McNair Scholars

Oral Presentation Abstracts & Schedule

Day 2 – Tuesday, April 19

10:30 am – 12 pm: Alder Hall

1A COVID-19 Studies - Alder 103

Technological Transformation of the Church: A Case Study of Churches in Austin During COVID-19

Presenter:

Ariah Balbin Alba, Saint Edward’s University

Mentor:

Dr. Kelly Coblentz Bautch

Abstract:

This research project explores how churches in the Austin metropolitan area responded to challenges of COVID-19 by drawing on technology to meet the needs of their congregation. As the majority of places of worship were unable to congregate as communities for fellowship and service, churches–just as occurred in other areas of society during the pandemic–turned to technology for communication and synchronous gatherings. Some churches already had some facility with and use of technology pre-pandemic but other churches had a technological learning curve. Thus, one hypothesis explored in this study is whether in-person church gatherings transitioning online came with challenges to the church body, church leadership, and church volunteers as the need for labor, technology, and outreach towards the congregation grew. Using purposive sampling, this project is rooted in volunteer case studies of three non-denominational churches in Austin, which are distinctive in terms of size; these churches range from small (approximately 10-50 persons) to large (approximately 301-2,000+ persons) in terms of attendees. Through interviews with pastors at these churches and surveys with church leadership, the study explores what these respective churches learned about their technological needs and capabilities through the course of the pandemic in response to changing worship experiences that followed.

Consumption During the Pandemic: Conspicuously Consuming the COVID-19 Vaccine

Presenter:

Victoria Hernandez, St. Edward’s University

Mentors:

Dr. Molly Minus and Dr. Sarah Mittal

Abstract:

Defined as conspicuous consumption (O’Cass 2004), the consumption of material goods to establish one’s status has received plenty of attention by researchers (Corneo 1997; Phillips 2011; Chaudhuri 2011). While ample research has examined the relation between tangible goods and social status, little to no attention has been given to the COVID-19 vaccine as a status symbol. This study investigates the relationship between conspicuous consumption habits, educational attainment, and the timeline of when consumers received the COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 351 participants completed an online survey containing questions about conspicuous consumption and their COVID-19 vaccination timeline. Results indicate that consumers who scored above average in conspicuous consumption habits and higher than average in educational attainment pursued earlier access to the vaccine. It is noteworthy to consider that there is an interaction effect between conspicuous consumption and educational attainment; it is possible that healthcare access–in particular the COVID-19 vaccine–can be used as a status symbol for those who are highly educated. This research has implications for further understanding conspicuous consumption beyond the traditional sense.

The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Racial & Ethnic Minorities

Presenter:

Kimberly Guzmán, St. Edward’s University

Mentors:

Dr. Laurie Heffron and Dr. Emily Bernate

Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed social and racial inequalities in public health across the globe. The purpose of this study is to investigate how said inequalities have impacted the health equity of racial and ethnic minority groups, particularly focusing on the health disparities and barriers certain groups might face in comparison to others. This includes covering minority health, vaccine equity, vaccine hesitancy, and factors that have disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minority groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors help demonstrate how social and health inequities affect access to health care services and to COVID-19 vaccines. This study was conducted using secondary sources to gather data on minority health, the overrepresentation of vulnerable populations among COVID-19 cases, and vaccination rates for these populations.

Survive-At-Home Orders: COVID-19 Policy Through the Lens of Intimate Partner Violence

Presenter:

Tori E. Satterfield, University of Washington

Mentor:

Dr. Camille Walsh

Abstract:

Three years into the pandemic, the consequences of early United States COVID-19 policies on victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) remain largely hidden from view. This work investigates how polices like stay-at-home orders and the stalled renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), compounded by a lack of economic relief, may have influenced rates of family violence in the United States. I performed a literature review of over 40 sources from the past 10 years including data from previous natural disasters that required stay at home policies and current social trends that have been altered due to COVID-19 such as employment, substance, abuse, and mental health issues. These factors were compared to screening instruments designed to assess fatality risks for victims of intimate partner violence. My findings highlight a dire, life-threatening crisis that was perpetuated and prolonged by our government’s clumsy initial responses to the pandemic and reduced funding for victim services. In addition to renewing VAWA, rather than solely focusing efforts on crisis services, I recommend investing heavily in prevention programs. Due to the intergenerational nature of IPV, adopting this recommendation before the next disaster strikes may mitigate rippling impacts that could be seen for many years to come.

Overcoming The Pandemic: An Analysis of the
Strategies of Latinx Immigrants in Maryland

Presenter:

Victoria F. Joya Euceda, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Mentor:

Dr. Yolanda Valencia

Abstract:

Drawing from five in-depth interviews, this study seeks to understand how Latinx populations in Maryland have been impacted by, and endure, the coronavirus. As of 2021, the lives of 146.6 million individuals have been touched by the COVID-19, deeply affecting low-income minoritized groups throughout the United States, especially Black and Latinx peoples. Latinx immigrants face challenges of unequal socioeconomic opportunities such as being essential workers for low-wage jobs. In addition, often, their migration status justifies legal denial of healthcare access, unemployment and other social-safety-net benefits. This makes Latinx immigrants hyper vulnerable to diseases and viruses, such as COVID-19. This study will reveal details on how this population has been affected and how they overcome the virus, extending conversations on resilience, but also conversations around injustices prompted by the immigration law and reveal the importance of expanding resources and governmental support by the state of Maryland and nationwide. This work was funded, in part, by UMBC McNair Scholars Spring Research Institute and USM LSAMP, supported by NSF LSAMP Award 1619676.

1B Life & Physical Sciences - Alder 105

The Effect of Incubation Temperature and Measurement Temperature on Swimming Speed of Chorus Frog Tadpoles

Presenter:

Natalie Campos, California State University of San Marcos

Mentor:

Dr. Casey Mueller

Abstract:

Analyzing the physiology of tadpoles at different temperatures is of great importance for understanding how the environment shapes development. Environmental temperature has an enormous impact on the way tadpoles grow and how much energy they use. In this study we examined how swimming speed of chorus frog (Pseudacris hypochondriaca) tadpoles is influenced by chronic incubation temperature and acute measurement temperature. We hypothesized that at higher incubation and measurement temperatures, chorus frog tadpoles would swim faster compared to tadpoles incubated and measured at lower temperatures. Incubation temperatures were selected to reflect current field conditions (15°C, 10-20°C) and warmer conditions (15-25°C) reflecting climate change. We then measured swimming speed for each incubation treatment at the acute temperatures of 10, 15, 20 and 25°C. Tadpoles were video recorded swimming and the average speed of each tadpole calculated at each measurement temperature from at least three swims. Preliminary results indicate that both incubation temperature and measurement temperature have limited effect on swimming speed. Additional data will be collected to determine if this is a true finding, which would indicate chorus frog tadpole swimming performance is not strongly affected by a broad range of temperatures.

