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Recent Submissions

  • The Impact of Ruling Family Board Members on the Performance of Commercial Banks

    Kienpin, Tee; Garas, Samy (Association for Accountancy & Business Affairs, 2021)
    We examine the impact of royal family involvement in the ownership and strategic management of commercial banks within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Existing finance literature has examined the impact of board members with political connections on bank performance to find mixed evidence of whether such connections have a positive or negative impact. However, such empirical studies have not been applied to the commercial banks of the GCC region. Our empirical analysis uses four separate metrics of performance to examine what influence board membership, board chairmanship and bank ownership shares by a royal family member has on bank performance. Our panel data analysis of GCC commercial bank data across six countries from 2013 to 2018 reveals that all three potential royal family roles exert a positive influence over GCC commercial bank performance. We derive these empirical results using relevant control variables at both the firm level and the industry level. Furthermore, we apply a system generalized moments of methods specification to our sample and find that these results are invariant to various specification robustness checks. Our results appear to support the Resource Dependency Theory (RDT), where the commercial banks rely on external resources to enhance financial performance.
  • Wildlife Response to Wildfire in a Northern New York Jack Pine Barrens

    Cave, Hannah; Adams, Matthew; Jaeger, Tristan; Peet, Taylor; Staats, Lloyd; Garneau, Danielle; Lesser, Mark (MDPI AG, 2021-05-25)
    Natural disturbances are an integral part of forested ecosystem function and successional path-ways. In many forested ecosystems, wildfires are critical to shaping composition and structure, which in turn has major implications for wildlife usage and behavior. In July 2018 a wildfire burned 225 ha of the Altona Flat Rock pine barrens in northern New York. This event presented the opportunity to study how wildlife respond to the immediate effects of disturbance in this unique habitat but also how that response would change through time as regeneration progressed. Game cameras were deployed from September 2018-September 2020 at two reference (unburned) and two disturbed (burned) sites within the pine barrens. We analyzed total and seasonal occurrences, to determine how usage differed between disturbed and reference conditions, and with time since disturbance. Additionally, for coyote (Canis latrans, Say), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus, Zimmermann), and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus, Erxleben), we evaluated daily activity patterns and overlap to determine how predator-prey relationships differed between conditions, and with time since disturbance. Over 730 days a total of 1,048 wildlife occurrences were captured across 23 wildlife species. Fifty-seven percent of all occurrences were at reference sites with over 100 more occurrences than disturbed sites, however, differences were most pronounced immediately following the fire and overall occurrences have grown more similar between the sites over time. Specifically, deer and hare were found more often at reference sites immediately following the fire, but shifted to using both conditions equally by the first growing season. Habitat overlap among sympatric prey (deer, hare) can be explained by understory regeneration increasing foraging opportunities and concealment cover in the disturbed condition, while predators (coyotes) tracked prey availability regardless of the habitat condition. This study provides wildlife management guidance on habitat use and response to disturbance for this unique sandstone pavement barrens.
  • Predicted Metabolic Function of the Gut Microbiota of Drosophila melanogaster

    Ankrah, Nana Y. D.; Barker, Brandon E.; Song, Joan; Wu, Cindy; McMullen, John G.; Douglas, Angela E. (American Society for Microbiology, 2021-06-29)
    An important goal for many nutrition-based microbiome studies is to identify the metabolic function of microbes in complex microbial communities and their impact on host physiology. This research can be confounded by poorly understood effects of community composition and host diet on the metabolic traits of individual taxa. Here, we investigated these multiway interactions by constructing and analyzing metabolic models comprising every combination of five bacterial members of the Drosophila gut microbiome (from single taxa to the five-member community of Acetobacter and Lactobacillus species) under three nutrient regimes. We show that the metabolic function of Drosophila gut bacteria is dynamic, influenced by community composition, and responsive to dietary modulation. Furthermore, we show that ecological interactions such as competition and mutualism identified from the growth patterns of gut bacteria are underlain by a diversity of metabolic interactions, and show that the bacteria tend to compete for amino acids and B vitamins more frequently than for carbon sources. Our results reveal that, in addition to fermentation products such as acetate, intermediates of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, including 2-oxoglutarate and succinate, are produced at high flux and cross-fed between bacterial taxa, suggesting important roles for TCA cycle intermediates in modulating Drosophila gut microbe interactions and the potential to influence host traits. These metabolic models provide specific predictions of the patterns of ecological and metabolic interactions among gut bacteria under different nutrient regimes, with potentially important consequences for overall community metabolic function and nutritional interactions with the host.
  • Succinate: a microbial product that modulates Drosophila nutritional physiology

