Undergraduates present original research

April 23, 2019

Forty three Albright College students are presenting scholarly work at the 20th annual Berks County Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, April 27, 2019. In addition, this year’s keynote speaker is Albright graduate Heidi Devlin Berg, Ph.D. ’04.

Albright undergraduate presenters and their project abstracts include:

Kiara Eisenhower
Artwork
Colorful Exploration of Eclectic Bohemian Design in Fashion and Interiors
Bohemian Design is for those who color outside of the lines. It is a random eclectic mix of pattern, texture, and color of all things both old and new. My design research and display mirror these trends through the creative process. It includes ethnic fabric exploration, sewing techniques, furniture reupholstery, trend analyzing, and establishment of brand aesthetic. My research constructs into a contemporary bohemian fashion and home collection. Collection Includes: Garments, Reupholstered Antique Chair, and Pillows
Faculty Mentor: Professor MeeAh Oh-Ranck

Ashley Hillegass
Artwork
Curating the Couture Corset: Victorian Couture Methods meets Modern day Sustainable Fashion
This ACRE project is comprised of three different parts being digital printing and sustainability in fashion, historical corsetry and modern interpretations of it, and couture construction techniques. Digital printing and couture techniques connect with sustainability because they create garments with better construction and less harmful chemicals. Modern corsetry is associated with couture techniques because of the advanced nature of the processes and the way that they are used in their garments. These processes combined comprise an intricate section of the fashion industry and how they all connect.
Faculty Mentor: Prof. MeeAh Oh-Ranck

Faith Miravich
Artwork
Ocean of Self: a Vanita
My project is a large painting that took over a month to complete. The piece is 5’4”x 3’2” and was the first painting of this large size that I have ever done. This painting is a representation of myself, being supported by representations of my family, friends, passions, emotions, and spirituality. The painting is a example of a vanita. A vanita is a still life with a story, vanitas are symbolic and typically depict the certainty of death and the giving up of earthy values. The piece features a rhythmic triangle design scheme. Each part of the painting can be divided into this triangular design, and many sets of objects are in sets of three. The painting is meaningful to me, because of the ideas that are represented. I hope in turn the viewers find their own meaning in the artwork as well.
Faculty Mentor: Professor Kristen Woodward

Meredith Walker
Artwork
Silk Painting
This presentation will provide a step by step walk through of the silk painting process. Beginning with the selection of an appropriate type of silk for a garment, and a background on which types of silk are best for painting. Information will be provided on how to properly care for silk throughout the pre-washing, drying, and ironing process as well as how to successfully stretch a fabric on a frame before painting. Additional information will be offered on how to replicate a pattern and a design on to silk and how to successfully apply a resist to a silk which acts as a barrier for the paints. There will be examples of the silk painting process as well as a description of the steaming procedure used to set the dye into the fabric permanently. This presentation will provide all the necessary information needed to bring a concept all the way through to a finalized garment.
Faculty Mentor: Professor Paula Trimpey

Karen Alejandres
Paper
Physician and Limited English Proficiency Parent’s Perceptions on Childhood Asthma in Primary Care
In the U.S, there are nearly 37.5 million residents and native Spanish speakers, of which 44% are considered to have some degree of limited English proficiency (LEP; Riera et al., 2015). Despite the frequency of LEP individuals within the Latino community, the healthcare system is prominently geared towards English speakers (Bernard et al., 2006). Previous research has demonstrated the effects of language discordance resulting in limited ability of accessing quality healthcare and lower patient satisfaction (Claudio & Stingone, 2009). The current study examined the extent to which language barriers contribute to pediatric asthma treatment and management for LEP individuals in a primary care setting. Data analysis from 93 patient surveys disturbed at, All About Children Pediatric Partners reveled that LEP parents reported lower understanding of asthma management compared to fluent English speakers. LEP parents also reported having lower confidence in dealing with their children’s asthma attacks. These findings compliment previous literature and may help explain why Hispanic children are three times more likely to die of asthma-related conditions than non-Hispanic white children (US Department of Human Services Office of Minority Health, 2017).
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bridget Hearon