Using Minor Leaf Vein Density to Understand
Shifts in Plant Ecological Strategy Across an
Ancient Global Warming Event

Presenter:

Evonne Aguirre, University of Washington

Mentor:

Dr. Caroline Stromberg

Abstract:

In this study, I investigate potential changes in plant community ecology in response to Earth’s most recent major global warming event, the Miocene Climatic Optimum (MCO). During the MCO (17-14 million years ago) global temperatures increased by approximately 8° C and CO2 levels increased to 300-400ppm. In assessing these ecological changes, I use minor leaf vein density (mLVD), a leaf functional trait correlated with photosynthetic rate, as a proxy for understanding plant ecological strategies. This trait corresponds with the spectrum of “fast” versus “slow” strategies described in plant physiology, with high mLVD in fast-growing plants facilitating higher photosynthetic rates, and low mLVD reflecting slow-growing persistence strategies with lower rates of photosynthesis. I hypothesize global warming led to long growing seasons, enabling dominance of ecological strategies that prioritize persistence over productivity, and more favorable climates increased diversity of ecological strategies present within plant communities. Currently, I am measuring fossil mLVD from specimens collected in the Pacific Northwest from sites representing before, during and after MCO. I examine community-level distribution of this trait and compare between sites. I predict that plant community diversity would increase during this global warming event; I also expect to see higher variance in distribution of mLVD values as warming temperatures opened new ecological niches, while mean mLVD would decrease due to an increase in persistence strategies correspondent with low mLVD. This work helps not only to understand how plant communities responded to past rising temperatures but also how plant communities could respond to future changing climates.

Complete Thermal Tolerance Polygon of Freshwater Rainbow Shark (Epalzeorhynchos frenatum)

Presenter:

Perla Ochoa, California State University of San Marcos

Mentor:

Dr. John Eme

Abstract:

Understanding thermal stress is an active area of research that allows scientists to predict ectotherms’ response to climate change. The complete thermal limits of eurythermal fishes allows for predicting inflection points for ecological environmental cohesion. This is important as global warming is causing water temperatures to rise globally as other areas also experience colder temperatures. Thermal ranges of fish can be determined using critical thermal methodology (CTM) and chronic methods, such as when the fish no longer consumes food (‘cessation of eating’). The goal of this study was to create a complete thermal tolerance polygon of rainbow fish (Epalzeorhynchos frenatum) highlighting their thermal niche. We define ‘complete thermal tolerance polygon’ as an estimate of absolute chronic upper and lower thermal limits, along with the linear change relationship of upper and lower thermal tolerance measured following thermal acclimation at temperatures between the species’ chronic
thermal limits. This study will combine CTM following chronic thermal acclimation with thermal cessation of eating experiments generating a complete thermal profile using a thermal tolerance polygon. When using upper and lower temperature ranges, the polygon created will make two regressions CTmin and CTmax creating an intrinsic zone allowing scientists to determine temperatures fish can withstand regardless of acclimation temperature. The polygon will provide an overview of the temperatures a fish can sustain due to their acclimation temperature. and allow researchers to compare relative gain or loss of upper and lower thermal tolerance through acclimation, as well as the absolute size of the polygon.

Microbiome Engineering

Presenter:

Jennifer Espin, Washington State University

Mentor:

Dr. Courtney Gardner

Abstract:

Microbiomes exist in all ecosystems and are composed of diverse microbial communities and play key roles in many critical ecosystem services. One key ecosystem service is bioremediation, the detoxification of environmental pollutants through plants and microbes. However, bioremediation continued to be plagued by high failure rates in the field. Microbiome engineering, manipulation of the microbiome toward a certain type of community that will optimize plant and soil functions of interest, is a promising solution for overcoming barriers to effective bioremediation. This research will focus on characterizing the mechanisms behind microbial assembly, functional optimization, and resilience that drive pollutant removal. The method to perform microbiome engineering will start by selecting a diverse selection of soils across Washington State and bioaugmenting the developing plant microbiome using prebiotic (i.e., metabolism-based) and probiotic (i.e., delivery-based) engineering mechanisms that encourage the spread, stability, and pollutant removal activity of engineered microbiomes in lab-scale model phytoremediation systems using metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses. Pyrene, a toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, will be used as a model contaminant. During the plant microbiome engineering process, particular attention will be paid to plant-associated microbiomes to avoid microbiome perturbation, as this could bring undesirable phenotypes in the hosts resulting in diseases and disorders disturbing the balance of the associated ecosystems. This research proposal will bring new perspectives in microbiomes in the soil system in Washington State to protect the
environment and human health in the long term. This data will also assist other fields as well as can be used to restore ecological balance, improve human health as well as agricultural productivity.

Understanding the Photochemistry of Ni(II)-Based Cross-Coupling Catalysts

Presenter:

Breno Silva, Suffolk University

Mentor:

Dr. Ryan Hadt

Abstract:

Transition metal catalysts are widely used in cross-coupling reactions to construct new bonds necessary for the syntheses of pharmaceuticals and more. Recent discoveries have highlighted the application of photoexcitation to these reactions, allowing for new, sustainable pathways in bond formation. Nickel complexes can access a wide range of formal oxidation states and have been identified as photoredox transition metal catalysts. However, excited-state cross-coupling catalysis remains an underdeveloped area and understanding the chemistry behind these mechanisms poses a challenge in the field. Here, we report the characterization of a series of structurally and electronically tunable photoactive Ni(II)‑complexes viable for such reactions. The purity of these compounds was confirmed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and their photochemistry was then studied via cyclic voltammetry and electronic absorption spectroscopies. Given the broad scope of tunability, we have discovered trends in excited state and photochemical properties that guide mechanistic interpretations and future synthetic applications.

1C Public Health - Alder 106

Staking Claim: Representing and Serving Oceania Communities Through Data Disaggregation of Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans

Presenter:

Jillian Fuss, University of Washington

Mentors:

Dr. Holly Barker and Rachael Tamngin

Abstract:

Public health data shows that Pacific Islanders (PI) are at higher risks for certain types of cancers, substance abuse, and recently, COVID-19 mortality. However, PI health disparities are often concealed by the aggregation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander health data. The purpose of this study is to understand some of the significant health disparities specific to the
PI community, how data aggregation actively harms Pacific Islander health, and community- based solutions to these health issues. To investigate these problems, I ask what health disparities are prevalent specifically in the PI community, how many disparities are hidden in reports when combined with Asian Americans, and what resources could improve future health outcomes. I compared prior research studies on Asian American and Pacific Islander aggregated data to other reports with disaggregated data, and interviewed Pacific Islander community members on their health needs. I predict that our community will speak about how Pacific Islander invisibility contributes to their lack of resources and health disparities. My study will inform future collaboration with organizations on how we can shed positive light on our community, raise visibility and produce data specific to PI health, and support healthier behaviors.

