CURCE Conference

18th Annual Student Conference

Friday, April 23, 2021

 

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Students, and Families,

Welcome to the 18th Annual Student Conference at the University at Albany. The Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (CURCE) is pleased to showcase the research, scholarship, and creative works of 75 students through 61 presentations.

Today, you will be able to view the works of our student researchers who have worked with faculty from the University at Albany to engage in research related to the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice, community activism, sustainability, equity and inclusion, environmental science, psychology, and many more. The efforts of the students and faculty are exceptional, and highlight the adaptability, flexibility and efforts made since 2020 to continue our priorities as a R-1 Research University to engage and support students in our research culture – whether in person or remotely.

I extend my hearty congratulations to the 30 students who this week were named recipients of the $15,000 in funding through CURCE this semester, and the 24 students selected as recipients of the 2021 Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research. Coming together today, while at a distance and remotely, we celebrate your accomplishments this year!

 

Sincerely,

JoAnne Malatesta signature

JoAnne Malatesta

 

 

Presentation Abstracts

An Exploratory Study of the Associations between Affiliative Interactions and Treatment Fidelity in Residential Group Therapy for Eating Disorders

Behavioral Science, Clinical Psychology
Kristale Abdulla
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Abstract

An Exploratory Study of the Associations between Affiliative Interactions and Treatment Fidelity in Residential Group Therapy for Eating Disorders

Faculty Advisor: James Boswell, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

Group therapy has been seen to consistently produce positive results across disorders (McRoberts et al., 1998). Previous studies were conducted to develop a coding manual for affiliative behaviors in group therapy (Sugarman et al., 2017), and to rate clinicians’ adherence to a treatment protocol (Oswald, 2020). The relationship between treatment fidelity and group cohesion is not yet fully understood. The current study sought to quantify instances of affiliative behaviors and aimed to investigate whether treatment fidelity predicts group cohesion. Three raters coded group therapy recordings (n=20) for instances of affiliative statements using the Sugarman et al. (2017) coding manual. Participants were female patients in a residential treatment setting for eating disorders. Treatment fidelity held no significant relationship to group cohesion (r= -.24). Chi-square tests were performed to examine the relationship between treatment fidelity and (1) the number of times a group member completed another member’s thought, and (2) the number of times a member made a positive statement regarding the group. The relationship between these variables was non-significant, χ2 (1, n=20) = 1.25, p= .582 for completing a member’s thought, χ2 (1, n=20) = .392, p= 1.0 for positive statements about the group. A one-way ANOVA was calculated on the number of affiliative statements made. The results were non-significant, F(1,18)= .292, p = .596. These results failed to support the hypothesis that treatment fidelity predicts group cohesion. Further study is needed to determine the relationship between these variables and other factors that affect treatment outcomes of group therapy.

Improving Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response

Computer Science, Emergency Preparedness
Habib Affinnih
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Computer Science
Abstract

Improving Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response

Faculty Advisor: Mariya Zheleva and Petko Bogdanov, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Computer Science

Rural areas are more vulnerable to emergencies than their urban counterparts due to their geography and remoteness, low population density, and communication issues. A major hurdle that impedes reliable communication of emergency information is limited or non-existent broadband. This restricts emergency services’ ability to share critical resources to prepare for and respond to emergencies.

We are building an app that leverages WiFi-Direct, a technology readily available in consumer Android devices, and community interaction to disseminate emergency information within a community. We compile data from various emergency information agencies and deliver it to users who have broadband access. These users can in-turn serve as beacons of information for isolated users who do not have broadband. By coming into proximity to other users, their phones can exchange information over WiFi-Direct without the use of an internet connection.

This development will improve emergency response and preparedness (EPR) in rural communities and help slow the widening gap between rural and urban EPR services.

Presentation

Salivary Alpha-Amylase Reactivity and Gender Moderate the Link Between Childhood Parental Psychological Aggression and Later Aggressive Behaviors

Behavioral Science, Clinical Psychology, Cognition and Cognitive Science
Sadena Ahmad
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Abstract

Salivary Alpha-Amylase Reactivity and Gender Moderate the Link Between Childhood Parental Psychological Aggression and Later Aggressive Behaviors

Faculty Advisor: Elana Gordis, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) is an enzyme produced by salivary glands and is a marker for sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity (Nater & Rohleder, 2009). Dysregulation of SNS (blunted or increased activity) is associated with aggressive behavior (Lorber, 2004). The present study examines whether sAA reactivity and gender moderate the link between childhood parental psychological aggression and current aggressive behaviors in 165 emerging adults (M age=19.03 years; SD= 1.25, 55% female). Participants retrospectively reported their exposure to parental psychological aggression during childhood, as well as current anger, hostility, physical, and verbal aggression. SAA was assayed from saliva samples collected around a social stress task. SAA reactivity was indexed using area under the curve in respect to increase (AUCi). Regression analysis revealed a significant 3-way interaction among parental psychological aggression, sAA reactivity, and gender in accounting for verbal aggression. Results suggest that the link between parental psychological aggression and participants’ verbal aggression was strongest for males at higher levels of sAA reactivity. The 2-way interaction between childhood parental psychological aggression and gender was significant, accounting for anger, such that the link between parents’ psychological aggression and anger was stronger for males than females. These findings support a biosocial model of later aggressive behaviors. Future research investigating how biological and environmental psychosocial factors interact to predict aggression may help inform prevention and intervention strategies.  

Lyme Disease Risk: The Effects of Microclimate on Tick Population Density

Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science, Public Health and Health Care
Tasnim Ahmed
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
Abstract

Lyme Disease Risk: The Effects of Microclimate on Tick Population Density

Faculty Advisor: Oliver Elison Timm, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Studies show about 300,000 Lyme disease (LD) cases occur annually. By monitoring seasonal and geographic distribution of ticks, as well as microclimatic measurements, we aim to predict the density of host-seeking ticks, a risk factor for LD. The purpose of this research is to analyze the relationship between microclimate and tick activity using weather data collected by the NYS Mesonet to forecast tick density locally to assess potential risk of exposure, and ultimately help reduce LD risk. Studies reveal that tick behavior is influenced by relative humidity (RH) and temperature, however observational data on microclimate relevant to ticks are lacking. We sampled for ticks during the summer of 2020 at 4 different wooded sites near Mesonet stations across the Capital District Region of NYS. We installed data loggers to measure the local air temperature and RH at 5-minute intervals at 3 different height levels above ground (0.2 m, 1 m, and 2 m) to compare their measurements and relate them to microclimate for tick habitation at each site. Observations show elevation to be a factor influencing both temperature and RH levels, and subsequently, tick density. Sites at a lower elevation had higher tick densities as well as higher RH levels. We also assessed the risk of tick encounters relative to temperature and humidity by analyzing historic tick sampling datasets from the NYSDOH for 2017-2020, and at our field sites. However, no strong relationship was observed at present between temperature and relative humidity and host-seeking tick density, warranting further study. 

Information Management for UAlbany’s Honors College

Business
Katie Almon
Undergraduate Student
-
School of Business, Business Administration
Abstract

Information Management for UAlbany’s Honors College

Faculty Advisor: Eliot Rich, School of Business, Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics

University honors programs do not often retain students through graduation. UAlbany’s Honors College is one of many such cases in the literature. Given the investment into honors students, strategies to improve outcomes would focus scholarship and teaching resources on some combination of students most likely to complete the program and assist those most likely to drop out. 

Strategic decisions should rest upon accurate operational data. The Honors College has a slow and error-prone data management process, with reliance on manual transcription of data across isolated and distributed data sets. The goal of this project is to provide UAlbany’s Honors College with the tools necessary to efficiently manage their student records and achieve higher retention rates by 1) identifying and improving data collection and curation processes for Honors College students, 2) developing and implementing a student information system (SIS), and 3) using regression analysis to identify predictors of honors program retention and completion for honors students. 

When these tasks are completed, the University will be able to deploy its resources better, intervene earlier, and increase retention of its most promising student cohort. By reducing time spent managing student records with the SIS, the administration can dedicate more time engaging with students, potentially those at a higher risk of dropping out of the program. The results of the regression analysis will provide insight on this, identifying which pre-entry variables are the best predictors of completion and which post-entry behaviors may predict a student’s exit.

Presentation

The mitigating role of supportive environments in the association between childhood domestic violence exposure and adolescent dating violence

Child Development, Drug Use and Abuse, Maternal and Fetal Health, Social Welfare
Jennifer Amoh
Undergraduate Student
-
School of Public Health
Abstract

The mitigating role of supportive environments in the association between childhood domestic violence exposure and adolescent dating violence

Faculty Advisor: Melissa Tracy, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Background: Children exposed to domestic violence have an increased risk of adolescent dating violence involvement. We aimed to investigate the potential moderating role of supportive family, school, and neighborhood environments.
Methods: Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), we examined the association between exposure to maternal physical intimate partner violence (IPV) from birth through age 9 (e.g., mother slapped, kicked, or hit by partner) and physical dating violence at age 15 (e.g., pushed or hit partner, or pushed or hit by partner).  We evaluated youth’s perceptions of their relationship with their parents, school climate, and neighborhood collective efficacy as potential moderators of this association.
Results: Of 2,576 adolescents, 29.8% were exposed to maternal physical IPV by her partner during childhood.  At age 15, 36.1% of youth reported being in a dating relationship, with 9.2% of those reporting physical relationship violence.  Adjusting for maternal education and poverty level at birth, childhood exposure to maternal IPV significantly elevated the risk of being in a relationship with physical violence (aOR=2.30;95% CI=1.48-3.57).  This association was attenuated among youth reporting closer relationships with their parents (aOR=1.64;95% CI=0.60-4.46 for close vs. aOR=2.32;95% CI=1.41-3.84 for less close relationships); attending schools with more positive climates (aOR=1.95;95% CI=0.67-5.72 for positive vs. aOR=2.31;95% CI=1.41-3.78 for less positive climate); and living in neighborhoods with higher collective efficacy (aOR=1.67;95% CI=0.80-3.49 for high vs. aOR=2.85;95% CI=1.63-4.99 for low efficacy).
Conclusions: Supportive family, school, and neighborhood environments may help break the link between childhood family violence and adolescent dating violence.

