Undergraduate Research Symposium

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11875/2790


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 15 of 15
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    Polydiacetylene's Effect on Eukaryotic Cell Growth, Viability, and Mutagenesis
    (2021-05) Champagne, Rhiannon; Harper, James; Goodspeed, Danielle
    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are frequent in many healthcare settings and cost the United States billions of dollars in medical spending each year. While UTIs have quickly become more concerning due to resistance to conventional interventions or difficultly in sample collection, development of rapid and effective diagnostic methods have been slow to develop. A possible solution could be to use diapers embedded with a polydiacetylene (PDA) biosensor to detect UTIs. This sensor has the potential to be sensitive and versatile in its detection of uropathogens without the need of a professional to interpret, while causing minimal to no harm to human epithelial cells. Ultimately, the goal of this research was to conclude whether PDA was toxic to eukaryotic cells that are closely related to human epithelial cells. In this poster presentation, we analyzed this potential toxicity with growth, viability, and mutagenesis assays.
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    Smaller, smaller, smaller
    (2021-05) Heide, Olivia; Perez- Martinez, Christian Alessandro; Herrera- Martinez, Alexandra; Thomas, Richard; Daza, Juan D.
    The south of Puerto Rico has a stable hybrid zone between two species of dwarf geckos. Hybrid populations were first studied 36 years ago using Electrophoretic data for 23 loci and were re-visited last year. Although genetic data validates the presence of a geographically stable hybrid zone, the morphological changes attributed to hybridization have not been described in detail. Here we study variation of color pattern and body proportions between parental species and the putative hybrids to characterize changes due to hybridization. For this project we Xrayed 91 specimens, and photographed specimens of each group. Using the X-rays, we measure 15 skeletal elements, and combine the data with external features of their coloration pattern. We plan to analyze this data to identify traits accounting for variability and perform further analysis that might help better understand phenotypic changes attributed to hybridization. Preliminary observations indicate hybrids are larger than parental populations.
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    Effectiveness of Minimalistic Living: Conversion of a School Bus into a Mobile Living Space During COVID-19
    (2021-05) Mizuno, Maine
    Mobile homes such as RV, trailer, and skoolie have increased usage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Skoolies allow users to achieve cost-effective, spatially conservative, sustainable living. Hypotheses for this study are to see the benefit of living in a skoolie compared to a one-bedroom apartment/studio. The researcher conducted questionnaires and asked 30 people to see how much people that live in a skoolie and a one-bedroom apartment/studio pay monthly. The study found that living in a school bus significantly cheaper than living in a one-bedroom apartment/studio. Skoolies enable people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic to have a temporary place to stay while helping the environment by using sustainable products. This project shows that living in a skoolie will achieve cost-efficient living therefore it will help people that lost their jobs by the pandemic.
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    Immigration; Working Against the Corrosive Side Effects
    (2021-05) Kamal, Kismot; Bilsing, Tracy
    Immigration is one of the most controversial topics around the world, especially in the United States. The subject of immigration in the United States goes back as far as the 1600s and every time the subject is discussed, people tend to forget the humans involved. A lot of times memoirs of immigrants are usually ignored and various research on immigration is only heard, but not taken literally. As a result, when immigration laws are made they do not seem to be clear, which gives room for contrasting interpretation amongst immigration and patrol officers and even the migrant. The purpose of this presentation is to enlighten the audience about the immigrant experience and why it should be considered as a primary source by those who make immigration laws and policies in the United States.
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    Social Disorganization and Juvenile Delinquency
    (2021-05) Martinez, Kelly; Azimi, Andia M
    Social disorganization has become a rippling effect within the criminal justice system. The lack of neighborhood efficacy is what causes a disruption within a community and increases a teenager's likelihood of becoming a juvenile delinquent. Nonetheless, there are family values within homes that affect a child’s behavior and later on affect the community's ambiance. This research will examine scientific studies and literatures that explore the exposure of social disorganization towards children, and how family values that are taught to children at home affect the neighborhoods children, and how it increases a disorganization. A lot of children who live in disorganized neighborhoods have parents who grew up in similar situations. One of the parents of the child has been or is most likely in a criminal justice institution. The results of the research may show the need to reparent parents and how the actions they were taught as children is going to continue an endless cycle of juvenile delinquents that originates from “The Code of The Streets” by Elijah Anderson.
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    Building Equity in Parent and School Partnerships.
    (2021-05) Stephen, Katrina; Green, Coleman; Banks, Courtney
    Research consistently indicates that parent involvement in school results in positive outcomes for children in primary and secondary settings. Consequently, school districts have adopted parent involvement activities to include both home and school types to support family preferences. Desipte intentional communication of home and school-based activities, school staff may inadvertently exhaust parent collaboration activities and fail to expand involvement options that support diverse families and circumstances. The following presentation examines the correlational results of a study on parent perceptions of parent involvement to identify best practices to increase equity in parent and school partnerships.
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    Evaluation of Prolonged Exposure to Pre- and Probiotics in an Avian Model of Treatment-Resistant Depression
    (2021-05) Willingham, Hannah; White, Stephen
    Recent research suggests a link between major depressive disorder (MDD) and changes to the gut microbiome. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the potential antidepressant effects of probiotics in a model of treatment-resistant depression. Animals will receive either untreated water or water containing probiotics for 14 days. On days 10 and 14, animals will be exposed to an isolation stressor for 90 minutes. Distress vocalizations will be recorded and analyzed to detect group differences. We hypothesize the probiotic treated group will display elevated vocalization rates indicative of an antidepressant effect.
