Jane Marcellus, Faculty, Journalism

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‘If One of Us Would Get Off, There Would Be Room for Me’: Feminist Press Rhetoric Against Section 213 of the 1932 Federal Economy Act

Jane Marcellus, Faculty, Journalism

In 1932, President Herbert Hoover signed into law a far-reaching Economy Act, designed to cut federal spending during the Great Depression. One clause, Section 213, mandated that if both members of a married couple were federal employees, one of them—usually the wife—would be dismissed if cuts were made. The law not only challenged the federal merit system, but codified existing prejudice against married women workers. Although historians have discussed Section 213, none have systematically examined coverage in the feminist press. This paper fills that gap, using discourse and narrative analysis to study feminist press rhetoric against the law. Identifying recurring discourses—equity, merit, damage to marriage, hardship and fascism—I argue that although feminist groups differed ideologically on other issues, their rhetorical strategies against Section 213 were consistent. This counters arguments regarding lack of feminist unity and adds to knowledge of an understudied time in feminist press history.


Aerial Vegetation Monitoring of Riparian Areas in an Urban Environment

Jeremy Aber, Faculty, Geosciences; Whitney Patton, Undergraduate student, Geosciences; Christopher Wyatt, Undergraduate student, Geosciences; Jeremy Aber (Faculty sponsor), Geosciences

Riparian areas are important interfaces between rivers and the surrounding land; in an urban context, this can have potentially serious implications for cities, particularly in regards to flood potential. This project involves monitoring vegetation conditions along the Stones River and Lytle Creek within the city of Murfreesboro using a combination of kite- and blimp-based small-format aerial photography and Landsat 8 satellite imagery. Small-format aerial imagery has the benefit of having an extremely high spatial resolution, on the order of 1-2cm pixel size. Data collection focuses on specific sites along the Murfreesboro Greenway system, collecting data in both the visible and near-infrared wavelengths. This project is the first step of a long-term monitoring project tracking changes in vegetation conditions along the Stones River and Lytle Creek in Murfreesboro. One of the sites monitored is along the track of the April 10th 2009 EF4 tornado event, and quantifying the change in vegetation at this site over time is a focus of the project. The current work revolves around refining methods of data collection and analysis. Multiple field methods and cameras are used for collecting imagery, and different methods of preparing the imagery are compared to see which best suits the data for further analysis.


“Tethered” - An animated short film

Kevin McNulty, Faculty, Electronic Media Communication

“Tethered” is animated short film made entirely by EMC professor Kevin McNulty with original music composed by RIM Professor, Joseph Akins.

The film is entirely 3D computer animated. Software used in the making of this film includes Autodesk Maya, mental ray, Pixar’s Renderman for Maya, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere, Apple Motion, and Ableton Live with plug-ins Ivory 2, Omnisphere, Stylus and Kontakt.


“Oppression, abuse and bullying are the ways of the land as seen through the eyes of one red balloon. Take a stand.”

Brief Synopsis:

In a strange world, Ids rule the sky. They create and then enslave, abuse, and bully balloons. Ids are completely reliant upon the balloons for nearly everything in their daily lives, including transportation and sustenance. The balloons don't question this and they don't fight back. Born into this world, the balloons have no choice but to endure the horrible mistreatment.

Or do they?

“Tethered” is the story of one brave red balloon that sees the oppression for what it is and must find the courage to take a stand showing its fellow balloons the power has always been inside them.

“Coffee” - An animated short film

Kevin McNulty, Faculty, Electronic Media Communication

“Coffee” is an animated short film written and directed by EMC professor Kevin McNulty. Kevin organized and oversaw a team of seven EMC Animation students over the summer of 2014 to create the film. The endeavor was partially funded by the URECA Summer Teams grant. Animation students who worked on this film include Andie Ayotte, Derek Barnes, Chris Dyer, Simon Idiare Jr., Kelsie Richards, Erin Thompson, Raphael Williams. Recording Industry grad student, Aaron Trimble, assisted with audio.

