2012

ORAL SESSION I

Why and How the Northern and Southern Mind Developed Differently on the Issue of Slavery
David Thomas
Faculty Sponsor: Michael Schwarz, History and Political Science

On February 6, 1837, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina gave one of his most famous speeches on the floor of the United States Senate. The general message of the speech was that slavery was morally good, for it provided a benefit to both the white slaveholders and the African slaves. Ironically, on the same day in the House of Representatives John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts violated the so-called “gag rule”— Congress’s self-imposed prohibition on discussion of slavery—by reading a series of petitions against slavery. Though somewhat cryptic at first, Adams’ ultimate goal was to highlight the ridiculousness of the gag rule and ultimately to open the floors of the House of Representatives to arguments on slavery. The goal of my research is to understand how the country came to such divided opinions on the morality of slavery. My presentation examines the Founding Era, in which there existed a general consensus amongst the prominent statesmen that slavery was wrong; the Missouri Compromise of 1820, when the violence of slavery and anti-slavery arguments first burst onto the national scene; and finally Calhoun’s arguments, based on aristocratic and monarchical assumptions of superiority in order to justify the morality of slavery. The conclusion argues that it was Adams, representative of the Northern mind, who held true to the Founders’ consensus—the belief that all men were equal in their natural liberty—and Calhoun, representative of the Southern mind, who repudiated the Founding consensus on slavery’s evil.

Caffeine Improves Athletic Performance Among Division II Collegiate Swimmers
Nicholas Mazzino
Faculty Sponsors: David Vanata, Family and Consumer Sciences and Robert Bergosh, Chemistry/Geology/Physics

Caffeine has been identified as a possible ergogenic aid for athletic performance. The objective of this study was to evaluate caffeine’s effects on short distance swim trials. Caffeine dosages of 3mg/kg/b.w. and placebos were administered via vegan capsules to 30 Division II collegiate swimmers, (males, n=18), in a single blind, crossover study design. Capsules were administered 30 minutes prior to completing a 50-yard time trial, using electronic touch-pads. Urine samples were collected and analyzed via HPLC to determine the amount of caffeine excreted in the urine. Significant improvements were observed between caffeine and placebo time trials (mean=27.28 ±3.65 seconds vs. 27.51 ±3.74 seconds, respectively, p=0.009). Overall, caffeine improved performance among 61% of males (n=11) and 83.3% of females (n=10). Urinary excretion of caffeine among the control group compared to the placebo group was significant (p<0.001).
Mean caffeine urinary excretion among the caffeine group was 2.56 ±2.10 μg/ml; among the placebo group it was 0.827 μg/ml ±1.34. Mean female urinary excretion of caffeine was significantly greater than that observed by males (3.28 ±2.52 μg/ml. vs. 2.01 ±1.68 μg/ ml, respectively, p=.019). Overall, caffeine supplementation was found to significantly improve time trials of both genders; however a greater percentage of females improved their swim times compared to males, as well as excreting greater levels of urinary caffeine. Additional studies are needed to further investigate the differential effects of caffeine on men and women as observed in this study.

Personal Essays: A Reading by Jacob Ewing
Jacob Ewing
Faculty Sponsor: Joe Mackall, English

Creative nonfiction has been referred to as “the fourth genre,” following poetry, fiction, and drama. But its place as the fourth genre does not make it the least important. Indeed, literary nonfiction is a wide genre which includes the essay, the memoir, literary journalism, and still other forms. As a writer of creative nonfiction, my highest priority is honesty. This, more than anything, is what connects a reader to an essay. If I can get my reader to see what I have actually seen, to feel what I have actually felt, and to reflect on the meaning of real experiences from my life, then I have achieved the creation of literature. I will be reading a piece entitled “Sometimes Trees are Trees,” a piece inspired by an hour-long drive along the Michigan countryside from Ann Arbor to East Lansing in the fall. The piece deals with the tendency of writers to constantly apply greater meaning to every possible facet of the material world.

Arvo Pärt: Sacred Music of the Twentieth Century
Kyle Gould
Faculty Sponsor: Christina Fuhrmann, Music

Throughout the twentieth century, music pushed the proverbial envelope more rapidly than at any other time in history. This produced much extremely dissonant, or unpleasant, music. This trend led some composers to push back and compose music informed by older styles, while trying to maintain a modern edge. One such composer is Arvo Pärt. After writing in the style of other twentieth century composers for quite some time, he studied Medieval and Renaissance music in order to reinvigorate his music and to express the sacred. His reemergence in the classical music world corresponded roughly to the time that minimalism was first created. Minimalism is music that utilizes only the essential building blocks of a piece of music, and it usually features repetitive rhythms that slowly evolve over time. His music is predominantly vocal and sacred, and the similarities with the sacred music of the early church chant, as well as his minimalist sound, lead many people to describe his music as sacred minimalism. The quality of his music, as well as his use of church Latin, makes it evident that his music is intended as an audio icon, an aural channel to God. I will show how Pärt’s study of Medieval and Renaissance music led him to create a twentieth century aural icon that connects to the divine just as visual icons and chant did in the Medieval and Renaissance eras.

Windows into a Harmonious Reality
Joshua Risner
Faculty Sponsor: Charles Caldemeyer, Art

My paintings are stimuli for, and artifacts of, my search for hope. They reveal a hidden aspect of reality by materializing the immaterial, giving a physical presence to thought, concept and spirit. The entire process of painting from concept to craft is a means of discovery which creates objects that reveal a more complete understanding of reality. It is an ongoing process which reveals meaning through both answers and questions that lead to more answers and questions, and ultimately more meaning. Throughout history, symbols have been used to represent the hidden aspects of reality. As with those before me, my search for meaning relies on the use of symbols in intentional and unintentional ways. The symbols I use in my paintings are derived from a life of personal, educational, and cultural experiences. Figures, landscapes, and animals, as well as art historical and biblical symbols, are key elements in my work. By manipulating, combining, and juxtaposing these symbols my paintings reveal a more complex understanding of reality than is apparent on the surface. They are windows into a harmonious reality.

ORAL SESSION II

The Influence of Context and Color on Memory
Lauren E. Goossens, Sarah N. Guarino, Rachel E. A. Carson
Faculty Sponsor: Diane B.V. Bonfiglio, Psychology

Research has suggested that context and color appear to influence memory. Context-dependent memory suggests that people perform better on recognition tests if testing conditions are well-matched to the conditions in which the material was initially presented. Additionally, the presence of color during presentation or testing appears to increase memory. Though the individual influences of context and color are well-researched, they have less frequently been investigated together. In this study, we attempted to combine the two. Eighty undergraduate students were randomly assigned to one of four conditions (images presented in color and memory test conducted in color; images presented in color and memory test conducted in black/white; images presented in black/white and memory test conducted in black/white; and images presented in black/white and memory test conducted in color). All participants viewed a slideshow of images, completed a word search as a filler task, and then completed a recognition memory test. A t-test revealed that participants who were tested in conditions that matched the conditions of initial viewing did not exhibit greater memory than did participants who were tested in different conditions from those in which the material was initially presented, t(78) =.892, p = 0.19. Further, participants who viewed images in color did not remember more than did participants who viewed images in black and white, t(78) =.855, p = 0.20. Our results did not support our hypotheses. However, the small sample size of the study may have limited our ability to find statistical significance.

Profiling and Detecting Deceitful Communication in Security Screening
Megan Wise
Faculty Sponsor: Deleasa Randall-Griffiths, Communication Studies

In the realm of ensuring the safety of the public and detecting deception amongst individuals, behavioral profiling, rather than racial profiling, has become a more effective and socially accepted approach of detecting suspicious plots in a security context. Through the interpersonal communication knowledge of cognitive schemata, racial profiling has drawn a great deal of criticism due to its tendencies to stereotype others. These knowledge structures indicate how individuals will act based on the actions of a general group, culture, or race. Data has also shown that deceitful individuals have developed their own scripts, or guidelines, of how to conduct themselves during devious plots. Through the functionality of scripts, security officials must be trained in thorough detail to recognize if any behavior refutes the typical conduct of a security capacity. Due to the controversy of racial profiling, behavioral profiling has become a strategic component to assist in the detection of deceitful communication. The Interpersonal Deception Theory (IDT) argues that deception is an interpersonal action, thus individuals will employ communication tactics to achieve their devious goal of interaction. I.D.T. identifies the concept of nonverbal leakage, where individuals unknowingly reveal truthful information through their facial expressions or body movements. It is imperative that security officials are trained in the context of detecting minimal movement, which can increase the likelihood of suspicious behavior being identified. Devious individuals come from all walks of life, thus it is essential to establish a unified training of deceptive nonverbal behaviors to increase the prospect of targeting suspicious individuals.

