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Research Day Symposium 2003

 

The Wilkes Honors College Symposium for Research and Creative Projects

Archive for 2003

Talk Abstracts

Ewana K. Balasis
Stereotypes And Memory: The Impact of Response Format On The Illusory Correlation Effect
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

Recent literature has examined the ways that stereotypes produce biases in memory, called the illusory correlation effect. The present study focused on the exact cognitive processes operating to produce stereotype memory biases. The format in which stereotype-related information is recalled was hypothesized to be influential in producing the memory bias.

This study tested a sample of Honors College students, using stereotypes of four different occupations. In Study 1, stereotype sets were compiled from a group of raters. Study 2 involved actual memory testing. Participants were shown a list of pairs, each pair containing an occupation and a trait (e.g., doctor - ambitious). Participants were later asked to recall the list in one of two response formats. In one format, participants recalled more information consistent with the stereotypes of occupations. In the other format, participants recalled more information that contradicted the stereotypes, suggesting that response format is an influential factor in memory biases.

Tiffany L. Barry
A Legislator's Decision to Restrict: The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1995
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Timothy Steigenga

The history of immigration in the United States reveals the complex and conflicting values and interests working against the formation of a coherent and workable immigration policy. Economic, political, and social variables help to explain changes in immigration policy over time. This study tests the hypothesis that legislators decisions to restrict immigration policy are based primarily upon the following variables: his/her party affiliation, residence in a high immigrant population state (California, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Texas), and campaign contributions from the agriculture and construction sectors. Preliminary findings suggest that significant contributions from the agricultural sector represent one of the most salient factors affecting voting on immigration policy.

Anya Canache
The Maya in Jupiter, Florida; Remittances and Immigrant Perceptions of Changes in the Home Community
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Timothy J. Steigenga

Scholars disagree about the over-all positive or negative impacts of immigrant remittances on the macro-economic stability of developing nations. There are strong economic arguments about both the positive and the negative economic results of remittances. However, both sides tend to ignore the equally significant social, cultural, and familial changes that remittances bring about in the sending community. Based on ethnographic interviews conducted among Jacaltec Mayan immigrants in Jupiter, Florida, this study suggests that immigrants perceive the social changes brought about by remittances to be equally if not more relevant to their daily lives than economic changes. Since most of these changes are perceived as negative, it suggests that immigrants are aware of the dilemma they face when sending their remittances to their home community. Thus, the immigrant perspective provides a framework for understanding the complex positive and negative social and economic effects of remittances. 

Timothy Case
Aldo Leopold, the Land Ethic, and the Need for Pluralism in Environmental Philosophy
Advisor/Professor: Dr. William O'Brien

I present Leopold's work to demonstrate similarities between his Land Ethic and other diverse conceptualizations within the often-polarized factions of the environmental movement. I suggest that monistic solutions will not provide effective means for the resolution of ecological crisis's that encompass diverse social and cultural settings. Monistic interpretations provide one lens for worldview, one perspective for interpretation, one solution for change, and require one defense against criticisms of the essentializing nature of that solution. I conclude that diverse perspectives, such as eco-feminism, Buddhist and Islamic environmentalisms, eco-Marxism, and others, share important elements with Leopold's Land Ethic. Rather than suggesting the replacement of views, creating a new monism, I conclude that a defense of Leopold's holism requires a defense of pluralism, because one perspective cannot be the universal sustenance for environmentalism. Such defense, provided by the Land Ethic, can unify support for an alliance based upon a non-hierarchical collection of ideas.

Joseph Colucci
Ego Development and Tragedy: Personality and September 11th
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

Adverse times cause people to react in a variety of ways. While some people behave in less than admirable ways, others exemplify maturity, courage, and wisdom. It is important to know how these circumstances affect the public. The intent of this project is to gain something positive out of the September 11th tragedies. We use the Sentence Completion Test to determine how the events of 9/11 affect Ego Development. Ego Development consists of 9 stages through which people may progress. It describes the thinking people use to understand the world around them. Impulsive, conformist, and conscientious are examples of the stages. In the wake of the tragedy, some people are expected to regress and others rise. The idea is that a difficult situation will create true leaders of the world.

Allison DeWeese
"It wasn't our world anymore": Fanfiction's Postmodernist Coup
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Laura Barrett

Fan writings, known as fanfiction, are here presented as Postmodernist texts that recreate, rewrite and retell the stories of popular culture and toy with the literary canon. A rampant and mostly female authored internet phenomenon that began with fan circulated magazines, fanfiction gleefully embraces social taboos, examines its place in relation to and within academia, and blurs the line between high and low culture. Seen from a Postmodernist approach, fanfiction appropriates fictional worlds in order to create stories the fans wish to see and explore. Not limited to the television or movie screen, fanfiction writers also rewrite novels, celebrities, songs, and historical and political figures, utilizing the tried and true themes of literature, and employing lenses and backdrops ranging from pornography to the Bible.

Stephen Ewen
High-Modernist Development Praxis vs. 'Metis' Among Haiti's Popular Class
Advisor/Professor: Drs. Timothy Steigenga, Rachel Corr, and William O'Brien

From before its independence to the present day, "high-modernist" development schemes have been imposed upon Haiti by non-endogenous sources. These stem from the development theories of Western political thinkers, and have been implemented at the behest of Western powers and Haitian elites. Yet Haiti today stands as the most impoverished nation of the Western hemisphere. What has gone wrong? In reply, I examine the "metis"-the development aspirations, culturally-based practices, and localized knowledge-of the Haitian popular class, and contrast these with "high-modernist" development. I highlight four Haitian case studies to show the profound "misfit" between the two development forms, and the conflicts that have arisen because of it. In Haiti, "high-modernist" development will inevitably go awry because its starting points are fundamentally flawed. The crucial element of Haitian "metis" must have primacy in development foundations, theory, policy, and projects, and not just moderately at the project implementation level.

