They Did It—You Can Too
Get to know about our latest honors alumni and how they spent their time in the Honors Program.
Class of Spring 2021
Introduction and Welcome
- Joshua Chapman
View "Are American Voters Polarized?" presentation
About Joshua Chapman
Josh Chapman is a senior who for the last four years, including the summer semesters, maintained the sole occupation of studying. He was introduced to Political Science serendipitously. After taking an elective course with the late Dr. James Lutz, he realized in a matter of weeks that the world of politics was better suited to his interest and talents than the world of business and finance. He interned for a local public policy consultant for United Way of Northeast Indiana, met with various county and state officials, and dabbled in other areas of local politics. As an honors student, he is thankful for the well-rounded and at times challenging education he received from PFW. He now plans to take a gap year in preparation for law school.
Democratic and Republican House members are now almost entirely liberal or conservative, respectively, and they have become increasingly distant from each other on a two-dimensional (liberal-conservative) scale of ideology. The claim that the parties in Congress have become ideologically polarized is supported by more than two decades of research. What is less known is whether polarization in Congress is attributable to polarization in the broader electorate. This paper seeks to build on the work of previous scholars and add to the growing body of literature on voter ideology. Using American National Election Studies (ANES) data, the aim is to show that voter ideological distribution is unimodal (clustered around the center) rather than bi-modal (which would indicate polarization). The central claim of this paper is that the majority of voters are not as polarized as members of Congress. The implications are such that it appears members of Congress accurately represent only the most extreme segments of the electorate who, combined, consist of less than a plurality of the American electorate.
- Minh Hoang Triet Le
About Minh Hoang Triet Le
Minh Le is a senior at Purdue University Fort Wayne. He will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biology (ecology and evolution concentration), an associate’s degree in chemistry, a research certificate in biology, and a minor in geology. He was born in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, and his passion for the biological sciences have prompted him to study aboard in the United States. Mentored by Dr. Mark Jordan, Minh has been researching the Ambystoma salamander since his sophomore year. His research has provided him with valuable laboratory experience and a deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Additionally, he served as a Teaching Assistant for the entomology course and guided students to build research-grade insect collections. This last accomplishment was made possible by the Teaching Assistantship scholarship in the Honors Program. After graduation, Minh intends to pursue a PhD in entomology with the hope of one day becoming a research scientist in the field of entomology, evolutionary biology, and developmental biology.
Within the salamander genus Ambystoma, there is a lineage of salamander that has evolved to become unisexual. Specifically, all individuals in this group are female, and this lineage is considered as the oldest living unisexual vertebrate lineage. The persistence of the unisexual Ambystoma lineage is attributed to its unique reproductive mode, known as kleptogenesis, where the unisexual females are able to pick up spermatophores (sperm packages) left by nearby males of bisexual Ambystoma species. Incorporation of male’s sperm leads to an increase of genetic variation in the unisexual gene pool, fueling their persistence and making them hybrid organisms.
At Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve (Indiana), there is an Ambystoma community consisting of A. texanum (small-mouthed salamander), A. tigrinum (tiger salamander), and unisexual Ambystoma. Previous unpublished studies in our lab has shown that there is genetic material belonging to A. texanum in the unisexual Ambystoma’s gene pool, but not A. tigrinum. However, it is unknown to what degree this gene flow is occurring. Understanding the nature of the unisexual’s genetic dependency is essential to its conservation effort.
In this study, eight microsatellites (a type of genetic marker) were used to assess the genetic diversity of the unisexual Ambystoma and A. texanum population at Eagle Marsh. PCR, a technique used to amplify (or to multiply) a segment of DNA, was used on these microsatellites. In addition to the traditional PCR protocol, a more cost-effective protocol was employed in order to test its efficiency against the Ambystoma system. The amplified microsatellites were characterized and statistically analyzed by generating a multitude of diversity indices for the unisexual and A. texanum population for comparison. The results show that the unisexual Ambystoma population at Eagle Marsh is dominated by clones, but there are few individuals with non-clonal genotype, indicating a low genetic diversity compared to its bisexual counterpart. This suggests that A. texanum is contributing to the unisexual Ambystoma’s gene pool, but to a small degree.
- Jaime Ryan
View "Diagnostic Criteria for Child Language Impairments: A Systematic Review" presentation
About Jaime Ryan
Jaime Ryan is an undergraduate Honors student attending Purdue University Fort Wayne. She is majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders, minoring in Linguistics and Psychology, and receiving a certificate of Gerontology. She presented a research poster at The 2021 Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders. After graduation, Jaime is planning on attending Purdue University Fort Wayne to receive her masters in Speech-Language Pathology.
There is a childhood language disorder without any obvious cause that is often referred to as specific language impairment (SLI) or developmental language disorder (DLD). Researchers and speech-language pathologists were using these two different terms leading to confusion in literature and clinical practice. Two articles published in 2016 and 2017 intended to create a set of concrete guidelines regarding the disorder name and diagnostic criteria for SLI/DLD. A systematic review was conducted on journals published by the American Speech and Hearing Association from 2017 to the present that included participants with SLI/DLD. The goal of this systematic review was to see how closely these studies followed the guidelines for terminology and diagnostic criteria for SLI/DLD set forth in 2016 and 2017 articles. Most articles who referenced the two studies that suggested the new name and criteria for the disorder used the term DLD. Of the new diagnostic criteria proposed in 2016-2017, the associated biomedical conditions that were most often evaluated were hearing loss and intellectual disability and the co-occurring disorder most often evaluated was speech problems. Co-occurring disorders were considered far less than associated biomedical conditions. In general, there was far greater consensus across articles included in the systematic review for the newly proposed terminology than for the diagnostic characteristics meant to differentiate SLI from DLD.
- Eaint Honey Aung Win
About Eaint Honey Aung Win
Eaint Honey Aung Win, a senior, is an international honors student from Myanmar (Burma) studying Biological Sciences with a concentration in immunology and microbiology. She research under Dr. Elliott J. Blumenthal (Emeritus) since sophomore year to investigate the Immunomodulatory and inhibitory effects of a nutraceutical on murine spleen and cancer cells respectively. She presents the results of this research as her honors project. She will be pursuing her master degree with teaching assistantship at Purdue Fort Wayne in Fall 2021. She hopes to continue her path towards becoming a medical doctor after.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is considered to cause significant majority of skin cancer deaths. Five-year survival rate for melanoma is 27% and although there are different ways of treating malignant melanoma cancer, some of the treatments could have potential side effects or might not be compatible with all patients. As a result, many scientists have been researching towards safer and more accessible alternative treatments such as nutraceuticals for malignant melanoma cancer. This research investigates the immunomodulatory and inhibitory effects of Manuka Honey (MH) and Papaya Leaf (PL) extracts on immune and melanoma cells. Many past researches have shown that Papaya Leaf extract and Manuka Honey inhibit the growth of melanoma cancer cells and enhances the growth of immune cells. Further research is necessary but this experiment will help pave the future of nutraceuticals to be utilized as therapeutic medication for malignant melanoma cancer.
- Allison Whitcraft
View “The Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Effects of COVID-19” presentation
About Allison Whitcraft
Allison Whitcraft graduated Bishop Dwenger High School in 2017 with a 3.7 GPA and Academic Honors, and Dual credit. She is a senior at Purdue Fort Wayne majoring in Psychology and minoring in Creative Writing. Allison was the Vice President of the mental health advocacy club Active Minds in 2018, and a research assistant in 2018-2019. She has also been a teaching assistant for a 2019 Introductory Psychology course and a 2021 Psychology of Women course. Additionally, Allison was given an opportunity in 2017-2018 to be an assistant to a local forensic psychologist. Her research in 2021 was featured in the 2021 Midwestern Psychological Association Conference. Allison was also named a member of the PFW Top 50 class of 2021. Allison plans to attend graduate school and obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology, and eventually become a license therapist, in hopes of sharing her passion for psychology and mental health advocacy with the community and helping others to heal.
Covid-19, a novel and deadly disease, has overwhelmed the lifestyle, physical and mental health, and financial and social wellbeing of individuals worldwide. Its unforeseen arrival and devastating consequences have led to global isolation, political unrest, an increase of illness anxiety, and a rising death toll. Between March 25-30, 2020, 45% of American adults reported their mental health had been negatively affected by Covid-19 (Nirmita, 2020). Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a substantial and dangerous occurrence between partners in a romantic relationship, often exacerbated by factors such as life stressors and social or emotional problems. Social isolation, feelings of vulnerability, and emotional or financial dependence are risk factors for IPV perpetration and victimization, and the risk of each may differ by gender (Kim, 2019). While there has been much research on the relation between isolation, stress, and IPV in general, there is little research about Covid-19 specifically and its effects on IPV. The current study will examine the association between the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent social isolation, stress, and mental, physical, and financial strain that have been caused by it and the relation between these factors and IPV.
- Trang Dao
View "Spark Joy Business Project" presentation
About Trang Dao
Trang Dao is a senior in Accounting and Information Technology at Purdue University Fort Wayne. She joined the Student Government’s Senate for two years, acted as Vice President for Economics Club Sophomore year, participated in Model UN for three years, of which Trang was the President in 2019, and has been a Deans of Students for three years. She has also been an active member of Accounting Society since Freshman year, and has been continuing her term as the President for almost a year now. Trang had interned for Medpro Group as a Stakeholder Experience intern, where she helped them launch a new Medpro website, Habitat for Humanity as a non-paid Accounting intern, F&G Annuities and Life in Iowa as an Internal Audit intern for the summer, and now Tax and Audit intern at Hamil, Lehman, and England CPA firm. She has also had several chances to give back to the community. For four years here, she has volunteered at all the Big Event at the end of Spring semester. Trang has also gone to Student Leadership camps as a Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior, in which one year she volunteered to be the Student Leader. Trang has helped Red Cross’s VITA program as a tax-preparer for two years, volunteered at Parkview’s Out-patience Pharmacy during the summer, set up, performed, and cleaned up at Global Student Celebrations every year.
Spark Joy Business sets out to provide a guide for people from all income backgrounds to utilize the app’s tips in order to file their tax returns correctly. The mobile app will help people calculate their tax deductions and credits before actually filing it. The difference between this app and other available apps out there is that the app sets out to help people file their taxes in the most advantageous way. The app can also be very beneficial to people of lower income who previously have their tax filed by volunteers who help with the VITA tax program, now that Covid-19 prevents them from having that service available. Spark Joy Business’s goal is to make itself a platform that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. There will also be information to assist people in going through the process and getting the best out of their returns. Furthermore, the website can also help instruct people the next steps as to what website they should utilize to file their returns and how to send their returns to the IRS. For corporations, it is a useful tool to calculate how much deductions and credits they can apply for the tax year.
- Jadon Evans
View "Promoting Reading Engagement at Wellspring’s After School Program" presentation
About Jadon Evans
Jadon Evans is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, a bachelor’s degree in biology, an associate’s degree in chemical methods, a biology research certificate, and minors in mathematics, psychology, and communication studies. Jadon is involved as president of Campus Ministry and president of Love Your Melon Campus Crew, where he coordinates outreach events to serve the physical and spiritual needs of the campus and community. Throughout his time at Purdue University Fort Wayne, Jadon pursued research endeavors in both biology and education. These endeavors included a biology undergraduate capstone project exploring the effects of the cyanobacterial indole-alkaloid scytonemin on melanoma growth and his Chapman Scholars capstone project that sought to develop reading programming for a non-profit youth services organization in Fort Wayne. Jadon graduates in May of 2021, and his future goals center around applying his passion for helping students learn and grow by entering the workforce as a teacher in the Fort Wayne area.
Although reading represents one of the most critical skills in both school and real-world settings, many children struggle with reading and fail to build positive relationships with books. In the high stakes testing era of education, the emphasis on reading performance increases student stress and anxiety, further damaging their attitudes towards reading and lowering reading engagement. Students’ negative attitudes towards reading limit their ability to engage in texts that cultivate their interest and help them develop personal meaning. A growing body of research links higher reading achievement to student engagement.
As a result, this project developed reading programming to increase reading engagement among the students at the youth after school program at Wellspring Interfaith Social Services. The program serves primarily elementary school students by assisting with their school work and spending time doing activities to develop relevant life skills. In addition, Wellspring supports students and families in the diverse West Central corridor of Fort Wayne, and is committed to increasing reading engagement for all students, regardless of background, culture, national origin, socioeconomic status, age, and learning ability. Therefore, the reading programming implemented at Wellspring promoted a multicultural and inclusive reading environment.
While the initial proposal for this project involved a formal reading program, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in changes to accommodate the needs of Wellspring. Instead of creating new reading program, literacy activities were implemented as a part of the after school program. Steps taken to promote reading engagement included frequent read alouds, discussions about texts, new books purchased for Wellspring and for students, and reading activities. Surveys were collected in the fall and spring to note changes in students’ attitudes towards reading. Further, student interviews were conducted as an additional means of assessing the effectiveness of reading programming in influencing reading engagement. The results of these assessments suggest that students’ overall attitudes towards reading improved throughout the school year.
- Brooklyn Bieszke
About Brooklyn Bieszke
Brooke is motivated by her passion for diversity and equality, which has influenced her course of study. She is a double major in Political Science and Computer Science, minoring in both Linguistics and Spanish. She studied Arabic for four semesters before studying abroad in Rabat, Morocco for a semester to learn the Moroccan dialect, Darija. While abroad, she interned for the Moroccan Association for Human Rights and studied North African culture and politics. After returning home to the United States she was employed by Riverfront Fort Wayne and took the lead on cultural and inclusive public programming. In addition to her research in health equality, her projects include COLRC Mobile, a mobile dictionary application for the Coeur d’Alene tribe; the Mason Bee Initiative of Fort Wayne, promoting native pollinators throughout the Fort Wayne community; and the Calm Water Sensory Tent of Riverfront Fort Wayne, to increase accessibility to Riverfront public events.
Prior to 1993 women were mostly excluded from clinical trials, the consequences of which were apparent in the disparity of health outcomes between men and women: women were more likely to die from the same disease that men could survive, and women suffered from many diseases at higher rates than men did. Action was taken in 1993 in the form of the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, but has this legislation gone far enough? Although the law mandated the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical trials, in fact, large gaps remain either not fully addressed or not acknowledged at all by legislation or policy. Women still suffer from some diseases such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease at higher rates than men. Women are also underrepresented as trial participants in many disease categories. The causes of this continued discrepancy stem from limitations of the scope of the law itself as well as inadequate implementation by the NIH. As a result of limitations of the scope of the law, preclinical research is not covered, meaning that the basis of research done before extending the findings to research in humans is often done only in male animals. The NIH Revitalization Act also, as the name suggests, only covers the NIH and leaves out other critical agencies such as the FDA. In regards to implementation, the NIH has allowed women’s participation in clinical trials to be well below equal in many cases since the passage of the Act, including as recently as 2018. The agency also has not taken measures to ease the socioeconomic burdens that may be inhibiting the participation of women, especially minority women, in research.
