RESEARCH AND EXHIBITION DAY

FM Research & Exhibition Day is a day dedicated to celebrating student projects that have been conducted throughout the school year. At FM Research & Exhibition Day, graduate and undergraduate students get the opportunity to share the work that they have completed with the FMU faculty, staff and students. Participation in FM Research & Exhibition Day is open to all students from all disciplines.

All forms of presentation are welcome and encouraged. Additionally, projects of all stages (from concept to completion) are accepted.

Congratulations to Brittany Adkins, Matthew Blackwell, Mauria Frederick, Dequane Gurley, and Thessalonia Thomas, winners of the 2017 logo design contest.

2018 Research and Exhibition Day Logo Contest

October 16, 2017 - January 17, 2018

Logo Contest Guidelines:

  1. Open to all current FMU students (regardless of year or major)
  2. Logo should represent the multidisciplinary spirit of the event
  3. Logo should be professional in content (and free from vulgar imagery or innuendo)
  4. Submissions will be voted on by the RED Faculty Planning Committee
  5. Winner of the contest will receive a $50 PRIZE
  6. Submissions become the property of Francis Marion University
  7. The submission deadline is JANUARY 17, 2018

Submit all logos to Dr. Malakauskas (DMalakauskas@fmarion.edu)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 • Lee Nursing Building • 10:00am – 3:30pm

Student Presentations:

Beyond Taxidermy

Student Presenter: Kyle Stewart
Major: Biology
Co-authors: Ashley MacNeil, Anthony Lowry, and Samuel McCrea
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Norma Salcedo
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
The importance of specimen collections cover a wide range of topics from conservation, systematics, preservation, ecology, and many more. When prepared properly, collections can last for hundreds of years, providing valuable information throughout the life of the specimens. Collections have been central in the elimination of harmful chemicals like DDT, and regulation of mercury in the environment after major ecological problems were confirmed using data from specimens in scientific collection. We have been working to build a collection of bird specimens at Francis Marion University for the reasons stated above. The bird specimens we prepare are obtained locally and represent the biodiversity of our state. With the progress that we have made, we hope to foster and inspire a conservation based mindset in our community and beyond.

Investigation of an implicit racial bias intervention in a majority African-American group

Student Presenter: Coen Hasenkamp
Major: Biology
Co-author: Chaniqua Mazyck
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shayna Wrighten
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
Implicit bias can be considered as the attitudes or beliefs of an individual that affect understanding, actions, and decisions towards other individuals in a subconscious way. Implicit bias can be based on descriptors like age, weight, and race, which was the subject of this study. Research shows that there are real world implications that reflect that strength and preference of an individual’s implicit racial bias. Research has also demonstrated that it is possible to reduce an individual’s implicit racial bias if they are willing and have access to an appropriate intervention. This experiment adapted one such intervention, which had successfully reduced implicit racial bias in a Caucasian majority group. Participants in our experiment completed several measures of explicit and implicit racial bias at the beginning and the end of the experiment to determine if the adapted intervention reduced implicit racial bias in a majority African-American group. All participants attended a presentation that described what implicit racial bias is, how it is measured, and how it influences everyday interactions. Participants that were assigned to the intervention group were then provided with five intervention techniques directly from the majority Caucasian study. The techniques utilized were stereotype replacement, counter-stereotypic imaging, individuation, perspective taking, and increasing opportunities for contact. The participants in our study, on average, showed less implicit bias against African Americans than the majority Caucasian study. Due to variance in which race an individual biased, intervention participants were instructed to apply the techniques in such a way that would reduce their specific bias. Over a series of three meetings, intervention participants met in two groups to share their experiences in utilizing the techniques. The statistical significance of the observed reduction in implicit racial bias was not supported; this lack of statistical significance was likely due to the small sample size of the study. Treatment participants did discuss individual success in using the techniques during the group meetings.

