2017 Abstracts



Was Martin Luther King Jr. the Frederick Douglass
of the Twentieth-Century?
Joey Barretta

Student’s Majors: History/Political Science
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Emily Hess, History/Political Science
Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. were two of the most prominent African American thinkers in the history of the United States. These two men sought to elevate the condition of their race in a society in which prejudice was entrenched. In my presentation, I will compare the methods each used to bring about equality for their race. The majority of Douglass’ public life was focused on bringing about equality by ensuring the principles proclaimed by the American Founders would be fully realized. Douglass’ approach hinged upon great men leading this nation to elevate the American people before, during, and immediately following the abolition of slavery and throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction. Dr. King’s method was not so much a hearken- ing to the American Founding, but rather a mission to make the love of Christ manifest on Earth and in so doing equality would come. King stressed that appealing to reason alone would prove insufficient due to man’s sinful nature, so his movement would focus on nonviolence and appeal to the heart rather than the mind alone. I assert that while the methods of Douglass and King seem radically different, many of the outcomes of what they sought to achieve were similar, but must also be examined in their historical context.

Facing the Four Horsemen: New Atheist Critiques of Christian Morality and the Christian Response

Lydia Smith


Student’s Majors: Psychology and Religion
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Craig Hovey, Religion

In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, a group known as the New Atheists emerged. Headed by figures such as Richard Dawkins, Chris- topher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett - collectively referred to as the “Four Horsemen” of New Atheism - the New Atheists began an outspoken campaign for science and reason, and against religion. They argue that reli- gion, in fact, has a negative impact on a person’s morality. The New Atheists have brought numerous critiques against Christian morality. In particular, they argue against Christian morality’s basis in the Bible, the Christian idea of God as a moral guide, and morally dubious actions by Christians. My research project is partly devoted to responding to these claims. My research also at- tempts to learn from the critiques made by the New Atheists, such as critiques against violence in Christian history, and issues pertaining to biblical interpre- tation. Drawing on the work of Terry Eagleton, I explore the emergence and popularity of the New Atheists as it points to a larger historical and cultural issue facing Western societies, wherein Christianity has largely abandoned its roots, and where the materialism, secularism, and moral relativism of the culture has allowed for fundamentalism to emerge. My presentation will focus on the Christian response to the New Atheists’ critiques, and show that both an apologetic and a confessional stance is needed to address the New Atheist criticisms. I will also address how the New Atheists have provided Christians an opportunity for reflection and positive change.

Tinge of Murder:An Analysis of Color in The Talented Mr. Ripley 
Kiana Ziegler

Student’s Majors: Fine Art and Graphic Design
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Maura Grady, English

When creating a visual work of art, fine artists must carefully choose a color palette and apply it to their composition. Movie makers are no different; they must consider the use of color in very similar ways, applying it to convey mood, emotion, and sometimes to characterize.

In Anthony Minghella’s crime drama, The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), color is used in ways beyond simple aesthetic choices, mood enhancements, and thematic emphasis. Most colors are pale and neutral with the exception of two vivid complementary color pairs: orange/blue, and red/green. Orange and blue symbolize the two main characters, Tom Ripley (orange) and Dickie Greenleaf (blue), and the two different kinds of lives they have; Tom lives a constricted, limited life, where Dickie has a glamourous and unrestricted one. The colors appear in the clothes each character wears, the color of lighting that engulfs them, and the set behind them, and emphasize the shift as Tom becomes Dickie through impersonation and murder. Murder itself is shown through the color red, and its complement green heralds the arrival of blood. With each of the three murders and one suicide, red and green foreshadow the upcoming events, green being the calm and peace Tom tries bringing into his life and the violent, blood-red ends that come to pass. Throughout the entire movie, An- thony Minghella weaves these four colors – orange, blue, red, and green – into each frame in order to make a subtle, foreboding and emotionally charged visual work of art.
Metal Exposures from Aluminum Cookware: An Unrecognized Health Risk in Developing Countries
Meghann Fitzpatrick

Student’s Major: Biology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer, Chemistry

Heavy metal toxicity remains a serious global public health threat. The an- nual global toll from lead poisoning alone is estimated at more than 600,000 premature deaths and economic costs approaching $1 trillion. Previous testing done in our laboratory established that aluminum cookware made in small workshops from ten countries in Asia, Africa, and Central America can release unsafe levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum. The current objective of our study is to devise means to reduce corrosion in order to reduce toxic metal exposures. Treating four cookware items with the fluoropolymer Xylan reduced corrosion by >98%. Another strategy is to anodize cookware by creating a hard, durable, oxide layer on the cookware surface. The anodiza- tion process was completed by the Akron Anodizing Company and involves electrolytically coating metallic surfaces by passing a direct current through the substrate while submerged in a sulfuric acid bath. Anodized and non- anodized pots from four different countries are currently being evaluated for their resistance to corrosion by testing them under simulated cooking conditions using vinegar. Aluminum exposures are not thought to be a danger for healthy children and adults, but can be dangerous for those with compromised kidney function, leading to brain and bone disease. The mean aluminum release in our tests was 125 mg per serving for 42 non-anodized pots, which is six times the tolerable weekly intake proposed by the World Health Organization. Contin- ued research for different cookware treatment methods is imperative for the relief of heavy metal toxicity primarily in impoverished nations.


Behind Closed Doors: What We Bring to the Table
Alicia Jones
Student’s Majors: Fine Art and Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Keith Dull, Art

Life is full of happiness and hardships that everyone experiences differently. Though it is common to give more thought and weight to joyous moments, I draw inspiration from the struggles and negative events that I have experienced in my own life or have witnessed in another’s. The process of making art is therapeutic and helps me deal with my own thoughts and emotions on these troubles in a healthy manner. Difficulties I focus on are depression, drug abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence, self-harm, suicide and eating disorders. However, I use symbols like children and dandelions to help maintain an element of hope throughout. I bring to light the stigmas of these difficult topics that many face or fear facing and the taboo nature of the individuals going through them to talk about them. Through painting and ceramics I focus on the impact that families have on one another and the struggle to be honest about our problems with the ones we hold closest. My work highlights the behaviors of the parents and the often forgotten children who are watching and learning from them. The use of a dinner table setting is one that shows the gathering of friends and family which is used within my work to suggest that a more open and honest atmosphere needs to be created. The incorporation of interactive doors makes it possible for viewers to decide on what role, if any, they will play when viewing my work.

“Use of Force” and “Bullet in the Brain:” Discovering Beauty through Conflict
Corinne Spisz

Student’s Major: Integrated Language Arts Education
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jayne Waterman, English

William Faulkner’s 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature speech argues, “writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and sweat.” This paper will examine the credibility of Faulkner’s claim. The idea of the human heart and conflict as a staple of twentieth century American literature is represented in two seemingly unrelated short stories: William Carlos Williams, “Use of Force” (1938) and Tobias Wolff’s, “Bullet in the Brain” (1995). Using the motifs of mind and matter, each story explores the significance of beauty amid conflict. The mind represents the internal expression of seeing beauty; matter, or mouth, articulates the external represen- tation of realizing beauty. Anders, the obnoxious, jaded, and elitist literary critic in Wolff’s tale, mocks a bank robber’s clichéd language with deadly results. Ironically, in his dying moments, Anders cherishes the memory of a grammatically incorrect utterance from childhood. In contrast, the doctor in “Use of Force,” makes a home visit to a sick child and becomes locked in a battle of wills, his own and the patient’s. Significantly, through conflict each character is able to discover beauty. At the heart of this literary agony, readers and writers uncover, in all of its conflict, beauty in writing, and for that Faulkner’s declaration is not only credible, it is a necessity.


