University Colleges are leaders in undergraduate instruction and provide bachelor's and master's degrees in liberal arts and sciences and professional disciplines. These campuses are mostly situated in small cities and towns. Student success is the primary focus as evidenced by faculty and staff interactions through honors programs, independent study opportunities, research and study abroad.

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Recent Submissions

  • “Children in Misery” or young crusaders?: the political utilization of children by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union

    Murphy, Shayna (2020-05)
    This paper discusses the Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s use of children for political purposes during their fight for Prohibition. In an effort to sympathize their mission and to create a sense of urgency around the banning of alcohol, members of the WCTU created an image of children as victims in their propaganda. However, the WCTU understood the importance of creating future voters, and so often created propaganda that presented children as active heroes. This conflicting portrayal of children showed that the WCTU used children as political tools and used such contrasting portrayals to reach a political goal rather than aptly represent children of alcoholic families. To understand this relationship between the WCTU and children, I analyzed posters created by the WCTU that present children as victims of alcohol and then content produced directly for children by the WCTU.
  • Chatbots: history, technology, and a case analysis

    Jay, Benjamin (2020-08)
    This thesis examines the more than 50 year history of chatbots that led to the development of Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. A chatbot, commonly known as a conversational agent, is a computer framework that can have a normal conversation with a user by using a natural language processor (Reshmi and Balakrishnan, 2018). The goal is to understand the psychological and mathematical theories that worked well throughout history, as well as those that did not, and the impact they had on the evolution of modern chatbots. This thesis incorporates these theories into a new chatbot created using Google’s chatbot AI platform called Dialogflow. By following a Coursera course titled Building Conversational Experiences with Dialogflow, this thesis creates a chatbot that can schedule tours of a school and can answer questions about the SUNY New Paltz 2020 Commencement ceremony. Creating even the most basic chatbot requires a comprehensive understanding of the underlying theories and extensive coding experience (Abdul-Kader & Woods, 2015). This thesis assumes a foundation knowledge of computer coding.
  • The devil can cite scripture for his purpose: Shakespeare’s use of the parable of the Prodigal Son in ​Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear​, and ​The Tempest

    Almeyda, Dariana (2020-05)
    Scholars have long identified the Bible as one of William Shakespeare’s main sources of inspiration. An extension to “The Devil Can Cite Scripture for His Purpose: Shakespeare’s Use of Biblical Allusions in ​The Merchant of Venice,”​ this paper explores Shakespeare’s implementation and reimagining of the parable of the Prodigal Son in ​Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear,​ and ​The Tempest.​ His manipulation of the parable creates a universal sense of morality for the characters in each play and serves as a common ground for audiences of his time to understand and better relate to his works. To modern readers, his reworkings of the parable also serve as a social commentary on sixteenth-century English society steeped in religious conflicts and motifs. He creates several characters that act like prodigals, a term socially recognized by its relation to the parable found in Luke 15, but also universally understood as both an adjective and noun to mean “spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant. / A person who spends money in a recklessly extravagant way” (“Prodigal”). ​Shakespeare’s various reworkings of this parable prompt a conversation about the price of forgiveness, love, and whether or not grace and mercy are truly free.
  • Exploring love languages: the key to building and maintaining healthy relationships

    Adams, Aryiah (2020-05)
    Communication is the heart of who we are as human beings. It is just as necessary as food and shelter because communication allows us to develop a civilized society that can transmit valuable information and knowledge. The desire to be loved and nurtured is also a fundamental human need that can be expressed through language. Through a series of interviews, the paper explores five “love languages” developed by Dr Gary Chapman used to communicate emotional fulfillment. The paper challenges the idea that time is a key component to the development of the five love languages. The research demonstrates that over time individuals discover their love language and that of their partner. Time further serves as a learning period that allows couples to recognize the emotional desires of their partner. Time then becomes the impetus for consistent acts of love creating growth between couples as they express love their partner accepts. The five love languages speak to the basic fundamentals needed to communicate love.
  • The Dutch Atlantic world, 1585–1815: Recent themes and developments in the field

    Noorlander, Danny (Wiley, 2020-08)
    Scholarship on the Dutch Atlantic has grown and changed a lot in 30 years, with older themes like colonial weakness and insignificance giving way to a newly discovered Dutch vitality. This essay demonstrates the change by summarizing the recent research and highlighting the military, economic, and cultural impact of the Dutch in West Africa and America, plus the possible impacts of both places on the Dutch in Europe. The essay also cautions writers against taking arguments about dynamism, diversity, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, and modernity too far.
  • Trauma recovery through art therapy