The film is entirely 3D computer animated. Software used in the making of this film includes Autodesk Maya, mental ray, Autodesk Mudbox, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Illustrator, Apple Motion and ProTools.


“The ‘true’ story of the lives affected by America's addition to coffee.”

Brief Synopsis:

“Coffee” is a satirical look at consumerism and how most people don't really care where their products come from as long as they work, are cheap or taste good. This film looks at one such product; coffee.

The Harpeth River and Stones River fault zones on the northwest flank of the Nashville dome, central Tennessee

Mark Abolins, Faculty, Geosciences; Joe Camacho, Environmental Science and Management, Humboldt State University; Shaunna Young, Geology, Radford University; Mark Trexler, Geosciences; Alex Ward, Geosciences; Matt Cooley, Geosciences; Albert Ogden, Geosciences

The authors use mesoscale structures and existing 1:24,000 scale geologic maps to infer the locations of four macroscale NNW-striking blind normal faults on the northwest flank of the Nashville Dome approx. 30 km south of downtown Nashville. The Harpeth River fault zone has an across-strike width of approx. 6 km, and, from west to east, includes the Peytonsville, Arno, McClory Creek, and McDaniel fault zones. All of the fault zones are east-side-down except for the west-side-down Peytonsville fault zone. Mesoscale structures are exposed within each fault zone and are observed at three stops along Tennessee-840 and at an additional stop 1.8 km south of the highway. These structures include minor normal faults (maximum dip separation 3.8 m), non-vertical joints, and mesoscale folds. No faults are depicted on existing geologic maps of the zone, but these maps reveal macroscale folding of the contact between the Ordovician Carters Formation and the overlying Hermitage Formation. The authors use the orientation and amplitude of these folds to constrain the orientation and length of the inferred blind fault zones and the amount of structural relief across the zones. The longest fault zones are the Arno (13.2 km long) and McDaniel (11.6 km) fault zones, and the amount of structural relief across these zones peaks at 27 m and 24 m, respectively.

The authors also use existing geologic maps to hypothesize that a second east-side-down blind normal fault zone (Stones River fault zone) is located approx. 27 km northeast of the Harpeth River fault zone. The authors interpret non-vertical joints at one stop as fault-related, and they interpret joints at a second stop as related to a hanging wall syncline. Both of these stops are within 4 km of Tennessee-840.



Martin V. Stewart, Faculty, Chemistry

Middle Tennessee State Normal School (MTSNS) was established as one of three teacher-training institutions resulting from the 1909 General Education Bill of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee. The first fall quarter began on September 11, 1911, with one president, 18 faculty, 125 students, and four buildings (a dormitory, a cafeteria, the president’s home, and a single academic building). Classrooms and laboratories for the physical sciences were located on the first floor of the west wing of the academic building that was then known as the Administration Building and is now called Kirksey Old Main. Two additional buildings were subsequently built in 1931 and 1967 to house the Department of Chemistry and associated departments (Physics, Biology, and, until 1962, Home Economics). A new Science Building was built for Chemistry and Biology in 2014 as the largest capital project in the history of the state of Tennessee, concluding more than 20 years of planning. This presentation is part of an ongoing effort to produce a written history of the Department of Chemistry including the biography of Archibald Belcher, first professor for physical sciences.


Implementing authentic research experiences into freshmen biology courses through the Small World Initiative