- Joshua Gilhespy
About Joshua Gilhespy
Joshua Gilhespy was born in England in 1992. When he was four years old, he and his mother moved to the small town of Chico, Texas, and away from the rest of any support system that he had. For most of his childhood he lived as the odd one out, and gained no meaningful support system while he grew up. He graduated with a GPA of 3.2, and left Chico as soon as he could. Lost for many years, it took the help of new friends who encouraged him to find out what he wanted to do with his life. It was at that time he decided he wished to become a doctor, to help ease the suffering of the world. With proper support, Joshua flourished. Using the meagre resources he had, he attended Ivy Tech Community College, became part of the local Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, graduated with an Associates in Liberal Arts with a 3.8 GPA, then attended Purdue Fort Wayne. With growing confidence, he took multiple honors courses per semester as he pursued his Bachelors in Biology. Set to graduate in Spring 2021, Josh will continue on his academic journey PFW’s Graduate Program. His ultimate academic aspirations are set on an MD/PhD program with an emphasis on genetics, with a dream of becoming a researcher whose entire goal in life is to pursue solutions to many medical problems the world faces. He wishes to find cures, not treatments, and has made it his mission in life to do as much good for the world as he can. It is this mindset that pushes him to desire to see an end to the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a global threat that has a great potential to become endemic, or continually prevalent. Its ability to mutate into new variants will cause problems for the vaccines we currently employ. It is therefore important to contain the virus and prevent as much spread as possible. New Zealand, Singapore, and Australia have brought their numbers of infected persons down to double digits, and have recently reported no local spread in their population. If these three nations can get COVID under control, surely the United States can too. This project therefore aims to serve as a guide to reign in COVID-19 in the United States, using the success stories of other countries as guidelines to combat this virus. Bringing levels of transmission down to even triple digits in the United States would save tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lives. It is critical that this virus is contained, and the steps to do so are drastic, but necessary.
- Caleb Hain
View “Religion in Congress: Why are Atheists Underrepresented?” presentation
About Caleb Hain
Caleb Hain is graduating with a Political Science major and Criminal Justice minor at Purdue University Fort Wayne in May 2021. Apart from his major and minor, Caleb is interested in Religious Studies and Latin. Taking classes in Psychology, Political Science, and Religious Studies inspired him to write his Honors Project, which focuses on the psychology of voting. During college, Caleb spent excess time working at a local deli. Caleb has researched a variety of topics including Medicaid’s effect on trans-related healthcare, campaign strategy, why the US fails to ratify many human rights treaties, and how religious identity affects trading relationships between countries. At the time of graduation, Caleb is planning on attending law school. Caleb is also the recipient of the Ulmschneider Prize in Political Science, PFW Excellence Scholarship, Senator Thomas J. Wyss Endowed Scholarship, and the 21st Century Scholarship.
Atheists are underrepresented in the United States Congress. Descriptive underrepresentation lessens the legitimacy of a government institution and can prevent substantive representation. This research project argues that atheists are underrepresented because social identity theory compels voters to vote for candidates who share their religious identity. This religious social identity theory in voting, which is affected by the voter’s religiosity, extends from small religious denominations to being religious in general. Religious voters tend to perceive religious candidates (regardless of denomination) more trustworthy and honest than atheist candidates. Additionally, the political behavior and geographical distribution of atheists is disadvantageous in reaching fair representation. Atheists lack the in-group bias of religious groups. They are not geographically concentrated to allow for in-group bias to lead to representation. Lastly, atheists are less likely to vote than the religious.
- Rachel Gawsyszawski
About Rachel Gawsyszawski
Rachel Gawsyszawski is graduating with a bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in psychology and an associate’s degree in chemical methods. She is the Vice President of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. Due to existing food insecurities exacerbated by the pandemic, Rachel helps organize volunteer opportunities at the Community Harvest Food Bank through TriBeta. She also assists in coordinating a tutoring program for TriBeta members, in addition to tutoring Purdue Fort Wayne students in the subjects of biology and chemistry through the University’s Tutoring Center. In her time at Purdue Fort Wayne, Rachel completed an internship at Metro Hospital in Cleveland and a shadowing opportunity in general surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Rachel’s interest in chronic disease and surgical practice will lead her to pursue a medical degree.
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a common seronegative spondyloarthropathy affecting around 0.5% of the US population. The disease has been tied to the gene HLA-B27 which is present in 90% of AS patients. However, the presence of HLA-B27 does not fully explain the pathogenesis of the disease because only 2-6% of HLA-B27 carriers develop AS. Based on the comorbidity of AS with multiple different gut diseases like Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn’s Disease (CD), and subclinical gut inflammation, it is hypothesized that the gut microbiome may offer insight into the pathogenesis of AS. Research suggests that a common environmental trigger is responsible for activating disease symptoms by altering the gut microbiome in susceptible individuals.
- Eslin Lebrecht
View "Amongst the Dirt" presentation
About Eslin Lebrecht
Eslin Lebrecht is graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Imaging and Photography in May of 2021. She aims to create pieces that inspire other upcoming artists to speak on less conventional topics and urges them to think outside of the general trends that confines society. Her photography focuses primarily on mental health issues as well as societal problems. She aspires to showcase this work so that others can relate to it in some way in order to continue the conversation of these difficult topics. With that being said, Eslin picked up work in the graphic design field in hopes that her skills further her reach to a broader audience in society and to one day, be showcased in international art museums.
For her thesis project, Eslin wanted to bring forth a topic in which related to her upbringing, but yet still remain ambiguous if the pieces stood alone from the artist statement. She focused primarily on capturing images of weeds because they tend to prosper in areas where society has not yet laid its controlling hands.
This project’s main focus is on weeds and how, in some cases, they can parallel to people in society by being seen as “unwanted.” It brings forth the conversation on how controlling people can really be, especially when it comes to shaping an environment, people, and or things around them. It also makes a comment on how most weeds are used medicinally and also inside fantastic recipes in most cultures. Paralleling to society, Eslin found that often times, she felt like a weed in a wrong place and did not fit to societal standards. She created this project in a therapeutic place of mind to come to peace with her past.
Class of Fall 2020
- Brian Blackwell
About Brian Blackwell
Brian Blackwell is graduating this semester with degrees in Accounting and Political Science. At
school, he has been a member of the Model United Nations team, the PFW Judicial Court, and the
Chapman Scholars Program, and the Honors Program. After graduation, Brian will start working as
an auditor for the public accounting firm Dauby, O’Connor, and Zaleski in Carmel, Indiana. Brian
does not want to stay in accounting forever, and he will use his time as an auditor to develop an idea
for the future. Brian’s interests include Greek, home improvement projects, and motorsports.
The accounting profession takes the utmost pride in ethical and professional responsibilities; in
fact, members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) must adhere to
the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct or risk losing licensure and membership. The face of the
accounting profession must also hold these standards in high regard. The legacy of Luca Pacioli, the
Father of Accounting, may prove quite the opposite. Today there is notable hype and heroism credited
to the man double-entry accounting is traced to. Researchers noticed that in a few short years,
a man who was scarcely known is becoming the accounting profession’s hero. This led researchers
to question if the accounting profession was adopting a hero that did not meet the Code of Conduct
the profession has enacted. Researchers reviewed over 100 peer-reviewed documents for evidence
on Luca’s behavior. Researchers found the accounting profession seemingly has not done due diligence
in its search for a hero.
- Katherine Gaff
About Katherine Gaff
Born in Goshen, Indiana, Katherine Gaff is currently working towards a BFA in sculpture at Purdue University
Fort Wayne. After a summer internship at Anderson Ranch in Colorado, she has returned to her ceramic sculptures
with more vigor than ever. Katherine intends on continuing her education into a master’s program, with
the goal of becoming a university professor.
While working through college, she has obtained several larger scholarships. A departmental scholarship, earned
through a portfolio of her work is granted each year. She has also obtained scholarships through the Honors department,
as well as from the Dean of the Art and Design Department. The main scholarship is a Teachers Assistantship
for the Ceramics Instructor, assisting in an introductory ceramics course. Each of these scholarships add
up to an educational experience that allows her to spend the majority of her hours in the studio making work, as
well as gaining the skills needed to become a professor and interact well within the professional realm.
Katherine is interested in the human condition. Her work finds expression through the use of elegant curving
lines, that wrap around her work and exemplify the external beauty. It is only upon further inspection that the
inner degradation of the soul makes an appearance through the external mask of beauty. This work has been
shown locally and regionally in galleries such as the Garret Museum of Art, the First Presbyterian Gallery, and
the Patton-Malott Gallery in Snowmass Village CO, during her summer internship.
Holding the presidential position in the Purdue Fort Wayne Ceramics club, as well as working as the Work-Study
for the Ceramics Professor for 2 years, has given Katherine an overarching experience that allows her to navigate
the world of a professional in the ceramics realm; writing grants, organizing events, and delegating tasks amongst
My work focuses on the expression of emotional trauma through the examination of memories. I observe the
aspects of my own female experience, contemplate my familial tragedies, and grapple with mental illness. Each
memory is portrayed in a gesture, wrapped in a smooth skin, and broken apart to reveal the damage.
The human figure allows me to express ideas that are more easily recognizable. The gesture reflects the particular
pose I myself adopted in those moments. Sculpting with clay, my hands literally and figuratively shape and mold
my narrative as the piece takes form.
The desire to revisit my memories works as a therapeutic exercise for me. In creating each piece, I emotionally
place myself back within that moment, reshaping the details and presenting them to the world in my own image.
This process of recollection allows me to come to terms with many traumatic events.
Class of 2019–20
- Emily Anderson
View Model Policy for University Students with Developmental Disabilities Living in Student Housing Presentation.
Read the Model Policy for University Students with Developmental Disabilities Living in Student Housing script.
About Emily Anderson
Emily Anderson graduated from Owasso High School in Owasso, Oklahoma in 2017 with a 3.9 GPA and a year of college finished. After only three years, she graduated in May of 2020 from Purdue Fort Wayne with a major in Human Services with concentrations in Women at Risk and Diversity. She minored in Psychology, Sociology, and Women and Gender Studies and earned a certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies. Emily is a member of the Women’s Studies Honor Society Triota, the Human Services Honor Society Tau Upsilon Alpha, and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. From 2018-2019, she served a term on the Campus Appeals Board at Purdue Fort Wayne. Emily’s role as the President of Purdue Fort Wayne’s Human Services Organization gave her the opportunity to pioneer the first Alumni Event where local professionals who have graduated from Purdue Fort Wayne’s Human Services program spoke on a panel to current students regarding finding jobs, avoiding burnout, and other relevant topics. Along with the Alumni Event, Emily has helped facilitate many volunteer opportunities and donation drives for the organization. Her involvement at school and in the community led Emily to be named among Purdue Fort Wayne’s Top 50 both for 2019 and 2020. She was also awarded a 2019 Tapestry Scholarship and was the national 2019 National Organization for Human Services’ Harold McPheeters scholarship recipient.
Emily’s passion for helping others has recently led her, along with her partner, to apply to serve in the Peace Corps. They were recently invited to serve in Eswatini, Africa and will be leaving in September of 2020 to serve for 27 consecutive months after getting married in June.
Emily credits her drive to help others to both her experiences in Guatemala on service trips as well as her heavy involvement in Girl Scouts. “Do a good turn daily” and “make the world a better place” are only two of the important ideas she has learned from Girl Scouts. She is a Gold Award recipient, has been a Girl Scout for over 15 years, and is now a lifetime GSUSA member.
During Emily’s first semester at college, she was living in student housing at Purdue Fort Wayne, which was over seven-hundred miles away from home and all of her support systems. During this semester, she and her roommates had a trying experience that forced them all to recognize and cope with the gap in policy, resources, and supports regarding students with developmental disabilities living in student housing. This experience left Emily feeling a lot of things, but among them, inspired. She has now spent three years communicating with administration on campus regarding this issue, doing research to find out more about this gap in policy nationally, and ultimately putting together a model policy with hopes that if and when any university finds itself in the same position again, her policy could be useful.
- Teagan Bowie
About Teagan Bowie
Teagan Bowie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She plans to combine the two in graduate school, by analyzing public health and how policy can improve it. When graduating in May, she planned on starting as a home health nurse in the community to identify health needs and assist patients’ transition from hospital to home. For the last two years before graduating, she participated in the Area Health Education Center Fellowship, an interprofessional health project emphasizing public health and collaboration in the health fields.
Teagan also has an interest in international studies, shown by her semester studying Arabic and Political Science in the United Arab Emirates at the American University of Sharjah and in a summer cultural exchange with the Bahrom International Program in Seoul. Using her experience abroad as inspiration, she focused on Middle Eastern politics for her senior seminar and following Honors Showcase project.
This project analyzes the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional organization comprised of: Saudi Arabic, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait. It categorically analyzes the six binding threads of the organization: a shared ethno-cultural affinity, a similar or complementary political system, a desire to protect trade and economic stability, a shared external and internal security threat, a consensus about who is the larger power within the regional group and their authority, and a shared foreign policy. This project examines the six shared threads of the GCC and how they have diverged over time, making the regional organization transitory and not a lasting institution of authority. Finally, it examines how this played out in recent history and will look at how the GCC handled the Qatar embargo and rising tension between member states.
- Brittany Bressler
Read a transcript of this video.
About Brittney Bressler
Brittney Bressler graduated with a theatre major at Purdue Fort Wayne, with an emphasis in acting and a minor in English. During her time at Purdue Fort Wayne, she performed in ten theatre department productions, including “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Frankenstein: An Act of Creation,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Antigone,” and “Once Upon a Mattress.” This season, she played Flora in “Flora, the Red Menace” and Marty in “Grease.” She was actively involved in other theatre department activities, including serving as secretary for the Student Theatre Organization during the 2018-2019 academic year. At the time of graduation, she was a writing consultant at Purdue Fort Wayne’s Writing Center in Helmke Library. While pursuing her degree, devised theatre became one of Brittney’s passions. In the summer of 2018, she trained with Dell’Arte International in California as part of their Summer Intensive, and in the summer of 2019, she trained as an apprentice with Off-Broadway company One Year Lease in Papingo, Greece. These workshops combined with her work in performance classes have motivated her to explore devised theatre further for her honors project and share this avenue of theatre-creation in hopes to inspire a new way of thinking about theatre. While may not have had concrete plans for the future at graduation, she was planning to pursue a graduate degree in a theatre-related field in the near future.
Aristotle’s Poetics has arguably remained the most influential piece of dramatic criticism in the Western world. Establishing a hierarchy of theatrical elements, Aristotle defined effective theatre as that which elevates the written dramatic work. In the Western world today, the majority of theatre is still produced beginning with written drama. This project proposes that a devised theatre-making process has the potential to lead to more spectacular and engaging works of theatre. This project will explore alternative dramatic criticisms to that of Aristotle, namely that of 20th century avant-garde artists, that emphasize theatrical elements of movement, light, sound, scenery, and props over the written text. It will also explore how these ideas have influenced contemporary theatre artists like Mary Overlie, Anne Bogart, and Moises Kaufman, and how these artists have come to develop devised theatre: a non-hierarchical method of theatre creation. Finally, it will demonstrate how the Purdue Fort Wayne theatre department production of Dracula: An Act of Destruction was created using devised theatre methods.
- Srikiran Dasari
About Srikiran Dasari
Srikiran Dasari graduated with highest distinction with a bachelor’s degree in biology (concentration in microbiology and immunology), a biology research certificate, an associate’s degree in chemical methods, and a minor in mathematics. Srikiran was involved in the Pre-Med and Chemistry Clubs, embedded tutoring in the Math and Science Resource Area, the Chapman Scholars Program, volunteer tutoring for graduate-level biochemistry, and volunteer judging for the Northrop HS Speech Team. Throughout his undergraduate career, Srikiran was involved in a variety of research endeavors, including biochemistry research on red kidney bean protease inhibitors, the Student Education and Research Fellowship Program through Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM), and his Chapman Senior Capstone Project on assessing stress across campus and evaluating student opinions on a prospective stress management program. An interest in learning biotechnology research techniques through the study of a clinically relevant metabolic disease and a desire to contribute to the scientific community’s understanding of how we can treat this disease are what inspired Srikiran to pursue this Honors Project. Srikiran will be graduated in spring 2020 with plans to matriculated to the IUSM Fort Wayne campus the following fall.
Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a metabolic disorder in which the gene encoding phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH), an enzyme that converts the amino acid phenylalanine to tyrosine, receives a loss-of-function mutation; this mutation causes hyperphenylalaninemia (phenylalanine accumulation in the blood), permanently damaging cognitive development if left untreated. Patients are prescribed low-protein diets, but this treatment strategy has issues with compliance and quality of life. Thus, the scientific community is investigating plant-derived phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), which converts phenylalanine to the harmless byproduct, trans-cinnamic acid, without needing a cofactor. In the future, PAL may be used in enzyme substitution therapy for PKU patients.
