Undergraduate Research

Celebration of Student Research and Creative Activity

The Celebration of Student Research and Creative Activity is held every spring to recognize students' scholarly endeavors performed under the guidance of faculty and allows students to present their accomplishments to the broader Xavier community. Although the Celebration is hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, students from all colleges and disciplines are encouraged to submit their work. To facilitate participation from a variety of disciplines, we encourage the broadest definition of research and creative activity. As an extension of the Celebration, we will also be recognizing an Undergraduate Student Researcher of the year at the Academic Honors Convocation.

The Celebration of Student Research and Creative Activity is part of Xavier University's annual Week of Research.


Special Thanks

Nan Moore for all of her work and organization in planning this event.

Funding Sources

The Undergraduate Research program gratefully acknowledges those that make this event possible.

  • Undergraduate Research's March Gladness campaign
  • The College of Arts and Science Gift Fund
  • The College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office 

 

Celebration of Student Research and Creative Activity, Friday, April 29th, 2022 

Schedule of Events

Time Event

2:00 – 2:15 pm

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Dr. David Mengel, Dean College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. David Gerberry, Director CAS Undergraduate Research 

2:15 – 3:00 pm

Poster Session A

  • Posters A1-A15 on 2nd floor
  • Posters A16-A30 on 3rd floor

3:00 – 3:40 pm

Oral Presentations

  • Presented in Rooms 205, 207, 208 on 2nd floor
  • Presented in Rooms 307, 308, 309 on 3rd floor

3:45 – 4:30 pm

Poster Session B

  • Posters B1-B15 on 2nd floor
  • Posters B16-B30 on 3rd floor

Poster Session A - 2:15 – 3:00 pm

2nd Floor

A-01: Hayley Banker  (Dr. Justin Roush, Economics)
A Study of Determinants of Convenience Store Craft Beer Sales in Ohio

A-02: Hayley Barta  (Dr. Wilber Escorcia, Biology)
SREBF1 promotes homeostatic control of lipids in response to DNA damage

A-03: Connie Kavensky  (Dr. Barbara Hopkins, Chemistry)
Analysis of Cadmium Concentration in Organic and Conventional Produce Using Inductively Coupled Plasma

A-04: Natalie Powers
(Dr. Marcia Lensges, Management & Entrepreneurship)
Should I plan to Adapt or Adapt to the Plan? The Drivers and Tensions of Hybrid Agile Project Management 

A-05: Danielle Boling  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
Teacher Perceptions and Use of Restorative Practices in Elementary Schools

A-06: Daniel Bonomo  (Dr. Richard Mullins, Chemistry)
Efforts Towards the Total Synthesis of Thiocladospolide A via Conjugate Addition to Patulolide B

A-07: Roscoeria Boyd  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
"How many perpetrators have experienced abuse and neglect in their childhood history"?

A-08: Gina Chimenti  (Dr. Jaylene Schaeffer, Social Work)
Abuse of Mother Enrolled in the Every Child Succeeds Program at Santa Maria Community Services

A-10: Olivia Dole  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
Stigma and Race HIV Disparities

A-11: Siena Dorger  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
Coping with Grief After Losing a Loved One to Homicide

A-12: Aurielle Drummer  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
HIV Stigma in Medical Settings

A-13: Taniya Dsouza, Olivia Tore, Grace Dempsey, and Taylor Ferello (Dr. Tammy Sonnentag, Psychology)
Messaging and Its Effects on Attitudes Towards Marijuana Usage

A-15: Meghan Graber  (Dr. Wilber Escorcia, Biology)
Analysis of DGAT Mutations Reveals Contributions to Cancer Progression

3rd Floor

A-16: Lindsey Insco  (Dr. Craig Davis, Chemistry)
P-31 NMR as a Probe for Reverse Micelles: An Inorganic Laboratory Exercise

A-17: Arionna Jared  (Dr. Supaporn Kradtap, Chemistry)
Exploring the use of 3D printer and polysaccharide-based bioplastics for microfluidic fabrication

A-18: Naomi Johnson  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
COVID-19 affects on client satisfaction at Catholic Charities from January 2018 to January 2021

A-19: Destyn Jones, MA, Ashley Williams, MA, Lindsay Koeller (Dr. Susan L. Kenford, Psychology)
The Impact of COVID-19 on Dating Among College Students

A-20: Emma Jury, Elizabeth D’Arpa, Josh Mauriello, and Jon MIller (Dr. Tammy Sonnentag, Dr. Kyle Stephenson, Psychology)
Exposure to Images on Social Media

A-21: Will Kershisnik  (Dr. Supaporn Kradtap, Chemistry)
Designing Micro-TLC Plates

A-22: Mysun Kidd  (Dr. Richie Liu, Marketing)
Brand Logo Design and Customer Participation: The Role of Stereotype Content Model and Gratitude

A-23: Janey Langemeier  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
The extent to which success coaches have a positive impact on high school seniors, as analyzed through self-reported student perception.

A-24: Andrew LeBlanc, Stephan Freeman (Dr. Richard Mullins, Chemistry)
Approaching an Eight-Step Formal Synthesis of (+)-Kalkitoxin

A-25: Mary Mahaffee, Kaela Khan (Dr. Mollie McIntosh, Biology)
Dam impacts on stream macroinvertebrate communitities

A-26: Kalia Marcelle  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
Social and Emotional Outcomes Associated with Peer Groups

A-27: Andrea McQuality  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
A social worker's description of compassion satisfaction

A-28: Makayla Meadows  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
Restorative Justice Programs Within The Hamilton County Juvenile Justice System

A-29: Lauren Mikell  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
Parent's perception of their child's English proficiency within the Head Start program.

A-30: Elise Moellering  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
Childhood trauma related to CPS involvement

Oral Presentations - 3:00 - 3:20 pm

Room Presentation

ALT 205

Cheyenne Edo-Osagie  (Dr. Travis Speice, Sociology)

Double consciousness: Minority students navigating mental health in multiple communities

ALT 207

Michaelia Fisher  (Dr. Richard Mullins, Chemistry)

Methodology of Inuloxins A

ALT 208

 

ALT 307

Conor Meacham  (Dr. William Anyonge, Biology)

Skull Morphology of Carnivorous Mammals

ALT 308

Timothy Ganshirt  (Dr. Shannon Byrne, Classics)

The Greco-Roman Influence on Early Christian Art

ALT 309

Aaron Ticknor  (Dr. Quinn, Classics and Philosophy Honors Bachelor of the Arts Program)

Humanity and Nature: From Virgil to Modernity

Oral Presentations - 3:20 - 3:40 pm

Room Presentation

ALT 205

Emily Armstrong  (Dr. David Gerberry, Mathematics)

Comparing the Similarity of Congressional Districts using the Genetic Algorithm

ALT 207

Isaac Blaney  (Dr. Bryan Buechner, Marketing)

The Impact of AI vs. Human Projections on Decision Making in Fantasy Sports

ALT 208

Olivia Bigham  (Dr. Ann Ray, Biology)

Application of chemical attractants for survey and trapping of wood boring insects

ALT 307

Pierce Jenkins  (Dr. Thilini Ariyachandra, Dr. Victor Ronis-Tobin, Center for Population Health)

Analyzing COVID-19 Vaccination Resistance

ALT 308

Nicholas Minion  (Dr. Niam'h O'Leary, Dr. Graley Herren, Dr. Thomas Strunk, Classics and Philosophy Honors Bachelor of the Arts Program)

Roman New Comedy in the Renaissance: The Influence of Plautus in Shakespearean Comedy

ALT 309

Matthew Blain  (Dr. Timothy Quinn, Classics and Philosophy Honors Bachelor of the Arts Program)

The Name and Its Significance: An Examination of Names in Aristotle’s and Plato’s Philosophy of Language

Poster Session B - 3:45 – 4:30 pm

2nd Floor

B-01: Natalie Moyer  (Dr. Barbara Hopkins, Chemistry)
Dissolutions Role in Drug Development

B-02: Georgia Nicewonger  (Dr. Peter Mallow, Health Services Administration)
The High Cost of Death Associated with Acute Myocardial Infarctions

B-03: Artemis Nikolopoulos  (Dr. William Anyonge, Biology)
The functional relationship between feeding type and jaw and cranial morphology in ungulates

B-04: Corinne Nykaza, Luke Frayser, Connor Hutton, Tom Agonito (Dr. David Hyland, Finance)
D'Artagnan Capital Fund

B-05: Reid Peterson, Joseph Mullen (Dr. Patrick Filanowski, Sport Science & Management)
Associations Between Parent’s Self-Efficacy for Exercise and Their Participation in Physical Activity for Health Benefits

B-06: Alex Rausenberger  (Dr. Wilber Escorcia, Biology)
Analysis of ACC2 mutations involving development of cancer using bioinformatics and cut6 in fission yeast as a model organism

B-07: Ashley Rayzer  (Dr. Marco Fatuzzo, Physics)
Proposed Bioretention Cell Designs for the Reduction Of Stormwater Pollutants and Stormwater Overflow in Xavier’s Cintas Parking Lot

B-08: Madison Ringer  (Dr. William Anyonge, Biology)
Limb proportions and locomotor behavior in South American rodents

B-09: Fiona Rowan  (Dr. Justin Link, Physics)
Investigating the spatial and structural specificity of muscle-specific fusion factors myomaker and myomerger through colocalization

B-10: Drew Schlidt  (Dr. Margo J. Heydt Ed.D., LISW-S, Social Work)
“Appropriate Assertiveness”: Advancing Jesuit Decree 14 Today

B-11: Kyla Schuster  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
Police Personnel on the Subject of Social Workers in the Justice System

B-12: Eve Vavilis, Corey Keane, Madi Zingraf (Dr. Hanna Wetzel, Biology)
The effects of a monoclonal anti-cocaine fab fragment on urinary excretion of cocaine in rats

B-13: Martin Vo  (Dr. Wilber Escorcia, Biology)
A rapid machine learning-based method to analyze cell dimensions in fission yeast microscope images

B-14: Jared Vornhagen, Maria Vassanelli; Grant Zentmeyer (Dr. Thomas Wagner, Communication)
Exploring the Impact of Narrative Persuasion on Student Attitudes Towards the Death Penalty: A Qualitative Approach

B-15: Cothalee Watko  (Dr. Jonathan Morris, Physics)
Calculations of Powder Diffraction Patterns of Salts using Matlab

3rd Floor

B-16: Evan Whitford  (Dr. Adam Bange, Chemistry)
Heavy Metal Detection with ICP-OES

B-17: Payton Wood, Samantha Hawkins (Dr. Mollie McIntosh, Biology)
An assessment of combined sewer overflow and channelization impacts on an urban stream ecosystem

B-18: Maeve Cullen-Conway  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work)
Mental Wellbeing and Perceived Autonomy in Long-Term Care Residents

B-19: Olivia Biddle, Maria Daniel and Hallie Rodman (Dr. Jennifer Robbins, Biology)
MRSA prevalence in the context of COVID-19

B-20: Abigayle Rose, Hayden Ybarra, Michayla Dechnik, Xavier Curtis (Dr. Jennifer Robbins, Biology)
Assessing the use of Green Tea and Turmeric as Biofilm Inhibitors

