DDHS Grads present research at national conference

Daniel Gissing (right) and his research partner xxxxx show their research poster at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Click to enlarge.

Daniel Gissing (right) and his research partner Jenalee Grabowski show their research poster at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Click to enlarge.

Delavan-Darien High School Graduates Daniel Gissing (Class of 2010) and Michael Olson (Class of 2011) were among 3,000-plus college students to present research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

The conference was held APril 3-5 at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Gissing is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He and another student presented a research poster, “The Impact of a Citation on Under Age Drinking Behaviors.” His abstract is below:

Jenalee Grabowski and Daniel Gissing- Co-Authors

Underage drinking is a common part of the college culture and involves consequences such as underage drinking citations. Taking a more critical look into this topic is important because the prevalence of underage drinking remains high and current intervention methods have not been proven to be effective (Spoth, Greenburg & Turrisi, 2009). The purpose of this study was to answer the central research question: “How does receiving an underage drinking citation affect the future drinking behaviors in college students related to gender?” We investigated attitudes about underage drinking by surveying 100 male and female college freshmen at a Midwestern college. It was hypothesized that males would be less likely to change their behaviors of drinking if they received a citation. This hypothesis was informed by the literature and using the Social Exchange theory. Social Exchange Theory suggests that individuals make behavioral decisions based on a cost-benefit evaluation (Moore & Asay, 2013). Quantitative survey data was statistically analyzed using frequencies, cross-tabulations, mean comparisons, independent t-tests, and a reliability analysis. We found support for our hypothesis in that while compared to females, males were approximately 20% less likely to see an underage drinking citation as a deterrent for them to continue drinking underage. Implications for practitioners include that it cannot be fully assumed that males will change their drinking behaviors after receiving a citation, therefore underage drinking may need to be handled differently between genders. Future research would benefit from a large, randomized national sample and a mixed methods approach to include the qualitative lived experience of the participants.


Olson is a student at UW-Whitewater. His work was titled “Localization Studies of Uncharacterized Mitochondrial Protein SLOWMO1.” His abstract on his research is below:

Author: Michael Olson

Mitochondria are the eukaryotic organelles most commonly known for their primary function of energy conversion. In order to better understand the potential causes and possible treatments of diseases related to mitochondrial dysfunctions, the function of mitochondrial proteins must be better understood. More than 1000 of the proteins believed to reside in human mitochondria have yet to be studied. With direction from the MitoCarta Compendium (a database of genes with high likelihood of being mitochondrial) we have cloned the cDNA encoding the unstudied putative mitochondrial membrane transport protein SLOWMO1. The cloned cDNA was inserted into an expression vector containing the immunofluorescent tag (GFP) allowing visualization of the protein expressed inside living cells. After confirming mitochondrial location we will manipulate expression (over-express/knock down) of the encoded protein to gather functional information. Any new information gathered about these proteins will aid in more fully understanding mitochondrial functions and may help lead to disease prevention or treatment.

For more information on the national conference, visit its website.

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