Conference Schedule Friday April 26, 2013 Please see abstract section for abstracts of presentations



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Natalya Mokhor: “Mary Lou Williams and Jazz.” Project Advisor: Victoria von Arx. Department of Music.
While many famous women in jazz, such as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald were singers, Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981) became an accomplished pianist, composer and arranger. I will play several pieces and excerpts of pieces composed by her in order to illustrate the various styles in which Williams composed— jazz, spiritual, ragtime, swing, boogie woogie and bebop. I will also talk about the role she played in the jazz bands she was involved with, particularly the Andy Kirk band, and how she impacted the lives of other musicians.
Sahan Shrestha: “Art Tatum.” Project Advisor: Victoria von Arx. Department of Music.
Nearly blind, Art Tatum was one of the greatest improvisers in Jazz history. He was a virtuoso pianist who developed his playing in the style of swing and stride and transformed the music with his virtuosity. As the authors Felicity Howlett and J. Bradford Robinson have written, “Simple decorative techniques became complex harmonic sweeps of color; traditional repetitive patterns became areas of unpredictable and ever-changing shifts of rhythm”. His light touch on the piano and his control of the full range on the piano was a work of genius. In my presentation, I will use excerpts from Tatum’s performances of ‘Yesterdays’ and ‘I’ve Got Rhythm’ to show how he incorporates virtuosic elements like runs up and down the keyboard and illustrate his techniques of shifting rhythms.

LC 3B: Presentations
Sebastian Agosti: “The ‘Dirty War’ in Argentina.” Project Advisor: David Lisenby. Department Languages, Literatures, & Cultures (Spanish).
During the late 1970s Argentina was governed by a conservative military dictatorship that violently repressed political opposition during what was known as the "Dirty War" where thousands of citizens were kidnapped and murdered. I will be comparing different plays, novels and movies from the post dictator times and in South America, especially in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. I will be looking at how the authors reflected the idea of ignorance and blindness of the people towards what was happening at the time. These literally works and films present the topic of abuse, torture and social and political repression from different points of view and different moments in time in the life of its characters.

I will analyze what allowed people to ignore and overlook evident signs of what was happening, during the time of the repression, and what part did fear, misinformation, manipulation and social status play. I will also analyze the effect that the events have on the people’s memories; how are these affected by the fact that there is very few or none tangible evidence to the whole process, since the core of the issue lies on what is missing, persons, stolen lives, futures, etc. For this reason memory plays a fundamental part of seeking understanding and justice. I will be using several characters and tying them together comparing them trying to find common aspects and how together they make up a common attitude at the time and in the post dictatorship.



Samantha Arpino: “Chasing Perfection: Exploring the Impact of Popular Culture’s Formation of “The Ideal Woman” on Women in the Contemporary United States.” Project Advisor: Barbara Sutton. Departments of Woman’s Studies and Communication & Rhetoric.

Popular culture is widely influential in the United States; many of us gather an understanding of who we are and who we “should be” by society’s standards through representations in popular culture. Media and popular culture have had a significant effect on women in the United States, as many of the images aimed towards women are paradoxical or conflicting in nature. Through a feminist content analysis of 20 songs featured in the “Top 100 Billboard Songs of All Time”, as well as through a literature review, I aimed to find out if representations of what it has meant to be “the ideal woman” over time in the contemporary United States (c. 1968-present day) have changed significantly, and what these representations imply about the various aspects of women’s lives. Through my literature review I have found that media and popular culture do play a significant role in how women view themselves and the world around them, in some cases including a shift in behavior and mood after being exposed to said media. Through my content analysis I have found that two trends have maintained steady throughout this period: representations of women as weak or dependent, and representations of women as strong or empowered. This conclusion draws on the aforementioned paradoxical nature of representations in media.


