Explore the Honors College
FAU Home >> Honors College >>  Research Day Symposium 2004

Research Day Symposium 2004

 

The Wilkes Honors College Symposium for Research and Creative Projects

Archive for 2004

Talk Abstracts

Joanna Bartell
Deconstruction and the Law
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Mark Tunick

The Critical Legal Studies movement, whose members share many of the same ideas as deconstructionists, assert that the Constitution is an oppressive document used by America's powerful elite to keep the marginalized groups, such as non-Christians and women, under their control and away from positions of power. Drawing on arguments by Ronald Dworkin and John Searle I challenge the Crits' position and argue that the Constitution is not itself inherently oppressive. Rather, the collective intentionality of the people forms many prevailing conceptions of particular concepts which are in themselves inherently fair and equal; it is the prevailing conceptions of the day that are oppressive. The ideals of equality within the Constitution have not always been justly applied in law, leaving non-whites and women marginalized. The Crit's deconstructionist view of law is inappropriate, however, because it fails to take into account the inherent adaptability of the Constitution to a changing society.

Erin Brown
An Ironic "The Taming of the Shrew"
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Michael Harrawood

Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" is a play within a play, ironically framed by the Induction, a comedic story in which a common drunkard is tricked into believing he is a lord. Due to the farcical nature of its Induction, and the many parallels between the play proper and its frame, the shrew is not tamed, she merely changes tactics. The spirit she displays at the beginning of the play is maintained at the end, simply redirected.

Sarah Callender
Medieval Medicine, Public Health, and the Black Death
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Christopher Ely

The Black Death's first attack on fourteenth-century Europe, between 1347 and 1351, eliminated at least one-third of the population. Signs and omens had previously suggested that disaster was approaching, and many saw the plague as the worst embodiment of their fears; victims often died within a few days. Repentance and prayers did not end the disease, and medical remedies sought by the wealthy could not offer much hope for protection. Wealthier individuals abandoned their families and homes to escape the disease, so trade, agriculture, and order within societies were all sharply disrupted. Temporary public health boards quickly issued quarantines and restrictions to protect the residents of cities from the emergency of the plague. As the plague still returned four times before the century ended, many of these health boards became permanent, and their efforts blended with medical discoveries to offer more protection to the cities.

Morgan DeFranco
E-Raced: The Shift from the Maker to the Made
Advisor/Professor: Professor Amy Broderick

The boundaries between the divine maker and the made have become increasingly harder to discern. Post modern societies have come to be defined by replicas or copies of originals. The shift from God as creator to man as maker has elicited many societal anxieties. Processes such as cloning and art making are considered in a unique textual layout which accompanies seven life-sized artistic renditions of this concept. The loss of individuality and mechanization of human beings are among the ideas portrayed in the work.

Sarah Deutsch
Voice of the Willing: Mormon Young Women's Conceptions of Femininity
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Rachel Corr, Dr. Wairimu Njambi

This project compiles the oral accounts and observations of the Young Women of the Jupiter First Ward, Stuart, Florida Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding both personal and institutional standards of femininity. While the practice of a patriarchal lifestyle by these adolescent girls goes against mainstream feminist theory, their gendered roles are justified by their complete participation in the plan of salvation. The responsibilities that they are expected to adhere to justify gendered roles for them and create their own sort of feminism. This is about their femininity and the femininity I found in myself as a Non-Member.

Andrew Donovan
Spectral Decomposition of Grid Data
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Mark Rupright

Complicated three-dimensional physical models can be simplified by expressing the problem in terms of fewer dimensions. A nearly
spherically-symmetric problem can be reduced to a one-dimensional approximation through the use of spherical harmonics. However, the rectangular coordinates of the original problem are not well adapted to computations on spheres. We investigate methods of interpolating rectangular data onto spherical surfaces, and integrating that data against spherical harmonics to perform the dimensional reduction.

Brooke Hall
Rave New World: A Synthesized Generation
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Michael Harrawood

As frightening (and intriguing) as it may be, Rave culture exemplifies a technological evolutionary process that both subordinates and enhances man's cultural and evolutionary journey. The synthesized music, the manufactured drugs, and the artificial enlightenment of an expanding sub-culture mirror the technology-induced transformation of the world into a "global village." There is no doubt that the raver's narrative has been constructed by consumerism, superficiality, spiritual transcendence and the imagination; and as rave evolves, so too will language, the narrative it constructs, and the logos. The ritual of the Rave is definitive of the post-modern techno-consumer structure that embodies American popular culture. With all the machines, time clocks, gadgets, computers and cyborgs, rave culture epitomizes the synthesized generation, marking the beginning of a (B)Rave New World.

Alicia Harraway
Dream and Memory: Representation of the 1937 Haitian Massacre in the Dominican Republic in Two Texts
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Mary Ann Gosser-Esquilín

In 1937, dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo ordered the massacre of thousands of Haitians living within the border of the Dominican Republic. This outward display of animosity was the culmination of Dominicans' resentment of their Haitian neighbors, with whom they share years of conflict and the island of Hispaniola. Since the death of Trujillo and the publication, in 1973, of El Masacre se pasa a pie-a first-person testimony of the massacre by Dominican lawyer Freddy Prestol Castillo-more details and commentary on the occurrence have come to light. In 1998, Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat published her novel The Farming of Bones. An analysis of both texts shows a denunciation of the massacre by the authors through two distinct writing styles and despite personal bias. Finally, the aftermath of the massacre is examined in light of the current context of Caribbean literature and Dominican society.

