WRHC 2021 - Conference Schedule

The conference will be held virtually using Zoom as a platform. Prior to the conference, this website will be updated with the detailed schedule, Zoom links, links to the materials being presented, and other logistical information. All presentation times listed are in Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).

WRHC Schedule           Zoom Link          Links to YouTube Videos/Websites for Presenters

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM | Opening Session

Melinda Pfundstein: /ré/

10:10 AM - 11:10 AM | Session One

Facilitator: Bonnie Gasior
Presenter 1: Jayden Maree
Presenter 2: Sarah Sasaki
Presenter 3: Georgie Suico
Presenter 4: Michael Lam

Abstract: Free Minds Book Club, based in the Washington, D.C. area, sees books as transformative tools. One part of Free Minds (Free Minds Write Night) is devoted to encouraging (formerly) incarcerated youth to write poetry, which it then makes accessible to affinity groups who provide feedback. That feedback is then shared with the poets as part of a dialogue of hope and healing. Indeed, the book club “uses books, creative writing, and peer support to awaken incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and adults to their own potential. Through creative expression…these poets achieve their education and career goals, and become powerful voices for change in the community.” Our session will talk about the history of Free Minds, provide a short clip of a recent event on our campus, and teach others how to host their own Free Minds event on campus and beyond. What is most striking about these events, besides connecting with incarcerated communities, is the way it also impacts the readers of the poetry. Our panel will also share what they took away from the event and reveal some of their own Free Minds-inspired poetry! Lastly, our student panel culminates with a mini-Write Night event, in which all session attendees will have a chance to leave a few words of encouragement on a handful of poems via a Miro Board. These poems will then be returned to the authors. In sum, our presentation highlights the power of reading and writing, which are the keystone of and an ideal event for Honors education.

