2015 Symposium Program - Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Learning Commons, Perry Library
Sessions at a Glance
8:00 -8:40 AM
Registration and Continental Breakfast (Learning Commons, Northwest Atrium)
8:40-8:45 AM
Welcome and Opening Remarks (Learning Commons, Northwest Atrium):
David Metzger, Dean of Honors College
Poster Session (Learning Commons, Northwest Atrium, pp 3-7)
Featuring Biology, Chemistry, Park, Recreation & Tourism, Psychology, Computer
Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biochemistry, Political Science,
Bioelectrics, Geology, Counseling and Human Services [21 posters]
Undergraduate Art Exhibit (Learning Commons, Northwest Atrium, p. 2)
Undergraduate Research in Biology I: Understanding Pathogens and their Vectors
(Room 1310, p. 8)
Chair: Dr. Dayle Daines, Department of Biology Sciences
Transformation through Art Education (Room 1306)
Chair: Patricia Edwards (1306, p. 9)
Medicine and World War I (Room 1311, p. 10)
Chair: Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite, Department of History
10:15-11:15 AM
Undergraduate Research in Biology II: Aquatic Ecology (Room 1310, p. 11)
Chair: Dr. David Gauthier, Department of Biological Sciences
Facets of Physics Research (Room, 1311, p. 12)
Chair: Dr. Stephen Bueltmann, Department of Physics
New Research in Modern and Contemporary Art (Room 1306, p. 13)
Chair: Dr. Vittorio Colaizzi, Department of Art History
Queering Pop Culture: How Pop Culture has Influenced and been Influenced by
Queer Communities (Room 1307, p. 14)
Chair: Cathleen Rhodes, Department of English
Undergraduate Research in Biology III: Causes of Avian Mortality
(Room 1310, p. 15)
Chair: Dr. Eric Walters, Department of Biological Sciences
Theories and Applications of Geospatial Technologies (Room 1311, p. 16)
Chair: Dr. Hua Liu, Department of Political Science and Geography
New Research in Renaissance and Baroque Art (Room 1306, p. 17)
Chair: Dr. Anne H. Muraoka, Department of Art History
STEM Seniors: Lessons Learned from Students Approaching Graduation in
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (1307, p. 18)
Chair: Dr. Debra Major, Department of Psychology
(digital poster session) Undergraduate Research Learning Community: Crisis
Communication and Climate Change (1312, p. 19)
Chair: Megan McKittrick, Department of English
12:30-1:30 PM
Lunch in Café 1201 – Webb Center
9:00 – 11:15 AM
(Learning Commons: Northwest Atrium)
Undergraduate Art Exhibit
Chairs: Elliott C. Jones & Heather Bryant
Amanda Gonzalez
Christina Irizarry
Magan Shepard
Shanna CrockettHuggins
Margaret Bush
Rebecca Phillips
Alyssa Hayek
Kristen Brown
Alexis Cooper
Ashley Parrish
Margaret Bush
Jamar Weatherspoon
Carlie Bagley
Kaitlyn Hennessy
Jack Van Dyke
Drawing & Design
Drawing & Design
Drawing & Design
Graphic Design
Faculty Mentor
Elliott Jones
Elliott Jones
Elliott Jones
Kenneth FitzGerald, Ivanete Blanco & David
Elliott Jones
Elliott Jones
Elliott Jones
Greta Pratt
Greta Pratt
Greta Pratt
Ken Daley, Heather Bryant
Print & Photo Media (Photo)
Print & Photo Media (Photo)
Print & Photo Media (Photo)
Print & Photo Media
Print & Photo Media
Ken Daley, Heather Bryant
John Roth
John Roth
John Roth
Learning Commons Map
9:00-11:15 AM
(Learning Commons: Northwest Atrium)
Poster Session
1) Solid State Morphing Aircraft
By Joe Altomare, Adam Horn, Thomas Lamb, Nathan LaPuma, Aaron Rosenberg, Austin Stallworth, Michael
Osunlalu (Mentor: Dr. Onur Bilgen)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Electrcial Computer Engineering
The purpose of this project is to design, build and test a solid state ornithopter. A solid state ornithopter is an aircraft
propelled by flapping wings with no conventional actuators. The Blue Heron's wing planform was used to model the
ornithopter's wings due its high aspect ratio and flight capabilities. Using biomechanics, the natural flight of the Great Blue
Heron was determined and applied to the design of the ornithopter. A cantilever beam was used for the model wing. Finite
element analysis (FEA) was performed to determine deflection of the wing while subjected to distributed and concentrated
loads. The so-called Macro-Fiber Composite actuators were used to generate the flapping motion of the wing. The wing was
tested under static and dynamic conditions in a wind tunnel to determine its capabilities of producing lift.
2) Relationship Status, Alcohol Use, and Intimate Partner Violence among Lesbians
By Bre’yn Kelly, Morgan Prothero, Tyler B. J. Mason (Mentor: Dr. Robin J. Lewis)
Lesbian women are more at risk for alcohol use and intimate partner violence compared to heterosexual women. Among
individuals in relationships, being in a more committed relationship is associated with greater psychological health and
relationship adjustment. However, historically, lesbians have been barred from relationship recognition such as marriage.
The current study examined how relationship status, ranging from being more casual to marriage/civil union, was associated
with alcohol use and intimate partner violence among lesbian women in relationships.
3) Evaluation of Cellular Effects Induced by Traumatic Air Blast Shockwaves
By Brittany Hanbury (Mentors: Dr. Michael Stacey, Dr. Shu Xiao)
Sudden shocks which can cause traumatic injuries occur to the human body in varying situations. The objective of our
investigation was to develop a system to mimic those conditions and assess the effects at a cellular and genetic level. Our
system is designed to release an air blast wave up to 100 psi. We evaluated cell survival, cytoskeletal changes, and
mechanosensitive ion channel gene expression on multiple cell types in order to better understand what cells undergo due to
traumatic injuries.
4) Acceptability of Peer Violence Among Youth Who Reside with Substance-Abusing Parents
By Rachel Green (Mentor: Dr. Michelle Kelley)
Parental substance abuse, interparental violence (IPV) and community violence (CV) often have harmful effects on youth. In
this study, we examined associations between IPV and exposure to CV as related to children’s attitudes about the
acceptability of peer aggression and retaliation. Participants were 84 families in which one or both parents met DSM-IV-TR
criteria for a drug or alcohol disorder. Linear regression models were used to analyze the data. Father’s lifetime IPV against
the mother resulted in significantly less acceptability of peer aggression; however, child age and lifetime exposure to CV
increased children’s beliefs about the acceptability of retaliation against an aggressive peer.
