Abstracts for Presentations at the 2016 CAA Undergraduate Research Conference

Maryum Alam, Hofstra
When Does Counterinsurgency Work? An Analysis of Counterinsurgency Campaigns after 1945
Counterinsurgency in intra-state conflicts is one of the most controversial policies a state may employ to defeat armed groups. Such policies include the utilization of both military and nonmilitary measures to counter the politico-military struggle of an insurgency. When comparing these two categories of counterinsurgency measures, nonmilitary policies arguably hold more influence in terms of dismantling and eliminating insurgent movements whilst ensuring state success. Through a large-N quantitative analysis of 71 counterinsurgency cases in the post-World War II era, this study attempts to provide general trends regarding the efficacy of military and nonmilitary counterinsurgency policies. As a whole, the analysis of this universe of cases provides considerable insight into the limits of military force and the effectiveness of nonmilitary measures in counterinsurgency campaigns. After observing a significant difference between war outcomes of cases where nonmilitary measures are more likely to be positively correlated with state success, this study investigates the efficacy of specific military and nonmilitary counterinsurgency policies in three cases of variable outcomes: the Malayan Emergency (1948 – 1960), the USSR (1979 – 1989) and US (2001 – 2014) occupations of Afghanistan. Specifically, the data supports a strategic approach to counterinsurgency, where the utilization of non-kinetic nation-building measures€”such as the maintenance of public services and political institutions, policies that indirectly diminish insurgent control€”significantly result in different war outcomes. The qualitative analysis of historical cases also reveals that successful counterinsurgency consists of a two-staged approach, where the establishment and maintenance of security (accomplished through the use of military force) may be a necessary prerequisite for the implementation of nonmilitary measures. In terms of policy, this study posits that states are more likely to succeed in these conflicts if they adopt strategies that include military measures, but prioritize nonmilitary policies to neutralize such armed groups.

Cecily Basquin, Elon
English-as-a-Second Language Eyewitnesses: Interview Misunderstandings and Resolutions
Few studies have considered communication processes when eyewitnesses to a crime speak English-as-a-Second Language (ESL, Lee, 2009). Officers may use complex questions and incorporate low-frequency words that are unfamiliar to ESL witnesses (Gibbons, 1996). When there are misunderstandings, it is likely that both parties will work hard to make sure mutual understanding is achieved (House, 2002; Meierkord, 2000). In the current study, I examined whether misunderstandings occurred in interviews in which mock police officers interviewed ESL eyewitnesses using both free (tell me everything you remember) and cued recall (about the perpetrator, vehicle, and victim) questions. I also examined whether the misunderstandings were resolved and analyzed the process of misunderstanding resolution (N = 17 pairs). I operationalized misunderstandings as occurring when crime relevant utterances were followed by incongruent responses or by questions that clearly indicated a lack of understanding. Two raters independently analyzed three groups for misunderstandings using detailed rules. They agreed on 44/45 utterances, thus inter-rater reliability was very high. I then identified all misunderstandings that occurred during cued and free recall questioning. Next, two independent raters determined whether the misunderstandings were resolved (e.g., by giving a clear and confident answer). Inter-rater reliability for analyzing resolutions was calculated on 9 misunderstandings and they agreed on 8/9 decisions. One rater then analyzed all misunderstandings and determined if they were resolved. Finally, I analyzed the communicative processes that led to the resolution using a consensus method (e.g., simplifying, repeating, demonstrating). At this time, the analysts also noted what the misunderstanding was about (e.g., perpetrator’s car, his appearance, other) and who misunderstood (officer or witness). All disagreements were resolved. The results below reflect the final agreed-upon decisions. I found a total of 40 misunderstandings across all pairs. A trend in the data showed that misunderstandings may be more likely in cued rather than free recall questioning. Misunderstandings were significantly more likely to be resolved than unresolved (p < .001). The participants used a variety of strategies to resolve these misunderstandings, particularly when the misunderstandings were resolved (ps < .001).

Ameya Benegal, Elon
The Effects of Armed Conflicts on the Incidence Rates of Infectious Diseases
Since 1946, there have been over 245 armed conflicts that have occurred in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Conflicts represent devastating economic shocks as they hinder growth through destruction of infrastructure, cause death and displacement of skilled workers, and reduce levels of private investment. However, in the economic literature, there is a lack of discussion of the effects of armed conflict with respect to public health, which is a key driver of growth. Using data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, World Health Organization, World Bank, and the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, for the years 1990-2014, I examine how battle-related deaths, deaths from non-state actors, and one-sided conflicts affect the incidence rates of several types of infectious diseases. The results suggest that for every 1,000 one-sided conflict death, the disease rate greatly increases for Malaria, Diarrheal Diseases, and specified vector-borne diseases in the concurrent year. At the same time, every 1,000 non-state conflict death greatly increases the disease rate for Malaria, specified vector-borne diseases, and Neglected Tropical Diseases in the following year. Overall, the findings show that certain conflicts do have effects on disease rates, and the burden trends tend to be greater for women than for men.

Merci Best, William & Mary
Examining the role of Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling in germ cells during Drosophila testis stem cell niche formation
Stem cells are asymmetrically dividing cells that are vital for organogenesis, tissue regeneration and tissue homoeostasis. They reside within a stem cell niche and provide the functional cell types that are necessary for organogenesis, while maintaining a stem cell population that continuously replaces damaged and dying cells. Given their critical role in tissue maintenance, it is important to understand how these cells first form. Surprisingly little, however, is known about stem cell development. The Drosophila testis, one of the most thoroughly studied systems for studying stem cell behavior in fully developed organs can be used to examine stem cell behavior in the developing stem cell niche. In this system, the stem cell niche is comprised of a tightly clustered group of cells which act as a signaling center to recruit GSCs from a small population of undifferentiated primordial germ cells (PGCs). Within the niche, the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) pathway has been shown to regulate GSC maintenance in the adult organism. This research examines the role of cell-to-cell interactions during the establishment of functional stem cell populations in the developing Drosophila testis. Specifically, we examine the role of BMP signaling in controlling the development of PGCs early in development, before the stem cell niche is formed. As GSCs are required for continuous gamete production, these studies have implications for fertility and evolutionary fitness of subsequent generations.

Hunter Blain, Hofstra
May it Please the Taxpayer: The Cost of the Right to a Trial by Jury
Most Americans are familiar with the feeling of getting picked for jury duty. After reporting at an ungodly hour of the morning, prospective jurors are shuffled around between courts and spend much of their day listening to various officials and lawyers talk in confusing terms. A majority of the prospective jurors are sent home by midday while others are selected to actually sit on panels and listen to cases. Although the opinion of many disgruntled jurors is that jury service can be a waste of time, the right to a trial by jury is a cornerstone of American democracy. Indeed, the right to a petit jury trial has been guaranteed in the Bill of Rights since the inception of the United States. More precisely, the Sixth and Seventh Amendments of the Constitution guarantee the right to a trial by jury in criminal and civil matters respectively. The original purpose of these rights was so that decisions on innocence and guilt would be made by peers instead of the rich and powerful. Although I firmly believe that these rights are necessary and beneficial, it obviously costs more to the American taxpayers to add procedures to trials. But how much more does the right to a trial by jury cost? / The goal of this project is to estimate the total cost of the American jury system. Because a bench trial is similar to a jury trial in almost all aspects (except for having a jury), this would make a good baseline to measure what is an expenditure of the jury system and what would be spent anyway in distributing justice. By identifying costs and resources that the jury system requires that the bench trial system does not, I should be able to quantify how much, in time and money, these additional features cost. I will use this data to calculate the explicit cost to taxpayers and implicit cost to GDP of the American jury system.

Kathleen Booth, Charleston
The World Health Organization recommends a minimum birth-to-pregnancy interval of 24 months to improve maternal and child health. Postpartum contraception is a mechanism to achieve optimal birth spacing and prevent unintended pregnancy, which in turn may reduce health disparities and inequalities in health status among new mothers and their children. This study investigated women's perceptions of interpersonal and mediated messages, as well as preferences related to receiving information about contraceptive method choice and use in the postpartum period. Methods: Researchers conducted six focus groups with 47 women receiving postpartum care at an outpatient clinic. A semi-structured focus group protocol was created and tested. A constant comparative approach provided an inductive method of analysis. HyperRESEARCH 3.5.2 qualitative data analysis software facilitated coding based on the health belief model. Results Participants included women 18-39 years of age with an average of 1.7 children. The majority of participants utilized Medicaid (53%) and self-identified as Black (49%) or White (43%). Participants discussed interpersonal, mass media, and new media messages about contraception, including long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). These women negotiated complex social norms, including preferring the Internet as a primary source of information and avoiding mass media. Participants balanced messages from social networks, including physician counseling and the power of personal experiences of friends and family in contraceptive decision-making. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that women perceive the voices of lay experts online as the most influential  source of information and prefer to receive contraceptive information online and in-person during the prenatal and postpartum period.

David Boyle, James Madison
Adsorption and Reactivity of Ethanol on Au(111)-Based Inverse Model Catalysts
A fundamental understanding of ethanol and the mechanism by which this important alcohol reacts at interfaces is of significant importance for the petroleum industry, as ethanol is used as an everyday fuel and additive in automobile gasoline. Other simple alcohols (methanol and propanol) have shown reactivity on TiO2/Au(111) inverse model catalysts, but the role of the oxide/metal interface has not yet been investigated. In order to fully understand TiO2/Au(111) inverse model catalyst interfacial sites, which are hypothesized to be the active site of the catalyst, a systematic study of ethanol adsorbed on Au(111) was carried out. Ultrahigh vacuum temperature programmed desorption (TPD) was used to elucidate subtle binding energy differences of molecular ethanol on Au(111) surface terrace sites and under-coordinated step edges via the use of highly stepped Au. Coverage dependent studies of nanoparticle TiO2—a reversibly reducible material utilized for the storage of chemically reactive oxygen-supported on Au(111) were performed using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and TPD. Through this nanoparticle size dependent study, the role of TiO2/Au(111) interfacial sites on ethanol adsorption and chemistry was determined.

Nicholas Bromhead, Drexel
Optimizing Production and Performance of Electroluminescent Fibers by Extrusion Methods
Advances in materials science have enabled electroluminescent devices to be constructed on a new variety of substrates. Successfully creating and integrating these new materials with technologies of smart fabrics will lead to an electroluminescent display. Producing fibers that are comparable to their planar counterparts is a complicated process. By investigating methods such as painting, multiple extrusion techniques, and an automated system, a viable production method can be chosen. Among these methods, extrusion is the most effective. A two piece, 3D printed fluid bath with varying extrusion diameters produces the most reliable results. The fibers produced are characterized using microscope images to determine uniformity of the layers and SEM imaging to observe layer thicknesses of different samples.

Lauren Brown, Elon
Effect of Dual-Task on Turning Characteristics while Walking among Collegiate Athletes
Many sports require athletes to complete turns during competition. While many studies have examined spatio-temporal gait parameters both with and without a concurrent cognitive load, there is little information on the turning characteristics while walking and performing a concurrent cognitive task. Such information could help evaluate the effects of concussion on an activity of daily living like turning while walking. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of dual-task on turning characteristics while walking in collegiate athletes. Fifty-three subjects performed 5 trials of a 10m walk under single- and dual-task conditions at self-selected speed. Each trial consisted of one turn. The Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) was used as the concurrent dual-task. MMSE consists of spelling five-letter words in reverse, subtraction by sevens, and reciting the months of the year in reverse order. Participants were fitted with 6 OPAL sensors as part of the Mobility Lab system (APDM Inc., Portland, OR). The trunk or lumbar sensor and a mathematical model developed by APDM was used to detect the exact moment of beginning and end of turning. Absolute and variability measures of turning velocity and duration were calculated. Number of steps during turning were also obtained. A paired samples t-test and Wilcoxon Signed Rank test were used to compare turning performance under single and dual task conditions. Results suggest that mean velocity, mean duration, and the standard deviation of the single task values were significantly different from the dual task measures. Furthermore, athletes turned significantly slower and took longer time to complete the turn while dual-tasking albeit taking similar number of steps to complete the turn. Whether these results hold true for post-concussion evaluation needs to be determined.

