Now showing items 1-20 of 296

    • 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.
    • The Graph Theoretical Approach to Bankruptcy Prediction

      Choe, Kwangseek; Garas, Samy (2021)
      This paper examines the applicability of the graph theoretical approach to bankruptcy prediction. Various statistical techniques have been used to predict bankruptcy including univariate analysis, multivariate discrimination analysis, logit model, probit model, and neural networks. This paper employs the graph theoretical approach to bankruptcy prediction. The empirical findings confirms the validity of the proposed method for predicting bankruptcy. The proposed method in this paper provides an insight into the development of a new approach to the assessment of financial solvency of a company. This paper contributes to the literature by introducing a new approach to bankruptcy prediction.
    • Evidence on the Impact of Internal Control over Financial Reporting on Audit Fees

      Garas, Samy; Gaber, Mohamed; Lusk, Edward J. (2019-06-30)
      Introduction: Circa 1992, the dot.com sector created an irrational stock-trading market where the usual “financial” profiles of: Liquidity, Cash Flow from Operations, and Revenue Ggeneration were replaced by Ponzi-esque mayhem. To stabilize the markets, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board [PCOAOB] required a second audit opinion: the COSO Opinion on the adequacy of management’s system of Internal Control over Financial Reporting: [ICoFR]. Study Focus: Three COSO-[ICoFR] designations are now required as public information: (i) A “clean” opinion [Is Effective], (ii) Deficiencies are noted, and (iii) Weaknesses reported. Our research interest is to determine, for a panel of randomly selected firms traded on the S&P500 for a eleventen-year period: 2005 to 2015, the nature of the effect that the COSO deficiency reporting protocol has on (i) Audit Fees and (ii) the Market Cap of traded firms. Method: To this end we collected, using the Audit Analytics [WRDS] database, various categories of reported Audit Fees and also Market Cap information. This random sample was classified into two sets: the first group: Is Effective SEC 302 Designation and No COSO issues & the second group: Is Not 100% Effective for which there were SEC 302 Deficiencies or Weaknesses noted. Results: Inferential testing indicates that failure to attend to the PCAOB-COSO imperatives results in a relational where there are higher Audit Fees and a slippage of the firm’s Market Cap compared to the Is Effective Group. The PCAOB’s protocol to require the Audit of the firm’s ICoFR system and make that evaluation public information seems to be an excellent corrective “Carrot and Stick”.
    • Examining Preservice Teacher Attitudes and Efficacy about Inclusive Education

      Puliatte, Alison; Martin, Melissa; Bostedor, Emily (2021)
      The purpose of this study was to examine pre-service teacher self-efficacy and attitudes towards inclusion. Participants included pre-service teachers (N = 68) who were all enrolled in a freshman education course. Researchers administered two scales including the Teacher Efficacy for Inclusive Practices scale (TEIP; Sharma, Loreman & Forlin, 2012) and Scale of Teacher’s Attitudes towards Inclusive Classrooms (STATIC; Cochran, 1997). Results indicate preservice teachers have high self-efficacy and positive attitudes towards teaching students with disabilities.
    • Post Outbreak Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) Egg Mass Survey in Northern New York

      Imm, Kaila; Garneau, Danielle (2021-05)
      Gypsy moths (Lymantria dispar) are an invasive species whose initial spread centered in Massachusetts and quickly advanced throughout the Northeast before reaching the mid-Atlantic, Michigan, and Wisconsin. These large-scale defoliators serve as a cyclical wave of disturbance with varying annual intensity and periodic peak years. Gypsy moth management is stage-specific, so understanding the life cycle is essential in order to facilitate the best management practices. In spring 2021, I surveyed gypsy moth egg mass densities in forested areas within Clinton and Essex County New York to determine if pest outbreak thresholds were met in the region. Across nine sites, which included local landowner properties, state parks, and wildlife management areas, I followed the NYS DEC egg mass sampling protocol. At each site, four plots were established and metrics collected included tree species, tree diameter, bark texture, and egg mass abundance and vertical distribution. Threshold infestation levels were met in five of the nine sites and Wickham Marsh forest was the most heavily infested. The most impacted trees were eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) and northern red oak (Quercus rubrum), specifically those individuals with an average diameter of 44.7 cm and vertically cracked bark. The data collected in this survey will inform regional biologists of more heavily damaged forests and land owners in order for them to develop a management plan for gypsy moths in the North Country.
    • "Alexa, Alert Me When the Revolution Comes": Gender, Affect, and Labor in the Age of Home-Based Artificial Intelligence

      Schiller, Amy; McMahon, John (2019)
      The fantasy of automation is one of liberation from alienating tasks. Today, domestic artificial intelligence (AI) enacts this dream of frictionlessly offloading monotony. This article deploys theories of Marxist feminism, affective labor to interrogate domestic AI’s unprecedented promise of absorbing forms of labor we hardly acknowledged that we did. While these devices make the reproductive labor of the household legible as labor, we interrogate their quasi-emancipatory promise. We argue that devices such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home elide and reproduce the gendered and racialized dimensions of domestic labor, streamline this labor for capture by capital, and heighten the very affective dynamics they promise to ameliorate. Only critical political theories of work can illuminate the unfulfilled transformations and ongoing dominations of gender, race, and affect that saturate labor with domestic AI – expressed, we contend, by re-articulating the framework of the “social factory” to that of the “social server.”
    • Producing Political Knowledge: Students as Podcasters in the Political Science Classroom

