1: Skip to content 2: Skip to navigation

Abstracts - 2019 Dr. Rae Linda Brown Undergraduate Research Symposium

Published student abstracts from the Dr. Rae Linda Brown Undergraduate Research Symposium at Pacific Lutheran University, held on April 6, 2019.
*Abstracts listed in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author. Abstracts published as submitted by student authors.

Author (s)TitleAbstract/Artistic Statement
Logan AlbertHow to Get Away with Witchcraft: an Examination of Helena's Character in All's Well that Ends WellAll's Well that Ends Well, one of William Shakespeare's "problem plays", unusually features a prominent female heroine in the character of Helena. While Helena has been discussed by other literary critics, none have tied her to a witch archetype. To explore her witchlike attributes, this essay draws on primary archival sources on witchcraft and medical practice, such as the Malleus Maleficarum, as well as retrospective analyses of Jacobean culture by Deborah Willis and Harold Cook, to demonstrate that Helena occupies a tenuous position in society. I argue that Helena exhibits many traits that would have identified her as a witch to the audiences of Shakespeare's time, such as her gender, low social position, medical prowess, and existence outside of a patriarchal norm. Furthermore, conscious of her similarity to a witch archetype, she deliberately makes arguments to the king of France that address these traits and turn them into virtuous qualities, ensuring her survival and eventual success at finding love. Overall, this interaction between Helena and the king has larger implications about the period, namely that the fear of being characterized as a witch was very real, and that a certain amount of status, virtue, and connection to medical authorities could allow a person like Helena to avoid a dangerous association with a witch archetype.
Haedon Brunelle & Annika PedersonForecasting the 2020 U.S. Presidential ElectionWith the 2020 election coming up, people are wondering will Trump win a second term as President of the United States? Our research is aimed to identify which states are considered swing states for the 2020 election, as well as which states lean towards the Democrat or Republican parties. Our estimates will be based on voting comparisons of the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. Furthermore, factors that will also influence our data are race, gender, unemployment rates, and the median voting age of each county. Those factors will be applied at the county level to determine a forecast of the 2020 Presidential election. This is under the assumption that all electoral college votes from each state are aligned with their state's popular votes.
Aminda Cheney-IrgensThe Alamo: The Role of Education in Eliminating BiasIn examining the representations of Texas-Mexico history as portrayed in educational and government resources of both nations, it becomes clear that the conflicting messages provided about the reasons behind historically tense relations contain discriminatory and biased language that lead to misconceptions about Mexican Americans and impede cultural appreciation and understanding. The chosen sources were elected because they are mediums through which many students' understandings of different identities are constructed, and because they represent an apparent consensus about a perceived 'other'. This is particularly evident in the case of the Texas Revolution. While the Battle of the Alamo is highlighted in Texas history education as a tragedy, the portrayal in Mexican sources is not surprisingly of a different opinion. Considering the works "Getting the Facts Straight: New Views of Mexico and Its Peoples in Recently Adopted US History Textbooks in Texas" by Linda K. Salvucci, "Decoding the Social Studies Production of Chicano History" by Jonathan F. Arries, and "Folk Dress, Fiestas, and Festivals: How is Mexico Portrayed in U.S. Primary Gradeschool Social Studies Textbooks?" by Sherry L. Field et. al, the rhetoric around such events is analyzed as a powerful influencer of the understanding students gain of our nation's past, and the need for more holistic education to inspire rather than impede cultural connections. In light of the current political climate, the article "Racial Identity and Racial Treatment of Mexican Americans" by Vilma Ortiz and Edward Telles will be analyzed to investigate the effects of biased and misrepresentative education.
Aminda Cheney-Irgens**Impact of Pi Stacking on Decoupling of Segmental Motion from Ion ConductivitySolid polymer electrolytes (SPEs) are a promising alternative to the organic liquid electrolytes commonly used in batteries as they decrease dendrite formation thereby avoiding a short circuit pathway and reducing flammability. It is hypothesized that by adding the ability to pi-stack within the backbone of the polymer, the rigidity of the SPE will increase. This added rigidity may allow the separation, or decoupling, of the polymer backbone chain motion from the motion of the lithium ions. Two oxanorbornene dicarboximide backbones (with and without the pi-stacking) and with two different oligomeric ethylene oxide side chain lengths have been studied to assess the effect on decoupling of segmental motion from lithium ion conductivity.
Riley Dolan & Aziza AhmedA Solution: Mandatory Voting in the United StatesLow-voter turnouts in the United States and abroad sparked political analysts' interest in compulsory voting as an indubitable strategy to increase voter-turnout. Compulsory voting has been proposed by some as a potential solution to this. Compulsory voting is a system in which citizens of a country are obligated by law, usually with a threat of punishment of some form, to vote in their elections. For the eleven democratic countries that currently have this system, there has been a significant increase in voter turnout. This research asks: is mandatory voting the answer to low voter turnout and voter disenfranchisement in the United States? Further, can the U.S. feasibly implement a fair and just mandatory voting system? Our research, using secondary data from the American National Election Studies survey administered in 2012, will establish a robust model for compulsory voting applied in the United States. The latter half of this paper analyzes the potential implications as well as complications, informed by secondary research done by philosophers, economists, and political scientists. Our preliminary research has found that voter turnout in the U.S. would be expected to increase with mandatory voting, as well as have other side effects such as habit forming for voting, a spillover effect on civic engagement, increased bipartisanship, and decreased political polarity. However, there are several moral and legal arguments against implementing this in the U.S., as well as political challenges.
