory but not necessarily spoken words; the longer a student studied music, the better they performed on the working memory test. We would like to better understand what this positive correlation means by recruiting more students and recruiting students by music type. Most music students read music and thus scan the music with their eyes all while watching the conductor and listening to their fellow musicians. This resembles the behavior that students in a typical science class at Capital experience as they observe PowerPoint slides and listen to the professor. Does the type of musical training influence their working memory? Dr. Tom Zugger informed us that some of the students in the conservatory do not read music. Recruitment of students who do not read music may help us understand whether reading music has an effect on working memory or not.
Dissemination: The results of this project will be presented at Capital’s Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship, April 2018. The project was also presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Scholarship (NCUR), April 2018.

2016 Boyd Fund Awards

Student: Katherine Escobar, Psychology (Mentor, Kathryn Bell)
Project Title: Childhood experiences and their impact on later adult functioning
Summary: The purpose of this study is to examine shame as a possible mechanism for the relationship between childhood emotional abuse and social anxiety symptoms. No known studies have investigated whether or not shame mediates the relationship between childhood emotional abuse and social anxiety symptoms. There is supporting evidence from research literature that indicates social anxiety disorder as a potential consequence of childhood emotional abuse. Identifying shame as a mediator of the relationship between childhood emotional abuse and social anxiety can direct both treatment and prevention options for children exposed to emotional abuse and those suffering from social anxiety. Participants will be recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (M*Turk), a crowdsourcing platform for data collection. M*Turk workers interested in participating will complete a qualification test to determine if they meet certain age and U.S. residency eligibility requirements. Those who meet the eligibility requirements will be invited through M*Turk to participate in the survey. Participants will then be directed to a SurveyMonkey link, where they will read the online consent form and complete the survey. Three hundred anticipated participants who consent to participate will then respond to online questionnaires assessing demographic information, adverse childhood experiences, shame, social anxiety, and emotional experiences. After completing the questionnaires, participants will be provided with debriefing information, including contact information for national mental health resources. At the end of the survey, participants will be given a survey code that they will then enter on M*Turk in order to receive their $2 compensation for participating in the study.
NOTE: Results of this project were presented at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies conference in New York, October, 2016

Student: Matthew Heim, Conservatory of Music (Mentor, Chad Loughrige)
Project Title: Cymatics – Nature’s Hidden Secrets
Summary: Very little is known about the study of cymatics and its unique and mysterious characteristics. After conducting preliminary research, it is apparent that information regarding the uses and applications of cymatics are primitive. I have successfully built my own cymatic viewing device that enables me to view detailed cymatic patterns while utilizing a speaker and amplifier, computer, tin dish, and water. After extensive research and experiments, including speaking with the world’s leading cymatics expert, I have realized that it is not practical nor possible for me to approach cymatics from a scientifically analytical point of view, as I have no ability to control the necessary variables in order to maintain a controlled environment. Factors such as environmental temperature, barometric pressure, water volume, and dish temperature dramatically impact the resulting pattern observed, rendering all hopes of obtaining consistent results void.Given this realization, I’ve concluded that it is possible and practical for my research to be considered an expression of art. Utilizing the technology accessible to me, I intend to compose and perform a musical piece to accompany cymatic images in real time by using the cymatic viewing device I created in conjunction with special software and equipment I own. My faculty advisor and I have concluded that this goal is obtainable given the current state of technology and would also be a worthy and creative accomplishment by introducing cymatics within a live performance setting. In order to accomplish this goal, I will audition musical notes on my cymatic viewing device and determine which notes possess the most intricate and vibrant patterns. I will record high quality video clips of the cymatic patterns on the iPhone 6. Using these distinctly selected notes, I will compose a melody while also composing a backing track for accompaniment. Once the piece is composed, I can then load the video clips of the notes that comprise the melody into special software called Grand Vjay. This software allows
the user to “play” video clips in real time using MIDI control surfaces (such as a keyboard) and project the feed onto a large screen. Since Vjay allows video components to be separate from audio components, I can determine which cymatic image I would like to display in real time along with my backing track, allowing me to “perform” a sequence of cymatic images. The potential application for such a performance would be live concerts in an arena, where MIDI is already used regularly as part of various performance aspects. Such concerts usually exhibit multiple video screens to reinforce music and lighting components. Other applications include solo performances in which one performer controls music, lights, and video all with MIDI control surfaces, bringing a new meaning to “one-man-band.” The goal for my research is to successfully compose a musical piece that showcases cymatic imagery in a live performance setting, that can be performed the same way each time without running into the issues of uncontrollable variables. In addition, a written paper explaining my entire research process and results will be composed with the goal of being published within various audio, academic, and research journals and magazines.
NOTE: Summer Scholar Project. Results were presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Memphis, TN, April 2017