Preparation of bird skins as study specimens

Student Presenter: Trevor Carter
Major: Biology
Co-author: Geraldine Cuypers
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Norma Salcedo
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
The preparation of bird study skins for museum collections differs greatly from traditional taxidermy methods. While taxidermy mounts are created using chemicals to prevent their decay, and according to individual aesthetic preference, study skins are intended to show attributes that become the subject of research. Collection of salvaged specimens for scientific use is heavily regulated, requiring government permits. Skins can be used for a variety of genetic and morphological tests when preserved according to accepted standards. Field data from specimen collection must include county in which it was collected, specific locality, collector, and collection date (dd/mm/yyyy). During preparation, data collection includes frozen weight (if fresh weight was not recorded), wing cord, tarsus length, bill length, fat content, molt, skull ossification, sex, and stomach content. There are two accepted preparation methods for bird specimens according to the position of the initial incision. After the first cut, methods converge to the general removal of all soft tissue and most of the bones.
Specimens are then washed, stuffed with cotton on a wooden dowel, and dried. Once specimen preparation is completed, proper storage in sealed cabinets serves to preserve the specimens from insects. In these cabinets, study skins will remain viable for 300-500 years based on historic samples.

Effectiveness of Participation in the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving Program on Conduct Problems in Students

Student Presenter: Erica Marie Williams
Major: School Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Crystal Hill-Chapman
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
The Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving (SDM/SPS) program is an evidence-based social-emotional curriculum. This program aims to address and develop skills necessary for students to be successful in the academic environment and in life. The SDM/SPS program provide curriculums for grades K-8 that focus on teaching self-control and social awareness. The curriculum not only introduces skills, but it ensures the skills are relevant to students’ environment and allow multiple opportunities for practice and feedback (Elias, Butler, Bruno, Papke, & Shapiro, 2005). According to CASEL, previous research provided evidence of effectiveness highlighting improvements in academic performance, increased positive social behavior, reduced emotional distress, reduced conduct problems, and improved academic behaviors (CASEL,2016). This study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of participation in the SDM/SPS program on conduct problems in students.

The Effects of the PATHS Curriculum on Affective Reasoning

Student Presenter: Anna Colleen Rawl
Major: Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Crystal Hill-Chapman
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the PATHS curriculum on Affective reasoning. The participants were preschool age children ranging from the ages of 3 to 5 years who attend the Gail and Terry Richardson Center for the Child day care facility. A pretest/posttest was used to assess the children’s affective reasoning skills at the beginning of the year and 3 months in. The PATHS curriculum involves weekly lessons on different emotions that take place two days a week and involve dialogue, stories, and activities. Affective reasoning is important in order for individuals to be able to navigate social situations. A lack of affective reasoning skills has been shown to occur in individuals that have been given an autism or ADHD diagnosis (Visser, Rommelse, Greven, & Buitelaar, 2016). This study is relevant to further research findings on how to improve affective reasoning in children.

Costume Design Concept for “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen

Student Presenter: Sheri Carter
Major: Theater
Faculty Mentor: Allison Steadman
Project Discipline: Theater

Abstract
After analyzing A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen and mining it for clues and suggestions, I researched late 19th century men’s and women’s fashions for a variety of social classes, Victorian society and the role of women, Capri, Italy, the Tarantella, Boxing Day and psychological color associations. I distilled that information along with my analysis of the script to create a costume design concept for a production of the play to be set in late 19th century Norway utilizing the traditional Victorian color palette available at the time while incorporating accepted psychological color associations which may be attributed to individual characters’ motives, goals or intentions as the characters progress through the play.

The Effects of the PATHS Curriculum on Theory of Mind

Student Presenter: Joanna Savana
Major: Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Crystal Hill-Chapman
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the PATHS curriculum on theory of mind. The participants were preschool age children, between ages 4 and 5, who attend a day care facility. A pretest/posttest design was used to determine the children’s ability to use theory of mind at the beginning of the year and after 3 months with the curriculum in place. The PATHS curriculum has been implemented twice weekly including lessons, stories, and activities on emotions for the children to complete. Crucial to a child’s socioemotional development, the concept of theory of mind allows a child to be able to consider a situation or topic from another’s perspective (Serra, Loth, van Geert, Hurkens, & Minderaa, 2002). Deficits in theory of mind is a common occurrence in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The current study is relevant to extending prior research into early screening and interventions of children to determine an autism diagnosis.

