My Return to Route 77
Maggie Andrews
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Joe Mackall
Student’s Major(s): Creative Writing, Public Relations & Strategic Communication 

My short story “My Return to Route 77,” is about a woman who had to depart from her family home for three years because of a fatal car accident that took the life of her brother. The woman, Libby Haughman, felt guilty about the accident and wrestled with the grief for a long period of time. Her mother blamed her for the accident and her father was too devastated to contest. In order to work on herself, Libby felt like she had to escape. While away, Libby begins a relationship with Andy, who accompanies her back to her family home in Jefferson, Ohio. She returns with the intention of apologizing for the accident, whether forgiveness is an option or not. Then, after interacting with her parents for the first time since the loss of her brother, Libby returns to the place where the accident happened, Route 77. By addressing her past and regrets, she is determined to leave that part of her life behind her forever. With this short story, I want to convey a message of self-forgiveness and moving on after a tragedy. Libby has forgiven herself and made peace with her brother’s death. Unfortunately, tragedy is a fact of life and can happen unexpectedly; having the strength to face it is what really matters.

The Effect of Color on Athletic Performance
Derek Baker & Dan Whitacre
Students’ Majors: Psychology (both)
Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Curtis Ickes (Psychology) & Dr. Christopher R. Chartier (Psychology)

The ability to perform athletic tasks has been known to be associated with colors encountered in the event. For example, opponent uniform color impacts confidence and may elicit negative emotions (Recours & Briki, 2015). Vibrant, bright colors, such as red, have been shown to invoke intimidation and anxiety on opposing players whereas darker colors such as blue tend to induce more emotionally calming effects and lower levels of anxiety (Jacobs & Suess, 1975). The purpose of this experiment was to compare the performance of individuals using a bright color associated with anxiety and a dark color associated with calmness. Participants were tested to see if the color of a putter affected performance and emotion in a putting task. Ninety-seven psychology students from Ashland University participated in one of three conditions (red, blue, or chrome putter). Data were analyzed via one-way ANOVA which indicated no effect of color on anxiety F(2, 94) = 2.60, p = .08. Participants with the red putter reported no more anxiety (M = 4.34, SD = 1.89) than those with blue (M = 3.57, SD = 1.72). We found a significant effect on reported calmness, F(2, 94) = 5.52, p < .01. Participants with the blue putter reported more calmness (M = 6.16, SD = 1.74) than those who used red (M = 4.72, SD = 1.73). This study adds to the growing body of research that suggests the color of athletic equipment plays a role in levels of emotion during performance.

Why the War Came: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address
Joey Barretta
Student’s Majors: History & Political Science
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Emily Hess (History/Political Science)

The question of the cause of the American Civil War is one that has plagued historians and contemporaries of the period alike. While the overall cause of the Civil War is declared to be slavery, there is much to be considered regarding the complex nature of its cause. The war’s purpose was to restore this country to its Founding axiom that “all men are Created equal” in contrast to the rebellious South which proclaimed that “only some men are Created equal” through its peculiar institution and systematic racial oppression which it sought to make legal nationwide. In my presentation, I will examine the thought of two contemporaries on the subject: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. One of the greatest pieces of American oratory is Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address through which he broaches the subject in a manner befitting a statesman describing the morally corrosive effects of slavery along with the role of divine justice. Douglass also proved to be a great orator who believed the promise of America had been squandered while slavery was legal within its borders. In the words of these two men, one can find many similarities in their understanding of the causes and purpose of the war. I assert that Douglass not only shared Lincoln’s sentiments, but had actually expressed these ideas for over twenty years before Lincoln delivered the Second Inaugural and that his own thought can be compiled into the coherent message given by Lincoln.

Sacred and Secular Law: Frederick Douglass’s Religious and Constitutional Defense of Abolition

Allison Brosky
Student’s Majors: Political Science & History
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Emily Hess (History/Political Science)
As the abolition of slavery debate intensified, abolitionists became concerned that the founding principles establishing natural rights for all men created under God were unable to support principles of equality, thus requiring a new country to be formed. However, Frederick Douglass’s arguments gave the necessary insight to prove these founding principles were only distorted from proslavery thought. Analysis of Frederick Douglass’s life and views of religion in his autobiographies, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and My Bondage and My Freedom, show a strong distinction between the religion of Christ and the religion of the land, which has been corrupted by slaveholders seeking to advance their slave interests. This distinction can also be applied to the founding principles, as slaveholders sought to lawfully protect slavery by enhancing a new form of the Constitution. The identification of this distinction, and the application of the true religious principles from the religion of Christ to enhance the abolition stance that the original founding principles based upon natural rights for all men, regardless of race, are uniquely capable of supporting equality between the races.

Acceptance of Fate in Franz Schubert’s Winterreise (1827-1828)
Jaylynn Buchmelter
Student’s Majors: Music Education
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christina Fuhrmann
Winterreise (1827-1828) is a series of poems by Wilhelm Müller set to music by Franz Schubert. In this song cycle, the protagonist (the wanderer) embarks on a long journey resulting in an acceptance of his own destiny. The wanderer’s journey begins because he is rejected in love, but it continues because he realizes that he must continue on this path until he finds his fate. He experiences the immobilizing nature of grief as well as the disappointment of the transient nature of dreams. He learns that he is alone in the world, with no higher power or forces of nature to call upon for help. The wanderer questions his own behavior. Eventually, he becomes aware of who he is and why he is compelled to wander alone through the winter landscape, though there are multiple interpretations of what the wanderer discovers about himself and what his destiny actually is. Winterreise’s wanderer moves toward his destiny throughout the cycle by relinquishing old ways of thinking and feeling, becoming self-aware, and finally embracing his fate. This presentation will focus specifically on the songs “Gute Nacht,” “Frühlingstraum,” and “Der Wegweiser” and how they work to convey the wanderer’s discovery of and acceptance of his destiny. It will analyze musical devices used by Schubert to represent the wanderer’s internal and external journey toward his destiny.

Lares: Revolution, Love, and an Awakening
María Cardona – Junior Creative Writing Major
Student’s Major: Creative Writing
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Joe Mackall, English

On September 23, 1868 on the West side of Puerto Rico, working men were called to arms and awoke the island with a courageous revolt. Led by Don Manuel Rojas, 600-1000 patriots sought to rid themselves of the chains of Spanish colonialism. Lares, a piece of historical fiction, explores not only the first and most important independence revolution to take place on the Island but also depicts the fictional blooming of love between two young adults (Salomé and Sebastián) who fight along important historical figures. While Sebastián comes in with Nationalist blood running through his veins, Salomé is slowly awakened into this life. A frustrated poet who only saw beauty in her country, Salomé wakes to the nightmares colonialism has brought to life in her home. This story focuses on the importance of justice, identity and freedom to a people who have been denied such liberties for 500 years of colonialism. While the battle might have been lost, the war is still not over as our heroes stand together to seek their liberty and rights. My excerpt from the reading will explore not only the historical background of the revolt but also the start of a romantic relationship, the importance of words, and the first flames of a revolutionary spirit coming to life. 

Answering the Irish Question: Winston Churchill and the Formation of the Irish Free State 
James Coyne
Student’s Majors: Political Science & History
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Justin Lyons (History/Political Science)
Sir Winston S. Churchill is one of the most revered public figures of the twentieth Century. He has been the subject of too many articles and books to count, most of which focus upon his defense of the free world against its biggest foe, Nazi Germany. Little attention has been paid to his role in the creation of the Irish Free State. Churchill positioned himself as a leader in deciding the “Irish Question,” which concerned whether or not Ireland should be granted a separate parliament to handle purely Irish affairs. Churchill began his career in the early twentieth century staunchly opposed to granting any autonomy to Ireland. By 1922, however, he was considered the central figure in securing a parliament for Southern Ireland. The few who have sought to detail Churchill’s role have neglected the philosophy that animated his actions. Most have written his positions off as inconsistent and based solely on political opportunism. In examining the actions, writings, and speeches of Winston Churchill, I will argue that there is a coherent doctrine that informed his statesmanship. My focus is specifically on Churchill’s essay “Consistency in Politics,” where he discusses the challenges of the statesman, who must maintain his consistency throughout the constantly changing facts that govern a politician’s decisions. While the facts and circumstances changed, Churchill maintained his dedication to a higher end and remained consistent in his pursuit.

