Student Research Symposium

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9th Annual Student Research Symposium

Concurrent Sessions held in: Faculty Research Room and the Daniels Board Room (both on 2nd floor of the Charles W. and Joan S. Coker Library-Information Technology Center)

Schedule at a glance:

Oral Presentations - Tuesday, April 5 [1:00-5:00p.m.]

1:00pm – 1:15pm

Faculty Research Room
Title: Microwave Spectrum of 2,3-Difluorobenzaldehyde
Presenter: Deondre Parks

Daniels Board Room
Title: A Comparison of the FITBIT®, and Polar® Heart Rate Monitors in Assessing Heart Rate
Presenter: Christopher Gardner

1:20pm – 1:35pm

Faculty Research Room
Title: Catalyzed Synthesis of Trifluoronitromethane
Presenter: Brandon Yarbrough

Daniels Board Room
Title: Communicating Comm Theory: Medium, Meaning and Perspective in the Digital Age
Presenter: Hannah Rose Williams

1:40pm – 2:05pm

Faculty Research Room
Title: How Do Study Abroad and Study Away Benefit Coker College Students?
Presenter: Naomi Watson

Daniels Board Room
Title: Identifying the Presence and Determining the Effects of Implicit Racial Bias within Modern America
Presenter: Marcellus Moore

2:10pm – 2:25pm

Faculty Research Room
Title: Progress Towards Environmentally Friendly Biodegradable Polymers
Presenter: Toni Becker

Daniels Board Room
Title: The Effects of a Six-Week Dance Program on Physical Fitness in High School Students
Presenter: Midori Darr

2:30pm – 2:45pm

Faculty Research Room
Title: Aluminum Metallurgy: Building a Foundry and Casting Solid Objects
Presenter: Brandon Yarbrough

Daniels Board Room
Title: Using Dance to Reinforce Math Concepts in the Second Grade Classroom
Presenter: Alexis Wiseman

2:45pm – 3:10pm

BREAK

3:10pm – 3:25pm

Faculty Research Room
Title: Characterization of Pythium Species in a Historical Water Lilies Pond at Kalmia Gardens, SC
Presenter: Taylor Barefoot

Daniels Board Room
Title: Obstacles to Overcome: a Victim of Cyber-Bullying
Presenter: Gabrielle Zito

3:30pm – 3:45pm

Faculty Research Room
Title: Characterization of Three Gene-Targeted Mutants in the Fungal Pathogen Fusarium graminearum
Presenters: Kendra Lambert and Calvin Blaschke

Daniels Board Room
Title: Thinking About Campus Climate: How Racial/Ethnic Stereotypes Affect the Attitudes of College Students
Presenter: Tiara Smith

3:50pm – 4:05pm

Faculty Research Room
Title: Miller and Snyder's 300: Fictional or Factual
Presenter: Heather Blaschke

Daniels Board Room
Title: South Hartsville: Community and Revitalization
Presenter: Gabrielle Zito

4:10pm – 4:30pm

Faculty Research Room
Title: Quantifying patterns in Gene Expression: Mining RNA Sequence Data in Fusarium graminearum
Presenter: Zoe Bilton

Daniels Board Room
Title: My Existence will Not Be Institutionalized: An Analysis of the "Angry Black Woman" Stereotype
Presenter: Tammaka Staley

4:35pm – 4:50pm

Daniels Board Room
Title: From Television to Twitter: The Future of Mass Media and Social Change
Presenter: Lily Kearse
 

Full Schedule:

Oral Presentations - Tuesday, April 5 [1:00-5:00p.m.]
Microwave Spectrum of 2,3-Difluorobenzaldehyde

Presenter: Deondre Parks (co-author, Sydney Gaster)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gordon Brown
Time: 1:00 - 1:15
Faculty Research Room

Climate change is a major concern and is believed to be partially due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas, which means that it traps heat inside the atmosphere. Designing and developing materials for carbon capturing and storage (CCS) are important goals. CCS is a process of capturing CO2 from the exhaust of fossil fuel combustion and other chemical processes, thus preventing CO2 from reaching the Earth's atmosphere. Our laboratory is interested in using microwave spectroscopy to help find better materials for CCS.
The first step in our study of CO2 interactions is to study isolated molecules. Microwave spectroscopy is used to measure a polar molecule's rotation, which provides information about its shape. For this project, we studied the 3.0-8.0 GHz region of the microwave spectrum of 2,3‑difluorobenzaldehyde and 2,6-difluorobenzaldehyde. Conducting these experiments allowed us to determine the rotational constants that ultimately provide information about the molecules’ structure. The experimental rotational constants were found along with the higher disorder constant and error of both molecules. These results were compared to predictions of ab initio calculations. Future work includes studying interactions of 2,3-difluorobenzaldehyde with CO2 and 2,6-difluorobenzaldehyde with CO2 in order to better understand how to capture and store carbon dioxide.