Shannon Jessie
Population Dynamics Beyond Classic Lotka-Volterra Models
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Eugene Belogay

The infamous brown tree snake invasion on Guam motivates our study of population models involving one predator and two prey species. Starting with the classic (single-prey) Lotka-Volterra model, we add layers of complexity in an attempt to create a "more realistic" model for the unusual population on the island of Guam.

Michael Kerr
Everybody is a Student of Music: the Purposes of Copyright Laws and the Benefits of an Alternative System of Compensation for Musicians
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Mark Tunick

I consider both Lockean and Utilitarian justifications of intellectual property rights in music, concluding that, while musicians do indeed have a natural right to benefit from the fruits of their labors, the ultimate and necessary justification of intellectual property laws is that they promote social utility. I argue that all people are, to some degree, students of music just as we are all students of history. As students, the "fair use" doctrine of copyright law currently permits us to reproduce copyrighted music for our own nonprofit scholarship. However, legislating such a broad interpretation of the fair use doctrine, without first establishing an alternative method of compensating musicians, would do a huge disservice not only to musicians, but more importantly, to society in general by taking incentives away from the best musicians, and by lowering the overall quality of music that is produced.

Jason C. Lane, Dr. Julie Earles, Dr. Alan Kersten, Eileen Curtayne
Event Memory and Age
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie Earles

A group of 32 older and 32 undergraduate participants were tested in a memory experiment in which they viewed a set of 30 short video clips of female actors performing common actions such as brushing their hair or rolling a ball. The participants returned one week later and viewed 150 clips, some of which they had seen before and some which they had not. The participants' responses were assessed for the presence of the unconscious transference effect. This effect occurs when an eyewitness accuses a person of commiting a crime even though the person was a merely an innocent bystander seen in another context. We hypothesize that this effect occurs as a result of a binding error in memory, and present evidence that older adults are more susceptible to a binding deficit in memory.

Kathryn Lewis
Double Take: Looking Beyond the First Glance at Bush v. Gore and the Fourteenth Amendment
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Mark Tunick

The Florida Supreme Court's order to manually recount the votes cast in the presidential election of 2000 at least looked like an equal protection violation. Ballots in different counties were counted according to different, and seemingly arbitrary, recount standards, leaving open the possibility that out of two identical votes, one could be accepted in one county, and the other rejected in another county. The Supreme Court adopted this argument and in Bush v. Gore ruled that the Florida Supreme Court did indeed violate voters' equal protection rights. However, a closer examination of the 2000 election reveals that Bush's complaint did not meet all the criteria for an equal protection claim. I argue that taking a second look-a "double take"-at Bush v. Gore reveals that the Florida Supreme Court violated not voters' equal protection rights, but rather their due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Laura Lynch
Factorization in the Ring Z[]
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Stephanie Fitchett

Every natural number greater than one can be factored into primes, and up to the ordering of the primes (e.g. 6=(2)(3) or 6=(3)(2)), the prime factorization of a number is unique. Interestingly, prime factorizations are not unique if we consider numbers of the form a+b(sqrt{-5}). For instance, 6=(2)(3)=(1+sqrt{-5})(1-sqrt{-5}). This presentation will examine "primes" and factorization using numbers of the form a+b(sqrt{-5}).

Christine Mancuso
Female Members of the Concrete Block Society
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Rachel Corr, Dr. Mark Tunick

Recently, much attention has focused on a disturbing new trend that reveals an increase in female juvenile crime. Some professionals argue for mental health intervention instead of incarceration while others argue for more federal dollars to build maximum security facilities to house female offenders. I focus on two issues that concern female juvenile offenders. First, I present an ethnographic analysis that explores the different ways in which the Florida department of juvenile justice punishes or rehabilitates its female juvenile offenders from past to present, and the effects of those strategies on women's experiences and self perception. I incorporate multiple perspectives including my own past memories as a female juvenile offender. Second, I assert that female juvenile crime may be reduced if preventative measures are incorporated into the educational system. At its core, I believe that diversity is not being respected in an intellectual capacity-aside from race and gender discrimination.

Jennifer McIvor
Everglades Restortion and the Ethics of Restoring Ecosystems
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Bill O'Brien

This study investigates relationships among ecological restoration, environmental ethics, and the restoration of Florida's Everglades to assess principles of an ethic of ecological restoration. Issues considered in this study include the nature/culture debate in determining humanity's place in the natural environment; the idea that the "natural" is a human construct, and the impact of this perspective on ecological restoration; among others. I will focus on the varied meanings of ecological restoration and their relation to the formulation and implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Questions to be addressed include: What constitutes "good" ecological restoration? Can Everglades restoration be deemed an appropriate and good restoration project? and, What are broader ethical implications of Everglades restoration for decisions to pursue ecological restoration projects?