5) Compuational Analysis of Cyclic Tri-Peptide Ala-Ala-Lys
By Brian Collister, Evangelos Katsanos, Amy Key (Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Poutsma)
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Sequencing proteins is important in determining the structure, and the ultimate the function. Tandem mass spectrometry is
one of the leading methods used to sequence polypeptide chains. Polypeptides enter the mass spectrometer in the gas phase,
and are fragmented and separated by mass. More recently, small peptide fragments have been shown to rearrange in the prefragmentation phase by going through a proposed cyclic intermediate. One example of a small peptide that has observed a
cyclic rearrangement is the tri-peptide Ala-Ala-Lys. We will be presenting our computational analysis on the cyclic tripeptide Ala-Ala-Lys in an attempt to understand the mechanism by which it rearranges. This will allow us to further
understand this rearrangement, and to predict where it may happen in other small peptide fragments.
6) Developing a Measure of Psychology Aggression: First Steps
By John De Los Reyes, Shelia Manning, Shanon Sabo, Arushi Deshpande (Mentor: Dr. Miguel Padilla)
Psychological aggression is considered to be behaviors that do no cause bodily harm. Understanding this type of aggression
is pertinent because current research suggests that psychological aggression can lead to physical aggression. Therefore, a
sound measure of psychological aggression can be used to identify psychological aggression and help quell future acts of
physical aggression. In addition, a sound measure of psychological aggression can be used to advance research where
psychological aggression is a variable of interest. However, psychological aggression measures are lacking because of two
reasons: unsound psychometric properties (e.g., reliability and validity) and a lack of agreement in the literature as to what
behaviors constitutes psychological aggression. The purpose of this study is to establish what behaviors operationally define
psychological aggression. To achieve this goal a comprehensive literature review and focus groups were conducted. The
focus groups were conducted from various populations to provide information as to what behaviors participants think
constitutes psychological aggression. The information from the literature review and focus groups will be coded and content
analyzed to determine common themes and patterns. From these common themes and patterns, preliminary items will be
written. This serves as an important first step in developing a reliable and valid measurement instrument for psychological
aggression that overcomes the deficiencies of current measures.
7) Phage Isolation: Trials and Tribulations of Phage Research
By Jovan Welch, Elizabeth Smith (Mentor: Dr. Nazir Barekzi)
Bacteriophages are viruses that infect and destroy bacteria that can be used as an alternative to antibiotics. Antibiotics are
over-used world-wide, facilitating the rise of multi-drug resistant bacteria. Phages target specific species of bacteria and coevolve with target host. Bacteriophages are ubiquitous and found in diverse environments around the world (including soil
and water). If phages are living in random soil samples, then we will isolate a single species and interpret the genetic code,
with the hopes of isolating a new species.
8) Discovering the Rosepeake 4 Bacteriophage
By Jack Griffith IV, Kevin Kanda (Mentor: Dr. Nazir Barekzi)
The soil sample suspected of containing bacteriophage was taken from Chesapeake, Virginia from Jack’s backyard. The
sample was enriched and then our lab performed various dilutions, each time either streaking or spotting dilutions to check
for consistent plaque morphology. A medium and high titer lysate were both synthesized and checked for purity. The strain
isolated is somewhat temperate and has shown polymorphic plaque morphology. DNA assays were performed and results are
9) Ele-FH1 Discovery: Capture, Purification, and Preliminary Characterization
By Shay Fizer, Carolyn Henderson (Mentor Dr. Nazir Barekzi))
One of the issues that presents itself in contemporary medicine is antibiotic resistance. Ele-FH1 is a lytic-on-lysogenic
bacteriophage virus that infects Mycobacterium smegmatis. The identification and characterization of the bacteriophage will
potentially facilitate the development of alternative therapeutics for the slow growing Mycobacterium species such as M.
tuberculosis. A soil sample was enriched by use of a metallic ion for attachment and a high concentration of Mycobacterium
smegmatis to encourage the growth of any phage that might have been present. After isolation, several rounds of purification
via stick streak and serially diluted spot tests were performed. Visualization of plaque morphology as well as analysis of the
electron micrographs were then used to confirm the purity of the virus. Although M. smegmatis seems to be a suitable host
for the phage, further analysis of the DNA sequence in silico will confirm the identity of the bacteriophage. The ability of
Ele-FH1 to increase the bacterial competence to bactericidal vectors may be evaluated in the future.
10) Conservation Status of Coral Reef Fishes in Oceania, with an emphasis on Halfbeaks and Frogfishes
By Corina Radtke (Mentor: Dr. Kent Carpenter)
The island countries of the western central Pacific Ocean are heavily dependent on the marine environment. This region has
experienced intensified threats from coastal habitat destruction, over-fishing, and pollution, which has resulted in
documented declines in many marine populations. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an internationally accepted
system to quantify species’ conservation status, is being applied to reef-associated marine fishes of the region. These
assessments, including those for halfbeaks (Hemiramphidae) and frogfishes (Antennariidae), are a first step in prioritizing
biodiversity conservation efforts in the region.
11) Comparative Genomics of the Human and Animal Pathogen Mycobacterium marinum
By Dillion Matthews, Ehsan Jafree, Miranda Ryan, Abhishek Biswas (Mentors: Dr. Desh Ranjan Dr. Mohammed Zubair,
Dr. David Gauthier)
Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biology, Computer Science
Major mycobacterial pathogens of humans, such as M. tuberculosis, M. leprae, and M. ulcerans, are thought to derive from
generalist environmental ancestors. A great deal of research has focused on the genomics of these pathogens, however, much
less is known about mycobacteria that largely retain capability to survive in the ancestral environmental niche. The M.
marinum-like group of bacteria is representative of these environmental ancestors, in that its members retain relatively large
genomes and diverse metabolic pathways for coping with diverse conditions and energy sources. In this work, we present
preliminary results of a whole-genome comparative study of over 30 strains of M. marinum, including genomic phylogeny
and analysis of core and accessory genomes.
12) Investigating nanocapsule uptake in neural immune cells
By Caleb Holland (Mentor Dr. Christopher Osgood)
Nanotechnology has the potential to address many shortcomings of current pharmaceutical treatment options. This project
investigated one possible application of nanotechnology: to improve treatment of diseases and disorders of the brain and
central nervous system. We tested whether dendritic cells of the murine cerebellum would take up nanocapsules, and were
able to demonstrate that the cells would in fact safely take up the nanocapsules. We then experimentally inhibited certain
pathways to determine the means of uptake. Further investigation using macrophages demonstrated the pathway of uptake to
be receptor-mediated endocytosis.