Dwight Forde
Personality & Child rearing Attitude
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

Adam Iglesias
Effect of Native Language on Event Perception
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie Earles

Jessica Keith
Effects of mtDNA mutations on growth rates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Paul Kirchman

Many theories have been proposed to explain the biological basis of aging, or senescence. Only after the causes of aging are discovered can there be any hope of alleviating the symptoms of aging, as well as reducing or eliminating diseases related to old age. I have based my research upon the free radical theory of aging, which explains senescence as an accumulation of toxins at the cellular level as a by-product of aerobic metabolism. My goal was to create and identify strains of yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which grow more slowly than normal as a result of mutant genes related to cellular respiration. Identification and analysis of these mutant genes will help to elucidate the role of genetics in the aging process.

Alexis Komara
Man and Nature: Reading Steinbeck through a Transcendental Lens
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Laura Barrett

John Steinbeck's life experiences greatly influenced his worldview and directed the themes that pervade his work. As a student of literature, exploring literary themes, movements and methods has allowed me to make connections and identify correlations between ideologies and authors. One such observation involves the worldview and philosophy of John Steinbeck in relation to the transcendental movement, specifically the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. After a survey of Steinbeck's fiction and non-fiction in relation to transcendentalism and a number of Emerson selections, I have found that Steinbeck subscribes to many of the basic principles Emerson explores in his work. While not an attempt to prove that Steinbeck was or was not directly influenced by transcendentalism or the works of Emerson, this thesis is an exploration of common themes and ideas concerning man, nature, society and the construction of the universe. 

Jake Leech
Synthesis and characterisation of dansylated polyaniline
Advisor/Professor: Dr. LuAnne McNulty

Polyaniline is an electrically conductive polymer with many interesting properties, and dansyl chloride is a fluorescent marker often used to label proteins. By replacing some of the aniline monomers in polyaniline with N-dansyl-p-phenylenediamine, a copolymer is created which is essentially a polyaniline backbone with dansyl side groups. Since the electrons are loosened from the dansyl moiety when it is exposed to ultraviolet light, exposing the polymer to ultraviolet light should reduce the electrical impedance of the material. The polymer can be electrically characterised by using an oscilloscope to measure the capacitance of the polymer, from which the impedance can be calculated.

Jake Leech
Free will, determinism, and responsibility
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Mark Tunick

There are several issues debated in the dialogue between those who believe that we have free will, and those who believe that we do not. I will argue that the will is not necessarily free, and also that, due to certain physical phenomenon, the definition of determinism needs to be overhauled. I will argue that free will and determinism are not compatible ideas, despite attempts to show otherwise. I will also examine the idea that free will is necessary for responsibility, and argue that this is not true, and that the concepts of responsibility and morality are actually just further constraints on the will.

Alfredo Palacio
Jorge Luis Borges's Immortalities
Advisor/Professor: Mary Ann Gosser-Esquilín

Kimberly Preston
Milton and the Sabbath
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Harrawood

This paper will consider the influence of the great 17th century debate over the Sabbath on the poetry and prose of John Milton. Milton defended regicide and Parliament during the revolution, while he condemned the Priesthood and Prelacy for their concern with obedience of church law and strict enforcement of it; yet the same Parliament he defended enacted laws that restricted behavior on the Sabbath creating a precise listing of activities permissible on that day. The issues that emerge from an examination of the Sabbatarian debate deal directly with the subjects Milton takes on in his work: the power of the church, and the relation of the individual to religious community. Milton was for the believer's right to choose. He wrote in his "Reason of Church Government" that while drunken behavior was offensive, other activities Sabbatarians spoke out against were acceptable. Placing obedience of the Commandments too high could be a sin itself.

John Samuels
Fractal Dimension: An Analysis of Different Definitions
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Stephanie Fitchett

Mandelbrot used the term "monsters" to describe shapes that possess irregular and fragmented behavior. Fractals, as these "monsters" are called, break most common notions of geometric objects. In particular, most fractals have non-integer dimension - a trait not shared by any familiar objects. How do we extend our notion of dimension to handle these "monsters"? In the talk we will explore two of the most widely used definitions of fractal dimension. The goal of the talk is to understand logic behind the definitions, as well as provide an example where the different definitions produce different results. This example will highlight the meaning and interpretation of each definition of dimension, as well as reveal the drawbacks of each definition.

Martha M. Staid
"Through Narrow Streets": Walking in Expatriate Modernist Literature
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Laura Barrett

A great deal of post-World War I modernist American literature is linked to expatriation. This physical disassociation from one's roots both by the authors of the time and by many of their characters relates closely to issues of emotional and spiritual despondency, feelings of otherness, and an attempt to react to an increasingly mechanized and fragmentary world. Frequently, these concepts are coupled within modernist fiction with the idea of walking, particularly the persistent, symbolic image of a lone city walker. These walkers, usually the male protagonist of a text, engage in a destinationless wandering through urban surroundings, an act which is couched in solitariness and an inability to connect with the world around them. The poetry of T.S. Eliot and the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway all use the recurring theme of walking to address issues of urbanization, observation and a lack of sexual fulfillment.

Katharine Taylor
Sex, Violence, and Corruption: The Politics of Cinema in Post-Transition Mexico
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Timothy J. Steigenga

In the past five years the Mexican film industry has experienced a resurgence in the quality and content of its national cinema. The new films share candid portrayals of formerly taboo subjects as well as new techniques in filmmaking which have inspired international attention and acclaim. This paper examines the impact of political changes in Mexico on the film industry through an analysis of the treatment of violence, sexuality, and corruption in recent Mexican films. Mexico's transition from one-party rule has sparked a reformation in the film industry which, in turn, is modernizing views of Mexican society in the eyes of the world.