We hope to analyze the kinetic parameters and optimal conditions of PAL from Dahlia sherffii perennials. Escherichia coli will be transformed with a pRSET plasmid containing an inducible promoter and the PAL gene with a polyhistidine-tag (for separation via column chromatography). Ampicillin-selected bacteria will be treated with IPTG to induce PAL gene expression, and cells will undergo sonication to release the PAL protein. Several washes will separate PAL from cellular debris, and glycerol will help preserve protein activity. After gel electrophoresis (for protein purity verification), activity, Vmax, and optimal substrate concentration will be analyzed using spectrophotometry to quantify the amount of trans-cinnamic acid produced.
- Alliza-Moira A. Enrile
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About Alliza-Moira A. Enrile
Alliza-Moira was a Proud Mastodon since she began her Purdue Fort Wayne career in the fall semester of 2016. She was a transfer student from the Philippines with the concentration of Tourism Management and decided to continue her studies in the Hospitality and Tourism Management field. She became part of the Honors Program from 2017 and was listed as part of the Semester Honors in the College of Professional Studies from 2018 to 2020. She also had the opportunity to pursue and present her poster of the same research project at the 23rd Annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium. During her sophomore year at Purdue Fort Wayne, she was chosen to be one of the two representatives of Purdue Fort Wayne’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the Young Hoteliers Summit that was held in Lausanne, Switzerland and became part of the Hotel Schools of Distinction Student Board Conference that was held in Berlin, Germany in 2018. Alliza has participated in different volunteer opportunities through the BIG Event and Purdue Fort Wayne’s Hospitality Management Association. She was involved in different organizations on campus such as the AmbassaDons, Student Government Association and Deans Diplomats. She also proudly worked in the Undergraduate Admissions office as a Students Admissions Representative. As a Proud Mastodon, she got chosen to be the Top Don 2020 last Homecoming Week in February of this year. At the time of graduation, her goal was to work as a Cabin Crew in one of the major airlines in the country and work her way up while travelling all over the world. With all the experiences and opportunities that she had during her time at Purdue Fort Wayne, she knows that all the knowledge and connections that she had will help her in her future career after graduating in May 2020.
Student travelers mostly uses airplane as their mode of transportation when traveling to different destinations. There are estimated 300 million of college students in general who travels with domestic and international flights. College students represents millennials and considered to be major passengers in the travel industry in 10 years. Millennials’ consumption of products is based on their budget; not only this, but there are other factors that influences their flight booking decisions. This study aims to determine what influences college student’s choice of a specific airline. This study will identify six stages of booking processes logically in a college student perspective. This study developed objectives following:1) understanding what influences college student's choice of a specific airline; 2) understanding of what resources college students use to purchase a flight ticket, and 3) understanding how much time college students spend to purchase a flight ticket. By achieving these objectives, we will be able to answer the following questions such as: 1.) What are the things college students consider in order to purchase a flight ticket for their travel? 2.) How much time do they spend for their travel? 3.) What are the specific resources they use for planning? The results of this study will have both theoretical and practical contributions. It will be very useful references for understanding college students as consumers. The outcomes of this study will provide valuable insights of college students’ flight booking preferences and behaviors. Airline industry also can take an advantage boosting flight ticket sales because it will help better understand college students’ preferences during their booking processes for flight tickets. The results of this study will also help online travel agencies better understand what factors influence college students’ purchase decision on flight tickets.
- Jinshi Goshorn
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About Jinshi Goshorn
Jinshi “Gigi” Goshorn graduated May 2020 with a finance and marketing degree, a minor in music, and a certificate in bank management. She was very active on campus over the years, participating in the Student Government Association, the Finance Society, and Delta Sigma Pi to name a few. At the time of graduation, Gigi was hoping to stay and work in Fort Wayne. While growing up, she was always been encouraged to follow her passions, which is how she came up with her senior project. She wanted to help empower other Purdue Fort Wayne students by helping lessen the financial barrier students may face when applying for jobs.
Have you ever heard “dress for the job you want”? This project, Mastodon Career Closet: Dressing Students for Success, is a space designed to give Purdue Fort Wayne students access to free professional clothing when needed. The closet offers FREE professional attire for career fairs, interviews, classroom presentations, the workplace, and more. The goal of this project is to help students look their best so that they can make a positive impression as they enter their professional field.
How it works is that students will have the ability to “check out” clothing for up to two weeks for free on a first come first served basis with their student ID. Clothing can include shirts, ties, blazers, pants, and more. The availability of the clothing will rely on the donations received. The closet has been hosting an ongoing clothing drive that started in May 2019. The official grand opening occurred on February 26th, 2020.
Currently, the closet is located on the third floor of Neff Hall, Room 361 and open Mondays from 12pm-2:30pm. I will transfer the Mastodon Career Closet over to Career Services after I graduate, which will include moving locations when the department moves to the new Doermer School of Business building. Our end goal is that the school will see an increase in the number of students who are invited for an interview or offered a job as time goes on.
- Eryk Johnson
About Eryk Johnson
Eryk Johnson graduated with a Psychology major and Spanish minor at Purdue Fort Wayne. Before transferring to Purdue Fort Wayne. he attended IUSB where he was the Vice President of the Psychology Club. Once he transferred to Purdue Fort Wayne. Eryk became a research assistant for three semesters in the Psychology Department. During his senior year, he was involved in the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology where he served as the Vice President of the Purdue Fort Wayne chapter. At the time of graduation, Eryk was working part time as a Mental Health Technician at a psychiatric inpatient hospital in Auburn, was completing an internship with the Bowen Center in Fort Wayne, and was also completing an internship in suicide prevention with Project Compass on campus this semester. During graduation, he was deciding which graduate school program he will apply to in the fall of 2020.
Prior research suggests that factors such as how a lineup is presented, whether or not the target suspect is present or absence in the lineup, and what type of instructions an individual receives prior to identification influences identification accuracy. The present study investigated how instruction type (biased versus unbiased), lineup presentation (simultaneous vs. sequential), and target presence (target-present vs. target absence) impacts identification accuracy. Participants (N = 59) recruited through Amazon MTurk were presented with a hypothetical crime scenario and a target suspect’s photo. Participants completed a demographic survey as a filler task between presentation of the target suspect’s photo and a testing stage where they were tested on their ability to identify the correct suspect if present or reject the lineup if absent. There was a significant interaction between lineup presentation and target presence, instruction type and lineup presentation, as well as a significant three-way interaction between lineup presentation, target presence, and instruction type.
- Cassidy Merkle
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About Cassidy Merkle
Cassidy Merkle graduated with an Anthropology major and Art and Design minor at Purdue Fort Wayne. Throughout her college career, she was involved in the campus community. Cassidy was involved in TRIO on campus and actively participated in their events. She was also a peer mentor for the TRIO program. She helped new students become familiar and comfortable with the campus through this position. Cassidy was a part of other organizations and activities on campus, such as the Ambassadons and the Big Event. She also found ways to be an active member of her community through volunteer work with the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and the Community Harvest Food Bank. Cassidy worked part-time for a local bakery, Zinnia’s Bakehouse, which is also very active in the community. It was these experiences with the college and Fort Wayne Community and work at Zinnia’s that helped inspire the idea for her honors project. It allowed her to pursue interests in art, through the expression of a painted mural, and anthropology by conducting interviews and research on the subject. At the time of graduation, Cassidy was excited for what will come after graduation.
This honors project attempts to take a look at murals and how they speak to the greater community. This was done by researching a couple of major examples, where murals were executed in mass, communicating with individuals within the Fort Wayne Community on the purposes of the downtown murals, and with the completion of a mural within the downtown art district. The mural that was completed allowed for a deeper look at how a mural is executed. It also helped develop an understanding of how an image is developed and works to spread the proper message to those who view it.
- Elliot Nesler
About Elliot Nesler
Elliot Nesler was a mathematics major. He has competed in several mathematics competitions, including the Putnam Exam in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and the ICMC in 2018 and 2019 as part of a Purdue Fort Wayne team. His academic interests range over a variety of subjects, from mathematics to contemporary Irish literature, and he has completed research exploring topics such as the Irish identity dilemma as explored in the language issue and network-automata modeling for plague spread. At the time of his graduation, Elliot was planning to continue in the graduate school pursuing a Master of Science in mathematics at Purdue Fort Wayne.
The game of Euchre is a popular trick-taking card game often played in the Mid-West United States. The aim of this project has been to provide a means by which players can value their cards via two methods (probability estimation function, numerical approximation) and provide a strategy guide for players to base decisions on in game. The model aims to analyze the performance of both against common Euchre strategy and provide comparison analysis.
- Austin J. Northcutt
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About Austin J. Northcutt
Austin Northcutt was a communication sciences and disorders major at Purdue Fort Wayne. He was involved with ASL Pah! and Speech and Hearing club at Purdue Fort Wayne. A desire to help people and be challenged to critically think every day led to his love for the field of speech-language pathology. An interest in pediatric speech-language pathology inspired him to pursue this honors project. He graduated in May 2020, planning to go on to earn his Master’s in speech-language pathology from Kent State University in Kent, OH.
Language sample analysis (LSA) is often not used clinically due to the amount of time it takes to transcribe and interpret the samples. This project aimed to provide evidence for why the time spent conducting LSA is worthwhile. This study identified how to maximize the diagnostic accuracy of LSA measures by combining them in a specific clinical decision-making sequence. Narrative language samples from the CHILDES database were coded for specific grammatical and semantic errors and analyzed for a variety of LSA measures. Results found that a combination of LSA measures each of which has a sensitivity or specificity value near 100% can be used to accurately diagnose children with and without language impairment. This combination of LSA measures has high ecological validity because not only does it accurately diagnose language impairment in children, but specific treatment goals can be identified based on the child’s linguistic weaknesses. To increase the clinical implications of these results, a clear flow chart that SLPs or researchers can use to apply this sequence of diagnostic decisions to a specific child will be presented.
- Merab N. Omerogie
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About Merab Omoregie
Merab Omoregie was a communication major at Purdue Fort Wayne, with a concentration in journalism and a film studies minor. Born in Nigeria, she moved from her home country in pursuit of better education. She found a home at Purdue Fort Wayne and four years contributed positively to her newfound home and community. She was involved in the Black Student Union, Student Activities Board and previously held positions as vice president and public relations officer of the National Society of Leadership and Success. At the time of her graduation, Merab was working as a communications strategist, doing research on social media and generating new ideas for effective communication in the workplace. Her dreams and aspirations include becoming an investigative journalist and working with women in her country to help contribute to a society where women of color are appreciated and given equal rights. Graduating in May 2020, Merab was very excited to begin a new journey in Austin, Texas.
The media has set unrealistic beauty standards especially ones that are biased towards people of color specifically dark skinned. This is also a sensitive topic that a lot of people avoid discussing. The phenomenon of colorism is not exclusive to African American society, but the manifestations on this group are diverse, and the effects are rather unique. History shows that black women have been consciously or unconsciously taught to move toward ideals of beauty connected to white ideals of beauty (Banks, 2010). This research focuses on colorism and the impact it has on society, through the representation of the media. The range of young female blackness displayed on the big screen does not represent the range of blackness seen today in society. This misrepresentation in the media is toxic and continuously portrays the idea that young women of lighter complexions have a better chance of attaining success, education, love and more, leaving the darker complexions to pitiable roles and lack of opportunities in the media.
- Madison Phillips
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About Madison Phillips
Madison Phillips was a senior Business Management and Marketing major at Purdue Fort Wayne. She was involved in the TRIO program, TRIO club, and Phi Eta Sigma. She had a lot of opportunities during her three years at Purdue Fort Wayne. The most enjoyable were going to Washington D.C., going to the statehouse, donating Easter baskets to SCAN and sewing dresses for African girls. She completed a bachelor’s degree in three years instead of four at the end of spring 2020. During graduation, she planned to work in her hometown of Huntington, Indiana as an Administrative or Executive Assistant. Through her classes and other experiences at Purdue Fort Wayne, she also became interested in becoming a paralegal. She has taken two different law classes with Professor Kauffman and has enjoyed learning about different cases from around the world. During the ethics portions of each class, they touched more and more on Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. She was so interested and intrigued that she decided to cover it for her honors showcase. In her class in spring 2020, there was a critical thinking assignment that she used as a base for her project.
My research for my Honors Project is about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. Elizabeth Holmes created a business when she was just 19 years old. She had an idea that would change the world. Everything looked great from the outside of her business, but there were so many secrets. Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos was a complete fraud. Elizabeth Holmes worth dropped from millions of dollars to zero very quickly. My project outlines her history, how her idea started, the troubles she encountered, and where she is at now.
- Sylvia Rust
About Sylvia Rust
Sylvia Rust was a senior majoring in Political Science, Women’s Studies, and Communication, concentrating in Rhetoric and Public Advocacy, graduating in May 2020. She also pursued Certificates in International Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Civic Education and Public Advocacy. During the Spring of 2019, Sylvia was given her Honors Pin from the Purdue Fort Wayne Honors program, was inducted into the Women’s Studies Honor Society, Iota Iota Iota, and was awarded as one of Purdue Fort Wayne’s Top 50 students. Sylvia has interned locally for the Evan Bayh for Congress campaign in 2016. During the summer of 2019, she interned for the substance abuse coordinator at Amani Family Services. Hoping to pursue a career in academia, Sylvia also interned as a Teaching Assistant during the fall of 2020 semester with Communication Department Chair, Dr. Michelle Kelsey, and at the time of graduation Sylvia was interning for the Allen County Democrats’ Chairwoman, Misti Meehan. Sylvia works and is a mother of a two-month old named Hazel, as well as being a full-time student.
Sylvia has always been interested in studying freedoms and wealth throughout the world—mostly because of her proximity to poverty in the wealthiest nation in the world. Her honor’s project is based on a previous honor’s assignment from her quantitative political science class—in that class, she looked at the presence of a qualified healthcare provider at the time of birth in countries based on freedom and wealth of nations. She found that the wealth of a country did not affect the presence of a healthcare professional, but that there was a large difference between free countries and not free countries. Not free countries had far fewer healthcare professionals present. Sylvia’s honor’s project expands on this—looking at the freedoms (speech, religion, press, et cetera) in countries based around the difference between free/not free and wealthy/poor countries, how they relate and compare, and how citizens view their own freewill or lack thereof.
- Viviane Toniarimanana
About Viviane Toniarimanan
Viviane Toniarimanana was a senior Finance major at Purdue Fort Wayne from Madagascar. She has a robust financial analysis skill and experience in real estate and title insurance. At the time of graduation, she was currently working as an Account Payable and a Final Policy Coordinator Intern. She was an active member of the Alpha Omega Campus Ministry and the African Student Organization. She likes getting involved in her community and was volunteering at the Purdue University Fort Wayne Food Pantry. She is passionate and curious to learn how the future of money will be and that inspires her to focus her honors research project about cryptocurrency. Viviane graduated in spring 2020, planning to start her career in investment banking before pursuing graduate school.
Due to the development of the technology, a digital currency designed as a medium of exchange called cryptocurrency was created. It started to rise over the past years and had a market capitalization of $221bn. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and is the most popular. The monetary market has been changing from the barter system into the electronic money. Countries started to allow the use of cryptocurrency for trades. This paper focuses on the future of the cryptocurrency and its impact in the banking industry. Cryptocurrency is convenient for financial transactions and save costs for businesses because it does not require intermediaries such as government central banks and private financial institutions. Due to its convenience, cryptocurrency can represent a threat for the future of the banking industry. Therefore, banks started to incorporate cryptocurrency transactions in their operations. However, this currency is decentralized and not monitored by any central authority. Therefore, it can be used for illegal activities such as money laundering and trade in drugs.