Anastasia Cassisi, Hofstra
Justice for All? An Analysis of Police Brutality in the United States, England and Canada
This research paper seeks to explore whether excessive force is used by police officers in the United States more frequently than police officers in other developed countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom. (Winsor, Business Insider) This paper will also investigate how these countries have sought to reform police tactics in response to excessive force in comparison to the United States' response. This paper analyze the consequences of police brutality both on the part of the United States government (such as law reformation, police review, uniform cameras) and also by the United Nations, which has heavily criticized the United States for violating human rights with the increasing number of excessive force cases. According to Human Rights Watch, the United States has failed in implementing the recommendations made in 2010 by the Human Rights Council to eliminate the use of excessive force by police. Furthermore, countries such as China, Mexico, and Malaysia have commented that the United States has not adequately addresses the increasing number of deaths at the hands of police. (Omyanga-Omara, USA Today). / Recently, the use of unwarranted excessive force on the part of police has become increasingly common in the United States. Analysis of the data would seem to support that there has not been significant reform in the American justice system, which indicates that this issue is not being adequately addressed by the United States government. This paper will analyze the response of the judicial system in prosecuting police officers in excessive force cases both domestically and internationally and compare whether any corrective measures employed by other countries have proven to be effective in reducing the incidence of police brutality. If the American justice system continues to overlook the excessive force used by the police, the United States opens itself up to domestic riots and international critique for their violation of human rights.

Daniel Corbin, James Madison
The Synthesis and Characterization of Polymerized Cobalt Selenide Clusters with Photovoltaic Applications
Hybrid organic-inorganic bulk heterojunction (BHJ) photovoltaic devices have recently gained interest within the scientific community for their potential to offer higher efficiency solar cells at a lower cost than those in the current market; however, the orthogonal properties of organic and inorganic materials cause the two to interact poorly within the devices. Since the BHJ architecture relies on good interaction between the donor (organic) and acceptor (inorganic) materials, this has proven to be a large obstacle to developing a more ideal hybrid solar cell. / / To overcome this issue, we synthesized a new series of polymers via Stille coupling with a constant amount of (Me3Sn)2(C4H2S) and varying ratios of Co6Se8(Br(C4H2S)P(Ph)2) (1) to Br2(C4HS)(CH2)5CH3; these polymers have been named poly(cluster-co-thiophene-co-hexylthiophene)a-d (PCLTHTa-d). All of the polymers were studied through the use of UV-Visible, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, and Fluorescence Spectroscopy, as well as Atomic Force Microscopy. Not only do PCLTHTa-d exhibit a wide range of solubility, a problem that has long plagued inorganic photovoltaics, but they also show increased charge transfer efficiency compared to representative simple mixtures of 1 and poly(thiophene-co-hexylthiophene).

Danielle Cox, Charleston
Air Raid Wardens: Bridging the Gap between American Civilians and the War
As a majority of the conflict in the Second World War took place in Europe and the Pacific, and even bleeding over into Africa, for most Americans on the home front the war existed almost completely in newspapers and photos, newsreels and radios, and for many letters home from loved ones overseas. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, but by the end of the War the continental United States was virtually untouched, at least when compared to the heavy raids experienced abroad. However, the constant threat of attack always loomed over the United States during those years, heightened by reports from Europe ravaged by bombs, and especially London ripped apart by the Blitz. This fear was reinforced by government officials and military leaders flooding the home front with propaganda and publications outlining contingency plans in case of attack. For civilians, Air Raid Wardens provided a tangible home front to the war by making even more real the threat of enemy invasion on American shores. / In terms of secondary sources, articles focusing on Air Raid Wardens in the United States are virtually nonexistent, and those on more general American civil defense are extremely sparse, requiring an expansion into British defense and a particular focus on primary sources such as government publications. American Air Raid Wardens fill a strange middle ground in World War II history, as decidedly everyman civilians on the home front, yet serving in a volunteer quasi-military capacity complete with uniforms, training, and a chain of command. Not soldiers and not quite pure civilians either, these individuals looked toward their counterparts in London and elsewhere in Europe and saw what harrowing duties they would have to perform should an air raid come. These figures were not merely a harbinger of doom, however, but perhaps more so a symbol of readiness for danger, boosting morale in the face of what turned out to be an all but imaginary danger.

Chad Cunningham, Hofstra
Semi-Automated Electro-Mechanical Wound-Closure Device
Tissue reapproximation is a fundamental aspect of reconstructive surgery. Currently this is performed in a free-hand manor and is dependent upon the skill of the operating surgeon. As such, variability exists in the process. As a first step in creating an autonomous system for reapproximating tissue, a semi-automated, motorized system has been designed to optimize controlled skin-edge closure. / Methods: A brushed motor is employed to drive a lead screw to bring the arms of the reapproximation mechanism (two stainless steel plates attached at one end) together. Disposable shoe end effectors, lined with biocompatible adhesive, are 3-D printed to interface with the skin. The mechanism motor closes the wound, while actively measuring the space created in between the arms with a capacitive sensor to terminate the motor. Once the wound closed it is held in position by automatically-applied fasteners. / Results: Preliminary data is collected through LabVIEW, which is used as a control system, while allowing for precise movement of the end effector. This allows fine adjustment to be made during the alignment of the wound and results in a minimal (< 1mm) gap distance between each tissue edge. A capacitive sensor is employed in the arms of the mechanism, allowing a quantitative way to monitor the closure. Our design offers a consistent and efficacious approach to primary wound closure. This is the first step in developing true fully autonomous reconstructive surgical robots.

Bernadette Deschaine, William & Mary
Exploring Strain Interactions in Yeast Biofilms
For many microorganisms, survival and ecological function depend upon social interactions in complex communities. Biofilms are a ubiquitous and important form of microbial cooperative community. In a biofilm, the individual microbes secrete an extracellular matrix that anchors the community to a surface and protects it from many environmental stresses. Biofilm formation can allow pathogens to resist antimicrobials and to grow on medical implants and devices, making biofilm disruption an important area of research. My research uses the budding yeast, an opportunistic pathogen with evolutionary relationships to other fungal pathogens, to explore social interactions in mixed-strain biofilms. By investigating the costs and benefits of biofilm formation, I aim to engineer a yeast strain that can infiltrate and disrupt cooperative biofilm communities.

Derek Detweiler, UNCW
An in situ study of seasonal dissolved organic carbon and nutrient fluxes from a Spartina alterniflora salt marsh in North Carolina
Spartina alterniflora salt marshes are among the most productive and biogeochemically active ecosystems on Earth. While they have been shown to be sources of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nutrient export to the coastal ocean via tidal processes, it has not been well quantified experimentally. The purpose of this study was to quantify seasonal DOC and nutrient fluxes from a fringing S. alterniflora salt marsh in North Carolina. The experiment was conducted using in situ benthic microcosm chambers filled with seawater during a flooding tide; the chambers were then plugged, and samples were collected during an ebbing tide over the course of 270 minutes while simulating light and dark conditions. Water samples were filtered and analyzed for DOC and nutrient concentrations over time, and fluxes from vegetated (S. alterniflora) and non-vegetated marsh sediments were calculated. Results showed that there were no significant differences in fluxes between vegetated and non-vegetated sediments within the same season. However, salt marsh sediments were a source of DOC and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) in July compared to a sink in December. These data suggest that the remineralization of organic matter occurs more strongly in the winter with a more active microbial loop. Ultimately, results from this study will add to the literature providing insight as to how changing environmental conditions such as wetland modification, wetland destruction, nutrient input, and climate change are affecting coastal biogeochemical cycles. /

Emily Diaz, Hofstra
Differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells through inducing factors sequestered into collagen-polyethylene glycol gels
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the potential for clinical use towards growing new bones. They can be induced in a monolayer surface culture with chemical factors to differentiate into osteoblasts (bone cells) and adipocytes (fat cells). For tissue engineering applications, MSCs need structural support for localization, adhesion, and viability. In this study adipose tissue-derived MSCs were grown on crosslinked collagen-polyethylene glycol (PEG) gels. Inducing factors were incorporated into the gels for diffusion-mediated release. This method eliminated the need to induce via solubilization in the culture medium. After 2 and 3 weeks of culture, induced MSCs demonstrated increased production of lipid droplets and calcium deposits for adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation factors, respectively, relative to the uninduced controls (no inducers). Furthermore, morphological changes were observed, indicating the efficacy of matrix-embedded inducers. This study has shown that MSCs can be differentiated through the biomaterial support structure and implies that the construct can be implanted into tissues to encourage the differentiation of tissue-specific adult stem cells for bone repair and regeneration.

Arnrow Domingo, Hofstra
Effects of Empathy on Risk/Reward Decision-Making
Empathy is a multimodal process that involves affective sharing, cognitive understanding, and emotional disconnect. This experiment tested the effects of empathy on risk/reward decision-making as well as the roles of confidence and empathy training on this relationship. Participants were categorized as either low or high empathy using the Basic Empathy Scale in Adults (BES-A) and were assigned to one of the three decision-making conditions: baseline (no personal risk, no personal reward), direct (personal risk, personal reward), or indirect (personal risk, no personal reward). These conditions all involved hypothetical situations with explicit risks and reward as well as a binary, all-or-nothing decision. It was predicted that empathy would have the highest effect on decisions and confidence in the indirect condition.

Raghda El-Behaedi, UNCW
In Their Cups?: Background lipids in shell as a basis for analyzing shell cup residues
The feasibility of organic residue analysis on shell material has largely remained unstudied, making this the first research of its kind. Lipids in a variety of large shells were extracted using both destructive and non-destructive techniques and analyzed using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. In archaeological pottery residue analysis, lipids found in extracted residues can be assumed to derive from human usage because natural geolipids are removed from the clay during firing. Shell cups, which were used by Native Americans during ceremonial settings to consume Black Drink, an emetic tea, do not undergo firing at high enough temperatures to result in lipid removal. As a result, it is important to understand the natural lipids present in large shells before attempting organic residue analysis of shell cups. Such analysis will permit a better understanding of the possibilities for residue extraction from shell cups in archaeological context, thus, opening up a new artifact class to organic residue analysis.

Salma El-Behaedi, UNCW
Modification of a Flavobacterium johnsoniae Suicide Vector for Rapid Screening in an Allelic Exchange System
The Gram-negative bacterium Flavobacterium johnsoniae exhibits rapid gliding motility over solid surfaces. Genetic manipulation, including allelic exchange, is well characterized in this organism and has been important in identifying and characterizing genes involved in motility. While allelic exchange is relatively straightforward, we sought to improve the system through modification of the suicide vector, pRR51. The cloning steps required for allelic exchange include amplifying the regions upstream and downstream of the site of interest and sequentially cloning these regions into pRR51. Following each cloning step a colony PCR must be performed to confirm insertion of the PCR fragment, a time-consuming process that would benefit from an alternative approach. With blue-white screening, identifying colonies carrying recombinant plasmids is relatively easy as colonies carrying plasmids with inserts that interrupt the lacZα gene exhibit a white hue, while colonies carrying plasmids without inserts exhibit a blue color. Therefore, a strategy was devised to modify the pRR51 plasmid for blue-white screening. First, the multiple cloning site (MCS) of pRR51 was removed by digesting with BamHI and SphI, blunting the ends and ligating to generate pSEE01. We then PCR amplified the lacZα gene and associated MCS from pUC18 using primers with engineered AflII restriction sites, and cloned the PCR fragment into the AflII site of pSEE01 to generate pSEE03. Colonies carrying pSEE03 were blue when plated on a medium containing ampicillin and X-gal, indicating successful insertion of the pUC18 lacZα gene into the modified pRR51. Additionally, pSEE03 was isolated and confirmed by restriction digest and DNA sequencing. This modified vector increases the number of restriction sites in the MCS, and with cross-over PCR reduces the number of sub-cloning steps required to generate a plasmid for allelic exchange.

