I am researching plasma physics as applied to the output beam of an ion gun. In particular I will making measurement to provide a profile of the output from our ion gun. This involves moving a probe in very small increments across the chamber and measuring the current through the probe at each points. I then interpret this data to determine how many ions are being produced in each unit of area. Once I know the density of the ions, I can generate a preliminary model of the beam. After the beam characteristics are found, the ion gun will be able to be used for more applications. In the process so far, I have used precision machining techniques to build some of the instrumentation that is used to generate the beam as well as the probe that we used to measure the beam output. The ion gun can be seen in the image below.

The ion gun has been removed from the chamber so we can make adjustments to its alignment.

The ion gun has been removed from the chamber so we can make adjustments to its alignment.


First SURF Experience

I already knew my advisors when I joined the EMU Plasma Lab so the experience was not entirely unfamiliar. My first research experience was to read background research in the field. While it wasn’t glamorous, it was necessary and made my next experience that much more exciting. On the second day in the lab we fired up the vacuum chamber to 10-7 torr and introduced high voltage into the system. I learned the start-up process and before the end of the day I had helped to fire ions at a probe. It was thrilling to see that we were able to produce positively charged particle and focus them into a beam.

Early Childhood Language Acquisition

I [finally] get the chance to perform a research study with my own data collection and perform my own linguistic analysis! Although I absolutely enjoy attending lectures, study groups, and discussing language acquisition at a theoretical level, nothing is more exciting than being able to actually use the tools that I’ve acquired in the classroom out in the real world. This semester, I will be working with a professor on an investigation of yes/no question inversion in early childhood language acquisition and its conformity to the Structure-Dependence Hypothesis (Chomsky (1965)). This is only an introduction to what I have to look forward to as a future linguist! My professor is so actively involved and is as excited about the study as I am. We are anxiously hypothesizing and having so much fun working with each other on something that we are both so passionate about.

A Rewarding Opportunity in German Studies

Language is so much more than a medium for communication- it is how people establish solidarity, express their identity, and embellish their overall life experience. I look at the German language and I see a very special history. I first became interested in German- not only the language, but also the culture- when I was twelve years old. Now, twelve years later, that mere interest has become an ongoing passion of mine. As a German major, I felt so honored when my German professor had asked me to work with her on a project that focuses on women’s experience as concentration camp victims during WWII, through Liana Millu’s collection of stories in, “Smoke over Birkenau.”

This project has allowed me to build a strong relationship with my professor, rewarded me with greater academic confidence, and has opened up doors to my future that I never knew existed.

Literature and Music

The research that I’m working on will be focused on Robert Schumann’s Papillons op. 2 and the literature that the composition is slightly based on: Flegeljahre- written by Jean Paul.

Jean Paul’s writing style is whimsical, humorous, haughty and full of abrupt changes in mood and plot- as was Schumann and his characteristic musical style. Schumann even went so far as to state that he “learned more counterpoint from Jean Paul than from his music teacher”- a statement reflecting the deep influence the novelist had on Schumann’s compositions, especially Papillons. The title Papillons literally means “Butterfly”, but throughout the composition, one can hardly find a portrait and description of a butterfly.

The research will be the comparison of the music composition and literature work, and performance of excerpt from Papillons.

Will my research make a difference?


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I am having so much fun with my research and I am so very excited to be able to present it at the Undergraduate Symposium. I started my research about 7 months ago.  In that time, I have been asked probably 40 plus times if my research will make a difference or if it will really have an impact on my area of study.  My obvious and continual answer.  Absolutely and without a doubt!! 

Skeletal muscular strength is an important component of health as it relates to bone/mineral health, functional capacity, fall risk, and preservation of lean body mass.  Studies have shown a significant loss in lean muscle mass (LMM) following bariatric surgery. While it has been speculated that exercise training with an emphasis on strength training can attenuate the loss of LMM there have not been any studies, to our knowledge, reporting the rate of decline in relative muscular strength in this population.

The purpose of my study is to describe changes in muscular strength at three and six months following bariatric surgery. In addition, I am also examining the relationship between strength and several potential co-variants such as albumin, caloric intake, strength training etc.

Why is this so important?  For me, I got involved in this research for a few reasons.

  1. I am a bariatric patient and the knowledge base from the time I had my surgery five years ago to now has not change very much.  It is amazes me how little many allied professionals, athletic trainers, nutritionists really know about bariatric patients and how to care for them after surgery. Although bariatric surgery has been around for over 40 years, there have not been any real studies on how it affects muscular strength at different levels post op.
  2. I passionately believe that in order to see something grow, there has to be change and a constant information highway. This cannot happen without research.
  3. Exercise, nutrition and behavior modification are the key to maintaining successful weight loss.  If the professionals do not know how the changes occur post surgery then they cannot properly educate the patient on how to be successful.

It is so important for my research to get out into the information highway.  It is through these types of pilot studies that other studies emerge and changes are made.  It is through these studies that insurances open up their policies to assist those who need the help with all of the co-morbidities that comes with obesity.  So when you ask will my research make a difference, be prepared to get a rendition of the importance of my research and of all research projects in how they help to mold what we do.