How Marco Rubio Won in 2010 and Its Relevance to Future Elections
Kayla Gowdy

Student’s Majors: Political Science and Economics
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Chris Burkett, History/Political Science

Republican candidates suffered significant defeats in 2008, which led to a Democratic President, a 257-178 Democratic majority in the House, and a 58-41 Democratic majority in the Senate. Issues facing the country as the 2010 midterm elections approached were the Great Recession, the Stimulus Package, the Affordable Care Act, and the national debt, and a renewed focus on restoring the economy led to the election of 13 new Republican Senators. Of those elected, Marco Rubio’s election revealed important lessons for future elections, for he spoke to the issues and provided the solutions Floridians wanted to hear. He advocated for simpler taxes and the abolition of double taxation, freezing federal spending until the debt was under control, and put- ting the consumer in charge of health care spending. Rubio’s election mirrored the 2010 political climate—many people felt as though those in Washington were apathetic toward their well-being, and they searched for fresh faces who would represent their views and voice their concerns without deference to the established views of Washington insiders in both parties. By comparing Rubio’s election speeches to county polling data in Florida, I will argue that an important key to Rubio’s election was the consistent alignment of his message to the expectations of the Florida electorate.


Profiling Serial Killers and Serial Rapists
Aimee Linville

Student’s Major: Criminal Justice
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Marc Hedrick, Criminal Justice

What makes a human being become a serial rapist or a serial killer? Research suggests that these types of offenders may share a similar set of characteristics. I will explore the extent to which research can aid law enforcement to profile possible serial rapists or serial killers. By profiling serial killer and rapists law enforcement and prosecution can use the profiles in the search and conviction of suspects. The profiling of criminals can also be useful to the community when dealing with a child who matches the profile. This does not necessarily mean that the child would become a criminal; however it will show the community that the child may need help. Research has shown that there are some similarities in offenders’ pasts, in their characteristics, and in their crimes. Research conducted by Aamodt, Henriques, and Hodges (2008) displays data of serial killers that includes the way in which they attacked and the offenders’ past. Research by Scully (1994) explains the similarities of serial rapists and how she has found that they operate. Despite the fact that no theory of serial killer or serial rapist profiling is one hundred percent accurate, we will exam- ine the research that has been done to determine the usefulness of profiling theories, which include the classical and positive schools, rational choice theory, and routine activity theory.

An Introduction to the Generalized Riemann Integral and its Role in Undergraduate Mathematics Education
Ryan Bastian

Student’s Majors: Integrated Mathematics Education and Mathematics
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Darren Wick, Mathematics
The Riemann integral is often introduced to undergraduate calculus students, as its definition and related theorems are relatively straightforward to understand. However, the Riemann integral is limited in its power to integrate a wide variety of functions. One of these functions is called Dirichlet’s function, which is defined on the interval. 

As a result, an alternate definition of the integral, known as the generalized Riemann integral, can be introduced to fix some of these defects. This version of the integral was introduced around 1960 by Ralph Henstock and Jaroslav Kurzweil, and its definition and theorems are almost as simple as the traditional Riemann integral, yet its power to integrate functions far surpasses Riemann’s integral. The argument can be made that this new definition of the integral can be used to supplement, or even replace, the Riemann integral in undergraduate calculus and analysis courses. The objective of this talk is to present both the background and the definitions of the Riemann and generalized Riemann integrals and to show how the generalized Riemann integral can be used to integrate pathological functions, such as the one introduced by Dirichlet. These pathological functions are functions that exhibit seemingly erratic and unexpected behavior. They are sometimes used to test the validity of mathematical statements and can even lead to refinements and advancements in mathematics. Furthermore, the overall goal is to raise awareness of an alternate definition of the integral, which is even more powerful than Riemann’s.

The Survival and Maintenance of Minority Languages in Spain
Delaney Jones

Student’s Majors: Spanish and Political Science
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Richard Gray, Foreign Languages

Throughout its history, the Iberian Peninsula has been the passageway of many different groups. Each group influenced and contributed to the current identity of Spain. One of these contributions is that of language, as there are several languages spoken in Spain, aside from Castilian. Galician, Basque, and Cata- lan are minority languages spoken in Galicia, Basque Country, and Catalonia. Castilian is spoken by the whole of Spain, but in regions where minority languages are spoken, the vast majority of the inhabitants are bilingual. These minority languages have been subjected to years of suppression from oppressive regimes, especially during the 20th century. Francisco Franco’s regime spanned thirty-six years, during which the majority Castilian language and culture were favored. Although Galician, Basque, and Catalan experienced a decline, they survived and continue to develop into present day. These languages are present in government, education, and in everyday life in Galicia, Basque Country, and Catalonia. The reason behind their survival can be attributed to the literary histories of each region, the use of bilingual education, the geography of Spain, and to the elites of minority language regions. Cata- lan is arguably the most successful of the three major languages. It has the most speakers and is the language of a community that is undergoing a fierce nationalist movement. The Catalan independence movement has further highlighted the importance of minority languages within Spain and demonstrates their growth and development into the future.

Focus: The Fine Art of Graphic Design

Isaac Waterman


Student’s Major: Graphic Design
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Michael Bird,Art

I create works that articulate the potential of graphic design as an artistic medium. Lately, I have found that many people have a preconceived notion of graphic design as being synonymous with advertising. While design does play a large role in marketing, this notion leaves some individuals with a lack of appreciation for the artistic value of design. Design is a very flexible and creative medium and I believe that if viewers are exposed to more of the artistic potential of design, it could provide them with a new and broader perspective. The works I have created emphasize how the fundamentals of design can function as an artistic medium.

As an individual with ADD, my creativity is informed by my lack of attention. In light of this, the theme of my exhibition is “focus,” and will be comprised of work which reflects not only my own inability to focus during the creative process, but also the viewer’s own lack of attention to the artistic value of de- sign. Viewers will be required to open their minds to unique aesthetic concepts like balance, space and even legibility as they “focus” on and understand the works. I believe that such an exhibition can help to broaden people’s minds, boost their creativity and give viewers a new perspective of graphic design as an artistic medium.

The Stronger: An Application of the Meisner Acting Technique
Ceyanna Stasick

Student’s Major: Musical Theatre
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, Theatre

Sanford Meisner is an acting theorist who studied under the renowned Constantin Stanislavski, the father of modern acting technique. Working closely with Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, Meisner created his own acting technique. People have used the “pinch-ow” to describe the Meisner technique. It is taking what is given to you, processing it and immediately reacting within your body’s natural way. It is to let yourself fully and freely react without your mind getting in the way. It is a way of letting go of social stigma and mental or psychological boundaries we chain ourselves with. The purpose of this project was to apply the Meisner technique to the play The Stronger by August Strindberg. This project also included the performances of musical theatre pieces woven into the play. In doing this show I used August Strindberg as reference for Madame X’s character as I feel Strindberg put a lot of himself into her words. I will perform a monologue from August Strindberg’s The Stronger using the Meisner technique. I didn’t understand what it meant to be an actor until I understood Meisner. Acting to me is so much more than playing a character and making a show. Acting has the power to change your psychology and who you are as a person. Acting gives you the power to empathize and understand everyone around you and know how they feel, what they may be thinking. That is what practicing the Meisner technique has done for me.

Breathe
Tasha Arnold

Student’s Major: French
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. David McCoy, Journalism and Digital Media

“Breathe” is a short film focusing on mental illness awareness. I wrote the script, directed, filmed, and edited this film after researching the format and structure of various other screenplays and watching multiple films which allowed me to create credible characters and dialogue. When creating “Breathe,” having small amounts of dialogue underlined the point of the story and em- phasized her inner anxieties. The film style was inspired by French directors who would create scenes longer than expected, such as focusing on the silent image of a character in order to cause a reaction from the audience.

This project was a challenging test of my skills as a writer, videographer, director, and editor. Creating this film, I learned how difficult simultaneously being a director and videographer is, but also how gratifying it is to have full creative power over a project. I was able to overcome complications created by working with actors and their schedules and react to spontaneity.