13) A case study of a patient diagnosed with Tidewater spotted fever (Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis)
By Cameron Lenahan (Mentor: Dr. Dr. Holly Gaff)
In this case study, we observe a patient who was recently diagnosed with Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis or Tidewater spotted
fever. This is a disease arising from a bacterium, Rickettsia parkeri, a member of the spotted fever group. Until 2002, R.
parkeri was believed to be nonpathogenic. The patient had developed an eschar and samples were taken. After serology
provided negative titers, the identification of the bacterium was confirmed through PCR.
14) Observations of the behavior of the American dog tick when placed in an environment to promote water loss
By Jonathan Malush (Mentor: Dr. Holly Gaff)
This experiment is an attempt to determine if dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) would try to hide under the soil to prevent
water loss when faced with conditions in which they could dehydrate. The ticks were placed in an environment in which they
began to lose water through natural desiccation. One group had leaf litter under which to hide, the other had only bare soil.
After one week of observation and measurement of temperature and humidity, the reactions of the ticks to their environment
were recorded. The control group hid underneath the leaf litter as expected, but the experimental group did not hide under the
soil as was hypothesized. At the end of the experiment, the experimental group was dead, while the control group was still
relatively active. In conclusion, dogs ticks do not appear to bury themselves into the soil layer to prevent desiccation.
15) Population estimates for Amblyomma americanum, lone star tick, at two sites within the Hampton Roads area of
By Anja Nilsson, Lindsey Bidder, Alexis White (Mentor: Dr. Holly Gaff)
Ticks are one of the main vectors of human pathogens; therefore, we need to study them to better understand their phenology.
The lone star tick is the dominant species within the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. During the summer of 2014, a markrecapture study was conducted for nymph and adult lone star ticks at two field sites, Newport News and Stephens. It was
hypothesized the Newport News site would have a higher population estimate for both nymphs and adults. The LincolnPeterson index was used to analyze the mark-recapture data. Newport News had a population estimate of 1561±319 total
nymphs compared to 578.5±765.3 at Stephens. Adults were 102±58.4 and 69.5±47.6 respectively. These results imply that
there is a greater risk of coming in contact with a lone star tick in the Newport News area.
16) Identification of hosts for ticks in the Hampton Roads area
By Carter Watson , Robyn Nadolny (Mentor: Dr. Holly Gaff)
Ticks are the most common vector of disease in the US, and ticks and tick-borne diseases have increased dramatically over
the past twenty years moving into new areas. To better understand the dynamics of these diseases, it is imperative to identify
the wildlife hosts of ticks. Ticks were collected throughout the Hampton Roads area on many different types of animals.
These ticks were collected through a variety of means including hunt check stations, veterinary donations and road kill
convenience sampling. 60% of all the data collected were lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum), followed by deer ticks
(Ixodes scapularis) with 14% and dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) at 13%. The lone star tick was found on 100% of the
host species in our data. Deer had the highest amount of overall ticks with 52% of total ticks collected. These findings will
help to better understand range expansion of tick-borne diseases.
17) HNRS 201 Monarch Think Tank: Building the Foundation for the ODU Peer Transition Assistants Program
By Sarah Bender, Elizabeth Forgey, Megan Hept, Maurice Jones, Ciarra McPhail, Aiyanne Payne, Erikka Robinson
Carrie Sensenig, Zachary Williams (Mentor: Dr. Tammi Milliken)
Counseling and Human Services
Students participating in the HNRS 201 Monarch Think Tank course during Fall 2014 have had the opportunity to pioneer
the Peer Transition Assistants Program at ODU. The purpose of this presentation is for students in this course to showcase
the impressive work they engaged in throughout the semester. Specifically, they will present the literature they reviewed to
gain an understanding of the difficulties incoming freshmen and transfers experience entering the higher education
environment. Further, they will describe effective peer mentorship models and ways in which their plan fills existing gaps.
The students will also describe their experience developing, implementing, and analyzing qualitative and quantitative needs
assessments of students at ODU. Finally, based on both the reviews of existing programs and the results from their needs
assessments, the students will define their vision for the Peer Transition Assistants Program to be developed and piloted
during the Spring 2015 semester.
18). Transitioning through Transfer: Examining the Impact of a College Outdoor Orientation Program
Research Group: Dr. Eddie Hill, Tim Posey, Mike McFall, Dr. Edwin Gomez
Human Movement Sciences Department/Park, Recreation & Tourism Studies Program
This study examined the impact of an outdoor orientation program (First Ascent) on participants’ level of transference,
resilience, well-being and transition to college. Pre and post-test instruments were administered during a four-day college
outdoor orientation program. Significant gains in transfer of skills as well as resilience, well-being (psychological well-being,
emotional well-being and social well-being) and adjustment to college were documented.
19) The ACA Youth Outcomes Batter: Comparing the Benefits of Outdoor Adventure and Traditional University Day
Camps Research Group: Mary Landfair, Nicole Little, Dr. Eddie Hill, Jean Holt
Human Movement Sciences Department/Park, Recreation & Tourism Studies Program
The American Camp Association (ACA) has been integral in supporting Positive Youth Development by identifying
outcomes associated with participation in organized camping. The current study used the ACA Youth Outcomes Battery
(YOB). The YOB provides youth programs with measures that focus on common youth outcomes. During the summer of
2014, the YOB was used to assess the impact of two different themed university day camps on perceptions of seven
outcomes of youth (e.g., Friendship).
20) The Benefits of Hiking Scale: Its Application among Mountain Bikers
Research Group: Brian Smith, Dr. Eddie Hill, Dr. Edwin Gomez, Dr. Lindsay Usher
Human Movement Sciences Department/Park, Recreation & Tourism Studies Program
This study examined the benefits of mountain biking using the “Benefits of Hiking Scale” (BHS), specifically in Eastern
Virginia. The BHS is theoretically grounded in means-end and benefits theory. Data were collected through intercept surveys
at designated mountain bike trails. Mountain biking is currently one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the world.
Results indicate similar benefits (e.g., improved health) among gender, age, and user type). These data will be useful for park
managers and programmers to effectively identify the needs of trail users.