Drew Sieg, Faculty, Biology; Kim Sadler, Faculty, Biology

In 2012, the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology presented the “Engage to Excel” call for STEM educational reform to President Obama. This call highlighted the need for new approaches towards introductory science courses, namely a shift towards authentic research or inquiry-based learning in order to hook perspective STEM majors early on during their college education. One answer to this call was the Small World Initiative (SWI). This program focuses on the rise of antibiotic resistance as a running theme for introductory biology, and uses a semester-long series of labs to help students isolate, screen, characterize, and identify soil bacteria that could be used as sources for new antibiotics. This past fall, MTSU joined a collaborative network of over 50 institutions that were employing the SWI model. Here, we present the pedagogical and scientific research generated by sections of honors introductory biology for majors (Bio 1110) and non-majors (Bio 1030). Students successfully identified members of the cedar glade microbial community (including some putative antibiotic-producing strains) and developed their scientific communication skills through oral presentations, lab reports, and a capstone poster session. Exit interviews suggested that students in both sections had a personal connection to their projects, a greater commitment to their studies, and a strong interest in taking biology classes in the future. Overall, our pilot study demonstrated that the SWI model could be successfully implemented in traditional biology courses at regional public state institutions such as MTSU.


Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Ashley Bass, Undergraduate student, Elementary and Special Education; Ashley Heath, Undergraduate student, Nursing; Abdulhadi Alanazi, Undergraduate student; Laura Dubek (Faculty sponsor), English

Many colleges, including Middle Tennessee State University, have become increasingly concerned about the issue of sexual assault. Nineteen percent of U.S undergraduate women are victims of sexual assault while in college (Campus Sexual Assault Study). The cover story of the Nation, published on May 26, 2014, featured an article by Eliza Gray arguing that “America’s campuses are dangerous places.” She discusses many situations and events that happened on the campus of University of Montana to make her argument. Our poster will analyze the rhetorical situation of Gray’s cover story “Under the Spotlight”-its catalyst, purpose, audience. Our rhetorical analysis will include identify the writing strategies Gray uses to draw attention to this issue and help us understand why we must act. Finally, our poster will contextualize Gray’s argument with material from the recent Vanderbilt rape trial in order to argue that this issue is close to home.


NSA: National “Spying” Agency?

Alan Goodwin, Undergraduate student, Recording Industry; Avia Hogan, Undergraduate student, Recording Industry; Matthew Marlow, Undergraduate student, Computer Science; Laura Dubek (Faculty sponsor), English

In 1952, President Truman established the National Security Agency, an agency responsible for collecting, processing, and disseminating information from foreign electronic signals for national foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. Over 3,000 people were killed on 9/11 when terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Because of this tragic event, society views the supposed look of a terrorist differently. Soon after, the NSA prepared a “special collection program” to track the communications of Al Qaeda leaders and suspected terrorists. Recent news reports exposed how the NSA has been collecting phone and online data from millions of Americans. Our poster will present a rhetorical analysis of EFF’s (Electronic Frontier Foundation) argument that the surveillance and collection of American citizens’ data needs to be stopped, and the NSA should be confined by the limits defined by the constitution. The NSA is working with major internet service providers and cell phone companies to collect over 10 petabytes of data in 2014 alone. We will identify the rhetorical strategies EFF uses that analyze the NSA’s surveillance of domestic data, and inform our audience of the issue of big brother looking into their computers.


A Class Made of Glass: The Classroom of the Future is Now

Tyler Patrick, Undergraduate student, Concrete Industry Management; Krista Stahl, Undergraduate student, Elementary and Special Education; Ashanti Holder, Undergraduate student, Health and Human Performance; Laura Dubek (Faculty sponsor), English

Monday through Friday students of all ages and all backgrounds go to school and sit in a classroom. Our poster will highlight the need and demand for technology in these classrooms. We will analyze the rhetorical situation of Alice Armstrong’s article published in ''Education Digest” titled “Technology in the Classroom”-It’s Not a Matter of ‘If” but ‘When’ and ‘How.’” By using statistics and giving examples, this article attempts to convince schools and teachers to use more technology in their lessons. “Technology in the Classroom” was written with the purpose of starting the technology movement and opening the conversation in 2014. As we analyze this text, we will attempt to illustrate that technology in the classroom has become a necessity. By using past and present examples to support our argument, we also plan to highlight statistics of importance and also mention where the article has been published and the significance it has had. Our poster itself will be an example as it will be digital and stationary, thus proving how deep technology is vested in education. Our supporting evidence by Corning Incorporated, “A Day Made of Glass” resonates how a “Class Made of Glass” is possible in the near further. By analyzing this rhetoric we aim to bridge the present to the future.


