Recent Submissions

  • The role of visual art in improving the quality of life for people with Tourettes Syndrome

    Thompson, Julia (2022)
    In this body of work, I will explore the application of visual art in mitigating symptoms and enriching the quality of life for people with Tourettes. I will draw upon personal experiences, medical and psychological research, others’ experiences, and broader understandings of social dynamics to inform my argument. I will present what I have learned through a series of drawings and paintings, which will summarize the contents of my research paper and illustrate my progress as I deepen my understanding of my topic. I will conclude my body of work with an argument in favor of accessibility in the arts, providing more individuals with my neurotype an avenue of healing and productivity.
  • Evolutionary explanations of the trolley problem: evolutionary origins of human morality

    Sager, Anya (2022-12)
    The Trolley Problem was originally described by philosopher Phillipa Foot (1967). The problem starts with a runaway train that could go one of two ways; if you (the operator) do nothing, then the trolley will kill five people (track A), but if you switch the tracks (track B) it would kill one person. There has been further research about the individual used for the action based track that only would kill one civilian. Past research using this paradigm has examined various factors, such as the age of potential victims and the relationship to the operator. From an evolutionary perspective, advancing one’s genes into the future is something of a bottom line. This can happen directly, through reproduction, or indirectly via helping kin. Past studies have shown that various factors come into consideration when choosing track A or B: age, gender of the person on the track and the participant, genetic relatedness, and relationship status. The evolutionary moral perspective provides a powerful framework for examining all the different factors that affect these decisions within one model.
  • The end of Roe: how the conservative legal movement eroded protections for abortion and contraceptive care

    Racsko, Molly (2022-12)
    Many battles over reproductive rights have occurred in the legal sphere, behind the scenes of mainstream politics, through litigation and interest group influence over politicians and the courts. This research will focus on the conservative legal movement against the rights to abortion and contraception. The paper will be divided into three sections: the first will establish the major organizations and religious influences involved in the conservative movement, their coalition-building strategies, and the challenges they have faced. The second will examine the incrementalist approach of slowly chipping away at abortion and contraception rights, with focus on limiting financial access and increasing allowance for government regulations. The third will discuss the movement’s attempts to completely overturn Roe v. Wade (1973), culminating in the recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022) decision, and the future of reproductive autonomy in law. The conservative legal movement has been incredibly successful in limiting access to reproductive healthcare and reversing Roe, but now faces an uncertain future.
  • The artistic influence of American Deaf culture and heritage, explored through visual arts education

    Meyer, Hailey (2022)
    This thesis examines the combination of visual arts education with deaf studies. It explores teaching art lessons about deaf culture and heritage to students of all ages. There are three lesson plans included each with a Deaf artist as the inspiration for the project and the focus of the lesson. These lessons have been taught to students ranging from kindergarten up to college students. This exploration led to the discovery of my teaching philosophy which is included in the end to discuss what I will take away from this thesis into my future career. Keywords: Bachelor of Science Visual Arts Education, Ceramics, Deaf studies, Deaf culture and heritage, American Sign Language, Ceramics, Collage, Mixed Media
  • A depiction of Black people as villains in western cinema - an examination from the 1920's to present day on how these roles have shaped the perception of Black people

    James, Angelica (2022-12)
    Throughout the years, media has been, and continues to be, a powerful tool used to spread knowledge and awareness about different groups of people, cultures, social issues, and other topics of societal importance. This study aims to examine the perception of members of the Black community because of stereotypes endorsed and encouraged by Western cinema from the 1920’s to present day. By further countersigning the misrepresentation of Black people, Western cinema has impacted the ways in which the Black community is negatively viewed in the present and has encouraged other forms of media, such as magazine advertisements and children’s cartoon shows, to adopt the misconceptions of the members of the community. As a result of early depictions of the Black community in Western cinema, we see the significant damage done by various forms of media in how Black people are perceived, damage that is still trying to be corrected, even now.
  • Indigenous women's activism in preserving Native American education in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