21) Solar Energy Harvesting System for Powering Small Satellite Missions
By Jason Harris (Mentor: Dr. Dimitrie Popescu)
Electrical & Computer Engineering
ODU is currently conducting research into small satellites. One of the most critical components of a satellite is the power
system. The purpose of this research was to develop an efficient solar power harvesting system which is capable of charging
lithium polymer batteries. Several designs for power control systems were implemented and data was collected to show their
22) Solid State Prosthetic Arm
By Shelby Nedrick, Taylor Jones, Peter Dinga, Joseph Flores, Michael DiGiamcomo, Leveonne Young, Denzel
Stewart (Mentor: Onur Bilgen)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering
This objective of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of shape memory alloys (SMAs) in actuating movement for
prosthetic applications by creating a functioning prototype and evaluating the forces the muscle exerts on the structure. The
arm structure is a simple joint that has been rapid prototyped out of ABS plastic. The arm is driven by SMAs because they
deform under an applied heat and actuate both silently and smoothly. This actuation replicates life like motion and allows for
the amputee to be more comfortable. The SMA muscle bundle is controlled by a simple circuit; some of the components
include an Arduino shield and metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFET).
9:00-10:00 AM (ROOM 1310)
Undergraduate Research in Biology I
Understanding Pathogens and their Vectors
Chair: Dr. Dayle Daines, Department of Biological Sciences
Habitat preferences of Ixodes scapularis at Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve, Portsmouth, Virginia
By Leo Notto (Mentor: Dr. Holly Gaff)
Within Virginia, the main vector of Borrelia burgdorferi, causative agent of Lyme disease, is the tick species Ixodes
scapularis. In order to provide better recommendations to wildlife managers and outdoor enthusiast on how to avoid contact
with this tick species we need to understand its habitat preferences. To study the habitat of I. scapularis we documented
variations in plant communities, and distributions of the tick species along two 200-meter transects, on a biweekly basis, at
Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve in Portsmouth, VA, between October and November. The goal of our study is to reduce
human exposure to I. scapularis.
Microclimate Variation in Southeastern Virginia
By Tyler Chavers (Mentor: Dr. Holly Gaff)
Ticks are one of many vectors that transmit diseases worldwide. Unlike other vectors, they have the ability to live for long
durations both on and off a host. Their extended lifespan allows tick-borne diseases to persist year after year. These vectors
reside in ground vegetation and leaf litter when searching for hosts. A fundamental understanding of these microhabitats can
improve our approaches to tick surveillance. A pilot study was performed in the summer of 2014 to survey known tick
environments in the southeastern Virginia region. These transects were observed for microclimate conditions, including
temperature, relative humidity, and soil pH. This survey allowed us to compare each transect for variation, which may
correspond to differing vector levels among sites. The results indicated a slight variation of temperature, a significant
variation of relative humidity, and overall slightly acidic soil conditions.
A new in cis complementation system for nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi)
By Amarilis Dyer (Mentor: Dr. Dayle Daines)
The use of a plasmid to complement a genetic deletion results in multiple copies of the gene in trans. The biological
relevance of this practice is questionable. The objective of this project was to design and construct a targeted system for
chromosomal in cis-complementation of NTHi deletion strains. To accomplish this, we used a gene encoding green
fluorescent protein, gfpmut2, as the reporter for successful insertion into the NTHi genome. Our results indicate that this
system will facilitate in cis complementation of genetic mutants in a number of clinical isolates.
9:00-10:00 AM (ROOM 1306)
Transformation through Art Education
Chair: Patricia Edwards, Art Department
Art Education fosters creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. Studio methods facilitates transformation and effects
change. This presentation showcases research conducted by students enrolled in the Elementary Art Education Studio
Methods course; students addressed the unit concept: Transformation. Students embraced the topic and researched methods
through meaning-making in the form of lesson plans, studio projects and exemplars that addressed change.
Art for a Better World: Form and Function
By Rebekah Sternbach (Mentor: Patti Edwards and Peggy Powers)
It’s important that children learn that they can effect change in their environments. In this project, students identified a
community or world problem and designed an art-based solution. Students explored techniques and methods for executing
this solution and used critical thinking to evaluate its effectiveness. This research was conducted with learners, in the
community, at “The Y on Granby Street”; Norfolk VA.
Transformations: Ordinary to Extraordinary
By Kristen Emerson, Mary Lauren Stump (Mentor: Patti Edwards)
Through the art lesson plan, students gain an understanding of the importance of proper trash disposal and how it affects our
environment. They will also discover a new perspective of garbage by taking what was considered trash and transforming it
into something new and beautiful. The lesson plan and portfolio samples highlight taking the ‘ordinary’ and creating
something ‘extraordinary’.
By Brooke Grabowski (Mentor: Pattie Edwards)
Through research, the university student discovered that it became important to incorporate materials into the artwork so
children would gain a better understanding of careers in printmaking, while requiring students to reflect and create images of
local watershed resources. The research includes exemplars that embrace studio methods for meaning-making in art
education and an art lesson plan designed for students to explore, envision and create through a series of prints. Processes are
explored with step-by-step procedures as students learn the process of relief printing.
Reclaimed Toys
By Jasper Little (Patti Edwards)
If you could have any super power, what would it be? This research addresses an understanding and application of media,
techniques, and processes to support the building of a character that communicates individuality and differences. This plan
utilizes the VA Standards of Learning including the aim that students will use subjects, themes and symbols that demonstrate
knowledge of context, values and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artwork
9:00 -10:00 AM (Room, 1311)
Medicine and World War I
Chair: Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite
Department of History
The Impact of Nurses during World War I
By Sarenna Khosla (Research Mentor: Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite)
During the First World War, many women served their respective countries by becoming nurses or nursing aids, but nothing
could have prepared them for the atrocities of the war. Unsanitary conditions, new diseases and infections, limited supplies,
inadequate working venues, lack of training for the specific situation, and difficult terrain were only some of the impossible
conditions that these nurses faced. In surgical stations and field hospitals located on the Western Front nurses confronted the
challenges of a new technological warfare and worked alongside male surgical technicians and doctors to save lives and
comfort the dying.
Trench Foot
By Rosario Villagra (Research Mentor: Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite)
World War I brought attention to ‘new’ diseases that certainly pre-dated the war but occurred with greater frequency because
of the conditions generated along the Western Front. Trench Foot became a problem in the winter of 1914, a disease often
called “chilled-feet” or “frost-bite feet.” The disease attacked the toes of soldiers causing swollen legs up to the knees, often
ending in gangrene and amputation. It resulted from soldiers standing in cold and dirty water for long periods of time.
Fighting Trench Foot became a major preoccupation of medical personnel during World War I.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and World War I
By Ricardo Burgos-Feliz (Research Mentor: Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is described as any traumatic event that a person has witnessed or experienced. First
recognized in 1678, PTSD first became better understood during and after World War I. During the war PTSD was known as
“Shell Shock” and “war neurosis” due to the shock from incoming enemy shells disturbing the brain and causing
concussions. Horrible sights generated from artillery fire left many men unsettled for the rest of their lives. This paper looks
at the history of PTSD and World War I noting that warfare often generates scientific advancement with regard to healthcare.
