Recent Submissions

  • Strongheart: honor among thieves (thesis excerpts)

    Kissel, Demetri (2022-12)
    Dip's Bar and Inn was the center of the town of Westpond. The town was settled four hundred years ago by elves fleeing war across the sea - people who had nothing when they arrived, people who could only take the damp clay around them and mold a new community together. The foundation that became the bar was already there when they arrived. They said the bar had to have been built first, though it might not have always been one, because it was near enough to the water's edge for the rest of the town to rise up around it. As Westpond grew, the old homes nearest the pond became known as the Eastside. The houses were crammed together, the oldest right along the lip of the water, often rebuilt or patched haphazardly after crumbling from poor and hasty construction. The worst of them were rough-looking and made of clay, like mounds molded by giants' hands. The best often housed three or four families to a room, and the entire Eastside, right up to Dip's door, smelled, tasted, felt: damp- like the swampy pond.
  • Singular a novel-in-progress

    Battersby, Jeffery (2022-12)
    Josiah Bentman, née Lenny Sargent, is about to die. Bentman is the leader of the largest right-wing, white supremacist organization in the world. He is anonymous, off the grid, lives under the radar, and has hundreds of thousands of followers the world over. Though he is not a public persona, he has more power than any political figure on the planet, which he has used to build an army of devoted followers. For decades, while building his cohort, he has only communicated via documents dropped in a secret mailbox and more recently via a private internet server. These documents are referred to as The Missives, which are transcribed by a chosen few then published online. Now he’s communicating with his followers directly. Singular details the rise of Lenny Sargent—a boy once untethered, angry, uncertain of his heritage, estranged from humanity, consumed by his anger—and how he becomes the man, Josiah Bentman.
  • Music therapy for adults with dementia and their caregivers rapid review

    Ai, Shixuan (2022-12)
    The purpose of this thesis is to explore the effectiveness of music therapy in the care of person with dementia (PWD) and their caregivers by reviewing the results of research published from 2017-2021.
  • CNN classification with blending mode data augmentation

    Curry, Michael (2022)
    Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have revolutionized the task of image classification, a frequently occurring computer vision problem. Progress in network architecture has been the leading factor in this advancement, with the evolution of deeper networks with fewer parameters. Alongside CNN network advancements, dataset augmentations have been implemented to expand the learnable data the network can model from. Limited dataset size is a major issue in building neural network models, particularly due to the problem of overfitting, which arises from models fitting training data too well, at the expense of capturing general trends in data, leading to large test errors. In this thesis, we augment available image data by implementing blending modes to expose the full tonal range contained in each training image. Additionally, we implement a horizontal flip transformation to create mirror versions of training images. These data augmentations are shown to reduce overfitting in CNN models. We explore different combinations of blending mode layers to maximize the validation accuracy of the network model.
  • Malina

    Zubarava, Hanna (2022-12)
  • Modern garbage: an eco-critical perspective on trash, art, commodities, and Duchamp's Readymades

    Gaudiana, Joseph (2022-12)
    In the twentieth century, trash was drastically re-invented to become a daily fixture of modern life. Art became increasingly difficult to define, while objects and commodities were produced like never before. Most of what I'm about to discuss in this thesis has to do with objects: whether categorized as trash, art, or commodity
  • Let these birds out

    Cavallucci, Katie (2022-12)
    The following collection of original poems consists of new pieces written this autumn as well as revised versions of pieces I began when I was fifteen years old. Bits of my younger self are preserved in this thesis. My work is inspired by the raw, often vicious nature of Richard Siken’s poetry whose words tear open the angsty adolescent inside of me and get to the very heart of all pain. Recently, I’ve been touched by Maggie Smith’s work, its brazen honesty wrapped in eloquence. The concise yet poignant observations of Mary Oliver, whose work is seemingly always bent toward finding beauty in life, certainly played a part in developing the themes of my project. I shrink at the idea of trying to explain what this collection is about. In the thesis, I attempt to paint portraits, to capture the essence of the people, places, and elements of my environment that have most influenced my identity up until now. I suppose it conveys my evolving attitudes toward family and friendship and spirituality and the imminent end of everything. When I was younger, I was perpetually anxious about lack of control, death, and the end of the world. But by the end of the thesis, I have perhaps found some peace in the notion of apocalypse, of everything falling apart. I suppose this thesis may be an ode to optimistic nihilism, accepting that nothing really matters, and I should fully embrace the immediate world around me while I still can. And I suppose it’s maybe about birds. I did not realize that birds were such a significant theme in my life until I put these poems together. As Abraham Maslow says, “To be looking elsewhere for miracles is to me a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous.” It sounds cliche, but I’ve found great meaning in this. I quite adore being alive, in this ordinary place. I wouldn’t know how to write about anything else.
  • Jackson's journey and other stories

    Clark, Michael (2022-12)
    This bill lies on its deathbed, a bleak conveyor belt filled with its brethren. It awaits a gruesome execution by way of an industrial grade shredder. At the time of its creation, this bill would have met a fiery doom, but the government has since instituted a system to destroy paper money without harming the environment. So, let's take a look at twenty special people this twenty-dollar bill has met over the last twenty years. We must make haste, so our friend’s story can be told before it ends up torn into micro bits and deposited into a landfill with other items that are too dead to contain the history and experiences of their owners and users.
  • Memoir in progress