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Luis Gabriel Sanchez: “Andean Cosmologies in the Ontological Crisis of the 21st Century.” Project Advisor: Fernando Leiva. Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies.
Sustainability is a condition many individuals and societies seek as part of a larger project to modernize and advance civilization. The failures and shortcomings of this project of modernity are evident in the persistent inequality and poverty in our societies, a series of abuses against the Earth that negatively impact our lives, and the marginalization of too much of humanity from the benefits of globalization. Recognizing the presence of crisis in maintaining these blemishes on our existence, followed by legitimizing alternatives to crisis and the creation of new theoretical tools to combat crisis is the focus of this project put forth in three essays and an online recourse collection. The crisis of civilization and its unsustainable ethics is the theme of the first essay; the reaction and attempts to adapt to the crisis practiced in Ecuador as part of a large project based on indigenous philosophy is the focus of the second; and finally the reforming of democracy to be substantively inclusive in an egalitarian sense by fusing indigenous and Western ideas is the content of the third. Tapping into knowledge that was formerly omitted from discourses of progress is the underlying goal of this project, with the hope that those alternatives will be useful in coping with or ending alright cycles of crisis
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Nikoleta Papa: “Language Contact and Variation in the Spanish of Catalonia.” Project Advisor: Lotfi Sayahi. Linguistics.
The subject matter of this study is the variation in the use of Spanish language in Catalonia, a bilingual region of Spain. Catalan has been spoken in the history of the region for centuries and is recognized today as a co-official language of Castilian in the Catalonian area. The goal of this project is to note any common patterns of Spanish language production in Castilian/Catalan bilinguals. This study aims to distinguish if Castilian presents Catalan loanwords and if code-switching is common.

The results of this study came mainly from field work done with individuals living in Barcelona. For this study, interviews and conversation with seventeen individuals of various backgrounds served as a basis for observation. Interviews were based on a questionnaire. Conversations in groups or conversations that were longer were recorded for playback. The basic questionnaire involved questions of background and origin and asked for a brief assessment of an individual’s knowledge of each language. Then, open ended questions were asked based on the respondent’s experience living in the region and observations of those around him/her. Finally, analysis was based on a compilation of information that was mainly collected from personal interactions with residents of Barcelona and readings published by authors on the subject matter. Results were classified by variation on the word level, variation in phrases, variation in verb use, and other prominent distinctions of language use in Catalonia. The finished project includes tables, charts, and maps to better familiarize the reader with the distinctions of the region.


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Mathew Weiss: “Explaining Revolution to Children: The Influence of Domestic Radicalism on the Portrayal of Russian Radical Intelligentsia in Anglo-American Children’s Literature, 1925-1935.” Project Advisor: Kendra Smith-Howard. Department of History.
This presentation examines the portrayal of the Russian radical intelligentsia in American and British children’s literature between 1925-1935. Historian Julia Mickenberg argues that children’s literature proves particularly effective for assessing the prevailing beliefs of a particular period because it seeks instill in its readers the dominant cultural attitudes of the time. Anglo-American children’s literature written between 1925-1935 commonly depicted Russian intelligentsia as agitators who sought to overthrow the Tsarist government by radicalizing the peasantry and attempting sabotage. These portrayals primarily reflect British and American anxieties about the role of the domestic far left in fomenting worker’s unrest and engaging in foreign-sponsored sedition. Ultimately, this presentation intends to prove that attitudes towards radicals at home, rather than attitudes towards Russia and its revolutionaries, determined portrayals of the Russian intelligentsia in children’s literature.

LC 3C: Presentations
Justin Coon: “Nanochemoprevention of breast cancer: Enhanced delivery and anticancer effects of pomegranate polyphenols in breast cancer cells.” Project Advisor: Ramune Reliene. Department of Biology.
Fruits and vegetables have a myriad of chemopreventive compounds, most notably polyphenols. We, and others, have shown that pomegranate extract and its individual polyphenols inhibit growth of human breast cancer cells. These studies suggested that pomegranate may be a promising chemopreventive agent against breast cancer. However, low bioavailability of plant polyphenols is a key limiting factor in the success of cancer prevention by natural products. Recent studies have shown that green tea polyphenols that are encapsulated in biodegradable polylactic-poly glycolic acid (PLGA)-nanoparticles can have over a 10-fold increase in suppression of cancer cell growth when compared to the aqueous suspension of green tea polyphenols. Nanoparticles offer an efficient delivery mechanism of compounds characterized by low absorption because they are designed to enhance cellular uptake. In addition, it is possible to customize these particles to target a specific organ, tissue, or cell. In this study, we will determine the effect of PLGA-nanoparticles loaded with pomegranate extract and/or pomegranate polyphenols, punicalagin and ellagic acid, in comparison to equivalent concentrations of aqueous solutions of the respective compounds on breast cancer cell growth. This study will provide a proof-of-principle to the concept that nanodelivery may enhance bioavailablity and reveal full chemopreventive potential of

pomegranate polyphenols.