Rose Moon
Rejecting Motherhood: The Ramifications of 'Favorable' Defenses for 'Baby Killers' with Respect to Race and Class
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Wairimu Njambi, Dr. Mark Tunick

Recently the media frenzy which has burst forth concerning a nationwide panic over mother inflicted child homicides has been met by a series of scholarly debates over the law's responsibility in recognizing "deference" among groups of individuals. Pluralist or multicultural arguments suggest that differences (as well as similarities) in society at large also effect the social consciousness of women who carry-out these acts: how aware are these women that they are perpetrating crimes and were these murders pursued out of ill will? Nevertheless, the legal scholarship with respect to difference and defenses has been limited to cultural and infanticide defenses, which cite the woman's cultural background or hormonal imbalances as a result of postpartum disorders as the impetus for their actions. However, these defenses are inadequate in their protection of black women who commit similar statutory crimes because they fail to recognize the historical and contemp

Erin Moore
Conscientiousness and Procrastination on Academic Tasks
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

Academic procrastination is a maladaptive behavioral pattern in which an individual fails to sufficiently complete academic tasks in the allotted time. The present study examined the influence of individual personality traits and academic task difficulty on procrastinatory behavior. Personality traits were measured using a self-report questionnaire, the NEO-PI-R. Procrastination was measured using self-report data from the PASS. In addition, two behavioral measures of procrastination were developed. The first measured the degree to which procrastination was influenced by task difficulty, while the second measured proschedule.htm#talkscrastination across all levels of task difficulty. For each behavioral measure, the total time taken to complete the series of tasks was used as an index of procrastination. I examined the convergence between the self-report and behavioral measures, and examined the hypothesis that individuals who scored high on the Conscientiousness scale, of the NEO-PI-R, would score low on each of the three measures of procrastination.

Steve Nicole
The Religious Market of Chile: Causes for the Growth of Pentecostalism
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Timothy Steigenga

Utilizing a mixture of economic and political science research methods Chilean Pentecostalism will be examined to determine the variables that led to the rise of Pentecostal parishioners in a predominantly Catholic nation. The religious institutions of Chile act within a religious market place, which abides by principles similar to a traditional economic market. The competing churches are synonymous to firms competing in the market place. The main services provided by the churches to their consumers are spiritual, political, and emotional salvation. The primary variables that affect the productivity of these firms are institutional reliability, availability of service, and consumer transaction cost. The Catholic Church's lack of clergy, the lower class distrust of the intensions of the Catholic Church, and the low consumer transaction cost from Catholicism to Pentecostalism presented an environment where the Pentecostal churches, especially the Iglesia Metodista Pentecostal (IMP), could flourish.

Christina Oliver
Secular Trends in Expressions of Positive Emotionality: A Study of High School Yearbooks
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

This project identifies trends in smiling between 1969 and 2003 and relates these trends to historical developments in personality. Participants used the basic principals of the Facial Action Coding System (Ekman and Friesen 1976, 1978) in order to score the intensity of muscle movements involved in smiling. Photographs came from 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999, and 2003 high school yearbooks. Environments vary across time and over generations. Numerous studies have found a connection between these environmental variations and historical developments in personality. Over the decades, people have become more anxious and more worried about safety, social acceptance, and job security (Twenge, 2000). Studies have also suggested historical changes in the rates of major depression (Klerman & Weissman, 1989). In accordance with these trends of increasing anxiety, worry, and the rates of major depression we hypothesis that there will be a decreasing trend in the intensity and senserity of smiles over time.

Charles Oerter
United States Foreign Policy: The Maintenance of a Unipolar World and the "Axis of Evil"
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Timothy Steigenga

President Bush has dubbed Iraq, Iran, and North Korea the "axis of evil" because of their hostile foreign policies and undemocratic domestic politics. These countries are characterized by human rights abuses, exporting terrorism, and developing nuclear weapons. Despite their similarities, only Iraq has been invaded. This thesis argues that the different U.S. policy responses towards the "axis of evil" can only be understood as part of the United States' effort to expand its hegemonic position in the international arena. As predicted by realism, the geographic location, national resources, and international relations of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea determine the particular U.S. policy response. However, realism no longer serves to sufficiently explain or predict United States foreign policy. Whereas realism would predict prudence towards both allies and enemies in order to maintain the status quo, recent U.S. policy has aggressively challenged the status quo, suggesting a fundamental paradigm shift away from hegemonic stability international relations.

Erik Pettersson, Dr. Kevin Lanning
Decision Making and Personality: Individual Differences in Prospect Theory
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

The authors investigated the relationship between decision-making items tapping monetary risk during both gains and losses, and personality traits as measured by the NEO PI-R. Primarily, we were interested in Extraversion and Neuroticism as these tap "hope" and "fear" respectively. Given that Extraversion and Neuroticism are orthogonal, and that Extraversion is associated with sensitivity to reward and, we hypothesized that Extraversion would be related to risky choices among gains, but not among losses. Given that Neuroticism is associated with avoidance of punishment, we hypothesized that Neuroticism would be negatively related to risky choices among losses, but not among gains. We found moderate but not statistically significant support for both hypotheses. The failure to reach conventional significance can likely be attributed to the small sample size.

Brian Pita
Litigation vs. Legislation in the Pursuit for African American Slavery Reparations
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Mark Tunick

In recent years, activists have attempted to transform the dream of reparations for the descendants of African American slaves into reality by pursuing two distinct courses of action. The first includes the filing of tort actions against the United States government and/or private estates and corporations that have a history of profiting from the slavery, while the lobbying of Congress for legislative remedies and compensation comprises the second. This thesis focuses on whether or not this use of litigation, as compared to legislation, is a legally viable and useful tool for the garnering of reparations for slavery. Analyzing the dismissal reasonings of two recent high-profile reparations lawsuits leads to the conclusion that the legal hurdles hindering reparations suits are so high as to be realistically insurmountable. By comparison, the obstacles facing reparations activists in the quest for legislative amends, though significant, are much more manageable, and more likely to succeed.

