This collection houses theses and culminating Master's projects for graduate programs in Biology, Lake Management, Cooperstown Graduate Program (Museum Studies), Nutrition and Dietetics, Educational Technology, Literacy Education, School Counseling, and Special Education.

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SUNY Oneonta graduate students seeking to submit to SOAR should visit the Electronic Theses and Master's Projects guide here.

Recent Submissions

  • The Evil Corporation Trope: An Analysis of Popular Science-Fiction Films

    Poerio, Michael A. (2022)
    Popular culture in general, and movies in particular, are one of the major influences on the public’s perception of science, and therefore on the level of trust audiences feel inclined to put in science. The science communication community has made great progress in achieving that the portrayal of scientists in movies does better justice to the diverse reality of scientific research, moving away from the stereotype of the old white male scientist. This has been achieved through constructive collaborations like the National Academy of Science’s Science and Entertainment Exchange. However, a prevalent trope, which we call “The Evil Corporation Trope”, has been repeatedly used in science-fiction films. Following David Kirby’s framework of cinema as a “virtual witnessing technology” that allows publics to immerse themselves in possible futures or inaccessible realities and experience what their perceptions and reactions would be, we present an analysis of this trope in several major science-fiction films, spanning nearly forty-years of cinema. If the reality that audiences virtually witness in these blockbuster movies systematically portrays science or tech companies as the antagonist and the source of all evil – is it surprising that trust in science is heavily undermined when it is such big corporations who, for example, develop and distribute the covid vaccines, or vaccines in general? My analysis includes the identification of patterns found within films using this trope, including corporations in these movies with ties to the military, and abuses of artificial intelligence.
  • A Retrospective Chart Review to Determine the Prevalence of Malnutrition in the Elderly and the Effects of Nutrition Interventions

    Isaacs, Cheyenne (2022)
    Background: The prevalence of malnutrition in elderly patients continues to increase with an aging population. Patients with malnutrition are at risk for longer hospital stays, increased risk of frailty, at higher risk for having a poor quality of health, poor health outcomes and increased mortality. Objectives: Evaluate the effectiveness of new nutritional interventions to help correct malnutrition diagnosis criteria. Setting: Presbyterian Home and Services an Acute Rehab and Long Term Care Nursing Facility Participants: 27 elderly patients initially met the malnutrition criteria, at the time of the interventions there were only 20 patients Study Design: Retrospective Study to evaluate the effectiveness of nutritional interventions. That data was utilized to help develop new nutritional interventions. Methods: The newly developed interventions were implemented and the data was collected over a 3 week span. data was collected on weight change, Pre and Post-BMI. The data was analyzed utilizing SPSS Software. Intervention: A high calorie diet was implemented for patients that met the criteria for malnutrition, patients with BMI of 23 were screened to prevent BMI <22, whole milk was programmed in house diet in place of 2% milk Results:100% of the patients had a beneficial wt gain of .10 to 1.25#. This was clinically relevant as evidenced by the score of the paired T-test. During the time frame of the interventions none of the patients had their malnutrition criteria diagnosis corrected. Conclusions: Early screening and implementing nutritional interventions can help prevent malnutrition. Once a patient is diagnosed with malnutrition it is difficult to correct.
  • Effectiveness of Education on Knowledge and Participation in Community Programs

    Riddle, Emily; Patricelli, Isabella; Griffin, Matthew; Corgel, Isabelle (2022)
    Introduction: A Quasi-experimental study was performed to determine if education in the form of handouts would increase participant use in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP Ed) programs. Methods: Participants were recruited for this study the day of the intervention. The effectiveness of this study was based on changes in pre- and post- questionnaire responses. Participants completed a pre- questionnaire prior to the intervention, and a post questionnaire 3 weeks later. Results: There was a significant change in the number of participants who stated they received education/information on LIHEAP, and SNAP Ed (p = 0.023). All other results were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Further studies should be completed to evaluate the effectiveness of education on increasing knowledge, and participation in community programs. While this study provided insight to the benefit that education may have on community program participation, there was limited significance in results and further studies should be altered.
  • Mental Health-Focused Nutrition Education Intervention in Secondary School

