• Manic? : a play in two acts

      Rausch, Zachary (2017-12)
      This thesis is about the power of story. All medical systems throughout the world are based upon specific stories which they believe about the nature of human existence. Oftentimes, it is easy to lose ourselves in the narratives we know, claiming them to be ultimately true. I will explore and compare two distinct medical narratives, Western and Tibetan Buddhist psychiatry, in order to explore deeper questions about the nature of human suffering. I will take you on this exploration through my own personal narrative as I straddled these two worlds to find grounding and purpose in life. We will explore how these traditions conceptualize mental illness, personal identity, human nature, purpose, and health. We will explore their underlying assumptions and values that are often unquestioned. When we speak of medical narratives, we cannot separate them from our lived experiences. These narratives are not static, do not exist in a vacuum, and may be experienced differently by one person to the next. Therefore, I am only expressing one perspective of infinite. But these are the stories I know and these are the stories that I can genuinely share. I have a fundamental understanding by studying and analyzing the primary texts of the two psychiatric systems: The Fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the rGyud Bzhi . I also have a basic understanding of Tibetan Buddhist psychiatry through four months of study in Bodh Gaya and Darjeeling, India and four months of research of Western psychiatric and psychological history and thought.
    • Weak State caused long duration of insurgency between 1995 to 2016

      Abukosi, Vincent (2017-12)
      Saddam Hussein’s government and the Taliban regime were both toppled in the early months of U.S. invasion. Nevertheless, the U.S. and coalitions’ supported government in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been battling insurgencies since the U.S. invasion. To be exact, the U.S. has been conducting counterinsurgency campaigns in Afghanistan since 2002, and in Iraq since 2003. Why would such operations last so long despite U.S. military might? Many scholars have argued differently on the causes of long duration insurgencies but none has given an argument that can explain all cases of prolonged insurgencies. In this paper, I used the theory of political opportunity structure which posits that “repertoires for protest have traditionally been seen as influenced by political opportunity structure, consisting of both a formal, institutional aspect and an informal, cultural one (Porta 2008, 223)” to argue that weak states caused long duration insurgency between the years of 1995 to 2016. My argument gives another alternative argument that can explain the causes of long duration insurgencies. Using 66 cases of insurgency, from the Global Terrorism dataset, I showed that state weakness caused long duration insurgency between the periods of 1995 to 2016, but the only indicators of state weakness that are statistically significant to the duration of insurgency are security effectiveness score and security legitimacy score. Therefore, my policy recommendation is that for states to carry on successful Counterinsurgency campaigns they need to focus on improving the capability of their security forces, and seek public approval of their security apparatus .
    • Three sides to a story: different perspectives toward the deaf community

      Quinlan, Jada (2017-12)
      When looking into Deafness the medical perspective and the perspective of those in the Deaf community are taken into account. However there is also a societal aspect to Deafness that should be taken into account. This study considers the aspects and perspectives of the hearing, medical, and Deaf communities that determine the views of Deaf people. The study will also compare the Deaf community of the United States to that of Ethiopia. In conclusion, it may be shown how the different perspectives may effect the way the Deaf community is viewed.
    • Neuroplasticity: the impact of age and injury

      Celentano, Alexis M. (2017-12)
      Background: Neuroplasticity is an ongoing process of the brain that allows for learning, changing, and adapting to every day changes as well as to trauma. As we age, the rate of neuroplasticity (that combats the ramifications of brain injury) starts to decline. This has been seen throughout many different species and is the justification for why adult systems have more devastating deficits from injury than children. The brain can spontaneously recover from injury but for improved long-term results, speech and language therapy in conjunction with spontaneous recovery is ideal for maximal recovery of function and language. Purpose: In this review, the primary goal is to discuss past and present research on neuroplasticity, neural aging and the effects of injury on the language centers of the brain. Results: I have discussed neuroplasticity and peak neuroplasticity in children known as the critical periods and sensitive periods, discussion of normal aging on neuroplasticity, the results of prenatal strokes in comparison to the results of adult strokes, and the different types of recovery that occurs post-stroke/traumatic brain injury (TBI).
    • English literacy in deaf education

      Ackerman, Celina (2018-01)
      The purpose of this paper is to discuss the factors influencing the English literacy development of signing deaf children. The literacy rates of deaf high school graduates have been consistently reported as equivalent to that of an average 3rd or 4th grade hearing child (Mayer, 2009, p. 326). The factors contributing to this gap in literacy rates revolve around language acquisition and development. Issues in first language access, exposure and quality as well as differences in deaf and hearing language development are discussed. Theories of bimodal language and literacy development show unique qualities of ASL-English bilingual-bimodal that may begin to explain the cause of difficulty in English literacy skills among signing deaf children in the academic setting. Further research much be conducted in order to further develop educational programs for literacy development that are effective for deaf students.
    • Living Strange, a novel