My main goal for this project was to portray an accurate representation of anxiety and the stigma that others associate with it. The film is relatable to those who suffer from mental illness and a learning tool for those who don’t. “Breathe” follows Audrey as she lives with extreme anxiety, and how she handles a roommate who refuses to understand Audrey’s point of view. Audrey comes to understand and better cope with her illness, against all odds and an ignorant roommate.

Method Development for the Extraction and Analysis of Toxic Alkaloids from Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) in Hay and Silage
Lauren Bacigalupi & Emily Dine

Students’ Majors:Toxicology (LB & ED)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr.Andrew Trimble, Biology/Toxicology

Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) is a poisonous plant that grows invasively throughout North America.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, livestock poisonings involving this plant typically occur from animals eating contaminated hay and silage.  The methods of extraction and analysis of alkaloids from plant tissue are typically expensive and time-consuming. There- fore, the primary goal of this study has been to develop a more rapid and cost-effective method for detecting toxic alkaloids (atropine and scopolamine) from jimsonweed in hay and silage. A preliminary method has already been developed, but additional refinement was necessary in order to improve extraction efficiency, extract purity, and chromatogram quality. Initially, replicate leaf samples (n=3) at three different stages of curing (fresh leaf, hay, and silage) were freeze dried and homogenized, then extracted using methanol. Fresh leaves were harvested from mature plants and were extracted immediately. Hay leaves were air-dried in a greenhouse for 14 days and silage leaves were fermented in air-tight jars for 28 days prior to extraction. Samples were syringe filtered to remove solid material and extract volumes were then reduced using nitrogen evaporation. Alkaloid concentrations in the purified samples were determined using high-performance liquid chromatog- raphy (HPLC). The improved method incorporates thin-layer chromatography as a means to remove interference after methanol extraction, and centrifugation prior to syringe filtration to help remove solids. Preliminary results indicate that this improved method will substantially increase the quality of the result- ing extracts and provide a more reliable and cost-effective means of screen- ing for these toxins in livestock forage.

Participant Attentiveness to Consent Forms
Derek Baker

Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology

Informed consent is critical in human subjects research. I tested the extent to which individuals read carefully through an informed consent form for a psychological experiment before signing it. I predicted that because individuals experience these long consent forms so regularly, many would not read the form completely and fail to attend to details. A code word (Opera) was inserted in one of eight positions in the form. This experiment allowed me to analyze both whether individuals read through the consent form, and if they did, whether there was a specific part of the form that was given more attention than the others. Participants arrived at a conference room in sessions ranging in size from one participant to a maximum of five. Participants were asked to read through the consent form and sign when finished. Following the filler task, they were asked to recall the code word. The results of this preregistered study (https://aspredicted.org/xyce3.pdf) show that of the 136 completed participants, only 20 correctly produced the code word. A χ2 test of independence revealed that successfully noticing the code word did not depend on the location of the word on the consent form, χ2 (2, N = 136) = .067, p = 0.72. This experiment looked into the level of attention participants gave, and with only 20 participants responding correctly it shows that the level of attentiveness was severely low. These results show that a more effective method of obtaining informed consent in human subject research is needed.

The Cadmium Content of Protein Drinks and Nutritional Powders
Zachary Bernhard

Student’s Major: Biochemistry
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer, Chemistry

Heavy metal toxicity poses a serious global health risk. Heavy metals, such as cadmium, can bioaccumulate over time while exerting their effects. Cad- mium primarily targets the kidneys which can 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 up to 5.6 μg of cadmium per three servings in some samples; clearly above the 5 μg permissible daily exposure (PDE) amount as set forth by the FDA. The objective of our research was to determine the cadmium concentrations in commercial protein drinks and nutritional protein powders outside of those examined by Consumer Reports. 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 couple plasma spectrometry (ICP) analysis. Each sample was tested for cadmium content as well as lead, arsenic, and other elements of biological consequence. One commercial sample was found to have 7.4 μg of cadmium per 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 alone would be more than four times greater than the PDE, suggesting a serious health hazard. Samples of the high concentration commercial prod- uct have been reanalyzed to confirm contamination.

Characterizing the expression of gamma N-crystallins in development of Danio rerio 
Hayden Eighinger

Student’s Major: Biotechnology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mason Posner, Biology/Toxicology

The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become a valuable model organism for studying the development of the lens of the eye in vertebrates. Particularly, the zebrafish has been useful in studying the function of lens crystallin proteins, which are responsible for the prevention of cataract development. Gamma N-crystallins are unique because they contain structures belonging to both beta and gamma crystallins, suggesting an evolutionary relationship in the beta-gamma crystallin superfamily. Zebrafish γN1-crystallin and γN2-crystallin have been identified but only minimally studied. These two proteins are equivalent to the single γN-crystallin in humans, which has also been only partially studied. The purpose of this experiment was to characterize γN1-crystallin and γN2-crystallin expression timing and location in zebrafish development, providing data that is currently lacking in zebrafish research and serving as a baseline for future research. Reverse-transcriptase PCR was performed using zebrafish embryo mRNA to determine initial expression timing in development. Preliminary data suggests that the expression of both γN1-crystallin and γN2- crystallin begins as early as 24 hours post-fertilization. A previous study has noted expression of γN2 expression in the first 24 hours; however, gamma N1 expression has not previously been demonstrated prior to 20 days post-fertilization. Subsequent experiments are still ongoing and will include real-time quantitative PCR to characterize relative increases in expression levels at various time points in development and RT-PCR using mRNA from separated embryo lenses and trunk to observe for γN-crystallin expression outside of the lens.


Examining the Effects of Victim Attractiveness with Mock Jurors 
Elizabeth Kemp 

Student’s Majors: Criminal Justice and Psychology 
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mitchell Metzger, Psychology

Attractive people are less likely to be judged as guilty in a criminal situation. Most prior studies investigate the impact of the attractiveness of a defendant. This study’s purpose was to determine whether the attractiveness of the victim would impact mock juror’s judgments about a fictitious crime. Participants were directed to act as a juror and complete a questionnaire pertaining to both the victim and defendant. The overview of the case included photos of the unattractive or attractive victim, facts that were the basis for the crime, the victim’s statement and the police statement confirming the facts. Participants were 53 men and 67 women distributed into two conditions. Each participant was exposed to a photo of either the attractive or the unattractive victim prior to making their judgments. A 2 X 2 between-subjects ANOVA was conducted on the questions pertaining to the defendant and the victim. The victim’s attractiveness did not affect juror judgment of the defendant. Additionally, female participants rated the victim in both conditions approximately the same. How- ever, the men in the unattractive victim condition rated the victim more positively than in the attractive victim condition. This suggests that an attractive female victim may produce a negative effect with male jurors. Trial lawyers use a vast amount of research on defendant attractiveness when presenting their case. Ultimately, one implication of this study’s results is that defense attorneys and prosecutors should also take into account the victim’s attractiveness.

Personality Traits and Satisfaction with College Major
Marissa Lindberg

Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Curt Ickes, Psychology

Holland’s (1973) career theory suggests that there are six career interest types: Realistic, Social, Conventional, Enterprising, Investigative, and Artistic, and six corresponding career work environments. Holland proposed that job satisfaction is a function of the congruence between a person’s career interest pattern and the individual’s selected work environment. More specifically, the closer the match, the more job satisfaction is experienced. This notion has received some support in studies of adults in real world careers (Holland, 1977; Dik, Strife, & Hansen, 2010). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between vocational interest test scores and participants’ college major satisfaction. It was hypothesized that a similar pattern would emerge for college students and their chosen major. More specifically, students whose interest pattern matched their chosen major (congruent group), would report higher satisfaction with their major than those whose interests and major did not match (incongruent group). Fifty-seven participants completed the Holland Code Online Survey and a questionnaire listing their major and rated their level of satisfaction with their major. Congruent and incongruent groups were determined by comparing a student’s 3-point Holland Code from the online survey with the 3-point Holland Code for college majors using the Chronicle Career Library Arranged by Holland Code. An independent samples t-test revealed no significant difference in satisfaction with major ratings between those in the congruent group and those in the incongruent group t(57) = 1.224, p = .249. The results imply that there is no difference in reported satisfaction with choice of major and its congruence with one’s interest pattern.