    Foster, Heather (2022-12)
    This thesis examines Indigenous women who fought against federal Indian policies that aimed to eliminate Indigenous cultures and tribal sovereignty. At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, Sarah Winnemucca, Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Simmons Bonin), and Laura Cornelius Kellogg fought to break down white assimilationist schooling and bring education back to Native nations. Their political work, writing, and leadership highlight how Native women, although seen as subsidiary in white society at the time because of both their race and gender, were at the forefront of Indian political issues. Keywords: Bachelor of Science Early Childhood/Childhood Education, History (B-6), Native, Indigenous, Sarah Winnemucca, Zitkala-Sa, Laura Cornelius Kellogg
  • Nuclear energy: a potential steppingstone to a renewable future

    Cooke, Dillon (2022)
    The global energy system continues to be primarily reliant upon fossil fuels which now conclusively are the main component of climate change, as well as a significant contributor to global health impacts through air, water and land pollution severely impacting our communities across the globe. While clean energy is making its mark on the world, it doesn't currently have the infrastructure to make it a globally dominated energy source. Solutions for energy sources that can quickly be utilized for a clean energy transition are essential to shift away from fossil fuels. A relatively clean and high output energy source that can serve as part of this transition exists on Earth and everywhere in the cosmos: nuclear energy. This paper will examine current nuclear technologies, emerging technologies with a focus on fission and fusion energy, issues and benefits of nuclear energy, and confronting public perceptions about nuclear energy.
  • Why are African-Americans with dysphagia post-stroke having higher rates of PEG placement?

    Avila, Lisa (2022-12)
    Throughout the history of this country, systemic issues have trickled into certain communities impacting them severely. Whether this be with environmental threats, poverty, inadequate access to quality health care, educational inequality, or lack of employment opportunities. All these problems have been deeply programmed into society and our institutions. They have been beneficial for some groups, but detrimental for others. One group of people who have been harmed by these systemic inequalities, are African Americans. This thesis will explore these disparities as it relates to African-American stroke survivors with dysphagia, specifically the higher occurrences of percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy tube (PEG) placement in this community. With a review of various literature, four factors were examined as possible contributing variables: residential segregation, insurance, implicit bias, and severity of stroke.
  • The problem with diversity, equity, and inclusion and public relations

    Armoogan, Jordan (2022)
    This project emphasizes uprising issues often perpetuated by public relations professionals on behalf of corporations called “woke-washing.” “Woke-washing” describes the hypocrisy of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies established by corporations and the true impact of these policies on Black employees and social justice. These discrepancies are detected by analyzing how messaging created by public relations professionals about corporate social initiatives that are made to address social justice issues, differ from the internal treatment of Black employees. They can also be detected by comparing the history, roots, and present functions of DEI and diversity management. To emphasize the issues between companies and their messages about social justice, one must discuss the impact of woke-washing issues within corporations like Alphabet (Google), CrossFit, and Amazon. Ultimately, this study seeks to identify the issue of woke-washing, define key concepts related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and analyze present case studies of corporations holding and creating hypocritical policies or statements. Then will present personal takeaways from the findings in this study.
  • First generation college students in communication disorders: perspectives, strengths, and challenges

    Aquije, Nicolle (2022)
    The goal of this study was to investigate the experiences of first-generation college students, specifically within the CMD major, including their: perspectives, challenges, possible advantages, and unique characteristics. Method-The participants who are in this study were a total of five first-generation college students in the Communication Disorders major at SUNY New Paltz. The interview was in-person, and audio recorded. In this qualitative study, data were analyzed for patterns and compared to previously collected data about the experiences of first-generation college students in other majors. Results- Disadvantages found in this study included pressure/high expectations, isolation, and confusion about the academic process. Advantages included high motivation, independence, work ethic and family support. Unique characteristics included the graduate school application process, science, and maintaining high grades due to the competitive field. Conclusion- It was found that the participants shared similar stress factors about the graduate school application, maintaining high grades due to a competitive field, and the science aspect of how it wasn’t anticipated to be so much science.
  • Generational welcomes: comparing the reintegration of Vietnam Veterans and Iraq Veterans