Emily Curley
Paper
Unsung Voices: The Othering of Japanese-Americans Post-World War II
Borne out of my centralization of the relationship between historical memory and the tenets that shape Japanese-American identity, my conference paper presentation will underscore the multi-generational causes of the complex pain informed by close analyses of post-World War II Japanese-American literary texts. The focus of the analyses underscores the double-consciousness of Japanese-American identity that engenders multi-generational practices of suffering in silence that extends Japanese-American contributions to a multicultural America and its literary canon. By framing Japanese American literature within a tradition of American writing that links the past to the present, my presentation functions as a re-evaluation of multicultural identities that continue to be negotiated within complex social, cultural and political contexts.”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Teresa Gilliams

Kaylyn Haan
Paper
Characterization of the Growth Factor Analog Expressed by Ectromelia Virus
Viruses are obligate, intracellular parasites that are able to infect all types of life forms including humans, animals, plants, or even bacteria. Our research has focused on the study of Ectromelia virus (ECTV), a natural pathogen of mice. ECTV is in the same family as Variola virus, the causative agent of smallpox, and Vaccinia virus, which was used in vaccinations to successfully eradicate smallpox. These viruses have many gene products that interact with infected host organisms. We have begun work to characterize a growth factor gene encoded by ECTV that is related to mammalian epidermal growth factor (EGF). Through the use of various assays, such as fluorescence microscopy and Western blotting, we are trying to better understand the function and role of Ectromelia virus growth factor (EVGF). We have found that EVGF activates the mammalian receptor for EGF in a similar manner as EGF itself. We also have some preliminary data to suggest that EVGF causes cells to enter the cell cycle to increase cell division, which likely aids virus growth and spread. Future work will continue to characterize EVGF and its importance to the replication of ECTV.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Adam Hersperger

Jennifer Heydt
Paper
Liberation from Fear: Institutional Racism and the African American Home
This paper will be investigating instances of personal and institutional systems of fear as they intersect with the discourse of the African American household. As the literary texts vary in genre, gender, and time, personal testimony concludes that despite legal emancipation and the enactment of civil rights, the United States fails to institutionally liberate its African American citizens from violence and fear. James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Thomas Chatterton Williams’ Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip- Hop Culture, and Malcolm X’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X inform this analysis through the inspection of slavery, “emancipation”, institutional racism, mass incarceration, and violence within the family as a reaction to fear. The texts make it apparent that policing the black body is an American value which has evolved throughout history, a value that has not changed despite the legal liberation of African American people. As the violence and policing of the African American body is unpacked, this paper will also uncover the necessity for institutional change and dismantling of racially oppressive systems within the American landscape.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Teresa Gilliams

Joseph Holowko
Paper
Redefining the Roles of Master and Apprentice: Crossing the Threshold through the Co-Creation of a First-Year Seminar
Students as Partners is an innovative approach to higher education that seeks to redefine both student and faculty roles and expectations on college campuses through the creation of equitable and inclusive partnerships in a variety of ways. This paper details our research in the co-creation of the curriculum for an undergraduate first-year seminar. It describes our journey from conceptualization to assessment of the course including creating the class, administering it for first-year students in the fall of 2018, and evaluating how successful the course was based on both our own perspectives as well as student course feedback. Findings suggest that both partners had a transformative experience in which they crossed a threshold, creating new expectations surrounding roles and relationships for future student-faculty partnerships. Additionally, the students enrolled in the course provided feedback about their perceived successfulness of the co-created curriculum and overall course experience based on our collaborative efforts.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth Kiester

Laura Luczeczko
Paper
Perceived Importance of Gendered Characteristics on Gendered Professions
This study examined the perceived importance of gendered traits for success in male, female, and neutral-typical occupations. The study consisted of 83 participants who rated the importance of masculine, feminine, and neutral traits for male-dominated, female-dominated, or gender-equal professions. Results supported the hypothesis showing a significant interaction between job type and trait type. Masculine traits were rated higher than feminine traits for only male-dominated professions, whereas feminine traits were rated higher than masculine traits for only female-dominated professions. The results also showed a significance of profession, such that participants generally perceived that female professions required higher levels of the positive traits assessed. It is also notable that despite this correspondence between the gendered traits and gender dominance of the job, the gender-neutral traits were still rated as more important for all three types of jobs than either the masculine or the feminine traits.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gwendolyn Seidman