B-21: Mary Claire Casper, Hannah Geiger (Dr. Victor Ronis-Tobin, Population Health)
Choosing to Use: Risk Perception and Social Approval of Marijuana Use in Northern Kentucky Adolescents

B-22: Ryan Scheidler, Sheloni Hamilton (Dr. Stephen Mills, Chemistry)
Testing Protein Expression Methods for Future Applications in the BASIL Biochemistry Lab Curriculum

B-23: Madison Berry, Sheloni Hamilton(Dr. Stephen Mills, Chemistry)
Analysis of SwissDock Docking Technique and Its Relation to The Advancement of BASIL Research

B-24: Kevin Fedders  (Dr. Stephen Mills, Chemistry)
Module 0: Expanding BASIL

B-26: Delaney Beckenhaupt, Alaina Francel, Rose Hummel, and Maddy Meyer (Dr. Tammy Sonnentag, Dr. Kyle Stephenson, Psychology)
The Effect of Depression Education and Gender Identity on Attitudes and Beliefs about Depression

 

ABSTRACTS BY DEPARTMENT:

  

Olivia Bigham  (Dr. Ann Ray, Biology)  [back]

Talk, 3:20-3:40 pm in ALT 208

Application of chemical attractants for survey and trapping of wood boring insects

International commerce is an important pathway by which exotic and potentially invasive insects are introduced to new areas. Invasive insects threaten managed and natural ecosystems, especially forests. Wood boring beetles are of particular concern because immature forms may be concealed in solid wood material or consumer products and may escape detection by regulatory personnel. Insect families Buprestidae, Cerambycidae and subfamily Scolytinae are of particular interests for the damages they caused. Early detection of invasive wood boring beetles is vital to mitigating impacts and slowing their spread. Baited trapping techniques are used in many surveys, however many traps that are currently available are only effective at trapping a limited number of taxa. We assessed the effect of generic sex-attractant pheromones and host volatiles on capture of wood boring beetles by green funnel traps. We found that adding chemical attractants for the family Cerambycidae and subfamily Scolytinae to green funnel traps increased trap capture across multiple taxa. Our results may improve surveys for multiple taxa, using one trap design, thus streamlining surveys for invasive species.

 

Conor Meacham  (Dr. William Anyonge, Biology)  [back]

Talk, 3:00-3:20 pm in ALT 307

Skull Morphology of Carnivorous Mammals

The Order Carnivora is the most ecologically diverse out of all mammals. Previous research indicates that among the evolutionary pressures creating this vast diversity of carnivores, bite force is particularly important. The relationship between skull morphology and predation was observed among three different species of carnivorous mammals, specifically: the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), the eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus), and the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii). A total of 10 morphological traits of the jaw and skull (6 and 4 respectively) were observed and adjusted using size standardization. The data was then analyzed using analysis of variance test (ANOVA). Results showed feeding ecology for animals like the eastern quoll has evolved their jaws to be significantly less powerful based on lesser mechanical advantage through the temporalis muscle, the muscle associated with powerful biting and killing of prey. The spotted hyena showed significantly greater temporal fossa length, but lower tooth row length and zygomatic arch width compared to all other species. These hyenas are known for crushing bones, so larger muscles in a smaller mouth could have provided an evolutionary advantage for them. The Tasmanian devil is also a ferocious predator, reflected by significantly greater mechanical advantage of the temporalis compared to all other species observed excluding the spotted hyena. In the evolutionary arms race for bite force in carnivores, spotted hyenas and Tasmanian devils show extraordinarily strong jaws, enabling their persistent predation. Summary of findings: Spotted hyena and Tasmanian devil show significantly stronger skull and jaw muscles, evolved to adapt to feeding on stronger prey in their ecological niches.

 

Hayley Barta  (Dr. Wilber Escorcia, Biology) [back]

Poster A-2, 2:15-3:00 pm

SREBF1 promotes homeostatic control of lipids in response to DNA damage

Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 is a transcription factor encoded by the SREBF1 gene. It functions in cholesterol biosynthesis and lipid homeostasis. Cancer cells are known to utilize lipids as building blocks for rapid proliferation. Therefore, we hypothesized that inhibition of SREBF1 leads to reduced cancer cell growth and progression. We used the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) to identify mutations in SREBF1 across different cancers. Using statistical and bioinformatics tools, we examined how mutation load correlates with tissue type, age, and pathogenicity to reveal the functional consequences of cancer-associated disruptions to SREBF1. Additionally, we used the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, to investigate the effects that disrupting the SREBF1 homolog, Sre1, have on viability, the DNA damage response (DDR), and lipid levels. When subjected to UV damage, cell viability decreases for both wildtype and sre1 mutant strains. However, the effect is more pronounced in the latter, indicating sre1 is required for the response to genotoxic stress. Furthermore, following DNA damage, lipid levels increased in the sre1 mutant relative to wild type cells, suggesting a role for Sre1 in keeping lipid abundance in conditions that favor cancer progression. Altogether, these data imply that regulation of lipid metabolism by Sre1 is important to deploy homeostatic balance in the aftermath of genotoxic insults.

 

Meghan Graber  (Dr. Wilber Escorcia, Biology) [back]

Poster A-15, 2:15-3:00 pm

Analysis of DGAT Mutations Reveals Contributions to Cancer Progression

Lipid metabolism is an essential cellular process, and alterations in lipid metabolism are characteristic of cancer cells. We hypothesized that disruptions in lipid regulatory genes such as the diacylglycerol acyltransferase enzymes (DGAT) 1 and 2, which code for triacylglycerol synthesis enzymes, are linked to carcinogenic metabolism. We analyzed DGAT1 and DGAT2 mutations in cancer samples from the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancers (COSMIC) database and found several pathogenic mutations including those that affect the catalytic site of the enzymes. Through statistical and bioinformatics analysis, we identified conserved pathogenic mutations that are likely to disrupt the structure of the DGAT enzymes and thus their enzymatic activity. To study the potential impact of loss of function mutations such as these, we examined Schizosaccharomyces pombe knockout mutants for dga1, the DGAT homolog in fission yeast. We found that disruption of dga1 resulted in deregulation of lipids under genotoxic conditions. Altogether, these results suggest that disruption of DGAT genes can lead to cellular deregulation of lipids in a manner that promotes cancer progression.

 

Mary Mahaffee, Kaela Khan (Dr. Mollie McIntosh, Biology) [back]

Poster A-25, 2:15-3:00 pm

Dam impacts on stream macroinvertebrate communitities

Aquatic macroinvertebrates are integral to stream ecology and health, as they provide a fundamental link between organic matter and fish in the food web. Macroinvertebrates are sensitive to physical, chemical, and biological changes in the environment making them good indicators of overall stream health. Anthropogenic activities, like the presence and maintenance of dams, can disturb aquatic ecosystems.  Macroinvertebrates can be used to monitor the stream response to such activities. The main objective of this study was to assess structural and functional differences in the macroinvertebrate community upstream and downstream of a small dam. Macroinvertebrates were collected from riffle substrates (n=4) at one upstream and two downstream locations in relation to Kreis dam on Sharon Creek, Ohio, in fall 2021. Temperature and depth were measured at each riffle location to better characterize these habitats. Preliminary results indicated that macroinvertebrate abundance was highest upstream of the dam, whereas, diversity was lowest.  Higher structural and functional diversity was also observed at both downstream dam locations.  No correlation between temperature and macroinvertebrate diversity were observed, however, a positive correlation between depth and diversity was seen.  These baseline data will be useful assessing future dredging and management impacts planned for this watershed.

 

Artemis Nikolopoulos  (Dr. William Anyonge, Biology) [back]

Poster B-3, 3:45-4:30 pm

The functional relationship between feeding type and jaw and cranial morphology in ungulates

The term Ungulata refers to a group of hoofed mammals which fall into three feeding categories: grazers, browsers, and mixed feeders. Grazers feed mainly on grasses and lower vegetation, while browsers feed on woody and non-woody dicotyledonous plants. The mixed feeding ungulates exhibit both types of feeding habits. This study  investigated the relationship between feeding type and skull structure in several representative ungulates in each of the feeding groups. Several cranial and jaw indices were computed from measurements taken from digital images of jaws and skulls of each species using ImageJ, a morphometrics software program. The indices were standardized and subjected to an analysis of variance. I hypothesized that grazers should exhibit larger jaw muscles (especially the masseter) with enhanced moment arms that correlate to tougher diets (abrasive grasses with high silicon content) compared to browsers (consume <25% grass) or mixed feeders (consume 25-75% grass).

 

Alex Rausenberger  (Dr. Wilber Escorcia, Biology) [back]

Poster B-6, 3:45-4:30 pm

Analysis of ACC2 mutations involving development of cancer using bioinformatics and cut6 in fission yeast as a model organism

ACC2, Acetyl-CoA carboxylase beta, is a central protein that helps guide the direction of lipid metabolism in the cell. Under normal conditions, ACC2 promotes the cell to either synthesize or break down fatty acids for energy storage or use. When mutations occur in the ACC2 gene this could lead to de-regulation of this process. Cancer cells often exhibit altered lipid metabolism and mutations in critical lipid regulators, such as ACC2, could be the cause of this. Using data from the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC), it was found that certain types of cancer cells did in fact have significant mutations in their ACC2 genes. This data was analyzed using the Variant Effect Scoring Tool (VEST) to determine the significance of the mutations. Mutations with significant VEST scores involved a single amino acid substitution that could affect the structure or function of the ACC2 protein. To supplement this data, cut6, a functional homolog of ACC2 found in fission yeast, was analyzed in lab. Pictures of the wild type and mutant cut6 fission yeast strains were taken under a phase contrast microscope. These images were quantified using a cell dimension program and overall, the data showed significant differences in cell length, width, and area between the wild type and mutant cells.

 

Madison Ringer  (Dr. William Anyonge, Biology) [back]

Poster B-8, 3:45-4:30 pm

Limb proportions and locomotor behavior in South American rodents

Rodents are the most species-rich order within Mammalia and have evolved differences in limb proportions to accommodate various habitats, which helps us understand the connection between locomotor structure and speciation. The primary aim of this study is to broadly evaluate the relationship between locomotor behavior and limb proportions, specifically the length of the principal long bones in five selected species of rodents in South America. Relative to some previous studies of limb proportions, this study focuses on animals that are only prey. The rodents were placed into two groups based on (i) openness of habitat and (ii) escape strategy from predators. Three limb indices were computed from measurements made on digital images of the humerus, radius, femur and tibia of Ondatras, Chinchillas, Petauristidae, Capybaras, and Viscachas and subjected to an analysis of variance (ANOVA). I hypothesized that animals that live in open habitats would have long distal limb elements which enables them to run, whereas species residing in dense vegetation would have shorter distal limb bones giving them more power to dig. As predicted, results indicate that rodents living in areas with sparse vegetation such as Ondatras, Chinchillas, and Petauristidae exhibit significantly longer distal elements than the Capybaras and Viscachas. 