    Wood, Thomas (2022-05)
    Vietnam veterans went through an imperfect reintegration experience while they were readjusting to living in civilian society after their service. They would receive estrangement from society due to their connection to the war, experience high unemployment levels, struggle with the VA in securing medical care and benefits, and many would deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. The harsh nature of Vietnam veterans readjusting to society would be acknowledged with the construction of the Vietnam War Memorial, leading to veterans’ well-being becoming a top priority. America would enter another large scale conflict in 2003 with the Iraq War. After that war ended, Iraq veterans would attempt to reintegrate back into society. Because of the experiences of their predecessors, Iraq veterans would not experience the same estrangement from society and were prioritized in federal hiring practices. But they would also struggle with the Department of Veteran Affairs securing medical help and dealing with another combat induced affliction called Traumatic Brain Injuries. Keywords: History, Reintegration, Readjustment, Vietnam, Iraq, Veteran, War, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder / PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury / TBI, Veteran Affairs / Department of Veteran Affairs / VA, Employment, Occupation, Estrangement, Alienation, Draft, Draftee, Volunteer, Deployment, America, Suicide
  • The past, present, and future of forensic accounting

    Whitehouse, Amanda (2022-05)
    The purpose of this thesis is to conduct an in depth and comprehensive exploration of the forensic accounting profession. By doing so, everyone who reads this thesis will understand how this profession has become an integral part of many transactions and what impact it can have on an individual’s life. To bring all of this together, the thesis will begin by examining how the circumstances of our world stimulated the need for the field of forensic accounting, then move into what the profession currently encompasses, with insight from current professionals, and lastly, a short discussion, with input from professionals currently working in the field, about what the future of the profession holds.
  • Disease heterogeneity and differential severities in COVID-19

    Taborda, Sarah (2022-05)
    During the time of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2), scientists are finding answers on the varying severities of the pandemic’s novel variants. One of the more intriguing aspects of this virus occurs in the presentation and severity of symptoms in patients. How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease have this wide-range prognosis from asymptomatic to fatal? This thesis examines some promising areas of investigation regarding the innate immune system and inflammatory factors in the role of severe COVID-19 cases. Various experimental findings regarding the possible connection between inflammation factors of the human innate immune system and the severity of COVID-19 will be described. Keywords: Biology, COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, Innate Immune System, Inflammation, Interleukin-6, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Interferon Gamma, Lymphatic System, Neutrophils, Apoptosis, Asymptomatic, Proinflammatory Cytokines, C-Reactive Protein
  • Confronting and overcoming stigma of mental health challenges

    Stoller, Kiran (2022-05)
    Mental health stigma remains a consistent and widespread barrier to mental health literacy, mental health treatment, and social equality. Due to the overarching effects of mental health stigma, many have formulated methods to reduce its prevalence and severity. However, many of the proposed reduction strategies are often focused on the sociological level, tackling large scale social institutions such as the healthcare industry, political policies, and mass media. While effective, many of these interventions exist on such a large scale that they leave many individuals with a sense of powerlessness, as most cannot hope to achieve large scale social or political change within a single lifetime. Thus, the purpose of this project was to locate, identify, and formulate possible mental health stigma reduction techniques that can be accessed and applied on the level of the individual within one’s day-to-day interactions. The concept and process of mental health stigma is discussed and dissected in order to formulate and contextualize effective and relevant interventions. Interventional methods are primarily focused on interpersonal interactional style, language usage, effective psychoeducation, positive between-group contact, and mental reformulation. This knowledge may be used to further one’s understanding of mental health stigma while guiding effective confrontational strategies.
  • An exploration of placebo effects and their use in the treatment of depression

    Spina, Liv (2022-05)
    Large placebo effects have been measured in the treatment of depression with psychotherapies and psychopharmaceuticals. Antidepressant medication has been shown to be marginally better at treating depression than placebo antidepressants, however, flawed study designs may be the contributing to this marginal difference. Psychotherapies have also been implicated in being largely placebo treatments for depression, based on the historical trends of placebo interventions, the current definition of placebos, and the results of component control trials. The emerging idea that our best treatments for depression are largely (if not entirely) placebos suggests that the act of receiving care is an effective treatment for depression.
  • Measuring attachment force of B. bacteriovorus over short time scales