Manipulating Amounts of the Lens Protein Alpha A-Crystallin Can Alter the Development of Lens Cataract
Cassie Craig
Student’s Majors: Biology & Environmental Science
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mason Posner (Biology)

Cataracts are the leading cause of human blindness. Cloche zebrafish mutants develop lens cataracts making them possible research models for studying this disease. A previous study suggested that low levels of the lens protein Alpha A-crystallin contribute to cataracts in the cloche zebrafish. We examined whether manipulating lens crystallin amounts could change the severity of this lens cataract. Morpholino anti-sense RNAs (MO) were injected into single celled wildtype and cloche embryos to block the production of alpha A-crystallin protein. We found that MO-induced reduction of alpha A-crystallin protein produced lens cataract in heterozygous cloche embryos, suggesting that loss of this protein is involved in cataract formation. To increase crystallin levels we first needed to determine how the promoters for various lens crystallin genes could drive the expression of introduced proteins into the lens. We did this by using green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a marker to show where each promoter was active. Alpha Ba and Bb promoters were active in notochord and skeletal muscle while beta B1 and alpha A promoters were active in the lens. Based on these data, the human beta B1-crystallin promoter was chosen to increase alpha A-crystallin levels in cloche embryo lenses. While these experiments are still in progress, preliminary data suggest that increased levels of alpha A-crystallin can reduce the prevalence of cataracts. This study shows that altering alpha A-crystallin levels can impact the development of cataracts and that the cloche zebafish mutant can be a valuable model for studying this costly visual disease. 

Graphic Designers are Problem Solvers
Emma Daugherty
Student’s Major: Graphic Design
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Michael Bird (Art)

As a designer, I am a problem solver who strives to bring beauty to our everyday surroundings by combining standard elements of design with my own unique vision to generate a style that is clean, straightforward, elegant, and detail-oriented. My work is influenced by the Swiss Style which commonly uses flat color fields, photography, geometric shapes, and sans-serif fonts. The Swiss Style of graphic design is known for its cleanliness, which is an integral component of my work. I keep my design work simple and clean because I believe that allows for a more straightforward communication of a product, idea, or company. By keeping elements such as type, color, and shape simple I am able to add more interest to my work through the use of patterns and textures, which differentiates it from being influenced strictly by Swiss-Style design. My style also puts a more elegant spin on the Swiss Style by using more organic shapes and lines than is common, which lightens up my pieces and makes them distinctive. 

Introverts and Extraverts on the Clock: Who will Perform Under Pressure?
Emily Embrescia
Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher R. Chartier (Psychology)

The purpose of this study was to assess whether introverts or extraverts perform better on face memory tests. Previously, we found a relationship between personality and memory under social stress (Embrescia & Chartier, 2014). We were specifically interested in evaluating if a non-social anxiety inducing scenario leads one personality type to suffer. Our design was a 2(test: trees or faces) x 2(condition: timed or not timed) x 2(personality type: introvert or extravert). If a participant was in the timed condition, an audible ticking noise imitating the sound of a clock was played while completing the memory tests. Each participant completed two memory tests: objects (trees) and faces. The first phase of each memory test required the participant to see 20 objects or faces pop up on the screen for 3 seconds each. The second phase required the participant to pick out the 20 objects or faces they had previously seen out of 40 objects or faces. Other measures included an anxiety questionnaire and an introvert/extravert questionnaire. Data was collected from 87 participants. We discovered a significant interaction between condition and a median split on extraversion scores, F(1, 77) = 5.61, p < .01. When participants weren’t being timed extraverts (M = 31.92) outperformed introverts (M = 30.40). Interestingly, when being timed introverts out performed extraverts, (M = 31.77), (introverts) (M = 29.97) (extraverts). These results suggest extraverts are affected negatively when a non-social anxiety pressure is introduced but introverts seem to perform better with it.

Reducing Cookware Corrosion Can Reduce Metal Exposures in Developing Countries
Meghann Fitzpatrick
Student’s Major: Biology
Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer (Chemistry) & Dr. Rebecca Corbin (Chemistry)

Heavy metal toxicity is a global health problem. Previous work in our laboratory established that cookware from developing countries can leach unsafe levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum during simulated cooking conditions. While the health hazards of lead, cadmium and arsenic are widely recognized, aluminum exposures are typically dangerous only for those suffering from kidney disease, as aluminum is readily excreted in urine. In children and adults with kidney disease, however, excess aluminum can lead to brain and bone disease, among other problems. The cookware in question is manufactured from high-aluminum scrap metal, often in small workshops. In addition to trace amounts of toxic heavy metals, the aluminum content of slightly acidic leachates of these pots is generally several hundred milligrams per liter. The objective of this research was to explore treatment methods to reduce cookware corrosion and thereby reduce exposure to metals by those using it. After evaluating several possible approaches from the standpoint of technical and economic feasibility, it was determined that coating the cookware with Xylan, a polytetrafluoropolymer product recognized for its durability in high temperatures, was the most promising strategy. Four representative cookware pieces (from Ivory Coast, Philippines, Bangladesh and Vietnam), which released up to 1370 milligrams aluminum per liter in initial extractions, were coated with Xylan. These pots were tested by simulation of cooking with mildly acidic solutions, followed by atomic absorption analysis to determine metal content. Little to no aluminum or heavy metal leaching is anticipated from the coated pots. 

Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and the Compromise of 1850
Joshua Frey
Student’s Major: History
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Emily Hess (History)

Although Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass agreed on many issues, they strongly disagreed about the Compromise of 1850, which admitted California into the Union as a free state, abolished the slave trade in Washington D.C., and strengthened the country’s fugitive slave laws. Lincoln praised it as a successful Union-saving measure while Douglass viciously attacked it for its fugitive slave clause which made it harder for escaped slaves to remain free and forced northerners to assist in the capture of escaped slaves. I will attempt to explain these differences by examining the statesmanship of both men and their understandings of the purpose of the Constitution and the Union. I believe that the reason for these disagreements was their different understandings of the importance of maintaining the rule of law in the fight for abolition. Lincoln’s response to the Compromise of 1850 was more statesmanlike than Douglass’ because Lincoln recognized the existential crises the Union was facing in 1850 better than Douglass did and had a more prudent response to the Compromise. The discussion will be focused on the statesmanship of Lincoln and Douglass in this case and attempt to demonstrate the importance of the rule of law in a constitutional republic. 

Enhanced Techniques for Performing Base N Arithmetic and Conversion
Victoria Gruber
Student’s Major: Computer Science
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Iyad A. Ajwa (Computer Science)

The notion of positional number systems was introduced by Al-Khuwārizmī, a ninth century mathematician who lived in Baghdad. The most popular positional number system is the decimal number system, which is also known as the Base 10 system. However, computer science students must get fluent with other positional number systems including the binary, octal, and hexadecimal number systems that have bases 2, 8, and 16, respectively. There are techniques to convert the representation of a given number between these number systems. Studying these techniques is a topic that is typically introduced in discrete mathematics and is developed in computer science courses. In this presentation, I will discuss enhanced techniques for Base conversions. I will also present improved techniques for performing arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division on Base numbers. Moreover, I will introduce a simplified algorithm for lattice multiplication on quadratics. 

The Effects of Distraction on Exercise
Jeremy Hanna
Student’s Majors: Exercise Science & Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher R. Chartier (Psychology)

Previous studies have shown the effects of distractions on the physiological and mental aspects of exercise. A study found that when one is distracted the person reports lower levels of fatigue during cardiovascular training (Razon et al., 2009). Other research has suggested certain neurophysiological changes take place due to placing one’s full attention on muscular contraction during resistance exercise, such as the amount of acetylcholine released, which is the primary neurotransmitter in muscular contraction (Lampropoulou & Nowicky, 2014). The current experiment tested participants’ perception of fatigue during both distracted exercise and focused exercise. These variables were measured using the ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) scale during both cardiovascular and resistance training. Each participant completed a set of dumbbell curls and a cardiovascular treadmill test, once while distracted by television and once while focused on the exercise. The results showed significant differences in perceived exertion between distracted and focused training, focused exercise producing greater RPE across both modes of training, F(1,19) = 10.94, p < .01). Perception of fatigue was also found to be greater in cardiovascular training compared to resistance training, F(1,19) = 14.02, p < .01. Workout efficacy was also measured via peak heart and electromyography. Tests of efficacy between conditions yielded no significant results for cardiovascular training, t(19) = -.99, p = .34 or resistance training, t(19) = -1.58, p = .130. These results explain that while RPE was significantly impacted by the independent variable, the quality of the workout was not. 

