Presentation Abstracts - Graduate College

Presentation Abstracts
(Alphabetized by presenter’s name)
The Orientalism of Edgar Allan Poe's "Al-Aaraaf"
Sohaib Al-Kamal, English
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Matthew Calihman
The paper discusses the Oriental discourse in one of the early poems of Edgar Allan Poe, "AlAaraaf." The paper mainly refers to the influence of the Middle East on this poem. This
influence is represented by the interest in the Eastern geography, ancient civilizations, Eastern
religions, Koranic imagery and language, and Eastern literature. The most noticeable Eastern
regions mentioned in the poem are the Levant (Palestine, Jordan, and Syria), Turkey, Arab
peninsula, Persia, and Mesopotamia. The study examines Poe's influence in the Koran
throughout his reading to George Sale's translation of the Koran in 1734 and also Sale's "The
Preliminary Discourse," which gives an extensive interpretation to the Koran. The main Eastern
literary works that influence Poe is "Gulisten" or "The Rose of Garden" by the Persian poet
Saadi Shirazi (1210-1291). This study suggests that other poems by Edgar Allan Poe could be
analyzed to show the influence of the Middle East.
Analysis of Lexical Choices of VERB in Arab ESL Academic Writing
Mohammed Al-Rubaye, English
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christina Biava
Academic writing for ESL students involves various linguistic, stylistic, and rhetorical
challenges. An effective way to assist ESL students overcome their struggles is to analyze their
writing, identify a problem that could cause other problems, and apply feasible solutions for that
root problem. Limited lexical repertoire is one of the problems that result in other difficulties.
This study examined the lexical choices of the verb in ESL students' writing. The data consisted
of twenty in-class essays of Arab ESL writers at four advanced levels, both graduate and
undergraduate. Findings revealed that because of the syntactic power of the verb, students pay
more attention to the grammatical than to the lexical aspects of the verb. Accordingly, they
would have poor lexical repertoire of the verbs and overuse certain verbs that do not mirror the
academic genre. Moreover, their poor repertoire and overuse of certain verbs, in turn, resulted in
syntactic limitation and rhetorical problems.
Response to Chemical Alarm Cues of Oklahoma Salamander by Sympatric and Allopatric
Rainbow Darters
Kelsey Anderson, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Mathis
In aquatic environments, detection of predation risk via chemical cues may provide a selective
advantage. Many aquatic species produce chemical alarm cues that warn nearby conspecifics of
danger, and closely-related species frequently respond to each other’s alarm cues. Species in
distant taxa could also benefit by responding to each other’s alarm cues if they share the same
predators. Rainbow Darters (Etheostoma caeruleum) are benthic fish native to fast-flowing
Ozark streams. In some populations, their range overlaps with Oklahoma Salamanders (Eurycea
tynerensis), who are vulnerable to the same predators, such as Ozark Sculpin (Cottinus
hypselurus) and other predatory stream fish. We tested the responses of E. caeruleum from two
different populations, one sympatric and one allopatric with E. tynerensis, to chemical cues
prepared from salamander skin (an alarm cue), a control of salamander muscle and bone, or
blank water control. Darters from the sympatric population exhibited anti-predator responses
when exposed to alarm cues from salamander skin, but not to salamander muscle or the water
blank. Darters from the allopatric population did not exhibit anti-predator responses to any of the
treatments. Therefore, darters can develop responses to the alarm cues of sympatric species
occupying the same prey guild even when the other species is phylogenetically distant.
Evaluating Severity Differences of Depression and Anxiety in Self-Report and ClinicianRated Measures
Kristyn Angsten, Psychology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Paul Deal, PhD
Depression and anxiety are core components of the most commonly diagnosed behavioral health
disorders. Many studies have been conducted to test different models of depression, anxiety, and
their comorbidity. Another important variable to focus on, however, is how depression and
anxiety are assessed. Self-report and clinician-rated measures are two standard ways in which
these constructs are assessed. This study sought to address issues related to the reliability and
validity of two specific assessment methods for depression and anxiety. The Beck Depression
Inventory-II (BDI-II) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) were used as the self-report
measures, while the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Hamilton Anxiety
Rating Scale (HARS) were used as the clinician-rated measures. It was found that the BDI-II and
HDRS, and the BAI and HARS were highly correlated. However, the study found that percent
agreement between classification categories of the BDI-II and HDRS, and the BAI and HARS
only occurred approximately 60% of the time. Decisions are made about treatment based on the
classification categories of these instruments. If these types of results occur in future studies,
these instruments may need to be adjusted in order to exhibit a stronger relationship between
correlations and classification categories.
Does Response To Intervention Reduce Referrals For Special Education Services?
Cindy Awad, Elementary Education
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cindy Hail
This causal comparative study was conducted to determine if implementation of RTI resulted in
a significant decrease in the number of special education referrals for LD in reading. Participants
in group A were kindergarten-5th grade, and referred during the 2012-2013 school year under
the wait-to-fail model. Students in group B were those referred during the 2013-2014 school year
under RTI. Participants referred under RTI were placed in tiered-interventions with data
collected from running records. Participants reaching grade-level benchmarks were returned to
mainstream curriculum. Participants not reaching grade-level benchmarks were referred for
services. Of 68 participants, 100% referred under the wait-to-fail model were referred for
services, with 27.5% qualifying with an LD diagnosis. Of participants referred under RTI, 50%
were referred for services, with 14.5% qualifying with an LD diagnosis. There was a significant
decrease in students referred and diagnosed with LD under RTI when compared to students
diagnosed with LD under the wait-to-fail model.
Youth's Predictors of Resiliency in a Southwest Missouri Job Preparation Program
Krysta Baker, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michele Day
Resiliency is composed of risk and protective factors which influence a person's life.
Unfortunately, resiliency is difficult to measure because of its unique and transformative nature;
resiliency often relies on personal characteristics and constantly changes over time. This study
focused on quantifiable resilience--as defined by employment maintenance--in a job preparation
program for youth. Successful employment maintenance may lead to stable housing, educational
opportunities, and independence, as well as successful maturation and growth. This study is a
cross-sectional, descriptive approach to quantifying resiliency among youth. The sample for this
study was the archival data of 125 intake packets which represents 125 youth. The Job
Preparation Resiliency Scale uses multiple measures to assess resiliency, and data was analyzed
using descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regressions. Analysis found that the Job
Preparation Resiliency Scale was significant in predicting the resiliency outcomes of youth with
delinquency, living arrangements, and connections to support systems being the best individual
measures. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of resiliency in the job
preparation program so that youth without these predictors can be given additional resources to
build program resilience.
Increasing the Solubility of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API’s) Using Soluplus® in
Topical Creams
Roni Balzam, Chemistry
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Alan Schick
Nearly 90% of today’s drugs have poor solubility in aqueous solution, making targeted delivery
problematic. One way to approach this problem is by using solubilizing agents. One such agent
is a thermo-responsive, tri-block co-polymer containing polyvinyl caprolactam (PVCL),
polyvinyl acetate (PVA), and polyethylene glycol (PEG) in a respective 57:30:13 ratios, which is
marketed as “Soluplus” by BASF Corporation for use in oral medications. In collaboration with
BASF Corp. and one of its potential customers, Tolmar Inc., we are studying the possibility of
extending the applications of Soluplus® for use in topical creams and gels. A part of this project
is to thoroughly characterize various phase properties of Soluplus®, such as critical solution
temperatures (cloud points), gel points, and micellization properties. Soluplus® is also being
incorporated into standard cream and gel formulations to determine the effects on both drug
solubility in and sensory properties of the creams and gels. After the formulations are made, nonmedicated products are subjected to sensory evaluations by group members, and medicated
products are separated by centrifugation and evaluated in terms of how the drug ingredients are
partitioned between the various phases. Ibuprofen and miconazole are the two model ingredients
being studied for the project.
Novel Yeast Dynamin Binding Proteins
Bryan Banh, Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kyoungtae Kim
Vacuolar protein sorting 1 (Vps1) is a dynamin-like GTPase involved in multiple cellular
trafficking pathways. Vps1 is a membrane peripheral protein that interacts with an array of
intracellular organelles, including peroxisome, endosome, vacuole, and Golgi body. It appears
that Vps1 functions together with a selective group of proteins that reside at each organelle.
Though Vps1’s implication in membrane remodeling has been well recognized, its biochemical
interaction mechanisms with functional partners at each traffic location remain poorly
understood. In an attempt to find the endosomal binding partners of Vps1, we have identified
two ESCRT II proteins, Vps22 and Vps36. Here, we present that the N-terminal helical domain
(HD) of Vps22 physically associates with Vps1, while interaction with the homologous Vps36
HD is currently being examined. In addition, we have recently performed a screen for novel
Vps1 binding partners in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using a Yeast two-hybrid library system.
These results have revealed seventeen as-yet-unidentified Vps1 binding proteins. The validity of
the finding is under investigation via a coimmunoprecipitation assay. Our research may provide
a link between Vps1 with novel binding proteins or pathways and further shape our
understanding of its physiological role.
Attitudes toward Sex Offenders
Amy Bauman, Psychology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Ann Rost
The particularly negative attitudes sexual offenders face in their communities may contribute to
their already difficult assimilation processes following incarceration. A study was conducted to
investigate current attitudes toward sexual offenders and whether they could be improved.
Baseline data demonstrated negative attitudes toward these individuals in the undergraduate
introductory psychology population, and the written presentation of a sexual offender’s treatment
process did not alter these opinions. Sexual offenders that are released into the community with
this stigmatizing label are harassed and demeaned. The unfortunate reality is these offenders
require social support to substantially improve and decrease the likelihood of recidivism. The
purpose of this presentation is to increase awareness of the facts regarding sexual offenders and
the all-encompassing benefits of acceptance rather than rejection.
Genetic Diversity of Grapevine Vein Clearing Virus ORF II Indicates a Complex Viral
Population in Wild and Cultivated Grapevines
Steven Beach, Plant Science
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Wenping Qiu
Grapevine vein clearing virus (GVCV) associated disease poses a threat to the grape production
in the Midwest region of the United States. The GVCV genome is a circular, double-stranded
DNA with the plus-stand encoding three open reading frames, ORFI, ORFII, and ORFIII. Two
isolates, GVCV-CHA with a genome of 7,753 bp and GVCV-VRU of 7,755 bp, have been
identified in a grape cultivar ‘Chardonnay’ and a wild Vitis rupestris, respectively. The most
variable ORFII regions share 83.3% identity at nucleotide levels with a characteristic 9 bp insert
in GVCV-VRU. We cloned and sequenced the ORFII regions of GVCV isolates that were
collected from grapevines in commercial vineyards and native habitats. We found that the ORFII
of a GVCV isolate from grape cultivar Chardonel shared 88.5% nucleotide identity with that of
GVCV-VRU and contained a 9 bp insert. The ORFII of a GVCV isolate from another wild V.
rupestris accession did not contain the insert and shared 88% identity with both GVCV-VRU and
GVCV-CHA. Additionally, we found changes to ORFII after GVCV-CHA was grafted onto
different grape varieties. The results suggest that GVCV is present as genetically complex
populations in cultivated and wild grapevines. The complexity of GVCV populations implies the
evolution of GVCV and imposes a challenge of managing GVCV-associated disease.
A Psychometric Evaluation of Measures of Male Body Dissatisfaction Using Item Response
Marshall Beauchamp, Psychology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Erin Buchanan, Ph.D.
Body image research has received more attention in the past few decades, with an increase in the
understanding of body dissatisfaction (BD). However, the literature has primarily focused on
female BD, and only recently has male BD been examined, even though rates of male BD appear
to be increasing (Bardone-Cone, Cass, & Ford, 2008). Many current measures do not delineate
between features of male and female BD and are not sensitive to core features of male BD (e.g.,
muscularity). Therefore, this study will provide an evaluation of four measures of male BD using
item response theory (IRT). 841 participants completed the study. Participants completed
questionnaires including the Male Body Attitudes Scale (Tylka, Bergeron, & Schwartz, 2005), its
revised form (Ryan, Morrison, Roddy, & McCutcheon, 2011), the Body Parts Satisfaction Scale
for Men (McFarland & Petrie, 2012), and the Male Body Dissatisfaction Scale (Ochner, Gray, &
Brickner, 2009). IRT will be used to examine the underlying pattern of responses. Analyses will
answer the following questions: 1) what is the discriminability of each item? 2) Are items
consistently answered across males? 3) Are these scales equivalent measures of BD and are
short-form measures possible?
The Effects of I-Connect On On-Task Behavior with Two Students with Autism
Alexandra Beckman, Special Education
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Linda Garrison-Kane, Ph.D.
Due to the increase in the prevalence of autism, the need to train teacher educators how to utilize
research-based instructional strategies is imperative. This study employed a single-subject,
ABAB design to evaluate the effectiveness of I-Connect self-monitoring intervention on the ontask behavior of two students in the public school settings. The I-Connect self-monitoring
intervention is a technology application downloaded to a tablet device with wireless internet
capability. Students monitor their behavior and record responses. This study employed by
teacher educators assessed the effects of the I-Connect application with two students in a special
education classroom setting. Both students with autism demonstrated an increase in their on-task
behaviors when utilizing the I-Connect device during the intervention phases of this study,
indicating that the use of the self-management technology was an effective strategy to increase
on-task behavior for these two students with autism. Participant one demonstrated an increase
from an average of 33% on-task during baseline to an average of 95% during intervention
phases. Participant two demonstrated an increase from an average of 9% on-task during baseline
to 91.2% on-task during intervention phases.
A Quantitative Study of Social Anxiety, Emotional Avoidance, and Relationships for
Adults in South Central Missouri
Sharon Belongy, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Beverly Long
When you meet someone new you disclose small pieces of yourself and see if their response
encourages you to tell more. If you do not like to reveal emotion or have emotional responses,
getting close to people may not be easy for you. People may consider you a snob or uppity. If
you avoid social activities and do not like to let people close emotionally, it is difficult to get to
know people and become friends. Exploring social anxiety and emotional avoidance will offer
more insight into the obstacles people face. The impact of social anxiety on relationships has
been studied in relation to the quality of the relationship. This study verifies the previous studies’
results which indicate that social anxiety is a predictor or the type of relationships an individual
has during a period of time. Those relationships which were limited to social protocols such as
saying “Hello” or speaking about a shared interest were higher in number than those
relationships that had a social component. The overall number of friendships with a social
element is directly impacted by the severity of social anxiety. Social anxiety cannot be
overlooked as a cause of relationship dissatisfaction or the number of relationships.
Examination of the Effects of Media Consumption on Mood and Body Dissatisfaction
Using Ecological Momentary Assessment
Brooke Bennett, Psychology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Brooke Whisenhunt, Danae Hudson
This study aimed to assess the effects of media consumption on body dissatisfaction and negative
affect using Ecological Momentary Assessment. A total of 29 female participants were assessed
randomly 5 times per day for 5 days via text messages sent to their smart phones. During each
assessment, participants reported the number of minutes spent watching television, reading a
magazine, and using the internet. They also completed the PANAS (Watson & Clark, 1994) and
BISS (Cash et al., 2002). Results demonstrate total time spent consuming media is a significant
predictor of guilty feelings, b=.005, t(484.30)=16.35, p<.001. Results demonstrated that internet
use specifically is a significant predictor of guilty feelings b=.008, t(428.10)=3.31, p=.001. The
results indicated that media consumption was not significantly predicted by body dissatisfaction.
These findings are particularly interesting given the focus in recent years on developing media
literacy interventions for negative body image and eating pathology. Further examinations of the
relationship between media-consumption and body dissatisfaction appear to be necessary before
devoting significant resources to develop effective intervention strategies for the impact of
A Quantitative Study of Effective Strategies for Reducing Agitated Behaviors in
Individuals with Dementia: The Perspective of Nursing Professionals
Jennifer Berry,Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Beverly Long
Dementia is a common disease that continues to produce higher rates of prevalence, as time
progresses and most certainly presents as a complex disease; exhibiting different
features/behaviors and affecting individuals differently. Agitation has been noted to be the most
common form of behavioral symptom exhibited (Kong, Evans & Guevara, 2009). Data was
collected from at least 14 Registered Nurses and 10 Licensed Practical Nurses who primarily
work on a dementia/Alzheimer’s Unit at a Skilled Nursing Facility within a 75 mile radius of
Joplin, MO. After administering a brief survey composed of quantitative and qualitative
questions, it was discovered that several strategies have been implemented to attempt to calm
agitation in dementia patients; however, there was no statistical significance of which were most
Attitudes and Barriers to Providing Animal Assisted Therapy in Clinical Settings with
Youth: A Greene County Evaluation
Theresa Bettmann, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michele Day
For many humans animals are an important part of life dating back centuries, recognizing the
human-animal bond throughout time and in many cultures. Several mental and physical health
benefits are often associated with animal relationships from family pets to clinical work with a
therapeutic animal. Research suggests children and youth respond well to animals, and use of
Animal Assisted Therapies as part of a various treatments. Greene County continues to hold one
of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect reports in the state, containing a concentrated
population of at-risk children and youth. This study invited 330 licensed clinical professionals
serving the Greene County area to take part in an anonymous online survey evaluating overall
understanding and willingness to utilize animal therapy services. The survey contained 15
questions and 4 contingency questions using Likert and similar scaling questions, and three
open-ended qualitative questions assessing provider demographics, attitudes and awareness of
animal therapies in practice. A total of 55 (n=55) completed the survey. Participants indicated
minimal use of animal therapies in practice. Responses indicated more knowledge and training
is needed, but suggested children and adolescents were most likely to benefit from this modality.