Student: Matt McCroskey, Communication/Theatre – Electronic Media & Film (Mentor, Betsy Pike)
Project Title: Producing Narratives in Virtual Reality
Summary: In 2014, Facebook purchased the small startup Oculus for $2 billion, catalyzing a new wave of fascination for Virtual Reality (VR). This past year, Sundance Film Festival’s 10-year old “New Frontier” category for VR and other new media experiences showcased a record number of submissions, and Tribeca Film Festival opened up a new VR category in its 2016 festival. Beyond this, countless tech companies are rushing to capitalize on this wave. Two weeks ago, Google announced its new Daydream View headset to be compatible with its new Pixel phone line. This week, Sony released its PlayStation VR Headset for the PlayStation 4 console, making it the first home console manufacturer to support VR on their system. It is clear that in recent years, what was often dismissed as a gimmicky medium for storytelling has now found new life and a second chance as a viable method for communicating narratives. For this project, I will be embracing this new resurgence in VR and will be creating a narrative told through the medium of Virtual Reality. I will be combining both live-action 360º camera footage and computer generated graphics created in the 3D game engine Unity to create a 3 to 5-minute VR Music Video to be released primarily for mobile phone-based VR platforms. This project will be not only accessible by mobile VR platforms, but will also be available to view with any sort of device capable of viewing 360-degree videos.
Through this project, I hope not only to create a quality and immersive product but also hope to create a promotional campaign for this experience. I plan on also submitting this to various showcases of new media and virtual reality, and will figure out established ways of distribution to help promote the project.
NOTE: Honors student.

2015 Boyd Fund Awards

Student: Evan Eggleston, Psychology (Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Bell)
Project Title: How Do ROTC Students Differ From Non-ROTC Students in Their Pre-trauma Vulnerability?
Summary: The purpose of this project, which is also supported through the Summer Scholars program, is to determine pre-trauma vulnerability factors of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for ROTC and non-ROTC students. There are two specific questions that are to be answered by this study. Will ROTC students show higher levels of pre-trauma vulnerability than non-ROTC students? Will ROTC students demonstrate higher scores on measures of resiliency and social support than non-ROTC students? This project involves completion of an online survey by ROTC and non-ROTC students recruited at Capital University. The students will be recruited to participate via email. Power analyses will be conducted prior to the onset of data collection to determine adequate group sizes. The surveys will be completed anonymously and data will be collected through The survey will assess participants’ early trauma exposure, resiliency, social support, and emotion regulation – all factors that have been identified as pre-trauma variables impacting future PTSD risk. Additionally, the survey will collect information about participants’ demographic background. Participants will have an opportunity to enter a raffle to win prizes, such as gift cards to various stores/restaurants, as compensation for their participation.

Student: Tom Greenwood, Music Technology (Mentor: Chad Loughrige)
Project Title: SSL 4000 Bus Compressor Build
Summary: The purpose of this project is to bring together concepts and ideas presented through the four years of classes in Music Technology program. For this project, I would like to build an audio compressor. There are many do it yourself kits available with schematics and blogs guide the builder through each phase of construction. For this project I would like to build a replica of the classic SSL 4000 Bus Compressor. This famous compressor has been used on countless albums and is revered as one of the best compressors ever made.

Student: Tori Hanlin, Biological & Environmental Sciences (Mentor: Dr. Christine Anderson)
Project Title: Abundance and Distribution of White-Footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus) in Central versus Southeastern Ohio
Summary: This study has three goals: (1) to collect data on population abundance of Peromyscus leucopus in Blacklick Woods Metro Park in Central Ohio, (2) to compare the distribution of white-footed mice between edge and interior forest habitats at the park, and (3) to compare findings to Capital University’s field research site the Primmer Outdoor Learning Center in the southeastern part of the state. The Primmer Outdoor Learning Center is located in Logan, OH, approximately 45 miles southeast of Columbus. The 75-acre site contains seven distinct ecosystems, including grasslands, a secondary growth deciduous forest, a riparian forest, a 15-acre wetland, and groundwater streams. Two grids were set up at Primmer; one along an agricultural field (‘AG line’) and a small secondary growth forest patch (‘Woods grid’) and data was collected in 2012-2014. We are planning to continue the field sampling at Primmer during 2015 concurrently with data collection at Blacklick Woods Metro Park for a direct comparison.
This study will also train undergraduate students in field methods to collect data on the abundance and distribution of small mammals in forest-agricultural landscapes across the state. Students will also gain experience using plot and plotless methods to collect data on ground cover vegetation, density of understory vegetation, canopy tree species diversity, and canopy cover in order to compare sites. This work will also establish a new field site for field work related to small mammal diversity near Capital University in Columbus, OH, and also provide a study site to mentor high school capstone students at the eSTEM Academy at Reynoldsburg Summit High School through our new partnership. Overall, the justification for this project is for students to foster an appreciation for biodiversity by viewing organisms in their natural environments using accepted methods in the field. The plans for dissemination are given below.

