McNair Scholars

Oral Presenter Abstracts & Schedule

Day 3 – Saturday, April 24, 2021

11:30 am – 12:30 pm PST

1A Sociology & Political Science

The Black Lives Matter Movement: A Case Study for Human Rights

Presenter:

Alexia Ferguson, Siena Heights University

Mentor:

Dr. Julieanna Frost, Siena Heights University

Field:

Political Science / International Studies

Abstract:

The Black Lives Matter Movement is being studied to evaluate whether it has the potential to expand human rights. The Movement will be analyzed to identify its structure, goals, and actions. Critical race theory will be used to understand the significance of the Movement. Prominent human rights theories, such as universalism, cultural relativism, and communitarianism, will be evaluated to determine if human rights can be expanded through these processes when using the Black Lives Matter Movement as a case study. This project used archival data and other secondary sources to accumulate data on the Movement, prominent human rights theories, and critical race theory. The hypothesis is that the Black Lives Matter Movement has the potential to expand human rights in a culturally relative manner in communities and on a universal level because of the organization’s structure and goals.

Racialization: How Does It Affect Latinx Immigrant Students?

Presenter:

Aurora Ceja, CSU Stanislaus

Mentor:

Dr. Jennifer Strangfeld, CSU Stanislaus

Field:

Sociology

Abstract:

My research is based on students experiences of racialization and their feelings of belonging in educational institutions. There are two hypothesis statements for my research project: 1) Latinx students who experience fewer microaggressions will feel safer and 2) Latinx students who have experienced more microaggressions will feel that their concerns on racism will not be taken seriously. This project will focus on Latinx immigrants students who live in a society that racializes them. It is important to know how students are being treated in the educational spaces because of the push for diversity. A campus cannot become diverse if students of color feel neglected and discriminated against, especially in Hispanic serving institutions like CSU Stanislaus. For my expected results, I anticipate that students have had experiences with racialization, which turn into shame or insecurity on being a university student. Which will then provide evidence that my two hypotheses are correct. The responses will hopefully lead to more exposure on the treatment of students at the CSU Stanislaus campus.

Quality of Life Differences: First-Generation and Generational College Students at Baylor University

Presenter:

Morgan Koziol, Baylor University

Mentor:

Dr. Coretta Pittman, Baylor University

Field:

Humanities

Abstract:

This study addresses Impostor Syndrome and class differences through an analysis of the quality of life for first-generation college students and generational college students at Baylor University. With 158 anonymous survey responses, 60 first-generation experiences and 98 generational experiences were represented. Participants responses were coded with IBM SPSS to run Chi Square and Fishers Exact tests in R that reveal statistical trends distinct to each student population. It was hypothesized that the difference in quality of life for these two student populations on the Baylor campus would be an issue of socioeconomic class differences. Results confirmed this hypothesis as financial independence and financial instability are most visible in Baylor’s first-generation college student population. These findings suggest that a students college experience is dependent upon their socioeconomic status, which then facilitates impostor feelings within first-generation college students.

Parole Recidivism and Mental Health Diagnoses

Presenter:

Haley Rose, Siena Heights University

Mentor:

Dr. Joseph Costello, Siena Heights University

Field:

Social & Behavioral Sciences

Abstract:

The criminal justice system often fails offenders that suffer from mental disorders. As a result, several offenders often reoffend as they do not receive the proper mental health services nor medication to help them. This has been an ongoing issue within the United States that is beginning to be acknowledged. This article examines the relationship between parolees with mental disorders and their likelihood to recidivate. A review of the current literature suggests an increased chance of recidivism among parolees with a diagnosed mental disorder compared to parolees without a mental disorder. Soon, survey data will be collected among parolees from four southeastern counties in Michigan further to determine the relationship between mental health diagnoses and recidivism.

1B Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Characterizing the Dysregulated B cell Response That Arise in Neonates Lacking Maternal Breast Milk Antibodies

Presenter:

Stephanie Torres, University of Washington

Mentors:

Dr. Meghan Koch, University of Washington and Fred Hutch

Bingjie Wang, University of Washington

Field:

Biomedical Sciences & Bioengineering

Abstract:

Breast milk is essential to the health and development of a child, containing antibodies that protect infants from common illnesses. However, exclusive breastfeeding is not always possible, and no infant formula substitutes for maternal antibodies. Previous studies on mice showed high germinal center B cell levels in response to the absence of maternal antibodies from breast milk early in life. However, little is known about the consequence of this, making characterizing the isotype, location, and duration of the antibody response in neonates (newborns) lacking maternal breast milk antibodies essential. For this project, I designed and optimized a tissue preparation and flow cytometry panel to assess memory B cells, GC B cells, and plasma B cells. The flow panel uses CD138+, B220- to identify plasma cells. However, CD138 can be sensitive to collagenase, resulting in the potential failure to identify plasma cells successfully. For this reason, I tested a range of collagenases, including Collagenase A, D, and IV. Concluding that CD138 was being cleaved off by all tested collagenases, I then used TACI as a new type of plasma cell marker. I evaluated these protocols by the viability of cells and the plasma cells’ frequency. This protocol allows for the determination of localization, persistence, and isotype of early life B cells activated in the absence of breast milk.