The Y.O.L.O. Complex: The Benefit of Control and Its Effects on Risk-Taking and Help-Seeking Among African Americans

Student Presenter: Chaniqua D. Mazyck
Major: Clinical/Counseling Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Erica L. James
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
There is a limited amount of research that focuses on the specific issues of African Americans or people of African descent especially as it pertains to mental/physical health. Research studies show that African Americans often do not seek help from healthcare professionals. This lack of help-seeking behaviors has been partially attributed to the history of African Americans being exploited by the healthcare system. Given these facts, it is important to have research that focuses on identifying barriers to help-seeking and providing information that might improve health disparities amongst this population. The purpose of the study is to see if risk-taking among African Americans, or those who identify of African descent, has an effect on their help-seeking in regards to physical and mental health while examining locus of control.

Number of Discipline Referrals as an Indicator of Academic Performance Based on Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Scores in Reading

Student Presenter: Ashley Lowe
Major: School Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Crystal Hill-Chapman
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to look in the relationship, if any, between Reading Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores and number of discipline referrals at the end of the school year. This study used data from the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school year for all the students at an elementary school (3rd-5th). The students had to have Spring MAP scores from both school years in order to be included in the study. The results indicated that number of discipline referrals is not a reliable indicator for academic progress based on MAP scores. This was shown through a correlational computation.

Autism Rates of a South Eastern School District as Compared to National Autism rates

Student Presenter: Faith Derrah
Major: School Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Crystal Hill-Chapman
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare Autism rates in a South Eastern school district to national Autism rates according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The researcher examined a sample of 2,0395 elementary school students (grades 3K to grade 5) to gather the following information: 1. The number of students from the sample who have a diagnosis of Autism; 2. Gender ratios of the students with an Autism diagnosis. Mann-Whitney U tests were run to determine if there were differences in the rates of Autism and gender diagnosis ratios between the elementary- age student sample and CDC rates. Results indicate statistically significant differences in female and male diagnosis rates, but no differences were noted in overall diagnosis rates between the South Eastern school district and CDC rates.

Effect of The Latino Family Literacy Project on elementary students with family involvement

Student Presenter: Michele Letter
Major: School Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Crystal Hill-Chapman
Project Discipline: School Psychology

Abstract
The purpose of this research is to examine the effects of The Latino Family Literacy Program on students with family involvement. This will be a pre/post study. The dependent variable will be MAP and Fountas & Pinnell reading scores/levels. Fall scores for all students with involvement in the literacy program and the control group will be provided as a pre-program measure. Winter and Spring scores will be provided as a post-program measures. The independent variable will be family participation in The Latino Family Literacy Program. Names of all students with family participation in the The Latino Family Literacy Project will be provided to the primary investigator via the literacy program’s coordinator. The primary investigator will gather descriptive statistics for each student (i.e. ethnicity, gender, date of birth/grade, special education status, free and reduced lunch, attendance, and participation in ESOL services). A control group, with no family participation in The Latino Family Literacy Project, will be provided to the primary investigator via the school’s data specialist. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) RIT Reading scores (Fall, Winter, and Spring) and Fountas and Pinnell levels (Fall and Spring) will be collected for all participants utilizing the Enrich database system.

Check-In/Check-Out: An Alternative Behavior Intervention

Student Presenter: Miranda Felder
Major: School Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Crystal Hill-Chapman
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the Check-In/Check-Out behavior intervention in decreasing the amount of disciplinary referrals of students in an alternative school setting. This study consisted of students who “checked in” with their mentors at the beginning of each school day and “checked out” at the end of the day. During their brief meetings, mentors and students discussed behavior goals and progress. An AB design across all students was implemented. The results indicated that the Check-In/Check-Out intervention was effective for all participants irrespective of gender, age, or grade.

Effectiveness of the PATHS Curriculum in an Emotionally Disabled Self-contained Classroom

Student Presenter: Hannah Hatch Williamson
Major: School Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Crystal Hill-Chapman
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the PATHS curriculum in decreasing aggressive and disruptive behaviors, increasing concentration and attention, and increasing social and emotional competence in children in an Emotionally Disabled self-contained classroom in an elementary school. This study used the first grade PATHS curriculum twice weekly over a period of six weeks. A small n design was used to measure the effectiveness in each domain. The results indicated that the PATHS curriculum was effective for all students in all three areas that were examined.

Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) – Field Calling Patterns at The Cheraw Fish Hatchery

Student Presenter: Michelle R. Gallo
Major: Biology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Steinmetz
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
The acoustic monitoring of underwater fauna primarily focuses on various marine species. Sonar is used by military and fishing industries for detection, classification and tracking of marine organisms. Passive sonar (listening) proves valuable in understanding organisms within the planet’s waters; yet, few records of freshwater fish sounds have been documented. The following research supplements call data of the freshwater sunfish Lepomis macrochirus, commonly known as bluegill. Bluegill are North American natives, no larger than 4.5lbs, found in freshwater bodies from California to South Carolina. The few existing studies of freshwater fish acoustics suggest that bluegill primarily call during breeding season, however this research reflects their non-breeding calling patterns. Field diurnal calls were recorded within isolated-species-ponds of The Cheraw Fish Hatchery in SC. A hydrophone-equipped recording unit was programed to collect acoustic data at 30-minute intervals and was set beside the bluegill pond for one-week-periods in two separate months. Calls are typically short; low frequency “grunts” under 1 KHz, having one to many palpitations per call. Preliminary analysis indicates bluegill call most actively between noon and dusk, with a shorter stretch of activity at dawn each day. Four separate call types were also identified by the bluegill in this study. Types of calls were based on the number of semi-uniform pulses or palpitations within a given moment: single, double, triple and run. Hopes for future work includes: the observation of calling patterns in other sunfish species and understanding the role of these calls in non-breeding and breeding communication.

Recoil Detection for the SEparator for CApture Reactions (SECAR)

Student Presenter: April Michelle Garrity
Major: Computational Physics & Mathematics
Co-authors: Erin Good and Ashley Hood
Faculty Mentors: Jeffrey Blackmon and Catherine Deibel
Project Discipline: Physics

Abstract
SECAR will be installed at NSCL/FRIB to directly measure Hydrogen and Helium fusion reactions that are important in extreme stellar environments. Highly selective recoil detection is necessary with SECAR to identify the heavy products of these reactions. We have developed a gas ionization chamber that augments a standard Delta E-E design with position sensitive capability. We will describe this unique design and its advantages. Initial testing experiments that characterize the position, energy and atomic number resolution of the detector will be presented. The new recoil detector will be characterized in further in-beam studies in the near future and will be installed at NSCL/FRIB by early 2018.

Pro-social Behavior in Rats

Student Presenter: Savannah Motley
Major: Biology
Co-authors: Madison Hewitt and Jasmyne Brown- Bellinger
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shayna Wrighten
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
Pro-social behavior is defined by Yael Kidron and Steve Fleischman as, “positive actions that benefit others, prompted by empathy, moral values, and a sense of personal responsibility rather than a desire for personal gain” (Fleischman, Kidron 2006). Humans are known to exhibit pro-social behavior in many different ways and situations. However, it is not known for sure whether or not rats and other animals behave the same way. Previous studies in our lab used a helping paradigm, in which one rat was given the opportunity to help another, as a measure of pro-social behavior. In these previous studies we used light as a stressor to increase pro-social behavior. Our studies using light as a stressor resulted in moderate door opening behavior. In the current studies, after the rat helped the light stressor was turned off. The light was turned off to relieve the potential stressor following door opening. We hypothesized that the latency of the free rat to free the trapped rat would decrease compared to our studies in which the stressor is not relieved by door opening.

Self-Management: Improving the number of foul words a college student says

Student Presenter: Marissa White
Major: Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Traci Taber
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of self-management skills on the number of foul words that a college student uses during a specific time period. During baseline, data were collected by marking a piece of paper whenever a foul word was said out loud or in the college student’s head during two hours during the day. While collecting data, it was found that twenty four was the maximum number of words that were said during those two hours. The intervention evaluated visual prompts and positive reinforcement to reduce the number of foul words that are said or thought. Notes with saying like “Foul words equal soap in the mouth”, “No foul words”, and also “Don’t use foul words, you will not get the positive reinforcement” were place in the college kid’s binders, room, car, and on their bathroom mirror. Based on the baseline data a criterion for reinforcement was set at less than fifteen foul words for each week. No data has been collected as of yet but I believe the reward and prompts are reinforcing enough to decrease the number of words said.