Hanna Elmgren, Elon
The Silence Inheritance: Stories - An Exploration of the Influence of Gender on Character
In an effort to explore the representation of gender in contemporary fiction, I read ten published collections of short stories and analyzed them to determine ways in which the author constructed or represented gender. What I have observed both in fiction and in the very real world that this fiction reflects has informed my own approach to writing about these issues for my undergraduate thesis. This research takes the form of a collection of original short stories that explore the influence of culture€™s normative ideas about gender on character construction. With creative writing pieces, it is important to ground the work in character as opposed to speaking towards social messages, so these stories serve as microcosms for greater issues in society. In particular, this thesis addresses the systematic silencing of women and others who are discriminated against based on gender and sexuality. To maintain the status quo, society teaches these groups that their feelings, values, and thoughts are unimportant or inferior. The primary focus of these stories then is to examine how this systemic problem operates within relationships between individuals, specifically in regards to how women are told by those close to them that their thoughts are invalid. I am seeking, in essence, to give voice to those who are silenced based on gender. However, rather than simply trying to spread this message, the purpose of the thesis is to examine how this silencing process can be translated into fiction, which ultimately involves examining the impact that process has on the characters. An important element of this thesis is also a short reflection paper on how the stories fit into the greater context of contemporary fiction. The paper will explore how short stories in the past thirty years have dealt with or incorporated issues of gender and sexuality, as well as how this thesis contributes to this discourse.

Felicia Essien,Towson
Marionette Mas’
Patrick Chamoiseau's Texaco (1992) is a text that tackles the task of delineating Martiniquan history from slavery through industrialization. The novel is told from the perspective of Marie-Sophie Laborieux after she has established Texaco, a barrack-yard, on the outskirts of Martinique's capital city, Fort-de-France.  Texaco endeavors to reveal an untold history: ”that of the local barracks-yard dwellers and their fight to remain extant and visible in the face of the overwhelming upheavals caused by capitalism, colonialism, industrialization, world wars and economic instability in Martinique. What is interesting about Texaco is not its deliberateness or scope, it is how self-consciously reflexive its narrator is. Marie-Sophie is both the actor and architect of the story yet her retelling is fraught with questions about the viability of her memory. These questions of memory are tied irrevocably to class and race distinctions. Memory becomes another way the racialized lower class of the barracks-yard are othered from the upper classes. Their illiteracy precludes them from the kind of history writing the elite have been able to partake in and the middle class are beginning to embark upon. And though there is a desire to preserve their intangible history in the written tradition of the respectable classes, the issue of retaining the authenticity of that tradition, a tradition of illiteracy, is a difficult one to resolve. The complicated sociopolitical relationship that exists between the ruling classes and the lower class is thus revealed. It is through an examination of these relations that I explore the appropriation of voice, memory, and culture of a woman and her lower class feminine space by a middle class man and his pen. Ultimately, it is in attempting to remove the feminine from the revolutionary that Chamoiseau reveals the great confounding factor underlining the class and race issue: gender.

Sarina Etheridge, Charleston
A black hole accretion disk is an accumulation of materials, such as gas and dust, which orbits a black hole. The goal of this project is to create two separate computer simulations of black hole accretion disks.The two computer simulations will use different methods of producing the turbulence that is required for accretion disks to operate. One of the simulations will use an artificial viscosity put in by hand. This implies that this method is not a representation of true viscosity, but merely acts like viscosity. No physical mechanism is truly represented. This is how accretion disks have been modeled for decades. The other simulation will incorporate the physical process now known to be responsible for accretion, called the magneto-rotational instability.The purpose of the project is to compare the two simulations to understand in what ways the real physical process differs from the artificial viscosity treatment. Ours will be the first such simulations done using general relativistic gravity, as is appropriate near a black hole.

Jason Ferguson, James Madison
Searching With the Large Binocular Telescope for Accreting Supermassive Black Holes in Bulgeless Galaxies
Supermassive black holes of millions to billions of Suns in mass are now routinely identified with the centers of massive elliptical galaxies that state-of-the-art hydrodynamical simulations suggest are formed via merging of smaller systems without a significant bulge component. Nevertheless, there is increasing evidence that supermassive black holes are also created and evolve in bulgeless galaxies, revealing pathways for merger free, secular growth. Given the positive correlation between the masses of bulges and the masses of the black holes residing in their centers we expect to find in low-mass, bulgeless galaxies only the so called intermediate mass black holes, with masses less than a few millions solar masses. Constraints on the fraction of bulgeless galaxies that host an accreting black hole in their centers remain extremely limited. Following the recent discovery of a large population of bulgeless galaxies with red mid-infrared colors that are highly suggestive of heated dust by powerful accreting sources, we have employed the Large Binocular Telescope to investigate the near-infrared spectra of six of these systems. We present here the data and measurements of near-IR hydrogen molecular and recombination lines. We find no evidence for broad components of the Paschen Alpha emission lines, suggesting the AGNs are either too weak or too absorbed to be detected. Based on new estimates of extinction and comparisons with optical measurements we discuss the likelihood of these systems being heavily obscured AGN or galactic nuclei with vigorous, yet dust embedded star formation.

Sam Fink, Charleston
St. Thomas is one of the volcanic islands in the Caribbean territories that is part of the United States Virgin Islands that is home to a thriving tourism industry. Since tourism has become the primary commodity influencing the island's economy, St. Thomas has encouraged urban development projects to match the demand of foreign consumers. The regional impact of these rapid developments is unknown and requires in depth analysis to monitor it's impact. In this study, we employ the use of Landsat's MSS, TM, ETM+ and OLI satellite sensors to synoptically study and quantify changes in land use-land cover over the last 40 years. The island's land covers are primarily characterized as dry vegetation, wet vegetation, urban developments, mangrove, shrub grass and beach. Results from this study indicate that over the last 40 years, urbanization increased by 32.5%, dry vegetation deceased by 19.4% and wet vegetation decreased by 21.1%. Around 2010, urban developments and other human land use projects surpassed dry vegetation as the primary land cover type on St. Thomas. Currently, 44.49% of St. Thomas is covered in human land use. These results confirm that active land cover change is occurring on St. Thomas which is the leading stress on both terrestrial and marine environments. 

Daniel Foyt, Hofstra
Effects of Modified PEG Scaffold-Immobilized Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor C and Chondromodulin-1 on Endothelial Cells
Poor vascular integration is one of the limiting factors in the development and functionalization of tissue-engineered products. In pursuit of a solution to this, we investigated different methods to potentially sustain and induce blood vessel and capillary growth into polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based gels and scaffolds. By incorporating cell-binding peptides, growth factors, and physical network features, PEG can become a bioactive platform facilitating cell adhesion, infiltration, and colonization. / Physical and biochemical alterations of PEG enabled endothelial cell attachment which was further enhanced by VEGF-C but down regulated by Chm-1. Subcutaneous implantation experiments are underway and may provide relevant data on angiogenesis and host-tissue integration for the development of vascular and avascular bioengineered scaffolds.

David Giordano, UNCW
An Exploration of the Easy Breather Therapy Table for the Management of COPD Using Healthy Volunteers
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a set of progressive lung diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis that poses a significant threat to public health, as currently there is no cure available. Alternative therapeutic approaches, such as yoga and meditation, are attractive as traditional treatments are invasive and medications tend to have side effects. Because of the gap in available efficacious treatments, a device was invented locally for the purpose of helping patients with COPD facilitate breathing. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to test the feasibility of this device (i.e., The Easy Breather Therapy Table) in a lab setting before it is distributed and used in home environments by patients with COPD. This is a part of a collaborative investigation between the Easy Breather Therapy Table (EBTT) inventors, the School of Nursing, the CHHS Research and Innovation, and the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences that involves community and innovation. This is an exploratory study, the results of which will help prepare our research team to conduct a randomized clinical trial with the EBTT with subjects having COPD.

Jacob Green, James Madison
Exploring Long-Term Variability in Active Galactic Nuclei via Monte Carlo Simulations of Optical Spectra
The emission produced by accretion of matter onto supermassive black holes in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) dominates the overall emission of the universe over almost all of the electromagnetic spectrum. Continuum and emission-line variability of AGN provides a powerful probe of the various time scale structures in the central regions of these sources. By investigating the properties of variability in these sources, we can hope to identify the physical processes driving AGN, their environments, and even provide crucial constraints on their detection rates, and thus to their true census. Prompted by recent evidence for decade-scale variability in a small sample of nearby AGNs, and the general lack of data that would sample such a phenomenon, we are exploring the long-term variability in the optical nebular line emitting gas in galaxy centers via Monte Carlo simulations. Based on observational constraints of a large variety of parameters that characterize the optical spectra of nearby AGN, we build a sample of a million objects, apply and test various variability patterns, and then evaluate the parameter space that determine the detection threshold of their signature as accreting systems (e.g., emission lines that are Doppler broadened to thousands of km/s). This investigation adds a novel and powerful dimension to AGN selection by future surveys, with direct consequences for better understanding of their life cycle, their spatial density, and ultimately for the role played by AGN in galaxy formation and evolution processes.

Taylor Harbold, UNCW
Zip Codes and Neural Networks: Machine Learning for Handwritten Number Recognition
Neural Networks are statistical models using machine learning that mimic the synapse processes that occur in the brain. They are especially used in order to detect significant, non-linear patterns in data that are otherwise difficult to capture. Using the RSNNS package in R-Studio, we created a multi-layer perceptron prediction model that can accurately classify or "read" images of handwritten ZIP code digits.

Jessica Hinson Charleston
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are commonly used throughout the developed world and enter natural water systems due to incomplete removal during wastewater treatment. When exposed to UV radiation in sunlight, many pharmaceuticals degrade into related compounds that may be more toxic than the original compound. In addition, continual release of PPCPs in daily use can maintain elevated levels in the environment despite rapid degradation, a phenomenon known as pseudo-persistence.  Fluoxetine (Prozac®) and sertraline (Zoloft®) are widely prescribed antidepressant medications, which are routinely documented in surface waters and sewage effluent.  Although effects of these pharmaceuticals have been shown for various aquatic organisms, very little is known about the effects of their UV-degradants. The objective of this study was to determine the toxicity of the popular antidepressants sertraline (Zoloft®) and fluoxetine (Prozac®) before and during UV-degradation, using southern toad (Anaxyrus terrestris) tadpoles as a model freshwater vertebrate. Sertraline and fluoxetine solutions were exposed to UV radiation for different amounts of time, and tadpoles were exposed to the resulting solutions for 96 hours to determine acute toxicity. For both sertraline and fluoxetine, solutions decreased in toxicity as UV exposure time increased. This decrease appears to be due primarily to reduced total concentration of antidepressant + degradant rather than differences in toxicity of the degradants relative to the parent compounds. However, the decrease in toxicity may be counteracted by the continual release of antidepressants into the environment, which could maintain concentrations of the parent compound and the degradants at elevated levels. This research underscores the importance of understanding the effects and fate of pharmaceuticals and their degradants in the environment.