The Effects of Sub-Lethal Lead and Zinc Toxicity on the Alarm Response of Orange
Throat Darters, Etheostoma Spectabile
SamuelBlecha, Biology
Faculty Advisor: Alicia Mathis
Heavy metals are common and damaging pollutants in aquatic ecosystems. While high
concentrations can be fatal, sub-lethal levels also have been shown to impact critical biological
processes. In this study I tested whether exposure to sub-lethal concentrations of lead and zinc
was negatively correlated with the response of a stream fish, orange throat darters (Etheostoma
spectabile), to chemical cues that signal increased predation risk (“alarm cues”). Darters were
collected from three populations representing a gradient of lead and zinc pollution and exposed
in the lab to either a blank control or an alarm cue stimulus. Darters from all three populations
showed a significant increase in respiration (opercular beat rate) when exposed to the alarm cue,
but darters from the high-pollution population displayed a significantly lower increase in
opercular beat rate. Activity (number of moves) also differed by population and stimulus, with
all three populations responding to the alarm cue as predicted, but darters from the high-toxicity
population showed the lowest activity levels. These results indicate that while levels of lead and
zinc pollution in these Missouri streams may not lead to immediate mortality of orange throat
darters, their ability to detect and respond to chemical alarm cues is impacted and may lead to
higher predation rates.
Fifth Grade Students' Perceptions on Student Led Data Notebooks: A Survey Study
Krista Boettler, Elementary Education
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Cindy Hail
Educators continue to take a more constructivist view of students’ learning and how students
become active participants in the process. Students begin taking ownership of their learning and
partnering with their teachers by setting goals, developing a plan to reach their goal, and
examining their progress towards goals over time. This survey study was used to determine
students’ perceptions of student-led data notebooks used in a fifth grade class in a Title 1 school.
Students were surveyed on their understanding and use of student-led data notebooks to set,
explain, and assess their progress towards goals. Findings from the study may help teachers
adjust the implementation and use of student-led data notebooks in the elementary classroom.
Qualitative Study of Sex Trafficking in Joplin Missouri
Mark Clark, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Beverly Long
The study used nonprobability sampling to gather data. The purpose of this study was twofold.
To what extent does sex trafficking take place in Joplin, MO? The second part of the question
will investigate the three issues of health that affect those who are trafficked. These issues are
assault, physical health, and psychological health. The second half of the question revealed no
data. Therefore, there was little work that could be done with SPSS. However, the first question
“To what extent does sex trafficking take place in Joplin?” was more revealing. Twelve percent
answered yes to the question “do you know of anyone affected by Human Trafficking or
commercial sex?” Another question in the study, “Do you know anyone under 18 that has traded
sex with an adult for money or services?” was answered yes by 16% of Joplin participants. If
answers to these questions are revealing of the Joplin populace as a whole, then one might be
able to assume that many, within Joplin, know of sexual trafficking taking place.
Sustainable Tourism Assessment for a Marine Protected Area in Southwest
Jamaica Emma Clegg, Geospatial Sciences in Geography and Geology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Pavlowsky
The Jamaican economy is heavily reliant on the tourism industry; however large scale
developments often disrupt the local communities and degrade natural marine resources. In
tourist destinations efforts need to be made to ensure that society and environment are not being
damaged by tourism activities. Tourism needs to be sustainable, benefit the community and
support long term economic goals. Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been created in Jamaica
to improve degraded fish stocks and restore damaged marine ecosystems. While focused on
local fisheries, MPAs also create opportunities to generate sustainable tourism. However, the
pathways for meshing fishery conservation and tourism goals and outcomes are poorly
understood. Critical questions need to be answered such as: do local stakeholders view MPAs as
a benefit to the community; what options are available to develop sustainable tourism and what
are the first steps that need to be taken? To address this gap in understanding, I examine the
Bluefields Bay MPA and use interviews from community stakeholders and comparative case
studies to evaluate the opportunities and devise sustainable strategies. These strategies include
short, medium and long term recommendations like improvements for tourism infrastructure,
activities and job creation for locals.
Impacts of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Exploring Linkage to Opioid Use and Dissociation
Chelsea Collins, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michele Day, LCSW
Childhood sexual abuse has resulted in instability and problems across many domains, including
possible substance use disorders. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a
correlation between childhood sexual abuse and opioid use disorder among those in substance
abuse treatment, as well as the presence of dissociative behaviors. Individuals in active and
continuing recovery in two local treatment centers in a rural city were given self-report
questionnaires. These assessed participants' histories of childhood trauma, the presence or lack of
current dissociative experiences, and demographics including their primary drugs of choice. The
researcher utilized purposive, convenience sampling and received 95 surveys. A total of 86
surveys were deemed complete and useable and were analyzed with SPSS.Data was analyzed
using t-tests, logistic regression, correlational tests; descriptive data was established by
frequency testing. The logistic regression analyses identified that one could not predict one's
drug of choice as opioids versus other drugs if there was a presence of childhood sexual abuse
and dissociative experiences. While the results did not show statistical significance, the study is
beneficial for all substance abuse treatment centers and may lead to further studies of these
variables and linkages between them.
Exploring the GLADE: Short and Long Term Impacts of a Residential Program on
Environmental Knowledge, Attitude, and Action
Catherine Combs, Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Janice Greene
One aim of environmental education is to promote responsible environmental behavior (REB).
Residential environmental education programs provide students with non-formal, extended
exposure to the outdoors and opportunities to develop confidence, knowledge, attitudes, and
abilities. By enhancing these characteristics, programs aim to achieve positive changes in REB
that will continue long after students return to their home communities. Research regarding the
short-term gains in knowledge and attitude for residential programs is fairly extensive and most
studies suggest positive gains. However, there have been few attempts to investigate long-term
impacts of residential programs. This study investigates the long-term effects the residential
program, Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems (GLADE), has on memories,
knowledge, attitude, locus of control, and REB. GLADE graduates (2009-2013) were surveyed
and invited for interviews to compare initial, short-term, and long-term differences in
knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Situational factors that affect students after the residential
program are also discussed. Findings have implications for the effectiveness of residential
programs, furthermore, the correlation between gains in knowledge and attitude to the ultimate
goal of REB.
Abortion Attitude Change and Women's Health Outcomes
Joshua Comp, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Michele Day
No research exists that explores how attitude change toward abortion (for or against) can
improve women’s health, or what that change might involve. To address this gap, a qualitative
study exploring what factors or processes could change attitudes regarding abortion in ways that
promote women’s health was pursued. An in-depth, qualitative interview was conducted with
seven adult informants who reported experiencing an attitude change about abortion (for or
against). Participants were identified through snowball sampling method and interviewed using
a non-standardized, qualitative interview guide constructed by the researchers. Respondent data
were analyzed using adapted grounded theory method. Emergent themes suggest experiences
that deeply challenge personal values and worldviews surrounding abortion contribute to shifts in
perspectives that accommodate increasing sensitivity to women’s health concerns.
A Review of Literature on the Social and Emotional Development of Children Who Are
Deaf and Hard of Hearing as Compared to Hearing Children
Shelby Cooley, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Letitia White
This review of literature compares four groups of parents and children: hearing parents of
hearing children, deaf parents of deaf children, deaf parents of hearing children, and hearing
parents of deaf children. It explores the similarities and differences in social and emotional
development of these groups of children. First, we explore the average process of development
of typical hearing children to create a reference point. We then delve into comparing the four
groups in the area of social and emotional development, focusing mostly on early childhood
through elementary aged children. Keywords: Deaf, Social Development, Emotional, Stages of
Elevated Intrathecal CGRP Levels Promote Trigeminal Nociception: Evidence of
Bidirectional Signaling
Lauren Cornelison, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Durham
We tested whether elevated CGRP in the upper spinal cord promoted peripheral sensitization,
and the potential role of bidirectional signaling. Sprague Dawley rats were injected with CGRP
alone or with the peptide antagonist CGRP8-37 between the occipital bone and the first cervical
vertebrae. Withdrawal response to mechanical stimulation of trigeminal nerves was evaluated
daily up to 3 days post-injection. To provide evidence of bidirectional signaling, animals were
injected intrathecally with retrograde dye Fast Blue and fluorescent microscopy was used to
locate the dye. Intrathecal injection of CGRP was found to increase nociceptive responses to
mechanical stimulation up to 48 hours post-injection compared to controls, with resolution by 72
hours. Coinjection of the antagonist CGRP8-37 with CGRP ameliorated CGRP’s sensitizing
effects. Fast Blue staining was observed in the cell bodies of trigeminal ganglion neurons
following injection of the dye. Our results provide evidence that elevated CGRP levels in the
spinal cord mediate cellular changes associated with central sensitization that promote peripheral
sensitization of primary nociceptive neurons. The ability of CGRP8-37 to reduce nocifensive
behavior supports possible benefit to targeting CGRP or its receptor as a migraine treatment
Juvenile Mental Illness and Detention
Lance Corter, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Beverly Long
Is mental illness prevalent in juveniles that are incarcerated? There are multiple studies and
research that has been compiled together to look at the effects of incarceration on adults and the
influence that jail has on the cognitive functionality of adults. Consequently, it would stand true
that perhaps the same research observed with juveniles might illuminate similar results. Research
suggests juveniles involved with the judicial system have a direct correlation with their mental
instability. I hope that by the end of my research it will show specifically that Jasper County
Missouri has an elevated need for preventive mental health services to reduce juvenile
delinquency. Juveniles who reside in Jasper County Missouri do exhibit mental illness and have
frequent interactions with detainment.
Teacher and Student Perceptions Regarding Expanding Drawing Repertoires in the Art
Jennifer Cottengim, Teaching
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Eric Sheffield
Key figures in art education have built a foundation upon which preservice teachers are prepared
for future classrooms. This foundation gives insight into general curricular approaches based on
theories of linear development. While the history of art education and perspectives on human
development reveal interesting commonalities among young children, they do not fully integrate
a multi-layered view of artistic learning for older age groups nor do these curricular approaches
include a cultural or social perspective. This qualitative observation/interview study examined
the perceptions of what constitutes good art in the sixth grade art classroom as part of the
learning motivation for teaching them to build graphic repertoires. This study focused on three
tracks of investigation: teacher use of current curriculum to create a socially and culturally
defined studio experience; student perceptions about drawing in 6th grade; and student interests
with respect to art and art room experiences. Major findings conclude that the present curriculum
needs to shift to include sociocultural perspectives before students begin to lose interest in a
system that currently values narrowly-viewed endpoints.
Phonetic Preferences for CVC Trigrams
Jahnavi Delmonico, Psychology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Erin Buchanan
Folk-psychology and studies of phonetic symbolism have indicated that sounds may carry
associative and emotional value independent of context or semantic meaning. In an exploratory
study, we generated pairs of consonant-vowel-consonant trigrams differing by one phoneme and
asked participants to rate them on a variety of qualities. 314 Missouri State University students
participated. We found significant differences in ratings, and also found that in many cases the
likability of the trigrams was tied to how familiar they seemed an apparent confirmation of the
mere exposure effect.
Differentiating the Mechanisms of Action of Sumatriptan and Dihydroergotamine in a
Chronic Model of Migraine
Jennifer Denson, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Paul Durham
Migraine, which affects an estimated 15% of the population, involves activation of trigeminal
nerves that provide sensory innervation to most of the head and face. The most commonly
prescribed medications for migraine treatment are the triptan class of drugs, which are serotoninreceptor agonists; however, a percentage of migraineurs do not respond to triptans. Ergotderivatives, including dihydroergotamine (DHE), could be a potential alternative for this
subpopulation of patients. The goal of my study was to elucidate the differing mechanisms
between sumatriptan and DHE in an animal model of chronic migraine. Animals were injected
with complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) in the temporomandibular joint capsule to cause
prolonged inflammation. On days three and four post-CFA-injection animals were treated with
DHE or sumatriptan. Behavioral and cellular studies were used to determine the effect of each
drug. Behavioral results provided evidence that DHE, but not sumatriptan, could inhibit the
prolonged stimulatory effects of CFA. Molecularly, levels of proteins p-P38, PKA, and Iba1
were repressed by both DHE and sumatriptan, but were inhibited to a greater degree by DHE.
Results from this study are suggestive that DHE could be a beneficial alternative to triptans in
migraine treatment.
Relationships between Measures of Spelling and Measures of Reading and Math in
Individuals with and without Autism
Theresa Dill, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Julie Masterson, Ph.D.
Previous research has shown that individuals with ASD rely more on orthographic representation
of words for vocabulary acquisition and that higher functioning individuals with ASD may not
present significantly different from typically developing individuals on spelling achievement.
The purposes of this study were to compare the spelling error patterns of individuals with ASD
to those of typically developing individuals and to examine correlations between spelling ability
and achievement in reading and math in these groups. The WJ-III was given to individuals with
ASD and a control group of typically developing individuals matched by age, gender, and
ethnicity. Spellings were analyzed using the CSSS in order to analyze broad patterns of spelling
error types. Correlations were found between spelling ability and reading and math achievement
and differences in spelling error type were noted.
Fast Stimulus Rate Electrocochleography and Auditory Brainstem Response Using
Continuous Loop Averaging Deconvolution in Normal Individuals and Ménière’s Patients
Samantha Dixon, Audiology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Wafaa Kaf, M.D., Ph.D., CCC-A
The purpose of the study is to provide normative data for fast stimulus rate ECochG and ABR
using the CLAD technique, and to provide pilot data for Ménière’s disease. Extra-tympanic
ECochG and ABR were recorded simultaneously using a 2-channel recording at 85 dB nHL with
alternating polarity using fast click rates ranging from 7.1 to 507 clicks/second in 21 healthy
adults and 3 Ménière’s patients. The averaged SP, AP, and ABR waves I, III, and V amplitudes
and latencies, and SP/AP amplitude ratio, were compared within subjects as a function of rate,
and then compared between groups. Normative data showed an increase in latency and decrease
in amplitude with increasing rate for AP and waves I, III, and V. However, the SP latency and
amplitude remained stable with increasing rate. Similar trends were found for the Ménière’s
patients, except AP latency was more prolonged (increased 0.70 ms from 7.1/s to 507/s)
compared to the increased 0.39 ms in the normative group. This study provides normative data
for CLAD ECochG and ABR. Due to the AP and ABR wave I increased latencies for the
Ménière’s patients, it would be feasible to further investigate these differences with a larger
sample size of Ménière’s patients.
The Effect of Poly (Ethylene Glycols)-Block-Poly (Amido Amine) Dendrimers on the
Conformation of DNA
Xiaozheng Dou, Chemistry
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Reza Sedaghat-Herati
Dendrimers are highly branched macromolecules that are prepared in a controlled, iterative
fashion. Due to the high connectivity of their repeating units, resulting in globular structures,
these highly branched polymers exhibit unique properties and have been extensively investigated
in applications such as sensors, catalysts, MRI contrasting agents, gene delivery, and drug
delivery. In this work, we have prepared a series of dendrimers containing poly(ethylene glycol)
(PEG) as one block and a poly(amido amine) dendron as the other block and have investigated
the effect of the dendrimers on the conformation of DNA. Nuclear magnetic resonance
spectroscopy (Proton, phosphorus, and NOESY NMR) and circular dichroism were utilized to
explore the interaction of the DNA. The effect of the dendrimers on the conformation of DNA
was studied by circular dichroism.
A Quantitative Study on the Effects of Family Caregiver Burden when Caring for the
Terminally Ill
Amanda Douglas, Social Work
Poster Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Beverly Long
Caregiver burden is a significant concern due to the variety of ways family caregivers can be
affected by this demanding role. The mental health aspect of caregiver burnout is a significant
issue due to its effect on the caregiver’s ability to function and adequately care for another
human being. The daily stressors of this role contribute to caregiver burden. Often times,
symptoms of caregiver burden go ignored. The purpose of the Caregiver Burden Study is to
explore the mental health effects of caregiver burden when they are providing care for their
terminally ill family member. This study measured the symptoms of caregiver distress to help
determine the prevalence of caregiver burden. This research study will provide valuable
information regarding the impact of caregiving and the effect it has on the caregiver's quality of
Earth Science Activities Designed to Improve High School Student Comprehension
Justin Drane, Natural and Applied Science
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Melida Gutierrez, Kevin Mickus, Janice Greene
According to, who retrieves information from the U.S. Department of
Education’s National Center of Education Statistics, graduates in geological and earth sciences
have lower numbers of yearly graduates than other science areas, yet average a higher starting
salary. Geology is a difficult subject to actively engage students. The Projects are educational
resources designed to engage student in the K-12 classroom. Founded by educational councils
seeking to develop unbiased, educationally sound programs, Project WET, Project Wild and
Project Learning Tree offer educators a range of hands-on, investigative activities that promote
higher order thinking and problem solving skills. Although these Projects embrace all areas of
science, finding activities related to earth science is challenging. I became a certified facilitator
of the Projects to gain an understanding of the activities. I will use the Projects template to create
an activity or modify a pre-existing Project activity to meet the needs of improving the students’
comprehension. My goal is to highlight the importance of both hands-on science and earth
science education, while compiling earth science activities which include: the rock cycle, plate
tectonics, groundwater filtration, paleomagnetism, and the nitrogen cycle.
The Effect Phonics-Based Early Reading Intervention has on Language for Preschool
Children Who Have Hearing Loss
Caitlyn Duckworth, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Letitia White
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a combination of reading instruction
on the language development of three preschool students, ages 3-5, who have hearing loss.
Intervention was implemented in two forms for nine months. Group intervention was
implemented by multiple interventionists through instruction based on the Reading Mastery I
curriculum while using Visual Phonics as a supporting reading instruction tool. Individual
intervention was implemented by the researcher in a one-on-one setting, for ten to twenty
minutes once a week, focused on lessons from the Early Reading Tutor (ERT) program.