 

Eve Vavilis, Corey Keane, Madi Zingraf (Dr. Hanna Wetzel, Biology) [back]

Poster B-12, 3:45-4:30 pm

The effects of a monoclonal anti-cocaine fab fragment on urinary excretion of cocaine in rats

Despite overdose deaths in the US being on the rise, there is still no FDA approved pharmacological treatment for cocaine use disorder. A novel anti-cocaine recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb), designated h2E2, is at an advanced stage of preclinical development for the treatment of cocaine use disorder. In previous studies, h2E2 has been found to be too large to effectively be cleared from the blood via the kidneys. As almost all drug tests are performed using urine samples, there is concern that the drug would suppress urinary clearance of cocaine, causing a patient to falsely test negative for cocaine usage. To improve urinary excretion, a fragment of the h2E2 antibody was synthesized. The fragment contains only the variable region, called the Fab fragment. Fab binds to cocaine using the same mechanism as h2E2 but should be small enough to clear in the urine. Creatinine is a normal metabolic by-product and is a good indication of kidney filtration. Therefore, we collected urine from rats treated with cocaine and the fab fragment and quantified Fab and creatinine levels. In the presence of cocaine, we observed higher Fab excretion rates in the urine at early timepoints, but by 12 hours the same amount of Fab had been excreted. Additionally, creatinine concentrations were higher in the cocaine treated animals at the early timepoint, but lower by 6 hours. This indicates that the altered Fab excretion observed in the presence of cocaine was likely due to overall higher filtration rates at the early timepoints as compared to the vehicle control. Overall, we demonstrated the Fab is excreted in the urine in rats. Cocaine does not appear to have a specific effect on fab excretions rates. However, Fab may alter filtration rates. More work is needed to fully understand the interaction between the h2E2 Fab fragment and cocaine and their effects on excretion of these compounds in to the urine.

 

Martin Vo  (Dr. Wilber Escorcia, Biology) [back]

Poster B-13, 3:45-4:30 pm

A rapid machine learning-based method to analyze cell dimensions in fission yeast microscope images

The dimensions of cells are linked to its cell cycle progression and environmental conditions. Cells in different environmental conditions can display various characteristics that show us whether that environment is ideal or not. Fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) is a rod-shaped ascomycete fungus where cell cycle progression can be tracked by the changes in cell length, area and width. Although microscopy analysis of fission yeast allows for quick determination of life cycle progression under different genetic and environmental conditions, the task of measuring and subsequently analyzing size metrics statistically places considerable burdens on time and effort. Moreover, outlining cells either manually or using plugin packages for commonly used image analysis software results in data affected by user bias or processing artifacts, respectively. In this work, we report a machine learning-based methodology that measures cell dimensions in fission yeast in an unbiased, automated manner and streamlines workflow from image acquisition to statistical analysis. Using this approach, we were able to efficiently train and modify the image-processing algorithm to our experimental needs. We processed image data for five different experiments in a time-efficient manner without the need of extensive computing power. To these processes, we coupled a downstream statistical routine that is simple to implement and interpret. Our findings suggest that with this method fission yeast researchers will be able to readily assess cell size dynamics under different conditions in ways that clearly highlight underlying genetic or environmental alterations. The increased efficiency in processing time will also enable examination of large sample sizes that reveal unique cell phenotypes with relevant biological, not just simply statistical significance.  

 

Payton Wood, Samantha Hawkins (Dr. Mollie McIntosh, Biology) [back]

Poster B-17, 3:45-4:30 pm

An assessment of combined sewer overflow and channelization impacts on an urban stream ecosystem

Urban streams are often degraded due to a combination of human activities. Pollution from combined sewer overflows and habitat destruction from cement channelization have been permanent cofactors impacting streams in the Mill Creek Watershed of Cincinnati, Ohio.  The main objective of this study was to assess the combined impact of multiple stressors on an urban stream ecosystem.  Specifically, macroinvertebrate structure and function, fecal coliform abundance and chemical composition were compared between a natural and impacted (both with sewer overflows and channelization) stream locations.  Macroinvertebrates were assessed in standardized riffle (n=3) and composite multihabitat timed-search samples (n=1) at each site.  Macroinvertebrates were subsequently identified to family level, functional feeding groups assigned, and numerical data used to calculate common structural and functional metrics.  A composite water sample was also collected from multiple habitats along the stream reach for chemical and fecal coliform testing. Preliminary results indicate greater macroinvertebrate diversity and taxa richness at the natural site; however, no significant difference in density was observed.  Phosphate and chloride were higher at the downstream location; whereas, mean coliform concentration was significantly greater at the impacted site.  This study will provide valuable information that can be used in the future management of this urban watershed.

 

Olivia Biddle, Maria Daniel and Hallie Rodman (Dr. Jennifer Robbins, Biology) [back]

Poster B-19, 3:45-4:30 pm

MRSA prevelance in the context of COVID-19

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a strain of bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics. For this reason, it continues to challenge our healthcare system. In 2019, there were 323,700 estimated cases and 10,600 fatalities reported in the United States (CDC 2020). Healthcare workers can be possible vectors for MRSA transmission (Albrich & Harbarth, 2008). Doctors and nurses are known to colonize MRSA on their skin 3-5 times more than the general public (Albrich & Harbarth). In another experiment, Angen et. al found that, after going to a MRSA infected swine farm, 62% of people who did not wear a mask and 9% of people who did wear a mask colonized MRSA (2019). In 2014, Xavier students Brown et. al found that nursing students colonize MRSA 2 times more than non-nursing students. In this experiment, our aim is to expand on this research and further determine if the mask mandate has affected MRSA colonization. Our experiment included swabbing the hands, noses, and cellular devices of nursing students in their clinical and preclinical years at Xavier University. Swabs were plated onto mannitol salt agar (MSA) plates for the detection of S. aureus, and positive colonies were transferred to CHROMagar MRSA plates for detection of MRSA. Our hypotheses are: 1. MRSA colonization rates in the noses of participants will be significantly less than the rates on the hands of participants; and, 2. nasal colonization rates of MRSA in clinical nursing students in 2022 will be significantly less than colonization rates in 2014; and, 3. nursing students in clinicals colonize MRSA significantly more than nursing students who are not in clinicals in 2022. Our results support differences in MRSA colonization among nursing students in their clinical and preclinical years.

 

Abigayle Rose, Hayden Ybarra, Michayla Dechnik, Xavier Curtis (Dr. Jennifer Robbins, Biology) [back]

Poster B-20, 3:45-4:30 pm

Assessing the use of Green Tea and Turmeric as Biofilm Inhibitors

Biofilms produce a protective extracellular matrix that blocks the entry of antibiotics, making biofilms the root of many human health issues from plaque on teeth to delaying the healing of chronic wounds (Kwiecinsi et al., 2015; Wu et al, 2019). The present study originally aimed to investigate cost-effective solutions to Staphylococcus epidermidis and Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilms on chronic wounds by comparing turmeric and green tea as antibiofilm agents. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with antibiofilm properties that disturb the extracellular matrix and disrupt homeostasis, thus halting biofilm development (Batista de Andrade Neto et al., 2021; Farkash et al., 2018; Rajasekar et al., 2021). Epigallocatechin gallate, the active ingredient in green tea, shows similar biofilm inhibitory effects due to its ability to disrupt the cell envelope, decrease gene expression, and reduce amyloid fibers in the extracellular matrix (Falcinelli et al., 2017; Xu et al., 2021; Zayed et al., 2021). We hypothesized that as the concentration of green tea or turmeric increased, the amount of biofilm present would decrease. The results of this method were inconclusive as the method itself required revisions between each trial. As the study progressed, the goal shifted to finding a method that would effectively test this research question using absorbance as a measure of biofilm formation. Further work will be needed to determine an effective method to study biofilm inhibition due to the action of turmeric and green tea.

 

Pierce Jenkins  (Dr. Thilini Ariyachandra, Dr. Victor Ronis-Tobin, Center for Population Health) [back]

Talk, 3:20-3:40 pm in ALT 307

Analyzing COVID-19 Vaccination Resistance

The Health Gap, a medical and community engagement non-profit, partnered with the Xavier University Center for Population Health from November to December 2020, right around the time the COVID-19 vaccine was being released. Through their collaboration, survey data was collected in Hamilton County and the surrounding Cincinnati area with the objective of uncovering and understanding what demographics are more likely to have hesitancy to get the vaccine, what variables contribute to this resistance, as well as to increase awareness, build knowledge, and expand capacity to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable black and brown populations. Professor Ronis-Tobin of the Xavier Population Health Department gave me access to the survey data that was collected for the purposes of a Business Analytics Final Project. Over the course of the semester, I have been sifting through, analyzing, interpreting, and visualizing the data using Microsoft Excel and Tableau with the objective of making a recommendation to the City of Cincinnati as to where it would be most beneficial to dedicate resources to try and raise the vaccination percentage in the area, as well as understand some of the reasons that people have hesitancies to get the vaccination and what demographics are more resistant to the vaccination. Variables were looked at such as income level, education level, and zip-code regarding responses to survey questions such as “How likely are you to get the vaccine”, “Do you believe COVID-19 is a serious threat to your health”, and “Do you believe the vaccine is safe”. These variables also were analyzed in relationship to perceived mask effectiveness, social distancing effectiveness and perceived protective versus preventative components of the vaccine. The results so far that were uncovered are unsurprising as this data is a little over a year old and has already been harnessed to make decisions, however it is reassuring to see that the data coincides with the societal perceptions of vaccination resistance. The data posits, for the most part, demographics that have lower levels of income and education seem to have a higher resistance to the vaccination, believe it is less safe, and that it is not as serious as a threat compared to people with higher levels of education and income. Interestingly, the highest education levels are the people who seem to believe that masks are not incredibly effective, positive perceptions of social distancing is nearly linear in relation to education level. All these results have helped me decide who the city of Cincinnati could look to target with ad campaigns or further information regarding the vaccine. Looking at geographic components has helped me come to my recommendation as to where the city of Cincinnati could best dedicate resources, possibly by instituting free classes or information sessions to further educate people to the benefits of getting the vaccination or hosting vaccine booths with information being presented to anybody who shows visual or verbal hesitancy. I briefly want to thank Professor Ronis-Tobin for giving me access to the data and helping me through this process of analysis, as well as Professor Ariyachandra for pushing me this entire semester and molding me into a better and more complete researcher and data analyst.  

 

Michaelia Fisher  (Dr. Richard Mullins, Chemistry) [back]

Talk, 3:00-3:20 pm in ALT 207

Methodology of Inuloxins A

The Inuloxins family A-D are four phytotoxic bi- and tri- cyclic sesquiterpene lactones. They were isolated from the aerial parts of Inula vicosa, a widespread Mediterranean plant that is known for its content of pharmacological active metabolic. The Inuloxin that I am interested in is Inuloxin A. It has displayed properties applicable in the medical and agricultural industry. Thus far, Inuloxins A has been studied for its potential use as an herbicide against parasitic plats, as well as its biological activities against the brain-eating amoeba (Naegleria fowleri). Inuloxin A structure is determined to be a (4E,7R, 8R,10S)-3-oxo-germacra-4,11(13)-dien-8β-12-olide.

