GEL AwardsDrawing

GEL Awards


Fall 2015

Criminal Justice Engaged Learning Experience

GEL 625
Project Lead:  Marcy Hehnly
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  It is the goal of the Criminal Justice Department to see students through to graduation by giving them the best overall education they can receive. As a department, we pride ourselves on experiential learning. Students within our program study police, courts, corrections and other areas of public safety. Having taken students from my last school to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I can tell you first hand these experiences for students are everlasting. This experience is a great capstone to the criminal justice program as students take what they have learned and are able to see the rich history of how individual organizations operate. The experience will apply to "Directed Study, CJ 491R." The criminal justice department will incorporate what students learn in the classroom and visit organizations such as the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Supreme Court, East State Penitentiary, Constitutional Center, and other historic and operating criminal justice agencies housed in both Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

We are taking ten students on this educational trip the second week in May, during "National Law Enforcement Memorial Week." This is a time where people from all over the world gather in Washington D.C. to honor the fallen with a week-long list of events. In addition to this major event, students will visit other key points of interest they have studied within their criminal justice classes. After attending the various events, locations, and learning experiences in Washington, we will drive to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where students will continue their educational journey. In both locations students will be educated on agencies and locations that focus on policing, courts, and corrections while hearing from current/practicing professionals in the respective areas. This will be an experience that many of our students would not otherwise have to tie classroom instruction to engaged learning.

Feasibility Study of a UVU-based Community Agency Research Support Center

GEL 626
Project Lead:  Ron Hammond
Amount:  $9,710
Description:  The purpose of this grant is to obtain funds that will be used to support a feasibility study of community-based need for a well-designed research support center at UVU. The primary function of this center would be to provide extremely low cost agency research support to the Utah and Salt Lake County non-profit agencies, while engaging UVU students in undergraduate research designed to engage them in local agency service. The core of both the feasibility study and any future center is the implementation of UVU students as evaluator-assistants, in and among these agencies. More and more, donors, government agencies, and foundations are demanding statistical proof of the value these agencies claim to add through their service. But, most agencies lack the funds or knowledge adequate to conduct their own research. We are seeking funding for the feasibility study. Dr. Hammond will mentor UVU Junior and Senior BESC students taking his research classes who will conduct the following research tasks: a survey of Utah and Salt Lake County non-profit agencies to assess their need; a content analysis of the best practices in the body of literature on community-based engaged research for undergraduates; an analysis of the practices of similar centers with websites, identifying their protocols and procedures; and the final development of a white paper synthesizing the results of their research efforts into an informed description of a potential center which can be presented to administrators, donors, and others as a viable center worthy of funding and support.

Conflict Resolution, the Palestine/Israel Conflict

GEL 627
Project Lead:  John Macfarlane
Amount:  $2,568
Description:  Utah Valley University students have the opportunity to participate in research dealing with one of the most important issues in world politics, the Palestine/Israel conflict. UVU students will speak to both Palestinian students and Israeli students during their research. They will take classes from professors at four different universities in the Middle East. The Utah Regents' Task Force on General Education stated that an educated person should "appreciate diversity" and possess the abilities "to integrate ethical, cultural, and historical considerations" in their education and "to relate another's humanity to one's own." UVU students will immerse themselves in studying and living the Palestine/Israel conflict. Students will develop and administer a survey to students at the University of Jordan in Ammon, Birseit University in Ramallah, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Netanya Academic College north of Tel Aviv.

Over time a large number of students will benefit from this program by applying the survey data and analysis they learn from students who participated in the research as well as the real world experience gained from participants. This research will prepare them for careers in conflict resolution, humanitarian agencies, diplomacy, political science, and history. This will give students an advantage over other graduates who have not had these experiences. UVU will gain a reputation for giving their students practical experience and expertise in an area that is vital to understanding global issues.

Impact of Phragmites Australis and Phragmites Americanus destruction by Glyphosate-based herbicide application on Utah Lake water quality

GEL 628
Project Lead:  Eddy Cadet
Amount:  $9,682
Description:  The introduction of Phragmites Australis in the 1980s has dramatically impacted the ecosystem of Utah Lake. This invasive species have choked out native plants, reducing biodiversity and decreasing the aesthetic value of the lake. State Legislators have thus allocated significant funding for its elimination. The current method of removal involves aerial application of glyphosate-based herbicides followed by mowing, leaving the roots in the sediment. Studies have shown that Phragmites plants sequesters trace metals in its roots. Its management in this fashion only recycles the contaminants into the lake. While it is important to control proliferation of P. Australis for ecosystem stability, its removal must be done holistically and thoughtfully. This study evaluates the impact of Phragmites spp. destruction by herbicide (with glyphosate) on water quality. P. Australis and P. Americanus will be grown in four replicates from cuttings obtained from Utah Lake in a greenhouse hydroponic system for three months. After 14 days of propagation, cuttings will be placed into the growth medium spiked with three different concentrations (5.0, 10.0 and 20.0 mg kg-1) of PCB and trace metals (As, Cd, Zn Pb Hg Cr...). Water quality will be determined before, during and after the growth period and CO2, light intensity and humidity levels will be recorded. A modified Hoagland solution will be added every seven days to maintain normal growth of the plants. After three months one of the replicate plants will be harvested, divided into root, stem and leaves, digested in a Microwave system and analyzed for trace metals content using the ICP-OES. The herbicide (Aqua Neat) will then be applied by spray for plant destruction for the remaining (three) plants. After destruction, the growth media will be analyzed for trace metal levels and compared with the control to determine changes in contaminant concentrations.

Earthquake Preparedness in the Wasatch Front and Indonesia

GEL 629
Project Lead:  Sarah Hall
Amount:  $5,308
Description:  The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 claimed more than 230,000 lives. Although there was time to move to safe ground, many did not act due to lack of education, preparation, and warning. Indonesia has most of the world's earthquakes, which are likely to generate tsunamis. Furthermore, Indonesia is one of the most densely populated places in the world. In addition, geologists predict that in the next 50 years, there is a 25% probability of a large earthquake in the Wasatch Front region. Education about how to respond to earthquakes can prevent injury and save thousands of lives.

Dr. Hall's Social Promotion class teamed up with In Harm's Way, an emerging local nonprofit organization striving to disseminate earthquake education programs to individuals in Indonesia and the Wasatch Front. Four of these market students are focusing on the Wasatch Front by conducting an assessment of current knowledge of earthquake protection behaviors, creating a pre-test/post-test assessment for educational programs, developing a full marketing plan, and creating marketing materials for the organization.

Pending funding, two of these students would like to extend their reach into a year-long supervised applied engaged learning project delving into the Indonesia program. This project would include three main components: (1) health education, (2) program assessment, and (3) social promotion. Specifically, students will travel to Indonesia with the instructor and In Harm's Way staff for 3-4 weeks to train local people to conduct education programs, provide pre-test/post-test assessments to ascertain change in community knowledge levels, and take video and photographs of the efforts to be integrated into the partner organization's marketing materials. This engaged learning project allows students to gain "real-world" experience in health education efforts, program evaluation, and marketing. It also provides much-needed knowledge to both the local and international community with potential to save lives.