    Merlini, Amber (2022-12)
  • Intra- and intergenerational experiences with menstruation taboos

    DeBonis, Ann Marie (2022)
    The purpose of this study was to conduct an exploratory analysis of generational differences and similarities in women’s experiences of menstruation taboos in the United States. Participants (N=18) were women between the ages of 14-71, who identified as women who experienced menstruation at least once. A series of semi structured interviews were conducted remotely through Zoom. To gain a better understanding of how women experience menstruation, participants were asked to tell the story about the first time they menstruated. Additionally, they were asked to describe both a negative and positive experience of menstruation. Six emergent themes were identified from the interviews using a grounded theory approach that included: Maternal Imperative, Exposure of Menstrual Status/ “Failure” to Conceal, Liberation, and Connection. Emergent themes were compared cross-generationally and within each generation. Overall, Gen Z participants described a more supportive reaction from maternal figures compared to the other generations. Boomers and Gen X participants reported no supportive reactions. Additionally, Gen Z indicated that their positive experiences were liberating compared to other generations. Although emergent themes were present across all generations the sub-theme occurrence varied. Findings were discussed as they relate to and challenge menstruation taboos.
  • Drop the beat music therapy: a psychoeducational music therapy program proposal for individuals with type 2 diabetes

    Friedman, Gabrielle Davida (2022-12)
    Drop the Beat Music Therapy will focus on individuals with type 2 diabetes by providing an outpatient music therapy psychoeducational group. This psychoeducational group will be addressing the needs and interests of the participants in order to help alleviate the burdens they experience due to their chronic medical condition. Drop the Beat will consist of various music therapy experiences that will be designed to provide opportunities to express creativity, expressive freedom, spontaneity, playfulness within structure, increase self-awareness, and enhance group cohesion. In addition, Drop the Beat will provide education about the effects of music and use of music for self-care, as an addition to the patient’s existing self-care regimen. This paper presents a proposal for a music therapy program with collaboration with the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, New York.
  • Who do you want to be? Exploring personality goal motives

    Rodriguez, Kanji (2022)
    Personality research is studied with the foundational understanding that it is stable and consistent over the lifespan. However, psychologists can also agree that personality is subject to a great deal of change. Hudson and Roberts (2014) measured and validated the Change Big Five Inventory (C-BFI) to record people’s goals to change themselves. The current study, with the goal of adopting a new perspective on personality, explored why people have goals to change who they are. In line with Hudson and Roberts (2014) work, results revealed that, on average, most people had goals to change in at least one trait on the Big Five. Additionally, it was found that goals to change were inversely related to scores of life satisfaction. When assessing the variability in approach motives for each personality trait, it was found that traits agreeableness, emotional stability, and openness are, on average, pursued for internal (or autonomous) reasons, while extraversion is pursued for external (or controlled) reasons. Conscientiousness was pursued for both internal and external reasons. In determining if these reasons matter, regression analyses revealed that for every trait, students were more committed to their goal of changing the trait if they had stronger autonomous reasons to change it. By contrast, controlling reasons promoted commitment only to two trait change goals: Extraversion and conscientiousness. Hopefully, the results of this study will help individuals improve or change themselves in way that is both fulfilling and successful.
  • Music therapy and mechanical ventilation: a survey of current practice

    DiIorio, Olivia (2022-08)
    Mechanical ventilation is a life support measure in which an endotracheal tube or tracheostomy is attached to a mechanical ventilator to mechanically breathe for an individual who has lost the ability to do so. The need for mechanical ventilation can be a result of respiratory illness, or a neurological impairment caused by a drug overdose, spinal cord or brain injury. This procedure results in many uncomfortable symptoms such as anxiety, pain, and delirium. The use of music listening to treat these symptoms has been researched showing an overall support for the implication of music. However, music therapy research with mechanically ventilated individuals is very limited. A survey was conducted to gain an understanding of current music therapy practice with mechanically ventilated individuals and to add to the knowledge base. Music therapists reported that the most common methods and goal addressed in music therapy were listening to live music and physiological entrainment to reduce anxiety. Music therapists also had a high rate of involvement during weaning trials. Current music medicine and music therapy research focus on the use of music listening to reduce anxiety as evidenced by both psychological and physiological changes such as heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. The responses provided by the music therapist’s surveyed mirrors current research on the methods used and goals addressed with mechanically ventilated patients further demonstrating the feasibility of music therapy for mechanically ventilated individuals. The present study can serve as a basis of knowledge for music therapists and medical professionals considering music therapy for mechanically ventilated individuals.
  • Reading the suprasensual in Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina: a thesis in eight parts

