• Underrepresented students in STEM

      Robles, Hanami (2019-05)
      African Americans, Mexican American/Latino, and Native American/Alaska Native students have historically been considered a minority in the United States. However, their population growth and influence in the nation is unproportioned to their growth in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The amount of students graduating from undergraduate school is even lower than those enrolled. Underrepresented students do not only take into account the individual’s race and ethnicity, but also the individual’s gender. The gap created by the lack of diversity in universities is a potential dilemma to the nation as a whole. This study will look into understanding diversity in STEM fields as well as practices implemented in schools that are effective in being inclusive and increase the rates of degree attainment from minorities in STEM majors.
    • Understanding cult membership: beyond “Drinking the Kool-Aid”

      Greiser, Melissa M. (2019-05)
      While there is a plethora of research discussing the concepts of social psychology that are involved in cult membership, which explain that the people involved with cults are typical individuals and there are many basic factors that contribute to their involvement, public perception of cults and their members still seems to be deeply negative. It is possible that if these studies were more widely acknowledged, public perception of cult members would become less negative. Examining the psychology behind cult membership can shed light on the many factors that influence human behavior, which may make it easier for the public to understand how cults can be appealing. Fundamental concepts of social psychology, including affiliation motivation and the need to belong, persuasion and the factors that are responsible for making it more effective, cognitive dissonance, ingroup bias, and social identity theory, can be used to explain how people become involved in cults and why they choose to remain in the group.
    • Understanding how definitions of identity are established and altered when literary works are translated to film

      Carter-Huffman, Christine (2019-12)
      This paper analyzes the translation of two different stories from their original story in the form of literature to their corresponding adaptation in film. The poem “The Man from Snowy River” translates to film, The Man from Snowy River ; and the novella, Story of Your Life translates to the film, Arrival. Australian identity and human identity, respectively, are altered once translated across the different genres of a poem to film and a novella to film. These genres have intrinsic components specific to each type, which shape how the story is told and perceived. The medium of literature creates an intimate connection between the text and the reader, but the intimacy ranges between poem and novella. A film shifts its storytelling as we now see and hear the story in dramatic ways through a Hollywood style narrative. Parts of each story is lost once translated, but there is information gained when they are compared. Furthermore, the two stories differ in their more specific genres of fiction and science-fiction. By analyzing form, genre, and the components native to each piece of work, there is an understanding of what life was like when each work was created and what values, perspectives, and intentions are important for the author to show to the reader. This paper will show how the audience’s expectations, the details delivered, and the ultimate messages are shaped and altered throughout each piece of work.
    • Understanding the housing experiences of trans* and non-binary college students

      Montmarquet, Honor (2021-05)
      While it is well known that the United States has a problem with high rates of homelessness and housing insecurity, the specific housing experiences of transgender college students is an under-explored topic. Existing studies suggest that a significant subset of youth experience housing insecurity during their years as college students; research also indicates that LGBTQ and specifically trans* youth experience disproportionately high rates of homelessness and housing insecurity. As such, it is important to capture the stories of those who fall into both of these categories. This interview-based study with trans* college students, including students who have experienced housing insecurity and homelessness during college, begins to fill the gap in our knowledge about this population. This research begins to shine light on the particular housing experiences of trans* college students with a goal of shaping policy that might better serve the needs to this population.
    • The unspoken truth deafness around the world

      Ferrer, Johanna (2019-05)
      Deafness has been a topic fairly unspoken of. The Deaf community and culture, like any other culture has unwritten and written bylaws. After personally experiencing deafness overseas, it sparked an interest to explore the Deaf culture around the globe. Looking at countries around the world from North America to South America, Central America, moving to the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and lastly Africa, there were different things that were worth taking a deeper look at. In the course of researching, I found that deaf people throughout the world have many similarities: they are marginalized, underrepresented, and there is a common lack of resources that can help individuals who are deaf. Moving through regions, one will explore how deafness is viewed around the world, and what can be done as individuals to change the perception of deafness. The Deaf community varies from nation to nation based on the resources that are available to them. The accessibility to these resources affects education, exposure, and the awareness within the various Deaf communities.
    • 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.
    • Vocal strain and student teachers: are you at risk?

