Recent Submissions

  • “Children in Misery” or young crusaders?: the political utilization of children by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union

    Murphy, Shayna (2020-05)
    This paper discusses the Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s use of children for political purposes during their fight for Prohibition. In an effort to sympathize their mission and to create a sense of urgency around the banning of alcohol, members of the WCTU created an image of children as victims in their propaganda. However, the WCTU understood the importance of creating future voters, and so often created propaganda that presented children as active heroes. This conflicting portrayal of children showed that the WCTU used children as political tools and used such contrasting portrayals to reach a political goal rather than aptly represent children of alcoholic families. To understand this relationship between the WCTU and children, I analyzed posters created by the WCTU that present children as victims of alcohol and then content produced directly for children by the WCTU.
  • Chatbots: history, technology, and a case analysis

    Jay, Benjamin (2020-08)
    This thesis examines the more than 50 year history of chatbots that led to the development of Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. A chatbot, commonly known as a conversational agent, is a computer framework that can have a normal conversation with a user by using a natural language processor (Reshmi and Balakrishnan, 2018). The goal is to understand the psychological and mathematical theories that worked well throughout history, as well as those that did not, and the impact they had on the evolution of modern chatbots. This thesis incorporates these theories into a new chatbot created using Google’s chatbot AI platform called Dialogflow. By following a Coursera course titled Building Conversational Experiences with Dialogflow, this thesis creates a chatbot that can schedule tours of a school and can answer questions about the SUNY New Paltz 2020 Commencement ceremony. Creating even the most basic chatbot requires a comprehensive understanding of the underlying theories and extensive coding experience (Abdul-Kader & Woods, 2015). This thesis assumes a foundation knowledge of computer coding.
  • The devil can cite scripture for his purpose: Shakespeare’s use of the parable of the Prodigal Son in ​Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear​, and ​The Tempest

    Almeyda, Dariana (2020-05)
    Scholars have long identified the Bible as one of William Shakespeare’s main sources of inspiration. An extension to “The Devil Can Cite Scripture for His Purpose: Shakespeare’s Use of Biblical Allusions in ​The Merchant of Venice,”​ this paper explores Shakespeare’s implementation and reimagining of the parable of the Prodigal Son in ​Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear,​ and ​The Tempest.​ His manipulation of the parable creates a universal sense of morality for the characters in each play and serves as a common ground for audiences of his time to understand and better relate to his works. To modern readers, his reworkings of the parable also serve as a social commentary on sixteenth-century English society steeped in religious conflicts and motifs. He creates several characters that act like prodigals, a term socially recognized by its relation to the parable found in Luke 15, but also universally understood as both an adjective and noun to mean “spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant. / A person who spends money in a recklessly extravagant way” (“Prodigal”). ​Shakespeare’s various reworkings of this parable prompt a conversation about the price of forgiveness, love, and whether or not grace and mercy are truly free.
  • Exploring love languages: the key to building and maintaining healthy relationships

    Adams, Aryiah (2020-05)
    Communication is the heart of who we are as human beings. It is just as necessary as food and shelter because communication allows us to develop a civilized society that can transmit valuable information and knowledge. The desire to be loved and nurtured is also a fundamental human need that can be expressed through language. Through a series of interviews, the paper explores five “love languages” developed by Dr Gary Chapman used to communicate emotional fulfillment. The paper challenges the idea that time is a key component to the development of the five love languages. The research demonstrates that over time individuals discover their love language and that of their partner. Time further serves as a learning period that allows couples to recognize the emotional desires of their partner. Time then becomes the impetus for consistent acts of love creating growth between couples as they express love their partner accepts. The five love languages speak to the basic fundamentals needed to communicate love.
  • Trauma recovery through art therapy

    Brainerd, Rachel (2020-12)
    This paper provides a synthesis of research on Art Therapy, Post traumatic Stress Disorder, and explains the unique benefit this therapy may provide for the refugee population suffering from PTSD.
  • The Brooklynite abroad: how I turned my personal travel blog into a business