    Brainerd, Rachel (2020-12)
    This paper provides a synthesis of research on Art Therapy, Post traumatic Stress Disorder, and explains the unique benefit this therapy may provide for the refugee population suffering from PTSD.
  • A healthcare IoT prototype for responsive oxygen therapy treatment of COPD patients

    Khan, Azer (2020-12)
    Our final design offers oxygen therapy patients an IoT enabled, adaptable and small form-factor device offering potential for automatic detection and agile response to oxygen saturation readings. Our key components are a photodiode sensor, algorithm processor and micro- controller providing the foundation for future development for FDA approval, machine-learning and analytics, and feedback-loop oxygen tank controller tracks. Our device is cutting-edge in its communications, power consumption and efficiency. We have gained an understanding of the effort required to design an IoT enabled solution in the healthcare space. Integrating hardware and software designs are an exercise to understand the inner workings of many systems used today. It is estimated that there will be about 50 billion IoT-enabled devices in the world by 2030 [22]. Technologists who understand the underlying systems will be able to make well-informed decisions about the future of the connected world.
  • A generative chatbot with natural language processing

    Liebman, David (2020-12)
    The goal in this thesis is to create a chatbot, a computer program that can respond verbally to a human in the course of simple day-to-day conversations. A deep learning neural network model called the Transformer is used to develop the chatbot. A full description of a Transformer is provided. The use of a few different Transformer-based Natural Language Processing models to develop the chatbot, including Generative Pre-Training 2 (GPT2), are shown. For comparison a Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU) based model is included. Each of these are explained below. The chatbot code is installed on a small device such as the Raspberry Pi with speech recognition and speech-to-text software. In this way a device that can carry out a verbal conversation with a human might be created. For the GRU-based model a Raspberry Pi 3B with 1GB RAM can be used. A Raspberry Pi 4B with 4GB of RAM is needed to run a chatbot with the GPT2.
  • The Brooklynite abroad: how I turned my personal travel blog into a business

    O’Brien, Veronica (2020-12)
    COVID-19 negatively impacted thousands of vacation plans worldwide. After months of lockdown and quarantine restrictions, people are now eager to start traveling again. A travel boom is coming our way. We have already seen several spontaneous trips across the globe and it is only expected to increase as the months go on. Given all of the changes in regards to social distancing and safety regulations, the travel industry has changed. The way that we once traveled is now a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean for the worse. Traveling still has that spark of joy associated with learning and experiencing the thrill of new cultures, even if it is within your own country. While the cure to the coronavirus pandemic is not certain to happen anytime soon, we have to adapt. By that I mean we have to completely change the way that we travel. As a matter of fact, given the demands of eager travelers, it has never been a better time than now to turn travel blogging into a career.
  • Predictors of social estrangements

    Sung, Annie (2020-12)
    Human connection plays a significant role in an individual's life. Belonging is one of the key components of living a successful life. With that being said, humans are programmed to prevent being exploited by others. This study examines what characteristics an individual may have that lead to having a high number of social estrangements. The hypothesis of this study was that if impulsivity, borderline tendencies, risk-taking, and fast life history strategy were all present in an individual's personality, then this would lead to a higher number of estrangements in that individual’s life. Using a sample of 413 participants, it was found that the hypothesis was partially supported. The more borderline tendencies someone had, the more estrangements he or she had in life.
  • Shield and shelter: MFA Thesis - Sculpture

    Loveszy, Rosa (2020-12)
    In nature, many mechanisms have evolved to ensure the safety and survival of an organism. Humans lack many methods of self-defense. My work draws on the design that has evolved for thousands of years, mimicking defensive characteristics of other animals and plants. I explore the relationships between the form and function of protective biological systems in my work. This series, Shield and Shelter, references the type of cellular arrangements that allow water to move through the tissue of a tree. The cell structures support the organism by transporting water and nutrients to ensure their safety and longevity.
  • Songwriting in music therapy: a rapid review

    DeRusso, Gianna (2020-12)
    Songwriting in music therapy is the process of creating, notating, and/or recording lyrics and music by the client or clients and therapist within a therapeutic relationship to address psychosocial, emotional, cognitive, and communication needs of the client. Over time, this method has developed to address new goals and new clinical populations. The purpose of this review is to update the comprehensive review of songwriting methods in music conducted by Baker et al. (2008). Articles reviewed met the following inclusion criteria: 1) published in a peer review journal between 2008 and 2020, and 2) examined the effect of a songwriting method used to with a clinical population using quantitative research methods., The results of this review identified a song writing method, 2 clinical populations, and goals that were not reported on in the 2008 Baker et al. study. This study supports the conclusion that songwriting has evolved over time and will continue to do so to support an array of goals and clinical populations.
  • The supernatural, the demonic, and witchcraft in early modern English plays : Macbeth, The Witch, The Witch of Edmonton, and Doctor Faustus

