Senior, Aeronautics/Applied Engineering
Chelsea was born in Detroit, MI and graduated from Cass Technical High School. She loves technology and problem solving. At first, she wanted to be an architect, which she studied all through high school. Her junior year she decided to apply to Kent State’s College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, to study air traffic control as realized her interest in aircraft. After a year of college, she realized she had a great knack for air traffic and she did well in leadership roles.
Chelsea joined Women in Aviation, becoming a board member and working her way up to President for the 2013-2014 school year. She earned the Leland Keller Scholarship as well a Kent State Ebony Award for excellence in academic achievement. Chelsea’s goals are to utilize her leadership under her concentration of air traffic control by becoming an air traffic manager. She would love to climb the career ladder and be a mentor to underrepresented groups, proving to them that they can do anything they set out to do.
Robert Priestley, Mentor
NextGen is a Federal Aviation Administration project that is supposed to increase the efficiency of air traffic by maximizing the amount of aircraft in the sky at a time without compromising safety. NextGen is a six component project, expected to be fully implemented nationally by 2020. NextGen will costs billions of dollars to the government and millions to individual airlines. Airlines and U.S. citizens will need to know if it is economically worth changing. I will use the “Decision Matrix,” which will display all the
major concerns such as cost, efficiency and time.
Each component of NextGen will be researched and given values accordingly.The data collected will show which NextGen components are statistically most and least beneficial, in order. It will also show the
overall economic impact of NextGen. PBN is projected to be the most beneficial component. Overall, NextGen will be an amazing
Sophomore, Electronic Media
Carla Goar, Ph.D., Mentor
The Use of Native American Imagery in Sports and Scouting (Oral)
This paper examines Native American imagery as used by three social groups: large, for-profit sports franchises, Division I teams
within major conferences, and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). In the past two decades, different sports organizations have come under fire for using Native American images in mascots and branding. The BSA, an organization that also uses such imagery, has been excluded from such critique. We are interested in learning why the BSA is insulated from negative appraisals. As such, our research questions are (1) Are there differences in the Native American imagery used by sports franchises and the BSA? and (2) What are those differences?
To answer these questions, we use content analysis to compare images used by four types of professional sporting organizations (football, basketball, baseball, hockey), Division I college teams and the BSA. Implications of this research allow for future avenues of study in the areas of race and media.
2nd Place Winner
Donald began his pursuit of higher education, after being out of high school for fourteen years, by participating in massive open online courses known as MOOCs, which gave him the necessary preparation for the rigors of college. In his first semester, he has maintained a 4.0 GPA and wrote a scholarly paper for the Conference on Decision and Control, a transaction of IEEE, with Dr. Najafi as his advisor, which formed the basis for his presentation at the Undergraduate Symposium.
His interests include chess, playing guitar, and discovering the deep insights of mathematics. As a mathematician, he hopes to find solutions to problems that will improve the human condition. He is profoundly concerned about convincing the next generation of students of the fundamental importance of learning mathematics and programming as gateways to their participation in the global information society.
Mahmoud Najafi, Ph.D., Mentor
Treatment for Analytical Solution of Nonlinear Oscillation System Via Decomposition Method (Poster)
In this work, the attempt has been made to illustrate analytical approximate closed form solutions of oscillating systems, which are represented by [equation, see attached pdf], i.e., Duffing and Van der Pol equations. To this end, the Adomian Decomposition
Method (ADM) has been employed to accomplish analytical solutions to these differential equations.
The results are compared with accurate numerical computations using Runge-Kutta, which show that the ADM is an accurate, high performance method capable of obtaining the analytical solution of nonlinear physical problems. In addition, the efforts for finding approximate analytical solutions for Blasius viscous flow, as well as heat conduction have also been calculated by utilizing the ADM.