Presentation

A Meta-Analysis of Trait Mindfulness: Relationships with the Big Five Personality Traits, Intelligence, and Anxiety

Psychology
Justin Banfi
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Abstract

A Meta-Analysis of Trait Mindfulness: Relationships with the Big Five Personality Traits, Intelligence, and Anxiety

Faculty Advisor: Jason Randall, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

The primary purpose of this meta-analysis is to assemble empirical findings on the correlates of trait mindfulness with other relevant individual differences in order to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of this trait. Trait mindfulness is the general tendency to pay attention to the present moment, in a non-judgmental manner across time and situations. Although previous researchers have conducted meta-analyses of trait mindfulness, with Big Five personality traits and trait anxiety, we update and extend these findings with a substantially larger sample, unique relationships with broad measures of intelligence, and novel moderators of these relationships. These moderations include mindfulness scale, race, age, sex, and student vs. non-student populations. In total, 73,752 participants' data distributed amongst 280 effects were analyzed. Results revealed statistically significant correlations for all main effects, except for intelligence, and showed that trait mindfulness has the most significant relationship with neuroticism (ρ = -.53), conscientiousness (ρ = .42), and trait anxiety (ρ = -.50). Furthermore, moderation analyses revealed that the two groups, student and non-student, do not differ from one another and that correlations remain constant between groups. Analyses also revealed that for few effects, the scale used to measure mindfulness has a limited influence, only impacting two relationships of interest. Furthermore, demographics had a near negligible influence, suggesting the personality-based origins of mindfulness largely do not differ by sex, race, or age. Overall, these results provide a clearer picture of the personality profile of mindful individuals and inform meaningful conceptual and practical differences between these constructs. 

Presentation

Wilde Theology: The Theological Underpinnings of Oscar Wilde

Ethics, Literary Analyses, Sexuality and Gender Studies
Deborah Brannan
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English
Abstract

Wilde Theology: The Theological Underpinnings of Oscar Wilde

Faculty Advisor: Eric Keenaghan, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English

Oscar Wilde is a literary icon whose works still impact readers and audiences alike in the modern era. In my thesis, I will be exploring the theological implications and undercurrents in Wilde’s De Profundis and complimenting this exploration with his other prison related writings such as “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” and some of his letters. Combining Wilde’s biographical information and analyzing it from a historical perspective, I stipulate that his works are important for not only modern theological study but also contribute to a rising form of theological scholarship: queer theology. Although he shied away from organized religion, Wilde explores Judeo-Christian theological ideas in his works and advocates for a rethinking of those ideas that focuses on the experiences of the individual and the creation of identity. By exploring Wilde’s use of theological ideas through the lens of queer theology, I argue that his works prefigure modern shifts in theological discussion towards social change rooted in the individual. Ultimately, Wilde roots this social change in the personal and independent choice of the individual apart from morality and formal institutions such as established religious and state institutions without sacrificing spiritual identity in the process. This rooting is important because the modern society, queer and otherwise, grapple with a similar question of identity in relation to institutions and reforming those institutions while still being rooted and confident in their identities as free and spiritual individuals. 

Presentation

The Media and Climate Change: How Media Frames the Global Environmental Crisis

Climate Change
Meghan Brink, Richel Boroh
Undergraduate Student
-
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication; College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Communication
Abstract

The Media and Climate Change: How Media Frames the Global Environmental Crisis

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication

The goal of this research project is to analyze how various news media organizations frame the issue of climate change, and what greater implications this media framing has on public opinion and government action on climate change. The framing of the issue of climate change will be analyzed by conducting deep analysis of 50 news articles across five different news agencies published in the second half of 2020. Therefore, 10 articles from each news agency will be analyzed. Analysis of these articles will look at variables such as patterns in coverage across the different news agencies, what important aspects of the issue of climate change are highlighted, and what hidden ideological, both economic and political, are inferred by the media framing of the articles. Through this research project, we hope to draw conclusions about greater implications of media coverage of climate change and public opinion and additionally, ponder upon methods that could be used by media organizations to improve their representation of the issue of climate change through their news articles. We believe that reform in media coverage of climate change could push the public to be more proactive in advocating for government action to address the environmental emergency and additionally make lifestyle changes in their own lives to be more environmentally conscious. 

Presentation

From Small Town to the Big Screen: How True-Crime Television Alters Americans’ Perceptions of Crime

History
Taylor Browning
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
Abstract

From Small Town to the Big Screen: How True-Crime Television Alters Americans’ Perceptions of Crime

Faculty Advisor: Richard Hamm and Christopher Pastore, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History

Thomas Clayton was from the small town of Caton, located just outside of Corning, New York. Clayton hired a hitman to kill his wife and his trial embroiled the community and then the country when it aired on ABC’s 20/20 and Dateline NBC. Although historians have debated whether cameras should be allowed in courtrooms, they have paid little attention to the disparity between the proceedings of criminal trials compared with their news portrayals. This misrepresentation of criminal cases is significant because it forces Americans in all communities, now that small-town, ordinary murders have taken over our screens, to examine our willingness to abandon rigorously established facts for the entertaining twists and turns provided by media accounts of these stories. This paper will use Thomas Clayton’s case and trial as a case study and draw larger conclusions alongside an analysis of Dateline NBC episodes. Drawing from the court records of Thomas Clayton’s trial, I will establish a timeline of events and then, by introducing local and national news articles and the 20/20 episode, add in what has been embellished or cut from the narrative entirely. Using an analysis of Dateline episodes, I will explain how true crime distorts Americans’ perceptions of crime, specifically in regards to gender and location, and explain why this is such an important issue.

Presentation

A Morphosyntactic Analysis of Double Object Constructions in Town Nyanja

Linguistics
Veronica Burrage
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Anthropology
Abstract

A Morphosyntactic Analysis of Double Object Constructions in Town Nyanja

Faculty Advisor, Lee Bickmore, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Anthropology

Town Nyanja is a Zambian Bantu language of the Niger-Congo family, characterized as a highly agglutinative and tonal language. It is spoken in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, and it is one of the seven national languages. Town Nyanja is distinct from Eastern Nyanja spoken in the Eastern province which shows a very close resemblance to Chichewa spoken in Malawi. Apart from this research, there hasn’t been much documentation done on the syntax of Town Nyanja in comparison to the documentation on Eastern Nyanja and Chichewa. This morphosyntactic analysis of double object constructions (DOC) will analyze four argument-structure changing morphemes and document their effect on transitivity, semantics, and syntactic constituency. Town Nyanja, like many other Bantu languages, has flexible word order and objects can be incorporated on the verb. In DOC, object marking (OM) within the verb and the positions of the nominal arguments will determine the thematic roles of each argument once the verb has been extended. The order of nominal arguments in Town Nyanja DOC can be described as asymmetrical, in that it treats direct objects differently from indirect objects. Current research will provide more detail on the asymmetry and if it is extended to other argument-structure changing morphemes and ditransitive verbs. This will give a more exhaustive view into the variation within these phrases to show not only how new arguments are introduced and given their thematic roles, but also how they are syntactically parsed within the phrase and marked on the verb.

Presentation

Societal Risks of Artificial Intelligence: A Post-development Analysis

Artificial Intelligence
Bariela Capollari
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security & Cybersecurity
Abstract

Societal Risks of Artificial Intelligence: A Post-development Analysis

Faculty Advisor: Unal Tatar, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security & Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is en route to being applied to many aspects of our lives through different forms and transforming various societal factors. This study aims to create a benchmarking tool that all AI-empowered product buyers or users can utilize to determine how ethical their product is. We explored the implications of AI systems by creating a benchmarking tool to measure their ethical and societal risks. For this benchmarking tool to be made and applied, there was an interdisciplinary review of the present literature. During the analysis stage, we were able to identify common aspects found in AI programs that were used to be considered ethical. Later, we determined definitions of these concepts, which then applied for our benchmarking tool. Four aspects were identified to have an ethical AI program: fairness, accountability, sustainability, and transparency. Our current research has allowed us to identify different indicators of each aspect present in ethical AI technology. In this stage, we have been able to identify, define, and begin to apply these aspects to current programs that exist. Through our research, we can bridge gaps between when products are in the development stage and when it's in the product that has already been developed and used. Our study is still in the initial phase of pulling out and organizing the effects on society that the risks AI technology brings.
 

Media Coverage on Climate Change

Climate Change
Willow Carey, Allyson Burdick
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History; School of Business, Business Administration
Abstract

Media Coverage on Climate Change

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication

This presentation will focus on climate change and how is it covered in the news. Using multiple news articles we will discuss how climate change is portrayed/discussed/and showcased in the media.