    Short, Nicole (2022-08)
    Throughout the text of Anna Karenina, there is a means of experience that is suprasensual, repeated moments in the text that seemed to me to deviate from Tolstoy’s apparently slavish devotion to writing objective, observable reality, departing from what can be represented concretely via the five senses. I wrote a small paper arguing that Tolstoy’s novel represented a reality that was shaped and created by human emotion, in a modernist way, and as such, the strength of Anna’s and Levin’s emotion could explain the supernatural bits of reality created around them. This thesis was sound and generally well argued, but in the years that followed the completion of that paper, I couldn’t shake my curiosity about the peasant dream; there was much more to be said, much more to incorporate and to grapple with in terms of that peasant dream, of Kitty and Levin’s wordless communication, of Anna and Levin’s ability to sense sans senses.
  • The role of culture, attachment style, and parenting style in predicting estrangements

    Patel, Jenny (2022-05)
    Social estrangements have negative effects on people's emotion and social lives (Geher et al 2019). The current research is designed to shed light on this general issue to help us better understand the predictors of estrangements. Participants of at least 18 years in age were surveyed in both the United States and in India. A Qualtrics survey was used to collect data from participants. It measured their attachment styles, perception of their parents' parenting styles, cultural orientation, and estrangement history. To obtain the sample, recruitment methods included advertising the Qualtrics survey link on social media, SUNY New Paltz Psychology Subject Pool, and MTurk. A total of 434 (India = 119, US = 315) participants took part (M = 25.82, SD= 8.073). Results are in line with the hypotheses. Although culture is not significantly con-elated with estrangements in this study, there are cultural differences in the number of estrangements one has. Estrangements are negatively con-elated with Authoritative Parenting style, positively correlated with Authoritarian Parenting style, positively correlated with Ambivalent Attachment style, and negatively correlated with Secure Attachment style. Based on these results, the current research concludes that culture, parenting styles, and attachment styles are predictors of estrangements. Implications of this research and future directions are discussed.
  • Cultures of mentorship: a qualitative investigation of peer mentorship during high school in the US and Japan

    Hankour, Kamil (2022-05)
    Despite the known benefits of mentorship, little is known about informal peer mentoring relationships in the high school context, and even less is known about how those relationships manifest in different cultures. This qualitative study sought to shed light on this topic by administering a survey designed to tap key concepts related to informal peer mentorship in high school to fourteen participants, seven in the US and seven in Japan. Themes relating to instrumentality/socio-emotionality, responsibility, hierarchy, and benefits from these relationships in each sample are discussed, as well as cultural differences and similarities in how these concepts emerge. Japanese participants described relationships that were consistently instrumental or socio-emotional, while American participants often had relationships that shifted between these categories. Regardless of country of origin, most participants preferred to describe their relationships as egalitarian. Responsibilities differed based on the perceived social role of the participant and their mentor within each cultural context. Participants in both samples described a variety of benefits derived from their mentorships. Implications and future directions for this line of research are discussed.
  • Cantaloupe kingdom

    Camilleri, Peter (2022-05)
    Maurice Morrigan lives and works on an organic farm owned by Anselmo, in the Pang Yang, a historic misnomer in the Hudson Valley. The Black Creek runs through the farm and creates highly fertile soil, compromised by weeds, flooded irrigation ditches, beaver dams, and storms. Maurice gives all his energy to maintaining the farm, despite its cost on his social life and Anselmo's antagonistic dismissiveness.
  • Anti-thesis: the new rhetoric of Jim W. Corder

    Thomas, Kevin (2022-05)
    Unfortunately, Jim W. Corder passed away in August of 1998. But, as I hope will be apparent by the end of this paper, he put more of himself into his writing than most writers of academic prose. And, as I hope will be apparent by the end of this paper, his ideas about rhetoric and composition are as relevant today as they were during his life, and, in some cases, more so. While these last two sentences might sound a bit like a poorly crafted thesis, they aren't quite-­ though, I suppose a thesis statement might lie less in the pen of the writer and more in the eye of the beholder. I'm trying to offer myself in this paper on Jim Corder-because I feel like he'd want it that way. If you're with me so far, I hope you recognize that I share two things in common with my (as-yet-unannounced) thesis. The first is that both myself and my thesis are forthcoming. The second: I am my argument, just as you are yours.
  • We are all we have: a novel

    O'Brien, Michael (2022-05)
  • Active music therapy for older adults: a music therapy program proposal for the Wartburg retirement community

    Thompson, Laura (2022-05)
    The purpose of this proposal is to create seven distinct music therapy programs based on active music-making experiences for residents, out-patients, family, and caregivers at Wartburg, a nursing home and senior-living community in Mount Vernon, NY. Additionally, these programs could be implemented at any similar institution serving older adults and the community in which they live. The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF), led by Dr. Concetta Tomaino has made its home at Wartburg since 2019, and currently provides music therapy services. However, services have been severely limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other considerations. Increasing active music therapy programs at Wartburg will provide residents and their families and caregivers with the means to address cognitive, physiological, emotional, and social issues affecting them and their loved ones. Proposed music therapy programs are 1) intergenerational chorus; 2) therapeutic drumming; 3) jazz, rock, and classical chamber ensembles; 4) bell chime choir; and 5) songwriting/composition workshops for individuals. By establishing these programs, Wartburg will strengthen the scope of their mission of providing world-class care and support to the community and incorporating arts-based therapy into their care plan.

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