High-Frequency Ultrasound of Breast Cancer Surgical Margins: Clinical Study Correlations using Advanced Phantoms

GEL 630
Project Lead:  Colleen Hough
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  Breast cancer is the second most prevalent cancer among women, affecting one out of eight in their lifetime. Upon cancer detection many women undergo breast conservation surgery (lumpectomy) as a form of treatment. Currently, one of every five patients undergoes subsequent surgeries due to the failure to remove all of the cancer during the initial surgery. The ability to differentiate between malignant and normal tissues during surgery would enable the surgeon to remove all of the cancer from the affected region in the breast, thereby reducing the risk of recurrence and need for subsequent surgeries. Two clinical studies conducted at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, comprising 90 patients in total, showed that high-frequency (HF) ultrasound (20-80 MHz), and in particular the ultrasonic parameters peak density and attenuation, were sensitive to breast tissue pathology. However, the results also revealed a need for incorporating patient-specific data, such as breast density, into our current testing methods as well as new methods for analyzing and interpreting the data. Due to the difficulty of obtaining and maintaining human tissue specimens in a laboratory setting, ultrasonic phantoms (tissue mimicking synthetic materials) must be made in order to better understand the data and refine the testing methods. A variety of phantoms made from both agarose and polyacrylamide will be developed and tested with HF ultrasound in order to define the correct and most accurate testing and data analysis methods. These phantom experiments are of the utmost importance in order to develop and validate HF ultrasound as an essential and commercially available diagnostic tool for hospitals and surgeons. These critical phantom experiments will be conducted over a period extending from October 2015 - May 2016. If successful, these experiments and subsequent research will dramatically improve treatment methods and patient care through faster recovery times and large cost reductions.

Math Forensic Conference for High School Students

GEL 631
Project Lead:  Violeta Vasilevska
Amount:  $8,860
Description:  Following the huge success of the first Math Forensics conference for high school students "Whodunite, Howdunite, Whendunite" ( held in May 2014, this GEL Seed Grant is requested to organize a second annual one-day conference on Math and Forensics. The main goals of the conference are (1) to show high school participants the importance of forensics and the role of math in forensics, (2) to provide UVU math and forensics students with an opportunity to lead workshops in their fields of study, and (3) to recruit students to UVU. Tentatively, the conference is planned for the first week of May, and as last year we expect to accommodate about 120 high school students, about 15 high school teacher, 15 undergraduate students, and UVU Math and Forensics faculty. The UVU math faculty (Dr. Vasilevska) will lead two problem-solving activities that apply math to forensics (fingerprint analysis and estimating time of death), and a team from the UVU Forensic Science Program will set up improvised crime scenes and will lead the high school students in hands-on crime investigations. Each of the undergraduate students will work with a group of 7-8 students on these projects during the conference and in addition will lead the high school students' groups in the crime scene investigations. In addition, discussions about college and college life will be encouraged between both student groups. The team from the Forensics Science Program (led by Dr. Matthew Duffin) will train the undergraduate students to be able to lead the high school students through the crime scene investigations. In addition, following the success of the panel discussion from the first conference, efforts will be made to bring again speakers that will talk about their careers in Forensics and how they use math in their everyday jobs.

Nature to the Classroom

GEL 632
Project Lead:  Scott Williams
Amount:  $4,768
Description:  Nature to the Classroom is a project conceived of and facilitated by UVU upper division students and faculty in the Department of Exercise Science and Outdoor Recreation. This program recruits 16 elementary school teachers from Utah to take part in a weekend program designed to get elementary school students more engaged in the outdoors. The program will take place at Utah Valley University's Field Station at Capitol Reef National Park. Students and faculty are working together to design a curriculum to do the following: 1) Identify how outdoor principles can be integrated into lesson plans and what current constraints exist; 2) Collaborate with teachers to identify the societal problems associated with children's lack of physical activity, detachment from nature and preoccupation with cell phones, television and video games; 3) Engagement with the teachers in outdoor activities to give them examples of activities they can use with their students, both in and out of the classroom; and 4) Follow up with the teachers throughout the following year to assist and monitor changes in elementary school student learning outcomes.

Culinary Arts Institute Garden

GEL 633
Project Lead:  Stuart Stein
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  It is our desire to establish a mini-farm at Utah Valley University's Culinary Arts Institute. This mini-farm would begin with the Spring 2016 growing season, and consist of a 1/4 acre of cultivation broken down into approximately 40 - 100 foot rows of vegetables grown on the grounds in very close proximity to the Culinary Arts Institute. Our plot will be initially set up and made ready by local farm expert David Bell of David Bell Organics who will plow the grounds, and amended with five tones of organic compost. All production methods will be in line with current organic standards as defined by the National Organic Program. The farm will serve as a demonstration garden to showcase the beauty and diversity of edible landscaping in an urban setting. Additionally, it would be a teaching garden tended by CAI's culinary students and faculty where all would gain an insight to the entire farm to table concept. On our faculty is chef Stuart Stein, CEC, author of The Sustainable Kitchen - Passionate Cooking Inspired by Farms, Forests and Oceans (New Society Publishers, 2004), one of the first "earth to table" cookbooks published. Additionally, Chef Stein brings over 20 years of experience working with local / sustainable farms in an institutional and restaurant setting.

Protecting Utah County Rock Art

GEL 634
Project Lead:  Melissa Hempel
Amount:  $6,250
Description:  Utah County Prehistoric rock art (petroglyphs) locations are irreplaceable cultural resources that contribute to our collective history relating to archaeology, art history and Native American culture. Found in the Lake Mountains, these sites exist in areas that sometimes experience increased use, and a recent increase in vandalism caused by target shooting has seen a number of them damaged (as documented by local and national news outlets).

To help preserve this resource, we are proposing a project that will benefit the cultural resource, UVU students, the public, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM - who will act as a community partner). The proposed project has three components: To assist in protecting and preserving the art, students focusing in Anthropology, Art/Art History, and American Indian Studies will first document the rock art panels (potentially including undiscovered Rock Art) using photography and field sketches. Second, students will write didactic and interpretative texts discussing the rock art's importance in human prehistory, archaeological interpretations, and Native American perspectives. Lastly, the student team will produce a catalog and exhibition (first shown on-site as a pop-up museum near the Lake Mountains) of their findings and research, promoting awareness of and responsible interactions with Utah County rock art. Content will later show at the Woodbury Art Museum and may adapt to a catalog/trail brochure for BLM use.

Spring 2015

Jack Rabbit II - Dugway Proving Ground - Student Support for Engagement in Chlorine Releases

GEL 616
Project Lead:  Andrew Byrnes
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  The Department of Defense designated Dugway Proving Ground Utah as a Major Range and Test Facility Base for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Improvised Explosive Testing. Dugway provides developmental and operational outdoor field testing using chemical and biological simulants as well as having developmental laboratories and chamber testing using a full array of actual chemical and biological agents.  Our UVU students have an opportunity now and in the future to partake in paid and unpaid internships while assisting and working directly with allied professionals and the Nation's top scientific minds in this important research using state of the art equipment and facilities.  Students will be trained and supervised by DHS CSAC Scientists, DPG personnel and UVU liaison faculty from Emergency Services.

Implementing CUR Recommendations: Expanding the high impact practice of undergraduate research within the curriculum

GEL 617
Project Lead:  Jessica Hill
Amount:  $9,800
Description:  The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU) suggests 10 high impact practices gathered from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE; AACU, 2015). We propose that while UVU implements most of these practices well, there is a weakness associated with the implementation of undergraduate research. Typically, many faculty use the traditional apprenticeship model of scholarship, which consists of one faculty member mentoring a small group of one to five self-motivated, higher-achieving students. Instead of this typical model, we will implement larger-scale faculty supervised research experiences with a peer-mentorship component. This will be in the context of a learning community between general psychology and a lower-level research course in psychology. Specifically, we will recruit a targeted subset of 25 PSY1010 students enrolled in a large hybrid section being implemented in the fall. Over the summer, students who are at risk will be recruited via the Stoplight System for participation taking into consideration gender, ethnicity, first-generation status, and age. During the off-day for the hybrid course, students will meet for an hour to learn the basics of research human behavior. Throughout the semester, they will conduct four mini-projects that will allow them to explore their own questions and ideas within specific boundaries. In addition to the learning community structure, we will include a peer mentorship component. Five senior behavioral science students, who have had at least one year of research experience, will be compensated to act as mentors to the at-risk students. The senior student will meet individually with each of their five assigned students for two hours during the week to assist them with coursework for either course or research.