Susie Quintana
Extraversion & Procrastination on Dull Academic Tasks
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

Procrastination, the tendency to postpone or delay completion of tasks, can negatively affect many elements of a person's life, especially in an academic setting, where deadlines are commonplace. Procrastination is a product of both personality characteristics and task characteristics. The current study investigates procrastination as a function of the personality characteristic of Extraversion, as measured by the NEO-PI-R, and the task parameter of intrinsic interest or desirability over a series of 40 tasks. Procrastination is measured in two ways, first, as the sum of the time taken to complete the boring or undesirable tasks, and second using a standard self-report measure. Students who procrastinate, particularly on the boring tasks, are hypothesized to score higher on the Extraversion scale on the NEO-PI-R. Students who score higher on the Extraversion scale are also hypothesized to be more distractable, as measured by the number of words generated in online chat conversations.

Peter Rauch
Videogames as Protected Speech
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Christopher Strain

Concerns over the effects of videogame violence have naturally led to efforts to restrict their availability to minors. While other often violent media (such as film and television) remain protected from government restriction due to the First Amendment, there remains some disagreement as to whether or not videogames are expressive enough to be considered "speech" under the Constitution. This thesis argues that the videogames constitute a unique expressive medium that must be afforded the same legal protections as other media, drawing on the legal history, videogame theory and studies of individual games.

Ari Rosenberg, Dr. Kevin Lanning
The Structure of Attitudes Towards Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Security in Post 9-11 America
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Kevin Lanning

September 11th, 2001 marked the beginning of a new era in American history. Since this date, we can no longer pretend that our world and our lives are impervious to the threat of inimical forces. There are few ways we can respond to this threat and each can be thought of as a variation on three approaches: 1. A pacifistic response, 2. An active response compromising the civil rights of high risk individuals (e.g., Arabs), or 3. An active response compromising the civil liberties of everyone. In our present study, we consider individual differences in American attitudes towards these approaches. This is accomplished through an analysis of the relationships between scores on two individual difference variables (Right Wing Authoritarianism and Social Dominance Orientation) and responses to items reflecting either a Concern for Security, a Civil Rights Orientation, or a Civil Liberties Orientation.

Shane Sandford
Deletion of SOD1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Paul Kirchman

Superoxide dismutases (SODs) act as antioxidants by converting reactive oxygen species (ROS) to hydrogen peroxide and oxygen. ROS are initially produced by the univalent reduction of dioxygen to generate sequentially superoxide anion radical and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide, if not eliminated from the cell generates the highly reactive hydroxyl free radical, which is widely believed to be the main agent of oxidative damage and aging. Increasing the activity of SODs is theorized to increase cell longevity by decreasing the damage caused by ROS. To study this, the SOD1 gene was deleted from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This strain will be used as a tool to assay the ability of more active forms of SOD1 to increase oxidative stress resistance and increase life span. Any discernable increases in longevity would suggest that an increase in SOD activity is correlated with increased lifespan.

Caroline Taylor
Where are Women in Islam?
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Rachel Corr, Dr. Wairimu N. Njambi

The question put forth in the title, Where are Women in Islam? is an inquiry designed to explore the complex lives of Muslim women beyond the marginalizing and exoticizing images laden in western ethnocentrism. In demonstrating that Muslim women- like Muslim men- are involved in the reproduction of knowledge, in the process of cultural invention and the transmission of Islamic tradition, my aim is to dispel myths that illustrate Muslim women as mainly victims of their own culture. This study works to not only hear the voices of Muslim women, but it demonstrates how the acknowledgement of their part in Islamic culture is crucial to understanding their culture as a whole.

Walteria Tucker
Guns vs. Growth: The Military Industrial Complex and the Economic Effects of Military Spending
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Timothy Steigenga

This study incorporates data from a cross-section of 80 countries in order to test how the influence of the military industrial complex (MIC), reflected in government military expenditure, affects economic performance and spending choices. Statistical analysis reveals that MIC influence is correlated with decreased GNP growth rates, high inflation, and high adult illiteracy rates.

Tara Warrington
A Reevaluation of the Emergence of the Conspiracy Culture in the United States
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Christopher Strain

In Conspiracy Culture: From Kennedy to The X-Files, Peter Knight begins to develop a theory in which he asserts that the culture of late twentieth century America was one of conspiracy. If one accepts that a conspiracy culture did emerge in America in the second half of the twentieth century, then one must examine the political context in which it emerged, not simply the cultural one. Events during the Cold War such as the Kennedy assassination and Watergate facilitated the development of the elements of the conspiracy culture and incidences such as Ruby Ridge and Waco in the early 1990's solidified conspiracy as the dominant mode of evaluation. Together these events directly influenced the emergence of the culture of conspiracy.

Nicholas Yanes
X-Men as a Reflection of Civil Rights in America
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Christopher Strain

Looking at the Marvel Comics' X-Men and other related titles, as well as other media translations; this thesis argues that the series has acted as a metaphor for civil rights in America. First dealing with African American civil rights in the sixties, the X-Universe has also dealt with the growing presence of strong, independent women in America. The thesis than goes on to discuss how X-Men have reflected issues of homosexuality and continue to reflect the evolution of civil rights in America by touching upon issues of 9/11 and post 9/11 politics.

