• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • A historical analysis of U.S. imperialism on women in Puerto Rico

      Jordan-Smith, Ella (2019-05)
      This paper examines how US imperialism has historically affected the reproductive rights of women in Puerto Rico. As a commonwealth of the US, Puerto Rico has been the subject of considerable domination through programs of population control and as a testing lab for forms of birth control. I argue that the US support for the sterilization of women and the experimental testing of contraceptives during the 20th century has made a large contribution towards the consolidation of American control over the island. In other words, US imperialism required not only the physical invasion of land but also the invasion of Puerto Rican women’s bodies.
    • HON 393-04: History of holidays

      Mercurio, Jessica (2021-05)
      What is a holiday? Why is one holiday more important than another? This class examines the history of many American holidays. We will dive into the origins of where these holidays come from. We will explore how these holidays expanded to what they are today. Some holidays have variations in them. For example, Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day. Then there are holidays celebrated around the same time of year but have no direct connection to each other. Students will be able to differentiate between the two. In this class, traditions will be explored, both traditions from society and from classmates.
    • 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.
    • How do you feel about birth? A study on basic birth beliefs

      Thaler, Dalia (2021-05)
      The following study investigates the effect of reading one of two birth stories on opinions relating to birth philosophies. This study incorporates an experimental design to evaluate whether reading a birth story that takes place in a home correlates to participants leaning towards a Natural birth philosophy more than the Medical model of birth. There were 337 participants in the study (N=337) randomly assigned to one of two groups. The Version 1 group read a birth story that took place in a home and the Version 2 group read a birth story that took place in a hospital. The hypothesis was that reading the Home birth story would show a positive relationship with a Natural birth philosophy. The survey following the birth stories included items from the Birth Beliefs Scale from Yael Benyaminito and Heidi Preis created in 2016 at the Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University. In the experimental study, the independent variable is having read the Home birth story. The dependent variable is the extent to which participants' numerical scores from their survey responses follow the Natural birth model on the Birth Beliefs Scale. The results show that participants who read the Home birth story reported scores aligned slightly closer with the Medical model, showing the results were not in line with the hypothesis.
    • How film and literature influence the ways in which East Asian American identity is formed

      Macci, Allyson (2018-05)
      This paper looks at the ways in which East Asian Americans sense of identity is formed through the representations of them and their culture in American film and literature. I will discuss through an analysis of rhetoric, theory, and criticism by East Asian authors, how the portrayal of a culture and people impact and influence their sense of identity. For example, I will answer questions such as what does it mean to be both Asian and American, especially when growing up in a Western society and culture? How does the portrayal of East Asians in popular American film and literature mold and shape their understanding of their sense of self? What are some East Asians stereotyped? How do these stereotypes fit into the ideas that popular Western culture perceives? My primary novels are examples of Asian American authors writing about the Asian American experience and how they perceive what it means to be Asian American. The films I chose look at white American directors and producers and how they interpret Asian culture in their films. My primary and secondary research will further examine how film and literature impacts the ways in which Asian Americans view their identity, heritage, and culture. This will be done through an analyses of rhetoric and history, both Asian and American.
    • How judicial action on racial gerrymandering has failed communities of color

      Ryan, Maeve (2021-05)
      Decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have resulted in the allowance of both partisan and racial gerrymandering in certain cases. This research seeks to identify the impact that this precedent has on the substantive representation of people of color. The majority-minority district is the key example of racial gerrymandering that is currently legal in the United States. The congressional election results of six states were compiled to identify the impact that the use of majority-minority districts has on the number of votes that were essentially “wasted” in these elections. The findings suggest that majority-minority districts are being used as a method partisan gerrymandering. They also suggest that the votes of people of color within these districts are “wasted” and diluted at a much higher rate than other districts. The research concludes that the use of majority-minority districts is resulting in a loss of substantive representation for people of color.
    • How presidential ideology affects temporary protected status