Design is Personal
Kaylin Henry
Student’s Major: Commercial Art

Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Michael Bird (Art)
In my designs I use a polished, modern, and mechanical aesthetic to communicate an idea or brand creatively in a professional setting that will resonate with my clients and viewers. Geometric shapes and patterns are often composed to convey cohesion, solidity, and vitality within my designs to give each of the pieces their own presence since these elements also reflect my personality. Soft or dull colors are also applied so the design will not be offensive but instead have more of a neutral stance to be flexible for any gender and age. Using notable graphic designers like Saul Bass, Jan Tschichold, Alvin Lustig, and Josef Muller-Brockmann as influences for their superb design fundamentals, I then integrate an essence of eccentricity from my own personality and hand drawn elements to add a sense of uniqueness. I have always had an infatuation for graphic design because of the carefully composed and structured plans that must take place in order to generate a balanced, sophisticated, and creative form. Such an approach can assist my clients in promoting their idea or brand in an innovative and accessible way. 

The Bruise
Alicia Jones
Student’s Majors: Psychology & Fine Arts (Painting and Ceramics)
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Keith Dull (Art)

My artwork focuses on exposing others to depression and the stigma that is attached to this mental disorder. I titled my series of paintings The Bruise because like depression, the severity of bruises can differ and are sometimes reminders of an illness that one can do nothing to resolve. My background in psychology influences my incorporation of the stigmas that one fears encountering when newly diagnosed as depressed. I incorporate yarn, quilts, wax, and needles to give physical representation to the mental suffering and hiding away of these individuals’ pain. I focus these mixed media elements on certain parts of the anatomy to illustrate the suffering but also the stigma that comes with that particular body part. For example, I focus on the eyes in one of my paintings to reference the frustration of being told by others to simply “look for the good in life.” The nudity of the figures in my artwork pushes the notion of vulnerability along with the simple background so as not to distract from the figures. By illustrating the mental distress of depression I encourage my viewers to take mental disorders seriously and to show empathy to those suffering from them. 

Exploring Factors Impacting the Decision to Disclose Sexual Orientation: A Qualitative Study of Older Gays and Lesbians in Ohio
Stephanie Julian
Student’s Major: Social Work
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Michael Vimont (Social Work)

This exploratory study focuses on the decision making process initiated by lesbian and gay older adults in disclosing their sexual orientation to external systems. These systems included family, friends, and peers; housing authorities; health care providers; and general support services. The population is unique in that only individuals who disclose their sexual orientation are part of the marginalized population. Currently, not much is known of the population, as it is left out of both gerontological and LGBT studies. Ten older adults that identified as lesbian or gay were interviewed in one-on-one sessions. Several patterns emerged from multiple participants reporting similar reasons for disclosure. Anticipating acceptance by family, friends, and peers was deemed as a reason to disclose as well as having a significant other. The supportiveness of the environment to homosexuality and the consequences of disclosing were deemed important. This was made in reference to the participants’ community, workplace, and living environment. Perceived fears about prejudice and discrimination played a part in the decision for participants to not disclose in areas of their life. The study is not meant to generalize the population, but rather to obtain rich stories from members of this population. Future research is discussed as it pertains to the older LGBT population. 

Investigation of the Chemistry of Red Maple Foliage, Acer rubrum L.
Alexander Kaple
Student’s Major: Biochemistry
Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer (Chemistry), Dr. Mark Berhow (USDA), & Dr. Robert Bergosh (Chemistry)

Wilted leaves of red maple (Acer rubrum) are toxic to horses, causing death by oxidation of hemoglobin and inducing anemia. The objective of this project was to identify and characterize chemical compounds in foliage extracts of red maple that may be associated with the observed toxicity to horses. Fresh and wilted extracts of red maple leaves were analyzed by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). No obvious differences were observed. Bulk wilted leaf extracts were subjected to purification by column chromatography in order to isolate and characterize specific chemical components. The major extract component was isolated in pure form and tentatively identified by nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (NMR) as a sugar with two gallic acid subunits attached. HPLC-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used to further characterize these extracts. In addition to the major extract component, which was confirmed as 1,5-anhydro-2,6-bis-O-(3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoyl)-D-glucitol, or acertannin, several other flavonoid and gallic acid glycosides have tentatively been identified based on their mass spectra. The contribution of acertannin to red maple toxicity is not yet known. Ongoing work is focused on quantifying the concentrations of acertannin in fresh and wilted red maple extracts, as well as extracts of Norway (Acer platanoides), sugar (Acer saccharum), and silver (Acer saccharinum) maple in order to compare the acertannin content of these species with published data on the toxicity of each in bioassays. 

Effects of Dietary Stress on Capture Behavior in Mice
Cortney Kourie & Samantha Carson
Student’s Majors: Biology (both)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Dolly Crawford (Biology)

Stress can induce many changes in animal behavior. Dietary stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and lethargic behaviors in animals. Another source of stress is capture, but the effects of capture on small mammals are largely unknown. Small mammals are often used in research. In these settings, captive small mammals experience and respond to restraint and a myriad of novel stressors. We examined the interaction between dietary and capture stress on the behavior of laboratory mice, and tested the hypothesis that dietary stress will amplify capture stress behavior exhibited by mice. Three populations of mice were maintained on different diets. A control group was maintained on standard rodent chow AIN-93G. Two treatment groups were given high caloric diets. Over a period of six weeks, one randomly selected mouse from each population was placed into a trap, and a GoPro video camera was used to record mouse behavior for four hours. We scored the videos for normal and abnormal behaviors and analyzed the data for differences.An inspection of preliminary data suggested modest differences in the frequency of normal and abnormal behaviors between treatment and control groups. This can likely be attributed to a higher frequency of grooming and repetitive bar mouthing behaviors in treatment groups. This work is important to our understanding of mammal behavior because it can be used to help better manage animals in captivity and help to improve trapping techniques to allow for more ethical treatment of mammals in research. 

Pumping Iron and Cadmium? The Cadmium Content of Protein Drinks and Nutritional Powders
Megan Kracker
Student’s Major: Toxicology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer (Chemistry)

Heavy metal toxicity poses a serious global health risk. Heavy metals, such as cadmium, can accumulate in the body over time while exerting their effects. Cadmium primarily targets the kidneys which can potentially lead to renal failure. Cadmium can also contribute to osteoporosis. Cadmium is listed as a human carcinogen according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A previous Consumer Reports investigation looked at protein drinks for heavy metal content and found a maximum of 5.6 μg of cadmium per three servings. The objective of our research was to determine the cadmium concentrations in select protein drinks and nutritional protein powders. Samples were purchased locally or supplied by the Ashland University Dietetics program. Each replicate sample was digested via Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) method 3050 by heating with 60% trace metal grade nitric acid additions followed by 30% trace metal grade hydrogen peroxide. Samples were diluted and filtered for inductively coupled plasma spectrometry (ICP) analysis. Additionally, ashing was evaluated as an alternative sample preparation method. Each sample was tested for cadmium content as well as lead, arsenic, and other elements of biological consequence. One of the commercial samples was found to have 7.4 μg of cadmium per serving, above the 5 μg permissible daily exposure (PDE) in a single serving. According to Consumer Reports, an average athlete consumes roughly three servings of protein powder a day. If so, potential cadmium exposure from this product would be more than four times greater than the PDE, suggesting a serious health hazard. 

How to Interpret the Constitution: Justice Scalia and the Founders
Ivan Larson
Student’s Majors: Political Science and History
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Burkett (History/Political Science)

Antonin Scalia was one of the more outspoken Supreme Court justices. His influence on law is undeniable, and he has been called “the most significant and influential Supreme Court Justice of the past thirty years.” Scalia was the leading proponent of textualism, a system that seeks to find a law’s meaning as that law was originally understood. The judge must read the words of the law with their common rather than technical meaning, and avoid deciding based on some purpose beyond what is plainly detailed in the text. Textualist judges also avoid relying on their own sense of justice as the judge’s task is to apply the law, not to make it. But is Scalia’s method of constitutional interpretation in accord with that of the Founders? Textualism relies on understanding the Constitution as it was originally understood, but is this how the Founders understood the process of interpretation itself? This question is explored by comparing Scalia’s judicial theory to that of James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution.” Scalia’s textualist theory is drawn from his book, Reading Law, and from his decision in the landmark Second Amendment case, DC v. Heller. Madison’s theory is drawn from his speeches on the floor of the House on constitutional questions, his writings in the Pacificus-Helvidius Debates, and his writings regarding the constitutionality of the National Bank. While the Founders did not all agree on how to interpret the Constitution, Scalia at least shares similar views on the matter with Madison.