Senior, Fashion Design
As the youngest of four girls raised in a small suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, Erin had to work hard to be noticed. Her college career has been no different. With a strong work ethic and passion for her field, she has accomplished amazing goals that at times seemed out of reach. During her sophomore year, she and her partner entered and won a first fashion show, “Rock The Runway”, at Kent State University. During her junior year, Erin was one of three Kent State students to have a portfolio selected and submitted to the highly competitive CFDA Scholarship Competition. And finally, in her senior year, her entire senior collection, “PREDISPOSED”, was chosen to be showcased at the Kent State University Annual Fashion Show. As her college years come to a close and she begins her career as a fashion designer, she has reset her goals and will work to again achieve what may, at times, seem unattainable.
Sherry Schofield, Ph.D., Mentor
PREDISPOSED (Artistic Piece)
What makes you, you? Is it your body? Your mind? Is who you are simply someone you are conditioned to believe? What happens if your perceptions are challenged? Photographer Michal Macku inspired me with his research in humanness. By using a gelatin developing bath, he manipulates his photographs to emphasize strain on the human form. Similarly, I used a gelatin mixture to manipulate fabrics to a distressed state, and then strategically placed the fabric in key locations throughout my designs to highlight areas of the body and to drive the silhouette. My resultant senior thesis collection transitions from very dense and shapeless garments to light and transparent silhouettes. With the use of gradating grays, line and fabrication, I have challenged the wearers to reassess who they have been PREDISPOSED to be. In the end, do they perceive themselves as standing strong and bare or someone who is weak and exposed.
Megan Miller, Senior, Psychology; Nicole Orenstein, Senior, Psychology; and Alyssa Williams, Senior
Stephen B. Fountain, Ph.D., Karen Doyle and Samantha Renaud Mentors
A Test for Sex Differences in Touchscreen 2-Choice Visual Discrimination Learning in Rats (Poster)
The rate at which carbon is captured by the soil is dependent on plants’ productivity, chemistry and morphology, which vary
greatly between species. For this experiment, 240 litterbags were filled with tulip or elm root systems and soil. Roots were left to decompose over a total of 48 weeks, and I am periodically pulling litterbags from the soil, for analyses of both the roots and the soils. Morphological properties are related to the space available for microbial colonization. We expect that less of the elm’s roots will be respired by decomposers, compared to tulip roots, primarily because their fine branches break apart and are physically protected as particulate organic matter. This study will show that root traits that are phylogenetically varied define decay rates, and the way that they decay influences their means of contributing to soil organic carbon and carbon in the atmosphere.
Anne Jefferson, Ph.D., Mentor
Sensitivity of Precipitation Isotope Meteoric Water Lines and Seasonal Signals to Sampling Frequency
and Location (Poster)
Our purpose is to compare seasonal signal and local meteoric water line (LMWL) generated by analyzing hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in precipitation for one year of event-based sampling to those from multiyear monthly sampling at the closest Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP) stations. The question we seek to answer is whether data from different sampling strategies, periods and locations within the eastern Great Lakes region on a regional-scale LMWL and seasonal signal. We collected precipitation samples after each event in Kent, Ohio. Samples were analyzed with a Picarro L-2130i. The closest GNIP sites are Coshocton, Ohio, and Simcoe, Ontario. LMWLs and seasonal signals derived from monthly samples were broadly similar along a 300 km north-south transect in the US eastern Great Lakes Region. Monthly volume-weighted averages of event precipitation underrepresentevent scale isotopic variability, based on samples from Kent, Ohio.
Senior, Political Science/Pre-Law, Philosophy Minor
Taylor Shanower, Senior, Political Science/Pre-Law, Philosophy Minor
Erik Heidemann, Ph.D., Mentor
Inside the Safety Net: How Receiving Aid Impacts Political Opinions of the Welfare State (Oral)
Since the enactment of the New Deal economic reforms in the early 1930s, the American execution of the welfare state has
fluctuated, expanded and has been refined amidst both public and political scrutiny. While some programs have found social capital and widespread respect, “welfare bashing” remains a popular staple of American politics. In this paper I attempted to uncover how the reception of some form of welfare aid impacts the political opinions of those individuals compared to those individuals who have not received aid.