Cholera and World War I
By Lauran Henderson (Research Mentor: Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite)
Vibrio Cholerae Infection is a bacterial illness in the intestine that causes acute and voluminous diarrhea. The disease is
spread through contact with infected fluids and death can occur in a matter of hours. Cholera was widespread in the muddy
trenches in World War where strict sanitation was required but impossible. Cholera was reported in Austria-Hungary,
Germany, Russia and Turkey during the war.
The Pandemic of 1918: Spanish Influenza I
By Cameron Foster (Research Mentor: Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite)
The Spanish Flu, a virus subtype H1N1 strain and otherwise known as the Influenza of 1918, has been called by some
scholars a “biological holocaust” because it killed over 50 million people between 1918 and 1920. Interestingly enough, it is
also referred to as the forgotten pandemic as it seems to have been overshadowed by the horrors of World War I. This paper
examines the impact of the Spanish Flu on World War I.
The Pandemic of 1918: Spanish Influenza II
By James Cain (Research Mentor: Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite)
The Spanish Influenza had a lasting effect on the culture of the world because of the sheer number of deaths caused by the
disease. However, the impact that the disease had on the United States and Europe was substantial in other ways as well. It
caused changes in medical practices and disease control in America and Europe influencing contemporary practices with
regard to epidemic outbreaks still in place today.
10:15-11:15 AM (Room, 1310)
Undergraduate Research In Biology II - Aquatic Ecology
Chair: Dr. David Gauthier
Department of Biological Services
Similar Bleaching Tolerance of Acropora aspera and A. Formosa In Pools with High and Low Temperature
By David Jones (Mentor: Dr. Dan Barshis )
Elevated temperatures can cause corals to expel their symbiotic algae, Symbiodinium sp., leaving behind colorless,
“bleached” coral skeleton. Here, we compared Acropora aspera and A. formosa coral samples from two natural pools in
America Samoa with high and low daily temperature variability to determine if previous exposure to broad temperature
ranges affected coral bleaching tolerance. Samples from each pool were exposed to elevated temperatures in lab tanks and
analyzed for Symbiodinium density. Surprisingly, no large differences were seen between corals from the different habitats,
suggesting these species and populations may have a similar tolerance to bleaching.
The Effect of Sponge Restoration on Fish and Invertebrate Communities in the Florida Keys
By Jessica Vincent, Mark J. Butler IV (Mentor: Dr. Mark Butler)
Algal blooms have decimated hard-bottom sponge communities in the Florida Keys, FL. Among other impacts, this loss of
sponges has critically affected the organisms that depend on them for nursery habitat and shelter. Experimental restoration of
sponge communities is underway, but its effectiveness in reestablishing fish and macroinvertebrate abundance and
biodiversity is unknown. To determine this, we used diver surveys and time-lapse videography to catalogue the abundance
and diversity of macrofauna attracted to the restoration sites. Preliminary analysis of those data indicates that biodiversity is
increased in restored areas, a trend suggesting that sponge restoration also benefits ecosystem function.
Salinity and temperature in relation to spatial and temporal distribution of dinoflagellates in Virginia estuaries
By Michael Echevarria, Danielle Power, Charlotte Hauenstein (Mentor: Dr. Todd Egerton)
Dinoflagellate blooms, including toxic species, occur throughout the year in tidal tributaries of Virginia. Presented here is a
summary of dinoflagellate composition and environmental parameters over a five-year period (2010-2014). Nine
dinoflagellate species were identified as producing annually reoccurring blooms in Virginia estuaries. Heterocapsa
rotundata, H. triquetra, Prorocentrum minimum and Karlodinium veneficum had peak abundances during winter and spring
months, with summer/fall blooms of Gymnodinium spp., Scrippsiella trochoidea, Akashiwo sanguinea, Cochlodinium
polykrikoides and Alexandrium monilatum. While dinoflagellates did co-occur, blooms were largely separated temporally
and/or spatially. Results support optimal temperature and salinity ranges as probable factors shaping seasonal succession
Effects of Risk Factors on Mycobacterial Infections in Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis)
By Elizabeth Smith (Mentor: Dr. David Gauthier)
Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) are a popular recreational sportfish. Ulcerous skin lesions and granulomas have been
observed in wild-caught striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay caused by bacteria in the genus Mycobacterium. Mycobacterium
pseudoshottsii and Mycobacterium shottsii seem to be major agents associated with this disease as well as Mycobacterium
marinum and Mycobacterium triplex-like bacteria. The first evidence of mycobacteriosis associated mortality in striped bass
was provided by a study that confirmed very high infection prevalence (greater than 50%) in some age groups in the
Chesapeake Bay; however, the prevalence data was based on the presence of granulomas in the spleen. Because it is known
that mycobacterial infections may not produce clinical signs, the current study uses Taqman qPCR to determine bacterial
presence. Logistic regression was utilized to examine relationships between bacterial prevalence and risk factors, including
age, year, season, and sex. M. shottsii was shown to have a positive association with age, and a negative association with
year, while M. pseudoshottsii prevalence failed to have an association with the risk factors. Because striped bass are
anadromous, older fish have migrated outside the Bay and along the East coast. The higher prevalence of M. shottsii
occurring in older fish may reveal that striped bass contract M. shottsii outside the Bay. Fish-infecting mycobacteria are
thought to be facultative pathogens, but because M. shottsii is shown to be primarily prevalent in older fish, this study
provides further support that M. shottsii may be an obligate pathogen.
10:15 – 11:15 AM (Room 1311)
Facets of Physics Research
Chair: Dr. Stephen Bueltmann, Department of Physics
The Heavy Photon Search Experiment at Jefferson Lab
By: Mathieu Ehrhart (Mentor Dr. Stephen Bueltmann)
Dark Matter could potentially interact with itself via a heavy vector boson (heavy photon), which could in turn interact
weakly with the photon, the carrier of the electromagnetic force, through kinetic mixing. The Heavy Photon Search
experiment is scheduled to take data at Jefferson Lab’s Hall B in 2015 using the newly energy-upgraded electron beam. The
detected electron-positron pairs from the decay of the bremsstrahlung produced heavy photons will cover a heavy photon
mass range from 20 to 1000 MeV/c2.
Observational Astronomy at the CTIO in Chile
By: Joshua Frechem (Mentor Dr. Yelena Prok)
Using data from the 2.3 meter Bok telescope on Kitt Peak and the FRANKENSpec spectrograph, we aim to investigate the
circum-nuclear region of active galaxies in the J, H, and K passbands in order to obtain high signal to noise spectra with
reasonable investment of observing time. The sample is selected to cover a wide range of AGN types of activity in luminous
nearby galaxies. These data unveil details of what the environment is like in the area surrounding the supermassive black
holes that are found in the heart of each of these galaxies.