    Smithing, Carrie; Herne, Catherine; Ferguson, Megan (2022-05)
    The goal of this research is to examine the attachment of the predatory bacteria known as Bdellovibrio bac-teriovorus onto its prey bacteria, Escherichia coli, and to increase the understanding of the B. bacteriovorus predatory process. B. bacteriovorus is being considered for predatory therapy, an alternative to antibiotics. Predatory therapy is the use of predatory bacteria to target pathogens in the body. The B. bacteriovorus has a hair-like protien filaments known as type IV pili that are believed to be the cause of the attachment. The pili extend and attach to the bacterium’s prey, then pull the predatory bacterium into its prey where it transitions from its attack phase into its reproductive phase. We utilized optical tweezers to facilitate attachment of a trapped B. bacteriovorus to an immobilized E. coli. Upon attachment, we used optical tweezers to pull the two bacteria apart. The optical tweezers provided a way to measure the attachment force of the B. bacteriovorus associated with short attachment times ranging from 90 seconds to five minutes. For the short attachment times, we found the force to be a minimum of a few piconewtons. We hypothesize that the force will become greater over longer periods of time.
  • Norm contestation and the usage of rhetoric in China

    Shepard, Halle (2022-05)
    This paper explores the type of rhetoric and tactics used by the Chinese government to counter accusations of human rights violations against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Most of the terminology used involves the principles of sovereignty and nonintervention. By engaging in this discourse with the international community, the state has engaged in norm contestation and a debate about the universality of norms. With these concepts in mind, China has gained political influence and an increasing number of like-minded allies that can challenge the Western order. As a result, this could be problematic for the United States if it wants to retain its perceived status as global hegemon.
  • Supernova Weddings: my plan on how to approach the future wedding boom

    Schadoff, Allie (2022-05)
    As we prevail through the COVID-19 pandemic the world needs more reasons to celebrate now more than ever. The forthcoming future is predicted to be the busiest wedding period ever recorded and Supernova Weddings will be there to assist couples along the way in the planning, coordination, and design of their dream wedding. Supernova Weddings is a wedding planning company based out of Raleigh, North Carolina that assists engaged couples in the planning process of their wedding. Supernova Weddings focuses on commitment, innovation, and passion to ensure each couple's needs are met and to bring the client's dream wedding vision to fruition. Supernova Weddings services are structured into 3 packages, Day-of Coordination, Partial Planning, and Full-Service Planning, and will be priced accordingly. Supernova Weddings’ innovative approach to wedding planning will be the future of weddings.
  • Fast fashion: the hole in humanity that must be fixed

    Richard, Melissa (2022-05)
    Clothing has long since been an integral part of the human experience. On a basic level, clothes provide protection from the elements and the environment. However, as time has progressed, clothes have evolved from a simple necessity to symbols of culture, job status, sacred moments and artistic choice. More recently, with the rise of industrialization, has come a society less concerned with the necessity of clothes, and more enamored with their marketability and capitalist yield. With the birth of fast fashion came a linear business model focused on quick product turnover, and low quality garments in favor of maximizing profit. Although this model works well, in part, by advertising new and exciting trends towards women in the global north, it leeches off of the labor and energy of women in and/or from socio-economically disadvantaged regions. This paper aims to explore the implications of such processes on garment and second-hand trade working women from financially disadvantaged locations. In addition, I provide possible solutions for how business and governments can rectify their part in this corrupted system. Finally, I provide ways that individuals in the global north can do their part to elicit change.
  • Understanding the impacts of human rights violations in Puerto Rico through the analysis of Hurricane Maria: identifying Puerto Rican resistance

    Rabenstein-Bolufer, Sarah (2022-05)
    This paper explores the ways in which Hurricane Maria revealed the impacts of human rights violations in Puerto Rico. Through the analysis of colonial history, austerity measures, and neoliberal ideologies, sources of vulnerability in Puerto Rico are identified and Hurricane Maria’s impact is denaturalized. I identify local interventions based in grass roots and mutual aid models of solidarity that work to minimize Puerto Rican vulnerabilities. Interventions based in social work are also identified as possibilities to reduce vulnerabilities. Using a human rights framework, recommendations for policymaking are additionally presented.

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