To Intubate or Not to Intubate? Emergency Pre-Hospital Intubation

Craig Young, Undergraduate student, History; Breia McCray, Undergraduate student, Animal Science; Rontez Dalton, Undergraduate student, Exercise Science; Laura Dubek (Faculty sponsor), English

Imagine you find your mother lying on the couch gasping for air. You call 911, and first responders arrive along with EMS. A highly trained paramedic preforms an airway skill and your mother can now breathe easier. In the January 2015 edition of EMSWorld magazine, an article written by two doctors, Philip Moy and Aldo Andino, discusses issues with Endotracheal Intubation in the pre-hospital setting. Endotracheal Intubation is a procedure that involves skills used by properly trained healthcare workers that involves placing a breathing tube down a person’s airway in order to keep that person breathing and alive. Our poster will analyze and illustrate the rhetorical situation of Dr. Moy and Andino’s written argument—its catalyst, purpose, and audience—as well as the rhetorical strategies they use not only to respond to the critics, but also to persuade their audience to continue fighting for pre-hospital intubation. This article shows how proper and continued education is needed to perform a successful pre-hospital intubation. Our rhetorical analysis will also include an examination of the article’s current evidence on the survival rate of those who received field intubation verse the ones that did not, both in cardiac arrest and trauma patients. There are a lot of concerns in the emergency medical services that the lack of funding has hampered our technician and paramedics from continuing their education on critical skills needed for patient survival. Finally, our poster will present a compelling argument of our own, making clear exactly how and why controlling a patient’s airway should be everyone’s concern.


Bridging the Gender Gap in Technology

Tina Warren, Undergraduate student, Electronic Media Communication; Todd O'Neill (Faculty sponsor), Electronic Media Communication

A shift in educational, industry, and social mindsets is required to bridge the technology gender gap. These mindsets can be changed through the implementation of education and training within educational and work spaces. Promotional materials and media can also be utilized to help shift mindsets, such as changing the wording of job descriptions for tech positions so that they appeal to both genders. It is important to address the gender gap and work towards closing the gap for a number of reasons, including ensuring ample professionals to fill positions in a growing tech industry, gender equity, and diversity in the field.

Women make up over 50 percent of the current workforce and Women's digital media habits outpaced men's in 2011, according to international research firm Parks Associates, yet women account for less than one quarter of professionals working in the tech industry (Parks).

The purpose of this research is to determine if the gender technology gap exists on a local level and to compare the local results with national results. The research should show where the gap exists and where steps should be taken to ensure gender equity in the field at a local level. It should also help to determine where more research is needed to better understand why the gap exists and how best to address the issues surrounding it.

Assessing whether foraging range overlap between Apis mellifera and Bombus species spreads parasites that contribute to colony collapse disorder

Anna Neal, Undergraduate student, Biology; Robert Sieg (Faculty sponsor), Biology

Populations of native Bombus species and of managed Apis mellifera have declined across the United States due to a variety of factors. The simultaneous declines of these insects suggest that they could be susceptible to the same suite of parasites. This study investigated whether managed honey bees and wild bumblebees in middle Tennessee were sharing parasites, specifically internal fungal parasites and mites. Suggestive evidence of interspecific parasite sharing was found among the bees of middle Tennessee. The study also identified nine species of bumblebees in middle Tennessee despite the current assumption of only four species. These findings provide a clearer picture of the intricacy of the causes behind these declines and a greater understanding of the stability of middle Tennessee’s ecosystem.