    O’Brien, Veronica (2020-12)
    COVID-19 negatively impacted thousands of vacation plans worldwide. After months of lockdown and quarantine restrictions, people are now eager to start traveling again. A travel boom is coming our way. We have already seen several spontaneous trips across the globe and it is only expected to increase as the months go on. Given all of the changes in regards to social distancing and safety regulations, the travel industry has changed. The way that we once traveled is now a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean for the worse. Traveling still has that spark of joy associated with learning and experiencing the thrill of new cultures, even if it is within your own country. While the cure to the coronavirus pandemic is not certain to happen anytime soon, we have to adapt. By that I mean we have to completely change the way that we travel. As a matter of fact, given the demands of eager travelers, it has never been a better time than now to turn travel blogging into a career.
  • Predictors of social estrangements

    Sung, Annie (2020-12)
    Human connection plays a significant role in an individual's life. Belonging is one of the key components of living a successful life. With that being said, humans are programmed to prevent being exploited by others. This study examines what characteristics an individual may have that lead to having a high number of social estrangements. The hypothesis of this study was that if impulsivity, borderline tendencies, risk-taking, and fast life history strategy were all present in an individual's personality, then this would lead to a higher number of estrangements in that individual’s life. Using a sample of 413 participants, it was found that the hypothesis was partially supported. The more borderline tendencies someone had, the more estrangements he or she had in life.
  • Songwriting in music therapy: a rapid review

    DeRusso, Gianna (2020-12)
    Songwriting in music therapy is the process of creating, notating, and/or recording lyrics and music by the client or clients and therapist within a therapeutic relationship to address psychosocial, emotional, cognitive, and communication needs of the client. Over time, this method has developed to address new goals and new clinical populations. The purpose of this review is to update the comprehensive review of songwriting methods in music conducted by Baker et al. (2008). Articles reviewed met the following inclusion criteria: 1) published in a peer review journal between 2008 and 2020, and 2) examined the effect of a songwriting method used to with a clinical population using quantitative research methods., The results of this review identified a song writing method, 2 clinical populations, and goals that were not reported on in the 2008 Baker et al. study. This study supports the conclusion that songwriting has evolved over time and will continue to do so to support an array of goals and clinical populations.
  • Why there are no black Dominicans: how anti-Haitian sentiment in the era of Trujillo and the deeply rooted black history of the island of Hispaniola affects how Dominicans racially identify in New York today

    Frasco, Melissa (2020-12)
    Within the island of Hispaniola are two countries: the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In 1808 the island was split into two distinct areas and today remains segregated geographically and culturally. Haiti is often associated with poverty, corrupt governments, and blackness, while the Dominican Republic is associated with tropical vacations, baseball, and the Caribbean. By considering the role of socio-political, historical, and ethno-cultural factors in Dominicans’ racial self-identification, this study examines why some Dominicans may not identify as “Black” despite the history of the African slave trade across the island. Using a snowball sampling method to identify study participants, I interviewed Dominican individuals about their racial self- identification and the cultural factors that influenced them. The view of race will be recognized as both a construct and as a significant factor in one’s identity. My research provides insights into how Dominicans in New York identify ethnically, racially, and culturally. Dominicans have a complicated relationship with race, partially due to the thirty-year reign of General Rafael Trujillo, whose promotion of a racial ideology associates blackness with Haitians rather than Dominicans, the historical colonization of the island, post-coloniality, and migration. Dominicans have a notoriously complicated relationship with blackness, when referred to as Black (in the United States) some Dominicans are quick to retort back phrases such as “I’m not Black, I’m Dominican!”. The Dominican racial identity and its relationship with the country of Haiti cannot be explained by the simplicity of the United States racial binary of Black or white. However, Dominicans have historically migrated to states such as New York, New Jersey, and Florida and continue to straddle racial imaginaries spanning from Latin America and the Caribbean to the receiving country.
  • A story we agree to tell each other over and over: gender and disability performance in ​Game of Thrones

    Cavallucci, Katherine (2020-11)
    Game of Thrones​ presents us with a wealth of fascinating characters, many of whom do not fit neatly into the particular roles ascribed to them by binary systems. As a result of their nonconformity, they are often ridiculed, spurned, “othered.” In this thesis, I will focus on gender and ability as performances—social constructions—rather than as natural fact, and I will utilize the literary and film theory of Laura Mulvey, Lennard Davis, and Judith Butler to explore ​Game of Thrones t​hrough this lens. I intend to analyze how certain characters perform gender or dis/ability (or both), along with the ways in which they have changed the narrative and subverted traditional ideologies and systems of power.
  • Traditional ecological knowledge and sustainability in cities