The Happy Empire: Aristotle, Publius, and the American Regime
Dantan Wernecke
Faculty Sponsor: Justin D. Lyons, History and Political Science

When the authors of The Federalist Papers outline the many advances in political science in, the very first innovation they list is “the regular distribution of power into distinct departments.” This prompts the question of how new is this concept. Political science is, in fact, as old as Aristotle. The purpose of this presentation is to show the links between the universal principles contained in Aristotelian political philosophy and the political thought of the early Republic. This is a comparative venture. The purpose of any comparative endeavor is to build a greater knowledge of those things that are investigated. Simultaneously, it is possibly the greatest tool made available to political science. Comparative politics ventures to judge political orders based upon the merit of its principle in relationship to other political orders. Yet the greatest task of any comparative study is ultimately to compare the regime to the universal and eternal standards of truth. The truth has borne its fruits and I believe I have done my best to apply them were they can be had. My research has shown there to be significant connections through what I call the “Universal Regime Theory” of Aristotle. From this, the results have allowed me to have a greater appreciation for the political regime in which I live and have shown me a more complete understanding of the American way of life.

How to Be a Wicked Witch; or, A Guide to Becoming the Next Dark Lord
Madeline Beer, Drew Rothhaar, Edward Carney
Faculty Sponsor: Fabio Polanco, Theatre

In the world of musical theatre, it is important to know your “character type.” Your appearance, demeanor, humor, personality, and style indicate the spectrum of characters that you may be able to play. One person may be best suited to play the heroic lead while another may be more inclined to take the role of a comedic sidekick. As we examined our own character types, we found we both fell into a happy, “good-guy/girl” category. In order to challenge ourselves even further before leaving the academic theatre world and entering the professional theatre world, we have concocted a musical revue in which we both play villains. We collected information and songs from the canon of villains in musical theatre and film and devised a script around the recurring themes of jealousy, vanity, lust, anger, gluttony, greed, and sloth. One researcher has found that his biggest challenge has been portraying the narcissism of characters such as the evil Gaston from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, while the other researcher has found that hers has been portraying the seductive nature of characters such as Velma Kelly from Kander and Ebb’s Chicago. As we continue to work toward our final performance at the end of March, we will hone in on these particular challenges in order to epitomize the villainous character type. Stretching ourselves beyond the characters we usually play will help us identify our personal character types and reveal our strengths and weaknesses. During our session, we will be performing and then elucidating for the audience a scene from our production that exemplifies these villainous characters and the challenges they pose.

ORAL SESSION III

The Last Enlightenment
Tara Kodosky
Faculty Sponsor: Fabio Polanco, Theatre

Acting is not an easy task. That is why I chose to make Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker my senior project. The play provided a great challenge to the actor because of its naturalistic nature. This play called upon acting methods such as Constantin Stanislavski’s acting theory as well as Stella Adler’s technique in order to achieve a believable performance that would bring Theresa to life. The formal education I received as an actor is what guided my own technique. By using Stanislavski’s technique of creating beats for each scene, knowing the action for every line, and knowing the superobjective of the character, in addition to using Adler’s animal technique of choosing an animal that represented my character, I was able to formulate my interpretation of “Theresa”. This was a challenge because you have to be aware of so many different factors at once while maintaining a level head; “owning” the script, researching the play, playwright, character, and world of the play, knowing your given circumstances, your actions for every single line, connecting with the other actors and listening to them, staying honest to yourself, not letting tension get the best of you, staying in shape so your body won’t be exhausted by the end of rehearsal, etc. The result was an enlightening, exhausting, and rewarding experience that I will call upon whenever I work in the theatre after graduation. In my session I will perform a monologue from the production and discuss my goals, process, challenges and outcomes.

Visual Didacticism: Promoting Morals through Modernized Narrative Sculpture
Jennifer Winkler
Faculty Sponsor: Daniel McDonald, Art

As an artist, I have always been fascinated by the fables of Aesop and the roles morals play in modern society. Because I often encounter modern-day situations that seem to fit into these fables and because I value fables as teaching tools, I use them as the primary inspiration for my sculptures. For me, sculptures are the vehicle through which I convey my views on societal issues. Even though I believe that the florid language of written and oral fables conjures vivid images within the reader’s mind, it seems that individuals in today’s society must often witness an event or see physical evidence in order to believe of the existence of consequences for immoral actions. For this reason, I attempt to engage the viewer by creating life-size figures that combine life-casting methods along with recognizable elements of everyday life, while maintaining the original moral themes and iconography of specific fables. Typically my work consists of scenes of human figures caught in modern situations while dressed in animal costumes that reference specific fables. While the hidden physical understructure is the same for each of my works, I use a variety of tactile surfaces for each sculpture ranging from simulated bronze to burnished exoskeletons and matted fur to further engage the viewer. It is my hope that by viewing such eerily life-like scenes, viewers will be able to place themselves in these situations and relate them to their own experiences.

A Look Inside Ghana’s School System
Meghan Ellsworth
Faculty Sponsor: Tim McCarty, Journalism and Digital Media

In June 2011 I traveled to Cape Coast, Ghana, West Africa to work at Coastal TV, a local television station aimed at informing the public. Out of 17 districts in the Central Region, Cape Coast has the most schools, and yet there is still a high rate of illiteracy. Through interviews and research I explore some of the reasons behind this disparity in my documentary, A Look Inside Ghana’s School System. I filmed the documentary over a five-week period in schools and neighborhoods around Cape Coast, interviewing school officials and students, and seeing the issues first hand. I discovered that there is not one factor to blame for this lack of education, but a myriad of problems that have plagued both the people and government of Ghana over the course of history, like poverty, indifference and a lack of infrastructure. These issues are not only prevalent in family structures, but also characterize some teachers and classroom settings. Schooling is an expensive venture, and impoverished parents need their children to help provide an income. Many find it difficult to pay for their child’s education, and schools themselves are suffering from a lack of funding and infrastructure. With a generation of children quickly growing up with no education or educated role models, the future of Ghana is unstable. It is a problem with no easy solution.

The Reductio Ad Absurdum of Nihilism in Faulkner’s Sound and the Fury
Paul Dyczkowski
Faculty Sponsor: Dan Lehman, English

In Macbeth, Shakespeare compares life to “a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury / Signifying nothing.” These lines not only lend themselves as the title of Faulkner’s 1929 novel, The Sound and the Fury, but also encapsulate much of the novel’s plot. Moreover, they have been considered key in unlocking one of the novel’s biggest critical questions. Does the text support the nihilistic, valueless philosophy it at times presents? Alternatively, does the text want the reader to go beyond the “sound and the fury” in the novel to discover little trophies of value and meaning reft from a world that is often viewed as unintelligible? Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech claims that a writer should leave “no room in his workshop […] but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed—love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.” Is this book a nihilistic potboiler or is it a masterful tragedy, in which the characters either fail to attain or lose things of value? This literary analysis engages in the debate through secondary sources and also includes an overview of the novel by taking the position that the book is properly a tragedy. Though prevalent in the plot, the Compson family worldview is not what Faulkner supports; instead, it is what he criticizes.

