We provide funding for research scholarships for undergraduate students from a wide range of disciplines who participate in faculty-led research projects that address issues relevant to our mission. Undergraduate Research Scholarships are awarded on a semester-by-semester or academic year basis for research to be carried out in the fall and spring semesters.  A small number of awards are also available for students involved in research over the summer. Depending on funding availability, additional support may be provided to enable a student to attend a regional or national conference at which the student presents the results of the sponsored research project.

Fall 2018 scholarship cycle is closed. Check back in November for Spring 2019 scholarship cycle.

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2018 Fall Undergraduate Research Scholars

Student Research Faculty
Faisal AlSaad

“Payday Lending, Crime, and Suicide.”

This project will examine the impact of payday lending on other outcomes including local crime and suicide rates, outcomes that may result from increased financial distress and distraction. This project will investigate the impact (if any) of payday lending regulation on local-level crime and suicide rates.

Faisal AlSaad is majoring in business finance, economics, and mathematics.

Wendy Stock 

Agricultural Economics and Economics

Danielle Antelope

"Toward Piikani Food Sovereignty: A Study of Federal Regulations, Tribal Prerogatives, and Lessons Learned for Establishing and Maintaining a Culturally Appropriate Food Distribution Program on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.”

This project intends an investigation of food banks in American Indian communities: how they are successfully established and maintained, including monitoring and evaluation; to what extent they reflect community interest in food security and food sovereignty; how the tribal regulatory environment can best facilitate local Indigenous priorities like incorporating garden produce and traditional foods. Actual implementation will follow, guided by the Native Farm Bill Coalition’s “Indian Country Priorities and Opportunities for the 2018 Farm Bill, Title IV: Nutrition.

Danielle Antelop is majoring in sustainablefood and bioenergy systems.

Kristin Ruppel

Native American Studies 

Noelani Boise

 "Potential impacts of plastic degradation by thermoenzymes." 

This research project seeks to identify thermophiles from hot springs in Yellowstone National Park that are capable of degrading low-crystallinity polyethylene terephthalate (PET, a common plastic material). This will be tested using a matrix of microbial enrichments incorporating sediment from hot springs and differing atmospheric conditions (anaerobic and aerobic). The enrichments will be monitored for biodegradation using gas chromatography, material mass reduction, and microscopic imaging. If thermophiles capable of biodegrading PET are isolated and identified, they could be used as an economically efficient and sustainable means of managing plastic wastes, thus reducing plastic pollutants and making PET materials a more sustainable resource.

The research will also help inform societies on how to address the immediate and daunting problem of synthetic material pollution in an economically viable manner. Current PET recycling systems are limited, and regulations do not account for the vast array of plastic types or sheer quantity, indicating an urgent need for more environmentally-friendly regulations. This project will analyze current plastic recycling and waste regulations and estimate how microbial biodegradation might alter future management practices.

Noelani Boise is double majoring in environmental biology and German

Dana Skorupa

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Athena  Erickson

Project one: “Food and Development Aid.”

The purpose of this project is to extend recent empirical research on US food aid policy to account for the efficiency of different categories of non-government agencies in providing emergency food aid in the context of alternative regulatory requirements.  A particular context will be the efficiency and effectiveness of food and other aid (including FEMA outlays) in mitigating the impacts of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.   

Project two: “Charter schools:differences in the timing and structure of state level legislation and regulation and educational outcomes by race and gender.”

The purpose of this project is to extend empirical research examining the scope and determinants of the extent of charter schools, accounting for differences in the timing and structure of state level legislation and regulation, and their impact on educational outcomes by race and gender.  This is a new project and the first step, which is labor intensive, is to establish a comprehensive database on state-level charter school legislation and regulations. 

Athena Erickson is an economics major in the MSU Honors Program. 

Vincent Smith

Agricultural Economics and Economics

Emma Folkerts

"Human Trafficking: The Impact of Policy on Identification and Prosecution."

How do federal and state human trafficking policies impact the number of human trafficking cases identified and prosecuted in the United States? The goal of this study is to examine the impact (if any) of legislation on identification and prosecution to determine effective policies at increasing these rates. This is a proposal for continuation of funding for this project, which includes identification of (1) legislation and (2) arrest and prosecution data for human trafficking cases.