Revisiting the Relationship Between Religion and Altruism
Lydia Smith

Student’s Majors: Psychology and Religion 
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology

A widely publicized study by Decety et al. (2015) found that children from religious households were less altruistic than children from non-religious households, suggesting religion has a negative impact on altruism. However, a re- analysis of Decety et al.’s (2015) original data set by Shariff et al. (2016) found that the original researchers had incorrectly coded participant country of origin, using a continuous variable rather than a categorical one. When the analyses were carried out with the correct coding scheme, many of the headline effects were no longer present.

The purpose of this study was to provide additional data on the relationship between religiosity and altruistic giving in two experiments with adult samples. The first experimental sample consisted of 100 adults from around the world recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. The second experimental sample consisted of 100 AU psychology students. All participants played a dictator game (Kahneman, Knetsch, & Thaler, 1986) in which they were offered a monetary bonus, and given the opportunity to share some of it with another participant. Participants then completed a questionnaire measuring religiosity and religious practice (Duke University Religiosity Index). There was no difference in giving between religious and non-religious participants in either sample t(98) = .605, p = .547, and t(98) = -.656, p = .513, respectively. Age was a significant positive predictor of giving for the second experimental sample, but was not a significant predictor for the first, β = .217, t(99) = 2.194, p =.031, and β = -.042, t(99) = -.401, p = .689, respectively.

A Population on its Way Out? Investigating the Population Size and Ploidy of Ambystomid Salamanders at the Ashland University Black Fork Wetlands 
Isabella Steiner

Student’s Major: Biology
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Merrill Tawse, Biology/Toxicology
The purpose of this project was to investigate the population of ambystomid salamanders at the US 42 site at the Ashland University Black Fork Wetlands. As a relatively small population, the question raised was whether this is a stable, increasing or a declining population. In order to measure the population size, in 2016 a series of salamander/minnow style traps were set at various ponds at the Black Fork Wetlands. These were placed just after the first rains of spring melted the winter ice, beginning their prime mating season. All captures were brought back to the laboratory where sample sizes were counted and individuals were categorized as male or female. This genus of salamanders is known for the occurrence of polyploidy in their populations. Polyploidy is the occurrence of additional sets of chromosomes. Polyploidy was determined by measurements of red blood cells. The 25 ambystomids captured at the Black Fork Wetlands were checked for polyploidy, and none of the animals were polyploid. The status of this population is inconclusive at this time, but further sampling will be done by checking adjacent breeding pools to compare population sizes as well as placing drift nets to improve sampling success.

Methods of Central Nervous System Dissection and Isolation 
Hannah Wiles & Mitch Ellis

Students’ Majors: Biology and Health & Risk Communication (HW);
Nursing and Exercise Science (ME)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kristin Simokat, Biology/Toxicology

The purpose of this study was to identify techniques and perform the dissection leading to the exposure and isolation of the spinal cord and brain of a human cadaver. Most students are limited to photos of this portion of the central nervous system and there is limited accessibility to dissection guidelines. The objective of this study was to evaluate the previously existing methods and find the most efficient pedagogy so that students may be able to repeat methods in the future through hands on dissection rather than merely reading the literature. Dissection videos published online such as “Clases de Anatomia” and Grant’s Dissector, 14th Edition were used to identify existing methods. Posterior musculature was removed and the spinal cord exposed. A bone saw was utilized and thin small incisions that were about 1 mm thick were created along both sides of the vertebral column starting at the thoracic region and ending at the lumbar region. The next portion of the study will entail exposure of the cervical spine and the removal of the brain and spinal cord as one unified structure. The methodology used in this study will allow future students to expose, isolate, and remove the spinal cord and brain jointly to then give students a superior conceptual understanding of the central nervous system.

The Truth behind the Veil: Investigating Religious Prejudice in America
Muslimah Williams

Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mitchell Metzger, Psychology

Many Muslim-Americans have suffered discrimination, especially those who wear traditional clothing. Al-Wazni (2015) conducted a study on Muslim wom- en wearing hijab (head-covering), where they discussed dealing with “prejudice in a post-9/11 society.” The result of the last presidential election has also caused many Muslims to feel afraid due to rising anti-Muslim sentiment. The present experiment tested the hypothesis that individuals will exhibit more negative attitudes when faced with a woman wearing a burqa (head-covering exposing only the eyes) compared to a woman in western-style clothing. The experiment consisted of control (western-style clothing was worn) and experi- mental conditions (burqa was worn). The same experimenter was present for both conditions. Participants were exposed to 12 emotionally positive and 12 negative words that they were told to process carefully. They were then asked to move their chair across the room to a table with the experimenter sitting at one end. The experimenter inconspicuously measured how closely the participant sat from them using reference marks on masking tape attached to the surface of the table. While participants were seated at the table they were given two minutes to recall from the word-list. After, they completed the PANAS (Watson et al., 1988), which measured their emotions. Results showed no difference between conditions on memory scores or the distance sat from the experimenter. However, participants felt significantly more positive emotions in both conditions. These findings indicate that the sample participating in this experiment did not behave in a discriminatory fashion.

A Definition of Beauty 
Emily Minns

Student’s Major: Art Education
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Keith Dull,Art


My art centers around the theme of body and beauty ideals. Every day, in almost every context, there are images of perfect men and women plastered everywhere you look, selling some sort of product. Images of women are especially prevalent. Countless companies have products in circulation that focus on making women better, and “better” usually means thinner, sexier, and without faults. It is hard to look at these images and not compare yourself to them. They become the standard for how you should look, but for many, that standard is not possible. In my art, I show the negative effects that this perfectionist ideal can have on women. I use magazine clippings in my oil paintings to represent the ideals that are pushed upon women. I also use bright, attractive colors. I want viewers to be drawn to my work by the colors, and then look at the deeper meaning once they are there. For this exhibition, I plan to include a participatory element. I will have a canvas that I have begun to paint on. Then I will have magazines and scissors available so people can cut out the words or images that speak to them. They can then add their clippings to the canvas to represent what beauty issues they have dealt with, and what beauty means to them. This will result in a canvas full of the effects that beauty ideals in media have had on real people.

Predicting Behavior in the Volunteer’s Dilemma Based on Personality
and Social Value Orientation
Kate Budzik & Melanie Ward

Students’ Majors: Psychology (KB); Psychology and French (MW)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology
The volunteer’s dilemma (VoD) is a social game in which players choose to either volunteer or not volunteer. How many lottery entries players earn is dependent upon their decision as well as that of their partner. If at least one person volunteers, each person who volunteers receives one entry, while each person who does not volunteer receives two entries. If no one volunteers, no one receives any entries. The purpose of this study was to determine if the “Big 5” personality traits or other individual difference variables were related to cooperation in the VoD. We measured personality via the Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and the Triple-Dominance Measure of Social Value Orientation (TDM-SVO). We hypothesized that a person scoring high on extraversion and agreeableness on the TIPI and prosocial on the TDM-SVO would be more likely to volunteer in the VoD. Ninety three participants were given a brief overview of the VoD, then decided whether or not to volunteer. Next, participants completed the TIPI and the TDM-SVO. A logistic regression revealed that no dimensions of the TIPI significantly predicted volunteerism: X2 (8, N = 93), = 7.34, p = .50. However, agreeableness was close to significance, and demonstrates potential for additional research. A Chi-square test of independence across TDM-SVO categories revealed no significant differences in volunteerism, X2 (1, N = 93) = 2.35, p = .16. Subjects scoring high on extra-version and agreeableness on the TIPI and prosocial on the TDM-SVO were not more likely to volunteer in the VoD.