    Zhang, Freya Q.; McMullen, John G.; Douglas, Angela E.; Ankrah, Nana Y.D. (Wiley, 2021-02-24)
    Gut microorganisms process food in animal guts and release many metabolic by-products, which are predicted to influence host physiological processes such as energy and lipid metabolism. Here, we investigate how succinate, a TCA cycle intermediate that is a major predicted release product of gut bacteria in Drosophila, influences the nutritional physiology of its Drosophila host. We administered succinate as a dietary supplement to microbe- free Drosophila, and quantified key nutritional indices. Dietary succinate significantly reduced fly lipid levels by up to ∼50%. This response was not replicated in parallel experiments conducted with dietary fumarate supplement, indicating that it could not be attributed to a general effect of TCA intermediates. We hypothesize that microbe-derived succinate may contribute to the reduced lipid content of Drosophila bearing gut bacteria, relative to axenic Drosophila. More generally, this study high- lights the importance of microbial-derived metabolites as regulators of host metabolism.
  • Can athletes be tough yet compassionate to themselves? Practical implications for NCAA mental health best practice no. 4

    Stamatis, Andreas; Deal, Paul J.; Morgan, Grant B.; Forsse, Jeffrey S.; Papadakis, Zacharias; McKinley-Barnard, Sarah; Scudamore, Eric M.; Koutakis, Panagiotis (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2020-12-31)
    Recent tragic events and data from official NCAA reports suggest student-athletes’ wellbeing is compromised by symptoms of mental health (MH) disorders. Self-compassion (SC) and mental toughness (MT) are two psychological constructs that have been shown effective against stressors associated with sports. The purpose of this study was to investigate SC, MT, and MH in a NCAA environment for the first time and provide practical suggestions for MH best practice No.4. In total, 542 student-athletes participated across Divisions (Mage = 19.84, SD = 1.7). Data were collected through Mental Toughness Index, Self-Compassion Scale, and Mental Health Continuum–Short Form. MT, SC (including mindfulness), and MH were positively correlated. Males scored higher than females on all three scales. No differences were found between divisions. SC partially mediated the MT-MH relationship, but moderation was not significant. Working towards NCAA MH best practice should include training athletes in both MT and SC skills (via mindfulness).
  • High-Intensity Interval Exercise Performance and Short-Term Metabolic Responses to Overnight-Fasted Acute-Partial Sleep Deprivation

    Papadakis, Zacharias; Forsse, Jeffrey S.; Stamatis, Andreas (MDPI AG, 2021-04-01)
    People practicing high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) fasted during the morning hours under a lack of sleep. Such a habit may jeopardize the health benefits related to HIIE and adequate sleep. Fifteen habitually good sleeper males (age 31.1 ± 5.3 SD year) completed on a treadmill two isocaloric (500 kcal) HIIE sessions (3:2 min work:rest) averaged at 70% VO2reserve after 9–9.5 h of reference sleep exercise (RSE) and after 3–3.5 h of acute-partial sleep deprivation exercise (SSE). Diet and sleep patterns were controlled both 1 week prior and 2 days leading up to RSE and SSE. HIIE related performance and substrate utilization data were obtained from the continuous analysis of respiratory gases. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA with the baseline maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) and body fat percentage (BF%) as covariates at p < 0.05. No difference was observed in VO2max, time to complete the HIIE, VE, RER, CHO%, and FAT% utilization during the experimental conditions. Whether attaining an adequate amount of sleep or not, the fasted HIIE performance and metabolism were not affected. We propose to practice the fasted HIIE under adequate sleep to receive the pleiotropic beneficial effects of sleep to the human body.
  • Baseball performance via the lens of anthropometric testing, fitness metrics, and statistics: a longitudinal cross-sectional study