Cultural Adaptation had a great effect on global market

Although we live in a globalized world where tastes and preferences of consumers are similar for many products, companies still have to offer culturally adapted products to be successful in the global marketplace. One powerful example that shows cultural adaptation of the product characteristics leading to success is McDonald’s offering of different menu options in different countries. In order to illustrate, the menu options of McDonald’s in three Asian countries, China, India and Japan as well as the relevant cultural characteristics of these countries will be presented.

As we all know, McDonald’s can be counted as one of the successfulest fast food business around the world. What I will do for this research is to find out how it adapt different market as well as the market needs. I will focus on Asia countries this time because i had an experience which is I lived in China for seventeen years. That means I had a better understand the culture and tranditions over there.

Poster is the way that I will use to present. I wil search for different menus in those countries , find out the differences and then compare to country culture to illustrate my opinion. For example, Japan had shrimp burger brcause the geography of Japan brought them the advantage of getting seafood easily. As the economy keep growing, business need to find the best way to fit the customers’ demand. Therefore, it will lead business to international market as well as becoming successful.

Seeing the Unseen

Just like anyone else, I’m a fan of well-written television shows with fun and relatable characters. In a way, I think anyone who is interested in a show finds something they can relate to whether it’s through personal experiences, friends and family, or even gender. For instance, one of my new favorite shows is Scandal which follows the life of Olivia Pope, an African-American woman in charge of her own crisis management firm in D.C. I love this character because as an aspiring PR professional, I can see myself in her character. However, can everyone see themselves represented on prime-time television?

Photo courtesy of zap2it.com

Scandal Cast (Photo courtesy of zap2it.com)

It’s important that as the U.S. becomes more diverse, a mass media format such as television reflect that same change. For my research, I will be studying underrepresented groups or subordinate groups, in prime-time television. While there has been an increase in female lead characters as well as African-American characters, there are still groups whose representation may be lacking in prime-time. The groups I will examine include Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, people with disabilities, the LGBT community and people considered overweight.

Once I’ve completed an analysis of all prime-time television shows and characters on the major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, the CW), I will use scholar Cedric Clark’s four stages of representation to analyze each character. The stages of representation include non-recognition, ridicule, regulation and respect (Fitzgerald, 2010).

According to researchers Gerbner and Gross (1976),

representation in the fictional world [of mass media] signifies social existence

meaning absence denotes non-existence. So according to the most watched time block of television, what groups are ‘seen’ by society and what groups remain ‘unseen’? That’s what I would like to know.


Fitzgerald, M. R. (2010). Evolutionary Stages of Minorities in the Mass Media: An Application of Clark’s Model to American Indian Television Representations. Howard Journal Communications, 367-384.

Gerbner, G., & Gross, L. (1976). Living With Television: The Violence Profile. Journal of Communications, 172-194.

The Lost Art of Pragmatism

Open up any newspaper, and you will undoubtedly find stories around the “fiscal cliff” the date on which automatic spending cuts kick in, and tax cuts expire. Together, this combination of austerity measures threatens to shatter the fragile recovery and send the economy back into recession.

How is Washington responding to this oncoming calamity? A game of political chicken. President Obama and Speaker Boehner are locked in tense negotiations, waiting to see which side blinks first. All the while, the fate of the economy hangs in the balance.

Though this is perhaps the most dramatic example of partisan gridlock in our nation’s capital, it is far from the only one. The last Congress has been the least productive in history, passing only a few dozen laws; half of them purely symbolic or as trivial as renaming a post office. On nearly every area of public policy, there is is the looming question of whether our government is even capable of solving the issues facing the country.

But this was not always the case. In years past, we have been able to confront these sorts of problems and solve them. Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neil and Republican President Ronald Reagan were political opposites, but still able to set aside their differences and compromise. Senator Edward Kennedy, the liberal “Lion of the Senate”, was able to find common ground with President Bush.

But under President Obama and the Republicans in Congress, there has been virtually no pragmatism. The stimulus package, financial regulations, and health care reform, three of the President’s crowning first term achievements, were all passed with virtually no Republican support. What can account for the utter breakdown in partisan cooperation?

To answer the question, we will compare the present conditions to those of 1964. That Year, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the master of compromise, managed to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable issue of the day: civil rights. The segregationists in Congress presented such a staunch opposition that no truly effective civil rights legislation had been past in a century. But LBJ succeeded passing sweeping reforms, against all odds.

I want to see how conditions have changed over the last 50 years to allow our government to become so ensnared in gridlock. What has been the driving force behind the inaction? Is it the individuals in office? The media? Or the very ideology of our nation?

An Engaging Opportunity

I have always enjoyed school; I find the lectures and class discussion to be an enriching experience. But I have found that some of the greatest academic opportunities are those outside of the classroom.

The SURF program has given me such an opportunity. As a political science student, I feel sometimes that I am the things I do are heavy on politics, but light on the science. But through SURF, I will be able to perform research into the current state of our government, and examine the past to gain insights into the present.

In so doing, I will be working with an excellent faculty adviser from EMU, Dr. Ed Sidlow. Though he is a great professor in class, he is even more engaging outside of it. A wealth of knowledge, he has been able to help direct my research, right down to the books I should read and case studies I should examine for our topic. I have done several research paper before, but they have all been done on my mine own for a class. Being able to work with him has been a great experience, and is already more enjoyable than doing research by myself, and I can’t wait to present our research in March.