The Relationship Between Pre-shot Routines and Free Throw Accuracy 
Emily Civittolo

Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mitchell Metzger, Psychology

Applied research in sport psychology has been increasing, and psychologi- cal practices have been applied to enhance player performance (Gardner & Moore, 2012). Research has recently focused on elements under the control of athletes, such as when a basketball player uses a pre-shot routine while shooting free throws. This experiment explored the relationship between basketball players’ use of a pre-shot routine and shooting accuracy. An independent groups experiment was conducted, randomly placing participants who were currently enrolled in Psychology 101 into one of three groups. The ‘control’ group shot free throws with no instruction, while the ‘instructional’ group was given additional information about the positive impact of pre-shot routines before shooting. The ‘video’ group was shown an instructional video with an example of a pre-shot routine, and participants were told to use the routine before each shot attempt. Each participant’s shot was recorded as a make or a miss and also given a rubric score (a value of 1, 2, 3, or 4 based on how close the shot came to going through the hoop) to increase the sensitivity of the accuracy measurement. It was hypothesized that the instructional group would shoot significantly better than the control group and the video group would be significantly better than the other two. A between subjects ANOVA did not support the hypothesis, F(2,60) = 0.309, p = .736, in that all three groups performed similarly. Thus, the present experiment does not provide evidence for a relationship between pre-performance routines and free throw accuracy.


Analysis of Phytochemicals of Red Maple (Acer rubrum) and Related Species 
Emily Dine

Student’s Major:Toxicology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer, Chemistry
Acertannin is a secondary crystalline phenolic tannin (C18H20O13) identified in our laboratory as the major soluble phenolic component in red maple (Acer rubrum L.) leaves. Structurally, acertannin contains two gallic acid subunits attached to glucose. Tannins produce various toxic effects on organisms by affecting biological availability or activity of metal ions. Of specific interest with red maple is the reported toxicity of leaves, particularly wilted leaves, to horses. The goal of this project is to quantify acertannin concentrations in leaves of red maple and related maple species (Acer saccharinum and Acer saccharum) by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Leaves of each species were ground in liquid nitrogen, and separate samples were used to determine moisture content. Preliminary testing established that 70% acetone was more effective than methanol or methanol-water combinations as an extraction solvent. Leaf samples were sonicated for 10 minutes in vials containing 6mL of 70% acetone. Extracts were evaporated to dryness and dissolved in a known volume of 95% methanol, filtered, and analyzed by HPLC using a methanol-water gradient. The standard of acertannin used was obtained from prior isolation and purification of crude red maple extracts. The concentrations of acertannin in leaves of various maple species will be compared to the standard and published data from other laboratories on the toxicity of each species to horse red blood cells. This will provide insight into the possible toxic effects of acertannin.

Predicting the Toxicity of Saline Deicing Agent Mixtures to Hyalella azteca
Using the Concentration Addition and Independent Action Models
Justin Dowell & Kelsey Kidd

Students’ Majors:Toxicology (JD & KK)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr.Andrew Trimble, Biology/Toxicology

Runoff from non-point sources in areas where saline deicing agents are used can potentially contain complex mixtures of salts, which can have unpredictable toxic effects to aquatic organisms. A 2010 study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in Wisconsin reported chloride concentrations as high as 11,200 mg/L in streams receiving runoff from heavily urbanized areas. The objective of this research was to examine the effects of mixtures of the common saline deicing agents sodium chloride (NaCl), calcium chloride (CaCl2), and magnesium chloride (MgCl2) to the aquatic amphipod Hyalella azteca and to compare the experimental results to those predicted by commonly-utilized mathematical mixture models. Specifically, 96-h water-only toxicity tests were conducted with these saline toxicants in binary and tertiary mixtures. The Concentration Addition (CA) and Independent Action (IA) models were then used to determine deviations from additivity and to assess the overall predictive ability of the models. The binary mixture toxicity test median lethal concentra- tions (LC50s) were 7707 mg/L, 6639 mg/L, and 5646 mg/L for the NaCl/CaCl2, 
CaCl2/MgCl2, and NaCl/MgCl2 mixtures, respectively.  The LC50 for a tertiary mixture of all three salts was 11,550 mg/L.  Model comparisons showed that there is a significant antagonistic (less than additive) effect in all of the mixtures based on 95% fiducial limits. Overall, the IA model provided slightly better toxicity predictions than the CA model, particularly at median and high concentrations. Results of the study will help risk assessors and water quality managers to more accurately predict the risk to aquatic organisms from these commonly detected contaminants.

Modeling the Impact of Squeezed Light on Quantum Noise
Emily Law

Student’s Major: Physics & Mathematics 
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Rodney Michael, Physics

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), is dedicated to detecting cosmic gravitational waves and determining their astronomical origin. LIGO has recently made several detections of black hole mergers by measuring laser fluctuations in the arms of its interferometer. We now look to increase the number and variety of events detected. Quan- tum noise limits the sensitivity of Advanced LIGO, but may be lessened using squeezed states of light. Here, we describe a computational code that calcu- lates the quantum noise in our prototype experiment. This code was modified to account for birefringence in the system and used to calculate a realistic set of parameters that will allow us to observe the effects of squeezed light on radiation pressure. We believe that understanding the effects of squeezed light on quantum noise will allow for better observations of gravitational waves in the future.

Study on Distraction Levels: Foreign v. Native Speech
Danny Lawson

Student’s Majors: Psychology & Business Administration
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mitchell Metzger, Psychology

A voluminous literature has examined the effects of different types of dis- tractions on cognitive tasks. There is also research examining how auditory stimuli distract someone performing a cognitive task. However, the literature currently lacks research on how the language a stimulus is presented in impacts the amount of distraction. This study aimed at closing that gap by examining whether students were more distracted by auditory stimuli presented in their native as opposed to a foreign language when executing a reading comprehension task. 124 participants were given ten minutes to read a passage from a practice ACT test and answer questions that analyzed the content of the reading. During this task, the participants either sat in silence with no noise except for occasional background noises, or with a conversation in English or German playing in the background. Correct answers on ten multiple-choice questions were used to measure comprehension levels of the ACT passage and determine levels of distraction. We found no significant difference between the silent condition and the conditions that had a distraction in German or Eng- lish, F(2, 121) = 0.313, p = .732. Therefore, we concluded that there was no significant difference between distracting stimuli being presented in a foreign or native language. This study further explores how humans process auditory stimuli while engaged in a cognitive task.

Perceptions of Terms Used to Describe Individuals with Intellectual
and Developmental Disabilities
Morgan Snyder

Student’s Major: Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology

There are several common words used to identify individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). One particular word, retarded, has become a popular slang term. The purpose of the current study is to investigate college students’ perceptions of this term across different usage scenarios. In two scenarios, the word retarded described either an action or a person with IDD. The first scenario involved two people attempting to study for a class. One uses the term retarded to explain the class. In the second scenario two individuals are walking around a mall when a young girl with Down syndrome approaches them. When she walks away they describe her as retarded. After participants read their randomly assigned scenario, they completed a questionnaire, that focused on how positively or negatively they felt towards the people who used the term retarded and if it angered them. Collapsing across scenarios, participants responded negatively to the use of retarded, with mean positivity ratings of individuals who used retarded falling well below the midpoint of the 1 (entirely disagree) to 7 (entirely agree) scale, M = 2.69, SD = 1.18. An independent samples t-test revealed a significant difference in reported anger across conditions, t(32) = 2.05, p = .049. Participants were angrier when the term retarded was used towards someone with IDD, than when it was directed towards an action. It is clear that the term retarded is viewed negatively in general, and even more negatively when directed towards a person.