Energy Sharing (e,2e) Collisions - The Ionization of Xenon in Geometries Ranging from Coplanar to Perpendicular
By: Robert D. Mydlowski (Mentor Dr. Colm Whelan)
The ionization of the inert gas Xe is investigated. The role of single and multiple scattering in determining the shape of the
triple differential cross section in different energy sharing geometries is clarified. By varying the geometries we explore the
role of exchange, polarization and post collision interaction. Our theoretical results are compared with recent experiments.
The Ionization of Hydrogenic Ions by Proton Impact: CTMC Calculations
By: Anthony Sciola (Mentor Dr. Colm Whelan)
The ionization by proton impact of hydrogenic ions will be discussed. The Classical Trajectory Monte Carlo (CTMC) method
has yielded good results for proton impact on neutral hydrogen, but has proved less successful for hydrogenic ions. Possible
reasons for this failure are discussed and calculations are presented in a modified version of the code.
10:15 – 11:15 AM (Room 1306)
New Research in Modern and Contemporary Art
Chairs: Dr. Vittorio Colaizzi
Department of Art History
Heinrich Ferstel: The Modernization of the Votivkirche in Vienna
By Deanna Brooks (Mentor: Dr. Robert Wojtowicz)
Combining thirteenth-and fourteenth-century French and German Gothic styles, architect Heinrich von Ferstel sought to
create a Gothic-Revival building of the purest sense. His creation, the Votivkirche, became a fixture of Vienna's Ringstrasse;
however, since its execution in 1882, the Votivkirche has been damaged by war and severe weather. The damage prompted
extensive reconstruction including the introduction of metal skeleton to support the Votivkirche's crumbling foundations, a
material initially believed to be compromising to the cathedral's design. An examination of Ferstel's influences, and his final
design for the Votivkirche, however, possibly reveal his anticipation of the Votivkirche's enhancement through modern
The Glasgow Style: Impact of John Ruskin and Sir George Gilbert Scott on Charles Rennie Mackintosh
By Eva Marie James (Mentor: Dr. Linda Mcgreevy)
Charles Rennie Mackintosh is one of the most prominent and influential designers of the Art Nouveau period, specifically the
Glasgow Style. Created during a period of aesthetic indulgence and innovation from the 1890s to the 1910s, Mackintosh’s
work typically features the employment of organic forms inspired by nature. His creativity was cultivated as a member of the
“Glasgow Four,” four artists who came together at the Glasgow School of Art. This paper connects the intellectual genius of
the “Glasgow Four” with the ideas of the art critic and watercolorist John Ruskin, and the English architect Sir George
Gilbert Scott.
Norman Lewis: Politics and Self-Expression
By Magan Shepard (Mentor: Dr. Vittorio Colaizzi)
African American abstract expressionist painter Norman Lewis stated that his work was not political, but his position is
questioned by critics and art historians such as Anne Gibson. Because Lewis was an African American painter in the
twentieth century, anything he painted would be considered political. The historical events that were happening in the
African American community while he was creating had an impact on his life and his self expression through paintings such
as Sinister Doings by Gaslight (1952) and The Aftermath (1954). This self-expression has been misunderstood as overtly
Jenny Holzer: Humanized Text
By Carlie Bagley (Mentor: Dr. Vittorio Colaizzi)
Unlike a previous generation of conceptual artists working with text, Jenny Holzer’s texts highlight personal emotions,
cultural tendencies, world politics, and even aspects of spirituality. By projecting these short texts onto public buildings,
taping them up in public spaces, and installing them in galleries, Holzer brings information to the public that is usually
overlooked. This dispersal of information, both personal and political, in a way that demands critical attention and leaves
processing, decision making, and judgment up to the viewer, sets Holzer’s work apart from traditional conceptual art. Her
texts are imperfect, humanized truths.
Mary Heilmann: Anonymity and Memory
By Sarah Gorman (Mentor: Dr. Vittorio Colaizzi)
Mary Heilmann began painting after moving to New York in the late 1960s, with her earliest mature works emerging in the
early 1970s. At this time both formalist painting and post-minimalist sculpture were characterized by anonymous execution.
By injecting personality and memory into her works, Heilmann reinvigorated a movement that had become dull and sterile.
This paper will show how Heilmann infused a seemingly simple geometric vocabulary with deep personal meaning. Her use
of color, shaped canvases, and semi-autobiographical and enigmatic titles revitalized the late Modernist movement from
within, thereby setting the tone for contemporary abstraction.
10:15 – 11:15 AM
Queering Pop Culture (Room 1307)
How Pop Culture Has Influenced and Been Influenced by Queer Communities
Chair: Cathleen Rhodes, Department of English
Queering Pop Culture: How Pop Culture Has Influenced and Been Influenced by Queer Communities
By Janine Kimble, Alisa Moore, Taylor Boyd (Mentor: Cathleen Rhodes)
Presenters will explore the ways that queer communities – theorists, activists, and fans – have influenced and been influenced
by pop culture. Participants will demonstrate that these relationships of reciprocity have impacted, sometimes for the better
and sometimes not, not only the individual lives of queer people but also American culture and society at large as queer
music and comic fans have exerted increasing influence over art forms that have historically had a complex relationship with
LGBTQ subjects. Moreover, this research has implications beyond those of music and comic books, as participants will
demonstrate that queer influences on and in other areas of pop culture likely work in similar ways.
The B-Word: How Hypermasculinity Keeps Bisexuals Out of DC Comics
By Janine Kimble (Mentor: Cathleen Rhodes)
This presentation will assess the state of bisexual representation in the DC Comics franchise and explore how the connections
between hyper-masculinity in comics, a reluctance to include bisexual characters in mainstream comics, and the prevalence
of stereotypes surrounding bisexuality work together to exclude bisexual characters from DC comics. Specifically, this idea
will be applied to the anti-hero Hellblazer, a previously obscure bisexual character who is being given a television series only
after being stripped of his bisexuality. This erasure not only enraged fans but also highlighted DC Comics’ lack of bisexual
characters and their unwillingness to properly showcase the complexity of bisexuality.
Storm(ing) the Gates of Queer Representation: Reading Between The Panels
By Alisa Moore (Mentor: Cathleen Rhodes)
The X-Men comic book character Ororo Munroe, better known as Storm, has been an icon for LGBTQ comic fans for
decades. Storm provides some queer representation within comics including her implied romantic relationship with Ronin
Yukio, her transformation soon after into the butch presenting, leather-clad “Mohawk Storm,” and her resemblance to drag
queens. Nevertheless, Storm is not explicitly queer, and any overt queer visibility is easily lost on the average reader. This
presentation explores the varied depictions of Storm and seeks to determine whether implied queerness is sufficient in comics
where queerness is still vastly underrepresented.