By performing Chi-Squared tests on multiple variables from nationally representative data pertaining to welfare attitudes from the General Social Survey (conducted by the National Opinion Research Center) and controlling for party identification, I found that while American welfare attitudes remained conflicted, there was a statistically significant positive trend between receiving welfare aid and positive attitudes toward the American welfare state.
Senior, Architectural Studies
Vincent M. Trevino is in his final semester at Kent State. Hailing from Toledo, Ohio, architecture and the built environment has always fascinating to him. He will be pursuing his endeavors via an internship at the design firm Studio CRM in Cleveland. Working near Playhouse Square downtown has only further inspired Vincent’s studies. He plans on continuing to work for at least a year to gain more experience in the field before attending grad school for Urban Design at the CUDC.
Aside from his studies, Vincent thoroughly enjoy soccer, swimming, running, traveling to new places and independent sketching/painting. He would like to thank his family who stood by him in every trial and tribulation that he has experienced at Kent. He also thanks his faculty mentors Brett Tippey and Victoria Turner that have guided his research throughout the semester.
Brett Tippey, Ph.D., Mentor
H2Ohhh: The Bottled Water Industry, Local Events, Global Consequences (Poster)
Corporations like Nestle, are directly linked to water crises that are rapidly gaining momentum globally. The bottled water industry is defining water rights in less regulated areas and attempting to govern its distribution. The bottled water industry is also tainting the public views on tap water via clever marketing and blurred truths so as to gain more control of water distribution. If types of consumption can be decreased, overall urban footprints can subsequently reduce. This study will examine methods to mitigate urban water consumption thusly reducing stressors on surrounding contexts and furthermore global ecosystems.
These methods will involve examining the city of Fryeburg, Maine, and its current conflict with Nestle as a precedent for other debates yet to arise elsewhere. The investigative tools will include examining legal battles dating back to 2005 in Fryeburg, local Nestle water commodification statistics, and the presentation of a board of collaged images and text.
Jonathan Boyd is a physics major attending Kent State University main campus and is set to graduate in 2017. He is from Champion, Ohio, a small community about 30 miles to the east of Kent, where he attended Champion Local Schools. The Symposium marks his first research experience at Kent. He worked with his father, Dr. Darwin Boyd, a professor in the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability, and Technology researching a natural fractal that they created at the NEO Beam facility in Middlefield, Ohio. He is active in Kent’s newly formed robotics team, where they are currently designing a robot for the 2014 ATMAE Competition in St. Louis. Jon is planning on going to graduate school to pursue a degree in either particle physics or astrophysics.
Darwin Boyd, Ph.D., Mentor
Measurement of Fractal Dimensions of Electrical Discharge Paths in PMMA (Poster)
Although the mathematics of fractal geometry has been applied to many real-world phenomena, some areas remain largely unstudied. We apply methods of measuring fractal dimensions of other natural systems to the measurement of fractal dimensions of electrical discharge paths in polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Although these discharge paths are commonly referred to as
Lichtenberg Figures, they differ substantially from traditional Lichtenberg Figures produced by electrical discharges through other mediums. These discharge paths are similar in nature to river systems since electrons deposited in the PMMA must drain through a single point. We compare numerous methods of measuring fractal dimensions to determine which methods yield the most consistent results for these figures. We expect that the techniques used on river systems will give the most accurate and consistent results. This research can be used to help create figures with different and predictable fractal dimensions.
Senior, Chemistry, and Scott Smith, Senior, Chemistry
Wen-Hai Chou, Ph.D., Mentor
A Novel Model of Stroke (Poster)
The current model for inducing ischemic stroke in mice involves the insertion of a filamentous suture at the external carotid
artery (ECA) and feeding the suture to the origin of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). At the origin of the MCA, the diameter of the suture head exceeds the diameter of the blood vessel, causing a blockage of blood flow. The model has been proven effective, but is a fairly invasive approach. The advantage of the new model is that the suture is untethered — after insertion of the suture at the ECA, direction of motion is controlled via external magnetic fields.