    Papadakis, Zacharias; Padgett, Robert N.; Stamatis, Andreas; Karasch, Richard A. (Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2021-03)
    Background: Anthropometric testing (AT) and fitness metrics (FM) are contributing factors for success in sports. Limited evidence exists regarding longitudinal baseball AT or FM roles on baseball performance statistics (PS). AT, FM, and PS associations were examined for 5 yr to create a performance model. Methods: Eighty collegiate Division I players participated in this study. Height, mass, and body fat percentage (BF%) were selected as AT variables of interest. Grip strength (GS), one repetition maximum squat (1RMSQ), and vertical-jump height were selected for FM. Batting average percentage (AVG), slugging percentage (SLG), on-base percentage (OBP) baseball statistics were selected as offensive PS. Earned run average (ERA), batting average against percentage (B/ AVG), and strike-out per innings pitched for 9 innings (SO/IP)*9 were selected for defensive PS. Results: Offensive (r=−0.15, P<0.005; rs=−0.17, P<0.001) and defensive (r =−0.253, P<0.001; rs=−0.314, P<0.001) statistics correlated with BF%. Offensive (r =0.26, P<0.001; rs=0.43, P<0.001) and defensive (r =0.39, P <0.001) statistics correlated with GS. Offensive (r =0.26, P<0.001; rs=0.43, P <0.001) and defensive (r =0.27, P <0.001) statistics correlated with 1RMSQ. Offensive statistics AVG (R2=0.48) and SLG (R2=0.46) were explained by 1RMSQ. For defensive statistics, 1RMSQ was the best fit for (SO/IP)*9 (R2=0.43) and B/AVG (R2=0.52), and GS was the best fit for ERA (R2=0.39). Squat and time interaction for B/AVG was significant (P=0.04). Conclusions: Baseball PS are associated with 1RMSQ and GS. Time moderates the effect of squat training on B/AVG. Pitchers need to include squats to lower their B/AVG. Coaches may focus on improving such FM variables and consider the time effect on selected FM that may affect PS.
  • Forest pests and wood pellets: A literature review of the opportunities and risks in the United States’ northeastern forests

    Neidermeier, Alex; Danks, Cecilia; Coleman, Kimberly; Wallin, Kimberly (Elsevier BV, 2020-11)
    As interest in alternatives to fossil fuels increases, low quality timber may become more attractive as feedstock material for biomass energy. This low-quality timber, referred to here as salvage wood, can be used to manu- facture wood pellets, a densified biomass energy product which can be used for electricity and heating. The process of converting wood to pellets also results in total pest mortality in the final product, an important consideration given wood pellet’s international market and global concerns about phytosanitation, or the risk of pest spread. However, there is still potential to spread pests in the wood pellet supply chain. To better under- stand the potential benefits for forest health and the phytosanitary risks of the use of salvaged wood in the wood pellet supply chain, our study systematically reviews the literature published between 2000 and 2018, gleaning applicable considerations for the northeastern United States (US), a region already affected by the highest density of damaging forest pests in the country and an up-tick in wood pellet use. Our review focuses on three pest species likely to incur considerable change in northeastern US forests: emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis or EAB; an exotic, invasive species), hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand, or HWA; an exotic, invasive species), and southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann, or SPB, a native species). Our review finds that wood pellets are being recognized as phytosanitary in their final form and that the forest health opportunities for the use of salvaged wood exist are beginning to be acknowledged in the region. However, our results also indicate that the spread of pests is still possible in the feedstock pre-treatment supply chain, which have yet to be directly addressed in US-related scientific literature. Our review concludes that further research and action on the phytosanitary risks in the supply chain focus on individual pest species behavior during harvesting, on-site comminution of feedstock material, and local processing at facilities within USDA APHIS (United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) quarantine zones for maximum mitigation. The results of these considerations can accrue benefits for forest health, mitigate the spread of forest pests, and support the use of an alternative energy to fossil fuels in a changing climate.
  • Bringing the Forest Home: Lessons Learned during the COVID-19 Pandemic about E-Planning in Community Forestry Contexts