My research focuses on a methodology that can synthesize Inuloxin A. The methodology consists of a smaller molecule to ensure the process is successful, then using it to synthesize that actual Inuloxin A. The methodology utilizes a furan oxidation, addition of the Evans Auxiliary, and the 1,4-conjugate addition. The furan oxidation and the addition of the Evans Auxiliary was successful. The 1,4-conjugate addition method has been successful, but it has been altered for achieving better yield of the product. The lasts steps of the methodology have been shown to work in some conditions and have not completely worked in other conditions. Once the methodology is perfected, the goal will be to synthesize Inuloxin A.

 

Ryan Scheidler, Sheloni Hamilton (Dr. Stephen Mills, Chemistry) [back]

Poster B-22, 3:45-4:30 pm

Testing Protein Expression Methods for Future Applications in the BASIL Biochemistry Lab Curriculum

The Biochemistry Authentic Scientific Inquiry Lab (BASIL) curriculum consists of a series of 11 in silico and wet lab modules used to enhance the undergraduate biochemistry lab experience. These modules can be used to evaluate the function of proteins with known structures but unassign functions. Wet lab experimental procedures are used to confirm what was determined in silico, which is achieved by obtaining a workable amount of protein through expression. Two ways to induce protein expression in bacteria are by addition of IPTG after a certain cell density is reached, or by autoinduction. Autoinduction selectively increases expression of the protein of interest via lac promoters by incorporating lactose and glucose in the expression medium so there is no need to monitor the cell culture and add inducer. To test which method made more protein, red fluorescent protein was expressed under different conditions using either IPTG or autoinduction at varying initial cell densities. After growing the cells, the level of protein expression was evaluated by the size and thickness of the bands on a gel under different expression conditions. Analysis of the SDS-PAGE gel showed that autoinduction and IPTG make the same amount of protein, and the initial cell concentration does not matter. After our expression method was verified, this same method was tested with 3H04, one of the BASIL proteins. Our results indicate that autoinduction should be used for protein expression since it is quicker and easier than expression using IPTG. This would contribute to efforts of making BASIL more efficient and user friendly. 

 

Madison Berry, Sheloni Hamilton  (Dr. Stephen Mills, Chemistry) [back]

Poster B-23, 3:45-4:30 pm

Analysis of SwissDock Docking Technique and Its Relation to The Advancement of BASIL Research

The Basil Authentic Scientific Inquiry Lab (BASIL) curriculum consists of a series of 11 modules used to enhance undergraduate biochemistry lab experience. These modules were used to evaluate the function of proteins with known structures but unassigned functions. The main focus of this research relied on the use of a bioinformatics software called SwissDock. This software predicts possible binding models (BMs) and the estimated Gibbs free energy associated with the docking between each ligand and protein. The crystalline structure of each protein used were collected from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) and inserted into SwissDock. Ligands were prepared using ChemDraw by Dr. Stephen Mills. To analyze the accuracy of the software, 8 different ligands were docked into chymotrypsin and trypsin, two proteins of known function. For each protein, the BM with the lowest Gibbs free energy value was taken as the best BM. For chymotrypsin, tyrosine had the best BM. While for trypsin, lysine was the best. Both results were consistent with what is expected of these proteins—chymotrypsin acts on aromatics, and trypsin acts on lysine and arginine. After validation of the use of SwissDock for functional analysis, the process was repeated using unassigned protein 3H04. Docking results for each query, both assigned and unassigned, were visualized and evaluated using Chimera. Decanoate and tyrosine were found to bind with the lowest Gibbs free energy to the predicted active site of 3H04. Predictions of binding sites can be further verified with the use of the BASIL wet lab modules.

 

Kevin Fedders  (Dr. Stephen Mills, Chemistry) [back]

Poster B-24, 3:45-4:30 pm

Module 0: Expanding BASIL

The Biochemistry Authentic Scientific Inquiry Lab (BASIL) curriculum consists of a series of 11 in silico and wet lab modules used to enhance the undergraduate Biochemistry lab experience. These modules can be used to evaluate the function of proteins with known structures but unassigned functions. Currently, the modules are focused on the studying of the serine proteases class of enzyme. The purpose of this research is to develop a Module 0 to find new protein candidates from different protein classes in order to expand BASIL. ASSAM (Amino Acid Search for Substructures and Motifs) was used to find enzymes in the Protein Data Bank with specific arrangements of amino acids. A file parser was developed to sort the ASSAM output to identify proteins containing these motifs but with unclassified functions. The proteins of interest could then be taken through the remaining BASIL modules. The use of ASSAM and the file parser allowed for an efficient expansion of BASIL into new candidates.

 

Daniel Bonomo  (Dr. Richard Mullins, Chemistry) [back]

Poster A-6, 2:15-3:00 pm

Efforts Towards the Total Synthesis of Thiocladospolide A via Conjugate Addition to Patulolide B

Thiocladospolide A is a natural product first isolated in 2019 from the fungus Cladosporium cladosporioides. Similar to many other sulfur-containing natural products, it was found to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. We have proposed a synthesis of this molecule based around a regioselective conjugate addition of a thiol group to patulolide B, whose structure matches the macrolactone seen in thiocladospolide. In order to achieve this conjugate addition, two syntheses of patulolide B have been proposed as well. The first is a novel stereoselective synthesis that will yield the stereochemistry seen in thiocladospolide A when it was isolated. The second is a novel non-stereospecific synthesis beginning with an unsaturated fatty acid that yields a large amount of racemic patulolide B in fewer and simpler steps than the first synthesis. This synthesis was designed as a faster alternative that allows us to test the efficiency of the conjugate addition method before beginning the stereoselective process.

 

Lindsey Insco  (Dr. Craig Davis, Chemistry) [back]

Poster A-16, 2:15-3:00 pm

P-31 NMR as a Probe for Reverse Micelles: An Inorganic Laboratory Exercise

A Reverse Micelle is a self-organized assembly of surfactants located within a nonpolar medium. Their polar heads are pointing inwards, and their hydrophobic chains are in the exterior. In minute systems of water such as reverse micelles, a traditional pH probe cannot be used to determine the acidity. Consequently, NMR techniques have been developed to measure pH.

Professor Debbie Crans and coworkers at Colorado State University studied the diffusion of CO2 into reverse micelles. They used V-51 NMR spectroscopy to depict how the signal of the vanadate ion (which is iso-structural to the phosphate anion) is affected by pH. This is a viable technique, but this produces a complicated spectrum that requires prior knowledge to interpret.

Our research group selected the phosphate anion as an alternate probe for pH of the interior of reverse micelles. First, a series of bulk solutions with a wide range of pH values were prepared, and their respective P-31 NMR spectra were obtained. A correlation between pH and chemical shifts was established (see graph below). We introduced each of these phosphate solutions into reverse micelles and obtained their P-31 NMR spectra. A correlation, similar to that of the bulk solutions, was observed.

A reverse micelle solution was prepared from a pH=8 phosphate solution, to give a 60:1 ratio of [H2O]/[AOT] (w0 = 4.4). Next, CO2 was introduced into the flask as dry ice. A comparison of the P-31 NMR spectra before and after exposure to the CO2 confirmed the CO2 was able to penetrate into the reverse micelle and acidify the interior.

 

Arionna Jared  (Dr. Supaporn Kradtap, Chemistry) [back]

Poster A-17, 2:15-3:00 pm

Exploring the use of 3D printer and polysaccharide-based bioplastics for microfluidic fabrication

Microfluidics refers to the analysis systems that can process small quantities of fluids within micro-channels, typically in tens to hundreds of micrometers scale. The main benefits of the microfluidics are portability, reduced cost, low reagent and sample size consumption, and low waste emission. The purposes of this experiment is to investigate the use of a 3D-printer for making molds of micro-channel designs to be imprinted on the polysaccharide-based bioplastics. Resin blocks containing channels of different diameters were created. Various recipes of agar and gelatin bioplastics were explored as possible bioplastic materials. Their physical properties and stabilities e.g. size, shape, solubility, and light transparency are to be investigated.

  

Will Kershisnik  (Dr. Supaporn Kradtap, Chemistry) [back]

Poster A-21, 2:15-3:00 pm

Designing Micro-TLC Plates

Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is a widely used, fast and cost-effective analytical technique used for identification of chemical components in a mixture through a separation process. However, TLC conventionally requires mobile phase in a few tens of milliliter level. In this research, development of micro-TLC has been explored with the aim to reduce consumption of toxic mobile phase. By eliminating the empty space between samples on an ordinary TLC plate, amount of solvent (mobile phase) can be reduced from tens to tenths of milliliter. Ascending and radial designs with catenary wave paths have been designed and tested with food coloring as a model sample. The effect of channel width, length, and design were investigated.

 

Andrew LeBlanc, Stephan Freeman (Dr. Richard Mullins, Chemistry) [back]

Poster A-24, 2:15-3:00 pm

Approaching an Eight-Step Formal Synthesis of (+)-Kalkitoxin

(+)-Kalkitoxin, a potent neurotoxic lipopeptide, was first isolated in 2000 from the cyanobacteria L. majuscula. Due to its anticancer activity, coupled with its unique stereochemistry, (+)-kalkitoxin has been a synthetic target over the last two decades. Our synthetic approach utilizes a crotylstannane conjugate addition which sets two methyl stereocenters with high stereoselectivity. Additionally, we have employed a telescoping reaction that allows for three separate transformations without the isolation of highly volatile compounds. These key transformations will allow for an eight-step synthesis of (+)-Kalkitoxin. In this presentation, I will share our current work towards completing the formal synthesis of (+)-Kalkitoxin.

 

Natalie Moyer  (Dr. Barbara Hopkins, Chemistry) [back]

Poster B-1, 3:45-4:30 pm

Dissolutions Role in Drug Development

The purpose of this research is to understand the process of drug dissolution. Drug dissolution is important since the rate and completeness of the dissolution effect how and if a drug will work. Within this experiment, the dissolution rates of different forms of Aspirin were tested using various pH’s and stir rates. Using a UV-Vis spectrophotometer to test the absorbances of the samples over various time intervals, the maximum release of the drug can be found using calibration and dissolution curves. It was found through the research, that pH and stir rate both affected the dissolution rates of immediate release Aspirin tablets. It was also found that the immediate release has a much quicker dissolution rate than the extended release. Ultimately, from the work done in this research, a lab experiment can be developed for an undergraduate course that demonstrates principles of drug dissolution.

 

Connie Kavensky  (Dr. Barbara Hopkins, Chemistry) [back]

Poster A-03, 2:15-3:00 pm

Analysis of Cadmium Concentration in Organic and Conventional Produce Using Inductively Coupled Plasma

The objective of this research is to analyze the difference in cadmium concentration between conventional and organic foods. Samples from local grocery vendors including Trader Joes, Kroger, and Meijer will be ashed and analyzed using the analytical technique of Inductively Coupled Plasma. According to literature, conventional foods should show a higher concentration of cadmium than organic foods because of the greater exposure to cadmium in things like phosphate fertilizers, cadmium plated machinery, and other modes of conventional farming. By analyzing these samples, it can directly compare the ability and us of organic farming versus conventional to reduce traces of heavy metals in our foods. Preliminary measurements using the ICP showed presence of cadmium in apples and cashews. Analysis found the presence of cadmium in both organic and conventional apples, as well as conventional cashews.