Christina Easley Effects of Advocacy Networks on the Work and Safety of Female Human Rights Defenders in Oaxaca, Mexico, Christina Easley, Pacific Lutheran UniversityAdvocacy networks and human rights defenders within them have been studied in terms of organization and identity. It is established that there typically is a root reason for individuals converting into human rights defenders (being victims themselves, growing up in environments that featured human rights work or human rights defenders, finding strong conviction and need to tackle injustices). It has also been investigated that human rights work is dangerous and is a line of work that runs the risk of persecution and retaliation, and also that Mexican states, such as Oaxaca, have higher rates of gendered violence, making the work of female human rights defenders more dangerous within those contexts. In the literature, these aspects have been investigated as well as the kinds of injustices women face, but what is lacking is information specifically on how female human rights defenders function in their line of work based on the social contexts they automatically exist in and influences of the social networks they create between themselves and other female human rights defenders and organizations. This research hopes to illuminate potential relationships between these factors that have not been extensively explored previously.
Sandra Estrada***"Para Seguir Adelante: Livelihood Strategies, Transnational Ambitions, and the Agency of Honduran and Salvadoran Migrants in the Pacific Northwest." Hondurans and Salvadorans have become adept navigators of spaces within the United States which can be xenophobic. Despite the various hardships they constantly encounter, these migrants also maintain transnational ties to their home countries - forging relations with family and friends in Central America, while also intentionally seeking opportunities for themselves in the United States. Based on collaborative ethnographic research conducted in the summer of 2018 among differently-positioned Salvadoran and Honduran migrants in Washington State, I explore their ingenuity in navigating daily life in the Pacific Northwest, using knowledge they acquire both during their time living in Central America and also in the years they have spent within the United States. The qualitative data I collected via thirteen different semi-structured interviews among a total of thirteen research participants, in addition to participant observation at three different community events, illuminate how migrants are keen to understand how political processes in both the 'receiving' and 'sending' countries will affect their own lives. In this paper I focus on migrants' individual agency and intentionality, revealing how their daily actions contribute to meeting distinct life goals - such as buying a house here, getting legal documents or building a life which they can retire to in Central America. Such findings from this ethnographic research contribute to our understandings of everyday migrant experiences once living in the countries to which they move, and current efforts among social scientists to study the dynamics of Central American transnationalism in the Pacific Northwest, and in the post-2017 US political environment.
Yina FinchA Breathless Ethnography: A Study of Sexual Harassment in French New Wave CinemaJean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1960), the most renowned French New-Wave follows a gangster, Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo), as he tries to convince aspiring-journalist Patricia Franchini (Jean Seberg) to run away to Italy with him after having shot a policeman.. Inspired by Jean Rouch's filmic ethnography, Godard aimed to create a film like Rouch's Me, a Black Man. As a result, Godard created what he describes as a documentary about Seberg and Belmondo and not the characters they created.
Consequently, while recent critics have considered Breathless to be an ethnography of Parisian youth, I interpret this it as being an ethnography of the film industry at large, particularly Godard's inescapable portrayal of sexual harassment. Today's #MeToo movement has exposed this symptom of continuing power imbalance in film. Since Godard intended for this film to be an ethnography, he leaves no explanations as to why the characters do what they do, leaving it up to the audience to assign meaning to the sexual harassment portrayed within the film. The audience thus becomes not only an observer of the film, but also a participant, for it is their interpretation of what sexual harassment is that vastly changes the film's meaning Through Laure Astourian's interpretation of Breathless as an ethnography and Rouch's influence, I will thus argue the importance of this participant-observer, showing how the audience itself contributes to the gender-power imbalance within the industry.
Rebecca Frampton & Ethan Warwick**Understanding How Sex and Ecosystem Influence Shape in the Three-Spine Stickleback FishThree-spined stickleback fish (Gasterosteous aculeatus) live in the northern hemisphere near coastlines. Marine, anadromous, and freshwater populations span a large geographic range and this species evolved a broad morphological, physiological, behavioral, and genetic diversity. Our study focused on morphological changes in the pectoral and pelvic girdles. The pronounced pelvic spines of marine sticklebacks potentially prevent large predators from swallowing them although some freshwater forms have reduced this trait in conjunction with decreased availability of mineral resources and fewer large predators. Pectoral fins function in locomotion and in parental care by males who fan their eggs, ensuring the offspring receive flow of oxygenated water, these adaptations and ecological functions enhance morphological variation between populations and sexes. Prior research suggests variation in sexual dimorphism of the pelvic and pectoral regions between populations of three-spined sticklebacks exists, to quantify these observations, we used specimens from localities in the Madeira Park region of mainland British Columbia (3 marine, 2 freshwater) and from the Barkley Sound Region of Vancouver Island B.C. (2 marine) to compare sexual dimorphism patterns between different population types. Employing a computational approach that quantifies shape differences, we measured 3D bone shape and identified patterns of sexual dimorphism within and between populations. Our results show that that shape in the pectoral and pelvic fins differs between populations, between sexes, and between both population and sex suggesting that ecological differences influence the evolution of sexually dimorphic morphology. Sticklebacks diversification serves as a natural experimental model for evolutionary patterns applicable to other species.