ORAL SESSION IV

The Design and Implementation of Real-World Projects for Real Clients: Building a Library for Microsoft Dynamics CRM System
Thomas Conti, John Cunning, Brandon David, Jim Huang and Matthew Smithburger
Faculty Sponsor: Iyad A. Ajwa, Mathematics and Computer Science

Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a software system that aims at improving customers’ experience and optimizing business productivity. One aspect of CRM is the verification of customer’s login credentials, which could vary from one customer to another. In this presentation, we will describe our experience with a real-world project that aims at developing a library that would interact with Microsoft’s cloud-based database Dynamics CRM through way of an ASP.Net web application. To achieve this goal, we first have to explore the SDK (Software Development Kit) for Dynamics CRM provided by Microsoft. Using the functions in the SDK, we set out to implement them into Membership and Profile providers. These “providers”, as Microsoft calls them, are essentially a list of functions, or a library, that will interact with a database through an ASP.Net application, providing membership or profile information that are stored in that database. Finally, we compile this custom library of membership and profile provider functions into a DLL which could be used in any ASP.Net web application.

Making a Connection
Katie Shreves
Faculty Sponsor: Jessica Wascak, Art

In my body of work I seek to express the spiritual connection that can be had with nature and to communicate the sublime aspect of the natural world. My work is meant to inspire others to take time to observe the mystifying and awe-inspiring details of this world. The process for creating my digital art begins with taking photos of familiar subjects such as landscapes, trees and flowers. The photos are then transformed on screen, printed on canvas, and hand sewn to complete the piece. The handmade aspect of the work becomes evident with the thread, forcing the viewer to pay attention to the subtle details in both the work and in nature at large. Spirituality is something that is best grasped by intuition rather than logic.

Medical Professionalism and Ethics
Megan Wise
Faculty Sponsor: Theodore Avtgis, Communication Studies

Due to the increasingly high expectations for a quality healthcare put forth by patients, there is increased demand for competent expression of professionalism and ethics. Healthcare practitioners must recognize and practice humanistic values such as compassion and confidentiality to establish a trusting relationship with their patients, which is vital when medical information is being exchanged. However, existing research and data on patient care and quality reveal incredible lapses in both professional and ethical practices. Based on these data, it is concluded that an interdisciplinary ethics committee needs to be established into every healthcare institution. Allied medical professionals and medical personnel which may include health communicators, legal representatives, and health psychologists among others must be included in establishing a “super” professional and ethical standard that transcends any one healthcare discipline. To not establish such a “super” standard, we find ourselves in an ethical babel that currently occurs within healthcare institutions of all types. Therefore, the establishment of a unified and global approach to ethics and professionalism that encompasses all medical and allied medical personnel is advocated. Lastly, based on the paucity of current research, there should be standardized training for all personnel with regard to holistic nature of care that can include among other things death and dying (e.g. D.N.R. instruments and organ
donation). Medicine is not a singular practice; it is a combination of an art and science that requires expertise from a variety of fields and professionals. As such, overriding principles and standards of conduct should reflect this diversity.

An Analysis of the Bacteriophage E79tv-2 in Conjunction with Current Antibiotics to Treat Pseudomonas Aeruginosa
Marie Southerland
Faculty Sponsor: Rebecca Corbin, Chemistry/Geology/Physics

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous bacterium which is able to infect people with cystic fibrosis. There are few antibiotics on the market today which can effectively treat a Pseudomanas aeruginosa infection. It is possible that the bacteriophage E79tv-2, in conjunction with antibiotics, could be a better method of treatment. An antibiotic screen was performed to identify clinical isolates that were resistant to most antibiotics currently in use. This showed that the clinical strain 54726B was highly resistant. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was tested with different concentrations of the antibiotic Tobramycin. The results were a steady decrease in the amount of colonies grown as the concentration of the antibiotic increased. Finally, a synergistic experiment was conducted combining the bacteriophage and the antibiotic and the resistant clinical isolate, 54726B, was suppressed. The coordinated use of antibiotics and bacteriophage proved to be a more effective treatment method for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections rather than just antibiotics alone.

ORAL SESSION V

College Students’ Dependency on Social Media: Facebook
Danielle Slone
Faculty Sponsor: David McCoy, Journalism and Digital Media

Social Media has exploded into our society’s culture during the last decade and it has created a tremendous impact on communication. Of the different outlets for Social Media, Facebook is one of the most popular sites. The purpose of this research is to study Facebook’s impact on college students and ultimately to determine why they are so reliant on Facebook. Students and staff at the Symposium will be presented with a brief overview of the Facebook research project, a short documentary featuring student and staff interviews, and a summary of research findings and implications. There could be a number of reasons as to why Facebook retains so much popularity, such as communication, social structure, or psychological effects. The presentation allows for preliminary research to hypothesize the level of dependency on Facebook. From there, a survey distributed throughout the campus studies student’s reactions to Facebook usage. Results from this study are combined with prior research and further investigation. The surveys so far show positive results in regards to networking and promotion. For example, one student uses Facebook to showcase creative works to potential employers by posting links and articles for access. Interviews with AU faculty and students will be included in a short documentary allowing the audience to observe different perspectives of Facebook. This collaboration will provide a strong multimedia aspect to this topic. Ultimately, the presentation and documentary will give the audience a strong reflection about the concept of students’ dependency and need for Facebook.

Evolution of an Image: The Stereotype of Social Workers in Film
Rebecca Civittolo
Faculty Sponsor: Nancy Udolph, Social Work

The success of the social work profession is extraordinarily dependent on the dynamics of the professional/client relationship. Although it would be fantastic to say that the only way a relationship between social workers and their clients is impacted is through directly working with one another, this is not realistic. The media offers its own perspective on social workers that can easily give potential clients a skewed view of the social work profession. This research examines the ten top-grossing movies that provide a portrayal of a social worker, searching for several different criteria that contribute to the common stereotypes about social workers. These categories include appearance, mannerisms, professionalism, and adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics, and are all items that may either persuade or dissuade an individual from social work. In watching these films, it has been found that while there are some positive images, the representation of the social worker in film is overwhelmingly negative. It is critical to evaluate how these depictions contribute to the social work profession because these combined images directly influence clients in how receptive they are to social work. If clients expect their social worker to be like those shown in movies, they may be less willing to receive help. The final portion of this project then discusses how those films could perpetuate the image of social workers that society holds today, and what steps the social work profession can and should take in order to combat this pervasive image.

The Choices of an Amazon
Sarah Hutson
Faculty Sponsor: Edith Foster, History and Political Science

Literary depictions of the Amazons reveal a group of women in Ancient Greece who chose to shed conventional female roles and create a warrior tribes made up entirely of females. My research focuses on the choices the Amazons made: for instance, to become warriors, to use weapons which forced them to have a very active role in the brutality of war, or to remove one breast so that they might throw a javelin better. Every choice they made drove them further from domestic female roles. Their choices also drove them toward their inevitable deaths on the battlefield since every Greek chose to live by the sword also died by the sword. The fact that Amazons always die on the battlefield might seem to suggest that Amazons are failure, but my research suggests that we cannot see them this way unless we also see Achilles and Hector, the main heroes of Homer’s Iliad, for instance, as failures. Therefore I argue that the Amazons were not failures. As warriors, the Amazons were just as effective as their male counterparts, even though they did not receive the same social support for their choice to be a warrior. A close reading of ancient Greek texts and an understanding of the historical context helps us to understand how the Amazons are in fact heroes.

Masking of the Female Identity
Ashley Haines
Faculty Sponsors: Keith Dull, Art and Jayne Waterman, English

My artwork explores the issues of female identity, sexuality, and masking through the printmaking methods of etching and linoleum reduction. The printmaking processes and print form serve as a device that clearly communicates my ideas and, in their stark and striking form, provides viewers the opportunity to understand the complexities of females and their sexual identity. As I discuss the significance of my work, a selection of images will be displayed through PowerPoint. My artistic work almost always includes a nude female accompanied by personal experiences and several forms of symbolism. Symbols include masks and animals that represent acts of oppression and gender stereotypes. I combine my artistic ideas with influences from literature, such as the depictions of women in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. Women have been given a facade by society in order to conform to various roles. In some cases, the roles are of mother or wife, but my work is more concerned with sexual stereotypes. Women struggled, and still struggle, with the construction of their identity, especially in terms of reductive sexual objectification. Chopin’s novel is written during the nineteenth century, and although there are differences in gender roles and expectations, I borrow some of Chopin’s ideas that are still prevalent in relation to gender issues today. The combination of artistic and literary influences allows me to examine sexual identity, work through current gender stereotypes, and create an awareness of gender issues.