Facilitator: Ilse Marie Lee
Presenter 1: Lucas Yantis
Abstract: Vanitas art should be viewed as a united reminder of temporality, though this caution is multi-faceted, propelled by a warning of futility and a condemnation of conceit. These ideas will serve as litmus of sorts for which to test the legitimacy of art claiming to fulfill the message of vanitas in its purity. It was found that David Bailly’s self-portrait fails to communicate the vanitas message, ultimately being a product of the very conceit the art style formerly critiqued, made solely for the pursuit of reputation and immortality in art. In complete juxtaposition to Bailly's work, Caravaggio cared nothing for his reputation when drafting Death of the Virgin, instead seeking to communicate his message of warning for humanity, one that cautioned of the perils of conceit, and thus exemplifies and encapsulates the essence of vanitas perfectly.
Materials
Presenter 2: Amy Bowman
Abstract: When people think of theater and live performances they often think of art and the creativity that drives the story of the production. Perhaps less considered are the OSHA regulations involved in the process of constructing a set. Now, this is common practice for most industrial professionals and even at the collegiate level, if someone is standing on it, it has to be structurally sound. In a similar vein, safety over the past 20 - 30 years has come to be common practice in scene shops with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) made required, SDS’s (Safety Data Sheet) made easily accessible and proper ventilation in working environments made mandatory. In this field, if you’re not handling your materials, equipment and chemicals appropriately, there are increased health hazards especially if this is someone new who is young and inexperienced. Because of increased knowledge and ease of access to information, I want to conduct interviews with different high school educators in their successes and struggles with incorporating safety regulations and minimizing health risks. From this research, I want to make it accessible to other theater educators in the region and in the state.
Materials
Presenter 3: Alyssa Plummer
Abstract: My modern dance piece “To Tell the Truth” explores the idea of determining when someone is lying, and trying to understand the morality of lying. This 8 minute live on stage, live-streamed performance contains 3 sections. Section one has all the dancers on stage, trying to determine when they are being lied to in the outer world. Section two is about relationships dancers have with each other, and the lying in these more personal relationships. Finally, the last section of my piece is based on introspectively looking at how we lie to ourselves. Through movement I research the idea of lying, through concrete and abstracted movement. This work is also an example of how to create theatre performances will in the midst of a pandemic.
Presenter 4: Maximus Luevanos
Abstract: In the United States, jazz is viewed as a music form unique to Americans. Yet, jazz has gained popularity among musicians and fans internationally, and an obscure niche of jazz appreciation lies in Japan. Jazz has existed in Japan for almost a hundred years. Thus, I questioned the reason jazz became appreciated and admired by Japanese audiences. Although the cause for such appreciation varies by period and individual, Japanese fans came to love jazz for its representation of freedom, expression, and creativity. However, differing opinions of jazz rooted in race, nationality, and individualism led to a desire among Japanese musicians to play authentic jazz music and isolate Japanese jazz. This paper will analyze these three definitions of jazz, the Meiji restoration, the Taisho Jazz Age, the Post-War Period, and various accounts of Japanese jazz musicians and fans to trace the development of their jazz appreciation, desire for authenticity, and isolation of Japanese jazz.
Materials
Presenter 5: Rachael Crabb
Abstract: Oedipus Rex, the opera-oratorio by 20th century progressive Russian composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) is based on a play by Sophocles originated around 441 B.C.. Oedipus, the King of Thebes, is a major figure in Greek mythology and has inspired many humanities-based philosophies and artistic depictions. Stravinsky found that the complex myth behind Oedipus’ dilemma of attempting to evade predestined fate was the perfect framework for utilizing the numerous musical paradoxes and ironies that would define what has been called the neo-traditional period of his career. It was during this period that Stravinsky discovered and notated creative opportunities for technical innovation like an alteration of pitch and rhythm, which continue to influence composers today. This study examines Stravinsky’s dominance over musical genres by considering his historical outlook, use of dialect, dramatic communication,and composition of Oedipus Rex.
Presenter 6: Jacob Pressley
Abstract Untitled.tiff was written in my second year as an honors seminar student. This year we discussed questions and their importance and impact on society. This essay's purpose is to explore a question as well as its implications, and encourage readers to ponder and attempt to answer the question themselves.
Materials
Facilitator: Christopher Syrnyk
Presenter 1: Glennan Keldin
Abstract: As internet culture becomes more pervasive throughout society, the nature of social movements evolves to integrate new forms of communication. This project analyzes how recent technological innovations influence our perceptions of social activism at a time when independent critical thinking is crucial to create lasting social change.
Materials
Presenter 2: Logan Parker
Abstract: The gestural misinformation effect is the way in which information conveyed by gestures can alter and possibly create entirely new false memories. (Gurney, Pine, & Wiseman, 2013). There is a large body of work in this area that attempts to explain how and when misinformation from gestures occurs, in addition to several well-documented instances of gesturally modified memories. However, little to no work has examined whether individuals’ attention can modulate how prevalent the misinformation effect is. The aim of this research is to explore whether gestural attention can modify the gestural misinformation effect compared to a lack of gesture attention. This could provide insight if differences in individuals’ cultural backgrounds can lead to differences in the rate at which individuals are misinformed by gestures.
Materials
Presenter 3: Alicia Hu
Abstract: Social media platforms have grown huge in their industries; platforms such as Instagram and TikTok essentially have the biggest influence on young people. Nowadays the most-posted topics are high beauty standards and thin body ideals. Young women are targeted the most as they now live in a society where their body and beauty defines who they are. Furthermore, with unreachable beauty standards shown all over the media, young girls are cornered into developing body insecurities because their natural body shape and beauty were not good enough for the social media standards. To expand, studies have shown the decline in self-esteem in young teenage women due to the media’s thin body criteria, an increase in negative body comments and judgments upon young girls, and concerning perceptions of self-image in young women. It is necessary to provide more regulation on body image posts on social media in the hopes to lessen the damaging influences it may have upon young female audiences.
Presenter 4: Brystal Nevins
Abstract: COVID-19 has affected dating trends as those interactions move to occur primarily through social media. Increases were seen in rst time subscriptions, paid subscriptions, and overall use in platforms such as Bumble, Grindr, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, and eharmony. Match Group, a parent company, observed a 15% increase of rst-time subscriptions for Tinder alone (Meisenzahl, 2020). In an original interview with Zephon Lister, PhD, MA, MS, LMFT, counseling and family services professor at Loma Linda University, he noted, “There are a number of individuals who are looking to try to ll their social void through romantic relationships [online]” (Lister, Zoom with Author, 2020). Helen Fisher, PhD, Biological Anthropologist, and Chief Scientic Advisor for Match Group noted to New York Times that people are utilizing social media dating opportunities more than they did previously and with more intention (Fisher, 2020). As people look to build their support systems and social life, the pandemic is offering a time to do so in a way that has freed them from the constraints of logistics. Not only do the means of social interaction adjust to reject the safety needs and priorities of people, but the technology also rises to meet the need.
Presenter 5: Elizabeth Jeffries
Abstract: Almost from its inception, writing has been a powerful tool. Writing gives civilizations immortality, allowing us to glimpse their world long after they are gone. These writings have given us a rich depth of knowledge from technology to the socio and political states at the time. These writings consist of reports, instructions, ritual procedures and more. In modern terms we would call these documents technical writing. However, this history and knowledge has been overlooked by some in the technical writing field, with much of the field’s histories only starting after WWII into the modern era. This work seeks to go beyond the traditional viewpoint by looking at a brief overview of ancient cultures, focusing on their technical writings and the writers, all through the lens of their contemporary culture as we currently understand it through archeological and anthropological studies. Through this study I hope to not only bring light to this expanded history of technical writing, but also understand more about the link between technical writing and culture. By understanding this link, we can start asking questions within the modern field of technical writing and how technical writers fit culturally into this ever-evolving world.
Facilitator: David Lunt
Presenter 1: Olivia Cheche
Abstract: In summer 2020, national attention on racial injustice brought into focus the culture of policing as a critical area of policy exploration for the United States. The purpose of this study is to examine the culture of policing in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, and specifically within Las Vegas's largest police force, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD). Through this case study analysis, the racial, social and social aspects of the culture of policing are investigated between the years 2016 & 2020. The research here presents data on disparities within policing found at the national and local levels. The current state of play in Las Vegas is also analyzed, as Black Lives Matter demonstrations and other social justice protests sparked difficult conversations between activists, elected officials, and police officers in the valley. Finally, short-term and long-term policy recommendations for state and local legislators to consider moving forward are provided. As one of the most diverse areas in the United States, the Las Vegas metropolitan area is an ideal case study for understanding the culture of policing, and an ideal laboratory for proposing meaningful, just policy interventions.
Materials
Presenter 2: Shannon Patrick
Abstract: This study addresses major concerns surrounding media coverage of US policing. Prolonged negative media representation of police has led to clear issues of distrust and skepticism of officers by the public that has spread across the country, threatening the legitimacy of the police, eroding officer morale, and making it harder for ocials to do their jobs. As a result, we are beginning to see startlingly fewer prospective officer candidates across the country than ever before, over what some believe to be sheer disinterest in the field. Additionally, more officers are quitting before they reach the age of retirement on the same, country-wide scale. This proposed study analyzes the alleged effect of heightened negative media representation using existing data and hypothesizes that these issues with hiring and retention can be traced directly to negative media representation of police, following major incidents (such as in recent times), the tragedies of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
Materials
Presenter 3: Miriam Schaumann
Abstract: The attitudes of workers in criminal justice held towards prisoners impact not only policies affecting prisoners, but also the attitudes of the prisoners themselves. A sample of undergraduate criminal justice students at Utah Valley University took a survey measuring their attitudes towards prisoners in three separate categories. The rst category, general positive vs. negative attitudes, was measured using Melvin et al. 's Attitudes Towards Prisoners (ATP) scale. The other two categories, rehabilitative and punitive attitudes, were measured using Cullen et al.’s Correctional Officer Support for Rehabilitation Scale and Correctional Officer Support for Custodial Orientation Scale, respectively, modified to measure public attitudes instead of correctional officers' attitudes. This study looks at how the different attitudes correlate with one another and how demographic factors, such as age, race, socioeconomic background, and serious crime victimization, impact these attitudes.
Materials
Presenter 4: Andrew Christensen
Abstract: The United States of America has the highest rate of incarceration of any nation state in the entire world (Wythe and Keith N. Hylton, 2018). This has affected our communities, liberties and sense of self for many of the downtrodden in our nation. For a nation whose motto is ‘let freedom ring’, this bell does not toll for over 11 million Americans who are incarcerated every year, and will not ring again anytime soon for 72 percent of the 11 million American’s who are recidivate back into the prison system, time and time again. (Congressional Digest, 2019). Programs like Defy, or Hustle 2.0 are effective in so far as they reduce recidivism by over 70% in their participants (Forbes 2020). Why? Because programs like these focus on redemptive rehabilitation rather than punitive justice. My involvement opened my eyes to these realities, and I wish to share the benefits of such approaches. Such a reformed approach will allow lawmakers and citizens alike to see the incarcerated as not only humans worthy of redemption, but as individuals essential to the health and structure of families and communities nationwide.
Materials
Presenter 5: Natalie Velasco
Abstract: This paper investigates the effectiveness of correctional education as it pertains to America's issue regarding mass incarceration. Evidence supports the argument that the implementation of educational programs in a prison setting reduce recidivism and are more cost-effective than mass incarceration. The discussion addresses opposing arguments including the personal safety of educators as well as the assumption of free education being provided to people convicted of crimes. In addition, an overview of Robert Merton’s strain theory and its pertinence to deviance is also explored. The evidence provided from the research and policy analysis suggest that reintegration should be a key goal when constructing crime control policies.
Materials
Facilitator: Johnny MacLean
Presenter 1: Alexa Vega Rivas
Abstract: The Trump administration brought forth an increase in policing of migrants crossing the border. These policies have expanded ICE detention centers and led to an increase in deaths among migrants. Across two experimental studies, we aimed to understand how these oppressive policies towards immigrants, mainly from Latin American countries, in uence participants' beliefs in the American Dream. In the rst experiment (N=70), we compared a group of participants primed with two news clips of immigrants' death due to ICE detention centers with a control group. Our results indicated that White participants decreased their belief in the American dream, whereas Latinx participants increased their belief. In the second experiment (N=147), we compared an experimental group primed with the two news clips of immigrants' death to a control group. We replicated the interaction effect from the rst experiment. A further analysis indicates a significant increase in White people's belief that race is salient in determining success in the U.S. No such increase occurred in the Latinx participants in our sample. Our results provide a clue as to why some Latinx people came to support Trump's policies.
Materials
Presenter 2: Karla Magana
Abstract: Undocumented immigrants contribute to the American economy, work hard, and help their U.S.-born children be great citizens. Yet, for a large majority of immigrants, there is not a feasible and timely process for them to be in America legally. Immigrants can become citizens or receive a green card such as by applying for asylum and immediate family sponsorship. But, millions of immigrants do not qualify for the above-mentioned methods. It is difficult for immigrants who have been living for decades in the U.S. because there is not a linear path for them to apply for a green card or citizenship. Although these immigrants pay taxes, work hard, and are great people, the government has not created immigration reform laws that can help all immigrants achieve legal status. I will explain the consequences of a broken immigration system, the feelings that immigrants and citizens hold toward immigration policy, and legislation that the government should create for effective reform for all. I will use primary and secondary sources including surveys and scholarly articles. Undocumented immigrants live in fear due to their status, yet stay in America because the educational and professional opportunities for their children are endless.
Presenter 3: Brandie Absher
Abstract: Public Perception surrounding the sexual exploitation of young girls in history is marred by the manipulation of social elite classes. A study of eighteenth-century court behavior can allude to how upper class members avoid public scrutiny for the sexual exploitation of lower class young girls. By comparing eighteenth-century to twenty-first century elite culture, this literature review will attempt to understand how attacking an outsider to upper class culture, instead of high-ranking members, has been historically used to maintain the social elite established order. A review of academic research can answer how members avoid public scrutiny for sexually exploiting young girls and how manipulating public attention has been a historically prevalent tool in diverting responsibility to the “self-fashioning” outsider. With future research, we can expose how “self-fashioning,” in the context of the medieval and renaissance, carried over into elite culture practices of the eighteenth century and is still prevalent in the twenty-first century. This future research could aid in shedding light on centuries of abuse and recycling of misinformation.
Materials
Presenter 4: Van (Alexa) Nguyen
Abstract: A common rule in Asian American households is to not date black girlfriend or boyfriend. With skincare constantly emerging, the idealized beauty standard is to have smooth and light skin as such qualities can make a significant impact on one’s life. This phenomenon is known as colorism, meaning “discriminatory treatment of individuals falling within the same ‘racial’ group on the basis of skin color." The racial tension between Asian and Black communities originates from the model minority myth, deeming that Asian Americans are inherently the child prodigy of the U.S. In the post Civil War era, the immigration policies also promoted middle-class Asian Americans such as educated students, merchants, and entrepreneurs. This led to the solidification of the model minority myth and was used to criminalize blackness. The Black Lives Matter Movement in 2020 has illustrated the racism and anti-Black sentiment in some older Asian American communities while also igniting the activism and awareness among young Asian Americans. This paper argues the origin of anti-blackness among Asian American communities in the19th century and also engages in different curriculums that can be used to challenge the minority myths and colorism.
Materials
Presenter 5: Alexandra Aloni
Abstract: The inclusion of women in social religious positions in synagogues and Jewish communities has led to a positive and progressive transformation of Rabbinic Judaism itself. The modern Judaism we know today dates back to the 6th century after Rabbis emerged and began to teach religious law to the Jewish people. Currently, there are multiple denominations within the one religion, with 41% of Jewish people considering themselves to be reform, 29% as conservative, and 12% as orthodox, making current reform Jews the largest denomination. As these inuences grow to be more in line with Talmudic teachings, it has theologically and morally challenged the history of patriarchy in Judaism that has long silenced the concerns of women. This has opened space for topics more relevant in an increasingly progressive world, with “The Women of the Wall” serving as a metaphor for the evolution seen in religious identity and function. I offer that in order for this tradition to sustain itself, it must follow these changing times. Thus, while there are some traditionalists who disagree with an evergoing egalitarian movement in Judaism, it should be deemed necessary for the survival of an ancient religion in a world that gradually embraces equity.
Presenter 6: Sukhdev Mann
Abstract: Discrimination, built around the concept of superiority over a certain group or individual, becomes predominant in institutions such as honor’s programs, which pride themselves on their exclusitivity. The purpose of this study is to target racial discrimination that honors students of color may face at UC Davis’s Honors Program. By this objective, this research study aims to answer the following questions:1) How can students express their experiences of discrimination stemming from aspects of the Honor’s Program? 2) What are the systems of inherent racial bias and intersectionality within the Honors Program? The methods by which this study aims to answer these questions is through focused interviewing paired with inductive questioning. The results anticipated to be collected from this study would be the identification of key components of the Honors Program that have led to this creation of system racial bias. This would be highlighted through the identification and attribution of common themes described by students to institutions of racial bias. Thus, this study could be used to prepare a structured approach by which the Honors Program at not only UC Davis but at other universities can be evaluated and reconstructed.
Materials
Facilitator: Paul Schneider
Presenter 1: Rachel Dang
Abstract: Analyzing the European Union’s government’s recent actions and how it has and will affect their economy. The Eurozone Debt Crisis had just ended with German Chancellor Angela Merkel developing a 7-point plan in 2012. More jobs were created, the EU established special trade connections with other countries and the economy grew from -0.75% to 2.12% in 2018. But then the United Kingdom left the EU in 2016: Brexit. As a direct result, this decision damaged both the UK and EU’s economies, leading to about 42,000 job loss and a decrease in globalization. Fixed investments dropped from 15% to almost 2% in 2017. Specific countries in the EU also face challenges such as Ireland, which has received 89% of their oil products and 93% of their gas products from the UK. Today, amidst one of history’s largest health crises,the pandemic and new regulations from Brexit caused shipments to rot due to long health checks at borders, and workers became unable to sell due to the new complex systems. Despite all the challenges, the EU brought financial stability by alleviating strict border checks, relocating Europe’s top trade center inside the EU, and continues to show its credibility through providing positive economic growth.
Materials
Presenter 2: Topher Allen
Abstract: Gig economy companies promise financial freedom and opportunities. The reality is complicated and has been further strained by the Covid-19 pandemic. Research conducted by Stanford University in 2015 revealed 68% of drivers quit within 6 months of signing-up. To date, no research exploring the relationship between a driver’s home residence and its proximity to lucrative rideshare areas has been conducted. Inspired by first hand perspective as a rideshare driver, this research analyzes the distribution of opportunities available to drivers at tract-level granularity within a metropolitan area. To facilitate this analysis, the Census Bureau’s ACS economic data was merged with the City of Chicago’s TNP rideshare dataset (168M entries). After calculating a custom driver opportunity metric for all 866 Chicago Census tracts, choropleth visualizations were produced using data from July 2019 and July 2020. These revealed significant declines in access to busy rideshare areas for drivers living in Chicago’s poorest zip codes. This research is ongoing and attempts to better understand how driver residence and economic demographics affect rideshare success.
Presenter 3: Zain Raja
Presenter abstract: A new dynamic has emerged in the workforce in the past decade that threatens the fragile contract between employer and employee: the gig economy. The gig economy is defined as the shift from the service-based economy of the late 20th century to a contract-based type of employment that emphasizes flexibility. This research project will assess the impact of gig employment on worker welfare and the labor market, particularly regarding benefits and the demand for labor in the rideshare industry. The number of citizens that are working full-time for ridesharing firms and taxi services has increased from 100,000 in 1997 to 700,000 in 2016 (US Census Bureau), and when adjusting for part-time workers, that number rises further. Because ridesharing firms refuse to classify their workers as employees, it is expected that they will utilize this leverage to deny them basic employment benefits, offer low wages, and squash union formation. Works Cited “Number of Nonemployers, Industry 4853 ‘Taxi and Limousine Services’”. United States Census Bureau, 29 Aug. 2018, https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2018/08/gig-economy.html. Accessed 11 Dec. 2020.
Materials
Presenter 4: Peter Grema
Abstract: The October 2020 State Technology and Science Index report by the Milken Institute found that Nevada ranks poorly in risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure. Nevada ranks 41st out of the 50 states, rendering it in a weak national position to home grow and invest in local startups opportunities. Venture capital could help diversify Nevada’s economy, already experiencing the worst effects due to an overdependence on tourism which has suffered since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. My research project aims to fully explore Nevada’s venture capital ecosystem and compare some of its metrics with those of neighboring Mountain West states.
Materials
Presenter 5: Sarah Tullis
Abstract: Residential treatment centers currently face major issues such as burnout, high turnover rate, and low employee satisfaction levels. While there has been previous research on these problems in the medical field, the focus on residential treatment centers has been limited due to the confidential nature of its clientele. Even less research has been done through the lens of company culture in residential treatment centers. Using a grounded theory approach, for a proportionate stratified survey sample, several themes such as communication, proper training, and feeling appreciated were identified and analyzed. The human resource department was not as involved in building and maintaining company culture as originally hypothesized. Overall, there are several simple changes that the residential treatment center which was analyzed can implement to improve company culture.

11:20 AM - 12:20 PM | Session Two

Facilitator: Kim Anderson
Presenter 1: Geneva Schlepp
Presenter 2: Waldon Andrews
Presenter 3: Adam Hureau

For a good 10 years The Palouse Review has been a creative outlet for honors students from numerous educational institutions, large and small, in the western region. In a variety of genres honors students have expressed personal, social and critical sentiments in words and images. Students solidify a dimension of learning that has been integral to the educational mission since antiquity, no more no less. As different as it is to what might be termed the more ‘traditional’ (‘rational’?) dimensions of educating the human, creative expression raises intriguing questions: what is it about creativity that attracts? Both for those who create and for those who observe and internalize the creativity of others? Is a universal, human bond established in this activity? Is artistic and intellectual creativity a necessity for social and personal development? In this session we invite conference participants to join in a discussion of these important matters following brief presentations by published authors and artists. We especially invite published authors and artists from The Palouse Review to share their work and perspectives.

