Sue Krueger ’04, ’06, ’16

A special Saint Spotlight in honor of National Radiologic Tech Week

Sue Krueger '04, '06, '16 - National Radiologic Tech Week postAlumna Sue Krueger ’04, ’06, ’16 started her career in health care as a radiation therapist in 1991, which she enjoyed for 10 years before venturing into the management arena. As part of that journey, Sue went back to school to earn her bachelor’s degree in Business Health Arts and graduated from the University of St. Francis in 2004. 

With her love of learning she went on to become director of several diverse departments, including oncology, cardiology, and neurology. She also obtained her Master of Health Administration (2006) and Master of Business Administration (2016), both from the University of St. Francis.  

Today, Sue proudly works as the oncology service line director at Porter Regional Hospital in Valparaiso, Indiana, as well as an adjunct instructor for USF’s Radiation Therapy program. She loves the people she works with and the communities they serve.

Sue’s advice for students and prospects: “Doing what you love doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. The hard work put into something you enjoy makes you appreciate it even more.  Cherish the challenges as well as the successes, and learn from the journey.”

Seniors Lidia Montoya and Yessenia Garza Research Illinois’ Civil Commitment of Sexually Dangerous Persons

A SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience) Program Feature

“Illinois’ Civil Commitment of Sexually Dangerous Persons: An Analysis of Appellate Court Documents”

Seniors Lidia Montoya and Yessenia Garza, both of whom are double majoring in Psychology and Criminal & Social Justice, are spending their summer researching how Illinois courts and court-appointed psychiatrists determine someone to be a “sexually dangerous person.” The research is part of USF’s SURE program.

“This topic interested me because I believe that not a lot of people are aware of policies and laws that affect the community in which they live. As part of the education process as both a psychology and criminal & social justice major here at USF, I get to explore the criminal justice system as well as the psychological implications and ethics involved with some of the policies, which is why when I heard of civil commitment, it intrigued both of my educational backgrounds and it immediately raised one important question: How is a person in civil commitment deemed recovered? That main question is something that is important in our research endeavors because it will provide an explanation for the implementation of civil commitment for sex offenders,” said Montoya.

The Research Process

As part of the SURE project, Garza and Montoya, together with their faculty member Stacy Dewald, Ph.D., are analyzing data from Lexis Uni, a legal document database of sexually dangerous persons cases that have been appealed, which can be filtered to review the cases in Illinois. That has resulted in 365 cases, which the group is coding for characteristics such as gender and age of victim and offender, jurisdiction, if a mental disorder is present, etc.

“Essentially, we are trying to see if there are any significant similarities or differences and if there are any similarities that lead to a specific decision on the appeal,” Montoya explained.

Undergraduate research feature: Lidia Montoya and Yessenia Garza

Relevant Research for Illinois

Sexually dangerous persons can appeal the decisions of the circuit court regarding their civil commitment hearings. This study seeks to research these appellate court cases and examine the relationship between outcomes of the cases and certain variables (e.g., evidence presented, number of disorders, number of victims).

“Finding more information will be beneficial in understanding this topic, especially because it is such a sensitive topic, ethically and for social policy,” said Montoya.

It will be interesting to hear the final findings, which will be presented at the SURE Scholars Day (TBD) and ACCA Undergraduate Research Symposium in April 2020.

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Junior Calvin Hartsfield Building Computer-based Musical Synthesizer

A Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program Feature

“Study of Max Programming, Synthesis and Instrument Compilation”

What is junior Digital Audio Recording Arts (DARA) major Calvin Hartsfield up to this summer? He is programming a computer-based musical synthesizer from scratch. The project is part of the SURE program at USF.

Hartsfield explained why he chose this project, stating, “I’ve always had a knack for designing my own sounds from prebuilt synthesizers, but I’ve always been curious about how I could utilize tools I built myself. Plus, I think it’s just great knowledge to have to pass on to others.”

