Research Tracks

A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

May 10, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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Baylor faculty member’s research sheds light on consumer attitudes toward sunless tanning products

For many people, having tanned skin is as much a part of springtime fashion as wearing shorts and tank tops. While new sunless tanning products promise a darker skin tone without exposure to damaging ultraviolet rays, a new Baylor study suggests that unless these bronzing creams, sprays and wipes can deliver an even, natural-looking tan, young women may not choose them over sunbathing or tanning beds.

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May 3, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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OVPR announces URSA Small Grant Program awards for FY 2014

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Achievement Steering Committee are proud to announce the results of the FY 2014 URSA Small Grants program. URSA Small Grants provide funding to faculty mentors who support undergraduate students conducting independent research or scholarship in their field.

Undergraduate students Josh Flores, Gabrielle Leonard, Rachel Calhoun, and Chris Gerac field questions from the audience following their presentation at the 2013 Scholars Week event.

Students who participate in URSA-funded research have the opportunity to work alongside graduate students and faculty on research projects that expand knowledge and help to solve real-world problems. Through exposure to research, students develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving and data analysis that make them better prepared to pursue graduate, medical or professional education after college. URSA-funded students also have the chance to hone their communication and presentation skills by participating in URSA Scholars Week, an annual campus-wide celebration of undergraduate scholarship (click here to read more Research Tracks coverage from the 2013 Scholars Week).

Please join the OVPR in congratulating each of this year’s URSA Small Grant recipients!

FY 2014 Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Achievement Small Grants Program

Dr. Tamarah Adair
Senior Lecturer, Department of Biology
College of Arts & Sciences
Variation of the effect of blue light on different strains of Staphylococus aureus
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Lori Baker
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
College of Arts & Sciences
Morphometric and Biogeochemical Skeletal Analysis of Deceased Undocumented Border Crossers
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Donna Burnett
Assistant Professor, Department of Family & Consumer Sciences
College of Arts & Sciences
Why College Students Gain Weight: A Qualitative Investigation
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Clay Butler
Senior Lecturer, English Department
College of Arts & Sciences
Managing Conflict Talk
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Pat Danley
Assistant Professor, Biology Department
College of Arts & Sciences
The Genetic Basis of Conspecific Aggression in Lake Malawi Cichlid Fishes
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Nathan Elkins
Assistant Professor, Department of Art, Art History
College of Arts & Sciences
Coinage and Power in the Reign of Nerva (AD 96-97)
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Shelby Garner
Lecturer, Louise Herrington School of Nursing
Picture This! The Use of Photovoice to Illuminate Perceived Challenges and Rewards of Nursing Identified by Future Nurses in Bangaluru, India
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Karol Hardin
Assistant Professor, Department of Modern Foreign Languges
College of Arts & Sciences
An Analysis of Spanish Language and Culture Education for Health Care Personnel
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Bill Hockaday
Assistant Professor, Geology Department
College of Arts & Sciences
An Analysis of Sampling Techniques for Particulate Organic Matter and Implications for Understanding River Carbon Cycling
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Bob Kane
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
College of Arts & Sciences
Characterization of Islet Surface Modification Chemistry
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Joaquin Lugo
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Arts & Sciences
Pharmacological Optimization of Learning and Memory
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Kevin Pinney
Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
College of Arts & Sciences
Structure Activity Relationship Studies Related to Small-Molecule Tubulin Binding Analogues
Abstract (PDF)

April 4, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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Scholars Week Preview: Can ‘green’ laundry products make children’s clothing less safe?

URSA Scholars Week is almost here!  Our annual celebration of undergraduate scholarship takes place April 8-11, 2013.  Click here to visit the URSA website for a complete schedule and more information about the event.

As more and more people become concerned about the effects of their daily activities on the environment, increasing numbers of consumers are choosing to purchase household cleaning products made from natural ingredients.

Haley Moore, a Katy, Texas, junior majoring in apparel merchandising, says that while these products are considered less harmful to the environment than their synthetic counterparts, their use may have unintended consequences.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Rinn Cloud, the Mary Gibbs Jones Endowed Chair in Textile Science in the department of family and consumer sciences, Moore designed and carried out experiments to test the effects of organic laundry detergent on the flame-resistance properties of fabrics like those used in children’s sleepwear.

“I became interested in this issue while taking a class with Dr. Cloud last year,” she says. “There’s a growing trend toward ‘green’ products in every aspect of the apparel industry, but I wondered if these products might have an effect on safety.”

Moore began with samples of flame-resistant fabric of the type commonly used in children’s sleepwear.  She washed one set of samples using organic, plant-based detergent, while washing another, identical set of samples using conventional detergent. After running the fabric through a full 50 wash cycles, Moore used a flame chamber to expose the samples to fire.  She then measured the amount of charring on the laundered fabric and on an unwashed control sample to determine the effects of the different products.

Her results suggest that fabrics may lose more of their flame-resistant properties through repeated washing washed in organic detergent compared to conventional products.

“Obviously, flame resistance is a key issue in clothing for children,” she says. “This project shows that more research is needed to determine whether these environmentally friendly products may make clothing less safe.”

Moore’s research was supported by a grant from the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Small Grants program.  She will present the results of her project during Scholars Week’s poster sessions on April 10 and 11 in the atrium of the Baylor Sciences Building.