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Kathryn Fanning: “Antibiotic intolerance and resistance: Aminoglycoside binding to bacterial and human ribosomal RNA targets.” Project Advisor: Paul Agris. Department of Biology.
Antibiotics are designed to stop internal and topical bacterial infections of humans. Unfortunately, overuse of antibiotics has led to the development of resistant organisms, the most widely known being methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA. A class of antibiotics, aminoglycosides (such as streptomycin, neomycin) have the potential of being altered to combat antibiotic resistance. However, aminoglycosides are also known for their toxicity to humans.

This toxicity is due to the antibiotic effect of aminoglycosides. They bind to the protein synthesizing machinery, the ribosome, of the targeted bacteria and kill the bacteria by stopping the synthesis of proteins. Unfortunately, antibiotics also bind to the protein synthesizing machinery of human cells. Aminoglycosides are effective antibiotics tolerated by humans only when there is a significant differential binding of the bacterial versus human ribosome. Improvements in aminoglycoside effectiveness require an in depth understanding of the differential binding to the bacterial ribosome. I have undertaken an investigation of the differential binding of the aminoglycoside antibiotics gentamicin, apramycin, and kanamycin to the Escherichia coli, human cytosolic and human mitochondrial ribosomes using modern biochemical methods.



Rajan Kumar: “Molecularly imprinted polymers for development of an in-situ biosensor.” Project Advisor: Magnus Bergkvist. Department of Nanoscale Science.
Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP), are mimics of antibodies, enzymes, and small molecules that offer a stable and reproducible platform for biological sensing. An analyte of interest can be embedded into a polymer pre-cursor mix, which after curing and washing leaves a polymer scaffold with a molecular imprint of the analyte. MIP typically has high affinity for the molecule it was imprinted with (lock and key concept) and can function as a selective membrane if integrated on a sensing platoform. The technology offers a generic approach to sensing where a base polymer material can be used to generate a biosensor array for multianalyte detection. Rajan’s role in the project is to develop various oxidative polymerization MIP systems, and evaluate their ability to selectively bind target using electrical based sensing schemes (primarily impedance) and mass-based measuring techniques (quartz crystal microbalance). Target analytes of interest are glucose, glutamine and lactic acid, which are all important metabolites large scale cell cultures using bioreactors. The goal is to develop an real-time in situ sensing system for food process monitoring and biopharma industry.
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Alex Schin: “The Role of the functional domains of the human RNA helicase RCK/p54 on hepatitus C virus gene expression.” Project Advisor: Cara Pager. Department of Biology.
More than 180 million individuals worldwide are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), where chronic HCV infection increases the risk of cirrhosis, fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. We have recently demonstrated that the human RNA helicase RCK/p54 affects HCV gene expression and assembly of new virus particles. In cells, RNA helicases help untangle RNA and/or rearrange the associations between RNA and proteins. RCK/p54 specifically functions to store and/or degrade cellular mRNAs. Conserved regions within RNA helicases direct the binding of RNA, untangling of RNA, the ability to bind the energy molecule ATP, as well as the ability to harness and use the ATP energy. Well-characterized mutations known to block activity of the conserved regions have been described. The objective of Alex’s project is to recapitulate these mutations in RCK/p54, and examine the effect on the wholeness and activity of RCK/p54.

Session IV - 3:15-4:30
LC 3A: Presentations
Julie Ann Bingham: “Walking Corpses & Conscious Plants: Possibilist Ecologies in Graphic Novels.” Project Advisor: Eric Keenaghan. Department of English.
In "Walking Corpses & Conscious Plants: Possibilist Ecologies in the Graphic Novel," I examine how graphic narratives have historically been used to express political concerns; I then rate the impact of two contemporary works which imagine planetary crisis in relation to this context. Working with Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead and Alan Moore's Saga of the Swamp Thing, I aim to illustrate that the violent worlds depicted in each fiction attest relevant social critique. As a frame for this analysis, I turn to the work of philosopher David Kellog Lewis. Using his model of modal realism, I argue that engaging ideas of alternate realities through graphic narratives can be beneficial to stimulating questions of political discourse among readers that might not arise otherwise.