English Undergraduate Research in Environmental Studies

GEL 618
Project Lead:  Linda Shelton
Amount:  $3,624
Description:  Research shows that high impact educational practices give positive experience to all kinds of students. If we hope to offer undergraduate research as one of those practices, it should not just be for upper division students in specialized courses. First year students in freshman English who need to connect with a community of scholarly writers can gain the skills needed for that kind of writing with a high impact experience at UVU's Capitol Reef Field Station. English 2010 students often view research writing as drudgery with little connection to their real world. This project gives them an opportunity to personally experience their research subject. Students choose a topics related to the Capitol Reef area and environmental studies in general such as air pollution, water conservation, the geology, wildlife, plants, history, sustainable energy sources, etc. After writing preliminary findings on their topic, students take a field trip to the Capitol Reef Field Station and compare those findings with an up-close and personal experience. They plan the itinerary of the trip to focus on their research topics. While at the field station, they receive instruction on site about sustainability on the Colorado Plateau and share with each other research finds. After the trip, they revise their initial papers to reflect new insight about their topic. The striking features of the Capitol Reef area motivate students to learn to become stewards of that land and bring that educated stewardship back to their home communities.

Occurrence and Distribution of selected trace metals in surface and groundwater resources and stream sediments of the Northern Peninsula of Haiti

GEL 619
Project Lead:  Eddy Cadet
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  Haiti is among one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere. With a population of over 8 million, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. There are major concerns regarding water quality in Haiti. Because of the overwhelming poverty and poor sanitary conditions through the country, concerns for water quality have focused on biological contamination of the water supply, ignoring other risk factors that may contribute to morbidity and mortality.  A key water quality concern not connected to infectious disease is the accumulation of toxic trace metals in stream sediments and water resources. Trace metals are naturally occurring elements which when present in the environmental in elevated quantities can be carcinogenic to humans and cause harm to the ecosystem. In addition to agricultural practices, which utilize animal wastes as fertilizer, there are numerous industries, including mining operations in Haiti, all of which are important sources of trace metal contaminants. Many of these operations are located near water resources. To date there is a scarcity of studies focusing on trace metal contamination of the water supply.  The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the occurrence and distribution of trace metals in surface and ground waters supplies and stream sediments in the Northern Peninsula of Haiti. Findings of this study will be used as baseline data for future work, increase awareness among governmental officials of risks associated with certain operations and for better management of the water supply. Triplicate surface water, ground and sediment samples will be collected by 7 UVU students from 21 sites identified using existing water resource maps. Samples will be filtered on site, placed in polyethylene containers, and stored at 4 C. In UVU laboratories, samples will be acid digested using EPA Methods in a MARS unit then analyzed in the ICP-OES.

Citizen Hydrology and Compressed-Air Hydropower for Rural Electrification in Haiti

GEL 620
Project Lead:  Steven Emerman
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  This project on hydropower for rural electrification in Haiti is a combined effort of Profs. Eddy Cadet (Earth Science), Steven Emerman (Earth Science), Michael Minch (Philosophy), Kevin Shurleff (Chemistry), and their students.  Two recent engineering and computational innovations by UVU faculty and students have the potential for vastly reducing the cost of installation of hydropower in Haiti and the rest of the developing world.  Prof. Shurtleff and his students have shown that the use of wind and solar energy to compress air can generate electricity for $20 per megawatt-hour, in contrast to the conventional World Bank practice of funding photovoltaic cells for $156 per megawatt-hour.  The use of falling water to compress air would be even simpler and cheaper, but the measurements of stream discharge that are critical for the development of hydropower require a manpower of hydrologic technicians that is prohibitive in remote and impoverished areas of the world.  However, Prof. Emerman and his students have mined the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) database of nearly four million simultaneous measurements of stream stage (height of the water surface above a fixed level) and discharge to develop a new classification of rivers so that stream discharge can now be estimated from stream stage alone.  The initial objectives of this project are to (1) develop and evaluate a prototype compressed-air hydropower station along a mountainous reach of the Provo River in Utah, (2) organize local residents to monitor stream stage at ten stream sites in rural Haiti.  The citizen hydrology in Haiti will be facilitated by Prof. Cadet, a native of Haiti, and Prof. Minch, who is well-connected with NGOs in Haiti.  Completion of the initial objectives will be the basis for a USAID grant proposal for installation of a compressed-air hydropower station at one of the stream sites in rural Haiti.

Monitoring and Increased Awareness of Pollution within Capitol Reef National Park

GEL 621
Project Lead:  Kim Nielsen
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  This project establishes a student-oriented infrastructure of atmospheric pollution monitoring at the Capitol Reef Field Station.  The project commits towards public awareness, extensive student projects, incorporation into curriculum, and encourage usage of obtained data across disciplines.  This engaged seed project would provide students with excellent opportunities to develop/propose their own projects and pursue internal funds such as SAC and URSCA, while providing an opportunity for faculty to seek external funding from agencies such as National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Park Foundation.  The pollutants to be measured include the ozone and particulate matter (most harmful to pulmonary function in animals), and Carbon dioxide and methane (greenhouse gasses).  The pristine environment of Capitol Reef National Park, and the location of the field station permit monitoring of both sound and light pollution, as both quiet and dark environments are nearly extinct  in the US.  The traditional pollutants and sound pollution will be measured using a variety of gas/pressure sensors, while the sky brightness pollution will be monitored by a sensitive all-sky imaging system similar to a system recently designed by Prof. Nielsen (under a SAC award).  Students will construct all instruments.  The instruments provide a plethora of data to be used in classrooms (both physics and across disciplines like earth science and mathematics) and research project for students interested in instrument development, air pollution, and global changes.  The presence of the instruments at the field station will add to the inventory and are aligned with the mission of both the field station and the park.  With the newly established high-speed Internet at the field station, data will be uploaded to mobile app platforms, the park visitor center and UVU main campus where real-time monitoring displays inform the public, and students and faculty about the research activities.

Identification of mosquito blood meals using high-resolution melt PCR

GEL 622
Project Lead:  Janice Sugiyama
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  Last year, thanks to GEL funding, we developed a cost-effective and highly sensitive method to screen mosquito blood meals and determine the species ingested.  So far, we can differentiate between the 5 most likely mammalian hosts for mosquito feeding: human, horse, cow, deer, and dog.  We are now in the process of analyzing over 800 trapped mosquitoes from various locales of Salt Lake and Utah counties to track feeding patterns.  We also plan to follow-up the development of our assay in hopes of publishing our novel findings in a peer-reviewed journal, and expand this line of research by applying for external funding.

Mosquitoes contribute to more human deaths per year than any other source via blood meal transmission of vector-mediated pathogens.  The continued goal of this proposal is to collaborate with Utah and Salt Lake county mosquito abatement offices and determine mosquito-feeding preferences in Utah.  Understanding local mosquito epidemiology is the most effective means of preventing vector-mediated disease.