Modeling the Aberrant Active Site of Copper Zinc Superoxide Dismutase (SOD1)

Presenter:

Jimmy Martinez, St. Edward’s University

Mentor:

Dr. Santiago Toledo, St. Edward’s University

Field:

Chemistry

Abstract:

SOD1 forms oxygen and hydrogen peroxide to act as an antioxidant and scavenge for superoxide. Superoxide is a form of oxygen that possesses an extra electron. It is highly reactive and can give rise to the damage of cells. Certain structural alterations of SOD1 may influence the development of diseases such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a progressive malady that leads to the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. The origin of ALS has been linked to the oligomerization of aberrant copper zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Fluctuations within the electrostatic loop (ESL) of SOD1 allow for the formation of aberrant oligomers. The restriction of the electrostatic loop leads to a loss of mobility which in turn has an impact on the active site of SOD1. This influences the mobility of the active site geometries that lead to optimal function and ultimately can produce aberrant behavior. This alternative reactivity at the active site leads to overoxidation and ultimately the loss of copper. A deficiency of copper destabilizes the enzyme and in turn gives rise to the local unfolding of the ESL. In order to obtain an understanding of how different geometrical deformations such as the structural distortions at the active site of SOD1 caused by the restriction of the ESL, impact disease, I built a Cu(II)N4 pyridine based complex that might allow us to mimic these distorted geometrical states of SOD1. This complex was synthesized and characterized using structural and spectroscopic characterization techniques such as NMR spectroscopy and UV-visible spectroscopy. Preliminary results indicated that the Cu(II)N4 pyridine based complex has been successfully synthesized. Future work includes the crystallization of the complex, and the synthesis of a different model complex that would mimic the resting state of SOD1.

Is the Inverted Amplification Mechanism of the Yeast SUL1 Gene Dependent on Proximity to the Telomere?

Presenter:

Isabelle Young, University of Washington

Mentors:

Dr. M. K. Raghuraman, University of Washington

Dr. Bonny Brewer, University of Washington

Field:

Genetics / Genome Sciences

Abstract:

Copy number variants (CNVs) are typically a result of chromosomal duplications and deletions, making them a well-known form of genetic diversity and associated with several human disorders. Little is known about CNVs within humans and insight into CNV mechanisms would help scientists better understand, and potentially treat, many genome-based diseases. A particular form of CNV within humans is the inverted triplication of a gene without any chromosomal deletions. A similar phenomenon is observed at theSUL1gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells, providing a model for studying such CNVs. The Brewer lab proposed a replication error mechanism responsible for this specific amplification described as Origin Dependent Inverted Replication Amplification (ODIRA). What impacts the initiation of this mechanism is unknown, but the proximity ofSUL1to the telomere raises the possibility that properties of the telomere may stimulate replication errors responsible for the triplication. I conducted a literature review analyzing 11 articles discussing various CNV mechanisms and telomeric influence on replication to establish their relationship. Through my review, I found a likely method to test whether the telomere does affect ODIRA. I propose utilizing a CRISPR-Cas9 based method to first circularize and eliminate the telomeres of the chromosome. Subsequently, the chromosome would be linearized at a location distant from the original telomere sites, effectively moving the entireSUL1site away from potential telomeric influence. This research design allows for a comparison of SUL1 amplification events within the original and the restructured chromosomes and would reveal whether the telomeric region influences invertedSUL1amplification formation. An observed reduction in rates of SUL1 amplification events with the reconstructed chromosomes would indicate telomeric influence on the amplification mechanism prompting further examinations within that genomic region. Attaining a greater understanding of this CNV mechanism yields information for future implications in genetic disease research.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Expressing MHC Class I Genes Detected in the Pluripotent Stage in Universal Stem Cell Lines

Presenter:

Kayla Nguyen, California State University San Marcos

Mentor:

Dr. Bianca Mothe, California State University San Marcos

Field:

Molecular & Cellular Biology

Abstract:

The ability to take any type of adult cell on the human body and to reprogram it back to its pluripotent state has created a plethora of opportunities in the field of regenerative medicine. Induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) can be differentiated into almost any cell type desired, which can ultimately be used for cell-based therapy. Although this method is promising, it requires a lot of time, effort, and money. Research has recently moved towards the idea of a universal stem cell line that can be mass-produced and readily available to any patient in need. To do this, the universal stem cell should not express Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Class I genes, otherwise, the human immune system would reject these cells. There is no current evidence of MHC expression in IPSCs. Previous studies show low levels of MHC expression on ES and IPSC cells, therefore we hypothesized, at the pluripotent stem cell stage, there would be little or no expression of MHC on the surface of the cells. We tested a commonly used, commercially available, IPSC line for MHC expression using flow cytometry for the presence of MHC using the W6/32 antibody. An ANOVA test was used to determine the statistical significance of our data from our repeated flow cytometry experiments. We found that there is a statistical significance between our MHC-negative control line with our IPSC line (p0.001) and there is no significant difference between our MHC-positive control line with our IPSC line (p=ns). Thus, our hypothesis was not supported by our data and these IPSCs express MHC at the pluripotent stage. We are currently testing these IPSCs to better understand the nature of MHC class I genes and to help guide research in the production of universal stem cell lines.

