One major milestone that was made by Dr. Greenberg and myself thus far in our research study involves obtaining PACE IRB approval for phase one of our study, which is in regard to caregivers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our next step is trying to recruit staff from various agencies to participate in our study. Our main methods of staff outreach include posting flyers through-out the agency as well as on the agency intranet or website, and a master email with the attach flyer to the staff. So far, we have garnered interest from participants from two separate facilities. Our ideal sample size would be around 60 individuals, so I am excited and hopeful that we will our goal.
Currently, Dr. Greenberg and I are still revising the second part of the IRB to receive full approval and be able continue with phase two of our study. The population of phase two of our study focuses solely on the consumers. Some of the more challenging modifications that we are working to address include determining how competency can be proven to obtain consent by consumers, and what the decision-making process will be to determine for someone to be eligible to give consent.
Our research poster was accepted for presentation at the Eastern Nursing Research Conference (ENRS), so I will be presenting our research in April 2018. The deadline to submit our poster to ENRS is February 21st, which means that our data analysis must be completed by early February. Ultimately, this gives us about 6 weeks to get everything together. I am eager to see what results our study yields, as I can personally attest to the stress relieving effect that lavender essential oil has.
Right now in the research I am currently gathering information on students in Higher Education that have mixed status families and how we can better help them succeed. In order to do this I first had to see what higher education institutions that were the metropolitan benchmarks to Pace University were already doing in efforts for these students. The following schools are our peer institute: Adelphi, DePaul, Drexel, Fordham, Hofstra, New School, Northeastern, St. John’s, and Seton Hall. However, a problem occurred when it came to identifying these students within the schools. Students are not required to identify the status of their families, except for on their FAFSA application. So what I did instead was developed a list of questions/requirements that I would look for on the schools homepage. I first searched for DACA to see what the schools response was to address the current status of this. I also checked if the school had a point person for these students to be able to contact incase they had any questions. It is important for students to have these assets available to them.
So far, I have continued reading more articles I hope will prove to be helpful for summarizing my overall research in the spring. I first began by reading from a primary list of references and an annotated bibliography Professor di Gennaro gave me over the summer. These branched out to include the sources other authors were citing in their texts. Some researchers were mainly focused on citations, while other researchers had a focus of academic dishonesty. My goal isn’t so much to investigate academic dishonesty as it is to investigate citations and how accusations of academic dishonesty may exist within. I figure the two are worth studying together, so long as the information adheres to my research questions and helps further my study.
Creating the survey took several rounds of editing and distribution among my research “squad,” and it was as polished as it was going to get when we sent it off. Professor di Gennaro and I submitted our application to the IRB three weeks ago and we’re still waiting. “Patience pays,” she reassured me. Being patient is the hardest part, because I want to collect as much data as possible. The way things are going I almost feel as though I’m behind but I know everything else is going at the pace it’s supposed to. I don’t want January to come around and not hear anything back, because then I’ll be scrambling to complete all the other processes.
As I read more studies, I find myself starting to notice how each researcher’s findings inform the studies of others. There’s a conversational element because so many researchers produce points that piggyback off of each other. I can read an article and immediately know who is being referenced because I’ve read them before. There is still a lot to take in, but I feel as though I have clarity in terms of what I’m trying to investigate even if I can’t distribute my survey yet.
Progress is being made on our project! I am constantly trying to dig up new media sources to go along with my last post that shows the portrayal of standard English as the golden standard for our project, branching off from the My Fair Lady discussion. It is interesting to process all these depictions of standard English as being the ‘proper’ English in media, especially since it isn’t something that we specifically pick up on during a movie viewing. At this point, I’m getting close to touching upon each facet of our project (the social media portion is coming next), but I’d like to dive a little deeper into each previous section to really flesh out my arguments. However, I think I’ve done pretty well at laying a foundation for the remainder of the research, which is really exciting! The rise in prominence of other Englishes besides standard English is really intriguing to look into.