Lyndsey Wheeler
Effects of Human Recreation on Sea Urchins
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Jon Moore

The sea urchin, Lytechinus variegates is one of organisms that live within the seagrass beds around Jupiter, FL. However, many of the seagrass beds in the area are part of or adjacent to recreational facilities. The recreational activities seen at one site includes boating, jet skiing, snorkeling, swimming, dog walking and kayaking. Surveys were done using quadrats and transects to determine population densities in both recreational and non-recreational sites. The statistical difference between the two methods was calculated and showed that either method could be used. This study of the recreation impacts on the sea urchin population and the impact of temperature on the population density of sea urchins proved that recreation is a determining factor of sea urchin population density.

Autumn Widdoes
Reconfiguring the Gestalt of War: Women's Collective Memory and its Representations in American Vietnam War Films
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Daniel White and Dr. Christopher Strain

This thesis seeks to answer the question, "What do women's films on the Viet Nam War offer to the American collective memory of the Viet Nam experience?" I am interested in the way film monumentalizes and counter-monumentalizes an event as well as how it distorts and creates memories, particularly altering memories of historical events, as well as how films about traumatic events such as the Viet Nam war address unresolved issues and anxieties, and which perspectives of the war have yet to be acknowledged. 

I will discuss the way the war has been generally represented in popular films, what is not included in these different representations, what impact this has on collective memory, and what films by women offer to the American collective memory of the Viet Nam War.

Sarah York
Factoring in a Timely Fashion
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Stephanie Fitchett

Most of the world trusts the security of our current cryptosystems, which rely on the fact that factoring a large number is computationally infeasible. Finding a way to factor "large" numbers efficiently is important both to those who create and those who break cryptosystems.

One trick for factoring a large number is to express the number as a difference of perfect squares: If n = x2 – y2, then n = (x + y)(x – y), which means x + y and x – y are factors of n. This simple trick shows that if a number can be easily expressed as a difference of perfect squares, then it can also be easily factored. This talk compares implementation times for two algorithms that use a variation of this factoring trick.

Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College Symposium for Research and Creative Projects

Friday, April 11, 2003, 9 am 4:30 pm

Dr. Poulson, Associate Dean,
Welcoming Everyone to the Symposium

Panel Discussion:  Katie Taylor, Tiffany Barry,
Anya Canache and Stephen Ewen

Jessica Keith


 

Kimberly Preston

Shannon Jessie introducing Johnny Samuels

Sarah York

Adam Iglesias

Dwight Forde

Joe Colucci

Ewana Balais

Psychology Group:
Ewana Balais, Dwight Forde, Joe Colucci
and Dr. Earles

Spanish Group:
Dr. Vazquez, Alfredo Palacio, and Dr. Gosser-Esquilin


 
 

Walteria Tucker and Dr. Doggett

 

Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College Symposium for Research and Creative Projects

2003 Posters

Poster Abstracts

Austin Boyle, Holly Kopp, Katie Olds, Larissa Proscurshim, Jared Reilly
Mineral Content in Dining Hall
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Todd Hopkins

Modern day FDA regulations require that all packaged food items display a Nutrition Facts label which shows the amounts of various components found in the food. However, unpackaged food items lack Nutrition Facts labels. The Honors College Dining Hall serves unpackaged food which lacks Nutrition Facts labels. Samples of such foods as apples, bananas, spinach, carrots, etc. were collected from the Dining Hall, dry-ashed, then chemically analyzed for Ca2+, Mg2+, and Fe2+ ions. Knowledge of what components make up their food may lead students to make wiser decisions regarding which foods they choose to consume.

Susan Deeter, Jun Yan, Greg Springsteen, Binghe Wang*
The Relationship between the Pka of Phenyl Boronic acids and Their Binding Constants with Sugars
Advisor/Professor: Binghe Wang

Boronic acids bind reversibly with diols. This characteristic of boronic acids can be used in the design of biosensors for carbohydrates. Our laboratory has made fluorescent sensors for cell-surface carbohydrates, which are biomarkers for certain pathological events. In order to design fluorescent sensors with high affinity and specificity, it is imperative that we understand the various factors that affect the binding affinity. In this study, we examined a series of 20 boronic acids with various pKa's and their binding with different sugars at different pH, and achieved a much better understanding of the relationship among all these factors examined. 

Dwight Forde
Personality & Child rearing Attitude
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

Adam Iglesias
Effect of Native Language on Event Perception
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie Earles

Elissa Klein, Samantha Kane, and Professor Earles' Research Methods Class
Confidence and Memory for Actors and Actions: Do Eyewitnesses Accurately Remember People and Events
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie Earles

Thirty-eight undergraduate students were shown a series of brief video clips of a person performing a given action. Later, a recognition test was administered in which 5 different types of recognition items were present: old actor/ old event, old actor / old event mismatched, old event w/ new actor, old actor w/ new event, and new event w/ new actor. Participants were asked to indicate whether or not they remembered seeing the actor-event pair in the original clips and to rate their level of confidence. The study provided evidence that younger adults are subject to both binding errors (i.e., a mistake in identifying which two perceptions occurred together) and unconscious transference (i.e., remembering the information but not the source). The study also provided evidence that eyewitness confidence level may not always be a good predictor of identification accuracy.

Jason C. Lane
Age Differences in Event Memory
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie Earles and Dr. Alan Kersten

Unconscious transference occurs when a witness identifies a person that is familiar to them outside of the context of the crime as the assailant (Ceci et al., 1994). The present experiment was designed to test how frequently unconscious transference occurs in younger versus older adults. The participants in this experiment were 83 college-age students and 10 older adults (at the time of this writing) over the age of 60. The data collected from the young adults show that they incorrectly identified a new person as having performed an old action 38 percent of the time. The older adults make this mistake more frequently at a rate of 58 percent. This data, though collected from a small sample in the case of the older adults, suggests that younger people make more reliable eyewitnesses and are less susceptible to unconscious transference.

Lauren Myers and Erin Kidwell
An Analysis of Iron Supplement Pills
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Todd Hopkins

Iron can be extremely harmful when taken in large doses. In order to determine the actual iron content of iron supplement pills, we did the colorimetric determination of iron. Our analysis proved that in some instances the actual amount of iron in the pills was different from what the label claimed. The intake of this extra iron can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and heart and liver damage.