Adverse Childhood Experiences in the Lives of Pregnant and Mothering Women Who Use Drugs

Presenter:

Diana Pena, Suffolk University

Mentor:

Dr. Rebecca Stone

Abstract:

There is a term referred to as the ACEs. This study aims to explore the hidden perspectives of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), through interviews of 30 pregnant women from low socio-economic backgrounds. ACE is defined as child maltreatment and exposure to household dysfunction before 18 years of age. In interviewing these participants, this
study attempts to highlight resources that these families lack. The interview process was broken down into three components. Those components are collecting demographic information, having participants go in-depth about their life in chapters with no interruptions, and interviews focused on respondents’ experience with motherhood and substance
use. The three most common themes were emotional neglect, physical abuse, and substance use. These findings can anticipate that these families have very low guidance and support when it comes to motherhood. Many women could not rely on their family members for support or even comfort. This research exposes the gap linking pregnant women and
ACEs. Additional research needs to be conducted to shed more light on the experiences of those affected with those ACEs and how to improve their lives.

Health Care in the American Carceral System: A Graded Report on Health Care Policies

Presenter:

Lindsay S. Dieudonne, Suffolk University

Mentor:

Dr. Jarvis Chen

Abstract:

This study aims to contribute to the body of research in the field of health care and mass incarceration by analyzing laws of the nine states with the highest prison populations using content analysis to examine the standard of treatment within the prison health care systems. The United States holds a quarter of the world’s population in prisons across the nation. These individuals are confined and dissociated from the rest of society, yet they deserve the same care as all other citizens. To ensure the incarcerated population receive proper care, a state’s department of corrections (DOC) will have health care policies in place. However, many prisons fail to provide adequate health care to their incarcerated population. A rubric was created to asses the policies in nine categories: policy coverage of medical care, policy coverage of mental health and counselling, policy coverage of dental care, access to prescription drugs without discrimination, insurance coverage with fees less than three dollars, an oversight board, updated policies, clarity in policies, and female services. This study found that the health care systems in these nine states were under-serving their patients in various ways, including: negligent behavior of providers, a lack of resources and proper funding, and discrimination. These results could inform policy makers and health care providers of the necessary improvements that must be made to protect the health of incarcerated patients. With these results, improved and uniform policies across all states can be implemented to guarantee adequate health care treatment for all incarcerated individuals.

Money, Values, and Time; How Latina Farmworkers Think About Motherhood

 

Presenter:

Daisy B. Santana, California State University of San Marcos

Mentor:

Dr. Jill Weigt

Abstract:

Motherhood is a social construct that is shaped by conditions and resources (Hays 1996). Because of the oppressive conditions they often face, motherhood among people of color can be more difficult and thus, the ways mothers of color care for their children can differ from the mainstream social construction of “good mother” (Hill Collins 1990). I wanted to investigate the meaning of “good mother” for Latina farmworkers and to better understand the kind of motherwork that Latina farmworkers. I am interested in Latina farmworkers because of my own experience of seeing my sister balancing being a mother and taking care of herself while she was in critical condition. To answer these questions, I conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with Latina mothers who work in agriculture (n=6) and examined how these mothers balance their work, family, and motherhood. In my paper, I explore that the ways that Latina farm workers define “good mother” and how their motherwork (Hill Collins 1990) is socially constructed. The women identified three different factors which constitute “good mothering”: providing, instilling values, and being present. Additionally, they often expressed marianismo–a cultural belief rooted in emulating the Virgin Mary which results in mothers being self-sacrificing – in the way they describe their mothering. I discuss how their understandings of “good mothering” relates to mainstream conceptions of good mothering and the motherwork Hill Collins describes while situating their carework in the challenging conditions of their lives.

Formative Research with the Female Community Health Workers (Marwo Caafimaad) Program to Reduce Maternal Mortality in Puntland, Somalia

Presenters:

Deqa J. Mumin and Najma Abdi, University of Washington

Mentor:

Dr. James Pfeiffer

Abstract:

Reduction in maternal mortality is a major priority for both the Somalia Ministry of Health (MOH) and Social Care and the Puntland Ministry of Health. This is done by conducting a needs assessment and formative research in Puntland, Somalia on a Ministry-led female community health worker program, known as Marwo Caafimaad, launched in 2012 across Somalia. The Marwo Caafimaad program provides needed health services for mothers such as medication, food vouchers, transportation, and more. In September 2021-December 2021, a Consolidated Framework for Intervention Research (CFIR) guide was used to collect qualitative data (focus groups and interviews) on facilitators and barriers to improvement of the Marwo program at eight sites, with a focus on increasing coverage of skilled attendance at delivery, including more successful referrals of high risk pregnancies to fixed maternal child health centers and rural hospitals. Our anticipated results will be from a variety of themes from recorded interviews with 13 female community healthcare workers (Marwo Caafimaad), 8 mothers in the community, and 8 in-depth interviews with individuals at the Ministry of Health. We predict three main themes from these interviews: focus for prenatal care, skilled midwifery, and health education for women. Our ultimate goal is to further decrease maternal health disparities through a larger scale pilot study in Puntland, Somalia and seek funding from USAID Somalia, the National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD), the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), and other suitable agencies active in Somalia.

Austin’s Approach to Youth Homelessness

Presenter:

Ellyzabeth Morales-Ledesma, St. Edward’s University

Mentor:

Dr. Christie Wilson

Abstract:

From 2015-2019 homeless youth were placed as a priority for the Austin community and in turn a priority for local organizations, advocacy groups and city leaders. Through partnerships between grassroots organizations and local government, and public input youth homelessness was seen as a sympathetic cause while adult homelessness was seen as a crime. This led to legislation and local initiatives to reduce youth homelessness to the exclusion of other homeless populations. The actions taken have led to Austin setting a goal for themselves to be the first city in the country to end youth homelessness by 2020. This presentation explores how this special population was able to have this concrete and attainable goal by looking at primary sources like the Austin Statesman, other local news outlets and local advocacy research materials. As new homeless ordinances are being introduced in Austin it is important to look at what has worked in reducing the homelessness and how Austin can use the strategies for one special needs group and apply it to the broader homeless population.

1D: Psychology I - Alder 107

Body Image & Mental Health Stigma in Brazilian Women / Women of Brazilian
Descent

Presenter:

Carine Rodrigues Santos, Suffolk University

Mentor:

Dr. Sukanya Ray

Abstract:

Beauty standards around the world are often dictated by the media and that is especially the case in Brazil, which is one of the largest plastic surgery hubs. The idealistic portrayal of how a woman’s body should look has caused concerning mental health effects that span across all ages. These unrealistic expectations have caused Brazilian women/ Latina women. The purpose of this study is to examine to what degree media exposure affects the mental health issues among Brazilian women/ Latina women. Examples of media, specifically the use of novelas on television, in Brazilian society were examined. Interviews were conducted with two psychologists to gain an understanding on how these body image issues are developed, what other disorders could be involved, and what preventative measures can be taken to lessen the negative impact of these unrealistic expectations from society. I identified Novelas — Brazilian soap operas and three major Brazilian broadcasting companies (Globo, SBT, & Record) for this purpose. These novelas were analyzed by looking at how diverse they were and how explicit the storyline was relating to the themes of body image, mental health, and sexuality. The novelas were found to be less diverse and they glamorized Western beauty standards. Moreover, similar observation and findings were reiterated by one of the two psychologists, who practiced in Brazil. The second psychologist is of Puerto Rican descent who also supported similar issues in the United States. This paper highlighted the need for more in-depth research on these health risk domains among women along with use of culturally appropriate treatment and prevention strategies in future.