    Riddle, Emily; Kelley, Lindsey G.; Parker, Jacqueline (2022)
    Many high schools in the US have insufficient nutrition education programs to inspire behavior change, resulting in a nutrition knowledge deficit in adolescents. School-based nutrition education programs typically do not cover the association between nutrition and mental health. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to evaluate the change in nutrition knowledge and behaviors of secondary school students following a nutrition education intervention. Students enrolled in their required health course received a two 80-minute session nutrition education intervention. Student nutrition knowledge and behavior changes were assessed in the intervention group (n=56) and a previous needs assessment control group (n=8) using a nutrition knowledge survey and food frequency questionnaire. Compared to the needs assessment group, the intervention group had improved nutrition knowledge test scores (28% vs. 68%, p=0.000). Nutrition knowledge test scores among the intervention group was correlated with confidence in reading food labels (r=.351, p<0.001) and choosing healthy foods (r=.453, p<0.001), but was not correlated with confidence in macronutrient (r=.183, p>0.05) or micronutrient knowledge (r=.167, p>0.05). The intervention group reported low intake of breakfast, vegetables, fruit, and simple carbohydrates. This study did support the effectiveness of inclusion of mental health in a nutrition education intervention to improve nutrition knowledge and behaviors.
  • Effectiveness of a Nutrition Intervention in Older Adults Aged 55+

    Riddle, Emily; Williams, Emily R.; McGee, Patty (2022)
    Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention designed to improve behaviors, knowledge, and self-efficacy around chronic disease management in older adults. Design: Quasi-experimental design with one intervention group of older adults Methods: Participants were recruited for this study via an email from facility director, Joan Scotti and other marketing tactics. Effectiveness of the study was evaluated based on changes in pre and post survey questionnaires Setting: Slingerlands, NY Participants: 18 participants completed the study Intervention: The intervention included two days of instruction. Topics discussed included adequate intake to combat malnutrition and easy ways to prepare nutritious foods. The second day included a cooking demonstration. The intervention was conducted over two days one week apart. Participants completed pre and post survey questionnaires which included questions related to general nutrition knowledge, confidence reading nutrition fact labels, and preparing fruits and vegetables to assess the effectiveness of the intervention Results: Quantitative data was analyzed using Mann-Whitney U tests in SPSS. Participant confidence in using and interpreting food labels, confidence including fruits and vegetables in meals and snacks, and familiarity with different methods of cooking fruits and vegetables significantly increased (p<0.05). Conclusions and Implications: A hands-on nutrition intervention and cooking demonstration can be effective at increasing nutrition-related knowledge and self-efficacy in older adults living at an independent senior living center.
  • Community Marketing and Recipe Distribution Project to Improve Food Security and Food Choices

    Riddle, Emily; VanAmburg, Katherine; Perl, Sandra (2022)
    Introduction: This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a two-part community intervention on fresh and frozen produce access and self-perceived diet quality among participants of a local food pantry through a Quasi-experiment design. The study took place at The Living Well Mission in Penn Yan, New York which consisted of 10 selected participants. Social media marketing efforts took place to advocate for fresh and frozen produce donations over the course of four weeks. Three recipes per week, totaling 12 recipes, were also provided with the required ingredients and tips for substitutions. Methods: A two-part intervention consisting of marketing efforts and recipe distribution was examined through a pre and post-survey to examine the changes in pantry food donations as well as nutrition intake and self-perceived efficacy of meal preparation and diet quality. Results: Four participants did not partake in the post-survey intervention. Low level marketing efforts had no impact on food donations. The weekly grocery supplies and recipes did not significantly improve intake of fresh or frozen despite no waste being reported by post-survey participants. The intervention did prevent hunger during the last week of the month for one participant. Conclusion: The intervention did not reveal significant results. Low level marketing efforts were ineffective towards changing food donations and recipe and ingredient distribution did not improve self-efficacy and diet quality despite similar studies finding significant results. Recipe sampling or more nutrition education may be necessary in future studies.
  • The Effectiveness of Nutrition Education in Seniors Over the Age of 65 in Leading a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