Noorda Center Touring Production of Carry On, Mr. Bowditch: Improving Math Attitudes through Theatre

GEL 624
Project Lead:  John Newman
Amount:  $7,000
Description:  A team of fourteen UVU students will perform and design a theatrical adaptation of Jean Lee Latham's novel, Cary On, Mr. Bowditch, at twelve school in and around Utah Valley, performing for over 3000 elementary and secondary school students and providing interactive workshops for 300 students in their classrooms.  This will be the Noorda Center's first theatre production focused n a STEM theme. The pre- and post-show workshops represent a new approach in educational outreach for a theatre production.
This will be the first time that the Jean Lee Latham's 1955 Newbery Medal wining book will be performed on stage. The title character in the play is a lesser-known American hero. As Nathaniel Bowditch grows up in Salem, Massachusetts, he dreams of studying at Harvard. However, when he is indentured at the age of twelve to serve nine years as a bookkeeper, Nat teaches himself navigation, astronomy, mathematics, and the languages necessary to read the major books in those fields. Once he completes his indenture, Nat signs on as a ship's clerk and mate. As he teaches astronomy and mathematics to sailors who can barely count on their fingers, Nat is able to raise their vision and increase their skills so that they are able to become officers and improve their futures. The play demonstrates how learning and applying mathematics can improve young people's vocational opportunities. The play features scenes in which Nat's calculations ensure the safety of his crew and all crews who use his almanac. The performances will been enhanced by video projects of Nat's calculations and diagrams and supplemented by outreach materials for teachers. The performances will be augmented by classroom workshops, taught by UVU students in role, in which scenes from the play will be expanded to explore the mathematical concepts that Nathaniel Bowditch taught.

Fall 2014

Epicenter University Innovation Fellows at UVU

GEL 601
Project Lead:  Andrew Byrnes
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  Communications equipment, acquired through this proposal, will provide the student the experiences with real world situations, using current communications technology, needed to create more competent and safe emergency responders to serve the community and the greater region. It will also provide the student with an appreciation and a feeling of responsibility and stewardship for valuable community funds and resources.
In accordance with the UVU Engagement Model, students will develop professional skills and technical competence by using this equipment. These skills will then allow them to better serve the communities in which they will be working and create a mutually beneficial engaged relationship. Within four years, 79% of all RCA graduates are working in our communities as emergency service professionals. (RCA Graduate Study, 2013)

Modification of science attitude: Effects of Neuroscience high school classroom visits

GEL 602
Project Lead:  Claudia Lieberwirth
Amount:  $8,390
Description:  The project will create the first Neuroscience Outreach Program in the Alpine School District and provide UVU undergraduate students with the opportunity to obtain a more in-depth knowledge about the brain. It will also engage UVU undergraduate students by developing engaged teaching skills, obtaining research experience, and acquiring applied research skills—experiences and skills that are necessary for admission to and success in graduate and professional programs. Thus, this project has three distinct components: (1) Recruiting of high school science classrooms in the Alpine School District and teaching Neuroscience educational classes in these classrooms. (2) Recruiting UVU undergraduate students, who are interested in science. These students will be trained to teach these Neuroscience educational classes in a high school classroom setting, before they go to local high schools to conduct the Neuroscience outreach. (3) Recruiting UVU undergraduate students who are interested in obtaining research experience. Specifically, we will assess the science attitudes of high school students before and after the high school classroom educational classes. Further, we will compare the science attitudes between female and male high school students. Knowledge about potential gender differences in science attitude may allow us to develop necessary steps to alleviate such attitude differences.

High-Frequency Ultrasound to Research and Diagnose Autoimmune Disease

GEL 603
Project Lead:  Timothy Doyle
Amount:  $9,975
Description:  The purpose of this study is to expand UVU’s high-frequency ultrasound technology to develop new laboratory and clinical techniques for autoimmune diseases. By demonstrating that high-frequency ultrasound is sensitive to T-cell activation, it would be possible to use this technique to explore the mechanisms of T-cell-mediated autoimmunitiy for various diseases, test new autoimmune therapies in cell cultures, and provide a more definitive diagnosis of autoimmune disease from T cells isolated from a patient’s blood sample. The project is also an exceptional vehicle for engaging students in medical research; for expanding on UVU’s collaboration with the University of Utah’s Medical Center and Huntsman Cancer Institute; and for having the potential to give new technology to the worldwide community to improve the health of hundreds of millions of people afflicted with an autoimmune disease.

Math-Forensics Conference for High School Students

GEL 604
Project Lead:  Violeta Vasilevska
Amount:  $9,110
Description:  The Seed GEL Grant is requested to help fund a one-day conference on Math and Forensics for high school students from the surrounding area. The proposed title of the conference is “Crime doesn’t pay, but it does add up: Applications of Math to Forensic Science.”
The main goals of the conference are (1) to show high school participants the importance of forensics and the role of math in forensics, (2) to provide UVU math and forensics students with an opportunity to lead workshops in their fields of study, and (3) to recruit students to UVU.

Where were the first Europeans living? Paleoclimate and Paleoenvironment of Isernia La Pineta (Molise, Italy)

GEL 605
Project Lead:  Alessandro Zanazzi
Amount:  $9,953
Description:  In this project, several UVU students will be engaged in an attempt to answer some of the most critical questions in paleoclimate and human evolution. The study will be conducted at the archeological site of Isernia La Pineta (Italy) which records the first settlement of early humans on the continent. The main goal of the project is to study the climate and environment of this site via carbon and oxygen isotope analysis of mammalian tooth enamel. The data collected in this project will be used to try to answer the following three specific questions:
1) How was the environment in southern Italy 600 thousand years ago, particularly with respect to C3 and C4 plant abundance, mean annual temperature, and mean annual precipitation?
2)  How seasonal was the climate with respect to changes in temperature and precipitation?
3) How did the climate and environment affect the human migration to the European continent? The answers to these questions will provide significant insights into the environments in which early humans evolved and into the cause of the late human colonization of the European continent.

Logging On The Salt

GEL 606
Project Lead:  Todd Low
Amount:  $9,000
Description:  The Wolverine Racing Team at Utah Valley University would like to continue their involvement and participation at the 2015 “World of Speed” on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Data logging and engine data analysis is absolutely necessary for any future improvement for the land speed car. The installation and wiring of various sensors along with modern, state of the art equipment will put our students/Racing Team near the front of the competition. The modern technology on many of today’s automobiles involves sophisticated computers and sensors. Data Logging and engine analysis is the new norm in the automotive performance world. The Wolverine Racing Team needs more exposure to the high tech world of data logging and all of the information and opportunities it can bring. The Gel Grant “Logging on the Salt” will provide a springboard to launch our students into the world of data logging and engine analysis. During the training in the automotive department, the students learn about various sensors and what they do and how they are used. When the race team installs sensors on the engine and surrounding areas, they actually get to see and experience how sensors work. The students will have to calibrate and verify the accuracy of the sensors in order to use the data that they will collect. Each student on the race team will get to experience in specific areas and understand the system as a whole. Students will receive extra training in order to be able to analyze the data and make accurate adjustments. The students will be getting hands-on practice using some very sophisticated equipment.


GEL 607
Project Lead:  Doug Gardner
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  A growing body of empirical research supports the premise that literacy gains are greatest when reading becomes an interactive, social, interpersonal activity. Read-a-Difference is a holistic effort to promote literacy using empirically informed practices, and with an aim towards building intrinsic motivations. This approach is marked by:
1. A focus on social: Read-a-Difference will launch a social media campaign wherein individuals are challenged to share why reading matters to them in a short video and post it to social media.
2. Proximal incentives: Rather than rewards that have little to do with reading (e.g., a pizza party), Read-a-Difference will launch a reading challenge partnering with local schools, with incentives built around meeting, interacting with, and having a literacy-centered experience with prominent local authors.
3. Exposure rather than pages: The literacy contest will emphasize diversity of reading rather than quantity of pages. Students will track reading based on the number and variety of genres which they have read (e.g., poetry, mystery, comic, science fiction, etc.) rather than number of pages. Evidence shows that this gives students the opportunity to discover what appeals to them, while not disadvantaging slower or less advanced readers.
4. Interaction: UVU Elementary Education majors will mentor and interact with the students to build a social element to the reading experience and reinforce the link between reading and relationships.
5. Research: We will conduct research to gauge learning and attitudinal changes to assess the efficacy of our model.