Emma Folkerts is studying economics and political science.

Wendy Stock

Agricultural Economics and Economics

Dustin Hofer 

"Post Sullivan Law Gun Regulations."

Decades of research has shown mixed results of the reduced-form effects of gun regulations on crime.  Despite the inconsistency of the existing evidence, most agree that private decisions to legally own and carry concealed handguns have serious ramifications for public safety, and the mixed findings on this topic stress the importance of alternative approaches to understand the consequences of gun regulations. In this proposed study, we will continue ongoing efforts to understand some of the earliest efforts to require permits to purchase and possess handguns.

Dustin Hofer is a junior majoring in economics with a minor in economics.

Isaac D. Swensen

Agricultural Economics and Economics  

Connor Hoffman

"Genetically Modified Food: Then, Now, and Tomorrow."

This research intends to explore the dynamic introduction of genetically modified organisms [GMOs] to the consumer food market. This will involve an investigation into the public policies regulating the initial introduction of GMO foods to the consumer market, and econometric assessment of their adoption within the supply chain.

Connor Hoffmann is majoring in directed interdisciplinary studies, chemical engineering; and biological engineering.

Wendy Stock

Agricultural Economics and Economics

Brody Wallace 

"Sensitivity Analysis of Multiple Regulatory Tools for Riparian Wetland Assessment to Disturbance Gradients within SW Montana."

Wetland assessment has been designed to meet multiple goals of federal, state and local agencies such as the Clean Water Act (CWA) 404(b)(1) regulatory guidelines for mitigation, the CWA §305(b) guidelines for states report aquatic conditions, BLM guidelines to manage grazing allotments, and local governments managing non-point pollution sources.

William Kleindl and Tony Hartshron

Land Resources and Environmental Services

Student Research Faculty
Joe Baan

“State Lottery Participation and Crime Rates.”

Joe is an economics major.

Isaac Swensen

Meghan Brence

“Assessing Potential Impacts of Electronic Logging Device Regulations on Cattle Prices.”

Meghan is an agricultural business major. 

Anton Bekkerman
Andie Creel

“An Evaluation of Montana’s Willingness to Pay for Un-hunted Yellowstone Grizzly.”

Andie is an economics major.
Mark Anderson
Danielle Daley

“Do Graduate Policies and Characteristics Affect Economists’ Later Publication and co-Authorship Rates?”

Danielle is an economics major

Wendy Stock
Carolyn Egervary

"Data on Trends in Enrollment and Outcomes of Students Covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and IDEA-related Special Education Teacher Certification Requirements."

Carolyn is studying biological sciencs and economics.

Wendy Stock
Emma Folkerts

"Human Trafficking: The Impact of Policy on Identification and Prosecution."

Emma is studying economics and political science.

Wendy Stock
Connor Hoffman

“Assessing the Effects of Automation in Historically Labor-safe Industries.”

 

Mark Anderson
Laura Ippolito

 “Toward a Market-based Solution for Improving the Cost-Effectiveness of Enforcing the U.S. Grain Traceability Mandates.”

Laura is studying sustainable foods and bioenergy systems, and economics.

Anton Bekkerman and Bruce Maxwell
Sarah McKnight

“Mental Health Resources in Schools, School Disciplinary Outcomes, and Youth Crime.”

 
Christiana Stoddard
 
Student Research Faculty
Carolyn Egervary

"Data on Trends in Enrollment and Outcomes of Students Covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and IDEA-related Special Education Teacher Certification Requirements."

Her research project will support data gathering efforts in support of an overarching research program aimed at investigating the impacts of policy and regulation on the health and well-being of young people with physical and mental disorders.

Carolyn is majoring in biological sciences, pre-med, and economics.

Wendy Stock

Athena Erickson

“Charter Schools: The consequences of post Hurricane Education Policy Change in New Orleans and Puerto Rico.”