    Beck, Samantha; Coleman, Kimberly; Tapper, J Ethan (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-09-11)
    This paper examines “e-planning,” or the use of computer-based systems to conduct planning and decision-making, in the context of community forest management. E-planning is growing in the field of environmental planning, as it promises greater equity in terms of public participation. However, a lack of scholarly work exists on the applicability for forest planning. During the COVID-19 pandemic, county foresters and other natural resource professionals in Vermont turned to e-planning when safety restrictions limited their ability to engage in face-to-face efforts. This provided an opportunity to collect empirical data about the potential for e-planning to support the public engagement process in the context of forest planning. We provide an overview of e-planning theory and examine data from Vermont to explore the promise of e-planning for forest management. We make recommendations about the applicability of e-planning in the context of forest planning, and highlight areas for future research to investigate.
  • Rigid Flexibility: Seeing the Opportunities in “Failed” Qualitative Research

    CohenMiller, Anna S.; Schnackenberg, Heidi; Demers, Denise (SAGE Publications, 2020-10-19)
    This article highlights an experience of “failing” within a qualitative research study. Specifically, the authors speak to the failure of recruiting participants in conducting synchronous video and telephone interviews. Drawing from literature in business and examples from research method texts to demonstrate the cross-disciplinary concerns and insights of failure within one’s work, the authors discuss how failure can be reframed as opportunity through the lens of “rigid flexibility” and the innovative steps they implemented. Providing additional insight into the process of framing and reframing failure in research, the authors integrate poetic inquiry as a tool for reflection to highlight their process and suggested steps for new researchers. The authors argue that researchers can approach studies with the idea that failures in the planning and/or execution can lead to opportunities and new insights.
  • Sonia Sotomayor’s Legal Phenomenology, Racial Policing, and the Limits of Law

    McMahon, John (University of Chicago Press, 2021-10-01)
    Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent in the Fourth Amendment case Utah v. Strieff (2016) received a great deal of media attention, particularly for its citations to prominent Black political thinkers and its evocations of Black Lives Matter. This article interprets Justice Sotomayor’s dissent as constructing an emergent legal theory that incorporates Black Lives Matter and the experiences of people of color subject to being stopped and searched into the core of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. In contrast to Clarence Thomas’s abstracted majority opinion, I argue Sotomayor contests the meaning of law’s relations to subjects, bringing the feeling, moving, restrained, invaded, prodded, shaped, habitual, racialized subject of the police stop into Supreme Court legal reasoning. In tension with Sotomayor’s phenomenological alternative are structural and institutional constraints on the liberatory possibilities for any Supreme Court dissent, particularly one focused on racial injustice. The article argues for recognizing both the generativity of the emergent legal phenomenology and the constraints on its politics in order to grapple with the potential for legal critique to surface from what Sotomayor calls law’s “cold abstractions.”
  • Magicians of the Twenty-first Century: Enchantment, Domination, and the Politics of Work in Silicon Valley

    Crandall, Emily K.; Brown, Rachel H.; McMahon, John (Project Muse, 2021)
    What is the political theorist to make of self-characterizations of Silicon Valley as the beacon of civilization-saving innovation? Through an analysis of "tech bro" masculinity and the closely related discourses of tech icons Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, we argue that undergirding Silicon Valley's technological utopia is an exploitative work ethic revamped for the industry's innovative ethos. On the one hand, Silicon Valley hypothetically offers a creative response to what Max Weber describes as the disenchantment of the modern world. Simultaneously, it depoliticizes the actual work necessary for these dreams to be realized, mystifying its modes of domination.
  • Educating in and for uncertainty: climate science, human evolution and the legacy of Arne Naess as guidance for ecological practice