Samantha FullerJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Jurisprudence Examined Through the Equal Protection ClauseRuth Bader Ginsburg is arguably one of the most popular justices currently on the Supreme Court, often seen as a pop culture icon who is most heavily portrayed as a feminist liberal and fierce dissenter. This paper will examine the jurisprudence of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg concerning the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protections clause and attempt to ascertain whether or not the popular image afforded to the justice is truly accurate. By reviewing the opinions of Justice Ginsburg from the Supreme Court archives having to do with the equal protection clause, I will attempt to clarify whether such opinions illustrate judicial activism or restraint on her part. I expect that this paper will challenge the popular image of Justice Ginsburg by demonstrating that her jurisprudence is more aligned with a moderate jurist practicing judicial restraint. Further, I also expect that this paper will demonstrate that the popular association of judicial activism with liberal judges is a fallacy and thus not a feature of Justice Ginsburg's jurisprudence.
Laura GlastraMicroplastics as a Vector for Heavy Metals in Puget SoundEach year over eight million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans, with microplastics accounting for 93 to 236 thousand tons of that. Microplastics are marine debris that adsorb pollutants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and heavy metals. The goal of this coming research is to develop an experiment and a model to assess the sorption rates of Cd and Pb to polystyrene (PS) in Puget Sound. These data are important to study because of the lack of current research in this area of the marine sciences and physical chemistry.
Zackery GostishaTotalitarianism and Terror: Political Thought and the French RevolutionScholars have disputed the origins, processes, and analytical frameworks through which to apply Totalitarianism through the better part of the twentieth century and many have concluded that the concept's usefulness is outweighed by its lack of intellectual cohesion. The processes that cause Totalitarianism are likewise hotly disputed, with scholars placing the phenomenon's beginnings anywhere between the eighteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. This paper analyzes the debate on Totalitarianism's origins by showing that during one of the earliest periods that has been argued to be "Totalitarian," the French Revolution, the phenomenon was taking shape in the political thought of Georges Danton and Maximilien Robespierre, two key revolutionary figures. A definition which is not confined to a few twentieth century polities, if retaining the same key processes as other definitions, is a more useful for historical analysis than the particularistic definitions often used and avoids most criticisms of totalitarianism. This research engages with both the analytical and inceptive debate through a variety of sources, primarily historiographical. By applying a framework that distinguishes between theory and action, this paper argues that one can better understand Totalitarianism as a hypothetical ideal that forms when particular intellectual systems or ideologies are framed as ultimately true, absolutely right, and inherently deserving of total belief, both geographical and chronological. In this sense, Totalitarianism is a way of conceptualizing the world rather than an actualizable political system.
Kennedy Gwin & Nadine NabassRefugee Quota allotments in Relation to shaping US PolicyThe current refugee crisis is at an all time high globally. Within the US a hotly debated political topic is that of the refugee crisis. With refugees coming from both latin america and overseas the current need is not being met. This is further exacerbated by the Trump administrations refugee policies and other laws that prevent people from coming to the US to claim refugee status. Currently very little research has been done on the role of quota allotments, the president and how the administrations either aid or burden refugees with their policies. The goal of our research is to evaluate how quota allotments (set by the president) shape policy and if these policies help or harm refugees. We hypothesize, when analyzing the last decade of American government policy, that presidents who had a higher quota allotment for refugees entering the United States possessed a political agenda that advocated more positively for incoming refugee populations in comparison to presidents with lower quota allotments. Our hope is to draw attention to how problematic refugee quota allotments can be and how they negatively shape policy within the US. We also hope to highlight the role that the president plays within this process and how they can advocate for better policy.