The purpose of this project is to extend recent empirical research on US food aid policy to account for the efficiency of different categories of non-government agencies in providing emergency food aid in the context of alternative regulatory requirements. These include the current monetization requirement for approximately 20 percent of all food aid outlays and the impact of current sourcing requirements for food aid as opposed to more flexible local and regional sourcing policies.

Athena is an economics major in the MSU Honors Program. 

Vincent Smith
Dominick Faith

"Developing Bio-based treatments for Scours with regard to FDA policy that governs these treatment strategies."

This project aims to develop novel biological-treatment strategies for treating scours that will outperform current methods that rely on antibiotics, and will help determine how biological treatments will be viewed by the FDA.

Dominick is a junior majoring in cell biology and neuroscience.

Blake Wiedenheft, Eric Belasco
Fangfei Nui

"An Examination of Antibiotic Regulations on Cattle Production in Montana and Access to Export Markets.."

This research will provide a review of issues related to antibiotic use in beef cattle production and its associations with food labeling regulations, consumer preferences, and international trade regulations associated with US exports into major trading partners, such as Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and China. This project will be conducted using an interdisciplinary approach, as this student will work in collaboration with Dominik Faith (undergraduate working under the direction of Dr. Wiedenheft, see above), who will focus on developing a non-antibiotic treatment for scours. The final report for this project will be co-authored by both students, who will each benefit from this interdisciplinary collaboration. 

Fangfei, horticulture major, is a senior exchange student from the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University in China.

 Eric Belasco
Emma Folkerts

"Human Trafficking: The Impact of Policy on Identification and Prosecution"

Her research will examine the impact of human trafficking legislation (the independent variable) on outcome variables including the number of human trafficking cases identified and prosecuted from 2000 to 2016.

Emma is studying economics, political science and sociology.

Wendy Stock
Alex Houtz

"Can Domestic Violence Victim Screening Reduce Domestic Violence?"

Alex's research project considers the extent to which the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) similarly reduces more frequent non-lethal domestic violence incidents and whether the benefits of implementing LAP extend beyond the pilot state of Maryland.

Alex is majoring in economics.

Isaac Swensen
Ryan Trefethen

“Impacts of Medicaid Reform in Montana.”

This study examines the link between national Medicaid policy and funding and Medicaid funding and coverage in Montana will be examined over the period 1995 to 2017. Impacts of potential changes in federal policy on Medicaid funding and coverage in Montana will be examined using detailed data on Medicaid services and coverage in Montana.

Ryan is majoring in financial engineering.

Vincent Smith
Student Research Faculty
Faisal Al-Saad

 "Investigating the Effect of GDL Laws on Risk Behaviors"

Faisal is majoring in finance, mathematics, and finance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one third of U.S. drivers aged 16 to 17 years are victims of fatal crashes between 2009-2014. The crashes result from high risk behavior such as speeding, drinking and driving, and having other youths in the motor vehicle.  Faisal will research will examine Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) and time spent with a responsible adult as a possible source to reducing risky behavior among youth in the US. 

Greg Gilpin
Athena Erickson  Athena is an economics major in the MSU Honors Program. Her research project will extend recent empirical research on US food aid policy to account for the efficiency of different categories of non-government agencies in providing emergency food aid in the context of alternative regulatory requirements. These include the current monetization requirement for approximately 20 percent of all food aid outlays and the impact of current sourcing requirements for food aid as opposed to more flexible local and regional sourcing policies. Vincent Smith
Peter Asmuth

 "An Economic Analysis of the Causes and Consequences of Wilderness Designation"

Peter is majoring in economics with a minor in mathematics. His research examines economic issues associated with government regulations affecting the use of over 100 million acres of western lands.

Randal Rucker
 Seth Hedge

“Prosocial Organizing and Regulation: Nonprofit Tax Status”

Seth is a candidate of a Masters of Professional Accountancy. His research will examine tax-exempt status of nonprofits in the U.S., particularly whether tax-exempt status of nonprofits should be removed or modified.

Ed Gamble
Laura Ippolito  “Toward a Market-based Solution for Improving the Cost-Effectiveness of Enforcing the U.S. Grain Traceability Mandates”

Laura is a junior Honors Student dual-majoring in sustainable foods and bioenergy systems, agroecology option, and economics. Her research will investigate whether emerging on-farm wheat quality assessment technology creates an opportunity for a market solution to barriers facing the wheat industry.