The suture is composed of paramagnetic materials and is spherical in shape to reduce surface interactions during travel to the blockage site. The proposed model is a less invasive method that achieves the same goal, but will also reduce unintended injury during the surgery that could affect stroke pathophysiology.
Senior, Fashion Merchandising
Anastasia Iafrate is a senior fashion design student at Kent State University (KSU). She is originally from Girey, Russia but moved to Ohio, USA when she was 19. However, her interest in pursuing a career in fashion design wasn’t till six years later. The past 4 years of her education have been extremely challenging and enlightening, but neither her long daily commute to KSU (45 minutes each way), her hectic work schedule, nor her demanding faculty (who she dearly appreciates), were going to keep her from achieving her dream of earning a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design from KSU. She is currently working on her individual investigation under the direction of Dr. Catherine A. Leslie. Anastasia’s work has been featured in several Cleveland-based fashion shows. Her work featured in this symposium was accomplished with the help of Dr. Sherry Schofield.
Noel Palomo-Lovinski, Ph.D., Vincent Quevedo, and Sherry Schofield, Ph.D.
Interference: Translation of a Physical Phenomenon and Emotional Conflict Into a Garment Design
Interference is a natural physical phenomenon where a mixture of waves can have constructive or destructive effects when combined.Having been born in Russia and having moved to the United States as an adult, I experience interference of cultures as a major part of my daily life. The objective of this study was to portray the constructive effects of interference into a garment design using multiple fabric manipulation techniques. Hand-painted silk and hand-pleated fabric interfere in the garment. The contrast of yellow, pink and grey, painted onto silk in circular motions, represents the effects of competing cultures. Waves of interference are translated through pleated fabric, applied at divergent angles.
The bubble shape symbolizes the World. The result is a beautifully crafted dress that contains the conflict within, but also highlights the beauty of interference. In conclusion, interference as both a physical phenomenon and internal conflict is portrayed in a beautiful garment.
Jonah is originally from Chardon, Ohio, and has been working for the KSU Neuropsychology Lab with his advisor Dr. Mary Beth Spitznagel since the summer of 2012. He was recently accepted to continue on in Kent State’s Clinical Psychology PhD program as part of their neuropsychology track, and this summer he will continue as a graduate student on a line of research on cognitive awareness in both clinical and healthy older adult samples begun with his honors thesis. In addition to the Undergraduate Symposium, Jonah has presented posters at meetings of the International Neuropsychological Society, the Association for Psychological Science, as well as Kent State Neuroscience and Undergraduate Psychology symposia. In the past he have been an Academic Success Center tutor here at KSU, and he is currently a teaching assistant for Dr. Aaron Jasnow’s Biopsychology course, both of which he enjoys very much.
Mary Beth Spitznagel, Ph.D., Mentor
The Role of Mindfulness in Awareness of Cognitive Abilities (Poster)
Impaired cognitive awareness is present in dementia, but work utilizing metacognitive models to study levels of awareness in healthy older adults is less conclusive. Mindfulness, involving attention to cognitions and sensations, may play a role in awareness. This study examined accuracy in predicting cognitive ability, and whether the link between subjective and objective cognition is moderated by mindfulness. In this study, 36 healthy older adults completed neuropsychological testing and self-report measures of cognitive difficulty and mindfulness. Analyses revealed better objective cognition was linked to better subjective cognition. Global mindfulness did not moderate this, though exploratory analyses revealed a mindfulness subscale (‘Describing’) did. Results indicate healthy older adults are able to predict objective cognitive ability, and though global mindfulness was not a moderator, the subscale that was should be further explored to determine if it is conceptually different from awareness.
Melissa Benden, Senior, Visual Communication Design; Alex Catanese, Senior Visual Communication Design; Gina LaRocca, Senior, Visual Communication Design; and Shelby Muter, Senior, Visual Communication Design, Photo Illustration Minor
Hometown: Sagamore Hills, Ohio
Major: Senior graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design and
minor in Photo Illustration
Major accomplishments: Portfolio of Distinction in Design at the Senior BFA Show
Faculty Research Mentor: Gretchen Rinnert
Hometown: Hudson, Ohio
Major: Senior graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design and
minoring in Photo Illustration
Major accomplishments: Portfolio of Distinction in Design at the Senior BFA Show
Faculty Research Mentor: Gretchen Rinnert
Hometown: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Special Interests: Currently work as Lead Designer at Rust Valley Design Co., based in
Major: Senior graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design.