POSTER/EXHIBITION SESSION I

Poster #1: PICCOLO (PCLO) Is Differentially Expressed During Mouse Brain Development
Lindsey Knapp
Faculty Sponsor: Steven Fenster, Biology/Toxicology

Piccolo is a multidomain protein with restricted expression at synapses. Synapses are specialized cellular structures that allow for efficient communication between neurons and during neuronal development, proper formation and stabilization of synapses is critical. It is widely known that malfunctions in synaptic signaling can lead to disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. A recent genome-wide analysis of genes differentially expressed in the brains of patients with bipolar syndrome revealed that genetic variations in the human gene for Piccolo (PCLO) were strongly associated with major depressive disorder. Previous studies have shown that two alternatively spliced mRNA (messenger RNA) variants of PCLO (C2A and C2B) are expressed in both mouse and human brain. Analysis of PCLO mRNA expression during neuronal development will provide valuable clues about the role of Piccolo in orchestrating synapse formation. Using mice as a model of mammalian brain, we sought to quantify expression of the C2A and C2B variants using mRNA purified from individual mouse brain at five development ages (embryonic day 18, postnatal day 1, postnatal day 7, postnatal day, and adult). Complementary DNA (cDNA) was reverse transcribed from mRNA. Real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) revealed relatively equal expression levels of C2A compared with the C2B variant at all ages except for adult where the expression of the C2A variant was two-fold higher. Future studies will focus on using a combination of qPCR and in situ hybridization to further elucidate spatial and temporal gene expression of PCLO splice variants during mouse brain development.

Poster #3: A Close-up Molecular Analysis of Reed Canarygrass
Evan Dort
Faculty Sponsor: Soren Brauner, Biology/Toxicology

Reed Canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) is a major invasive plant at the Ashland University Black Fork Wetland and is taking over many other wetlands of Ohio. It was originally introduced from Europe for forage and erosion control but has become a very aggressive invasive plant. Previous work revealed very high levels of genetic variation among populations of reed canarygrass at the AU wetland, but questions remain regarding the history of invasion in Ohio. Do most Ohio populations originate from the same source area(s)? Are some populations actually native but have become invasive as habitats changed? This study is developing DNA markers for use in testing hypotheses regarding the origins of reed canarygrass in Ohio. The DNA markers (ISSR) used previously were informative at the population level, but are not useful for comparison between distant populations. This study is developing microsatellite markers that can be used to compare Ohio populations with each other as well as to European accessions and to populations identified as potentially native to North America. Developing microsatellite markers from scratch is expensive and slow, so the approach being used is to test microsatellite primers that were developed for close relatives, which includes oats and wheat. Some microsatellites have been found to work successfully in reed canarygrass, and preliminary results will be presented. This work will provide the foundation for a larger study that will sample reed canarygrass populations from throughout Ohio for a better understanding of the genetics of invasion.

Poster #5: Determining Toxic Alkaloid Levels in Jimsonweed, (Datura stramonium), through Various Stages of Growth and Decomposition
Cassandra Nix
Faculty Sponsors: Andrew Trimble, Biology/Toxicology and Jeff Weidenhamer, Chemistry/Geology/Physics

Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) is an invasive plant that naturally produces the toxic alkaloids atropine and scopolamine, which are potent nerve agents in many organisms. Jimsonweed grows throughout Ohio and can poison livestock that feed on it in hay. The goal of this study was to develop methods for germinating, growing, drying, extracting, and analyzing jimsonweed. Germination was studied by using temperature stratification, with seeds planted in 3x3 replicate trays containing starter media and placed in the refrigerator for 0, 1, 2 or 3 weeks. At each time point, seed trays were placed in a temperaturecontrolled greenhouse. Total germination was 63%. Comparing germination among treatments, a one-way ANOVA with post-hoc tukey HSD analysis was conducted using SPSS statistical software. All P-values in the study were greater than 0.05, which suggested that there was no significant difference in how many weeks the seeds were temperature stratified. Then, mature leaves were collected, freeze-dried, and checked every half hour for weight. The leaves were completely dry in an average of 6.5 hours. Alkaloid extracts were prepared by drying and pulverizing one gram of leaf sample and extracting them with seven milliliters of methanol for one day. Extracts were analyzed via HPLC and retention times for the samples ranged from 5.267-5.696 minutes for atropine and 3.503-3.604 minutes for scopolamine. These values are in agreement with literature values, though percent recovery seems low. Further research will be conducted to improve percent recovery of the alkaloids and the current method.

Poster #7: Identification of Neuronal Interleukin-16 Interacting Proteins by Affinity Purification
Charles Davis
Faculty Sponsors: Steven Fenster, Biology/Toxicology and Rebecca Corbin, Chemistry/Geology/Physics

Neuronal Interleukin-16 (NIL-16) is a neuronal-specific protein with restricted expression to the hippocampus and cerebellum: two brain regions known to be involved in learning and memory but also vulnerable to neurodegeneration in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Structurally, NIL-16 is a multidomain protein capable of organizing synaptic signaling complexes in neurons, the major cell type of the brain. NIL-16 consists of five conserved regions called PDZ domains shown to be involved in synapse formation: a process required for efficient communication between neurons. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms involved in synapses formation is critical for understanding neuronal signaling and may contribute toward improved diagnosis and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. To identify proteins capable of interacting with the PDZ domains of NIL-16, we devised a purification strategy using a combination of affinity chromatography, SDS-PAGE, and MALDI-MS analysis. DNA plasmids were engineered to express the individual coding region for the five PDZ domains of NIL-16 fused to glutathione-S-transferase (GST) in Escherichia coli. GST-fusion proteins were affinity purified, separated by SDS- PAGE electrophoresis, and analyzed by MALDI-MS. Analysis of peptide digests profiles from two fusion proteins, GST-only and PDZ.2, revealed profiles of 59.6% and 67%. To optimize our affinity purification procedure, we generated a FLAG-epitope tagged version of HDAC3, a known NIL-16 binding partner, in COS-7 cells as a positive control for affinity purification. Current studies are focused on optimizing methodology for affinity purification of the known NIL-16 binding protein, HDAC3, and unknown binding partners from mouse brain extract.

Poster #9: An Examination of the Relationship Between Depression and Student Retention in Undergraduate Higher Education
Cassandra Baird
Faculty Sponsor: Jacqueline Kirby Wilkins, Family and Consumer Sciences

According to previous research, depression symptoms among collegeaged cohorts are common. Research also highlights the high levels of attrition for college students. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between depression and student retention in an undergraduate setting. In order to examine this relationship, the data from 146 traditional, full-time, first-time undergraduate students at a private rural university were evaluated. Participants completed a general entrance form evaluation as well as the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), which were collected by counseling services. Questions on the entrance exam included antidepressant use as well as how they were referred to the counseling center. Data were entered into Predictive Analytics SoftWare to be analyzed. A bivariate correlation showed no significant relationship between the severity of depression, anti-depression medication use, or referral source for the population examined. A chi-square test was performed to examine the relationship between the number of counseling sessions attended and student retention. The relation between these variables was significant (p<.001). Students who attended higher numbers of counseling sessions were more likely to be retained. Further research is needed to determine possible alternate reasons for attrition beyond number of counseling sessions (e.g., financial stress, family issues, lack of social support or campus integration).