      Drewniak, Kelsey (2022-05)
      In his State of the Union Address, given on March 1, 2022, President Joseph Biden mentioned the need for immigration reform that would benefit those who hold temporary immigration status. But who are these people? The temporary migrants this paper will focus on are those with Temporary Protected Status. People with this status are from a country which has been designated as having extreme temporary conditions that would make repatriation dangerous for the migrant. But who decides which countries get designated and why? The Secretary of Homeland Security, designated by the president and carrying out their orders, makes the designation announcements. Though there is no clear reason as to why they designate some countries and not others, even if conditions are similar. This paper will investigate to see if the ideology of the president influences TPS designations. I hypothesize that presidents who have a conservative ideology are less likely to designate countries for TPS than presidents with liberal ideologies. This paper will explain TPS law and analyze immigration theory by drawing connections between theory and TPS designations. Then, it will discuss the effect of ideology on decision making and describe the developing political polarization in the US. With this foundation and basic understanding of TPS policy, presidential ideology, and political polarization, a chi square test will determine if the ideology of the president has an effect on TPS designations. This will be followed by discussing the results of this experiment in the larger sense of the policy. To finish, policy recommendations will be given that could fix some of the current problems with TPS in practice.
    • How social exclusion impacts the cognitive development of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities

      Dreilinger, Eli (2021-12)
      Society has been constructed and developed in a way that excludes and ostracizes people with disabilities. Examples exist all around us, from but are particularly rampant within schools, a place where students should be supported no matter who you are. These instances of exclusion can impact a student with disabilities in a myriad of ways, especially given how frequent instances of exclusion are within the school. Their cognitive development becomes stymied as the brain becomes preoccupied, and the student’s mental well-being becomes incredibly hindered. Given how common exclusion of those with disabilities happens within the school systems of America, conversations must be started, and people need to start learning how heavily their behaviors and traditions can impact a person. Effects of exclusion are often felt for a person’s entire life, making this an imperative issue to bring more awareness to, and increase understanding toward.
    • 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.
    • How to combat math anxiety and build confidence in the classroom

      Bernhardt, Shannon (2021-12)
      In an age of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), the relevance of mathematical understanding and skill continues to increase across the country. It is becoming more apparent that a large majority of students have developed anxiety that stems from doing math in both academic settings and ordinary life. Despite the increasing awareness of math anxiety, the overall negative feelings towards mathematics demonstrated by students of all ages has stayed significant and is continuing to worsen. In collaboration with the education department at the State University of New York at New Paltz, a group of preservice elementary school teachers contributed accounts of their personal experiences with math anxiety during and after their enrollment in two required math courses for those pursuing elementary education. Surrey and interview data was collected from eight students attending the university, which offer qualitative evidence of several causes of math anxiety that stemmed from past experience as well as teaching methods used in the courses taught at SUNY New Paltz that lessened students’ math anxiety and increased their mathematical confidence.
    • Humanist discourse in Mann’s Faustus : rereading the novel in light of the refugee “crisis” in Europe

      Ahmed, Alvina (2019-05)
      Thomas Mann’s 1947 novel, Doctor Faustus tells the story of a composer who sells his soul to the devil in exchange of twenty four years living as the “genius of music.” Often read as an allegory to Nazism, the novel asks the question of what defines a culture as “good” or “bad” by focusing on the difference between medieval Humanism and German Humanism; the latter emphasizes the importance of human beings and supports dissent. However, not long after WWI, as German nationalism gained support, the movement lost its purpose; as a result, the seeds of National Socialism were planted. According to Mann’s Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen, Germany would risk losing German culture and Humanism if it embraced the French ideals of supporting homogenous views of liberty. The purpose of this research is to understand the relevance of reading Doctor Faustus today by examining how organizations in Germany support refugees to contribute to German culture through literature, music, culinary arts, etc. As a part of the research, organizations that provide such opportunities for refugees and aid in their integration are observed. It is anticipated that parallels between the “German question” - that lies at the core of Doctor Faustus - during WWII and in the midst of the refugee “crisis” today will be drawn. Reading Doctor Faustus makes clear the dangers of losing a culture which accommodates different and multiple voices; the novel is relevant today in the current political situation in Germany because it sheds light on the importance of aiding refugees in becoming part of German culture.
    • “I Know I Must Conceal My Sentiments”: the repression of female emotions in Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens , North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