Kathleen Hupfeld, Elon
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (Tdcs) to Broca’s Area: Persisting Effects on Non-Verbal Motor Behaviors
Low-cost, portable, and user-friendly, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been investigated as a novel therapy for treating various neurological impairments, including motor, cognitive, and speech deficits. tDCS passes a constant, weak electrical current between two electrode sponges – the anode and cathode – placed on the subject’s head; anodal tDCS modulates neuronal membrane potentials to facilitate neuronal activity. While a substantial body of literature has found that anodal tDCS applied to the primary motor cortex (M1) elicits improvements in motor behaviors, few studies have examined whether stimulation of other cortical areas involved in motor output produces similar or long-lasting effects. Although Broca’s area is associated with speech production and grammar acquisition due to cortical-striatal connections, it may also significantly contribute to motor planning/output even in non-speech tasks – especially in more complex tasks that require sequence-learning (Ullman, 2006). PURPOSE: This study involved applying anodal tDCS to Broca’s area and observing the effects on non-verbal motor output. METHODS: Twenty neurotypical young adults completed an experimental vs. sham testing session separated by 1 week. During each session, participants received one of two stimulation conditions: (1) 30 minutes of 1.0 mA of anodal tDCS to Broca’s area (FC5; cathode on right supraorbital area) or (2) sham stimulation. During stimulation (or sham), participants completed two motor tasks: (1) a limits of stability dynamic balance task (Biodex Balance System) and (2) a simple/choice reaction time task (MOART Reaction Time and Movement Time Panel). RESULTS: Initial results indicate that subjects who received stimulation of Broca’s area first performed significantly better on simple reaction time, (p<0.05), dynamic balance speed (p<0.05), and dynamic balance accuracy (p<0.001) when tested one week later compared to participants who received sham stimulation first. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that Broca’s area is also involved in non-verbal motor behaviors. This persisting cortical motor response to stimulation has obvious implications for time-consuming novel combined speech and movement therapy interventions.

Daroon Jalil, James Madison
Studying the Effect of Foreign Accent on Serial Recall through Error Analysis
The current study examined how foreign accent affects word recognition and serial recall through analyzing types of errors made in three serial recall experiments. Lists of native-English and Cantonese-accented words were presented with an inter-stimulus interval (ISI) of 1500 ms in an auditory mode in Experiment 1 and in a bimodal mode in Experiment 2; only Cantonese-accented words were presented in the auditory mode with a 4000 ms ISI in Experiment 3. Recall errors were categorized as either order errors (words recalled in an incorrect SP) or item errors (all other errors). Experiment 1 showed that foreign accents induce an overall decline in recall performance across all serial positions (SPs) with more item and order errors. There were more item errors for accented words with low intelligibility than those with high intelligibility, suggesting that foreign accents induce identification difficulty. With a synchronized visual display to aid accented word recognition in Experiment 2, item errors for accented words decreased granted that there were still more item and order errors for accented words. Recall performance for accented words were still worse than native words in the middle SPs, implying that foreign accents exert other detrimental effects on memory in addition to identification difficulty. Lengthening the ISIs in Experiment 3 greatly reduced item errors in the middle SPs, implying that extra time is required for phonological encoding and identification of accented words to be completed. Longer ISIs reduced order errors in the last two SPs only, suggesting that the extra time allows the indexical information of the final items to be processed and stored in echoic memory.

Aysha Khan, UNCW
Signaling Models in Open-Market, Cooperative Settings: an Application of Game Theory to Islamic Finance
In 2010, the International Monetary Fund conducted a study investigating the performance of Islamic banks during the Great Recession. It was concluded that Islamic banks were more resilient than conventional banks. The IMF attributed this phenomenon to the strong risk management methods that ameliorated conventional exploitative, high-risk practices. Islamic finance is characterized by a prohibition on riba and gharar, or "unjust increases" and "exploitative usury", respectively. For over a millennium, scholars have debated which financial practices and instruments can be categorized as riba or gharar, coming to the single conclusion that Islamic finance is characterized by cooperation between all parties involved in a transaction, bound by religious principles that will circumvent exploitative practices and allow all parties to gain. Dr. Mahmoud El-Gamal utilizes a game theoretical approach, the prisoner’s dilemma, to illustrate that both parties in any transaction benefit greater should there be mutual cooperation, as set up by the Trading in Risky Assets Model. El-Gamal proves that trading in risk is “at worst efficiency neutral and at best efficiency enhancing.” Throughout this project, we will be developing a signaling model that employs cooperative risk and return sharing between competitive open-market entities. We will also analyze both conventional signaling behaviors and those found in Islamic banks throughout the United States, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

Natasha King, William & Mary
Creative Nonfiction from the San Juan Islands
The purpose of my research was to gather experiences and inspiration from the natural world, from which to write a set of nature-focused reflections. At the start of my project, I traveled to the San Juan Islands, an archipelago in the greater Puget Sound area of Washington State. I spent two and a half weeks there, during which time I hiked to the state park, kayaked along the edge of one of the islands, and took a whale tour to Canada in search of orcas. After returning from Washington, I began developing my observations of the wildlife and landscape into a series of creative nonfiction essays. I have supplemented this process by reading essays and literature similar in style to that which I hoped to write. The piece in its current form combines descriptions of nature with reflections on more metaphysical elements such as religion and ideology. Currently I am working to expand these essays and fully explore my time in Puget Sound.

Forest Krueger, Towson
Family Size and the Cognitive Ability of the First Child
In 1976, Gary Becker and Nigel Tomes published a provocative article which suggested that there is a trade-off between the quantity and quality of children. According to these economists, a higher quantity of children is associated with lower quality per child since family resources are taken as fixed. This motivates Forest's research question: If the first child has a low natural endowment of quality, do families respond by revising down their planned family size in order to devote more resources to increasing this child's quality? To investigate whether this is the case, Forest analyzes data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). Since 1979, the nationally representative NLSY has tracked detailed personal information of approximately 6,000 women who were born in the years 1957-64. In the most recent survey year, these women were between the ages of 48 and 55, so they were at or near completed fertility. A woman's first born child's natural ability is measured as his or her performance on aptitude tests at very young ages. In an effort to make an "apples-to-apples" comparison, Forest controls for other observable factors associated with completed fertility such as race, income, and education. In addition, Forest follows Frijters, et. al. (2009) and controls for other sources of endogeneity by using an instrumental variables approach, exploiting exogenous variation in child development associated with child handedness. Using these sophisticated estimation techniques, Forest finds that mothers are more likely to have only one child if their first child has low natural ability. This fascinating finding seems to support the conclusion families revise down their planned family size, but whether they use the freed up resources from having fewer children to invest more in this child remains an avenue for future research.

Thomas Le, William & Mary
The Effect of a Caloric Preload on Restrained Eaters' Attention Bias to Food
This study aims to examine whether restrained eaters show an attentional bias to high or low calorie foods. As more and more people gain weight from eating unhealthful foods, many individuals, especially women, attempt to restrict their food intake to attain and maintain a certain body weight. These individuals, who are referred to as restrained eaters, are often unsuccessful in their efforts to maintain or lose weight. This is in part due to their tendency to engage in counter-regulatory eating – consuming larger quantities of food after ingesting high calorie foods, hereafter referred to as a preload, rather than regulating their intake. In an attempt to understand why restrained eaters have difficulty regulating their intake after a preload, the present study investigates whether restrained eaters’ attention shifts to high calorie foods after consuming a preload. Toward these aims, the current study measures whether restrained eaters show differentiated attentional bias to high and low calorie food after receiving different caloric information about the preload (whether they are labeled “high-calorie” or “low-calorie”). Overall, this study aims to shed light on the mechanisms that cause counter-regulated intake in restrained eaters.

Pierre Llanos, Hofstra
Semi-Automated Electro-Mechanical Wound-Closure Device
Tissue reapproximation is a fundamental aspect of reconstructive surgery. Currently this is performed in a free-hand manor and is dependent upon the skill of the operating surgeon. As such, variability exists in the process. As a first step in creating an autonomous system for reapproximating tissue, a semi-automated, motorized system has been designed to optimize controlled skin-edge closure. / Methods: A brushed motor is employed to drive a lead screw to bring the arms of the reapproximation mechanism (two stainless steel plates attached at one end) together. Disposable shoe end effectors, lined with biocompatible adhesive, are 3-D printed to interface with the skin. The mechanism motor closes the wound, while actively measuring the space created in between the arms with a capacitive sensor to terminate the motor. Once the wound closed it is held in position by automatically-applied fasteners. / Results: Preliminary data is collected through LabVIEW, which is used as a control system, while allowing for precise movement of the end effector. This allows fine adjustment to be made during the alignment of the wound and results in a minimal (< 1mm) gap distance between each tissue edge. A capacitive sensor is employed in the arms of the mechanism, allowing a quantitative way to monitor the closure. Our design offers a consistent and efficacious approach to primary wound closure. This is the first step in developing true fully autonomous reconstructive surgical robots.

Eva Lopez, Towson
Breaking the Dormancy Period of Oplismenus undulatifolius (Wavyleaf Basketgrass)
Oplismenus undulatifolius, wavyleaf basketgrass, is an invasive species spreading rapidly in the mid-Atlantic region. This perennial grass (tribe Paniceae) has a non-deep physiological dormancy period and only germinates between April and November. Breaking the seed dormancy was vital to continue to study the species in winter and spring. A pilot seed dormancy study was conducted starting in December to compare seed germination after seeds were incubated at temperatures ranging from 4ËšC to 60ËšC for 5, 7, and 14 days. A more targeted study was conducted in the successful temperature ranges by incubating seeds in 40ËšC and 50ËšC for 1, 3, 14, 21, and 28 days. Opposite trends of seed germination were seen in the 50ËšC and 40ËšC over the days the seeds were incubated. Germination rates of seeds incubated at 40ËšC increased as incubation time increased from 14 to 28 days, while the germination rate of seeds incubated at 50ËšC decreased with increased incubation time. There was a 90% germination rate within the first two weeks of planting seeds that were incubated at 50ËšC for 14 days. This is higher than the 70% germination rate seen in previous studies where seeds were allowed to germinate naturally in the spring. The results of the dormancy study could be applied to greenhouse studies requiring germination of O. undulatifolius seed to achieve a higher germination rate in a shorter amount of time than would occur in the next growing season. An ongoing project to study hydrochory, the dispersal of O. undulatifolius seeds through freshwater, will use this dormancy break procedure to determine if debris collected from streams during winter and spring snowmelt and runoff events contain O. undulatifolius seed.

John Loughton, William & Mary
Composition and Recording of Oceanology
I have composed an 8-movement piece of music inspired by various aspects of marine biology, drawing on knowledge of marine ecosystems to inform and inspire the musical structure. The movements take the listener from the shore, through the shallows of a coral reef, to the continental shelf and open ocean, and then back again. The movement titles are as follows: Sunset, Cnidaria (the reef by night during coral spawning), Sunrise, Reef (by day, accelerated tempo, a suite of styles evoking different organisms), Dolphins (moving into the open waters), Open Ocean (dynamically most expansive, capturing the awe, grandeur, and mystery of this ecosystem), Whales (moving from the surface to the depths, a musique concrete exercise using recordings of actual whalesong), and Sea Turtles (moving back from the open ocean to the same shore as beginning, as sea turtles do). The composition processes and techniques draw on a wide range of influences, including contemporary classical, soundscape, spectralism, jazz, progressive rock, and film scoring. The four main media are acoustic instruments, electronics, field recordings, and choral voice. The final work is approximately 65 minutes in length. In addition to discussing the composition and musical structure of the album, my project also encompassed experimentation with recording techniques, mastering, copyright, and musical distribution. I also will include the associated visual art that I created to accompany this work, along with discussion of the intersections of musical and visual media and imagery.