Presentation

Psychotherapy attitudes among Black, Latino and White male undergraduates: A Qualitative Study

Clinical Psychology
Arianna Cifone
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Abstract

Psychotherapy attitudes among Black, Latino and White male undergraduates: A Qualitative Study

Faculty Advisor: James Boswell, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

Among college students, racial and gender disparities exist in psychological help-seeking such that students of color and men are less likely to seek help than their White and female peers (Nam et al., 2010). As a result of these racial and gender dynamics, men of color may face unique barriers to help-seeking. While some culturally specific barriers to help-seeking among men of color have been identified (Davis & Liang, 2015; Thompson et al., 2013), more research is needed to understand how their concerns may compare to those of White male students. As such, the current study compared the attitudes of Black and Latino undergraduate men toward psychotherapy and help-seeking to those of White undergraduate men. Undergraduate Black/Latino men (n=14), and White men (n =12) were interviewed about various attitudes toward psychotherapy. Responses were coded using Consensual Qualitative Research methodology (Hill, 2012). Participants described their attitudes toward the roles of race, ethnicity, and gender in therapist selection, expectations regarding reasons to seek therapy, and attitudes toward individuals who seek therapy. While many attitudes were similar across White and Black/Latino undergraduate men, several notable differences emerged. Black and Latino men expressed a preference for therapist-client ethnicity match and gender match at higher rates than White men, who were more likely to state that ethnicity was not important because any therapist is qualified. Knowledge of preferences can inform personalized decision making and clinical responsiveness, as well as potentially enhance engagement with mental health services. 

Disclosure of Image-Based Sexual Abuse

Clinical Psychology, Criminal Justice, Sociologyy
Ashley Coakley
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Abstract

Disclosure of Image-Based Sexual Abuse

Faculty Advisor: Cynthia Najdowski, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

With technology advancing rapidly during the 21st century, almost every person has access to the Internet. This has contributed to the development of different types of cybercrimes, including image-based sexual abuse. This study investigated gender differences in disclosure rates in image-based sexual abuse and why those differences might exist. Specifically, I investigated patriarchal beliefs as an explanation for these differences. I hypothesized that women would be more likely to report image-based sexual abuse than men. Further, I predicted that men have stronger patriarchal beliefs than women do, which would be a barrier for disclosure. To test these predictions, participants completed an online survey about image-based sexual abuse. They read about a hypothetical scenario describing a situation involving image-based sexual abuse and then answered questions about their disclosure likelihood and patriarchal beliefs. The results of the study showed that women are more likely to disclose image-based sexual abuse to a therapist than were men. The results also showed that patriarchal beliefs did not mediate this gender difference in the disclosure of image-based sexual abuse. Implications for clinical practices involving image-based sexual abuse disclosure are discussed. 

How Media Frames Climate Change

Climate Change
Savannah Collins, Daniel Mejia
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication; College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics
Abstract

How Media Frames Climate Change

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication

Climate change, as referred to by the media, is the Earth's unnatural, long-term change to its average weather patterns due to human activities that increase the amount of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere. These changes cause unprecedented effects on our environment and lives such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, deforestation, extinction of species, and more. As more people understand and experience climate change, the media should reciprocate by paying an increased attention to it. The goal of our project is to identify how climate change is being covered by the media. We will do this by investigating multiple news agencies around the world and critically analyzing their tone, word choice, and consistency on the subject to better understand their stance on climate change. Through the use of PowerPoint slides, we will complete our analysis and reveal our findings.

Presentation

Meteorological Transport of Pollutants in NYC Metro Area - Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study

Atmospheric Science
Maxim Couillard
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Science
Abstract

Meteorological Transport of Pollutants in NYC Metro Area - Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study

Faculty Advisor: James Schwab, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Science

Twenty-six balloon-borne ozonesondes were launched near the north shore of central Long Island in the summers of 2018 and 2019 as a part of the Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study (LISTOS). While surface concentrations of ozone are routinely monitored, ozone aloft is infrequently measured but critical for a full understanding of ozone production and transport. Special attention is given to the lower troposphere from the surface to about 2000 m altitude. The observed vertical ozone profiles are presented and analyzed with the assistance of additional data sources and modeling tools, including LiDAR wind profiles from the New York State Mesonet, HYSPLIT back trajectories based on 3 km resolution High Refresh Rate Reanalysis model data, surface data, and contributions from other LISTOS participants. The cases analyzed in detail illustrate events with high observed ozone, and often with pronounced vertical structure in the profile. Specifically, easily discernable layers of are identified with excursions of up to 40 ppbv over short vertical distances. The analysis indicates that a number of meteorological characteristics can combine to generate the observed vertical profiles. High temperatures contribute by leading to high precursor emissions, plentiful radiation for photochemistry, and stagnation of synoptic winds, which in turn allows shearing (or small-scale) flows like low level jets and sea-breeze/shore-breeze circulation to become dominant and produce the complex layered structure observed. The five cases presented help to illustrate and understand these concepts.

Epitranscriptomic Writers as Drug Targets

Biological Science
Kamana Devkota
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences
Abstract

Epitranscriptomic Writers as Drug Targets

Faculty Advisor: Thomas Begley, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences

Translation is a key step in protein synthesis in which the codons in messenger RNA (mRNA) are decoded by the corresponding anticodon in transfer RNA (tRNA). Prior to translation, tRNAs are modified by epitranscriptomic writers in order to ensure accurate decoding. I have tested the hypothesis that epitranscriptomic writers respond to cellular stress and can be linked to cancer etiology. I have used different strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli), where genes corresponding to a tRNA modification enzyme were deleted from the genome, to test for sensitivity to stress. These strains were from the Keio E. coli gene deletion library and included the epitranscriptomic writers CmoA, CmoB, Tgt, MnmE, QueA, ThiL, MnmC and TtcA. I found that E.coli cells lacking the tRNA modification writers: SelU, CmoA, CmoB, Tgt, and MnmE had a disrupted stress response while a different Keio strain lacking the tRNA modification writers: queA, thiL, mnmC. ttcA and mnmE also showed sensitivity to CAM. The database Modomics was used to identify RNA modifications and epitranscriptomic writers specific to the anticodon loops of tRNA from E. coli and humans. Then BLAST analysis was used to identify human homologs. I then analyzed 34 human writers for their links to cancer using The Cancer Genome Atlas and cBioportal database. I determined that many writers were amplified in ovarian and bladder cancers, supporting the idea that epitranscriptomic marks are dysregulated in specific cancers. Future studies will be used to characterize writer gene expression levels and epitranscriptomic marks in cancer models.

Presentation

Emotional Audio and its Influence on Recall Memory

Cognition and Cognitive Science
Audrey Eady, Allison Wilck
Undergraduate Student, PhD Candidate
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Abstract

Emotional Audio and its Influence on Recall Memory

Faculty Advisor: Jeanette Altarriba, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

The emotion processing advantage in memory has been well-studied using visual stimuli. (Levine & Burgess,1997) Presenting auditory information during study has also been shown to improve memory (Baldis, 2001). In the auditory modality, positive sounds that complement the valence of a studied item have been shown to aid recognition (Grider & Malmberg, 2008). However, the benefit that positive sounds might have on non-emotional images remains unclear. This study uses the Rorschach inkblots to act as our ambiguous objects of memorization. The hypothesis for the study was that the positive audio files would improve memory recall. The Independent variable in this experiment is sound. The dependent variable is recall memory. An online study with 354 undergraduates was completed. Participants listed to audio files while viewing the abstract images and provided a rating of image likability. A surprise memory test showed images where participants were asked if the image was old or new. If they responded saying the image was old, they had to recall the sound. Findings indicate that recognition of abstract images was best for images paired without a sound. Additional work is being completed to test the influence of emotional sounds on intentional learning situations.

AIDS, ACT UP, and Activism within the Albany Community

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, History, Sexuality and Gender Studies
Kimberly Easlick
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
Abstract

AIDS, ACT UP, and Activism within the Albany Community

Faculty Advisor: Nadieszda Kizenko, College of Arts and Sciences

This research, completed in the senior-history capstone course, follows a feminist LGBTQ+ activist local to Albany, NY, Michelle Crone. Her and fellow activists worked during the 1980’s and 1990’s to provide awareness and resources following the outbreak of the AIDS crisis. I examined the Albany community’s (and the national government’s) response to the rise in LGBTQ+ violence and hate-crime cases. I also examined how activists were working to address the lack of serious response on behalf of local/national government, and the solutions they offered to Albany’s community. Therefore, my project is essentially an assessment of the work done by activist Michelle Crone. I aimed to honor her contribution to LGBTQ+ safety, protection, and equality. For this assessment, I had heavily utilized resources directly from University at Albany. The majority of the sources cited in my bibliography are from the Michelle Crone Papers, a collection in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. I believe the archival process, although not unique to historical work, allowed for outstanding findings with relevance to the Albany area’s history. My perception of LGBTQ+ equality and education in my community was considerably altered after my findings. AIDS, ACT UP, and Activism within the Albany Community taught me a great deal about Gay history, more so than I had ever learned in my 21 years being just 25 minutes away from New York’s capital. 

How different countries cover climate change

Climate Change
Brooklyn Fuentes, Victoria Kaltalioglu
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication; College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
Abstract

How different countries cover climate change

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication

The effects of climate change are being seen around the world. As the situation becomes more urgent, the media gives it more attention. In this study we analyzed how the media covers climate change. Our goal was to get a better understanding of how the media coverage of climate change was framed in 2020. We selected five news agencies from five different countries that had articles on climate change. We then found ten articles from each of the five news agencies, providing us with a total of 50 articles. We then analyzed the stories and compared how each country's coverage differed, focusing on how the story was framed, the tone, and the sources used. We predicted that most of the articles would be calls to action, with a serious tone to show the severity of the issue, and that things need to be done soon. We also predicted that different countries would cover climate change differently, specifically countries in the Paris Climate Agreement vs the countries that aren’t. The findings from this analysis allow for a better understanding of how the public views climate change. Depending on the type of coverage and the framing, the public will view climate change differently.