Teagan Haden**Adding a Little Flavor to Our Understanding of Taste Bud Densities in MinnowsTaste enables humans to enjoy a warm cookie or spit out a recipe gone wrong and is, therefore, generally thought of as a sense restricted to the mouth. Some fishes, however, have taste buds on the body’s exterior. Called extra-oral taste buds (EOTBs), these structures sense molecules dissolved in the water and help fish locate food. Furthermore, the density and location of EOTBs varies among fishes. We investigated the impact of three ecological factors - diet, substrate, and water region - on EOTB density, hypothesizing that diets high in protein and habitats in deeper waters would correspond with higher taste bud densities due to molecular complexity and as compensation for a lack of eyesight, respectively. Eight species of minnow were used as models for this study because they were known to have EOTBs. From one specimen of each species, the lower jaw and an anterior portion of the flank were removed, sectioned, stained, and observed with a light microscope. EOTBs on each sample were counted and the data were used to estimate the EOTBs density for each species. There was no correspondence apparent between either diet or water region and taste bud density. Substrate type, however, displayed a distinct pattern. The species with the four highest taste bud densities tend to inhabit areas with rocky or gravely substrates, while the species with the three lowest taste bud densities tend to live over sand or mud. One possible explanation for this trend is that sand and mud, unlike rock and gravel, consist of fine granules easily stirred up by currents. Thus, particulate food residing on these substrates becomes suspended in the water surrounding the fish, increasing the ease of food location and decreasing the need for EOTBs.
Leydin Hernandez & Kaley NormanWho Am I? Self-Efficacy and Subjective Wellbeing as Predictors of Identity Exploration in Emerging AdultsIn 2000, Arnett proposed Emerging Adulthood (EA) as a developmental stage between adolescence and young adulthood, and provided a measure meant to explore characteristics of the phase. The Inventory of the Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood (IDEA)-8 has since been used as a way to measure for impressions of EA, including experimentation, identity exploration, a sense of instability, and feeling in between youth and adulthood. The current study addresses the validity of the EA theory by utilizing a larger, more diverse sample to replicate prior research. It was hypothesized that dimensions of EA would decrease as participants exitted the 18-25 age range. Researchers assessed this by running a linear regression between the four IDEA-8 subscales and the ages of participants. A significant decrease occurred in average scores on the IDEA-8 subscales as participant age increased, particularly as they progressed past age 25. This supported the hypothesis that dimensions of EA would decrease outside of the typical age-range and provides further validation for Arnett’s theory. Researchers also expected general self-efficacy would not predict changes in identity exploration, but subjective well-being would. To explore this hypothesis, separate linear regressions were run in male and female participants using scores of self-efficacy, subjective well-being, and identity exploration. For both sexes, self-efficacy was a good indicator of identity exploration; the higher their self-efficacy, the higher their desire for identity exploration. Subjective well-being, however, did not display a significant effect for either sex.
Tran Hoang**Using mutational DNA strand bias to link transcription to adaptive mutagenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiaeDNA mutations can perpetuate a variety of health complications, ranging from heart disease, to dementia, to cancer. Recent studies have shown that cells have some ability to accumulate mutations in an environment that does not foster cellular growth. This event is known as adaptive mutagenesis, a process where the cell acquires a mutation to overcome a selective pressure that is keeping it from dividing. In this study we address the relationship between mutations during DNA transcription and adaptive mutagenesis using the yeast cell Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the biological system. Specifically, we have used DNA sequencing of a target gene in a DNA repair deficient strain to identify a strand bias for DNA damage leading to mutations in the mutant cells. As the process of transcription uses only one of the two DNA strands as a template, such a strand bias localizing the initiating DNA damage to the template strand would support the hypothesis that transcription past these lesions can initiate adaptive mutagenesis. Our DNA sequencing results demonstrate that the lesions leading to the mutations identified were far more likely to occur on the template strand, providing support for this hypothesis More importantly, this work provides further understanding of DNA mutations to create more efficient drugs for therapeutic advancement.
Anna HurdA Comparison of Diet Between Home and Away Games in Female Collegiate AthletesCollegiate athletes have an increased caloric expenditure due to their rigorous training resulting in increased energy needs. However, they do not always monitor the quality of their nutritional intake, especially during road games. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the nutritional knowledge and intake of female collegiate athletes and compare their diets between home and away games. METHODS: Thirty-three division III college-level female athletes completed a nutrition knowledge questionnaire and the eating attitude test (EAT-26) to assess their nutrition knowledge and to determine risk for disordered eating behaviors. The athletes recorded their food intake on the two days before a home-game and on the two days before an away-game. A paired t test was used to compare the diets of the female athletes between the home and away games. Significance was set at p0.05). The mean nutritional knowledge test score was 49.9 ± 13.5%. Most athletes had low EAT-26 scores suggesting that there is low risk for disordered eating behaviors. CONCLUSION: In this sample population, the results indicate that the quantity and quality of the diet of female collegiate athletes did not vary between home and away games.
Jennica Kelm & Emily Ness**Decorating Carbon Electrodes with Gold Nanoparticles to Study the Kinetics of Redox ReactionsBatteries and capacitors are essential to storing energy in portable electronic devices, such as electric vehicles, smart phones, and laptop computers, but further technological advances are needed to increase the amount of energy that batteries and capacitors can store and the rate at which they can store and then release energy. Battery and capacitor electrodes commonly contain carbon because it is lightweight, safe, and inexpensive. However, carbon electrodes do not carry out redox reactions as quickly or as efficiently as gold or platinum electrodes do. Because precious metal electrodes are too expensive to be practical, we hypothesize that low-cost carbon electrodes can be made to behave as though they are made of gold by decorating the surface of the carbon with only trace amounts of gold nanoparticles. We tether gold nanoparticles (~10 nm in diameter) to the surface of electrodes and then make electrochemical measurements to test how quickly redox reactions happen on these electrodes. Our preliminary data shows that gold nanoparticles accelerate redox reactions, and future work is needed to characterize how much gold is attached to each electrode, how to optimize the amount of gold on each electrode, and how much this increases the speed of redox reactions compared to those on carbon electrodes.