Symmetry effect on Spatial Span Increases with Delay

Student Presenter: Eric Henderson
Major: Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jesse Sargent
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
Spatial span is greater for symmetrical than for non-symmetrical patterns (the symmetry effect) (e.g., Kemps, 2001). Using a modified Corsi task, we replicated the symmetry effect, controlling for path length, angle and crossings, and examined the effect of a 10 s delay between encoding and responding. Of primary interest, the symmetry effect increased over the delay. What does this suggest about the symmetry effect and visuospatial working memory (VSWM)? These results jibe with Kemps’ (2001) suggestion that short term memory for symmetrical patterns benefits from pre-existing long term memory representations. For example, a symmetrical pattern may be tagged as such at encoding. The tag is more robust over the 10 s. delay than the actual spatial locations, and could be used to produce, from a remembered square, it’s partner on the opposite side of the grid. Symmetrical patterns may also be more likely be recoded verbally, as the letter “W” for example. The benefit for symmetrical patterns may also arise from gestalt principles operating at encoding that result in a more coherent, unified, or chunked together percept for symmetrical patterns. Results also suggest the symmetry effect is not purely due to mechanisms operating at encoding, for example greater predictability, although such benefits may well interact with retention and recall processes.

The Black Panthers: Terrorists or Terrorized

Student Presenter: Marcedes Kay Smith
Major: Political Science
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dillon Tatum
Project Discipline: Political Science

Abstract
The Black Panthers Party for Self Defense has been referred to by some as a terrorists group and by others as a saving grace. At the time of the rise of the Black Panthers Party for Self Defense, racial tensions were rising and with police brutality and human inequality becoming all too common, two men by the names of Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale decided it was time for a noticeable change. Newton had studied law for a brief period and decided the best way to make the party’s presence known was to carry weapons. This open carrying of firearms was portrayed in the media negatively, however, all publicity was good publicity for this group. Later, shortening the name of the group to just “The Black Panther’s Party”, Newton and Seale, wanted to make it known that this group was not just political. The government begin to target the Black Panthers as the organization’s membership began to grow and chapters begin to open nationally. J Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI during this time, created the Co-Intelligence Program (CoIntelPro) to combat the Black Panther’s Party in order to dissipate and end the party. Fear of another civil war occurring was the drive behind Hoover’s decision to end the Black Panther’s party by any means. This included murder, false accusation and imprisonment, and informant placement to name a few. The Black Panthers only wanted equality and the opportunities that were promised in the Constitution. They went above and beyond to create programs for their communities to uplift, protect, and empower their people. In the end, the government seemed to succeed at their tasks of dismantling the party. This paper will carefully analyze the Black Panther’s Party and the government’s initiatives to destroy the party. It will be determined through meticulous research whether it was the Black Panthers or the government who were the true terrorists.

Acoustic Monitoring of Bat Populations in Florence, SC

Student Presenter: Aaron Robinson
Major: Biology
Co-author: Ebony Brown
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Steinmetz
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
In this study a bioacoustics monitoring system was used to do an observational study on the bat populations of Florence County. Wildlife Acoustics Echo Meter Touch provides spectrograms of bat calls and auto identification. Bat populations were monitored between the months of May 2014 to February 2017. A route was selected for repeated measurements that sampled a variety of areas including ponds, open fields, neighborhoods, and city streets. The route was driven every two weeks to record bat populations. To study the effect of time on bat activity the route was monitored two times per night with an hour and thirty minutes separation. For the Pee Dee region, the Echo Meter Touch auto identifies nine species of bats. Based on the bat calls recorded, all nine species were collected. The most commonly detected species were Lasiurus borealis (Eastern red) and Nycticeius humeralis (Evening bat). When the route was monitored twice a night, preliminary data shows a decrease in bat activity. The numbers of recordings collected in the study were higher in the summer and fall compared to the winter. This data will provide a baseline for a long term bat monitoring project.

Investigation into stressor effects on pro- social behavior in rats

Student Presenter: Madison Grace Hewitt
Major: Biology
Co-authors: Savannah Motley and Jasmyne Brown-Bellinger
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shayna Wrighten
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
In humans, it is known that empathy is a motivator for pro-social behavior. Pro- social behavior is seen in many ways and has a variety of uses in animals. Previous research on empathy in rats has shown that rats show behaviors of empathy when the rats are familiar with one another. In our experiment we measured pro-social behavior in rats by using a large clear plastic arena, which contained a smaller box, known as the restrainer. In these experiments we used adult female Sprague Dawley rats. The experiment continued for 20 consecutive days, 20 minutes per day. One rat was placed into the restrainer with a light stressor pointed toward the restrainer. The cage mate was placed into the arena. Latency to approach the restrainer was tested, as well as latency to open the restrainer. The latency for the free rat to open the restrainer was expected to decrease over time due to the light stressor.

Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Decorative Candles and Incense

Student Presenter: Caitlin Erb
Major: Chemistry
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kenneth Williams
Project Discipline: Chemistry

Abstract
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are known carcinogens and can be found in many different products and substances. Some of these products such as candles and incense are used in many places such as households, offices, shopping malls, and places or worship. The combustion of candles and incense emit PAHs in different forms in the air and the relative amounts of these PAHs vary depending upon the form. The relative amounts of PAHs produced from burning four different decorative candles and one scent of incense was experimentally determined and compared. The level of PAHs in each air freshener was measured using gas chromatography mas spectrometry (GC-MS).

Attachment Styles and Perceptions of Disabilities

Student Presenter: Anna Jackson
Major: Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Crystal Hill-Chapman
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
This study investigates whether a person’s attachment style relates to implicit bias towards facial dysmorphology. Specifically, this study investigates the correlation between insecure attachment style and facial dysmorphology. This study was conducted using previously reliable and valid attachment style questionnaires and by using an Implicit Association Test (IAT). Results from this study refute the given hypothesis with no significant difference between secure and insecure attachment as correlated with facial dysmorphology. Individuals that did report a fearful attachment style had the most negative implicit bias towards facial dysmorphology. Implications drawn from this study for the field of genetic counseling will be discussed.

The Design and Costume of Stones In His Pockets by Marie Jones

Student Presenter: Malcolm Parker
Major: Theatre Arts
Faculty Mentor: Allison Steadman
Project Discipline: Fine Arts

Abstract
My presentation will be about the research of the Irish culture and fashion, and how it correlates to the play, Stone’s in His Pockets by Marie Jones. It will show how the color of the costumes not only reflect the story of the play, but the scenic images of County Kerry Ireland, where the play takes place. It will also explain the importance of the costumes to each character and why. It will take lines from the text, and show how the costume design displayed represents that.

Mycorrhizal interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana: A comparison of mycorrhizal inhibited and mycorrhizal facilitated growth and development

Student Presenter: Louis Berrios
Major: Biology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeremy Rentsch
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
As part of the Undergraduates Phenotyping Arabidopsis Knockouts (unPAK) project, Arabidopsis thaliana mutant and wild-type lines were analyzed to better understand environmental effects on plant growth and development. The knockout mutant lines were transformed at the SALK institute by Eckers et.al.,utilizing Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Essentially, the unPAK project goal is to utilize forward genetics to better understand gene functionalities in attempts to pinpoint genes that can influence biomass production and/or can be implemented to potentially yield increased agricultural products. The unPAK project is a collaborative effort among numerous college institutions in North American. As a result, there is considerable variation in the way each institution grows their plants. One source of variation, a potentially confounding factor in the data collection, is that a number of institutions sterilize their soil. Suspecting soil sterilization influences plant growth and development, we grew A. thaliana wild type and mutant strains in two soil conditions: soil that was autoclaved versus soil that was not autoclaved. Significant differences were found between soils in germination rate, as well as differences in resource allocation including: silique formation, basal rosette diameter, and tissue differentiation. Collectively, these findings further the overarching goal of the unPAK project by taking steps towards standardizing a protocol. It is clear from this work that plants grown in autoclaved soil and non-autoclaved soil must be analyzed separately. We suggest not sterilizing soil by default and treating sterilized soil as an additional experimental variable.