Beginning with a consideration for early examples of sequential art and their social functions, the first of my three chapters builds a foundation for understanding how the modern comics form came into being. Next, I focus my attention upon the significance of the portrayal of violence in my two primary texts. Both works imagine spaces of total war but portray this experience through vastly different perspectives. Mainly, my analysis of Kirkman's work concerns how the presentation of the human body is linked to suicide bombers and the terrorist attacks of September 15th, 2001. Here I apply the work of philosopher Adriana Cavarero, author of Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence, citing Kirkman's post-apocalyptic universe as a symptomatic expression of cultural concerns regarding ceaseless conflict and erasure of identity. Conversely, my interest in Moore's Saga of the Swamp Thing is motivated by his fusion of awareness into the environment. Moore's monumental revival of a marginally successful superhero demonstrates that certain themes, like natural preservation and dependency, may become more pertinent to discuss with the passing of time.


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Autumn Kuklinski: “Hulk Smash! Regulating Anger Requires More Self-control Strength.” Project Advisor: Mark Muraven. Department of Psychology.
Regulating emotion requires self-control resources, though regulating some emotions, such as anger, may deplete more. Self-control allows one to cease acting on undesired urges (Tangney, Baumeister & Boone, 2004). Suppression is a strategy influencing the feeling and expression of emotion by inhibiting expression of an individuals' present emotion (Gross, 2002). Emotions vary by degree on two dimensions: pleasure and arousal (Russell, 1980). Emotions chosen for this study represent combinations of extreme ends of each dimension (e.g., pleasure/displeasure, high/low arousal), yielding excitement, relaxation, anger, or sadness. This study examines the effect of emotional arousal level on self-control. Experiencing a high arousal emotion (e.g., excitement, anger) should require more self-control to suppress than a low arousal state (e.g., relaxation, sadness). Based on previous research, participants should regulate to a neutral mood when expecting to interact with another individual (Erber, Therriault, Wegner, 1996). This suppression should lead to depletion of selfcontrol strength, producing significantly worse performance on subsequent self-control tasks than regulation of low arousal emotions.
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Kevin Smith: “Experiencing Kaqchikel Tikonela.” Project Advisor: Walter Little. Department of Anthropology.
What it means to be Kaqchikel Mayan is gestalt. ln central-highland Guatemala their household and community organization, work allocation, and work investment is informed by a long history of; political disorder, trade liberalization policies, and economic inequity and poverty. Their present is also influenced by civil turmoil in the form of a genocidal military campaign against them, and their current president Otto Per6z Molina with alleged connections to this violent military campaign. Kaqchikel Mayan tradition feeds into the operation of the Guatemalan agricultural sector where Mayans breathe new meaning into diverse and contradictory local-regional practices of Kaqchikel. Based on case studies in Santa Maria de Jesus, San Juan Comalapa, and Tecpan (in the summers of 2011, and 20L2), the proliferation of Mayan men and women into new and non-traditional positions for economic betterment and future security, as well as the development of new investment strategies were observed.