Justin Pacific
The Effect of Distraction at Encoding or Retrieval on Event Recognition
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Alan Kersten, Dr. Julie Earles

To explore the general concept of validity and accuracy of eyewitness testimony in the courtroom, this study examined the effects of distraction at encoding or retrieval on accurate recall of specific tasks performed by specific actresses. A total of 63 undergraduate participants were shown 4 s. clips of different actresses performing 30 different actions and were tested a week later on recognition among a pool of 150 video clips. Difference in proportion of correct recognition of old events proved significantly higher than the control for the distraction at encoding group, suggesting distraction at encoding increases binding errors. No significant difference was found between the control group and the distraction at retrieval group, offering evident that once an event memory is successfully encoded, it may be less vulnerable to deterioration in the presence of distracters at retrieval. Practical application can lead to better assessment of encoding environment in judgment of witness credibility. 

Nadia Parchment-Lewis
Dissolved Oxygen Levels in Local Water Sources
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Hopkins

Several tests are used to determine the qulity of water; however, conclusions about the qulity of water in the Abacoa area will be based soley on dissolved oxygen (DO) levels. Monitoring oxgen levels in lakes and other water soures is significant because of the devastating impact lowered (DO) levels can have on aquatic life. Furthermore, lowered levels of dissolved oxygen can hint to the presence of heavy metal, pesticides, and other organic matter. Based on preformed tests, the water sources in this area appear to be quite favorable. However, some dissolved oxygen levels are rather low when compared to the (DO) content in other water sources. 

Susana C. Quintana
Beneficial Effects of Gaze Aversion on Recall
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie L. Earles

To determine the causes of the age differences in older and younger adult memory, this study investigates age differences in recall after being presented with different levels of distraction. It is hypothesized that younger adults will perform better than the older adults in these recall tasks. Participants were presented with 24 word pairs. In one condition, the participants were simultaneously shown a cartoon to create a distraction that could interfere with encoding. In the other condition, participants were asked to close their eyes during presentation. The participants then listened to a word pair recall tape, in which one word from each pair was read, prompting the participant to recall the corresponding word. Older and younger adults' data were compared to evaluate how much age affects memory, with and without added distraction. Distraction interfered with the memory of older adults more than it interfered with the memory performance of younger adults.

Becky Richter, Amanda McAlister, Candice Aurelus
Total Phosphorus in Various Plants of the Greenway Ecosystem
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Todd Hopkins

Phosphorus, a vital nutrient in virtually all ecosystems, assists in the growth and development of plant life. Too much, however, can spur plant growth to such an extreme level that some plant species may overtake others and cause them to die due to lack of the necessary nutrients needed for survival. The purpose of this study is to determine the levels of total phosphorus in various plants collected from in and around the water of the Abacoa Greenway in Jupiter, Florida. The results of this study explore the total phosphorus uptake in various plants which compose the ecosystem of the Greenway, by way of the chemical analysis of total phosphorus.

Sandra Siller
Evolution of yeast MnSOD with improved activity via error-prone PCR
Advisor/Professor: Kirchman

Antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase play an important role in preventing free radical damage inside living cells by breaking these radicals down into harmless compounds such as water. The free radical theory of aging postulates that antioxidants lose some function as an organism ages, leading to increased cell damage by free radicals produced by cellular respiration and thereby causing the common signs of aging. This study focuses on creating a form of yeast SOD with higher activity than the form commonly produced in order to determine its effect on lifespan. The experiment involved modifying yeast SOD genes though mutagenic PCR, then inserting them into plasmids and transferring the plasmids into yeast cells to determine the effect of higher-activity SOD compounds on aging. Results pending.

Alexis Stellner, Wendy Martinez, Sona Bhatti, Alexandraxis Reid
Calcium Carbonate in Limestone
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Hopkins

Limestone is a term that refers to numerous species and purity of rock in which calcium carbonate is the major constituent. The complex organic and chemical origins of crabonate sediments lead to a wide range of textures and fabrics in the resulting limestones. These limestone samples are a composite of marines animals' calcium skeletons, which sink to the bottom when they die; this deposit then accumulates as entire pieces, fragments, or calcareous mud. The limestone rocks were formed from compressed layers of calcareous sea deposits, thus the deeper the sea level, the more calcareous sea deposits, which in turn create a higher amount of calcium carbonate. Additionally, deep-water carbonate fossils, also known as limestones, consist of skeletal remains of planktonic organisms composed of calcite. Purity or origin is a composite of high calcium, fossiliferous, or dolimite. 

Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College Symposium for Research and Creative Projects

2003 Program

8:00 – 9:00 Registration - AD Lobby

Welcome - AD Auditorium

Student Presentations
  AD 102 AD 202 AD 104
9:40 - 9:55 Jake Leech
Synthesis and characterisation of dansylated polyaniline
Martha Staid
“Through Narrow Streets”: Walking in Expatriate Modernist Literature
Tiffany Barry
 A Legislator’s Decision to Restrict: The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1995
10:00 -10:15 Jessica Keith
Effects of mtDNA mutations on growth rates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Allison DeWeese
“It wasn't our world anymore”: Fanfiction's Postmodernist Coup
Stephen Ewen 
High Modernist Development Praxis versus ‘Metis’ Among Haiti’s Popular Class
10:20 - 10:35 Lyndsey Wheeler
Effects of Human Recreation on Sea Urchins
Alexis Komara
Man and Nature: Reading Steinbeck through a Transcendental Lens
Anya Canache 
The Maya in Jupiter, Florida; Remittances and Immigrant Perceptions of Changes in the Home Community
10:40 - 10:55 Adam Iglesias
Effect of Native Language on Event Perception
Kimberly Preston
Milton and the Sabbath
Katharine Taylor 
Sex, Violence, and Corruption: The Politics of Cinema in Post-Transition Mexico
11:00 - 11:15 Ewana K. Balasis
Stereotypes And Memory: The Impact of Response Format On The Illusory Correlation Effect
Jake Leech
Free will, determinism, and responsibility
John Samuels
Fractal Dimension: An Analysis of Different Definitions
11:20 - 11:35 Joseph Colucci
Ego Development and Tragedy: Personality and September 11th
Timothy Case
Aldo Leopold, the Land Ethic, and the Need for Pluralism in Environmental Philosophy
S arah York
Factoring in a Timely Fashion
11:40 - 11:55 Dwight Forde
Personality & Child rearing Attitude
Autumn Widdoes
Reconfiguring the Gestalt of War: Women's Collective Memory and its Representations in American Vietnam War Films
Alfredo Palacio
Jorge Luis Borges's Immortalities