Spanish General Education Development Preparation Course

GEL 608
Project Lead:  Jenni Bloomfield
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  The Spanish GED Preparation course as offered by the UVU School Community University Partnership aims to eliminate barriers for the local Latino population to open the doors to continuing their education, starting with obtaining the GED certificate. Two important barriers our program will continue to address are cost and availability. We operate this course for free on Saturday mornings; no other Spanish GED Preparation course in Utah Valley bridges this important gap.
We will achieve our goal by using small groups tutored by trained UVU students with knowledge in academic success. We measure success in the program by student attendance, successful completion of all class work, and, most importantly, successful completion of the GED. Each student creates their own educational goal and deadline by which they want to achieve that goal. Our purpose is to help each student achieve their personal academic goals, as well as help grow the educated population of Utah Valley by focusing on underrepresented groups who desire to improve their family's future and the future of their communities.

PlayStreet Provo

GEL 609
Project Lead:  Luke Peterson
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  PlayStreet Provo is a cooperative effort between the Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Public Service Academy at UVU, Downtown Provo, Inc., and the City of Provo, to resurrect Downtown Provo as a place of community, commerce, and civic engagement.
Last year, thanks to GEL Funding, the Public Service Academy was able to conduct a pro bono study on behalf of Downtown Provo, Inc., to identify ways to drive greater commercial and civic activity in downtown.. We identified a Play Street as the optimal method for reintroducing the idea of pedestrian/urban exploration back into the local culture, and on July 19, held a pilot PlayStreet on 100 West in Provo. That event drew over 6,500 visitors who learned about how to become more involved, walked the streets, and engaged in civic and STEM-education centered games.
We seek GEL funding to take PlayStreet Provo to the next level. This grant would be utilized in order to create a full PlayStreet event on Provo Center Street, with the aim of bringing 15,000+ visitors to downtown Provo, with a full complement of educational and civic activities from UVU faculty and students, and community partners.

Shakespeare Life & Times Editor and Research Assistantships

GEL 610
Project Lead:  Kate McPherson
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  Kate McPherson, along with longtime scholarly collaborator Kate Moncrief, Chair and Professor of English at Washington College, Maryland, have accepted the position as editors for the Shakespeare Life & Times (SLT), a major aspect of the Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE).
The ISE is a well-established digital humanities project operated out of the University of Victoria, British Columbia. The SLT is an online encyclopedia of Shakespeare’s life, stage, society, history, ideas, and literature, and it is the most visited part of the ISE. Kate Moncrief and I now have creative and intellectual leadership on the project, in order to restructure it, appoint and liaise with contributors, and employ student research interns to help update the site. This is a long-term commitment that offers many opportunities for undergraduate research, both inside and outside of the classroom.
As the new editors, we have been tasked to fully update the site, which was originally established in 1999. We will be commissioning new articles and revisions to existing articles to reflect new developments in Shakespeare studies. By leveraging our existing connections as editors within the Shakespeare scholarly community (we have published three edited collections together since 2007), within our networks in Shakespeare Association of America, as well as the biannual Blackfriars Conference at the American Shakespeare Center, we will be bringing the SLT into the 21st century with the help of students and colleagues at Utah Valley University and Washington College.

UVU Students to Host International Women of the Mountains Conference

GEL 611
Project Lead:  David Connelly
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  The Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference will be organized by the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of UVU student clubs with the advice and cooperation of faculty, staff, as well as figures in the national and international Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD) community. UIMF was created after successful contribution to the Second Women of the Mountains Conferences. The second conference was hosted by UVU in Orem, UT in 2011. The third one was held in Puno, Peru in 2012.

The Fourth conference will be hosted by UVU, October 7-9, 2015, and will bring six leading women scholars and entrepreneurs – two each from Asia, Africa, and Latin America – to discuss problems of gender and sustainable mountain development (SMD) in addition to officials from the United Nations, the World Bank, the State Department, Ambassadors of the mountain nations accredited at the United Nations and the United States. Leading academics, businesspeople and women leaders from the state of Utah, Rocky Mountain States and abroad will be invited to attend. The conference has the support from the Mountain Partnership secretariat under the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy.

The 2015 conference represents a significant opportunity for engaged learning at multiple levels and will notably advance UVU’s role as a participant in the international dialogue on gender and SMD issues. It’ll also allow for the first time to feature UIMF as a major contributor to the U.N. gender agenda in the 2015 Report of the Secretary General of the U.N. on SMD.

Low cost, sustainable, renewable electricity generation using a novel solar thermal phase change air compressor

GEL 612
Project Lead:  Kevin Shurtleff
Amount:  $8,800
Description:  During the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters, my team of students researched, designed, and built a low cost, balloon lofted, wind powered, air compressor, compressed air storage, and air powered electricity generation system. During the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters, my team of students will demonstrate and test our new wind technology. In addition, my team of students will begin a new project to research, design, build, demonstrate, and test an innovative, low cost, solar thermal phase change air compressor system by applying the science, technology, engineering, math, and business principles they’ve learned. The wind and sun powered air compressors will be integrated with the compressed air storage, and air powered electricity generating system built previously, resulting in a more stable supply of sustainable, renewable electricity that is much lower in cost than other electricity generating technologies.

Associated Schools of Construction/National Association of Home Builders Student Competition

GEL 613
Project Lead:  Fred Davis
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  This project is based upon students using the skills they have learned at UVU to compete against other schools nationally. To prepare for these competitions, students are mentored by local construction companies to learn management skills which will not only help students win in the competition, but also help them gain a job upon graduation. As UVU does well in these competitions, national caliber companies are attracted to UVU to garner these students into their companies. We feel that this attention is a direct result of our student success at competitions: UVU won 1st and two 2nd place awards in the 2014 ASC Regional/National Competition, and also won 2nd Place Nationally in the NAHB 2013 Competition. This educational experience greatly benefits local contractors by enlarging the pool of prepared students that they can hire to fill the decreasing numbers of workers in the industry today. These contractors then volunteer to mentor our students and, more recently, are providing funds for the students to compete and further preparing them for employment. It is our hope that as we continue to compete successfully we can encourage local companies to invest in an endowment that will produce funds to further support competitions at a national level and support student engagement with companies that will hire our graduates.

UVU Chamber Choir Spain Performance Tour

GEL 614
Project Lead:  Reed Criddle
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  The Utah Valley University Chamber Choir will embark on a 10-day performance tour to Spain in May 2015. The purpose of this tour is to honor an invitation from the Conservatorio Superior De Cordoba in Cordoba, Spain, including engaging in an educational-musical exchange with their resident choir, Coro Ziryab, and conductor, Javier Saenz-Lopez Bunuel. We would offer workshops to their conservatory students on the performance of American choral literature, and they in turn would engage with us in helping us to better perform music of Spain.

In preparation for the tour, the students of the Chamber Choir are learning repertoire from Spain that spans the Renaissance to the modern era. Throughout the 2014-2015 school year, they will present seven service concerts to the Utah Valley community (thousands of local community audience members will benefit from these performances), which will showcase music of Spain. As part of our preparations, we also plan to visit several Spanish-immersion elementary schools in Orem and Provo, including Canyon Crest Elementary, Timpanogos Elementary, Cherry Hill Elementary, and Orchard Elementary schools. For those public school children, we will give presentations and performances on Spanish music as a service to our local community.