A Comparison of the FITBIT®, and Polar® Heart Rate Monitors in Assessing Heart Rate

Presenter: Christopher Gardner
Faculty Mentor: Dr. James McLaughlin
Time: 1:00 - 1:15
Daniels Board Room

Fitbit® has been one of the leading brands since launching in the Connected Health & Fitness category. This category as a whole is predicted to expand from 23 million units in 2014 to 82 million in 2019. This company has shown great success in marketing its previous fitness trackers by becoming a leading competitor and predicts to expand even larger with models such as the Charge HR, which is being used in this study. This study allows us to explore the accuracy of the heart rate monitor during exercise. We are analyzing variations in the heart rate readings of the Polar® and the FITBIT®. The testing protocol has been designed for the use of a stationary bike at four different work rates at a constant, 51 revolutions per minute. The outcome of this study will raise awareness of the usefulness or inaccuracy of this device.

Catalyzed Synthesis of Trifluoronitromethane

Presenter: Brandon Yarbrough
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Hauptfleisch
Time: 1:20pm – 1:35pm
Faculty Research Room

The presentation will focus of my research: the optimization of CF3NO2 synthesis by searching for a catalyst and modifying reaction conditions. Two methods of one-step synthesis exist, a thermal and photochemical process, both of which follow a similar reaction mechanism. A catalyst, silver oxide (Ag2O), was found to reduce the temperature required for initiation from 200 to 50 degrees Celsius in the thermal process.

Communicating Comm Theory: Medium, Meaning and Perspective in the Digital Age

Presenter: Hannah Rose Williams
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Peter Gloviczki
Time: 1:20pm – 1:35pm
Daniels Board Room

In this paper I explore the meaning of fear, medium and perspective to understand the impact of communication in everyday life. I especially use the theories of Neil Postman, Aldous Huxley, Marshall McLuhan, Roger Silverstone and Sherry Turkle to examine the points of contact and divergence in an increasingly technological world. Driven by an interest in philosophies in these thinkers I place them into conversation with one another. It is my hope that this paper will stimulate conversation about theories of knowing and being in the digital age.

How Do Study Abroad and Study Away Benefit Coker College Students?

Presenter: Naomi Watson
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Mac Williams, Dr. Tracey Welborn, and Dr. Peter Gloviczki
Time: 1:40pm – 2:05pm
Faculty Research Room

Upon my return from a semester abroad I saw how study abroad impacted my life, for the better. I never expected such a benefit. I know Coker College has a Trans4mations credit in which students can choose between either studying abroad or studying away. This influenced me to perform an experiment and do research to prove this requirement is beneficial to Coker College students. I want to see which program is more beneficial and any possible benefits they give. I want to see if foreign language study abroad can benefit our students more so than non-study abroad. I believe several people think study abroad is beneficial, but I want to support this thought up with scholarly data. I also wish to explore positive avenues study abroad and study away have created for the students who have participated. I know my experience benefited me, but I wish to see if my anecdotal experience can and have been reproduced in other students’ experiences.

Identifying the Presence and Determining the Effects of Implicit Racial Bias

Presenter: Marcellus Moore
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tony Floyd
Time: 1:40pm – 2:05pm
Daniels Board Room

Implicit Bias is often confused with racism. This comparison also extends to racism, sexism, ageism or any other forms of bigotry and prejudice. However, racism is the focus of this project. The difference between implicit bias and racism is that racism is that racism occurs at the conscious level, implicit bias occurs without thought or unconsciously. In fact, implicit bias was called unconscious racism in some of the earlier works addressing the subject and the two are often used interchangeably. This difference between implicit bias and racism is significant because one must be treated differently than the other.
Consider the similarities between the common cold and most seasonal allergies. On the surface, the symptoms are almost the same for both: stuffy nose, headache, congestion, sneezing and coughing. However, the treatments are different. Antihistamines would effectively mitigate the symptoms of an allergy. But if someone with a cold took an antihistamine they would still be sneezing and coughing. The same would be true if someone with severe allergies took Robitussin. Both people would complain that the medicine simply doesn’t work for them, but the real problem is that they were misdiagnosed. The same can be said for implicit bias and racism. The same tools that would be effective against racism are often ineffective against implicit bias and often serve to exacerbate the problem. However, research suggests that implicit bias is best addressed by simply making people aware of the problem. The forum would explain the concept of implicit bias, cite the differences between implicit bias and racism and analyze examples of implicit bias throughout American society.