Presentation

America’s Greatest Statesman: Henry Clay in the American Mind

History, Political Science
Emmett Golden
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
Abstract

America’s Greatest Statesman: Henry Clay in the American Mind

Faculty Advisor: Richard Hamm, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History

Faculty Advisor: Christopher Pastore, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History

This paper explores how the image of Henry Clay has developed in the American mind from his death in 1852 to 1980’s. The memory of Henry Clay has received little attention from scholars. The few studies that exist look at Clay’s memory as it was used by both sides during the Civil War. Most works on Clay have focused on Clay’s biography, the American system, and his part in the compromises of 1820 and 1850. This paper explores how Henry Clay's image has developed in the American mind from his death in 1852 to the 1980's. A memory study gives an understanding of how America has reinterpreted Clay to fit their needs. Three distinct images of Henry Clay have existed in the American mind during that time: Clay the Patriot, Clay the Pan-American, and Clay the Federalist. Economics, war, international commerce, and conservatism have heavily influenced American’s formation of these images. This work draws primary on the use of newspapers, biographies of Clay, eulogies, magazine articles, and the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation papers.

Presentation

Mitigating Climate Change: Evaluating Prospective Political, Economic, and Social Solutions to the Climate Catastrophe

Climate Change, Public Policy, Sustainability
Macy Hayes
Undergraduate Student
-
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, Department of Public Policy and Management
Abstract

Mitigating Climate Change: Evaluating Prospective Political, Economic, and Social Solutions to the Climate Catastrophe

Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Dodge, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, Department of Public Administration & Policy

The amount of the time remaining to address the climate crisis before it becomes irreversible is precipitously declining. Furthermore, humanity has yet to establish and implement a concrete, effective, and comprehensive plan to adjust its behavior to mitigate climate change. While there is a broad consensus that humans’ current means of production and consumption are incompatible with a sustainable planet, there are a wide range of solutions as to how we can reform or transform our political and economic systems to meet the change of climate mitigation. My initial research suggests that the proposed solutions fall into three main categories: climate capitalism (e.g., Lovins & Cohen, 2011), government intervention into capitalism (e.g., Chomsky & Pollin, 2020; Henry et al., 2020; Schweickart, 2018), and dismantling capitalism (e.g., Klein, 2015; Magdoff & Foster, 2011; Stuart et al., 2020; Wallis, 2018). It is necessary to consider which of these plans may be realistically implemented by the IPCC’s 2050 target for net zero emissions, and which plans provide a vision of the future that galvanizes policy actors of all stripes into action. I will review the strengths and weaknesses of these different proposals of political, economic, and social transformation and evaluate their feasibility and projections of the future (e.g Mische, 2009; Wright, 2013). By studying this topic, I hope to conclude which transformation will be most effective in solving the climate crisis in order for readers to understand which actions they can be hopeful about and advocate for in preventing climate catastrophe. 

Presentation

Evoking Gender Distinctiveness Threat in Cisgender Women Lowers Their Level of Support for Gender-Inclusive Bathroom Policies

Sexuality and Gender Studies
Talia Hayes
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Abstract

Evoking Gender Distinctiveness Threat in Cisgender Women Lowers Their Level of Support for Gender-Inclusive Bathroom Policies

Faculty Advisor: Anna Reiman, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

Transgender individuals are people whose gender identity does not match their sex assigned at birth. Transgender individuals experience discrimination in multiple areas of their lives. One example is the debate surrounding public bathrooms. Understandably, transgender individuals wish to use public restrooms that align with the gender they identify with, rather than the sex they were assigned at birth. Nevertheless, this sometimes makes cisgender people uncomfortable. The goal of this study was to explore the impact of the specific language used to describe policies regulating transgender women’s access to public bathrooms. Cisgender women participants (N=520) were asked to read a proposed state bill that would grant transgender women access to public women’s restrooms, followed by questions assessing support for the bill. Depending on the condition they were assigned, participants further read that enacting the bill would mean their home state believes either that “transgender women are real women” or “transgender rights are human rights”; in the control condition, this statement was omitted. Participants also completed a measure of the extent which they perceived transgender women as a threat to the distinctiveness of gender categories. We found that cisgender women who read the bill would indicate their home state officially believes that transgender women are real women felt a higher level of gender distinctiveness threat, which in turn lowered their overall support for the proposed bill. These findings can potentially help us better understand group conflicts and the manner in which discrimination, specifically towards transgender women, manifests. 

 

The Snowball Chamber: An Analysis of the Ideal Conditions to Supercool Water for the Development of a New Generation of Particle Detectors

Physics
George Homenides
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics
Abstract

The Snowball Chamber: An Analysis of the Ideal Conditions to Supercool Water for the Development of a New Generation of Particle Detectors

Faculty Advisor: Matthew Szydagis, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics

Supercooled water is cooled below freezing while remaining a liquid. It has many, interdisciplinary applications. This is especially true since the discovery by Levy and Szydagis that particles, specifically neutrons, can trigger its phase transition.

Today I will present on the effects of water purity levels created by different filters, and immiscible hydrophobic oils as surface sealing fluids used to determine the ideal conditions for achieving minimum temperature and greatest stability. The lower the operating temperature, the lower the amount of energy a particle needs to deposit in order to trigger freezing.

In the search for dark matter, a low energy threshold (sub-keV) is especially crucial, specifically at low masses (sub-GeV). We have thus far managed to suppress stochastic background nucleation long enough to allow for < -20°C for O(10) seconds in a test freezer, using very pure water. This presentation will explain how this was accomplished, and what the future of this work may hold.

Presentation

How do formative experiences define the difference between the young male Black experience and the young male white experience?

Social Welfare
Rose Honold
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
Abstract

How do formative experiences define the difference between the young male Black experience and the young male white experience?

Faculty Advisor: Angie Chung, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology

The topic of race is one that makes many uncomfortable, yet one that attracts much interest. Black and white Americans certainly have different experiences both every day and in a more grand scheme that develops more and more throughout time and throughout the growth of life experience. However, many of these experiences are formative, which leads us to a quandary about how exactly those experiences differ and how they affect people, specifically young men. The question at hand here is: how do formative experiences define the difference between the young male Black experience and the young male white experience? Luckily, there is much research on the topic that leads us to certain answers. These experiences begin to differ in early childhood, where racial profiling begins. Still affected by the oppression slavery and Jim Crowe, many African-Americans suffer in terms of lack of/worse resources than white families. Black children, especially boys, are often wrongly characterized as "aggressive" from toddlerhood to adolescence, as well as being characterized as less innocent than their white peers. Pressure also begins to conform in adolescence, however Black male children are often subjected to a more hyper-masculine conformity (reflected especially in athletics) as a direct result of the expectations thrust upon them via the archetypes they are forced to live up to. In conclusion, the Black male experience is defined by unfair racial profiling and pressure to be "tough" because of what is shown to be expected of Black males during childhood.

Building Resilience

Behavioral Science
Julie Jasewicz
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Abstract

Building Resilience

Faculty Advisor: Jason Randall, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

Originally resilience was mainly studied amongst children to see how adversity affects them later in life. More recently, this concept has progressed into other research and practice areas with resilience becoming a popular topic in areas such as psychological counseling and workplace training. This expansion reflects the idea that the benefits of resilience are not limited to children or at-risk populations, but may extend to the general population at any stage of life. So how do we go about building resilience in the general population? We conceptualize resilience as a process, which means it can be changed or built over time. This study tests the effectiveness of a new resilience training program that aims to help individuals build resilience with content based on resilience theories and research and takes exposure to adversity into account. We follow best practices in training design and evaluation to assess the validity of this new resilience training program by measuring the extent to which trainees' resilience, knowledge, reactions, empathy, and well-being change as a result of training. The study includes longitudinal measurements of these constructs to assess both immediate and long-term consequences of resilience training following one month. We also test hypothesized effects of the resilience training on individuals' satisfaction and social support, with the expectation that these variables will be enhanced as individuals build resilience. These ideas are currently being tested on two different samples: one comprised of college students and another of working adults, to test the generalized benefits of resilience training for broader populations.

Presentation

Climate Change and its Effects on the United States

Climate Change
Michael Johnson Jr., Lezhae Harris
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication; College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Abstract

Climate Change and its Effects on the United States

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication

We want to find out more about the different media coverages of climate change’s impact on the United States.  Climate change is a very pressing issue in the United States and many people don’t really have a proper understanding of the issue and the background information surrounding it as well.  We also want to find out the causes and effects of Climate Change on the U.S.  We will examine the status of climate change now and what effects, whether positive or negative, it could have on the country moving forward in the future.  We will pay careful attention to how various media outlets cover climate change too.

This research will be important as climate change is a serious issue that not enough people know the details about, so hopefully we can bring more awareness to the issue and provide people with a better understanding.  We will conduct our research by examining 50 articles from different sources about our topic and compile the results and discuss our findings with everyone.  We also may use surveys done in the past and possibly interview some people as well.  We are excited about this project and look forward to showing everyone the impact of climate change on the United States and the media coverage on its causes and effects. 
 

America Delayed: An Analysis of Comprehensive Sex Education in the US

Political Science
Carolyn Jones
Undergraduate Student
-
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, Department of Political Science
Abstract

America Delayed: An Analysis of Comprehensive Sex Education in the US

Faculty Advisor: Zsofia Barta, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy

Sex education in the United States has been and continues to be a threat to public health. Compared to European countries, the United States has incredibly poor health outcomes all of which are a direct result of poor sex education. A deep dive into sex education per state reveals a list of bad actors across the United States, not just a result of a few bad acting states. In 2015 California passed what many health experts consider the exemplary sex education bill. A comparison of two similar states, New York and California try to identify the casual mechanisms that allowed a bill passage in one state but not the other. All of this in an attempt to understand more broadly why the United States struggles to pass sex education reform. 