    Laxman, Seth (2020-12)
    This thesis is an exploration and analysis of the most efficient and appropriate ways policy makers, planners, and individuals can tap into the knowledge held by indigenous peoples around the world in order to improve urban environments to make them more sustainable and resilient to the effects of the climate crisis. Now more than ever, it is crucial to contextualize all human behaviors and practices with our history as a species. One of the best ways of doing this is lifting the voices of historically marginalized and silenced groups. By incorporating knowledge and wisdom that has been traditionally ignored into all individual and societal practices, the boundaries between the “natural” and “human” worlds can be redefined. By examining the potential that the wealth of knowledge held within indigenous cosmologies, traditions, and practices has in regard to improving urban sustainability, a number of possibilities for integrating indigenous traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) into the modern sustainability movement are assessed.
  • Breaking Bad and the intersection of critical theory at race, disability, and gender

    McDonough, Matthew (2020-12)
    Thesis Abstract: The television series Breaking Bad (created by Vince Gilligan) is considered by audience and critics alike as one of the greatest television series ever made. It tells the story of the rise and fall of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a mild-mannered chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin. He turns to a life of crime after having been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he sees meth manufacturing as the most lucrative way to provide for his family. It has been nearly a decade since the series finale, yet it endures through sequel films, spin-offs, and online streaming. My thesis investigates the series’ staying power, and I would argue that lies in its thematic content. Breaking Bad is not just a straightforward story of one man’s descent into a life of crime, but it is also a mediation on dominant, repressive power structures. The series offers a look at these structures through the lens of race, gender, and disability through the actions of characters and their interactions with one another.
  • The reactionary movement spawned by the deregulation of the uterus: the Christian conservative legal movement’s decades-long battle in response to Roe

    Gasparian, Mary A. (2020-12)
    The debate on the right to choose has become one of the most polarizing issues within American law and politics. Since the landmark decision of​Roe v. Wade​ (1971), the conservative legal movement has been looking for ways to overturn it and began to find its niche in the 1980s, only after the liberal legal movement dominated largely from the 1960s through the 1970s. Shortly thereafter, the conservative legal movement gained momentum and the pro-life movement found where it belonged. This research will address how the Christian right has been able to efficiently mobilize to incrementally challenge the right to choose and the organizational tactics behind this movement. The relative successes of the conservative legal movement can be attributed to a vast network of attorneys, donors, academics, and elected officials. The influence of dark money groups will be discussed in regards to abortion rights in the United States, as well. Given the current trajectory of the conservative legal movement, it appears that the right to choose will likely remain intact, but will face difficult challenges in the near future.
  • Pathways

    Greenfield, Amanda (2020-11)
    By focusing on the collection of bombarding fluid moments, I manifest the feeling of space through the use of color and brushstroke. Lines and colors vibrate as if just to make an obnoxious appearance. The building of moments and tone create a mindscape of fluid intentional, yet unpredictable marks competing in a state of tension. Lines are straightened, colors exaggerated, shadows enlarged, and pathways are found as they progress. Of nature or of man might be the question, but an answer is not needed in order to soar or hide within the spaces. Discoveries can cause confusion, but the process is thrilling. As the landscape comes to fruition, I can finally start to identify, although I am not any more comfortable.
  • The healing project: journey from self doubt to self discovery