    Riddle, Emily; Ziomek, MaKayla M. (2022)
    The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a nutrition educational program on increasing individual knowledge in leading a heart healthy lifestyle among seniors aged 65 years and older. The design of the study was Quasi-experimental and was completed at the Amherst Senior Center, Amherst, Massachusetts. Participants were recruited through paper flyers as well as verbal recruitment during an exercise program at the senior center. Participant knowledge was assessed utilizing a pre-and post-test which included a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Duplicate tests were given prior to an educational session and two weeks post-education. Participant performance was evaluated by comparing test grades and results from the FFQ. Five men and women over the age of 65 years were included in the study. Data analysis was completed using IBM SPSS Statistics 26. Results showed participation in the educational session increased test scores by 24.6% (p<0.005) on average. There were no significant results between pre-and post-test FFQ between educational sessions. This indicated no significant difference in dietary changes. This limitation may be related to the number of education sessions that were conducted. Ideally, nutrition education sessions can be tailored to individual, or group needs, with the idea that these programs can be repeated for future use leading to positive health results.
  • Overcoming Barriers to Mindful Eating in Adult Women

    Riddle, Emily; Kauffmann, Danielle A. (2022)
    Objective: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention designed to improve the knowledge and behaviors related to mindful eating in study participants. Design: A quasi-experimental study design was used in this experiment. Methods: Participant knowledge was evaluated by using a pre and post Mindful Eating Questionnaire (28-item self-report validated instrument), the Hunger and Fullness Scale, and qualitative observations. Quantitative data from the Mindful Eating Questionnaire and Hunger and Fullness Scale were compared using a Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test using IBM SPSS Statistics 26. Setting: This study was conducted virtually. Participants: 11 adult women who are followers of Toni Marinucci participated in this study. Intervention: Participants attended one, 45-minute zoom (virtual) group coaching session each week for a total of 3 weeks. Results: The coaching calls did not significantly increase knowledge and behavior change. The coaching calls were well received and positive feedback was given. Participants noted that the barriers to implementing mindful eating included time, bad habits, and distraction. Conclusions and Implications: The three mindful eating group coaching calls were not effective in increasing knowledge and behavior change in regards to awareness, distraction, and overeating.
  • Changes in Knowledge, Beliefs, and Behaviors Following a Remote Diabetic Education Session Among Adults Living with Diabetes in a Rural Community

    Riddle, Emily; Sheerin, Mary A. (2022)
    Introduction: The incidence of Type 2 diabetes has been a rising concern for Americans since 1994. According to the CDC, in the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese. Health services are struggling with the morbidity, mortality, and cost associated with the complications of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) services have been shown to have a positive impact. United Health Services (UHS) in New York State offers in-person diabetic teaching classes in the form of a DSMES service. To date, there is no official educational program for patients unable to attend in-person diabetic teaching classes within the UHS hospital system. The purpose of this study is to evaluate any changes in knowledge, behaviors, and beliefs of a rural population after have completed a remote diabetes education session to help identify if patients would benefit from a formal remote education class. Methods: This study was conducted remotely in February 2022 using patients from the UHS database. The total number of rural participants was 4. Participant knowledge was evaluated by comparing scores on a pre-test and post-test. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for all statistical analysis as neither of the data being assessed had normality. Qualitative data were thematically examined. Results: The most common theme for barriers related to exercise and dietary change were "work" and "physical limitation". Seven of the 14 questions included in the questionnaire were assessed for statistical significance and despite seeing some data shifts; the diabetes education intervention did not produce a statistically significant change in test scores (Z= -1.342, p = .180). BMI and HbA1c were also tested for statistical significance. Participants appeared to have lost weight between the time of the needs assessment and the intervention as the mean BMI measurement from 2022 is less than the mean BMI from 2021. Although this may seem favorable, there was no significant change in BMI from when the needs assessment was conducted in October, 2021 to the completion of the education intervention in February, 2022 (p = .854). Participants had a reduction in their HbA1c after starting this study as the minimum value for HbA1c is lower in 2022 when compared to data in 2021. Again, despite this observation, there was no significant difference in average blood sugar measurement between 2021 and 2022. Conclusion: This study showed that the diabetic education intervention conducted over the telephone did not elicit a statically significant change in test scores, weight, or HbA1c among the rural participants with type 2 diabetes. Despite observing some data shifts the sample size was simply too small to show any significant change. Although this study did not use sophisticated technology to conduct interviews and deliver education, it opened up the opportunity to possibly introduce a more enhanced way of communication, especially for those unable to attend in-person diabetes teaching classes.
  • Effectiveness of an Online Nutrition Course on Emotional Health and Energy Levels

