Recent Submissions

  • Students experiences of navigating college with a disability

    Pullar, Jessica (2023-09)
    The purpose of this study was to conduct an exploratory analysis of the experiences of students with disabilities in college. Participants (N=26) were SUNY New Paltz students aged 18-54, who identified as having a disability. A series of semi-structured interviews were conducted on Zoom, in person, and through an online typed version of the questionnaire. The Postsecondary Student Survey of Disability-Related Stigma (SSDRS) was completed online before completing the interview. To gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student with a disability attending a post-secondary institute, participants were asked to talk about their experiences. Additionally, participants were asked different questions based on whether they were registered with the Disability Resource Center. Three themes were identified as the most prominent: the importance of accessibility, accommodations (the good and the bad); and the struggle with faculty to receive accommodations. Overall, participants felt a lack of accessibility on campus and had issues acquiring accommodations. Participants also noted that there seemed to be some stigma on campus. Participants were overwhelmingly interested in a self-advocacy class. Findings were discussed in light of recent scholarship.
  • Queer coffee hour

    Alexander, John (2023-05)
    Queer Coffee Hour was born out of a thirst for connection in New Paltz and on the planet at large. The project aims to fit a need I’ve been observing for my entire life, which is the deterioration of that same once impenetrable LGBTQ+ community. By facilitating relationship building and creating a space for queer students to come together, share interests, and meet new people, I believe we can bring back the strong queer community we once had. And what better way to break the ice than over a cup of coffee?
  • The relationship between basic need fulfillment and prosocial behavior: the moderating role of culture

    John, Aaron (2023-08)
    We explored the relationship between the satisfaction of basic psychological needs (autonomy, relatedness, and competence) and prosocial behavior. We also investigated how this relationship may differ between cultural groups. We administered an online survey to participants in the U.S. and India using Amazon Mechanical Turk. This survey included a measure of basic psychological need fulfillment (Van der Kaap-Deeder et al., 2020), self- construal as an individual-level marker for cultural differences (Singelis, 1994) and a four-item measure of prosocial intentions (Baumsteiger & Siegel, 2019). We hypothesized that satisfaction of the basic needs would predict increased prosocial intentions. Keywords: prosocial behavior, basic psychological needs, self-construal, culture.
  • Fractured horizon: MFA Thesis - Photography and Related Media

    Uliyanova, Viktorsha (2023-08)
    Memory is a fragile thread that holds together the tapestry of history and culture. My work explores the collapse of the Soviet experiment, political repression, and trauma that pervades families and the nation. Through textured multiples, video, and alternative processes, I build a portal to memories that have been suppressed by the Soviet regime. In engaging with archives, I investigate the blind spots in history and contextualize the way the present and the future are reflected in the past.
  • Lived experiences of music therapist-mothers: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

    Ellks , Amy M. (2023-05)
    The purpose of this interpretive phenomenological analysis was to learn more about how music therapist-parents experience their dual roles, how these roles might influence one another, and to identify key issues associated with successfully maintaining them. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three practicing music therapist-parents, in which participants shared their experiences of their dual roles. The results of these interviews suggest that the roles of music therapist and parent are intertwined and reciprocally influential; both deepening and enriching one another, but also introducing conflict and complication. A total of 11 themes emerged from the data. Themes surrounding the effects on parenting included a) mindful musical parenting, b) strengths-based resource-oriented parenting, c) socially aware parenting, and d) use of therapeutic skill and knowledge in the parenting role. Themes related to effects on the therapist role included a) strengthening of the therapist-client relationship, b) increased perspective and empathy for the client experience, and c) use of parenting skill and knowledge in the clinical space. Themes related to the challenges of managing dual roles included a) logistical challenges, b) financial challenges, c) psychological challenges, and d) ethical challenges.
  • Intimate exchanges: MFA Thesis - Printmaking