1C Psychology 1

The Underlying Processes of Statistical Learning in Bilingual Language Development

Presenter:

Yasmín Landa, University of Washington

Mentor:

Dr. Chantel Prat, University of Washington

Field:

Psychology

Abstract:

Statistical learning predictions based on pattern recognition from varied inputs is critical in language development. People reference previous grammar encounters in their native language to recognize language patterns, and a strong understanding of statistical learning in language could help create interventions that enhance language development and pattern recognition. However, most research studies on statistical language learning have focused on a select group monolinguals ignoring the bilingual community that represent 43% of the worlds population. As such, I review current literature on the unique language learning processes of bilinguals and ask the following research questions: Does bilingualism affect language learning speed, and if so, does it increase or decrease it? When subjects first acquired their second language, what key factors (such as age, proficiency, and whether their second language can be considered another native language) are present? Are there advantages or disadvantages associated with bilingualism in regard to statistical learning and language and how does this compare in relation to monolingualism? To answer these questions, I examined 10 articles that focus on languages across numerous learned languages. A preliminary review of the literature shows that bilinguals have different processes of statistical learning in language development compared to that of their monolingual counterparts. They also indicate that age at which a language is acquired further affects these learning processes. Additionally, results could reveal advantages to bilingualism that strengthen these language learning processes. This literature review can inform future research and studies of the effects of more than one language on statistical learning in language development and point to the need for additional research on not only bilinguals, but also trilinguals, etc.

Athlete’s Versus Non-Athlete’s Perceptions of Sexual Violence on College Campuses

Presenter:

Maddison Vansaw, Siena Heights University

Mentor:

Dr. Jonathon Kleinow, Siena Heights University

Field:

Social & Behavioral Sciences

Abstract:

Sexual violence is an issue that many faces today. For my research, I am investigating if there are differing perceptions of sexual violence between athletes and non-athletes on college campuses. Research has found that athletes do not believe that sexual violence is a problem because they have many other stressors associated with being an athlete; they do not see a real problem. This research is vital due to the fact of sexual violence being a real problem and seeing how athletes compared to non-athletes answer joint statements regarding sexual violence, more importantly, on college campuses. For my research, participants were asked if they were an athlete or non-athlete and other screening questions such as asking if they are 18 or older and if they were an undergraduate student. The participants were then provided ten statements, and they had the choice to strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, or strongly agree with that statement. There will be an overall comparison of how athletes and non-athletes answered plus how they compared for each individual question.

The Social Competence, Self-Perceptions, and Quality of Life of Autistic Adults

Presenter:

Marianne Garcia, St. Edward’s University

Mentor:

Dr. Emily Barton, St. Edward’s University

Field:

Psychology

Abstract:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social communication, social perception, and maintaining social relationships. Traits of ASD are often observed and diagnosed in early childhood and are present throughout the individuals entire lifetime. However, most of the literature focuses exclusively on children and adolescents, largely excluding adults. This narrow focus results in limited information on the functionality of support networks and social relationships for autistic adults. Because ASD manifests in a variety of phenotypes and symptoms, the specific social and communicative difficulties differ from individual to individual. To address this gap, this study investigated the self perceived social competence and quality of life of autistic adults by looking into the education level and the availability of support services received during and post high school. An online survey assessing social competence, self-perception, and quality of life was disseminated through email to reach participants (N = 6). Although there were some slight differences in social competence and quality of life scores, it was generally found that education level and timing of services did not significantly alter quality of life or perceived social competence. Study results were limited due to small sample size, difficult population access, and the specific subset of autistic adults who are able to complete an online written survey. More extensive research is needed to assert conclusive results about autistic adults and the strength of available support services.

The Effects of Attentional Focus in Fine Motor Skill Learning

Presenter:

Georgina J. Orozco, California State University, Stanislaus

Mentor:

Dr. Arya Alami, California State University, Stanislaus

Field:

Exercise Science

Abstract:

The goal of attentional focus studies is to identify whether internal or external focus of attention improves motor learning or performance on tasks. The majority of the attentional focus studies conclude that superior performance is achieved with an external focus but recent research suggests that there may be a difference when learning or performing a gross motor skill with or without vision. A similar fine motor attentional focus study has been already accomplished but this current study was designed to show whether there is a difference in the outcome when vision is eliminated. Will participants produce less error under the external focus of attention compared to the internal focus of attention and will fine motor learning occur? Sixteen right handed university students performed a finger movement task using a combination of keystroke sequences on a laptop with a blindfold. The participants performed six trials with five sets in each of the two focus conditions. Participants were instructed to pay attention to their finger movement (internal focus) and to pay attention to the target sequence (external focus), respectively, in the two separate conditions. Early findings show that all participants improved performance generated less error in the external focus condition compared to the internal focus condition. I will run a two-way repeated measures anova on the data in order to assess if the initial difference is statistically significant. These findings further suggest that adopting external focus of attention in fine motor skill learning without vision will lead to less error being generated. This research can be beneficial to educators due to the fine motor skills developed in early age and for medical professionals like physical therapists when executing the rehabilitation programs or other professions where direct view of fine motor movements is not possible.