A Visual Exploration of Weather Using Layers and Iconology

Kyum bee Kim
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art & Art History
Abstract

A Visual Exploration of Weather Using Layers and Iconology

Faculty Advisor: Melissa Thorne, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art & Art History

I am interested in the way that weather charts contain this complex information in one image; it is both informative and visually intriguing. The colorful symbols indicate complicated experiences, concepts, and factors; wind streams, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and precipitation. For this project, I will document the data of both weather charts and human experiences and transform them into paintings and drawings. Currently, I am collecting the visual references for both weather charts and representative images, and planning the designs for future artworks. My research has also included contemporary artists who use symbolic visual languages in their work; David Salle, Julie Mehretu, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Derek Lerner. The work of these artists inspires me in my research. In previous artworks, I emphasized the contrast between abstraction and representation of everyday objects and figures, and utilized layers with vibrant colors. While my proposed drawings and paintings allude to weather charts, I would like to depict human experiences with layering methods. I will start with small drawings and develop the images into two or three larger paintings on canvas. In the drawing pieces, I will use a technique to transfer photo to paper. Additionally, I will use drawing materials such as acrylic ink, watercolor paints, charcoals, conte crayon, pencils, and colored pencils. In the paintings, I will use acrylic paints and inks on stretched canvas as the background, with mark-making techniques and oil paints for representations and abstractions for layering images.

Presentation

Recapitulating the onset of Parkinson’s disease by injecting Exogenous Pre-formed fibrils of α-synuclein into the Gastrointestinal tract in rats

Biological Science, Neuroscience
Eli Kochman
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences
Abstract

Recapitulating the onset of Parkinson’s disease by injecting Exogenous Pre-formed fibrils of α-synuclein into the Gastrointestinal tract in rats

Faculty Advisor: Damian Shin, Albany Medical College, Department of Neuroscience & Experimental Therapeutics; College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease marked by the presentation of motor symptoms, Lewy bodies (LBs), and the loss of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic neurons. While the pathophysiology underlying PD remains to be delineated, the accumulation of misfolded α-synuclein present in brain LBs are thought to be a key process. Notably, a provocative notion was recently proposed that this process originates in the gastrointestinal tract. In this scenario, α-synuclein in the GI myenteric plexus are transported to the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) and subsequently to SN neurons via the vagus nerve. Others have reported this using rodent models injected with α-synuclein pre-formed fibrils (PFF) into the GI lining with observed vagus nerve propagation and brain inclusions of α-synuclein. Here, we aim to obtain similar findings using human and mouse-sourced α-synuclein PFF injections into the duodenum and pylorus of rats. If successful, we can recapitulate the emergence of PD by eliciting α-synuclein propagation from the enteric nervous system (ENS) to the central nervous system (CNS). This novel animal model of PD can serve to reveal disease-modifying and/or disease prevention therapeutics that focus on mitigating the ENS-to-CNS α-synuclein translocation. After α-synuclein injection in the gastrointestinal tract lining, we observed α-synuclein histo-immunoreactivity in the stomach, esophagus, and DMV many weeks post-injection in fixed tissue. Further research is needed to assess whether subsequent loss of SN dopaminergic neurons and impaired motor function is seen. If so, mitigation strategies can be tested using this model to unmask novel therapeutics for PD.

Presentation

Imaging of Fibrotic Salivary Gland Morphology with Nanolive Cell Explorer.

Biological Science, Physics
Darnisha Langlais
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics
Abstract

Imaging of Fibrotic Salivary Gland Morphology with Nanolive Cell Explorer.

Faculty Advisor: Alexander Khmaladze, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics

There are many diseases of the salivary glands which result in salivary gland hypofunction. Salivary gland hypofunction can in turn lead to reduced function in food digestion and impaired speech among other things. Despite the numerous effects of salivary gland hypofunction there are currently few treatments available. Thus, there is considerable need for further examination of the salivary glands. Here we demonstrate a nontraditional imaging technique which utilizes holographic imaging to obtain comprehensive 3-D images of the salivary glands through the use of the Nanolive Cell Explorer and a stitching software. We acquired healthy and fibrotic salivary glands from mice and took images of the entire region using the Nanolive Cell Explorer. The images will be stitched together using a stitching software in order to produce compact 3-D images. These compact 3-D images of salivary glands will offer a new and improved way of looking at the salivary glands which was not possible before. This nontraditional imaging technique offers biologists a much more detailed and extensive view of the salivary glands which will consequently, aid in enhancing their analysis and knowledge of the salivary glands. We anticipate our nontraditional imaging technique to be a revolutionary turning point in the field of imaging. It will enable biologists to obtain comprehensive and compact 3-D images of any biological structure greatly enabling research.

Presentation

Polarization within Climate Change: The Ideologies, Their Arguments, and Finding a Balance

Climate Change
Sophia Lee, Michael Lashley
Undergraduate Students
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences; College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English
Abstract

Polarization within Climate Change: The Ideologies, Their Arguments, and Finding a Balance

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication

We want to understand what it is about Climate Change that is so polarizing. Depending on a person’s political ideology, certain beliefs about this issue have developed. These beliefs have ranged from those that work to produce a sensible and amicable discourse/debate, to beliefs that work to produce hostilities in the farther sects of these ideologies that are interested in discourse for the sake of only winning an argument. 
We want to see how the news media, politicians, academics/intellectuals, activists, climate change experts, and the everyday use of social media has impacted people of differing political leanings. This research is important as it will give us the opportunity to further discuss climate change in a balanced and hopefully, neutral environment. Fostering a discussion in this manner, and understanding just what climate change is all about can help to create more debates that are less divisive and more collaborative. To see legislative change occur on all levels of government, lawmakers and their constituents need to be having productive conversations themselves. By collecting news articles from various news outlets, here and international, we will analyze what creates an unproductive dialogue within the news media and other platforms of discussion. Hopefully, the research will develop our basic comprehension of climate change, give us some perspective on the multiple sides that discuss the issue, and hopefully find solutions to these disagreements.
 

Presentation

Reflective Practice in Pre-service Special Education Teachers: Development across Program Experiences

Education
Anushka Luthra
Undergraduate Student
-
School of Education, Department of Human Development
Abstract

Reflective Practice in Pre-service Special Education Teachers: Development across Program Experiences

Faculty Advisor: School of Education, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology

One of the many goals of teacher preparation programs is to teach responsive instruction through reflective thinking practices (Dewey, 1933). As part of an extensive longitudinal study on teachers’ reflective thinking development, this study focused on validating a rubric: Transitioning Critical Inquiry to Teacher Self Reflection Measure. This Rubric measures levels of reflective thinking in a cohort of preservice teachers in a master’s program for special education and literacy (Ellis-Robinson, 2017). In the recent past, the rubric was used to analyze a sample of reflective journals from one course of the program for evidence of reflective skills based on three levels of reflection: Technical Rationality, Contextual Practical Action, and Dialectical Critical Thinking, and Critical Reflection (VanMannen, 1977; Danielson, 2013; Samaras, 2002; Taggart & Wilson, 2005). In order to establish interrater reliability, three phases of analyses were employed: Constant Comparative Analysis (Glaser & Straus, 1967), Consultation Analysis, and Independent Analysis. The results indicated insufficient evidence to establish validity and interrater reliability due to COVID-19 pandemic-related issues, which gravely undermined both the quantitative and qualitative data analysis. We are currently reviewing the rubric while analyzing more samples of reflective journals from other courses in the program in order to meet the research goals. This work is allowing us to create a coding manual that can be used as a valid and reliable measure of pre-service teachers’ reflective writings.
 

Presentation

Discourse Around The Green New Deal: Causal Stories, Problematization, and Environmental Justice

Political Science, Public Policy, Social Justice, Sustainability
August McEachern
Undergraduate Student
-
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
Abstract

Discourse Around The Green New Deal: Causal Stories, Problematization, and Environmental Justice

Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Dodge, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy

Political and policy leaders, as well as academics and activists, still intensely contest the problematizations of climate change, who is responsible, and how we should address the issue. Disparate notions of justice are deeply intertwined in these problematizations. The result are steep political hurdles to formulate policy and address the myriad of injustices associated with climate change. This article explores the contestation of the “Green New Deal” (GND) in the US; identifying five perspectives vying for authority on agenda-setting and definitions of environmental justice: Climate Denialism, the 2015 Clean Power Plan, the Democratic-Socialist Green New Deal, the global Green New Deal (Chomsky & Pollin 2020), and the indigenous-led Red Deal. 

Presentation

Predicting Lyme Disease Risk using New York State Mesonet

Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science
Oliver Miller
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Science
Abstract

Predicting Lyme Disease Risk using New York State Mesonet

Faculty Advisor: Oliver Timm & Alexander Keyel, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Science

In the Northeast United States and parts of southern Canada, Ixodes scapularis (the Black legged tick) is a major health risk because it transmits Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease (LD). Our project aims to estimate LD risk for New York State (NYS) residents, with the goal of reducing LD cases. Microclimate indicators, including temperature and relative humidity, are important for regulating tick activity. The NYS Mesonet is a system weather stations across NYS that continuously monitors weather and climate readings at 5-minute intervals. Over the course of June – August 2020, we collected temperature and relative humidity measurements at 5-minute interval readings using HOBO loggers at three different heights above ground, at four different rotating forested sites in proximity to Mesonet sites. We examined differences in temperature and relative humidity between our HOBO stations and the Mesonet stations, as well as Mesonet to Mesonet stations. Analysis of the temperature data showed a very high rate of correlation between HOBO stations at our sites and neighboring Mesonet stations. Relative humidity correlations were generally less strong among the stations and decreased with distance. However, cluster analysis revealed regional clusters within NYS with highly correlated temperatures and humidity. Based on these results, we suggest a more in-depth study of the roles topography and local/regional meteorological conditions play on the microclimate structures in NYS in the future. The high correlations we obtained show that we can use Mesonet observations, to some extent, to predict microclimatic conditions in forested tick habitats. 