Windows: shining light on the importance of the Arts as a means to enhance learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

GEL 615
Project Lead:  Amy Markgraf-Jacobsen
Amount:  $10,000
Description:  This inquiry based learning project proposes to develop a lecture demonstration that explores the current tension between the value of an arts education within a system that promotes STEM learning. Dance lecture demonstrations are a specific modality combining lecture presentations with live dance creating a visual and visceral representation of concepts discussed. Using a lecture demonstration format, the dancer/presenters will illustrate the process through which dance and science create an interchange; illustrating that through dance implicit STEM concepts are rendered explicit and visible. Enhanced student learning outcomes are achieved through participation in research required to produce the lecture demonstration resulting in a richly engaged learning experience as dance students function as team members alongside faculty in developing the presentation. Project directors seek to develop this creative research module into a component of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble(CDE) curriculum providing a meaningful way for CDE dancers to investigate issues that have community impact through dance. This project directly comments on an issue that is of central importance to the global community; how do we take advantage of the interconnection between the arts and sciences to produce deeper learning. Target communities served include educators and students at the international, national, local and campus level.

Spring 2014

Truancy Remediation in Community Schools

GEL 576

Project Lead: Grant Richards

Amount: $9,948.50

Description: This project will directly engage UVU students with at-risk students and families in the Alpine and Provo School Districts. These families will be struggling with truancy, academic and behavioral problems. They will be referred to the UVU program by the schools and the courts. Using skills they are learning in their mediation classes, first semester mediators will be working to create a positive environment for communication between the parents and teen. Students in the advanced mediation class will work directly with school administrators, counselors and the courts.

The Utah Data Dive

GEL 577

Project Lead: Barton Poulson

Amount: $5,000

Description: The Utah Data Dive (see represents the culmination of several years of effort by me and my students to develop a program of community-engaged analytics to UVU and its community. A data dive is an event that brings together a diverse group of volunteers to work intensively on data provided by local, service-oriented, non-profit organizations. Our goal is to hold the Utah Data Dive in the spring of 2015. We aim to promote this event to students across the UVU campus – especially the departments of Behavioral Science, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Information Systems and Technology – and from local universities such as BYU and the U of U. We will also identify training resources that are already available on campus and to develop new materials for online training. I will work closely with our data ambassadors to identify potential local nonprofits in early 2015. We will then schedule the Utah Data Dive for early April of 2015, running from Thursday night to Saturday afternoon on the campus at UVU.

Investigating PCB and Trace Element Levels in Soil, Plant and Fish Species in Utah Lake

GEL 578

Project Lead: Eddy Cadet

Amount: $10,000

Description: Introduction of the common carp in the early 1900s along with water runoff from the water shed and industrial discharges have caused some detrimental changes to the ecosystem of Utah Lake. Two major impacts include decreases in biodiversity (e.g. June Sucker) and the accumulation of trace metals and PCB contaminants into lake sediments and fish.  In an effort to mitigate these effects, in 2009 the Department of Water Quality (DWQ) launched a carp removal program. The goal was to remove 6 million carps from Utah Lake by 2017, in hopes of improving water quality and ecosystem conditions of Utah Lake. To date, approximately 2.5 million carps have been removed. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of carp removal on PBC concentration of Utah Lake soil sediments and four fish species, 2) to assess the metal and PCB concentration of plants, 3) to increase community awareness, and 4) to engage Earth Science students in the scientific investigation of a major environmental concern.

Identification of Utah Mosquito Blood Meal Species: A Collaboration with Utah Mosquito Abatement Districts

GEL 579

Project Lead: Janice Sugiyama

Amount: $9,998

Description: The goal of this proposal is to aid understanding of the transmission dynamics of mosquito-borne viruses. UVU biotechnology students, mosquito abatement districts of Utah, Salt Lake and Davis counties, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) will collaborate to identify the host species within blood meals of mosquitoes caught in different Utah locales. This knowledge may identify regions where mosquito-host preferences create a bridge for viral pathogens.

Anatomy Academy: An interdisciplinary educational intervention to fight obesity

GEL 580

Project Lead:  Heather Wilson-Ashworth

Amount: $10,000

Description: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents has nearly tripled in the last 30 years, and has challenged communities to enact policy, system, and environmental initiatives focusing on obesity education and prevention to combat this growing trend. With the CDC challenge, a health initiative, Anatomy Academy, was developed. The curriculum, conducted by college students (Mentors) pursuing undergraduate pre-professional degrees and students pursuing post-secondary education in the biological health sciences, consists of classroom activities and outdoor activities. A portion of the grant will fund Anatomy Academy kits which are utilized in the classroom by the Students and the Mentors. Using accepted social science methods for making quantitative statements about qualitative data, UVU students and Dr. Wilson-Ashworth will develop an assessment tool which will allow us to analyze the seven Mentor reflections collected during Anatomy Academy. Both the assessment tool and the quantitative statements will be published in peer-review journals. A portion of the grant will be utilized to fund student salaries for developing the assessment tool as well as analyzing the Mentor reflections.

Insects of Capitol Reef National Park

GEL 581

Project Lead: Heath Ogden

Amount: $4,500

Description: UVU’s presence with a field station in Capitol Reef National Park (CRNP) has provided students with specialized research opportunities and valuable field experience, and not until recently, little emphasis had been placed on increasing our understanding of the insect diversity in the park. We were previously funded to complete two objectives: 1) publish an Insect Field Guide-pamphlet and 2) create an insect display (to be exhibited at UVU’s Field Station) of the most common and interesting insects of Capitol Reef National Park. Both objectives were successfully completed and now there are pamphlets and displays available for visitors to the park and UVU's CRNP Field Station. The purpose of this project is to provide opportunities for student research by collecting and classifying insects from CRNP. Our goals for the project will be to 1) collect and curate insects from new areas of CRNP in order to build upon the current insect collection; 2) create the first species list with associated photos documenting the various differences in insect life in CRNP, 3) present results at a scientific meetings (e.g. ESA, UCUR).

Identification of New Antifungal Compounds and Antifungal Genetic Targets

GEL 582

Project Lead: Daren Heaton

Amount: $7,977

Description: Aminoglycosides are a large class of clinically important antibiotics and have been widely used to treat serious infectious diseases such as septicemia and complicated intra-abdominal infections for over 60 years. Recently, Prof. Chang from Utah State prepared amphiphilic aminoglycosides by adding a simple alkyl chain (-C8 H17) to primary alcohol groups of the naturally-occurring aminoglycosides and found that these amphiphilic aminoglycosides possess remarkable antifungal activity contrary to its parent aminoglycosides. However, this unusual switch of biological activity from antibacterial to antifungal is not yet understood and presents a perfect opportunity for UVU students to investigate its mechanism of action by screening these amphiphilic aminoglycosides with a Saccharomyces cerevisiae library. Using GEL funding from last year, students achieved considerable success in developing the conditions to screen for the mechanism of action of the antifungal aminoglycosides. Our goal is to use this research as a springboard for external funding. 

Touring Production and Educational Outreach for Bocon, a Bilingual Play for Young Audiences

GEL 583

Project Lead: John Newman

Amount: $7,000

Description:A cast of seven, an outreach team of two, and a stage manager will perform a bilingual play, Bocon, for up to 4,000 elementary and secondary school students and provide interactive workshops in classrooms. The central character in the play is a Latino boy who crosses the border into the United States and is stopped by a border agent. The boy tells the story of his journey using stories and characters from Latin American folklore. The play contains dialogue in both English and Spanish and is comprehensible for speakers of either language. The touring production will be created by the THEA 222R class: Theatre for Young Audiences Tour. It will be presented in the style of Teatro Campasino, a form of improvised folk theatre traditionally performed by migrant workers. The outreach duo, one of whom must be bilingual, will conduct workshops in the schools based on the themes from the play.