Language samples were randomly collected once a month for each student during group and
individual settings. The Cottage Acquisition Scales of Listening Language and Speech
(CASLLS) assessment was used to analyze each language sample. A Mean Length of Utterance
(MLU) calculation was also completed for each language sample and analyzed. Results indicate
that each participant's language development improved over the nine-month period at a similar
rate. This study found that a combination of reading instruction may have positively impacted
the three participant’s language development over the nine-month intervention.
Social Status, Conscientiousness, and Social Empathy
Kelly Dudley, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michele Day
As America becomes more socially segregated, the isolation between stratified groups continues
to increase. Adults high in the Big Five personality trait of conscientiousness experience greater
career success, with the accompanying increased social and economic power. An inverse
relationship between social status and social empathy is often implied in mainstream media. The
actual connection between these three constructs is unknown. This quantitative study explored
the relationship between conscientiousness, social empathy, and social status. Participants (n =
283) recruited via social media completed an anonymous online survey. The “Human Relations”
survey was comprised of the Interpersonal and Social Empathy Index (ISEI), nine questions from
the Big Five Inventory (BFI), and the Barratt Simplified Measure of Social Status (BSMSS).
Data was analyzed using a moderated regression model. The hypothesis, stating
conscientiousness will moderate the relationship between social status and social empathy, was
not supported. However, conscientiousness does moderate the relationship of social status and
self other awareness (p = .0026). This finding suggests conscientious individuals occupying low
levels of social status will display increased levels of self other awareness.
Hybridization and Gene-flow Potential in Squash Species (Cucurbita)
Logan Duncan, Plant Science
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Chen-Feng Hwang, Dr. Mark Campbell, Clayton Dillavou
The mating of two closely related species, known as interspecific hybridization, occurs
frequently in the plant kingdom. Interspecific hybridization is an essential tool for the plant
breeder, as it facilitates the production of superior varieties, via the transfer of agriculturally
important genes from one species to another. Cucurbita maxima has excellent vigor and eating
quality compared to other squash species, but without proper cultivation C. maxima is severely
damaged by insects, diseases, and drought. The hybridization potential of C. maxima was
assessed by preforming controlled, reciprocal crosses with six additional Cucurbita spp. in the
summers of 2012 and 2014. Seeds were collected from the resulting crosses, and embryo
development was evaluated. Viable F1s were assessed on their phenotype, and ability to produce
subsequent generations in the summers of 2013 and 2014. The results of this study indicate
Cucurbita lundelliana, a wild species originating from Central America, as a possible candidate
to improve C. maxima via interspecific hybridization.
Underemployment among Hispanic Immigrants and their Family Health
Marc Ehlers, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michelle Day
The aim of the study was to analyze employment issues such as underemployment and
unemployment of Hispanic immigrants in the Springfield area, Missouri, and their family health.
The research hypothesis was that employment issues correlate with family health in a negative
way. The qualitative study was conducted with a total of eight families. The study was a mixed
method study, consisting of a qualitative interview section and a quantitative questionnaire. The
Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire Short Form (Q-LES-QSF) was used as
the quantitative instrument. The scores give an overview of how the participant felt over the
course of the past thirty days. The researcher did a content analysis with the collected data of the
interviews. The participants reported struggling with reliable transportation. They were also
confronted with stereotypes when applying for work. As a major obstacle the participants listed
not knowing adequate English language skills. Focus should be on connecting immigrants to
English as Second Language (ESL) courses and educating the community on benefits of
immigratns. An expansion and improvement of public transportation can help alleviate
transportation issues. Keywords: Employment issues, immigration, Hispanic immigrants, family
Gd-Doped Inp/Zns Quantum Dots for Theranostic Applications
Matthew Ellis, Chemistry
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Katye Fichter
Nanocrystal nanoparticles are attractive tools for many biomedical applications due to their small
size and ability to be functionalized with biomolecules for interaction with biological systems.
Specifically, InP-based quantum dots (QDs) are intriguing for uses in biomedical applications
because of their relatively low toxicity compared to potentially toxic cadmium-containing QDs,
and their high fluorescence intensity. The aim of this research is to further optimize InP QDs by
introducing MRI-active metals, (e.g. Gadolinium), into the lattice, creating nanocrystals capable
of multi-modality imaging. These QDs are observable using fluorescence and electron beam
imaging, as well as magnetic resonance imaging. Herein, we demonstrate the synthesis of
nanoparticle theranostics for use as tools to investigate diseases of the nervous system.
Apps in Speech and Language Development for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard Of
Lauren Essmyer, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Co-presenter: Lyndsey Vaughan
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Letitia White
In recent years the rapid increase in the development of technology has played a significant role
in the field of education. With the expansion of applications the IPad is one of the most popular
educational tools in the classroom. This helps increase differentiated learning strategies in order
to teach students with different learning styles. Resources were compiled and a web page was
created to demonstrate how technology can stimulate and increase the development speech and
language skills of Children who are Deaf and/or hard of hearing.
The Effect of Stream Habitat and Water Quality on Growth and Population Structure of
Madtom Catfishes
Makayla Exner, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Beckman
I investigated the effect of stream habitat and water quality on the growth rate and population
structure of madtom catfishes (Noturus albater and Noturus exilis). Age composition of a
population can show much about its basic life-history, predict longevity, and determine age of
maturity (Everhart and Youngs 1989). Population structure and growth rates can show how the
fish react to differences in habitat, including water-quality and other environmental changes
(Beckman and Hutson 2012). Samples of madtoms (n=20) were taken from different locations on
Bull and Swan Creeks (20 total sites) by kick-seining and electroshocking. Each site was
sampled once during the spring/summer of 2014. Physiochemical tests (total nitrogen,
phosphorus, chloride, and pH) were performed, along with an assessment of the physical habitat
(Dissolved oxygen, temperature, substrate size, and site location). The fish were be euthanized
on site (with IACUC approval) and the whole otolith was used to determine age. The age and
population structure of madtoms collected were compared to the physical habitat,
physiochemical variables and an Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) of macroinvertebrates. It was
determined that sites with lower IBI scores (indicating better water quality) had significantly
(p<0.0005) higher growth rates and average ages.
Systemic Insulin Sensitivity and Skeletal Muscle AKT Signaling in Rats Artificially
Selected for Low Intrinsic Aerobic Capacity
Kyle Fulghum, Cell and Molecular Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: R Tyler Morris, PhD.
The mechanism(s) linking physical inactivity, obesity, and type-II diabetes is unclear. We
hypothesized that low intrinsic aerobic capacity promotes systemic insulin resistance via skeletal
muscle insulin signaling. After 34 generations of selective breeding, high aerobic capacity
(HCR) rats (n=14) exhibited a 10-fold elevation in endurance running distance vs low aerobic
capacity (LCR) rats (n=14). LCR rats had higher rates of weight gain vs HCR (p<0.05) though
food consumption was constant (p=0.86) over a 12-week study. Rats were divided into 4 groups:
1) LCR-Sham Surgery, 2) LCR-Catheterization, 3) HCR-Sham Surgery or 4) HCRCatheterization (n=7 per group). Euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamps on catheterized rats
tested insulin sensitivity while sham rats were used for basal tissue analysis. Plasma insulin
during the clamp did not vary between groups at t=0 min and t=120 min. LCR rats (n=3)
required lower glucose infusion rates vs HCR (n=5, p<0.05). Soleus muscle of LCR and HCR
groups displayed similar phospho-Akt(Ser473) in basal (n=4-7) and insulin-stimulated groups
(n=3-5). These data support that LCR is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity in vivo vs
HCR and that inborn aerobic capacity does not influence skeletal muscle phospho-Akt(Ser473).
This suggests alternative mechanisms of insulin resistance in LCR rats.
Systemic Insulin Sensitivity and Skeletal Muscle AKT Signaling in Rats Artificially
Selected for Low Intrinsic Aerobic Capacity
Kyle Fulghum, Cell and Molecular Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Tyler Morris
The mechanism(s) linking physical inactivity, obesity, and type-II diabetes is unclear. We
hypothesized that low intrinsic aerobic capacity promotes systemic insulin resistance via skeletal
muscle insulin signaling. After 34 generations of selective breeding, high aerobic capacity
(HCR) rats (n=14) exhibited a 10-fold elevation in endurance running distance vs low aerobic
capacity (LCR) rats (n=14). LCR rats had higher rates of weight gain vs HCR (p<0.05) though
food consumption was constant (p=0.86) over a 12-week study. Rats were divided into 4 groups:
1) LCR-Sham Surgery, 2) LCR-Catheterization, 3) HCR-Sham Surgery or 4) HCRCatheterization (n=7 per group). Euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamps on catheterized rats
tested insulin sensitivity while sham rats were used for basal tissue analysis. Plasma insulin
during the clamp did not vary between groups at t=0 min and t=120 min. LCR rats (n=3)
required lower glucose infusion rates vs HCR (n=5, p<0.05). Upon insulin stimulation, both
absolute and normalized phospho-Akt(Ser473) of soleus muscle were significantly increased in
HCR, but not in LCR. Thus, skeletal muscle phospho-Akt(Ser473) is impaired in rats with low
aerobic capacity. These data support that LCR is associated with a reduction in insulin sensitivity
in vivo and decreased skeletal muscle phospho-Akt(Ser473) vs HCR
A Quantitative Study of the Relationship between Exercise and Compassion Satisfaction
among Mental Health Professionals
Jennifer Fulton, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Beverly Long
The purpose of this study was to examine if there is a relationship between exercise and reported
levels of compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress among mental health
professionals. The researcher hypothesized that participants who exercise would have higher
levels of compassion satisfaction and lower levels or burnout and secondary traumatic stress.
Participants completed a survey on basic demographic information and exercise habits and
completed the Pro-QOL survey. 57 people participated that were all mental health professionals
with either a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree. The results did not find a significant
relationship between exercise and higher compassion fatigue or lower burnout and stress. Further
research should be done with a larger sample size and an altered demographic and exercise
A Quantitative Study on Job Satisfaction and Rates of Burnout among Social Service
Beverly Furstenberg, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Beverly A. Long
This study investigated rates of job satisfaction and burnout among social service(s) providers
for the purpose of determining if there was a relationship between the two variables. The
research question asked if there is a relationship between low job satisfaction and higher rates of
burnout among social services providers. The researcher administered the Job Satisfaction
Survey created by Paul E. Spector, online, to assess job satisfaction and to gather key
demographic data. The researcher made the ten minute online survey accessible for a total of six
weeks and administered it through the use of email and social media (Facebook). The researcher
analyzed the results using the specific directions created for analysis by the survey's creator. The
overall average of job satisfaction for 60 respondents equated to 140.3, including both male and
female participants. The data from this research project reiterates that job satisfaction and
burnout can greatly impact each other and that burnout is common in the helping professions, as
evidenced in the social service(s) industry. This research project concludes there may be a
relationship between job satisfaction and burnout but cannot accurately say to what extent.
Yeast Dynamin and Clathrin Interaction
Shiva Kumar Goud Gadila, Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kyoungtae Kim
Vps1 (Vacuole protein sorting 1) is a dynamin-like protein in yeast. Payne lab from California
previously showed evidence that Vps1’s physiological function is linked to clathrin. Our
working hypothesis is that Vps1 physically interacts with clathrin and functions as a membrane
remodeling agent at the trans-Golgi network (TGN). In agreement with this hypothesis, we found
that Vps1 colocalizes with clathrin and other late Golgi markers, including Sec7. Loss of Vps1
resulted in a mislocalization of clathrin, but not Gga1 adaptor, to the late endosome and to the
vacuolar rim. Furthermore, we found the mean numbers of late Golgi in vps1 mutant cells were
drastically increased. Our Yeast-two hybrid assay revealed that Vps1 binds to the C-terminal
region of clathrin. The potential membrane remodeling activity-mediated by Vps1 will be
investigated in the near future.
Interactions among Invasive Species in Lakes: A Mesocosm Experiment
Adrienne Gemberling, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. John Havel
Three widespread invasive species in the midwestern US are rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus,
RC), banded mystery snails (Viviparus georgianus, BMS), and Eurasian water-milfoil
(Myriophyllum spicatum, EWM), species that commonly co-occur in Wisconsin lakes. All three
of these species can be very abundant and two (EWM and RC) are known to be individually
damaging. The current study evaluated the impacts and interactions between these three invaders
on native communities. We conducted a three-factor split-plot experiment to simulate the effects
of all possible combinations of these invaders. During summer 2014, we manipulated presence
or absence of BMS, EWM and RC in 12 partitioned outdoor tanks (2.1 m3). Response variables
included species-specific biomass of native and invasive plants and native and invasive snails, as
well as algae growth and nutrient concentrations. RC had significant negative impacts on 5 of 6
native plant species by clipping and 2 by direct consumption. EWM, however, was minimally
impacted. Overall, our results indicate that RC has strong negative effects on native
communities, whereas BMS and EWM do not. Furthermore, RC may be facilitating the spread of
EWM within lakes by eliminating competition from native species and by fragmentation and
subsequent regrowth of EWM.
Comparison of Language-Literacy Profiles in Students With and Without Autism
Elizabeth Gross, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Co-Presenter: Meghan Buschjost
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Julie Masterson, Ph.D
Previous research shows a correlation between oral language and overall achievement in
typically developing individuals. It has also been reported that individuals with Autism Spectrum
Disorder (ASD) exhibit difficulties regarding literacy, however, minimal research has been
conducted regarding the specific relationships between oral language and achievement in the
individuals. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to collect oral language and overall
achievement scores in order to describe the relationship between oral language and overall
achievement in individuals with and without ASD. To achieve this, the Woodcock-Johnson III
Normative Update Tests of Achievement (WJ-III) was administered to individuals with ASD and
a control group consisting of typically developing individuals, matched by age, gender, and
ethnicity. Measures of spelling, oral language, reading, and math were compared and results
indicated variations among correlations when groups were divided based on ethnicity and
presence/absence of ASD.
Omnipresent War and the Blurred Lines between Life and Death in Sinan Antoon’s The
Corpse Washer
Zahraa Habeeb, English
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Matthew Calihman
War, commonly known as a mass producer of death, happens to be a “familiar visitor” to Iraq.
Iraqis associate war with many horrific experiences and painful memories of losing their loved
ones. The constant presence of war and death has changed the way in which these people view
life and the purpose of living. In his novel The Corpse Washer, the Arab-American poet and
novelist Sinan Antoon offers a glimpse of the tragic physical, emotional, and intellectual
destruction that wars have caused to the country and its people. Antoon’s characters, like their
real-life Iraqi contemporaries, witness roughly three decades of wars over their lifetimes. As a
corpse washer, the protagonist of the novel is a narrator who is able to see, on daily basis, how
and why people are dying. Antoon employs the corpse-washing profession as an imaginative
window through which his reader can perceive the ambiguity of death in Iraq. I argue that his
novel, through its nonlinear narrative and nightmare chapters, demonstrates how the everlasting
series of wars cause the lines between life and death to be less clearly defined for Iraqis, which
leads to their alienated perspective on living and the future. The Corpse Washer shows the
people’s stagnant life and the increasing dispersion of Iraqis from their war-torn homeland.
Individual Differences in Anticipatory Heart Rate and Visual Scanning on a Delayed
Match-To-Sample Task
Jacob Ham, Psychology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. D. Wayne Mitchell
Changes in heart rate (HR) have been found to be an indicator of cognitive processing. It is
hypothesized that during the delay on a Delayed-Match-To-Sample-Task (DMTST), HR should
result in an initial increase as one allocates mental effort to remember the sample stimulus
followed by a systematic decrease in HR prior to the match-to-sample test. The HR during the
delay is referred to as the Anticipatory HR (AHR). It is hypothesized that the magnitude of the
initial increase and subsequent decrease (AHR slope) indicates efficient processing and will
result in a faster response latency (RL)when identifying sample stimuli. Participants were
randomly placed in one of two groups (a 5-second or 10-second delay) where they were
presented with a sample stimulus on a computer screen. A blank screen was then presented for
either 5 or 10 seconds (the delay). The sample stimulus was then presented along with three
similar stimuli. Participants were then asked to identify the original sample stimulus. Four
additional novel trials with the same directions were conducted, and then 5 trials with the same
sample stimulus were conducted. Overall, there was a significant change in AHR across trials,
and there was a significant decrease in RL across trials. The hypothesized AHR function was
supported via subsequent post hoc analyses.
Evaluation of the Electrical Transport Properties of Reduced Graphene Oxide for Next
Generation Electronic Devices
Ariful Haque, Material Science
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Kartik Ghosh
We report the fabrication of large area uniform thin film of reduced graphene oxide (RGO) by
Pulsed Laser Deposition technique for high speed electronic device applications. A number of
structural properties including the degree of reduction, and the average size of sp2 clusters were
investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectra analysis. The temperature dependent
(5K – 350K) electrical transport property measurement confirms variable range hopping and
thermally activated transport mechanism of the charge carrier at low and high temperature
regions respectively. The calculated localization length, density of states near Fermi level, and
hopping energy provide significant information to explain excellent electrical properties in the
RGO films. The charge carrier Hall mobility can be engineered by tuning the growth parameters
and the maximum mobility was found to be 3500 cm2V-1s-1. The broader and quenched
Photoluminescence (PL) spectra explain the presence of miniature sized numerous sp2 clusters
which assist the percolation transportation to attain large charge carrier mobility. Finally, the
interesting correlation with the structural and electrical properties in large area RGO thin film
can prove beneficial for high mobility electronic devices and open a new roadmap for further
research in this versatile material.