      Perles, Dylan Sage (2020-05)
      ​As the 19th century progressed, emotional and sexual repression became integral norms in Victorian society. This norm fell most heavily on middle class British women. Among the cultural indicators that best exemplified this phenomenon were the novels written at the time. In Victorian literature, the heroine was often characterized by her need to repress her own emotions and sexuality. Three such heroines are Jane Eyre from Charlotte ​Brontë’s​ ​Jane Eyre​, Margaret Hale from Elizabeth Gaskell’s ​North and South​, and Florence Dombey from Charles Dickens’ ​Dombey and Son.​ Their behavior reflects societal expectations for young women in Victorian England.
    • Immigration reform in America: the history of policies, their implications and effective interventions

      Sierra, Cory (2021-05)
      The history of immigration policies in the U.S. reveals an ongoing cycle that poses barriers for immigrants of all ages...These hardships put immigrants at higher risk for physical and mental illnesses and their lack of access to resources along with other barriers decreases their ability to seek or receive treatment. By examining the reasoning behind these policies as well as key factors that impair the wellbeing of immigrants the need for social support and access to services was identified.
    • The impact of Hambach mine

      Norrito, Benjamin C. (2021-05)
      Like many countries across the globe, both developed and developing, Germany has had a historical reliance on coal. Sitting on a massive amount of lignite (also known as “brown coal”) reserves, Germany has encouraged continued coal extraction and consumption in order to ensure its energy independence. This policy has led to a number of massive open-pit mines across the northwest of the country. One such mine, Hambach mine, stands at the site of a once proud and ancient forest of the same name. As the lignite sat under the forest, the mine continually consumed it in order to access the fuel beneath. Since the mining began in the late 1970s, the forest has been reduced by 90% and at a great cost. As the forest has been logged, biodiversity has been threatened along with the fragile and unique ecosystem it contains. The mine has also been responsible for a decrease in air quality and has overseen a rise in respiratory issues as far as France. The mine has been detrimental to its surroundings as well, consuming a number of villages, all while the parent company, RWE, offers their condolences. The major impacts of the mine have not gone unnoticed and many have protested, aiming to protect what remains of the ancient forest as well as the nearby towns. Despite resistance to the mine, RWE, partnered with the German government has persisted with its mining operations even as coal becomes less desirable fuel in the face of climate change.
    • The inadequacies of the Psychopath Checklist Revised (PCL-R)

      Horowitz, Eli (2018-05)
      I propose that the current criteria for diagnosing Psychopathy, the Psychopath Checklist Revised (PCL-R), is biased towards criminal and antisocial tendencies. While it may be an accurate screening method and means of predicting recidivism in antisocial Psychopaths, it does not shed light on the countless other individuals who may be thought of as “prosocial” psychopaths. There may very well be many individuals who satisfy much of the existing criteria for psychopathy and exhibit the neuro-morphology typical in antisocial psychopaths, but do not exhibit antisocial behavior and thus would not be tested, nor receive a score on the PCL-R that would classify them as a psychopath. I will examine the methods present in identifying psychopaths today and propose the idea that amongst us are many more.
    • An injection of truth: an exploration of public health inequalities concerning vaccinations during outbreaks

      Scarimbolo, Laura (2018-05)
      The inequalities in vaccine uptake can lead to outbreaks that further exploit the differences in health. Public health initiatives in the United States attempt to provide better vaccination coverage and awareness in response, but fail to reflect all inequalities. Public health inequalities are brought about as a result of various policies, differing socioeconomic status, and location. These inequalities affect populations in their own unique ways based on the interaction of their confounding lifestyle factors such as age, class, and accessibility to health sources.