    Graham, D-Amini (2020-11)
    When first starting this project, so many thoughts ran through my head. I wanted to create a project that documented people’s views on love, life, and happiness, while traveling to Bali, North Carolina, and New York City. Unexpectedly, life changed for all of us in March. March marked the beginning of the global pandemic known as COVID-19. Despite the positive outcomes of the pandemic like spending time with family or healing one’s inner child, it is extremely important to take note of the countless lives lost to COVID-19 and the simple fact of the matter, not everyone lives in an open and welcoming environment. Therefore, COVID-19 brought as much pain as it did joy. All of that to say, when I thought of creating this passion project, I knew my focus and direction changed and wanted to focus on the importance of healing one’s self. This important, yet vital, step is what leads to happiness, love, and long-term self-fulfillment. The goal and intention put behind every video and word is to inspire the next person to heal. There are three compact stages to healings: self acceptance stage, action stage, and the putting it into practice stage. Remember that nothing comes easy, anything that's great takes time and dedication. May this journey be as fruitful, unique, and healing.
  • Being me in Trump's America

    Khan, Shahnoor (2020-05)
  • Outdoor experiential education: an alternative approach to learning

    Reydel, Alexandra (2020-05)
    This paper analyzes the philosophical foundations as well as the psychological and sociological benefits of the Outdoor Experiential Education (OEE) methodology, identifies existing issues with its real-world implementation, and looks forward into possible future developments within the field. Through a thorough analysis of state of knowledge literature and past research, new connections are drawn between the importance of OEE for the development of youth and society, the issues of equity and social justice that have yet to be resolved, and the field’s potential to empower diverse populations of young learners in the future.
  • Speech acquisition with cochlear implants across the life span

    Rubin, Jillian (2020-05)
    Hearing is the foundation for acquiring verbal speech and speech perception. For many of us, hearing came naturally, and we learned to engage in meaningful exchanges of languages from an early age. However, for those born deaf and/or hard of hearing or who acquire hearing loss later on, speech, language, and communication can be more difficult to develop and comprehend. Language acquisition starts from an early age, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing typically have delays in speech development, social pragmatic skills, reading skills, and more. Cochlear implantation surgery is becoming an increasingly common choice for deaf and/or hard of hearing patients who wish to be a part of the auditory world and cannot benefit from the use of hearing aids. Generally, the younger a person is implanted with a cochlear device, the better their speech and spoken language acquisition will be. Likewise, many studies show that the later in age a person is implanted, the harder speech acquisition will be. During this process I will research auditory training and speech and language development in both children and adults with cochlear implants. I will research therapies and success rates utilized by adults who are implanted at an older age and compare them to those implanted at a younger age.
  • The state of student debt in the United States

    Salomon, Molli (2020-05)
    Student debt has been an ongoing issue for a while but do you know the total amount of debt the United States actually faces? Forbes recorded that in May of 2019, there were 42.8 million people that owed some form of student debt and a total of $1.64 trillion debt among students in the United States. There have been different approaches to try to solve the student debt crisis but it is still a struggle for students attending colleges and universities throughout the United States. The Presidential Candidates for the upcoming election have a lot to say regarding the student debt crisis and have different plans of tackling student loan debt. We could potentially see major changes as the presidential candidates for the upcoming election continue to share their ideas and ways to attack student debt for everyone. The contrast amongst the different candidates is significant and raises many questions and concerns for students. Though we hope to see progress in the near future, it is important to inform ourselves about the overall topic, statistics and financial background that has led students of the United States to the position we are in now.
  • The potential benefits of bilingualism for the aging brain: a comparative analysis of the white matter integrity, gray matter volume, and cognitive functioning in aging bilinguals and monolinguals

    Schroeder, Alina (2020-05)
    Cognitive decline in association with decline of white matter (WM) integrity and gray matter volume (GMV) have been associated with aging. Researchers have noticed that while some individuals are extremely susceptible to cognitive decline and age-related neural deterioration, the others seem to fare better. Further observation has led to the conclusion that seniors that participate in daily activities over an extended period of time, such as playing a musical instrument or speaking a second language, have increased cognitive outcomes as compared to individuals of the same age who did not participate in such activities. This literature review aims to examine bilingualism as a factor that modulates the white matter integrity, gray matter volume, and cognitive functioning of early aging bilinguals. Multiple studies have observed increased white matter integrity in the corpus callosum, superior longitudinal fasciculus, and inferior longitudinal fasciculus of aging bilinguals. In the gray matter volume, there were multiple studies that observed an increase in the temporal lobe, inferior parietal lobule, and anterior cingulate. These measures were further correlated to increased cognitive control in the aging bilinguals.

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