Lisa Luu
Paper
Themes in Kawabata Yasunari’s Snow Country
Kawabata Yasunari manipulates two connected themes — purity and light — in his classic novel Snow Country. The protagonist, Shimamura (wealthy, amateur in fine arts), is obsessed with these aesthetic ideas as he is encountered by and conflicted between two women throughout his trip at a hot springs resort in northern Japan. From light reflections in the train to the white snow and the blazing fire beneath the Milky Way at the end, purity and light recur. Shimamura develops lust, but non-committed feelings for the women, and in return, they are reciprocated in some way. Kawabata paints their complicated love triangle. Komako gives herself to Shimamura, despite being a young geisha and in an arranged marriage situation with a man named Yukio. Ironically, Yoko has a one-sided love towards Yukio, but starts to open up to Shimamura at the same time. Both women have a long-term feud that has not been settled and Kawabata does not clearly state the reason for this. The concept of these onesided feelings in the triangle connects to purity and light when Shimamura leaves behind his dull and lonely life in Tokyo, and arrives at a destination that successfully diverts his solitude and turns it into excitement. However, he is unable to care for and love one of them, leaving him as an outcast with two women that are painted as his beautiful distraction.
Faculty Mentor: Professor Marian Wolbers

Marina Nye
Paper
The Corset as a Lens into the Condition of Womanhood
The corset provides a valuable insight into the lives of women in history. Corsets are often characterized as a painful apparatus that helps subjugate women, but this is a generalization that ignores the multilayered meanings the tool also acquired. Although corsets are viewed as a modern symbol of empowerment for women, they partook in an arduous journey through a patriarchal society that molded gendered political discourse. This research explores the role of the corset between 1789 to 1861 in the United States, while analyzing major cultural influences from England and France. By analyzing the multi-layered facets of the corset in American women’s lives, one can chart the cultural impact it had in molding political discourse around women’s civil liberties and function.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Hilary Aquino

Alexandra Papoutsis
Paper
Studying the Feasibility of Launching a Digital Wallet Product in Greece
Digital wallets are a means of financial convenience in today’s technology efficient world. A digital wallet can be used as an alternative to physical money, making any transaction process quick, easy, and secure. In the past, digital wallets were questioned for their security due to their novelty. Now, digital wallets have been proven to carry less risk for the consumer, as encryption technology has advanced and become similar to that of a chip card. Our research analyzes the feasibility of launching a digital wallet in Greece, a country that appears at face value to have little capability of utilizing such products, due to their high economic instability. The following research takes into account culture, economics, and market information to evaluate a proposed international market investment, bringing Venmo to Greece. Data comes from both primary and secondary sources, including but not limited to the Central Intelligence Agency, the International Trade Administration, The New York Times, Hofstede Insights, The World Factbook, and natural Greek citizens. The findings of this study will provide insights to brands in the digital wallet industry and investors looking to provide a digital wallet to a growing economy.
Faculty Mentor: Professor Jayanthi Rajan

Jonathan Ruiz
Paper
Class and American Economics
In “Class and American Economics,” I advance the position that the “American Dream” is a social construct that inhibits inclusivity and sustained economic growth among “Others” in America. Central to my argument is my analysis of Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman all of which present the peculiarities of the American Dream and its elusive allure among its unintended targets — nonwhite, working class strivers who long to achieve, above all else, financial prosperity. To the extent that the American Dream is built on tales of luck and serendipity, I wish to present a paper that examines the assimilating effect(s) of American Dream tales and the debilitating, psychologically detrimental outcomes of such tales in Hansberry’s and Miller’s plays.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Teresa Gilliams

Justice Speller-Wilkes
Paper
Filial Affection
In my essay, Filial Affection, I argue that Victor’s relationship with his creature mirrors that of man’s relationship with its creator, God and that mankind acts as a kind of parasite to its creator. I analyze the cause of the relationship’s image while also sharing the ultimate consequence of the failure to, consider, acknowledge, and amend such an image. Crucial to my examination of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the central idea that life, even in its in darkest moments, has the potential to activate in all of us growth and development, and therefore has the ability to be joyous. Conversely, one’s giving in to life’s darker colors, which involves allowing oneself to be overtaken by resentment, hatred, anguish, and pain, will result only in that which we fear and seek to inoculate ourselves from most — death.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Teresa Gilliams