Plant Biomass Allocation Response to Land-Use History and Canopy Thinning

Student Presenter: Kyle Hampton Stewart
Major: Biology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeremy Rentsch
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
To maximize photosynthesis, plants must allocate their biomass across three resource extraction organs: roots, stems, and leaves. It has been found that plants alter this behavior in response to differences in resource levels. Across the Savannah River Site, there are plots of land once used for agriculture that have since been abandoned. Bordering these sites are hardwood forests with no history of agricultural use. Studies have shown that between these two types of land-use histories there exist different levels of necessary resources. Given this, it is predicted that plants found in both landscapes may allocation their biomass differently to compensate for limiting resources. Adjacent to each landscape are plots of land that have had their canopy thinned to look at the effects of restoration, and it is also predicted this will alter biomass allocation behavior. Three species of perennial herbs found commonly across these landscapes were chosen to be sampled.
These were Scleria triglomerata, Pityopsis graminifolia, and Hypericum hypericoides. Three samples of each species were collected from each of the four land types in their entirety. Each sample was then washed of excess dirt and dried. These samples will be processed by dividing organ mass over whole mass to produce a mass fraction. Preliminary data from the previous year has shown alterations in biomass allocation behavior in at least three other species. In field observations of root and leaf abundance have shown that differences clearly exist, thought further analysis will be needed to confirm this.

Costume Design for “A Doll’s House”

Student Presenter: Danielle Isgett
Major: Marketing
Faculty Mentor: Allison Steadman
Project Discipline: Theatre

Abstract
This project is a costume design I created for the play “A Doll’s House”. I had to do extensive research to design the costumes for this show, because I brought the Victorian piece into the fifties. The project includes a costume plot, which is a spreadsheet showing when the costumes I designed are worn, sketches of the costumes I used research for, the research I did for the project, and the concept statement.

Stress May Obfuscate Discerning Altruistic Behavior in Rats

Student Presenter: Patrick Nettles
Major: Biology
Co-authors: Devin Kellis and Savannah Motley
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shayna Wrighten
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
Traditionally, it has been thought that only higher-level primates and humans can show altruistic behavior. New research is showing that this may not be the case and that more animals may act altruistically than previously thought. In the study, we conducted trials on rats to see whether or not they behaved altruistically in the presence of a stressed cage-mate. This was done by placing the rat’s cage-mate into a restrainer utilizing various mechanisms to induce stress. The restrainer had a door that could be opened by a rat when a latch was pressed from the outside. This setup was placed in a larger enclosed space, and another rat was added to see if it would free the rat; this was our way of measuring altruistic behaviors since the rat freeing the cage-mate did not receive a tangible reward such as food. However, in this experiment the rat’s altruistic like actions may be obfuscated by a high degree of stress. Stress has been known to lead to inaction in rodents. This study aims to look at several metrics and attempt to determine if stress levels negatively coincided with levels of action. These data would allow for more accurate predictions of behavior and may lead to future changes in how the experiment is ran.

Human trafficking patterns among different nations

Student Presenter: Arismel Perez
Major: Sociology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lisa Eargle
Project Discipline: Sociology

Abstract
The purpose of this study is to examine human trafficking patterns across different nations. I will be examining both sex and labor trafficking among the female population. The study was conducted by doing secondary data analysis within 35 countries. The dependent variable is human trafficking rate and the independent variables are poverty, population density, migration, age 15 to 24, and the ratio of men to women. I will be running a correlation and regression analysis from the data to see the relationship between the variables and how strong the relationship is between them.

Modeling to Litter Train Rats

Student Presenter: Rebecca Reid
Major: Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Traci Taber
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to litter train a rat named Chloe so that she would only defecate in the designated litter pan. Chloe had the problematic behavior of defecating outside of the original litter pan, and subsequently playing and sleeping inside of it. Data were also collected for Phoebe, who was previously litter trained but started to imitate Chloe’s problem behaviors. These behaviors resulted in the necessary removal of the litter pan and halted Phoebe’s litter training progress. The two rats were separated in order to collect baseline data, which were collected for nine days between 7:00 am and 9:30 am. The total number of feces was divided by nine, resulting in an average number of feces per rat. feces they averaged individually. The intervention was implemented by placing a litter pan in their preferred corner (observed while taking baseline data) with five feces from the previous day in it. Data were collected for ten days between 7:00 am and 9:30 am; the number of feces inside the box was divided by the total number of feces that day to give a percentage. Data were collected until both rats had 100% of their feces in the litter pan.