Progress Towards Environmentally Friendly Biodegradable Polymers

Presenter: Toni Becker
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jessica Robbins
Time: 2:10pm – 2:25pm
2:10pm – 2:25pm

Our research this summer was about finding a more efficient way to dispose of plastic waste. Plastics are made up of polymers, which is a long chain of molecules bonded together. The problem with polymers is plastic waste. Currently, most of the plastic waste ends up being landfilled because the current method of disposal is long and tedious. Our current method of the disposal of plastic waste is depolymerization (the break down of polymers to their individual molecules caused by a stimulus to break off the end group). Throughout this summer, I set up reactions to synthesize the monomers I made in order to create my polymer. In the future, I hope to test the properties of this polymer to see what kind of polymer was made, then work to depolymerize it at faster rate to make it more efficient than the current disposal method.

The Effects of a Six-Week Dance Program on Physical Fitness in High School

Presenter: Midori Darr
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Meredith Sims
Time: 2:10pm – 2:25pm
Daniels Board Room

It is recommended that students that are attending schools should participate in some sort of physical activity per day. Why? Because having a daily workout “improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels” (CDC). Unfortunately the majority of these students are not meeting these guidelines. The question is how can we make a difference in a student’s daily physical activity? One way, may be to bring something to the school that is not sport based, but can be as beneficial as daily physical activity.
The investigation on “The effects of a six-week dance program on physical fitness in high school students” examines the physical fitness outcomes between a dance class and everyday physical activity. The main goal by the end of this study is to see if there are any physical fitness changes from dance.
Participants include female junior and senior students enrolled in a private school in the southeastern United States. The study was approved by the Coker College Institutional Review Board.
The primary investigator will be working with two different groups of students. One group will serve as the control group who will continue their regular daily physical activity and maintain an activity log. The other group of participants will complete a six-week dance program. Before the six weeks started, the participants were required to take a validated pre fitness test titled Fitnessgram focusing on muscular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility. The primary investigator measured and recorded the participant’s height, weight, DOB, heart rate, muscular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility of each participant. Six weeks after the pre test is administered, each group will take an identical post-test.

Aluminum Metallurgy: Building a Foundry and Casting Solid Objects

Presenter: Brandon Yarbrough
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Hauptfleisch
Time: 2:30pm – 2:45pm
Faculty Research Room

A small-scale foundry capable of melting up to 300 mL of aluminum metal was constructed using sand and plaster. This mixture allows for significant thermal insulation in the foundry, so that a fuel source can reach temperatures high enough to melt aluminum, over 1,200 °F. To cast solid objects, a shape can be constructed from polystyrene foam and submerged in sand. Molten aluminum is then poured onto a small section of foam left above the surface of the sand. The metal vaporizes the foam fills this space, resulting in a solid having the original shape as that of the foam solid.

Using Dance to Reinforce Math Concepts in the Second Grade Classroom

Presenter: Alexis Wiseman
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Meredith Sims
Time: 2:30pm – 2:45pm
Daniels Board Room

Within the classroom, it is important for students to learn by a variety of teaching methods. If a teacher is successful in using different approaches then the students will, more than likely, begin to use higher level thinking (Forehand 4). Forehand also explains that by using higher order thinking skills the students will have a greater chance of understanding the material being taught (4). Therefore, by the use of dance and movement to reinforce quantitative learning and math concepts, the primary investigator will provide a way for the students to accomplish higher order thinking skills, and a better understanding of the material, within the classroom.
The primary investigator is collecting data at an elementary school for the arts in central South Carolina. Data is being collected from three 2nd grade classrooms, one of which is receiving no dance instruction and is acting as the control group. A total of 61 students were invited to participate in the study. Due to the returning of the assent and consent forms, there are 12 students in the control group, 16 students receiving the intervention in the first classroom, and 20 students receiving the intervention in the second classroom. Every week, the students are participating in a variety of activities based on the math concepts and standards they are covering in class. The students will be challenged to create movement focused on quantitative learning. The data for the study is collected in three different ways, pre-test and post-test, observation, and teacher surveys.