Associations Across Preferences of Informal Subgenre Within Rap and Optimism, Depression, and Impulsivity

Presenter:

Oxala Da Silva, California State University of San Marcos

Mentor:

Dr. Aleksandria Grabow

Abstract:

Music has been utilized for decades as a tool to predetermine young adults’ mental health status and actions that may correspond with said status. Research has shown that there is some merit behind believing specific genres of music are correlated with one’s mental health. Although these studies are important in developing our knowledge about young adults’
mental health, there is research missing that examines the correlation between mental health and the various subgenres that have developed over the years, specifically in rap music. This study aims to examine the correlation between optimism, impulsivity, and depression in relation to the participant’s preference of an informal subgenre of rap (top ten artists, femme
artists, and alternative artists). Optimism will be measured through the use of the Revised Life Orientation Test (Scheier, et al., 1994). Impulsivity will be assessed using the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11; Patton, Stanford, & Barratt, 1995). Depression will be assessed through the use of Beck’s Depression Inventory (Beck, et al., 1998). Based on prior
research, it is hypothesized that a positive correlation will be found between alternative artists and levels of depression and impulsivity. It is also hypothesized that there will be a relationship between optimism and the preference for alternative artists. This research will contribute to our understanding and insight on various genres and the subgenres that are within them, as well as the potential to understand the mental health of young adults in a more holistic way.

The Effects Of Emotions and Dreams: A Sleep Study of Primed Emotions and Dream Response Using Content Analysis and Participant Surveys

Presenter:

Naylene A. Rivera, Suffolk University

Mentor:

Dr. Jarvis Chen

Abstract:

Dream continuity is a theory which explains when factors like emotions, and thoughts from the waking life are carried into dreams. There are many studies that link emotions to dream experience and content, which sparked the interest of this study. The purpose of this study was to seek supportive data for the theory of dream continuity to expand the range for others to use when developing specific treatments directed towards dreams and emotions. I hypothesized that there would be a positive correlation between emotions felt before bed and emotions felt in dreams. I recruited the 7 participants in this study via convenience sampling as well as self-selection sampling from different race, age, and gender. I measured the emotions and dreams via journals and questionnaires. I ran regression using SPSS to examine the survey data from our participants. I coded the journals for emotional intensity and vividness intensity using a scale from 1-10. The results from the journals also showed a positive, significant, and strong relationship between strong emotional responses to visual stimuli and emotions within dreams. The combined quantitative and qualitative data demonstrate a strong link between emotions and dreams. These results should be further explored to develop treatments for people with emotional and sleep disorders. Using the expanded, supported findings from this study, the theory of dream continuity could be applied to developing specific patient treatments for individuals that suffer from disorders that directly affect their sleep, dreams, and emotions day-to-day.

Single-Father Households: How Different Transitions Influence Parenting Style, Support Systems and Father-Child Relationships

Presenter:

Ayo Adaramola, Washington State University

Mentor:

Dr. Marian Amorim

Abstract:

In the United States, single fathers and the number of American children that live in single-father households are increasing: this number had grown from less than 300,000 in 1960 to more than 2.6 million in 2011. Despite increases in the prevalence of single-father households, scholars have mostly focused on the experiences of children who live in single-mother families; other studies have lumped single fathers together with single-mother families or other non-nuclear families’ forms. However, an understanding of how transitions into single fatherhood (through a divorce, widowhood, or never-marriage) can shape family processes (i.e., parent involvement, parenting style, support systems) father-child relationship is missing from the extant research. In doing so, this study extends our understanding of variation in the experiences of lone fathers and their children. I am working with Dr. Amorim, an assistant professor of Sociology who studies family demography and intergenerational dynamics. We have submitted our research to IRB and expect to start interviewing 30 single fathers to unveil how transitions into single fatherhood through a divorce, widowhood, or never-marriage influence fathers’ and children’s lived experience and well-being. We expect to find similarities and differences in the different pathways into fatherhood for divorced fathers, widowed fathers, and single-fathers who are not married. Understanding the variations in the experiences of single fathers and their children would extend the awareness to challenges and benefits of single-father households and help identify unique support systems that fathers and children in these households may need.

The Role of Emotion in Prejudice Confrontation

Presenter:

Jessica Orea, California State University of San Marcos

Mentor:

Dr. Sophie Trawalter

Abstract:

Racial prejudice negatively affects the physical and psychological health of people of color. One way to reduce prejudice and begin to repair some of its harm is by confronting it when it happens. Indeed, research suggests that direct and insightful confrontations—confrontations that connect individual prejudice to systemic racism—can repair some of the harm of prejudiced comments. White individuals may be especially well-positioned to confront in this way, yet often fail to do so. In the present work, I examined the role of emotional reactions to prejudiced comments in producing these kinds of confrontations. I built on a study in which white participants read a prejudiced comment, elaborated on their sympathy (toward the target of the comment), anger (toward the person who made the comment), or neither, and then wrote a confrontation. Results revealed that emotions did not affect whether participants confronted. As a next step, I explored whether emotions affected how participants reacted to the prejudiced comment and how they confronted it. Using a text analysis program, I analyzed how participants wrote about and confronted a prejudiced comment. I found that participants who focused on sympathy (vs. anger) were more self-focused, less analytic, and more focused on maintaining social relationships; in turn, they produced confrontations that were less insightful, less angry, less direct, and more focused on maintaining social relationships. These findings suggest that sympathy may fail to produce the types of confrontations most valued by students of color, which anger may produce..

Analysis of Deep Gray Matter Neural Atrophy in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Presenter:

Tatiana Vasquez, Suffolk University of San Marcos

Mentor:

Dr. Eric Klawiter

Abstract:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease that affects the central nervous system. There are several different forms of MS: Relapsing-Remitting, Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), and Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS). In a clinical trial, the Secondary and Primary
Progressive Ibudilast Neuronext Trial in Multiple Sclerosis, 255 patients with PPMS or SSMS received multiple MRIs over the course of 96 weeks. Using data from this trial, a new study is focusing on deep gray matter atrophy and its relationship to cognitive decline and
disability progression. The caudate nucleus is involved in planning execution of movement and its atrophy may lead to cognitive decline in MS patients. I used FreeSurfer to delimit the caudate nucleus and extract its volumetric data from MRI images for statistical analysis in
RStudio. After quality checking data and running a multiple linear regression analysis, I found that there was no significant correlation between caudate nucleus atrophy and cognitive decline or disability progression. As further studies continue on other deep neural
regions, such as the thalamus and corpus callosum, the aim is to better understand MS and find more suitable biomarkers.