Old, not Dead: Why the US Should Care about the Russian Threat to Europe
Sophia Leddy
Student’s Majors: International Political Studies & Spanish
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Rene Paddags (Political Science)

This paper addresses why the United States should maintain the commitments it made to European physical and economic security in the NATO treaty. It begins by discussing Russia’s intentions of destabilizing Europe in Ukraine and through Europe’s anti-EU parties. The paper continues with a demonstration of US national interests in the European economy and security. An analysis of Russian actions in Europe shows that the US, through NATO, should increase and preserve its military and economic involvement in Europe to protect its own geopolitical interests. NATO’s, and by extension Europe’s, success depends on US involvement, for it was the US that brought peace to Ukraine, protecting Europe from Russian geopolitical gains. The paper uses journals and other works of geostrategic relations, economic figures, and maps to show changes in international relations over time.

The Presence of Another: Video Game Stress
James Lentine
Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Diane B. V. Bonfiglio (Psychology)

There is evidence that video games can influence certain emotions like aggression (Hollingdale & Greitemeyer, 2014), but little research exists concerning a game’s effect on fear and anxiety. Furthermore, the presence of others while performing a given task can affect both performance and anxiety levels (Markus, 1977). This study investigated whether the mere presence of another could influence a player’s level of fear and stress from playing a horror game. Seventy-four participants were randomly sorted into a present or absent condition. In the present condition, participants played a horror game (“Five Nights at Freddy’s”) with the researcher in the room. In the absent condition, only the participant was in the room during his/her gameplay. This gameplay lasted ten minutes (the length of one “level” in the game) or until the participant lost. Right after gameplay, they took a measure of their present positive and negative emotion. An independent samples t-test revealed no significant difference in negative affect nor positive affect between those who played the game with another person present and those who had no one else present in the room. However, those who had another present felt significantly more enthusiastic (t(71) = 2.074, p = 0.042). These results imply that the mere presence of another during stressful events is not enough to reduce negative emotions; i.e. those offering social support must do more than just be present. Furthermore, gameplay is more enjoyable when there is another with whom to share the experience.

The Broken Branch: How the Media Has Failed in Its Role in Political Discourse as It Moves towards a More Democratic Platform
Zachary Lindesmith
Student’s Majors: Political Science, Digital Media Journalism, & Digital Media Production
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. David Foster (History/Political Science)

The media is frequently referred to as America’s fourth branch of government, as it plays a significant role in American society and politics. The media’s duty is to provide verified information for citizens in the pursuit of justice and truth. Arguably, the invention of the internet has revolutionized the way in which the media and citizens interact with each other, particularly social media and online news aggregates. By using Tocqueville’s idea of individualism as evidence to show that the media is progressing towards an individualistic platform, it can be argued that the media is failing when it comes to fulfilling these roles. This shift is what threatens the media’s success; arguably because the internet is a more democratic platform for the delivery of ideas and encourages individualism. As a result, this has affected the other more traditional platforms such as print and television. To further explore this concept, I have studied the Committee of Concerned Journalists results from a case study conducted the Center for Media and Public Affairs about the way that the media tends to not meet the public’s expectations when it comes to coverage. They have focused on the elections of 1988-2004. The media focuses more on entertainment and appealing to audience members than they are concerned with providing information and facts to them. Through all of this information, I am able to conclude that the media has been failing in its role in political discourse as it moves towards a more democratic platform.

The Absence of Larval Small-Mouth Salamanders: Is It Food, or Is It Flooding?
Garet Litwiler and Rachel Swartz
Students’ Majors: Biology Major and Biology and Environmental Science
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Merrill Tawse and Dr. Patricia Saunders

Small-mouth salamanders live underground the majority of their lives and emerge every spring to breed in temporary ponds. The larval stage of their life is spent in the ponds feeding on microscopic pond life called zooplankton. The purpose of this project was to determine why adult salamanders were found at the AU Black Fork Wetlands, yet none were observed visually or with netting in their aquatic larval stage in 2015. Alternative explanations include that periodic flooding of the ponds could wash in fish and other predators not normally present in the ponds, or that food levels were not sufficient for larval survival. This study began in March 2015, at the start of the adult breeding season, and sampling continued until June 2015. Habitat qualities such as dissolved oxygen and temperature in four ponds, the timing of floods, and the abundance of microscopic prey were examined. The abundance of zooplankton found in samples from the ponds where adults were found should be sufficient to sustain larval salamanders. However, spring 2015 floods that coincided with salamander breeding and egg deposition may explain the absence of larval small-mouth salamanders in March-April samples, when adults of the species were present and known to be breeding. It was concluded that the flooding in early spring could have contributed to the lack of reproductive success of small-mouth salamanders in 2015. The timing and degree of flooding varies from spring to spring, and so may allow salamanders to have greater reproductive succession other years.

MEDUSA: Monitoring Environmental Data Using Software Applications
Rupesh Maharjan, Raymond Acevedo, Abdullah Aldhfyan, Abdulmohsen Alsalman, Zachary Brown, Omar Busheel, Joseph Hemperly, Ashley Herman, & Dylan Moats
Students’ Majors: Computer Science (all students)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Iyad A. Ajwa (Computer Science)

Data centers are places where data from all computing devices on a local area network are amassed stored for analysis. Monitoring the temperature, humidity, flood, smoke, sound, and barometric pressure is of great importance to IT staff running data centers. MEDUSA (Monitoring Environmental Data Using Software Applications) is a team-project that aims at producing computer software for monitoring environmental data at various Ashland University data centers. Sensors for recording environmental data are being programmed and will be installed at the data centers. Software that continuously retrieves data from the sensors and records the data in a database on a server is under development. IT personnel will be able to use the software to monitor data from their computing devices at any time. Therefore, an interactive application with graphics capabilities needs to be developed. If one, or more, of the measurements exceeds its threshold, the software will alert the person in charge. Thus, a notification system will also be developed as part of this project. We will report on our experience programming the sensors and developing the various software components as well as technologies used. We will also report on challenges faced and lessons learned while working on this real-world project.

Samuel Adams, James Madison, and Religious Liberty
Tara Marasco
Student’s Major: Political Science
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Burkett (Political Science)

According to the American founders, one of the natural rights with which human beings are endowed is religious liberty. But what exactly does religious liberty encompass? In this presentation I will explore how two of our nation’s founders— Samuel Adams and James Madison— thought about the concept of religious liberty by focusing primarily on Adams’s “Rights of the Colonists” and Madison’s “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments.” Adams held a more restrictive view of religious liberty, believing, for example, that how individuals worshipped could be regulated by government, and that certain religious views should not be tolerated in America. James Madison, in contrast to Adams, had a more inclusive view of religious liberty, believing that individuals ought to be protected in the full exercise of religious liberty.

Analytical Tools for Determination of Nematicidal Chemicals Released Into Soil
Dillon McClain & Krista Lewis
Students’ Majors: Forensic Chemistry (Dillon), Toxicology (Lewis)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Brian Mohney (Chemistry)

Many species of nematodes are parasites that feed on plant roots. They can damage or kill infected hosts, so some plants have developed natural anti-nematode defenses for protection. Marigolds produce the thiophenes alpha-terthiophene (alpha-T) and 5-(3-buten-1-ynyl)-2,2'-bithiophene (BBT) as a toxic repellant to nematodes. Previous work in our laboratory has shown that polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is an effective sorbent for thiophenes. The objective was to determine whether the release of thiophenes by marigold roots was modified based on the amount of thiophenes removed from the soil by PDMS. The marigold species Tagetes tenuifolia (cultivar ‘Lemon Gem’), was grown in six specially designed boxes containing PDMS tubing to measure spatial and temporal variation in thiophene release. In addition to the tubing, half of the boxes contained PDMS rods to provide an additional absorption reservoir, or sink, for the thiophenes. PDMS tubing was sampled for 2 weeks starting 8 weeks after planting. Rods were sampled at 9 weeks after planting and all tubing and rod samples were analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography. Average alpha-T levels were 5-50 ng per day; average BBT levels were 40-365 ng per day. Terthiophene release was greatest at a depth of 10.5 cm beneath the plant with alpha-T being 40 ng/day and BBT being (250 ng/day). The smallest amount released was at 2 and 14.75 cm below the plant. Experimental data shows that the presence of PDMS sinks (rods) in the soil does not influence the mass of daily thiophene collected.