Emphasizing STEM Subject through an Enrichment Robotics Program for Elementary Students

GEL 584

Project Lead: Elaine Tuft

Amount: $10,000

Description:  The project for which we are seeking GEL funding is an enrichment robotics program for 5th and 6th graders in Alpine School District. The program is a partnership between Utah Valley University’s School of Education, Alpine School District, and a local company Learning Through Robotics. In this program, personnel from Learning Through Robotics train UVU students (primarily elementary education majors) how to program, use, and teach classes with Lego Mindstorms robotics. The UVU students then teach the enrichment courses at the participating elementary schools. One purpose of this project is to increase elementary- and college-age students’ knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through the use of Lego Mindstorms robotics. A second purpose is to provide UVU education students more STEM-based experience teaching children prior to receiving their teaching license, which we expect to increase their marketability. The final purpose is to improve the participating UVU and elementary students’ knowledge and attitudes related to STEM subjects, particularly in relation to the Lego Mindstorms robotics.

Partnering Education Majors with UVU's Summer Youth Math Camp

GEL 585

Project Lead: Roxanne Brinkerhoff

Amount: $9,813

Description:  Approximately 60% of incoming UVU students test into a remedial math course; many of these students suffer from math anxiety and a loathing of mathematics. Research shows that negative attitudes towards mathematics are fixed by the age of nine. To combat negative math attitudes, faculty members in the Developmental Math Department developed a summer youth math camp for elementary school children. Faculty members have presented exciting and fun math activities that promote learning by doing and experimenting with mathematics. The main goal of the math camp is to change math attitudes, which will affect their math performance throughout grade school. Partnering the camp with UVU education majors provides a broader scope of learning for the elementary school students, as well as increasing the impact of the camp on the community. The pre-service teachers will receive invaluable classroom training as well as ideas for engaged classroom activities. The elementary school students will gain a more inclusive math camp experience and will be exposed to adults who possess an enthusiasm for mathematics.

Fall 2013

One-Time Assistance to Establish Geomorphology Projects Engaging Students in Long-Term Monitoring of Utah's Active Landscapes

GEL 537

Project Lead: Suzanne Walther

Amount: $9,981

Description: During the spring 2014 semester we will establish two new research projects engaging ~18 students in active research related to fluvial and tectonic geomorphology. These projects will be the start on long-term research about the rates of change in arid land streams in Capitol Reef National Park and quantifying metrics of tectonic activity within the Intermountain Seismic Belt.

Developing a Student Driven High Altitude Research Program

GEL 538

Project Lead: Kim Nielsen

Amount: $8,213

Description: The proposed project is a UVU Society of Physics Students (SPS) lead endeavor into high altitude research of the atmosphere and near space environment, where students will be designing, building, and launching scientific payloads on high altitude balloon platforms.

Cooperative Research in Hydrology and Petrology between Utah Valley University and Tribhuvan University (Nepal) Undergraduates and the Department of Mines and Geology (Nepal)

GEL 539

Project Lead: Steven Emerman

Amount: $4,855

Description: There is no access to drinking water that is not contaminated with arsenic for 3.5 million residents of Nepal. The dominant paradigm is that arsenic contamination is naturally occurring and is unrelated to any human activity. However, Steven Emerman and his American and Nepali students have published seven papers and one book arguing that arsenic contamination results from deforestation. The objectives of this project are to search for further evidence for the deforestation model by: 1) determining whether there is a correlation among arsenic in rivers, soils and exposed bedrock in river watersheds in Kathmandu Valley, 2) determining whether there is a difference between arsenic in rivers and soils within and downslope of Shivapuri National Park, which is still largely forested and which contains much of the headwaters of Kathmandu Valley.

Investigating Anthropogenic Impacts on the Utah Lake Wetlands and Fish Species Using a Multi-proxy Approach

GEL 540

Project Lead: Weihong Wang

Amount: $8,700

Description: The wetlands around Utah Lake are critical for fish and wildlife resources, flood mitigation, and recreation, but the ecosystem is under increasing stress due to urban, industrial, and agricultural runoff from an ever-expanding population that now exceeds 500,000 people in Utah Valley. Regional land use changes have been shown to affect biodiversity, sedimentation dynamics, productivity, and nutrient recycling in lakes and wetlands. This project will investigate human impacts on Utah Lake wetlands and four popular fish species in the lake using multiple parameters which include stable isotope and trace metal analysis, sediment grain distribution analysis, and lead-210 and carbon-14 dating at multiple sites.

Emphasizing STEM Subjects through an After-School Robotics Program for Elementary Students

GEL 535

Project Lead: Elaine Tuft

Amount: $8,000

Description: One purpose of this proposed project is to increase elementary- and college-age students' knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through the use of Lego Mindstorm robotics. A second purpose is to provide UVU education students more experience teaching children prior to receiving their teaching license. The final purpose is to improve the participating UVU and elementary students' attitudes related to STEM subjects, particularly in relation to the Lego Mindstorm robotics.

Acacia Shade: Ghana Project

GEL 531

Project Lead: Trudy Christensen

Amount: $5,000

Description: As part of a two-semester senior project capstone experience, a team of five UVU Digital Media (DGM) students plan to complete a service-learning project for Acacia Shade (, a local non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of children with disabilities in Ghana, Africa.

For the Love of Reading: Strengthening the Impact of UVU's Forum on Engaged Reading

GEL 536

Project Lead: Nancy Peterson

Amount: $3,430

Description: The UVU Forum on Engaged Reading's unique purpose of fostering a love of reading distinguishes it from other literacy conferences occurring in the state. With a love and passion for reading, children are compensated for the hard and sometimes discouraging work in acquiring greater reading skills and achieving higher reading scores and reading levels. With a love and passion for reading, secondary students begin to see themselves as readers and thinkers with valuable insights. This annual conference inspires literacy stakeholders to sustain that arduous and imperative work of literacy achievement while adding personal inspiration and passion to validate, inspire, and empower readers to fall in love with reading again and again.

Gamification Framework in Canvas: Construction and Assessment

GEL 533

Project Lead: Jared Chapman

Amount: $2,000

Description: This year, returning UVU faculty heard a keynote address describing the importance of teaching today's students using the tools they are familiar with and an approach to learning environments called gamification. The premise of gamification is improving motivation and performance by using game mechanics in non-game contexts. This project applies gamification theory and techniques to the MGMT 3000 course.

Low cost, sustainable, renewable energy production using a balloon lofted wind turbine for poor, developing nations

GEL 541

Project Lead: Kevin Shurtleff

Amount: $5,200

Description: During the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters, my team of students will research, design, build, and test a low-cost, robust, balloon-lofted, wind-powered, air compressor, compressed air storage and air-powered electrical generator system. This method of energy production will produce sustainable, renewable energy that is much lower in cost than existing technologies making it suitable for use in poor, developing nations.

Paths to Lean Construction

GEL 532

Project Lead: Robert Warcup

Amount: $3,742

Description: 'Lean' is an emerging trend in the construction industry that is continually gaining momentum. Despite the momentum however, it is estimated that more than 90 percent of all construction firms are unaware of the concept and/or do not understand its potential. This project aims to help both students and practitioners experience the potential of lean construction by learning the power of lean principles.

UVUAMA (American Marketing Association) International Collegiate Conference

GEL 534

Project Lead: Paige Gardiner

Amount: $2,000

Description: We are writing to apply for funding for 12 students to attend the National AMA Collegiate Conference April 10-14, 2014. The four benefits our students will receive from attending the conference include the following: 1) Create a position of UVU Marketing as a leading Professional Sales Program in the West; 2) Expose UVU students to a national career fair; 3) Learn industry leading marketing strategy; and 4) Study best practices for how to run an AMA club.