Elsa KienbergerMultiple Hierarchies: Victorian Women Playwrights and Slavery AnalogiesVictorian plays have generally not stood the test of time, but those that have tend to be remembered and studied for the way their male authors challenged the era's social expectations. Research into Victorian female playwrights has increased in recent decades, especially in areas regarding their biography and unpublished work. However, few literary critics have analyzed their produced plays, despite their remarkable recreation and re-imagination of gender expectations onstage. While modern audiences may disapprove of comparing marital or romantic relationships to the injustice and brutality of slavery, Victorian women playwrights sometimes employed this comparison precisely for its hyperbolic nature, in order to exaggerate their gender criticism. A recurring analogy in drama by Augusta Webster, Mary Russell Mitford, and Lady Clara Cavendish compares marriage and other forms of heteronormative relationships—in the eras they wrote about and in which they lived—to female slavery, and portrays this as an issue that confuses and transcends class hierarchies. The female protagonists in their dramas, an ancient Greek slave, a Victorian British-Indian heir, and a seventeenth century British queen, represent differing social classes, yet all resent the common lack of agency available to them due to gender oppression. The slavery analogy also enables the playwrights to portray and criticize race relations during an era of British imperialism. Victorian women playwrights employ this analogy to display corrupt hierarchies in multiple forms to audiences, which then as the public have the power to turn fantasies of a more egalitarian society into reality.
Kiyomi Kishaba*Situating the Stories: History of Jewish Migration in UruguayUruguay's history as a place of refuge for European Jews fleeing antisemitism during the early twentieth century and the rise of global fascism has been understudied. Some of these migrants fled Europe as early as the 1920s, while others arrived in Uruguay shortly after the war, surviving alone or with family members. Working with a team of student and faculty researchers who are studying the experiences of Jewish migrants now residing in the Hogar Israelita, a former orphanage and home for the aged founded in 1937 and current nursing home in Montevideo, I have been translating primary and secondary documents for my non-Spanish-speaking professor as well as conducting historical research. I will help build the photos and recordings that we collected in January into a digital project. I've worked to situate these individual stories within a greater history to understand how political tensions of the time period and ideology of the government affected individuals and their families. As Jewish immigrants arrived, the presence of antisemitism increased through restrictive policies and pressure from the Catholic Church, despite the government's denial of racism and antisemitism. Study of previously recorded testimonies recorded in Spanish of Jewish immigrants, both before and after fleeing Europe, reveals the creation of organizations aimed to ease the transition of immigrants as well as women's associations and orphanages. The newly collected testimonies of the residents of Hogar, their families, and the staff, bring additional insight and nuance into our understanding of the Holocaust, the Jewish diaspora, identity, and migration.
Christina Knierim, Hannah Hutchison & Ceci HockmanThe influence of social condition on exercise performancePrevious studies have shown that exercising with a companion increases intensity and duration during single exercises. PURPOSE: To compare a group workout versus an individual workout, and to determine which exercise setting elicits better performance. This study also assessed personality factors and performance. METHODS: Twelve participants (age 20.42±1.31 years) participated in an individual and group workout. During the individual workout, the participants followed a high intensity interval workout video. The group workout was in-person and followed the same workout session. Six of the participants completed the individual workout before they performed in a group workout and six of the participants worked out in the group workout before they completed the individual workout. After performing both trials the participants completed a survey about their personality and workout enjoyment. RESULTS: The findings revealed that the heart rate in the group workout was significantly higher at each time point than when working out alone (p=0.0002). The group workout also showed a significant increase in the number of repetitions per exercise (p=0.012). However, the group workout did not show a significant difference in: overall calorie expenditure, RPE, and weights (p>0.05). The study had a greater proportion of self-perceived introverts (N=9) than self-perceived extroverts (N=3). CONCLUSION: The outcome of this study suggests that working out in a group setting compared to working out in an individual setting leads to significant increases in the heart rate and repetitions.