    Cooper, Bear (2023-08)
    Intimate Exchanges represents the culmination of a journey from embodied material investigation to devotional artmaking as a refuge for the body. This project has its origins in my research of phenomenology, ritual theory, and queer intimacy. The action of touch is central both to acts of intimacy as well as the field of phenomenology which promotes embodied perception. Some creative mediums have a greater intimacy of touch in the process of their making and for me, printmaking is one of those mediums. After a brief introduction to natural dyes, I was pulled in by their potential for embodied investigation and created a methodology to turn my body and its movements into the printing mechanism, further enhancing the embodiment of printmaking.
  • Take a breath: MFA Thesis - Sculpture

    Fortenberry, Michael (2023-08)
    Take a Breath is a series of interactive artworks designed for the participants' slow and mindful, somatic engagement. Each sculpture is made to ground the audience in the now, to override the strain, pace, and overwhelm of 21st century life. These objects hold thoughtful consideration to the way they receive the human body, an invitation for an extended, healing embrace. Other sculptures can be carefully rolled from one point of stability to the next, every resting position activating a new sound pulled from tones and patterns of nature. These moving sonic sculptures are interlinked. When activated simultaneously each one alters a single soundscape, unifying the collective. I see these calming works as offering a space of resistance to the trauma of overstimulation and the political, environmental, and social instability of our current moment. Wood is a constant collaborator in my work, it holds the memories and teachings of its lived experience.
  • Networking amongst student activists within school communities

    Wong, Jade (2023-05)
    Student activism has a long precedented history with youth mobilizing to enact social change, especially within college campuses. Networking is a vital part of activist work and demonstrates its prominence within college communities, making it a significant aspect of student activism. The purpose of this study is to explore how networking within school communities affects student activist efforts. Within the study, 6 student activists were interviewed from the SUNY New Paltz campus. Using qualitative thematic analysis, seven different themes emerged focusing on classroom environments/faculty, previous experiences with activism, COVID-19, clubs/school organizations, alumni relations, online communities, and issues with school bureaucracy. Networking was proven to be a valuable aspect of achieving student activist goals and efforts. Further testing is recommended to expand institutional research, and demographics include race, ethnic background, gender, and age. The fine-tuning of questions during interviews is also highly encouraged in order to ensure more precise answers.
  • Play as a tool for humanitarian workers in countries experiencing chronic crisis

    Similton, Oliver (2023-05)
    Most humanitarian aid work focuses on the short-term needs of communities in crisis. Though extremely useful, this immediate care does little for communities after humanitarian workers leave the affected community. A major area of this is seen in is the psychological well-being of community members. People in countries of crisis - and chronic crisis especially - are often left completely traumatized by the events they experience. This trauma especially in young children results in dysregulation of the nervous system and are often left with “compromised social engagement, proximity seeking, and either underdeveloped or hyperdeveloped behaviors relating to their attempts to remain safe in dangerous circumstances” (Lohrsbe & Ogden, 2017). However, co-regulation of the nervous system has been reported to help this dysregulation. Co-regulation refers to the ability of our brain, as a social organ, to understand the needs of an individual based on actions seen in others
  • The impact of United States’ food systems on nutrition and childhood development

    Segal, Anna (2023-05)
    This thesis will examine the United States current agricultural system and how it affects vulnerable populations of children. This study will discuss the importance of nutrition and how it affects the development of children. More specifically, it will examine how nutrition affects vulnerable populations such as children with special needs and those who live in marginalized areas. All developing children, especially vulnerable populations of them, need adequate nutrition to help them succeed as individuals. This will look at ways we can improve our agricultural system and transition to a more sustainable framework. Solutions are available and can be guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which the public and private sector can follow. Keywords: Environmental Studies, Childhood Development, Sustainable Agriculture, Agribusiness, Nutrition, Marginalized Communities
  • Strong gravitational lensing analysis of SDSS J1138+2754 using Lenstool