    Riddle, Emily; Ward, Christine Nicole; Stote, Kim S. (2022)
    Mental health is an extremely important component of health that is not discussed enough. Emotional health, a component of mental health, plays an essential role in an individuals overall health status. Studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between poor diet, obesity and the development of poor mental/emotional health. Therefore the aim of this present study that was to determine the effect an Online Nutrition Course that promoted healthy eating habits had on the Emotional Health and Energy Levels of SUNY Empire college Staff.
  • Online Weekly Educational Newsletters Improve High-School Athlete’s General and Sports-Related Nutrition Knowledge to Prevent a Risk of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport

    Riddle, Emily; Shannon, Caroline; DeLorenzo, Theresa (2022)
    Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of educational nutrition newsletters on nutrition knowledge in high school athletes, designed to reduce the risk of relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) through improved dietary habits. Design: Quasi-experimental. Methods: General nutrition knowledge, sports nutrition knowledge and eating habits and patterns in high school athletes were compared using pre- and post- surveys. Athletes’ nutrition related knowledge was evaluated by comparing final grades of the surveys. Athletes’ eating habits and patterns were evaluated by comparing specific survey questions. The intervention was developed utilizing the social cognitive theory. Setting: New York (online/remote). Participants: 6 high-school athletes scored on the pre- and post-surveys and received the weekly newsletters. 4 athletes were female, and 2 athletes were males. Intervention: A series of 4 weekly newsletters were emailed to participants at the start of each week. Topics of the newsletters pertained to RED-S and included an overview of RED-S, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin D/calcium. Intervention: A series of 4 weekly newsletters were emailed to participants. Topics pertained to RED-S and included an overview of RED-S, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin D/calcium. Results: Weekly newsletters significantly increased high school athletes’ knowledge pertaining to RED-S, general nutrition, and sports related nutrition (p < 0.05). 33% of participants showed an improvement in dietary habits and behaviors. The weekly newsletters had no significant effect on improving eating habits or eating patterns (p > 0.05). Conclusions and Implications: Online weekly educational newsletters utilizing the social cognitive theory is an effective mass media teaching technique to significantly improve high school athletes’ general and sports nutrition knowledge. Further research is needed on interventions to improve dietary habits.
  • Eat Right, Think Bright! Nutrition Changes in 5th and 6th Grade Students

    Riddle, Emily; Robinson, Lindsay M.; Futtner, L. (2022)
    Body image dissatisfaction has risen in recent years in children and adolescents. Changes in eating behavior can be a result of dissatisfaction with one's body. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention designed to positively impact body image and nutrition knowledge in 5th and 6th grade students. This quasi-experimental design with intervention included pre & post surveys and focus groups. Participants included 46 students, ages 10 - 12 years who were in 5th and 6th grade. All students were attending Randolph Elementary School and were recruited by their health educator. Data was collected pre- and post-intervention through Kahoot quizzes, body image surveys, and food frequency questionnaires. This 3-week intervention was based on social cognitive theory and included presentations, videos, handouts, and food demonstrations related to food groups, intuitive eating, and body image. Changes in nutrition-related knowledge, body dissatisfaction, and body image were evaluated using paired t- tests and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. After the intervention, both student knowledge and body image significantly increased (p<0.001). A Spearman correlation was used to evaluate the association between changes in knowledge scores and changes in body image scores. No significant association was found between the two scores (p = 0.53). These results indicate that a 3-week program integrated into the school curriculum can improve body image and nutrition knowledge in 5th and 6th grade students.
  • More with Less: Evaluating the Impact of Altered Purchasing Strategies and Community Outreach on the Nutritional Content of Food Provisions Distributed by the Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown

    Riddle, Emily; Albert, Jonathan S. (2022)
    The Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown provides food provisions to community members facing food insecurity in southern Westchester, NY. A desire to increase the nutritional value of the provisions provided to the patrons of the food pantry was expressed by pantry board members and by patrons via a previously conducted needs assessment. Additionally, increasing demands for food relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for the food pantry to adopt economically sustainable practices. An intervention study was conducted in two-phases to assess whether the nutritional value of the provisions offered to the pantry provisions could be improved while maintaining or minimizing associated costs. Phase-1 was characterized by proposing 4-tiers of changes to purchasing strategies the food pantry could implement to improve the nutritional value of the provisions purchased monthly while maintaining or minimizing associated costs. Phase-2 of the intervention was characterized by publishing an informational pamphlet to the food pantry’s website to improve the nutritional value of the foods donated to the pantry by community members and organizations. All 4-tiers of interventions presented in phase-1 succeeded in supporting the proposed hypothesis by demonstrating the ability to increase overall nutritional value of the purchase orders while maintaining or minimizing associated costs. Phase-2 of the intervention revealed mixed results by showing improvement in nutritional value for some nutrient categories while displaying unfavorable results in other categories. Overall, the results of this intervention study reveal that changes made to purchasing strategies for emergency food relief organizations can result in improved nutritional value of the provisions while maintaining or minimizing costs. Additional research is warranted to study the impact that improvement in the nutritional values of provisions offered to food pantry provisions has on the health and nutritional risk of individuals that utilize these services.
  • Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Nutrition Education Program for High School Students

    Riddle, Emily; Mielnicki, Hayley A. (2022)
    Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of nutrition education interventions on the knowledge level and behaviors of high school students. Design: Series of nutrition education interventions with pre and post-intervention assessments. Setting: Oneida County, New York Participants: Twenty high school students (ages 14-18) at Sauquoit Valley High School in Foods & Nutrition class. Intervention: Four, thirty-minute, nutrition focused education sessions delivered in person by a Registered Dietitian. Outcome: Nutrition-related knowledge and behavior changes. Analysis: Results of the pre and post-intervention surveys were analyzed using multiple Mann Whitney U tests to determine the significance in the change of nutrition knowledge and behaviors. Results: A majority of the students displayed an increase in knowledge levels after the intervention was implemented. Conclusion: Although beneficial changes were seen from the pre to post test, statistical significance cannot be verified for this study.
  • Nutrition Education Intervention Increases Dietary Knowledge and Fruit/Vegetable Consumption Among 2nd Grade Students

    Riddle, Emily; Magurno, Jacklyn M; Riddle, Emily; Fenton, M.E. (2022)
    This study evaluated the effectiveness of nutrition education intervention on nutrition related knowledge and dietary eating habits of a 2nd grade class. The design included mixed methods including a quasi-experimental study. Data collection includes a pre and post test and FFQ, MyPlate, Eatrightpro educational handouts. The study took place in the Town of Webb Union Free School District, Old Forge, NY from 2021-2022 and included 15 2nd grade students ages 11-13 years old enrolled in the study and received a 6-week nutrition education intervention. A 6-week nutrition education intervention was utilized with lessons covering MyPlate, Food Groups, fruits and vegetables and related nutrition activities. SPSS and Excel were used for data analysis. A paired t-test was performed to analyze pre and post test results and a P value of <0.05 was used to determine statistical significance Post test scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores. The nutrition related intervention significantly increased nutrition related knowledge and healthy eating habits of the 2nd grade. The short 6-week nutrition education intervention was found to be effective in increasing nutrition related knowledge in 2nd grade students in addition to promoting healthy dietary eating habits.
  • Safety First