Major accomplishments: Received Best Portfolio in Design at the VCD Senior BFA Show
Faculty Research Mentor: Gretchen Rinnert for the Undergraduate Research Symposium
Hometown: North Canton, Ohio
Major: Senior graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design and
minoring in Advertising
Major accomplishments: Best Digital Media Portfolio at the Senior BFA Show
Gretchen Rinnert, Mentor
Ardor: A Community Focused iPad Application (Oral)
The works of Italian author Italo Svevo have been largely unnoticed by contemporary American scholars despite unquestionable depth and richness in Svevo’s work already revealed through European scholarship. While significant analysis has been published internationally, particularly in Italy, Svevo is virtually untouched by modern American literary scholarship. Through close reading of Svevo’s work, evaluation of previous literary analysis, study of cultural influences relevant to Svevo, and a methodological study of literary criticism, I have begun a reexamination of Svevo’s oeuvre to reestablish his relevance within the larger literary canon of European literary and American critical circles. Specifically, I plan to change the analytical methods typically undertaken regarding Svevo. My current research reveals themes on identity, cultural clash and social structures that would be valuable to scholars worldwide. I will continue researching Svevo by studying his works in their original Italian on an independent research project in Italy during fall semester.
Senior, Chemistry, Mathematics Minor
Roxanne has presented during three other poster sessions at the 10th Annual NE Ohio Undergraduate Research Symposium), Scientista Symposium 2014, and KSU Student Affiliates of the ACS (SAACS) Poster Session 2014. She also gave oral presentations at the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and at the 10th Annual NE Ohio Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Torsten Hegmann, Ph.D., Mentor
Growth of Gold Nanostars in a Lyotropic Liquid Crystal Template: Role of the Lyotropic Liquid Crystal Phase and Nature of the Surfactant (Poster)
Lyotropic liquid crystal phases are exceptional candidates for template-based nanomaterial syntheses and promoting the assembly of nanomaterials into arrays. We have recently shown that the normal lyotropic hexagonal columnar phase (H1) formed by Triton X-100R in water is an ideal template for the growth of gold nanostars with elongated thorns that should be ideal candidates for SERS (surface-enhanced Raman scattering) applications.To elucidate the role of the lyotropic liquid crystal phase and chemical structure of the surfactant (ionic vs. neutral), we studied the synthesis of gold nanostars in one lyotropic liquid crystal template based on Triton X-45R and ionic CTAB (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide) forming a lamellar phase (La). Currently, a phytantriol/ water/ ethanol system is being used in an effort to synthesize gold nanostars in a bicontinuos cubic phase (Pn3m).
Senior, Biology, Chemistry Minor
Jeremy Shaw is a senior Cellular/Molecular Biology major with a minor in Chemistry from Cortland, Ohio. His interests include regeneration (specifically in relation to stem cells), cancer biology, and long walks on the beach. He has done research at Kent State University Tuscarawas with Dr. Jean-Engohang Ndong, Kent State University’s main campus with Dr. Christopher Malcuit, and the Cleveland Clinic with Dr. Justin Lathia. Previously, Jeremy has done poster presentations at the Great Lakes Science Center and MSC 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. This research was done for his Senior Honors Thesis with his co-mentors Dr. Douglas Kline and Dr. Justin Lathia. After graduation this Fall as an Honors College Scholar and Founder/President of the KSU Regenerative Medicine Club, Jeremy will be attending the University of Virginia in Summer 2014 pursuing his PhD in Biomedical Sciences.