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    A Game Camera Study of Vulpes vulpes and the Scents that May Be Attractive to Them the Other Predators
    (2021-05) Hendrickson, Maria; Neudorf, Diana
    Predators utilize their sense of smell in many ways, from marking territory to tracking and locating prey. As cities and towns expand further, many predators are now exposed to a variety of new scents and smells. This study examined the attractiveness of different scents to local animal in the South-East Texas Piney Woods region. The scents used in this study were both naturally found and synthetic perfumes, to determine whether man-made scents were more attractive to predators than naturally occurring scents. Patches of dirt 1 m x 1 m were raked clear of grass and leaves, and a wooden stake was placed in the center, with a game camera set up to observe the station. Scent bait was made by soaking thick cotton rags in the scents for 24 hours and then nailing the rag to the stake at the bait station. Each bait was left out for 10 days to ensure time for discovery before being removed. The images taken by the cameras were then sorted through and each type of animal was recorded, as well as how frequently the bait was visited.
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    Examining Asymmetries in Microfractures
    (2020) Osborne, Victoria; Baker, Stephanie A.; Lewis, Patrick
    In forensic anthropology the study of bone trauma has historically focused on gross anatomical patters in fractures. More information may be available using CT technology to examine trauma at a microscopic scale. This research examines asymmetries in a human skull with sharp force trauma in order to estimate directionality of impact force. A skull with sharp force trauma from the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility (STAFS) was micro CT scanned at the University of Texas CT Lab in Austin, Texas. Amira 5.6.0 imaging software was used to measure cortical thickness and microfractures were enumerated and described for each fragment. A chi-squared and one-way t-test were used to determine differences in cortical thickness and number of microfractures found in each fragment. This study is one of five other human bone trauma projects examining asymmetries in skeletal elements. The idealistic outcome of this project is to produce a more refined date set that can aide medicolegal communities in producing a more accurate prognosis or cause of trauma.
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    Growth rates and lifespans of Glycymeris Americana from North Carolina, USA during the Pliocene and Pleistocene
    (2020) Casper, Stephen; Moss, David
    Poster about the lifespan of modern bivalves by measuring shells. Applied von Bertalanffy growth was fit to size at age data
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    Examining the Impact of Critical Incidents, Organizational Variables and Coping Skills on Sleep Quality in Law Enforcement Officers
    (2020) Byers, Asiah; Washington, Jamie; DeBrabander, Megan J.; Salami, Temilola K.
    Previous research demonstrated that police stress negatively affects sleep quality with coping skills moderating this association (Hartley et al., 2014). The present study aims to expand on these findings by including other work-related variables that may impact sleep quality using a sample of 125 law enforcement officers (80.8% male Mage of 41.75 years (SD=10.75)). Results indicated that coping, police stress, and organizational support were associated with sleep quality. The total model accounts for 41% of the variance on sleep quality, with coping and operational stress being the best predictors of sleep quality.
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    Development of Virtual Reality Simulation for Emergency Evacuation in Education
    (2020) Y, Luong; Dakeev, Ulan; Pecen, Reg; Yildiz, Faruk
    Virtual Reality has recently developed as a prevalent technique adopting in numerous fields of scientific experiments. The thriving concept of simulating an interaction environment broadens the researchers’ competence to design the ideal virtual experimental conditions and manipulate the environment’s layouts sufficiently. The idea of practicing an emergency evacuation by a computer simulating model that reflects the physical environment analogously has been taken into account. This study aims to investigate whether the Virtual Reality simulation could be an optimal method for the emergency evacuation training, especially in the educational environment. Fifteen volunteers with no familiarity with the environment structure participated in this study, and experiments were plotted in two environments–the well-defined virtual environment for pretraining and the original physical environment for practical situation. The main hypothesis predicts that VR can effectively shorten the amount of time that pre-trained users spend to locate the emergency exits of a specific floor plan.
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    Financial Aid and College Graduation
    (2020) Thakur, Anubhav; Nath, Hiranya
    Using data for about 3,800 colleges and universities in the US, this paper examines the effects of financial aid on graduation rates. It estimates a linear regression model with graduation rates as the dependent variable and financial aid share (in educational cost) and percentage of students receiving Pell grant as the independent variables of interest along with control variables that reflect demographic and institutional characteristics. The results from the analysis indicate that financial aid in general and Pell grant in particular have significant negative impacts on on-time graduation (those who graduate within the expected time) rate. For extended-time graduation (those who take more than the expected time to graduate) rate, they have either no effect or marginally significant negative impact.
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    Jazz and the Great Migration: How African Americans and the Great Migration Changed the Sound of American Music
    (2020) Homer, Barrie
    The Great Migration impacted America in countless ways from its very beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century. The arrival of new residents in the Northeast, West and Midwest regions altered the economic and social landscape across the entire nation. It would take however the years between 1920 and 1950, when the United States experienced an explosion in new creative arts that transformed the cultural landscape of the country. Of particular note is the emergence of black musicians, who had a profound impact not only on the black communities of America but also on the entire country. They gave African Americans a face and a voice and they gave the United States a newer, more complete, national identity. The progression of creative arts during the period known as the Jazz Age contributed immensely to breaking down racial barriers and changing the notion of what American culture should be.
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    A Visit From Mr. Death
    (2020) Titone, Samuel
    Now, more than ever, reflecting on the world around us in a creative manner is of the highest importance to continue to understand and connect with each other. In this panel, we strive to highlight the diverse and different views of the world through fictional stories based in the real world. The panel will feature four creative writers who will share their individual and unique views of the world around them through original fictional short stories, with a focus on literary realism.