3:30 – 5 pm: Alder Hall

2A COVID-19 & Education - Alder 103

Sense of Security at Home: Undocumented and Mixed Status Student Experiences With Immigration Enforcement During COVID

Presenter:

Ruby A. Reyes, California State University of San Marcos

Mentor:

Dr. Marisol Clark-Ibáñez

Abstract:

Local-level immigration enforcement practices produce anxiety in the daily lives of undocumented and mixed status students. In addition to the challenges COVID brought to marginalized communities, the political climate created a threat to immigrant populations including the attempts of the Trump administration to terminate DACA. The purpose of the study was to understand the experiences of undocumented and mixed status college students during the COVID pandemic. The study investigated experiences on learning from home, accessing resources and campus support, and health and immigration experiences during COVID. Preliminary findings were obtained from a needs assessment project on a CSU and community college in the San Diego region. A mixed-methodology was used, semi-structured interviews (N=11) and a survey (N=92). I will focus on findings of CSU students (n=42). I contributed to analyzing data, developing interview questions, and led the development of survey questions on immigration enforcement in the community. Participants included undocumented and mixed status students, a majority Latinx (91%). From preliminary findings, 66% of students strongly agreed/agreed to feeling a greater sense of relief from the at-home lockdown and 51% strongly agreed/agreed feeling more fear for themselves or loved ones while driving or walking during the pandemic. These results suggest the sense of security staying at home for this population as they are less likely to encounter immigration enforcement and deportation stressors. Providing remote options for learning and work may help decrease daily immigration related stressors students expose themselves and their families.

How to Measure School Functioning in Youth With Chronic Pain During a Pandemic: A Topical Review of Evidence-Based Assessment Tools

Presenter:

Mariam Benazouz, University of Washington

Mentor:

Dr. Emily Law

Abstract:

As many as 1 in 4 children suffer from chronic pain. These youth are more likely to experience chronic school absenteeism and bullying than their healthy peers. Most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed school experiences for youth across the U.S. due to prolonged school closures and changes in school policies. However, the impact of these policy changes on the school experiences of youth with chronic pain is largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to conduct a topical review in order to identify evidence-based assessment tools for evaluating school functioning in youth with chronic pain that would be appropriate for use in the context of the ongoing pandemic. We identified 10 papers that were peer-reviewed, published in the last 20 years, and had a stated aim to evaluate school functioning in youth with chronic pain. We extracted 12 separate measures of school functioning, which we classed into five domains including: school attendance, academic performance, perceived academic competence, dissatisfaction with school, and receipt of special education services. Our results indicate that there are several existing, evidence-based measures of a wide variety of domains of school functioning. Overall, we recommend administering measurement of multiple domains (rather than a focus on a single domain) due to the fact that all of the objective domains have become harder to accurately assess throughout the pandemic. Further research is needed to develop an objective domain that is able to fit the nuanced experience of school.

Reported Non-Academic Commitments and Sense of Belonging Among Marginalized and Non-Marginalized STEM Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Presenters:

Patricia Cabrera-Perez, Portland State University

Mentor:

Dr. Erin Shortlidge

Abstract:

Students who identify as historically marginalized in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields (e.g. race/ethnicity; first-generation) may experience lower sense of belonging on college campuses compared to non-marginalized peers. Engaging in meaningful connections at college can increase sense of belonging and has been identified as a persistence predictor in STEM. With the COVID-19 pandemic and abrupt shift to online learning, concerns over students’ sense of belonging have amplified. The purpose of this study is to identify whether student sense of belonging differs between marginalized and non-marginalized groups at one urban-serving public commuter university, Portland State University (PSU). Additionally, I will compare how non-academic commitments, such as hours spent working and caring for dependents, relate to reported sense of belonging for both marginalized and non-marginalized STEM students. To achieve this, I will analyze likert-type data collected in a 2021 Student Experience Survey conducted by the Office of Student Success at PSU. Descriptive statistics, t-tests, chi-square, and ANOVAs will be used to test for differences in belonging among groups and by hours of non-academic commitments. I anticipate these data will demonstrate an inverse relationship between hours spent on non-academic commitments and reported sense of belonging. We will also better understand who feels they belong at PSU and who does not. Given the findings of this study we can work towards interventions for increasing sense of belonging in both virtual and in person environments. We hope this work will motivate further research on belonging for students marginalized in STEM.

Los Caminos de la Vida: The Impact COVID-19 Had on Education in Rural Communities

Presenter:

Karina Flores-Camacho

Mentors:

Dr. Michael Spencer and Santino Camacho

Abstract:

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused students living in rural areas to experience exacerbated educational disparities. This included familial financial stresses, pushing many migrant students to prioritize work over school. The purpose of the study was to examine how the education trajectory of students in rural communities had been affected by the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. To accomplish this, we examined the extent to which familial needs impacted students’ post-high school educational plans, how financial strain influenced their post-graduation choices, and how students practiced resourcefulness and resilience despite experiencing economic hardship. In this community-based qualitative research project, I conducted semi-structured focus group interviews with Eastern Washington high school seniors who are 18 years of age or older and used a phenomenological thematic analysis to gather themes related to our research questions. As part of the research, I collaborated with a community advisory committee composed of teachers and recent high school graduates from Eastern Washington communities to develop the project’s research methods and to ensure the analyses and interpretation of interviews are reflective of the students’ experiences. We predicted that students will plan to alter their post-high school paths to accommodate their families’ needs. Anti-racist, strength-based, frameworks were used to make academic support recommendations for students in rural communities. Ultimately, this study can inform collaboration with community members to find solutions so we can best support students and encourage them as they navigate pathways after high school graduations.

2B Biomedical Sciences - Alder 105

The Influence of Riboflavin-Producing Bacteria on Women’s Health

Presenter:

Jocelyn M. De Paz, Suffolk University

Mentors:

Dr. Maghnus O’Seaghdha and Sarah Ahannach

Abstract:

Despite much recent progress in our understanding of the health benefits of riboflavin (vitamin B2), there is still an incomplete understanding on its impact on women’s health. Riboflavin is water-soluble and is constantly excreted from the body through urine. This characteristic makes it a strong vitamin to study as there is a low chance of it becoming harmful. It is easy to maintain a steady level of riboflavin as it is readily accessible in a balanced diet. For women, the recommended dietary allowance of riboflavin is 1.1 mg per day, although this intake will fluctuate between pregnancy and lactation. In collaboration with the Isala project at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, bacterial species from female microbiota swabs were isolated and examined. Here, we report the discovery of a newly identified strain of Lactobacillus: “Lactobacillus 502”, which produces riboflavin at higher levels than other strains tested to date. “Lactobacillus 502” is therefore a candidate organism for studies involving the potential health benefits of bacterially derived riboflavin. A hypothetical clinical intervention study has been set up to provide insight on how this strain can further be analyzed. Since riboflavin is excreted from the body, in situations where it cannot be replenished it is attractive to have a supply from the resident microbiota. In this way, Lactic acid bacteria-derived riboflavin has the potential to become a major contributor to women’s health.