Hannah Manzi Charleston
Background: Collegiate recovery programs (CRPs) are becoming more common across the U.S. and help support the special needs for students in recovery from substance use disorders. However, few programs have been developed in accordance with systematic research. This study presents formative research to develop an empirically grounded CRP at a liberal arts college in the Southeast. Methods: Formative research consisted of: 1) a website content analysis of existing CRPs to gather information about types of services offered and program specifications; 2) qualitative interviews with students in recovery (n=12) and experts (n=12) with backgrounds in substance use dependence and/or CRPs; and 3) Photovoice with students in recovery. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed in HyperRESEARCH using constant comparative analysis. Results: The majority (70%) of CRPs in existence have websites, and nearly all (88%) offer on-campus support group meetings. The majority of the students interviewed credited their success in recovery to support groups such as AA, but also expressed interest in having the additional support of a CRP on campus. Only a few CRPs (30%) appear to have membership requirements. However, many students and experts suggested there should be some requirements. Experts were reluctant to mandate requirements in fear of limiting access. Conclusions: This study informs researchers and practitioners about college students’ perceptions of, and experiences with, alcohol and drug use. Practitioners can use this information to develop effective campus-wide CRPs and mixed-media social marketing campaigns in order to best support college students who are recovering from substance abuse disorders.

Sarah Margulis, Drexel
Who teaches us what's right: Can virtue be taught in a classroom?
Ethics classes are commonly taught in most universities, even to non-philosophy students. However, what exactly these ethics classes teach us is a question that is seldom examined. The primary focus of ethics classes tends to be ethical theory of famous philosophers. What ethics courses tend not to teach is the purpose of ethics itself and how to live a moral life. This led me to examine whether or not it is possible for an ethics course to teach individuals how to behave virtuously. / I performed a meta-analysis of works by ancient philosophers including Meno by Plato and articles by current philosophy professors Gordon Marino and Joe Blosser. I determined that it would be possible for a course to focus on ethical development of the students. However, such a course would need to be taught non-traditionally, using the Socratic Method. The course would need to focus on personal examination of the students' pre-existing values and not on imparting new knowledge onto the students.

Sara McMillan, James Madison
Exploring the Associations among College Students Self-Reported Resilience, Coping Behaviors, Goal Orientation, and Passion for Academics
Resilience is the process of, capacity for, or outcome of successful adaptation despite challenging or threatening circumstances€ (Masten et al., p. 2, 1991). The construct of resilience developed out of the observation that some individuals remain functional during and after stress inducing events. This led to research in populations enduring extreme stress or at increased risk for stress. The current study expands existing research by investigating multiple measures of resilience in college students and examining academic factors. Specifically, this study explores the associations between resilience measured by the Brief Resilience Scale (Smith et al., 2008), the Resilience Scale for Adults (Friborg et al., 2003) and the Academic Resilience Scale (Martin & Marsh, 2006) and coping behaviors measured by the COPE inventory (Carver et al., 1989), goal orientation measured by the Goals inventory (Roedel et al., 1994) and passion for academics measured by the Passion Scale (Vallerand et al., 2003) in a sample of college students. The COPE inventory (Carver et al., 1989) assesses 14 dimensions of adaptive and maladaptive coping behaviors. The Goal Inventory (Roedel et al., 1994) contains two subscales to assess each of the achievement goal orientation styles: performance and learning goal orientations. The Passion scale (Vallerand et al., 2003) assesses the two aspects of passion: harmonious and obsessive with a focus on the academic environment. It is expected that adaptive orientations in terms of coping, academic goals and passion will be positively associated with resilience. Applications relevant for college student adjustment will be discussed.

Erin Meyer, UNCW
Iodine and temperature stimulates reproduction and basal metabolism in jellyfish polyps
The purpose of this experiment was to critically assess the role of iodide as an initiator for protein synthesis, metabolism, and strobilation (the transition from the asexual benthic polyp to the planktonic life stages). This study will expose polyps to different concentrations of iodide (using potassium iodide; KI) at different temperature conditions to critically evaluate the relationship between jellyfish blooms and climate change. Multiple species were used in comparison to find environmental tolerances, and count data was taken to find reproductive rates. Respiration rates and leucine production were used to determine growth efficiencies and metabolism within different treatments. It is hypothesized that with an increase in available iodide, in tandem with a decrease in temperature, jellyfish polyps will produce more ephyrae then at lower iodide concentrations or warmer temperatures. It is also hypothesized that there will be an increase in metabolic demand, respiration rate, and leucine synthesis in response to increasing KI concentrations and decreasing temperature. Multi-way repeated measures nested ANOVA's were used to determine statistical strength. The results show that there is an optimal KI (0.5 µM KI) and temperature (10-15°C) threshold that in tandem stimulates basal metabolism in polyps, as well as trigger asexual reproduction of the planktonic life stage. Also, it was found that higher temperature treatments propagate the cloning process to create more benthic polyps instead of creating planktonic life stages. The results of this experiment imply that polyps need to be in cold temperature for at least 28 days to begin strobilation. Potassium iodide in these cold temperatures can trigger strobilation to occur at faster rates.

Joshua Milstein, Towson
Comparing Neurophysiological Damage and Behavioral Deficits in Cuprizone-Exposed Mice
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune-mediated inflammatory demyelinating disease. Previous research has identified demyelinated lesions throughout the brain as being the prime pathological marker of the disorder. Studies evaluating the behavioral impact MS has on patients in vivo have shown impaired memory and motor function of patients with MS. Although these studies have been immensely beneficial for understanding MS pathology and its behavioral impact, animal models of MS have provided insight into the mechanisms involved in the progression of the disease. A recently developed mouse model, the cuprizone model of demyelination, has been shown to be one of the most consistent and enlightening as to the underlying causes of demyelination as well as the potential therapeutic treatments for patients with MS. Past research has focused largely on cuprizone’s biochemical effects in the corpus callosum due to its accessibility when perfusing the brain as well as its being a large area of myelinated axonal tracts. The current study used this model to assess the behavioral effects it has on mice after 6 weeks of cuprizone treatment and subsequently related these effects to potential areas in the brain outside of the corpus callosum that cuprizone may affect. To do so, the Stone T-Maze and rotarod tasks were utilized to determine any abnormalities in learning and memory or motor function, respectively, between cuprizone-treated mice and control mice. Preliminary results suggest cuprizone-exposed mice were not different from mice on the control diet in both tasks suggesting no behavioral impact of cuprizone. Histological evaluation of the brains will be conducted to assess the extent of demyelination within neural structures thought to be important for performance on the Stone T-maze and rotarod.

Abigail Mudd, Drexel
"A little medicine, a little neeb": Interactions between traditional and conventional paradigms
Definitions of illness and health change according to cultural perspectives of reality. The responsibilities and roles that medicine must play therefore change according to paradigms. While biomedical medicine, science-based or Western medicine, is very effective in treating illnesses as it understands them, it often assumes a paternalistic role over traditional medicine and its followers. Ultimately, the aim of all medicine is the overall well-being of the patient and standard of care is what ensures this. If we define standard of care as what is necessary to keep people happily healthy, and if the definition of health is culturally specific, then standard of care must be culturally specific as well. Thus, standard of care cannot be universal and still be in the spirit of the well-being of the patient.

Kevin Nelson, William & Mary
Time Projection Chamber Calibration in the LArIAT Experiment
The observation of neutrino oscillations proves that neutrinos have mass and has allowed experiments to study and measure components of the neutrino mixing matrix. A broad future experimental program seeks to expand on those measurements by testing the Standard Model and searching for charge parity violation. That program will utilize a new detector technology, the liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC), that is capable of imaging neutrino interactions with very high resolution. As part of the research and development effort we studied the performance and calibration of a LArTPC exposed to a charged particle testbeam at Fermilab in summer 2015. We have filtered the dataset to obtain a sample of events in which a single minimum ionizing particle traversed the TPC. These events were then reconstructed with hit finding and tracking algorithms. We will report on our studies of the energy scale, drift time, wire to wire calibration constants, and other detector performance metrics. The calibrations derived from the minimum ionizing tracks will be used in future analyses, including those of hadron interactions, electromagnetic shower reconstruction and electron vs. photon discrimination.

Valerie Niemann, Drexel
Electrocatalytic Activity of Sulfides
For electrochemical energy conversion at low and moderate temperatures, electrocatalysts are needed on both electrodes in an electrochemical cell. State of the art catalysts are fabricated from noble metals, such as platinum. For large scale applications, this approach is not sustainable due to the scarcity of these elements and the consequently high prices. In order to overcome this limitation, alternatives are sought, in most cases in the form of transition metals and composites thereof. In this contribution, the focus is shifted from metals to the electrocatalytic potential of sulfides on the reducing electrode. Sulfides offer a broad range of redox states for interaction with electrolytes, opening electrochemical windows for chemistries like the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) from water. Based on the experience with the electrochemical oxidation of ethanol in the presence of sulfides, compounds like nanoparticulate ZnS, and CulnS2 have been synthesized and deposited on electrodes and tested with respect to their electrocatalytic activity in the HER. First results in terms of electrochemical windows available, overvoltages, observed and products achieved will be reported and discussed on the background of efficiency and kinetics.

Maya Novak-Cogdell, Charleston
This study aims to discover and evaluate the usage of gender neutral pronouns in Spanish in reference to individuals who identify outside of the gender binary. Although it is becoming more and more common to see alternative and non-normative personal pronoun use in and out of the United States in English, there is little material available describing this practice in Spanish. This study identifies gender neutral pronouns currently in use by Spanish speakers, as well as examine their origin, connotations and felicity. In addition to drawing data from non binary communities online, the investigation is supplemented by original research that set out to answer the following research questions: Are alternative pronouns used in Spanish? How common are they? Which are most common or which have been heard by participants? How does this affect articles, adjectives and other parts of speech with grammatical gender? Is there a stigma associated with the use of these pronouns or identifying as outside of the gender binary?  I created a Qualtrics survey to gather  data on a participant's use and dialect of Spanish, familiarity with gender identity topics and their ratings of 5 alternative pronouns. Participants were asked if they had heard each pronoun used, and to evaluate the felicity on a scale of 1-10. The results show that as in English, there is no one accepted alternative. Although many participants indicated they were comfortable with nonbinary language and even self-identified with it in English, this was not the case in Spanish. Even though not all the alternatives found appeared on the survey, no others were suggested, reinforcing that their use is still uncommon.

Luc O'Brien, Towson
3D Volumes of Neighborhood Complexes
Consider a square. Notice, rotating the square by 90 degrees forms another orientation of the square called a symmetry. Rotating by multiples of 90 degrees forms other symmetries as well. Furthermore, flipping the square over forms another symmetry. Combining any of these symmetries gives even more. A group is the collection of all possible symmetries. One can see that, it only takes a relatively small number of the symmetries to generate all of the symmetries, specifically the rotation and flip. / The main research question is can we predict if the object produces an enclosed volume by exploring information about the group and generating set. Our current goal is to explore groups formed by generating sets of size three. / Going through several different interpretations of a group, including the Cayley Graph and Neighborhood Complexes, we get a 3D object that may or may not contain volume. Using tools from group theory and homological algebra, we can fully understand the case when the generating set is of size two. Our analysis of generating sets of size three begins with utilizing 3D modeling tools to broaden our understanding of these objects formed. We have found that sets with certain group theoretical properties will yield an enclosed volume. Furthermore, this analysis gives reason to suppose that these results can be extended to generating sets of size n greater than three. /

Allessandra Orrego, Drexel
The effect of exercise on the inflammatory response and the development of neuropathic pain after cervical injury
More than two-thirds of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) develop chronic, incurable neuropathic pain. It is expressed as hyperalgesia, heightened response to painful stimulus, or allodynia, painful response to innocuous stimulus. SCI causes inflammation in the spinal cord. Immune cells called microglia and macrophages are recruited to the spinal cord and activated, a process that is intimately associated with the development of SCI-induced neuropathic pain. Exercise has been shown to alleviate pain after SCI. However, whether exercise alleviates pain after SCI by reducing microglial / activation in the spinal cord is unknown. For this study, female Sprague-Dawley rats (n= 24) are randomly assigned to an SCI group or a control group. A C5 unilateral contusion is performed using the Infinite Horizons Impact Device (200 kdyne). A subset of rats are exercised from 5 days post-injury (dpi) 20 minutes/day for 4 weeks using an automated wheel walking system. After injury, pain is assessed using von Frey and operant testing. For von Frey testing, paw withdrawal thresholds are determined using calibrated monofilaments. The operant Mechanical Conflict Avoidance Paradigm (MCAP) assesses cognition of nociceptive stimuli. Rats undergo intracardiac perfusion at 33 dpi. C4-6 of the spinal cord is stained for Nissl-Myelin, and tissue sparing at the lesion epicenter are quantified using stereoInvestigator. C7-8 and L3-5 of the spinal cord are stained with Iba-1 in order to observe microglial activation and phenotype. Until now, data shows that SCI leads to microglial activation throughout the spinal cord, and exercise appears to decrease the activation. With this data, we hope to understand the effect of exercise on microglia/macrophages in the spinal cord and resultant development of pain, which may help establish exercise and drug interventions as combinatorial therapy for SCI-induced neuropathic pain.