 

Evan Whitford  (Dr. Adam Bange, Chemistry) [back]

Poster B-16, 3:45-4:30 pm

Heavy Metal Detection with ICP-OES

Heavy metals such as cadmium, manganese and cadmium pose as a public and environmental health concern when left unchecked. Heavy metal toxicity depends on overall exposure in terms dosage, frequency and duration. Exposures can lead to organ damage including but not limited to intestinal, liver and kidney, as well as anemia and cancer. Heavy metals may also displace needed minerals from their original place and hinder their biological function.  Multiple techniques exist that are capable of detecting and determining the concentrations of trace amounts of the heavy metal contaminants. Experiments preformed will utilize conventional techniques of analyzing trace concentrations of Pb, Cd, and MN. Two techniques of atomic absorption spectroscopy have been tested and their analytical properties analyzed. Flame atomic absorption spectroscopy and atomic emission spectroscopy through an inductively coupled plasma instrument. The flame atomic absorption instrument will determine the absorbance of electromagnetic radiation as a function of concentration while the inductively coupled plasma involves intensity of emitted photons as a function of concentration. The results of these experiments will be applied to the development of novel devices capable of detecting heavy metal contaminants in biological or environmental samples.

 

Timothy Ganshirt  (Dr. Shannon Byrne, Classics) [back]

Talk, 3:00-3:20 pm in ALT 308

The Greco-Roman Influence on Early Christian Art

This thesis examines how early Christian communities used familiar and non-familiar Greco-Roman symbols, images, and icons in their own ways. Familiar images include the anchor, fish, dove, and olive branch. Non-familiar images include the crucifix and crown of thorns. I argue that by making use of both familiar and non-familiar symbols, images, and icons, early Christian communities were able to situate their new religion among the already existing Greco-Roman culture, which allowed Christianity to establish a cultural cohesiveness and identity. To do this, I will consider Christian art from the third to the late fifth century, especially in the catacombs at Rome.

 

Nicholas Minion  (Dr. Niam'h O'Leary, Dr. Graley Herren, Dr. Thomas Strunk, Classics and Philosophy Honors Bachelor of the Arts Program) [back]

Talk, 3:20-3:40 pm in ALT 308

Roman New Comedy in the Renaissance: The Influence of Plautus in Shakespearean Comedy

Although Shakespeare made major innovations in Early Modern Drama, he was heavily influenced by his Roman and Greek predecessors. This is most apparent in The Comedy of Errors, which is an adaptation of Plautus’s Menaechmi as well as Plautus’s Amphitryon, albeit to lesser extent. While Shakespeare derives much of the plot and background story from the Menaechmi, Shakespeare emphasizes the importance of family by altering the given circumstances and characters within The Comedy of Errors. Through the process of formalist analysis, this paper delineates all aspects of these two plays, The Comedy of Errors and The Menaechmi, in order to demonstrate how exactly Shakespeare adapted Plautus’s works towards his own goals.

 

Aaron Ticknor  (Dr. Quinn, Classics and Philosophy Honors Bachelor of the Arts Program) [back]

Talk, 3:00-3:20 pm in ALT 309

Humanity and Nature: From Virgil to Modernity

In this thesis, I argue for an improved conception of ancient ecology beyond the simplified understanding that the those in antiquity lived in perfect harmony within nature. I specifically focus on the Roman late republic and early empire, contrasting the practices and ecological understandings seen in Roman art and literature during this time against those of modernity. By contrasting ancient practices in farming and urban design with modern practices, as well as the literature produced by both periods, differences in outlook between how ancients and moderns viewed nature become clear. This allows for a more accurate understanding of ecology in ancient Rome beyond a simple caricature of animist harmony.

 

Matthew Blain  (Dr. Timothy Quinn, Classics and Philosophy Honors Bachelor of the Arts Program) [back]

Talk, 3:20-3:40 pm in ALT 309

The Name and Its Significance: An Examination of Names in Aristotle’s and Plato’s Philosophy of Language

In my thesis, I examine both Aristotelian and Platonic philosophies of language, specifically with regard to names (ὀνόματα). I draw a comparison between the two through an examination of Aristotle’s De Interpretatione and Plato’s Cratylus. I demonstrate their differences with regard to their views on the origin of names, the significance of etymologies, and the epistemological value of names. To do this, I provide interpretations of key passages from both Aristotle’s De Interpretatione and Plato’s Cratylus, in addition to other passages from each thinker’s corpus. With this analysis, I show how the differences in Plato’s and Aristotle’s understanding of names clarify the thematic differences in each thinker’s philosophies. Such differences, primarily, being Plato’s idealism as opposed to Aristotle’s more empirical approach to inquiries.

 

Jared Vornhagen, Maria Vassanelli; Grant Zentmeyer (Dr. Thomas Wagner, Communication) [back]

Poster B-14, 3:45-4:30 pm

Exploring the Impact of Narrative Persuasion on Student Attitudes Towards the Death Penalty: A Qualitative Approach

Attitude change on the death penalty is highly relevant issue to both legal and public policy actors. Previous studies on students’ death penalty attitudes used vignettes in quasi-experimental methodologies to measure attitude change on the death penalty. Few studies have explored the impact of nonfiction narrative on death penalty attitudes. The current study adopted a novel approach to student attitude change through exposure to first-person narratives in the context of community engaged learning. Senior capstone students (n = 28) completed projects on the death penalty. Four journal reflection entries, submitted by individual students in three-week intervals, captured attitude change and learning experiences over time. Coders examined 119,522 words and conducted thematic analysis. Participants who connected with a narrative experienced a significant reduction in death penalty support as well as increased advocacy intentions, attitude strength, and subject knowledge. Implications for narrative persuasion in legal and learning contexts are discussed.

 

Hayley Banker  (Dr. Justin Roush, Economics) [back]

Poster A-1, 2:15-3:00 pm

A Study of Determinants of Convenience Store Craft Beer Sales in Ohio

The number of craft breweries has grown over 20% over the last two decades (Brewers Association 2021), resulting in burgeoning craft brew supply at restaurants, grocery stores, and taprooms. Yet, convenience stores are a relatively unexplored opportunity for craft breweries. This study uses a detailed store-level dataset from a mid-sized craft brewery in Southwest Ohio to explore the regional determinants of craft beer sales. We explore how regional demographics (such as census tract age, median income, racial composition, household status, and other tract-level observables) correlate to craft beer sales. We also investigate how convenience store ownership (owned by corporate oil), location (urban versus rural), and local retail alcohol distributor competition influence sales.

 

Corinne Nykaza, Luke Frayser, Connor Hutton, Tom Agonito (Dr. David Hyland, Finance) [back]

Poster B-4, 3:45-4:30 pm

D'Artagnan Capital Fund

Xavier University’s D'Artagnan Capital Fund is designed as a two-semester class and is a senior capstone option for finance majors. In the first semester, the students take on the role of analysts and complete evaluations and presentations on numerous different stocks. The first semester heavily helps students enhance their presentation skills while allowing them to begin to receive hands-on experience on how to actively manage a portfolio. In the second semester, students are chosen by the professor to be in a C-Suite position or in a manager assigned to one of the eleven sectors. In this second semester, the students are in charge of investment decisions, screening stocks for the first semester students to evaluate, and truly get to enhance their leadership skills as they manage and teach the analysts along the way. This two-semester experience puts together the students' prior coursework knowledge to test with real-money portfolio management which cannot be found at every University.

The D'Artagnan Capital Fund started in 2009 with $1,000,000 and has grown to over $6,000,000 thanks to generations of students who put in extensive amounts of effort into maintaining a successful portfolio. The DCF provides students with a unique and unparalleled experience that cannot be replicated in most academic settings. This two-semester experience has allowed each member to grow, not only intellectually, but also as a leader. Although, in the recent years it has been more challenging with the extremely volatile markets, the DCF continues to reach its goal and outperform our benchmark, the S&P 500. At the end of our fiscal year, March 31st 2022, we had outperformed the S&P 500 by 1.93%. On top of that, we currently manage 36 holdings within 11 sectors. The D'Artagnan Capital Fund has a specific strategy that includes: an Actively Managed Portfolio, a Strict Buy/ Sell Discipline, a Commitment to Remain Sector Neutral, and to Conduct Evaluations using the Bottom-Up Valuation Approach. As a portfolio, the DCF strictly holds Large- Cap Stock in accordance with the Investment Statement Policy as well as only invests in companies that align with the University’s Jesuit Values.

 

Georgia Nicewonger  (Dr. Peter Mallow, Health Services Administration) [back]

Poster B-2, 3:45-4:30 pm

The High Cost of Death Associated with Acute Myocardial Infarctions

Objectives: The objective of this study was to describe the differences in costs and length of stay (LOS) among patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) who die in the hospital compared to those who survive in the United States (US).

Methods: The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) in this study was used to statistically analyze outcomes, costs, and LOS. The NIS is the largest publicly-available all-payer database in the US and includes statistical weights to allow the generation of national estimates of direct medical resource use, access to healthcare, charges, quality, and outcomes. All admitted patients in 2019 with a principal diagnosis of AMI as defined by International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-CM) codes were included in this analysis. Patient visits were stratified into cohorts by death or discharged alive. Summary statistics were calculated using mean and standard deviation for continuous variables and counts and percentages for categorical variables. Univariate tests determined if there were statistical differences between the died and alive cohorts and outcomes variables, doing so with parametric and nonparametric testing depending on the appropriateness of the variable.

Results: There were 117,440 total hospital visits in 2019 with a principal diagnosis of AMI. Of these, 4,946 (4.21%) died during the hospitalization. The average age was 67 and 74 (p value <0.001) for those that were discharged alive and died, respectively. Females comprised of 36.95% and 41.06% of the alive and died cohorts (p value <0.001). Patients who died were more likely to have cardiogenic shock (7.70%) compared to those who were discharged alive (3.81%; p value <0.001). Whereas, patients who were discharged alive were more likely to be admitted for an elective visit (3.89%) compared to those who died (3.32%; p value 0.022). The total cost of the hospital visit was $23,252 for those discharged alive and $38,336 for those who died (p value <0.001). The LOS was 4.36 days for those discharged alive and 5.25 for those who died (p value <0.001).

Conclusion: Patients admitted with a principal diagnosis of AMI and died cost $15,085 (64.88%) more than those discharged alive. Further, the LOS was 20% (0.89 days) longer for those who died during the hospital visit. Further multivariable analysis is necessary to determine if these significant differences remain after adjusting for differences in patient characteristics.