    García-Notario, Margarita (Informa UK Limited, 2021-03-12)
    This paper reflects on how the issue of climate change and the general state of our planet is, among other causes, a main factor in the paralyzing divisions ailing Western societies. This situation, while unsettling to democracies, is promoting a kind of education in and through fear and I question if education can succeed under these circumstances without becoming indoctrination. This paper does not try to diminish the urgency and the importance of current environmental problems but rather expands today´s perspectives and incorporates research in more constructive ways of thinking and doing. I use scientific contributions in climatology, evolution, environmental conservation, economics, and neuroscience to bring new light to today’s investigations about the human and the non-human world. Finally, I propose Deep Ecology’s principles of deep questioning, deep experience and deep commitment, as a guide for new educational and ecological practices.
  • An Engaging and Fun Breakout Activity for Educators and Students about Laboratory Safety

    Nephew, Shannon; Sunasee, Rajesh (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2020-10-13)
    To maintain a safe laboratory working environment, academic institutions are highly committed to providing safety training to all employees, and engaging educators and students in the process must be an integral component of an overall safety training program. At SUNY Plattsburgh, annual mandatory safety training is required for all employees. One of the main challenges is trying to maintain a high level of engagement of educators during the safety training session. This recently led to designing an engaging and simple hands-on breakout safety activity to teach educators and students about safe laboratory practices. The breakout safety activity mimics the fun of a typical “escape room” game. The different components of the breakout safety activity and the effect on the level of engagement of the participants are highlighted here. The versatility of the novel breakout safety activity is appealing as it can easily be modified for various science laboratories and implemented with diverse participants including educators and undergraduate and graduate students. Overall, this new breakout safety activity turned out to be not only engaging, but also fun and effective for all.
  • Challenges of Teaching Organic Chemistry during COVID-19 Pandemic at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution

    Sunasee, Rajesh (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2020-07-28)
    With a sudden move to remote and online teaching due to COVID-19 pandemic, Organic Chemistry became more challenging for both students and educators with the emergence of new technological challenges and instructional strategies. The Organic Chemistry I class at SUNY Plattsburgh was shifted to an online learning model in an attempt to mimic face-to-face teaching as well as maintaining active learning. This communication highlights the instructor’s perspectives on the challenges and insights gained for teaching Organic Chemistry I (lecture component) for the Spring 2020 semester in the time of COVID-19. A combination of asynchronous and synchronous teaching methods was found to be effective for content delivery, active learning, and increasing student’s engagement. Synchronous class attendance was monitored and compared with typical face-to-face class attendance. Synchronous problem-solving exercises had an effect on student’s attendance rate and learning. An exit survey indicated about 64% of students had a preference for face to-face teaching over online teaching of Organic Chemistry.
  • Synthesis and Cytotoxicity Studies of Wood-Based Cationic Cellulose Nanocrystals as Potential Immunomodulators

    Imtiaz, Yusha; Tuga, Beza; Smith, Christopher W.; Rabideau, Alexander; Nguyen, Long; Liu, Yali; Hrapovic, Sabahudin; Ckless, Karina; Sunasee, Rajesh (MDPI AG, 2020-08-15)
    Polysaccharides have been shown to have immunomodulatory properties. Modulation of the immune system plays a crucial role in physiological processes as well as in the treatment and/or prevention of autoimmune and infectious diseases. Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are derived from cellulose, the most abundant polysaccharide on the earth. CNCs are an emerging class of crystalline nanomaterials with exceptional physico-chemical properties for high-end applications and commercialization prospects. The aim of this study was to design, synthesize, and evaluate the cytotoxicity of a series of biocompatible, wood-based, cationic CNCs as potential immunomodulators. The anionic CNCs were rendered cationic by grafting with cationic polymers having pendant +NMe3 and +NH3 moieties. The success of the synthesis of the cationic CNCs was evidenced by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential, and elemental analysis. No modification in the nanocrystals rod-like shape was observed in transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy analyses. Cytotoxicity studies using three different cell-based assays (MTT, Neutral Red, and LIVE/DEAD®) and three relevant mouse and human immune cells indicated very low cytotoxicity of the cationic CNCs in all tested experimental conditions. Overall, our results showed that cationic CNCs are suitable to be further investigated as immunomodulators and potential vaccine nanoadjuvants.
  • Addressing Misinformation on Whatsapp in India Through Intermediary Liability Policy, Platform Design Modification, and Media Literacy