      Giese, Allison (2018-05)
      Living Strange is about a young webcomic artist, Aaron Bateson, as he survives a suicide attempt and must begin the arduous process of recovery. However, a muddled and strained family situation, along with the fact that he’s begun to see his dead ex-boyfriend’s ghost, is making it even harder. Living Strange is a story about healing and reclamation. Structurally speaking, it’s a coming-of-age story, filled with phantoms of the past. Mental illness, specifically chronic depression and anxiety, feature prominently in the story and how they color the voice of the protagonist. Additionally, persona narration and free indirect style are used to show how Aaron’s mental illnesses affect his consciousness and how he tells his story. Parallels are drawn between the protagonist and the late Dmitri through specific and controlled encounters, as Dmitri was never able to seek help for his depression. At its heart, this novel is a character study about how we heal when things go wrong, and when we’re at our rawest and most vulnerable.
    • Facilitating post traumatic growth in survivors of disasters

      Schrufer, Jessica L. (2018-05)
      Natural and man-made disasters can be typified by loss and destruction. There is a need for mechanisms to promote positive outcomes to such events. Means aiming towards goals of Posttraumatic Growth can lead to successful recovery of an individual and a larger community in the aftermath of a disaster. In turn, resilience from experiencing the event and successive losses can prepare one for future difficulties. Psychological challenges in grief that arise after a traumatic event can mediate posttraumatic growth and recovery. Social Cognitive Theory posits that perceived self-efficacy in coping leads to positive results in posttraumatic recovery. Mortality Salience, a factor of Terror Management theory, also proposes that reduction in distress related to one’s own death anxiety may increase self-efficacy, resulting in growth. Through Terror Management and Social Cognitive means, the current research aims to promote Narrative Reconstruction as an important coping mechanism in relation to Posttraumatic Growth, for individuals as well as community-level bereavement in disasters.
    • The farming chronicles: a guide to agriculture and your food

      Falco, Victoria (2018-05)
      Food is fundamental for survival. It is important for us to be conscious of the choices that we make on what is consumed. The Farming Chronicles is an education workbook that was created for children to talk about what they eat, where it comes from, and why it matters. It concerned me that in some areas in the United States agricultural education is not a core subject. The premise of this project is to introduce the fundamentals of agriculture and inspire children and their families to take an active role in understanding how food gets to the table. I created #beyourownfarmer to emphasize that you do not need to own acres of land to be defined as a farmer. There are many other opportunities for one to engage in agricultural activities and be a part of a greater community. Some examples include tending your own family garden, visiting your local farmer’s market or state and county fairs, and joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm Share program.
    • Fire and ice: a memoir on grief and self-discovery

      Cassone, Kelsea (2018-05)
      A collection of poems and nonfiction combined in three parts that work to understand the grief that comes with losing my father to suicide and how to overcome it. Separated in three parts, the first part works to define grief in a personal matter. Most poems simply circle around the feeling of depression. The two nonfiction pieces describe memories of the last time I saw my father and when I was told he had passed away. The second part takes place within a few years after the loss, trying to understand what happened and working through depression and grief so I can move on with my life. Poems typically work with confusion and a feeling of loss, while nonfiction pieces are recounts of lucid dreams. Third part works through moving on and what that means. Poems are more centered around myself and how I feel up to current date, six years later. One nonfiction piece is a memory of realizing my father will always be with me. The second nonfiction piece is a meditation-like piece in which I work through my thoughts, understanding what I have been through and coming to understand that life goes on whether I want it to or not and so I should do my best to live up to my expectations. While there was no closure found in doing this project, I do feel relieved to have gotten such strong emotions released onto paper.
    • A growing American identity within a Jewish community: Kingston, New York, 1880-1960

      Ehrlich, Miriam (2018-05)
      In the 19th and 20th centuries, many Jewish people immigrated to America to escape anti-semitism in Eastern Europe. Frank Reher was one of these immigrants. He opened up a successful Jewish bakery in Kingston, New York, where there was a growing Jewish population. His family provides a case study of one family who developed an American identity, largely through Americanizing events in their synagogues. However, they never lost touch with their Jewish identities.
    • Drift

      Epstein, Dani (2018-05)
      By altering the form and function of traditional objects, I create a looser interpretation of familiar forms. The resulting objects propose to shift and change with the user’s needs; this constant engagement is meant to create a long lasting and changing relationship between object and owner. I create forms that are abstract enough to allow new meanings and uses to be invented; extending beyond my vision and initial intentions for each piece.
    • Engineering with a purpose: nontraditional perspectives