Student: Marlee Mccloud, World Languages and Culture (Mentors: Drs. Stephanie Saunders and Alan Stam)
Project Title: Preserving Ties: Bribri Community and Agency in Yorkin, Talamanca, Costa Rica: Transcription and Linguistics
Summary: The purpose of this project is to be immersed in the cultural traditions of a woman-based community organization in the Bribri village of Yorkin, Costa Rica. After an economic decline in the village due to a disease infestation of their main source of income (cacao), a group of women created a craft cooperative called Estibrawpa to improve the village’s economic situation. The cooperative’s goals are to utilize cultural traditions of the community, to take care of the land that they inhabit, and to build a self-sustainable way of life. They attract tourists to the village to teach them about their indigenous culture in an attempt to not only help their economic situation, but to preserve their traditions and the environment. Over the years, the organization has had success by creating a cultural tourism business.
The product of our labor will be a how-to manual and book manuscript that supports both the goals of the Estibrawpa organization and our goals as a University. The Spanish version of the book will correlate with the organization’s goals of maintaining their indigenous culture and traditions. It will also provide a model for other indigenous cultures throughout the world to organize and develop touristic opportunities to preserve their own culture. In addition, the book will allow us to understand the Bribri approach to life in the rainforest. We will take note of the relationship between the Bribri people and their land.

Student: Gretchen Rutz, Conservatory of Music (Mentor: Dr. Tony Zilincik)
Project Title: Recording Traditional Four-Part Hymns for Public Access and Use
Summary: Traditional four-part hymns found in Lutheran, Methodist, and other Christian hymnals are a regular part in traditional Christian services. Keyboard arrangements and solo vocal renditions of hymns are found widely online, but there are no comprehensive collections of the traditional four-part hymns. Consistent vocal recordings of these hymns should be available to any and everyone with access to the internet. I intend to record a four-part a capella rendition of 100 selected hymns in the “Service Music” section of the Lutheran Service Book. This hymnal will provide the text, tune, and harmonies for all recording purposes. I will use YouTube to create a channel solely for these recordings. Concordia Publishing House is the publisher of the Lutheran Service Book hymnal from which I intend to record, and none of the hymns I will be recording are under copyright. The recordings will be edited by a music technician from Capital University and posted to a YouTube channel where they may be listened to by anyone with access to the internet. The resulting videos will have a static image of the music and will not be a video recording of the singers. (Honors project).

Student: Rachel Arnold, Psychology (Mentor: Dr. Andrea M. Karkowski)
Project Title: Effect of Emotional and Personality Variables as a Moderator for Physiological Responses to Gendered Microaggressions
Summary: Gender microaggressions are defined as brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative sexist slights and insults toward women (Nadal, 2010). Recent research has shown a significant negative relationship between experiencing microaggressions and overall mental health, but there is a lack of research focusing on gendered microaggressions and there is little empirical research that shows the biological stress response associated with facing such microaggressions. Research has shown that prolonged stress hormones being present can have extremely negative health effects (Kalman & Grahn, 2004; Hellhammer, Wust & Kudielka, 2009; Nadal, Griffin, Wong, Hamit, & Rasmus, 2012). Connecting experiences of microaggressions to heightened stress hormones levels can demonstrate the importance of stopping or decreasing the occurrence of microaggressions. Much research is qualitative – data gathered from focus groups and open discussions – and self-report, making finding suggestive and theoretical. By using quantitative methods, we can inspect the variance in individual responses to microaggressions without using self-reported measures, which are frequently proven to be inaccurate.
The results from this project will extend the research literature about gendered microaggressions by documenting the physiological responses of microaggressions. Results will be compiled into both a poster and a paper in order to allow for maximum dissemination to journals and conferences. (Honors project).