Douglas Kline, Ph.D., Mentor
Interrogating the Efficacy of Gap Junction Inhibitors on Leukemia Cell-Cell Communication and
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common adult hematologic malignancy, characterized by the rapid proliferation and self-renewal of abnormal leukocytes with subsequent interference of normal hematopoiesis. Due to their close confines in bone marrow, the communication between leukemic cells, as well as their surrounding stroma, is likely to support their survival and protection from apoptosis. However, the mechanisms behind direct cell-cell communication in leukemia are largely undefined. Gap junctions (GJs) are specialized inter-cellular connections, composed of connexin proteins, allowing for direct exchange between cytoplasm of adjacent cells enabling them to respond in
a coordinated fashion.
There has been no description of communication directly between leukemic cells and the effects it may have on tumor growth and resistance. In order to determine whether homotypic communication is occurring in AML, we used in vitro models to interrogate GJ-mediated communication through the use of two clinically relevant GJ inhibitors, Carbenoxolone and 1-Octanol
Senior, Anthropology, Sociology Minor
LaKaléa J. Wilson is majoring in Biological Anthropology with a minor in Sociology. The research she presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium was on the Metabolic Components in Executive versus Motor Regions of the Basal Ganglia. Her faculty research mentor is Dr. Mary Ann Raghanti, a professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, and was a part of the Academic S.T.A.R.S program. She is also an honors student at Kent State University, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She has recently joined the Major Mentor Directory Program as a mentor, which aids exploratory students in choosing a program to major in and helps them gain insight on the program from a current student in the major.
Mary Ann Raghanti, Ph.D., Mentor
A Comparative Neuroanatomical Study of the Metabolic Components of Executive Versus Motor Regions of the Basal Ganglia. (Oral)
Comparative neuroanatomical studies have focused on the cerebral cortex, particularly the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in cognitive functions. However, understanding the subcortical structures connected to the prefrontal cortex may elucidate the evolution of cognitive function among primates. We analyzed the metabolic components within the output structures of the basal ganglia, the globus pallidus internus (GPi) anteromedial and intermediate. The study sample included several primate species.
Neuron and glia cell densities, a measure of metabolic support, were quantified using advanced stereological methods. The objective was to determine if humans deviate significantly from other species in the anteromedial GPi to support human-specific cognitive abilities. The results showed no significant difference among species in the anteromedial GPi. However, humans possessed a higher glia to neuron ratio in the intermediate GPi. Identifying how humans differ from other primates, may reveal why humans are more susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases than other primates.
Senior, Visual Communication Design
Aoife Mooney, Mentor
Cleaning Up InterChez’s Marketing Design (Oral)
Visual Communication can help elucidate meaning, frame and contextualize information. Over the last seven months I’ve been working with the InterChez marketing team to clean up their marketing design. The objective: to create clarity and to establish an overall style and cohesion to all marketing materials. Applying my grounding in design research methods, and my training as part of the program here at the School of Visual Communication Design, I identified the issues clouding the message.
I found that their pamphlets were heavy with body copy, without any relief of imagery; advertisements had no flare; and the trade show banners were down right confusing. In order to resolve InterChez’s design problem I, along with the marketing team, introduced white space, a revitalized color palette and numerous engaging graphic elements. These key components allowed me to create designs that were more engaging to InterChez’s customers while creating a clear message at the same time.
2nd Place Winner
Jennifer L. Delciappo is pursing a BS in Architecture at Kent State University and plans on pursing a Masters of Architecture at KSU. She currently hold a BA in earth science from KSU and a Masters Degree from Cleveland State University in Urban Education focusing on curriculum and instruction. She is a licensed 7-12 Earth Space Science teacher in the state of Ohio and plans to continue researching topics regarding conservation and sustainability. Jennifer is also a certified hatha yoga instructor. She enjoys gardening, drawing, playing guitar, making crafts, rugby, longboarding and spending time with her husband, Nick, of 15 years and their rescued cats.