Elucidating Advanced Bladder Cancer Biology in Paired Primary Tumors and Metastases

Presenter:

Kim T. Ha, University of Washington

Mentors:

Dr. Gavin Ha and Dr. Pushpa Itagi

Abstract:

Bladder cancer (BLCA) is one of the most common urinary system malignancies, with more than half a million new cases worldwide. To develop effective cancer treatments, it is critical to gain insights into the mechanisms of tumor evolution. This project aims to develop a comprehensive picture of BLCA tumor evolution and progression using genomic and transcriptomic data. A novel and comprehensive multi-omics study of matched tumor-normal rapid autopsy samples from 20 patients with advanced BLCA will be conducted. The laboratory of Dr. Andrew Hsieh has already completed Whole-genome and bulk-RNA sequencing for multiple tumors (19 anatomical sites) and normal/healthy tissue samples for 20 patients aligned with the Hg38 reference genome, preprocessed and curated. Using variant calling tools including ichorCNA, Mutect, MutSigCV, strelka, and MuSE, we will identify and categorize the somatic mutations, copy number alterations, loss of heterozygosity, and structural changes variants, tumor purity, and ploidy estimation for all matched pair samples. Using state-of-the-art tools to identify new biomarkers and therapeutic vulnerabilities for a lethal disease, the results could inform metastatic bladder cancer’s genomic and transcriptomic basis. This will subsequently lead to a deeper understanding of bladder cancer biology and its initiation, which will enable the design of personalized therapies.

Modifying the Conjugation Strategy of the VIPER Drug Delivery System Improves Its Cancer Peptide Delivery Capabilities

Presenter:

Tran Luu, University of Washington

Mentors:

Dr. Suzie H. Pun and Dinh Chuong (Ben) Nguyen

Abstract:

The Pun Lab has developed the VIPER polymeric intracellular drug delivery system. VIPER self-assembles into nanoparticles which are preferentially endocytosed by cells and can lyse the endosome via a conjugated melittin peptide to allow intracellular drug delivery. We have successfully utilized this system as a cancer peptide-based vaccine delivery system, which requires intracellular localization of cancer peptides to activate tumor-killing immune responses. Current iterations of VIPER employ pyridyl disulfide (PDS) to conjugate melittin to the polymer backbone via a cleavable disulfide bond, which limits its intracellular trafficking capabilities according to previous work. Here, I propose a more stable conjugation strategy through utilizing a pentafluorobenzyl (PFB) moiety. I hypothesized that this modification can enhance endosomal trafficking and improve its efficacy as a cancer peptide vaccine delivery platform. To test the hypothesis, I synthesized a VIPER variant utilizing PFB (VIPER-PFB) using reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization. I evaluated the endosome-lysing capability of VIPER-PFB via an in vitro red blood cell lysis assay, and its cancer peptide delivery efficacy in vivo using a model antigen. Surprisingly, in vitro, VIPER-PFB demonstrated less endosomal lysis capabilities compared to VIPER. However, in vivo, VIPER-PFB significantly elevated cytotoxic T-cell response against our model antigen. VIPER-PFB also notably improved helper T-cell responses compared to VIPER, which is also useful in an anticancer response. While contrary to initial expectations, these results demonstrate the effectiveness of VIPER-PFB as a cancer peptide vaccine delivery platform and motivates deeper studies into the requirements of cancer peptide delivery.

How the Tfh Response in Neonates Fed Breast Milk Devoid of Maternal Antibodies Impacts the Composition and Function of Intestinal Microbes

Presenter:

Stephanie Torres, University of Washington

Mentor:

Dr. Megan Koch

Abstract:

Breast milk is essential to a child’s health as it contains immune-modulating factors, including antibodies that shape infant immune responses to pathogenic and beneficial microbes. Breastfeeding is not available for all women and children and infant formula lacks maternally derived immune modulators such as antibodies. Using a mouse model, our group previously discovered that breastmilk antibodies help establish mutually beneficial relationships between the gut microbiota and immune system in infants. Specifically, we found that offspring lacking breastmilk antibodies mount dysregulated immune responses to the microbiota characterized by the expansion of CD4 Tfh cells and GC B cells in gut associated lymphoid tissues. Tfh cells are essential for maintaining intestinal homeostasis. One such function is colonization resistance, whereby the microbiota competes with pathogens to resist host infection. I hypothesize that the increase in Tfh and GC B cells in pups lacking maternal antibodies alters the function of the intestinal microbiota. To test this hypothesis, I first optimized a system to ablate Tfh and associated GC B cell responses in offspring lacking maternal antibodies by treating weanlings with anti-ICOSL. Next, I infected Tfh ablated and control animals that received or did not receive breastmilk antibodies with Salmonella typhimurium, a bacterial pathogen that must compete with the microbiota to successfully colonize the host. I found no significant difference in susceptibility to Salmonella typhimurium between the maternal antibody sufficient or deficient groups that were ablated of Tfh cells or not. Overall, my work aids in our understanding of how breastmilk antibodies shape long-term host health.

Generation of Murine Lung cDC1s In Vitro

Presenter:

Yuliana M. Romo-Perez, University of Washington

Mentor:

Dr. Megan Koch

Abstract:

In the lungs, conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) survey the tissue for foreign antigens and initiate immune responses. A subset of lung cDCs, known as cDC1s, are phenotypically distinct from cDCs and critical for T cell activation in diseases such as lung cancer and respiratory viral infection. Lung-specific cDC1 generation in vitro has not yet been achieved, and performing mechanistic studies in vivo remains difficult because cDC1s exist in small numbers in the lung. To generate sufficient numbers of lung-specific cDC1s, I examine how the addition of recombinant transforming growth factor-beta (rTGF-β) to bone marrow from mice affects cDC1 differentiation. TGF-β is a factor of interest because it is an abundant lung cytokine during development that upregulates genes associated with DC development, but its effect on cDC1 differentiation has not been documented. I first harvested mouse bone marrow, cultured these cells in FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (FLT3L), and subsequently added either recombinant granulocyte-macrophage stimulating factor (rGM-CSF) or rTGF-β individually or together. I then used flow cytometry to assess the phenotype of generated cDCs in these cultures. I obtained a small number of cDC1s that express the epithelial adhesion molecule (EpCAM), which our lab has newly identified to be expressed in subsets of lung cDCs. Results indicate that a combination of FLT3L, rGM-CSF, and rTGF-β increases the proportion of EpCAM+ lung-like cDC1s. Understanding the development of in vitro murine cDCs would allow us to replicate similar in vitro studies for human bone marrow-derived lung cDC1s and use them for developing cell-based therapies against lung diseases.