Anton Bekkerman & Bruce Maxwell
 Joseph Lazarus  “Winsome: Widening Interest in New Soil Organic Matter Economics”

His research will explore whether, and if so, how, soil organic matter (SOM) levels affect producer bottom lines.

Tony Hartshorn

Ryan Trefethen

Ryan is a junior dual majoring in financial engineering and economics. His research will look at the link between national Medicaid policy and funding and Medicaid funding and coverage in Montana over the period 1995 to 2017. Impacts of potential changes in federal policy on Medicaid funding and coverage in Montana will be examined using detailed data on Medicaid services and coverage in Montana.

Vincent Smith

 
 
Student Research Faculty
Andrea Creel

“Analyzing the Impact of GDL Laws on Youth Employment and Risk Behaviors” 

Andrea is a junior majoring in economics with a minor in computer science. Her summer research examined whether Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) programs have effects on teenage Labor Force Participation Rates (LFPR)s due to the restrictions they impose on teenage mobility.

Gregory Gilpin
Grace Dikeman 

 “Alternative Crop Insurance Subsidy Structures with WTO-compliance considerations”

Grace is a junior majoring in economics with a minor in business administration.

Anton Bekkerman & Gregory Gilpin
Tanner Edward 

 "What SOX should a bank be wearing? The Differential Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley on Small, Medium and Large Banks”

Tanner is a junior majoring in accounting. His research will examine the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) on the performance of banking institutions, presents an opportunity to understand how major regulation affects short- and long-term performance of banks across size and ownership structure.

Gary Caton, Edward Gamble, & Frank Kerins
 Allie 
Hale

“Research on the History and Current State of Regulations on Marketing Psychiatric Pharmaceuticals in the U.S.”
Allie is a junior majoring in Marketing and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.  Her research will generate a history and provide an overview of laws regarding pharmaceutical marketing of psychiatric drugs in the United States, with focus on drugs for treating ADHD. This research will describe the current state of laws at the state and federal levels and will summarize the progression of these laws over time.

Wendy Stock
Micah McFelly 

 “A Review of Mental Health Service Policy and Delivery in U.S. Higher Education Institutions”

Micah is a junior double majoring in economics and community health. His research project aims to compile a comprehensive literature review on the practices and services that higher education institutions in the U.S. use to address student mental health in the campus environment. This review will also include an inventory of potential data sources that could facilitate further research and analysis regarding mental health services and outcomes in higher education.

Wendy Stock
     
 Alex 
Rickey

“Research on the Effects of Early Gun Regulations”
Alex is a junior majoring in Finance with a minor in Economics. His research will create a unique dataset on gun-related accidents, suicides, and homicides during the early to mid-1900s to estimate the effect of some of the earliest efforts to require permits to purchase and possess handguns.  The dataset will be created using historical mortality records from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention that will be divided by state and year (and city where available) and will then be used in a difference in difference approach to compare gun-related mortality outcome before and after these laws were implemented.

 
Isaac Swensen
 
Student Research Faculty
Madeline Demaske

“Alternative Crop Insurance Subsidy Structures with WTO-compliance considerations”
Madeline is a senior double majoring in Agribusiness Management and Applied Economics.  Her research will examine the relationship between trade regulations made between members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and domestic agricultural support programs in the United States.  This research will provide an overview of existing regulations, review conflicts between trade commitments and current and past US domestic agricultural support programs, and assess future avenues of domestic support programs that are in full compliance with WTO commitments.

Eric Belasco

Alec Dinerstein

“Research on the History and Current State of Special Education Funding Laws in the US” 
Alec is a junior majoring in Physics and minoring in Economics.  His research will examine the history and current state of special education funding laws in the US at the federal and state level.  This research will create a timeline and a machine-readable data set summarizing how the landscape of legislation, focused on the welfare of special needs students, has changed over time.  These findings will be incorporated into research, currently being conducted on the impacts of ADHD diagnoses on educational outcomes.