Characterization of Pythium Species in a Historical Water Lilies Pond at Kalmia Gardens, SC

Presenter: Taylor Barefoot (co-author, George W. Green IV)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. M. Valeria Avanzato
Time: 3:10pm – 3:25pm
Faculty Research Room

The genus Pythium (Oomycetes) includes a number of readily recognized species with wide distribution and host range. Little information on the frequency and diversity of Pythium species in aquatic environments is available, especially in small water bodies such as ponds. Their cosmopolitan distribution and ability to colonize a wide variety of substrates suggest a role in the decomposition of plants and animal debris in fresh water ecosystems. The objective of this study was to contribute to the knowledge of freshwater species of Pythium associated with yellow water lily plants (Nuphar lutea) in an undisturbed pond. Isolates collection were obtained during late Spring and early Summer seasons of 2015 in a historical yellow water lily pond at Kalmia Gardens, in Hartsville, SC. The baiting technique was utilized using grass leaves as the artificial bait and yellow water lily leaves in situ as natural baits. Identification of the isolates recovered was completed by cultural, morphological and molecular tools. Environmental conditions and physicochemical characteristics of the pond were recorded during the experimental time. A total of 670 Pythium-like isolates were recovered from water samples and yellow water lily leaves. Two dominant morphotypes were identified by cultural and morphological characteristics. A total of 60 representative isolates were randomly selected from May, June and July sampling dates to be further characterized using molecular tools. Three Pythium species were identified from water samples and yellow water lily leaves: P. catenulatum, P. chondricola and P. junctum. Pythium catenulatum was the dominant species recovered. No reports of P. chondrichola, P. catenulatum and P. junctum associated with yellow water lily leaves have been described yet. Future studies will analyze the potential pathogenic ability of the recovered isolates of P. catenulatum, P. junctum and P. chondrichola on yellow water lily plants.

Obstacles to Overcome: a Victim of Cyber-Bullying

Presenter: Gabrielle Zito
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Peter Gloviczki
Time: 3:10pm – 3:25pm
Daniels Board Room

My presentation consists of an autoethnography written by myself about my experience with cyberbullying and the effects that it has on an individual. Research was also conducted on statistics and behaviors in response to being a victim of cyberbullying. The long term as well as the short-term effects can put pressure on an individual who has fallen victim to such a horrifying experience.

Characterization of Three Gene-Targeted Mutants in the Fungal Pathogen Fusarium graminearum

Presenters: Kendra Lambert and Calvin Blaschke
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joe Flaherty
Time: 3:30pm – 3:45pm
Faculty Research Room

Fusarium graminearum is an important plant pathogen that causes major yield-limiting diseases like head blight of wheat and ear rot of maize. F. graminearum persists in the soil in the absence of a host and reproduces asexually through the production of conidia (asexual spores) to initiate repeating cycles of infection. Recently, our lab has identified several candidate genes coordinately expressed during asexual development. Towards characterizing these genes, targeted disruption mutants were isolated and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The focus of this study will be to interrogate mutant strains corresponding to the closely linked F. graminearum genes FGSG_12704, FGSG_12705, and FGSG_12744, by closely examining the specific phenotypes of the three strains for defects in growth and development. The specific objectives of our project are: 1) Complete a comprehensive phenotypic analysis of the three gene-targeted mutants and 2) Conduct bioinformatics analysis of genes FGSG_12704, FGSG_12705, and FGSG_12744, which will involve mining publicly available gene expression data in addition to conducting homology searches against proteins in GenBank. The characterization of these three genes will help to fill gaps in our understanding of fungal development and may facilitate building models depicting developmental processes required for the survival and dissemination of F. graminearum.

Thinking About Campus Climate: How Racial/Ethnic Stereotypes Affect the Attitudes of College Students

Presenter: Tiara Smith
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Julia Fisher
Time: 3:30pm – 3:45pm
Daniels Board Room

Racial and Ethnic stereotypes can be demeaning. However, studying and knowing how others feel about these stereotypes can shape the issues that may derive from racism or racist remarks. Coker students took this survey, in order to better understand how those of similar or dissimilar backgrounds addressed either stereotypical or non-stereotypical attitudes. College students were chosen, because these students provide a greater insight for diversity because colleges are filled with people of different backgrounds such as race, ethnicity, and age. Furthermore, the results of this study will be discussed within the presentation to better showcase how students view others that are not from their own racial and/or ethnic background.

