Recent Submissions

  • Dream catchers

    LaSita, Emily (2020-05)
    Laurel is a fifteen-year-old who has grown up in foster-care, moving from home to home. She considers herself to be fairly normal, aside from the small fact that she keeps having dreams of dead people she doesn’t know, asking for their dying wishes. When her caseworker, Gina, brings Laurel to her new rich foster-family, where she must attend a new school with privileged kids, she begins to uncover the mysteries of their lives as well as her own. Some things aren’t as they seem and what might happen to her new friends, the memory of her “clients” and Gina if these secrets are exposed?
  • The spirit of a composer: 
an analysis of the works of Joe Hisaishi

    Laaninen, Mark (2020-05)
    Joe Hisaishi is one of the most prominent and popular composers in modern Japan. Whether he writes European inspired Waltzes, Jazz inspired piano pieces, or airy music box pieces, Hisaishi’s music remains utterly unmistakable in all its forms. This characteristic sound inspired my research. I set out to analyse several of Joe Hisaishi’s most well known pieces to understand the building blocks of his trademark musical style. But analysis could only take me so far. I also wrote a pair of pieces drawing directly from the techniques I observed in Hisaishi’s work to have a deeper understanding of how and why he uses the techniques he does. My findings changed the way I viewed Hisaishi’s music. Hisaishi’s musical sensibility synthesizes classical tonal techniques of counterpoint and more modern techniques, particularly the superimposition of relative major and minor tonalities.
  • Literature in America: the effect of worldstates on literary popularity

    Kapusinsky, Carly (2020-05)
    How does the impact of historical events which occurred throughout a generation’s formative years affect the popularity of stories, and how might this analysis be used for current estimations of literary trends?
  • Watering strange fruits: a study and analysis of the inadequate advising received by students of color at a predominantly white institution

    Joseph, Eryka “Ree” (2020-05)
    Throughout predominantly white institutions nationwide, the contemporary issues surrounding race, access, ethnicity, and diversity have been put under an increasingly bright spotlight over the past decade, calling into question the impact these matters have on a Student of Color in regards to educational control. The main aim of this dissertation is to examine how Students of Color, attending predominantly white institutions, are not being supported in academic spaces, specifically in regards to academic advising. Moreover, how they are redefining and reclaiming what scholarship means to them. This dissertation will possibly be structured in five main chapters: (1) Introduction, referring to aim, scope and background reasoning, (2) Case Study, addressing the methodology and analysis of interviews, (3) Literary Analysis, addressing prior scholarly works surrounding this issue, (4) Solutions, discussion on how to fix the question at hand, and (5) Conclusions, Limitations and Future Research, discussing the relevance and how this can and will mostly be used for future implementation for master’s work, professors and future career work as a diversity and inclusion expert.
  • Making an online movement:
 a content analysis of tweets by @AMarch4OurLives account

    Hannan, Erin (2020-05)
    The March for Our Lives movement began four days after another historic school shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. With more than 400,000 followers in 2020 and more than a million supporters taking part in nationwide school walkouts and protests over the last two years, this social media movement that began with #MarchForOurLives has developed into a rigorous campaign to call on U.S. elected officials to change gun-control and for citizens to get educated and vote. This study looks at how Twitter users engaged with the March for Our Lives movement’s (@AMarch4OurLives) original tweets from February 18, 2018 to December 31, 2019. The impact of this social media movement has resulted in unprecedented U.S. policy changes on gun-reform and an ongoing conversation on gun control policy. A content analysis was conducted (n = 500) to discover what characteristics of the tweets such as topic, tone, hashtags, and year influenced social media engagement in the form of likes, retweets, and replies. The purpose of this research was to uncover how the popularity of this movement online could have played a role in setting a new political agenda on gun-control. The results showed that tweets about the topics of the NRA received the most replies from Twitter users, and tweets pertaining to the topic of shootings gained greater user engagement in the form of likes and retweets. The general tone of @AMarch4OurLives tweets on a 5-point scale of negative to positive varied depending on the topic of the tweet, with an average tone of all the tweets being slightly above neutral (M= 3.38). Lastly, the results of this study reflected that tweets posted in 2019 received less user engagement than tweets in 2018 which were shared closer to the events of the Parkland shooting.
  • Parental autonomy support and transformational leadership in student resident assistants