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

Friday, April 9, 2004, 1:00 - 2:00 pm, AD Auditorium

Special Honors College Forum Presentation

Dr. Mustafa Abu Sway

Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence and Associate Professor of Philosophy and

Islamic Studies Al-Quds University in Jerusalem and the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University

”Islam and Women: What paradigm?”

A renowned scholar of Islamic Philosophy and Epistemology, Dr. Abu Sway has published several books and articles on topics ranging from the religious rulings of tenth-century scholar Al-Ghazzali to environmental philosophy through the Islamic worldview. His teachings and writings consistently represent a voice of interfaith dialogue, religious conflict resolution and respectful co-existence. Educated at Bethlehem University (BA) and Boston College (MA, PhD), he has since taught at both of those colleges, along with the International Islamic University of Malaysia and Al-Quds University in Jerusalem. A member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Philosophical Society, and the Muslim-Christian Council of Jerusalem, Dr. Abu Sway currently teaches as a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College.

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

2004 Posters

Poster Abstracts

Marie Barreto, Andrea Gagaoudakis, Maria Rodriguez
What are the Ammonia Levels in Bait Shrimp Tanks?
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Eugene Smith

Ammonia is commonly generated as waste by living organisms. This compound becomes toxic when it is allowed to build-up in confined areas, such as the live shrimp tanks found in baitshops. Different methods are utilized to regulate ammonia levels and stabilize them within a safe range. The purpose of this study is to analyze the ammonia concentrations found in live shrimp bait tanks at local Jupiter baitshops. This research will allow for a comparison that weighs the benefits of recirculating versus filtering the water found in these holding tanks.

Kristen Bunting, Jenna Goldberg, Jeff Meyer, Stephanie Sabshin
Chromatographic Determination of Gasoline Sources
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Eugene Smith

A forensic investigator locates the origin of the fire and collects samples. These samples are then extracted and analyzed with a gas chromatograph to reveal the chemical signature of the fuel. In this study, five different gasoline samples were analyzed using forensic protocols to determine if they could be traced to their source.

Morgan Cable, Sarah Chaney, Shannon DeMond, Sonya Reid, Joshua Tabor, Maria Vizcaino, Jeffery Watts
Arson Analysis by Static Head Space Enrichment and Gas Chromatography using Simplex Optimization
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Eugene Smith

Petroleum distillates used as accelerants for arson were analyzed by static headspace enrichment and gas chromatography. The conditions used for headspace enrichment (e.g. time & temperature) are known to influence the extracted hydrocarbon distribution. Simplex optimization was used to determine the optimal extraction conditions to minimize experimental artifacts. Both optimal enrichment times & temperatures were determined to be significantly lower than those currently used.

Matthew Carter, Erin Moore, Angelica Rodio, Theresa Smith
The Effect of Gasoline Evaporation in Arson Investigation
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Eugene Smith

To determine the influence of evaporation of gasoline in an arson investigation, samples of gasoline will be allowed to evaporate over time, taking samples at 10% through 50% evaporation. Samples will be placed in a mason jar, and an activated carbon strip will be suspended from the mouth of the jar. The sealed jar will be heated for two hours at forty degrees Celsius. This baking will cause the gas to evaporate, and this vapor will collect on the carbon strip. The carbon strip will then be extracted with a solvent. This solution will be analyzed by gas chromatography. It will be determined if a gasoline sample can be traced to the original sample of gasoline.

Alex Chery, Brian Ruiz, Rebecca Kapolka, Collin Hutton
Calcium-Magnesium Comparison
Advisor/Professor: Professor Patricia Della Penta, Dr. Eugene Smith

Teeth, the hardest part of the human body, are made of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, strontium, magnesium and copper. The calcium and magnesium content will be determined by the EDTA method. Then the ratio of these values will be compared with teeth from different age groups and genders.

Alicia DeCicco, Christie Fera, Laura Owens, Melody Strattan
Developing a Mobile Fume Hood
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Eugene Smith

The objective of our experiment is to construct a relatively inexpensive, mobile fume hood for the purpose of use during scientific presentations. Using simple materials and tools from a hardware store, including plexiglass, methylene chloride, and a wet-dry vac, we will build a fume hood that is safe for use in a public venue. Experimental tests will be done with the help of a smoke detector in order to ensure that no chemicals will leak from the device during chemical reactions. These will include combustion and other chemical reactions.

Catherine Derewyanko, Janny Pena, Maria Riccardi, Rupa Venkatesh, Curtis Elliot
Biodegradation of Organophosphate Pesticides by Soilborne Microorganisms
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Eugene Smith, Curtis Elliott

Organophosphate pesticides are a common treatment in agricultural settings. Its biodegradation by soilborne microorganisms is coupled by a population increase in organisms with the ability to consume that class of compounds. Over time, the rate at which the pesticide is consumed increases as well due to the continuos population growth of microorganisms. By adding an alternative substrate, the rate of pesticide consumption may decrease. This is possible because both substrates are degraded by the same enzyme and both processes occur simultaneously. However, the introduction of an alternative substrate reduces the rate at which the pesticide is consumed. This may be a way to prolong the pesticide's effectiveness. The expected results are to reflect the possiblity that the alternative compound is degraded instead of the pesticide. It may also aid in understanding the actual mechanism that takes place.