Factors Influencing the College Choice of First-Year College Students
Bryce McClish
Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Curt Ickes (Psychology) & Dr. Christopher R. Chartier (Psychology)

Previous consumer psychology literature suggests that recruiting enough qualified students is a major competitive challenge for most colleges and universities in today’s market (Han, 2014). Cost of attendance, distance from home, and academic reputation are just a few of the salient factors that have been consistently identified as contributing to a prospective student’s final college choice (Paulsen, 1990; Hoyt & Brown, 2003; Zimmerman, 2012). The current study examined the importance of a number of characteristics on the college choice of the most recent class of first-year college students. The factors examined included tuition and fees, opportunities for scholarships, location, average class size, availability of major, core curriculum, number of faculty publications, graduation rate, skill of athletic teams, and general institutional reputation as a “quality school.” Fifty-nine participants completed a survey reporting how influential each of the above mentioned characteristics were on his or her final choice to attend. Each characteristic was rated on a five point Likert scale which ranged from 1 “not important” to 5 “very important.” Results indicate that the three factors most influencing choice were as follows: availability of major (M = 4.61, SD = .72), scholarship opportunities (M = 4.19, SD = 1.06) and cost of tuition (M = 4.12, SD = .95). Least influential characteristics were: number of faculty publications (M = 2.22, SD = .95), skill of athletic teams (M = 2.41, SD = 1.48) and the institution’s core curriculum (M = 3.12, SD = 1.05). Further research exploring the generalizability of these results regarding first year college students at other institutions would be productive.

Cover Pebbling Numbers
Grace McCourt
Student’s Majors: Mathematics & Integrated Mathematics Education
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Swanson (Mathematics)

In graph theory, a graph is a set of vertices connected by edges. Graph pebbling is a game in which Player 1 buys some number of expensive pebbles and gives them to Player 2, who then places the pebbles in some configuration on the vertices of a graph and chooses one vertex to be the root vertex. Player 1 must then use pebbling moves to try to place at least one pebble on the root vertex. A pebbling move consists of moving two pebbles along an edge, one pebble being removed entirely from the graph, and the other pebble reaching the adjacent vertex. Player 1 wants to minimize the amount of money spent on pebbles and still win the game. The pebbling number of a graph is the minimum number of pebbles that Player 1 can buy and still be guaranteed to win. The cover pebbling number of a graph is the minimum number of pebbles that Player 1 can buy be able to place at least one pebble on each vertex of the graph. In this presentation, I will derive the pebbling numbers and cover pebbling numbers for “special graphs” such as path graphs, cyclic graphs, and complete graphs on n vertices.

#BlackMindsMatter: The Psychological Repercussions of Racial Prejudice
Charlie Michel
Student’s Majors: Mathematics
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Sharleen Mondal (English)

As debates around police violence, mass incarceration, and the Black Lives Matter movement become increasingly prominent in public discourse, an intensive examination of long-standing patterns of racism in America is warranted. Informed by her experience, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers insight into racial violence and oppression in her 2013 novel Americanah. Adichie focuses, in particular, on black Americans’ experiences and the role of Americans who hold a position of racial privilege – a term coined by Peggy McIntosh – in society. Americanah is the story of a young Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, who is reunited with her Aunty Uju and cousin Dike when she moves to the U.S. As Dike progresses into young adulthood, Ifemelu closely observes the turmoil he experiences as the social construction of black masculinity is thrust upon him. Related and parallel to Dike’s struggle are those faced by Ifemelu and Aunty Uju who are pressured to assimilate to dominant racial norms, threatening their cultural identities. Through close reading of the novel, I explore Adichie’s message concerning the cost of unchecked structural racism on individuals. Additionally, I engage with psychological research that quantifies the severity of the stress responses triggered by racial hostility and sociological research which demonstrates how racial discrimination leads to negative health outcomes. I link this research to my analysis of the effects that Adichie portrays in her novel and argue that the novel urges those who inhabit spaces of racial privilege to rethink a larger, ongoing historical failure to address structural racism in America.

The Illustrator’s Identity: An Analysis of the Artwork in Willa Cather’s My Ántonia
Alexandra Newhouse
Student’s Majors: Integrated Language Arts Education (7-12), Creative Writing
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Linda Joyce Brown (English)

Willa Cather’s novel My Ántonia (1918) tells the coming-of-age story of the first-person narrator, Jim. The story focuses on Jim’s life in Nebraska, particularly on his relationship with a childhood friend, an immigrant from Bohemia named Ántonia. Cather includes a preface in which an unnamed narrator introduces the reader to an adult Jim, and then transitions into Jim’s first-person narration of his life in Nebraska. Throughout the novel, illustrations can be found depicting events occurring in character’s lives. This was a surprising choice given the dramatic decline of the use of illustrations in early twentieth-century American adult literature. Despite the fact that some illustrations depict scenes Jim did not witness, many critics believe the illustrations stem from Jim’s point of view. Others believe they should be attributed to the publisher or to Cather, who is often assumed to be the unnamed narrator of the novel’s introduction. I find both arguments unconvincing. Instead, I argue that the illustrations are not from Jim’s point of view, but are presented as an addition by the unnamed narrator, who is neither Cather nor the novel’s publisher. This argument ultimately calls into question the authenticity of Jim’s story and asks readers to question the reliability of the text as it is presented to them.

“Falling, Falling Snow”
Emily Nieberding
Student’s Major: Creative Writing
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Maura Grady (English)

My piece is a second-person creative nonfiction essay. Throughout my years of high school, I experienced periods of loneliness and depression as a result of both failed romantic relationships and the fact that I was transitioning from the blissful years of childhood to the harsh reality of the real world brought on by adolescence. My primary method of coping with these emotions was to listen to music, specifically narrative songs with lyrics that I found meaningful and somehow pertinent to my own life. I titled my composition after one song in particular called “Falling, Falling Snow,” a melody using electronically synthesized vocals composed by the user Uta-P. This song is about a young lover lamenting the loss of his girlfriend. What struck me most was not the angst experienced by the character, however, but the use of snow as a metaphor for intense, melancholy emotion. One December afternoon my junior year, after arriving at a family member’s house for a party, I stopped to take in the serene beauty of the snow as it drifted down and felt myself inspired by how everything was completely silent: how the snow muffled all sound. I ended up writing a poetic reflection focusing on both the personification and symbolism of a wintry landscape.

Leaving OSU
Abigail Nye
Student’s Major: Art Education and Fine Arts
Faculty Sponsor: Professor Keith Dull

What do children do when they have a hard time writing in a diary? Sometimes they turn to music, videos, or art. I have auditory processing disorder, which is a cognitive issue, and I turned to art. With the use of different art forms, I strive to record my life through artwork instead of through a journal. As I use paint to record the struggles and victories in my life, my work also allows viewers to reflect on a similar time in their life. When I begin a painting I first look into myself and recall a point of time to record. Next, I look into what type of creature I wish to use. I do not use my physical self as the main character as this allows viewers to put themselves in my place. When I started painting I was heavily influenced by Vincent Van Gogh’s style, color, and thick application of paint. The soul is deep and full of emotions, therefore my paintings are composed of a complex layering of paint. My pieces are also unrealistic, involving fictional narratives from my imagination. Like Van Gogh, I use distorted forms and expressive color to show my emotions. Through my design and technique I provide a constructive outlet for the expression of my emotions, while also inviting viewers to reflect on their own.