Class of 2018–19
- Mariana Ayala Gutierrez
About Mariana Ayala Gutierrez
Mariana Ayala Gutierrez is a senior biology major at Purdue Fort Wayne, with a concentration in microbiology and immunology. She is the president of Global Health Initiative and has been involved with the club since her freshman year. As part of her involvement and commitment to the University, she has been a Big Event leader for three consecutive years. During her sophomore year, she welcomed the new incoming students as an orientation leader. Mariana is an active member of multiple clubs here at Purdue Fort Wayne, such as Honor Dons, Hispanos Unidos, Biology club, Pre-Med club, and also Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors Society. Outside of the University, she is also involved within the Fort Wayne community by volunteering at the Matthew 25 clinic as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking patients. With the help and mentorship of Dr. Blumenthal, Mariana was given the opportunity to immerse herself in the field of biological research beginning in her freshman year. Mariana’s professional passion to become a physician started when she was young. She took note of the multiple health disparities that the Peruvian population encounters every day. This also sparked a desire to volunteer in Peru at a free clinic during the summers when she visits home. Mariana will be graduating this Spring 2019, and as part of her future plans she will be applying to medical schools.
Melanoma is the most lethal skin cancer type in existence. It affects regions of skin that are often exposed and thousands of deaths are attributed to it every year. Due to the lack of less invasive treatment protocols for melanoma, there is a need to investigate alternative treatment modalities. Guanabana (Annona muricata) is a plant that forms part of the Annonaceae family. It is often found in warm and tropical regions of the world, such as South America. Traditionally, the bark, leaves, seeds, and fruit have been used for medicinal purposes. It has been shown to have cytotoxic effects in many different types of cancers, but effects on melanoma have not been widely studied yet. The purpose of this research is to study Guanabana and its potential usage for enhancing immune response and inhibiting melanoma cell growth. Our hypothesis is that Guanabana has an inhibitory effect on melanoma cells, and it is expected to have an enhancing effect on the proliferation of spleen cells. We evaluated the anti-melanogenic and immune proliferative effects of Guanabana’s pulp, skin, and leaves by treating the melanoma and spleen cells with preparations from each component and analyzing the cell counts using a scintillation counting machine. We found that the filtered leaves and the pulp factors exerted the strongest inhibitory effect on melanoma cell growth. It was also noticed that the skin factor had a less inhibitory effect compared to other preparations. In the case of the spleen cells, a potential proliferating trend was seen to be exerted by the skin factor but no statistical significance validated the trend. We concluded that guanabana does have an inhibitory effect on melanoma cells, specifically the filtered leaves and pulp factors. We were also able to conclude that guanabana does not have a statistically significant effect on the proliferation of spleen cells. The skin factor could potentially enhance the proliferation of spleen cells, but more research needs to be done in order to test the trend seen in the research. A combination of these anti-melanogenic and potential immune enhancing factors could lead to a natural treatment for melanoma.
- Jenna Boese
About Jenna Boese
Jenna Boese is a senior at Purdue University Fort Wayne pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is also pursuing a minor in Psychology, and a certificate in Gerontology. She is President of the Purdue Fort Wayne ASL Pah! Club and Sign Choir, and is an active member of the Purdue Fort Wayne Speech and Hearing Club. Jenna became interested in the field of speech-language pathology while helping her high school theatre director with his speech therapy exercises after he had a stroke. Seeing his improvement provided a sense of accomplishment unlike any other Jenna had previously experienced, and so she decided to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist. While completing her core coursework at Purdue Fort Wayne, particularly in Gerontology, she became interested in researching dementia for her senior honors thesis. Individuals with dementia disorders make up the fastest-growing, largest, and most under-served population with whom speech-language pathologists work. Jenna will continue her education in the fall by attending graduate school to obtain a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.
Current literature suggests that hearing loss contributes to the progression of dementia. Evidence suggests that regularly screening for hearing loss in the dementia population is pertinent. The aim of the survey is to assess whether medical professionals who diagnose dementia commonly check for (case history) or refer for hearing assessment. This research is being conducted to support the idea that the acknowledgment of hearing loss should eventually be included in the protocol of diagnosing dementia.
- Valeria Castro Salazar
About Valeria Castro Salaza
Valeria Castro Salazar is a senior biology student at Purdue Fort Wayne, with a concentration in microbiology and immunology and a minor in psychology. She is an active member of the campus community, as she has served as president of the Honors Student Organization for three consecutive years and is also a member of Global Health Initiative, the Pre-med Club, and Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors Society. She has been heavily involved in the Honors Program and has been a dedicated student worker since her freshman year. As an AmbassaDon during her sophomore and junior years, she promoted University excellence within the community through leadership and outreach. She has also proudly served as a member of The Pantry’s Food and Fundraising Committee since fall of 2017. Notably, Valeria served as the sole student representative on the Chancellor Search Committee during the summer of 2017. She has also furthered her academic experiences by conducting research with a fellow student under the supervision of Dr. Nachappa. She had the opportunity to present this research at the Indiana Academy of Science on March 24th, 2018. Valeria also likes to devote her time to causes outside of the University. She has been a long time Lutheran Hospital volunteer and has previously volunteered for Heartland Hospice. After graduating this spring of 2019, Valeria will be continuing her professional pursuits by applying to medical schools.
Ascorbic acid, more commonly known as vitamin C, is an important vitamin consumed daily through food and dietary supplements. It is vital for an array of bodily functions. However, research suggests that there may be more to it than that. Despite the controversy is has experienced over the years as a potential cancer treatment agent, ongoing research shows intravenously administered high-dose ascorbic acid is selectively cytotoxic to cancer cell lines because of its ability to generate extracellular hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Both cell cultures and mice models confirm a growth inhibitory effect of pharmacological concentrations. Moreover, the safety of intravenous ascorbate has been verified by pilot clinical studies. However, the mechanisms behind these effects are unknown, as is its clinical efficacy, despite the supportive pre-clinical data. Thus, more research is needed to uncover the precise mechanisms of interest that may be used to target pancreatic adenocarcinoma, as well as identify other susceptible cancer types. The clinical efficacy may be further uncovered by reassessing the proper dosing, route of administration, and controls of future studies. Additionally, effects of pharmacological ascorbate used with other standard treatments should be further defined.
- Riley Erck
About Riley Erck
Riley Erck is a senior biology major at Purdue Fort Wayne, pursuing dental school. She actively participates on campus by being involved in many clubs and organizations. Riley has served as the President of campus’s Dental Club for the last two years, served two years as an AmbassaDON, is the secretary of TRIO Club, and the Vice President of TRIO Club the year before. On top of being a full-time student, Riley maintains multiple jobs. She has worked on campus for the last three years as a science tutor, two years as a peer mentor to first generation college students, and as a sterilization tech and hygiene assistant at a local dental office. After finishing classes in May, she plans on furthering her education to become a dentist and is eagerly waiting to hear back from schools.
Stem cells have become an integral and beneficial use within the medical community. Bone marrow stem cells are commonly used for both research and in medicine; however, they have moderate proliferation rates and the collection process is invasive, often causing patient discomfort. Better stem cell sources are recently being identified and function as well, if not better than BMSCs. Stem cells such as dental stem cells. These cells are derived from the tooth and its varying supporting tissues. Dental stem cell’s high proliferation rate, wide range of differentiation potential, ease of availability, and stability make them an effective source for bioengineering and regenerating tissues. They hold the ability to differentiate into a wide range of tissues both within the oral cavity and throughout the body. Dental stem cells might be the key to a new era of personalized medicine.
- Mackenzie Fry
About Mackenzie Fry
Mackenzie Fry is a senior communication sciences and disorders major at Purdue Fort Wayne. She is involved in the Speech and Hearing and ASL Pah! clubs on campus. She also was involved with the START program at Indian Village elementary school last spring and the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) camp on campus this fall. She was an orientation leader and welcomed students to campus last summer. Mackenzie’s desire and passion to be a speech-language pathologist came from her own experience working with a speech-language pathologist as a child and as an adult after a car accident. The various clinical practicums offered through the communication sciences and disorders department inspired her to create and develop this honors research project directly tied to current clinical practices. Mackenzie will be completing classes in May and then pursuing graduate school in speech-language pathology.
Assessment in speech-language pathology is essential to treatment and selecting goals for therapy. Assessments used by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) typically consist of formal and informal methods. Formal assessments include standardized tests which are administered and scored objectively and then interpreted based on a norming sample. In contrast, informal assessments based on an individual’s own skills, not compared to others, and are subjectively judged by SLPs. Specific assessments are used for the areas of speech and language to determine deficits that children might have. This study investigated how practicing clinicians create treatment plans for children based on informal assessments conducted during an assessment. This study consisted of an online survey of practicing SLPs with questions regarding the purposes of assessment and how informal assessments contribute to treatment planning. The hypothesis is that informal assessments are not being used as often as they could be in planning treatment. The results suggest that SLPs are using language samples, but not other informal measures as often as they should be in planning treatment. The results will be useful because prior research has not investigated how SLPs choose treatment targets and plan therapy for children with language disorders. The results will also contribute to prior research on assessment measures being used by SLPs by determining why SLPs use informal measures when evaluating a child with a language disorder.
- Lindsey Greene
About Lindsey Greene
Lindsey Greene is a senior at Purdue Fort Wayne, majoring in Anthropology, English, Spanish, and Women’s Studies. She is passionate about exploring the questions: What is the human experience? How can we share our experiences with others? and How can we understand and respect the experiences of others? Lindsey has been actively involved with the Honors Program as well as with the Women’s Studies Program’s Gender and Justice Institute (GJI). From her GJI platform, Lindsey and another student are currently in the process of developing a talk about personal pronouns to present to area high schoolers. Lindsey is a recipient of the College of Arts and Science’s Ethics in Linguistics Award for her work on English pronouns and a recipient of the Women’s Studies Outstanding Research Essay Prize for her work on childism, the prejudice against the young and inexperienced. Lindsey will be finishing her undergraduate degrees in May and from there will begin working on a Master of Arts in English at Purdue University Fort Wayne.
This project explores the diverse ways that gender appears around the world. Gender can be looked at in two forms: linguistic gender and social gender, with linguistic gender referring to how gender appears in language and social gender referring to how gender is understood in the culture. The purpose of this project is to compare how gender is represented in language with how gender is understood in the society that speaks said language. Some driving questions include How common is grammatical gender in languages around the world? Does grammatical gender limit the cultural understanding of gender as non-binary? Do cultures that historically recognize non-binary gender ever have a language with grammatical gender? Can a culture understand gender as non-binary, even if the language has binary gender in the grammar? Would a language with grammatical gender have to completely alter its grammar to allow the inclusion of non-binary gender in the social setting? To answer these questions, I developed a data pool from a variety of linguistic and ethnographic resources. Looking at over 400 languages and their respective cultures, I compared the different types of gendered language to the number of genders understood by society. I also compared the social understandings of genders across the categories, finding that while linguistic gender is not the determining factor in a culture’s understanding of gender, it is a strong predictor for how cultures recognize and accept gender.
- Kaelyn Hatcher
About Kaelyn Hatcher
Kaelyn Hatcher is a senior majoring in Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Purdue University Fort Wayne. She is involved in the national honors society; Kappa Delta Pi, the Rho Chapter, here on campus. Kaelyn is also involved in various research projects in the College of Professional Studies in the Education Department focusing on Child Development, Science Education, and projects for Autism. She spends much of her time around children and often finds herself teaching new research ideas of her own. Kaelyn was a part of last years 20th Annual Student Research and Creative Endeavors Symposium where she used her teaching practices to inform pre-service and in-service teachers the importance of Individualized Education in the school systems. Her passion to be a teacher came from her own thirst to learn and research the world around her. Kaelyn will finish student teaching and classes in May, and start on her graduate studies journey while navigating teaching in her very own classroom in the Fall of 2019.
Teaching younger students about how our galaxy is formed, created, and corner stoned around our world is a focus of the work I completed for my honors credit in the course EDUCE328 Science Methods for Elementary Teachers. The primary focus on this honors project is to inform pre-service and in-service educators of how teaching astronomy to young elementary students leads to in-depth and meaningful learning in the classroom. In the field of science education today, teachers are limited on the amount of time used to teach science in his or her classroom. With very limited time spent on teaching younger students’ science education, these students are consistently deprived of their curiosities regarding our galaxy in the world. Teaching early elementary students about how the sun and stars interact with one another is an essential stepping stone for basic understanding of seasons, night and day, and how we know the sun is a star in our sky. Fueling the fire for these students with these astronomy concepts lays the foundation for them to also learn observation and analytical skills formed by scientific inquiry. Using these tools of investigation, pre-service and in-service educators can learn how to effectively and appropriately teaching these topics with authentic, real-world investigations.
Using a field placement of student participants, I will be compiling information from a science astronomy mini unit to inform preservice and in-service teacher practices. Six student participants ranging from age three to age five will take part in a three-day science astronomy mini unit which covers the sun, moon, stars, and planets. They will be inquiring about each astronomy concept and focus in on how and why these astronomy concepts are a part of our world. Student participants will also be participating in questioning and collaborating with one another about these astronomy concepts in a Montessori education classroom environment. The data and results compiled from this study will help inform early education teaching practices and be the sole premise of my honors thesis.
- Kara Keller
About Kara Keller
Kara Keller is a senior majoring in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) at Purdue Fort Wayne. She has been involved in the CSD Department’s Speech and Hearing Club, as well as its communication disorders clinic. This past fall, Kara served as a camp counselor at Purdue Fort Wayne’s Augmentative and Alternative Communication Poss-Abilities Theatre Camp, where she helped facilitate the on-stage performance of 11 children and adults with complex communication needs. After spending several hours shadowing a speech-language pathologist in the school setting, Kara was drawn to learning more about how to improve the communication of children receiving speech and language services. It was her desire to learn how to implement best practices when treating children with communication disorders that prompted her to pursue this honors research project. After completing classes in May, Kara will attend graduate school to obtain a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.
Language impairment can present itself differently among children, particularly in terms of which domains of language are affected. For instance, a child with morphological deficits may fail to use necessary word endings, such as plural –s or past tense –ed, while a child with semantic deficits may have difficulty understanding the meaning of words. Because of the diversity among children with language impairment, assessing and developing treatment targets for them can be particularly challenging for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who treat a wide range of communication disorders. While there has been much research on what assessment measures SLPs use to identify the presence of language impairment, little is known about the extent to which clinicians use those same assessment measures to develop treatment targets. The purpose of this study was to identify how SLPs use standardized language tests to assess and develop treatment targets for children with language impairment. Results of a survey given to SLPs revealed the role standardized language tests play in this process. Because SLPs are often required to use standardized tests when diagnosing a child with a language impairment, it is expected that they will overgeneralize those results to plan treatment even if the test cannot be validly used for that purpose. The results of this study will be useful for SLPs and students in the field, as it may provide greater insight about which tools are most helpful in planning treatment for children with language impairment.
- Izak Lewandowski
About Izak Lewandowski
Izak Lewandowski is a senior English major with a concentration in writing and a minor in Medieval Studies at Purdue University Fort Wayne. He’s had poems and works of short fiction published both in Confluence, the university literary magazine, and outside of the scope of the university, both as a result of the opportunities granted by his experiences with the Purdue Fort Wayne English Department. He frequents the once-per-semester student readings held on campus as both a listener and a reader, as well as as many events with the writers from the Visiting Writers showcase as he can. He’s also been an active participant in the Japanese program on campus, continuing through his study of the language to the fullest extent that the program allowed. His commitment to English and the English Department comes from a lifelong fascination with language, poems, and stories, and he intends to continue to pursue that passion and fascination to the fullest extent he can.