Facilitator: John Meisner
Presenter 1: Sarah Grulikowski
Abstract: Playgrounds are foundational hubs of community interaction. Yet, play is discounted by many in modern American society. The ongoing, systemic divestment from play may not be often recognized as a drastic loss but the presence and quality of play-based experiences and related playground equipment in any setting significantly impacts the developmental experiences of children and others. The city of Ashland, Oregon, provides an opportunity for regional analysis of the best practices in public play for children and the greater communities of which they are a part. Through convenience sampling, community members from a variety of backgrounds have been interviewed about the best practices and growth opportunities for play experiences in the Ashland area. This study answers the following question: What practices are most valued by children and community members in public play areas in Ashland, Oregon? The findings from this qualitative case study, coupled with contextualizing research about the best practices in public play, enables a better understanding of how individuals and cities can together create healthy, meaningful play spaces for their community members of all ages. This is the science, and social justice, of play.
Materials
Presenter 2: Emily Engen
Abstract: Lila Quintero Weaver’s graphic memoir "Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White" shares the coming-of-age story of a young Argentinian immigrant growing up in the American South during the civil rights era. Within Weaver’s work, she draws from the textbook "Know Alabama," which embodies racist sentiments and was taught in elementary school classrooms from the 1950s to the 1970s. The inclusion of this textbook in "Darkroom" prompted the question: “What texts are we putting in front of our youth?” This expanded into research about different ways that American youth are educated about history, specifically concerning slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and discussions about race. In this presentation, I will discuss the influence that words, both written and spoken, have on youth by analyzing the reach of "Know Alabama" (Morris, 2020; Weaver, 2012), investigating a case study from a contemporary North Georgia classroom (Straubhaar et al., 2019), and examining a report focused on depictions of the Civil Rights Movement in children’s picture books (Schroeder & Gates, 2021). I will also draw from Weaver’s "Darkroom" to argue that it is an example of the type of diverse and inclusive texts that should be included in secondary classrooms.
Presenter 3: Marisa Quezada
Abstract: Sociologists have discussed the implications of color-blind racism in K-12 schools, but not how women of color experience it. This project examines the intersection of color-blind racism and sexism through dress code policies in the lives of young women in K-12 public schools and the difference between equality and equity.
Materials
Presenter 4: Emily Carter
Abstract: Research that investigates youth participation in STEM identities the importance of community engagements outside of school to bolster interest in STEM. We ask the research questions: (1) How do girls who engage with a day-long STEM event at UNLV perceive hands-on science activities? (2) How did girls’ enjoyment of science activities shift their interest in science topics? The purpose of this study is to identify factors that influence middle school girls’ interests in STEM fields in a day long STEM event. This research was at UNLV in Mar. 2020 during Girls in STEM Day that hosts minority middle school girls (n=93). Participants attended two different science workshops where student interest in STEM was measured through exit tickets. Some students had decreased enjoyment and interest in STEM due to quality of materials and time constraints of the activity. The majority of participants that indicated enjoyment of the workshop referred to the hands-on activity, but in contrast, did not indicate increased interest in STEM. Less students who indicated enjoyment of the workshop referred to the learned material versus hands-on activity. This study contributes examples of middle school girls’ interests in STEM from a day-long STEM event.
Materials
Presenter 5: Melanie Yoon
Abstract: Caregivers modify their actions when demonstrating objects to infants, known as infant-directed action (IDA). This study explores whether infants look longer at caregivers’ mobile gestures or stable gestures. I investigate if there are differences in infant looking time for gestures with small compared to large motions and whether monolingual and bilingual caregivers differ in frequency of gesture change. As most IDA research has been conducted in laboratory settings, I aim to examine naturalistic IDA through observing play sessions. 36 infant-caregiver pairs engaged in two tasks: free play and object-labeling. Interactions were recorded and coded for showing gestures, infant eye gaze, and caregiver language. I predict that (i) showing gestures with larger movements will be more effective at obtaining and sustaining infant attention and, (ii) bilingual dyads will use gestures specific to bilingual input, switching or exaggerating gestures around a language change. Thus, bilingual caregivers may show a higher frequency of gesture change and high amplitude gestures than monolingual caregivers, leading to longer looking times for bilingual infants. This research will aid in understanding the role of gestures on infant learning.
Materials
Facilitator: Christine Samson
Presenter 1: Austin Heath
Abstract: This study evaluates the impact of the decision based learning pedagogy on student performance in introductory statistics during the Winter semester of 2021 at Brigham Young University. Student performance on class assessments and impressions of the course will be collected through an experiment using a randomized controlled design. Half of the sections within the course, approximately 1000 students, will use the treatment pedagogy, decision based learning software, as they work through 12 quizzes and 2 practice exams. The other half of the sections within the course will use the current format for quizzes and practice exams. Decision-based learning (DBL) is a teaching methodology that organizes instruction around the decision-making process of an expert. Problems are presented with a series of interrelated questions that help students learn how to understand or frame the problem before selecting a method for solving it. The project proposes a scalable digital format for delivering “just enough, just in time instruction” at every point in decision making. The additional formative assessment provided by DBL should help students have greater functional statistical knowledge in everyday contexts.
Materials
Presenter 2: Courtney Wong
Abstract: The United States is home to over 66 million non-Native English speakers. This paper is written to highlight learning English as a second language and give speech-language pathologists and audiologists insight as to why there is a growing need for bilingual professionals in their field and why it is important to learn how to work with interpreters/translators. This information is necessary when the clinician and patient do not share the same native language and therapy is conducted in the patient’s native language. This paper includes sections on the process of English learning as a second language, how English differs from Cantonese, the characteristics of a successful bilingual SLP and I/T relationship, and how they work together to provide the best treatment for the patient. Findings of this paper conclude there are not a sufficient amount of SLPs able to provide speech-language therapy to those needing it in another language. However, they can learn to work with an I/T that will assist them with the patient. Suggestions for future directions are outlined and include formal training in graduate programs for individuals who are bilingual, mandatory multicultural classes, and language classes as an elective.
Materials
Presenter 3: Andres Aragoneses
Abstract: Science courses in college can be seen as challenging to most non-major students, because of how traditionally they have been presented. This affects the perception that those students will have on science, which is translated as citizens feeling that science is just for a few, and far from other aspects of human activities and interests, usually portrayed as more natural to humans, like the arts, humanities, or philosophy. In this course we present the science from the movies and novels of science fiction, and relate directly science to society, and how science has a say in what it means to be human. Students create a piece of art by designing and filming a short YouTube educational video to motivate younger students and teach them science.
Presenter 4: Dylan Holder
Abstract: Deaf individuals had to endure several decades of unjust, cruel, and dehumanizing actions against their community. The dark ages in deaf history began at the Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf in 1880 when multiple major countries, including the U.S., formally banned sign language in schools for the deaf. All of the countries represented at the conference agreed that oral education was more effective than manual (sign) language-based education. Thus, deaf individuals were forced to follow oralism, a method of teaching deaf people to use speech and lip-reading, despite their inability to hear the very sounds and words they were expected to produce. Deaf students had to spend several grueling hours a day producing sounds solely based on mimicking their teacher’s throat and neck muscles when they made a certain sound. Additionally, many students experienced physical abuse if they were unable to adequately produce certain sounds or if they were caught signing. What was once a proud, united, and loving community eventually became broken as the two things that brought the deaf community together was actively under attack during the dark ages: their deafness and their ability to communicate using sign language.
Materials
Presenter 5: Allison Hall
Abstract: There is rarely an emphasis placed on social benets in health care. The purpose of this study was to learn about the effects of social support systems in physical rehabilitation. This study consisted of a literature review concerning the impact social support can have on rehabilitation effectiveness, and a series of interviews with experts in multiple fields to gain context about support systems and their role in rehabilitation and human behavior. The results demonstrated that although the subjects understand how social support can help others, there is little evidence of that practice being executed in health elds and respective scopes of practice. While we could see the theoretical benefits of social support, there is little practical data due to lack of implementation. This study did not result in solid evidence that social support aids rehabilitation, rather, it revealed that this is an age that lacks research and experimentation. There is more that rehabilitation clinics can do to increase social support systems and aid physical health. Using this, Clinicians can gain understanding, and as we implement more social support systems into physical rehabilitation, we can learn more about how it benefits rehabilitation.
Materials
Presenter 6: Kylla Benes
Abstract: This session will discuss different experiential and applied learning courses at the Davidson Honors College at the University of Montana in which students directly apply their college learning to the world outside of the classroom. These include a year-long project-based learning course run in partnership with the City of Missoula, courses dedicated to career preparation and integrating college learning into a plan for career success post-college, and service-learning courses. Each course strives to empower students as change agents to instill confidence in their ability to take what they've learned and apply it to real-world problems. We sometimes call this teaching students to "fail productively". Of these courses, our students have said that they deepened their thinking on subject matter, increased their ability to connect classroom learning to career endeavors, and connected more deeply with their peers around shared issues that mattered deeply to them. This session will introduce the theory behind each of these courses and engage participants in discussion and reflection around what pedagogical models have worked with their students in bridging the gap between their honors experience and their futures post-graduation.
Materials
Facilitator: Corey Twitchell
Presenter 1: Hailey Checketts
Abstract: With increasing numbers of students choosing to continue their education after completing their bachelor’s degrees, few studies have chosen to focus on undergraduate characteristics and factors that can encourage students to make this decision. We hypothesized that certain characteristics such as increased feelings of support, better academic habits, and parental characteristics can increase the likelihood that a student will make the decision to attend graduate school before completing their undergraduate education. An analysis of a survey of 108 current undergraduate students at Southern Utah University found no significant relationships between any of these potential indicators, and the student’s desire to attend graduate school. Potential limitations to this data and reasons for this non-significance are discussed.
Materials
Presenter 2: Kiana Frederick
Abstract: There are over 700 food pantries on college and university campuses. My research focused on the questions of how they were created, funded, and run. The answers revealed several different approaches and suggest a number of best practices. Along the way, the problem of stigma of being food insecure and using a pantry was revealed. This presentation will share the results of the research including making recommendations for how to best serve students.
Materials
Presenter 3: Jade MacEoghain
Abstract: This project explores the recent history of the safe space, first emerging in the city and later on college campuses. I show how physical places of performative expression help with de-traumatisation, while providing avenues of resistance to oppressive political regimes that produce social norms of expression. A modern critical theory approach, via Michel Foucault, Edward Soja, and Judith Butler further elucidates how this space can continue to be central to education and activist movements. Additionally, these spaces, while seen to be in a decline, can be critical sites for resisting the recent rising acts of aggression against certain groups, such as the LGBTQIA+ community. A newer challenge that I address is the rise of safe space sticker culture, as posited by Catherine Fox. This particular issue is important as it can be seen in some cases to produce spaces of artificial safety, where power dynamics are tilted against those using safe spaces for their intended purposes. Designated spaces on campus communities, as evidenced in this project, are essential as spaces for students to freely express, or perform their identity, while building dialogues of healing and resistance to inequity and oppression.