Stephanie Perez, UNCW
Silicon requirements in Coccolithophore species with silicon transport-like proteins (SITL)
Marine phytoplankton such as coccolithophores play a critical role in the global carbon cycle as primary producers and producers of calcite from their coccoliths. Recent studies detected silicon-like transporters (SITL), similar to those found in silicifying phytoplankton, in addition to silicon within the calcite coccoliths of the coccolithophore Scyphosphaera apsteinii. However, SITL were not found in other ecologically important coccolithophore species. I hypothesized that coccolithophores with SITL, Scyphosphaera apsteinii, Calcidiscus leptoporus, and Coccolithus pelagicus, incorporate silicon into their coccoliths, whereas coccolithophores without SITL, Geophyrocapsa oceanica, and Emiliania huxleyi, do not. I tested for the presence of silicon in the coccoliths of the five species using X-ray analysis with scanning electron microscopy. Cells were harvested in mid-exponential phase to ensure that their coccoliths had normal morphology. Preliminary results show that the atomic weight percent of silicon is two to three times greater in species with SITLs than those without them. All five species have a similar Si:Ca ratio, suggesting that they may all require Si for calcite crystal formation or coccolith development. Additionally, the content of calcium and oxygen among the species are roughly proportional to one another following CaCO3 stereochemistry, but interestingly the calcium and carbon content are inversely correlated. My results suggest physiological and morphological requirements for silicon and carbon during coccolith formation in all five species with a potentially greater silicon quota in species with silicon transporters.

Philip Phan, Towson
Associations between Vasodilatory Capacity, Physical Activity, and Sleep among Younger and Older Adults
Exercise promotes cardiovascular health through its direct impact on the vascular endothelium. Conversely, poor sleep quality is associated with endothelial dysfunction, which may explain the increased cardiovascular disease amongst poor sleepers. Yet, the influence of physical activity and poor sleep quality on vascular health is not clear, Purpose: This study examined the relationships between forearm vasodilatory capacity, self-repotted sleep quality and free-living, actigraphy-derived energy expenditure In a group of young and older community dwelling adults. Methods: Venous occlusion plethysmography determined baseline and peak forearm blood flow following hyperemia. Sleep quality was measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Measures of body composition were assessed using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Results: A total of 104 (61 young; 43 old) participants completed the study. In general, younger participants were more active, as determined by steps per day and average daily energy expenditure, but reported poorer sleep quality. In the combined sample, those who reported moderate sleep disturbances (PSQI total score; 11—15) had significantly lower vasodilatory capacity (16.8+7.6 ml/100 ml/min) compared to those who reported no sleep disturbance (PSQI total score; 0—5) (22.3 7.2 ml/100 ml/min) or mild sleep disturbance (PSQI total score; 6—10) (22.3 ± 8.1 ml/ 100 ml/min) (p < 0.01). After adjustment for physical activity, total body fat and age, moderately poor sleep remained an independent predictor of forearm vasodilatory capacity. Conclusions: These findings suggest that any positive vascular benefits accrued through increased physical activity might be offset by the negative consequences of chronically disturbed sleep.

Allison Piotrowski, James Madison
Does Passion Predict Performance and Enjoyment in an Interteaching-Based Course?
The present study seeks to examine whether passion for academic activities might predict students’ enjoyment of interteaching. Participants in this study are 66 students enrolled in a psychology course at James Madison University. Participants completed the Passion Scale at the beginning of the semester to determine their levels of harmonious and obsessive passion. To assess their emotions towards a course taught by interteaching, the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ) will be administered twice- once mid-semester and once at the end of the semester. Correlation and regression analyses will be conducted to determine if there is a relation between passion levels and performance and enjoyment in an interteaching-based course. Because students who are harmoniously passionate tend to approach activities and in open and flexible manner, we predict that they will perform better in and enjoy an interteaching-based class. In contrast, because obsessively passionate people approach activities in a rigid and inflexible manner, we predict that obsessively passionate students€”especially those who have not had an interteaching class before€”will not perform as well as harmoniously passionate students. In addition, we predict that they will enjoy interteaching less.

Rachel Policke, James Madison
Elucidation and Characterization of the Ig59 Domain of Obscurin
Obscurin (800-900 kDa) is a giant muscle protein vital to muscle cell maintenance and organization. This protein is the only known linker between the contractile apparatus and the sarcoplasmic reticulum of myocytes. Its multiple binding partners include cytoskeletal structures, signaling molecules, and membrane-associated proteins. One attachment point between obscurin and the cytoskeleton occurs when obscurin Ig58/59 binds to titin ZIg9/10. This binding, which requires all four domains to be present, is hypothesized to stabilize the sarcomeric cytoskeleton. Mutations in this region of obscurin lead to malformed muscle architecture as well as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). In order to better understand the molecular underpinnings of HCM, we solved a high-resolution structure (1.18 Ã…) of the Ig59 domain of obscurin. This domain folded into a classic Ig-like structure, consisting of two beta sheets and a well-defined hydrophobic core.

Brandon Posner, William & Mary
Life as a Number: A Study of the Value of Statistical Life Year of College Students
The United States’ increase in mass shootings has hit home particularly hard on college campuses. In 2015 alone, college campuses in the United States experienced 23 shootings (Sanburn 2015). The increasing number of incidents and media coverage has kindled a demand for reform to keep students safe. However, as with any economic decision, the decision to accept or reject a policy proposal should be based on marginal costs versus marginal benefits. The difficulty in this comparison comes when giving non-monetary benefits and costs a monetary value. Policy proposals aimed at saving student lives involve placing a dollar amount on one of the most controversial examples of a non-monetary benefit: human life. To compare monetary costs with this non-monetary benefit, economists developed what is called the Value of Statistical Life (VSL). The Value of Statistical Life is defined as the “measure of the rate at which [a person] is willing to pay for small reductions in mortality risk” (Viscusi 2009, 105). For example, if an individual was willing to pay $10,000 to get rid of a risk that has a 1/200 chance of killing him or her, that individual’s VSL would be $2,000,000 or $10,000/[1/200]. By converting human lives saved into a monetary value, economists can compare the marginal cost and marginal benefit of a life-saving initiative. Stemming from the VSL is a measure called the Value of Statistical Life Year (VSLY). The VSLY is the VSL on a pery-year basis, and can be used as a substitute for VSL (Hammitt 2008, 37). In my project, I plan to answer the question: “What are college students’ VSLYs in the context of death by homicide?” The project will provide policymakers the values needed to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of any proposals that make college campuses safer.

Lauren Prosper, Drexel
Grassroots Participatory Research: Give and Go Athletics
Participatory Action Research (PAR) is built on a partnership between the researcher and stakeholders of a community organization. Both parties work together to frame research questions, collect data and interpret results. The goal is to produce research products that meet specific needs of the organization as well as the researcher. Give and Go Athletics is a grassroots non-profit located in the Brewerytown section of North Philadelphia that runs many cutting edge neighborhood sports programs, such as a camp that mainstream children with behavioral health diagnoses by providing continuous on-site therapeutic support. This project focused on their summer basketball camp. Using mixed methods (ethnography, participant observation, key informant interviewing), a series of products were developed and tested that will allow Give and Go Athletics build an evidence base for their service model. These included: 1) interview schedules and questionnaires for campers, parents, coaches, volunteers and staff; 2) a data base linking demographic information and therapeutic status of the campers with questionnaire data; and 3) a series of evaluative tools aimed at documenting both the behavioral impact and fidelity of the model. It is hoped that these products will help Give and Go demonstrate the effectiveness of their program and access additional resources. This project will discuss the participatory research partnership between Give and Go and university-based researchers with respect to the process of developing research questions, data collection instruments, data collection protocols and interpretation of findings.

Kevin Pyszka, James Madison
Stream Acid Mitigation Plan for Two Jefferson National Forest Streams
North Fork Potts Creek and North Fork Stony Creek are two Appalachian Mountain streams in the Jefferson National Forest of West Virginia and Virginia. Both streams flow from the same mountain on opposite sides of the ridge. Both have acceptable cold water and thermal habitat for brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) but originate within watershed geology of little natural carbonate bearing minerals. The combination of the near absence of natural buffer and acid precipitation have created conditions of relatively low pH (pH < 5) and other water quality values which result in poor trout biomass and recruitment. In the present study water chemistry has been evaluated for the purpose of designing a mitigation strategy by the single point, single application method of introducing base material (“liming”) near the headwaters. Physical size, watershed geology and discharge values have been evaluated for the two streams. Water samples have been collected and analyzed for pH, acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), base cations (Ca+2, Mg+2, K+, and Na+), strong acid anions (Cl-, SO4-2, and NO3-), and aluminum. These physical and chemical parameters have been used along with results of previous liming studies to propose a single point, single application of 50 and 100 tonnes, respectively, for a 4 to 5 year treatment. Research done with help by the NSF-REU Grant CHE-1461175, United States Forest Service- George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Dawn Kirk, USFS fisheries biologist.

Nicole Razor, Elon
Influences of Psychological Factors on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Research has shown that an athlete's perception of pain has an impact on cognitive appraisals of injury, emotional and behavioral responses to the injury, and return to sport. According to the Fear Avoidance Model, when pain is misinterpreted as catastrophic, the athlete becomes fearful of pain, thus exhibiting avoidance behaviors due to kinesiophobia or fear of re-injury/movement (Leeuw, 2006). PURPOSE: To determine if psychological factors can predict an athlete's€™s perception of pain, following a muscle induced injury model. METHODS: 35 (24 males) Division I collegiate student-athletes underwent a high intensity conditioning session, following a week of inactivity of their respected sport, in order to induce muscle soreness. Prior to completing the exercise protocol, participants completed the Fear of Pain Questionnaire (FPQ –III), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), Athlete Fear Avoidance Questionnaire (AFAQ), Tampa Scale Kinesiophobia (TSK), and State Trait Anxiety Inventory Scale (STAI). Immediately following the protocol, participants completed the Pain Rating Numeric Scale. 24 and 48 hours post, participants were given the PCS, TSK, Pain Rating Numeric Scale, Brief Pain Inventory, and Quick Dash. RESULTS: Athletes who reported a high sense of fear avoidance were likely to identify their pain as catastrophic (r=.49; p<.05) and a lack of ability to perform his/her sport (r=.35; p<.05) 24 hours post. Fear avoidant beliefs also had a positive effect on how they rated their pain(r=.49; p<.05), identified their pain(r=.54; p<.05), their level of fear of re-injury(r= .35; p<.05), and their ability to perform their sport (r=.41: p<.05) 48 hours post. Similar to fear avoidant beliefs, trait anxiety prior to the conditioning, had a positive effect on how an athlete identified his/her pain(r= .48; p<.05), and their capability to perform their sport(r=.43; p<.05) 24 hours post. At 48h post, trait anxiety also had an impact on how the athlete identified his/her pain (r=.47; p<.05) and level of fear of re-injury (r=.42; p<.05). CONCLUSION: Results suggest that an athlete’s fear avoidance beliefs and trait anxiety before injury may influence reports of their pain intensity and disability. Thus the following results provide support for the use of psychological constructs in predicting outcomes from muscle soreness.