Cecile Lancaster & Vanna Vibar TangonanLaying the Path for Successful Democratic Transitions: A Cross-Continental Comparative Study of Paraguay and BotswanaThis research strives to expand the ideas in political science about the nature of democratic transitions. We highlight the key factors that determine a successful democratic transition through a multi-faceted comparative study of Paraguay and Botswana's transitions in the early 1990s through the 2000s. We explore various approaches by political scientists to determine and create a list of criteria with which to judge the success of Paraguay and Botswana's democratization. We take a comprehensive approach to rank how well each country implements democracy. To determine the success of these democratic transitions we analyze the following criteria: elections, diversity of political involvement, security and trust of the public, institutions to disseminate information, sustainable economic opportunities, human development, rule of law, and "political hope" for movement towards democracy. Data has been collected from democracy indexes, scholarly reports, and case studies. With this research, we hope to encourage the use of a comprehensive approach when analyzing democratic transitions and critique previously used democratic models to form a better path to democracy. This research expands the previous scope of study on democratic transitions by cross-examining two distinct countries in two distinct continents with entirely different histories. With this unique focus, our research takes a comprehensive view of the factors that can aid in a democratic transition, emphasizing the importance of analyzing the broader view of a country's democratisation. If we are correct, the factors that create a successful democratic transition will be far-reaching and diverse.
Emma Loest"rightful knitting and this endless oning": Monism, Dualism, and Paradox in the Writings of Medieval Women MysticsThe relationship between the soul and the body varies across genre as well as historical periods, and two dominant schools of thought have emerged. The first considers the soul and the body to operate as a singular unit. From this perspective, neither contributes more to an individual's identity than the other--they work in tandem. It is this monist approach to the soul and the body that many medieval scholars favor when studying medieval texts. The second school of thought constructs the soul and the body as independent parts of a person. This dualist approach aligns the soul more closely with the divine and the body with the flesh. Many medieval scholars favor a monist approach, while dualism emerges in criticism on the early modern era (1450-1750). However, the writings of two medieval women mystics-Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe-complicate this practice. In order to bring these conceptions together, I argue that a close reading of Julian of Norwich's Showings reveals that her "wounds" act as a somatic experience which brings Julian closer to God on the level of the soul. Furthermore, the explicit physicality of Kempe's ascetic approach to religion suggests a greater distinction between the soul and the body but not a complete division. By analyzing the physical and spiritual suffering of both women through a lens of paradox, I argue that the body and soul intermingle in a manner that is simultaneously dualistic and monistic. Paradox reveals how the two concepts actually work together rather than in opposition.
Megan Longstaff & Justin deMattos**Observational Astronomy in Tacoma: Analyzing Jupiter's Rotation and the Brightness Profile of Saturn's RingsJupiter and Saturn are our solar system's largest gas giants with some of the most popular features of any known planet: Jupiter's Great Red Spot and Saturn's rings. Over the summer of 2018, we analyzed these characteristics at Pacific Lutheran University's W. M. Keck Observatory. Closer to the Earth, Jupiter's atmosphere is subject to differential rotation in which the atmosphere of the planet rotate at different speeds. We use feature tracking and 2D to 3D mapping techniques to observationally determine the angular rotation of the GRS and compare it to the expected rotation of 11.5 km/s determined by the magnetosphere. Through our analysis we observe the movement of the GRS over multiple nights and determine the average speed to be around 10.97 km/s, a 4.60% difference from the expected value. Further beyond, Saturn's rings are composed of particles of ice and dust that are thought to be remnants of comets, asteroids, or moons that collided in orbit around the planet. Since these rings are not single structures, their particles feature non-uniform spacing. The light intensity of the rings increase as you approach the B ring from either direction (with the exceptions of the Cassini Division, Encke, and Keeler gaps). Our research focused on determining the spatial variation of these intensities as observed from our land-based observatory and comparing this data to Hubble Space Telescope data quantifying atmospheric scattering in Tacoma.
Kathryne McGregorTransformationsPortraiture can trigger a massively wide variety of messages, feelings, and even memories. These are things I focus on when I start a new painting. Due to the specific subject matter, each and every one is different and intimate in its own way. I like to experiment with different styles, color schemes, and compositions to emit thoughts, ideas, and feelings. I use everything from airbrushed and perfect to loose and expressive styles, black and white to limited colors to combinations of black and white and colors. All of this is to convey specific messages and ideally capture the essence of the person. It always comes down to the essence.

Through my series of Capstone paintings I would like to portray the different stages of a life leading up to a 'fully developed' person, particularly the different phases of adolescence all the way to adulthood (18 years). I want my art to represent those sometimes forgotten in-between stages of aging with signifying colors and unfinished stages of painting. In many ways this is a self reflection; a glimpse of the world through my eyes and the way I see the people around me (in this case, my brother). It is, in a way, the timeline of my life through the growth of another.
Nelago Nuunyango & Molly SullivanPresidential Rhetoric on Crime and Public OpinionIn the last 38 years, different presidents and presidential candidates have proven that the substance of their rhetoric can influence the probability and duration of criminal justice reform. The impact that presidents and presidential candidates have on public opinion causes one to question whether presidential rhetoric on crime leads to progressive policy reform proposals, or to more aggressive "tough on crime" policy proposals that create a public fear of crime and the individuals who commit those crimes. These are the questions that our research will attempt to answer by examining several different presidencies and their rhetoric towards criminal justice reform. We will be looking specifically at how rhetoric changes public opinion, for example, if a"Tough on Crime" rhetoric leads to a hard on crime response. Our dependent variable will be the change in public opinion, which we believe will lead to a change in proposed and enacted public policy. The ultimate goal will be to determine whether the public reacted to a President or Presidential candidate's rhetoric in a way that led to positive change or if they reacted in a way that was fearful and made the system more aggressive.