Materials
Presenter 4: Alisa Huang
Abstract: An SAT score of 1550 out of 1600 for an Asian American student is equivalent to a 1410 for a White student, and a 1100 for a Black/African American student (Lee and Zhou). Affirmative action is supposed to benefit minority students, but statistics show otherwise. While there are Asian people that model minority myth and Asian stereotype, the harm outweighs the benefits of being overgeneralized and categorized as “Asian”. This literature review examines these negative effects of the model minority myth and the miscategorizations it has in education. Asians have the highest income disparity where the top 10% of the income distribution are 10.7 times more than those in the bottom 10% (Pew Research Center). This difference is the difference in opportunities students can take advantage of, but the education system often reduces or even ignores the efforts and hardships individuals face, because to them, 48 different countries with distinct cultures, are all “Asian”. It is essential to ensure visibility of different Asian groups to combat misleading stereotypes. The ultimate goal is to balance diversity and high achieving students, but the first step is to understand the different groups and their problems and needs.
Presenter 5: Alyssa Thompson
Abstract: I have put together an electronic portfolio detailing my work, my experience, and my skills that I have developed and gained through my experience in organizing a TEDx event at Southern Utah University. This portfolio includes a complete journal detailing my participation, pictures of the event, and my reflections on my overall experience with the event and my student-led committee.
Presenter 6: Sandra Perez
Abstract: I reached my 2015 new Honors Director goal to reflect the demographics of my institution in our University Honors Program in Fall 2020. The purpose of this presentation is to share the steps taken to achieve this goal. By collaboratively working through issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, we were able to transform our honors program to better reflect our diverse student population. Institutional data provided key information to identify equity gaps, while campus partners supported reaching desired goals. The steps taken and insights gained can help fellow Honors leaders progress towards greater inclusion at their own institutions.
Facilitator: Katie Englert
Presenter 1: Eric Anderson
Abstract: Ever since George Berkeley first began arguing against matter as a substance, philosophers and even scientists have been discussing what it could mean for the world to be mind-dependent. The debate has typically centered around whether the world’s being mind-dependent is comprehensible, and, if it is comprehensible, whether we could have good enough reason to endorse it. In this paper I will argue that a robust argument for Berkeleyan Idealism (BI) can be made by framing BI in terms of an inference to the best explanation, a route largely unexplored in the literature. I will begin by describing exactly what is entailed by BI, then proceed to looking at what it means to evaluate BI as an inference to the best explanation. Finally, I will apply the standards for a best explanation to BI to show that it fares better than its competition.
Materials
Presenter 2: Michael Guynn
Abstract: In many traditions is the idea that most people are “asleep” to the true nature of reality (Radhakrishnan & Moore, 1989; Mosig, 1989). The philosophers John Dewey and Bernard Suits argue that our modern way of life disconnects us from the present moment with its emphasis on quick, cheap productivity (Suits, 1925;Dewey, 1934). Latent inhibition is a cognitive inhibitory mechanism that phases out interest for known information (Carson, Higgens, & Peterson, 2003). Lowered latent inhibition may be a way to increase interest in the present moment. Lucid dreaming is when a person gains conscious awareness and control of their dreams (Hobsen, 2009). Lucid dreams feel real and offer creative reinterpretations of reality (Brown, 2016). Lucid dreaming may thus be a novel way to lower latent inhibition (Lee, 2015). With the development of increasingly sophisticated brain-stimulating technologies it may soon be possible for the general populace to electronically induce lucid dreaming at will (Voss et al., 2014; Brown, 2016). This theoretical paper predicts that widespread lucid dreaming may thus increase presentness in future societies through lowered latent inhibition.
Materials
Presenter 3: Sophia Albalate
Abstract: Human medical experimentation has been a necessity to the increased longevity of human beings. However, ethical rules regulating such practices have only relatively recently been established. Three historical events concerning the moral dilemma of human experimentation have led to this: the drafting of the Nuremberg Code, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Belmont Report. Before these concerns and subsequent regulations arose, J. Marion Sims spent much of his life medically experimenting on others. Sims eventually cured a certain womanly ailment, but at what cost? In my presentation, I explore who J. Marion Sims and his subjects were and apply the guidelines of three ethical theories to his work: Kantian deontology, moral relativism, and classical utilitarianism. I hold Sims’s actions up to the light of each of these moralities, explaining how his experiments are justiable (or not) according to each unique set of guidelines. The moral dilemma provokes us to ask ourselves: who is wrong and who is right?
Materials
Presenter 4: Megan Mehta
Abstract: From virtual assistants to online shopping recommendations, innovative technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has revolutionized our economy by reducing labor costs and improving accuracy, efficiency, and safety in manufacturing products. Industrial automation is inevitable, and AI/ML applications in certain sectors establishes the productivity effect—higher efficiency leading to an increase in jobs. However, in sectors where automation replaces jobs, wage cuts and unemployment could become the norm—straining existing government welfare systems, decreasing consumerism, and limiting the stock market growth. Economic inequality can lead to political polarization and gridlock on domestic economic reforms and foreign trade policies. Based on my case study of AI/ML-driven economic decline in the Rust Belt, I propose two policies to limit the repercussions of automation while preserving the benefits: strengthening monopoly prevention laws to limit the consequences of disparity by promoting competition and raising taxes to increase funding for public education, financial aid, and welfare for unemployed workers with limited skills who want to pursue higher education for well-paying jobs.
Materials
Presenter 5: Amelie Phua
Abstract: While misinformation on social media influences the millions of users online, carefully structured applications to verify information can properly address the issue. Social media sites are widely available to anyone with an email and wi connection, increasing the likelihood of false information in regards to health, news, and politics. Social media has become so integrated into everyday life, Will Forbes of Forbes Magazine describes that influence of information as being “perhaps the most valuable geopolitical currency there is.” In a time where lives are at stake with COVID-19, there is no room for false information to destroy lives by misleading individuals. As such, structured applications have been proposed that background check users who make accounts to verify their credibility which could help in preventing the creation of accounts that spread falsities online. There must be more attention directed towards remediating the rising growth of false information online, especially during this time with the COVID-19 pandemic. Users hold the ability to greatly influence perspectives and peoples’ knowledge, and with the billions of people online, addressing this problem is vital and an inevitable one.
Materials
Presenter 6: Trent LaMont
Abstract:This creative essay was created for the second year honors seminar devoted to questions that is held, where we spend the term reading creative essays. This was written in place of a midterm and was meant to explore a question and not come to an answer of one. These essays could explore either a personal subject or a less personal subject.
Materials
Facilitator: Erin Edgington
Presenter 1: Ellen Hilbun
Abstract: The cardiac system is fundamental to body function and sustenance. This system uses both pressure differentials and electric signals to pump blood throughout the body. There are currently several systems and methods proposed to look for and categorize arrhythmias. My focus is to instead look at the causes of arrhythmias, including electric stimulation and heart shape and size to allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the complications. Many current simulations look at action potential duration (APD) in order to categorize behavior of the ventricular myocardium. A model will be constructed for the electrochemical circuit simulation of the heart and its function, while also including the hydroelectric component of pressures and volumes. These computational models significantly increase my understanding of causes and effects of these arrhythmias. I am choosing to simulate ventricular fibrillation (VF), which occurs when multiple sources are telling parts of the heart to contract at the same time. This causes a much faster, chaotic heartbeat that can reach upwards of 300 bpm, causing an increase in blood flow into the heart, which lowers cardiac output. This results in fainting and death if no medical attention is provided.
Materials
Presenter 2: Noelle Reimers
Abstract: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive cancer with poor survival rates and limited treatment options whose prevalence is expected to increase up to 137% by 2030. Existing therapies outside of liver resection or transplantation have poor ecacy, and few new treatment options have been developed in recent decades. It is now known that the lipid metabolism of HCC cells is significantly altered relative to normal liver cells, often involving upregulation of fatty acid synthesis and oxidation enzymes. These lipid metabolic enzymes could represent a class of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of HCC. To investigate this possibility, we designed a targeted library of existing lipid metabolic drugs for a repurposing screen. We treated a liver cancer cell line with 187 lipid metabolic drugs and clinical compounds in order to determine their relative anti-proliferative effects and therapeutic potential. The initial screening on HUH7 liver cancer cells identified 24 compounds of interest based on a dose dependent anti-proliferative response. The hits largely came from drugs targeting phospholipase, cytochrome P450, FAAH, and autophagy enzymes.
Materials
Presenter 3: Ava Platt
Abstract: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease marked by learning and memory deficits and cognitive decline. A characteristic of AD is neurofibrillary tangles composed of accumulated tau proteins. Type II diabetes (T2D) has been shown to exacerbate AD pathology and can confer up to a 4-fold increased risk for developing AD. However, the mechanism of how T2D confers risk remains unclear. We hypothesized that the pathology induced by hyperglycemia is the primary mechanism, and that AD-related pathology is exacerbated with age. We tested this by inducing hyperglycemia using streptozotocin (STZ) in young and aged mice. After extended incubation time, one of the hyperglycemic groups was given a drug (Phloridzin; PZ) that lowers blood glucose levels back to normal. Our results show that hyperglycemic mice treated with PZ showed significantly increased AD pathology compared to controls. This data suggests that altering glucose levels can increase AD pathology and that the time spent with hyperglycemia was enough to increase the risk of developing AD regardless of mice receiving PZ. These results provide potential insight regarding the role of elevated glucose levels seen in late-stage T2D as a risk factor for AD.
Materials
Presenter 4: Christian Gomez
Abstract: Developing an understanding of the biological mechanisms regulating the stress response is an important topic toward promoting good health and well-being, especially since many aspects remain unknown. The goal of this project is to analyze and determine how rat brains can be affected by varying conditions of stress through the use of staining techniques which can be visualized under the microscope. We hope to examine the Cocaine- and Amphetamine-Regulated Transcript (CART) neural pathways that have been presented in specific areas of the hypothalamus, and map its expression under varying conditions of stress. By mapping out its expression and determining the overlapping location of other stress factors, we can better understand its function and mechanism in the stress response.
Materials
Presenter 5: Jenesis Mendez
Abstract: In recent years, parents have begun boycotting vaccinations because of the widespread belief that they result in birth defects and disabilities, such as Autism. A majority of individuals believe this theory based on the impression of other people and sources proven to be unreliable. While this may seem like a relatively new trend, there was a time in the late 1800's when people first began to reject vaccinations. This resulted in a mild outbreak of smallpox ending with a total of 22 deaths out of 150 cases. Although this was a small percentage compared to the population, it ultimately impacted how the city viewed the vaccinations they were receiving. Because of the shift in vaccination perceptions, health professors began to publicly contend over the definite cause of the disease. These uncertified doctors evidently declared that vaccinations were the cause of the smallpox disease for their own monetary gain, similar to the modern allegation of uncertified individuals. In today's society, parents have been led to believe that vaccinations are the cause of autism, deaths from disease exposure, and cause harmful side effects. The U.S. is beginning to experience outbreaks of measles, after it was officially eliminated in the year 2000, due to increasingly low vaccination rates. As of late 2019, the world has entered a global pandemic with still no definite vaccination after nearly a year since being quarantined and ordered to shelter in place. With the existing anti-vaccine movement, this group may be more dangerous than ever to the surrounding population. With a rebel against vaccinations, the COVID-19 pandemic may cease further down the road than society ever anticipated and will lead to an increase in Coronavirus infections, which can be lethal. Given this, the conclusive research should be considered before choosing against vaccinating you and/or your child.
Materials