Survey of parasites infecting Hexagenia (Ephemeroptera: Ephemeridae) nymphs from western Lake Erie

Student Presenter: Amber Lynn Zonca
Major: Biology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Malakauskas
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
Hexagenia spp. are important biomonitoring indicators of the mesotrophic water quality. However, little research has been done on parasites infecting Hexagenia spp. and what role parasites may play in Hexagenia population dynamics. Therefore, the aim of our study is to catalog parasites of these mayflies and examine host-parasite population dynamics. Specimens were collected from Lake Erie, MI and were examined for parasites. Based on tentative morphological identifications, Hexagenia are infected with trematodes in the genus Crepidostomum, protists of the genera Vorticella and Epistylis, and an as yet unidentified nematode. DNA from parasites and mayflies will be sequenced to molecularly characterize parasites and to accurately identify nymphal mayflies. Results from the Hexagenia spp. and parasites will be analyzed to infer correlations of host-parasite population dynamic relationships.

Phylogeography of Manayunkia speciosa

Student Presenter: Taylor Byrd
Major: Pre-pharmacy
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Malakauskas
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
Manayunkia speciosa is a freshwater polychaete found in the Laurentian Great Lakes and coastal areas of the United States. While it currently has a wide geographic range, numerous authors and government agencies have it classified as an exotic species throughout much of its range, suggesting the polychaete had a more narrow historic range. The objective of our study is to develop genetic markers for Manayunkia speciosa. We will review our current progress on marker development and discuss future plans. Once developed, the markers will be used for population genetic studies such as determining the geographic origin of the potentially exotic Lake Erie population of M. speciosa.

Effect of acid ceramidase over-expression on H295R adrenal carcinoma cells

Student Presenter: Dashon La’King McCollum
Major: Biology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lorianne Turner
Project Discipline: Biology

Abstract
Over-expression of the enzyme acid ceramidase (AC) has been observed in some cancer cell lines and primary tumors. The consequence of AC over-expression is the ability to convert ceramide, which is often produced as a pro-apoptotic response to stress, to sphingosine, which can then be converted to the pro-survival molecule sphingosine-1-phosphate, therefore contributing to resistance to chemotherapy and radiation. Cortisol is a steroid stress hormone produced by adrenal cells in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) released by the pituitary gland. Published studies have shown that ACTH can also alter acid ceramidase expression, suggesting a relationship between a stress pathway and cancer. In order to assess the effects of increased AC expression in H295R cells, expression plasmid including AC under the transcriptional control of the EF-1α promoter will be constructed. Upon completion and confirmation of the plasmid, H295R cells will be transfected with the plasmid and characterized.

The Effects of Simple Intervention Techniques on College Classroom Behavior: Particularyl Concerning Packing Up Behavior

Student Presenter: Austin Anthony Andrews
Major: Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Traci Taber
Project Discipline: Psychology

Abstract
A single-subject A-B design was used with a single participant to find if implementing simple interventions would decrease classroom disruptions in a college classroom. A disruption looked at more specifically was packing up behaviors at the end of class. We wanted to find out if implementing a simple intervention by the professor that recognized this behavior would decrease it. Participants were identified by asking for professors who experience disruptions at the end of class. A single participant was found with hours that worked appropriately. The participant was given three simple interventions and chose to exclusively utilize an antecedent intervention. Results show that when the antecedent intervention was used, packing up behavior decreased.

Wet Plate Photography

Student Presenter: Kathleen Kennebeck
Major: Visual Arts
Faculty Mentor: Julie Mixon
Project Discipline: Visual Arts

Abstract
The wet plate colloidan progress was first introduced by Frederick Scott Archer in the mid 1800s. He hoped to achieve a somewhat easier and less expensive way of photographing and printing as compared to the Daguerreotype process. After much experimentation, the wet plate collodion process was born and sharp images were able to be produced in less time with better results. What I love about the wet plate collodion process is the aspect of printing onto glass. Most images then were printed onto paper, and this new process offered a completely different medium and aesthetic. The beauty that is achieved by printing onto glass makes this process so unique. In this day in age, creating images has become simplified, portable, and effortless. Taking a photograph can be as simple as pulling out your cell phone and instantaneously taking as many pictures as you wish. Our phones, cameras, and computers hold hundreds of pictures that are taken without any thought or work put into them. My hope in researching this process was to move away from the instantaneous mindset of modern photography, to return to the intricate mindset of laboring tediously in order to create a one of kind photograph, and truly learn to enjoy the process and the rewarded My work consists of a body of wet plate images as well as a step by step video of the process.

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