Miller and Snyder's 300: Fictional or Factual

Presenter: Heather Blaschke
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kevin Kenyon
Time: 3:50pm – 4:05pm
Presenter: Heather Blaschke

The Battle of Thermopylae is a historical event that has received its immortality through the retelling of its brave three hundred Spartan soldiers. Several cultures have adapted and retold the story and portrayed Spartan culture their own way. I have taken our American pop culture reference to this epic battle, Snyder's 300, and compared it's themes to historians' versions of the battle and Spartan culture. Through the examinations of these sources I have shown the versions of Spartan culture seen by an American audience that may be accurate and what my not be as accurate according to modern and historical historians.

South Hartsville: Community and Revitalization

Presenter: Gabrielle Zito
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Heusel
Time: 3:50pm – 4:05pm
Daniels Board Room

My presentation consist of a brief overview of the history of South Hartsville, relating to the families, businesses, schools, and churches in the area. The goal of my project was to bring into light the importance of knowing the history and being able to represent a community that did not know how to represent themselves years ago. Showing the importance of their history and making it come alive again, is an experience and opportunity everyone in the Hartsville community should want to be involved with.

Quantifying Patterns in Gene Expression: Mining RNA Sequence Data in Fusarium graminearum

Presenter: Zoe Bilton
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rachel Manspeaker
Time: 4:10pm – 4:30pm
Faculty Research Room

Data mining is the process of automatically finding useful information from large bodies of data. It is unique and separate from most types of statistics in that its goal is to find unexpected patterns by analyzing large informational deposits multiple times with varied parameters, instead of testing a specific hypothesis to confirm or reject the existence and significance of an observed or theorized trend. It has applications in situations where traditional analysis can’t be used effectively. For example, data mining techniques can handle complex data sets with several types of attributes or with substructures that need to be taken into account along with the big picture, such as the sequence of amino acids that make a protein and that protein’s overall structure.

Fusarium graminearum is an agriculturally important plant pathogen, affecting cereal crops worldwide. Its genetics are important to understand because its reduction or eradication would positively affect the world’s food supply and economy. We are using cluster analysis, which is based on unbiased measures of similarity rather than sorting objects into predefined categories, to process gene expression data. We have RNA sequence information obtained from F. graminearum strains grown in saline and non-saline conditions. For these experiments, salt was used as a biological stressor to cause changes in gene expression. Our goal is to find trends in gene expression, both within and across genetic strains, as well as changes in expression that are dependent on salt stress. With adequate analysis of this data, I can look into the expression patterns of genes with known functions under various conditions and also find candidate genes for future research.

My Existence Will Not Be Institutionalized: An Analysis of the "Angry Black Woman" Stereotype

Presenter: Tammaka Staley
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Heusel
Time: 4:10pm – 4:30pm
Daniels Board Room

This presentation will analyze police violence against black women in America and will explore such violence as a form of terrorism. I define terrorism as police officers and other appointed law officials creating fear in Americans by institutionalizing brutality against black women. Black women in American society are marginalized not just based on color, but on gender as well. This analysis will define what it means to be black and woman in America, as well as provide context for the social disconnect between black women and law enforcement. Viewers will be able to understand how sexism, misogyny, and racism plays a role in the disenfranchisement of black women in America, and how those constructs also hinders the advancement of a national society. The research conducted for this presentation will not only give me more sources needed to become a successful social worker in working with oppressed populations of color, but it will also provide literary and statistical evidence on how police violence against black women destroys American society and give scholars an idea about political and social ways to remedy the problem.

From Television to Twitter: The Future of Mass Media and Social Change

Presenter: Lily Kearse
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Peter Gloviczki
Time: 4:35pm – 4:50pm
Daniels Board Room

Throughout the course of its existence, television has steadily become more and more a form of social control without a majority of society realizing this truth. It can be seen that this phenomena occurred due to the influences of the parasocial interaction theory and the uses and gratification theory, proving Neil Postman’s thesis, “entertainment is the supraideology of all discourse on television”. The purpose of this paper is to prove that Postman’s thesis is still relevant to this new form of social control by analyzing both the parasocial interaction theory and the uses and gratification theory in reference to Twitter.