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | Lunch/Scribendi WRHC Release Celebration

Scribendi Team

Scribendi magazine premieres its 2021 issue to celebrate its 35th anniversary! At this session of the conference, participants are invited to have lunch while Scribendi staff members introduce our newest edition and WRHC Award Winners as well as Staff Choice and Editors Choice winners present their work. Scribendi is a nonprofit, annual print publication, sponsored by WRHC, that publishes creative work from undergraduate Honors students from more than 200 institutions in the western region as well as schools across the nation affiliated with the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). Primarily produced by Honors students at the University of New Mexico Honors College, Scribendi solicits work in categories such as poetry, creative nonfiction, short fiction, foreign language, visual art, photography, and open media, which encompasses any creative works not otherwise listed, such as film, music, architecture, graffiti, fashion, and art not easily defined. Honors students from other WRHC schools may participate in Scribendi through a Visiting Staff Exchange program.

1:40 PM - 2:40 PM | Session Three

Facilitator: Spencer Wells
Presenter 1: Haley Morris
Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni is one of the leading causes of intestinal inflammation in the US, and infection is often caused by the consumption of undercooked poultry. Symptoms of infection include abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. It is known that this food-borne pathogen causes disease by attaching to and then invading the cells lining the intestine. The goal of this project is to determine the mechanism by which this occurs. We hypothesize that talin (a host cell protein) is needed for invasion because it senses C. jejuni bound to a host cell and coordinates the rearrangement of the host cytoskeleton. To investigate how C. jejuni invasion and talin are related, we used cell culture assays to assess the ability of C. jejuni to invade INT 407 human cells. Cell lines were generated with reduced talin expression via shRNA. These and wild-type cells were infected with C. jejuni to determine the role of talin in bacterial invasion. Results showed that cells with depleted talin had a significant reduction in bacterial invasion, indicating that talin is needed for invasion. Understanding the mechanism C. jejuni uses to invade a host cell is necessary for the development of therapeutics, which can combat the effects of infection in humans.
Presenter 2: Sean Thompson
Abstract: The Driskell Lab has discovered that controlling the functions of different types of fibroblasts, a specialized type of skin cells involved in wound healing, can induce skin regeneration characterized by the reformation of hair in a wound. The Driskell Lab has previously demonstrated that fibroblasts from the upper (papillary) layer of skin promote regenerative outcomes while fibroblasts from the lower (reticular) layer of skin produce scarring outcomes. Mammals are born with the innate capacity to regenerate wounds without scarring as they possess a large proportion of upper fibroblasts. This regenerative ability is lost shortly after birth due to a reduction in upper fibroblasts as skin matures and ages. We hypothesized that changes in chromatin accessibility of regenerative genes in upper fibroblasts triggers this loss of regenerative capacity. We used scATAC-seq and scRNA-seq to investigate the relationship between chromatin accessibility and gene expression in wild-type regenerative neonatal fibroblasts versus non-regenerating Lef1-knockout neonatal fibroblasts. By integrating these two single-cell datasets, we identify the key genes whose silencing in Lef1-knockout fibroblasts leads to their inability to regenerate.
Materials
Presenter 3: C. Dasyre Sires
Abstract: Bacteriophages are viruses that target bacteria. These have been used in bacteriophage therapy along with antibiotics to treat bacterial infections for nearly a century. However, mutations frequently arise that allow bacteria to develop resistance to such treatments. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) strands cover the surface of bacteria cells and many bacteriophages (phages) require LPS to bind and infect the cells. Through mutation or transcription regulation, these LPS molecules can be modified to increase the resistance of infection. To determine how bacteria evolve to escape infection by phages, I sequenced genomes from laboratory host Escherichia coli that displayed resistance to one of ten different types of phage. Ten genomes of a resistant host to each type of phage were sequenced and analyzed for a total of 100 genomes. Sequencing artifacts were then identified and compared to the ancestral strain to identify mutations. Data revealed that most of the observed mutations were involved in the biosynthesis of the bacteria’s LPS. Pairing these observations with previous research regarding infection mechanisms will hopefully aid in the understanding and control of antibiotic and phage-therapeutic resistance.
Materials
Presenter 4: Sarah Wilcox
Abstract:Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to healthcare around the world. This crisis can be fought by creating alternative antibiotics from newly discovered strains of Streptomyces. New compounds of Streptomyces are rarely discovered when searched for in common locations (such as soil or plants). However new research has found Streptomyces in unusual places, such as insects’ microbiomes (Chevrette et al., 2019). Inspired by these results, our project seeks to identify the presence of Streptomyces within insects from Southern Utah. Insects were collected from three different sampling locations: Woods Ranch and Veteran’s Park (Cedar City) and Red Hills Desert Garden (St George). Specimen collection from each site included Orthoptera (grasshoppers) and Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants). DNA extraction procedures were used to isolate bacteria, and gel electrophoresis confirmed the presence of bacteria within the analyzed insects. We are awaiting the results of the gene sequencing to determine the bacterial etiology and if the strain is a unique Streptomyces. The discovery of new Streptomyces can lead to the formation of modified antibiotics to help fight the dangerous phenomenon of antibiotic resistance.
Materials
Presenter 5: Anna Maddison
Abstract:Per- and poly uoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals, used in the production of many consumer goods and various industrial processes, have been widely detected in samples from both humans and animals. Comprehensive research into the health impacts of PFOS and PFOA, two common PFAS chemicals, resulted in legislative decisions to phase them out of use, but many other understudied PFAS chemicals with potential adverse health effects are replacing them. In this study, we focus on how the reproductive health and development of animal models is affected by exposure to seven PFAS chemicals: peruorononanoic acid (PFNA), peruorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), peruorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), 4,8-dioxia-3H-peruorononanoic acid (ADONA), peruorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), peruoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), and peruorodecanoic acid (PFDA). This literature review presents the observed reproductive and developmental effects of these chemicals on animal models, which can be used to help establish legislative priorities and draw attention to current gaps in published research.
Materials
Facilitator: Kate McPherson
Presenter 1: Emma Wiechert
Abstract: This project will examine student leadership in honors programs and colleges through interviews with various honors' student leaders across the country. Questions and research will include roles and responsibilities, elections, and compensation. These questions should help explain how student leadership factors into the general honors experience. Overall, this synthesis should show the range of models for honors student leadership and governance and allow for improvements for honors' student leadership across the board.
Materials
Presenter 2: Prakash Chenjeri
Abstract: Honors education, generally speaking, aims to produce an active and intellectually engaged citizenry. But how do we achieve a balance between academic demands put on students and engendering civic education? This session presents one approach to meet this challenge: design honors courses that integrate intellectual virtue alongside discipline content. A course designed at the Honors College at Southern Oregon University will be used as a case study to explore this theme.
Presenter 3: Timothy Nichols
Abstract: Students in the Davidson Honors College have contributed greatly to the success of the college and its programs in the past year. This presentation will highlight student leadership around recruitment, learning assistance, service, and outreach/social media. Challenges, success stories and student benefits will be discussed.
Materials
Presenter 4: Christopher Syrnyk
Abstract: This essay was composed alongside my students during the second term of the second-year honors seminar sequence, known as the Honors Question Seminar. In this year-long sequence we consider the power and purpose of questions. The honors program students and I read The Best American Essay 2020 anthology to practice inferencing the questions the authors were presumably considering in their essays. As such, fundamental to our study of the essay genre was working to understand how essay authors strive to consider a question or problem (keeping an idea open, in play) rather than work to reach a conclusion (achieving closure). In my essay, I examine the power of cheese to unite us due to its capacity for promoting sharing, and in this essay I consider also how, historically, cheese has been the cause of demonstrably few deaths, and ultimately how cheese culture in the present may in fact be a better way to choose world leaders, cultivate unity, and work out our global problems.
Materials
Facilitator: Lynn Vartan
Presenter 1: Patricia Vargas
Abstract: Amidst global challenges like COVID-19, it becomes crucial to understand what factors may most impact a person’s movement into and out of poverty in order to ensure a robust society. This project examines how family background and educational attainment interact to jointly affect poverty in the United States using data from a nationally representative panel study sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics. After proxying poverty with receiving public assistance, 18 independent variables consistent with demographic and family background were tested with regression analysis. Ten variables were found to have a statistically signicant effect on the probability of receiving public assistance with dependents, recent unemployment, and sex being among the strongest predictors of receiving public assistance (p<0.001). Roughly 36% of the variation in receiving public assistance is explained by our model, helping paint poverty with more color. More importantly, these results signal a need to buttress public programs through at least 2023 given the skyrocketing unemployment rate of the 2020 year.
Presenter 2: Madeeha Sheriff
Abstract: College undergraduates are at high risk for their mental health being affected due to the constant stress that comes along with being an undergraduate student. Furthermore, since COVID-19 hit, undergraduate students are struggling even more. However, honors undergraduate students are a group that is at higher risk with their mental health being affected during these unprecedented times. Due to the lack of research on the honors undergraduate population during COVID, this study serves to show how honors students are being affected by levels of stress, depression, anxiety, coping mechanisms, and social support. Honors students received a Qualtrics Survey with the following scales: DEMO, DASS 21, Brief Cope, PAS, and MSPSS. Once the survey has been taken by 100 honors students, the data will be exported and analyzed by the SPSS Statistics software. The purpose is to uncover and share Honors students' experiences with mental health during this difficult time.
Materials
Presenter 3: Ella Spillane
Abstract: There has been observed failure to social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. What factors might lead to more persuasive communication in this public health crisis? The consideration for future consequences (CFC) is the degree individuals consider future consequences of their behavior and whether they are influenced by them (Joireman et al., 2006). Temporal framing of health messages has been studied to interact with an individual's CFC level to influence health behavior. We will test two hypotheses; individuals high on the CFC scale will have greater compliance than individuals who are low on the CFC scale, and that an individual’s level of CFC and the framing of a public health message will interact, such that messages emphasizing short-term costs will be more effective among low CFCs and messages emphasizing long-term costs will be more effective among high CFCs. We expect the above hypotheses to hold. Individual’s CFC level, moderated by the temporal framing of a public health message will influence the indicated likelihood of individuals to socially distance. Understanding how to influence social distancing compliance through health messaging can have positive implications in combating pandemics going forward.
Materials
Presenter 4: Angelina Cayabyab
Abstract: Paying working-class and low-income Americans a livable wage just to stay home during a pandemic will give them the incentive to stay home to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The stimulus check isn’t enough to provide for the shelter and food for working-class and low-income Americans during a pandemic. It’s possible to pay working-class and low-income people through the redistribution of wealth that comes from big corporations and rich Americans.
Materials
Presenter 5: Evelyn Urrieta
Abstract: The spread of COVID-19 led to the closures of schools, businesses, restaurants, and ultimately terminated our standard way of living and established a new “normal.” One full of uncertainty, especially when considering how to continue to nurture the minds of young students in the midst of a global pandemic. This article aims to explain how school closures affected the overall use of technology, the effectiveness of technology on student learning, and teacher attitudes towards technology use in the classroom. Due to the pandemic, elementary schools were placed on a soft closure in March 2020, inevitably leading to educators having to shift to remote learning. The participants in this study were elementary school teachers in Southern Utah. The results of this study indicated that although there were many obstacles to overcome with the abrupt shift to virtual learning, many educators increased the overall use of technology in their classrooms as well as hold more positive attitudes towards technology. While the shift to online learning helped elementary educators navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic it was not felt to be effective as the sole form of instruction and many educators were dissatisfied with online learning.
Presenter 6: Rebecca Bateman
Abstract: In some respects, SARS-CoV-2 resembles its benign cold-causing relatives. Coronavirus NL63 and SARS-1 coronavirus use the same ACE2 receptor to enter highly differentiated epithelial cells. Circumstantial evidence suggests Coronavirus OC43 may have caused a pandemic in 1890 usually attributed to in uenza. The seasonal coronaviruses cause “common colds.” Could SARS-CoV-2 take the same path? We have written models to address how three factors might push SARS-CoV-2 towards JASC. First, evidence suggests asymptomatic cases tend to shed less virus. If viral dose affects disease severity, and vice versa, selection could act to alleviate virulence. Second, children are far less likely to experience more severe forms of COVID-19, and different disease outcomes in kids versus adults could influence the epidemiology in important ways. Third, JASC might be sensitive to the duration of immunity to SARS-CoV- 2. Our models show that JASC is possible if viral dose correlates with disease severity and if immunity is suficiently strong and long-lasting. We show how it might be possible for SARS-CoV-2 to persist in humans as a benign cold-causing virus.
Facilitator: Johnny MacLean
Presenter 1: Asha Bhattacharya