Climate Change and its Effects

Climate Change, Environmental Science, Sustainability
Ciara Mooney, Stephy Nivar-Martinez
Undergraduate Student
-
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, Department of Political Science; College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
Abstract

Climate Change and its Effects

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication 

Analyzing the media coverage of climate change. Through analyzing numerous different articles from multiple news agencies. Exploring the tone of the articles, headlines, pictures and much more. Also discussing the implications of the findings. The inferred meanings of the news coverage and possible patterns that can be noticed about the coverage of climate change from the news agencies. Also, determining if there are any important aspects that are missing from the articles. Finally, if there are any political, economic, or ideological messages behind or emerging from the media content. 
 

Identification of bloodstains for forensic purposes using Raman spectroscopy: method validation for donors suffered with Celiac disease

Chemistry, Forensic Science
Niara Nichols
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry
Abstract

Identification of bloodstains for forensic purposes using Raman spectroscopy: method validation for donors suffered with Celiac disease

Faculty Advisor: Igor Lednev, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry

Two critical issues in forensic science are identifying body fluid traces found at crime scenes and preserving them for DNA analysis. However, many body fluid identification methods are destructive. Further, current techniques used at crime scenes aren’t confirmatory and require further analysis to be conducted in the lab to confirm the body fluid’s identity. Raman Spectroscopy provides a suitable alternative to current biochemical methods as a nondestructive, confirmatory, and portable option. Our lab has developed several chemometric models that differentiate between the Raman spectra of five different body fluids, thus identifying the sample while still preserving it. These methods were developed using samples obtained from healthy donors. Thus, it is of most importance for the forensic application of the methods to evaluate their performance in cases where body fluid donors have diseases that might affect the biochemical composition of a body fluid. In this study, the ability of two chemometric models (a Support Vector Machine Discriminant Analysis model with Genetic Algorithm and a Random Forest Model) were used to identify the Raman spectra of dry traces of peripheral blood that came from donors with Celiac Disease. Both methods were able to correctly identify all samples as peripheral blood despite coming from donors suffering from Celiac disease. This suggests that neither method yielded false negatives for peripheral blood due to Celiac Disease. While this result shows the potential of these chemometric models, other forensically relevant diseases must be analyzed for a more comprehensive evaluation of the capabilities of the methods. 

Presentation

Performing American Eugenics

Literary Analyses, Sexuality and Gender Studies, Social Justice, Theatre
Margaret O’Connor
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English
Abstract

Performing American Eugenics

Faculty Advisor: Erica Fretwell and Ineke Murakami, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English

Most scholars attribute the origins of contemporary eugenics theory to Francis Galton, who outlined processes of purification through selective breeding. This movement gained popularity in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, led by biologist Charles Davenport, and is often disregarded in discussions of welfare and healthcare. However, this paper will interpret how the movement has contributed to American institutions view people of color, people with disabilities, and the corresponding stereotypes and expectations of what an American ought to be. Tamsen Wolff’s Mendel’s Theatre studies how the eugenics movement caused twentieth-century American theater to emerge as a cultural arena for the negotiation of eugenic ideologies. Following her theory, I will examine Susan Glaspell’s 1921 play, Inheritors, and argue how its treatment of immigrants and traditionally oppressed groups promote the eugenics movement. Furthermore, Glaspell’s play is particularly unique because it is typically viewed as a work of feminist drama; however, the eugenics movement seems to be widely antifeminist, and by viewing her play under a eugenic lens, we are better able to understand the relationship between women’s rights and the eugenics movement. By prioritizing those who get to reproduce, and therefore, continue in American society, Glaspell’s Inheritors promotes the privileges granted to those who can live within the society’s socio-political expectations while exterminating those who cannot. Through this thesis, I hope to raise awareness of the eugenic undertones in media by examining the ways in which a popular play can be used to support eugenic ideology.  

Comparative Climate Change: How the Media Frames Climate Change in Canada, Germany, and the United States

Journalism
Margaret O’Connor, Julie Prisco, Yiming Qin
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English; College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English; College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry
Abstract

Comparative Climate Change: How the Media Frames Climate Change in Canada, Germany, and the United States

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication

As the threat of climate change grows more prominent, millions of people become more at risk to feel the irreversible impacts that climate change results in. However, despite the imminent threat that climate change poses, many first-world nations are still grappling with how to understand and act on the climate crisis. In comparing Canada, Germany, and the United States, we are able to get a closer look into how these first-world nations are working through an issue that will affect poorer countries more than in their own countries. We will further be looking at how the media in these countries frames climate change, and how the media's perception and reporting of climate change thereby affect important policy decisions, and how citizens of each country feel the need to change their way of life and work to become more eco-friendly. In specifically looking at different media sources throughout these countries, we are better able to see how not only governments view climate change, but also how people from a wide variety of political parties go about their lives with this ever-persistent threat. In conclusion, we are hoping to look at how the media influences either a more pro-climate change or an anti-climate change narrative amongst both government officials and general citizens. 

Characterization of the Tracks for near-Taiwan Tropical Cyclones Under Changing Climate

Atmospheric Science
Brooke Odstrchel
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Atmospheric Science
Abstract

Characterization of the Tracks for near-Taiwan Tropical Cyclones Under Changing Climate

Faculty Advisor: Cheng-Hsuan Lu, College of Arts and Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center

The damage caused by tropical cyclones depends on where they make landfall, their strength, and their duration, with an outsize effect on certain countries based on geographic location, landmass, and topography. In the case of a drastically smaller country, such as Taiwan, tropical cyclones have a much larger impact on the country. This due to several factors including its small landmass, its location in the West Pacific, and its topography allowing for these rainfall events to have a lasting effect on its climate. A tropical cyclone in Taiwan can not only produce extreme rainfall, but induce mudslides and have lasting economic damage to the people of Taiwan, as these large tropical cyclones affect the whole island, not one specific area. The goal of this study is to understand near-Taiwan tropical cyclone tracks in present-day versus projected future climate.  The National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) conducted dynamic downscaling HiRAM using 5km WRF simulations to model typhoons impacting Taiwan in the present climate and in a future climate scenario.  The present climate simulations run from 1979 to 2015 and consists of four members with prescribed SSTs.  The future climate simulations run from 2079 to 2100 using the RCP8.5 scenario and consists of 16 members with four SST schemes. The simulated storms are sorted into categories, landfalling/non-landfalling and into different track types (north, central, south) depending on where they made landfall or whether they passed north or south of Taiwan.  Extreme cases will be identified and then analyzed.

Presentation

Generation of Near-Infrared Genomic Silver Clusters Via Attribute-Regularized Variational Autoencoders

Artificial Intelligence, Biological Science, Chemistry, Computer Science
James Oswald
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Computer Science
Abstract

Generation of Near-Infrared Genomic Silver Clusters Via Attribute-Regularized Variational Autoencoders

Faculty Advisor: Petko Bogdanov, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Computer Science

DNA-Stabilized Silver Clusters (Ag-DNA) are nano-particles composed of silver ions stabilized by strands of DNA. Ag-DNA exhibits fluorescence when exposed to UV light, and of particular interest is the discovery of Ag-DNA nano-particles fluorescing in the near infrared spectrum, which have lots of applications. The fluorescence spectra of an Ag-DNA nano-particle is directly controlled by its structure, which is determined by the sequence of the DNA nucleobases that compose the stabilizing DNA strand. The correlation between sequences and fluorescence spectra is poorly understood due to the size of the sample space of sequences. We address this problem using a novel supervised machine learning approach to generate sequences in which we have control of desired spectra properties learned from a relatively small dataset when compared to the size of the sequence space. We propose a generative model using an attribute-regularized variational autoencoder (AR-VAE) employing LSTM encoders and decoders for handling DNA sequences. Our AR-VAE model is trained to code for desired properties of the fluorescence in known monotonic dimensions of the latent space; the existence of these “regularized” dimensions gives the ability to pick new codes with our desired properties. We verify that our model encodes desired properties by demonstrating that when coding for the spectra property of integrated intensity (II), the model is able to successfully predict high II on unseen sequences that have been verified to have high II. To verify our model’s generative ability, we show that it successfully generates sequences containing motifs predicted in previous work.

The Fabric of Labor: Workers, Management, & the TWUA During Labor’s Decline in Upstate NY, 1950-1970 

History, Political Science, Sociology, Labor Relations
Anthony Parillo
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
Abstract

The Fabric of Labor: Workers, Management, & the TWUA During Labor’s Decline in Upstate NY, 1950-1970 

Faculty Advisor: Carl Bon Tempo & Christopher Pastore, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History

This paper explores three textile mills in upstate New York in the post-WWII years, and specifically the relationships between mill hands, management, and the national Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA). While historians have studied textile mills and labor relations in the twentieth-century South, they have paid little attention to their northern counterparts during that era. This paper, conversely, writes northern mill workers into the larger scholarly conversation about twentieth-century union decline. It shows that union campaigns often failed due largely to the cunning, if not deceptive, maneuvers of management. Drawing on union records, contemporary local newspapers, and census data, I argue that management effectively kept unions at bay not through belligerence, but rather via more subtle strategies that combined coercion, the exploitation of anti-union thinking in rural culture, and the creation of management-controlled company unions. A more aggressive stance, management learned, only galvanized workers and encouraged them to side with the national union. Thus, company bosses took a more sophisticated approach to defeating union organizing drives.  