      Gangewere, Megan (2018-05)
      In this thesis, a short film titled “Engineering with a Purpose: Nontraditional Perspectives” is produced. A film written, edited, and produced by a mechanical engineering undergraduate was something outside of the norm for a final report. In order to successfully create a film, research on the types and style of films was performed. Movavi Editor software was utilized for purposes of editing. This film challenges perspectives and opens eyes to the cross-disciplinary skills engineering requires while drawing attention to the lessons engineers can learn from other disciplines. The meaning, history and stereotypical views that engineering possesses is expressed. The correlations between philosophy and engineering are filmed with an Ancient Greek Socratic lens. The challenges women must overcome in a predominantly male field are conveyed. Inspirational and telling clips to encourage young women considering engineering concludes this portion of the film. Art and engineering is also expressed through the opportunities 3D manufacturing provides. The film is concluded with multiple languages to open the audience eyes that the basis of engineering, problem solving, is nondiscriminatory. The film’s mission is to inspire non-engineers about how they can relate to engineering practice while motivating current engineers to never give up. It also draws attention to the role an engineer plays in society for progress and future development. Creating a film was a whole design process that required countless iterations. Motivation for this film stemmed from professional opportunities with a mechanical engineering degree and the potential positive impacts and purposeful work engineering requires.
    • Heterogeneous implementation of an artificial neural network

      Carvino, Anthony; Coppola, Thomas (2018-05)
      Reconfigurable logic devices, such as Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA), offer ideal platforms for the dynamic implementation of embedded, low power, massively parallel neuromorphic computing systems. Though somewhat inferior to Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) with regard to performance and power consumption, FPGAs compensate for this small discrepancy by providing a versatile and reconfigurable fabric that is capable of implementing the logic of any valid digital system. Using the Xilinx ZYNQ 7 Series All Programmable System on Chip, as actuated and exposed by the PYNQ-Z1 Development Environment, the present work aims to provide a demonstration of the efficacy of the heterogeneous approach to neuromorphic computing. We expose a hardware implementation of a configurable neural layer to the processing system as a software module and handle its data and parameter flow at the productivity level using Python. Results indicate a nearly negligible increase (3%) in dynamic power consumption over that consumed by the processing system alone. Further, by specifically utilizing the embedded Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and memory blocks of the ZYNQ device, we employ a relatively large percentage of these resources (13% and 11%, respectively), but consume only 5% of the Lookup Table (LUT) fabric, preserving the vast majority of resources for the implementation of other, perhaps complementary systems. Although the successfully completed heterogeneous system demonstrates that it possesses the capacity to learn, the proper training of neuromorphic systems such as this Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is a project in and of itself, and so the focus herein is more on the heterogeneous system engineered than on the prototypical application selected, which is text-independent speaker verification using Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC) and log-filterbank energies as features. Fast, low power, small footprint neuromorphic systems are desirable for embedded applications that might improve the state of their art by exploiting applied artificial intelligence. Systems such as the configurable neural layer developed herein – which make use of the naturally versatile, low power, and high-performance FPGA in conjunction with a microprocessor control system – seem not only technologically viable, but well suited for handling intelligent embedded applications.
    • I’m bad at math! A study of statistical anxiety and attitudes across majors

      Alacam, Egamaria (2018-05)
      The purpose of this research is to assess statistical anxiety and attitudes of students. This includes gender differences within specific majors, as well as differences across majors. Past research has shown significantly higher math anxiety scores and emotional negativity in females in comparison to males. However, when examined by major, there were no significant gender differences for psychology majors. In contrast, for business majors, females had higher emotional negativity. This study attempts to replicate those results and also extend to the math section of statistics, which includes many STEM majors, such as chemistry and biology. Questionnaires measuring anxiety and attitudes towards statistics were given out to the math, business, and psychology section of statistics classes. Business male students had higher fear of asking for help and put more effort into their statistics courses. There were no gender differences found for psychology students. STEM majors had less anxiety and more positive attitudes towards their statistics classes in comparison to business and psychology majors.
    • How did we get here? A systems thinking approach to meritocracy and neoliberalism in schooling

      Greco, Jaclyn (2018-05)
      The ideological underpinnings of educational policy mirror the socio-politics of the time in which the policy was implemented. In current educational debates, neoliberal ideals of rolling back government involvement and increasing privatization in education have a strong connection to the voucher system that is receiving some support. The voucher system allows individuals to use public school tax dollars to be used for tuition in private schools, and seeks to increase competition amongst schools. Neoliberal ideas support the free market model in education that would create competition amongst schools themselves. It has been argued that free markets are successful for creating innovation in the private sphere because some business fail and are forced to close, while critics of the voucher system question if it is ethical to leave schools-and their students-behind. These issues are especially timely considering that Betsey DeVos, the current Secretary of Education, supports the voucher system. In a speech in 2015 DeVos said that education is “a closed system, a closed industry, a closed market. It’s a monopoly, a dead end,” supporting neoliberal ideas of increasing free markets within the public education system. This research will apply a systems thinking approach to understanding the ideological underpinnings of past and present models of public schooling in the United States. This approach will investigate the interactions between ideology, historical context, and educational policy. This research project is focused on understanding how these interactions developed over time to result in the neoliberal ideology of the present and the current educational policy debate around vouchers.
    • Hawk Dogs: a business venture