This project focuses on the role of loanwords in English and the recognition of typical English speakers of these loanwords, with a particular focus on specific recognition of source languages. Comparing data with the history of the English language, this project seeks to demonstrate the connections between linguistic research and impact on our everyday lives in a growingly-global network of communications both interpersonal and intercultural. Understanding the inherent multiculturalism of English has never been more important, and this project seeks to explore the reasons why recognizing it can be difficult and the steps that can be taken to understand and appreciate the ways in which the English language changes and grows with assistance from other languages. The information that this project sought out specifically aims towards rejection of so-called “language purism/elitism” that ultimately stagnates natural language growth and change in response to exposure to new concepts and cultures.
- Phillip Litchfield
About Phillip Litchfield
Phillip Litchfield grew up in Avilla, Indiana. He graduated from Bishop Dwenger High School in 2013 where he served as Class President, Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, and Captain of the Rugby Football club. Directly after graduation he entered a Roman Catholic seminary located in Cheshire, Connecticut. There he spent a year living a monastic life of reflection, study, and brotherhood.
Returning to Northeast Indiana in fall of 2014, after discerning out of seminary, he enrolled at IPFW seeking an undergraduate in Accounting with a minor in Political Science. During his time at IPFW he has served as President of Mastodon Catholic, team leader for The Big Event, and a member of the Model United Nations team. In addition to his academic work, he has developed himself professionally, working in the accounting department of a local commercial real estate firm SVN | Parke Group. His collegiate experience was enhanced by trips to Poland and South Korea. His preferred areas of study are Public Policy, International Development, and Business Analytics.
Upon graduation, he will sit for the CPA exams and continue employment with SVN | Parke Group. In the future, he hopes to work for a small CPA firm in a big city and volunteer in the reserve armed services. He would like to one day work for the Governmental Accountability Office or an international NGO.
He would like to thank all his professors for all their support and work to help him to reach this point. Thank you!
Cost-benefit models are an important tool for policy evaluation and accounting for return on investment. The research proposes a cost-benefit model designed specifically for Purdue Fort Wayne’s Institutional Aid program by identifying the direct and indirect factors involved. It then supports each factor identified as effective pieces of the model. The model is then employed using data drawn from the University’s Office of Institutional Research on select factors such as the Number of First-Generation Students Receiving Institutional Aid and Average Estimated Family Contribution of each level of institutional aid. The data suggests that the new aid program’s characteristics serve as a net benefit to the factor of student diversity at the University.
- Sophia Malmquist
About Sophia Malmquist
Sophia Malmquist is a senior at Purdue Fort Wayne and will be receiving a bachelor's degree in Women's Studies and a certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies. Currently, she is the President of Iota Iota Iota-- a chapter of the National Women's Studies Honors Society here at Purdue Fort Wayne. She is a fierce feminist, advocate for peace, and vegan. Post graduation she will continue to work and live in the Fort Wayne community.
This project aims to analyze the ways in which a life of nonviolence was practiced on The Farm commune, especially in regards to the stresses that come with sustainable communal life. This example is also analyzed through different theorists' views of power.
- Karen Negedu
About Karen Negedu
Karen Negedu is a senior nursing student from Abuja, Nigeria. She is involved in the African Students Association as the president and a member of other groups on campus. She recently became a member of the Sigma Theta Tau. The best part of her working was spent as a Student Representative for the admissions office and a tutor for Anatomy and Physiology. Karen currently works in a coronary intensive unit at Lutheran Hospital and enjoys learning from the healthcare team on her floor. She is also involved on her church’s children’s ministry and the Christian group on campus (chi Alpha). Karen’s call to be a healthcare professional came from her experience with her parents who are also healthcare professionals. She explains that she always had opportunities to shadow her parents and other team members in the hospital. Due to this experience, Karen wants to keep learning and working to improve access to healthcare. In her own little way, she wants to educate and inform people of healthier behaviors. Karen will be graduating in May and will work briefly before returning to school.
When caring for clients in the salon, there are some diseases that can be identified or prevented. Cosmetologist are the frontline caregivers for some individuals and should be aware of the different diseases clients may present with. This is why a study or some knowledge of those diseases might help identify a problem in the early stages or prevent further complications. This project will help strengthen and create relationships with other professionals who provide routine care to individuals who may never step into a hospital. The diversity of their clientele could benefit from proper care, learn something new or they could prevent the progression of a disease. It could be said that this lesson will be that we are “bridging the gap”. Cosmetology is the study and application of beauty treatment on the skin under skincare. Branches of this specialty includes vast hairstyling, skin care, cosmetics, manicures/pedicures, and non-permanent hair removal (OMICS International, 2019). Cosmetologist are first line defense for a lot of people who may never think or be able to see a healthcare professional. One of the aims of this project is to test the amount of knowledge and create awareness on potential diseases cosmetologist observe in their clients. The identification of increased risk may provide an opportunity for medical intervention to reduce risk, or heightened surveillance and early intervention as needed (National Cancer Institute, n.d.). This project will serve as a resource for professionals and it will help them identify the right situations to refer clients for further help.
- Sydney Osentoski
About Sydney Osentoski
Sydney Osentoski is an undergraduate Honors student attending Purdue University Fort Wayne. She is majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders, minoring in Linguistics, and receiving a certificate of Gerontology. She is involved in the ASL - PAH! Club, Sign Choir, and the Speech and Hearing Club. Sydney signed at Deaf Santa as part of Sign Choir in 2016 and 2018. This last December, she volunteered for Sensitive Santa. She presented a research poster at the 2018 Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention and at the 2019 Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention. Growing up, Sydney’s sister and cousin both attended speech therapy. This is where her interest is speech language pathology first blossomed and led her to pursue this career path. Sydney will be graduating this May and from there will continue her education in graduate school to eventually receive her master’s degree.
Diet modification is part of dysphagia management, and involves the expertise of a speech language pathologist (SLP). When an SLP is not available, nurses often take the initiative to downgrade diets, operating under the assumption that downgrading is always safer. Interprofessional education (IPE) is indicated for practicing and student nurses. Such education is explored through pre/post-test design to inform continued IPE.
- Awa Samba
About Awa Samba
Awa Samba is an international student from Senegal, a country on Africa’s west coast with a wealthy French colonial legacy and many beautiful natural attractions. She speaks French, English and Wolof , a tribal language from Senegal. She is a senior in pre-med biology with a minor in psychology. This upcoming May 8th, 2019 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, she will receive her bachelor’s degree in pre-med biology. She is involved in many departments here at Purdue Fort Wayne that include the tutoring center where she primarily tutor chemistry, math, statistics and calculus I. The language lab and the writing center where she tutors French and helps students with their French writing as well. She is also involved in different clubs on campus such as the pre-med and the African student associations club in which serves as secretary.
People have for a long time during her school years wondered why Biology? Why medicine? Why med school? And Awa’s answer has always been the following: she grew up and lived in countries where people die for the mildest diseases ever like malaria or the most recent Ebola outbreak. Poverty is one reason for all of this, but the lack of having qualified enough people for the job is the number one issue. She wants to be able to change that, make her country better, enhance the quality of life, so that they stop dying from minor infections and diseases. She has had the chance to do some volunteering work here at Purdue Fort Wayne with the Big Event, the rescue mission, Fort Wayne’ zoo, Parkview and Lutheran hospital. She currently works in a rehabilitation center and helping people has been a beautiful part of her journey.
Being an Honors student, a student research and a lab assistant, she is just realizing how much more there is to accomplish. For this reason, as she goes on with her studies and learns about different cultures and beliefs, she is grateful for all the opportunities and looks forward to what the future has to offer but most importantly what she will be offering to it.
An efficient way to preserve soil content and ensure plant community succession is by moving native seed bank communities through soil transfer. Also, species richness and species abundance are both important constituents of the soil as they are a result of ecosystem rearrangement. It is then useful to know how species richness happens, the mechanisms behind it, and the modifications it poses to the ecosystem. The Study Site for this project was Eagle Marsh, nature preserve in Allen County, IN and the purpose of the study was to account for plant community succession following native seed bank transfer. Soil was transferred from a donor site to a recipient site in 2014. Before transfer a survey was conducted at the donor and recipient sites. Another survey was conducted in 2015 to note the presence of native seed bank at the recipient site. And finally, in 2017, a last survey was conducted to note establishment of plant community over time. My hypotheses were 1) seed with greater mass will have higher establishment rate following soil transfer at recipient site compared to seed with lower seed mass; 2) I predicted that seed with greater mass will be more persistent at recipient site compared to seed with lower seed mass following soil transfer; and 3) I predicted that wind will be the most common dispersal mechanism immediately following transfer because lighter seeds will be moved by the wind quickly at the outset. Results showed that as time passed by, seed presence existed at post-recipient site. For the second research question, I noticed that seed mass increased at post-recipient survey in 2015 whereas in post-establishment survey in 2017, the seed mass was lower. For the third question, regarding new plant community establishment, results indicated that, the presence of new plants communities at the establishment survey in 2017 were engender by plants having self-dispersal mechanisms which was contradictory with my hypothesis. As a transferred native seed bank becomes established in the soil, species richness increases as a result of seed mass persistent species and this thereby leads to diversity in the community. Altogether, the gradual change the plant community experienced overtime in the study demonstrates that soil transfer can be an efficient way to maintain and reestablish natural resources as well as a plant community’s diversity.
- Amara Scheitlin
About Amara Scheitlin
Amara Scheitlin is a senior at Purdue Fort Wayne, graduating this May. She is a double major in History and Political Science and is also pursuing an International Studies Certificate and Peace and Conflict Studies Certificate. Amara has been involved on campus in numerous ways. She is working as a student mentor for the Department of History for her second year now. Since last fall, Amara has served as the Treasurer for Fort Wayne College Democrats. She has also had the pleasure of working with the Mike Down’s Center for Indiana Politics on community outreach projects. Amara started at Purdue Fort Wayne in the fall of 2016 as a History major because she was inspired by her high school History teacher to further explore the subject. Since then, her interest in History has only grown, largely in part because of the supportive and influential faculty members she has encountered in her time here. Last summer, Amara’s interest in International Relations flourished when she had the opportunity to intern at the United Nations Population Fund. She hopes to continue her studies in the future and is grateful for all the kindness and guidance provided by her professors at Purdue Fort Wayne.
In Great Britain, thousands of women contributed to the war effort during World War I. Nursing and auxiliary corps provided women with work positions, while numerous other women entered munitions factories to support the war. But each role was criticized according to gender norms. The roles most appropriate for women reflected the gender norms associated with motherhood, such as nursing and humanitarian assistance. Class differences also affected the perception and treatment of different war workers. Women from lower and working classes often faced the brunt of criticisms, while middle- and upper-class women were praised for their patriotic contributions.
Many British suffragists found themselves wrapped up in this war effort. The suffrage movement had been active for decades before WWI began and included organizations like the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), and the Women’s International League (WIL). WSPU and NUWSS campaigned diligently before the outbreak of war, but when WWI began, both organizations abandoned their radical campaigns to support the war and devote efforts to recruitment.
The suffragists’ contributions to the war effort often fell within the confines of gender norms. While members of the WIL supported peaceful diplomacy, to speak out against the war was unpatriotic. The NUWSS heavily supported the nursing corps, raising funds to support medical units around Europe. Non-militant wings of the NUWSS often emphasized the differences between men and women, pointing to women’s peaceful behavior as reason to involve them in politics. Even Emmeline Pankhurst of the WSPU, a militant group prior to the war, altered her strategies when the war broke out and, in many ways, upheld the status quo.
After the war ended, commemoration efforts reflected gender norms and national narratives of patriotic service. Among the women war workers, auxiliary workers were less memorialized than the nurses. The voluntary nurses were especially commemorated to a greater extent during the interwar period. Similarly, the suffragists that were honored after the war were strategically placed into the national war narrative. While the enfranchisement was extended to women over thirty years old in 1918, many conditions were applied, and it occurred at the same time the male franchise underwent reform. In many ways, the hard work of many women was not recognized appropriately in Britain during the interwar period and gender norms remained strongly in place in society, government, and the workforce.
- Corrie Taylor
About Corrie Taylor
Corrie Taylor is a senior theatre major at Purdue Fort Wayne, with an emphasis on acting. Corrie chose to pursue theatre in college after enjoying the outlet of theatre in high school. Majoring in theatre has helped shape her into a better actress, and a critically thinking theatre artist who is eager to explore new works, reimagine classical pieces, and test the boundaries of what theatre can be. Through the National Student Exchange, Corrie was able to spend a semester away from Purdue Fort Wayne. She studied at North Carolina Central University where she had the opportunity to work on an original piece of theatre titled Speak My Soul. She returned in the fall of 2018. She is currently the student representative for the theatre department. She most recently appeared in Purdue Fort Wayne’s production of Frankenstein: An Act of Creation, in Pride and Prejudice as Jane Bennett, and as titular role in Antigone for a newly adapted version of Sophocles’ Greek tragedy. Expressing great interest Greek tragedy and in her role, she assumed the production as her honors project. Corrie will be finishing her undergrad studies in May, and is looking forward to pursuing an acting career in both theatre and film in the Atlanta Georgia area.
The following is presentation over my performance in Purdue University Fort Wayne’s production of Antigone. The play was adapted by PFW professor and director, Jeff Casazza, and performed in October of 2018. I played the leading role of Antigone. I will give insight into my critical process of developing this particular dramatic character. The information that is relayed here is reflective of work and research that I did prior to and during rehearsals to myself prepare for this performance. The content is based on my own creative process, my own common knowledge of Greek drama, and cited resources. Ultimately, this is my own personal dramaturgy and bank of knowledge, of which I can and could draw from to better understand and play my character. Nothing should be valued as a critical analysis of structures, forms and the likes, but as a collection of personally evaluated, yet critically researched information waiting to find its application on the stage.
- Fyodor Wheeler
About Fyodor S. Wheeler
Fyodor S. Wheeler is a senior history major and English and medieval studies minor, with a completed religious studies minor at Purdue Fort Wayne, currently writing his senior thesis on Lollardy. He has worked as a tutor for history and writing and currently is assistant to the book review editor of an academic journal, Terrae Incognitae. Previously he has presented papers on the history of broadcasting, the Cult of Reason in the French Revolution, and the writings of Procopius at the Undergraduate History Conference, as well as the Student Research Symposium on Balinese religion. His main academic interests are Middle English literature, medieval manuscripts, and the life and work of Charles, Duke of Orleans, and his passion is making information and sources accessible to all. After finishing school this May he intends to complete the translation of Harley MS 682 and continue to graduate school to earn a Master’s in history and a Master of Library Science.
Charles, Duke of Orleans is well remembered for his contributions to late medieval French poetry, but less well-known is his equally copious English work. During his twenty-five year-long captivity in England after the Battle of Agincourt, Charles learned English and produced a volume of English poetry. While his French work has become a staple of French poetry, his English work has not received the same appreciation. This is a result of medieval politics – Charles was a French noble during the Hundred Years’ War and not popular with the English literary trend-setters, a negative opinion which continued into the modern age. Until now there has been no modern edition of Charles’s Middle English work found in British Library Harley MS 682. This is the first Modern English translation of this text, made with the intention of introducing Charles to the general public and helping him take his rightful place in the Middle English Corpus. It is intended to be as close to Charles’s original language and poetic devices while still being understood by the modern reader.
Class of 2017–18
- Kathleen Bendele
About Kate Bendele
Kate Bendele is a returning adult student who is completing her Bachelor of Science. She is an education major with a concentration on English language arts. Kate has had multiple works published in Confluence, a student-run literary and arts magazine. As an education major, she is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge as a means of fostering engaged, fully developed minds. During a dual listed ENG/WOST course, Kate became interested in health education and the way in which such education influences students’ future health, well-being, and opportunities; this interest became the impetus for this Honors Project.