 

A-04: Natalie Powers
(Dr. Marcia Lensges, Management & Entrepreneurship)

Should I plan to Adapt or Adapt to the Plan? The Drivers and Tensions of Hybrid Agile Project Management

Research has inquired into the individual techniques of both traditional project managers and agile project managers, demonstrating how these approaches can affect projects. Each method is associated with certain competencies that enhance projects, organizations, and can provide a better outcome for stakeholders. Traditional project management has been used in many significant projects that changed the world. Similarly, agile project management has been used for important projects, particularly in software design. Given the success of both methods and their unique capabilities, some organizations are attempting to use both in a hybrid model. However, little to no research has yet to be done in understanding the balance of agile and traditional methodologies in these hybrid models, especially as it related to project leadership. This is an important omission in contemporary project management research because traditional and agile project methods can often be viewed as contradictory, while both have proven benefits.  Furthermore, there has been little to no research on what being a hybrid model looks like, and what the model looks like throughout the organization. Therefore, this research investigates the following:

  1. In a hybrid Agile project management environment, how do all levels of leadership balance between agile and traditional (plan-driven) project methodologies?
  2. How can the different levels of Agile versus traditional project methodologies used in an organization be characterized?
  3. Do levels of Agile versus traditional project methodologies vary among leadership hierarchy levels?

 

Isaac Blaney  (Dr. Bryan Buechner, Marketing) [back]

Talk, 3:20-3:40 pm in ALT 207

The Impact of AI vs. Human Projections on Decision Making in Fantasy Sports

In response to the tremendous growth of sports bettors in the U.S., many gambling and fantasy sports platforms have integrated artificial intelligence into their experience, presumably to provide recommendations that influence user engagement and performance. However, our results suggest users show hesitancy to follow AI recommendations, leading to suboptimal decision-making.

 

Mysun Kidd  (Dr. Richie Liu, Marketing) [back]

Poster A-22, 2:15-3:00 pm

Brand Logo Design and Customer Participation: The Role of Stereotype Content Model and Gratitude

Have you ever been chosen to collaborate with a brand? Well, many find that this gives them feelings of warmth and a sense of competence. There are many examples of how brands work with the customers to build warmth and competence. One is when the famous chip brand Lay’s allow customers to enter a competition to upgrade chip flavors. Another is how Starbucks provides customers opportunities to create their own designs for their cups. Overall, this leads to our first question; namely, whether customer participation leads to feelings of warmth and a sense of competence when allowed to contribute to the brand logo design. We draw from the stereotype content model to help answer this research gap. Our work also investigates the impact on overall brand evaluation when the input on the brand logo design from customer participation is both accepted and rejected. We find that a higher continuum of acceptance of input does not necessarily lead to more favorable evaluation when compared to rejecting input from customer participation in brand logo design. Notably, gratitude in the form of a simple thank you was able to improve the less favorable brand evaluations after a rejection of input from customer participation. Our work provides theoretical and managerial insight to both brand scholars and practitioners looking to better understand consumer responses to customer participation in brand building and even potentially rebranding.

 

Emily Armstrong  (Dr. David Gerberry, Mathematics) [back]

Talk, 3:20-3:40 pm in ALT 205

Comparing the Similarity of Ohio’s Congressional Districts using the Genetic Algorithm

Gerrymandered districts come from manipulating boundaries in favor of a specific party. To prevent gerrymandering, algorithmic methods have been created in order determine unbiased optimized districts. In this project, the districts are determined by an overall score based on equal population, competitiveness, compactness, and fairness. The focal point of this project used a genetic algorithm, involving an elite collection of maps and evolving them over generations to create the best map. To ensure if the generations of maps improved, the collection of optimized maps were compared to each to calculate a similarity score. This score shows how the determined districts has been improved over time.

  

Ashley Rayzer  (Dr. Marco Fatuzzo, Physics) [back]

Poster B-7, 3:45-4:30 pm

Proposed Bioretention Cell Designs for the Reduction Of Stormwater Pollutants and Stormwater Overflow in Xavier’s Cintas Parking Lot

Parking lot stormwater runoff can be a principal cause of urban waterway pollution and a main contributor to stormwater overflow, as it mobilizes a number of constituents from vehicular and atmospheric deposits over a large nonpermeable area. The objective of this study was to propose a more efficient design of the Cintas Center Parking Lot of Xavier University that reduced stormwater overflow and the number of pollutive contaminants in the infiltrated stormwater through the use of bioretention and extensive greening. For this proposal, the effectiveness of an added bioswale in reducing nitrates, phosphorus, BODs, and sediment loads was evaluated in the STEPL stormwater management programing software.

 

Fiona Rowan  (Dr. Justin Link, Physics) [back]

Poster B-9, 3:45-4:30 pm

Investigating the spatial and structural specificity of muscle-specific fusion factors myomaker and myomerger through colocalization

Skeletal muscle is composed of a vast system of cells that fuse together and can be damaged. Given the importance of muscle cell fusion for proper tissue development and regeneration after injury, this study aims to assess whether the fusion process could be accelerated through two methods. The first is exploring if two muscle specific fusion proteins, myomaker and myomerger, can carry out their independent functions simultaneously. The second method is the combination of myomerger with the non-muscle specific fusion protein, p22. To assess these questions, these combinations of proteins were introduced into a cell line to observe their ability to express and to cause cell fusion. Unfortunately, these constructs failed to enable fusion when expressed in HEK cells suggesting that the minimal requirements for this process were not met within these structures. Nonetheless, despite the lack of cell fusion, these results do provide valuable insight into the function of these proteins.

 

Cothalee Watko  (Dr. Jonathan Morris, Physics) [back]

Poster B-15, 3:45-4:30 pm

Calculations of Powder Diffraction Patterns of Salts using Matlab

An x-ray diffractometer is a device that directs x-rays into a powdered crystalline material to determine some fundamental characteristics of the material. One of the main uses of this device is to produce a diffraction pattern, which allows us to determine atomic positions within a crystal. Due to errors that occur in the x-ray diffraction process the exact diffraction pattern can not be measured. The aim of this research is to develop a program that will measure the diffraction patterns of different types of crystalline structures. For the purpose of this research salts, such as sodium and potassium chloride, were examined. From the comparison of the diffraction patterns generated by the program and the one found using the x-ray diffractometer, we could determine that some intensity of the diffracted light was lost for certain peaks in the diffraction patterns.

 

Mary Claire Casper, Hannah Geiger (Dr. Victor Ronis-Tobin, Population Health) [back]

Poster B-21, 3:45-4:30 pm

Choosing to Use: Risk Perception and Social Approval of Marijuana Use in Northern Kentucky Adolescents

The use of marijuana has increased, particularly for youth. Research indicates that routine marijuana usage may be harmful. The legalization of marijuana has accelerated this process by decreasing the public's perception of the risk associated with use. The current study utilized data from the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention survey (KIP), a youth risk behavior survey administered bi-annually by the state of Kentucky to sixth through twelfth graders. Data from eight northern Kentucky counties was used in this study. The aim of the current study was to investigate which age group is most likely to begin using marijuana and continue using on a regular basis. Associated risk factors such as risk perception, parental approval, and peer approval of using marijuana were analyzed as well. We found that older students and students who perceived less risk associated with regular marijuana use were more likely to have used marijuana in the past month. Students who reported lower parental approval of marijuana use were more likely to have used over the past month. Conversely, students who reported higher peer approval of marijuana use were more likely to have used over the past month. These results suggest that decreased risk perception, in conjunction with high peer approval and low parental approval, is associated with increased marijuana usage in adolescents as young as the sixth grade. This may suggest that prevention efforts should begin prior to middle school in order to be most effective.

 

Delaney Beckenhaupt, Alaina Francel, Rose Hummel, and Maddy Meyer (Dr. Tammy Sonnentag, Dr. Kyle Stephenson, Psychology) [back]

Poster B-26, 2:15-3:00 pm

The Effect of Depression Education and Gender Identity on Attitudes and Beliefs about Depression

Relatively high rates of Major Depressive Disorder are concerning, particularly when research commonly reveals that stigma acts as a barrier to help-seeking for mental health concerns (Lindow et al., 2020). The purpose of the current study is to examine if promoting individuals’ mental health literacy – specifically on depression or generally on mindfulness – affects men’s and women’s mental health related attitudes and beliefs (e.g., stigmatization). The current study will also examine if the success in promoting mental health literacy differs between men and women. The study is a between-subjects experimental design, where participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the experimental intervention (depression education) or control (mindfulness education). Participants read a depression-specific brochure or a less-specific brochure before answering a series of self-report scales. It was predicted that men would report more self and personal stigma, less favorable attitudes towards mental help-seeking, and lower depression literacy than women, especially when the intervention is generally about mindfulness compared to specifically about depression.

Keywords: Mental health literacy, help-seeking, self-stigma, personal stigma, depression, gender

  

Taniya Dsouza, Olivia Tore, Grace Dempsey, and Taylor Ferello (Dr. Tammy Sonnentag, Psychology) [back]

Poster A-13, 2:15-3:00 pm

Messaging and Its Effects on Attitudes Towards Marijuana Usage

With the recent shift away from prohibition of medical and recreational marijuana in the United States, the acceptability of marijuana seems to be increasing (Pizzorno, 2016). One possible explanation for this shift could be an increase in pro-marijuana messaging and marketing (Berg, 2015). Previous research has revealed that messaging powerfully affects individuals’ perceptions of a substance, but the extent to which messages affects permissibility of marijuana, particularly among the younger adult population, needs more investigation (Berg, 2015; Huijding, 2004; Stautz, 2017). Using a between-subjects experimental design, the current study randomly assigned 116 university students to read messages that described marijuana usage in a positive or negative and a personal or non-personal manner. The results revealed that positively (compared to negatively) valenced messaging yielded greater permissibility of marijuana use, and negatively (compared to positively) valenced messaging yielded stronger intentions to share the content of the messaging and overall positive evaluations of the content. The only effect that emerged for the personalized nature of the messaging revealed that personal messaging yielded more positive evaluations of the content in comparison to non-personal messaging. Future research could examine whether the medium that messages are circulated can affect public opinion, especially in regards to controversial topics.

 

Destyn Jones, MA, Ashley Williams, MA, Lindsay Koeller (Dr. Susan L. Kenford, Psychology) [back]

Poster A-19, 2:15-3:00 pm

The Impact of COVID-19 on Dating Among College Students

Emerging adulthood is a developmental period marked by identity exploration, experimentation, career preparation, increased autonomy, and romantic relationship formation (Arnett, 2000). College can serve as a catalyst for these experiences, as it offers emerging adults opportunities to network and develop meaningful connections with others through various avenues (i.e., clubs, programs, parties, etc.). In regards to dating, many emerging adults report finding romantic partners on their college campus within the residential halls, through campus-related programs/events, and in public settings such as bars and clubs (Kuperberg & Padgett, 2015). Recent data indicates that an increasing number of emerging adults find romantic partners through dating apps; however, perceptions of dating apps vary as stigma associated with online dating persists (Schaub, 2017). Independent of the method used to find romantic partners, in-person social interaction is a critical component of dating. COVID-19, and associated public health orders, has affected in-person social interaction and individuals’ psychological well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with increased loneliness, stress, anxiety, and depression among college students (University of Michigan, 2020). As universities transitioned to remote learning, many college students returned home, increasing the number of long-distance relationships and their associated stressors (Merolla, 2012). As part of a larger ongoing project investigating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the college population, students’ relationship status, relationship stability, and comfort with and use of dating apps were explored. We predicted that college students in relationships would experience relationship difficulties during the pandemic. We also predicted that college students would increase their use of dating apps due to COVID-19 social distancing orders limiting access to traditional avenues of dating and increased subjective desire for support. The current sample (= 149 of estimated 300+) was primarily White (75.2%) and female (74.5%). Overall, 37.5% (n = 56) reported being in a primary relationship at the start of the pandemic. Our predictions of relational stress were supported. Of these, 71.4 % indicated that the pandemic has posed challenges to their relationship and 26.8% reported their relationship ended. However, despite these challenges, 44.7% felt more committed and only 12.5% reported they had considered being unfaithful. Among the 93 students who were not in a relationship, dating app opinions and usage appeared moderate. Just under half (45.2%) reported increased use of dating apps; 34.4% reported turning to dating app to relieve feelings of loneliness. Most (76.4%) preferred to develop relationships in person rather than through dating apps. Overall, results suggest that dating app use has not been strongly affect by the COVID-19 pandemic and as a whole, college students are indifferent towards using dating apps as a mechanism for finding romantic relationships. Further research is necessary to determine the extent to which COVID-19 has impacted other aspects of romantic relationships (i.e., communication, relationship satisfaction, etc.).