    Halligan, Samuel (2020-05)
    This study investigated the association between parental autonomy support and transformational leadership in resident assistants at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Resident assistants (n= 35) were asked a series of questions about their leadership style, personality, and parents. Results indicated that there was no relationship between parental autonomy support and transformational leadership for resident assistants, but that there were relationships between father involvement and transactional leadership, and openness to new experiences and transformational leadership.
  • Neuromodulation of aggression behavior by Neuropeptide-F in Drosophila melanogaster

    Gopee, Tyler (2020-04)
    Neuromessenger proteins such as Neuropeptide-F (NPF) have been linked to aggression in animals such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. To better understand NPF’s influence on aggression, we investigated the direct effects of NPF release on fly fighting aggression behaviors. Utilizing targeted gene-expression techniques that can be confirmed via antibody- based immunohistochemical tissue analysis, we created a transgenic line of flies with light- inducible ion channels in NPF-secreting cells. Upon confirmation, utilizing optogenetic tools we performed fly fight bioassays in a ring with limited food to see the direct effects of NPF on aggression through light activation. The results of this study suggest the secretion of NPF impinges upon aggression circuits enough to depress aggression levels in flies.
  • Designing novels for a visual audience: font psychology, digital text, and the value of printed books

    Gay, Lauren (2020-05)
    In early book design, printed text was defined by production demands and economic pressures. The standard of book design that most people are familiar with reflects traditional needs for communication. Now that modern society has evolved beyond the need for printed text and relies primarily on digital media to receive information, book design must reach a new standard of artistic and personal value to remain relevant. This paper analyzes the history of printed books and their transition from a primary source of information into an art form, as well as the differences between digital and printed texts, font psychology, and the necessity of defining print and digital reading as separate experiences. The primary outcome of this study is a redesign of the classic novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë that highlights the central moments of the novel in a way that is visually appealing and more understandable to a large audience.
  • Accessing disability accommodations: the barriers that college students face when trying to even the playing field


    Fachin, Brianna (2020-05)
    An increasing amount of people with disabilities have decided to attend post-secondary school. Disabilities can make schooling more difficult making it harder for students with disabilities to obtain degrees in higher education. Accommodations such as extended time on tests or receiving digital notes aid students with disabilities in achieving higher grades in class. Disability accommodations essentially even the playing field for students which is why laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have been put in place. The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that accommodations will be available for students. Recent studies have suggested that students with disabilities that take advantage of the accommodations that are available to them are more successful academically and have higher graduation rates. Despite the fact that accommodations are available, many students with disabilities do not choose to use them. There are many different reasons why students may not take advantage of these accommodations, all of which have the ability to alter the quality of the education experience for students with disabilities.
  • Jamie’s Italian ice business plan

    Ericksen, Jamie (2020-05)
    Italian ices is a popular frozen dessert that is not yet offered in the town of New Paltz. This document outlines a business plan to sell Italian ices by day and a frozen alcoholic treat by night. This product will be distributed from a push cart located in the heart of New Paltz. Through data, research, and my own personal findings, a complete breakdown of the company is discussed in detail. This breakdown includes the company overview, the marketing and management plan, the financial plan, and everything in between to realistically start this business venture. The purpose of this establishment will be to accommodate a frozen dessert to customers with dietary restrictions as well as bring an American staple to the Hudson Valley.
  • The territorial expansion of rising powers

    Dalland, Konrad (2020-05)
    This paper is concerned with why rising states choose to skirt international norms and expand their territory. As opposed to explaining territorial expansion as the result a need for material benefits and physical security (Realism); territorial expansion is seen as a practice states that see themselves as a great power will use when their identities are misrecognized. It examines the affects of status recognition on a rising state’s identity in order to ascertain if and when a rising state will expand. Rising powers will attempt to have their identity as a great power recognized by established powers. If that identity is recognized then the rising power is accepted in their great power identity and joins the established powers as the leaders of the international order. If the identity of the rising power is misrecognized then the rising power will feel insecurity and mitigate that insecurity by reaffirming their identity. One of these ways of reaffirming ones identity is territorial expansion. My argument is that a rising power that has a great power identity will expand territorially only after it has been maximally misrecognized by established powers. I examine the relationship between the United States, NATO and Russia from 2000 onward to explore this theory.
  • Performing history: artistic responses to tragic events