While it is recognized that all students need basic skills in content areas such as math, English, and science, at this point there is no such expectation for sexuality education. Establishing a foundation of knowledge about sexuality education is important because, unlike other content areas, it is not typically offered in higher education. In other words, students who have significant knowledge gaps in the subject of sexuality education are unlikely to gain this knowledge in an academic setting using peer-reviewed texts. The solution to inadequate sexuality education standards is the application of a minimum statewide standard. In order to assure standards are applied equally across all Indiana districts, legislative action must be taken.
- Bre Anne Briskey
About Bre Anne Briskey
Bre Anne Briskey is a senior history and psychology major. She is a fourth-year Chapman Scholar. Bre Anne is a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the current president of Phi Eta Sigma. She received the Top 50 Award in 2017 and 2018. Bre Anne presented at the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Student Research Symposiums along with presenting at the eighth, ninth, and 10th Undergraduate History Conferences. She is a student mentor for the Department of History and works with the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. After graduating in May, Bre Anne plans on attending graduate school to study history.
Over the course of seven years, from 1976 until 1983, the Argentinean Military Dictatorship led a psychological terror campaign that caused thousands of Argentineans to be kidnapped by the state and “disappear.” These 30,000 people became known as los desaparecidos; they exist in an ambiguous state where they can neither be deceased nor alive. This number included 500 children. The regime appropriated these children from their biological parents and had families loyal to the regime illegally adopt them. The purpose of this project was to examine the psychological impact that these illegal adoptions had on the desaparecido children after they learned about the truth about their past. Using interviews with the desaparecido children and las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, as well as secondary sources on the contemporary situation in Argentina and on questions of identity, this project sought to understand how knowledge of the past psychologically affected the desaparecido children and society. After careful analyses, I reached two conclusions. The first conclusion made was that restoring identity became central to Argentina in the aftermath of the regime. The second conclusion reached was that the desaparecido children reacted to the truth in different ways due to two factors, their sense of identity and how the children received the information. This project concludes that although identity became central to Argentina in the aftermath of the Dirty War, it also became a source of contention. This conclusion is significant as it helps account for the desaparecido children’s varying reactions to learning the truth about their past. This is important as this information can be used to help determine how to tell people about their past, if they were a disappeared person.
- Rachel Caruso
About Rachel Caruso
Rachel Caruso is a senior English literature major with double minors in professional writing and linguistics. She has spent her undergraduate career delving into many different areas of English because of her passion for the subject. She spent several years working for the Writing Center before procuring a job at Northrop High School this past winter. At Northrop, Rachel works mainly with Level One ESL students, who are mostly Hispanic students just beginning to learn English. Working with high school students sparked a love of teaching in Rachel, and she has decided to go to graduate school to get a master’s degree in English with a teaching specialization. She hopes to teach high school English and then eventually move to a curriculum position. Rachel’s passion for reading and literature—particularly young adult literature—is something she hopes to pass on to high school students.
Middle school and high school English classes have taught roughly the same canonical novels for generations, usually to the detriment of the student’s willingness to pick up a book of their own accord. This project explains why young adult literature can and should be taught alongside classic literature, simultaneously sparking the interest of the students and preparing them for higher levels of critical thinking and analysis. By taking into account lexile levels, common themes, and oppositions of young adult literature, this project serves as an attempt to persuade educators to reconsider their views of this highly underrated genre. This project is twofold, seeking first to elucidate various facets of young adult literature, and then to explain its potential in connection with secondary education.
- Helena Carvalho Schmidt
About Helena Carvalho Schmidt
Helena Carvalho Schmidt is a senior majoring in English, political science, and communication, with a certificate in international studies. As an international student from Brazil, Helena has integrated herself into the community by being involved in many areas on campus. She is a writing consultant at the Writing Center and the leadership intern for the Office of Student Life and Leadership, where she helped structure the new leadership program and the support structure for the Disney College Program applicants. She is currently the vice president of the Model United Nations student organization (in which she was the permanent representative in this year’s American Model UN conference in Chicago), Lambda Pi Eta (national communication honors society) and the International Student Organization, while being involved in other groups like Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honors society) and the Dean’s Diplomats. She was a Top 50 student in 2017 and received the Georgiana Kryzminski Scholarship for excellence in English (academic writing), as well as an award for Excellence in International Studies. Helena tries to maintain an international perspective; she practices and expands that perspective with coursework in international studies, involvement with the local international community, and her study abroad in Belgium in the summer of 2017. Once she graduates she plans to pursue a career path with international impact in human rights and socioeconomic development (wherever that may be), involving a master’s program in international relations, serving in international/intergovernmental institutions, and—possibly—a Ph.D. Eventually she aims to return to Brazil and become a catalyst for change in order to perpetuate social development in her region.
Corruption has accompanied mankind throughout history. It performs a particular role in making politics which has, with the rise of democracies over the past half-century, become less acceptable. Corruption is particularly noticeable in the global south, but why won't it end? This project focuses on the role of corruption in Latin American democracy, particularly in Brazil and Argentina, and how people see it. To that end, I attempted to identify a relationship between corruption and institutional legitimacy (how responsive it is to the people's will) in those two countries.
Quantifying corruption is no easy task, as is institutional legitimacy, and so the data used is a collection of perceptions that compose an estimated evaluation of corruption and legitimacy. With those values, I tried to observe whether the perceived presence or absence of corruption influenced the perception of legitimacy of government institutions. The hypothesis was that a relationship would be identified, in which a higher perception of corruption would incur in a lower perception of institutional legitimacy. The data, however, showed no significant relationship between the two variables.
Even so, this endeavor helps establish the importance of exploring alternative explanations for the presence of corruption in democratic governments. Furthermore, it highlights the need to probe for root causes that may not be addressable if the scope of analysis is not broadened to encompass larger cultural and historical contexts.
It is hoped that this study will help bring attention to the issue of corruption in frail democracies, and perhaps help bring about change in the situation.
- Cody Davison
About Cody Davison
Cody Davison is a senior chemistry premedicine major. His favorite chemistry course is physical chemistry, since it’s where physics meets chemistry to explain how many real-world processes happen down to the molecular level. He has researched inorganic and organic chemistry with both Professor Donald E. Linn Jr. and Professor Steven Stevenson. His exploration of complex molecules with Professor Stevenson led to his Honors Project. His passion to help people drove him to volunteer at a hospital for three years and pursue medical school. After he graduates in May, he plans to take a year off before entering Indiana University’s School of Medicine to become a surgeon.
The scientific literature contains little information on chemical-based methods for isolating metallofullerenes. Novel purification strategies are necessary because their extracts are complex. Removal of contaminant fullerenes (e.g., >50) from soot extracts can be done with selective chemical reaction. To obtain a sample enriched in erbium metallofullerenes, we developed an initial chemical separation (Step 1) by using the SAFA1 method (i.e., Stir and Filter Approach). For Step 2, we achieved further chemical selectivity for Er metallofullerenes with a Lewis acid approach with AlCl3. For the final step, we utilized HPLC fraction for the isolation of Er2C94. At this point, it was not known whether the chemical formula, Er2C94, represented a metallofullerene having an encapsulated di-metal cluster (Er2@C94) or a di-metal carbide cluster (Er2C2@C<sub92) in a smaller fullerene cage. Hence, we utilized X-ray crystallography, in collaboration, to answer this question. The X-ray structural analysis has confirmed that we have indeed isolated the carbide form, i.e., the Er2C2@C92 metallofullerene.
- Adrita Iman
About Adrita Iman
Adrita Iman is a senior biology major, with dual concentrations in genetics, cellular and molecular biology, and microbiology and immunology. Adrita is a Chancellor’s Distinguished Scholar and has been doing research at Professor George Mourad’s genetics and molecular biology lab since fall 2016. She is a member of the AmbassaDons; the International Student Organization; the interdisciplinary honors society, Phi Kappa Phi; and the biology honors society, Beta Beta Beta. She received the research assistantship scholarship from the Honors Program in spring 2017, was the recipient of the Emil R. Seidel Scholarship Award from the biology department for conducting research contributing to the advancement of agriculture, and has recently been named the university’s Outstanding Senior in Biology. She has been a student worker for IT Services and the Honors Program. Adrita will be finishing classes and graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in biology, an associate degree in chemical methods, and a Biology Research Certificate. She will continue her academic journey as a Ph.D. student at Indiana University in Bloomington under the Genetics, Cell, and Developmental Biology Program starting in the fall of 2018.
Fire blight is a common disease of pome fruit trees such as apples, pears, and other rosaceous plants. It is one of the most devastating bacterial diseases of apples and pears with huge impacts on the agricultural industry of North America, as well as other parts of the world. Under optimal conditions, fire blight can destroy an entire orchard in a single growing season. The causative pathogen, Erwinia amylovora, is a Gram-negative enterobacterium. Current methods of fire blight management are largely preventative, while treatment is limited to the use of antibiotic agents. Over 90% of all streptomycin used in agriculture goes towards fire blight control. This poses serious health hazards to humans as consumers, as well as pollinating insects, and most importantly leads to antibiotic resistance in the pathogen. One of the main ways that E. amylovora establishes disease is by extracting nitrogen rich compounds from host cells using special transporter proteins present on their cell membranes. The bacteria also secrete a toxic substance called 6-thioguanine into the host’s extracellular regions that is thought to be taken up by host cells, causing necrosis of plant tissue. The objective of this research was to identify the substrate specificity and binding properties of a putative cytosine transporter of E. amylovora, called EaCodB, and of a putative nucleobase cation symporter of the host apple, Malus domestica, called MdNCS1. The genes encoding the putative nucleobase transporters were PCR-cloned and spliced into a plasmid vector that was then transformed into competent E. coli cells lacking their native transporter. Such heterologous expression allowed the testing of their substrate specificity by assaying a series of radiolabeled nucleobase uptake experiments. Variations of these uptakes were used to elucidate more information about the protein of interest, including kinetic parameters of uptake. The aim is to ultimately contribute to developing drug targets that bind specifically to these transporter molecules with important roles in the pathogenesis of fire blight and inhibit their activity in order to provide better alternative for disease management.
- Shannon LaClaire Rahn
About Shannon LaClair Rahn
Shannon LaClair Rahn is a senior psychology major with a special interest in education and prevention of nonsuicidal self-injury, as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Shannon is a student board member for Active Minds, a student group geared to suicide education and prevention. Previously she served as a COMPASS suicide-prevention intern, as well as a work-study student in the psychology department. While working in the medical department of a large hospital in Illinois, Shannon worked with underprivileged patients who needed assistance with their medical bills. Through her work at that hospital, she witnessed firsthand the lack of access many uninsured or underinsured patients had to quality mental healthcare. This knowledge, combined with her ongoing interest in psychology, inspired Shannon to return to college and complete her undergraduate degree. She will finish classes in May and plans to obtain a graduate degree in mental health counseling.
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common forms of mental illness experienced by college students across the world. Without proper treatment, students may experience more intense and prolonged symptoms, greater social isolation, as well as suicidal ideation. The purpose of this study was to examine how personality and situational factors might influence help-seeking behavior and choice of therapeutic setting, namely peer support groups or group therapy vs. individual therapy. Of the Big 5 traits, it was predicted that extraversion would be the strongest predictor of expressing preference for a group therapeutic setting vs. individual setting. It was also hypothesized that this relationship would be moderated by severity of the symptoms. Specifically, it was expected that individuals would express preference for individual therapy when symptoms were severe, regardless of their personality traits. To test these predictions, 194 participants competed a survey on Mturk that included measures of the Big 5 and four scenarios involving a character who exhibited symptoms of depression. The experimental design was a 2 (gender: male or female) X 2 (severity of symptoms: mild or severe) repeated measures full factorial. As predicted, results revealed a significant main effect for symptom severity, indicating participants were more likely to recommend individual therapy over group therapy in scenarios involving severe symptoms.
- Moriah Landon
About Moriah Landon
Moriah Landon is a senior music therapy major at IPFW, with voice as her primary instrument. She is involved in the Symphonic Band and Choral Union ensembles on campus, and previously was in the University Singers where she had the honor be in a solo quartet for Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Moriah is an active member of both the IPFW Music Therapy Club as well as the Greater Fort Wayne Campus Ministry. She is also a leading member and substitute conductor of the Mastodon Pep Band where she is also a frequent National Anthem soloist, as well as being a senior employee for the Williams Theater Scene Shop on campus. Moriah’s call to be a music therapist came from her experiences of growing up with and helping to take care of her cousin who has Down syndrome. It was his struggle to communicate paired with Moriah’s experience with her first client in practicum sessions, a young girl with Down syndrome, that inspired her to pursue this honors research project. Moriah will be finishing classes in May and from there will be going on to an internship with Opportunities for Positive Growth in Lafayette, Indiana.
- Rachel Roberts
About Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts is a senior business major with concentrations in marketing and management. She has participated in externships with Career Services and Student Life and Leadership. She is a member of Intervarsity, and Honor Dons. She enjoyed being involved in International Table, where she engaged in discussion with international students to learn about different cultures and enjoy a variety of cuisines from other cultures. She also had the privilege of being a peer mentor for different international students for four semesters. The fall semester of her sophomore year she had the honor of studying at the University of Northern Iowa through the National Student Exchange. During her junior year she traveled to Morocco with her international business class. In Morocco they were able to conduct focus groups at AUI University with DeBrand Fine Chocolates and Hoosier Hill Farm. During the summer of 2017 she gained valuable experience being an intern group leader at General Motors. She has gained unique marketing experience at Fort Wayne Newspapers working in the advertising and customer service departments. She has enjoyed being a part of the Fourth Annual Communication Showcase and the 21st Annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium. She is currently working on her Black Belt Lean Six Sigma Certificates and her Endorsed Certificate. Rachel enjoys helping people through customer service and is interested in ways to improve the customer’s experience. This inspired her to do her honors research on brand loyalty with mobile applications. Rachel will graduate in May.
In today’s competitive marketplace, it is crucial for companies to focus on keeping their existing customers since acquiring new customers costs much more than retaining ones. An increasing usage of mobile loyalty programs has been witnessed in the past recent years to increase customer retention and to deter the customers from switching to their competitors. However, measuring the effectiveness of these programs has not been systematically substantiated. This study will fill voids in the literature by investigating the effects of mobile loyalty applications (apps) on customers’ purchase and retention in a coffee industry where many consumers prefer to customize coffee to their tastes. Mobile loyalty apps are programs implemented on one’s smartphone that can be purchased or are free of charge. In a coffee industry, the loyalty app is convenient and saves time by allowing the purchase of customized coffee directly from the mobile application. The Starbucks app, for example, was installed in late October 2013 and was bringing in 11 percent of Sales volume by mid-2014, according to the Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks at the time the application was launched. Then in July of 2017, it had doubled to 22 percent of all US Sales. The Dunkin Donuts app was launched at the end of January 2014. This study intends to survey customers using mobile applications of coffee companies such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts to ascertain the reasons behind the coffee purchases they make. Both companies allow customers to make online purchases and have a card on file which brings them more revenue. Dunkin Donuts upgraded their app to help customers earn more drinks in 2016 on the eve of the update of Starbucks app which shows their competition. Also, Dunkin Donuts has used their appreciation of the donut to lure customers to adapt a taste for their coffee products. This study explores different driving factors of effective mobile loyalty apps in increasing customer loyalty. We will investigate the role of online purchasing methods, ease of use of the apps, time to get a free item on the app, types of promotion, location, and the level of customization of the coffee. Demographic variables such as income level, gender, and ages will also be collected. Theoretical and practical implications of this study will be discussed.
- Fiona Sackett
About Fiona Sackett
Fiona Sackett is a senior history major, minoring in theatre. As part of her Honors’ program, she acted as the dramaturg for Frankenstein: An Act of Creation. In addition to that, she has been involved with the theatre department as a carpenter for the past three-and-a-half years and acted as the prop master for the production of Stupid F*@%ing Bird. Fiona has also presented at the History Symposium and Indiana University Women’s and Gender Studies Conference in 2016 and 2017. She is planning to go to graduate school in order to become a professional dramaturg.