Wendy Stock
Tyler 
Elkins

“Impact of Dodd‐Frank on Mortgage Delinquency Rates for Large‐, Medium‐, and Small‐Size Banks”
Tyler is a senior majoring in Business Finance with a focus on Economics.  His research will test to see if the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DF) has affected mortgage delinquency rates for the largest one-hundred banks as well as one-hundred banks not amongst the largest ranked by assets.  Using ordinary least squares regression, the relationship between mortgage delinquency rates, Dodd-Frank, and bank size will be examined.  Additional parameters such as LIBOR, Unemployment Rate, and GDP growth will also be considered.

Frank Kerins  & Gary Caton

Colburn Field

“An Exploration into the contradictory definitions of “Good Farming Practices” across U.S. Government Agencies”
Colburn is a senior double majoring in Agribusiness Management and Economics.  His research will examine the conflict between conservation practices and mandates enforced by the Risk Management Agency of the USDA. It will also work to identify the primary practices within this conflict and the barriers to information being included in the good farming practices.  In order to look at this conflict, the research will focus on understanding the definitions used by the Risk Management agency to define ‘good farming practices’ and how those definitions relate to those used by other federal agencies.

 

Eric Belasco 
 Allie 
Hale

“Research on the History and Current State of Regulations on Marketing Psychiatric Pharmaceuticals in the U.S.”
Allie is a junior majoring in Marketing and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.  Her research will generate a history and provide an overview of laws regarding pharmaceutical marketing of psychiatric drugs in the United States, with focus on drugs for treating ADHD. This research will describe the current state of laws at the state and federal levels and will summarize the progression of these laws over time.

Wendy Stock
 Austin Larson  “The Effect of Labor Market Regulatory Policy on Nascent Entrepreneurship”

Austin is a junior majoring in Business Marketing. He also has an Associate’s Degree in Aviation. His research will investigate the link between growth of nascent entrepreneurial firms and state minimum wage policies, subminimum wage provisions, and exemptions for small businesses.  Different types of entrepreneurship and different minimum wage levels and conditions will be examined in search of relationships and impacts on economic growth.

Agnieszka Kwapisz
 Dan Penoyer  “The Impact of Biofilm Regulatory Policy on the Development of Healthcare-Related Products”

Dan is a junior double majoring in Business Finance and Economics.  His research will evaluate the change over time in the number of US Patents that include the term ‘biofilm’ in the title, abstract, or claims in order to better understand the relative prevalence of the development of biofilm-related medical technology.  This process will include trying to identify which of these new patents are specifically for technologies that may have medical applications that would be regulated by the FDA.

Paul Sturman  & Frank Kerins

 Alex 
Rickey

“Research on the Effects of Early Gun Regulations”
Alex is a junior majoring in Finance with a minor in Economics. His research will create a unique dataset on gun-related accidents, suicides, and homicides during the early to mid-1900s to estimate the effect of some of the earliest efforts to require permits to purchase and possess handguns.  The dataset will be created using historical mortality records from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention that will be divided by state and year (and city where available) and will then be used in a difference in difference approach to compare gun-related mortality outcome before and after these laws were implemented.

 
Isaac Swensen
John Walker   “The Effects of Regulations on the Commercial Fertilizer Industry”

John is a senior majoring in Agricultural Business.  His research will examine the regulatory environment of the natural gas and fertilizer industries and empirically investigate the extent to which this regulatory structure has affected the efficiency of information transmission in fertilizer markets.  He will also investigate the degree to which uncertainty has influenced our ability to predict fertilizer prices and evaluate the extent to which agricultural production costs are affected by natural gas and fertilizer industry regulations.

 Gary Brester

 

Applications for undergraduate research scholarships must be made by a tenured/tenure-track member of the MSU-Bozeman faculty on behalf of the undergraduate student. In addition to their research activity, recipients of Undergraduate Research Scholarship Awards are expected to participate in up to two lunchtime brownbag seminars during the semester. The seminars will enable students to share their research and get feedback from peers and faculty researchers. Requests for proposals  are typically announced in late-fall (for spring and summer scholarships) and mid-late spring/early fall (for fall and academic year scholarships).