      McMahon, John (Journal of Political Science Education, 2019)
      Given the increasing prevalence of podcast listening, especially among young adults with college education, it is important to consider how student-produced podcasts can impact the student experience in the classroom, contribute to a more participatory course, and help achieve learning objectives. To engage these issues, this article reflects on the podcast assignment completed by five courses of students, three introductory American Politics classes and two Political Ideologies classes. This article seeks to examine how podcasts can work as a tool for students to research, analyze, synthesize, and present political information in a specific pedagogical and rhetorical setting; in the course of doing so, students become actively engaged with the audio public political sphere. I focus on assignment design, learning objectives, and my own pedagogical reflections in order to reach some tentative ideas about the pedagogical potential of podcasts in the political science classroom.
    • Rosa Luxemburg and the Primitive Accumulation of Whiteness

      McMahon, John; Issar, Siddhant; Brown, Rachel H. (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2021)
      One of Rosa Luxemburg’s signal contributions to the critique of capitalism is her theorization of primitive accumulation as an ongoing imperial practice that is endemic to capitalism, rather than a historical phase belonging to capital’s pre-history. This dimension of her thought marks a turning point for theorizing capital’s violence. Indeed, a variety of contemporary thinkers have since built upon Luxemburg’s insights to interrogate the continuity of primitive accumulation in the present. Our paper extends Luxemburg’s distinctive intervention beyond its current application by interweaving her work on primitive accumulation with analyses of racial capitalism, the logic of global coloniality, and race-making in medieval Europe. We begin by examining how racial hierarchy and the historical production of whiteness complicate, supplement, and are bound up with Luxemburg’s prescient analysis of primitive accumulation. We then analyze several (re)constitutions of whiteness to conceptualize how they mediate and enable racial capitalism, from the European Middle Ages to our contemporary moment of neoliberal imperialism. Ultimately, we claim that creolizing Luxemburg enables the theorization of the primitive accumulation of whiteness, a concept that elucidates a dynamic by which racial capitalism operates. This concept highlights how processes of racialization, particularly the consolidation of whiteness as a racial-civilizational category, are necessary to ongoing imperial accumulations of capital; situates Luxemburg as a theorist of racial capitalism; and ensures that accounts of early modalities of whiteness in medieval race-making and later in neoliberal modes of imperialism do not understand whiteness or race as phenomena separate from capital.
    • Small Mammal Community Response to Wildfire at the Altona Flat Rock Sandstone Pavement Barren

      Garneau, Danielle; Hendrick, Michala; Darienzo, Lauren; Farr, Emily; Epifaino, Alex; Garneau, Danielle (2021-03-17)
      The Altona Flat Rock is a sandstone pavement barren, dominated by the fire-dependent species known as Pinus banksiana (Jack Pine). Changes in seed availability, understory structure, and predator presence influence wildlife migration within the barren. Additionally, small mammal abundance often fluctuates cyclical in response to tree masting. In July 2018, a wildfire occurred at the Flat Rock pine barren. We aimed to monitor small mammal response to wildfire over the course of a year. Small mammal traps were set along established transects capturing the fire severity gradient and adjacent reference unburned area. Along those same transects, giving up density surveys (GUDS) were performed to foraging patterns in these varied microhabitats. We predicted greater capture rates and community diversity in the burn immediately post-fire due to access to the abundant serotinous Jack Pine seeds. In fall 2018 immediately following the wildfire, a total of 67 small mammals were captured with 1.5 times more in the unburned than burned area. The small mammal community consisted of Peromyscus spp. comprising 87% of captures and insectivores Sorex cinereus (Masked Shrew) and Blarina brevicauda (Northern Short-tailed Shrew) were absent from the burn. In fall of 2019, a total of 21 small mammals were captured with 3 times more in the burn than in unburned area. Community composition was exclusively Peromyscus spp. Over the course of a year, we noted a significant reduction in captures and a shift in microhabitat usage from unburned (2018) to burn (2019) likely in response to regenerating vegetation ameliorating predation risk. Interestingly, average body mass and total body length were higher in Peromyscus spp. in 2019, perhaps in response to increased seed predation. GUD survey results show seed foraging was 67% greater in 2018. Collaborators monitoring game cameras at the barren noted increased predator use of the unburned and burned areas in winter 2018 and spring 2019, respectively and a significant decline of predators from the area in late summer-fall 2019. A predator decrease in fall 2019 is paralleled with a significant decline in Peromyscus spp. This preliminary research has revealed the complexity of small mammal response to wildfire. Long-term monitoring will likely uncover their connection to resources, microhabitat structure, and predator abundance as regeneration continues.
    • State University of New York at Plattsburgh: Immersed in Teaching

      Toth, Michelle (2020)
      A chapter from the book: Hidden Architectures of Information Literacy Programs: Structures, Practices, and Contexts. This chapter outlines the structure and processes used in coordinating the library instruction programs at SUNY Plattsburgh’s Feinberg Library. Focus is on our one-credit course, proficiency exam, and one-shot course-related instruction.
    • "And Still We Rise": Open Pedagogy and Black History at a Rural Comprehensive State College

      Beatty, Joshua F.; Hartnett, Timothy C.; Kimok, Debra; McMahon, John (2020)
      Chapter begins: In Spring 2019, students at The State University of New York College at Plattsburgh (SUNY Plattsburgh) researched, designed, and built And Still We Rise: Celebrating Plattsburgh’s (Re)Discovery of Iconic Black Visitors (ASWR), an exhibit in the Feinberg Library on prominent Black political and cultural figures who had visited the college since the 1960s. The thirteen students in African-American Political Thought (Political Science 371), taught by Dr. John McMahon, researched in the college’s archives and secondary sources to curate photos, text and multimedia for physical and virtual exhibits....