    Cooper, Miranda (2020-05)
    Stories are powerful because they break the repetitive, circular movements of life. Through both creation and destruction, imagination, and evoking reality, new movements can be created. Through the performativity that exists in David Albahari and Sylvia Plath’s Holocaust art, Götz and Meyer and “Daddy,” authors, and by extension, enactors find a balance between destruction and creation, imagination and evoking reality. This allows both to use the creative process to come to a greater understanding of the human condition within the context of the Holocaust and break the repetitive circular movement of patriarchal violence. The findings from this paper will be used as guideposts in the creation of the performative aspect of my honor’s thesis.
  • Epigraphic decoration of three time periods:
 case studies on the connection of written language and visual culture

    Cooke, Sophie (2020-05)
    This paper analyzes the connection of written language and artistic expression, through three case studies on epigraphy. Written language is secondary to spoken word and has been given various forms, even within the same culture. I aim to addresss the significance of written language in the cultural purpose of an object. Through three case studies I will analyze the way in which the artists are conveying a message to the viewer through written language. First is pectoral necklaces of Ancient Egypt, which are artistically produced and communicate a sentence in hieroglyphs. Second is the study of Greek funerary epigraphic decoration on tombstones which utilize first person narrative. First is pectoral necklaces of Ancient Egypt, which are artistically produced and communicate a sentence in hieroglyphs. First is the use of Pseudo-Arabic in the Italia Renaissance, particularly in paintings of religious subjects. Three very different cultures all carefully using language to convey political power, autonomy in death, and cultural literacy / connections to early Christianity, respectively. I will back up these connections with specific artistic objects, paying close attention to their purpose and cultural origins. I will convey the importance of the analysis of written language in an art historical sense, and its significance in the analysis of visual art.
  • The relationship between family socialization and financial behaviors in college students

    Casanova, Samantha (2020-05)
    This pilot study examined the relationship between family financial skills and behaviors and the financial behaviors and skills of college students. The goal of this study was to see if findings from Gudmunson and Danes (2011) who developed family financial socialization theory, would be replicated among SUNY New Paltz college students. Fifty-nine college students were surveyed using items from Jorgenson and Salva’s (2007) College Student Financial Literacy Survey (CSFLS). A correlational study was conducted; results suggested a positive, weak relationship; as family financial skills increased, financial skills increased. Overall results were not statistically significant; family financial interactions were not associated with the financial behaviors of college students. While no associations were identified at the variable level, at the item level, several associations were identified in the expected direction. Self- reported ability to manage one’s own finances was associated with learning about and observing financial management from parents/guardians. Self-reported ability to manage one’s own finances was associated with observing parents/guardians save money. Furthermore, among the 37 students who reported having one or more credit cards, family saving was negatively associated with owing money on one’s own credit cards. This research suggests the importance of family communication about financial skills and behaviors to encourage better financial behaviors in young adults.
  • Intersections between interpersonal trauma and substance use: increasing support in existing programs

    Bryden, Alexa (2020-05)
    Interpersonal trauma and substance abuse are two issues that are incredibly intertwined, but they are often treated as separate issues. This thesis will examine how interpersonal trauma and substance abuse interact, and discuss how existing treatment programs can be improved to create better outcomes for service participants.
  • Conceptualizing disability ethics in the age of CRISPR

    Bisguier, Nissa (2020-05)
    The incipient gene-editing technology, CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), has raised critical ethical questions regarding the elimination of genetic defects, potential risks about the efficacy and downsides of its use, and parental and medical agency over modifying the genetic material of future generations. This paper will first explain what CRISPR is and how it compares to previous technologies used to modify genes, such as TALENs and ZFNs. After describing the possible short and long-term expectations for CRISPR’s applications, I provide a survey of the ethical concerns addressed by the medical community and how they differ from those that worry some advocates for marginalized communities due to the history of eugenics. I will rely on the work of Joel Reynolds, George Estreich, Alison Kafer, and Elizabeth Barnes that problematizes the cultural values and medical assumptions behind gene-editing and its potential use as a tool for a new wave of eugenics. I explain how the tragic narrative of disability has come from a societal perspective influenced by a position of power and must be re-examined. Many disability ethicists argue that their disability is crucial to their identity and determines a different yet not lesser existence. The idea that gene- editing could be used as a tool in eliminating disability perpetuates a tragic narrative of disability that not only degrades the lives of the disabled, but is incomplete. I end with a contemplation of the concrete ways in which CRISPR could benefit people with severe health conditions, while remaining aware of the dangers involved in the idealization of gene-editing that the discourse has propagated.
  • Unveiling the queen of the underworld: images of Persephone in Greece and southern Italy