Cody Stetson
Paper
The Implications of Unification: An Overview of the Korean Peninsula
What are the implications that would make the theoretical idea of a Unified Korea in the modern world impossible? Requiem and revelations between North Korea and South Korea have, once again, spawned intrigue among economists, political scientists, sociologists, world leaders, etc. Their intrigue funnels into one main topic: Could a Unified Korean peninsula exist alongside other states in the modern world? While many wish for a positive result to such a question, the implications present may be too excessive to successfully unify the two countries. Despite sharing similar histories and culture, the two countries exist on opposite scales in terms of economy, growth, ideology, politics, etc. Taking similar historical circumstances, such as the separation, differences, and eventual unification of East and West Germany, is worthy for comparison. However, the comparison merely possesses similarities and doesn’t accurately represent other circumstances that would impose the idea of a Unified Korea. These implications will end up being the downfall of the idea of unification. The implications that would arise as a result of a Unified Korea make the idea of it virtually unrealistic.
Faculty Mentor: Professor Kimberly Justeson

Joshua Templin
Paper
The Witch of the Wilds: Liminality, Abjection and Alienation in The Witch
Robert Eggers’s The Witch, billed as “A New England Folktale,” is one of the best horror films of the last ten years. Centered around a Puritan New England family banished from their colony, it tells the brutal story of a family trying to survive a harsh winter in the wilderness. When the family’s youngest child vanishes under mysterious circumstances, the family slowly descends into religious hysteria and paranoia, suspecting their eldest daughter Thomasin of being a witch. In my essay, I explore the film by highlighting a series of dichotomies within: civilization and the natural world, subservience and freedom, masculinity and femininity, and so on. Working with theories developed by Julia Kristeva, Silvia Federici and Matthew Beaumont, I argue that the witch of the film is not only a threat to the family, but that its very presence subverts the values upheld by the family and by society at large. By crossing moral and ontological boundaries, the witch, like many monsters in horror, calls those boundaries into question.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Heidi Mau

Sarah Tossman
Paper
Taking Responsibility for Our Monsters
Monster stories such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box, and Neil Gaiman’s “We Can Get Them For You Wholesale” rely on humanity’s influence in monstrous deeds. Whether they are active or passive participants in the monstrous acts, humans in these stories are the reason monsters are able to commit their monstrous acts. This paper suggests that through such stories, we are able to draw connections to real-world evil, which humans once again either permit or perpetuate. It is only through actively taking a stand against such evil that we are able to truly defeat it in our own lives.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Teresa Gilliams

Matthew Woodward
Paper
The Complex Cognitive and Social Impact Music Has on the Brain
The aim of this research paper is to discuss the intimate relationship music has with the human brain. It will discuss the physical effect music has on the brain as well as the relationship it has with emotion and memory. The paper will survey how music can affect learning and the structure of the brain. Finally, this paper will explore the advantages musical therapy can have in treating those with mental disorders.
Faculty Mentor: Professor Wendy Bartkus

Brianna Bowles
Poster
Color Improving Memory
The purpose of this study is to examine whether colorizing words will improve the memory of the participants. Specifically, the study will examine whether colorized words or grey scale words have better memory when being exposed to either the English language or Italian language. Participants were asked to watch one approximately 35 second video that either consisted of 15 colorized or grey scale Italian or English words. Participants were then presented with list of 30 words and asked to select which words they recalled seeing in the video. We conducted 2×3 Between Subject ANOVA and found a main effect of language with the amount of words selected wrong [ F (1,80)= 9.225, p<0.003], such that being exposed to English and Italian had an impact on how many words they selected wrong. In addition, in our analysis we found that there was interaction between language and the color of the word with the number of incorrect words selected [ F(1,84)=4.984, p<0.028], such that the type of language and the color of the wording in the video had an impact of the number of words that were selected incorrectly.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keith Feigenson

Jamie Camano
Poster
An Influence on Self-Perception: Celebrity Attractiveness and Number of Followers
This study focused on how viewing random stock images of regular people presented as celebrities (operationalized as higher numbers of social media followers) has an influence on the how attractive they appear. To investigate physical attractiveness in this manner, college students used a Self-Rated and Other-Rated Attractiveness Measure. We hypothesized that participants will give higher ratings of physical attractiveness to the images labeled as an influencer (i.e. amount of social media followers) indicating they are popular. Results suggested a main effect of status [F (1, 79) = 8.411, p < .05], such that people with higher social media followers were seen as more attractive. It was also found a main effect of attractiveness [F (1, 79) = 77.923, p < .05], such that people with lower social media followers were seen as less attractive. There was no interaction found. Our hypothesis was partially supported. Further aims of these findings are to develop a better understanding of how physical attractiveness and social media influencers impact a person’s self-perception of their own physical attractiveness.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keith Feigenson