2C Humanities & Linguistics - Alder 106

The Philippines: A Beaded Visual of Rising Sea Levels

Presenter:

Aidelen Montoya, California State University of San Marcos

Mentor:

Dr. Lucy HG Solomon

Abstract:

The US Geological Survey (USGS) – the nation’s largest water, Earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency, concluded if all the ice caps melt, the global sea level would rise approximately 70 meters, flooding every coastal city. The Philippines is an archipelago country vulnerable to land loss. The purpose of this research is to spread awareness of rising sea levels in the Philippines through a visual I made by beading, a tradition practiced in Filipino culture. This work combines research on climate change, results from studies using new technologies, and the importance of beading in Filipino culture. Based on a study testing Digital Elevation Models (DEM), used for measuring land loss, CoastalDEM results showed that 190 million people live in vulnerable areas to sea level rising and coastal flooding. I then used a video visualizing rising sea levels in the Philippines and data from both the USGS and DEM study to create three comparative maps for my beading. One current (2020) map at zero sea level elevation, one dated for mid-century (2050) at 40 meters of sea level elevation, and lastly one dated for the end of century (2100) with 70 meters of sea level elevation. The maps further explored my Filipino culture by using blue beads for water, yellow beads for land and red beads for land loss; these three colors together are also used in the Philippines national flag. This work highlights the value of investigating the consequences of climate change and exploring cultural traditions.

Iris Marion Young, Historical Injustice, and Reparations: Applied Philosophy With the African American Redress Network

Presenter:

Wendi Zhou, University of Washington

Mentor:

Dr. Jose Mendoza

Abstract:

My paper analyzes the philosopher Iris Marion Young’s (1949-2006) application of a “social connection model” to the problem of responsibility for historical injustice in her book Responsibility for Justice (2011) and poses a critique to this model in addressing harms against Black Americans. I do this by putting her chapter on historical injustice in conversation with Roy Brooks’ Atonement and Forgiveness (2004), a work of legal scholarship on the similarly constructed “atonement model” for African American redress. I also hope to explore new avenues of philosophical research that are conducted in partnership with reparations organizations and individuals with a clear connection to specific past injustices. I do this through analyzing three group interviews of 3-4 activists each (Black, white, and integrated) and making use of three reparationist conference recordings in collaboration with the African American Redress Network (AARN), a coalition of national, state, and local reparations organizations. Overall, I argue that neither Young’s social connection model nor Brooks’ atonement model offer a satisfying solution to the problem of conceptualizing the Black redress movement in light of testimonies by and interviews with reparations activists. Instead, I propose a relational approach based on the principles of transitional justice proposed by Colleen Murphy in The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice (2017). In this way, I hope to not only bring more on-the-ground perspectives into the philosophical debate on Black redress (and historical redress more generally), but also reconceptualize philosophy as a tool to achieve the goal of racial justice.

The Monsters Within: An Analysis of Minorities
in the Horror Film

Presenter:

Julianna L. Kropla, Central Washington University

Mentor:

Dr. M. Eliatamby-O’Brien

Abstract:

Horror films are watched by many regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation. However, the horror film has been traditionally built off negative stereotypes of minorities. There has been a lack of positive representation for women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and Black individuals. The purpose of my research is to find the gap between horror media consumed by society and its exploration of topics such as racism, sexism, and homophobia. I aim to discuss the relevance and importance of representation. My research question asks: how have horror films portrayed minority groups and their identities during the 1970’s-present and how have these portrayals evolved? To answer this, I chose 11 horror films of varying subgenres to analyze. I read literature that formed an academic foundation to build my thesis upon. My approach of using a wide array of films as well as using queer, critical race, feminist, and film theory provides a diverse perspective. Minoritized peoples and their representation in horror now produce counternarratives that diverge from mainstream horror depictions such as the all-white, heterosexual, male-dominated casts. The horror genre has engaged in social commentary, and these films encourage the audience to think about trauma, society, and how we can change. My research importantly addresses instances of progress in horror media and makes social injustices and prejudices explicit so one can fight against them. As I continue in higher education, I aim to further this research and encourage those who make media to be inclusive.

Persuasive Language Skills in Youth of Diverse Backgrounds and Juvenile Justice System

Presenter:

Grecia V. Acevedo, California State University of San Marcos

Mentors:

Dr. Lori Heisler and Dr. Suzanne Moineau

Abstract:

Communication is an important skill to develop, especially for young adolescents endeavoring to advocate for themselves in different social contexts. Young offenders have been identified as a group of adolescents who have a higher proportion of language deficits than the general population, making it more difficult for them to maneuver a legal system heavily focused on language capacities. Research has shown that children with language disorders have more impoverished narratives than those without language disorders. There is limited information about how language disorders affect incarcerated youth in the United States, therefore it is important to collect local data to be able to provide appropriate support. We hypothesize that adolescents in the juvenile justice system will have a higher prevalence of language disorders than the general population. The first step is to examine the oral language characteristics and prevalence of language disorders in local adolescents, both those incarcerated and those in the general population. Persuasive narrative samples will be collected and analyzed with the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT) software. The persuasive narrative is a relevant language measure for this population as it mirrors the requirement to tell a story and persuade an authority figure. This research works to further develop our understanding about the communication needs of juveniles and how they should be supported. This project aims to develop a normative sample for our region (San Diego, CA ) and to explore where we may find patterns of difficulties in constructing persuasive narratives.

Linguistic Discrimination: Social and Environmental Factors in Heritage Language (Dis)usage

Presenter:

Jarely L. Aragon Ramirez, Washington State University

Mentor:

Dr. Anne Marie Guerrettaz

Abstract:

The United States of America’s language ideology is best described by Yu (2015) as “English hegemony over the home languages of children in immigrant families” (p. 57), put simply, replacing heritage language with English. Research has shown that the language policy in the United States’ education system negatively affects children of immigrants whose first language is not English because it communicates that their heritage and language are inferior. However, not all multilinguals believe that their heritage language is inferior to English. The purpose of this study is to identify social and environmental factors that impact heritage speakers’ perception and heritage language usage. To accomplish this purpose, I measure heritage speakers’ perception of their language, identify factors that impact said perception, and examine how these factors play a role in heritage language usage. In this mixed methods study, I survey and interview heritage speakers attending Washington State University who are 18 to 35 years old. Questions will measure factors such as educational level; intergenerational communication; media; and personal experiences using open-ended and closed-ended questions and rating scales. I anticipate that heritage speakers are more likely to have a positive heritage language perception and speak their heritage language more when social and environmental factors instill pride and provide guidance, opportunities, and resources to learn the heritage language. This study hopes to challenge the English language hegemony in the United States, bring awareness to linguistic discrimination, promote existing heritage language learning resources, and create a more inclusive multicultural/lingual environment.