      Brower, Madison (2019-05)
      Teachers are one of the most at risk populations for developing voice disorders, and are prone to vocal damage due to the nature of their occupations. The primary objectives of this paper were to evaluate pre-existing literature regarding vocal strain in teachers, and apply the information to students in their first semester of student teaching at the State University of New York at New Paltz. A web-based questionnaire was distributed to 150 student teachers at SUNY New Paltz. In total, 65 responses were received. The questionnaire consisted of questions on background information and risk factors for voice damage. The results showed that 92% of the student teachers surveyed had experienced ten or more risk factors for vocal strain on a regular basis. According to the students’ answers on the survey, as well as developed research, vocal hygiene education may be useful to help prevent the development of vocal strain in student teachers.
    • The wage gap: history, controversies, and the status quo

      Hatzipetrakos, Anna (2019-05)
      It is often very difficult for society to accept the mechanisms of an intangible concept. The abstract factors of an intangible concept further lead to the inability to resolve pivotal societal issues. This is the case for the gender wage gap controversy that is prevalent in the United States. By studying the commonly held assumptions that controversialists believe attribute to the inaccuracies of the wage gap, the existence of the societal issue gains a greater awareness. The following research is intended to pinpoint the factors that are often linked to the inaccuracies of the wage gap and in turn explain how these factors are unable to explain away the entirety of the gap. The gender biases and discrimination prior to women entering the workforce are often overlooked by skeptics of the societal issue. Therefore, by drawing from both quantitative and qualitative research on the history of the issue, its status quo in modern day America unravels. In order to provoke awareness of the undoubtable problem the gender wage gap imposes on women across the nation, the following pinpoints and transparently states the fact based evidence found on the gap.
    • 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.
    • 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 .
    • The westernization of the night sky: a study of indigenous astronomy and sky culture

      Perles, Zoe Kaya (2021-12)
      When we examine the night sky and consider the history and progression of science and astronomy, we observe the sky through a specific cultural lens. Contemporary understandings and interpretations of the sky and of science have been distorted by the biases of Western European history and culture. Consequently, indigenous astronomy has been eradicated, depreciated, forgotten, and omitted from the historical record. After thousands of years of colonization and the purposeful destruction of indigenous cultures, much knowledge of indigenous astronomy has been lost. However, the knowledge that has been preserved is extraordinary. A study of the methods and strategies of astronomical observation developed by indigenous civilizations and the roles that astronomy served within indigenous societies crafts a compelling argument about the validity, sophistication, and value of indigenous astronomy and sky culture. With that knowledge, we can then consider the drastic repercussions of the erasure of indigenous astronomy and why it is essential that we incorporate indigenous knowledge into modern understandings of science and astronomy.
    • 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.
    • "A Whole New World": redefining gender in Disney films from the 20th to 21st century

      Alshabasy, Shrien (2019-05)
      Disney Princess films in the 20th century, notably ones made in the Golden and Silver Age of the studio’s production, uphold the patriarchal gaze by portraying Disney princesses in the identity of the true woman, forcing them to participate in the domestic household and wait for their prince to initiate their agency and freedom. The Princesses inability to stray away from their portrayal as an item of consumption and sexual/social control and desire make them unable to claim a desire other than marriage to complete their process of Lacanian development. In comparison, the patriarchal gaze is manifested through these earlier Disney films by placing men as the strong, capable heroes who gain a romantic partner at the end of the film. The dichotomization of evil and good women in these 20th century Disney films only serve to emphasize the idea of the true woman. Women who are aware of their social place and attempt to manipulate or resist it are oftentimes villainized through their appearance (they are often old, fat or not traditionally “beautiful”) all weaknesses that are tied to their sexualized role in society. In this paper, I will examine the way that 21st Century Disney films in the Revival Era resist and participate in social structures relating to the male gaze, the myth of womanly masks and notions of true womanhood. I will examine Disney’s shift toward more progressive gender politics through three lenses: Lauren Mulvey’s analysis of the male gaze and Lacanian notions of the Other, and Gilbert and Gubar’s theorization of womanly masks and Barber Welter’s tenants of True Womanhood. I will also examine the ways that these advancements may be limited to a capitalistic, neo-liberal framework, considering that Disney’s changes are financially motivated.
    • Why chivalry should die: the effects of benevolent sexism on hetero-romantic relationships

      Wallin, Sarah (2019-05)
      Relationships aid in our physical and mental well-being, therefore it's important that one of the most intimate relationships we have should be satisfying and functional. I discovered that while benevolent sexism does have some benefits, overall its effects are overwhelmingly negative regarding the functionality and satisfaction of romantic relationships. It reinforces gender roles, through rewards and punishments of gender -typical or non-typical behavior, creates women to become less ambitious in careers, leads women to perform more poorly, excuses violent behavior from "benevolent" men, legitimizes unequal domestic labor, and produces lofty expectations which lead to lower relationship satisfaction. Although benefits have been shown, such as physical/economic protection, greater investment in family, and life satisfaction, these do not outweigh the negative impact benevolent sexism causes and its perpetuation of gender inequality.
    • Why do we hate math and how do we teach it?