Poster #11: The Effect of Self-Expanding Tasks on Implicit and Explicit Self-Concept
Amanda Mosley and Kayla Hoover
Faculty Sponsor: Brent Mattingly, Psychology

According to the self-expansion model, a key motivation in humans is the yearning to build one’s self-concept. Self-concept refers to the way people view themselves. Relationships provide self-expansion because each person includes the partner in the self-concept. However, self-expansion may also occur outside of relationships during self-expanding tasks. We hypothesized that individuals who engage in self-expanding tasks would show a larger growth of their self-concept than those who engage in non-self-expanding tasks. In Study 1, an implicit measure of self-concept was developed. Participants were given three minutes to write down as many self-descriptive words as possible as a measure of explicit self-concept. They were then asked to choose a circle that best represented the size of their self-concept as an implicit measure of self-concept. We found a statistically significant correlation between implicit and explicit self-concept, r=.38, and p=.004, supporting the validity of the implicit measure. In Study 2, participants were asked to complete a self-expansion task by carrying objects across the room. Low-expansion participants carried the objects by hand, whereas highexpansion participants carried the objects using only chopsticks. All participants were then given the implicit self-concept measure. Self expansion tasks marginally affected implicit self-concept in Study 2, t(70)=1.84, p=.070. More specifically, high-expansion participants had larger self-concept (M=4.81, SD=0.95) than low-expansion participants (M=4.44, SD=0.69). These studies suggest that self-expansion tasks increase individuals’ implicit self-concept, and can occur outside of relationships.

Poster #13: College Students’ Perceptions of Parental Divorce and the Post-Divorce Parent-Child Relationship
Amanda Farson
Faculty Sponsor: Cindy Moseman, Family and Consumer Sciences

Millions of children are impacted by divorce, possibly affecting their relationships with their parents. Studies have examined the post-divorce parent-child relationships; however, few have looked at the young adult’s perceptions of their parents’ divorce and how this affects the parent-child relationship. My study aimed to determine if there was an association between college students’ perceptions of their parents’ divorce and their parent-child relationship. Data was collected through 457 surveys, including the questions from the Parent-Child Relationship Survey (PCRS). Ninety-nine of the students’ biological parents were divorced (62.6% female, 35.2% male, 2% unknown), and 358 were non-divorced. Surveys were collected at Ashland University, including twenty-three college classes, the Alpha Phi sorority, and four varsity sports teams. It was found that students’ parental divorce perceptions, how they felt about their parents’ divorce, did not show significance for the mother-child relationship, but did for the father-child relationship (p=.001). The father-child relationship grew stronger as the divorce perceptions became more negative. Also, when college students identified the parent they considered at fault for the divorce, their relationship was found to be stronger with the opposite parent. Thus, both male and female students identified having a closer relationship with their mothers when their father was at fault for the divorce (p=.004), and closer to their fathers when their mother was at fault (p= <.001). My results suggest that the students’ perceptions of the parental divorce were not as significant, regarding parent-child relationships, as their perceptions of fault for the divorce.

Poster #15: The Relationship of Locus of Control to Ethical Responsibility and the Purchase of Ethically Produced Apparel
Ellen Blowers
Faculty Sponsor: Nancy Morris, Family and Consumer Sciences

Awareness of ethically produced apparel has been growing in popularity within the college demographic the past couple of years. The purpose of this study was to identify if a college student’s perceived ability to create change or have an impact (locus of control) is related to their purchasing of ethically produced apparel. This study was conducted utilizing Rotter’s Internal-External Locus of Control scale, which has been widely used in behavioral studies. Additional questions focused on purchasing behavior, ethical responsibility, and demographics. The sample included a total of 139 male and female Ashland University college students from a variety of classes. Data were analyzed using SPSS (2008) Chi-Square analysis and T-Tests. On the Internal-External test, 60% of students scored within the internal range meaning they have a stronger perceived ability to create change or have an impact. Overall, a total of 16.9% of students reported knowingly purchasing ethically produced apparel within the past year. While it was predicted upperclassmen would have more individuals with an internal locus of control, freshmen were actually found to have the most individuals with an internal locus of control with a total of 32%. A Chi-Square comparison between genders indicated significance between the larger amount of females who purchased ethically produced apparel than males (p = .016). While analysis of results indicated the Locus of Control was not significantly related to the purchase of ethically produced apparel (p = .951), it is evident students on AU’s campus are aware of this growing trend.

Poster #17: The Effects of Stress Levels and Emotional Eating on College Students
Carolyn Reville
Faculty Sponsor: David Vanata, Family and Consumer Sciences

Stress is the physical or emotional response that threatens, or upsets the balance of a person’s well-being. College students have an increased vulnerability to stress because of the movement from adolescence to adulthood. Stress can be caused by minor, daily factors, or major life events. Emotional eating is a coping mechanism in which consumption of food can calm, distract, or reduce stress. This research study investigated the relationship between college students, stress, and emotional eating habits. The study sample consisted of 106 undergraduate students (70.8% females, mean age 19.74 ± 1.507). Stress and eating behaviors were determined using the Student Stress Scale, the Inventory of College Students’ Recent Life Experiences, the Emotional Eating Scale, and questions focusing on eating habits, daily consumption, and moods. Ninety-nine percent (n = 105) of students reported being stressed over the past two months; a greater percentage of female participants reported having higher stress levels than the male participants. Emotional eating tendencies were observed among 30.2% (n = 32) of identified stressed students, with a significant chi-square analysis (p = .001). Changes in student’s daily eating habits when they consumed foods due to a change in mood, or because of a stressor were reported among 21.2% of the population (n = 23, p = .002). This p-value significance was found through a crosstab chi-square analysis test. A majority of the students who identified as emotional eaters (n = 27) reported that they did not believe that they felt better after emotionally eating. Additional research is needed to investigate strategies to lower stress levels among college-aged students in an effort to reduce emotionally linked dietary behaviors.

Poster #19: Participation in a Priming Task Predicts Persistence
Jessica Bates and Nicolle Valentine
Faculty Sponsor: Diane Bonfiglio, Psychology

Optimism refers to the tendency to expect positive outcomes, whereas pessimism refers to the tendency to expect negative outcomes. Optimism may relate to persistence on certain tasks. This study examined whether participation in a task that primes optimism or pessimism influences persistence. Forty-three participants were randomly assigned to complete an optimism, pessimism, or neutral priming task. For these tasks, participants were given a list of five-word combinations, and were asked to construct grammatically-correct sentences using four of the five given words. For ten of the combinations, the unused fifth word was keyed to condition; i.e., in the optimism condition the unused word was an optimism-related word (e.g. hopeful), in the pessimism condition the unused word was a pessimism-related word (e.g. skeptical), and in the neutral condition the unused word was a neutral word (e.g. lanterns). All participants then worked on a set of anagrams, some of which were impossible to solve. The mean time spent on the anagram puzzles was 26.00 minutes in the optimism condition, 22.00 minutes in the pessimism condition, and 18.50 minutes in the neutral condition. One-way ANOVA revealed no statistically significant main effect of experimental condition on persistence on the puzzles (F(2, 40) = 2.32, p = 0.11). However, post-hoc LSD analyses suggested a mean difference in persistence between the optimism condition and the neutral condition (p = 0.037), such that those primed for optimism persisted longer.

POSTER/EXHIBITION SESSION II

Poster #2: A Comparison of School Children and Their Parents’ Social Skills
Margaret Mitchell
Faculty Sponsor: Jacqueline Wilkins, Family and Consumer Sciences

The purpose of this research study was to examine the social skills of 5th and 6th graders’ and their parents to determine similarities and differences and to compare the students’ social skills by age and gender. A modified version of the Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth Version (EQ-i: yv) was used to examine social skills. The dyadic data from forty-one 5th and 6th graders and one of their parents was utilized. T-tests were performed to examine gender differences. No significant differences were found between boys and girls with regard to social skills. Paired t-tests were performed to examine differences between parent and student social skills. No significant differences were found between parents’ and students’ positive impression scale, intrapersonal scale, and general mood scale. Significant differences were found between students and their parents with regard to interpersonal skills and stress management skills (p >.05 and p > .001, respectively). The parents had higher reported interpersonal skills and the students had higher reported stress management skills. The significant difference in interpersonal skills between 5th and 6th graders and their parents may be explained by parental experience and reciprocal feedback in their social interactions. Stress management differences could be explained by parents having more responsibilities than their children, resulting in higher levels of stress than that experienced by the children. Results from this research will used to identify special social skills topics for educational programming at the school for both students and parents and to apply for funding for future programming efforts.