 

Emma Jury, Elizabeth D’Arpa, Josh Mauriello, and Jon MIller (Dr. Tammy Sonnentag, Dr. Kyle Stephenson, Psychology) [back]

Poster A-20, 2:15-3:00 pm

Exposure to Images on Social Media

In 2015, an Australian adolescent, Essena O’Neill, made international headlines for her decision to quit social media (Hunt, 2015). Despite being a social media star, with over half a million Instagram followers, O’Neill rebelled against inauthentic images of herself and recaptioned some of her Instagram photos, critiquing the staged and contrived nature of the photos, and noting society’s harmful focus on women’s appearance. O’Neill’s departure from social media went viral, and public discussions erupted around the idealized nature of photos on social media, and the harmful effects such photos have women’s body concerns (Gerson, 2015; Hunt, 2015). In fact, a growing body of research reveals that social media usage is positively associated with body dissatisfaction among women (Fardouly & Vartanian, 2016; Holland & Tiggemann, 2016), and that viewing edited (i.e., idealized) images on social media can be harmful for women’s body image (Brown & Tiggemann, 2016; Cohen & Blaszczynski, 2015; Kleemans et al., 2018; McComb & Mills, 2021; Tiggemann & Zaccardo, 2015). Despite the growing body of evidence supporting the claim that edited (i.e., idealized) photos of women affect their body image, more research is needed on the conditions under which edited photos pose the most (or least) concern. The current study examined how exposure to edited photos of the face or face and body impact college-aged females’ body image, self-esteem, perceived importance of exercise, and implicit weight biases. Participants were exposed to an edited or unedited photo of a young woman’s  face or face and body and then completed various questionnaires. Results revealed no significant main or interaction effects, suggesting – in the current sample of college women – edited photos have no effect on outcomes. 

 

Danielle Boling  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-5, 2:15-3:00 pm

Teacher Perceptions and Use of Restorative Practices in Elementary Schools

During recent years, punitive, exclusionary based discipline policies in K-12 schools have come under scrutiny due to their role in promoting systemic racism in our schools. In response, Restorative (Justice) Practices attempt to reduce punitive, exclusionary discipline, improve school climate, and help decrease racial disparities in school discipline policy and outcomes. Previous research on Restorative Practices in schools have focused on efficacy in middle and high schools with little focus on elementary schools. This research examines a Restorative Practices program in three elementary schools in the Northwest Local School District. This paper aims to explore the relationship, if any, between teacher mindsets of Restorative Practices and their self-reported use of Restorative Practices with students. While also considering the possible impact of grade level, years of experience, and experience with Restorative Practices. This research is currently on-going and preliminary results will be presented.

 

Roscoeria Boyd  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-7, 2:15-3:00 pm

"How many perpetrators have experienced abuse and neglect in their childhood history"?

The impact of child abuse and neglect maltreatment has caused many long-term effects on children. Child maltreatment has led to many children struggling with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, etc. Child abuse and neglect are when a parent fails to fulfill the basic needs of their children on a daily. Neglect can be shown, in several different forms such as; physical, medical, educational, verbal, and emotional. Physical neglect is the failure to provide food, care, and shelter. Medical neglect is a failure to provide necessary medical treatments or appointments, and educational neglect is the failure to provide for special education needs. Finally, emotional abuse is a failure to meet a child’s emotional needs and provide psychosocial support. My purpose of research is to compare data of perpetrators inactive cases to see if they’ve been a victim of child abuse and neglect during their childhood. Child abuse and neglect maltreatment has been common in Hamilton County Job and Family Services agency cases. After interning at HCJFS, many children have struggled with several forms of abuse and neglect. Therefore after collecting data and comparing, I have learned much about resources and services that may prevent this generational heartbreak.

 

Gina Chimenti  (Dr. Jaylene Schaeffer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-8, 2:15-3:00 pm

Abuse of Mother Enrolled in the Every Child Succeeds Program at Santa Maria Community Services

Santa Maria serves a population of clients in the Cincinnati area with low socio-economic status. Often times, families lacking resources tend to have higher rates of child abuse. Intergenerational trauma and abuse is becoming wider known to society there have been steps to break the intergenerational curse. Santa Maria offers the Every Child Succeeds program to provide mothers the resources for their child’s developmental, safety, and health needs. The intention of the program is to give the mother a set of tools to use throughout their life. This studies examines how many mothers in the program have experienced abuse in their past. I looked at the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the Family Safety Assessment of every mother enrolled in the program in the year of 2021. I collected the answers to certain questions regarding the mother’s history and past trauma. Answers pertaining to any form of abuse were recorded. Results of this study are to be expected.

 

Olivia Dole  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-10, 2:15-3:00 pm

Stigma and Race HIV Disparities

This study examines the impact of societal stigma on clients who are HIV positive and of different racial backgrounds at Caracole Inc. Stigma is an attitude or disapproval towards an individual or group of others because of a specific attribute that is perceived as undesirable. Participants include eleven gay males, who have been a part of HIV case management at Caracole. The survey includes eight questions and six questions that are followed by a ranking scale of 1-5. This study aimed to interview clients via phone call to compare the effects of HIV stigma, negative self-image, and institutionalized prejudice between clients. This survey will help social workers learn how to provide better support systems and resources to clients with HIV. As well as equally gain insight from honest clients at Caracole to combat HIV stigma and discrimination. More research is expected and will be presented to better understand why stigma contributes to HIV and race-related disparities.

 

Siena Dorger  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-11, 2:15-3:00 pm

Coping with Grief After Losing a Loved One to Homicide

The purpose of this explorative research study is to gain more knowledge on the most common coping mechanisms used by African Americans after experiencing the loss of a loved one to homicide. Homicides are more commonly committed against African Americans than Non-Hispanics or Caucasians, and African Americans oftentimes have strong faith beliefs and tend to lean into his or her faith during a period of grief, according to pre existing literature. Gathering research that better understands the most beneficial coping skills for this specific population will encourage implementation of specific practices or theoretical frameworks that social workers and other helping professions can use to most efficiently help clients through their process of grieving. This data was collected through the form of a survey, and distributed via telephone. Surveys were distributed to seven clients within the Victim Assistance Liaison Unit at the Cincinnati Police Department who have experienced the loss of a loved one through homicide between the years of 2019 and 2020. All participants are between the age of thirty and seventy years old, and all identify as African American. These participants may be mothers, fathers, grandparents, or siblings to the victim of homicide. Results have been collected and will be presented later.

 

Aurielle Drummer  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-12, 2:15-3:00 pm

HIV Stigma in Medical Settings

HIV stigma is one of the biggest problems in our society for individuals living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV stigma are negative attitudes and beliefs towards people living with this disease and not only affects their mental health and self-esteem, but also their daily functioning in society . In this study, what is being explored is the relationship between HIV stigma in medical settings and client’s perception of their mental health and self-esteem. This is being explored because it is expected that medical professionals that are trained and educated are equipped to provide the necessary assurance and comfortability that their patients may not experience in society, but oftentimes patients may not feel comfortable confiding in their health provider on their questions and concerns. Ultimately, having an effect on the patients’ mental health and self-esteem. In this study, 10 clients at Caracole that receive mental health services and/or have dealt with mental health issues are being studied. The clients were asked a series of questions that pertained to their mental health status and self esteem. Caracole was chosen because this is an agency in Cincinnati that provides HIV prevention, testing services for the community and affordable housing & Case management for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. Research is still being continued, but so far from the data clients are rating highly in their mental health and self-esteem after meeting with their health care provider, and comfortability.

Keywords: HIV, HIV Stigma, Mental Health, Self-esteem, Medical Provider

 

Naomi Johnson  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-18, 2:15-3:00 pm

COVID-19 affects on client satisfaction at Catholic Charities from January 2018 to January 2021

Aspiration for every man is to achieve economic stability, Independence, identity, but also a free development of his personality, creativity, status and prestige in the society through the work they do. Refugees in Cincinnati, hope to develop self-sufficiency as individuals, groups, and families with the assistance of Catholic Charities Refugee resettlement Department. This report describes the resulting relationship between the Covid-19 pandemic and client satisfaction. The time span being examined is from 2018 to 2021. The questionnaire was designed to provide information about client satisfaction with the services Catholic Charities provides.

 

Janey Langemeier  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-23, 2:15-3:00 pm

The extent to which success coaches have a positive impact on high school seniors, as analyzed through self-reported student perception.

In numerous school districts around the country, community schools are implemented for a more holistic to approach learning and to better identify and fill the needs of students, families, and the surrounding communities. Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) has found great success over the last few decades while accomplishing progress towards community schools in every neighborhood, particularly through partnering with the Community Learning Center Institute (CLCI). Currently, CLCI primarily serves six public schools in the district, beginning initially with Oyler, a K-12 school located in Lower Price Hill, just outside downtown Cincinnati. CPS and CLCI have helped fund and implement enrichment for all ages, college and career assistance, mental and physical health services, including dental and vision, food and housing assistance, on top of education and academic services; all located in house at Oyler School. A part of these services has been to provide success coaches to students, specifically seniors. Advisors are tasked with helping students break down barriers on their path to graduation, as well as formulate postsecondary plans to ensue following graduation. Progress is monitored weekly and additional check-in’s can be made, as well as referrals to other services if necessary or applicable to what a student may be facing. The Purpose of this study as presented is to obtain an understanding of how students, specifically high school seniors, perceive services offered by student success coaches assigned to them for the academic year. To determine this, a multipart anonymous survey was administered to seniors aged 18 or older attending Oyler, which was structured as a 5-point Likert scale, with the option to leave additional feedback for the benefit of the researchers as well as relevant staff in the high school department. The survey addressed if students felt their advisor met their academic, emotional, and social needs throughout the year, and whether they felt this positively impacted their overall experience at the community school. 29 participants were asked to fill out the survey; 21 participants successfully completed it. Eight participants were excluded from data analysis due to non-applicable or incomplete responses. Results will be determined via quantitative measures completed by the researcher.