Exploring the best strategies for use by police in preventing terrorism

Criminal Justice, Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, International Affairs, Public Policy
Patrick Peters
Undergraduate Student
-
School of Criminal Justice
Abstract

Exploring the best strategies for use by police in preventing terrorism

Faculty Advisor: Angie Chung, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology

For many decades now, the Western world has been exposed to terrorism. That threat jumped to the forefront for many countries with the 9/11 terror attacks on New York City. Some countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and others, have made military efforts a major part of their campaign against terrorism, major terror groups have resorted to attacks on the homeland of Western nations. The reasons for these attacks are usually to terrify and demoralize the civilian population, rather than a last-ditch effort to fight their enemy. Thus, oftentimes it is a strong foe that strikes directly at the heart of many Western countries. These tactics, fairly unique and characteristic of the common terrorist, means that instead of the military facing the brunt of the enemy attack, oftentimes it is the police force of that particular nation that must confront the threat, whether they are a national police force, such as is the case with Israel, or on the local, state, and federal level, as is the case with the US system of policing. (To be continued)
 

Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Drone Warfare and the Expansion of American Executive Authority (2001-2020)

Emerging Technologies, History, Homeland Security
Joseph Pignataro
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
Abstract

Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Drone Warfare and the Expansion of American Executive Authority (2001-2020)

Faculty Advisor: Christopher Pastore, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History

Faculty Advisor: Ryan Irwin, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History

This paper examines how the United States’ proliferation of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), or drones, has allowed the executive branch to concentrate its power to wage the post-9/11 War on Terror. This paper will examine the proliferation of drone warfare during the George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump presidential administrations and, it will convey how drones have expanded executive authority to wage war. Although historians have emphasized the moral and legal consequences of drone warfare such as its significant civilian casualty rate and potential violations of U.S. and international law, they have paid little attention to its impact on the power of the American executive branch. Drones’ contribution to the expansion of executive power is significant because they have allowed the president to unilaterally act as judge, jury, and executioner, which eventually led to the assassination of an American citizen named Anwar al-Awlaki. Drawing on legal documents, Justice Department memos, transcripts of congressional hearings, statements made by politicians, the National Security Archive’s digital collection on Anwar al-Awlaki, newspaper articles, and scholarly accounts, this paper will argue that America’s transition to drone warfare has expanded the war powers of the executive branch. When we rethink America's expansion of the targeted killing program, it encourages us to think about how drones have allowed the executive branch to wage the 21st century War on Terror with minimal oversight. The executive branch as the sole arbiter on drone warfare raises concerns about the efficacy of the American checks and balances system. 

Presentation

Detection of Duchenne muscular dystrophy long non-coding RNAs using DNA nanoswitches

Biological Science
Ché-Doni Platt
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences
Abstract

Detection of Duchenne muscular dystrophy long non-coding RNAs using DNA nanoswitches

Faculty Advisor: Ken Halvorsen, College of Arts and Sciences, RNA Institute

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are transcripts that are over 200 nucleotides and do not encode proteins. lncRNAs are involved in a wide spectrum of biological processes ranging from cell proliferation, apoptosis and nutrient sensing to cell differentiation. Further, lncRNAs have been reported to play an important role in a wide range of pathophysiological processes and linked to diseases such as cancer. Thus, lncRNAs are becoming increasingly important as biomarkers to study biological and disease processes. In our work, we use a DNA nanoswitch-based nucleic acid detection assay to detect lncRNAs involved in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), an X-linked disorder occurring in 1/3500 live male births and presenting in early childhood with proximal muscle weakness. Using differentiating muscle cells and DMD mouse models, we use the DNA nanoswitch assay to detect differential regulation of lncRNAs. The DNA nanoswitch is a reconfigurable device that undergoes a conformational change from a linear “off” state to a looped “on” state upon interaction with the target molecule. The two states can be easily identified on an agarose gel. Our work aims to create a lncRNA detection assay that will be useful in early treatment of diseases and in screening potential biomarkers for DMD. The DNA nanoswitch-based assay is low-cost, highly sensitive and specific, and easily adaptable in any laboratory for detecting various biomarkers.

Autoencoder Model for OFDM-Based Optical Wireless Communications Systems Employing Augmented Communications

Computer Science
Anya Ross
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Abstract

Autoencoder Model for OFDM-Based Optical Wireless Communications Systems Employing Augmented Communications

Faculty Advisor: Hany Elgala, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Machine learning (ML)-based communication systems have the potential of outperforming classical wireless communication chains, where the processing blocks are separately optimized yielding sub-optimal solutions. This research introduces an autoencoder (AE) model for orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM)-based optical wireless communication (OWC) systems that utilize a technology known as augmented communications (ACom) for spectral efficiency (SE) enhancement. The design of this AE consists of an encoder and decoder as a single neural network setup that can be used to represent a communication system chain consisting of a transmitter and receiver. ACom is a technique that adds features to signals prior to transmission with the aim of increasing the SE performance of communication systems. Performance of this model is enhanced through training where the categorical cost function is minimized and optimized weights within the encoder and decoder layers are created. Comparison with classical wireless communication approaches reveal competitive bit-error-rate (BER) performance for ACom using the proposed AE-model. Apart from BER performance, the proposed approach provided interesting insight about optimal communication schemes (constellations) and engineered features utilized to increase the SE of the communication system.

Presentation

Genetic approaches for conditional deletion of neuronal glutamate transporters

Biological Sciences, Neuroscience
Danielle Saint Hilaire
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences
Abstract

Genetic approaches for conditional deletion of neuronal glutamate transporters

Faculty Mentor: Annalisa Scimemi, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences

With mice identified as an adaptable human disease model, researchers have been able to use genome editing to study a myriad of human diseases. Recently, the EAAC1 gene has been studied in its relation to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and its behaviors. The EAAC1 gene contributes to the functioning of neuronal glutamate transporters. Here, we plan to generate new conditional knockout mice to remove the EAAC1 gene only from selected populations of striatal neurons, and observe how this impacts the prevalence of compulsive behaviors in mice. Using a lever press experiment, our results show that when these EAAC1 transporters are knocked out, the behavior of the mice is affected in their temporal execution, but not their spatial execution of such behaviors. This implicates the EAAC1 transporter in some of the behaviors seen in OCD, and opens a new area of study for understanding OCD and its mechanisms.

Presentation

Climate Change, Journalism
Robyn Salazar & Christopher Regina
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication & School of Business
Abstract

Presentation

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication

My partner and I will be presenting a powerpoint with our information gathered. 

 

Presentation

How the Media Covers Climate Change

Climate Change
Tasneem Serville, Sonel Sandy
Undergraduate Students
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College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography and Planning; School of Business, Department of Digital Forensics
Abstract

How the Media Covers Climate Change

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication

This project offers us an opportunity as students to learn about the many ways that media influences how we think about certain issues. It also allows us to better understand the scientific, political, economic and social discourse surrounding climate change as it becomes more relevant in todays world. From this research, we hope to find out how the medias role in the coverage of climate related issues influences public opinion, political agendas and scientific action and what are implications of it. Our research will be conducted through analyzing surveys, different types of media, and looking at the many players involved in covering a story on climate change (such as sponsors). So far, our research has shown that there are negative consequences for climate action when coverage of its stories get intertwined with political biases and outside influences. Through media analysis we are able to better understand how public opinion forms on important issues and how these narratives reflect how these issues are dealt with outside of the scientific and political discourse.

The Burning Issue of Our Children’s Future

Art and Art History, Climate Change, Social Justice
Dhana Small, Kaylyn Vazquez, Mehki Stevenson
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences
Abstract

The Burning Issue of Our Children’s Future

Faculty Advisor: Chang Sup Park, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication

The legitimacy of the impact of climate change has been a widely controversial topic, with a significant disconnect between generations and political parties. Media coverage of climate change is at the forefront of establishing the justification of the discussion. Reviewing the impact that climate change has had on us already and will continue to have long after we're gone is pertinent to understanding what behaviors in the past brought it upon us and what we can do to repair it is pertinent to the generations that come after us. In order to properly understand the influence the currently generation is having on climate change, research is needed to understand how far it has come and what actions we can take to repair the solution. Discerning through the research of 50 articles from various news agencies in order to analyze the data, biased undertones, and gather findings to properly understand the impact of climate change coverage in the global media.

Presentation

Ew! vs. Eek! Does Biological Sex Predict Processing Differences between Fear and Disgust?

Cognition and Cognitive Science
Michael Spencer, Mary Avery
Undergraduate Student,
-
College of Arts and Sciences
Abstract

Ew! vs. Eek! Does Biological Sex Predict Processing Differences between Fear and Disgust?

Faculty Advisor: Jeanette Altarriba, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

Discrete emotion categories (happiness, anger, fear, and disgust) have unique effects on performance in visual word recognition tasks, beyond valence and arousal. Findings have been supported by experiments that used a lexical decision task (LDT), which prompts participants to identify a string of letters as a word or a nonword, to examine emotion processing (Briesemeister et al., 2011). However, the role of biological sex in discrete emotion word processing has not been readily investigated. ERP studies indicate that females show greater N1 and N2 amplitude in response to negative images, reflecting increased early reactivity relative to men (Gardener et al., 2013; Lithari et al., 2010) consistent with a female negativity bias. Early reactivity to negative stimuli may contribute to slowed processing, as cognitive resources are then depleted (Williams et al., 2008). I aimed to evaluate whether processing differences occur for discrete emotion words based on sex. The results of this experiment showed similar reaction times for females relative to males, contrary to female negativity bias. I also found overall slowed processing and increased error rates for disgust related words relative to fear and anger, supporting discrete emotion category effects. Knowledge of unique emotion category effects is significant because it can be applied practically in emotion regulation therapies within a clinical setting.