Grace Coleman
Poster
A Comparison of the Bystander Effect with Ageism
The present study researched how much guilt participants felt for not helping in given situations when exposed to women of varying ages in need of help. Based on previous research about factors that influence helping behavior and the occurrence of the bystander effect, age and attractiveness of people in emergency scenarios were manipulated to test for varying amount of perceived distress of the target, personal responsibility to help the target, likelihood that another person would help, and likelihood of helping the target. Using 82 college students with a mean age of 19.6, we found that there was an age bias toward helping the older female targets rather than the younger female targets, but participants felt similar ratings of perceived responsibility for each target’s safety rather than having an age bias in one direction.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Justin Couchman

Nicole Combs
Poster
Sex Tourism in India
The project attempts to understand nongovernmental and intergovernmental organization involvement in India’s policies and preventative measures to the growing issue of sex tourism. While the exact numbers behind sex tourism are unknown due to the covert operations, the estimated number of women and children involved has been steadily increasing through the decades as globalization takes its root. The research itself revolves around the time period after India established an amended antitrafficking clause into its constitution in 1986 and seeks to provide solutions through taking into account case-studies of how other states are approaching the issue. The topic and research will be presented as a poster.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Irene Langran

Molly Lynn Dallas
Poster
2D to Reality
This project describes the process of designing and creating leather bracers for a costume. It goes through the steps of design and creation. The design was based on an existing fictional animated character named Hiccup. I chose this character because he had a new movie coming out and I wanted to cosplay him. I researched the character design and found reference photos from different angles. Once I knew what the bracers looked like I made a duct tape pattern. This was achieved by wrapping my arms in cling wrap and duct tape and drawing the pattern onto the duct tape. I then transferred the pattern onto foam yoga mat to ensure a proper fit. The pattern was then transferred to and cut out of leather. The leather then had to be embellished in various ways to fit the character design. This was done by adding rivets to the part of the bracer that covers the hand and adding the straps that are woven through the bracers. This allowed me to create a screen accurate version of Hiccup’s bracers.
Faculty Mentor: Professor Paula Trimpey

Tonia Deacon-Bradnock
Poster
Rememory and Its Importance in the Secondary Education System: Reading Beyond the Fancy Talk
This paper uses Toni Morrison’s “rememory” process and what Colson Whitehead calls “fancy talk to hide things” to critique the pedagogical practices that attest to how deeply engraved whiteness is in the curriculum that is taught at the Secondary education level. Specifically, this paper discusses how the Secondary education system reinforces the principles of whiteness through its exclusion of minority voices from its exploration of the literary canon studied at this level and its penchant for teaching the “re-written” history that informs the American master narrative.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Teresa Gilliams

Dana Fielding
Poster
Effects of Facial Expressions on Association Memory
The purpose of this study was to study how facial expression affects memory. There were three conditions for facial expression: smiling, scowling and being expressionless. The three conditions for word type were positive, negative, and neutral. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the three facial expression groups, but each participant saw all the word types. Data was gathered from a total of 92 participants. Participants would first see a facial expression they had to imitate and then a video displaying the list of words, then try to remember as many words as possible. The first hypothesis was not supported because the there was no significant difference in remembering words based on facial expressions [F(2, 70) = 0.290, p = 0.749]. The second hypothesis was partially supported because there was a significant difference between remembering positive words more than neutral words, but there was not a significant difference between remembering positive words over negative words [F(2, 140) = 13.037, p < 0.01]. There was no interaction effect [F(4, 70) = 0.865, p = 0.486]. These results suggest emotional words may be better remembered than neutral words.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keith Feigenson