12:00 - 1:00

Lunch

1:00 - 2:00
Honors College Forum, AD Auditorium
2:00 - 4:00 Poster Sessions, HC Building
Austin Boyle, Holly Kopp, Katie Olds, Larissa Proscurshim, Jared Reilly
Mineral Content in Dining Hall
Justin Pacific
The Effect of Distraction at Encoding or Retrieval on Event Recognition
Susan Deeter, Jun Yan, Greg Springsteen, Binghe Wang*
The Relationship between the Pka of Phenyl Boronic acids and Their Binding Constants with Sugars
Nadia Parchment-Lewis
Dissolved Oxygen Levels in Local Water Sources
Dwight Forde
Personality & Child rearing Attitude
Susana C. Quintana
Beneficial Effects of Gaze Aversion on Recall
Adam Iglesias
Effect of Native Language on Event Perception
Becky Richter, Amanda McAlister, Candice Aurelus
Total Phosphorus in Various Plants of the Greenway Ecosystem
Elissa Klein, Samantha Kane, and Professor Earles' Research Methods Class
Confidence and Memory for Actors and Actions: Do Eyewitnesses Accurately Remember People and Events
Sandra Siller
Evolution of yeast MnSOD with improved activity via error-prone PCR
Jason C. Lane
Age Differences in Event Memory
Alexis Stellner, Wendy Martinez, Sona Bhatti, Alexandraxis Reid
Calcium Carbonate in Limestone
Lauren Myers and Erin Kidwell
An Analysis of Iron Supplement Pills
 

Ewana K. Balasis
Stereotypes And Memory: The Impact of Response Format On The Illusory Correlation Effect
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

Recent literature has examined the ways that stereotypes produce biases in memory, called the illusory correlation effect. The present study focused on the exact cognitive processes operating to produce stereotype memory biases. The format in which stereotype-related information is recalled was hypothesized to be influential in producing the memory bias.

This study tested a sample of Honors College students, using stereotypes of four different occupations. In Study 1, stereotype sets were compiled from a group of raters. Study 2 involved actual memory testing. Participants were shown a list of pairs, each pair containing an occupation and a trait (e.g., doctor - ambitious). Participants were later asked to recall the list in one of two response formats. In one format, participants recalled more information consistent with the stereotypes of occupations. In the other format, participants recalled more information that contradicted the stereotypes, suggesting that response format is an influential factor in memory biases.

Tiffany L. Barry
A Legislator's Decision to Restrict: The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1995
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Timothy Steigenga

The history of immigration in the United States reveals the complex and conflicting values and interests working against the formation of a coherent and workable immigration policy. Economic, political, and social variables help to explain changes in immigration policy over time. This study tests the hypothesis that legislators decisions to restrict immigration policy are based primarily upon the following variables: his/her party affiliation, residence in a high immigrant population state (California, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Texas), and campaign contributions from the agriculture and construction sectors. Preliminary findings suggest that significant contributions from the agricultural sector represent one of the most salient factors affecting voting on immigration policy.

Anya Canache
The Maya in Jupiter, Florida; Remittances and Immigrant Perceptions of Changes in the Home Community
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Timothy J. Steigenga

Scholars disagree about the over-all positive or negative impacts of immigrant remittances on the macro-economic stability of developing nations. There are strong economic arguments about both the positive and the negative economic results of remittances. However, both sides tend to ignore the equally significant social, cultural, and familial changes that remittances bring about in the sending community. Based on ethnographic interviews conducted among Jacaltec Mayan immigrants in Jupiter, Florida, this study suggests that immigrants perceive the social changes brought about by remittances to be equally if not more relevant to their daily lives than economic changes. Since most of these changes are perceived as negative, it suggests that immigrants are aware of the dilemma they face when sending their remittances to their home community. Thus, the immigrant perspective provides a framework for understanding the complex positive and negative social and economic effects of remittances. 

Timothy Case
Aldo Leopold, the Land Ethic, and the Need for Pluralism in Environmental Philosophy
Advisor/Professor: Dr. William O'Brien

I present Leopold's work to demonstrate similarities between his Land Ethic and other diverse conceptualizations within the often-polarized factions of the environmental movement. I suggest that monistic solutions will not provide effective means for the resolution of ecological crisis's that encompass diverse social and cultural settings. Monistic interpretations provide one lens for worldview, one perspective for interpretation, one solution for change, and require one defense against criticisms of the essentializing nature of that solution. I conclude that diverse perspectives, such as eco-feminism, Buddhist and Islamic environmentalisms, eco-Marxism, and others, share important elements with Leopold's Land Ethic. Rather than suggesting the replacement of views, creating a new monism, I conclude that a defense of Leopold's holism requires a defense of pluralism, because one perspective cannot be the universal sustenance for environmentalism. Such defense, provided by the Land Ethic, can unify support for an alliance based upon a non-hierarchical collection of ideas.