Davis Richardson, William & Mary
Gay Men's Language in Italy: In-Group Perceptions and Attitudes
To date, virtually all extant sociolinguistic literature concerning LGBT linguistics has been limited to the Anglophone world and, consequently, varieties of English. Given the author's extensive experience in Italy, the current study developed with the goal of ascertaining the perceptions of linguistic features found in gay Italian men's speech as well as the language attitudes of that community. A folk dialectological methodology was employed, with interviews being conducted in Milan, Italy with six self-identified gay Italian men. The results of a qualitative analysis of the interview data show that there are conflicting perceptions of what constitutes this social variety, but in general the following points were agreed upon: Gay Men's Italian exists as a distinct, recognizable language variety; feminization of lexical items is highly visible and common; speakers are considered effeminate with higher pitched voices; and common slang terms include historically pejorative words. Half of the participants were found to hold strongly negative attitudes toward GMI, while the other half tended to vacillate between positive, indifferent, and negative attitudes.

Brittany Schreiber, Hofstra
Trust in Social Media
People all over the world use social media, which are continuously transforming the way people communicate. Social media started with blogging sites like MySpace and has now expanded to a whole new range of categories. Nearly a quarter of the world population engages in social media daily, and this use is expected to increase. Therefore, social media have also caught the eye of marketers and companies. Marketers know social media are important because they realize these platforms contain large audiences they can reach and market to. Unfortunately, many marketers and businesses are unsuccessful in reaching their audiences on social media platforms. One explanation for this is that companies may be detached in their attempts to connect with their audience, whereas a personal connection allows for growing loyal relationships. People want to form connections through social media and are more likely to remain loyal where they feel welcome. Businesses that take advantage of this will be more successful. Building trust is key in forming sustainable relationships. As a result, this thesis attempts to answer questions such as, “What affects trust in social media? Does excessive discussion of products in endorsed celebrity and sponsored company posts impact trust?” It was hypothesized that following cost, interesting content, relevance, responsiveness, benevolence, transparent appearance, integrity and propensity impact trust positively while perceived risk, opportunistic behavior and uncertainty impacts trust negatively. It was also hypothesized that the higher the degree of product discussion, the lower the amount of trust in paid company and celebrity posts. A survey was conducted to test the hypothesis and the results revealed that there were significant differences between different age groups and between different genders regarding perceived risk and propensity. The results also revealed that excessive discussion of products, good content, relevance, benevolence, transparent appearance, integrity and opportunistic behavior impacts trust. More research needs to be done to see if responsiveness and uncertainty affects trust.

Lauren Shaver, Elon
Effects of drinking vs rinsing with water on physiological and affective response during a 15-km running session PUROSE: This study examined the effects of consuming water versus mouth rinsing with water during a running time trial. METHODS: Recreationally active female runners (n = 23; 26 ± 6 y; 22 ± 3 % body fat) completed two, 15-km time trials on an outdoor course (~20ºC; 87% RH) separated by at least one week in a randomized cross-over study design. Participants consumed 355 ml of water (CW) during their run or mouth rinsed (MR) with water every 3 km for 5 s. Completion time, HR, RPE, ratings of perceived thirst (PT), pre-run urine specific gravity (USG), and sweat loss were measured. In addition, ratings on the feeling scale (FS) and felt arousal scale (FAS) were recorded. RESULTS: There was no significant difference observed between treatments for pre-run USG (p = 0.63). CW or MR did not affect time (79.8 ± 7.0 min and 79.6 ± 7.1 min, p = 0.77), HR (p = 0.44), or RPE (p = 0.97), respectively. Sweat losses were greater (p < 0.01) for CW (1.5 ± 0.3 L) compared to MR (1.2 ± 0.3 L) and PT was greater (p = 0.03) for MR (7 ± 1) compared to CW (6 ± 2). A significant effect was exhibited for time (p < 0.01) but not conditions (p = 0.85) for FS and FAS. CONCLUSION: MR versus CW does not impair performance or alter affect during runs of >1 h for female runners who begin exercise euhydrated. This strategy may reduce gastrointestinal distress for runners who do not like drinking during runs and allow for a reduction in volume of water carried.

Emileigh Shoemaker, Towson
A Baysian Method for Finding Galaxies that Cause Quasar Absorption Lines
We present a study of candidate absorber-galaxy pairs for 39 low redshift quasar sightlines (0.06 < z < 0.85) using a statistical approach to match absorbers with galaxies near the quasar lines of sight. Of the 75 quasars observed with HST/Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) and archived on the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), 39 overlap with the footprint of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We downloaded the COS linelists for these quasar spectra from MAST and queried the SDSS DR 12 database for photometric data on all galaxies within I Mpc of each of these quasar lines Of sight. We calculated photometric redshifts for all the SDSS galaxies using the Bayesian Photometric Redshift code. We used all these absorber and galaxy data as input into an absorber-galaxy matching code, which also employs a Bayesian scheme, along with known statistics of the intergalactic medium and circumgalactic media of galaxies, for finding the most probable galaxy match for each absorber. We compare our candidate absorber-galaxy matches to existing studies in the literature and explore trends in the absorber and galaxy properties among the matched and non-matched populations. This method of matching absorbers and galaxies can be used 10 find targets for follow up spectroscopic studies.

Evan Skloot, Elon
Comparing the Efficacy of Leadership Development Programs to Other Experiential Collegiate Activities
Experiential education has become an integral part of many higher education institutions as a means to help students prepare for and thrive in the complex environments facing them (Cantor, 1997). As such, this influx of intentional experiential education warrants an investigation into the effectiveness and impact of these programs. Leadership development programs are among the most popular forms of such experiential programs, with over 1500 institutions currently registered with the International Leadership Association (Owen, 2012). This study explored the impact that formal undergraduate leadership development programming has on students’ resilience and leadership efficacy; in addition, it examined the impact of other experiential programs on these same outcomes. Using a survey methodology, data from the 2012 Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL) was examined for 2,028 participants from a mid-sized university. Correlations analyses found that, while participation in leadership programming was a statistically significant predictor of leadership efficacy and resilience, engaging in other non-leadership collegiate experiences were equally good predictors. These results suggest that universities’ experiential education programming does indeed yield, among other benefits, increases in students’ resilience and leadership self-efficacy. Implications of these results are discussed, as are suggestions as to how administrators and faculty can leverage them to enhance student experiences and desired outcomes.

Sierra Small, Charleston
The objective of this study was to calculate and analyze the community sex ratio and other demographic variables for counties in six Southeastern states (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee) for patterns and associations between demographics and the rate of HIV and STDs. The demographic variables analyzed were: race and age-specific community sex ratios, poverty level, educational attainment, and race distribution. Demographic data were derived from the American Community Survey and disease data were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From the statistical analysis it was found that STDs are highly correlated with one another indicating that the prevalence of any one STD is associated with the prevalence of all others. Poverty (α < .01), race distribution (α < .01), and low educational attainment (i.e. high school diploma, GED, or below) (α < .01) are significantly associated with the acquisition of HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. The community sex ratio was not significantly correlated with the acquisition of HIV and STDs. In conclusion, education and poverty may play an integral role in HIV and STD acquisition, and more research should be conducted to explore the influence of these demographics.

David Smith, Towson
The Design of a Repository Backed Automated Presumptive Drug Test Evaluation Platform
Presumptive drug tests (colorimetric tests) help identify specific drug material using a color reagent kit through a rapid color change. Unfortunately, these tests are prone to false positives when trying to identify a drug from a powder mixture. Furthermore, individuals responsible for the manual identification and interpretation of the color matching can potentially generate inefficient and inaccurate results (higher identification time; inaccurate and/or inconsequential interpretation). To this effect, the proposed research strives to reduce the human error involved in the colorimetric test interpretation through the design of a platform-independent drug evaluation web portal that, along with an iOS client application capable of interfacing with the platform, and a comprehensive database repository, aids in efficient on-site and off-site drug testing. The iOS platform is ideal due to its dominant presence within police/forensic departments as well as its support for security and privacy. To enhance usability and user efficiency, the iOS application is designed with a user-friendly interface that aligns closely with modern mobile application design. The architecture supports a multi-test case analysis rather than a direct interpretation to eliminate the possibility of false positives and gauge an accurate identification through multi-reagent evaluation. The iOS application is written in Swift 2.1, as opposed to Objective-C, due to its better memory management, faster performance speeds, and robust application security. Investigators will have the ability to create a new case, add additional tests to an existing case, or view previously completed cases. When creating a new case, the application will read the color of the test, search and match the color with the designed digital database repository, and report accuracy metrics for further off-site evaluation. The proposed comprehensive database repository, platform independent web portal and the iOS client application with greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of presumptive drug tests for crime scene investigators. This project is an on-going joint collaborative effort by students and faculty members from the Department of Computer and Information Sciences (Dr. Subrata Acharya), the Department of Chemistry (Dr. Kelly Elkins), the Maryland State Police Department and the Baltimore County Police Department.

Nicole Speth, Hofstra
Female Homoeroticism in the Roman Empire: How Many Licks Does it Take to get to the Disruption of a Phallocentric Model of Sexuality?
The Roman model of sexuality was based exclusively on penetrative activity (masculinity) versus penetrated passivity (femininity), with stigmatization coming from the defiance of one's gender roles rather than the gender of the sex partner. A man could penetrate another man without stigma, because he was performing a sex-role appropriate to his gender, whereas a penetrated man was highly stigmatized not for having sex with a man, but for performing the role of a woman. My thesis examines how female-female sex fits into this model, both in the Roman mindset and the current scholarly mindset. The current academic discourse assumes that Romans tried to fit female homoerotic relationships into this phallocentric model, whereas I argue in my thesis that there are intentional deviations from this model in Greco-Roman depictions of female homoeroticism during the Roman Empire. I specifically cite the Greco-Roman uses of language of reciprocity and sexual equality in these relationships, the shame expressed by passive female partners (which should not have existed in the Roman model, since they were performing the correct gender role), and the confusion shown in texts as to whether or not the practice of female-female oral sex was an active or passive one.

Jordan Stanley, Elon
Disordered Eating Discovered: Using Creative Nonfiction to Unravel a Familiar Past
Although eating disorders are a prevalent and growing issue in our country, there is still a form of disordered eating that remains underrepresented: Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED). Named by the DSM-IV (Diagnostic Statistical Manual, Volume 4), a person can experience OSFED without meeting full physical standards of typical anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, which can include anorexic habits while maintaining an acceptable BMI, or existent – but less frequent – binging and purging. ALL Eating disorders exist on a spectrum of physical versus mental manifestation, and although OSFED is still mentally unhealthy, the lesser physical indicators can cause it to go unnoticed and, therefore, untreated. This frequently neglected acknowledgment of the disorder make it difficult to pinpoint the cause and enact further preventative measures. My project, a collection of personal essays, strives to make readers aware of the mental health issues that surround OSFED by examining the relationships between unhealthy mindsets and eating behaviors. By studying OSFED and writing about seemingly separate moments of my development, I was able to draw clearer relationships between different aspects of my life – such as familial relationships and how I perceive food and the body, most of which I was unable to see previously. Eating disorder specialists are studying OSFED, but it was my goal to use the art of storytelling to synthesize the connections between one’s story, one’s identity, and how being able to articulate the origin of a past issue will affect a more permanent resolution for the present and future. Literary nonfiction lends itself to this process allowing us to look not strictly from the perspective of a specific discipline, but from a human interpretation that takes into account that life is complicated by multi-faceted motives and stories.