1 – 2 pm PST

2A Education

Casa de Amistad: a Case Study Investigating the Role of Non-Profit Organizations in the Academic Trajectory of Participating Students

Presenter:

Yvette Conde, California State University San Marcos

Mentor:

Dr. Moses Ochanji, California State University San Marcos

Field:

Education

Abstract:

Although public education is said to be a tool for every student to benefit from, culturally irrelevant curriculum, instruction, and practices have rendered students of color insignificant in these institutions. So now the question arises, how do we create educational structures in which marginalized students can not only thrive but also feel valued? Tara Yosso offers critical insight that transforms the lens through which education is traditionally viewed upon. The community cultural wealth theory recognizes that students possess values that have been developed within their own communities. Casa De Amistad (Casa) is a Non-profit mentoring organization located in Coastal North County San Diego within a people of color enclave. This qualitative research investigates the impact that Casa has on the academic trajectory of participating students, while paying particular attention to the cultural elements that this program invokes. After obtaining IRB approval for this project, I was able to move forward with interviewing five alumni of the program as well as five current participants. Interviewees shared personal experiences that revealed the ways in which Casa influenced their academic trajectory. Results indicated that Casa provided stability, this included academic support as well as personal support given by mentors and faculty members. In addition, Casa also provides a platform in which parents of the participants become leaders within the program and are involved in their child’s education. Casas divergent approach to education provides a space where students can embrace who they truly are. These results suggest that after school non-profit organizations such as Casa, provide tangible and intangible resources that marginalized students are often denied. Therefore, to promote educational opportunity on a larger scale we must give more support to structures that focus on providing resources to marginalized communities.

BIPOC Experiences in Seattle Public Schools: Inequities, Access to Enrichment Courses, and Division Lines

Presenter:

Tiana Arzuaga, University of Washington

Mentor:

Dr. Shaneé Washington, University of Washington

Field:

Education

Abstract:

School segregation is viewed as a problem of the past as schools have become more racially integrated since the Jim Crow Era and the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka court case. However, a new wave of segregation is still present in our school system as a result of systemic inequalities that stem from continued racial segregation such as socioeconomic inequalities and redlining. The goal of this project is to critically examine the public school system in the Seattle area and expose disparities that exist between the more affluent, predominantly white North Seattle area versus lower income and more racially diverse communities within South Seattle. I conducted qualitative interviews with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students from each area to compare how their education differed in higher education preparation. Predicted results are that there are significant disparities in educational experience for BIPOC and other disadvantaged groups in the greater Seattle area as they lack equitable access to academic resources and enrichment classes either from school bias or underfunding. Results may also inform us of how the racial population is disproportionately spread across Seattle as a result of redlining and district dividing lines, with BIPOC taking up more lower income areas with less access to education. By studying the experiences of BIPOC in the Seattle area, I hope to help bring awareness to the still present issue of segregation in our school system. As they speak on their own personal experiences, we can learn how to better support these students and work towards structural change to dismantle the inequities they face in our current education system.

Informing the Need of Critical Thinking in Mathematics

Presenter:

Arlena Gavino, California State University, Stanislaus

Mentor:

Dr. Bjorg Johannsdottir, California State University, Stanislaus

Field:

Education

Abstract:

Based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, it seems that the public education system in California, United States is failing to provide students with essential problem solving and critical thinking skills in mathematics. Many studies have proven that students do not rationally think about mathematics word problems. Though, it comes to question that this issue may come from outdated and unrelatable terminology, or context of mathematics problems. Using a survey that contains the original and modernized version of the How Old is the Sheppard? problem (which states There are 125 sheep and 5 dogs in a flock. How old is the shepherd?) in schools in California’s Central Valley, this research discovered that word choice does not play a role in students performance on nonsensical mathematics problems; students significantly increase their critical thinking skills from middle school to high school; performance on traditional mathematics problems has no correlation to their performance on nonsensical problems; we speculate possible distractions in their testing environment and psychological tendencies that may have influenced our data, such as talking in the classroom and how math is commonly taught; and recognize that students critical thinking has improved from about 35 years ago (when the original study was done), but it still needs to be improved. We will also discuss ways to increase critical thinking in a mathematics classroom. This information may help teachers, text book authors, and others invested in mathematics education, create better material for students.

Secondary English and U.S. History Teachers Understanding Ethnic Studies as a Way to Combat Curriculum Violence Towards Students of Color

Presenter:

Alexzandra Roman, The University of Texas at Austin

Mentors:

Dr. Angela Valenzuela, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Keffrelyn Brown, The University of Texas at Austin

Field:

Humanities

Abstract:

Providing every child with an equitable opportunity to learn has been a continuous challenge in education. Students of color have been left out of their education, encouraged to check-out of school and be left behind. According to previous literature, the current curriculum in our K-12 classrooms teaches a set of ideals and principles that centers a white majority that enacts violence through acts of erasure, assimilation techniques etc. As a result of this violence, my presentation will survey the range of research that shows how white-majority curriculum enacts violence and argue a way to combat this violence through the implementation and incorporation of Ethnic Studies. The central question of my research asks, How do secondary English and U.S. History teachers understand Ethnic Studies as a way to combat curriculum violence towards students of color? To answer this, my research gathers data from interviews conducted with current secondary English and U.S. History teachers. During these interviews I will use a qualitative method approach as I pose various questions to generate whether or not the participants’ understand the current curriculum as violent, and if so, what they think of Ethnic Studies as a solution to said violence. I anticipate that my results will first, offer insight into what teachers think in a post Trump era, especially as it pertains to the evolution of ethnic studies. Next, this research will inform curricular development as it will provide a solution to the violent curriculum students of color are experiencing, and lastly, provide support for an Ethnic Studies centered curriculum in the classroom, reconstructing public school education as we know it. Given these findings, the implications of my research look to give credence to the incorporation of Ethnic Studies into K-12 curricula.