Tara Desrosiers, Heather Marchetti, Andrea Thomasson, Prem Jayanthan
Fun with Mastication: An Analysis of Teeth
Advisor/Professor: Professor Patricia Della Penta, Dr. Eugene Smith

Munch on this! Did you ever stop to think of teeth as an identifying agent? Teeth may tell a lot about a person; such as age and gender. For our research project, we plan on comparing the ratio of calcium and silicon content amongst teeth of different ages and genders. We will be testing three different sets of teeth. The first set is from a 10 year old adolescent, the second being a female of 38 years, and the third being a male of 58. After our research has been collected, we hope to observe trends that will allow us to deduce whether an unknown tooth belongs to a male or female as well as its approximate age.

Samantha Kane, Dr. Nancy Jones
Familial Influences on the Development of Empathy in Preschool Children
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Nancy Jones

Empathy, or the emotional response similar in valance to another's emotional state or condition, is important in its implications for social interactions. However, parental depression may hinder a child's empathic development. The objectives of the present study were to clarify the relationship between maternal depression and empathy development and to examine the effects of paternal depression as well. We also examined parents' self-expressiveness and child heart rate activity, measures that have been related to empathy in previous studies. We found that in the empathy inducing conditions with their mothers, children's heart rates decelerated-a sign that they are feeling empathy. However, this effect did not occur with their fathers. In addition, mothers with more symptoms of depression had husbands who showed less positive expressiveness and parents with a higher score on the negative expressiveness had children with lower mean heart rates during the sad story.

Kayley Malencia
Over-Expression of Yeast Manganese Superoxide Dismutase in E. coli
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Paul Kirchman

The Free Radical Aging Hypothesis proposes that the functional deterioration associated with aging is caused by the actions of oxygen-derived free radicals (Harman 1956). The mitochondrial respiratory chain reduces oxygen to water, however some superoxides (O2-) are created by this process and cause damage to cellular components. The anti-oxidant enzyme, manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), is believed to be a measure against the aging process because it detoxifies superoxide molecules created by the mitochondrial respiratory chain. The yeast SOD2 gene, which codes for MnSOD, and a mutant allele coding for a version of MnSOD with increased activity were amplified by PCR and cloned in the pET16b plasmid. This plasmid, when transformed into E. coli, allows over-expressed from a T7 promoter. The MnSOD proteins will be purified using the His6 tag provided by the pET16b plasmid and assayed for activity levels. Increasing antioxidant defense may increase longevity at the cellular level.

Diana Marti
Politics and Public Perceptions of Prescribed Fires for Endangered Species Management
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Jon Moore

Savannas Preserve State Park in Florida is experiencing an environmental crisis due to anthropogenic fire suppression. Many threatened and endangered species of plants and animals are losing more of their habitat year after year. Contrary to a frequent public misperception, the lack of fires in scrub habitats is the reason Savannas is in such turmoil. Scrub habitats are pyrogenic, meaning they are adapted to, and need, seasonal fires to maintain natural species diversity. Fire suppression has been the dominating policy in Savannas and in the United States for many years. However, after much research, wildland scientists have realized that fire is necessary in many forests. Laws such as the Endangered Species Act provide funding for species protection. The Florida Prescribed Burning Act authorizes and promotes the use of prescribed fire for wildlife/wildland management. Savannas Preserve lies on what is normally called a "wildland/urban interface". Homes and other suburban infrastructure come dangerously close to the fire suppressed, heavy fuel loads in the Preserve. If and when a natural catastrophic fire occurs, these properties will be in great danger of being consumed by fire. In order to conserve the rapidly disappearing scrub-adapted wildlife, the Florida Park Service plans to reduce fuel loads by conducting small, low-level, prescribed fires, which will restore the scrub habitat to an earlier successional stage, and thereby reduce the danger of a catastrophic fire in the Preserve, and in the neighboring communities.

Paul McCurdy, Dr. Andrea Wetterer, Dr. James Wetterer
The Tropical Fire Ant, Solenopsis Geminata, on Two Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches in Costa Rica
Advisor/Professor: Dr. James Wetterer

Fire ants are known to attack the hatchlings of sea turtles when they emerge from their nests. Hatchlings may die as a direct result of the ant stings, or as an indirect result, due to impairment caused by stings, particularly stings to their eyes. In the present study, we want compare the fire ant composisiton of two different beaches. We surveyed ants along the isolated beaches of Carate on the Pacific side of Costa Rica and compared the results to data obtained from a recent survey along the relatively disturbed beach of Tortugero on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Solenopsis geminata occurred significantly less often at Carate than at Tortuguero. Because of the very high numbers of S. geminata observed on Tortuguero beach, we suspect the impact of these ants on hatchling sea turtles may be substantial.