Anisha Sunkerneni, Drexel
Epigenetic Control of Tip60 Cognition Linked Gene Targets in a Drosophila Alzheimer's Disease
Model Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's Disease (AD), are often associated with defects in gene expression profiles linked to cognition. Epigenetics is a growing field which focuses on understanding heritable patterns of gene expression which are not directly associated with alterations in the primary sequence of DNA. Particularly for proper cognitive function, epigenetic machinery is essential. One such epigenetic modifier which can cause changes to the human genome is a histone acetyltransferase (HAT). HATs are responsible for acetylating lysine amino acids located on histone proteins and subsequently transferring an acetyl group from acetyl CoA to create ε¬N-acetyl¬lysine. This process leads to transcriptional activation of the acetylated genes. Tat interactive protein 60 kDa (Tip60) is a specific HAT which has been linked to various neurodegenerative conditions, including AD. Tip60 has been implicated in AD via its interaction with AD-¬linked amyloid precursor protein intracellular domain (AICD). Previous research from our lab demonstrates a critical role of Tip60 in numerous neuronal functions including synaptic plasticity, axonal transport, locomotion, memory and learning. Furthermore, our lab demonstrated that excess Tip60 partially rescued defects in these neuronal processes. However, the underlying mechanism of how Tip60 beneficially regulates these pathways under neurodegenerative conditions remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the impact excess Tip60 had on the expression of cognition linked gene targets under APP neurodegenerative conditions. Here, we used qPCR to test and measure changes in gene expression to discern the degree to which excess Tip60 made an impact. Results from this study will lay the foundation for better understanding the mechanism by which Tip60 plays a favorable role under neurodegenerative conditions.

Lily Takahashi, James Madison
Low-level Factors that Impact Human Attention Capture during the First Year of Life
Previous studies show that by the end of the first year, infants demonstrate an own-species bias for human faces; this means that infant process human faces more efficiently than faces of other species. For example, previous studies show that younger infants, compared to older infants, are better at discriminating faces of all species, whereas older infants are efficient at discriminating only faces with which they have had experience (i.e., human faces). The present study attempts to explore whether young infants (3- and 5-month-olds) demonstrate superior face attention capture, similar to what we found with 6- and 11-month-old infants in a previous study. Additional, we aim to uncover the factors that influence superior face attention capture of human faces during the first year of life. This study focuses on the specific features that we know influence processing, such as color and orientation. Using a visual search task, infants will be presented with a face (human or animal) among household objects; the images will appear in color, grayscale, or inverted. Infants' eye movements will be recorded using a Tobii eye-tracker. We will measure infants€™ ability to detect the faces, reaction time to find faces, duration of looking to faces to answer our questions about what aspects of human faces drive superior face attention capture of human faces. This line of research has the potential to help identify infants who may be at risk for autism spectrum disorders.

Sarah Talamantez-Lyburn, Towson
Synthesis and Characterization of Cobalt Nanostructures for Electro-Catalytic Applications
The synthesis of cobalt nanoparticles is becoming a rapidly researched material in the fuel cell industry. Cobalt has similar characteristics to the normal candidate of platinum as the catalyst in fuel cells, but is a cheaper alternative. In this project we are working towards devising a reliable method of synthesizing cobalt nanoparticles of size 2-50 nm in diameter. These cobalt nanoparticles are not commercially available and they are cumbersome to synthesize as they rapidly oxidize. We are interested in using a modified Brust-Schiffrin method. Through UV-Vis spectrum, XPS, TEM and IR we will be able to characterize its structural properties. Oxygen generation reaction will be studied using electrochemistry. In this project cobalt nanostructures are being made with the dual purpose of using them as ferro-fluids for targeted drug delivery using a magnetic field and for electrochemical catalysis. The data obtained from our synthesis strategies will be presented.

Michelle Torelli, Drexel
Hybridization of Transition Metal Carbides (MXene) and Oxdes for High Performance Li-lon Storage
Two-dimensional (2D) materials, such as graphene, are attractive candidates for energy storage devices due to their large areas of electrochemically-active surfaces. Recently, MXenes, a new family of 2D carbides discovered at Drexel University in 2011, have shown promise for electrodes in Lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors. The goal of this study was to determine if a combination of MXenes, which have high metallic conductivity but moderate capacity, and transition metal oxides (TMOs) with high lithium storage capacity but poor conductivity may result in improved performance. / Three different methods, including alternating filtration, spray coating, and in-situ growth, were employed to achieve the hybridization of Ti3C2 MXenes and TMOs. Flexible and free-standing Ti3C2/TMO papers were obtained. In these composites, the 1-nm thin flakes of Ti3C2-MXene provide superior conductivity, ensure mechanical integrity and flexibility, as well as some Li-ion storage capacity; the TMOs (e.g. Co3O4, NiCo2O4) nanosheets/nanorods serve as spacers between MXene flakes to improve the accessibility of electrolyte ions and provide additional capacity. The synergetic effect of the two materials leads to much improved performance compared to pure Ti3C2 or TMOs. The Ti3C2/TMO paper electrodes containing alternation layers of carbide and oxide achieved high reversible capacities of 1200-1400 mAh/g at 0.1C (10-hrs discharge), 4 times higher than commercial graphite anodes. These paper electrodes also exhibited excellent rate performance and superior cycling stability. A highly stable capacity around 500 mAh/g was retained for &gt;1000 cycles at 1C rate (1-hr charge/discharge), with no obvious decay. This work provides a simple, scalable, and effective strategy for the fabrication of advanced electrode materials that can be used in wearable or structural electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems. 

Jane Tong, Drexel
Cytoplasmic sequestration and autophagic degradation of HER2 by small molecule Sigma1 modulators
HER2/Neu (HER2) is a receptor tyrosine kinase amplified in about 25% of breast cancers. HER2 amplification drives cancer cell growth and proliferation, and is associated with especially aggressive disease. Although HER2-targeted therapies are initially effective, most patients relapse, implying resistance to existing therapies. As an integral membrane protein, HER2 is synthesized in and transported through the secretory pathway, comprised of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi, and associated compartments and vesicles. Nascent HER2 is stabilized and chaperoned, in part, by heat shock protein 90 family members. Our lab demonstrated that a unique protein called Sigma1 (also known as sigma1 receptor) contributes to protein homeostasis in the secretory pathway. We found that certain Sigma1 selective small molecule compounds can modulate Sigma1 mediated protein homeostasis, inducing ubiquitin proteasome system mediated degradation, the unfolded protein response, and autophagy. / Therefore we hypothesized that pharmacological modulation of Sigma1 could disrupt transport and stability of HER2 in HER2-amplified breast cancer cell lines. To address this hypothesis, we used immunoblot and confocal microscopy techniques. We discovered that treatment with a prototypic Sigma1 modulator suppressed HER2 signaling and eventually eliminated HER2, in a HER2-amplified breast cancer cell line. These correspond with a two-step process comprising sequestration of nascent HER2 into ubiquitin-enriched autophagosomes and subsequent degradation. Furthermore, we found similar effects in a HER2-targeted therapy resistant breast cancer cell line. We have discovered a novel mechanism to suppress HER2, and provided further evidence in support of Sigma1 as a novel therapeutic target in treatment of breast cancer.

Will Vesely, Charleston
Urbanization Impact on the Nature of Dissolved Organic Carbon
The carbon cycle has been put into stress due to climate change and land-use changes from agriculture, urbanization, and watershed modification. This study spotlighted dissolved organic carbon (DOC) by measuring concentrations in surface water and shallow groundwater in watersheds of coastal South Carolina estuaries. DOC is an indicator for the ecological health of a water system and is known to increase disinfection by-product formation potential during water treatment. We investigated the relationship between DOC concentration, DOC chemical structure, water salinity, and land use character of the watershed to understand how DOC may differ depending on those characteristics. / Water sampling from tidal creeks, rivers, and shallow groundwater was conducted during 2015. Sampled areas include the Francis Marion National Forest freshwater, the Filbin Creek watershed (a freshwater urban stream system in North Charleston, SC), and the Ashley River (a brackish to saltwater estuary river). Filtered and acidified water samples were analyzed for DOC concentration using a total organic carbon (TOC) analyzer. Aromaticity, which is an estimate of the proportion of DOC derived from humic substances, was determined by quantifying samples on a UV-Visible Spectrophotometer followed by normalizing absorbance to determine specific absorbance (SUVA method). / Preliminary results indicate that (i) salinity is showing to be inversely correlated with DOC values, (ii) higher DOC values are found in freshwater urban rather than forested systems, (iii) DOC in forested systems had significantly higher percent aromaticity, and (iv) salinity thus far does not appear to be a factor on aromaticity values. The main contributions thus far are the baseline data on DOC in different watersheds from the early spring to late fall. The final product of the research will be a GIS map to help visualize the DOC-surface water dynamics in coastal waters around the Charleston and ACE Basin estuaries.

Cynthia Weidman, Towson
Magnesium and Beneficial Microbes May Reduce Chronic Disease and Associated Health Care Costs
Both health care costs and the prevalence of chronic disease have risen dramatically and in parallel in recent decades. Why? The dramatic and parallel increases in the average American’s simple sugar intake and in abdominal obesity from 1979 to 2009 offer a clue, especially given the concurrent increases in the incidences of type II diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, stroke, and high cholesterol, the components of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of diseases with an overlapping pathophysiology of inflammation, blood clotting, insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and blood vessel dysfunction. Not surprisingly, these diseases also overlap in the evidence-based lifestyle choices associated with increased incidences of these diseases. An increased intake of simple carbohydrates is the same as a decreased intake in nutrients because food processing leaches out nutrients. A diet high in simple carbohydrates correlates with the increased inflammation, hyperglycemia, and hepatic cholesterol production of metabolic syndrome. Magnesium and beneficial microbes are powerful and yet under-utilized examples of nutrients found in whole foods. Increasing the intake of the whole food nutrient magnesium has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Increased intake of probiotic microbes has been associated with weight loss. www.choosemyplate.gov makes it easy to figure out how to balance whole foods with carbohydrates. The increase in American health care costs is mostly due to the hospital stays, diagnostics, medications, and medical services related to an increase in chronic disease patients. A future study needs to determine whether providing patients with evidence-based dietary education and ongoing support to replace simple carbohydrates.

Danielle Cox Air Raid Wardens: Bridging the Gap between American Civilians and the War As a majority of the conflict in the Second World War took place in Europe and the Pacific, and even bleeding over into Africa, for most Americans on the home front the war existed almost completely in newspapers and photos, newsreels and radios, and for many letters home from loved ones overseas. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, but by the end of the War the continental United States was virtually untouched, at least when compared to the heavy raids experienced abroad. However, the constant threat of attack always loomed over the United States during those years, heightened by reports from Europe ravaged by bombs, and especially London ripped apart by the Blitz. This fear was reinforced by government officials and military leaders flooding the home front with propaganda and publications outlining contingency plans in case of attack. For civilians, Air Raid Wardens provided a tangible home front to the war by making even more real the threat of enemy invasion on American shores. / In terms of secondary sources, articles focusing on Air Raid Wardens in the United States are virtually nonexistent, and those on more general American civil defense are extremely sparse, requiring an expansion into British defense and a particular focus on primary sources such as government publications. American Air Raid Wardens fill a strange middle ground in World War II history, as decidedly everyman civilians on the home front, yet serving in a volunteer quasi-military capacity complete with uniforms, training, and a chain of command. Not soldiers and not quite pure civilians either, these individuals looked toward their counterparts in London and elsewhere in Europe and saw what harrowing duties they would have to perform should an air raid come. These figures were not merely a harbinger of doom, however, but perhaps more so a symbol of readiness for danger, boosting morale in the face of what turned out to be an all but imaginary danger. /