Hannah PetersonImmigrants and dialects? An investigation of cocoliche and how the dialect reflects the hybridity of two cultures in the porteño region of ArgentinaBeginning in the 1880s, tens of thousands of impoverished Italians immigrated to Buenos Aires, Argentina to create a better life. Upon arrival, they found themselves freshly socially alienated. Hybridity theory helps us understand this phenomenon demonstrated through cocoliche, the contact language spoken by the new arrivals. The period of mass migration lasted until the 1930s when Italy’s political turmoil calmed and struggling economy began to recover. The combination of southern Italian culture and Argentina’s produced lasting cultural changes and a transitory dialect that I classify as a contact language. Hybridity theory, which hinges on representing the voices of the subaltern, allows a reinterpretation of power that helps us understand the migrants’ unusual position in history as low class, white Europeans whose migration to the Global South ended not only in social stigma and continued poverty but also the dialect-speaking, comical, Southern Italian character Cocoliche. Cocoliche as a language has been studied by linguists in both Italy and Latin American southern cone countries. Cocoliche as a character has been analyzed as an element of Argentine theater. But despite these focuses little research has been done on the social and economic statuses of the Europeans who uniquely migrated to the Southern Cone and how their dialect reveals the oxymoron of their identity- that they held simultaneous and contradictory positions as privileged and yet destitute people.
Elizabeth Postovoit*Tweeting Authoritarianism: An Analysis of U.S. Political Discourse, 2015-2018"Tweeting Authoritarianism: An Analysis of U.S. Political Discourse, 2015-2018" draws from the Kelmer Roe research project of the same title, in which Professor Gerzso and I have been collaborating this year. In this paper, I argue that Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign utilized vivid ideological metaphors to cultivate a team-oriented, in-group versus out-group mentality among his supporters, and that this use of language fits within language patterns of past and present authoritarian political leaders. In order to establish these patterns, first I analyze metaphors found in Donald Trump's @realDonaldTrump 2016 campaign tweets, compiled through Brendan Brown's Trump Twitter Archives and using Laurence Anthony's AntConc concordance software. Then, I examine how these metaphors fit within larger patterns of authoritarian thought by looking at theories on fascism and totalitarianism from the 20th century (Hannah Arendt, Max Weber, George Orwell, and Umberto Eco), as well as current reflections on the resurgence of authoritarian politics (Wendy Brown and Peter Gordon). Moreover, I situate these authoritarian uses of language within American political discourse by focusing on George Lakoff's analysis of metaphors in U.S. politics, particularly around opposite parenting models. This project will demonstrate that Trump's use of positive reinforcement was strategic, crafting a metaphor framing him as a coach rooting for "Team America" who provides authority and validation to his base. While the metaphor promotes Trump as a figure empowering his base, it simultaneously promotes the belief that only he can achieve his supporters' goals. This implied dependence cultivates the opposite of empowerment.
Andrew Riedl**Effect of hydrogenation on conductivity and glass transition temperature in novel oxanorbornene dicarboximide based polymersSolid polymer electrolytes are a promising alternative to small molecule organic electrolytes to increase safety in lithium ion batteries. Two polymers have been synthesized by ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) to study the decoupling of segmental motion and ion conductivity with an increase in backbone rigidity due to pi stacking. These polymers have an oxanorbornene dicarboximide backbone where one polymer has a side chain with three units of ethylene oxide and the other polymer has a xylene group between the backbone and the same ethylene oxide side chain. Additionally, these polymers have been hydrogenated using Wilkinson's catalyst to produce potentially more stable electrolytes. Conductivity measurements using dielectric spectroscopy of these polymers will be presented. The influence of pi stacking on segmental motion and changes to the glass transition temperatures will be used to interpret the conductivity results.
Mary SarpongStudent of Color thriving within Higher EducationHigher Education environments with a majority white population often creates a structure that places unrealistic standards on Black students. These unrealistic standards force student of color to create their own path of success within higher education, including student involvement in clubs, organizations, and committees, in order to break structural barriers and foster a sense of belonging. Colkey (2003) credits the structural violence Black students face on PWIs to the environment and/or cultural values of the institution. However, there are costs for the Black student leaders, including being forced to be the voice of all Black students, that may hinder the sense of belonging and building community, which is essential for thriving, or positive engagement in the college experience students of color because it creates a sense of belonging (Schreiner,2010). Thriving is defined as in this context as a student success as defined by the students within higher education. We will be using the Thriving Quotient, a 24-item instrument that measures students' academic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal engagement and well-being, to conduct research within a predominantly White Institution within the Pacific Northwest. The thriving quotation is a device created by Schreiner (2010), to qualify pathways of success for students as defined by thriving. The pathway that we will be investigating are their sense of belonging within a PWI. The question that we will be investigating is:How does campus involvement impact thriving Black students at a Predominately White Institution (PWI)?