LC 3C: Presentations
Max Lawatsch: “A Revolutionalized Coterie: The Transformation of British Romantic Critical Practices and Contemporary Internet Fora.” Project Advisor: Kir Kuiken.
Throughout the centuries and well into the annals of history, writers have used rhetoric, peer review and the sphere of public discourse as tools of critique and analysis in publishing works. By the period of the European Renaissance, writers, poets and translators were well accustomed to sending letters, transcripts and their latest works to colleagues in an attempt to better their own work, and the work of others. This practice of analysis then moved from peer-peer review, into a group setting or clique that heavily emerged in and through the Romantic poets of the 19u century. With the creation of close-knit intellectual discourse, the Coterie came to be-intimate circles of scholars working, "internally and externally, as a group, working to reform culture and society" (Cox 5). With modem technological advances like the availability of computers and access to the internet, an international connection of unending threads, connecting people, ideas and conversations was brought into fruition and a wealthy web of knowledge, available. With such progressions, the era of Information is formed, "anonymity" is granted and a profound discourse begun. Through its vastness and ubiquity, the internet gives way to trolls and technological waste, albeit beneath the clutter of advertisements and spam lies depth inherent and coveted in the circles of poets like Leigh Hunt, John Keats and Percy B. Shelley. A movement of cultural critical analysis, of a magnitude never before seen, admits to anyone an audience ad infinitum. I argue the contemporary discourse present today in influential landmark websites like Reddit.com, took precedence in the practice of the Coterie significant in l9u Century London and permits the circle's effectiveness on a global scale.
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Austin Gunn Litwhiler: “From Pulp to Webpage: Homestuck and Postmodern Digital Narrative.” Project Advisor: Patricia Chu. Department of English.
Homestuck by Andrew Hussie is a work currently being developed as an experiment in internet storytelling. As a narrative born, crafted, and displayed digitally, it uses the internet as a means of production and presentation. Interactive and multimedia elements are brought into the narrative, forming a unique digital work that can only truly be experienced online. In order to analyze this new form of story, I must analyze the two genres it best fuses; graphic novels and video games. I'll be examining Homestuck as a primary text, analyzing its web page structure, the postmodern fusion of multimedia to tell a single story, and the theoretical nature of the narrative itself. Ultimately, in analyzing Homestuck hope to reveal the potential to be found in digital narratives while also examining the positive implications concerning our cultural leanings towards "screen media" and our increasingly connected digital body.
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Ariana Wedin: “How and for what reasons did American medical doctors react to the Vietnam War and how did they relate their reasons to their profession?” Project Advisor: Carl Bon Tempo. Department of History.
My research shows how civilian American medical doctors responded to American involvement in the Vietnam War. Lt focuses on the war related feelings and actions of Dr. Benjamin Spock, Dr. Thomas A. Dooley, the American Medical Association (AMA), and medical school students from 1956 to 1975. The reasons for these reactions and their relation to the medical profession are explained. Relatedly, the thesis explores whether doctors had shared motivation for their actions and whether their actions were directed toward swaying public opinion of the war or toward directly affecting the American war effort.

My research on Dr. Spock is from biographies, newspapers and his books Spock on Spock and Dr. Spock on Vietnam. I relied on Dr. Dooley's books Deliver Us From Evil, The Edge of Tomorrow and The Night They Burned The Mountain, and biographies, newspapers, and his personal archives. My research on the AMA includes newspapers, the 1956 to 1975 editions of the Journal of the American Medical Association, and two pre-Vietnam era AMA histories. My sources on medical students are newspapers and student publications. I used various historical accounts of the anti-war movement for context.

Dr. Spock opposed the war. He felt he had humanitarian duties as a doctor to speak out against unnecessary attacks on human lives and his political beliefs were that the American government mishandled the war. He hoped to influence others, and make political leaders end the war. ln contrast, Dr. Dooley supported the war because as a doctor he felt the Vietnamese people needed the advanced medical help of Americans, and as a devout Catholic he felt Communism had to be defeated. Thus, he founded MEDICO and coordinated direct aid to South Vietnam. He also tried to rally American public opinion in support of the war through his writings.

The AMA's development of support for the War began in 1958 with concerns about Cold War, emphasizing "freedoms" and "Americanism", through to 1965. From then until 1975 the AMA was directly involved in the war effort by recruiting for MEDICO and the Peace Corp. lts own efforts were building hospitals with the U.S. State Department, and a medical school in South Vietnam. The AMA cited responsibility as medical professionals to aid global medicine with America's superior medical technology and knowledge.

Medical school students largely opposed U.S. involvement and organized protests from 1965 to 1968, then held forums and made appeals to politicians in 1969 and 1970. Their efforts were based on the belief that the war diverted attention from U.S. health issues and that American involvement caused human suffering and medical problems in Vietnam.

All doctors related their convictions, though differing, to their profession, citing "responsibility" as medical professionals and emphasizing medical efforts, either in South Vietnam or America. Doctors had other reasons for their convictions and acted in different ways. Some, such as Dr. Spock, and medical school students tried to sway public opinion, while the AMA tried to directly affect the war effort, and Dr. Dooley attempted to do both.




Partial funding for the Undergraduate Research Conference is provided by the University Auxiliary Services.


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