Sophomore biology major Virginia Noxon joined research at Howard University’s National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network examining the preparation of silver nanoparticles in aqueous media. The research could aid in the purification of drinking water and certain foods.
Senior psychology student Beth Walton surveyed more than 400 college students to examine the way today’s students view drinking on college campuses. What she discovered is first–year students perceived greater alcohol usage among college students than sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Lorelle DeStefano, a senior psychology student, found the labeling of high school students affected not only the students’ self–image but also their hope for future success.
Despite the increasing availability of psychiatric services on college campuses, it has been unclear whether or not students who need help are seeking it. Senior psychology major Kim Redwine investigated if a person’s level of religiosity was a factor in persons not seeking psychiatric services. After surveying more than 100 students she found that the stigma of seeking professional help may be decreasing among college populations.
Senior biology student Kurt Vollmer looked at the evolutionary relationships of fish in the genus Synodus, commonly known as “lizard fishes.” Vollmer then looked at the similarities between the fins, vertebrae and inter-muscular bones of six different species.
Sophomore Joel Font researched the generation of Fibonacci numbers to show how the derivation of the number Phi can be worked by using limits dealing with Fibonacci quotients. These sequences are used to model many problems in mathematics and science.
Senior political science–history major Carlie Fogleman provides a critique of commonly used models for explaining the role of political and ideological considerations in Senators’ approach to advising and consenting to nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court. In her undergraduate honors thesis, Carlie demonstrates why the standard models fail to capture key elements of the political maneuvering that surrounds Supreme Court nominations. Carlie plans to enroll in a Ph.D. program in public law and American politics in Fall 2011.
In his senior honors thesis, Zachary McKenney, a 2010 political science and sociology double major, explores Karl Marx’s account of the collapse of capitalist economies. He shows that even though the fall of communist countries in eastern Europe in the late 1980s was widely taken to be “proof” that Marx’s economic predictions were false, the 2008 economic crisis was actually caused by critical failures of the capital market systems that Marx anticipated long ago. He argues that Marx’s predictions were in fact very accurate and offers some thoughts on why Marx’s economic predictions can be prescient even if his political conclusions have proven to be problematic. Zak is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in political theory.
In his senior honors thesis, Justin Hoover, a 2008 political science and history double-major, shows why the Supreme Court’s constitutional “tests” to analyze unconstitutional interferences between church and state are incapable of resolving complex social and political issues involving religion. This honors thesis won the Emory & Henry College Undergraduate Research Prize in 2008. In May, Justin will graduate from the Marshall–Wythe School of Law at William & Mary.
Senior chemistry major, Acacia Lamb, worked at the Fox Chase Cancer Center examining the effectiveness of cancer drugs in a three–dimensional environment versus the two-dimensional Petri dish. Lamb’s research involved finding cell lines that grew well in both 2D and 3D environments and then testing the cells’ responses to common anti-cancer drugs.
Senior mathematics minor Jane Groseclose attempted to find the lengths of particular sets of Devil’s Staircases, mathematical functions that increase in a non-continuous manner.
Senior Jason Fogleman, who is double-majoring in chemistry and biology, examined the experiments used to monitor the accumulation of Cys SOH.
Junior double–major Anthony Leonard worked with researchers at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center cloning the TREX enzyme found in mosquitoes and introducing it into E. Coli bacteria. The TREX gene in humans works against drugs currently used to combat cancer and viral diseases such as HIV. This research may give scientists a better understanding of how TREX’s structure and function and may increase the effectiveness of treatments cancer and viral diseases.
Senior political science major Ryan Hankins investigated the transition of the Declaration of Independence from a revolutionary manifesto to the authoritative statement of the "American Creed."
Senior political science major Megan Mullins researched the “Takings Clause” of the Fifth Amendment and researched ways to improve the perennial struggle between land owners wanting to keep their property and government attempting to use private lands to accomplish projects for the good of the community.
Meredith Keyse, a theatre and business management double-major, put both disciplines into action interning at the Barter Theatre. Keyse researched future productions for actors and also coordinated marketing plans for a playwrights’ festival and for developing a literary companion for the theater’s matinee program.
Senior theatre major Phillip Deese stared in Anton Chekov’s one–man play “The Dangers of Tobacco,” where a lecture turns into a cathartic moment for the speaker.
Senior theatre major Melvin Dillon wrote, directed, designed and starred in his one–man show “Anchored.” The play follows a man who wakes up one day and re-evaluates his life.
Senior athletic training student Angela Patrick conducted a case study into the treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease in a 28-year-old patient. Since there is no one program for the treatment of DDD, Patrick designed her own.
Senior theatre major Lori Fleenor worked as assistant lighting director and assisted in set design for main stage productions at the Barter Theatre, including "Greater Tuna" and “Four Hearts and a Club.”
Psychology major Patrick Carmody examined the extent to which violent media affects human acceptance of violence and to gain a better understanding of aggressive attitudes and behaviors.
Psychology majors Elizabeth Hackett and Beth Walton surveyed more than 60 college students to compare how well college students recognized the symptoms of BPD relative to two other non–psychiatric disorders and examined their attitudes toward mental illness to see if these attitudes affected a person’s ability to recognize BPD.
Psychology students Sara Montague and Jodie Gore explored the effects of gender stereotyping in careers and found that although progress is being made toward open–mindedness regarding men and women in nontraditional careers, some stereotyping still exists.
Since past research has shown an increase in psychological distress among college students, psychology students Scott Sutton and Dustin Alvis investigated the effect this increase has had on college students’ perceptions of psychotherapy.
Psychology student Ashley Turnmire investigated the methods used by researchers evaluating the educational outcomes of college students. Historically, researchers either used covariates and matched cases. For her research Turnmire surveyed more than 12,000 students from Appalachian colleges.
Classical music, particularly Pachebel’s “Cannon in D major,” has been shown to have a calming effect on persons facing cognitive stressors. Psychology student Lewis Chong investigated whether other classical music had the same effect and if a person’s musical preference played on blood pressure recovery.
Finding interrater agreement for children’s psychopathology has been somewhat unsuccessful in the past. Researchers have examined several factors of both children and parents (including gender, age, and IQ) to explain these discrepancies among informants. Psychology student Carly Fritz examined the potential influence that the children’s problem has on correlating interrater agreement.
Melissa Goliher examined past predictors used by psychologists to determine a person’s SBW, or what individuals consider to be happiness or satisfaction with life. Goliher surveyed 120 college students with the classical four inner traits, but also examined the influence of self–identity and psychological needs as possible predictors of SBW.
Mathew Henry surveyed the entire E&H student population for his research project that investigated whether or not a professor’s personality effected how students evaluated their professors.
A person’s physical appearance has been indicated to influence the decision making process. Psychology student Jessica Mora, investigated this hypothesis and found that females may be influenced more by physical attractiveness more so than males.
Psychology student Ashley Robinson investigated the attitudes men and women have toward their partners viewing Internet pornography and the effects it had on their relationships. With the increased use of the Internet for viewing pornography, the research was developed with the hope of illuminating relationship factors that are influenced negatively by access to pornography on the Internet.