This next portion of the project focuses on ‘Other Englishes’, which I’ve begun to look into. Contrary to popular belief, the presence of other Englishes has already begun embedding itself in our everyday lives. This shift away from monolinguistic language has come with the need to make the language sound more and more like the ‘informal’ language used in everyday life. For this particular post and because it hits so close to home for me, I will focus on the Geoffrey K. Pullum’s “African American Vernacular English Is Not Standard English With Mistakes”. The recognition of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is not a new phenomenon; in 1996, one California school-board meeting in Oakland ended with the decision to recognize AAVE as a language, deemed it as classroom appropriate, and trained teachers to “look at it objectively and appreciate its merits” (Pullum 39). However, the decision was met with harsh criticism and ridicule, mostly due to the perception that AAVE is a degenerate form of standard English plagued with mistakes in grammar and pronunciation—the “street slang of an ignorant urban underclass” (Pullum 40). However, Pullum rejects this claim, noting that there is a clear distinction between slang and AAVE. He argues that “no subculture’s slang could constitute a language” because slang consists of words and phrases that feeds off a host language, possessing no grammar of its own (Pullum 40). AAVE, however, does not possess the same qualities as slang. AAVE, in fact, is a dialect of English—”a classificatory claim [that is the same as saying] a white-tailed deer is a kind of deer”; ‘dialect’ is not a term that is meant to portray one—AAVE, in this case—as a lesser form of another (Pullum 44). Pullum also identifies AAVE as having “a degree of regularity and stability attributable to a set of rules or grammar of rules and punctuation, as with any language” (45). This argument demands that AAVE gets the respect and recognization it deserves.
This only touches the surface of Pullum’s argument. I’d like to dig deeper into the argument to discover how this specific argument can be applied to a variety of Englishes outside of AAVE.
As we approach the mid-year, we would like to update you on the progress Professor Ida Dupont and I have been working on. Its based on a set of instructional research questions to ask our survey participants.
There were a few obstacles Professor Dupont and I encountered when coming up with our survey questions. Some of the most challenging parts was coming up with how we should ask our questions so they do not make the participants uncomfortable. It’s hard to get transparency from participants when they’re guarded and feeling uncomfortable. Another challenged we faced was having questions that weren’t open-ended questions. We had to decide what our cutoffs would be so we could have a very specific research pool. We decided that our study would focus on the population that has/had been in a relationship from the time they’ve started college and maintained a constant social media presence. We have been going back to the power and control wheel and seeing how each section has a connection to social media. In a practice survey I conducted I found that when asking questions that are more personal you have to be very specific in how you word and ask the questions, it aids in getting a better more specific response from participants. We found that social media plays a big role in relationships in college, whether it’s tagging of pictures, commenting or following certain people can affect the relationship in a positive or negative way. In the practice survey, we also found that most students use the same SNS (Social Network Sites) which were most commonly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
Questions that were raised when coming up with our survey questions were the following: How can we form these questions so that participants can give as much detail as possible? How can we bring up the topic of abuse without triggering our participant? What are ways we can form our questions so they don’t come off as we are implying they have been manipulated by their partners through the use of social media?
With our research we are currently in the stage of conducting research. We were approved through IRB and have begun the process of creating our study. We created flyers to recruit individuals to participate in our focus groups. We have scheduled the focus groups, to be facilitated by myself, at the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester and the middle of semester. For these focus groups, we have created a series of questions to help facilitate and guide the conversation. We hope to get a variety of students that vary in: grade, age, gender, ethnicity, family life, location of residence, etc. Our literary review is also close to completion after another round of editing.
We recently applied for and submitted an abstract of our project to the 30th Annual Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS) Scientific Sessions. We applied along with other nursing majors and faculty partners who are conducting research. We were accepted to attend this in April 2018 under the title “Examining an Intervention for Stress and Burnout to Increase Student Success in Undergraduate Nursing Education”. For this, our research will be reflected of a visual, professional, poster and will be presented by myself. We are where we thought we would be in the process, and we will hit the ground running even fast during the spring semester.