2B Environmental Science

Optimizing Millifluidic Channel Geometries to Reduce Dynamic Shear Stresses

Presenter:

Isaiah A. Cuadras, University of Washington

Mentors:

Dr. Jinkyu Yang, University of Washington

Shuaifeng Li, University of Washington

Field:

Engineering (Civil & Environmental, Mechanical, Electrical, Materials Science)

Abstract:

Millifluidic devices isolate biological specimens to create an environment where fluid flow rates and fluid properties can be controlled. The rapid decline of coral reef populations has led to an increased interest in using these devices to study the patterns exhibited during coral bleaching, a phenomenon where corals expel their symbiotic algae (primary source of nutrients). To properly investigate the ways in which the changing physiochemical makeup of the ocean induces coral bleaching, corals must be evaluated under conditions of minimized dynamic shear stress to reduce the possibility of flow-induced stress. Previous research suggests feasible flow conditions for defined millifluidic geometries; however, there is still a need to identify the result of changing channel geometries within millifluidic devices. This study uses COMSOL Multiphysics (a software that allows Computational Fluid Dynamic Analysis) to simulate the velocity and shear stress fields and investigate the effects of simultaneously changing pipe length, width, position, and well (the coral propagate location) geometry. Results showed that as geometries became more confined, the shear stresses increased, with the starkest changes in the shear stress field being seen when changing the valve diameter. The intensity of the shear stresses were greatest near the inlets and outlets (around 10-4 Pa), with the next largest values being seen in the wells connected to these inlets and outlets (around 10-5 Pa). These results provide the first step in achieving a framework for developing optimized millifluidic arrays, allowing for an increase in efficiency and reliability in related experiments.

Effects of Physical Barriers on the Genetic Population Structure of Longnose Dace, R. cataractae, in the Connecticut River Watershed

Presenter:

Tashfia Jilu, Wesleyan University

Mentor:

Dr. Barry Chernoff, Wesleyan University

Field:

Environmental Sciences / Ecology

Abstract:

This research reports on the effects of physical barriers such as waterfalls on the genetic evolution of the Longnose Dace, R. cataractae. Longnose Dace recolonized the CT River Valley and New England after the retreat of the Wisconsin glaciers, ca. 22,000 years before the present. During the period of recolonization, the glacial lakes at the front of the melting, retreating glaciers were deep enough to submerge the geological structures that today are the bases of waterfalls. After sufficient retreat, water levels dropped and fishes were stranded above the waterfalls and were genetically-isolated from other populations. The beaches that accompanied the glacial lakes have been dated for the CT River Valley and we know within 500-year isopleths the time of separation of populations above the waterfalls. Using mitochondrial DNA and nuclear microsatellites, I am testing hypotheses about the effects of physical barriers, such as waterfalls and drainage divides on the evolution of Longnose Dace. Our results demonstrate that all populations have unique genetic characteristics, such as private haplotypes and alleles. Furthermore, we reject the null hypothesis that large barriers to gene flow are the major element in determining the genetic structure of populations.

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

Presenters:

Evonne Aguirre, University of Washington

Macie M. Taylor, University of Washington

Mentors:

Dr. Caroline Strömberg , University of Washington

Alex Lowe, University of Washington

Field:

Plant & Animal Biology

Abstract:

Plants have evolved to represent a diversity of species, characterized by functional traits that dictate their performance in response to changing environments. One such leaf functional trait that relates to plant ecological strategy and is strongly correlated with photosynthetic rates, is minor leaf vein density (LVD). Our study will assess how ecological strategies within plant communities shifted in response to Earths most recent major global warming event, the Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO) from 17-14 Ma, where rises in both global temperature and atmospheric CO2 levels occurred. We hypothesize that global warming led to longer growing seasons and ecological strategies that prioritized persistence over productivity became dominant, and more favorable climates increased the diversity of ecological strategies present within the community. We will be traveling to various museums to photograph fossils that have all their minor veins preserved, collected from sites representing before, during, and after the MMCO in the Pacific Northwest region. Our goal will be to include several species per site, and photograph their fossil leaves under a stereo microscope. From there we will measure LVD using the program ImageJ using standard protocols. Once we have that data, we will calculate measures of the community-level distribution of this trait (mean, variance, kurtosis), and then compare those values between sites, and thus across the MMCO. In support of our hypothesis, we predict to see a lower mean and kurtosis, and higher variance of LVD values in MMCO plant communities, relative to those existing before or after the warming event. Overall this research is important to not only understanding how plant communities responded in ancient times to rising temperature but how plant communities could potentially respond to the rising temperatures in the future.

Taxonomic and Antibiotic Resistance Changes to Coastal Microbiomes in Response to Rainstorm Runoff

Presenter:

Christian J. Lopezguerra, CSU San Marcos

Mentors:

Dr. Elinne Beckett, CSU San Marcos

Shuaifeng Li, University of Washington

Field:

Engineering (Civil & Environmental, Mechanical, Electrical, Materials Science)

Abstract:

Antibiotic resistance (AR) is a global healthcare problem driven by the overuse of antibiotics in clinical, agriculture, and aquaculture applications. Urban and agricultural runoff introduce antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic contamination to recipient environments. Antibiotics change microbial community compositions in favor of resistant species and can trigger the exchange of DNA carrying antibiotic resistance within a given community. However, mapping the changes in microbial community compositions and AR gene abundance is yet to be elucidated in response to rainstorm runoff. We therefore analyzed the taxonomic and antibiotic resistance changes to coastal microbiomes in response to rainstorm runoff. Sampling at the lagoon outlet occurred over 14 days; before, during, and after the first two rainstorms of the 2019-2020 season. Coastal water was captured on-site on a 0.22 μm mixed cellulose ester (MCE) membrane filter. The lab performed total DNA isolation and shotgun library preparation on the isolated microbiomes followed by 2 x 150 bp paired-end sequencing. Microbial composition and antibiotic resistance gene identification was performed on the resulting metagenomes, to determine a time-course profile of relative microbial abundance and antibiotic resistance profiles. We observed an overall bimodal increase in alpha diversity and AR gene counts in the 24-72-hour period following each rainstorm. This is reflected by a relative depletion of Cyanobacteria and relative increase in Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Increases in Proteobacteria appear to be predominantly marine eutrophication-associated microbes while Bacteroidetes increases were predominantly freshwater- and soil-associated microbes commonly implicated in fish and human disease. These data reflect the effect of rainstorm runoff on the coastal microbial community compositions and the abundance of AR genes in coastal environments. Ongoing studies focus on quantifying these changes via statistical analyses.

2C Psychology 2

Perceptions of Benevolent Sexism and Their Implications for Women’s Mental Health

Presenter:

Abby King, University of San Diego

Mentor:

Dr. Kristen McCabe, University of San Diego

Field:

Psychology

Abstract:

Benevolent sexism is sexist behavior that attributes positive qualities to women, such as the idea that women are more pure or nurturing, while still maintaining gender inequality. This type of sexism is quite subtle and can even provide some benefits to women such as paternalistic protection. To differing extents, women may recognize the beneficial aspects of benevolent sexism and/or resent the insidious underlying implications. It is currently not known if women who view benevolent sexism positively experience fewer detrimental mental health outcomes when they encounter benevolent sexism than women who do not endorse it. Furthermore, little is known about how the context (work vs. romantic relationships) in which benevolent sexism is experienced may interact with these perceptions to influence women’s mental health. In this study, I examine how endorsing vs. experiencing benevolent sexism at work or in relationships relates to work/relationship satisfaction as well as to women’s levels of depression, anxiety and stress. In addition, I investigate if the relationships between experiencing benevolent sexism in work or relationships can be explained by how highly a woman endorses benevolent sexism in that particular setting. To address these questions I surveyed a sample of 250 participants who are 18 years of age or older, identify as women, are currently in romantic relationships, and are currently employed. Included in this survey is a new scale that I created to assess experiences and perceptions of benevolent sexism both within the workplace and romantic relationships. I anticipate that results will support the hypothesis that women who highly endorse benevolent sexism will experience less adverse mental health outcomes when faced with benevolently sexist experiences. My study will ultimately have important implications for understanding how subtler forms of sexism and varying levels of education surrounding such sexism can impact women’s mental health.

Sense of Belonging During Covid-19 for Engineering Majors

Presenter:

Rachael M. Jarrell, California State University San Marcos

Mentors:

Dr. Anna Woodcock, California State University San Marcos

Dr. Wesley Schultz, California State University San Marcos

Field:

Psychology

Abstract:

A STEM student’s sense of belonging contributes to their persistence and success in their major. Given the move to virtual instruction, I investigated sense of belonging among engineering majors at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) during the COVID-19 pandemic. I hypothesized there would be a significant difference in belonging between Hispanic and non-Hispanic engineering majors and a low sense of belonging overall. CSUSM engineering majors were asked to participate in an online survey to rate their sense of belonging in their major and at CSUSM. I conducted independent sample t-tests to compare sense of belonging between Hispanic and non-Hispanic students. I found no significant difference in scores between the groups, and sense of belonging in major and at CSUSM was relatively high for both groups. In future research, I will investigate whether these findings are limited to the engineering department or experienced by all CSUSM students.

Assessing Compassion Fatigue Amongst Social Workers in the Child Welfare System

Presenter:

Destiny Nicoll, St. Edward’s University

Mentor:

Dr. Adam McCormick, St. Edward’s University

Field:

Psychology

Abstract:

Child welfare research has historically placed little emphasis on the social workers who are on the frontlines in their work with children and families. Compassion Fatigue is a concept that refers to the emotional and physical exhaustion that can affect helping professionals and caregivers over time. This study utilized a quantitative approach to explore the factors that contribute to compassion fatigue, as well as its effects on social workers in the child welfare system. Social workers were assessed using the Compassion Fatigue Self-Test for Psychotherapists to examine the causes and symptoms of compassion fatigue amongst child welfare social workers. The results showed that social workers were less likely to have Compassion Fatigue if they had quality supervision in their agencies.

Through a Black Lens: An Exploration of Media Stereotypes and the Acting White Accusation

Presenter:

Kai Clemons, Kent State University

Mentors:

Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett, Kent State University

Elizabeth Jean, Kent State University

Field:

Psychology

Abstract:

Black youth face the difficulty of what it means to be Black into the conceptualization of their identity. Specifically, Black adolescent girls can be vulnerable to stereotypical negative media images as it can contribute largely to their perception of self and potentially influence their behavioral expectations in society. One form of societal critique is the acting White accusation (AWA) where several Black adolescent girls report being accused of displaying stereotypically White characteristics. In the current study, we sought to analyze if there is an existing relationship between the AWA and exposure to, appraisal of, and identification with media stereotypes of Black women? In answering the question, we collected data from 44 Black and biracial girls enrolled at three middle schools in Akron, Ohio. We administered a battery of questionnaire assessments and used Bivariate Correlations to explore any present relationships between the AWA and the variables: exposure to, appraisal of, and identification with stereotypical media images of Black women, frequency of the AWA and bother experience. We found significant negative associations between the appraisal of Black media images being significantly associated with AWA experiences, appraisal being associated with Bother experiences that relate with the AWA, and the appraisal of Black media images also being associated with bother intensity. We also found a correlation between the identification with Black media images and bother intensity. Given our findings, further clinical work should explore adolescent’s ideas of what it means to be Black and counteract these images with more positive messages about the adolescent’s identity. Further research should explore the impact of positive stereotypical messages, the presence of these relationships in Black adolescent boys, as well as the impact of these associations on psychological well-being.