    Schojbert, Haley (2020-12)
    The Tragedy of Macbeth (1606) by William Shakespeare, The Witch (1616) by Thomas Middleton, The Witch of Edmonton (1621) written by William Rowley, Thomas Dekker, and John Ford, and Doctor Faustus (1589-1592) by Christopher Marlowe all contain different stage representations of the witch and the demonic. In this thesis, I aim to understand the cultural and social structures that enabled witchcraft accusations, not as a coordinated effort on behalf of the Church to kill women, but rather a progression of ideologies and religious beliefs regarding magic and how to maintain social hegemony. I aspire to challenge our modern tendency to explain witchcraft accusations as a conspiratorial result of patriarchal institutions attacking the bodies of women, and to frame these accusations as multi-faceted, organically growing phenomena that ensured small village communities adhered to a social order. While it is tempting to view representations of the witch through the lens of secular feminist resistance against patriarchy, it is important to reconstruct our readings of these works as being part of a theocratic society and as existing within a network of complex religious beliefs because these plays were originally seen by the credulous eyes of the early modern public.
  • Musical experience and the pursuit of music therapy: the influence of active music making

    Levitan, Safrah (2020-12)
    This qualitative study explores the relationship between one’s musical experience and the decision to become and remain a professional music therapist. This study includes interviews with six board certified music therapists ranging from 4-15 years of experience in the field. Three questions were asked during the interview process regarding the lived musical experience of these therapists: 1) Describe the role of active music making throughout your life; 2) What do you perceive as the relationship between music experience and choosing music therapy as a career?; and 3) What role does active music making play in your decision to maintain a career in music therapy? Once the interview process was complete, a thematic analysis was done to formulate main themes and codes within the interviews. These themes and codes were then supported by interview quotes as a form of evidence. After reviewing all findings, a reflection was done focusing on the key aspects of the interviews and personal thoughts regarding the results. These key aspects included the participants’ relationship to music, active music making experiences, competencies, primary education, educational privilege, collegiate education, and self-identity.
  • “We All Get Found Sometimes”: an arts-based heuristic study on a queer music therapist’s expressive music journaling

    Benson, Travis (2020-11)
    This arts-based, heuristic research documents my process as a queer and genderqueer (they/them) music therapist of creating a song cycle based on the themes gathered through lyric analysis from personal, emotional improvisational songs posted on Patreon.com between July 2018 and September 2019. The 35 songs are sorted by season, and were written based upon the major themes prevalent within each season. The result is a 5-song cycle connecting past to present, excerpts from different journals kept during the process, and the data collected from the lyric analysis. This author claims improvisational songwriting through expressive music journaling (EMJ) to get in touch with one’s deep/subconscious feelings is an effective way to: process trauma, grief, and mental illness; that it is able to bridge gaps of time; and that it will help to regard personal material one might not want to dissect without a creative outlet.
  • The effects of job crafting and leader member exchange on the affective well-being of emerging adults in college

    Kishna, Celina (2020-12)
    Relatively little research has been conducted on factors that affect the work life of emerging adults. Drawing from a primarily college sample (​N ​= 194), this study investigates the relationships between leader member exchange (LMX), job crafting (JC) and job affective well-being. A simultaneous multiple regression demonstrated that several dimensions of JC were positively associated with job affective well-being. A multiple parallel mediation model conducted with JC as a mediator between LMX and job affective well-being. demonstrated that the increasing structural job resources component of JC was a partial mediator between LMX and job affective well-being. Future studies should include dyadic data from both employees and supervisors to improve research on job affective well-being.
  • 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.
  • A story we agree to tell each other over and over: gender and disability performance in ​Game of Thrones

    Cavallucci, Katherine (2020-11)
    Game of Thrones​ presents us with a wealth of fascinating characters, many of whom do not fit neatly into the particular roles ascribed to them by binary systems. As a result of their nonconformity, they are often ridiculed, spurned, “othered.” In this thesis, I will focus on gender and ability as performances—social constructions—rather than as natural fact, and I will utilize the literary and film theory of Laura Mulvey, Lennard Davis, and Judith Butler to explore ​Game of Thrones t​hrough this lens. I intend to analyze how certain characters perform gender or dis/ability (or both), along with the ways in which they have changed the narrative and subverted traditional ideologies and systems of power.

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