Kristen Morrell
Generation of Yeast Mn-SOD Mutants with Increased Activity by Error-prone PCR
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Paul Kirchman

The free radical theory of aging states that oxygen radicals produced during metabolism cause damage to cellular components, which leads to aging. Yeast Mn-SOD is a manganese containing superoxide dismutase enzyme localized to the mitochondria that eliminates oxygen radicals, decreasing the deleterious effects that they have on cells. To test the free radical theory, the gene for yeast Mn-SOD, SOD2, was mutagenized by error-prone PCR and mutations with increased activity were selected for in an E. coli strain (that lacks superoxide dismutase). E. coli transformants that grew the fastest, showing an increase in superoxide dismutase activity, were isolated. DNA sequencing of the SOD2 gene from one isolate, confirmed that there was a mutation from the original form. The next step in the project will be to transform yeast with the mutant SOD2 gene to observe how the increase in activity of Mn-SOD affects the longevity of yeast.

Shaleene Persaud-Vasquez, Dr. Paul Kirchman
Construction of a Yeast Strain Containing an Allele of SOD2 with Increased Activity
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Paul Kirchman

Aging is defined as "…the progressive accumulation of changes with time that are associated with or responsible for the ever increasing susceptibility to disease and death which accompanies advancing age" or "as a biological process which causes increased susceptibility to disease" (Harman 1981; Curtis 1963). Several theories propose that aging is caused by oxidative damage to cells. The yeast SOD2 gene codes for manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), one protection against oxidative damage. A yeast strain with a SOD2 deletion was used to construct strains containing alleles of SOD2 that code for MnSOD enzymes with different levels of activity. Both the wild type SOD2 gene and a version we call SSD12.5, which was selected for increased activity, were incorporated into yeast. These strains will be tested for their resistance to oxidative stress. Increased ability to resist oxidative stress may also increase the life span of the strain.

Sonya Reid, Dr. Rakesh Mogul
Lanthanide Chelates for Protein Detection
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Rakesh Mogul

Advantages such as the millisecond luminescent lifetimes, large Stokes shift, and paramagnetism render lanthanide metals as ideal components for biomolecular detection strategies. The principle underlying this research is to utilize both the Lewis acidity and the luminescence sensitization properties of the metal to construct sequence-specific and non-specific probes for protein detection. The lanthanide metal in this strategy is used to both promote stable binding of the target polypeptide and to confer the bright millisecond lifetime luminescence. In other words, the metal is both structurally and functionally integrated into the probe. Initial studies indicate that simple inexpensive chelates of dipicolinic acid or imidazole and terbium can be used to detect proteins. The synthesis of a coumarin-EDTA complex will be discussed as well as the effects of various amino acids on the terbium luminescent lifetimes.

Kathryn Tiling, Walter Jean-Vertus, Glen Turner, Rachel Guillaume
Solubility Product Constant Trends of Group 2A
Advisor/Professor: Professor Patricia Della Penta

The following laboratory experiment will attempt to determine if there is a decreasing trend between the solubility products of group 2A cations Ca+2, Mg+2 and Sr+2 as the ions become larger the less soluble the ions. This will determine if there is any correlation between the members of a periodic group or if the solubility product is an independent constant. The solubility product constant will be evaluated by submerging three group 2A cations into a polyacrylamide gel solution. These results will be compared to the colorimetric analysis of the group 2A cations, in order to compare group trends. These experiments will be performed several times to ensure precise measurements are taken and recorded. The gathered data will be used to determine if there is a decreasing trend in solubility product constants for group 2A. In addition the experiment will be compared to previous results.

Daniela Tortora, Cynthia Danny, Alba Medrano, Elizabeth Jerome, Long Troung Ho
Silicon content in Cladium jamaicanse and Carex thypha
Advisor/Professor: Professor Patricia Della Penta, Curtis Elliott

Saw-grass (Cladium jamaicense) and cat tails (Carex typha) can be found in the Florida Everglades. Today some scientists believe that the limiting agent of the growth rate of the cat tails and saw-grass is phosphorus. The location of the saw-grass and cat tail can affect their growth in the environment. Those plants that grow low nutrient areas tend to grow less than if they were polluted with nutrients, such as fertilizers. Since testing has only been performed on phosphorus content and not on silicon content, we are going to test the concentration of silicon in saw-grass and cat tail samples to determine if silicon has an affect on growth.

Christin Upshaw, Becky Balter, Dr. Julie Earles, Dr. Alan Kersten
Memory for Events With Multiple Actors
Advisor/Professor: Dr. Julie Earles, Dr. Alan Kersten

Unconscious transference is a phenomenon in which one misidentifies a familiar individual as an assailant, rather than the actual criminal (Loftus, 1976). This can affect eyewitness testimony, making in unreliable. Many studies have investigated unconscious transference using multiple events with only one actor each. Our study involved memory for events with two actors in each event. Twenty-seven participants watched a series of 30 video clips, and returned a week later to watch 60 video clips in which they were tested for their memory. The events in retrieval were divided as follows- Old Events, Within Event Binding, Across Event Binding, New Actor Events, and completely New Events. We found evidence for unconscious transference. We believe our task was too difficult, due to the fact that recognition performance was slightly above chance at 58%. Our research helps to further understand unconscious transference in a more everyday context.