2:30 – 3:30 pm PST

3A Humanities/ Anthropology

19th and 20th Century Mexican Identity: Expressing Gender and Culture Through the Arts

Presenter:

Eliana R. Flores, West Texas A&M University

Mentor:

Dr. Bryan Vizzini, West Texas A&M University

Field:

Humanities

Abstract:

In 19th and 20th century Mexico, marianismo was the term used to refer to the ideal Mexican women who were inferior to the male dominating world. In the mid-20th century, women began to enter the art scene, the music industry, and the battlefield. Artist Frida Kahlo and musician Ángela Peralta individualized their identity as Mexicanas who stood out from the revolutionary ideal with their talent and skills. In this study I focus on Mexican women artists and musicians, I argue that these artists and musicians created their own voice in the political world stating individual gender and cultural identity through their creativity which inspired others. These women were known to be successful in their careers while helping their fellow women to break away from the post-revolutionary ideal. First, several potential scholarly works were taken into consideration of how the review would be directed with some addition and limitations of sources through the Cornette Library database: ProQuest Thesis and Dissertations, ARTStor, JSTOR, ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Secondary sources are the main use within this research along with a couple of primary sources to support the thesis; a painting and CD. The result of this research was finding the first Mexicana musician and artist who paved the way for women, leading into the twentieth century, to express their gender and cultural identity through lyrics and paintings. I hope to further pursue my research of Mexicana artists and musicians in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The subject clearly adds to the conversation of gender and cultural identity through creativity and, consequently, merits much more attention than it has garnered so far.

Caught on Camera: Discourses of Globalization and Global Citizenship in Latino Film

Presenter:

Sarah Melissa Ramirez, University of Washington Bothell

Mentor:

Dr. Yolanda Padilla, University of Washington Bothell

Abstract:

The historically racist relationship between the Global South and the U.S. manifests in biased media representations that breeds ignorance about those countries and limited perspectives on the impacts of global citizenship and globalization in U.S. travelers. By intentionally exposing ourselves to culturally-appropriate representations of the Global South, U.S. travelers can begin to decolonize previous understandings of other countries and peoples. In my research, I analyze portrayals of globalization and global citizenship in the films Sleep Dealer (2008) by Alex Rivera and Ya No Estoy Aqui (2019) by Fernando Frias. I chose these films because they were created by Latino filmmakers who share the identities of the characters they portray. In my film analysis, I show how films, when created by filmmakers from the Global South, can aid in efforts to decolonize globalization and global citizenship, and the discourses surrounding them. Such filmmakers push against boundaries set by Western media that offer simplistic, often voyeuristic representations of the Global South, by presenting complex, realistic portrayals that offer more nuance to Western audiences. I also found that the two films grapple with issues of immigration; by centering their narratives on undocumented people and their experiences with citizenship, these films challenge the legitimacy of dominant definitions of global citizenship. These challenges to dominant discourses can breed inclusion for travelers of color and undocumented persons who would typically be left out of conceptions of travel or global citizenship.

Decolonizing Colonial Research: Mead in Samoa

Presenter:

T. Ronalei Gasetoto, University of Washington

Mentor:

Dr. Holly Barker, University of Washington

Field:

Anthropology

Abstract:

Samoan culture and identity are continuously changing, but this narrative is told by the West instead of Samoans themselves. It is necessary to produce research that counteracts the misinterpretations of Samoan Indigenous community that arise from research conducted by those outside the Samoan community. To address this problem, this literature review recontextualizes the research of anthropologist colonizer, Margaret Mead, within the South Pacific island of American Samoa, specifically Manua. Specifically, I do a critical textual analysis of Meads Coming of Age in Samoa by reading this research in conversation with Linda Tuhiwai Smiths work on decolonizing research methodologies, using Smiths decolonizing approach to understand and examine Meads scholarship. My findings highlight the interactions between research, epistemology, colonization, gender roles, and positionality within colonized research on Indigenous lands. Ultimately, I use Smith and her decolonial approach as a framework to challenge Meads understanding of the Samoan culture. As a Samoan researcher, these findings allow me to reclaim Samoan Indigenous stories and knowledge from Meads colonized research and provide a template for challenging and reclaiming other narratives of Indigeneity within academic discourse.

Decoding Race in Get Out: Different Audiences, Different Perceived Realities

Presenter:

Natalia E. Salazar, Purdue University Northwest

Mentor:

Dr. Jesse Cohn , Purdue University Northwest

Field:

Cinema Studies, Textual Studies & Literary Criticism

Abstract:

As the United States experiences race riots and protests, people are finally asking themselves the hard questions about racism. To help people understand what is currently going on in our society and what the reality of life is as a person of color in America, some modern-day directors have decided to portray racism through the horror genre to convey the terror felt by minoritized communities. However, as we know, audiences can perceive media differently than what the director intended due to different life experiences and demographics. This project was designed to study whether a white audience and black audience would interpret the movie Get Out differently. More specifically, this project was to determine whether white audiences would understand that these films are representing the real lives of people of color and learn to empathize with others unlike them from seeing this movie.