Joseph Colucci
Ego Development and Tragedy: Personality and September 11th
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

Adverse times cause people to react in a variety of ways. While some people behave in less than admirable ways, others exemplify maturity, courage, and wisdom. It is important to know how these circumstances affect the public. The intent of this project is to gain something positive out of the September 11th tragedies. We use the Sentence Completion Test to determine how the events of 9/11 affect Ego Development. Ego Development consists of 9 stages through which people may progress. It describes the thinking people use to understand the world around them. Impulsive, conformist, and conscientious are examples of the stages. In the wake of the tragedy, some people are expected to regress and others rise. The idea is that a difficult situation will create true leaders of the world.

Allison DeWeese
"It wasn't our world anymore": Fanfiction's Postmodernist Coup
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Laura Barrett

Fan writings, known as fanfiction, are here presented as Postmodernist texts that recreate, rewrite and retell the stories of popular culture and toy with the literary canon. A rampant and mostly female authored internet phenomenon that began with fan circulated magazines, fanfiction gleefully embraces social taboos, examines its place in relation to and within academia, and blurs the line between high and low culture. Seen from a Postmodernist approach, fanfiction appropriates fictional worlds in order to create stories the fans wish to see and explore. Not limited to the television or movie screen, fanfiction writers also rewrite novels, celebrities, songs, and historical and political figures, utilizing the tried and true themes of literature, and employing lenses and backdrops ranging from pornography to the Bible.

Stephen Ewen
High-Modernist Development Praxis vs. 'Metis' Among Haiti's Popular Class
Advisor/Professor: Drs. Timothy Steigenga, Rachel Corr, and William O'Brien

From before its independence to the present day, "high-modernist" development schemes have been imposed upon Haiti by non-endogenous sources. These stem from the development theories of Western political thinkers, and have been implemented at the behest of Western powers and Haitian elites. Yet Haiti today stands as the most impoverished nation of the Western hemisphere. What has gone wrong? In reply, I examine the "metis"-the development aspirations, culturally-based practices, and localized knowledge-of the Haitian popular class, and contrast these with "high-modernist" development. I highlight four Haitian case studies to show the profound "misfit" between the two development forms, and the conflicts that have arisen because of it. In Haiti, "high-modernist" development will inevitably go awry because its starting points are fundamentally flawed. The crucial element of Haitian "metis" must have primacy in development foundations, theory, policy, and projects, and not just moderately at the project implementation level.

Dwight Forde
Personality & Child rearing Attitude
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

Adam Iglesias
Effect of Native Language on Event Perception
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie Earles

Jessica Keith
Effects of mtDNA mutations on growth rates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Paul Kirchman

Many theories have been proposed to explain the biological basis of aging, or senescence. Only after the causes of aging are discovered can there be any hope of alleviating the symptoms of aging, as well as reducing or eliminating diseases related to old age. I have based my research upon the free radical theory of aging, which explains senescence as an accumulation of toxins at the cellular level as a by-product of aerobic metabolism. My goal was to create and identify strains of yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which grow more slowly than normal as a result of mutant genes related to cellular respiration. Identification and analysis of these mutant genes will help to elucidate the role of genetics in the aging process.

Alexis Komara
Man and Nature: Reading Steinbeck through a Transcendental Lens
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Laura Barrett

John Steinbeck's life experiences greatly influenced his worldview and directed the themes that pervade his work. As a student of literature, exploring literary themes, movements and methods has allowed me to make connections and identify correlations between ideologies and authors. One such observation involves the worldview and philosophy of John Steinbeck in relation to the transcendental movement, specifically the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. After a survey of Steinbeck's fiction and non-fiction in relation to transcendentalism and a number of Emerson selections, I have found that Steinbeck subscribes to many of the basic principles Emerson explores in his work. While not an attempt to prove that Steinbeck was or was not directly influenced by transcendentalism or the works of Emerson, this thesis is an exploration of common themes and ideas concerning man, nature, society and the construction of the universe. 

Jake Leech
Synthesis and characterisation of dansylated polyaniline
Advisor/Professor: Dr. LuAnne McNulty

Polyaniline is an electrically conductive polymer with many interesting properties, and dansyl chloride is a fluorescent marker often used to label proteins. By replacing some of the aniline monomers in polyaniline with N-dansyl-p-phenylenediamine, a copolymer is created which is essentially a polyaniline backbone with dansyl side groups. Since the electrons are loosened from the dansyl moiety when it is exposed to ultraviolet light, exposing the polymer to ultraviolet light should reduce the electrical impedance of the material. The polymer can be electrically characterised by using an oscilloscope to measure the capacitance of the polymer, from which the impedance can be calculated.

Jake Leech
Free will, determinism, and responsibility
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Mark Tunick

There are several issues debated in the dialogue between those who believe that we have free will, and those who believe that we do not. I will argue that the will is not necessarily free, and also that, due to certain physical phenomenon, the definition of determinism needs to be overhauled. I will argue that free will and determinism are not compatible ideas, despite attempts to show otherwise. I will also examine the idea that free will is necessary for responsibility, and argue that this is not true, and that the concepts of responsibility and morality are actually just further constraints on the will.

Alfredo Palacio
Jorge Luis Borges's Immortalities
Advisor/Professor: Mary Ann Gosser-Esquilín

Kimberly Preston
Milton and the Sabbath
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Harrawood

This paper will consider the influence of the great 17th century debate over the Sabbath on the poetry and prose of John Milton. Milton defended regicide and Parliament during the revolution, while he condemned the Priesthood and Prelacy for their concern with obedience of church law and strict enforcement of it; yet the same Parliament he defended enacted laws that restricted behavior on the Sabbath creating a precise listing of activities permissible on that day. The issues that emerge from an examination of the Sabbatarian debate deal directly with the subjects Milton takes on in his work: the power of the church, and the relation of the individual to religious community. Milton was for the believer's right to choose. He wrote in his "Reason of Church Government" that while drunken behavior was offensive, other activities Sabbatarians spoke out against were acceptable. Placing obedience of the Commandments too high could be a sin itself.