    Sam, Akza (2023-05)
    Gravitational lensing is a naturally occurring phenomenon that behaves like as a cosmic telescope, magnifying distant background galaxies that are otherwise beyond our reach. Modeling gravitational lenses can probe the mass distribu­tion of the lensing cluster, predict the location of the distant sources that are blocked by the intervening cluster, and provide a foundation for detailed studies of high redshift sources. This project utilizes a parametric modeling software called Lenstool to model the gravitational lens SDSS J1138+2754, detected in the SDSS's Giant Arcs Survey and imaged using the Hubble Space Telescope. Lenstool produces mass maps describing the mass content within the cluster and the source and image-pair locations. Keywords: physics; astronomy; gravitational lensing; SDSS J1138+2754; mass maps; galaxy; galaxy cluster
  • Environmental tax reform: economic & sustainability impacts

    Rosenbaum, Charles J. (2023-05)
    This dissertation is designed to compare recent environmental tax reform policies enacted by different countries. The purpose is to provide a theoretical analysis of the results of the tax policies and credits implemented. Many nations have recently enacted environmental taxes. These either give credit to positive actions or charge negative actions. It will discuss how past and present policies have affected various issues, evaluate their design, the governments of the countries putting them into practice, and compare them to other methods of addressing climate change. Crude oil is the source of most of the related tax revenues. Changing the tax rates on competing sources may help to distribute renewable energy more evenly in the future. Avoiding social and legal repercussions is important. Theoretically, these taxes should be distributed fairly, with mitigation measures in place for those who fall into lower income brackets and exemptions granted to specific industries. Proper fiscal reform measures have the potential to reduce pollution, strengthen the economy, and improve infrastructure.
  • Determination of health and growth patterns of white pine and black oak in Gardiner, NY

    Paulsen, Emma (2023-05)
    Dendrochronology is the technique of dating timber and tree trunk growth rings in order to study environmental change, past events, or archeological artifacts. During October of 2022, Dr. John Rayburn of the SUNY New Paltz Geology department and Emma Paulsen, a senior studying Environmental Geochemical Science, utilized increment borers to take tree ring samples of nine different trees on a Wallkill Valley Land Trust Easement. Data was collected from five white pine trees and four black oak trees and analyzed to date each tree. The majority of the trees of both species were planted in the 1960s. The tree ring width data was then compared with existing chronologies to observe the alignment as well as environmental occurrences that are evident in the tree rings. A regional drought is evident in the small tree rings of 1965 in both tree species. Furthermore, data from local eastern hemlock trees do not match recent growth patterns of the white pines, indicating that the white pines on the property are healthy and not under attack by invasive species. The black oak chronologies taken from the Wallkill Valley Land Trust Easement matched existing black oak chronologies from the area, increasing confidence in the chronologies that were constructed from this site. Keywords: Environmental Geochemical Science, environmental science, dendrochronology, increment borer, tree rings, tree ring measurement, tree ring dating, black oak, white pine
  • Race and environment: rhetoric of the early environmental movement

    Papa, Elizabeth (2023-05)
    Prior research emphasizes the influence of Eurocentric, Western discourses in the creation of federal environmental policy and national parks. Through a discourse analysis, this study seeks to investigate the influences of John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, and Western, Christian rhetoric within the Congressional debate around the creation of national parks and environmental efforts. This analysis seeks to trace the dominance of Eurocentric discourses in environmentalism and to unearth indigenous actors’ perspectives and arguments. Future research must seek to investigate and amplify indigenous history and perspectives to recover subjugated discourses in environmentalist efforts. Keywords: International Relations, Racial Discource, Environmental Policy, Native American History, Discourse Analysis, Poststructuralism, Postcolonialism, Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, Sierra Club, National Parks Service.
  • Écoféminisme: the importance of including a feminist perspective in achieving sustainable agriculture in Francophone Africa

    Myers, Jillian (2023-05)
    Environmentally sustainable practices benefit the environment as well as the people in the affected communities. Women have a unique experience in their relationship with environmental sustainability efforts and climate justice. The concept of ecofeminism highlights the dualism and connection between the oppression women face and the oppression of the planet. As many of the countries in Francophone Africa are at similar stages of economic development, due to their shared history of colonization by the French, they are comparable countries in terms of sustainability practices. This analysis uses case studies from Mali, Cameroon, and Senegal to look at how women are directly involved in and impacted by sustainability efforts in Francophone countries in Africa. The second part of this research is an empirical study of data from the World Bank and other sources, specifically looking at social indicators of gender equality in Francophone African countries as well as government attitudes towards investing in sustainable practices to investigate the relationship between these two variables. As women are uniquely impacted by environmental degradation and thus would be more positively affected by sustainable practices, there may be a relationship between gender equality and the attention sustainability. Keywords: International Relations, French, ecofeminism, sustainability, economic development, Francophone Africa, agriculture, women
  • The power of privacy process book