Abstract: Existing studies indicate the importance of promotion mindsets in creating leadership emergence and also point out that prevention mindsets hinder leadership emergence. This makes it seem that the two mindsets work in opposing ways in explaining leadership emergence. In line with the previous studies, I find that the prevention mindset is negatively associated with leadership emergence. Interestingly, it is the interaction of the promotion and prevention mindsets that has a statistically significant and positive impact on leadership emergence. My findings suggest that a combination of promotion and prevention mindsets is most conducive to an individual’s leadership emergence in a group setting. Since previous research suggests that women possess more of a prevention mindset, the results of my findings indicate that organizations can take corrective action by teaching promotion mindset techniques to their prevention mindset employees. Such measures will increase female leadership emergence, resulting in greater numbers of women leaders and a reduction of wage gap between men and women.
Materials
Presenter 2: Erik Fronberg
Abstract: This thesis examines the role, limits, and drawbacks of using emergency powers in a liberal democracy to address climate change. Emergency powers enable government executives to create and implement policy outside of normal democratic channels. In the name of the greater good, leaders empowered by emergency orders may ignore norms and restrict activities, infringing on what some view as rights and liberties essential to maintaining a liberal democracy. Consensus in the scientific community maintains that the window for acting to mitigate the worst effects of climate change is rapidly narrowing. Drawing on historic and contemporary examples including World War II, 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic, this thesis addresses questions relevant to emergency powers and climate change such as: Are emergency powers necessary to address the urgency of climate change? What activities may be restricted in the name of climate change mitigation/adaptation? In what way, if any, could these restrictions compromise democratic values? How can the danger to democratic values be minimized while still addressing the urgency of climate change?
Materials
Presenter 3: Annika Bjornson
Abstract: We aim to cultivate a stronger culture of civic engagement that empowers people to use their voices for change in their schools, workplaces, and government. After participating in story circles on civic engagement, we developed a think tank to inspire future Honors projects. To impact local people and foster rich conversation, we will become Citizen University Fellows this spring and bring civic engagement education events to our campus. Our long-term goal is to launch a research project in which we create a democratic engagement index that can measure the civic health of local institutions. This will promote the values of a participatory society by helping workplaces, schools, and organizations recognize how they can grow. Our deepest conviction about democracy is that it’s a never-ending process that we must all pursue, and we hope this project will lay the foundation for future efforts to inform and to empower the people.
Materials
Presenter 4: Lili Girodie
Abstract: The Leadership in Environmental Design and Energy (LEED) framework is an internationally recognized, comprehensive point-based rating scheme that assigns a sustainability score to the building(s) under review. As greenhouse emissions continue to rise, and the earth warms, it is vital that we do the best we can to limit our impact on the earth, especially when it comes to new development. We need to consider the entire building from its construction to its demolition, via life cycle analysis (LCA), in order to know the true impact a project will have on the environment. To do this, my faculty advisor and I are diving into different LCA approaches to see which is best suited for the building scale. After completing our review and analyzing several buildings using available LCA modeling software, we will begin our comparison: what are the drawbacks of the LEED framework and what are the areas in which there could be a more thorough analysis of the building component? After teasing out the components that could be improved, we will be able to construct a building assessment model, using both LEED and LCA components, that will allow us to more comprehensively assess building sustainability.
Materials
Presenter 5: Ariana Dapra
Abstract: An increase in televised police violence and the mass protests in response to George Floyd’s death have led to well-deserved critiques of our current police system. Calls to defund the police have been generally void of discussing viable alternatives. Using an equity and social justice lens, the development of the policing system in the United States is examined, calling into question the necessity of police. First, definitions of public safety and their changes over time are examined. Parallels are seen between the inception of policing and the overt police violence of today. This literature review captures the public opinion on policing in addition to the media portrayal and how those have changed over time. Currently, police handle issues of mental health, homelessness, drug addiction, sexual assault, and domestic violence without standardized training to do so. Why is an organization rooted in violence and aggression the one to respond to these community crises without proper training? This research concludes that investing in communities' needs will remedy more public safety issues than police currently do by getting to the root of these problems.
Materials
Presenter 6: Jaiden Christopher
Abstract: The Honors Peer Coaches are novel pieces to a new advising system, and have been instrumental in the creation of the newly-created Honors College. Our Peer Coaches are taking on the responsibility of being mentors and essential resources to incoming Honors freshmen, and facilitators of a relationship between freshmen and their professors and faculty. Utilizing the R.I.S.E. Honors mission statement, we plan to introduce how to become agents of transformational change.
Materials
Facilitator: David Lunt
Presenter 1: Julian Olsen
Abstract: This PowerPoint presentation explores the concept of the flawed hero, a gure who embodies the conflict between personal desires and the duties and obligations pertaining to the larger culture. These archetypes developed separately at different points in history, yet they react to similar themes. This will be referred to as the Cú Chulainn Archetype as reacted in Old Irish Literature/Celtic Mythology. Beginning with an evaluation of the Irish/Celtic hero Cú Chulainn, who desired to prove himself on the battle eld for glory despite his renowned superhuman strength, the presentation will establish the pattern for the Cú Chulainn Archetype as seen in many heroes, including those from Greek, Hindu, and Chinese mythology/folklore. The presentation concludes with a brief exploration of the Cú Chulainn Archetype in contemporary society.
Materials
Presenter 2: Sydney Jensen
Abstract:Fairy tales have infultrated the lives of masses, creating a commonality among millions despite differences in culture, location, language, and belief. Tales that originated throughout the world share similar elements and influences such as historical events, mythical beings, environments, storytellers, translators, Christianity, oral tradition, and the roles of women. These influences altered tales from one translation and adaptation to the next. The purpose of this project is to examine the well-known tale Cinderella and the lesser-known Six Swans and their variants to find similarities and differences between adaptations and originals, to discover why certain elements were maintained, and others were not depending on location, Christianity, patriarchal views, and gender roles. Examining widely spread tales to lesser-known ones, reveals that popular tales portray women as damsels in distress rather than tales where women are forced into silence to rescue men; going against traditional gender roles. Christianity’s spread popularized tales that projected ideals, while tales that did not portray women as only damsels, wicked stepmothers, or witches slinked into the shadows, a prominent problem faced in today’s pop culture.
Materials
Presenter 3: Ash Tandoc
Abstract: Amongst the queer community, when someone says something that resonates within all of us, a resounding chorus of snapping fingers will ll the room. The snaps mean “we understand.” The snaps mean “we are with you.” When a queer poet lls the room with words that resound to a queer audience, the room becomes a place of understanding and warmth, a place of clicking fingers. The signicance of queer poetry must not go unignored, especially given the artform’s popularity amongst the LGBTQ+ community that gives a meaningful platform to have one’s voice heard. This project explores the significance of queer poetry in how it acts as a method of activism, individual artistic expression, and the broader significance and impact of queer poetry as a way of representation amongst the LGBTQ+ community. This is examined through literature review and personal experiences/exploration of how queer poetry is received and performed in the community.
Materials
Presenter 4: Kalina Tatareva
Abstract: Florence Buchman is a free-spirited “modern” woman of the 1920s who isn’t afraid to go on an adventure, despite the criticisms of her strict father. Along with her friend, Daphne, Florence indulges in the tumultuous atmosphere of the “Roaring Twenties” by visiting a lively dance hall in Harlem and an elegant club in Manhattan. However, between the jazz, cocktails, and cigarettes, the girls also begin to encounter increasingly violent acts, which come to a head when Florence experiences a police raid inside a secret speakeasy. When the dire situation seems hopeless, Florence’s father emerges from the chaos to rescue her, leading her to reflect on her conversations with him. Florence begins to understand her father and realizes that more lies beneath the surface of the person she thought she knew. The story explores historical themes of crime and prohibition, as well as the human themes of parental love and family relationships. It features research from various primary, secondary, and historical fiction sources, in addition to direct references to newspaper articles and locations in 1920’s New York City.
Materials
Presenter 5: Annie Sweet
Abstract: What do the dead want us to remember about living? What can they teach us about living better lives? These are questions I asked myself when my partner lost his mother at age 76 after years of slow deterioration from Alzheimer's. At the time of her death, it had been years since she could have a meaningful conversation with her family members. When she passed, there was a certain amount of relief expressed by her family because they had witnessed her torment and were glad she no longer suffered. In my attempt to comfort my partner, I tried to envision the words and the feeling his mother would have wanted to impart on her son as she reflected on her life from beyond her physical form if she could. It was from that place that I wrote a poem called Annie Wildwood.
Materials
Presenter 6: Nicholas Armbrust
Abstract: The project was written for a 2nd year honors class where the students are contemplating what makes something an essay and what parts of an essay are important to composition of said essay. The class is reading "The Best American Essays of 2020" and were tasked with writing their own essays in their own style.
Materials
Facilitator: John Meisner
Presenter 1: Isaac Martin
Abstract: Polstra showed that the cardinality of the torsion subgroup of the divisor class group of a local strongly F-regular ring is finite. We expand upon this result and prove that the reciprocal of the F-signature of a local strongly F-regular ring R bounds the cardinality of the torsion subgroup of the divisor class group of R.
Materials
Presenter 2: Matan Shtepel
Abstract: Quaternions are 4-part numbers discovered by Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton in 1843, notably offering 3-dimensional extension of the geometric properties of complex numbers. Currently, beyond their more scientific and abstract usage, they receive wide utilization across the computing industry, especially by popular game engines, miscellaneous graphics applications, and all iPhone devices since IOS 7. We studied the quaternions number system closely, examining several visualizations and different ways to approach an intuitive understanding of the subject, singling out the best, fusing them together, and utilizing them to boost our grasp of the topic. Proceeding our mathematical understanding, we overcame several implementation challenges to create a programmatic equivalent that is able to swiftly carry out various algebraic operations. Building upon that class, we developed the proper computational bodies necessary to demonstrate quaternion operations visually, specifically their ability to rotate 3-dimensional points. Lastly, we set out to compare quaternionic methods with their contemporaries, consistently finding evidence for quaternionic superiority.
Materials
Presenter 3: Stacie Barbarick
Abstract: Robotic technology has countless applications and will be the next paradigm shift in aerospace, biomedical and manufacturing technologies. However, little attention has been paid to creating joint human-robot teams since often communication systems between humans and robots are limited. The purpose of my project is to design and develop a robotic interface controlled by a “sensory” glove for use in an inhospitable environment. Sensory information is sent from the robot and the human can respond based on the perceptive data given in real time while remaining in a safe, remote location. I created a wearable, tactile interface that demonstrates human controlled movement visualized by differential LED emissions. The next step is to demonstrate that human users can acquire and interpret this perception feedback using visual cues. Ultimately, I hope to show that human-users can be taught to interpret pressure, haptic information through visual, LED signals.
Materials
Presenter 4: Ashay Stephen
Abstract: Traditional machine learning involves the use of Artificial Neural Networks, utilizing a series of weights and biases to produce a range of solutions in the form of probabilities. Although this system of machine learning can produce great results, it is usually impractical to use with hardware systems which have strict size, weight, and power (SWaP) limitations. Such constraints therefore require a new, computationally inexpensive, method of machine learning in order to allow them to be used in new ways. Hyper-Dimensional Computing (HDC) is such a method, which utilizes unique binary vectors in order to represent pieces of information and build associations among them. The following HDC research explores to what extent these associations can be made, their resistance to noise, and the most effective encoding schemes to store the maximum amount of information. These simulations were done in the contexts of supervised learning and reinforcement learning, and the results show that HDC provides a fast, reliable, and noise-resistant method of machine learning. Because of the simplicity of the code, and its compatibility with binary architectures, it is apparent that HDC could be effectively used with SWaP-limited systems.
Materials
Presenter 5: Briana Pomales
Abstract:Calculus is the study of instantaneous change and will be used tond the average rate of decay in bananas. The purpose of this study is to collect and analyze data of Del Monte’s companies’ bananas to see how many days it takes for the skin to turn almost completely black. These bananas are from Guatemala and were placed in the same area of the house (picture shown on last page). From September to November three batches of bananas were studied. The mean of the data was 21 days, pictures were taken of bananas on the day of purchase and on the nal day of recording. Photos were also taken to compare the previous bananas with current ones, this was to keep the data close as accurate as possible from just eyeing the color shift. The newly purchased bananas were made sure to have the same amount of yellow and green as the first batch. In order to graph the data collected, each banana was rated on a scale of one to five. Below are the standards used to identify the number.
Materials

