Recent Submissions

  • Tackling geographical healthcare inaccessibility through technological solutions: the creation of Bloom Policy

    Yilmaz, Julia (2023-12)
    Healthcare inaccessibility persists among rural communities due to multifaceted challenges, including geographical constraints, economic limitations, inadequate public transportation, sparse medical facilities, and complexities regarding health insurance. Bloom Policy serves as a source aiming to curate optimal health insurance solutions for individuals, families, and small businesses. Bloom Policy is a user-centric website built using Javascript, HTML, and CSS. The program features an interactive assessment tool, comprehensive drug coverage assistance, and possesses educational resources tailored for marketplace insurance consumers. By bridging the gap between rural populations and essential healthcare coverage, Bloom Policy strives to mitigate the barriers hindering access to quality healthcare services.
  • The illusion of belonging: EOP’s impact on sociocultural issues in education

    Stone, Lillian (2023-11)
    Economically disadvantaged and underrepresented students are taught to fend for themselves from their first day in the education system. Through dilapidated schools, unforgiving policies, and a lack of funding, they’re made to believe that they’re not as important as others, and their success isn’t cared for, contributing to the endless cycle of poverty. As these students enter into higher education, if they even can afford or decide to go, they’re often unprepared and overlooked. Comfortability and seamless transitions come through a sense of belonging to have a secure identity and a feeling of relatability. As much as universities may think they contribute positively to underrepresented and disadvantaged students’ sense of belonging, their efforts are usually ignorant and ill-informed, and the issue is systemic. New York’s Educational Opportunity Program aims to increase graduation rates, college readiness, and educational attainment among students who are admitted. Their impact has improved the lives of these students and helped them feel like they belong in the college or university setting, but it has its faults, as seen through survey research at SUNY New Paltz. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done regarding policies, systemic sociocultural issues, and opportunity programs, but the program’s success has showed us what truly works for students and how we can help them to continue to strive to achieve their goals in the future. Keywords: Social justice, higher education, racism, poverty, belonging, academic success, Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
  • 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?
  • 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
  • Jane Eyre: the spiritual self in feminist awakenings

    McAree, Mac (2023-05)
    Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Brontë portrays a variety of spiritual discourses which are integral to the heroine’s self-preservation throughout the novel and personal fulfillment by its end. Although Jane is a Christian, her affinity for folklore and faeries, as well as her reverence for divine female figures in nature are both aspects which complicate her faithfulness to orthodox beliefs, and are an alternative spiritual space that she falls back upon when the influences of patriarchal Christianity are failing her rights to personal autonomy as a woman. Jane Eyre is a novel which ultimately espouses the hybridization of spiritual belief in supporting a person’s individual pursuits when society pressures one to conform to premade roles, as well as a text which opens up a tolerant and open spiritual discussion in which people can discuss what sort of spiritual beliefs are right for them individually. Keywords: English, English literature, Victorian, Victorian literature, spirituality, alternative spirituality, paganism, pagan, Christianity, patriarchal Christianity, patriarchy, feminism, faith, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
  • Linguistic relativity: enduring ideas about language, culture, and thought

    Marks, Kerrigan (2023-05)
    Linguistic relativity, as conceptualized by Benjamin Lee Whorf, is a theory concerning the relationship between language and thought in the minds of speakers. Linguistic relativity posits that not only does language casually impact thought, but that different languages casually impact thought in different ways. Whorf’s ideas about language, though fascinating, have been thoroughly scrutinized by linguists and psychologists alike. Though linguistic relativity suggests a causal connection between language and thought, research on this proposed connection is strictly limited to correlational data. There has been no strong empirical evidence to substantiate Whorf’s hypothesis to date, leaving little substance to support this overarching theory. Despite this lack of evidence, linguistic relativity continuously appears in the literature across many disciplines. Recent emphasis on highlighting multiculturalism in academia, especially in anthropology, has seen the return of linguistic relativity to general discussions of cross-cultural differences. The persistence of Whorfian ideas in the humanities is analyzed through a Kuhnian lens, as linguistic relativity’s popularity fluctuates in line with larger cultural trends. Keywords: linguistics, psychology, linguistic relativity, Whorfian hypothesis
  • Dead Hearts - history and fiction

    Hood, Maya (2023-05)
    The following is a Fictional Work submitted as a thesis in the spring of 2023. It centers on the fictionalized life and disappearance of Adrienne Hardy, a transgender teenager living in the mid-90s, as well as the decades-later (also fictionalized) investigation into the case by Casey Britton, herself a trans woman in the mid-to-late 2010s. The project was born from a number of goals, most notably to center trans women in a story with more than a few roots in the horror genre, in a way that doesn’t other transness/lean into transphobia as much of the genre has/does. Additionally, much of the project centers on Adrienne’s internet presence in early trans communities, all of those details are drawn from real queer resources and archives from/of the early internet; they strive to be as genuine to real trans history as is possible without being there first hand, in the hope, in part, of illuminating constantcy in the trans experience, one widely thought to have originated in the rather recent past. The thesis encompasses the novel’s first 10 chapters/41 pages, with subsequent installments still in progress. The author can be reached at with questions/comments/concerns/queries/etc. about the writing that already exists and/or is still to come. Keywords: English/English major; Creative-Writing/Creative Writing Concentration; Fiction; Student Work; Transgender History; Queer History; LGBTQ; Internet History; Horror and Suspense; Folktale and Rumor; Investigative Fiction; True-Crime
  • Stage management the art behind the scenes

    Honeywell, Joñi (2023-05)
    Project Summary- GOAL: To interview stage managers across the industry for guidance, career advice, and to hear from their experiences working in the field OUTCOMES: Opportunity to network and meet individuals with active experience in the industry Learn more about options both in and outside the industry Meet a variety of New Paltz alumni and hear their stories

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