Evaluating the Impact of Publicly Shared Narrative Therapy on Self-Esteem for Persons
with Mental Illness
Andrea Harken, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michelle Day
Publicly shared narrative therapy has been used to reduce stigma and educate others about
mental illness and recovery (NAMI, 2012). There is limited research evaluating the impact of
publicly sharing personal stories has on the presenters. This study tested the theory that
participating in publicly shared narrative therapy positively impacts the presenter’s perception of
self-esteem. The treatment group was volunteers who had a diagnosis of mental illness, who
were participating in RESPECT Institute, a publicly shared narrative therapy program. All
subjects were given the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES) (Rosenberg, 1965) at the start of
the study and asked to respond, as they would have prior to entering the RESPECT INSTITUTE
to establish a baseline. All 6 members were given the RSES at the end of the study and were
interviewed about being part of the RESPECT Institute. The small sample size, lack of a control
group, inability to control for subject selection, and potential social desirability bias impacted the
validity of the findings, however it is significant that the RSES showed improvement to selfesteem with an r 0.93 and qualitative interviews confirmed a highly positive connection between
participation in the publicly shared narrative program and participant’s perception of self-esteem.
Is Happiness Linked To Family Play?
Elizabeth Harper, Early Childhood and Family Development
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cemore Brigden
Today’s families are experiencing increased amounts of stress and many are unable to find
healthy ways to help them deal with that stress. Family play has been a proven method for
families to not only deal with stress, but to also help them improve communication and
interactions resulting in stronger, happier relationships. This online survey studied students
enrolled in Early Childhood Education and Child and Family Development classes and examined
their experiences with familial play as well as their perceptions on the relationship between
family play and perceived family happiness and cohesion. Perceptions of family play in
connection to family happiness, individual happiness, and perceived family cohesion were all
Promise Not To Tell: A Child’s Formation of Privacy Boundaries
Brandy Harris, Early Childhood and Family Development
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Joan Test
Children manage privacy on a regular basis. However, the current literature for understanding
privacy and children has just scratched the surface, and there is a need for further exploration.
Using Petronio’s Communication Privacy Management, this study attempts to further articulate
how children manage privacy. Using a qualitative approach, the researcher examined what
motivates children to disclose private information and what qualities children seek in a confidant.
This study used a semi-structured interview process using ten 7 to 9 year old participants, four
male and six female, from a large after-school program in the Midwest. Results indicated that
children are motivated to disclose private information and are able to assess the risk and reward
associated with disclosure. Additionally, results indicated that children identified relationship
type (parent-child), similarity, reciprocity, and trust as desirable traits for confidants. The
findings in this study could assist educators and practitioners in understanding the reasons why
children disclose private information and what makes a trustworthy confidant from the
perspective of children.
Student Identification of Problem Topics in General Chemistry
Michelle Herridge, Chemistry
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gautam Bhattacharyya
Eliciting students’ beliefs regarding difficulty of subject matter in general chemistry can be used
to develop effective instructional tools. I present the results of both qualitative and quantitative
studies conducted in the general chemistry courses at a large, comprehensive Midwestern
university. A survey of students was conducted to determine student perceptions of topic
difficulty. I will then present emergent themes from the qualitative data that will help better
explain student choices.
Downstream Variations in Channel Sediment and Mining-Lead Storage in Flat River
Creek, Old Lead Belt, Missouri
Ralph Hill, Geospatial Sciences in Geography and Geology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Robert Pavlowsky
Tailings are fine-grained wastes created during the mining process that do not have economic
value but may contain toxic metals at levels of environmental concern. Mine waste
contamination management is needed to limit the exposure of wildlife and humans to toxic levels
of metals such as lead (Pb). Stream sediments are an important vector of metal contamination in
mined watersheds, particularly those with a long history of production. Studies in the Big River
Watershed which drains the Old Lead Belt in Missouri indicate the persistence of elevated Pb
levels in channel sediments. The purpose of this research project is to quantify the sediment
volume and Pb mass stored in Flat River Creek (FRC). Research questions to be addressed
include: 1) How do sediment characteristics, sedimentology, and geomorphology affect the
distribution and storage of channel sediment and associated tailings and Pb? 2) How much lead
contaminated sediment is presently stored in FRC in comparison to the amount stored in the Big
River? 3) Where/how should remediation efforts be best aimed to reduce the transport and longterm contamination of Pb-contaminated sediment to the Big River. Presently, two trips to FRC
have been made to collect data. Channel profile data and sediment storage data for 10 km of
FRC have been collected.
Computers in Chemistry: Using Theory to Evaluate the Mode of Action in Forming
Carene-Class Molecules
Jeremy Hines, Chemistry
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Matthew R. Siebert
Gold-catalyzed cycloisomerization reactions can offer access to complex carbocycles that are
difficult or impossible to access via alternative measures. In one such example, gold-catalyzed
cyclization of propargyl acetates was used to synthesize natural products of the carene class in an
efficient and economical way (A. Fuerstner and P. Hannen Chem. Eur. J. 2006, 12, 3006). The
mechanism at play is not well understood but was proposed to proceed through either of two
pathways. In this work, electronic structure calculations (B3LYP and B2PLYP) are carried out to
shed light on the mechanism for this Ohloff-Rautenstrauch rearrangement. Calculations in both
gas- and solution-phase will be described. The minimum energy pathway will be presented along
with the kinetic and thermodynamic preference.
Development of Comprehensive Training Materials for the Computerized Spelling
Sensitivity System (CSSS)
Brandi Hogan, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Julie Masterson
The purpose of this project was to develop comprehensive training materials for the
Computerized Spelling Sensitivity System (CSSS). The Spelling Sensitivity System was
developed by Julie Masterson and Kenn Apel (2007), and the computerized version (CSSS) was
developed in 2010 by Julie Masterson and Brian Hrbec. The SSS was created to mirror the level
of linguistic knowledge demonstrated within a variety of single spellings. The following
linguistic skills were addressed within the SSS: phonemic awareness, orthographic pattern
awareness, morphological awareness, and storage of mental graphemic representations (MGRs).
Development of a computerized version of the SSS allowed for an efficient and reliable system
for parsing, alignment, and analysis of individual spellings. Training materials established for
this program consist of a comprehensive manual and five step-by-step video presentations that
work in conjunction with the manual to create an interactive program for understanding and use.
Magnetic Properties of Cr2O3-CoxCr2-xO3 Core-Shell Nanoparticles
Mohammad Delower Hossain, Materials Science
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert A. Mayanovic
In the present study, the magnetic properties of Co-Cr2O3 nanoparticles with an inverted core
shell structure are analyzed. Co-Cr2O3 (Cr2O3-CoxCr2-xO3) core-shell nanoparticles have been
synthesized using hydrothermal techniques. X-ray diffraction and EDS confirms purity of Co
doping and TEM shows the presence of core shell structure with spherical shape particles.
Raman spectroscopy measurements made in the 88-353 K temperature range shows evidence for
spin-phonon coupling in the nanoparticles. Fitting of the magnon-phonon Raman peak shift with
an appropriate magnetic order parameter shows an increase of the Neél temperature by ~16K
compare to that of bulk Cr2O3. XPS confirms the +3 oxidation state of Cr and the presence of
cobalt in the sample. Magnetic measurements reveal a weak horizontal and prominent vertical
shift of magnetic hysteresis loop which substantiates the exchange bias effect between the
antiferromagnetic core and ferromagnetic shell. A slight increase in coercivity is also observed in
the nanoparticles. Inverse susceptibility measurements confirm the Neél temperature
determination from the Raman peak shift of 323K.
Foreign Policy Decision Making In Iran: 1979 - Present
Himan Hosseini, Global Studies
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. David Romano.
This research examines the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy-making process. In doing
so, it examines four levels of analysis (International, state, societal, and individual levels) and
their impacts upon the IRI’s foreign policy since 1979. The introduction provides a short history
of the 1979-Iranian Revolution and how the IRI was founded. It also touches upon the IRI
Constitution and the basis upon which it was drafted. Then come some definitions of foreign
policy. After that, four levels of analysis taken from Denis Hickey’s book Foreign Policy
Decision Making in Taiwan, which are systemic, state, societal, and individual levels, are applied
to the IRI decision-making process. Using some articles from the IRI constitution and also
historical examples, the article ends with concluding that individual and system levels of analysis
are the best means for analyzing the IRI foreign policy decision making.
Modifying Beliefs through Contact: Peer Perceptions of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Asia Hulse, Psychology
Co-Presenters: Shannon Hayden, Taylor Smith, Jacqueline Byrket, & Adena Young-Jones
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Adena Young-Jones
Openness an individual exhibits toward peers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) correlates
to experience with a first degree relative who has Autism. Many college students without this
diagnosis are unaware of the difficulties peers with ASD have regarding social acceptance and
may make pre-judgments. The current study sought insight concerning a typical college student’s
knowledge of the disorder and possible measures to increase acceptance. Participants were
presented with questionnaires as one survey packet via an online link; these included the Autism
Beliefs Scale (ABS) and a demographic form. A gender by exposure MANOVA was used to
examine differences on the five subscales of the ABS. A main effect of exposure was identified.
Post hoc t-tests comparing exposure groups on the five subscales (ABS) exposed significant
differences on the Personal Knowledge (PK) and Fair Treatment (FT) factors. This resulted in
the exposed group scoring higher in PK and lower in FT when compared with the non-exposed
group. This indicates support for Intergroup Contact Theory since the exposed group exhibited a
greater confidence in their personal knowledge about the disorder and the non-exposed group felt
individuals with ASD were treated more fairly in society; yet, this test did not have sufficient
power to reach statistical significance.
The Middle East Integration
Rikar Hussein, Global Studies
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. David Romano
This paper argues that past and present of Europe can help us a lot in working towards the future
of the Middle East. Just as a warring continent found peace through unity by creating what
became the EU, Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Persians and other groups in the Middle East could find
relative peace in economic cooperation and political détente. After all, most of the problems in
the Middle East such as terrorism, poverty, unemployment, sectarianism, refugee crises, and
water shortages require regional answers. No one country can solve its problems alone.
Moving Past: Making Space for Memory after the Boston Marathon Bombing
Austin Jacobs, Religious Studies
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: John Schmalzbauer
In the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, visitors from across the US and the
world descended on Boston to pay their respects to the victims. Early responses to the tragedy
included running events at the race’s finish line and the formation of a spontaneous shrine at
Copley Square where people displayed items in remembrance of the victims. Later, archivists
and volunteers at Northeastern University created a digital archive to catalogue photographs of
these items as well as stories of people’s experiences of the bombing. The public
commemorated the tragedy in multiple and diffuse spaces, both physical and virtual. In
recognition of this fact, I use the changing location of the spontaneous shrine as an organizing
structure for this study, analyzing the memorialization in three “movements,” each of which
corresponds to a physical relocation of the shrine itself in the weeks following the tragedy.
Conducting interviews with runners who were present for the 2013 Boston Marathon and
analyzing contributions to the digital archive, I argue that bodily movement is the defining
characteristic of the Boston Marathon memorialization process, and the ways that this movement
is performed, depicted, and interpreted shed light on the changing nature of responses to tragedy
in twenty-first-century America.
A Qualitative Investigation of Conceptualizations of Love and Attachment Styles in Adults
Raised Without Their Biological Parents
Jennifer Jeffries, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Beverly Long
While children are generally presumed to benefit from the active involvement of one or more
parental figures, foster/substitute parents themselves also reap relational rewards as a result of
their connection to the children. Given the increased prevalence and presumed value of foster
parent-child relationships, it is imperative that researchers explore the ways in which these
relationships are established, maintained, and influenced by individual, familial, and social
factors. Using grounded theory, I explored how children who were raised without either
biological parent, negotiated and maintained relationships with their caretakers (i.e., caretakers
who did not have the children biologically but raised them since birth or early childhood) and
how they felt love and approval or the lack thereof. The sample included 11 children raised
without a biological parent (M age = 30.8). More than half of the caregiver/child relationships (n
= 7/11) were described as not emotionally close and supportive. These children reported feeling
unaccepted and unloved while growing up. Relationships varied as a result of individual and
familial factors. Keywords: love, acceptance/approval, security, grounded theory
Exploring Moral Language: A Validation of the Moral Foundation Dictionary
Kayla Jordan, Psychology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Erin Buchanan
Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) states that moral thinking relies on five foundations:
harm/care, fairness/reciprocity, ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity (Haidt,
2012). Graham, Haidt, and Nosek (2009) developed a dictionary to measure endorsement of
moral concerns in writing. They found that liberals tended to use more words related to the
harm/care and fairness/reciprocity foundations, and conservatives tended to use more words
related to authority/respect and purity/sanctity. Liberal ministers unexpectedly used more
ingroup/loyalty words. Only one other study has made use of the moral foundations dictionary.
Given the sparse research of the moral foundations dictionary, the purpose of the current study is
to validate the moral foundation dictionary using the moral foundations questionnaire (MFQ).
Participants were recruited through participant pool at Midwestern public university. One
hundred and sixty participants completed the study. Participants were randomly assigned to one
of four writing prompts about moral topics, and then were asked to complete the MFQ. The
average word count was 278. The total number of moral words used was 376. Preliminary testing
using multi-trait, multi-method (MTMM) analysis indicated that the MFD and MFQ could be
unique measures of the same construct.
Erbium (III) Tetraphenylporphyrin-Based Ion Selective Electrodes
Alicia Kane, Chemistry
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Erich Steinle
Ion selective electrodes (ISEs) are a cost effective and convenient method for determining an
ion’s concentration in a solution. My research will build upon previous work using erbium
tetraphenylporphyrin (Er-TPP)-based membranes in ISEs, which has demonstrated that the
incorporation of a cationic additive increases the selectivity of the membrane toward the target
anion. For this presentation, a similar membrane with an anionic additive is utilized in order to
evaluate the carrier mechanism the membrane uses to interact with the analyte ion. Thus far, the
Er-TPP ISEs have been used to measure concentrations in single component, buffered solutions.
In order to evaluate the commercial applicability of these membranes, a second component of
this presentation will use the ISEs to measure the concentration of analytes in a mixture,
specifically benzoate in soda and salicylate in Excedrin®, and compare these results to those
obtained using HPLC.
Structural and Optical Characterizations of Vertically Aligned Zinc Oxide (Vazno)
Nanostructures By Pulsed Laser Deposition
Priyanka Karnati, Materials Science
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kartik Ghosh
ZnO is an n-type semiconductor having a large band gap of 3.37eV and is extensively studied
owing to its unique optoelectronic properties. A regular array of VAZnO nanorods is potentially
useful for vertical electronic device fabrication including solar cells and light emitting diodes.
This study involves growth of the VAZnO nanorods of diameter 50 - 500nm on different
substrates by pulse laser deposition technique without a catalyst using relatively high pressure
(0.2 Torr) and substrate temperature of 500°C. Based on this the condensation of the ablated
particles may play a major role in the growth of nanorods. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron
microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and photoluminescence studies are done to characterize these
exclusive vertically aligned nanostructures. Two sharp ZnO (002) and (004) peaks dominate the
diffraction pattern with high intensity consistent with the ZnO nanorods that are principally
oriented along the c-axis. SEM imaging indicate a regular arrangement of the vertically aligned
hexagonal closed pack nano structure of ZnO. Molecular dynamics software LAMMPS was used
to understand the stability of the ZnO nanorods.This unique and elegant process of architecting
vertical oxide semiconductors will favor better design of nanostructures for energy applications.
Awareness, Utilization, Benefits and Barriers to Life Review
Monica Koetters, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Malikah Marrus
The need for appropriate and effective non pharmacological interventions among the geriatric
population is imperative as the elderly population grows. The significant benefits of using life
review as a non pharmacological intervention are well documented. Research shows life review
with elderly can promote mental heath and well-being through the act of reminiscence. The
purpose of this exploratory study was to identify awareness, utilization, benefits and barriers of
the use of life review by health care workers in skilled nursing facilities and hospice care
agencies within Southwest Missouri. Participants (n=30)were recruited via phone interviews and
asked to participate in a survey. The survey used was a two part survey. The first part of the
survey was quantitative and asked ten yes/no questions regarding awareness, and/or utilization of
life review. The qualitative portion of the survey consisted of five questions regarding benefits,
barriers, training, marketing and screening tools used. Results from the study reveal benefits &
barriers of life review as voice was given to those in health care working with elderly in skilled
nursing facilities and hospice care agencies. Opportunities for furthering education will also be
Ranavirus Surveillance in a Turtle Community Following Population Declines
Jay Krystyniak, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Day B. Ligon, Paul B. Schweiger
Many seemingly enigmatic amphibian declines occurred in pristine environments in the 1980s.
Most of these declines were later attributed to infectious diseases such as chytridiomycosis and
ranavirus. In addition to its impacts on amphibians, ranavirus is an emerging infectious disease
that has been identified as a causative agent in population declines of several terrestrial
chelonians. Although clinical effects of ranavirus have been demonstrated in some aquatic
turtles, no instances of ranavirus affecting natural populations have been reported. Sequoyah
National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma has historically supported a robust turtle community.
However, community monitoring studies have determined that the aquatic turtle community
declined precipitously with no obvious causes. This decline likely occurred in 2004–05. The
purpose of our study was to determine the extent of decline in the turtle community and
determine ranavirus prevalence across the community as a possible causative factor in the
decline. After the decline, the turtle community expressed a very low prevalence of ranavirus,
with only one individual red-eared slider testing positive out of a total of 139 turtles tested. The
individual that tested positive displayed no clinical symptoms, indicating that red-eared sliders
may be acting as a reservoir for ranavirus.
Plugging the Leaks: A Study of Drinking Water Loss, Aging Infrastructure and the
Economic Impacts of Both
Jerry D Kendall, Public Administration
Poster Board Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Patrick Scott
Communities are witnessing the increase of water rates while simultaneously; the average rates
of water loss in public drinking water systems are increasing. This inverse relationship should
come as no surprise. For a variety of reasons, inefficiencies in aging water supply systems are
driving up the cost of supplying a unit of treated water. The loss has a negative effect on many
aspects of the American socio-economic fabric and as supply lines decline with age. There is an
equally damaging impact upon Missouri’s state and local governments as water, a finite
resource, becomes harder and more expensive to deliver to the consumer every year. This report
makes the valid argument that local governments, whether in the form of municipalities or water
districts, must repair water leaks and implement water conservation efforts using various means,
sooner than later. Further, water purveyors will realize economic growth and create jobs as a
result of proactive policies.