    McGetrick, Caitlin (2023-05)
    Our privacy is valuable. It allows us to make our own choices about the parts of ourselves that we wish to share, and lets us control what others know about us. However, it is something that has become increasingly threatened in the digital age. Massive amounts of personal data are being collected from us without our knowledge or consent while we use the internet and our digital devices. Cellphones have become so ubiquitous today that we don’t think about the more insidious aspects of them; namely the data they are collecting from us. Privacy is a fundamental human right, and in our digital society it is something that needs to be protected. The goal of my thesis project is to create an informational and interactive website that aims to educate internet users and smartphone owners about digital privacy. It will help explain what digital privacy is, why it matters, and what we can do to help uphold our own privacy and the privacy of those around us. I want my website to realistically acknowledge the current problems that we are facing in relation to these issues, but ultimately provide an optimistic outlook for the future of digital privacy. Data collection practices work more effectively when users aren’t aware of them, so education is the first step in preventing it from happening in the first place.
  • Quantifying an environmental contaminant in exposed regenerating planaria and earthworms found on the SUNY New Paltz campus

    Kurek, Natalia (2023-05)
    Bisphenol A (BPA) is a common organic synthetic compound that is used during many manufacturing processes for plastics, makeup and the lining of cans, to name a few1. Due to its wide-spreed use, over time it has become a large supply chain contaminant. Studies have found that BPA is present as a pollutant in our environment including in waterways, blood and urine2. Currently many of the effects of this compound are unknown but some have been studied through controlled exposure experiments on living organisms. To aid in the understanding of the effects of BPA on the environment, we have used Planaria, model organisms that contain regenerative properties. These worms were exposed to 1 μM concentrations of a deuterated form of BPA, d8BPA, and observed over a 14 day period. Extracts obtained from planaria harvested following exposure were characterized. To quantify the amount of retention of d8BPA, signals from extracts were normalized to a set of standards and to the weight of the worm pellet. Earthworms exposed to d8BPA were also studied. Earthworms that had no laboratory exposure to d8BPA were found to have small concentrations of BPA during analysis. Earthworms exposed to 0.5 μM, 1 μM and 2 μM d8BPA were found to retain some of the compound, as determined through extraction and analysis.
  • Living to work: a study of the relationship between work-life balance and employee health, productivity, and retention

    Gonzalez-Sangervasio, Veronica (2023-05)
    In the United States, modern-day employees struggle to find a balance between time at work and time at home. This imbalance is thought to have detrimental effects on employee health and overall satisfaction. Additionally, these implications can have consequences for employers, who risk higher levels of turnover and lower levels of productivity. This paper, developed from pre-existing research literature and introducing original data, serves to examine the extent of these implications. Specifically, this study seeks to answer three questions: is there a sex differences among work-life balance, what is impact of technology on work-life balance, and what is the relationship between work-life balance and burnout, motivation, and job satisfaction? Using a Qualtrics survey, 200 participants were asked about their perception on the following measures: work-family/family-work conflict, technology assisted supplemental work, technology related pressure at work, employee motivation, job satisfaction, and burnout. This study finds that there was no difference between males and females when it comes to work-life balance. However, it reports that technology has a direct impact on employee burnout, motivation, and job satisfaction. Lastly, a disruption of work-life balance increases burnout and reduces employee motivation and satisfaction. The goal of this research is to ultimately mitigate the problems that may be born from disproportionate work-life balance and add new data to the conversations around technology and gender as it pertains to work-life balance. Keywords: communications, work-life balance, health, burnout, motivation, job satisfaction, technology, productivity, retention

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