    Medeiros, Ben; Singh, Pawan (Penn State University Press, 2020)
    Through a case study of lynchings in India that are perceived to have been catalyzed by misinformation on WhatsApp, this article explores how policymakers can mitigate social media misinformation without compromising public discourse. We evaluate the costs and benefits of three approaches to managing misinformation: intermediary liability reform, changes to platform design, and public information endeavors addressing user attitudes and behaviors. We find that while current media literacy endeavors seem somewhat misdirected, more locally attuned initiatives might productively address the underlying susceptibility to misinformation while avoiding the free speech compromises that come with stringent liability rules and restrictions on anonymous speech.
  • User-Generated Content and the Regulation of Reputational Harm: The Boston Marathon Bombing as Case Study

    Medeiros, Ben (2019)
    Calls for internet platforms to perform more proactive moderation of users' speech based on its topical content itself—whether voluntarily or under threat of legal liability—have proliferated in recent years. Using the reputationally-damaging instances of misidentification that occurred during the 2013 search for the Boston Marathon bombers as a case study, this article attempts to construct a more detailed, holistic picture of the mechanisms by which reputationally-problematic speech is negotiated online in the absence of sweeping changes to intermediary liability laws. The article argues that the Boston Marathon case study illustrates a blind spot in the more modest, targeted proposals to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in America that have appeared in recent years, and ultimately recommends placing additional emphasis on further developing norms of responsible speech in online communities, as their participants are perhaps more receptive to such endeavors than popular caricatures of "internet vigilantes" might suggest.
  • Picketing the Virtual Storefront: Content Moderation and Political Criticism of Businesses on Yelp

    Medeiros, Ben (2019)
    This article examines incidents in which business owners incur criticism on the consumer review platform Yelp based on political ideology. I analyze two case studies from the summer of 2018 by considering the sentiments expressed in the review texts, the application of Yelp’s relevant policies, and the tactical adaptations of reviewers. The case studies evince a normative conflict over how the platform should treat viral criticism of this sort. While Yelp clearly cannot truly function as a laissez-faire public forum, its moderation criteria can be gamed, and its efforts evidently exclude a range of sentiments that some users find meaningful. The article provides an in-depth exploration of a platform that has received somewhat less attention in the growing literature on the role of private intermediaries in shaping what kinds of speech attain visibility in the digital public sphere.
  • Inclusive schooling in Southeast Asian countries: a scoping review of the literature

    Hosshan, H.; Stancliffe, R. J.; Villeneuve, M.; Bonati, Michelle L. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-07-29)
    Most of the Southeast Asian region is comprised of developing countries. This region has a short history of inclusive education implementation and differs from developed countries’ more mature inclusive education systems. This review reveals how inclusive schooling has been implemented in Southeast Asian countries and the current practices in the region. We used scoping review methodology to examine peer-reviewed literature published between January 1994 and January 2017 on inclusive schooling in the Southeast Asian countries. The inputs-processes-outcomes (IPO) model was used to group and describe the extant research. Thirty-eight articles were identified that contributed to region of Southeast Asia inclusive education research. The majority (n = 29, 76%) were published after 2010. The articles were organised by IPO stage: Inputs stage (staff professional and teacher education, resources and finances, leadership, curriculum and policy); Processes stage (collaboration and shared responsibility, school practice, classroom practice and climate) and Outcomes stage (participation). The elements of staff professional and teacher education, and collaboration and shared responsibility were most frequently featured in the literature of the inputs and processes stages. Research information about the outcomes stage of inclusive schooling was sparse. The inclusive education literature from the region is still emerging. A greater focus on outcomes is recommended in future research and practice. Having outcome data will enable evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of inclusive education. If evaluation reveals problems, then aspects of the inputs and processes stages may need to be improved to achieve better outcomes.

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