Underwater and Undetected: Aquatic Respiratory Capacity of Two Freshwater Turtles
Carolyn Kupec, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Day Ligon
Aquatic turtles vary widely in their capacity to remain submerged in water for extended periods.
Remaining submerged has many benefits; however turtles classically rely on aerial respiration
across pulmonary surfaces to support metabolic demands. To support prolonged diving bouts,
some species engage in aquatic gas exchange across non-traditional respiratory surfaces,
including skin, oral and buccal surfaces. In general, ecology tends to trump phylogeny in
predicting species’ capacity for aquatic respiration; therefore, highly aquatic species that are
seemingly ill-suited for aquatic respiration warrant extra scrutiny. To this end, we compared gas
exchange pathways between Razorback Musk Turtles (RMT) and Alligator Snapping Turtles
(AST), both highly aquatic denizens of rivers. However, despite ecological similarities one
species, RMTs, is morphologically suited to aquatic respiration whereas ASTs—at least
superficially—are not. Oxygen consumption rates in air and water were measured to determine
the fraction of gas exchange requirements that could be supported by non-pulmonary surfaces.
Measurements were conducted over a range of temperatures to determine whether there was a
threshold below which metabolic demands could be wholly supported via aquatic respiration.
We found that both species are capable of cutaneous respiration but RMTs have a greater
capacity than ASTs.
Binaural Interference in Normal Hearing Ten-Year-Olds: Normative Data
Lindsay Lad, Audiology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Rose Allen, Ph.D.
The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of binaural interference in twenty 10year-old children as well as collect normative data for this age group. Binaural interference, the
phenomenon in which the performance of the poorer ear interferes with that of the better ear, has
been known to occur in older hearing aid users and at least one child who have experienced an
extended period of auditory deprivation. In the present study, five different tests were
administered: the speech recognition threshold (SRT), the word recognition score (WRS), the
Bamford-Kowal-Bench – Speech-in-Noise (BKB-SIN) test, the masking level difference (MLD)
test, and the pitch pattern test (PPT). The SRT, WRS, and BKB-SIN tests were presented in the
monaural left, monaural right, and the binaural conditions. The MLD and PPT were presented in
the binaural condition. Binaural interference was not found on any test in this participant group
of 10-year-old children. Although not statistically significant, a binaural advantage was noted on
the SRT and the BKB-SIN tests. Further studies are needed to determine the prevalence of
binaural interference among a wider age range of children, those with central auditory processing
disorders as well children with hearing impairments.
Determining ANL Reliability When Obtained with the Method of Constant Stimuli
Samantha LaForte, Audiology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: T. Clay Franklin, Ph.D.
The ANL test has been demonstrated to be a reliable method of predicting success of hearing aid
use. The predictive ability of the test may be increased by standardizing the procedure by which
the ANL is determined. The present study was conducted to investigate whether the ANL can be
reliably obtained using the method of constant stimuli. Twenty normal hearing listeners' ANLs
were determined by using a numeric rating scale to judge the acceptability of background noise
while listening to running speech. Results indicated that the average clinical BNL was
statistically similar to a numeric descriptor from a scale developed for this investigation. The
present study demonstrates that using an ordinal scale to rate the acceptance of background noise
is a reliable way to perform the ANL procedure.
Donne's Denouement: Sickness, Recovery, and Calvinist Election
Mary Lutze, English
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. James Baumlin
In an era fraught with religious turbulence and anti-Catholic sentiment, John Donne inherited a
legacy of stalwart Roman Catholicism. Donne famously left the church of his forefathers and
became a chaplain in the Anglican Church. The debate of whether or not Donne came to fully
accept the tenants of the church he represented is still underway, and this paper joins the
discussion. The rhetoric of John Donne’s works, written near death– specifically “A Hymn to
God the Father,” “Death’s Duell,” and Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions – utilize nautical
terminology, which indicate a spiritual voyage across oceans of religious doubt. Donne’s
different works indicate various stages in the journey. “Death’s Duell,” Donne’s final sermon,
reveals his adoption of Anglican election principles and indicates his own salvific assurance. As
he neared the end of his life, Donne clearly reached the end of his spiritual journey and arrived in
the safe harbor of plerophoria.
Effect of Tumor Necrosis Factor-a Converting Enzyme Inhibition during Acute Colitis in
Brian Maddox, Cell and Molecular Biology
Co-Presenter: James Norris
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Tyler Morris
Tumor Necrosis Factor-a Converting Enzyme (TACE) induces active TNFa and may contribute
to the development of colitis in humans. We hypothesized that pharmacological blockade of
TNFa production would improve colitis scoring through decreased expression of inflammatory
biomarkers. Acute colitis was induced in wild type Balb/c mice using 5% dextran sulfate sodium
(DSS) in drinking water for 7 days. TACE inhibition was accomplished through twice daily
intraperitoneal injection of DPC-333 (10mg/kg; BSM Inc.) To determine the effects of TACE
blockade during colitis, the following experimental groups (n=6-7/group) were tested: 1) vehicle;
2) DPC-333; 3) 5% DSS and vehicle; and 4) 5% DSS and DPC-333. Twice daily TACE
inhibition did not significantly improve overall colitis scoring index as determined by the
presence of diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and percent weight loss. TNFa, IL-6, Il-1ß, IL-10, and
MPO in regional colon tissue were not reduced following DPC-333 in this model (p>0.05). Thus,
TACE inhibition does not reduce colitis scoring, TNFa production, or other biomarkers of
inflammation at local sites of inflammation during mouse colitis. These observations contrast a
previously tested systemic inflammation model (LPS).
Vps1 In Action With The Membrane Fusion Machinery At The Late Golgi
Pelin Makraci, Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kyoungtae Kim
Membrane recycling is an important cellular process required for proper maintenance of the cell.
Though lines of evidence showed that Vps1 is implicated in protein recycling from early
endosome to the late Golgi, the detailed function of Vps1 in this pathway is unknown. Using
yeast two hybrid assay, the present study reveals that Vps1 physically interacts with Ypt6, a
master GTPase protein in this pathway, and Vps51, a component of GARP tethering complex.
These results suggest that Vps1 may play a role in the stage of vesicle tethering and possibly in
the subsequent step for membrane fusion at the late Golgi. The possibility of Vps1’s interaction
with SNARE complex and its potential role in vesicle fusion at the late Golgi is under
Hafnium Based High-K Thin Film as Dielectric for Future CMOS Technology
Md Abdullah-Al Mamun, Materials Science
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kartik C. Ghosh
Thin films of high-k oxides are presently used in CMOS technology as gate dielectrics. For
better performance the dielectric constant of the film should be higher with a reasonable bandgap. The film must be smooth & amorphous with low leakage current & high crystallization
temperature. Almost every industries use ?SiO?_2 as the dielectric due to its cheapness &
reliable properties. As devices approach the sub-45 nm scale, the EOT of the traditional ?SiO?_2
dielectrics are required to be smaller than 1 nm. But such smaller-thick silicon dioxide yields
high leakage current due to tunneling effect. Also, the other properties vary from the expected
margin. To compensate those limitations thin films were deposited onto Al/glass substrate by
Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) using the Hf-target to make HfAl_x O_y layer for dielectric. The
growth temperature and number of pulses were varied to make different. Optimal growth
parameters were selected for the maximum smoothness, amorphous structure, low leakage
current and high dielectric strength required gate applications. Electrical properties of the films
directed to high quality films.
Are Norton And Cynthiana Synonyms? A Genome-Wide Comparative Assessment Using
Microsatellite Markers
Mia Mann, Plant Science
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Chin-Feng Hwang
This study utilized molecular markers, or microsatellites, to comparatively assess the two Vitis
aestivalis-derived cultivars Norton and Cynthiana from Missouri and Arkansas, respectively.
Although isozyme analysis in 1993 provided preliminary evidence that Noron and Cynthiana are
genetically identical, only five banding patterns were reported. This study characterized the
relationship between these two cultivars using microsatellites, a simple and efficient procedure
for genome-wide analysis. Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs), are one of the
most popular sources of genetic markers and play a significant role in plant genetics and
breeding. They present the advantage of being PCR-derived, co-dominant, highly polymorphic
and have proven their usefulness for the genetic analysis of a heterozygous species like grape.
Microsatellite markers were tested on four accessions of Norton and three accessions of
Cynthiana. Markers were also tested on Cabernet Sauvignon, a V. vinifera cultivar used as the
control. Capillary array electrophoresis results revealed Norton and Cynthiana to be identical at
all chromosomes.
The Roles, Functions, and Perceptions of Code Switching Among Kindergarten English
Language Learners at a Rural Southwest Missouri Primary School
Dana Maple, Teaching
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Eric Sheffield, Jennifer Jensen
The oral communication of English Language Learners in the school setting can include code
switching, the use of two languages in discourse, which involves bilinguals mixing their first and
second languages. This qualitative study is designed to gain insight into the role code switching
plays in the interactions of 26 kindergarten English Language Learners at a rural southwest
Missouri primary school, in an effort to inform educational approaches and instructional design.
Data was collected in the form of teacher interviews and field notes taken during active
participant observations and privileged active participant observations of student participants in
the school setting. Thematic coding of the data was used to identify reoccurring themes,
patterns, and characteristics of code switching among kindergarten English Language Learners.
The student subjects were observed to engage in code switching primarily during social
interactions with bilingual peers and during instructional interactions with bilingual educators.
Students with low oral English proficiency were observed to code switch more frequently than
those with higher English proficiency. Teachers reported observing their students code switch to
achieve basic communication amid a lack of vocabulary or communicative competence in
Gang and Non-gang Youths' Perceptions of Street Gangs in Springfield, Missouri
Elizabeth Martin, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michele Day
The purpose of this study is to explore the differing perception that gang and non-gang street
youth have about gangs in Springfield. It was a qualitative posttest only design. Ten street
youth were be asked to participate in an interview with the researcher. The number of youth
participating will be divided evenly between gang and non-gang youth. The initial audiorecorded interview will be lead by an interview guide of questions based on common topics from
gang research, gang interventions programs, and an interview with a community expert. The
interview includes questions surrounding the youths’ perceptions on the levels of gang
involvement present in Springfield and the extent in which they believe the involvement plays in
violence, trafficking, and crime. Member checking was done after a content analysis was done
to analyze the results of the interviews. Some significant findings were that the gang youth
survey listed more violent crimes and were more likely to say there was nothing that could be
done to prevent gang involvement than their non-gang peers. This may imply that gang youth
perceive gangs as a bigger threat than their non-gang peers, which may be due to a more
exposure to the danger of gangs.
Mismatch Negativity (MMN) Responses to Multiple Features of Speech Stimuli
Lauren Martin, Audiology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Letitia White
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of voice onset time (VOT) and place of
articulation on the mismatch negativity (MMN) in sixteen normal hearing young adults. MMN
latency and amplitude was measured across three conditions. Condition 1 varied VOT (/t? / and
/d?/); condition 2 varied place articulation (/b? / and /d?/); condition 3 varied both VOT and
place of articulation (/d?/ and /p?/). While MMNs were present in group grand averages for all
conditions, condition 3 yielded the largest amplitude and earliest latency. Thus, the condition
that combined multiple features (VOT and place) yielded larger responses than the single feature
Upper Thermal Limits of Juvenile Megalonaias nervosa and Lampsilis siliquoidea in
Ramped Temperature Exposures
Kathryn Martin, Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Chris Barnhart
Flow interruptions and lower water levels allow solar heating to raise water temperature. In
recent years, conflicting conclusions have been made regarding the thermal limits of mussels.
Ganser et al. suggests a LT50 of Lampsilis siliquoidea juveniles of 25.3°C, while Pandolfo et al.
suggests an ET50 of 35.1 – 35.5°C, dependent upon acclimation temperatures. Field tests on the
Sac River in Southwest Missouri show that natural waters reach as high as 34°C on a hot
summer day. We are investigating the upper lethal temperature (LT50) in water and in damp
sand. We are comparing lab-cultured juveniles of two species: washboard (Megalonaias nervosa)
and fatmucket (L. siliquoidea) from two latitudes, the upper Mississippi in Wisconsin and the
Sac River in southern Missouri, and acclimated to two seasons, summer and winter.
Temperatures were increased over a period of 6 hours, held constant at peak temperature for 2
hours, and then decreased over a period of 8 hours to the starting temperature, mimicking natural
conditions. As a result, the groups that reach the higher temperatures will have steeper rates of
change than the groups reaching lower maximum temperatures. Our preliminary studies suggest
that the lethal upper temperature limit of both species acclimated to both summer-like and
winter-like conditions are near 40°C. Further research is needed to confirm these conclusions.
U-Pb Detrital Zircon Geochronology and Provenance of the Crystal Mountain Sandstone
near Mt. Ida, Arkansas
William Masner, Geospatial Sciences in Geography and Geology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gary Michelfelder
The midcontinent region of Laurentia experienced sediment influx through the Paleozoic.
Previous studies of lower Paleozoic sandstone units identified provenances from North America
and an exotic terrane. Correlative rocks in the southern Appalachian Mountains had a sediment
source from Gondwana or Grenville-age terrane. Sediment sources of the Collier Shale,
stratigraphically below the Crystal Mountain Sandstone, have been identified as having a North
American source, while units higher have been linked to an exotic terrane related to the Taconic
orogen. The Crystal Mountain Sandstone is a transition between sources from the north and
south. This research will explore how heterogeneity persists through super-continent cycles and
the controls of Appalachian topography through three areas of inquiry: (1) constraining the age
of the Crystal Mountain Sandstone through U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology: (2) examining
factors that control sedimentation rates, such as tectonic uplift and denudation; and (3) evaluation
provenance of grains stratigraphically in the Crystal Mountain Sandstone through Lu-Hf rare
earth element fractionation. Using laser ablation split stream inductively coupled plasma mass
spectrometry, insight will be obtained into the origin of the sediment.
Effects of Combat PTSD on Marital Quality of Post 9/11 Military Spouses
Holli Mason, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Beverly Long
The researcher conducted the study to examine the effect of combat veterans' Posttraumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms on their wives' quality of marriage. The question
investigated, "How do the arousal symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder impact the wife's
marital quality when her husband served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring
Freedom?" was studied in an online qualitative study. Arousal symptoms are defined as
emotional reactions including "irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior, always being
on guard for danger, overwhelming guilt or shame, self-destructive behavior, trouble
concentrating, trouble sleeping, and being easily startled or frightened" (Mayo Clinic Staff,
2014b). Marital quality "refers to marital processes alone, such as the quality of conflict
management skills, supportive transactions, sexual relations, and emotional intimacy"
(Lawrence, Barry, Langer, & Brock, 2012). There is a small connection between the husband's
PTSD score and his wife's satisfaction with their marriage. Despite a low correlation between
PTSD scores and marital satisfaction scores, one cannot deny the self-reports of the wives saying
they were more pleased with their marriage before the deployment.
Trophic interactions and the efficacy of the milfoil weevil (Euhrychiopsis lecontei) as a
biocontrol of Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
Kristopher Maxson, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: John Havel
Eurasian water-milfoil (EWM) is a nuisance aquatic plant that has invaded hundreds of lakes in
Wisconsin and is widely distributed throughout North America. We are currently conducting an
experimental test to control EWM through augmentation of the native milfoil weevil
(Euhrychiopsis lecontei) in 16 EWM beds in 4 Wisconsin lakes. In 2014, background weevil
densities within the four lakes were variable among EWM beds (0-1.7 weevils per stem). Little is
known concerning the persistence of weevils and their long-term effects on EWM. Our study
system offers an opportunity to investigate conditions that contribute to weevil success, most
notably predation of the conspicuous adults by insectivorous fish. We collected a total of 514
Bluegill diets and 150 environmental samples of invertebrates from the 16 study beds. Average
bluegill length was 106mm (31mm – 200mm). Nearly 18,500 individual invertebrates,
representing 28 taxa, were isolated from 85 fish diets and 40 environmental samples from
Manson Lake. Comparison of bluegill diets with environmental samples shows a preference for
pelagic cladocerans (e.g., Daphnia) and an avoidance of oligochaetes, sidid cladocerans, and
diptera. No weevils were found in either the diets or environmental samples from Manson Lake.
Secondary Traumatic Stress Promotes Sensitization of Trigeminal Nociceptive Neurons
David Miley, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Paul L. Durham
Stress is known to promote development of a hyperexcitable nervous system characteristic of
migraine patients. A hyperexcitable state is modulated by a balance between kinases and
phosphatases. The goal of my study was to investigate the effects of secondary traumatic stress
on the excitability state of trigeminal nociceptors. Adult Sprague-Dawley male sender rats were
immersed in water (primary traumatic stress), returned to their cages, and placed next to pregnant
or nursing female rats serving as receiver rats (secondary traumatic stress). Cellular changes in
trigeminal gnaglia were investigated in receiver offspring when they reached the age of young
adults. Rats subjected to secondary traumatic stress had significantly elevated levels of p-ERK,
p38, and PKA, proteins implicated in peripheral sensitization in trigeminal ganglia. Levels of
MAP kinase phosphatases MKP-1, MKP-2, and MKP-3, associated with an increased stress
response, were also elevated. Cellular changes correlated with a hypervigilant state
characterized by avoidance behavior and increased trigeminal nociceptor sensitivity. Results
from my study provide evidence that secondary traumatic stress can induce a hyperexcitable
state implicated in the development and maintenance of peripheral sensitization, and thus may
play a role in migraine pathogenesis.