Zoe Gehman
Poster
An Asymmetrical Ferrocene-Bridged Ligand to Hold Dissimilar Metal Ions
Nature is the most successful chemist for activating and interconverting small molecules into more useful ones. A key feature of many enzymes that carry out these transformations is their use of asymmetric, bimetallic active sites. This means that the enzyme is able to hold two different metal ions through use of two unique coordination environments. This presentation will describe our work towards applying these lessons and developing ligands that can hold two dissimilar metal ions in unique coordination environments. We have had much trial and error in developing a ligand that is able to hold two different metals. We must attach two different arms of the ligand with different metal binding sites to a central bridging ligand which will act as the backbone for the entire complex. We began our work using a pyrazole as the bridging ligand. After many successes and failures related to the synthesis of the pyrazole, we have begun a new approach toward the synthesis. In particular, we will describe the synthesis of a ferrocene derivative wherein one cyclopentadienyl ring supports a bis(pyridyl)amine ligand and the other cyclopentadienyl ring supports a phosphine ligand.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nicholas Piro

Essence Hall
Poster
Motivational Influences: Fitness Center Preference Based on Size and Member Capacity
The aim of this study was to find if social judgment using fitness center environments influenced motivation during exercise. Our hypothesis was that non-athletes will be motivated to work out in fitness centers with fewer people, whereas athletes will be motivated in all conditions. All participants were exposed to all three stimuli (images of an empty fitness center, medium full fitness center, and a full fitness center). Following each picture, participants were asked questions regarding motivation, comfort levels, and preference of fitness equipment. Results suggested a main effect of condition, such that the full fitness center elicited the least amount of motivation [F (2,176) =50.177, p < .05)]. It was also found that athletes were more comfortable in the full and medium full fitness environments relative to non-athletes, although the effect approaches significance, we found an interaction between athletes and environment [F (2,176) = 2.624, p=.075]. Our hypothesis was partially supported. These findings suggest that it would be beneficial for fitness centers to monitor the hours of the day when there are the most people and try to tailor to the those who are uncomfortable exercising. An advertisement of the volume of people in the fitness center could potentially help.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keith Feigenson

Sarah Hohl
Poster
Fantasy and Reality Distinction in Young Children
Imagination is not easily defined to children. It is an abstract concept that cannot be seen to be taught to children. Parents and adults typically tell children to “go play with their toys”, but the children need to understand what play is and how to make an inanimate object “come to life” in their minds. By making an inanimate object “come to life” for a child, they are developing their imagination while playing. We tested twenty-nine children on their ability to understand real vs. imaginary objects and attempted to improve their understanding with a short intervention. Results supported previous findings showing that younger children have a harder time understanding real and imaginary, and the project helped us refine our methods for future applications.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Justin Couchman

Sarah Holser
Poster
Evaluating the Molecular Function Families of Phosducins Using Multi-iterative Sequence Searching Technique
Our long-term goal is to understand mechanistic determinants that specify function within protein superfamilies. The specific project goal is to identify the functionally relevant clusters within the phosducin superfamily and to identify functional determinants that distinguish each cluster. The method used to identify functionally relevant clusters is MISST (Multi-level Iterative Sequence Searching Technique), a method based on active site profiling. The phosducin superfamily was chosen after a literature review of the thioredoxin fold suprafamily. Phosducins are involved in G-protein coupling and potentially impact canine retinal atrophy. The first step in the MISST process is selection of functionally important residues. Conserved residues were identified in the five phosducin proteins of known structure. Comparison to thioredoxin proteins showed that a conserved cysteine and proline are also found in the phosducins. The third residue was determined by observing structural and sequence conservation near the active site. A conserved leucine, residue 196 in 3evi, that is nearby in structure, with its side chain facing towards the other key residues, was chosen. MISST will identify functionally relevant clusters within the superfamily, from which mechanistic determinants will be identified for each cluster. These results will then be compared to what is known of the phosducin superfamily.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jacquelyn Fetrow

Lauren Hudak
Poster
Motivations and Outcomes of Active and Passive Usage on Social Media
This research examined motivations for social media use and how they relate to mental health. We created an online survey measuring social media usage, motivations for use, depression, self-esteem, life satisfaction, and well-being. Originally usage was defined as active (engaging with the site) or passive (scrolling through the site); however, analysis showed two distinct types of active use: self-presentation and reacting to others. Self-presentation was primarily motivated by attention seeking, connection with others by connection motives, and passive use by boredom, connection, and fear of missing out. There were minimal effects of motivations and use on mental health outcomes.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gwendolyn Seidman