Calvin Hartsfield - Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

Creating Virtual Instruments and Audio Effects

Using virtual synths is becoming one of the most popular ways to make music today. Many producers will buy a synth, find a preset they like, and begin creating, but there are few producers who create their own sounds from scratch, let alone create a synthesizer that drives those sounds.

Hartsfield will be using Max, an object-oriented computer language, to create playable virtual instruments and functional audio effects. To do this, he will use additive synthesis and the harmonic series. Additive synthesis is the use of multiple sinusoidal waveforms, or sine waves, to create intricate sounds. A sine wave is the simplest, purest form of sound. When multiple sine waves of varying frequencies are stacked on top of each other, they create a more complex waveform. When the harmonic series, an equation that leads to the next partial of a current frequency in the air, is followed, specific waveforms can be created for use within a synthesizer. Using the harmonic series, Hartsfield can build a new additive synthesizer from the ground up using Max.

Pushing the DARA Program to the Next Level

Hartsfield believes his research will open new doors within the DARA program.

“Creating a synth from nothing and learning the programming language and formulas along the way could be a substantial next step into pushing the DARA program to an even higher level of technical excellence,” Hartsfield explained.

Upon completion of his program, Hartsfield should have functional, easy-to-use, playable instruments stored in a DARA database for all DARA students to use. He will also leave the code for the Max patches that make up these usable tools for current and future students to download, learn from and modify for their own purposes.

It will be exciting to hear what Hartsfield creates!

Junior Donovan Summers Creating Resource Database for Aspiring DARA Musicians

A Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program Feature

“Creating a Record Label to Promote the Success of Artists at St. Francis”

Junior Digital Audio Recording Arts (DARA) major Donovan Summers hopes to make a name for himself on the business side of the music industry one day, and he is spending his summer conducting undergraduate research on the modern record label, creating a comprehensive database of resources for aspiring DARA musicians to use to make it big in the industry.

“By researching this topic, I believe that the information I find could help the artists of DARA be more successful in today’s internet-driven music world,” Summers wrote.

The Modern Music Industry

Up until the early 2010s, traditional record labels were the only way for artists to get their music distributed. Today, artists can self-publish without going through a record label. Music is mainly streamed, and there are more than a dozen internet-based distributors. However, according to Summers, having a manager and label has proven to be the most successful way for an artist to break through the scene. By creating a database of tools and resources, Summers is helping make it easier for musicians to publish and promote their music on their own. 

“Personally, as someone who wishes to enter the business side of the industry, I would like to not only gain information for myself, but also leave something behind for the other music entrepreneurs,” Summers noted.

Donovan Summers - DARA undergraduate research (SURE)

The Research

The bulk of the project includes gathering information on self-distribution sites and performing a cost versus benefit analysis. Summers, under the guidance of faculty supervisor Alby Odum, looks for every available service to create a comprehensive list. Factors for analysis include price, time of distribution, amount of platforms distributed to, and other available services. Additionally, Summers is researching music bloggers, who are instrumental in helping up-and-coming artists get recognized, to create a database of contacts focusing on rising artists, as well as streaming service curators.

Upon completion of the project, information will be organized in a single database.

A possible DARA record label?

Summers hopes that if his experiment is successful, a DARA record label could be put in place for all artists pursuing music.

“The DARA program would benefit from a record label, but it needs the resources to get there. One day, I hope for a class where students…get to manage an artist for one to two semesters. This means that even after the research project is finished, there is more work to be done,” he said.

Summers’ research will certainly help the record label get a head start.

Junior Michelle Andrade Researching Dissociative Identity Disorder’s Representation on Social Media

As part of the SURE program, junior psychology major Michelle Andrade is collaborating with Melinda Hammond, Psy.D., to research how dissociative identity disorder (DID) is represented on social media. In layman’s terms, DID is the presence of more than one distinct personality held by an individual person, each with its own preferences, memories and way of seeing the world.