Substituted Cyclophosphazenes as Drug Delivery Systems
Corey Turpin & Lacy Hepp

Students’ Majors: ACS Chemistry (CT & LH)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Nicholas Johnson, Chemistry
One of the main challenges of developing viable drug candidates is delivery. Many drugs that are highly active are hydrophobic, or insoluble in water; however, in order to deliver these molecules to a biological system, the drug must be water-soluble. The focus of this research is utilizing cyclic chlorophos-phazenes, phosphorus and nitrogen containing rings, to increase solubility of hydrophobic pharmaceuticals. Cyclophosphazenes show great opportunity as drug delivery systems for several reasons. They have a biodegradable phosphorous-nitrogen ring structure, the ring can be substituted with a wide variety of organic side groups, they are soluble in a wide variety of solvents, and are inexpensive synthetic targets. The approach we are investigating is substituting cyclophosphazene trimer ([PCl2N]3) with tetraethyleneglycol monomethyl ether (TEGME). The addition of three equivalents of TEGME will increase solubility in water. All isomers of the reaction can be isolated via column chromatography. Preliminary research is being conducted on the further substitution of the phosphazene ring with alkoxide and amine based compounds. Results have been characterized using various spectral methods, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry.

Expanding the Survey of the Foraging and Nesting Activities of the Sora and Virginia Rails in and around Ashland University’s Black Fork Wetland Area
Olivia Widenmeyer

Student’s Major: Biology
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Merrill Tawse, Biology/Toxicology

Virginia Rails (Rallus limicola) and Sora Rails (Porzana Carolina) are a group of wetland birds. A limited amount of research has focused on these reclusive birds. The purpose of this project is to expand our investigation of Rail activity within and around the Ashland University Black Fork Wetlands. The bulk of fieldwork is restricted to spring and early summer when these birds are pres- ent. Presence/absence surveys were conducted beginning in late winter and early spring. Once birds are present, trapping attempts begin. In a previous study we determined that rails are active in three distinct areas within Ashland University’s Black Fork wetlands as well as two other adjacent wetlands. Rails were captured in cloverleaf traps and banded at these locations. Specifically, we caught and tracked three Virginia Rails. The fact that these birds are listed as a species of concern by Ohio Department of Natural Resources makes this a significant find. By tracking these birds, we were able to gather specific information on their nesting sites, the size and shape of their foraging areas, and their movements between the distinct wetland areas. Future research will include more trapping and the application of radio transmitters to the Rails at these wetlands with the goal of gaining a better understanding of their migration timing, foraging, and nesting habits.

The Effects of Aggressive Coaching on Putting Abilities
Emily Wirtz & Danielle Bruno

Students’ Majors: Psychology, Religion and Creative Writing (EW); Psychology (DB)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mitchell Metzger, Psychology

We studied the effects of aggressive and positive coaching methods on participants’ abilities and affect. We hypothesized that positive coaching would yield higher positive affect and better putting performance while aggressive coaching would yield higher negative affect and worse putting performance.

Participants were 86 students at Ashland University. Recordings of a male reciting a script of coaching instruction in an aggressive tone and the same male reciting a second script in a positive tone were used. Participants attempted ten putts from a distance of 6 feet with no coaching, while exposed to aggressive coaching, and while exposed to positive coaching. The number of putts made and missed and distances from the putting cup for misses were measured. Participants were also given the PANAS (Clark et al., 1998) after putting to measure positive and negative affect. A within-subject design was used.

As hypothesized, putting scores in the aggressive condition were significantly poorer than in the no condition, but no significant putting effects were shown in the positive condition. The no condition yielded significantly higher positive affect scores than the aggressive condition, and the positive condition yielded higher positive affect scores than the aggressive condition. Finally, the positive condition yielded significantly lower negative affect scores than the no and aggressive conditions. Thus, the positive condition produced the highest scores for positive affect and lowest scores for negative affect. Aggressive coaching techniques raised negative affect and negatively impacted participants’ abil- ity to putt, while a positive coaching style increased positive affect in research participants.

Characterizing the Role of Crystallin Proteins in the Lens Using CRISPR/Cas to Disrupt Normal Protein Production
Kelly Murray

Student’s Major: Biology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mason Posner, Biology/Toxicology

Cataracts, a leading cause of blindness worldwide, result from aggregation of unfolded proteins in the lens. The alpha and beta crystallin protein fami- lies play important roles in lens health. Alpha crystallin prevents protein aggregation, and beta crystallin is prone to aggregation. Beta crystallin is of interest because aggregation of this particular protein cannot be completely prevented by alpha crystallin. Here, both alpha crystallin and beta crystallin genes were modified using the gene editing system CRISPR/Cas9 in zebrafish. By preventing production of functional proteins, the effects of their loss can be characterized. We generated two fish with inactivated alpha crystallin genes, and bred them to determine if their offspring had lens abnormalities. Of twelve embryos examined, six showed some lens shape irregularity. This work will be repeated to provide a sufficient sample for determining statistical significance. By producing a stable line of these mutated fish, the effects of alpha crystallin loss can be observed throughout the zebrafish lifespan. A beta crystallin gene was modified using the same method, but also including a fluorescent tag. This resulted in prevention of normal beta crystallin production, and easy identification of modified fish. Fish with inactivated beta crystallin genes had a high mortality rate and altered body shape, suggesting that the protein may also play an important role outside of the lens. Future work will focus on inserting specific versions of altered beta crystallin. Further knowledge of the role that crystallin proteins play in protein aggregation in the lens will allow for a better understanding of cataracts.

The Journey
Anamarie Coors

Student’s Major: Fine Arts (Digital Art)
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Michael Bird, Art

My creativity and imagination are constantly inspired by watching movies, cartoons and reading books. In my work, I employ a loose narrative, depicting emotions and situations that I have experienced through animal characters that I have created in my art. I have always loved telling stories and creating artwork to accompany them.

The protagonist in my story is a white fox that journeys into different settings where other animals are present to represent different social situations. In one example, the fox character encounters a jellyfish, which represents feelings of social anxiety.

My viewers should sense a narrative theme and understand that cartoons can be emotional and relatable, sometimes carrying more mature messages. I chose to portray my characters as animals, referring to the practice of some people who adopt a particular spirit animal. These avatars symbolize those they represent and provide an alternate perspective, enabling them to find where they need to go.

My characters, which represent myself and people I know, are offered to the viewer so that they have something to identify with and relate to, to make their own. It is my hope that my viewer finds a message from someone who understands. These characters were created to offer my viewers an escape, into an alternate world that can be all their own, where the message is “You are not alone. You are not the only person that has gone through this and has felt this way.

Siete
Abigail Nye

Student’s Major: Art Education 
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Keith Dull,Art

These paintings focus on the biblical book of Revelation, and are an interac- tive book with painted forms that are based on historical religious figures. I have titled my work Siete, which is the word for ‘seven’ in Spanish. My title is a symbol of how God works in waves of sevens. Siete is a four-step process to affect my viewers’ beliefs. Creating a colorful piece of art that entices the viewer is the first step. Throughout my college career, I have strived to create works of art that are pleasing to the eye and are based with complementary colors. The more pleasing a piece is, the more involved the viewer will become. Creating my narrative painting from the book of Revelation is the second step. Revelation is my religions’ prophecy about the destruction of this world and the start of a new earth and heaven. The third step is tied to the second step; when observing my work, the viewer is invited to theorize their interpretation of Siete, for the book of Revelation is a bizarre and unique prophecy. The fourth and final step is the viewers’ desire to answer their questions regarding the narrative. The viewers must address the Book of Revelation itself to gain full understanding; this step introduces the viewer to the Bible as an evangelist would to explain salvation.