Jazmine Levengood
Poster
Political Views and How they Influence Belief of Credibility
The invention of the internet, and social media, has changed the way people consume information. Many people use social media as a source of information. Past research has investigated information-seeking behavior and the quasi-independent variable of value of credible information and have suggested that news sources are not always reliable. In my experiment, I investigated the independent variable of political stance and belief of credibility. I conducted a within-subjects experiment and showed my participants three different articles from the Associated Press. One article was labeled as being from the Associated Press, another labeled as “Fox News” a third labeled “CNN.” There were significant effects of political stance and credibility, information accuracy, and likelihood to spread the information.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Justin Couchman

Ashley Pomponio
Poster
Halo Effect Shown in College Students
This study examined the effect of attractiveness of a person based on other qualities of that person — called the Halo Effect. Previous research has already discussed the effect of attractiveness on if an individual is seen as happier, more successful, or more likely to be hired. Along with those attributes, this study looked at the perceived likelihood that a person had a sexually transmitted disease (STD). This was done by showing 74 college students with a mean age of 19.55 a series of pictures along with questions after each picture. The hypothesis predicted that there would be a significant effect between attractiveness and attributes such as happiness, successfulness, likelihood of being hired, and the likelihood of having an STD. Specifically, if the person pictured is seen to be less attractive by the participant, it will make them more likely to seem unhappy, unsuccessful and more likely to have an STD. This study showed a significant effect of all factors except STD likelihood, suggesting that this trait may differ compared to the traditionally studied characteristics.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Justin Couchman

Brynne Schoppe
Poster
Perceptions of Society on Inclusion in Public Schools
Children with special needs often feel separated from their fellow classmates, which can create an artificial barrier. Separate classrooms means that they do not get to interact regularly with their peers as other students can. Here, I examine the perceptions people have on Inclusion in Public Schools. Using Qualtrics, we assessed this with 10 scenarios, (5 with descriptions of children with special needs in a school setting, and 5 without the description in identical environments). Each scenario had all the same 6 same questions on a scale from 1 to 7 based on how well the participant thinks that student fits into the environment, and how happy they are. They also completed 4 scale questions strictly on the beliefs of inclusion in Schools. My preliminary results showed that there is a significant main effect between the conditions when compared to how people responded to the idea of inclusion. I conducted a 2-way Independent ANOVA to show this, F(2, 64)= 6.902, p < .05). This finding shows that participants rated special needs children differently depending on their grouping of tolerance for Inclusion.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keith Feigenson

Isabel Skovera
Poster
The Difference in Interpretation of Emotional Response in Regards to Gender and Attire
The experiment was based on the idea that women participants could be prone to stronger emotional reactions, which is a concept that supports the popular idea that women are generally more emotional. The experiment also tests the idea that attire affects others’ perception of behavior. A total of 118 participants, ages ranging 18 to 54, were asked to view six images. Three images were of men, of those three images, each man either being shown in athletic, casual, or professional clothing. Three images were of women, of those three images, each woman being shown in athletic, casual, or professional attire. All images had the subject facing the camera with a neutral expression. Participants were then asked to predict the outcome of a sad situation, according to how they thought the person in the image would react. Images were to be rated as well. While gender of the subject in the image was not consistently significant, attire was. Participant sadness was also found to be significant in ratings, especially based on attire.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Justin Couchman

Cynthia Thorngate
Poster
Interpretation of Mood via Facial Features Influenced by Emotional Priming and Emotional Intelligence
This study looks at the effects of a subject’s emotional intelligence and emotional priming on their ability to correctly interpret a photographed persons mood based off of their facial features. Each participant watched one of two videos, either a nature documentary or a funny video. After watching the video, participants were shown 24 different photographs of men and women that were either displaying neutral, happy, sad, or angry expressions. They had to choose what emotion was being expressed by the photographed face. Next, the participants answered a 15 item emotional intelligence questionnaire. We hypothesized that subjects with higher emotional intelligence would have a higher accuracy of the emotions expressed by the photographs. It was also predicted that subjects who watched the nature documentary would have a higher accuracy of the emotions expressed by the photographs. And that there would be an interaction between emotional intelligence and the videos shown on the number of correct emotions identified. Results did not show a significant main effect for emotional intelligence or an interaction effect, although the effect for differing videos approached significance F(1,65) = 2.963, p= .090. This suggests that the difference between the videos shown is very close to being statistically significant.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keith Feigenson