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

2004 Program

8:00 – 9:00 Registration - AD Lobby
Student Presentations
  AD 103 AD 104 AD 202 AD 204 AD 206
9:00-9:15 Rose Moon
Rejecting Motherhood: The ramifications of ‘favorable’ defenses for ‘baby killers’ with respect to race and class
Jason Lane
Event Memory and Age
Morgan DeFranco
E-Raced: The shift from the maker to the made
Laura Lynch
Factorization in the Ring Z
Tara Warrington
A Reevaluation of the Emergence of the Conspiracy Culture in the United States
9:20 – 9:35 Christine Mancuso
Female members of the Concrete Block Society
Erin Moore
Conscientiousness and Procrastination on Academic Tasks
Erin Brown
An Ironic “The Taming of the Shrew”
Andrew Donovan
Spectral Decomposition of Grid Data
Kathryn Nicole Lewis
Double Take: Looking Beyond the First Glance at Bush v. Gore and the 14th Amendment
9:40 – 9:55 Peter Rauch
Videogames as Protected Speech 
Susie Quintana
Extraversion and Procrastination on Dull Academic Tasks
Brooke Hall
Rave New World: A Synthesized Generation
Shannon Jessie
Population Dynamics Beyond Classic Lotka-Volterra Models
Brian Pita
Litigation vs. Legislation in the Pursuit for African American Slavery Reparations 
10:00 - 10:15
Break
10:20 - 10:35 Walteria Tucker
Guns vs. Growth: Military Industrial Complex (MIC) Influence and the Economic Effects of Military Spending
Christina Oliver
Secular trends in expressions of positive emotionality: A study of high school yearbooks
Michael Kerr
Everybody is a Student of Music: the Purposes of Copyright Laws and the Benefits of an Alternative System of Compensation for Musicians
Shane Sandford
Deletion of SOD1 from Saccharamyces cerevisiae
Sarah M. Deutsch
Voice of the Willing: Mormon Young Women’s Conceptions of Femininity
10:40 - 10:55 Steve Nicole
The Religious Market of Chile: Causes for the Growth of Pentecostalism 
Erik Pettersson
Decision Making and Personality: Individual Differences in Prospect Theory
Joanna Bartell
Deconstruction and the Law
Jennifer McIvor
Everglades Restoration and the Ethics of Restoring Ecosystems
Caroline Taylor
Where are Women in Islam?
11:00 - 11:15 Charles Oerter
United States foreign policy: The maintenance of a unipolar world and the “axis of evil”
Ari Rosenburg
The Structure of Attitudes Towards Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Security in Post 9-11 America
Nicholas Yanes
X-Men as a Reflection of Civil Rights in America
Sarah Callendar
Medieval Medicine, Public Health, and the Black Death
Alicia Harraway
Dream and Memory: Representation of the 1937 Haitian Massacre in the Dominican Republic in Two Texts

11:30 - 12:30

Dr. Mustafa Abu Sway
Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Islamic Studies Al-Quds University in Jerusalem and the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University ”Islam and Women: What paradigm?”
AD Auditorium

Lunch
2:00 - 4:30 Poster Sessions, HC Building, and Reception, HC Atrium
Marie Barreto, Andrea Gagaoudakis, Maria Rodriguez
Where are the Ammonia Levels in Bait Shrimp Tanks?
Kristen Bunting, Jenna Goldberg, Jeff Meyer, Stephanie Sabshin
Chromatographic Determination of Gasoline Sources
M. Cable, S. Chaney, S. DeMond, S. Reid, J. Tabor, M. Vizcaino, A. Watts
Arson Analysis by Static Head Space Enrichment and Gas Chromatography using Simplex Optimization 
Matthew Carter, Erin Moore, Angelica Rodio, Theresa Smith
The Effect of Gasoline Evaporation in Arson Investigation
Alex Chery, Brian Ruiz, Rebecca Kapolka, Collin Hutton
Calcium-Magnesium Comparison
Alicia DeCicco, Christie Fera, Laura Owens, Melody Strattan
Developing a Mobile Fume Hood
Catherine Derewyanko, Janny E. Pena, Maria Riccardi, Rupa Venkatesh, Curtis Elliot
Biodegradation of Organophosphate Pesticides by Soilborne Microorganisms and its Inhibition
Tara Desrosiers, Heather Marchetti, Andrea Thomasson, Prem Jayanthan
Fun with Mastication: An analysis of Teeth
Samantha F. Kane, Dr. Nancy A. Jones
Familial Influences on the Development of Empathy in Preschool Children
Kayley Malencia
Over-Expression of Yeast Manganese Superoxide Dismutase in E. coli
Diana Marti
Politics and Public Perceptions of Prescribed Fires in Senescent Scrub Habitat for Endangered Species Management
Paul McCurdy, Dr. Andrea L. Wetterer and Dr. James K. Wetterer
The Tropical Fire Ant, Solenopsis Geminata, on two Sea Turtle Beaches in Costa Rica
Kristen Morrell
Generation of Yeast Mn-SOD Mutants with Increased Activity by Error-prone PCR
Shaleene Persaud-Vasquez, Dr. Paul A. Kirchman
Construction of a Yeast Strain Containing an Allele of SOD2 with Increased Activity
Sonya Reid, Dr. Rakesh Mogul
Lanthanide chelates for protein detection
Kathryn Tiling, Walter Jean-Vertus, Glen Turner, Rachel Guillaume
Solubility Product Constant Trends of Group 2A
Daniela Tortora, Cynthia Danny, Alba Medrano, Elizabeth Jerome, and Long Troung Ho
Silicon content in Cladium jamaicanse and Carex thypha
Christin Upshaw, Becky Balter, Dr. Julie Earles, Dr. Alan Kersten
Memory for Events with Multiple Actors
 
Last Modified 11/21/13