The Terrifying Convergence: A Legacy of the U.S Far-Right’s Leaderless Resistance in the 20th Century.

History, Homeland Security, Political Science
Ryan Szpicek
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
Abstract

The Terrifying Convergence: A Legacy of the U.S Far-Right’s Leaderless Resistance in the 20th Century.

Faculty Advisor: Christopher Pastore & Richard Fogarty, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History

A former Klansman and Aryan Nations ambassador named Louis Beam inferred right-wing activists would need to go to war with the federal government or what they saw as the Zionist Occupied Government, to preserve their culture. He updated an organizational theory known as leaderless resistance to prepare the entire right-wing movement for this war. His version of leaderless resistance called for a decentralized network of communication that would right-wing patriots to exchange knowledge about their common culture of xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and anti-government sentiment. This cultural coalescence through a communication network would in theory allow members to educate themselves towards independently committing violent acts. The Aryan Nations of the 1980s attempted leaderless resistance through their Liberty Network that enabled previously isolated right-wing groups in the U.S to communicate with each other. This early network also saw the growth of the 1990s militia movement that gained popularity through the events of Ruby Ridge and Waco, only to be deflated by the 1995 example of leaderless resistance in Timothy McVeigh. Despite the patriot movement being dormant in the early 2000s, the election of former President Barack Obama drove the patriot movement back to life. The newly revived movement offered newer platforms to coalesce through websites like Stormfront, The Daily Stormer, and 8chan that became part of the largest network of far-right websites in the world. The interconnected nature of these websites radicalized Dylann Roof and Patrick Crusius who violently became newer examples of the patriot movement’s leaderless resistance.

Impacts of Children’s Negative Affectivity and Effortful Control on Parenting Styles and Parental Stress

Behavioral Science, Child Development, Clinical Psychology
Calista Tomasetti
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Abstract

Impacts of Children’s Negative Affectivity and Effortful Control on Parenting Styles and Parental Stress

Faculty Advisor: Betty Lin, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

While much research has explicated the impact of parents on children, the effects of children on parents has received less attention. Studies have demonstrated that both high negative affectivity and low effortful control can cause parents to experience higher levels of stress (Szymańska & Aranowska, 2019). Research has also shown that parents who employ authoritarian parenting experience higher levels of stress than those who employ authoritative parenting (Aunola et al., 1999). The current study investigated associations of children’s temperamental negative affectivity and effortful control on authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles and subsequent parent stress. The sample included 46 children 3-to-5 years  (26 girls, Mage= 4.24 years, SD= 0.48) and their parents (38 mothers, Mage = 31.71 years, SD = 7.83). Parents completed questionnaires assessing child temperament, parenting styles, and parent stress. Two mediation models were run. The first tested whether authoritarian parenting plays a mediating role between negative affectivity and subsequent high parent stress. The second mediation model tested whether authoritative parenting plays a mediating role between high effortful control and subsequent low parent stress. Results showed that higher negative affectivity predicted higher parent stress. Parents of children who display temperamental negative affectivity may consider implementing stress-reduction techniques to limit distress. Results also indicated that authoritative parenting predicted lower parent stress. Authoritative parenting behaviors such as open communication, warmth and responsiveness when asserting control may be helpful to limit parenting stress. Further studies should investigate the role that other temperament characteristics may play in predicting parenting styles and parent stress. 

Loss of EAAC1 Decreases IPSC Amplitude at D1-D1 Medium Spiny Neuron Synapses

Behavioral Science, Biological Science, Neuroscience
Ian Tschang
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences
Abstract

Loss of EAAC1 Decreases IPSC Amplitude at D1-D1 Medium Spiny Neuron Synapses

Faculty Advisor: Annalisa Scimemi, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences

EAAC1 is a neuronal glutamate transporter that is most abundantly expressed in the cortex, striatum, and hippocampus of the brain. Despite being a transporter for glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, EAAC1 is expressed presynaptically at inhibitory GABAergic terminals and supplies glutamate, which serves as a metabolic precursor for GABA in these terminals. Here, we examine the inhibitory relationship between D1 and D2 medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatum of EAAC1 WT and KO mice using Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and the Cre-LoxP system. We stereotaxically inject a viral construct that contains floxed ChR2 DNA (DNA flanked on both sides by LoxP sites) into the striatum of a mouse that expresses Cre- recombinase under the promoter for D1 or A2A receptors. Thus, we effectively insert the gene for ChR2 only in D1 or A2A expressing neurons. We can then use blue light to initiate postsynaptic currents (PSCs) and record the effect of such currents on D1 MSNs and D2 MSNs.

Presentation

An Investigation into the January 19th, 2021 Santa Ana Wind Event

Atmospheric Science
Kayla Wheeler
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
Abstract

An Investigation into the January 19th, 2021 Santa Ana Wind Event

Faculty Advisor: Robert Fovell, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Residents of Southern California have long been affected by a weather phenomenon called the “Santa Ana Winds”. This event occurs when dry air from the Mojave Desert is partially dammed by the mountains surrounding the Los Angeles basin and channeled into wind corridors, such as the one that passes through Santa Ana, California, to the Pacific Ocean. These winds are often extreme and have the ability to knock over power lines, which can easily ignite wildfires due to the dry climate of the area. Thus, public utility companies need accurate weather predictions to know when and if it is necessary to shut off the power to the lines in order to prevent wildfires. As of right now, many of these companies are using the Weather Researching and Forecast (WRF) model. Analysis of past events has suggested that this model often starts events too early and makes them too intense, with the winds progressing too far offshore.  In this project, we produced multiple model simulations using different domains and initializations and compared them to the actual event to see which model resembled the observations best. The goal of this project is to determine which model most accurately predicts Santa Ana wind events. We found that altering gravity wave drag and surface roughness with certain models produces the most accurate predictions.

Presentation

Play and Pastiche: Internet Memes as Postmodern Reinvention

Art and Art History, Cultural Studies, Literary Analyses
Rebekah Wolanski
Undergraduate Student
-
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English
Abstract

Play and Pastiche: Internet Memes as Postmodern Reinvention

Faculty Advisor: Mary Valentis, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English

Internet Memes are a fascinating insight into the ways in which members of the general populace communicate their conception of themselves and our society at large. While Internet Memes are diverse in structure, style, and content, when one understands them as relational entities, there are certain patterns that can be tracked within many seemingly disparate Internet Memes that illuminate their relation to, and continuation of, traditional artistic and literary forms. The idea of play, specifically, is one that can be seen enacted in a variety of Internet Memes. The ways in which Internet Meme creators utilize play often embodies, in a transformative way, two traditional forms - the carnivalesque and pastiche. Both of these forms hold within them possibilities to subvert certain societal preconceptions, generate novel meanings out of old ideas, and reexamine social circumstances. By uncovering the ways in which Internet Memes serve as a continuation and, at times, a reinvention of these forms, I hope to elucidate the potency of Internet Memes to create new meanings, subvert expectations, and reimagine our social conditions. 
 

Zhen-Shan-Ren(Truth-Compassion-Tolerance) Art Exhibition

Art and Art History, Cultural Studies, Music
Peng Zhang
Graduate Student
-
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
Abstract

Zhen-Shan-Ren(Truth-Compassion-Tolerance) Art Exhibition

Faculty Advisor: Luis Luna-Reyes, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy

Faculty Advisor: Edmund Stazyk, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy

People still struggle with the Global Pandemic which has started in Wuhan, China since 2019. This period serves as a chance that let the world verify the difference between the contemporary Chinese regime and traditional China again. From the perspective of culture, modern China is distinct from that of the five-thousand-year civilization. The traditional Chinese culture is a divine culture that is based on the belief following the critical principles: Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance (Zhen, Shan, and Ren). This Art Exhibition provides an opportunity to enjoy the traditional Chinese culture.
The Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren (Truth, Compassion, Tolerance) Exhibition is an inspiring exhibition detailing an inner spiritual life and a human rights tragedy. Realistic oil paintings and Chinese watercolors give a unique insight into the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa.
Falun Gong, a form of meditative exercise originating in China, is based on the principles of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. Part of the exhibition is dedicated to showing how the practice of Falun Gong has changed people’s lives, providing them with a return to traditional Chinese values.
The Exhibit has toured 800 cities in more than 50 countries since July 2004, including prestigious galleries in Turkey, Israel, and all around the U.S. and Europe.

School Policing, Mass Incarceration, and Panopticism

Criminal Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Education, Political Science, Social Justice
Lyla Zusman
Undergraduate Student
-
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, Department of Political Science
Abstract

School Policing, Mass Incarceration, and Panopticism

Faculty Advisor: Morton Schoolman, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, Department of Political Science

In this project, I argue that school policing is an unjust use of surveillance power rooted in systemic racism. I highlight similarities in racial disparities and power exploitation that occur in both school policing and mass incarceration. Using Michelle Alexander's account of systemic racism from The New Jim Crow as a supplement to Michel Foucault’s theory of surveillance power in Discipline and Punish I explain why we see identical racial disparities in mass incarceration and school policing. I argue that the exploitation of power that occurs in these environments can be better understood through an amended version of Foucault's panopticism that incorporates an understanding of systemic racism. I then use the amended theory to shed light on the racial disparities that occur when school police officers exploit their power in their biased discipline and arrest of students and the consequent negative effects of this discriminatory abuse of power. 

Presentation