    Doggette, Carlie (SUNY Oneonta, 2021-05)
    April 19, 1940, 11:30 pm. Doris Cannon was at the Little Falls High School gymnasium, listening to the school dance band “Rhythm Dukes” finish their sold-out gig for the night. Doris and the other students had paid 25 cents to dance at the gym that night. By 11:30, some students had drifted off into the chilly New York night, many trying to get home before their curfew. Doris was still in the gym when at 11:33 she felt the gymnasium shake and heard an explosion. She heard the shouts from several of her classmates “Accident! Accident!” But just what accident had occurred?
  • War and Cheese: A Play

    Stengler, A. Erik; Zajan, Alyssa G. (SUNY Oneonta, 2021)
    Setting: A park alongside bustling street. A small platform is set up with a podium and small table. A step or small set of steps allows access up onto the platform. The table contains a pile of pamphlets, flyers, various bottles filled with liquids and tablets, a Marshall Rennet Testing Kit and large tin container. Underneath the table is a metal chest. Posters saying, “Meatless Mondays,” “Wheatless Wednesdays,” “Buy Local,” “When in doubt, eat Potatoes” and “Observe the Gospel of the clean plate” line the back of the small platform. At the front of the platform a sign reads “Live Demonstration at 10:00”.
  • Keeping it Safe with the Little Falls Stone Bank

    Stengler, A. Erik; Lien, Alex (SUNY Oneonta, 2021)
    The Little Falls stone bank building, located at 319 S Ann St., has witnessed the Little Falls community grow for the last two centuries while serving it in multiple ways, building on its story and importance. We tend to learn about the importance of banks at a young age but do not truly understand it until we are older. Banks provide financial stability for the residents of the area by housing our savings, providing checks and debit cards for instant access to our money, and even loan out money for our ambitious projects such as obtaining a house, going to school or starting a business. Now imagine if there was not a bank in your town. In the 19th century, settlements throughout the newly formed United States often did not have established financial institutions like banks. Eventually the American Industrial Revolution sparked an economic boom throughout the country, leading to a need for banks to support our finances and projects. This is why the Little Falls Stone Bank was built in 1833 and begins its service to the Little Falls community over the next two centuries. The building had its ups and downs throughout its history, growing in character as it was used in a variety of ways, from its original use as a bank, to being a simple storage building, to eventually becoming the home and keeper of Little Falls’ history.
  • Plandemic, Propaganda & Politics: Scientific Misinformation During COVID-19

    Miller, Kaitlyn N. (SUNY Oneonta, 2021)
    Is COVID-19 misinformation spread by one political affiliation more than others? Misinformation – whether scientific, historical or on social topics – has devastating and fatal consequences. Whether the misinformation is disseminated during a public health crisis or a war, whether it is in the United States or another nation, propaganda has long been a tool to exploit people’s motivations and trust. A deeper understanding of the spread and acceptance of misinformation will help science communicators – and possibly others – to earn the public’s trust. Only then can scientists prevent another heavily polarized public health crisis that could result in thousands more of needless deaths. By using a multidisciplinary and mixed methods approach, this research dissects the roots of misinformation and why some people are more susceptible than others. For example, some Americans find that mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic are against their constitutional rights to choose. Combining this with Dr. Anthony Fauci once saying that there was no reason to be wearing one, these Americans find themselves more susceptible to believing anti-mask misinformation. An analysis of 1000 tweets containing misinformation shows that proponents of then-U.S. President Donald Trump are significantly more likely to believe and therefore spread misinformation, as opposed to opponents and those without a clear political affiliation. Various topics of misinformation encountered during the data collection are researched to find their possible origins. Many, such as fake cures and anti-mask claims, are linked to comments made by President Trump and/or his most notorious allies.

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