A dramaturg is a person on a theatrical team that helps shape the production. This vague definition means that the dramaturg’s role varies from production to production. Sometimes they will be preparing information for the cast and director, other times a lobby display will be made to help audience members be able to make connections. In a devised piece of theatre, there is no set script before the production begins working. Instead, the show is created by the company and director, and in the case of Frankenstein: An Act of Creation, a dramaturg. The reflection of personal experience as the dramaturg for this specific production will be explained, and the paper will also be comprised of the research actually presented to the cast during the production.
- Tianna Schuerman
About Tianna Schuerman
Tianna Schuerman is a senior communication sciences and disorders major with a minor in linguistics and a gerontology certificate. She is the president of the Speech and Hearing Club and is an active member of the ASL Pah! Club and sign choir. She recently received the Top 50 Award for the second time and received third place at the 2018 Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium. She spent the last two summers volunteering her time at Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities Summer Speech Camp and actively volunteers in the community. During the fall 2017 semester, Tianna volunteered for the AAC Poss-Abilities Theatre Camp, which ignited her interest in augmentative/alternative communication. This ultimately led her interest in this honors research project. Tianna will be finishing classes in May and from there hopes to attend graduate school for speech-language pathology.
This study is being conducted to evaluate first responders’ knowledge of augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) and how to interact with individuals who use AAC prior to participating in the training and following the training. The objective is as follows: acknowledge the change in knowledge base of subjects, employees, and volunteers as first responders, prior to and following a lecture and hands-on activity about AAC systems. Speech language pathology focuses on the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of communication disorders. The term AAC is used to describe communication methods that aid or replace verbal communication. If first responders do not have the skills that allow them to collect accurate information from people who use AAC, these individuals may not get the appropriate assistance they need or may become a victim of crime and of the judicial system. The training of first responders is imperative in creating a safer community for those labeled as “disabled.” Once this project is completed, the training can then be replicated nationally and possibly internationally. Each participant’s knowledge base of the subject is evaluated by the use of pre-and-post event surveys. The data collected from each survey is being compiled into an Excel spreadsheet continuously. The impact of the specialized training to emergency first responder workers (police, fire, EMT, dispatch) regarding AAC is being assessed. In order to extrapolate the data, answers are being coded into common categories. From this coding, the pre-and-post survey data will be compared. The success of this training will then be determined. Potential participants are those attending a pre-scheduled training for emergency first responder departments who give permission for their surveys to be used. Participants are given the opportunity to decline participation in the research project. This does not hinder the individual’s training experience. Prior to completing the pre-event survey all individuals in attendance receive a brief overview of the research project. They participate in a lecture with hands-on training specifically designed for first responders. At the completion of the training, attendants are then given the opportunity to complete the post-event survey to evaluate their increased knowledge of AAC. The results collected thus far indicate that when given the training, first responders feel more comfortable communicating with someone who uses AAC. This suggests that the present data supports the objective. Additionally, an increased awareness of difficulty using AAC was noted post-survey. The respondents noted that the two most important things when interacting with AAC users are having patience and respect towards the AAC user and giving them time to respond. Data is continually being collected to provide further understanding of the benefits of training first responders in this area.
- Meg Steigerwald
About Meg Steigerwald
Meg Steigerwald is a senior communication sciences and disorders major minoring in psychology. She is an active member and officer of the Speech and Hearing Club and member of the ASL Pah! Club. Meg spent six months in South Africa prior to beginning her undergraduate studies, a time that heavily influenced her decision to pursue speech-language pathology. Upon returning home, her volunteer experiences with the deaf community at Turnstone and alongside her other peers solidified her decision. Completing this honors research project was both a challenge and an opportunity for Meg. She hopes to learn more about child language while simultaneously preparing for potential research opportunities in graduate school. Meg will be pursuing a master’s degree at Indiana University in Bloomington this fall to become a speech-language pathologist.
Recent studies have proposed a new diagnostic label, developmental language disorder (DLD), be used for children who have traditionally been referred to as having specific language impairment. The rationale for using the term DLD is partially based on expert opinions on parent perspectives. This study investigated whether the statements made by experts are representative of parent opinions. An online survey asked parents about a hypothetical situation in which their child has a language impairment. Parents were given a description of the disorder, a label for the disorder, or a combination of the two. Based on the explanation given to them, parents provided their opinions regarding how they would interpret the implications of the child’s language disorder. The results found that receiving a diagnostic label with a description was more useful to parents than receiving only a description or only a label, regardless of what the label was. Parents also felt that knowing whether their child had a disorder was more important than how the disorder differed from other language impairments. These results have the potential to impact the way that speech language pathologists explain a child’s diagnosis to parents.
Class of 2016–17
- Matthew Danielson
About Matthew Danielson
Matthew Danielson will be graduating with degrees in political science and English (concentration in writing). His senior project in political science explored the diversity of Indiana’s political culture, and his senior English project, which is also his senior Honors Project, uses literary theory to examine the cultural context of the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes cartoons of 1952. Matthew is a current recipient of the Withers Scholarship, presented at the IPFW History Undergraduate Conference, and is the winner of the 2017 Outstanding English Major Award and the Sylvia E. Bowman Award for literature studies. Matthew serves as the current president of the campus Lutheran student group, interns for the College of Arts and Sciences Media and Communications, works in the Math Testing Center for CASA, is a registered Suzuki violin teacher, and is in the process of finalizing which graduate school to attend next fall.
The Merrie Melody and Loony Tunes cartoons produced by the Warner Brothers in 1952 are a slice of the Cold War culture. At first glance, the relationship between characters in any given episode is a simple adversarial context where a character that is physically, technologically, or mentally superior, is in a comedic pursuit destined to fail. Using the methods of literary interpretation, we can outline these pursuits and explore the ideas they contain. Within these animated features we see the predators of Wile E. Coyote, Marvin the Martian, Daffy Duck, and others display surprising ease within their cartoon, staying static characters as they attempt to subdue their prey, using anvils, disintegrator guns, and pronouns. Here the cartoons evince anxiety towards technology, a recognition of classical roles and ideas, and the triumph of the unassuming character. It is this triumph that is the underlying tone of the cartoons as a whole, where the character that is accosted, wins. When placed within an era in which technology (like atomic bombs) and international diplomacy (between the USSR and the USA) were fast becoming bipolar, the cartoons display how misappropriation of language, technology, or ideas destined a character to doom. This perspective offers viewers the opportunity to cheer for a character, maintaining a semi-fantasy setting where the weak are empowered.
- Heather Dewey
About Heather Dewey
Heather Dewey will be graduating this semester with a major in history, minors in Spanish and creative writing, and an International Studies Certificate. After working for a year, she intends to apply to graduate programs for world history and to become a historian who studies historiography and public perceptions of history based on the standard narrative presented in media such as textbooks and popular culture. Although Heather wasn’t involved in clubs, she is a lead consultant with the Writing Center, did editing and grant writing for the computer science department, and worked for Enterprise & Society. She coauthored an article with Richard Weiner, professor and chair, Department of History, which is under review, about human rights in Frank Tannenbaum’s books on Mexico and the public’s reactions to him. Heather was a teaching assistant for Holocaust and Modern Genocides and won three awards: a IPFW Exemplar Award, Outstanding Senior in the History Department, and Outstanding Researcher in the History Department. In her spare time, she and her sister (an illustrator) are working on a novel that they plan to self-publish.
Eugenics in Latin America has often been shuffled into the same category as Western Europe and United States. However, this practice neglects to acknowledge the substantial differences that caused eugenics to develop in new ways that have continued to influence the healthcare of Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. Of particular importance were the Casta system, Lamarckian genetics, a more diverse population, and a growing migration to the cities. This project examined just how significant eugenics was, how it has continued to influence healthcare, and how it can be used to determine cultural phenomenons in the culture of a nation.
- Cody Fuelling
About Cody Fuelling
Cody Fuelling is finishing his fourth year at IPFW, with majors in history and political science, an Honors Certificate, and an International Studies Certificate. He has been a research assistant for two professors in the Department of History and currently works as a teaching assistant in the Department of Political Science. He has presented at the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Annual Undergraduate History Conferences and works as an assistant book-review editor for Enterprise & Society. He has received three scholarships from the Honors Program, has been a student representative on the College of Arts and Sciences Student Affairs Committee, and was on the team representing Purdue Fort Wayne at the second-largest American Model United Nations conference in the United States. He will be interning at the United Nations Population Fund this summer before starting his Fulbright research grant to Luxembourg.
In the absence of a wide and updated study on the status of genocide education (GE) in the United States, this project takes a wide and qualitative approach. Using the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s guidelines for GE, seventeen “key concepts” were generated, and their coverage was measured in the secondary education standards for U.S. history, world history, and English language arts in the fifty states and District of Columbia. The presence of specific genocides and other mass atrocities was measured as well. Through this study, it was determined that, regarding these three courses, thirteen states have no genocide education standards at the state level, while the 37 with standards exhibit a wide variety of coverage, from exclusively the Holocaust (but no specific details about it, such as camps or the Final Solution) to at most six of the seventeen key concepts (Florida). After the Holocaust, which had 37 states mandating it, the mass atrocity with the highest number of state mandates was the Armenian case, with 13 (both of these genocides were also mandated by D.C.). With these and other observations, it was determined that states have few standards regarding GE, which, while not implying that no teachers cover genocides in their classrooms, does leave secondary education exposed to weak or only partial coverage of these atrocities or even genocide denialism.
- Andrew Hakes
About Andrew Hakes
Andrew Hakes majored in history with two minors, one in political science and the other in psychology. He is also working to obtain the International Studies Certificate and Honors Medal. Andrew’s area of interest in history is revolution, particularly during the Cold War, and two semesters ago he studied abroad in Argentina. After graduating, Andrew plans to take a few years off to better decide what he would like to do with his life, but he does want to travel and increase his language skills.
My research entails analyzing three revolutions that occurred in Latin America during the Cold War (Cuba, Nicaragua, and in the Chiapas) and comparing/ contrasting the similarities, differences, and inspirations. In this, one can better understand why these revolutions occurred and help in explain any future revolutions, if any occur.
- Ariana Jehl
About Ariana Jehl
Ariana Jehl will be graduating with her B.S. in elementary education. During her time at IPFW, she has been involved in Students for Life, Love Your Melon, the National Society of Leadership and Success, Spanish Club, and the Honors Program. She enjoys being involved in her community by volunteering, instructing dance classes, coaching high school cheerleading, and leading a middle school youth group. Her passions include drinking coffee, meeting new people, helping others, and traveling. Ari leaves in April to teach English in Ecuador for a few months and is excited to see where life takes her!
The foreign language learning process is impacted by multiple factors. The focus of this project is to recognize that attitudes, held by both teachers and students, involved in learning a foreign language influence the way this language is taught and learned. Spanish speakers in a Spanish-speaking country such as a Ecuador, learn English as a foreign language with a majority of their learning done in a classroom setting. On the contrary, Spanish-speakers in a country such as the United States, learn English as a second language being immersed in the language both in the classroom and out in the community. Many extra-linguistic factors help form attitudes that teachers and students may or may not know they hold. Understanding and recognizing these attitudes can lead to more success for the teachers and the students.
- Zachary Jones
About Zachary Jones
Zachary Jones is a biology premed major who will be graduating this May. Zachary noticed Professor Mark Jordan’s interest in salamanders during his freshman year and decided to jump on the boat with him, traveling to many wetlands over the years to collect both adult and larval salamanders. Zachary has participated in the Biology, Chemistry, and Pre-Med Clubs, serving as both the vice president and secretary of the latter. Once Zachary graduates, he plans to work in a medical lab until he decides to pursue a career as a medical doctor.
Ambystomatid salamanders in Northeast Indiana consist mainly of two sexually reproducing species, A. tigrinum and A. texanum, and one species that reproduces through kleptogenesis: the all-female, unisexual Ambystoma. Kleptogenesis is a form of unisexual reproduction in which a female steals sperm from another species, within the same genus, to reproduce (Bogart et al. 2007). Since kleptogenesis results in increased genetic diversity, unisexuals gain a fitness advantage in the environment (Bogart et al. 2007). Little is known about the breeding migrations in Ambystomatid salamander communities, but even less is known about migrations of communities containing unisexuals. I hypothesized that unisexuals will migrate to wetlands earlier than A. texanum females in order to gain a competitive advantage for successful kelptogenesis as result of the aforementioned selective advantage. A. tigrinum do not hybridize with unisexuals at Eagle Marsh, which suggests there will be little interaction. Over a five-year period, 131 A. texanum, 188 A. tigrinum, and 133 A>/i>. unisexuals were captured during their breeding seasons ranging from late February through May. Unisexuals demonstrated an earlier migration than A. texanum females in 2010, 2012, and 2013. Data for A. tigrinum demonstrated no special interaction with unisexuals.
- Dayvid Myers
About Dayvid Myers
Dayvid Myers began attending IPFW as a dual-credit student in the spring of 2013. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Scholarship based on his SAT scores. He enrolled as a full-time student in the Information Technology program in the fall of 2013. He later added minors in both computer science and organizational leadership. He joined the Honors Program in fall 2014. He earned the majority of his honors credits in H-Option computer science courses. His largest H-Option project was for his second semester Java course. For this course, he designed and programmed a Battleship game with a graphical interface and an AI opponent. To date, Dayvid has earned a 4.0 GPA in five out of his planned eight semesters for a cumulative GPA of 3.92. He was employed as a tutor at the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science’s Student Success Center before he left to begin a software developer internship at General Dynamics Mission Systems. Over the last several years, Dayvid has been privileged to learn from many incredible instructors in the fields of information technology, computer science, and organizational leadership.
I grew up on a farm and my family has always been into food preservation. Both by freezing and by canning. However, with several large freezers it can become difficult to remember what items we have, where they are stored, and how quickly we need to use them. The problem of items expiring simply because we forgot about them inspired me to begin work on an application to help people remember their perishable items before they expired. The result of my work is a SQL database application with a custom Visual Basics application for displaying information. The app stores information about perishable items including where they are stored, when they were stored, what type of item they are, how long they will last, and the number of days remaining until they expire. The interface allows the users to add or remove items as they buy or use them, and also enables them to customize other information to reflect their specific storage situation. The application also contains the additional functionality of a recipes list. This enables users to enter recipes and then compare a list of the recipe’s ingredients to the items they currently have in stock. The system can also recommend recipes based on items that are about to expire. By alerting user to items that are approaching expiration and suggesting uses for them, this application will help users reduce food waste and improve meal planning.
- Aaron Thieme
About Aaron Thieme</p >
Aaron Thieme graduated in May with a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in professional and applied ethics, a B.A. in women’s studies, and a B.S. and Undergraduate Research Certificate in mathematics. Over the last few semesters, he has been working at the Computer Science Department’s Analogical Constructivism and Reasoning Lab. He attended the 2014 Summer School in Logic and Formal Epistemology at Carnegie Mellon University, the 2015 Summer Seminar in Philosophy at University of Colorado Boulder (where he began work on his Honors Project), and the 2016 Summer School in Logic and Computation at the University of Göttingen. Aaron won the Indiana Philosophical Association’s Undergraduate Essay Prize in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and has presented his work several times at professional conferences. In the fall he will be attending graduate school in philosophy.
