UD Receives Funding for Women’s Science Research Projects

Apr 23, 2014 | Kristi Lynch

The University of Dubuque recently received a $6,600 grant from The Monticello College Foundation (Godfrey, IL) to fund science research experiences for women.


Projects funded by this grant encourage talented women students to explore the field of science by offering hands-on research experiences.


Thirteen women environmental science and biology students are working on projects focused on several different research themes.  The selected students will participate in the following on-going or newly-developed research projects:

  • Investigation of possible relationship of β 3-Adrenergic Receptor Gene polymorphism and heritability of type 2 diabetes mellitus (Sydney Althoff, junior, biology, Papillion, NE);


  • Assessing the correlation between a type 2 Deiodinase Gene polymorphism and Insulin Resistance (Vanessa Carlson, junior, biology, Maquoketa, IA);


  • The Effects of Seasonal Flow on Dubuque County Waterways (Victoria Foraker, junior, environmental sciences, Oshkosh, WI);


  • Evaluating the Effect of Carbamide Peroxide Concentration on Dental Restorative Material (Elizabeth Frazier, junior, biology (pre-dental), Downers Grove, IL);


  • A Framework for Real World Learning: Designing a curriculum for GWMS's NGSS Standards (Melissa Husemann, senior, double major – biology and science in secondary education, Dubuque, IA);


  • Gender Difference in Habitat Use by Turtle Species in the Mississippi River (Tiffanee Kress, junior, biology, Dubuque, IA);


  • Antibiotic Diversity in Local Water and Soil Sources (Melissa Maas, junior, biology (pre-med), Peosta, IA);


  • Assessing the polymorphism of Beta3-Adrenergic Receptor Gene and possible predisposition towards type 2 diabetes (Melissa Sawyer, junior, biology, Northbrook, IL);


  • Mussel Movement and Distribution Among Native Freshwater Mussels in Contrasting Aquatic Habitats (Jenna Skopek, junior, environmental science, Cedarburg WI); 


  • Rapid method for functional characterization of orchid TCP genes using model plant Arabidopsis (Lauren Smith, junior, biology, Spring Grove, IL);


  • Fast track gene silencing method for functional characterization of orchid genes (Nicole Toro, sophomore, double major – chemistry and biology, Orlando, FL);


  • Evaluating the Influence of Carbamide Peroxide Concentration of Over-the-Counter and Professional Compounds as Oral Whitening Agents (Lauren Waddell, junior, biology, Poplar Grove IL);


  • Home Sweet Home: Assessing Nest Tree Sites and Surrounding Habitats used by Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in Eastern Iowa (Melissa Wagner, junior, environmental science, Lena, IL).


“This is the seventh year that we have received funding from the Monticello College Foundation for Women in Science, and we appreciate the support,” said Dr. Dale Easley, administrator of the grant and geologist in the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences.  “This grant will enable these students to deepen their scientific knowledge and expand their contacts with others working in related fields, becoming the next generation of scientific leaders and educators.”


Funds from the grant will be used for various components of the research project, including stipends for participants, equipment, and supplies. 


The Monticello College Foundation was formed in 1971. Monticello College, a two-year college for women, closed at that time and the campus was sold to the State of Illinois and became Lewis & Clark Community College. The charter of Monticello College was legally amended to be the charter of Monticello College Foundation with the same purpose – “to promote female education.”


The College was founded in 1838 by Benjamin Godfrey who had eight daughters.  His desire was that women would have the same opportunities for a good education that men had and the curriculum at that time was based on that of Harvard and Yale. During most of the existence of Monticello College, there was also a preparatory school for high school age girls.  It was said that Benjamin Godfrey's philosophy was – “When you educate a man, you educate an individual.  When you educate a woman, you educate a family.”


The Monticello College Foundation offers scholarships for women to study in all fields and thus carries on the rich heritage of Benjamin Godfrey and Monticello College.