Poster #4: Examining the Prevalence and Types of Bullying among Elementary and College Populations
Erin Krutschnitt
Faculty Sponsor: Jacqueline Wilkins, Family and Consumer Sciences

Bullying remains a significant issue in today’s society that often causes trauma for those who experience it. In recent years, there have been many studies to determine the impacts of bullying, but few that examined short and long-term impacts while looking at both elementary and college populations. This study examines the types, frequency, and duration of the bullying occurring in both populations and compares bullying across ages and gender. Two elementary schools and one university were surveyed for this study. An adapted version of “Bullying Survey: Form B” from the National Educational Service questionnaire was used. The study included 636 elementary students (grades 3-6) and 52 college students (ranging from freshman to seniors). There were 316 males and 372 females. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of the total population reported having been bullied at some time in their lives. Results indicated that females were less likely to be physically attacked than males (p<.05). However, no significant gender differences were found for experiencing relational aggression. Of the 62% (n=427) of individuals who were bullied, approximately one-third (30.2%) reported being afraid to come to school and indicated that third grade was the year it most impacted them. Although a majority of those surveyed indicated they had been bullied in elementary school, only 15% of college students reported experiencing bullying in college. These results can be used to better understand bullying, to inform schools about specific areas of concern, and discern whether or not anti-bullying programs or efforts would be warranted.

Poster #6: Personality and Puzzles: A Study of Future Thinking and Persistence
Brandy Dilgard, Cassandra Mosley and Melissa Welch
Faculty Sponsor: Diane Bonfiglio, Psychology

Optimism refers to the degree to which one expects that the future will hold more positive outcomes than negative outcomes. Whereas some researchers have examined the correlation between optimism and task-related persistence, few researchers have attempted to manipulate optimism to influence persistence. This study aimed to determine whether manipulating a person’s thoughts about the future would affect persistence. In this study 49 students were randomly assigned to the positive or negative future thinking condition. In the positive condition, participants were asked to rate the likelihood that certain positive events (e.g. getting a job after graduation) would happen to them in the future, whereas in the negative condition, participants were asked to rate the likelihood that certain negative events (e.g. getting fired) would happen to them. They were then asked to work on an anagram puzzle. Participants also completed a measure of optimism. Participants in the positive condition showed a trend toward higher optimism scores compared to participants in the negative condition. Those in the positive condition persisted on the anagram task for a mean of 16.74 minutes (SD = 9.20), whereas the negative condition persisted for a mean of 13.24 minutes (SD = 8.76; t(46) = 1.35, p = 0.09). Cohen’s d for this difference was 0.394, which indicates a small to medium effect. This research suggests that manipulating thoughts about positive and negative future events could influence task persistence. However, more work needs to be conducted to further examine this hypothesis.

Poster #8: From Topic to Publication: Acquiring Second Language Writing Skills in Spanish
Meghan Ellsworth, Miriah Keller and Hilary Neal
Faculty Sponsor: William R. Cummins, Foreign Languages

As the Spanish-speaking population and need for cultural awareness in the United States grow, the ability to understand and to communicate in Spanish increases. However, developing advanced-level writing skills in a second language presents three significant challenges: 1) learning how to find and use precise and specialized vocabulary, 2) acquiring advanced grammatical structures for communication of more complex ideas, and 3) recognizing and mediating cultural differences in written expression. To increase our writing proficiency in Spanish, we first chose an Ashland University program or organization about which we are passionate. We then wrote four essays related to that theme, with each essay targeting one advanced-level function: description, comparison, narration, and persuasion. Finally, we compiled the revised essays into a newsletter or boletín intended for a Spanish-speaking audience. The writing process included peer-editing, review by the instructor, and revision based on a system of error codes that identified problems. The process broadened our knowledge and use of the foreign language. We learned new vocabulary, improved our grammatical accuracy and complexity, and found new ways to express ourselves in Spanish. Through practice, we learned to recognize idiomatic phrases and cultural practices that don’t translate directly from one language to the other. We learned to be more innovative in how we described and explained things. In short, we were challenged to communicate more effectively across languages and cultures. We now can express ourselves better in written Spanish in personal and professional contexts.

Poster #10: Directed Forgetting: Are There Differences in Processing Typical and Distinctive Faces?
Amber Weaver
Faculty Sponsor: Mitchell Metzger, Psychology

Directed Forgetting (DF) occurs when stimuli presented during a study phase are followed by “forget” or “remember” cues. During a memory test, participants are then asked to remember all previous stimuli, and those followed by the remember cues are recognized with greater frequency than stimuli followed by the forget cues. Most research has focused on verbal stimuli (lists of words), and the present study examined whether DF for face stimuli parallels DF for verbal stimuli. Thirty undergraduates viewed faces that were black and white photos of males that had been previously rated for distinctiveness. Participants were shown typical and distinctive faces, of which half were followed by forget cues and half were followed by remember cues. In the test phase, half the faces were old and half were new, and participants were instructed to indicate whether they had seen each face on the previous list. Statistical analyses were calculated on the effects of cue and facetype. Cue had a significant effect on hits, as forget cues resulted in lower hits. Facetype was not found to influence hits, but was found to have a significant effect on response time, in that distinctive faces were responded to more quickly that typical faces. The results suggest that DF for faces follows a similar pattern to DF for verbal stimuli, as faces followed by remember cues were recognized with greater frequency. A more robust understanding of DF for both verbal and non-verbal stimuli will allow for a better understanding of memory and forgetting processes.

Poster #12: Lines, Diagrams, and Duals! Oh, My!
Nick Painter
Faculty Sponsor: Vickie Van Dresar, Mathematics and Computer Science

Mathematicians often take a simple problems and extend them, looking for patterns to develop a general formula for the nth case. One problem in mathematics involves the determination of all possible numbers of intersection points that could be formed with 2, 3, 4, or 5 lines. This project, extended the above problem to look at determining the maximum number of intersection points that could be made using n lines. Finding the maximum number of intersection points for a small number of lines was easily determined by making diagrams. As the number of lines increased, diagrams of intersecting lines became increasingly difficult to draw and analyze. A dual using lines to represent intersection points and dots to represent lines was incorporated to overcome these difficulties with larger values of n. The maximum points of intersection for n lines obtained using diagrams was reproduced using the dual, indicating the dual could be used to predict the maximum number of points of intersection for larger sets of lines without actually diagramming them. The dual saved time in predicting the maximum number of intersection points for n lines. A formula was developed for determining the maximum number of intersection points for a given number of lines.

Poster #14: Game design with DarkGDK
Marissa Uhrig, Anna Payne, Allen Kowal, Rylan Campbell, Kenny Bogner and Kees Edwards
Faculty Sponsor: Paul Cao, Mathematics and Computer Science

DarkGDK is a freely available game design package that uses DirectX as its multi-media game engine. It is capable of delivering 2D and 3D interactive games programmed in C++. DarkGDK package was used to implement a cohort of 4 games: Mouse-madness (by Marissa Uhrig and Anna Payne), black-jack (by Allen Kowal), Little red plumber (by Rylan Campbell), and Rockem’ Sockem’ Robots (by Kenny Bogner and Kees Edwards). The use of DarkGDK was determined because it is compatible with Visual Studio 2008 programming environment and supports C++ fully. In order to create each game, the students first created their own graphical elements, sound and game plot. Once accomplished, they used their plot to create a viable algorithm which can be instilled in order to produce intended results. Students then implemented the algorithm, after debugging and error checking, in order to create their interactive game. All four games allow user to interact with the game via keyboard or mouse and allow score keeping. Because of the reliance on DirectX, games using darkGDK packages can only work on Microsoft Windows Operating Systems. Thus future exploration and modification of the games will be focused on cross-platform compatibility as well as multi-user and network capability.