Thalia Williamson
Poster
Impact of Sound Pollution on Bird Behavior
Urbanization causes a drastic increase in sound pollution, but very little field research has been conducted to determine the impact of noise on wild organisms. Sound pollution has a major impact on organisms, such as birds, that rely heavily on vocalizations. To observe how sound pollution affects behavior, such as feeding, preening, perching, and aggression, we established two feeders at different edges of the same wooded area. One feeder by a highway (high disturbance), where sound pressure levels exceeded 80 decibels; while the other feeder was on the neighborhood side (low disturbance), where the average noise level was 57 decibels. We monitored feeders for approximately two hours every morning for 10 weeks and observed a total of 247 bird visits, with 230 occurring at the low disturbance (LD) feeder and 17 at the high disturbance (HD) feeder. At the LD feeder, 12 species visited while the HD feeder had only 4 species visit. Analysis of the results showed a significant relationship between level of disturbance and behavior. While behaviors did differ between species, behaviors such as avoidance, calling, and perching also differed between sites. Future analysis will further characterize the impact of sound pollution on specific bird behaviors.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Karen Campbell

Abigail Yanaway
Poster
Page to Pattern
This poster shows the process of designing and patterning a ball gown based on one of the costumes of a character from an animated television series. It shows the process of collecting reference images and inspiration, pulling both from the show and from history, compiling these images, and drawing the design. It also shows the process of draping the bodice and top layer of the skirt with muslin, creating a paper pattern, and creating a mock-up of the bodice. It also shows how, after making the original pattern fitted to the dress form, the mock-up skirt was made to fit the desired ballgown shape to create the final pattern for the dress.
Faculty Mentor: Professor Paula Trimpey

Jessica Zamora
Poster
The Effect of Visible Tattoos on Patrons’ Comfort Levels with Blue and White Collar Professionals
The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of visible tattoos on comfort levels of patrons with professionals in certain occupations. It was questioned if participants would be less comfortable with targets in white collared jobs with tattoos compared to blue and if the tattooed target would be rated more negative. 62 participants viewed pictures of targets with and without tattoos. They were asked to rate how comfortable they were with that target in 8 different blue and white collared occupations and to rate them on 10 personality traits. Results showed that men in white collared jobs are rated lower than in blue collared jobs. It was found that people are less comfortable with professionals with tattoos in white collared jobs than in blue. It was also found that individuals with tattoos are rated more negatively on certain personality traits.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gwendolyn Seidman

Carolyn Cortes and McKenzi Derby
Poster
Beach Community Representation in Commercial Media
This project attempts to fill the void in literature about beach communities and their commercial narrative. The examination of different media’s such as Instagram, post cards, slogans and logos for the six ideal types exclusive, theme park, resource based, ecologically preserved and historic that were previously identified in others research. These six ideal types were used with our community lists, we examined the extent to which the commercial narrative was accurate and what that meant for those communities. Using the 115 variables coding and later analyzing each community for how the space is socially constructed. With this analysis the understanding of the socially constructed beach space can be understood, and those implications of the space can be explained.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kennon Rice

Maya Fares and Shaun Hange
Poster
Raman Spectroscopy for Organic Chemistry Students
Raman spectroscopy is an instrumental technique that is fairly rare in undergraduate curricula yet the increasing importance of the technique means more and more students will be studying it. In Raman spectroscopy, laser light is focused on a chemical sample and the light scattered off of the sample is collected and analyzed. Upon scattering, the light loses some of its energy, and that energy loss is directly related to the structure of the molecule being analyzed. Using this structural information, organic chemistry students can determine the presence or absence of certain chemical groups and can obtain information about the structure and symmetry of the molecule. This project was designed to explore what molecules make appropriate objects of study: are these chemicals safe to work with? Do they illustrate concepts of chemistry and structure studied in lecture? Can they be analyzed more deeply in future courses? In addition to these goals, this work was designed to emphasize the complementarity between Raman spectroscopy and the much more common infrared spectroscopy (a technique in which infrared light is absorbed by a chemical sample; that absorption provides complementary structural information).
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christian Hamann