Queer to the Core: The Emergence of LGBTQ Punk Rock
By: Taylor Boyd (Mentor: Cathleen Rhodes)
A/V needs: digital projector with sound and laptop
Pioneered in the 1970s, punk rock emerged as a reaction to an increasingly self-indulgent music industry and to the injustices
that many punks observed within society. As a highly politicized form of music, punk has always promoted ideals of social
equality, social justice and personal freedom, yet it has largely maintained a devoted following of mostly white, heterosexual
male fans. Thus, queercore emerged as a reactionary offshoot of hardcore punk and sought to express its disapproval of the
homophobic landscape that was 1980’s America. While stylistically similar to other forms of punk, queercore is unique in its
themes and lyrical content, typically critiquing a homophobic society and dealing with issues such as gender and sexual
identity. This presentation will examine the history of the queercore movement, determine how it has influenced and
impacted the punk scene, and will explore how the rise of queer culture within punk has influenced perceptions of the
community outside of the punk scene and how queer punk has been used as a tool for LGBTQ rights.
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Room 1310)
Undergraduate Research in Biology III
Causes of Avian Mortality
Chair: Dr. Eric Walters, Department of Biological Sciences
The Effects of Avian Foraging and Nesting Behavior on the Probability of Tick Parasitism
By Dorothy R. Paine, Erin L. Heller, Chelsea L. Wright
(Mentors: Dr. Holly Gaff, Dr. Eric Walters)
There are seven species of hard-bodied ticks commonly found in coastal Virginia, that parasitize birds during their larval and
nymph stages. In 2014, mistnets were used to trap birds at five sites in coastal Virginia. Birds caught in the mist nets were
banded, and ticks, if found, were removed from the birds and sorted by species and life stage, using morphological methods.
The most parasitized bird species was the Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). Data show a relationship between the
amount of time a bird is expected to spend foraging or nesting on the ground and the number of ticks found.
Fatal Window Collisions: Which Avian Familes Are Most Susceptible?
By Ally S. Lahey, Natasha D. G. Hagemeyer, Annie M. Sabo (Mentor: Dr. Eric Walters)
Approximately 500 million birds die each year in North America from fatal window collisions. Most research efforts have
focused on building characteristics, but recent studies have suggested that some species of birds are more susceptible to
window strikes. We investigated species-specific susceptibilities to fatal window collisions during fall migration at the
Virginia Zoological Park from 2012-2014. We combined daily window strike surveys with weekly mist-netting to examine
family likelihood of fatal window collision. Thrushes (Turdidae) were the most common avian family captured, but were a
low proportion of fatal window strikes. Wood-warblers (Parulidae) were the second-most common avian family captured
(22%), but comprised 62% of all fatal window collisions. Mimids (Mimidae), cardinals (Cardinalidae), and sparrows
(Emberezidae) all struck windows at lower proportions than available in the area. Accipiters (Accipitridae) and
hummingbirds (Apodidae) struck at higher than expected proportions, but these families are unlikely to be captured in mist
Are Younger Birds More Prone to Window Strike Mortalities?
By Annie M. Sabo, Natasha D. G. Hagemeyer (Mentor: Dr. Eric Walters)
Windows cause the deaths of approximately 500 million birds per year in North America. A high number of window strikes
occur each fall at the Virginia Zoological Park (Norfolk, VA), thus a collaborative mist-netting effort was conducted during
fall migration 2013/2014.. The goal of this study was to compare age ratios of avian migrants naturally found at the zoo with
those that struck windows. We hypothesized that disproportionately more juveniles would strike windows since juveniles
would likely be less experienced with anthropogenic structures. The proportion of juveniles striking windows (54.6%) was
not significantly different (Z=-0.76, P>0.05) than the population of birds naturally occurring at the zoo (57.1%). Because
results were unexpected, we would like to conduct future studies to better understand how these migratory birds are using the
zoo as a stopover habitat, which would lead to window design efforts to help prevent collisions.
Avian Malaria in Virginia
By Jessica Asfari, Chelsea L. Wright (Mentor: Dr. Eric Walters)
Avian malaria is a deadly disease that affects birds in many different areas. It is caused by the parasite Plasmodium and its
disease vector is the Culex genus of mosquito. Symptoms include gross and microscopic lesions, hyperplasia, and anaemia.
Blood samples were obtained from 87 birds captured in June and July of 2013 at various sites in the Hampton Roads area of
Virginia. The blood collected was tested for the parasite Plasmodium. Five birds tested positive for Plasmodium relictum.
These findings suggest that avian malaria is well established in southeastern Virginia. Further study will allow a
determination of whether this disease is causing a decline in native bird populations.
11:30 – 12:30 PM (Room 1311)
Theories and Applications of Geospatial Technologies
Chair: Dr. Hua Liu, Department of Political Science and Geography
Light Rail Assessment in Hampton Roads with Geospatial Technologies
By Joseph Coley (Mentor: Dr. Hua Liu)
The past thirty years in Hampton Roads, Virginia traffic has come to nearly a halt. This project tries to find the answers to the
following questions with the assistance of Geographic Information Systems (GIS): What would the benefits be of installing
light rail in Hampton Roads and where would it be installed? In determining the answer we will be taking into consideration
areas of population, preexisting easements, urbanized areas and economic areas of interest in determining light rail placement
in Hampton Roads. After careful consideration there would be ten sub-stations and two main train stations for commuter use.
This development will have eased traffic congestion while bringing economic success to shopping districts in Hampton
Roads. The rail also brings the five cities that make up Hampton Roads together for a larger metropolitan feel and one
Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety in Hampton, Virginia
By Jayne Evangelista (Mentor: Dr. Hua Liu)
Every year thousands of pedestrians and bicyclists are involved in accidents involving motor vehicles. The objective of this
project is to determine where these types of accidents occurred in the city of Hampton, not including Langley Air Force Base,
between June 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014. Directional distributions, hotspots, and cold spots associated with each type of
accident are determined to statistically analyze the accidents. The results find that there were a total of 56 accidents: 39
involving pedestrians and 17 involving bicyclists. It also finds that the section around the junction of West Mercury
Boulevard and Interstate 64 is the most dangerous for pedestrians.