2:50 PM - 3:50 PM | Session Four

Facilitator: Erin Edgington
Presenter 1: Ariana Ruiz
Abstract:When the first case of Coronavirus was discovered, no one anticipated the magnitude of the deadlypandemic. While a vaccine is being distributed across the world, what can be done for those who lost so much? Help is needed for those who have lost their family members, for those who will never fully recover from the attack COVID-19 had on their body, for those who were quarantined and feel isolated from society. Mental health is a pressing issue and the virus is forcing individuals into isolation, fostering an unhealthyenvironment. This coupled with the fact that there are not enough services available to help support these individuals. Dogs and puppies have a long history with promising results when used for therapy. In an article explaining the power of dogs and their effect on PTSD in military personnel, Rebecca Segal states, “There is evidence that dogs should be deployed in forward-operating units to reduce the incidence and severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)”. This study will analyze past studies for explanations as to how dogs can be the cure we are all searching for. Dogs in the past have helped individuals overcome the feelings of anxiety. With anxiety at an all-time high, therapy dogs are our way out.
Materials
Presenter 3: Mukul Sharda
Abstract: Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent and debilitating psychiatric problems affecting adolescents and young adults. Fathers have been underrepresented in research on the intergenerational transmission of anxiety, despite growing evidence that anxiety runs in families. Using prospective data from a community sample of 451 adolescents (49% female) from heterosexual two-parent families, the aim of this study was to investigate the unique effects of paternal SCL-90-R anxiety symptoms on youth anxiety symptoms from adolescence (age 13) to early adulthood (age 21). Using autoregressive multiple regression analyses, paternal anxiety was examined as a predictor of change in youth anxiety across time. Statistical controls included maternal anxiety, maternal and paternal depressive symptoms, youth sex, and family socioeconomic status. Father anxiety symptoms predicted adolescent anxiety symptoms, but only among father–daughter dyads. These findings add to a growing literature on fathers’ role in adolescent psychopathology and highlight the importance of further research on how and under which conditions anxiety is transmitted from one generation to the next.
Materials
Presenter 4: Ruth O'Donogue
Abstract: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is classified under Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders in the DSM-5. OCD is diagnosable by the presence of obsessions and/or compulsions, and these symptoms must be considered time-consuming or cause clinically significant distress. This disorder impacts both men and women. Treatments include both cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants, either by themselves or a combination of the two. Though treatment may help, OCD cannot be entirely cured. The immense stigma surrounding OCD has diluted awareness of just how debilitating it can be. Many people use “OCD” interchangeably with words like “neat” and “orderly.” Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is NOT an adjective nor a personality trait, it is a real and dicult disorder that millions of people suffer with.Through spreading awareness and education, perhaps one day we can cease the trivialization of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Materials
Presenter 5: Anna Sanchez
Abstract: How do opinions of trauma and PTSD change between cultures, specifically between U.S. mainstream culture and that of Native American communities? I expect to find that there will be numerous differences in how the U.S. and Native communities handle and treat trauma and PTSD. I also expect to find that the mainstream culture of the U.S. serves to be more harmful to healing, while Native American communities are more beneficial. My research will explore the various differences between the U.S. mainstream culture and Native American cultures, specifically in how they handle trauma and PTSD. I will find the differences and similarities in treatment, the healing process and overall diagnosis. My research will also show examples of how trauma and PTSD can initially become prevalent for individuals in the two cultures. By looking at two extremely traumatic and gruesome time periods in relation to each culture, I will begin to analyze the similarities in trauma inflicted on individuals and will then assess how that changes throughout time.
Materials
Presenter 6: Andrew Smith
Abstract: The reality in which individuals with Alzheimer's exist is often fundamentally different from the shared reality of the broader community. These individuals often experience dislocations in space and time which causes their reality to differ from the shared reality, but their perceptions of people and objects often differ as well. Traditional methods of phenomenological inquiry have treated delusions such as these as completely irrational and thus impossible to describe. However, the delusions of individuals with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia can often be related to events or triggers in the shared common reality. If an individual examines the life history of these individuals and their reactions to everyday events it is possible to partially understand these individual's conceptions of space, time, and setting. By the use of creative imagination, it is possible to theorize what the reality of these individuals looks like and thus to use acting to enter their reality. In doing so it is possible to better understand the needs and desires of individuals with Alzheimer's in order to provide better emotional support, less mental stress, and an overall better caregiving experience.
Materials
Facilitator: Corey Twitchell
Presenter 1: Nelson Lotz
Abstract: Prior to the 2016 Brexit referendum many Britons faced cases of ontological insecurity brought by perceived threats to their routines and self-identities. Using textual analysis the research shows how politicians on both sides of the referendum used narratives surrounding identity and ontological security. These narratives took Briton's generalized fear and turned it into specified fears to influence how Britons perceived and voted on Brexit. These narratives are also shown to be tied to how Briton's view their national, or in some cases supranational, identity.
Materials
Presenter 2: Sabina Garduno de la Vega
Abstract: In a world facing global challenges, a lack of cooperation between countries should not be simply accepted. Why do states fail to cooperate when they are faced with a cross-border issue? Using Putnam’s two-level game theory (1988) I analyze the impact populist leaders have on bilateral cooperation Putnam’s theory establishes an inexorable relation between international and domestic negotiations. The theory that more populism leads to less bilateral cooperation will be tested with a case study of the United States and Mexico over the past decade. Comparing different discrete time periods in which both countries have either populist or non-populist leaders in the executive. The initial results show that the presence of populism in the executive reduces cooperation between the two countries. Suggesting that cooperation in pressing issues will be less likely in the future.
Materials
Presenter 3: Amy Griffin
Abstract: The objective of this study is to understand the impact of fictional television media featuring a positive female leader on the public’s perception of the electability of women and on their willingness to support women's campaigns. To this point, no research has focused on this intersection. Participants viewed clips from episodes of CBS’s Madam Secretary. The participants then completed five vignette election experiences between two nonpartisan municipal candidates, a male and a female and rated each candidate on their "likeability" and "competence”. Though this research is still in progress, we hypothesize that media which portrays women as competent, capable leaders will in turn increase women’s electability in the eyes of the public. There are reasons to suspect that viewing such a non-stereotypical representation of a female leader (such as CBS’s Madam Secretary) may increase a person’s likelihood of voting for a female candidate and/or donating to her campaign. This research will be key to understanding the relationship between positive female representation in the media and the public’s willingness to elect women. This study will inform future research on the topic.
Presenter 4: Peter Johnston
Abstract:In 2006, the Central Intelligence Agency disclosed its participation in the 1973 coup that toppled Chilean President Salvador Allende. Declassifed records from that year also revealed extensive US intervention in Chile for more than a decade, including collaboration with generals who assassinated Chile’s Commander-in-Chief. This paper explores the effects of that action on decades of Chilean politics, as well as American domestic and foreign policy, through a counterfactual scenario wherein US involvement in that assassination were uncovered in 1970. I conclude that while violent US intervention there created the conditions for a more interventionist US foreign policy overall, the counterfactual disciplining of coup architect Henry Kissinger could have tarnished the precedent that later justified similarly imperial actions from Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal to Ford's financing of Indonesian genocide.
Presenter 5: Alexia Morris
Abstract: The United States has a history of swinging between two extremes; protecting civil liberties and protecting public safety. From the Alien and Sedition Acts in the late 1790s to the PATRIOT Act passed after 9/11, the United States government has continually toed the line between self-governance and a federal government that is too heavily involved in the affairs of its citizens. The ensuing battle between these two extremes has resulted in a hefty amount of case law as well as legislation that tries to end the balance between the two. A constantly swinging pendulum, the balance between civil liberties and public safety is paramount to the life, liberty, and happiness of all United States citizens. This has become readily apparent since March 2020 when a global pandemic heavily struck the United States, and has resulted in discourse about the use of government-mandated quarantine and the wearing of face masks. This paper gives a history and analysis of the battle between civil liberties and public safety, as well as national security masquerading as public safety, and theorizes about current applications in an atmosphere of deadly disease and political discourse.
Presenter 6: Phoebe Rudolph
Abstract: Workplace violence perpetrated by patients is one of the biggest challenges facing US nurses and the entire healthcare system. Violence against nurses leads to decreased job satisfaction, nursing shortages, less safe care, and serious injuries leading to lifelong disabilities. Healthcare systems lose tens of thousands of dollars every year in lost wages, disability payouts, and healthcare to workers related to workplace violence against their nurse employees. This analysis of US legislature and policies of workplace regulatory agencies reveals that nurses do not have adequate legal protections and employers are not held accountable for their nursing staff’s safety.
Materials
Facilitator: Christine Samson
Presenter 1: Paul Doyle Jr.
Abstract: This research project studied the effects of different wavelengths of light on ladybugs' efficiency with hunting garden pests, specifically aphids. Studies have shown insects' peak sensitivity to wavelengths of photoreceptors for UV light (340 nm), blue light (430 nm), and green light (540 nm) (Shimoda and Honda, 2013). These findings suggest that ladybugs' ability to see aphids varies with the wavelength of the ambient light. In particular, peak sensitivity wavelengths should help ladybugs detect, hunt, and eat aphids more efficiently.
Materials
Presenter 2: Hana Haakenstad
Abstract: Zooplankton, specifically Daphnia, are the ‘cows’ of aquatic ecosystems such as reservoirs—they are important grazers of primary production and form a vital link to higher trophic levels in aquatic food webs. Their abundance and body size can indicate potential grazing pressure and predict their contribution in lakes to affect water quality— high grazer density typically results in clear water. Typically, large zooplankton migrate down to low light depths of the hypolimnion, the bottom layer of water, during the day. However, if the hypolimnion becomes anoxic, this dark refuge is unavailable and they are forced into the epilimnion, the bright top layer of water. To evade predation, large zooplankton may migrate to nearshore habitats, thus allowing algal blooms to proliferate. This study analyzed horizontal distribution of zooplankton along two transects, from the deepest part of the reservoir—the pelagic— to the nearshore, in response to hypolimnetic anoxia to test the null hypothesis that the distribution of Daphnia— vertical and horizontal— is not related to the change in dissolved oxygen in the hypolimnion in Willow Creek Reservoir. Our data showed significant density differences between the pelagic versus the nearshore sites.
Materials
Presenter 3: John Bussey
Abstract: In exploration of the moon, one key issue is that of the Lunar regolith (dust). Lunar regolith is destructive and hazardous to both humans and equipment. One key development in mitigating this hazard is nding quality analogs (simulants) in high quantities. Volcanic ash from the Mount Saint Helens explosion uniquely formed ane powder with many similarities to lunar regolith. Unlike many other stimulants, Mount Saint Helens ash occurs naturally without modification in relatively high amounts. Analysis using Scanning Electron Microscopy indicate many morphological congruences including similar smooth, rough, and jagged edged particles. X-ray diffraction and previous studies show that the ash predominantly consisted of glassy phases (around 80%), with the remainder mostly plagioclase feldspar. Furthermore,characterization using a X-Ray micro-Computed Tomography microscope showed fused aggregated particles, similar to agglutinates found in lunar regolith. Particles were observed ranging 0.25 μm and 100 μm, spanning the most problematic regolith particle sizes. Similarities in these important properties make Mt. St. Helens ash a potentially promising lunar simulant for testing (particularly mechanically) of lunar-bound products.
Presenter 4: Gunnar Sly
Abstract: Although diatomaceous earth has been investigated as a promising precursor material for Li-ion battery silicon anodes, the investigations thus far have only studied the effect of readily collected samples. These samples are sold industrially under the name “Celite” and do contain a sizable quantity of intact diatom species; however, they are greatly degraded due to the nature of fossilized ocean-bed silicon. Currently, this research work is aimed at culturing and harvesting diatom species in our lab to obtain morphologically intact diatomaceous earth to quantitatively measure the effect of diatom morphologies on silicon anode performance. The work so far has involved qualitative measurements of diatom growth as a function of culturing condition such as light intensity, pH, temperature, and culture salinity. Once optimal conditions have been established, work will proceed into techniques for harvesting and processing biological samples into functional diatomaceous earth.
Presenter 5: Ashley Chin