      Seiter, Ashley (2019-05)
      In this thesis, I am going to discuss teaching methods and practices that lessen anxiety, due to Math Phobia, in an adolescent setting. I first discuss that students develop Math Phobia, from ineffective teaching strategies, lack of success, and mathematical mindset. To reduce anxiety, effective teachers, must teach how we learn mathematics, using the 3 learning principles and the BDA lesson format. The teaching method, problem-based learning, serves as platform which students learn through discovery, in which teachers create a positive classroom culture, through discussion. I will discuss strategies inside PBL that promote a growth mindset, such as the power of a mistake, differentiation, and formative assessments. Jo Boaler (2016) serves as the main source of research in this thesis, providing insight towards Math Phobia. I argue that these teaching strategies and mindsets are effective in lessening anxiety to allow all students to succeed in the classroom. Keywords: Adolescent Education, Mathematics, Math Phobia, math anxiety, teaching strategies, mathematical mindset growth mindset, fixed mindset, success, prior knowledge, conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, problem-solving skills, metacognition, BDA format, essential question, learning objective, learning through discovery, problem-based learning, direct instruction, positive classroom culture, discussion, power of a mistake, memorization, differentiation, multiple modalities, scaffolding, student choice, heterogeneous grouping, homogeneous grouping, assess for learning, formative assessment, summative assessment
    • Why sustainable business is better

      Santa Maria, Nicole (2018-05)
      With growing concerns and numerous sources of data confirming climate change we must look toward a future in sustainable practices. While individual people can do their part in reducing their personal carbon footprint it is clear that the ones who truly need to change are corporations. Big businesses are the largest contributors to the negative effects of greenhouse gases. With this in mind it is only a matter of time until the people demand change. This change does not need to be delayed, if companies can become leaders in sustainable business reforms and practices, not only will we find better results, for our planet but they may even find better results in their profits. To demonstrate the positive results, of what may be seen as relatively “small” changes, we will analyze the implementations and the implications of the State University of New York at New Paltz “Green Revolving Fund.” This will be accomplished through an understanding of past projects and my own proposal for the current University community. This paper will also touch on much larger business decisions through reimagining and redefining industry standards. While we will also explore the limitations of these processes; any company can take steps towards a better, more sustainable, business.
    • 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.
    • The women who produce the media: a podcast series

      Gross, Maxine K. (2019-05)
      In 2018, only 26% of the top 250 grossing films were produced by women. Still, there are statistically more women working as producers in the film industry than any other Above-the-Line position. Through a three part podcast series that includes interviews with six women working as Line Producers, Production Supervisors, and Executive Producers and a paper, The Women Who Produce the Media: A Podcast Series sheds light on the current state of the film industry in the wake of the #MeToo movement from the perspectives of women working in it. Organized through the lense of the past, present, and future of women in film. The Women Who Produce the Media: A Podcast series explores the intersection of the film industry and current women’s issues, along with setting out a solution for how to expand diversity among the film industry.
    • Women’s impact on environmental policy: the case for greater female representation in the legislature

      Hayes, Isabelle (2019-05)
      Female legislators make for different legislators than their male counterparts. One aspect of this lies in their role in shaping environmental policy. Women are disproportionately impacted by climate change and therefore will have a unique perspective and insight to offer. In this analysis, I frame environmental issues as ones women will be more likely to support and advocate for. Using the data from the Congressional Bills Project, I seek to discern whether female legislators are more likely to introduce environmental bills in the House of Representatives than their male counterparts. I look at specific environmental and energy subtopics and find that gender is positive and significant for a few issues, but that the percent of females in the legislature has more of a positive and significant impact on the introduction of environmental policy that promotes sustainability and serve as a step to solving the global climate crisis.
    • Wrongful convictions: new solution to an old problem

      Russell, Jessie (2018-12)
      This paper will explore the prevalent issue of wrongful convictions and how exonerees of the prison system spend several years of their life innocent but in prison. A solution, a committee on prosecutorial conduct is analyzed and considered whether it is helpful enough to change a racist judicial system. There has to be more done overall and to combat how innocent people, mainly black men, are convicted of crimes they did not commit.