Investigation of Liquid Film during Spin-Coating

Andy Black, Undergraduate student, Physics and Astronomy; Nathanael Smith (Faculty sponsor), Physics and Astronomy

Spin coating is a popular method to deposit a thin film upon a substrate due to the ease by which it can be accomplished. During the spin coating process, most of the fluid deposited on the substrate is flung off leaving behind a thin film. Spin coating has many applications including the deposition of photoresists and optical coatings, lithography, and the fabrication of multilayer solar cells. In this work we investigate a particularly simple and popular model for the thinning rate of a liquid film during the spin coating process. Previously, it was found that this model works well when describing the thinning rate at the center of a rotating substrate. Our measurements at an off-center location show that this model is not effective in describing the thinning rate of the liquid film on the substrate at an off-center location. Further, we show that the simple model becomes more applicable off-center as the spin speed is increased.


Elucidating the molecular mechanisms that control the switch between repair and destruction after mitochondrial damage

Andrew Nolin, Undergraduate student, Biology; Logan Bowling, Graduate student, Biology; Larissa Wolf, Undergraduate student, Biology; Rachel Yates, Undergraduate student, Biology; David Nelson (Faculty sponsor), Biology

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder affecting about one million people in the United States. It is characterized by diminished motor control resulting from the loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons from the substantia nigra pars compacta. Although the cause for PD is unknown, mitochondrial dysfunction in DA neurons is thought to be a primary factor. In healthy cells a ‘mitochondrial quality control’ (MQC) pathway, mitophagy, maintains mitochondrial health by destroying defective mitochondria before they compromise the integrity of the mitochondrial network. Two proteins involved in the mitophagy pathway are PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and Parkin. PINK1 surveils the mitochondrial network and marks depolarized mitochondria by stably associating to their outer membranes. Once there it recruits and activates Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase. Parkin then polyubiquitinates multiple mitochondrial proteins triggering the destruction of dysfunctional mitochondria by autophagy. Recently, a new mechanism has been discovered in the MQC pathway. PINK1-Parkin acts as a damage-gated molecular switch that signals apoptosis, mitophagy, or mitochondrial repair. It is currently unknown what mechanism allows PINK1-Parkin to determine each stimulus specific path. It is also unclear which protein, PINK1 or Parkin, initiates mitochondrial repair. This project aims to produce a chimeric fusion of PINK1 and mCherry to visualize PINK1 association to the mitochondria, validate this fusion, PINK1-mCherry, through Western Blotting and fluorescence microscopy, and measure kinetics of PINK1 and Parkin relocaliztion in response to mitochondrial damage to investigate the regulatory switch responsible for the switch between mitophagy and mitochondrial repair.


Completing the Circle: Donor-pi-Acceptor Polyene Dyes with Azacycloalkyl Donors

Gabrielle Ashley, Undergraduate student, Chemistry; Donnan Keith, Undergraduate student, Chemistry; Andrienne Friedli, Faculty, Chemistry; Andrienne Friedli (Faculty sponsor), Chemistry

In this study, subtle structural changes in azacycloalkyl donors in donor-pi-acceptor (D-pi-A) polyene dyes were used to probe structure-photophysical property relationships. Here we report the synthesis and properties of dyes containing azacycloalkanes with a range of geometries at nitrogen. Quantum-mechanical calculations using the B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) method were carried out within the Spartan 06 program. The calculations predict that C-N-C angles range from 113.2º to 119.2º depending upon the size of and substituents on the azacycloalkane ring (from 5 atoms to 7 atoms). Synthesis of 5, 6, and 7 membered azacycloalkyls was accomplished in four steps from commercially available starting materials. Microwave irradiation of dihaloalkanes and 4-bromoaniline resulted in 1-(4-bromophenyl)-azacycloalkanes. Lithium-halogen exchange of the bromides, followed by reaction with 5-(N,N-diethyl)pentadienal, gave 1-[4-azacycloalkylphenyl)]-2,4-pentadienals. Knoevenagel condensation of the aldehydes with 1,3-diethyl thiobarbituric acid produced three dyes with cycloalkylamine donors. The UV and NMR solvatochromic properties of the dyes were compared to compounds with related acyclic and aromatic amine donor groups.

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