We often view the nonexistence of death as bad for the one who dies (when it deprives them of what would have been a good life, for example), but we do not consider one's prenatal nonexistence to be bad for the one who has been born. My project critically examines the argument that because prenatal nonexistence and postmortem nonexistence are identical states of nonexistence and our prenatal nonexistence is not bad for us, our postmortem nonexistence is not bad for us. If sound, this argument would entail that the nonexistence of death is not bad for the one who dies, even if their nonexistence means that they miss out on many good things that they would have received had they continued living. I evaluate the primary responses to this argument, and I contend that they are unsatisfactory. Ultimately, I argue that there is a difference between the natures of our past and our future that rationally justifies the view that postmortem nonexistence is often bad for the one who dies while prenatal nonexistence is not similarly bad for the one who has been born.
- Kakathi Tummala
About Kakathi Tummala
Kakathi Tummala was born and raised in India. She completed high school in India and took the necessary exams to go to medical college there. Although she was all set to go to medical school, Kakathi didn’t feel ready and wasn’t sure if she wanted to become a doctor. During a vacation to America after 12th grade, she decided that she wanted to study here. Her parents did not like the idea. In fact, nobody did. For them, she was not only doubting a good career choice but also wanting to study in a different country that is 8,792 miles away from home. To Kakathi, America presented the opportunity to explore different career paths that were not easy to do back home. Now, after almost four years of exploring, she is going to apply to medical school this summer. Many people told her that she wasted four years just to go back to the career choice that she had in front of herself in the first place. But to Kakathi there is a difference. Now she is choosing this career with all her heart and not because someone asked her to. From her experience, she has learned that it’s OK to be unsure sometimes, and it’s OK to wait and figure out what you want. You don’t have to do what everybody wants you to do (unless that’s what you want too).
What is a light? There is often an argument of whether light is a particle or a wave (it is a particle!). Scattering of light by small particles is a well-known phenomenon that is described by waves. However, the question is how does scattering work at the single photon level? The work I have been involved is the development of a single photon source, testing some basic quantum mechanics of photons and culminating in a comparison of single photon scattering with classical scattering. It is hoped that we can develop systems to “see” through dense media using single photons with the techniques we are starting to develop.
Class of 2015–16
- Justin Anderson
About Justin Anderson
Justin Anderson is originally from Kokomo, Indiana. He moved to Fort Wayne to work at General Motors after high school. After working at GM for some time and working with several engineers, Justin decided he wanted to pursue further education in the engineering field. Throughout the first two years of college, Justin worked part-time as a TIG welder while loading up on classes. The summer before his senior year, Justin accepted an internship at Tuthill Corporation, where he focused on manufacturing engineering. Justin was recently offered a full-time position as a manufacturing engineer at Tuthill and will be starting May 2016. Justin played baseball and basketball in high school and is still a huge sports fan. In his free time, Justin likes to work on his dad’s 1971 GTO and spend time with his girlfriend.
- Sarah Bercot
About Sarah Bercot
Sarah is an honors student graduating this year with majors in both French and English, with a concentration in literature. She has been president of the IPFW French Club for two years. While at IPFW, Sarah has been recognized for her work in French, English, and Arabic, and she has been the recipient of the Excellence in Foreign Language Award (Arabic and French), Excellence in Service of a Foreign Language Award (French), the Outstanding Senior Award, and the Beverly Hume Memorial Award. She also won third place in this year’s Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium for her poster titled “The Algerian Revolution: Zhor Zerari’s Prison Poetry in Translation.” Sarah plans to enroll in graduate school to pursue a career in translation, but is looking forward to first spending the next academic year living in France, having accepted an assistant teaching position with the Académie de Nancy-Metz.
- Matthew Furge
About Matthew Furge
Matthew Furge is a Chancellor’s Distinguished Scholar and has had the opportunity to pursue three majors during his tenure at IPFW. He is scheduled to graduate in May with degrees in business finance, economics, and interpersonal and organizational communication. The combination of these degrees was chosen in an effort to combine two key aspects of his life: conducting research and interacting with others. As a student on campus, he has had the opportunity to pursue individual research topics that have led to service learning and personal research projects. Matthew has had the opportunity to present his findings in significant ways, including presenting his service learning findings to the Erin’s House organization in Fort Wayne. Matthew also had the chance to witness academics present research findings at a professional economics conference in Chicago, where he was able to present his initial honors research findings. While studying at IPFW, he has had the opportunity to combine the theoretical foundations behind concepts with real-world applications. This past summer, he had the opportunity to travel to Korea to learn about the differing economy and culture of a foreign country in an effort to further solidify the basic principles gathered in the classroom. Matthew hopes to pursue an M.S. in either finance or economics in the near future.
Given the recent downturn of the United States economy, I wanted to delve deeper into some of the underlying causes. Much of the problem stemmed from the rise (and subsequent crash) of the housing market. In an effort to better understand the problem the United States was facing, I chose to investigate three main areas of concern: foreclosures relative to per capita income to show the effects of the housing market collapse, median home prices relative to the purchasing power of the consumer to show how consumers are somewhat to blame, and the trends in building permits to show the supply-side of economics in terms of future growth. The goals of the project were to understand these aforementioned factors while also conducting a comparison between a local area (Allen County, IN) to the nation as a whole.
- Sean Godfroy
About Sean Godfroy
Sean Godfroy is a senior in the Honors Program pursing an English major and a history minor at IPFW. He has been a dean’s list student for the entirety of his enrollment at IPFW and received the Sylvia E. Bowman Award for 2013–14. Sean is pursing a degree in English to further his goal of becoming a published author, seeing it as a valuable way to hone his skills. Through a combination of peer-reviewed papers at school and small online side projects, he has spent the last several years trying to refine his work in preparation for a large-scale project. He hopes to publish a story that can walk proudly alongside the many books that inspired him in both quality and success. Sean has worked in the College of Arts and Sciences publications office as an intern since last September and in the Writing Center as a desk worker and consultant since the year before. He held the position of senior content editor at the IPFW Communicator during the 2013–14 school year.
- Sara Jackson
About Sara Jackson
Sara Jackson is a proud daughter of Fort Wayne, who happens to be a geographical mutt after growing up in Florida, followed by many moves hither and yon. A senior at IPFW, she will complete a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing this December and a B.A. in French in May, after a semester abroad in Aix-en-Provence. Her research interests as an undergraduate student have taken her to 10 conferences and led to two publications. In addition to being a Withers Scholar, Sara is a member of the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi and has received scholarships from the university, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Honors Program, several academic departments, and multiple outside organizations. She has also completed the certificate requirements for the Honors Program at IPFW, an A.A. in history, a Certificate in International Studies, a summer intensive in human-rights law in Strasbourg, France, and a minor in medieval studies. While at IPFW, Sara has served in student government, the Writing Center, Model UN, Anthropology Club, French Club, the University Democrats, and the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta. After graduation, she looks forward to working as a teaching assistant for one year in France and later serving in the Peace Corps, while also pursuing an M.P.A. with a focus on international development.
Sealed nearly 800 years ago in a field called Runnymede, just outside Windsor, England, many suggest that one can feel the importance and significance of Magna Carta to this day. But just how big a debt do modern democracy and human rights owe to King John’s treaty with his frustrated barons? This project aims to position Magna Carta within its own context, circa 1215, and examine the importance of the document for its contemporaries, while also fixing it firmly within 2015’s increasingly globalized culture.
While some suggest a direct relationship that may not be supported by historical evidence, a retrospective significance of the charter within the realm of human rights is without doubt. Scholars, such as Christopher Daniell, J. C. Holt, A. E. Dick Howard, and Nicholas Vincent, among others, provide excellent historiography; to add to that, this project has undertaken to re-create Magna Carta in its material form and translated into the language of everyday people—Middle English, as a way to further examine the enduring influence of this germinal document. The culmination of this research is a bespoke magazine, which weaves together all of the disparate strands of inquiry noted above. Rather than a traditional presentation, this project will invite attendees to review this magazine while discussing several of its key elements in greater detail. Further material studies components of this project, including exhibition materials, traditionally produced parchment, and accessories related to manuscript production in the medieval period, will be on display for interactive examination during the talk.
- Amanda Leaders
About Amanda Leaders
Amanda Leaders is a senior double-majoring in business management and marketing. During her time at IPFW, Amanda has been actively involved in many campus groups and activities such as Delta Sigma Pi, Beta Gamma Sigma, the BIG Event, and a leadership retreat. In the fall of 2014, Amanda was picked to be one of 12 business students from the top 100 to be named a Bill Lawson Scholar, and she was invited to an exclusive business class: D490 Special Studies in International Business. This particular semester, the class partnered with Fort Wayne Metals. During this class, Amanda traveled abroad to Ireland to study international business and visited many companies, including a Fort Wayne Metals plant in Castlebar, Ireland. Amanda will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in business in May 2016.
Dental decay in young children is associated with difficulties eating, speaking, and functioning well in school. Poor dental hygiene at a young age significantly increases the risk of dental decay later in life. Frequent tooth brushing is a major step in the prevention of dental decay. However, only about half of preschool aged children are reported to brush their teeth twice a day. This study examines the effectiveness of mirror cling reminder cues in increasing tooth brushing for preschool children enrolled in local Head Start programs. Although a lot of social marketing programs use stickers and mirror clings as reminder cues, there is very little research that tests their effectiveness over the long term. This study consisted of a 6-week program where parents were sent a mirror cling of Roger the Red Robot, and asked to place it on their bathroom mirror where their child brushes their teeth. Through responsive text messages periodically over a 6-week period, parents were asked to report the number of times they brushed their child’s teeth, and whether they or their child suggested the tooth brushing. They also responded to a follow up question three months later asking whether their mirror cling was still up, and how often they were currently brushing their child’s teeth. Although results indicate that parents liked the mirror cling, there is no evidence that it increased the frequency of tooth brushing for the duration of the study. When it came to the perception of the mirror cling, however, parents reported that they felt the mirror cling helped to remind both themselves and their child to brush twice a day.
- Luisa Pires Luciano
About Luisa Pieres Luciano
Luisa Pires Luciano is a political science major who has been accepted to Georgetown University and American University in Washington, DC, for graduate programs in conflict resolution next semester. She is getting the Blauvelt Award for service in the political science department and has been selected to represent the class of 2016 at commencement this May. Luisa has been a member of the Model UN team for three years and president for two, during which she led the group to the American Model United Nations Conference in Chicago, one of the largest in the country. Two years ago, she was selected as one of the students to attend the Bahrom International Program in South Korea, where she studied Korean culture and history. Last summer, Luisa went to Germany to participate in the Europe and Middle East in Transition program, which prepared her for her Honors Project with classes on conflict management. For this, Luisa received three scholarships: from the Honors Program, the IPFW Office of International Education, and the Office of Sponsored Programs.
- Grayson Ostermeyer
About Grayson Ostermeyer
Grayson Ostermeyer is a biology major with a minor in psychology. As an IPFW student for almost five years, he genuinely attests to the excellent programs and opportunities that our university offers to students to reach their scholastic potential. Discovering the Honors Program a few years ago has allowed Grayson to take advantage of the H-Options to fulfill special projects, among them a research paper addressing the impacts of pharmaceutical patents on access to medicines in India, a review paper he composed describing common anesthetics and analgesics used in the United States, and interdepartmental research describing colony formation on spiral-shaped mollusk shells. His role as the LEAD peer health educator for the past two years has also provided Grayson with exciting learning and outreach experiences, such as a discussion of student suicide on WQSW-LP 100.5 FM, hosting fashion shows and cooking series, lecturing hundreds of middle-school students about alcohol abuse, addressing the Homestead High School seniors about mental health and the college transition, and being invited to speak at several live webinars. Grayson was awarded the 2015 Youth Advocate and Partner by the Allen County Drug and Alcohol Consortium for his active involvement in substance abuse educational initiatives at Purdue Fort Wayne. For three years, he has been involved in Professor Ahmed Mustafa’s students’ master’s thesis projects. Last spring, Grayson was awarded a summer research grant through the Office of Sponsored Programs to study sea cucumber stress physiology and sea cucumber tissues and elderberry extract, which constitutes his Honors Project work. Next year, Grayson will begin work toward his master’s thesis at Washington State University to characterize aspects of phloem transport in plants and will be supported through a teaching assistantship at the Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center by assisting students and faculty with various types of electron microscopes. Grayson is a recipient of the Dr. Beaumont S. Cornell Scholarship as well as a travel grant by the Office of Sponsored Programs to attend Aquaculture 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Crysta Terry
About Crysta Terry
Crysta Terry is majoring in psychology with a minor in biology and will be graduating in August. During college, she has been an officer for the Honors Student Organization and is currently an officer for the psychology honor society, Psi Chi. Crysta is a Chancellor’s Scholar and last school year was awarded the Honors Research Assistantship Scholarship for her work with Professor Ryan Yoder on spatial learning as well as the Honors teaching assistantship for PSY 329 Psychobiology. She has been a research assistant in Professor Yoder and Professor Carol Lawton’s labs for the past two academic years. Crysta has presented research for Professor Yoder and Professor Lawton’s lab at IPFW, Chicago, and New York and will be presenting for Professor Lawton and Professor Yoder again next month at MPA in Chicago. Last year, her research team was awarded second place at the undergraduate level at IPFW’s Research Symposium for their research with Professor Lawton on “Video Game Experience and Perception of Self-Motion.” She currently works as a mental-health assistant in the ER at Parkview Randallia. After graduation, Crysta will be applying for a behavioral neuroscience doctoral program.
- Kira Witte
About Kira Witte
Kira Witte began her IPFW career in the fall 2011 semester. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Scholarship based on her high school GPA and test scores, which constituted half of her tuition for her time at IPFW. Starting out as an elementary education major, she then added both the Early Childhood Dual License and the Special Education Mild Intervention Dual License. She also enrolled in the Honors Program and began networking with other honors students on campus. During her time at IPFW, Kira has maintained a very high GPA, earning a place on the dean’s list and semester honors list every semester. She has earned a 4.0 in five of eight full-time semesters, for a cumulative GPA of 3.94 at the end of the spring 2015 term. In the spring semester of 2015, when the education department reopened the IPFW chapter, Rho Kappa, of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honors society in education, Kira took on the position of secretary and aided her colleagues in recruitment, planning, and execution of initiation and meetings. During student teaching, Kira was awarded a stipend from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education of almost $5,000 for entering the high-needs field of special education. She is set to graduate at the end of the fall 2015 term. During the past few summers, when she was not in class, Kira spent her time working at Camp Red Cedar, which is a camp with programming for kids and adults with mild to severe special needs, as well as camp programming for kids without special needs. Starting out in the summer of 2013, Kira worked as a camp counselor for two summers and was then promoted to Activity Coordinator for the 2015 camp season. In the past four years, she has been challenged by her professors and peers, has had the opportunity to network with others in her chosen career, and has made good friends that she remains in contact with. When reflecting on her time at IPFW, Kira will never forget her experiences.
What explains the problem of bullying in local schools? Is the issue a lack of resources and research, or is it an unwillingness or inability to use these tools effectively? This project developed as an attempt to answer these questions. As part of the project, a number of different steps were completed: a book study of existing literature for children on bullying; creation of a new book; an elementary school lesson plan, in which students acted out scripted scenes and determined a more positive approach to a bullying situation, was designed and implemented; local schools were surveyed for their responses to bullying situations; research was done to analyze gender roles in bullying, the effects of bullying on both the victims and the bullies, and strategies to combat the growing epidemic. The book study revealed that a wide range of books for elementary and middle school reading levels in both fiction and nonfiction genres are available and accessible for teachers and parents alike. Through the created book paired with a lesson plan, students were able to use learned tools to take a stand in a structured environment, and then take the tools into their home and school environment. By collecting resources from local schools, a set of these resources was assembled to be used as is and for ideas in the future. Research aided in the understanding of how students relate to each other. The process and product of this project will be immensely helpful in the field of education. Through all of the components of the project, there was a wide range of skills developed and an important conclusion redefined: more than ever, bullying is not a topic that can be avoided or ignored. Educators must take an active stance to ensure that all students feel safe and secure in their school environment, and that all students have the opportunity to share their thoughts in a constructive way.
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