John Samuels
Fractal Dimension: An Analysis of Different Definitions
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Stephanie Fitchett

Mandelbrot used the term "monsters" to describe shapes that possess irregular and fragmented behavior. Fractals, as these "monsters" are called, break most common notions of geometric objects. In particular, most fractals have non-integer dimension - a trait not shared by any familiar objects. How do we extend our notion of dimension to handle these "monsters"? In the talk we will explore two of the most widely used definitions of fractal dimension. The goal of the talk is to understand logic behind the definitions, as well as provide an example where the different definitions produce different results. This example will highlight the meaning and interpretation of each definition of dimension, as well as reveal the drawbacks of each definition.

Martha M. Staid
"Through Narrow Streets": Walking in Expatriate Modernist Literature
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Laura Barrett

A great deal of post-World War I modernist American literature is linked to expatriation. This physical disassociation from one's roots both by the authors of the time and by many of their characters relates closely to issues of emotional and spiritual despondency, feelings of otherness, and an attempt to react to an increasingly mechanized and fragmentary world. Frequently, these concepts are coupled within modernist fiction with the idea of walking, particularly the persistent, symbolic image of a lone city walker. These walkers, usually the male protagonist of a text, engage in a destinationless wandering through urban surroundings, an act which is couched in solitariness and an inability to connect with the world around them. The poetry of T.S. Eliot and the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway all use the recurring theme of walking to address issues of urbanization, observation and a lack of sexual fulfillment.

Katharine Taylor
Sex, Violence, and Corruption: The Politics of Cinema in Post-Transition Mexico
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Timothy J. Steigenga

In the past five years the Mexican film industry has experienced a resurgence in the quality and content of its national cinema. The new films share candid portrayals of formerly taboo subjects as well as new techniques in filmmaking which have inspired international attention and acclaim. This paper examines the impact of political changes in Mexico on the film industry through an analysis of the treatment of violence, sexuality, and corruption in recent Mexican films. Mexico's transition from one-party rule has sparked a reformation in the film industry which, in turn, is modernizing views of Mexican society in the eyes of the world.

Lyndsey Wheeler
Effects of Human Recreation on Sea Urchins
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Jon Moore

The sea urchin, Lytechinus variegates is one of organisms that live within the seagrass beds around Jupiter, FL. However, many of the seagrass beds in the area are part of or adjacent to recreational facilities. The recreational activities seen at one site includes boating, jet skiing, snorkeling, swimming, dog walking and kayaking. Surveys were done using quadrats and transects to determine population densities in both recreational and non-recreational sites. The statistical difference between the two methods was calculated and showed that either method could be used. This study of the recreation impacts on the sea urchin population and the impact of temperature on the population density of sea urchins proved that recreation is a determining factor of sea urchin population density.

Autumn Widdoes
Reconfiguring the Gestalt of War: Women's Collective Memory and its Representations in American Vietnam War Films
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Daniel White and Dr. Christopher Strain

This thesis seeks to answer the question, "What do women's films on the Viet Nam War offer to the American collective memory of the Viet Nam experience?" I am interested in the way film monumentalizes and counter-monumentalizes an event as well as how it distorts and creates memories, particularly altering memories of historical events, as well as how films about traumatic events such as the Viet Nam war address unresolved issues and anxieties, and which perspectives of the war have yet to be acknowledged. 

I will discuss the way the war has been generally represented in popular films, what is not included in these different representations, what impact this has on collective memory, and what films by women offer to the American collective memory of the Viet Nam War.

Sarah York
Factoring in a Timely Fashion
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Stephanie Fitchett

Most of the world trusts the security of our current cryptosystems, which rely on the fact that factoring a large number is computationally infeasible. Finding a way to factor "large" numbers efficiently is important both to those who create and those who break cryptosystems.

One trick for factoring a large number is to express the number as a difference of perfect squares: If n = x2 – y2, then n = (x + y)(x – y), which means x + y and x – y are factors of n. This simple trick shows that if a number can be easily expressed as a difference of perfect squares, then it can also be easily factored. This talk compares implementation times for two algorithms that use a variation of this factoring trick.

Austin Boyle, Holly Kopp, Katie Olds, Larissa Proscurshim, Jared Reilly
Mineral Content in Dining Hall
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Todd Hopkins

Modern day FDA regulations require that all packaged food items display a Nutrition Facts label which shows the amounts of various components found in the food. However, unpackaged food items lack Nutrition Facts labels. The Honors College Dining Hall serves unpackaged food which lacks Nutrition Facts labels. Samples of such foods as apples, bananas, spinach, carrots, etc. were collected from the Dining Hall, dry-ashed, then chemically analyzed for Ca2+, Mg2+, and Fe2+ ions. Knowledge of what components make up their food may lead students to make wiser decisions regarding which foods they choose to consume.

Susan Deeter, Jun Yan, Greg Springsteen, Binghe Wang*
The Relationship between the Pka of Phenyl Boronic acids and Their Binding Constants with Sugars
Advisor/Professor: Binghe Wang

Boronic acids bind reversibly with diols. This characteristic of boronic acids can be used in the design of biosensors for carbohydrates. Our laboratory has made fluorescent sensors for cell-surface carbohydrates, which are biomarkers for certain pathological events. In order to design fluorescent sensors with high affinity and specificity, it is imperative that we understand the various factors that affect the binding affinity. In this study, we examined a series of 20 boronic acids with various pKa's and their binding with different sugars at different pH, and achieved a much better understanding of the relationship among all these factors examined. 

Dwight Forde
Personality & Child rearing Attitude
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

Adam Iglesias
Effect of Native Language on Event Perception
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie Earles

Elissa Klein, Samantha Kane, and Professor Earles' Research Methods Class
Confidence and Memory for Actors and Actions: Do Eyewitnesses Accurately Remember People and Events
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie Earles

Thirty-eight undergraduate students were shown a series of brief video clips of a person performing a given action. Later, a recognition test was administered in which 5 different types of recognition items were present: old actor/ old event, old actor / old event mismatched, old event w/ new actor, old actor w/ new event, and new event w/ new actor. Participants were asked to indicate whether or not they remembered seeing the actor-event pair in the original clips and to rate their level of confidence. The study provided evidence that younger adults are subject to both binding errors (i.e., a mistake in identifying which two perceptions occurred together) and unconscious transference (i.e., remembering the information but not the source). The study also provided evidence that eyewitness confidence level may not always be a good predictor of identification accuracy.