Spring 2013

Strengthening Families Program

GEL 433

Project Lead: Roberta Johnson

Amount: $10,000

Description: UVU students, in collaboration with the Alpine School District, DCFS, and MADD, conducted simultaneous programs at four sites for at-risk families. These programs have proven to be effective in increasing resilience and reducing risk factors for behavioral, emotional, academic and social problems in youth while improving family relationships and parenting skills.

Public Service Academy

GEL 506

Project Lead:  Luke Peterson

Amount:  $10,000

Description:  The Public Service Academy enables UVU students to build and apply advanced knowledge in their field, while creating public value for local government, and non-profit partners. Capitalization from a GEL seed grant will permit students to receive compensation for executing these public sector projects, thereby offering the opportunity to meet their personal financial responsibilities while gaining experience in their field. Over time, as proof of performance is established, contractual dollars from public partners will replace most subsidization, making PSA a sustainable generator of advanced engaged-learning opportunities.

Engaged Primary Research Project for English Students

GEL 507

Project Lead:  Linda Shelton

Amount:  $3,624

Description:  English students participate in an engaged learning project by doing primary research at Capitol Reef Field Station. These students then collaborate in group writing projects.

Challenge Day at Timpanogos High

GEL 508

Project Lead:  Tracy Golden

Amount:  $10,000

Description:  Introducing the Challenge Day program to Timpanogos High School and Orem Junior High to improve student engagement and connectedness, then to have those students go back and inspire their classmates to do the same.

UVU Conference on Writing for Social Change

GEL 509

Project Lead:  Wioleta Fedeczko

Amount:  $2,500

Description:  The Conference on Writing for Social Change is an annual interdisciplinary campus event held each fall semester at Utah Valley University. The 2013 conference will be held on November 14-15. The conference encourages students, faculty, and community members to submit and present research, writing projects, and creative works that address a broad range of social change issues. Dr. Cheryl Glenn, Co-founder of Penn State's Center for Democratic Deliberation, has already agreed to be the keynote speaker. And, Utah's Mary Dickson, author of the play "Exposed" and Director of Creative Services at KUER, has agreed to be a featured speaker about Utah activism.

Using eye tracking to increase research engagement and productivity in undergraduate students at UVU

GEL 510

Project Lead:  Jessica Hill

Amount:  $10,000

Description:  This project will be implemented in stages: (1) eye tracking equipment will be purchased, and interested faculty members and undergraduate students will be trained in the development of research projects using eye tracking technology as well as how to use the equipment; and (2) a week-long service project reaching out to local psychology high school students to encourage the perception of psychology as a science. This grant application is seeking funding for stage 1 of the project.

UVU Prep (Utah Valley University PREP - STEM Advantage)

GEL 511

Project Lead:  Liz Andrus

Amount:  $10,000

Description:  This "Grant for Engaged Learning" will pay for four UVU student mentor internships who will mentor tutor ten students each of the first year UVU PREP program, plus supplies and materials for Friday enrichment activities. UVU interns will work on the inaugural year--the work will begin in July of 2013 and occur periodically throughout the academic year then finish up June of 2014 to create a foundation for this UVU STEM project pipeline to prepare eighty (80) high achieving 7th grade students on the UVU campus for success in STEM studies in junior high, high school and beyond.

Celebrated Voices

GEL 512

Project Lead:  Doris Hudson de Trujillo

Amount:  $10,000

Description:  Celebrated Voices is a project that connects UVU with the expanding Latino and Hispanic students and community across the Wasatch Front through the art form of dance. The festival is designed to educate, inspire, and change perceptions through concert and workshop presentations of renowned and emerging artists of Latin, Spanish, and Hispanic descent.

UVU Chamber Choir Performance at the NCCO National Conference

GEL 513

Project Lead:  Reed Criddle

Amount:  $10,000

Description:  The UVU Chamber Choir (thirty-two students, one faculty conductor, and one staff pianist) have been selected by peer-reviewed, blind-audition to be the featured performers at the National Collegiate Choral Organization National Conference in Charleston, South Caroline, October 31-November 2, 2013. This is the most prestigious event of its kind in the United States and only a few college choirs are invited at each biennial conference.

Free Legal Clinic

GEL 514

Project Lead:  Jill Jasperson

Amount:  $7,700

Description:  Since 2009, I have been lead organizer and founder of the Free Legal Clinic sponsored by the Legal Studies department, Woodbury School of Business and various businesses. This is in connection with the American Bar Association's "Celebrate Pro Bono" October celebration held across the nation; this year the Free Legal Clinic is scheduled for Tuesday, October 22, 2013. We hold the largest free legal clinic in the state by hosting 25-35 lawyers and inviting the public to access free legal advice--we have experienced a history of success in the past.

Cooperative Research in Surface Water Hydrology between UVU Earth Science Students and the Utah Department of Natural Resources

GEL 515

Project Lead:  Steven Emerman

Amount:  $9,065

Description:  The Utah Department of Natural Resources (UDNR) currently uses the empirical Manning Equation for estimating stream discharge through artificial slots created for diverting rivers around coal mines. However, preliminary research by UVU Earth Science students has shown that existing methods for estimating the roughness coefficient in the Manning Equation can overestimate stream discharge through slots by up to two orders of magnitude, which implies that many existing diversions in Utah have been under-designed and cannot accommodate the 100-year flood for which they were intended. The objective of this project is to use discharge measurements in artificial stream diversion, in natural slot canyons and on a laboratory hydraulics bench to develop a new empirical formula for estimating stream discharge through slot-like structures.

Anatomy Academy: An interdisciplinary educational intervention to fight obesity

GEL 516

Project Lead:  Heather Wilson-Ashworth

Amount:  $10,000

Description:  Anatomy Academy combats childhood obesity through educational intervention by supplementing existing physical education curricula at elementary schools with an interactive learning experience designed to engage elementary students (Students) with immediately applicable biological concepts, empower them to take a proactive role in their personal health, nurture scientific curiosity, and encourage the pursuit of higher education. The curriculum conducted by college students (Mentors) pursuing undergraduate pre-professional degrees and students pursuing post-secondary education in the biological health sciences, consists of classroom activities and outdoor activities.

Antifungal Research

GEL 517

Project Lead:  Daren Heaton

Amount:  $9,975

Description:  Amphiphilic aminoglycosides are unexpectedly found to be antifungal whose mechanism of action is yet to be understood. We seek to investigate its mechanism of action by screening those amphiphilic aminoglycosides with yeast library and promote collaboration among chemistry faculty. This will serve an excellent opportunity for students to broaden and apply their classroom learning to real life challenges and help participating students develop various problem-solving skills.

UVU Native Regional Community Leadership and Enrollment Outreach

GEL 518

Project Lead:  Ken Sekaquaptewa

Amount:  $10,000

Description:  This multi-disciplinary project will provide a structured forum wherein current UVU students and potential students from local high schools, with a special focus upon Native American students, can receive essential leadership training and college preparatory skills through direct mentoring workshops and short-term internships on campus.

Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) Training

GEL 519

Project Lead:  John Fisher

Amount:  $6,590

Description:  This project will train UVU students to be C-CERT members and provide them opportunities for service in the university community. As the university counterpart of CERT, Campus-Commumity Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) educates college students about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact the university community and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises C-CERT members can assist others in their community following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. C-CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their universities and communities.

Click Here For Previous Year Awards

Jack Rabbit II - Dugway Proving Ground - Student Support for Engagement in Chlorine Releases