Explaining why she was interested in pursuing this research topic, Andrade noted, “I think it is an interesting topic to research because there is not much information about DID in the psychology field. Despite this, individuals on social media sites discuss DID in depth.”

SURE feature - Michelle Andrade - undergraduate research on dissociative identity disorder (DID)

The Research

Psychological research has attempted to harness the large amount of data generated daily by social media and internet users to analyze certain populations that have been hard to reach. Because of the rarity of DID and the presence of DID-centered communities online, a social media analysis (specifically of YouTube, Reddit and Tumblr) was chosen for this study.

Some of the goals of the project include identifying if diagnostic criteria is similar to the DSM-5, if a high level of self-diagnosis is prevalent, and to gain deeper insights into the lived experiences of individuals with the disorder.

The data collection for this study follows the general strategy of Hammond’s dissertation, which is based on a variety of qualitative techniques including typical case sampling (adapted for internet data), in which data was collected on the social medial platforms for four keywords: “Dissociative Identity Disorder,” “Multiple Personality Disorder,” “OSDD” (Other Specified Dissociative Disorder), and “Alters” (a word used colloquially to represent the personalities a person might have). These four keywords appear to capture a breadth of data that incorporates both technical diagnosis and population-developed vocabulary.

The data was then coded, which involves creating rules to draw out examples of commonly-seen concepts and analyzing their frequencies. From here, Andrade and Hammond are performing a content analysis to compare types of data (e.g., self-diagnosis vs. professional diagnosis). Other forms of quantitative analysis, including word frequency and thematic analysis, will be possible through the software Atlas.ti, and analyzed through the lens of existing literature.

“We wanted to produce a study that centered on the lived experiences/phenomenology of individuals who perceive themselves as having DID in some form,” Andrade explained in her proposal.

Michelle Andrade with advisor Melinda Hammond

A Valuable Experience

“A career goal of mine is to one day conduct my own research. By working on this project, I will be familiar with the procedures of conducting research. Having this prior knowledge and experience would also help me excel in graduate school,” Andrade noted.

This experiment will certainly give her some valuable experience that will not only help her career, but more importantly, those with DID.

Senior Biology Major Natalie Rozwadowski Conducting Gene Annotation for Drosophila takahashii

A Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program Feature

“Annotation of Drosophila takahashii on Chromosone 3L”

Senior biology major Natalie Rozwadowski is conducting a gene annotation for Drosophila takahashii as part of the SURE program. Gene annotation identifies all the coding regions for genes within a genome and helps form hypotheses of the function of each gene based upon the similarities between species.

Drosophila takahashii is a model organism due to its similarities to many other organisms, including humans, as well as the ability to breed them at rapid rates and produce large numbers of offspring. Scientists are able to witness the traits that are passed down from generation to generation within a few short weeks or months.

“My interest in this project started in my Genetics and Perspectives in Evolution classes. I thought it was extremely interesting to look at the differences of a species at the genomic level, rather than the phenotype level. I also like how we can use this information to see the changes of a species over time and understand the effects mutations have,” Rozwadowski said.

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience - Natalie

The Research

Rozwadowski is working with Jackie Wittke-Thompson, Ph.D., on this project. Wittke-Thompson is a member of the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP), so the duo is using the GEP annotation workflow and gene report documents to complete and document their research, having the ability to claim projects, publish results, and access all programs and educational materials. The GEP allows undergraduate students to do genomic-level research, as it takes hundreds of scientists to annotate an entire genome quickly and efficiently.

In this study, gene annotation is being completed on one or more contigs (a segment of contiguous DNA sequences from a sequencing project) and will help the larger GEP research group make a better genomic-level analysis of the evolutionary relationship between D. melanogaster, D. takahashii, and other Drosophila species that have been sequenced on a genomic level.

It will be interesting to learn what Rozwadowski’s annotation uncovers!