Kirmser Undergraduate Research Award

2017 Winners

Individual Freshman Category: Emma Brase (psychology)
“Visual Neglect and Mental Representations: Current Status and Issues”
PSYCH 110: General Psychology
Course instructor: Jessica Williamson, instructor of psychology

Emma’s literature review, which was completed for honors credit, covered a wide range of sources on the topic of visual neglect dating from the 1970s to the present. Her advanced discussion of the phenomenon deftly explored the causes of visual neglect and considered multiple studies that document its neuropsychological effects and resulting disorders of input.

Individual Non-Freshman Category: Noelle Doty (communications studies)

“Caught in the Middle: Empowerment in Middle Managers”
COMM 550: Senior Colloquium
Course instructor: Greg Paul, associate professor of communications studies

Starting with existing theories of empowerment, Noelle developed her own hypothesized structural model showing the relationships between role ambiguity, role conflict, empowerment, organizational commitment and job satisfaction. She then designed and distributed a survey to test this model. Noelle drew multiple thoughtful conclusions from her data analysis, including the observations that when middle managers experience high levels of role ambiguity, their empowerment decreases, and that their role conflicts are related to both organizational commitment and job satisfaction.

Group Category: Tia’ Gamble (economics and business management), Connor Knutson, (entrepreneurship), and Caitlyn Webb (accounting and economics)

“First Watch Franchise Expansion Proposal”
ENGL 417: Written Communication for the Workplace
Course instructor: Maggie Borders, instructor of English

The group completed an expansive market analysis of the Flint Hills in order to determine the feasibility of First Watch’s expansion into Manhattan. Not only did they use the Libraries’ research databases in economics and restaurant industries, but they also created and administered surveys, held a focus group with potential consumers, and conducted interviews with the owners of existing local eateries. Tia’, Connor, and Caitlyn considered the financial, social and environmental criteria that would be vital to the company’s decision. They plan to submit their report to First Watch headquarters.

Honorable Mentions

Emily Allan: “A Dem Fine Woman”: Female Artists and Actresses’ Visual Representations of Beautiful Evil

Kaley Brungardt, Megan Richards, Kendra Schuette: Microfluidic Devices for Rapid Disease Diagnosis: A Fluidic Study

Karen Palacios: “Wow, I wish I had known!” How Social Capital Affects Hispanic Parent’s Dreams of Sending their Children to College

Amanda Reichenberger: Competition and Risk Aversion