Changes in Microbial Gut Fauna Due to Dietary Stress
Ethan Patterson
Student’s Major: Biology
Faculty Sponsor: Dolly Crawford, Biology

The intestines of animals contain many types of beneficial microorganisms that aid in digestion and the absorption of critical nutrients from the diet. During times of physiological stress, some microbes can become opportunistic pathogens. As the pathogens multiply, they can produce harmful effects in the body, or even death in severe cases. The interaction between physiological stress, diet and microbial gut flora in four populations of laboratory mice was examined in five populations of mice. A control group was fed a standard lab diet. Each of the three treatment groups were provided diets that were formulated to represent a low iron-high fat treatment, a high iron, low-fat treatment and a high-iron, high fat treatment. Each week, mice were weighed and a fecal sample collected. The fecal samples were cultured on microbiological media at 37o C for 48 hours. The organisms were identified using standard microbiological techniques. The numbers of each microbial type were tallied to estimate species diversity. Isolates of microbial colonies were counted using plate counting techniques to estimate species abundance. An inspection of preliminary data suggested no differences in the microbial diversity between treatment and control groups. Future analyses will examine the effect of diet on microbial abundance. This study helps to shed new light on the relationship between diet, stress, intestinal flora and long-term health.

Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science
Olivia Perna
Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher R. Chartier (Psychology)

Motivated by the possibility that false positives had reached high levels in psychological science, an international team gathered direct empirical evidence regarding reproducibility. One hundred and thirteen direct replications were completed. Several criteria were used to evaluate reproducibility: p-values, subjective assessments of replication teams, effect sizes and meta-analyses of effect sizes. Reproducibility was stronger in studies from cognitive psychology than social psychology. Regardless of criterion, a large proportion of replications did not reproduce the original results. These results suggest that improvement of reproducibility in psychology is urgently needed. Ashland University’s research team (Chartier, Perna, and Nervi) replicated two of the experiments in this project. I focused on replicating a study conducted by McCrea in 2008 on self-handicapping cognitions. Participants completed a math test and received false feedback that they scored in the 35th percentile of university students. Next, participants were given 10 statements supposedly made by previous participants. Among these 10 sentences the control group read 10 neutral statements, while the self-handicapping group read 5 neutral statements and 5 statements that could be interpreted as excuses or reasons for poor performance (self-handicapping cognition). After reading the statements participants completed a second surprise math test. Participants that read the self-handicapping statements did not perform as well as the control group, t(28) = 1.87, p < 0.05, which closely replicated the original result found by McCrea. Although the replication conducted in our lab was successful, the overall collaboration clearly indicates that the reproducibility of psychological science needs to be improved.

Color Priming and Concentration
Olivia Perna
Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Curt Ickes (Psychology)

Elliot and colleagues (2011) found that priming with the color red decreased scores on an IQ test in comparison to priming with blue or gray. Similarly, the color red is thought to produce feelings of danger or warning causing difficulty in concentration (Elliot, et al. 2011). The purpose of the present study was to examine if the same effect is present regarding performance on a different type of cognitive activity – concentration. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Red Priming, Blue Priming, or Gray Priming. The task was to find numbers in numerical order on a scrambled grid in two minutes. Three trials were conducted. Prior to each concentration grid, participants in each group were primed with their assigned color. Priming involved briefly exposing the participant to their assigned color in a rectangle shape with the trial number. We hypothesized that participants in the red priming group would have more difficulty concentrating than those in the gray. A one-way ANOVA was conducted to compare the effect of color priming on concentration. There was a significant effect of concentration F(2, 65) = 3.158, p = .049 on the third trial. Within this trial, when primed with blue the mean score (M = 26.04, SD = 5.12) was significant in comparison to the red prime (M = 24, SD = 4.41) and the gray prime (M = 22.7, SD = 3.58). Though the third trial results were significant, this study suggests we should continue to experiment with color priming and concentration.

A Population Growth Model with Time-dependent Carrying Capacity
Paul Pernici
Student’s Major: Computer Science & Mathematics
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Chris Swanson (Mathematics)

Mathematical population growth models seek to predict how a population's size varies with a set of parameters, particularly time. Differential equations are often used to model population growth, and a number of such models have been proposed throughout history, with varying levels of theoretical soundness. The logistic equation was first proposed by Pierre-Francois Verhulst in 1838 to predict human population growth, and is widely popular due to its accuracy for some types of populations and its ease of solution. In the logistic growth model, the magnitude of change in the population's size at a given time is proportional to the current population, but limited by how close the population is to a fixed upper limit, called the carrying capacity. Although it conforms to certain assumptions about the behavior of populations – namely that they are limited by the resources available to them in their environment – the logistic model suffers from the drawback of assuming that this pool of resources is constant. In nature, this is very rarely the case. In this presentation, a more general equation is proposed, in which the constant carrying capacity term is replaced by a function dependent upon time. A general, open form solution to this equation is found, and specific solutions are derived for various carrying capacity models and their long-term behavior analyzed.

Dietary Iron and Fat Levels in Relation to Metabolism in Mice
Alyssa Predota
Student’s Major: Biology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Dolly Crawford (Biology)

Many Americans have iron deficiency anemia (IDA), a condition in which the concentration of iron in the blood is significantly lowered. Iron is attached to hemoglobin in red blood cells and delivers oxygen to tissues for cellular respiration. One consequence of IDA is a shift in energy metabolism. At rest, the body acquires most of its energy from the breakdown of lipids, which requires almost four times the amount of O2 compared to the breakdown of carbohydrates and produces twice as much CO2. As oxygen becomes less available, metabolism is expected to shift from lipids to carbohydrates. This shift can be measured by comparing the ratio of O2 consumption to CO2 production using the respiratory exchange ratio (RER). This project was completed to determine the metabolic implications of diets causing IDA and high body fat levels as measured through the RER. Four populations containing three mice each were provided diets with varying levels of fat and iron: a high-fat high-iron diet, a low-fat low-iron diet, a high-fat low-iron diet, and a standard control diet. Mice were evaluated biweekly using an iWorx metabolic chamber and a GA-200 gas analyzer to assess changes in the ratio of CO2 exhalation to O2 inspiration. Analysis of preliminary results show a marginally significant difference in RER between the control diet and the treatment diet (F(1, 20) = 4.35, p = 0.05). This study can provide significant implications for the understanding and treatment of both IDA and obesity.

Inner Waking
Janice Richards
Student’s Majors: Psychology, Fine Arts (Painting)
Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Diane B. V. Bonfiglio (Psychology) & Prof. Keith Dull (Art)

Early psychological theorists like Freud believed that dreams were the route to the unconscious mind, and that by dissecting them, we could learn more about ourselves. My goal for this series was to depict the imagery in my nightmares. The settings are all based on actual places that I visit as a way to illustrate my nightmares coming into the realm of my waking hours. Through color and form I make symbolic references to specific virtues and characteristics. In The Hunted are not Always Prey, I use texture as a way of describing the two figures. The huntsman has a thick covering of reds, whites and pinks as an illustration of his peeling skin and muscles which reflect his sick thoughts and actions. The girl, however, has much less texture in order to communicate her innocence. The background communicates their inner struggle with an incoming storm and strong winds that pummel the trees and grass. I want viewers to be able to see my images from a distance, but encourage them with my heavy paint application to come up and view the brush strokes. Getting up close to the image forces viewers to acknowledge its existence and reflect on their own personal nightmares and anxieties similar to how I want to acknowledge my own in my personal life and overcome them.

'Play60' as compared to the 'Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act'
Kylie Shober & Allison Vredenburgh
Students’ Majors: Public Relations/Strategic Communication & Health and Risk Communication (Shober), Public Relations/Strategic Communication & Sport Communication (Vredenburgh)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Dariela Rodriguez (Communication Studies)

Obesity in the United States is an increasing problem. According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 127 million people in the country are overweight, while 60 million are obese (O'Connell, Price, Roberts, Jurs, & McKinley, 1985). The National Football League has contributed to efforts to lower these statistics through its Play60 and Fuel Up to Play60 campaigns. The NFL has combated obesity in schools across the nation by encouraging daily physical activity and healthy eating habits. Michelle Obama has also made strides to combat obesity. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) that she promoted encourages healthy eating habits in schools. The act rebooted school lunch programs nationwide and aims to help “at-risk” youth. Her main assumption was that properly fed children perform at a higher quality academically than those who are hungry. The success of each campaign has not been evaluated because both are relatively new and ongoing. Play60 and Fuel Up to Play60 have been widely accepted by the students and schools as a whole, while the HHFKA has not been as well-received. The existing data presented indicates that the HHFKA has had less success than Play60 because it was proposed by the government. The NFL has influence due to the celebrity status of the football players. Athletes, not political public figures, are viewed as some of the most influential role models, especially for America’s youth. HHFKA affects students without choice, whereas Play60 and Fuel Up to Play60 are voluntary programs.