Abstract: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a common compound used in the production of plastics. BPA is commonly used according to the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, BPA has been found in the urine of ~93% of people above the age of 6 years old. This is concerning because research has shown that BPA is an endocrine disruptor, meaning that it mimics the hormones in our body, which can lead to numerous reproductive, metabolic, and developmental health defects. Due to research and public awareness, manufacturing companies have begun to move to BPA replacement compounds including Bisphenol AF (BPAF) and TMBPF. As BPA phases out, companies have replaced BPA with these alternatives that may have similar or worse effects than the parent compound BPA. In this study, I exposed rat and human adipose-derived stem cells with different concentrations of BPA, BPAF, TMBPF, and 17β-estradiol to compare cytotoxicity. I was able to conclude that stem cells treated with BPA, BPAF, and TMBPF showed a dramatic decrease in cell viability and increase in apoptosis. This work highlights both the dangers of these newer BPA alternatives, as well as emphasizes better regulation of non-consumable chemicals in our everyday lives.
Materials
Facilitator: Leslie Donovan
Presenter 1: Alexander Z Phung
Abstract: Several alcohol-related incidents which have affected the WSU student population in the recent past indicate that the current measures employed to curtail such events are unsuccessful. Thus, we sought to investigate the feasibility of decreasing the frequency of problematic drinking behaviors of college students via the use of a mindfulness-based intervention. Participants (desired N = 30-35) were to be recruited from Greek society chapters of the Washington State University campus in Pullman, Washington. The intervention was to have been conducted once a week for 45 minutes, for a total of four mindfulness experiences in a month. Each session covered a facet of mindfulness through a diverse number of exercises. Students would have completed three questionnaires pre-, post-, and 6 months post-intervention, consisting of: a demographics component, a Brief Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire, and a revised Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire. Unfortunately, an insufficient number of potential subjects forced the cancellation of the main activity of this thesis. While this exploration was unsuccessful, a reformation of the mindfulness-based intervention designed in this thesis could prove useful in this regard.
Materials
Presenter 2: Leila Marshall
Abstract: Academic procrastination, experienced by students who postpone the completion of their school assignments, can impact their academic achievement and overall well-being. Research has indicated that students with higher levels of procrastination are more likely to experience trait anxiety (such as anxiety disorder) and state anxiety ( emotions such as stress, worry, or nervousness). Higher levels of anxiety contribute to the tendency to procrastinate academic tasks in return, as procrastination serves as a way to avoid the negative moods associated with anxiety. Psychological flexibility, the ability to accept the present moment and feelings and maintain behavior that works towards a goal or value, offers the ability to break the tendency to procrastinate when facing tasks that provoke anxiety. It has two components inits definition. Mindfulness is accepting negative emotions rather than acting in response to them. It has been observed to have a negative effect on procrastination as it reduces anxiety. Committed action is the behavior that works towards a valued purpose. Students who feel confident in their ability to monitor their behavior towards doing schoolwork are less likely to procrastinate and feel anxiety.
Materials
Presenter 3: Kara Madsen
Abstract: In this paper we will explain the issue of sexual assaults on college campuses, discuss what the Clery Act requires of colleges in order to receive federal funding; and the programs that have shown to be effective in increasing student reporting of sexual assault on college campuses. At the end of this paper we will give several potential solutions that can help increase the reporting of sexual assaults on campus.
Materials
Presenter 4: Sydney Pike
Abstract: This paper examines dyslexia in children and the effect it has on self-esteem. After extensive research, sucient evidence suggests that children with dyslexia tend to have more negative perceptions and images of themselves, especially within the academic sphere of life. It is important to research this topic in order to understand the factors that may impact a dyslexic child’s self-esteem. Children with dyslexia often develop poor self-esteem due to issues like social comparison and pressure, stigmatization and victimization, psychosocial issues prompted by dyslexia and low self-esteem, insufficient coping mechanisms, and the negative influence of family. Each of these causes greatly affect the way a child views and values themselves, so it is important to be able to recognize these causes and their effects. While there are many factors that cause low self-esteem and self-perception in children with dyslexia, there are methods and practices that can actually help to change this and even encourage higher self-esteem, motivation, and working habits such as proper coping mechanisms, the application of a growth mindset, and the practice of an internal locus of control.
Materials
Presenter 5: Kylee Brockman
Abstract: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events, like neglect or abuse, that occur when a person is 17 or younger. ACEs can affect a person long after they occur such as having career struggles and low academic achievement. These events can include anything that puts a child’s safety, or wellbeing at risk. It is important to understand how colleges can do more to help students who struggle with any number of ACEs. This study examines the effect of having any number of ACEs on a student’s ability to complete schoolwork and communicate with professors. Participants were undergraduate students and professors at a public university in the western United States. Students completed eight short response questions. One question included completing an ACE questionnaire providing their total score, researchers were just aware of the participants' score. Professors at the same university completed ave-question short answer survey, which included questions about how much they knew about ACEs and if they felt training about ACEs would be useful at a college level. Our results showed that about 70% of participants had experienced at least one ACE which has affected their ability to complete work in college.
Materials
Facilitator: Jacob Dean
Presenter 1: Jessica Erickson
Abstract: The permanent disposal of nuclear waste is a massive problem in the United States as over 70,000 metric tons of the dangerously radioactive material is currently stored at various sites underground. Many of the short-term storage containers currently in use have exceeded the ideal storage time causing leaks at sites like the Hanford site along the Columbia River in Washington state. One potential long term storage solution is to utilize the process of vitrification where nuclear waste is converted into a glass, protecting against leaking, and mitigating radioactivity in the surrounding environment. Centered around understanding the structure and properties of three alkali-iron silicate glass compositions, this project aims to improve upon the current knowledge surrounding the development and performance of nuclear waste glasses and glass ceramics as a potential long-term cleanup solution. Lithium-iron silicate compositions acting as simplifications of high-Fe nuclear waste glasses were synthesized and analyzed using material characterization techniques. If successful, this research will allow for new intuition about the material properties such as the structure stability of Li-Fe Nepheline, Li-Acmite, and Li-Fe Albite.
Materials
Presenter 2: Molly Willoughby
Abstract: The growing alternative food movement frequently favors “local” production. Local food is associated by researchers, practitioners, and consumers alike with potential health and environmental benefits, and is seen by policymakers as a means to redress local food insecurity. However, production is not equivalent to consumption, and locally produced food implicates different inputs, challenges, and desired outcomes than large-scale mainstream agriculture. This study provides exploratory work characterizing the location, goals, activities and challenges reported by producers, distributors, and food-related organizations within Northern Nevada’s regional food network. Through combined geospatial and survey work, my research helps bridge gaps about what food is produced, where it is directed, and barriers limiting regional food stakeholders, providing areas of focus for ongoing policy action to support food production and distribution in Northern Nevada.
Materials
Presenter 3: Daniel Malriat
Abstract: The three main energies utilized during the Industrial Revolution were hydro, coal, and oil. Each one of them, made an enormous impact on the society of the time. These impacts were unique to the type of energy but they always followed a similar pattern to one another. It would begin with a period of adjustment. Following this adjustment, there would be a rush to control as much of the energy source as possible. Then a period of readjustment will occur due to a societal reaction to the rush. While this pattern occurred most prominently during the industrial revolution, it extended to the advent of any new form of energy that human's have utilized since human's discovered fire. This paper will focus mainly on events occurring since the start of the industrial revolution and extending into modern times. This is because renewable energy differs from all previous forms of energy, it may break the aforementioned cycle due to the pressures to adopt it brought on by climate change.
Materials
Presenter 4: Sophia Stojanoff
Abstract: This project provides a comprehensive analysis of the ways in which the National Bison Legacy Act refashions the public memory surrounding bison. Through the lenses of rhetorical criticism, legal scholarship and public memory scholarship, this project identifies how a singular act of remembering is also a selective act of forgetting. While the National Bison Legacy Act was intended to enshrine bison as an indelible American symbol, a closer evaluation of the text reveals a sanitized rendition of the bison's gruesome history. I determine that this Act remembers the bison as an American conservation success story, while strategically omitting the cause of their near eradication.
Materials
Facilitator: Katie Englert
Presenter 1: Jonathan Hatch
Abstract: Southern Paiute is a severely endangered indigenous language spoken in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. This language is almost exclusively oral, although a number of written orthographies have been formulated through history. While no orthography enjoys widespread or predominant use, the presence of a standardized, readable orthography which fits well with the underlying phonology of Southern Paiute is essential to the generation of effective educational materials to foster the long-term vitality of the language.The project of this thesis is to compile a corpus of textual resources to study the history of the written Southern Paiute language. This corpus is analyzed, relating the various sources to the contemporary IPA. In addition, a provisional orthography is presented by the author based on their findings from the historical corpus. A long form attempt of this orthography is demonstrated by re-transcribing a Paiute legend first elicited in 1910. While the orthography presented in this thesis is admittedly provisional, it is submitted in the spirit of igniting interest in, celebrating the presence of, and cultivating into the future the rich linguistic heritage of the Southern Paiute People.
Materials
Presenter 2: William Blakey
Abstract: Our project focuses on the examination of the "Korean Wave". A global phenomenon that is fueled by a precise economic system deployed by South Korean entrepreneurs and the South Korean government. The "wave" has proven to be a transnational success where Korean media has exponentially increased its popularity and profits in a short amount of time. Our project examines the history, development and consequences of the "wave" through the lens of globalization, neo-cultural imperialism and the effects of South Korea's governmental policy called "soft power.” We focused our project on the Korean music industry, also known as "K-pop.” We extrapolated why K-pop has had a profound effect not only on South Korean society but has proven to be a unique and effective global force.
Materials
Presenter 3: Nathalie Martinez
Abstract: This exploratory sociolinguistic study investigates the linguistic and sociolinguistic pressures of Spanish heritage speakers in Sunrise Manor (Clark County, Nevada, USA), locally known as the “East Side''. Focussing on the process of simplification, the research aims to contribute to the description of the Spanish-speaking community of Las Vegas by highlighting the tense-aspect semantics in the verbs ser and estar of 9 speakers between the ages of 18 and 30. Through the analysis of sociolinguistic interviews, the following research questions were addressed: (1) What type of simplification exists in past verb forms in Spanish heritage speakers in Sunrise Manor-Las Vegas? (2) What factors, linguistic or non-linguistic, account for the type and stages of simplification in perfective/imperfective features of ser/estar in the data? The results identified linguistic simplification in the absolute tense, lexical aspect, and aspect variables. Those linguistic variables and the non-linguistic factors of heritage, age, and sex accounted for the type and stages of simplication. The findings reveal preliminary evidence of dialect formation in Sunrise Manor and indicate a relationship between the use of absolute tense and ethnic heritage.
Materials
Presenter 4: Rolando Pineda
Abstract: The Oneida Community was founded in 1848 by John Humphrey Noyes in Oneida, New York. Their legacy continues today through Oneida Ltd. Although today Oneida Ltd. focuses on making flatware, that was not the case at the community’s inception. In fact, they performed the first successful experiment in the breeding of humans called - Stirpiculture. To achieve success in experimenting with eugenics, they adopted several radical belief systems, such as: complex marriage, communal living, and a form of Bible communism. This research project explores Noyes’ own writings to demonstrate how he leveraged religious principles to successfully experiment with eugenics.
Materials
Presenter 5: Sam Melina
Abstract: As a society we have become prone to blaming race and genetics on health disparities, however, this neglects the many other attributing factors. Including, income, living conditions, or stress. By neglecting these factors we limit improvements that can be made to our healthcare system and exclude social responsibility. Instead of putting the blame on one factor doctors now use the upstreamist approach. This is when doctors ask patients questions that go beyond a physical examination revealing underlying causes to an individual's health. An additional solution includes receiving more perspectives in medical schools from anthropologists, sociologists, and historians of race. A new perspective on our healthcare system allows society to see that the leading causes to health disparities are not an individuals' race or genetics, it is the socio-economic burden that has been put upon them. It can be seen as a dominos effect, individuals with lower income face worse healthcare, worse working and living conditions, and more overall stress all of which impact their health. We must take a look at our social structures that continue to marginalize certain individuals and keep them from excelling and improving their health.

4:00 PM | Closing/Prizes

Jayci Hacker


4:10 PM | WRHC Business Meeting

WRHC Leadership