FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington Undergraduate Research Council recently named 17 students as spring 2011 Michael D. Wilson Research Scholars — celebrating the fifth consecutive year of the successful undergraduate research program.

In the five years since its origin, the program has supported both single-semester scholars and year-long fellows, recognizing 150 student researchers for their academic excellence. Student scholars are supported one-on-one by individual faculty mentors, involving more than 50 faculty members during the program’s history. These faculty sponsors provide student researchers with sponsorship of their application, guidance with proposal development and research methodology, and continuing assistance with pre-professional and post-graduate opportunities.

Included among the innovative topics examined by this semester’s scholars are: an examination of WikiLeaks and the first amendment in the digital age, detection of acetaminophen in Farmington’s watersheds, exploring family narratives of the Holocaust and college students’ reactions to the tea party movement.

The Spring 2011 Wilson awardees include: Carolyn Young, Sarah Gauvin, Megan Ferland, Emma Deans, Kiley Gendron, Kristen Bisson, Cecelia Totten, Dovey Balsam, Sean Raph, Jordan LeGrand, Matthew Allen, Thomas Ferland, Markeith Chavous and Jack Karn.

Local award recipients were:

* Matthew Allen of Wilton. Allen’s research topic is “WikiLeaks: the First Amendment in the Digital Age.” He is a sophomore majoring in political science. His faculty sponsor is Christopher O’Brien, assistant professor of history.


* Dovey Balsam of Industry. Balsam’s project is “Combat Trauma and Religious/Spiritual Beliefs: Paradigm Shifts in Combat Veterans of the U.S. Military.” She is a junior majoring in sociology/anthropology. Her faculty sponsor is Kristina Wolff, assistant professor of sociology.

* Kristen Bisson of Farmington. Bisson’s research project is “The Grand Exploration.” She is a senior majoring in art. Her faculty sponsor is Dawn Nye, assistant professor of art.

* Jeffrey Lees of Vassalboro. Lees’ project topic is “I Want My Country Back!: College Students’ Reactions to the Tea Party Movement.” He is a senior with a double major in psychology and political science. His faculty sponsor is Steven Quackenbush, associate professor of psychology.

* Jordan LeGrand of Rome. LeGrand’s Wilson project is “The Generalized Euler Phi Function and its Applications to Mathematical Music Theory.” He is a senior with a double major in mathematics and computer science. His faculty sponsor is Lori Koban, assistant professor of mathematics.

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