Chamber Ensembles and Performance without a Conductor
Chanel Bluntschly, Michael Byndas, Joshua Thompson & Jason Wolf

Students’ Majors: Environmental Science (CB); Actuarial Science (MB);
Music Education (JT); Geology (JW)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Thomas Reed, Music

Playing in a chamber ensemble like a saxophone quartet—which means play- ing without a conductor—presents unique learning opportunities involving non-verbal communication. Without a conductor, each member of a saxophone quartet must take on the responsibilities of changes in tempo, stops and starts, volume, and every other aspect of a piece. Although the soprano saxophone’s small, compact shape lends itself to conducting (as you’ll see in the performance) the responsibilities must be shared among members as the music per- mits. Each player much trust the other ensemble members to be aware of what is going on while also listening to each other. This allows for awareness of where in the hierarchy of parts each musical line fits. The melody must come to the front, the bass line must be present but out of the way, and the inner voices must be prominent at the right time. Most importantly, physical movement and eye contact must be established or the result will be each member playing their line of music with no regard to any other member. As the players move with each other, listening to the other musician’s parts, a circuit is completed which allows music to be made. To help demonstrate the skills that our ensemble has developed, there will an explanation of techniques to watch for followed by a presentation of a few excerpts to illustrate these skills.

“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”: A Catholic Response to the Refugee Crisis
and Wrongful Assimilation
Emily Wirtz

Student’s Majors: Psychology, Creative Writing, & Religion 
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Craig Hovey, Religion

This research project addresses some of the moral and political issues relat- ing to the Syrian refugee crisis from a Roman Catholic perspective. Due to the experience I had during a summer internship at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House, the crisis rose to the forefront of my mind and allowed me to peek into the modern world of a refugee and recognize the humanity that Catholic Christians are called to see. My thesis is one that argues for the acceptance and fair treatment of Syrian refugees during these violent times.

One line of reasoning for this argument is that biblical teachings call for the acceptance of foreigners and the recognition of the dignity of the human be- ing as created in the image of God. A second line of reasoning is rooted in the historical Catholic Social Teachings, for which a socially-concerned Pope Francis advocates. The Church calls all people to reject the prejudices surrounding nationalism for a hospitality that welcomes in strangers with love rather than fear. There is a clear call for solidarity with one’s human brothers and sisters—as exemplified through the work of the Dorothy Day House, which will soon be a home to refugees. Catholics in this nation are called to respond to the crisis by welcoming refugees, these “huddled masses,” with humility as Jesus did, responding to the question often posed: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The answer is a Catholic “Yes, here I am!” and a humanitarian welcome.

A Comparative Study of Capture Behaviors between Domesticated and Wild Mice
Cortney Kourie & Samantha Carson

Students’ Majors: Biology (CK & SC)
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Dolly Crawford, Biology/Toxicology

Different types of stress, including diet, predation, and reproduction, can precipitate behavioral changes. However, the influence of capture stress on be- havior is poorly understood. The behaviors exhibited by captive small mammals is noteworthy as they are commonly used in laboratory studies and are often the foci for studies of wild populations. We tested the hypothesis that laboratory and wild mice would exhibit the same behaviors when captive under similar environmental conditions. We compared the behaviors of laboratory mice (Strain C57BL6) to those of wild mice live captured in Ashland County, Ohio. Animals were captured in prepared Sherman traps modified to hold a GoPro video camera. Laboratory mice were placed into a Percival environmental chamber where temperature was adjusted. Wild mice were captured and remained outdoors, and environmental conditions were documented. Behaviors were recorded at varying temperatures (lab mice; 2oC, 17oC, and 22oC and wild mice; 8oC and 3oC) and cataloged using standard techniques. We recorded the duration and frequency of each behavior during the viewing process. Statistical analyses were conducted using R v.3.0.3. Results demonstrated capture behaviors unique to wild mice. Temperature was a significant predictor of the count and duration of excessive groom- ing [F(4,8)=12.1, p=0.006] and bar mouthing [F(4,8)=5.37, p=0.043] for all mice and was positively correlated with the behaviors. Eating behavior significantly increased with decreasing temperature [F(4,8)=14.4, p=0.004] in all mice. These results add insight into mammal behavior in captive environments. This information can help develop practices that better mitigate capture stress to treat mammals ethically in research.

Exploring Tadashi Suzuki’s Method in Performance
Logan Baker

Student’s Major: Musical Theatre
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, Theatre

Acting is never just about saying lines written by a playwright. It is about creating a character and living truthfully through that character. For my project I wanted to use an acting method to free my body from my mind. Tadashi Suzuki is the mastermind behind the Suzuki acting method from Japan: he has formulated exercises that allow actors to put the emphasis on their body in order to give a grounded, tension-free performance. His varying exercises include stomps and slow tens: the stomps are a basic stomp of the foot but with power and force and the slow tens can be described like a plie in ballet to the count of ten. After receiving the role of the Leading Player in the musical Pippin I began to use the Suzuki exercises during the rehearsal process. I believe that the stomps, statues and the slow tens created by Suzuki allowed me to free my voice and my body to truthfully play the role. I definitely believe that this method changed how I acted and there was an out of mind sensation. My mind did not control my actions as much as it has in the past and I saw myself making positive changes with my character choices. The Leading Player has shaped into this physical being due to the Suzuki exercises I practiced and I am excited to share a few lines from the script using the exercises crafted throughout this process.

The Dishonest Salesperson Problem
Grace McCourt

Student’s Majors: Mathematics and Integrated Mathematics Education
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Swanson, Mathematics

In graph theory, a graph is a set of vertices connected by edges. Consider a salesperson’s office that is located on a vertex v of a connected graph G with n vertices. There are n-1 customers located at each of the other vertices of the graph. The salesperson must make a driving trip whereby he or she leaves the office, visits each customer exactly once and then returns to the office. Because a profit is made on the mileage allowance, the salesperson wants to drive as far as possible during the trip, which financially benefits the salesperson at the loss of his or her employer, hence why the salesperson is being described as dishonest. Each edge of the graph represents one mile. What is the maximum possible distance he or she can travel on such a trip, and how many different such trips are there? Problem 1654 from Mathematics Magazine first posed and answered this question if the graph is a path graph, which represents the office and customers as equally spaced along a straight road. In this presentation, I will expand upon that result by using combinatorics and graph theory to derive results for the complete graph, in which each vertex is connect to each other vertex by exactly one edge, and the hypercube, which will be defined in the presentation. I will also present what is known for the cycle graph, the complete bipartite graph, and the complete m-ary tree of height h.

Modern Mythos
Dana Reed

Student’s Majors: Art Education and Fine Arts
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Keith Dull, Art

There is a core view of ethics found all over the world and all throughout time. Many pop culture icons we see today parallel and have similarities to figures from different religions. My prints take up the task of visually representing these parallels using well-known images of Christian religious icons and replacing them with their modern counterparts. My purpose is to show that being ethical and having good qualities or doing good deeds is not particular to one subset of people, but is universal and can be portrayed in a more easily accessible and understandable way. Popular culture is meant to be understood by a large group of people, making it an excellent medium for moral anecdotes, but without being forceful or condemning in the process. For example, children can watch cartoons like X-Men: Evolution and see examples of good moral conduct showing compassion to others or treating people with respect regardless of gender, race, or status while also being made aware of the consequences of immoral actions, such as burnt bridges or even physical endangerment, in a way that is easily understood to them and in ways they can relate with. By showing examples of paragons of Christian virtue using more readily-recognized and understood figures, I hope to not only make the subject of virtue and moral equity more approachable to people unfamiliar or intimidated by religion, but also to relate to religious people and to show them that dictating morality can be done in a more universal and understandable way than religious texts sometimes put it.