Secondary Traumatic Stress Promotes Central Sensitization of the Trigeminal System
Nicholas Moore, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Paul L. Durham, Ph.D.
Migraine is a prevalent pain disorder, especially among women. Migraine pathology involves
sensitization and activation of the trigeminal nerve. Primary traumatic stress is a significant risk
factor for the development of trigeminal nerve sensitization leading to a higher risk for migraine.
However, the effects of secondary traumatic stress on the trigeminal system have not been
investigated. The goal of my study was to determine the effects of secondary traumatic stress on
the trigeminal system and the development of a hypervigilant nervous system. Male Sprague
Dawley rats (sender) were subjected to forced swim testing (primary traumatic stress) and were
co-housed with pregnant female Sprague Dawley (receiver) rats and their offspring (secondary
traumatic stress). Protein levels in spinal cord tissues were determined using
immunohistochemistry. Eleven proteins in the spinal trigeminal nucleus that are implicated in
the development and maintenance of central sensitization were elevated in neurons and glial cells
after postnatal exposure to secondary traumatic stress. In conclusion, my findings provide
evidence that secondary traumatic stress promotes central sensitization and the development of a
Hypervigilant Nervous System and Thus, Helps to Explain Why It Is an Important Risk
Factor for Migraine.
Exploring Parental Stress
Melissa Moores, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michelle Day
Abstract In this study, I sought to understand if parenting education programs, specifically the
Baby & Me program which is based on the Parents as Teachers (PAT) curriculum, were helping
at-risk families reduce their daily stressors. In order to be eligible for the Baby & Me program,
participants must have a child under the age of three and have income 185% above the federal
poverty line. Participants must also meet other requirements that would put them at risk such as
teen pregnancy or unemployment. Eleven parents who are graduates of the Baby & Me program
participated in this study and were given the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) to measure parental
stress. The PSS is the most widely used instrument for measuring stress and the degree to which
stress plays a role on the individual's life. I also asked the participants four qualitative questions
that pertained to parenting and program effectiveness. My study showed that the majority of
parents who were involved in a parenting program reported low to normal amounts of stress. My
study also showed a difference in stress levels regarding family composition which could imply
the need for additional support depending on family structure.
Identification and Characterization of Rad16 Homologs in Tetrahymena Thermophila
Andrew Morin, Cell and Molecular Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Joshua J Smith
DNA damage occurs constantly within cells; this damage can lead to cell death and diseases such
as cancer. The importance of DNA repair makes it necessary for cells to have multiple
mechanisms of repair. In all cases of repair the processes are broken down into four basic steps:
recognition, protein recruitment, DNA repair, and dissociation of proteins from the DNA. In
silenced DNA, knowledge of the factors involved in recognition and recruitment to the site of
damage remain elusive. Tetrahymena thermophila contains two nuclei; a macronucleus that
holds an actively transcribed copy of the genome, and a micronucleus which contains a silenced
copy of the genome used for reproduction. Thus Tetrahymena is an excellent model to study
DNA repair in the silenced areas of the genome. Nucleotide Excision Repair (NER) is the
process by which bulky DNA adducts are removed from DNA. Silenced DNA is tightly bound to
histone proteins as a form of packaging and protection; when damage occurs in these areas the
histone proteins must be moved away from the site of damage to allow can access to the lesion.
Using Tetrahymena, we seek to identify and classify four homologs of Rad16, the protein
responsible for this histone rearrangement.
Attention Deficits in Cognitive Abilities as Measured by MMPI-2-RF and NAB
Ashley Mullins, Psychology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Paul Deal
Attentional deficits are the inability to sustain attention and concentration, and are a common
symptom of many psychological disorders. Previous studies examined the relationship between
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Format (MMPI-2-RF) and
measures of attention (Conner’s CPT, WAIS III) specifically only with patients with AD/HD or
traumatic brain injuries. This study set to explore the clinical utility of patterns on the MMPI-2RF of people with attentional deficits, as measured by the Neuropsychological Assessment
Battery (NAB) Attention Module. The final sample consisted of sixty-one adults (37women, M
age = 20.8 years, age range: 18-48 years) from a General Psychology course or a client of the
Learning Diagnostic Clinic (LDC). Participants were administered the MMPI-2-RF, the NABAttention Module, and a demographic survey. Results indicate a significant negative correlation
between some of the MMPI-2-RF scales and the NAB-Attention scales. Significant negative
correlations were found between RCd, COG, HLP, NFC, and DSF with the NAB Attention
Index score (ATT). This suggests that participants experiencing attentional deficits also report
insecurity and a sense of worthlessness in their mental abilities, which may alternatively affect
their self-worth and sense of belonging with other people.
Design and Development of Quantum Dot Probes with Exceptionally High Fidelity for
Single-Molecule Imaging
Nicholas Mundt, Chemistry
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Katye Fichter
Cellular proteins are typically imaged using organic fluorophores, which average the location of
multiple different proteins in the cell. These fluorophores are too dim to easily image single
proteins, making it difficult to study protein function. Quantum dots (QDs) are small nanocrystal
nanoparticles that exhibit excellent fluorescence and photostability. Quantum dots offer a
promising alternative to organic fluorophores due to their increased fluorescence and
photostability compared to typical fluorophores. Due to their intensely fluorescent properties,
QDs can used for single molecule imaging within cells. In particular single 5-HT1B receptors
can be visualized using QD-antibody conjugates. The protein 5-HT1B is a cellular serotonin
receptor on the cell membrane. Serotonin has been implicated in mood disorders such as
depression. We employ a hydrazone conjugation of QDs with an a-HA antibody in order to
visualize single 5-HT1B receptors with in N2a (rat neuroblastoma) cells. Visualization of the 5HT1B receptors allowed for determination of trafficking behavior with the cell.
In Vivo Demonstration of P2Y2R Activation Causes Increased Interaction between
Leukocytes and Vascular Endothelial Cells in Mice.
Apoorva Nelli, Cell and Molecular Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jianjie Wang
Vascular permeability characterizes the capacity of blood vessel to allow molecules and cells in
and out of the vessel. There is an increased leukocyte and transendothelial cell migration during
inflammation. Recent studies show that P2Y2R play an important role in signaling this event.
Activation of P2Y2R by UTP, causes P2Y2 R mediated recruitment of leukocytes to the site of
the inflammation. Leukocytes express L-selectin on their membranes which interacts with Eselectin and P-selectin expressed by the endothelial cells (ECs) resulting in the rolling of
leukocytes on the endothelial cell membrane. Firm adhesion is mediated by the integrins a4 ß7
and a4 ß1 on leukocytes interacting with the vascular cell adhesion molecules (VCAM). We aim
to determine the interaction between leukocytes and vascular ECs by using Intravital microscopy
in wild type (WT) and P2Y2 R knock out (KO) mice. We dissected cremaster muscle with an aid
of dissecting microscope following intravascular injection of Rhodamine 6G fluorescence dye in
the tail vein in anaesthetized mice. Rolling and adhesion of leucocytes will be recorded before
and after P2Y2 R agonist, UTP treatment in WT and P2Y2 R KO mice. To investigate the role of
P2Y2 R signaling in inflammation, the interaction of leukocytes with endothelium will be
performed in inflamed mice by LPS.
The Acceptable Noise Level on a Ranking Scale
Michelle Neurohr, Audiology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Thomas C. Franklin, Ph.D., CCC-A
The Acceptable Noise Level (ANL) procedure has been proven as a good predictor for hearing
aid use as it establishes how much background noise a person will tolerate when listening to
speech stimulus. Background noise is a common complaint of hearing aid users and determining
if a new user accepts a little or a lot will help the clinical audiologist in their recommendations as
well as counseling. The purpose of the present study was to determine if the ANL could be
reliably obtained using the Method of Constant Stimuli on a ranking scale from 1 to 7. The
study included 20 normal hearing females ages 21-25 from Missouri State University in
Springfield, MO. The background noise level during the traditional method for establishing
ANL and the procedure used in the present study were compared using a paired samples t-test.
The descriptor number 4 ranking ( noise is making me focus more), was found to be the
strongest corresponded descriptor.
Effects of Quantitative and Qualitative Feedback on Reflection in Service Learning
Kirby Newport, Teaching
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Eric Sheffield
Recent educational research has shown that quantitative feedback has a negative impact on
student performance, interest, and intrinsic motivation. This action research study examined the
effects of providing only qualitative feedback (comments) on the depth of thought of students
completing a service learning project. Using two classes of high school government classes, the
researcher examined how eight students constructed meaning from their experiences planning
and carrying out a service learning project. Analysis of student reflections demonstrated that
students expressed frustration with the narrow time frame for the project and that the depth of
critical thinking varied based on the student rather than the feedback environment. Ways to
improve future service-learning projects are also considered.
Substance Abuse Risk Factors: Household of Origin's Socioeconomic Status in Correlation
with Earlier Age of First Use
Jillian Nisely, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michele Day
This study was conducted to find if there was significant correlation between an earlier age of
first using drugs or alcohol and an individual's socioeconomic status when they were at an
adolescent age. The study was a survey assessment for voluntary participants about their basic
demographics, risk factors which played an important role with substance use, socioeconomic
status, and their past drug use. The data was collected anonymously and analyzed in hopes to
find a significance which could help lead to further research to improve substance abuse
preventive programs for adolescents. There were 93 completed surveys analyzed to find
correlation. Reverse coded due to the manner the questions were asked, final data showed the
Pearson correlation was calculated at -.284. There was a significant correlation between the
participant's surveyed overall social class and the age they started abusing their substance. The
results supported the hypothesis which may have suggested of those who were surveyed, those
who grew up in a lower income household used substances at an earlier age.
An Examination of the Relationship Between K-8th Grade Teachers' Level of
Technological Literacy and Their Perceptions and Integrations of Educational Technology
Emily Norris, Educational Technology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Ching-Wen Chang, PhD; Eric Sheffield, PhD; Beth Hurst, PhD
While much is understood about the importance of developing technological literacy in students,
little is known about technological literacy in teachers and how it is related to technology
integration in individual classrooms. This correlation study sought to establish the relationship
between K-8th grade teachers' level of technological literacy and their perception and integration
of technology in the classroom. Teachers in southwest Missouri were chosen using
nonprobability sampling and were sent an online survey to complete at their convenience. Data
were analyzed using Chi-square, the correlaiton coefficient Pearson r, multiple regression
equations, and moderation analysis. The results of the study indicated that although there was no
difference in technological literacy among teachers based on grade levels or experience, there
was a strong positive correlation between technological literacy and perceptions and integrations
of technology in the classroom. The data also implied that the best predictor of student-centered
integration was the level of technological literacy that teachers possess. The results of this study
could perhaps inspire school administrators to take action in improving teachers' technological
A Retrospective Study on Infant Bed-sharing in a Rural/Urban Cluster Area
Patricia Norton, Public Health
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Federman
In 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics' Task Force on Safe Sleep reiterated its original
2005 recommendation against infants ever bed-sharing. This retrospective study evaluated the
prevalence of infant bed-sharing, the variables associated with bed sharing, and changes in bedsharing rates after 2005.Data were collected from 2374 infants between Sept. 2003 and Dec.
2011 at a family practice with OB care in Missouri. Data were extracted from the electronic
medical records (EMR) for the first four well-child visits: 1 month, 2-3 months, 4-5 months, and
6-8 months of age. At the first visit, 17.9% of infants bed-shared. The prevalence of bed-sharing
was lower for infants born after 2005 compared to those born in or before 2005 (25% and 39%
respectively, p=0.000). Among those who bed-shared, the frequency of bed-sharing did not
decline. Bed-sharing was associated with breast feeding and low SES. Bed-sharing rates were
higher in winter and spring. With a nearly 20% bed-sharing rate before the first visit, safe sleep
prenatal education is warranted. Improved EMR software programs could simplify data retrieval
thereby aiding evaluation of programs for reducing unsafe sleep environments.
Eliciting Spelling Words in Connected Writing
Cortney O ‘Daniel, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Julie Masterson
The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the effectiveness of designed stimuli in eliciting
target spelling words in different types of sentences (simple and complex) as well as isolation.
The underlying concept of this investigation stems from the cognitive process of writing theory,
and the idea that students can perform well on spelling tests in isolation, but struggle with
spelling in connected writing. The stimuli were designed to elicit the target spelling words and
the type of sentences needed to address linguistic context, without directly instructing the child
what to write. Before conducting experimental research in the realm of this topic, this pilot study
was conducted to ensure the designed stimuli would elicit the desired types of sentences. This
study will contribute pilot data about the effectiveness of the designed stimuli for a larger scale
study in the future.
An Academic Institute’s Role in Public Health
Christie Oestreich, Public Health
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: David M. Claborn
Academic public health institutes play a key role in furthering the profession of public health and
fostering partnerships within the community. The purpose of this research was to further explore
that idea by identifying the main characteristics of an academic public health institute and then
comparing those to Missouri State Universities’ own institute, the Ozarks Public Health Institute
(OPHI). Information gathering on academic public health institutes in the United States was
conducted through an internet search and information about the OPHI was obtained through a
series of key informant interviews with the current director. Academic public health institutes
focus on converting academic research to practice and addressing gaps in public health services.
Feature Preferences: Visual Scanning Differences of Infant, Adult, and Inanimate Faces
Nonah Olesen, Psychology
Co:-Presenter: Kirsty Kulhanek
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. D. Wayne Mitchell
Baby schema, described as including high infantile traits, (e.g., round face, large eyes, small nose
and mouth); have been found to evoke greater visual attention and caregiving responses in
humans. Borgi et al. (2014) found that face stimuli (whether that of an infant, adult, or animal)
altered to have high infantile features were rated to be more “cute” and were preferred compared
to the same face stimuli altered to have low infantile facial features (slimmer face, small eyes,
low forehead, larger nose and mouth). In an effort to replicate the findings of Borgi et al. (2014),
the differences in visual scanning and preference between Adult, Infant, and Inanimate face
stimuli that are in High Infantile vs. Low Infantile features were compared in a sample of 20
adult participants. Significant preferences for High Infantile features were found, however, only
for Infant face stimuli. While these findings are a partial replication of Borgi et al.’s (2014) an
experiential-functional versus an evolutionary explanation for such preferences will be
Application of the DSC/TG Method for Investigation of Organic, Organometallics and
Coordination Compounds
Adedamola Opalade, Chemistry
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nikolay Gerasimchuk
Differential thermal methods have found widespread applications in the study of polymers as
well as in pharmaceutical industry for testing the purity of drug samples. In my research; it
would be as a technique to investigate the purity of organic and structure of organometallic and
coordination compounds. This research is aimed at studying organometallic and coordination
compounds; investigating structural changes that occur as organometallic and coordination
compounds undergo dehydration. The change in coordination number will be studied and
investigated to verify if the compounds change from octahedral (coordination number of 6) to
tetrahedral (coordination number of 4) as water molecules are lost or they retain the octahedral
structure in which case the complex may rearrange as stacks or piles of planar square planar
complexes stacked on one another with one gently slid over the next such that the metal center
can coordinate with the ligand atoms of the metal complex above and below it hence maintaining
an octahedral structure.
Characterization of the Skeletal Phenotype in Idua-W392x Knock-In Mice
Christina Owensby, Cell and Molecular Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Amanda Brodeur
Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I, Hurler Syndrome, is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage
disorder due to the lack of functional a-L-iduronidase (IDUA). Deficiencies of IDUA activity
result in accumulation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Previous studies have shown increased
thickness and decreased length in cortical bone along with demonstrating altered
microarchitecture and mineral composition. The aim of this project is to further understand the
molecular mechanisms leading to the bone phenotype in Hurler Syndrome patients, primarily the
occurrence of thicker and possibly weaker bones. To determine if the increased thickness is due
either increased bone formation or decreased bone reabsorption TRAP5b will be evaluated in
wild-type, heterozygous, and IDUA mice. Current studies are using ELISA assays to measure
TRAP5b to measure osteoclast activity to indirectly evaluate bone reabsorption. We expect the
levels of TRAPC5 to be lower in mice deficient in IDUA. The stated altered mineral composition
was seen in altered mineral:collagen ratios by Raman Spectroscopy; mineral composition and
matrix composition will be evaluated by RT-PCR.
Validity of Speech Mapping While Using Vent Probe Placement on Behind-the-Ear
Hearing Aids
Benjamin Pettit, Audiology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Rose Allen
Real ear measures (REM) are the gold standard for objective hearing aid fittings. Professional
recommendations indicate that the REM probe tube should not be placed through an existing
vent 2 mm or smaller in diameter, as it may alter the vent effects (low frequency) and thus cause
unreliable results. To investigate how vent placement of the REM probe tube compares to canal
placement at frequencies below 750 Hz when using Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids with an
earmold containing a 1 mm vent. 30 adult ears were used. Each subject used BTE hearing aids
and had an earmold with a 1 mm vent. REM using the carrot passage were obtained on all
subjects. First, subjects were tested with the probe tube passing through the vent, and second,
subjects were tested with the probe tube placed along the ear canal, external to the earmold.
Decibel measurements were recorded at 250, 500, 750, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000, 4000, & 6000
Hz. Means, standard errors, confidence intervals, and estimated marginal means were used to
assess the variability between vent and canal placement below 750 Hz. No statistically or
clinically significant differences were found below 750 Hz. Current guidelines rejecting the use
of vent placement based on low frequency vent effects are unfounded for BTE hearing aids with
a 1 mm vent.