Tacit Coordination: The Profile of a Coordinator
Emily Shrider
Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher R. Chartier (Psychology)

Tacit coordination involves getting people to optimally align their decisions, either matching or mismatching, without communicating with one another (Abele & Stasser, 2008). Existing research has explored the common strategies employed in tasks of tacit coordination which indicate how people go about making decisions in these types of scenarios, however, little research has been done linking individual differences to coordination success (de Kwaadsteniet & van Dijk, 2012). The present studies seek to “profile” a coordinator by identifying demographic and personality variables that are correlated with increased performance on coordination tasks. Study One was conducted with 80 undergraduate students who completed a 20-item coordination task, four personality inventories, and a demographic questionnaire. The coordination task consisted of questions including, “name any flower” and “choose one: motorcycle or convertible”. Results indicated that there was a significant gender effect on coordination performance; women (M = 540.22, SD = 71.92) performed better than men (M = 492.92, SD = 88.42); t(78) = 2.55, p = .013. Study Two was conducted with 203 participants recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. They completed the coordination task used previously, two personality inventories, and a demographic questionnaire. Results indicated that there was a significant correlation between age and coordination performance (r = .297, p < .01). In this study, a high rational style score on the Rational Experiential Inventory, outlined by Pacini and Epstein (1999), was significantly correlated with coordination performance (r = .263, p < .01). The studies suggest that some people may be better coordinators than others.

Impact of Visual Representation on the Attitudes Towards Transgender Transitions
Morgan Snyder
Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher R. Chartier (Psychology)

Transgender transitions have become a popular topic and are beginning to challenge the social norms regarding gender identity in our society. This could bring change to the ways transgender individuals are viewed and treated. The purpose of the present study was to investigate how presentation form impacts the attitudes people have towards those who have gone through a transgender transition. It was hypothesized that the recent positive media attention brought to transgender transitions may be reflected in participant attitudes and that attitudes following visual representations compared to purely written ones would be more positive. Data were collected from 70 participants randomly assigned to one of two conditions. The first condition saw only a written passage describing Caitlyn Jenner’s life as a star athlete, a father, and as a woman. The second condition added images with the written passage that corresponded with those stages. When participants arrived, they were handed a packet containing all materials. They were asked to read the passage and review the images if they were in the image condition. Once they finished reading participants answered general attitude questions about transgender transitions and gave an open-ended description of their reaction to Jenner’s transition. Although it was predicted that those in the second condition who received both the written passage and the images would be more accepting after viewing Caitlyn Jenner’s journey from a star athlete to becoming a woman, there were no attitude differences across conditions, t(68) = 1.39, p = 0.17. These results show that presentation form did not impact attitudes towards transgender transitions.

My Tree House
Garrison Stima
Student’s Majors: Creative Writing & Religion
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Joe Mackall (English)

My nonfiction essay, “My Tree House,” explores my interior causes for depression and self-loathing. I dive into an immense choice I made in order to live a life that is not overpowered by depression’s burdens. In this personal journey, I open up self-inflicted emotional scars and pour on the salt I used to routinely hurt myself, while then recalling those moments that allowed me to bind my wounds and heal into who I discovered myself to be. During a lonely evening, I isolate myself in the old tree house my father and I built when I was a child. Growing up, I always found myself receding to this place whenever I could not find an answer to a question or challenge before me. As it has been years since my last visit, the various elements of nature surrounding the small structure and the childhood items left behind trigger a psychological drama within me. Here, in a place that is uniquely my own, I am able to confront the misery and self-hate that is plaguing my mind. I am able to acknowledge the two halves of myself that have formed through my internal dividedness. “My Tree House” is not about renouncing my psychological issues; rather, it is about who I am because of them and how rectifying them unto myself has helped to open up the avenue for moving forward.

“The Extent of Liberty at Stake”: Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Constitutional Rights Philosophy
AJ Thomas
Student’s Major: Political Science
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeff Sikkenga (Political Science)

The Supreme Court plays a very large role not only in the American political system, but also in everyday American social life. Their decisions reach most Americans on a very personal level, which makes the Supreme Court a very important branch of our government. So, in order to properly know the Court’s decisions that will ultimately have a personal effect on the American people the justices themselves must be known. Justice Kennedy is most striking to me because of his views on liberty, and because he is so often the deciding voice in many controversial cases. Justice Kennedy because of this fact is often times said to be the “swing vote” of today’s court. Justice Kennedy is more often than not in the majority opinion of today’s court, but this should not be construed to mean that he is the “swing vote,” who often flips between the Conservative wing and the Liberal wing of justices. If his constitutional rights philosophy and his application thereof is looked at in-depth then it shows clearly that he does not “flip-flop,” but rather is very consistent in his thinking. However, since he does fluctuate between both ideological sides of the Court he plays a very large role on today’s court, which is why his methods require thorough examination. The question I am answering is: “What is Justice Kennedy’s constitutional rights philosophy, and does he consistently apply it?” Through the examination of Kennedy’s opinions, concurrences, and dissents, I conclude that he is consistent in his constitutional thinking on most issues.

Women as Artists: Do I Have to be Naked to Get Your Attention?
Hannah Thome
Student’s Major: Art Education
Faculty Sponsors: Keith Dull (Art) & Cynthia Petry (Art)

In my work I use art forms traditionally associated with women’s skills to emphasize the gap that still exists in the hierarchy of the fine arts. I am responding to the idea of women as “inferior” artists devoted only to domestic crafts such as needlepoint, quilting, embroidery and decorative painting. By including forms of art that were sometimes the only appropriate expressive outlet for women I am asserting that a higher view of these skills should be the norm. In my mixed media piece It’s Tough Being a Girl, I used body printing as a challenge to the conflicting social norms of body shaming. The sewing aspects of the piece create a comforting, familiar object (pillow) that a young girl would have on hand every day as she is bombarded by the multiple images of what she should be. The environments created with my pieces reflect the modern idea of art defying the boundaries of a traditional museum or gallery, just as I want to defy the previous inferiority of traditional “women’s art.” I create art that comments on and challenges the previous patriarchal control of art. Since the 1970’s the landscape of women’s rights has changed but the overall impression and representation of women artists is still unfavorable. My pieces do not promise a resolution to the vast issues of modern feminism but I hope to provoke emotional responses from my viewers that can initiate a discussion.

Pressure and Time: A Critique of the American Penal System with The Shawshank Redemption
Lucas Trott
Student’s Majors: Political Science & History
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Maura Grady (English)

Despite only 5% of the world’s population inhabiting this country, the United States accounts for over 20% of the world’s incarcerated individuals. Our status as the world’s leading jailer has resulted in a thriving web of for-profit prisons and the passage of strict legislation to keep them filled. While American prisons often brandish a goal of reforming the criminal population into functional members of society, the opposite result is often achieved. Instead of being rehabilitated, prisoners are often institutionalized, finding it difficult to reenter society. With approximately 75% of prisoners once again being arrested at some point after their initial release, it is clear that our penal system is not working. The issue of our prisons and their population has been explored and criticized in many visual media. In particular, Stephen King examined this theme in his Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. King’s novella inspired a screenplay (The Shawshank Redemption) by Frank Darabont, which became an American masterpiece. In this presentation, I will examine King and Darabont’s message in Shawshank’s themes and motifs and how they apply to the real-world prison system that they seek to represent, and why this critique in particular generates so much sympathy and awareness in American audiences. Also, I will demonstrate the need for meaningful reform in our country’s current penal system and propose what might be done to achieve progress.