      Barqawi, Abdelrahman G. (2018-05)
      Being a student of the business school at SUNY New Paltz has provided many experiences and knowledge which not only has helped develop skills as a student, but also as a entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, the eye is trained to see a problem or a need as an opportunity. This was experienced through venturing on Main street in New Paltz on a Friday night, where a problem was spotted. The problem was the lack of food options late at night for college students who went to the bars throughout the week. While Main street has a plethora of restaurants, the only place open near by late at night to cater the needs of inebriated college kids was a pizzeria. Convenient Deli was also an option, however, the trek from the bars to the deli was lengthy, and the deli stopped making sandwiches by 2 AM. Thus, the gears began turning to introduce a late night eatery which would be easily accessible and affordable to college students at the bars. While the intention of a business is to be profitable and fill a need, the primary motivation behind building this business was to earn real world experience in terms of being a business owner. For a student, obtaining first hand experience of running a business was far valuable than the monetary reward that comes with the business. The social aspect of running a business was also very rewarding. The connections that were made by meeting different customers every night was immense. Learning about the lives and aspirations of others through conversation provided a sense of empathy which helped in developing skills of rapport. These social interactions were not exclusively limited to students, but also other business owners in New Paltz. Conversing and establishing a connection with other business owners provided knowledge which was inaccessible by only being a student. Overall, the experience of owning and running a business proved to be a rewarding experience.
    • Love Canal: community vulnerability and human-induced environmental disaster

      Goldstein, Hana (2018-05)
      This case study paper will examine the causes and effects of the human-induced environmental disaster at Love Canal. It will specifically highlight the significant impact it had on a lower income, working class neighborhood. Lower income communities tend to have less power and less resource accessibility, which in turn creates their enhanced vulnerability when a disaster strikes. In 1978, it was discovered that hazardous waste had contaminated homes and schools in the Love Canal area, a former chemical landfill which later became a 15 acre neighborhood in the City of Niagara Falls in Western New York. On August 7, 1978, the United States President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency at the Love Canal. It became the first man-made disaster to receive emergency funds from the federal government to remedy an industrial disaster. Lessons to take away from this environmental tragedy include the significant leadership role of local resident, Lois Gibbs in the environmental justice movement and the proper disposal of hazardous waste for the protection of the public health and the environment.
    • What to do about planet earth: a visionary approach to consumption, energy, and structure

      Buckheit, Donna (2018-05)
      In this paper, I seek to establish that what the consequences of climate change are, which activities contribute to it the most, what types of resources are being used to carry out these activities, and who participates in these kinds of activities the most. I will gather this information from census data and peer reviewed experimental results. Based on these assessments, I will then propose three solutions: 1. Adjustment of physical aspects of the environment and structure we live in, including the use of bike paths, passive solar architecture, and hexagons in construction. 2. Implementation of a carbon tax to curtail carbon dioxide emissions and prevent resource exploitation by corporations. 3. Installation of a universal “solar grid” that utilizes the most efficient solar technology in order to provide a clean, sustainable source of energy.
    • Performative radicalism: Hea(l/r)ing the Latinx historia

      Arcos-Pangione, Lua (2018-05)
      This 45 minute staged reading, Performative Radicalism Hea(l/r)ing the Latinx Historia, follows the narratives of 10 Latinx people living in the US today. It encompasses the hard and beautiful realities of being Latinx by exploring the themes of "Me/Yo", "Location/Ubicación", "Skin-Color/Piel-Color", "Tongue/Lengua", "Us/Nosotros." The 10 narratives are from real interviews Lua conducted for her thesis.
    • Second language acquisition in immigrant groups in Germany

      Cagar, Nicole (2018-05)
      After the fall of the Nazi regime, Germany’s immigration policy drastically changed. The need for guest workers (Gastarbeiter) was high in order to rebuild German infrastructure, with a majority of the guest workers coming from Turkey. Prior to and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, ethnic German Russians (Aussiedler) repatriated back to Germany, representing a second major wave of immigrants in the postwar era. The contemporary international crisis in Syria has led to an influx of refugees and Arabic speaking populations in Germany. As a result of these historical shifts in the latter half of twentieth century Germany to the present, Germany has taken language acquisition more seriously and consequently sees itself as an immigration nation. This is an overview of scholarship informing the context for second language acquisition among immigrants in Germany. This study explores language acquisition among these groups and finds that Turkish people do the best at learning German.