During the time since the last post I have spent the majority of the time constructing my survey. Recently, the survey has been completed and submitted to the IRB for further review. The survey ended up having four sections of questions, which were derived from the preliminary survey. The first section asking for the participant to list the profanity they know, then to list the profanity they use. The second section aims to examine the general comfortability of the taker based on social environments. The third uses the slider function on qualtrics to have the participant gauge how offensive they perceive specific sentences uttered by a speaker. The last section is for demographics, which will include age, gender, race, education and sexual orientation. Hopefully, I will receive word back from the IRB soon in order to begin my data collection.
In the recent months, I’ve been tweaking my survey to what it is today. As well as, learning more about qualtrics and how to craft a survey. I am proud of funneling my ideas into a comprehensive survey that I feel like will yield a baseline understanding of the participants relationship to swearing. The survey has become less about personal usage and more about the participants perception of swearing itself based on social factors. I think this current survey, will be efficient and able to accrue interesting data. Mostly during the last month I have learned how to better craft and implement a survey to some articles provided by di Gennaro and a closer review of other articles. I believe learning more about how to create a survey, has helped me to streamline my ideas to what they are now. Also, I have continued my literature review, just not to the extent of earlier in the semester, however I am planning to pick it up more in-depth during the winter break. I am also starting an annotated bibliography for Professor di Gennaro and I for the upcoming analysis of the results. Once I have the IRB’s approval I will begin blasting out the link to my students in my major and on my social media accounts. Through this I hope my demographics are more diverse than the limited demographics of what most articles have previously done.
After filtering the water samples to remove the sediments the samples were placed back in the refrigerator to await analysis. The filter paper with the sediments were collected and each was placed into separate containers. These were placed in 10 mL of a liquid chemical and left sitting in order to dilute the sediments making it possible for analysis of such sediments in the near future. Currently the filtered water has only been looked at to determine the presence of heavy metals and their concentrations in these bodies of water. I still have to inject the samples into GC-MS to determine the types of micro-pollutants that are present in these three bodies of water that are considered to be highly contaminated.
Moving forward I have to return to all three sites to collect more water in order to rerun the tests and analysis that are being run on the first samples. After analyzing the results from the GC-MS part, it would be interesting to see if the micro-pollutants are the same as the ones that were found in the samples from the Hudson River in lower Manhattan last year. Many of these were traces of feces or traces of plastics. Being that these sites are deemed to be highly polluted centers in NYC I would hope and expect to see many types and different types of chemicals after the analysis is performed.
Throughout this semester we have researched in depth similar studies in order to finalize our measures. We’ve been researching different dependent measure options, as well as different conversation options for participants. Since our participants will be having a conversation with each other we have researched different topics for them to discuss. I looked through previous measures such as self-esteem measures to determine what measures might be helpful to use during our survey part of the study.
As we approach next semester, we are still working on finalizing all of our documents for the study. These past couple of months I learned how to construct an IRB and what type of information goes into each section. These sections include, purpose of the study, characteristics of research participants, method of participant selection, methods and procedures applied to human subjects, risk to the subject, benefits, risk-benefit analysis, information intentionally withheld, informed consent, confidentiality, analysis of data, drugs used in the study, qualifications and experience of investigators and any personnel who will interact with subjects, and collaboration with other institutions or sponsors. The IRB is almost completely finished and ready to be submitted for review. Once everything is approved we will start having participants sign up so that they can come into the lab and complete the study. We are aiming to start collecting data at the end of January or beginning of February.
Since my first blog post, I have learned a lot of techniques commonly used in a genetics research laboratory. I have made plates on which the worms will grow, spotted them with bacteria for RNAi, and cultivated different mutant strains of worms and observed various phenotypes. To set up this experiment, the first thing I did was grow my bacterial cultures, which contained siRNA, that would be used to silence a targeted gene. The bacteria were then incubated for 16 hours. After 16 hours a 100 microliter spot of each bacterium was placed on a RNAi plate and incubated at room temperature for 24 hours.
The next morning I set up my experiment, placing 5 L4 N2 C.elegans hermaphrodites on each plate and incubating them at 22 degrees Celsius overnight. A week later I observe the phenotypes produced and repeat the experiment. Along with collecting the data from these experiments, I have also been learning how to perform statistical analysis using a program called R.