Dan Ross, Mentor
Impacts of the Architectural Design Footprint on Native Species – Case Study in Portage County, Ohio (Poster)
This project will research the impacts of the architectural design footprint on native plant and animal species in Portage County and the various ecosystems that can be and are being affected by community development. The research will explore how we might further mitigate loss of critical native species on the developed sites. This study will examine how the development footprint affects the carrying capacity of native species both during and after development. Despite compliance with local, state and federal agencies, significant long-term damage occurs to local biodiversity when combined with other developing areas, when the stresses that impact repopulation and carrying capacity are not mitigated, when the effect of non-native species are introduced during the design process, or when regrowth time of native-tree species are not taken into consideration.
Senior, Integrated Life Sciences Physics, Applied Mathematics Minor
Edgar E. Kooijman, Ph.D., Mentor
Effects of Cationic Species on the Ionization Properties of Diacylglyceropyrophosphate (Poster)
Diacyglycerol pyrophosphate (DGPP), an uncommon plant membrane lipid, is formed from phosphatidic acid. The function of DGPP during stress signaling is unclear. Therefore, the physiochemical properties, specifically the ionization of the head group, were analyzed to elucidate its function. The presence of the trans-membrane peptide KALP23 caused an increase in the ionization of DGPP.
This increase in negative charge might be due to the decrease in interfacial pH by the cationic residues of KALP23, or might be due to direct H-bond interaction between KALP23 and DGPP. Using 31P solid state NMR, the goal of this project is to distinguish between the effects of positive charge and H-bond formation in the observed increased ionization of DGPP. Compounds with a net positive charge but without H-bond donor ability were thus mixed with DGPP. The results are discussed in terms of the electrostatic-hydrogen bond switch model previously described for the ionization and protein interaction of PA.
Heather grew up in Livonia, Michigan and moved to Ohio in 2011 to join the geology department at Kent. She is a graduating senior this year and will be entering the field to gain experience after graduation. Like most other geologists, she love camping, hiking, and anything else related to the outdoors. Her time in school has been spent expanding her knowledge by earning credit as an undergraduate TA in the Earth Dynamics Lab, studying field methods in volcanology in Hawaii, and conducting research under the guidance of her faculty mentor, Dr. Tathagata Dasgupta. Ultimately, Heather like to pursue geotechnical engineering at the graduate level.
Tathagata Dasgupta, Ph.D., Mentor
Shallow Level Intrusion in Black Hills, South Dakota (Poster)
This research focuses on the comparison of different sub-layers within rhyolite sills and dikes located in the Northern Black Hills
Igneous Province in an effort to gain insight into the formation of shallow level intrusive bodies. Thin sections were created from field samples, examined under a petrographic microscope, and differences in mineralogical composition between the individual layers were documented. Examination of the thin sections revealed that the rhyolites could be divided into two distinct types. The first having an aphanitic texture primarily composed of quartz and feldspar grains showing calcite replacement.
The second type had a similar groundmass composition but had a porphyritic texture and contained larger, sub-rounded quartz phenocrysts surrounded by resorption rims and displaying prominent fractures. These aphanitic and porphyritic rhyolites are also interlayered with minor shear zones between them. The occurrence of shear zones separating the individual layers indicates that each layer had sufficient time to cool prior to the subsequent intrusion event.
Senior, English, Writing Minor
Joyce is an international student from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The country is located in Southeast Asia and basks in tropical heat—an eternity away from Ohio’s snowstorms. Her Senior Honors Thesis, which is the creative writing project that she presented at the Undergraduate Symposium, is one of her biggest accomplishments at Kent State. It allowed Joyce to better understand herself as a writer and refine her areas of interest in creative writing. She wishes to continue writing creative nonfiction and exploring the breadth of opportunities that the genre offers. Her faculty advisor, Dr. Elizabeth Howard, has been instrumental in making Joyce the writer she is today. Working under Dr. Howard’s mentorship has been a huge joy and privilege for Joyce .