Calixarene-Core Star Polymers: Building Blocks for Micelles and Drug Delivery
Corey Turpin & Lacy Hepp
Students’ Majors: Chemistry & Mathematics (Turpin); Chemistry (Hepp)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Perry Corbin (Chemistry)

Many pharmaceuticals have limited water solubility, which poses a challenge in drug-delivery. The focus of the present research is the synthesis of new, amphiphilic star block copolymers that have hydrophobic (water-hating) polylactide (PLA) blocks attached to hydrophilic (water-loving) polyethylene glycol (PEG) blocks. These molecules have the potential to form soap-like aggregates (micelles) that might facilitate the delivery of pharmaceuticals. Specifically, four-armed calixarene-core PLA/PEG star block copolymers have been synthesized. To produce the copolymers, star polymers with 20 and 30 repeat units of PLA per arm were made by ring-opening polymerization of lactide using a calixarene initiator. Alkynes were then attached to the PLA chain ends, followed by a click reaction to attach PEG to the alkynes. No-D NMR spectroscopy was used to determine the reactant ratios needed for successful completion of the click reactions. The synthesis of the 20 repeat unit PLA/PEG was successful. The conditions needed to form a 30 repeat PLA/PEG are currently being optimized. With the 20 repeat unit PLA/PEG in hand, preliminary studies were carried out to test the molecule’s ability to solubilize a model fluorescent dye, coumarin-6 (C6). C6 has very limited solubility in water, which parallels the solubility of many drug molecules. The presence of a yellow color and fluorescence from C6 in aqueous (water-based) solutions of the polymer suggests that micelles are formed that have the ability to solubilize molecules with low water solubility. Future studies will be undertaken to quantify the amount of C6 that is trapped by the polymer micelles.

Wide Host Range Bacteriophages in Fecal Samples from Northern Ohio
Samantha Ward
Student’s Major: Biology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Paul Hyman (Biology)

Bacteriophages are viruses that are capable of infecting bacteria. Each bacteriophage has a host range, or specific strains of bacteria that it can infect. While most bacteriophages are only able to infect one type of bacteria, bacteriophages with a wide host range are capable of infecting numerous strains. The objective of this research was to isolate wide host range bacteriophage for examination. In order to isolate these wide host range bacteriophages, fecal samples collected in Northern Ohio were filtered to isolate the phage from the sample and then cultured with two separate strains of Enterococcus faecalis bacteria to test the host range of the obtained phage. Two bacteriophages were obtained that exhibited the ability to infect both bacterial strains. One of the phage was cultured from duck feces while the other was from horse feces. Once the phages were obtained, they were passaged to ensure purity of the phages. Both were tested on multiple additional E. faecalis and Enterococcus faecium strains to determine the full extent of the host range on available bacteria strains. Both of the bacteriophages were capable of lysing (breaking open) six different strains of E. faecalis and one strain of E. faecium. Both bacteriophages were also able to reproduce on three E. faecalis strains and the strain of E. faecium, showing that these bacteriophages were in fact wider host range phages than others studied here.

Emerson and Whitman: A Difference in Proximity
Kouri Weber

Student’s Major: Integrated Language Arts
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Deborah Fleming

Readers of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman can see how each of them reveres nature. The trees, flowers, woods, grass, and dirt are more than just landscape for them, for both writers elevate it to a level of spirituality. In my presentation, however, I will explore the differences between Emerson’s and Whitman’s thoughts on the relationship between spirituality and nature. While both eminent transcendentalist authors speak to the power of the natural world, the difference between the two authors is the proximity of poetic or narrative voice to nature. Through his essays “Nature” and “Self-Reliance,” Emerson encourages his readers to go out into nature, to be with nature, and to be in nature in order to attain a high level of spirituality. Through “Song of Myself” and “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” Whitman appears to take Emerson's advice, then goes on to write that we are already part of nature. Emerson draws his readers out of their everyday, mundane, thoughtless activity into nature; and then Whitman lures his readers ever nearer after they are out in nature. After Emerson walks us out onto the path in the woods, Whitman lays us down in the grass. While he has us lying in the grass, Whitman presents the way spirituality can be found through the human body and shared experiences, transforming and extending Emerson’s theology on nature.

Gaining an Understanding of the Dynamics of an Ohio Species of Concern the Wetland Fowl: Sora and Virginia Rails
Olivia Widenmeyer
Student’s Major: Biology
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Merrill Tawse (Biology)

Virginia Rails (Rallus limicola) and Sora Rails (Porzana Carolina) are a secretive and uncommon group of wetland and marsh birds. Up to this point, there is a limited amount of research that has been done on these reclusive birds. The purpose of this project was to investigate the activity of the Rails found within the Ashland University Black Fork Wetlands. Although the majority of fieldwork is restricted to late spring and early summer when these birds are present, a presence/absence survey using a digital caller was conducted from May 2015 to October 2015. Rail activity has been determined at two distinct wetland ponds. Specifically, 2-3 territorial males were located at one pond and 2 at the other pond. Mist netting and cloverleaf trapping were conducted in attempts to capture and band the Rails at these locations. The fact that these birds are listed as a species of concern by ODNR, makes this a significant find. Future research will include trapping and the application of radio transmitters to the Rails at these ponds. This radio telemetry will allow for the monitoring of their movements and the breeding locations of the Rails between these distinct wetland ponds.

Linking Health Literacy to Health Communication Behavior: A Pilot Study
Hannah Wiles & Jonathan Albaugh
Students’ Majors: Biology & Health and Risk Communication (Wiles); Health and Risk Communication & Sport Communication (Albaugh)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Theodore Avtgis (Communication Studies)

This pilot study (n = 32) was designed to investigate health communication behaviors across different contexts. Patient information verification was found to affect the perception of several factors in the patient-provider relationship. More specifically, participants who report engaging in more information verification behavior with their physician, also report better quality of doctor information giving (r = .44, p = .013), doctor information verifying (r = .48, p = .005), and socioemotional communication with their provider (r = .695, p = .001). Subjects who reported being in health-related majors also reported engaging in more information verification with their provider compared to subjects who reported being in non-health related majors (t[30] = 7.47, p = .05). Within the patient-provider relationship, there is an inherent power imbalance in both status and expertise. This can result in an intimidating setting whereby patients may be too timid to truly ask the questions they actually have. However, based on the information gathered from this pilot study, patients who engage in information verification behavior (e.g., questioning, double-checking, interrupting when they do not understand) with their provider actually report greater relational satisfaction with their provider because they perceive the relationship as being more open and honest. Patients may also be more satisfied because they are receiving the information they need, indicating the effectiveness of assertive and proactive health-related behavior on behalf of the patient.

Challenges of Change
Rachel Yaeger
Student’s Major: Art Education
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Keith Dull (Art)

As an artist, I want to provide viewers insight into my physical and emotional journey to independency through the challenges of change. Therefore, the most significant element in my art is communicating my challenges and overcoming them by painting portraits. Through self-portraiture, I illustrate a narrative which conveys my path to independency. There are artists such as Frida Kahlo who use art as therapy and an outlet to express their inner most feelings. Kahlo herself painted people and portraits in a surrealistic manner to express her immense physical and emotional pain. In my work, the use of specific colors along with expressive brush strokes depict the emotion portrayed at that time in my journey to independency. The symbols incorporated into the portraits are of certain components in nature and particular animals to represent my expedition of challenges. Along with my narrative, there are portraits created of certain people who have greatly impacted my life. Distinct colors and subtle symbols are used in an expressive manner to represent their characteristics as I see them. This body of work is created to capture my physical and emotional journey to independency while it allows the audience to see how challenges of change can be overcome.

The Google Effect
Dane Zunich
Student’s Majors: English & Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher R. Chartier (Psychology)

In a world that is ever increasing in its dependency on technology, the purpose of this study was to examine just how reliant people have become on the Internet to provide and store information. To directly test this possibility, an experiment was conducted in which information accessed via the search engine Google and information accessed through a personal interaction with a researcher were compared in respect to retention rates. In a similar study, it was found that while people consider themselves to know more, given their access to a seemingly endless source of information, people actually know less than before, since little of this information needs to be stored internally (Wagner & Ward, 2013). The present study used a set of trivia questions that first permitted the use of an external information source (either Google or the researcher) to answer, a filler task, and the administration of the same trivia questions, but with denied access to the external information source. The results revealed a significant difference across search conditions, t(47) = 2.51, p = .016. Specifically, participants forgot more items in the Google condition (M = 1.44, SD = 2.36) than in the interpersonal condition (M = .04, SD = 1.4), suggesting that people do seem to forget more information when accessed through the internet. This study suggests that reliance on the Internet to provide and store important information for us leads to decreased memory for the accessed information at a later point in time.

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