Poster #16: Appeal Ratings of Food Images in Response to Stress
Alexandra E. Maus
Faculty Sponsor: Diane Bonfiglio, Psychology

Researchers are increasingly interested in the role that stress may play in obesity. Some researchers believe that stress may play a role in the selection of unhealthy foods. The purpose of this study was to examine whether stress influences an individual’s appeal ratings for healthy, unhealthy, and nonfood images. Nineteen volunteer college participants were randomly assigned to the control group or the experimental group. Participants in the control group were given a low-stress coloring task, whereas participants in the experimental group were asked to complete a stressful math task. After their respective tasks, both groups were asked to view a slide show containing images of healthy food items, unhealthy food items, and nonfood items, and were asked to rate each image based on level of appeal. Results indicated a trend in the data such that participants in the experimental (math/stress) group rated images of unhealthy food as more appealing than did participants in the control (coloring/relaxed) group t(17) = 1.53, p = 0.074. The mean rating of appeal for these images in the experimental group was 2.34, whereas the mean rating of appeal for the same images in the control group was 2.08. The experimental and control groups did not differ with respect to their ratings of appeal for images of healthy food (t(17) = 0.71, p = 0.093) or nonfood images (t(17) = 0.87, p = 0.398).

Poster #18: The Effects of Self-Expansion and Self-Efficacy
Rachel E. A. Carson and Sarah N. Guarino
Faculty Sponsor: Brent A. Mattingly, Psychology

The self-expansion model suggests that individuals are motivated to gain new perspectives, identities, and capabilities, and this expansion should result in increased self-efficacy. More recent data, while looking at the individual self, demonstrates that those who engage in a selfexpanding task (i.e., one that is novel and exciting) showed increased effort on subsequent tasks. Theoretically, when an individual exerts more effort on a physical task due to self-expansion, it should indicate an increased self-efficacy. We hypothesized that individuals who have recently engaged in self-expanding activities should feel increased self-efficacy when measured on a Likert self-efficacy scale. Thirty-six undergraduate students were randomly assigned to two conditions (a low-expansion task consisting of carrying various objects across the room using their hands; a high-expansion task consisting of carrying the same objects using chopsticks). Immediately following the expansion task, participants filled out various Likert-type questionnaires, including statements modified from the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE). An independent samples t-test comparing the means of the GSE of the low condition (M= 3.07; SD = .46) to the high condition (M=3.39; SD = .79) was significant, t(34) = 2.30, p = .028, effect size (d) = 0.79. The current study was able to demonstrate that when effort was increased through a high self-expansion task, individuals expanded their self-efficacy. Participants who engaged in the novel object carrying task selfreported a higher self-efficacy than those participants that engaged in a low self-expansion task. This suggests that individuals who engage in novel tasks (i.e., self-expansion) feel greater self-efficacy.

Poster #20: Using the Zebrafish (Danio rerio) to Examine Gene Expression Regulation of the Mouse Small Heat Shock Protein Alpha B Crystallin
Zachary Haley
Faculty Sponsor: Mason Posner, Biology/Toxicology

Alpha B crystallin is a widely expressed vertebrate small heat shock protein that protects cells during times of stress by preventing the aggregation of other proteins. Its expression increases in neurological disorders and numerous cancers. Previous studies in mouse showed that deletion of upstream promoter elements of the alpha B crystallin gene decreased expression in muscle and nervous tissue without affecting eye lens expression, identifying specific DNA sequences that drive expression of the gene in different tissues. We hypothesized that injection of modified mouse alpha B crystallin promoter constructs could be used to drive green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in embryonic zebrafish, providing a fast throughput model system for investigating promoter function. Mouse BAC clones were used to PCR amplify different lengths of the mouse alpha B crystallin promoter. These various promoter lengths (0.25, 0.8, 1.4, and 2 kb) were then ligated into the pAcGFP1-1 vector, transformed into competent E. coli cells and purified. Injection of plasmids containing the 0.25 and 1.4 kb promoter fragments into 1-cell zebrafish embryos produced mosaic GFP expression in skeletal muscle tissue. In addition, the 1.4 kb promoter fragment produced weak GFP expression in the lens. These results suggest that zebrafish can be used to study mouse alpha B crystallin promoter function. Additional injections of these constructs will be used to identify specific promoter regions controlling the location and timing of gene expression.

ORAL SESSION VI

Contemporary Compositional Practices
Kyle Gould
Faculty Sponsor: Alexander Sanchez-Behar, Music

In this talk, I will showcase two of my original musical compositions and discuss the process of composing in a contemporary classical style. My compositions are directly influenced by the music of two contemporary composers: Steve Reich (b. 1936) and Eric Whitacre (b. 1970). Steve Reich is known as one of the founders of a unique American musical style that arose in the 1960s known as minimalism. Its aesthetic is characterized by the repetition and gradual development of short musical phrases. Through score study of Reich’s Nagoya Marimbas (1994), I discovered its rhythmic character and timbre suitable for my own piece, The Missing Link, written for flute, oboe, and vibraphone. Eric Whitacre is known primarily as a choral composer. An analysis of his work Water Night (1995) revealed a facet of his compositional technique: the use of tone clusters, where many or all the notes of a musical scale are sung together. I found this to be interesting and sought to emulate both his approach to tone clusters, as well as the mood of his piece in my own choral work, Psalm 137. In setting the text of this Psalm, I allowed the words to dictate the musical enfoldment of the work. This resulted in several contrasting sections that retain their own individual character while forming a cohesive whole. It is my hope that close examination of my works will elucidate some of the considerations involved in the art of composition.

The Warden Becomes the Prisoner: Overcoming Race and Gender Discrimination in Wide Sargasso Sea
Stephanie Schaffner
Faculty Sponsor: Sharleen Mondal, English

In 1847, Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre, a Victorian novel that contributed to the development of women’s roles in literature. In response, Jean Rhys wrote Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), meant to bring attention to one of Bronte’s stereotyped characters: Bertha Mason. Rhys’s novel explains Bertha as a more human character and unlike Bronte’s Jane Eyre, critiques the 19th-century gender and racial stereotypes that other characters have of Bertha because she is a Creole woman. Creole identity is conflicted. In Rhys’s novel, English people who had settled in the West Indies were considered to be racially “other” and even inferior to the English, who viewed this association with West Indian people and culture as “contamination” to a pure and superior English racial identity. By looking at specific sections of the text through close readings, I will examine the cultural and gendered differences that make Bertha, whom Rhys renames Antoinette, a target for possible discrimination in the novel. Counter to what literary critic, Sandra Drake, claims, I argue that Antoinette embraces these differences that would normally be seen as disadvantages. I use an intersectional approach, reading racial and gender oppression as interlinked, to explain how Antoinette uses these disadvantages against the oppression readers may expect her to feel. These disadvantages, along with the hardships that go alongside gender issues, go hand in hand as dual motivations for discrimination. I argue that I can use an intersectional approach to analyze Antoinette’s ability to resist both racial and gender oppression.

Priestesses and Male and Female Gods in Athens: It’s Not about Gender
Kim Coates
Faculty Sponsor: Edith Foster, History and Political Science

This presentation will analyze some of the most important ancient Greek female goddesses, their cults, and their priestesses. After discussing the identities and myths associated with Athena, Demeter, and Artemis, I will show that these three goddesses have strong, yet differing divine identities. Despite the differences between them, each of these female goddesses had a prominent place in the Greek Pantheon and possessed cults all over Greece. One would therefore assume that the female priestesses of these Greek goddesses would also be prominent, but this was not necessarily the case. For instance, the cult and festivals of Dionysus, a male god, seem to have fulfilled an important social role, giving women a chance to leave behind social constraints. For another example, the male god Apollo has the single most famous mortal woman as his priestess. Prominent leaders, generals, kings, etc. sought out the Pythia, the priestess of the oracle at Delphi, who would answer questions, for instance, about the outcomes of war. By contrast, the priestesses of Athena, Demeter, and Artemis have less conspicuous social and political roles. Therefore, it seems that priestesses’ roles in the Greek goddesses’ cults are actually not as important as the roles of priestesses in the cults of Apollo and Dionysus. What is the cause of this phenomenon? I will argue that the prominence of the priestesses has more to do with the identity and particular powers of the god than with the gender of the god.