Elizabeth Howard, Ph.D., Mentor
When We Find Homes: A Personal Narrative (Poster)
There is a severe lack of Malaysian literature in English. Although having grown up in Malaysia, I read mostly American and British literature. Malaysian literature is almost completely unheard of in Malaysia, let alone anywhere else in the world. This project is my effort to discover Malaysian literature and to write some of my own. Over the course of three semesters, I read literature in English written by Malaysians and other cross-cultural authors. Through these readings, I learned the different ways authors write about their own culture. In fall 2013, I performed 45 minutes of creative nonfiction writing every day for 15 weeks. I wrote about my struggle for cultural identity as a Malaysian Chinese studying abroad in the United States during these writing sessions. Through these personal essays, I have discovered that identity is a highly complex issue – one that cannot be confined within dictionary definitions.
Catherine Leslie, Ph.D., Mentor
Who Killed Susie Homemaker? The Decline of Home Economics in 20th-Century America (Poster)
The Home Economics Movement was once a vibrant movement, devoted to helping Americans live better lives. Although many historians have studied similarly influential movements, such as women’s suffrage, the home economics movement has been overlooked. Studying the decline of home economics will demonstrate its importance to American society and encourage future scholarship on the subject. Due to the scarcity of secondary sources, it will be necessary to look to primary source material. A timeline will be constructed to show correlation of external and home economics events. Vintage advertising and films are also of interest. Direct correlation between increases in consumer products and decreases in the popularity of home economics suggest consumerism as the cause. Other previously suggested causes (women’s liberation, outside employment, obsolescence) do not show strong correlation.
Senior, Biology, Psychology Minor
Jessica Stuczynski is a local student from Stow, Ohio and currently a senior undergraduate student studying Biology/Psychology at Kent State University. Jessica has been working under Dr. Mark Kershner, analyzing diatom assemblages on stream crayfish. Her research has provided her the opportunity to participate in multiple research symposiums as an undergraduate student as well as allowing her to network with professionals in the field.
Through Jessica’s individual research, internship experiences, and time spent in the lab as an undergraduate student, she has built a solid foundation to assist her in pursuing my greatest ambitions upon graduation this coming fall. Her future entails graduate school, specializing in the field of Marine Biology, as well as continued field experiences. Her interests include marine conservation and ecology.
Mark W. Kershner, Ph.D., and Jonathon Gray Mentors
Diatom Assemblages on Stream Crayfish: Does Crayfish Sex Matter? (Poster)
Microorganisms, including diatoms, are found in biofilms on all stream structures, including living organisms. In fact, stream crayfish, benthic crustaceans, develop significant biofilms throughout life. This study tested the hypothesis that diatom assemblages on male and,female crayfish differ based on sex-specific behaviors and life history characteristics. To test this, 10 male and 10 female crayfish were collected from the West Branch of the Mahoning River (Ohio).
Captured crayfish were measured to estimate body surface area, and their carapaces were scrubbed using toothbrushes to remove biofilms, which were preserved in ethanol. After extensive processing, diatoms from individual crayfish were identified. Although female crayfish had significantly more diatom genera than males, both crayfish sexes were dominated by few diatom genera, likely representative of their environment. Thus, while crayfish sex may influence diatom assemblages, habitat is probably more important.
Junior, English, Italian and Ancient Medieval Renaissance Studies Minor
Kristin Stasiowski, Mentor
Rediscovering and Reevaluating the Works of Italo Svevo (Poster)
The works of Italian author Italo Svevo have been largely unnoticed by contemporary American scholars despite unquestionable depth and richness in Svevo’s work already revealed through European scholarship. While significant analysis has been published internationally, particularly in Italy, Svevo is virtually untouched by Modern American Literary Scholarship. Through close reading of Svevo’s work, evaluation of previous literary analysis, study of cultural influences relevant to Svevo, and a methodological study of literary criticism, I have begun a reexamination of Svevo’s oeuvre to reestablish his relevance within the larger literary canon of European literary and American critical circles.
Specifically, I plan to change the analytical methods typically undertaken regarding Svevo. My current research reveals themes on identity, cultural clash and social structures that would be valuable to scholars worldwide. I will continue researching Svevo by studying his works in their original Italian on an independent research project in Italy during fall semester.