3B Public Health

A Literature Review of Mental Health in the Pacific Islander Community

Presenter:

Genesia P. Paolo, University of Washington

Mentors:

Dr. Michael Spencer, University of Washington

Camacho Santino, University of Washington

Field:

Public Health

Abstract:

According to the 1991-2015 Combined National Youth Behavioral Risk Surveys, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander adolescents had rates of attempted suicide two times higher than non-Hispanic Whites. However, there is a great lack of research and resources dedicated to Pacific Islander mental health. This literature review seeks to understand the unique experiences of Pacific Islanders in regards to their mental health. I reviewed 10 research articles concerning mental health in the Pacific Islander community, with a focus on adolescence and emerging adulthood since this is a critical developmental period that impacts the lifetime health outcomes of a population. These studies range in focus from documenting personal experiences to general disparities that impact this population. In the literature, I found that Pacific Islander youth experienced higher rates of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and psychological distress in comparison to non-Hispanic whites and other minority groups like Hispanics in the United State. These findings signal that future research should focus on identifying and better understanding the risk and protective factors that impact mental health outcomes in Pacific Islander communities. This literature review helps summarize the small existing literature, identify gaps in research about Pacific Islander mental health, and inform future research questions.

Power Analysis: BIPOC Health Services Systems Accountability in King County

Presenters:

Deqa J. Mumin, University of Washington

Vaidehi Chudgar, University of Washington

Mentor:

AyeNay Abye, University of Washington

Field:

Public Health

Abstract:

In our healthcare system, resources are not adequately distributed to Black, Brown and otherwise marginalized communities. This is the result of capitalist and racially motivated social structures that uphold white supremacy and heteropatriarchy. These systems maximize profits by maintaining power hierarchies between leadership boards and communities, subordinating those that are not represented in positions of power. Therefore, it is necessary to increase funding for Black, Brown and otherwise marginalized communities health services and systems accountability. The Tubman Center for Health and Freedom aims to establish a new funding system for healthcare organizations that restores power to historically marginalized communities. Our study investigates how power hierarchies are represented in funding distribution to ultimately identify which funding practices must be disrupted to build a healthcare model that promotes the wellbeing and health of its constituency groups. To conduct our research, we gathered information from government and community websites, and carried out interviews with Seattle Council members and a Washington State Representative to gain further insight on power hierarchies in our health system. We summarized our research using a Power Analysis grid, in which we placed researched entities, organizations, and influential people in relation to each other. In this grid, the x-axis corresponds to entities inclination towards our agenda or the opposing agenda, while the y-axis corresponds to how influential an entity is and their power to influence healthcare policies. Our findings reveal a complex system where money is distributed based on the agendas of larger businesses and corporations. We also found several gaps in information for where funding originates and the process by which money is allocated. One recommendation for future research would be to incorporate more community voices such as activists/organizers, and create a Power Analysis Grid for other public health related systems such as the pharmaceutical industry.

Human-Environment Interactions and Mental Health Outcomes in the Age of COVID-19

Presenter:

Katelyn R. McVay, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mentor:

Dr. Samuel Dennis, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Field:

Landscape Architecture & Environmental Psychology

Abstract:

Our concept of perceived mental wellbeing and how we use the built environment has been shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic in the past year. This research will investigate how humans in the city of Madison, WI have been using green spaces in the area and if these places have correlated with better perceived mental wellbeing in the age of COVID-19. We will utilize a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods and analyses in order to develop a well-rounded theory that will form our understanding of the relationship between mental health and our built environment. Additionally, demographic information will be investigated as well to understand how these data may influence use of greenspaces and possible mental health outcomes.

An Examination of Weight Status and Gender Differences in Associated Health Risk Behaviors Among Overweight/Obese U.S. Adolescents

Presenter:

Guadalupe Villanueva, California State University Stanislaus

Mentor:

Dr. Wura Jacobs, California State University Stanislaus

Field:

Health, Medicine & Clinical Care

Abstract:

In America, obesity levels keep rising. Especially among adolescents, many are carrying excessive weight which continues on into adulthood. This excess weight (overweight or obesity) is associated with impairments and diseases such as poor quality of life, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, some cancers, and earlier death. The purpose of this study is to examine whether and to what extent overweight/obese adolescents engage in other health-risking behaviors. I examine whether overweight/obese adolescents will have a reduced likelihood of meeting the 5-2-1-0 guidelines, whether the association between weight status and odds of engaging in different health-risk behaviors will be different for male and female adolescents, and if females will show a higher risk for multiple health -risk behaviors compared to males. Using data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 9th 12th grade students, I conducted logistic regression models to examine whether and to what extent overweight/obese adolescents engage in other health-risking behaviors among males and females. Finding showed that compared to their normal weight counterparts, overweight adolescents were more likely to consume alcohol, use marijuana, report current sexual activity and were less likely to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and engage in more than one hour of physical activity daily. Obese adolescents were less likely to report current sexual activity, eating five servings of fruits and vegetables, engaging in more than one hour of daily physical activity, consuming sugar-sweetened beverages. My results demonstrate a higher risk for engaging in other risk behaviors especially among obese females. My findings highlight the need for gender-tailored interventions to help target health risk behaviors obese youth are at risk for.