U of O students receive NASA grants

Release Date: 3/5/2009

Clarksville, Ark. –- Two University of the Ozarks students have received funding from NASA, via the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium, to work on undergraduate research projects.

Mariah Jones and Ashley Teague learned last week they have both been awarded grants to work on individual research projects.

Mariah JonesJones, a sophomore chemistry major from Coal Hill, Ark., will be using the grant to study the “Synthesis and Analysis of Animal Fat Biodiesel.” Jones will be starting her project next fall and will receive guidance from Dr. Brian McFarland, an assistant professor of chemistry at Ozarks.

“We are trying to see if one animal’s fat works better than the other,” said Jones.

Jones will be comparing bovine, swine and poultry in her research. Using methanol and ethanol, Jones will be able to break down the biodiesel in each animal and run through a series of tests to produce her results.

Ashley TeagueTeague, a freshman strategic communication major from Lavaca, Ark., will be researching the “Perceived Leadership Qualities Based on Power of Language, Gender, and Response Times.”

Teague, who will begin her research on April 15, expects her project to take up to one year to complete.

“We are testing what kind of speakers people take directions better from,” said Teague. “It may be a male or female and we want to find out what type of language used is best.”

Teague will be under the guidance of Dr. Heather McFarland, an assistant professor of communications at Ozarks. Her project will use participants, who will listen to various voices and commands. Teague would like to gain experience from the project and a jump start into the communication field.

Both students received grants after writing proposals, which outlined their projects and how they related to and would benefit NASA. These students will also have a chance to visit a NASA research center to discuss their projects with NASA scientists in fields related to their research.