Jason C. Lane
Age Differences in Event Memory
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie Earles and Dr. Alan Kersten

Unconscious transference occurs when a witness identifies a person that is familiar to them outside of the context of the crime as the assailant (Ceci et al., 1994). The present experiment was designed to test how frequently unconscious transference occurs in younger versus older adults. The participants in this experiment were 83 college-age students and 10 older adults (at the time of this writing) over the age of 60. The data collected from the young adults show that they incorrectly identified a new person as having performed an old action 38 percent of the time. The older adults make this mistake more frequently at a rate of 58 percent. This data, though collected from a small sample in the case of the older adults, suggests that younger people make more reliable eyewitnesses and are less susceptible to unconscious transference.

Lauren Myers and Erin Kidwell
An Analysis of Iron Supplement Pills
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Todd Hopkins

Iron can be extremely harmful when taken in large doses. In order to determine the actual iron content of iron supplement pills, we did the colorimetric determination of iron. Our analysis proved that in some instances the actual amount of iron in the pills was different from what the label claimed. The intake of this extra iron can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and heart and liver damage.

Justin Pacific
The Effect of Distraction at Encoding or Retrieval on Event Recognition
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Alan Kersten, Dr. Julie Earles

To explore the general concept of validity and accuracy of eyewitness testimony in the courtroom, this study examined the effects of distraction at encoding or retrieval on accurate recall of specific tasks performed by specific actresses. A total of 63 undergraduate participants were shown 4 s. clips of different actresses performing 30 different actions and were tested a week later on recognition among a pool of 150 video clips. Difference in proportion of correct recognition of old events proved significantly higher than the control for the distraction at encoding group, suggesting distraction at encoding increases binding errors. No significant difference was found between the control group and the distraction at retrieval group, offering evident that once an event memory is successfully encoded, it may be less vulnerable to deterioration in the presence of distracters at retrieval. Practical application can lead to better assessment of encoding environment in judgment of witness credibility. 

Nadia Parchment-Lewis
Dissolved Oxygen Levels in Local Water Sources
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Hopkins

Several tests are used to determine the qulity of water; however, conclusions about the qulity of water in the Abacoa area will be based soley on dissolved oxygen (DO) levels. Monitoring oxgen levels in lakes and other water soures is significant because of the devastating impact lowered (DO) levels can have on aquatic life. Furthermore, lowered levels of dissolved oxygen can hint to the presence of heavy metal, pesticides, and other organic matter. Based on preformed tests, the water sources in this area appear to be quite favorable. However, some dissolved oxygen levels are rather low when compared to the (DO) content in other water sources. 

Susana C. Quintana
Beneficial Effects of Gaze Aversion on Recall
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie L. Earles

To determine the causes of the age differences in older and younger adult memory, this study investigates age differences in recall after being presented with different levels of distraction. It is hypothesized that younger adults will perform better than the older adults in these recall tasks. Participants were presented with 24 word pairs. In one condition, the participants were simultaneously shown a cartoon to create a distraction that could interfere with encoding. In the other condition, participants were asked to close their eyes during presentation. The participants then listened to a word pair recall tape, in which one word from each pair was read, prompting the participant to recall the corresponding word. Older and younger adults' data were compared to evaluate how much age affects memory, with and without added distraction. Distraction interfered with the memory of older adults more than it interfered with the memory performance of younger adults.

Becky Richter, Amanda McAlister, Candice Aurelus
Total Phosphorus in Various Plants of the Greenway Ecosystem
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Todd Hopkins

Phosphorus, a vital nutrient in virtually all ecosystems, assists in the growth and development of plant life. Too much, however, can spur plant growth to such an extreme level that some plant species may overtake others and cause them to die due to lack of the necessary nutrients needed for survival. The purpose of this study is to determine the levels of total phosphorus in various plants collected from in and around the water of the Abacoa Greenway in Jupiter, Florida. The results of this study explore the total phosphorus uptake in various plants which compose the ecosystem of the Greenway, by way of the chemical analysis of total phosphorus.

Sandra Siller
Evolution of yeast MnSOD with improved activity via error-prone PCR
Advisor/Professor: Kirchman

Antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase play an important role in preventing free radical damage inside living cells by breaking these radicals down into harmless compounds such as water. The free radical theory of aging postulates that antioxidants lose some function as an organism ages, leading to increased cell damage by free radicals produced by cellular respiration and thereby causing the common signs of aging. This study focuses on creating a form of yeast SOD with higher activity than the form commonly produced in order to determine its effect on lifespan. The experiment involved modifying yeast SOD genes though mutagenic PCR, then inserting them into plasmids and transferring the plasmids into yeast cells to determine the effect of higher-activity SOD compounds on aging. Results pending.

Alexis Stellner, Wendy Martinez, Sona Bhatti, Alexandraxis Reid
Calcium Carbonate in Limestone
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Hopkins

Limestone is a term that refers to numerous species and purity of rock in which calcium carbonate is the major constituent. The complex organic and chemical origins of crabonate sediments lead to a wide range of textures and fabrics in the resulting limestones. These limestone samples are a composite of marines animals' calcium skeletons, which sink to the bottom when they die; this deposit then accumulates as entire pieces, fragments, or calcareous mud. The limestone rocks were formed from compressed layers of calcareous sea deposits, thus the deeper the sea level, the more calcareous sea deposits, which in turn create a higher amount of calcium carbonate. Additionally, deep-water carbonate fossils, also known as limestones, consist of skeletal remains of planktonic organisms composed of calcite. Purity or origin is a composite of high calcium, fossiliferous, or dolimite. 

 
Last Modified 11/21/13