    Ferguson, Teresa C. (2020-05)
    During antiquity, Persephone, the storied “Queen of the Underworld,” assumed multiple forms throughout the Greek world. The most famed myth involving Persephone details the goddess’ abduction by Hades and her later reunification with her mother, Demeter. For the inhabitants of mainland Greece, Persephone was known simply as Kore, the “maiden”; her significance as a goddess relied heavily on her familial connection to Demeter and the role that she played in the Eleusinian Mysteries. However, within certain Greek settlements in Southern Italy (often referred to as Magna Graecia or “Great Greece” due to the number of its Greek sites), Persephone had a distinct identity separate from that of Demeter, and she was more commonly associated with marriage and the salvation of the deceased. This contrast in the beliefs held about Persephone can be observed in visual depictions of the goddess from sites in Greece and Southern Italy. The goal of this paper is to explore the multivalent nature of Persephone by examining her representation in objects from various areas around mainland Greece and Magna Graecia. This paper will focus on material evidence in varying media from four different locations, two in Greece (Eleusis and Corinth) and two in Southern Italy (Locri Epizephyrii and Sicily) Through this study, I hope to discover how geography and differing religious beliefs can inform the way in which a particular deity is represented in art.
  • How technology affects the way we read and write

    Borstelmann, Robyn (2020-01)
    Studies have been conducted regarding the impact that easily accessible technology, including smart phones, tablets, streaming devices, video games, etc, have on the educational, cognitive, and social development of young children. These studies showed that social media and increased screen time in excessive amounts may have negative impacts on a child’s mental health, but that access to this technology, as well as texting, does not hinder a child’s ability to read, write, and process information. These studies showed that young children and adolescents exhibit an increased level of literacy, as well as a new form of literacy known as “text speak.” They also exhibit a high level of understanding when informal writing is appropriate and when it is not, meaning they showed a positive understanding of grammar and syntax when given exams during these experiments.
  • Iridium complexes of quinone-based phosphine ligands

    Thackeray, Sachin S. (2019-12)
    This project was focused on the synthesis of iridium complexes containing Quinone-based phosphine ligands under dry and inert conditions. Iridium complexes with pincer-type ligands have been shown to serve as efficient catalysts in alkane dehydrogenation. However, to regenerate these compounds to their original states and maintain catalytic activity, a sacrificial hydrogen acceptor must be used which is costly and creates unnecessary by-products. Quinones may serve as a counter-balance to this inefficiency by acting as a catalytic hydrogen acceptor. Quinones may rapidly transition between their dehydrogenated and hydrogenated states through electron/proton transfers which may be driven electrochemically. The initial aim of this research was to produce iridium complexes bonded to a Quinone base in a pincer/tridentate framework. Two Quinone-based phosphine ligands (PCAQ and POAQ) were synthesized prior to being reacted with iridium-based catalysts. Synthesis reactions between Quinone-based ligands and iridium-based catalysts yielded a compound, which upon further investigation using 31P-NMR and 1H-NMR spectroscopy revealed a bidentate complex which was stabilized with a CO molecule. Further work is needed to characterize the compounds using X-ray crystallography and to compare the complexes to other iridium catalysts in efficiency of catalytic reactions.
  • Social media and society: a generation transformed and transforming consciousness and culture

    Rupolo, Marisa (2019-12)
    The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the scholarly literature regarding social media use and the effects it has on human communication, consciousness and culture. Social media are ubiquitous; thus, our mediated and non-mediated interactions are being affected and transformed because of it. After analyzing myriad studies, it is possible to conclude that the literature tends to surmise the implications of media are either all good or all bad but fail to acknowledge the complexity of the impacts on transforming consciousness and culture and how they exist on a continuum. One dichotomy that appears in the literature is that people are either being selfish or selfless in their motivation for sharing on social media, but not both. In this paper I analyze two case studies that explode this dichotomy. Stoneman Douglas activists and Greta Thunberg and youth climate activists use their social media for activism both in their own self-interest and in the interest of the greater good of society at large. The literature review suggests this dichotomy can only exist exclusively. Yet, integrating and analyzing current examples it is possible to conclude this dichotomy is false. Moreover, the reality of this false dichotomy is exactly what has shaped this generation to be transformed by, and transform, consciousness and culture.

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