Aundrea SmithTruthThe pieces in my Capstone are being created based around my personal journey of self-acceptance after trauma. The use of color is used to communicate what it feels like to heal after a painful experience. How your feelings evolve from suppression to acceptance. This is different for everyone after experiencing a traumatic event. Change is a large part of healing, and some of that change is represented by the shift from gray tones to fully saturated color. This piece in the last of a series discussing breaking the cycle of abuse, discrimination, and the societal pressure women experience to be "ideal". In many forms, abuse is connected to these pressures as well as systematic discrimination. Other victims may find pieces of themselves within my work, and I encourage them to do so. This project is about me and my journey, but with that I want to help others. Taking what I have learned about the cycle of abuse and oppression and use it to protect others from it. I want to show other victims that they are not alone, and prevent more people from becoming victims. Healing is a long and arduous process that can take years, but recovery is possible when you build on your inner strength.
Cynthia Waite***Upperclassmen's Understanding of and Attitudes About MentoringThis is the second part of a two-part study on mentoring relationships between students and faculty. The first part consists of a survey given to Juniors and Seniors. In the second part, we will focus on the formation of mentoring relationships, following up on some one-on-one interviews conducted with faculty mentors. In this study upper-division college students will be interviewed one-on-one to discuss how their mentoring relationships formed, their perceived role in its initiation and maintenance, and their ?impression of the relationship's role in helping them achieve their current goals and future aspirations.
Jordan WaitsTrends in Gun Control legislationMass shootings have become a reality for school children in the United States and arguably have become ingrained as a permanent part of American culture. This Paper seeks to understand what responses society and electorates have taken to deal with this issue. In examining all firearm related bills since 1997 that have been put to a vote by the Washington State congress. Bills will be cataloged, dissected, and measured against what gun violence problems society was facing at the time. The statistical data will be complemented by literature on both sides of the debate and will seek to give an accurate unbiased representation of both for and against arguments on the subject. From prevention advocates that take a legal moralist approach treating gun legislation as a response to a societal need, and Gun rights advocates that view unrestricted access to firearms and accessory as a basic inalienable right granted to citizens.
Abigail WelchEzra Meeker, "the living symbol" of "the Golden West": Business Opportunity and Identity in Nineteenth Century AmericaThis research project, funded by the Benson Summer Research Fellowship Program, explores the relationship between various business activities of Ezra Meeker, an early white settler of the Pacific Northwest, to illuminate how his identity was shaped by nineteenth-century American business culture. Since Meeker faced both financial and personal failures in his hop and his Klondike business enterprises, both of which were connected through the issue of prohibition, he felt pressured, at least in part due to his business context, to produce a legacy of success. Making extensive use of archival and printed sources, this paper shows how Meeker looked to his pioneer past as the time when he was the most successful, and then used his public memorialization of the Oregon Trail to restore and burnish his own legacy. This project argues that it is only by gaining a deeper understanding of Meeker's business pursuits that we can truly understand his nationally-recognized work of preserving the past. By examining various responses to Meeker's efforts to reshape his image, this project analyzes Meeker's success in changing his identity and the broader implications thereof. In this way, the paper also sheds light on crucial aspects of American identity, including westward expansion and myths of the West, which people like Meeker and his compatriot Buffalo Bill preserved and perpetuated. This identity is vital to understand since many Americans' perceptions of themselves and their country, as well as their patriotic belief in it, have been built on this understanding of our nation's past.
Rachel Wohrle & Chance Las Dulce***Increasing Parental Involvement in a Local Elementary SchoolUsing community-based participatory research, "a process of inclusive participation in research in which academic researchers and community stakeholders work together to create a partnership that extends from the time before a research project begins to after its completion" (Gehlert, Kye-Price & Bekteshi, 2012), we work with community partners in an urban school district to explore ways to increase parental involvement in children's education.
Initial meetings with community leaders identified this area of interest at an elementary school with a 50-60% Latino population. Partnerships to design and conduct the research were developed with staff, parents, and other community stakeholders. Through this process, the research question broadened to include the degree to which families identify with the immediate community - perhaps affecting involvement. Methodology includes four focus groups with 15 total participants. Two additional focus groups will be conducted in March, and at least two more in April.
Preliminary findings suggest several barriers to parental participation: requiring background checks for in-school participation, language barriers, parents' sense of discomfort in a school setting. Other concerns that may contribute include lack of 1) identification with the community, 2) services in the immediate geographic community, 3) collaboration with other institutions in the community, 4) opportunities for children to see adults in the community in a variety of roles. Discussion includes the process, methodology, findings, and interpretations of results through the eyes of community members, appropriate ways to disseminate results, and specific actions within the school and community to address the concerns raised in this project.
*2018-19 Kelmer Roe Research Fellowships in the Humanities Recipient
**2018 Natural Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program Recipient
***2018-19 S. Erving Severtson Research Fellowship Recipient