We Are What We Read: The Problem of Representation on Undergraduate Philosophy Syllabi

Presenter:

Mykie Valenzuela, University of Utah

Mentor:

Dr. Carlos Santana

Abstract:

Academic Philosophy suffers from what’s been called a “demographic problem.” In 2018, only 1% of full-time philosophy professors in the US were black and women professors totaled just 17%. Progress in recruiting underrepresented groups has lagged far behind other humanities disciplines, particularly in race and gender. I hypothesize, given that undergraduate syllabi contain texts predominantly written by white and male philosophers that students from underrepresented groups are less likely to major in philosophy. I am testing this theory using several years of syllabi records from the University of Utah Department of Philosophy. Using the Simpson’s Diversity Index, based on assigned readings, each syllabus is given a score that illustrates how representative of the different identities of philosophers and authors. For example, if a syllabus only includes authors with the same identity, this would score a 0. This pilot study will analyze the average scores by semester and year to create a longitudinal comparison. I expect the diversity of authors for assigned readings included in philosophy syllabi will correspond to the diversity of undergraduates in the major. This novel research study will add to the literature that supports diversifying the philosophical canon.

2D Psychology II - Alder 107

Vicarious Online Racial Trauma and Academic Performance

Presenter:

Chartayia Crear, Westminster College

Mentor:

Dr. Susan Manville

Abstract:

In addition to academic stress, Black college students face the stress of constantly viewing viral videos depicting violence against people of the same racial identity as them. To date, research has failed to adequately investigate traumatization through social media and its impact on academic performance. The objective of this research is to investigate the relationship between vicarious online racial trauma and academic performance among Black college students. I use Educational psychology frameworks of traumatic stress among students of color to delineate the everyday classroom experiences of students negatively impacted by the content they see online. I will be surveying Black college students to collect data and perform multiple regression analysis. I expect results to reflect a preliminary negative correlation between trauma symptoms obtained from social media and academic performance variables. This study has implications for understanding and addressing one of the many disadvantages students of color face in education as well as providing literature for which administrations and counseling centers can respond to.

Wise Reasoning Between Different College-Generational Statuses

Presenters:

Kasandra C. Barajas

Mentor:

Dr. Alex Huynh

Abstract:

The present research aims to investigate the relationship between college-generational status (i.e., first-generation vs. continuing-generation college students) and wise reasoning. First-generation students are often exposed to new ways of thinking and may have to balance multiple perspectives in ways that continuing-generations do not. These experiences may contribute to differential approaches to social conflicts across college-generational status groups. In two quasi-experimental studies, I examined wise reasoning (e.g., perspective-taking; intellectual humility) between first-generation and continuing-generation college students when dealing with a social conflict. In Study 1, participants (n = 209) recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk were asked to imagine when someone disagreed with them on whether to wear masks. In Study 2, current college students (n = 300) were recruited and asked to recall a social conflict between themselves and a family member. Both studies measured wise reasoning using several reasoning strategies such as perspective-taking, intellect humility, and recognition of change. The two studies yielded mixed results. Study 1 demonstrated that first-generation (vs. continuing-generation) college students reported greater conflicting values between their education and upbringing, which resulted in greater wise reasoning. However, Study 2 reported that continuing-generation (vs. first-generation) college students reported greater wise reasoning. Study 2 results were moderated by self-efficacy, suggesting that low self-efficacy hindered wise reasoning for first-generation college students. Results from both studies suggest that college-generational status differences may depend on the sample they are being recruited from and highlight the importance of acknowledging first-generation college students’ experiences when considering how to support them.

How Well Do I Fit In STEM?

Presenter:

Rachael M. Jarrell, California State University of San Marcos

Mentors:

Dr. Anna Woodcock and Dr. Wesley Schultz

Abstract:

SAFE Model: State Authenticity as Fit to the Environment focuses on understanding the ways in which social identities influence a person’s choices about whether to approach or avoid situations, and is a social psychological theory often used in the workplace. The current study uses the SAFE Model as a framework, and applies these concepts to college students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) majors. We hypothesized there will be a positive correlation between GPA and well-being scale scores among college STEM students. Participants were STEM majors, recruited from 12 California State University campuses. Fifty-six percent self-identified as white, and 46% self-identified as LatinX. For wave one (N=1310) and wave three (N=1128). The primary hypothesis was tested with a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, computed to assess the relationship between GPA and well-being. For wave one, there was a small positive correlation between GPA and well-being and the relationship was significant, r(926) = .16, p < .001. For wave three, there was also a small positive correlation between GPA and well-being and the relationship was significant, r(1108) = .14, p < .001. Understanding where “leaks” in the STEM academic pipeline occur, and ways be might prevent this from happening, can contribute to the goal of diversity in the STEM workforce.

How Does Empathy in Everyday Life Contribute to Social and Personal Wellbeing?

Presenter:

Jessah Goldner, California State University Stanislaus

Mentor:

Dr. Daniel Berry

Abstract:

Social psychologists have long underscored the value of empathy for social and personal well-being. Empathy is multidimensional, however, and it is unclear how these dimensions to well-being. We used a daily diary methodology to record data from (N=99) undergraduates, who reported up to five social interactions. Having the opportunity to feel empathy is positively associated with higher social connection, global daily positive emotion, and helping behavior (ps ≤ .038). Perspective taking, compassion, and emotion sharing during social interactions predicted positive emotion, and social connection during the social interactions (ps ≤ .020). Emotional/motivational forms of empathy including compassion, personal distress, and emotion sharing were positively related to helping behavior (ps ≤ .005). Opposite to our prediction, compassion was related to global daily negative emotion. These data indicate that various forms of empathy are differently associated with social and personal well-being. Discussion will focus on how social interactions can lead to higher levels of empathy and well-being.

Exploring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatments for Youth of Marginalized Communities

Presenter:

Daniela Solis, Suffolk University

Mentor:

Dr. Lance Swenson

Abstract:

The purpose of this research study is to analyze the effectiveness of PTSD or trauma-focused treatments to reduce post-traumatic symptoms (PTSS) and development of co-morbidities in underrepresented communities. A systematic review of empirically supported treatments was conducted and limited by three categorical set of search terms: PTSD or trauma disorder, trauma-focused intervention, and youth minorities. The studies were collected within a 10-year published time frame and from two databases: PsychInfo and Medline. The findings of the systematic review emphasized that a variety of different group-based interventions significantly reduced PTSS, increased participants social networks and produced higher life satisfaction for unaccompanied asylum minors (UAM). Another set of results illustrates that Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) also decreases PTSS, reduces comorbidity symptoms of anxiety and depression, and benefits academic standing. These results indicate that once interventions are adapted to address specific needs of the youth community that fall within minority groups exposed to trauma or violence, it can effectively reduce barriers to mental health services.