Increasing Rates of Specific Praise and OTR Provided By Para-Educators in Special
Education Classrooms
Jordan Politte Special Education
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Linda Garrison-Kane
Increasing behavior specific praise and opportunities to respond (OTR) in a classroom increases
the likelihood that students will engage in learning activities and socially appropriate behavior
(Sutherland, Wehby, & Copeland 2000). This study focused on increasing para-educators’ use
of positive praise and OTR in small group reading lessons. A single-subject ABAB study was
completed in three sites, which included students with a diagnosis of autism, grades K-4. Paraeducators self-recorded their praise and OTR by listening to an audio recording. Researchers
recorded the frequency of behavior-specific praise statements and OTR for each reading session
across all phases. Participants’ on-task behavior was recorded using 10-second momentary time
sampling across all phases, using video recording. Results indicate that para-educators increased
praise and OTR. Results indicate a successful intervention, with a mean increase of paraeducators’ academic praise from .5 in A1 to 27.4 in B2, social praise from 0 in A1 to 20.7 in B2
and OTR from 34.5 in A1 to 57 in B2. Students’ on-task behavior increased from 58.8 in A1 to
69.95 in B2
The College Access Narrative of Rural, Southwest Missouri Students: An Applied
Communication Study for Social Change Organizing
Christopher Polley, Communication
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Stephanie Norander
This study utilized a narrative framework to explore factors influencing the college-going
decisions of rural, Southwest Missouri students. Focus groups were conducted with a total of 33
current students enrolled in a rural, Southwest Missouri high school to understand the narratives
of rural high school students. The study finds the narrative of parents as successful or not
because of their own decisions whether or not to attend college is the largest motivating factor
for students’ desires to attend college. The study also finds students’ decisions to attend college
could be hampered by two societal meta-narratives: college as expensive and rural as
disadvantaged. The research discusses practical implications of these findings for practitioners
and advocates and outlines specific actionable steps that could be taken to (re)frame the narrative
for rural high school students to attend college attendance. Opportunities for future research in
college access utilizing this narrative approach are also outlined. Keywords: college access,
college-going, rural, narrative, social change organizing
Antimicrobial light-curable polymeric composites including Silver(I) cyanoximates
Snow Popis, Chemistry
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nikolay Gerasimchuk
The reaction between AgNO3 and ML (M = K+, Na+; L = anion of the deprotonated cyanoxime
– 39 of which are known, but only 12 form light-stable silver(I) complexes and shown in Figure
1) at room temperature in aqueous solutions leads to sparingly soluble, colored AgL in highyield. Synthesized silver(I) compounds demonstrate a very significant stability towards visible
light and pronounced antimicrobial activity. Carried out microbiological studies suggested their
use as antimicrobial additives to light-curable acrylate polymeric glues, fillers and adhesives
used during the introduction of indwelling medical devices. The chemical and biological aspects
of application Ag(I) cyanoximes-based coordination polymers are discussed.
Perceptions of Greene County Therapists Regarding the Validity of Play Therapy
Julie Posey, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michele Day
Play therapy is an evidenced-based intervention implemented with children based upon their
developmental capabilities. A descriptive, quantitative research study was conducted to examine
Greene County therapists’ perceptions about the validity of play therapy. Forty-four licensed
therapists and counselors specialized in any area of the helping profession were surveyed. The
self-designed online survey gathered data on demographic information, the definition of play
therapy being used for review, and questions related to evaluating the participants’ perceptions of
play therapy. Of the 42 participants who rated their perception on a Likert scale to the question,
“Play therapy is a valid therapeutic treatment modality,” 84.1% selected “Agree” or “Strongly
Agree.” A moderately strong positive correlation was found (r(33) = .338, p < .05), indicating a
significant relationship between a participant’s knowledge of play therapy and his/her opinion on
the number of play therapy sessions needed for effective treatment in children. Another
moderately strong positive correlation was found (r(40) = .404, p < .01), indicating a significant
relationship between a participant’s perception of play therapy and his/her knowledge of play
therapy. 57.1% (N = 24) showed an interest in attending trainings and/or reading information
about play therapy.
The Influences of Music in the Art Classroom and the Effects on Pre-Adolescents Art
Jennifer Roller, Teaching
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Eric C. Sheffield
The purpose of this action research study was to investigate the influences of music in the art
classroom and the effects it has on middle school students' art performance. Research was
conducted at a middle school in Southwest Missouri among a class of 16 Art II students. Data
was collected through reflective journal entries from the perspective of the teacher and the
student. Interviews with four students were also conducted to note the students' experiences with
the music and how it affected them while working. Both sets of data were analyzed via an open
thematic coding process. Results indicate that playing music in the art classroom was a positive
influence on behavior and on performance. When the students had a connection with a specific
genre, it allowed the student to become more focused which lead to higher productivity.
Enhanced Electrogenerated Chemiluminescence of Ru(by)32+/TPrA (bpy = 2,2'bipyridine, TPrA = tri-n-propylamine) Using Melatonin
Sarah Roughton, Chemistry
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mark M. Richter
Melatonin (MLT) is a pineal hormone known for its role in numerous physiological processes
such as metabolism, reproduction, and circadian sleep-wake cycles. Although several methods to
detect MLT have been developed, the electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL) has not been
reported. ECL involves the electrochemical generation (i.e., the addition or removal of electrons
using voltage at an electrode) of chemical species that react to emit light. This light emission can
then be used to either detect a specific species, such as MLT, or be used to characterize the
nature of the chemical species, or both. Melatonin displays weak ECL when no other light
emitting compound is in solution. However, micromolar concentrations of MLT result in up to 3fold enhancement of the commercially important Ru(bpy)32+/TPrA ECL reaction sequence
((bpy = 2,2’-bipyridine; TPra = tri-n-propylamine) with Ru(bpy)32+ being a very efficient light
emitter. Detailed spectroscopic and electrochemical studies indicate that the mechanism involves
oxygen scavenging by MLT oxidation products. MLT oxidation products are those formed when
a voltage is applied to an electrode in solution with the subsequent removal of electrons from
MLT and other species. The scavenging of oxygen prevents the quenching of the Ru(bpy)32+
light emission by dissolved oxygen in solution.
Bullying: Psychiatric Sequelae and Response to Theatrical Intervention
Hannah Rowsey, Psychology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Timothy K Daugherty, Carol J Maples
We proposed students in the arts are at increased risk for victimization, being bullied increases
risk for psychiatric symptoms, and bullied students would be responsive to an interactive theater
workshop. Ninety-two students (74% female; mean age = 16.3), identified for artistic talent,
completed protocols on the first and last days of a 3-week arts academy. Between
administrations, students participated in an interactive theater program offering chances to build
problem-solving skills. Protocols included the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (Olweus,
1996), an adapted version of the DSM-5 cross-cutting psychiatric symptom measure (APA,
2013), and measures of self-efficacy and outcome expectancy. A high percentage of artistic
students reported being bullied in the past year (54%). Bullied students reported significantly
more psychiatric symptoms than non-bullied students (?=.835, F(8, 83)=2.055, p=.05). The
bullied group showed significant enhancements in self-efficacy (t(49)=2.30, p=.013) and
outcome expectancy (t(49)=2.04, p=.024) after the workshop. Results suggest students in the
arts may have increased risk for victimization and bullied students may be responsive to
interventions building problem-solving skills. Results are consistent with potential efficacy of
interactive theater interventions in bullying.
The Effect of Sex and Population on the Response of Paedomorphic Oklahoma
Salamanders to Predatory Threat
Lauren Rudolph, Biology
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Alicia Mathis
The threat-sensitive predator avoidance hypothesis states that prey animals vary the intensity of
antipredator behavior relative to the level of threat posed. As a result, the ability to accurately
assess the level of risk should be adaptive. Chemical cues have been found to be a primary mode
of predator detection for aquatic amphibians. I tested whether paedomorphic Oklahoma
salamanders (Eurycea tynerensis) can distinguish between different types of predatory threats
based on chemical cues alone, and whether responses differ based on population and sex.
Salamanders did not respond differently to the two threat treatments; however, in general, males
decreased and females increased latency to move when exposed to threatening stimuli in
comparison to the control. Additionally, the two populations showed a difference in the
tendency of individuals to swim to the surface in the presence and absence of threat. These
results indicate that male and female E. tynerensis, as well as spatially segregated populations,
experience different selection pressures that result in alternate antipredator strategies.
Inter-Rater Reliability of Perceptual Stuttering Severity Using Real-Time Perceptual
Tracking Software
Kelsey Sack, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Co-Presenter: Stacey Serowitz
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Klaas Bakker
The purpose of the present study was to establish the degree of inter-rater reliability across two
methods of perceptual rating software that measured stuttering severity continuously in realtime.The participants consisted of six female first and second-year speech-language pathology
graduate students at Missouri State University.They were randomly assigned to one of two
groups (i.e. mouse-wheel scroll method and mouse hovering method).All participants listened to
the same ten speech samples and rated their perception of stuttering severity using their assigned
method of software.The mouse-wheel scroll method utilized a Likert-type scale raging from 1
(not at all severe) to 7 (very severe).The mouse hovering method utilized a visual analog scale
ranging from 1 (not at all severe) to 100 (very severe).Intercorrelations were calculated between
the participants of each of group. Overall, mean ratings of the participants in the mouse-wheel
scroll group indicated a strong, positive relationship.Results from the analysis of data collected
using the mouse hovering method did not indicate a consistent presence of inter-rater
reliability.Future research could further investigate inter-reliability between the methods,as well
as,compare ratings using traditional methods to ratings using real-time perceptual tracking
Interaction Study of Vps1 with GARP Vps51
Uma Saimani, Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kyoungtae Kim
Vacuolar Protein Sorting (Vps1), a yeast homolog to human dynamin, plays an important role in
material transport called "recycling", from endosome towards Golgi. Vps1 consists of three
domains, N -terminal GTPase domain, a middle domain and a C-terminal GED domain. Recent
experiments have shown that Vps1 interacts with Vps51, which is a part of the GARP complex.
Vps51 serves as a linker that connects the t-SNARE Tlg1 at the Golgi membrane to GARP
proteins at endosomal membranes. However, the significance of the interaction of Vps1 with
Vps51 for the cell cycling and the afterward fusion event of endosome-derived vesicle with the
Golgi is unknown. My hypothesis is that domains of Vps1 interact with Vps51 and vice versa.
To test this, I will use a two-hybrid system that will help characterize the protein interaction.
Interaction was observed after two-hybrid assay, so the next step will be to assess this
interaction, in-vitro. This will be done by Co-Immuno precipitation, where anti-bodies will be
used to precipitate the complex and a western blot will be used to detect it. Proteins that function
together must colocalize on the sub-cellular site and here we can prove it by tagging the proteins
with fluors and visualizing using microscopy. I expect that results obtained will help
understanding of inner cell trafficking pathways.
The Effects of Differentiated Instruction on Math Achievement
Kimberly Sartin, Elementary Education
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Hail
This casual comparative study was completed with 39 third grade students from a Southwestern
elementary school in Missouri. It began in January 2015 and the data collection was completed
in March 2015. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference
in the math achievement for third graders who routinely studied math through differentiated
experiences and those who did not. The data consisted of pretests and posttest scores from two
fraction unit. The project was conducted to determine if differentiated instruction helped improve
students’ understanding of math concepts, achieve proficient or higher scores on assessments,
and eliminate re-teaching of the subject matter. The results showed a significant difference in
math achievement for third graders through differentiated experiences vs. those who had none.
Holding On: Juxtaposition of Saudi Arabian and Egyptian Policy Choices Following the
Arab Spring
Johnathan Saunders, Public Administration
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Melissa Maier
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is experiencing a state of turmoil from the aftermath
of the Arab Spring. While some nations such as Tunisia have gained additional liberties, others
like Syria have experienced Civil War. This paper focuses on broader policy choices of two
MENA nations: Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Both nations have strategic partnerships with the
United States and are important for stability in the region as the Islamic State causes discord.
Despite administrative hurdles, both nations have engaged in some level of democratic reform.
Regardless of liberal overtures, how both nations handle degrees of reform remain strikingly
different. Juxtaposition of Saudi Arabian and Egyptian policy choices aids in understanding
some of the many moving pieces in a tumultuous region.
A Forgotten Population: Work-Life Balance in Undergraduate College Students
Amy Schmidt, Communication
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Isabelle Bauman
Research has shown that adults in the workplace, along with business executives and
organizational leaders face issues when balancing work and non-work domains of their life.
However, with the ever-increasing cost of college, more college students are being forced to
work while they are also enrolled in college classes. It is important for students to understand
how they balance work and non-work aspects of their own lives in order to create a productive
environment. Prior research shows that both older men and women have struggled with work-life
balance. In light of this observation, it could be said that if the issue is studied closer to the
beginning of the problem, then maybe less struggle with work life balance will exist in the
future. The quantitative portion of the proposed study includes surveys, based on work-life
balance and Perceived Stress Scales. The results will be able to show whether or not there is a
relationship between role balance, resources versus demands, perceptions of work-life balance
and stress in undergraduate students. Focus groups will be conducted in order to more fully
understand how undergraduates perceive work-life balance. The results could potentially ensure
more effective work habits and time management skills in undergraduate careers and ultimately,
life after graduation.
A Mixed Method Research Study of Nutritional Literacy in Adults Who Are Living In
Andrea Simkins, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Bev Long
The purpose of this study was to examine nutritional literacy in adults who are low income. This
research was intended to increase nutritional literacy among low income adults through
education. A self-designed pretest and posttest was given to participants at a food pantry located
in Springfield Missouri. The pretest and posttest was designed to fit the nutrition class that was
being taught by a Family Nutrition Educator. Participants answered questions regarding general
nutritional information and rated their current daily habits with how often they ate fruit and
vegetables, and read nutritional labels. Results found that engaging this population about
nutritional literacy is a challenge. Additional research needs to be done on how to engage low
income adults so they realize the importance of nutritional literacy and how it affects their
overall quality of life.
Nesting Success and Parental Behavior of the Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria Citrea)
In Southwestern Missouri
Kathryn Siverly, Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Janice Greene
In summer 2014, I studied the nesting success and behavior of Prothonotary Warblers in
southwestern Missouri along the James River. Data were collected on clutch and brood sizes, the
number of young fledged, parental care, and how frequently males sang during the breeding
period. Three pairs were observed, occupying 8% of the nest boxes. Five clutches were laid, and
of the 25 eggs, 24 hatched, and at least 17 young fledged. First clutches were larger than second
clutches, and one pair did not attempt a second clutch. Observations suggest females contribute
more care to the offspring than do males, particularly toward the end of the nestling stage.
Establishing a Trace Metal Content Database of Cave Sediments of the Midcontinent U.S.A
Matthew Smith, Geospatial Sciences in Geography and Geology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Doug Gouzie
The midcontinent of the United States has thousands of documented caves. Theses caves
represent reservoirs of geologic information stored in speleothems and cave sediments. Recent
work conducted by Doughty and Johnson (2012) has suggested that trace metal content of caves
can vary based on urban or rural location. However, there is no known baseline or reference
database for trace metals of midcontinent caves. This study is planned to establish a reference
database of trace metals in cave sediments across the midcontinent. In order to develop this
baseline, sediments will be analyzed for an anticipated suite of metals: As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn,
Ni, Zn, Pb, and S.
The Affects of a Child with Hearing Loss on the Parent
Alexandria Smith, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. White
Being deaf does not just mean you cannot hear sound; there is a much larger picture than that.
Deafness also does not just affect the individual who has a hearing loss; it affects the individuals
who raise the child, the family-brothers and sisters, and the extend family. A large portion of
children who are born deaf are born to parents who have normal hearing. Within this paper, it
explains that these parents’ are left in the dark when they are first informed of their child’s
hearing loss. Some of these wants reach out to professionals for help but they are at a cross roads
of who should they ask and how do they deal with the news that their newborn child is not like
them. Ideally, a universal tool needs to be created so the parents can go to one safe place and
gain all the knowledge they need to prepare themselves to raise a child who cannot hear. Along
with these facts, are resources such as professionals who they can contact to gain further
explanation. This paper sets the stages for such a tool to be created by providing information on
what should be on the tool and why these things are important for the parents to know them.
Family Conflict in Childhood: A Common Theme among Helping Professionals?
Tory Spurgin, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michele Day
Helping professionals (n=59) were surveyed using a self-made tool in order to understand the
dynamics of their families of origin, and to see if there was a relationship between dysfunctional
family patterns and professionals’ future career choices. The survey examined emotional
support, bonding, and personal behaviors in families, focusing specifically on: quality of
relationships, patterns of domestic violence, substance abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse.
The results of the study indicate that there does appear to be a strong relationship between
dysfunctional family patterns with the family of origin of certain careers that are classified as
helping professions; people working within the fields of mental health and substance abuse.
Conversely, the study also showed that there appears to be no correlation among dysfunctional
family patterns within the family of origins of teachers; in fact they appear to have the perception
that they came from very successful family backgrounds. Findings from this study indicate a
need for further exploration into the family backgrounds and motivating factors for career
choices of members of the helping professions.