History Versus Film: 
An Examination of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Rhetoric and Selma
Bethany Meadows

Student’s Majors: English and Integrated Language Arts Education
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Maura Grady, English
Ava DuVernay, director of Selma (2014), altered Paul Webb’s original screen-play in several ways. While critics of the film usually discuss DuVernay’s alterations to President Lyndon B. Johnson, critics seldom discuss that all of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historical speeches had to be rewritten because the film did not receive the rights. This forced DuVernay to create speeches in the spirit of King’s. To compare the differences in orations between history and film, I conducted the rhetorical analyses using the neo-Aristotelian, or Traditional, approach. Editor of Rhetorical Criticism: Perspectives in Action, Jim Kuypers, defines this approach as “focused on the three modes of proof identified by Aristotle, (logos, ethos, and pathos), which broadly speaking defined rational argument, appeals to credibility, and rhetoric that produced an emotional response.” While other speeches and writings of King are usually studied extensively such as “I Have a Dream” or “Letter from Birmingham,” speeches this presentation examines have not. I compare the differences between King’s his- torical “Our God Is Marching On” speech and what appears in the film. In this comparison, I found that even though both versions were rhetorically similar in regards to their appeals to the audience’s ideals of freedom, sense of hope and of justice, they were different in their establishment of agency, imagery, diction, and syntax. I concluded that these differences should be attributed to the need to appeal to a twenty-first century audience.

Liberal Education in a STEM World
Joey Barretta

Student’s Majors: History and Political Science 
 Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey Sikkenga, History/Political Science

One of the popular acronyms in education today is STEM. This stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These fields are commonly held to be necessary components to be successful in the twenty-first century because of the ever-increasing role of technology in society, but they should not be considered the only necessary elements. Most universities—including Ashland—stress in their mission statements that they seek to shape the whole person, a function associated with liberal arts. In my presentation, I will examine the classical approach to liberal education and its role in preparing those individuals seeking to work in a STEM world. The Greek philosopher Aristotle is credited with dividing education into the theoretical, practical, and technical which I believe encompasses both the abstract nature of the liberal arts with the more practical elements of STEM and they complement each other well. A person who is educated in a variety of fields—as in the liberal arts—is more able to adapt to any situation. A liberally educated individual will be better equipped to work in fields in which innovation is the key to the future such as STEM. I assert that liberal education helps those in STEM and other professions to be equipped for the progression of those fields in the future and these two methods can be combined to allow a person to flourish in the modern world.

The Need for Criminal Justice Reform in Ohio
Bryanna Austin

Student’s Major: Political Science
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. David Foster, History/Political Science

Rapidly accelerated prison population suggests that the Ohio criminal justice system needs reform. Increasing prison population means overcrowded prisons, which leads to unsafe and unsanitary living conditions. It means more tax dollars are being pumped into Ohio prisons. Prison overpopulation also restricts the ability of those who are incarcerated to fully rehabilitate, and when they reenter society, they are very likely to return to prison.

Incarceration rates are on the rise because of the dissolution of mental health institutions, the implementation of mandatory minimum sentences, sentence enhancements, and strict laws against drug crimes. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, laws were passed to combat the use of drugs. These laws required offenders to serve longer prison sentences. Mental health institutions became decentral- ized, and people could not afford treatment. They turned to self-medication, which, in most cases, was illegal drugs. Possessing, trafficking, manufacturing, and using illegal drugs are all prohibited acts in Ohio. These crimes landed people in prison.

Other states have made changes their criminal justice system to reduce pris- on and jail population. For example, Texas invested tax dollars in diversion programs and drug courts. Kentucky has developed a strong diversion court program, where low level felony, non-violent drug offenders can complete a program and get their charge reduced to a misdemeanor or, in some cases, dropped completely. The current laws in Ohio are not working to benefit the prisons and taxpayers and addicts. In this presentation, I will argue that changes to the Ohio criminal justice system are necessary.

GIS to Model the Distribution of Archeological Artifacts as a Function
of Environmental Variation in Ohio
Courtney Wade

Student’s Major: Geology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Dolly Crawford, Biology/Toxicology, Dr. Nigel Brush, Geology
Flint projectile points are tools that Prehistoric American Indians used near their campsites. These artifacts were made using techniques unique to the Holocene time periods known as Thebes and Dovetail. Many artifact locations are known in Ohio, but little is known about the correlation between artifact manufacture and environmental conditions present at the time. A geographical information system (GIS) was used to map locations of projectile points and to create estimates of artifact densities. Environmental data representative of the Holocene and that included average monthly precipitation, and maximum and minimum monthly temperatures were downloaded from the WorldClim global climate database and projected in 1 km2 resolution in GIS. Environmental data were extracted for each location. The relationship of environmental data on artifact location and density was examined using the statistics program, R v.2.1.2. Tests were conducted to exclude any correlated variables (Pearson’s r > 0.80), but produced none. The strongest predictors of artifact location and density were average maximum June temperature [mean=27.4o C, F(5,818)=29.32, p=0.001] and average minimum June temperature [mean=12.8o  C, F(5,818)=43.30, p=0.002], which accounted for 14.8 and 20.3% of the variation in the dependent variables, respectively. Elevation was a significant predictor of artifact density [F(5,818)=22.18 , p=0.001], with the highest densities in areas with an average elevation of 288 m (range 180 398 m). Results suggest that the location of Holocene communities in Ohio were strongly influenced by the climate. These results can help to provide additional insight into movement patterns of human settlements in Ohio during this time.

Lost War – Chapter 1
Garrison Stima

Student’s Majors: Creative Writing & Religion
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Joe Mackall, English

My novel, Lost War, is an intense dive into a phantasmal world that is existen- tially struggling to tackle the question of what unites people in a genuine and long-lasting manner. Lost War wrestles with the reasons for why war is one of these bonding forces. All the while, the book is carried by a group of strik- ingly different individuals who have been brought together for a mysterious purpose. As a rigid team they travel across the world of Regelia in search of answers to the reason they were picked for this ambiguous resolution, while also striving to chase their conflicting personal goals. Today, I will be read- ing an excerpt from the first chapter as one of the main characters faces the beginning of his story. This will give the reader and listener a glimpse into the core of what this tale is about and how I plan to tell it.

Maximizing Communication through a Total Collaborative Design
with Limited Staff
Elizabeth Grace Davis

Student’s Major: Theatre
Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames and Prof. J. Michael Desper, Theatre
Theatre, at its core, is the art of storytelling. A concept for the production is established at the beginning of the process to determine precisely what story we are telling. If it is not evident and relevant in the final product then the show fails to impact the audience and the story is not really being told. The art fails. When looking at the success of shows, we often find design teams that have been working together for years. They inherently incorporate their research into every step of the design, allowing others to follow the process clearly. This creates what we like to call a ‘through line’. A design team, one that has open communication and unequivocal understanding of each other, can create a seamless design with a distinctly evident through line. They hone in on each other’s learning styles and produce a quality product with fewer missteps. We can learn from these design teams and use the process that may take designers years to organically navigate and create it in a few months. My study was the creation of an ideal design process, within an educational setting, wherein the design for Pippin was created and executed. This show was a part of the 2016-2017 season for Ashland University’s Department of Theatre.

Civilized Society in Agatha Christie’s Poirot
Mykenna Schlorb

Student’s Majors: Political Science, Health and Risk Communication, and Accounting
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Maura Grady, English

As one of the most accomplished writers of British literature, Agatha Christie captures what it means to be a part of civilized society in England during the late 1910s through the 1970s through her Hercule Poirot mystery novels. Christie is able to attract the attention of a loyal audience, entertaining them through the fiction of Hercule Poirot, all the while giving insight and posing complex questions about England and civilized society as it was actually occurring. This presentation, as part of a larger Ashbrook Political Science thesis, looks specifically at Christie’s first Hercule Poirot novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. This novel shows Christie’s keen sense of societal structures and civility which are interrupted during World War I, the time in which she wrote it. Social norms and expectations of propriety are clear, even in a time of political instability. Christie brings up issues of romance and family obligations, decorum, and an overall sense of order and justice. Though murder is the predominant type of crime in her mystery novels, Christie focuses the attention of the plot not so much on the murder taking place, but on the aftermath of the crimes and character interactions. Because of this, Christie is able to focus on how social propriety and daily civil normality crumble in times of injustice, atrocious crimes, such as murder, and world war, all of which juxtapose the order that is maintained in a healthy civil society. Ultimately, it is this crumbling sense of civility and civic duty that lead to the destruction of civil society and civilization as a whole.

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