 

Kalia Marcelle  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-26, 2:15-3:00 pm

Social and Emotional Outcomes Associated with Peer Groups

High school students often experience numerous stressors that can affect their overall wellbeing. The purpose of this study is to investigate the social and emotional development of high school students based on their participation in a weekly peer support group. An 8-week pilot program was established and conducted at Mason High School to students experiencing forms of emotional and social distress. This study explores whether volunteer-facilitated peer support groups are a viable and beneficial form of support in a school setting. The participants anonymously assessed the program, their personal development and group experience using a questionnaire survey administered by the group facilitator and student intern. Results reported by the students are expected.

 

Andrea McQuality  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-27, 2:15-3:00 pm

A social worker's description of compassion satisfaction

This research study is an examination of a specific aspect of mental health in social workers: compassion satisfaction. Previous research has found that social workers experience many stressors within their daily work as a helping profession such as burnout, compassion fatigue, etc. that can have an effect on compassion satisfaction. This research study aims to answer the question of how social workers would describe their compassion satisfaction in their day to day work as a helping profession despite the various stressors they encounter daily. This research study was conducted via a survey, in which participants were asked to answer a variety of questions related to compassion satisfaction with a sliding scale. They were also asked to identify their gender and department. Once the survey was completed, answers were coded based on a scale from the original survey the questions were selected from. The population for this study was 23 licensed social workers from Lighthouse Youth and Family Services in which a sample of 16 licensed social workers was used. The response rate was 32% (5 respondents). The survey data showed that overall, social workers at Lighthouse Youth and Family Services displayed a moderate to high level of compassion satisfaction despite their daily stressors that come with the helping profession. There were a few variations of scores based on the department, so that is why results were presented as moderate to high levels of compassion satisfaction. This supports previous research findings that despite the challenging work that comes with the profession, social workers persevere through it to make change in the world.

 

Makayla Meadows  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-28, 2:15-3:00 pm

Restorative Justice Programs Within The Hamilton County Juvenile Justice System

Within the Hamilton County Juvenile Justice System, system-involved youth who are aged 12-17 are approached by multiple different professions, departments, and agencies who attempt to integrate various different programs and practices that will generate more positive behaviors among the youth. The main purpose of restorative justice is to repair the harm done by offenders, and to rebuild positive relationships between the victims, communities, and offenders who are obligated to correct their wrongdoing. Restorative justice has several different models that integrate the offender is responding to their crime, including Victim-Offender Mediation, Family Group Conferencing, Circle Sentencing, and Community Reparative Boards. Also, restitution and compensation are main factors that increase the likelihood of successful restoration. While restorative justice has become a more common approach in a transition away from punitive approaches that have historically been used, how can restorative justice be used within the juvenile justice system that will similarly benefit from the same outcomes and decrease the likelihood of youth reoffending in the future?

The purpose of the current study is to examine the understanding and awareness from juvenile justice professionals within the Hamilton County area regarding restorative justice programs, and its practices among system involved youth. Furthermore, the study is formatted to discover any common beliefs, understandings, or awareness of key participants who are involved with any youth who have engaged in delinquent behaviors. Since the Hamilton County area has zero distinct programs that are declared as restorative justice, the purpose is not to determine why, but instead to better understand the practices of the workers involved. The study was conducted as a survey questionnaire, using similar questions from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) in 2013. The study was distributed to a total of 49 participants, including members of the Public Defender’s Office: Juvenile Division, rivate attorneys in the juvenile division, and the Empowering Community Justice Initiative (ECJI). The sample design used is related to a Voluntary Response Sampling method since all participation in the study is voluntary, and all results will be used. The survey questionnaire contained questions that asked participants screening requirements such as age and county of practices. Also, the questionnaire asked for background and identifying information in order to differentiate any responses between agencies/programs, and then a total of 15 questions that should be answered based on where/how the participant works with system-involved youth. Results are still being collected and will be shared.

 

Lauren Mikell  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-29, 2:15-3:00 pm

Parent's perception of their child's English proficiency within the Head Start program.

The continual increase of Hispanic and Latino immigrants in the United States has resulted in a steady increase of Spanish-speaking families who are eligible to enter the Head Start Program. Many children of immigrants adapt to the English language; however, the differences within an educational setting in the United States can result in confusion among children and their families. Therefore, this research focuses on parents’ perceptions of their child’s English proficiency within Head Start. A classroom comprised of Spanish-speaking families was asked to complete a survey of 6 questions that examined their child’s comfort level with the English language. A majority of responses from the parent’s within the program claimed that they are satisfied with their child’s ability to learn in both English and Spanish. The surveys were written in both English and Spanish; however, the majority of the responses were completed in Spanish. Each response remained anonymous and provided information that spoke towards the child’s ability to adjust to the English language in the classroom.

 

Elise Moellering  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster A-30, 2:15-3:00 pm

Childhood trauma related to CPS involvement

Many families involved with child protective agencies have recurring cases with similar agencies. Past events such has childhood trauma and generational trauma have created behaviors that families can not break. The cycle of involvement should not continue over many years, but sadly most of the same families continue involvement with CPS.  It will help break this pattern of recurring engagement with agencies if we address the problems of childhood trauma and generational trauma of our clients. This study will explore current mothers involved with CPS in March 2022 looking at race, age, number of children, past involvement as a parent, past involvement as a child, and ACE’s scores of the mothers. Data is still being collected at this time but the correlation between childhood traumas and current involvement. By understanding these two things it will better help us change the outcomes for these families.

 

Drew Schlidt  (Dr. Margo J. Heydt Ed.D., LISW-S, Social Work) [back]

Poster B-10, 3:45-4:30 pm

“Appropriate Assertiveness”: Advancing Jesuit Decree 14 Today

Decree 14: Jesuits and the Situation of Women in Church and Civil Society (1995) is among the most robustly inclusive documents ever produced by the Jesuit order. Unfortunately, since the document’s approval at Jesuit General Congregation 34 more than 25 years ago, it appears that few are aware of the Decree. Dr. Margo J. Heydt, Ed.D., LISW-S has interviewed the authors associated with the document’s creation, thus uncovering the origins of the decree in a comprehensive manner. As a student research assistant, I used Excel to turn the 300+ pages of interview transcripts into color-coded qualitative data, further crystalizing the insights delivered by these Jesuits and lay or ordained women collaborators. One such collaborator was Irishwoman Cathy Molloy, whose private reflection on “appropriate assertiveness” stood out to me during this year of work. My presentation will focus on Decree 14’s early proponents, such as Molloy, and apply their ideas to the current emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Their ambitious words, especially in asserting their justice-based aims, should inspire us to take action ourselves. This project seeks to help us discern the best paths forward in our particular professional or student roles at Xavier.

 

Kyla Schuster  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster B-11, 3:45-4:30 pm

Police Personnel on the Subject of Social Workers in the Justice System

The Black Lives Matter and police reform movement of 2020 brought the role of law enforcement under

speculation with an emphasis on social workers being a part of the solution. Cincinnati, following the 2001 police riots, introduced social workers within the Cincinnati Police Department through the Collaborative Agreement made by the city. Now, years since the initiative was first installed, social workers continue to work side-by-side with the police in responding to crime and those affected by it. The Victims Assistance Liaison Unit (VALU) and The Cincinnati Citizens Respect Our Witnesses (CCROW) are grant-funded programs that work with victims and witnesses to ensure their rights and safety as the police work to bring justice to their families and the community. This study seeks to explore the opinions of police personnel on the matter of social workers within the police department. It asks participants to discern their knowledge of social workers within the CPD. Participants were asked whether they believe social workers' presence to be needed and with what population. Finally, the survey asks if participants know how to refer individuals to VALU. This study will reveal the attitude and knowledge of employed Cincinnati police personnel on the matter of working concurrently with social workers.

 

Maeve Cullen-Conway  (Dr. Jaylene Schaefer, Social Work) [back]

Poster B-18, 3:45-4:30 pm

Mental Wellbeing and Perceived Autonomy in Long-Term Care Residents

The primary focus of the majority of long-term care facilities is physical care, including medicine, food, physical and occupational therapies, and hygiene. As a result of staffing, funding, and stereotypes, the mental health and well-being of the elderly population is not always prioritized in long-term care settings. The autonomy and independence of an elderly person residing in a long-term care facility is also at risk of being diminished. This study with assess the relationship between self-reported wellbeing and self-reported perceptions of autonomy and independence. The study will utilize a survey based on the Adult Mental Health Continuum Short Form that asks questions regarding both mental health and involvement in decisions regarding their care. Results will be presented.

 

Cheyenne Edo-Osagie  (Dr. Travis Speice, Sociology) [back]

Talk, 3:00-3:20 pm in ALT 205

Double consciousness: Minority students navigating mental health in multiple communities

The college experience comes with obstacles and challenges to overcome for all students. It would be impossible for such a fun experience to avoid any elements of difficulty being mixed in the equation. It is a place for discovery and acceptance, but it also comes with its hurdles. One major one would be student mental health. Mental health is stigmatized due to misinformation, lack of education and stereotypes in society. There are active members of society who are  moving away from this mentality and working on breaking the stigma. However, isn’t the case for everybody, it still can be a taboo subject due to cultural and environmental influences. This research study is focused on minority students who attend predominantly white institutions (public and private). What was found from the research was that there is a lack of mental health resources that understand the struggle of identifying as minority on private predominantly white campuses. Compared to predominantly white public institutions, that have more resources and accessibility to help support minorities. Also, how individual cultural and environmental influences have shaped one’s perception of their identity, mental health and therapy throughout their lifetime and has impacted who they are as a person. Which has led to many minorities feeling a sense of “double consciousness” at PWI’s. The level of acceptance varies in spaces they are in, whether that is a space of comfort or how their university and society perceive them.

 

Reid Peterson, Joseph Mullen (Dr. Patrick Filanowski, Sport Science & Management) [back]

Poster B-5, 3:45-4:30 pm

Associations Between Parent’s Self-Efficacy for Exercise and Their Participation in Physical Activity for Health Benefits

For adults, 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity (or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-physical activity) per week is recommended for substantial health benefits. Including parents in co-participation in physical activity together with their child(ren) is an approach used to increase physical activity levels for both children and adults and has been identified as an important area of public health research that needs to be examined further. The purpose of this study was to determine if parents’ self-efficacy for exercise is associated with their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels and shared physical activity minutes with their children. Parents (n = 50) of children 6 to 12 years of age were asked to complete a questionnaire that assessed demographic information, MVPA levels, shared physical activity minutes during the week with their child, and the Self-Efficacy (SE) for Exercise Scale. Pearson correlations were used to determine the strength of association between parent’s SE for exercise and 1) their total MVPA per week and 2) shared physical activity levels with their child per week. Parent’s SE for exercise was moderately, positively associated with their total MVPA levels per week (r = 0.409, p = 0.002). There was a non-significant, weak correlation in parent’s SE for exercise and co-participation in physical activity with their child per week (r = 0.255, p = 0.074). Results from this study can be used to guide future physical activity programming that includes both adults (parents) and 6- to 12-year old children during shared time. Self-efficacy for exercise remains an important construct that should be examined in the future for parents’ health benefits.