Sirt2 & Sirt3 in Cancer & Aging and Characterization of Their Homologs Thd13, 15, & 16
in Tetrahymena Thermophila
Micheala Steinmetz, Cell and Molecular Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Joshua J Smith
Histone deacetylases are proteins that remove acetyl groups from histones causing the
development of compacted heterochromatin. Recently, a type of NAD+-dependent deacetylases
known as sirtuins has been found to be associated with many roles within the cell. In humans
there are seven known sirtuins (SIRT1-7). Sirt2 localizes to the nucleus and cytoplasm and is
involved in several functions including cell-cycle control, while Sirt3 localizes in the
mitochondria and plays a role in the regulation of mitochondrial proteins and reactive oxygen
species. Both of these sirtuins have been linked to aging and cancer. In Tetrahymena thermophila
several homologs of the SIRT2 and SIRT3 genes exist including THD13, THD14, THD15, and
THD16 as identified through bioinformatics. The aim of this project is to further elucidate the
contribution of Thd13, Thd15, and Thd16 in DNA repair mechanisms, particularly their
involvement in the onset of cancer and age related disease. Expression of the THD13 gene
displayed a significant change following exposure to MMS and fluorescent imaging confirmed
mitochondrial localization. Bioinformatics and literature review illustrate the roles of Sirt2 and
Sirt3 in repair, genome stability, and disease and further research on these Tetrahymena
thermophila homologs may elucidate the roles that these enzyme
Evaluation of Tonabersat, PRX201260, & Topiramate in an In Vivo Model of Chronic
Migraine Characterized by Prolonged Trigeminal Nociceptor Activation & Central
Shannon Stiles, Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Paul Durham
Approximately 2% of the US population is affected by chronic migraine (CM). The trigeminal
system, which is implicated in migraine pathology, is composed of peripheral primary trigeminal
ganglion neurons that provide sensory innervation of the head and face and second order neurons
in the spinal trigeminal nucleus (STN). The goal of this study was to evaluate anti-migraine
drugs for their ability to inhibit ongoing peripheral and central sensitization of trigeminal
nociceptors. An in vivo rat model was used to determine if the novel drugs Tonabersat and
PRX201260, or commercially available anti-migraine drug Topiramate (Topamax) could inhibit
nocifensive responses mediated by trigeminal neurons. In addition, the trigeminal ganglion and
STN were evaluated on a molecular level to determine if the drugs could inhibit expression of a
signaling protein implicated in peripheral and central sensitization. Our results indicate that
Tonabersat and PRX201260 significantly inhibited nocifensive responses and decreased
expression of protein kinase A (PKA) in the trigeminal ganglion and STN. In contrast,
Topiramate did not decrease PKA expression and had no effect on nocifensive responses. Based
on these results, we conclude that Tonabersat and PRX201260 are drugs that may be beneficial
in the treatment of CM.
Synthesis, Characterization and Photocatalytic Activity of Zinc Oxide-Copper Oxide
Mohammad Fuad Nur Taufique, Physics
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kartik Ghosh
Zinc oxide, cooper oxide semiconductor nanostructures have tremendous potential in
optoelectrical application and energy technology. Here, we report structural and optical
characteristics of ZnO-CuO nano mixture synthesized by hydrothermal process from single stock
solution. Reaction temperature was varied from 200 C to 50 C at constant pH of 13.0.X-ray
diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy, scanning electron
microscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were employed to characterize these
exclusive nano mixture. Rietveld analysis of XRD data confirm the phase mixture nano structure
of ZnO-CuO with different ratios of ZnO and CuO . From SEM it is proved that the nano
mixtures are nanorods, nano ellipsoide and nano needle type structure depending on the
temperature. Raman spectra of nano mixture consists of optical vibrational mode of ZnO and
CuO,. The unique photoluminescence spectra has peaks at 400 nm, 534 nm, 580 nm, 620 nm and
763 nm which confirm that the nano mixture can absorb in the solar visible region. This unique
synthesis process can be beneficial for phocatalytic activity and fabricating nanoscale devices
used for optoelectronic applications.
Diagnostic Application of RNA Aptamer Nanoconjugate to Specifically Targeting
Thrombin in Thrombosis
Rintu Thomas, Cell and Molecular Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Jianjie Wang
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a coagulation disorder that includes both deep vein
thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Currently, computerized tomographic angiography (CTA)
is the gold standard diagnostic test for VTE. However, the main disadvantages of CTA are
radiation exposure, higher cost, and the possibility of contrast-induced nephrotoxicity. As a
result, there is a need for development of a target specific and sensitive contrast agents for
detection of VTE. Nanoparticles have emerged as promising molecular imaging agents. The
main objectives of this project is to develop and test RNA aptamer-based nanoparticles that can
specifically target thrombin protein in the thrombi. The binding interaction of RNA aptamerZnO nanoconjugate to thrombin is tested and verified using electromobility shift assay. Further
characterization of ZnO nanoparticle such as its size distribution, zeta potential, and fluorescence
parameters, are assessed using dynamic light scattering and fluorescence spectrophotometry.
Peak fluorescence emission of ZnO is observed at 530 nm and the zeta potential decreased with
concentration (1-0.025 mg/ml). The size of ZnO ranged between 60-120 nm at a concentration of
0.025mg/ml. These research findings establish the potential for developing nanoconjugate-based
molecular contrast agents for detection of VTE.
Functional Connection between Yeast Dynamin and Retromer at the Endosome.
Chris Trousdale, Biology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Kyoungtae Kim
Intracellular trafficking from the late endosome to Golgi in cells is termed retrograde
transport, essential for recycling important macromolecules including membrane receptors.
Retrograde transport is regulated by a family of proteins known as retromer: composed of 5 VPS
proteins (Vps5, Vps17, Vps26, Vps29, and Vps35). Retromer acts as the coat proteins for
vesicles emerging from late endosomes. Loss of retromer function has been implicated in both
Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Vps1, a yeast dynamin-like protein, plays a role in
intracellular trafficking. Vps1 has been shown to localize at endocytic sites to promote pinching
off of endocytic vesicles. We present data showing colocalization between Vps1 and retromer,
and that Vps1 knockout cells show a decrease in retromer targeting to late endosomes, a
phenotype reminiscent of human Alzheimer’s disease. In order to evaluate the functional
relationship of retromer and Vps1, colocalization and interaction studies, both genetic and
physical, were conducted. In addition, our physical interaction studies also link Vps1 to a yeast
protein-sorting complex called ESCRT III, residing at the endosome, required for cargo selection
and delivery to the vacuole. We explore this possible relationship, further expanding Vps1’s role
as an intracellular trafficking mediator.
Vietnamese Policy towards South China Sea Conflicts
Thu Ngan Truong Thi, Global Studies
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Dennis V. Hickey
While many consider Sino-Vietnamese relations normaliation in 1991 and effective cooperation
between Vietnam and China in a significant number of fields a sign of regional peace, others
doubt that the continued conflicts over the ownership of islands in South China Sea will probably
provoke wars between the two states. This study examines policies Vietnam has pursued to
manage its relationship with a rising China. The author will analyze how balance of power
theory is proved in the case of Vietnam's China policy towards conflicts in South China Sea in
two ways: internal balancing and external balancing.
Web Accessible Resources for Parents of a Child with a Hearing Loss
Lyndsey Vaughan, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Co-Presenter: Lauren Essmyer
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Letitia White
It is important that a child with a hearing loss is provided with the early intervention and
technology needed to be successful. There are many resources available to professionals and
parents of a child with a hearing loss. Resources were compiled and a web page was created so
these important resources could be easily accessible. Professionals should continue to use the
Internet to share information about hearing loss. Modalities of communication, the importance of
a Ling Sound Check, and assistive technology for other to access and utilize.
What Works: A Look at What Types of Veteran Reintegration Preparation are Working
with OIF/OEF Veterans Rejoining the Community
Teerah Vaughn, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Beverly Long
The Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans have specific
circumstances surrounding their deployment and service that make them distinctly susceptible to
reintegration challenges; such as the length and number of multiple deployments. This study
aims to explore what factors had a positive correlation with veteran reintegration success. The
sample includes OIF/OEF veterans who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan and are currently in
the reintegration phase of service. The participants include those who are successfully
reintegrating and those struggling to rejoin the civilian community. The veterans were recruited
through veteran organizations, local National Guard, and social service locations. The sample
was given a 23 question survey to measure reintegration difficulty as perceived by the veteran, as
well as documenting their post deployment preparation for returning home. Data was analyzed to
determine the correlation between types of preparation training and success of community
reintegration as observed by the veteran. Three main factors were studied in regard to their effect
on veteran reintegration; (1) the number of deployments, (2) The veteran’s perception of his
preparedness, (3) and the amount/type of reintegration preparation by the veteran.
A Positive Classroom Environment Using Rewards
Melissa Veldkamp, Elementary Education
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cindy Hail
The purpose of this study was to determine students' perceptions of classroom environment when
using positive rewards. The study sought to determine if students knew to do the right thing and
how that was impacted by positive rewards, and if there was a significant difference in behaviors
when using them. The participants were from a rural school district in a kindergarten classroom
with 16 boys and 2 girls. A weekly tally chart to record behaviors and an oral student survey at
the end of the study period were the instruments used over a four-week period. The results of the
study indicated a significant increase in positive behaviors and significant decrease in negative
behaviors when rewards were implemented. Students perceived doing the right thing made them
happy and rewards helped students want to do more positive behaviors.
Climbing the Taxonomy Ladder with Help from the Keyword Method
My Vu, Psychology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Russell Carney
Undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: an own best method control
group, and three variations of the keyword method. Students used their respective strategies to
study 18 psychologists and their concepts. The variations in the keyword method were related to
the “interactive image” aspect of that strategy. Dependent measures included a direct matching
test (i.e., match psychologists with their concepts), as well as two tests that involved higher-level
learning (i.e., via Bloom’s Taxonomy). Statistically, only one significant difference emerged
(between group A and the control group) – in part, at least, due to limited sample size.
Descriptively, all mnemonic conditions outperformed the own best method (control) group on
both matching and higher-order learning measures.
Roles and Benefits of Pediatric Palliative Care in Missouri
Jessica Walker , Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Beverly Long
This study investigated pediatric palliative care programs in children's hospitals in Missouri. The
specific objectives of this study were to gain an understanding of pediatric palliative care
services offered in Missouri, gain a clear understanding of the type of professionals included on a
palliative care team and the parameters of their different roles. An additional objective was to
determine how effective professionals believe pediatric palliative care is at increasing quality of
life and wellbeing in children and their families. Once interested hospitals were determined face
to face panel interviews were scheduled and conducted. Interviews were recorded and then
transcribed. Results indicated both hospitals have similar programs, in terms of the roles for the
team and team members. Also indicated is both programs believe that their program provides
benefits for the patients and families that lead to higher quality of life. While specific data is not
available regarding patients living longer with an increased quality of life; anecdotal stories
provide a sense that pediatric palliative care does attribute to patients living well, longer.
A Quantitative Study of the Co-Occurrence between Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence &
Substance Use
Brittney Walker, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Bev Long
This study investigated the co-occurrence of sexual assault and substance abuse in victims of
domestic violence residing in a shelter for battered women. The study was done to see if there
are a statistically significant percentage of survivors of domestic violence who have also been
sexually assaulted, as well as to find out if the use of drugs or alcohol was present at the time of
the assault. Confidential surveys were given to all new clients entering the shelter with an
informed consent document. Surveys were completed by the client and sealed in an envelope to
protect the client’s identity. The results of the surveys showed that 1 in 3 clients were sexually
assaulted and 3 out of 4 women reported the presence of drugs or alcohol be used by one or more
parties involved in the assault. The results show that clients in the shelter could benefit from
specialized case management to address these specific issues.
A Qualitative Study of International Adoptees’ First Meeting with Adoptive Parents and
Traveling to the U.S.
Lin Wang, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michele Day
This study is designed to explore the first transitional phase of international adoption when the
adoptees first meet their adoptive parents and travel to the United States. To gather and compare
different perspectives from the parent and the adoptee, the study used a sample of 8 participants,
four parents and four adult adoptees from four different families that were formed by
international adoption in the United States. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to gather
narrative data. Researcher used a self-designed questionnaire to assist the interview. A
qualitative method was used, and data analysis was case-oriented. Some major themes that were
drawn out of the data fell into the following clusters: cultural differences, bonding, and different
perspectives from the adoptee and the parent. Verbal and nonverbal languages, dietary and living
habits were addressed as major cultural differences. Shared activities, pre-meeting connections
and gift-giving, and need for space are common themes regarding bonding. Parents and adoptees
expressed different views on emotional experience at the first meeting, sibling interactions, and
leaving experiences. The results of the study provided practical implications for clinicians and
social workers to address and process potential issues arising at the initial stage of adoption.
Neighborhood Activity Levels and Perceptions of Life Satisfaction
Jennifer Wetz, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michelle Day
This study examined neighborhood cohesion as one component of life satisfaction among
residents in a small Midwest Community. Studies show one component of life satisfaction is
having a sense of cohesion within the community (Cheung& Leung, 2013). Studies also show
being active within one’s community leads to a higher sense of community cohesion. However,
there is little literature examining whether neighborhood activity level affects perceptions of
neighborhood cohesion among next door neighbors within a neighborhood. Consequently, this
study examined two neighborhoods with differing levels of neighborhood cohesion to determine
whether activity level would affect perceptions of neighborhood cohesion as one component of
life satisfaction. Neighborhood cohesion was conceptualized through a ten question Likert scale
survey designed by the researcher with three subscales of neighborhood cohesion: safety, trust,
and integration. Each of the three subscales of neighborhood cohesion as well as the survey
overall were then compared using t-tests. Preliminary results of this study found no statistically
significant results between neighborhood activity level and perceptions of neighborhood
cohesion between next door neighbors.
Investigation into the Genetic Basis of Leaf Shape in Grapes
Brigette Williams, Plant Science
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Chin-Feng Hwang
Leaf shape is a distinguishing and diverse taxonomic characteristic in grape (Vitis spp.). Leaves
are a reliable indicator for species and cultivar identification, as well as providing information
about plant function as it adapts to its environment. However, little is known about the genetic
basis of leaf shape anatomy in grapes. In this project, phenotypic analysis using morphometrics,
and genotypic analysis using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers have been
combined to better define the genetic basis of grape leaf shape. Our mapping population consists
of parents, V. aestivalis ‘Norton’ and V. vinifera ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’, and 182 F1 progeny, at
MSU Fruit Experiment Station. For phenotyping, we have identified important leaf shape
characteristics (n=17) based on the venation pattern, lobes, and sinuses of each leaf.
Morphometric analysis will be completed to quantify leaf shape variation. Approximately 43,320
SNP markers generated by genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) have been identified in this
population. Statistical analysis will be performed using a General Procrustes Analysis (GPA) to
produce trait measurements in the form of Principal Component (PC) scores. Correlation
analysis using genotyping and phenotyping data will be calculated to identify quantitative trait
loci (QTLs) responsible for leaf shape.
The Use of CW-FIT in an Elementary Resource Room for Students with Autism
Erin Wilson, Special Education
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Linda Garrison-Kane
The use of Classwide Function-based Intervention Teams (CW-FIT), a behavioral classroom
management program (Wills et al., 2010) was implemented in an elementary resource room to
increase the on-task behaviors of students diagnosed with autism. A single-subject, ABAB
withdrawal design was used to assess the components of CW-FIT, the effect of teacher praise
statements and the students' academic progress during small group reading. The targeted
students included two male students diagnosed with autism and one male student diagnosed with
emotional disturbance. The students' on-task behaviors increased across all three participants to
an average of 89.5%, 81%, and 86% and the frequency of teacher praise statements increase to
an average of 11 praise statements per small group session during intervention phase.
Distribution and Dispersal of In-Channel Mining Sediment in the Big River, St. Francois
County, Missouri
Jennifer Witt, Geospatial Sciences in Geography and Geology
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Pavlowsky
Historic mining activity in St. Francois and Washington counties, Missouri resulted in largescale channel sediment contamination in the Big River. Mining chat was created as a waste
product, stored near mill sites, and released to the Big River by erosion and slope failure until
remediation was complete in 2012. Previous studies have evaluated contaminated fine-grained
sediment (< 2 mm) contributions, but environmental effects of the chat sediment in the 2-16 mm
size range have not been fully evaluated. Earlier research shows chat can contain residual lead
concentrations greater than 5,000 ppm and can constitute over 50% of the bulk channel sediment
below mining source points in the Big River. This study evaluates the relative contribution and
spatial distribution of chat in present-day channel sediments along a 70 km segment of the Big
River, from Leadwood to Washington State Park, Missouri. Over 172 samples were collected
every 400 meters from shallow pits in channel bars, sieved, and sorted. Preliminary results for
the 4-6 mm fraction show highest chat percentages >50% near the Desloge Pile and along a 10
km river segment from Flat River Creek to Terre Bleu Creek. The chip percentage averages 18%
(Leadwood to Desloge pile and Turkey Creek to Hwy E) and 36% (Desloge-Turkey Creek below
Bonne Terre).
Autism and the Impact on Siblings
Felicia Wyman, Social Work
Poster Session
Faculty Advisor: Professor Beverly Long
The purpose of this study is to examine autism spectrum disorder and the impact it has on
siblings. This study will review the positive and negative aspects that having a sibling with
autism has on the other children in the family. The researcher hopes to empower, share
experiences, and provide advice for families. The researcher interviewed eight participants; four
from a parental perspective and four from a sibling perspective. A self-designed instrument was
used to ask a series of seven questions. Just as no two people with autism are alike, no two
siblings are alike in how they adapt to their family situation. The results of the research presented
eight different perspectives families often face when having a child or sibling with autism. The
stories of these individuals closely related to the research found by the researcher. Although it
has been proven to be difficult, these family's stories show no one is alone in this journey. Many
resources are available for education and support.
Analysis of Young Children's Mathematical Logics during Jigsaw Puzzle Games
Jishan Yan, Early Childhood and Family Development
Oral Presentation
Faculty Advisor: Joanna Cemore Brigden
Early childhood education covers a wide range of contents in order to promote young children’s
physical, cognitive, emotional and social development in a well-balanced way. Early
mathematics education is an important part of early childhood education but it is not emphasized
as much as literacy or physical education in the practice of preschool classrooms. Based on this
problem, the study was designed to explore mathematical thinking of young children during their
puzzle play. A case study was conducted observing three preschool children for 5 weeks and the
detailed process of their puzzle play was recorded. Four main mathematical logics were revealed
during the participants’ puzzle play including the skills of classification, identification, structural
recognition and connection. This result explains that three participants already have some
mathematical skills that they utilize during hands-on activities as preschoolers. Understanding
the specific skills preschool children demonstrated can be useful for parents and teachers who
want to explore mathematical concepts with young children.