Starting from Scratch: Music and the Compositional Process
Brandy Kay Riha
Faculty Sponsor: Alexander Sanchez-Behar, Music

I will present two unique musical compositions and explain my approach to creating a new piece of music. The pieces are modeled after the music of Robert Schumann (1810–56) and Alexander Tcherepnin (1899–1977). My first featured composition, “Am fernen Horizonte” (“The Far Horizon”), is written in the style of a nineteenthcentury German Lied, which is a musical setting of poetry for a solo singer and piano, often exploring pastoral themes or romantic love. The text in my song is drawn from a poem by Heinrich Heine (1797–1856). The second composition, titled “Shenanigans,” is a duet for clarinet and piano. It is inspired by the works of Tcherepnin, who is known, among other things, for composing music using the enneatonic scale of nine notes. This scale or collection of notes is unlike commonly used scales in classical music, which consist of seven notes. This source for material results in a modern and energetic quality present in my work. Following the introductions to these pieces will be performance of my two compositions.

The “High-Low Blend”: A Stylistic Analysis of David Foster Wallace
Jacob Ewing
Faculty Sponsor: Gary Levine, English

David Foster Wallace is widely considered one of the greatest writers of his generation. His style is as unique as it is interesting, and has been imitated by a myriad of writers since. One of the most interesting aspects of Wallace’s writing style is what the author himself refers to as a “high-low blend.” Wallace is a gifted writer with a seemingly endless vocabulary and virtuosic ability to give specific and vivid detail. But in much of his writing, Wallace writes more like he’s having a conversation with a close friend. This ability to move back and forth between formal, academic writing and a more relaxed, casual tone endears Wallace to his readers and prove his control of the English language. Some have contended that Wallace’s style is a thinly-veiled, inauthentic attempt to avoid alienating less sophisticated readers, but this is not the case. Wallace’s “high-low blend” has less to do with trying to dumb himself down and more to do with what he has discovered about himself as a person. Through careful consideration of Wallace’s nonfiction work in his collection of essays entitled A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, as well as analysis of interviews with the author, it becomes clear that Wallace’s distinguishing “high-low blend” stems from his past life experiences. In order to fully understand Wallace’s distinctive writing style, a certain amount of biographical information is absolutely essential.

ORAL SESSION VII

Global Citizen: To Be or Not To Be?
Angelique V. Cunningham and Ashley VanGilder
Faculty Sponsor: Pravin Rodrigues, Communication Studies

According to Hong Kong’s Institute of International Education, “Global Citizenship goes beyond knowing that we are citizens of the globe, it is a way of thinking and behaving. It is an outlook on life, a belief that we can make a difference and make the world a better place” (from (2011) Global citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.iiehongkong.org/dragon/). The quote makes global citizenship seem clear, helpful, and necessary. But is it? What exactly is gained and lost in the quest to become global citizens? An awareness of intercultural communication theories, coupled with an extensive review of published literature related to the concept of the “global citizen,” point at issues that are broad and complex. It demands a focus on issues related to nationalism, globalization, and the communities we live in. In our quest to find out what a global citizen is, and the possibility of being adopted by all people, each of us take divergent paths, but arrive at a common conclusion: Yes, global citizenship is desirable, but should include stewardship of the communities we live in. Our conclusion resulted from a critical analysis of the published literature on global citizenship. In addition to our critical analysis, our presentation will be infused with intercultural communication theories, and end with a guiding framework for those interested in pursuing global citizenship. The guiding framework is based on the theory of intercultural communication competency, and an understanding of an intercultural communication ethic.

The Unrecognized, Unread Crisis: Reading in 21st Century America
Paul Dyczkowski
Faculty Sponsor: Jayne Waterman, English

The reading crisis debate once revolved around the issue of whether the dwindling figures in both reading frequency and proficiency actually constitute a genuine “crisis.” Recently, there has been a movement away from solely empirical analyses to a philosophical approach, which devalues the very significance of traditional reading in 21st century America. Some powerful figures in academia and teaching – like Dr. Deborah Brandt of the University of Wisconsin and Kylene Beers, the former president of the National Council of Teachers of English – deny the importance of a reading crisis on the basis that the definition of traditional literacy is changing, positing that it no longer matters if Americans cannot or do not read well. To find out if that is true, this research compares the qualitative arguments and the statistical evidence for each side, using the most recent survey data on reading, time usage, educational progress, and the various effects that reading produces. Strong correlations exist between the frequency of reading and successful qualities (academic and economic achievement and rich civic and private lives). The data demonstrate that fewer people read, fewer read for fun, and fewer read well, than even just 25 years ago. In the last 25 years, there has been no growth in the numbers of those who read, but there are now 40 million more “non-readers.” The results of this comparison lead to the conclusion that America is currently suffering from a reading crisis.

Hair and Make-Up as an Art Form
Brittany Hartman
Faculty Sponsor: Pamela Workman, Theatre

I have taken make-up and wig designs that would normally be used in the theatre to create an entire art gallery of work to display strictly the visual art that theatre holds. I chose to design hair and make-up for 8 different characters in the epic poem The Inferno from The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. From first reading the text and doing research, I created drawings/renderings of how I thought these characters would look. I then built the wigs, prosthetic pieces, and prepared other advanced make-up techniques to realize these designs on live models. I chose three models to use for the 8 characters and I spent whole days for each character getting the model into the full make-up needed. Once the model was done, I took portraits of them to hang in the art gallery with my renderings and research. My presentation will show process pictures, to best explain the process of wig building. I can then explain the process all the way from molding an actor’s head, to tying one piece of hair at a time into wig lace. I will also show how budget and setbacks can change the process and allow someone to get crafty! My goal for this project is to show the community, and campus about the work and process involved with theatrical design. This is an opportunity for the aesthetic beauty of this art to be appreciated in a new way.

Suicide Education Media: How It Affects College Students’ Attitudes toward Suicide
Nicolle R. Valentine and Kayla M. Hoover
Faculty Sponsor: Diane Bonfiglio, Psychology

Suicide is a significant problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide currently ranks among the top twelve causes of death overall and is the third most frequent cause of death among people aged 12 to 19 years. Many previous studies have examined how different types of prevention programs influence students’ beliefs about suicide. This study examined the utility of suicide education videos for prevention efforts. We aimed to determine if watching a suicide education video would increase participants’ knowledge of suicide, and whether watching such a video would decrease participants’ tolerance for suicide. Forty-nine participants were recruited to watch either a suicide education video or a documentary on autism. Each participant then filled out a standardized questionnaire that included a knowledge of suicide factor and an acceptability of suicide factor. After viewing their respective videos, the groups did not differ with respect to the knowledge of suicide factor (t(47) = 0.65, p = 0.52). However, participants who had watched the suicide video did report significantly less tolerance for suicide than those who had watched the video on autism (t(47) = 2.35, p = 0.02). Though the results did not support our hypothesis that viewing the suicide education video would influence knowledge of suicide, our results did support our hypothesis that students’ tolerance for suicide would decrease. This suggests that suicide education videos do influence aspects of students’ beliefs about suicide, and as such they may have a place in prevention programs.

Blue Eye Shadow
Amanda Eakin
Faculty Sponsor: Hilary Donatini, English

The creative nonfiction piece “Blue Eye Shadow” highlights my experience as a 6th-grader going through basketball camp while dealing with a bully. The tone is meant to be humorous through greatly exaggerating the devastation and terror I felt from the smallest of gestures. In addition to hyperbole, other techniques used to achieve humor include simile and imagery. The first person perspective also allows for the reader to observe the duality of the child’s perspective and the adult’s perspective. Children often don’t know how to face harassment and when it happens, they mistakenly perceive trivial issues to be life-altering. Because I was teased about wearing makeup—hideous, neon-bright blue eye shadow that was jarring to look at—my entire experience at basketball camp was a torturous experience. Though my objective in the piece is to portray the drastic differences in perception as a child versus an adult in a humorous way, there is a slightly serious undertone towards the end that stresses the detrimental effects of bullying. As adults, we tend to brush off our painful moments with laughter at our inability to defend ourselves, but really we are excusing the bully’s behavior by rationalizing harassment (as I do throughout the piece by making fun of myself).



1 comment:

  1. Reflection
    Synapse transmission between neurons in different systems of dimension
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    http://educationinjapan.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/considering-the-benefits-of-digital-music-grammar-in-a-music-educational-program/
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