Potential Wetland Loss for Poquoson, VA Due to Sea Level Rise
By Jeffrey Rollins (Mentor: Dr. Hua Liu)
The objective of this project is to utilize GIS and remote sensing technologies to estimate the total loss of wetlands due to
inundation by sea level rise in the City of Poquoson over the course of the next 20-30 years. In order to achieve the objective,
we will use an existing sea level rise model to evaluate the possible range of elevations in the next twenty years for the study
area, and then project those elevations onto a digital elevation model of Poquoson. Using these projected elevations, we will
be able to find the range of total area of wetlands that have been inundated with a water column deep enough to drown them
in situ. As a result we expect to depict a set of “before and after” maps and to outline current wetlands and the range of
possible areas of wetland loss.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM (Room 1306)
New Research in Renaissance and Baroque Art
Chair: Dr. Anne Muraoka, Department of Art History
Raphael’s Transfiguration and the Meaning of Faith
By Benjamin Larned (Mentor: Dr. Anne H. Muraoka)
Raphael’s Transfiguration altarpiece includes two scenes: Christ’s Transfiguration and the healing of the demonic boy. Many
have interpreted the merging of these two scenes as a symbolic reference of Christ’s purity or the ultimate healing of man through
the forgiveness of sins. I argue that Raphael’s organization of the painting separates the demonic boy from the Transfiguration, in
order to represent the earthly struggle of man to achieve peace and ultimately reach heaven. However, man’s absence of faith has
defined his mortality and made man unable to attain peace without it.
All Roads Lead to Rome: the City's Influence on the Art of Parmigianino
By Justice Kaufman (Mentor: Dr. Anne H. Muraoka)
Parmigianino is an artist celebrated for his definitive and signature Mannerist style. The Madonna with the Long Neck, an
unfinished masterpiece created at the end of his life, is one of Parmigianino's crowning achievements, and one that would not
be with us if not for his journey to Rome. Though Parmigianino spent his early career making a name for himself in Parma,
it was not until he ventured to Rome that his art became truly inspired. His presence in the city was paramount to his
development as a Mannerist artist.
The Violation and Execution of Medusa in Benvenuto Cellini’s Perseus
By Emily Guthner (Mentor: Dr. Anne H. Muraoka)
Benvenuto Cellini’s sculpture of Perseus features the titled hero standing upon the decapitated gorgon Medusa in a moment
of triumph. However, the statue, commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici does not depict Perseus’ nemesis as a monstrous
opponent. Instead, Medusa is beautiful, exposed, and defeated. My research uses stylistic, historical and gender studies
analyses to argue that Cellini’s sculpture Perseus is not a depiction of a mythological tale but rather an artistic representation
of the patriarchal ideals and desire for female subjugation in the sixteenth century.
Death Never Looked So Pretty: Juxtaposition within Caravaggio’s Homoerotic Works
By Sabrina Brooks (Mentor: Dr. Anne H. Muraoka)
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s works have been widely read through a homoerotic lens. By examining Caravaggio’s
works through socio-historical, formal and iconographical analysis, however, I argue that the artist presents something
beyond mere homoerotic invitation. From his early work, Boy with a Basket of Fruit (1592-3), to one of his final canvases,
Saint John the Baptist (1610), the juxtaposition of life and death, sacred and profane, youth and old age, are used by
Caravaggio to first entice the viewers, then repulse them. The contradictory response elicited from the viewer thereby
ensnares their attention in a profound way.
Caravaggio: Arbiter of Destruction?
By Laura Rebecca Phillips (Mentor: Dr. Anne H. Muraoka)
Caravaggio’s contemporaries have accused him of “destroying” painting by discarding the traditions of the masters of the
Renaissance. I assert that by painting directly from nature, Caravaggio sought to prove that the idealization of figures was an
unnecessary attempt to perfect that which was already flawless, by nature of its creation by the hands of God. The gritty
realism of Caravaggio’s Medusa supports the idea that he saw that only by depicting subjects with realism, could a painter
truly be a master of his craft. When viewed under this lens, he did not destroy painting, but rather, he reinvented it.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM (Room 1307)
STEM Seniors: Lessons Learned from Students Approaching Graduation in
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Chair: Debra Major, Department of Psychology
This session explores the issues that are important to students graduating from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
(STEM) majors. Graduating seniors from majors in the College of Sciences and College of Engineering were interviewed
about their experiences as students in their majors and their post-graduation plans. Their responses were analyzed to
determine what factors are most important to fostering persistence within STEM fields. This presentation outlines the
experiences of STEM students as well as their plans and goals following graduation. Differences related to gender and
discipline are explored and implications for such differences are discussed.
Reasons Why STEM Students Choose and Stay in their Majors
By D. Jeremy Barsell
The purpose of this presentation is to identify the reasons why undergraduate students enroll and remain in STEM majors.
Specifically, this study applies embeddedness theory, which has been primarily used in assessing career satisfaction and job
retention, to the university level in order to uncover any overarching themes in choosing and persisting in a major. The
results from this study can provide important insight into helping retain individuals in STEM fields.
Gender Differences in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical Fields
By Austin M. Hearne
This presentation explores gender differences in the experiences of STEM students. The results suggest that both male and
female students are aware of the underrepresentation of women in STEM, but that the issue is more salient for women. This
implies that female students may not feel as welcome or be taken as seriously in STEM fields as men.
Post-Graduation Plans and the Impact of Future Family Influence: A Student’s Perspective
By Rachel E. Green
STEM students were asked to describe their immediate post-graduation plans. The analyses revealed two major categories of
plans: graduate school and immediate employment. Students planning to enter graduate school differ from their peers
entering the workforce in their ability to articulate future plans. Students also reported the anticipated impacts of current and
future family on their future plans. Common themes and significant gender differences are addressed. Findings show that
men and women have unique perceptions of future family conflicts.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM (Room 1307)
Digital Poster Session
Undergraduate Research Learning Community: Crisis Communication and
Climate Change (1312)
Chair: Megan McKittrick, Department of English
Making a Game of Serious Research: Communicating Climate Change in Coastal Virginia
By Madeline Brenner, Padideh Ghadiri, Sinh Ly, Amanda Nolan (Mentor: Megan McKittrick)
Presenters will share findings from primary human subjects survey research conducted by students enrolled in the Fall 2014
Honors Crisis Communication and Climate Change course, an undergraduate research learning community. With the help of
the Social Science Research Center at Old Dominion University, students surveyed Hampton Roads residents on their
perceptions of climate change, sea level rise, mitigation, adaptation, and the messages employed to address these ongoing
issues. Students analyzed and utilized survey data to develop compositions that effectively communicate environmental risk
to the local populace. Presenters will demonstrate how these findings were applied to the development of a climate change
board game, inviting attendees to play a round of the game.