Psychosocial Benefits to Marching Arts Programs

My research project, “Psychosocial Benefits to Marching Arts Programs,” explores participants’ psychological growth over time. The marching arts is interesting and unique because it combines the realms of music and sports. Usually music and sports are compared and contrasted to have unique benefits specific to them, but the marching arts has not been included in such research.  The goal of my project is the figure out where the marching arts fit into this hole of research.

I began by reaching out the director of the Madison Scouts, a world class drum corps. World class drum corps is the highest level marching arts one can achieve as a performer. The Madison Scouts were ranked in the Top 12 at wold class finals this past summer. After telling the director about my project idea, I had to ask him if he would be willing to let me conduct my project with the corps over the summer of 2017. He agreed.

Over the summer I conducted a longitudinal survey that spanned 5 time points throughout the approximate 3 month drum corps season. By using a longitudinal design, I was able to track those participating in the program for growth. Specifically I was looking at participants’ resilience, general self-efficacy, marching self-efficacy, goal orientation, and flow.  Each time point consisted of the same measures for each of these constructs. I will statistically analyze change between each time point as well as overall change from start to finish.

Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling, I will be able to answer my question as to if participants are psychologically growing over time. I will also be able to answer my questions about the interactions between my psychosocial variables.

The end goal of this project is to write up a publishable article and to present preliminary findings at a psychological conference. My hope is that this project and future ones in kind can inform the music education funding debate, as well as give more accreditation to school marching arts programs.

Morley’s Triangle of Some Special Triangle

The aims of this research are to study the internal and external Morley triangles whose mother triangles are (1) equilateral triangles, (2) right triangles, and (3) isosceles triangles.

So far, we have investigated the external Morley triangle of our first mother triangle, an equilateral triangle. By solving systems of linear equations with trigonometric functions, we are able to find the coordinates of the three vertices of the external Morley and how they are related to the mother triangles. (See below) Moreover, parallelism and collinearity of vertices and centroids are also studied.

Given the mother triangle ABC with A= (-a, 0), B = (a, 0), and C=(0,c), we can obtain the following figure and find the coordinates of the vertices of the external Morley triangle PQR as follows.

The connection concerning social media and abuse in intimate college relationships:

It is essential to acknowledge the great role technology has in today’s society, that is why  Dr. Ida DuPont and I have centered our research on the connection between social media and abuse in intimate college relationships. The goal of this experimental research is to find the connection between social media and how it can lead to abusive behavior because of its implications that one does not need privacy in their life. We are trying figure out how a partner can use tactics such as manipulation, gas lighting, and persuasion in order to sway their loved one to act and think according to the abuser’s cues.
We will be using the power and control wheel of abuse by showing how each form of abuse identified can be used and strengthened with the power of social media. Our main method to answer our research questions are the use of surveys and interviewing college students that are in or have been in a relationship in the time frame they started college. Considering the responses participants give us will allow us to also see how people see abuse versus what abuse actually is. We are concentrating our study group on college students in same-sex or heterosexual relationships, our theory does not discriminate against which relationships have more of this abuse. This is because almost every college student uses social media, and has the ability and availability to abuse someone they are in a relationship with. Learning different types of tactics and what percentage of students experience some form of abuse will allow us to see how common this type of abuse is amongst people, especially young adults who are more inclined to use social media.

2017-2018 Undergraduate Research: Blog Post #1

Working title: The Relationship between Global Food Commodity Prices and Local Hunger: Volatility, Price Spikes, and the Global Hunger Index

This research project seeks to examine the relationship between global food prices and local hunger. Understanding this connection has been recognized as a valuable asset to reducing food insecurity in both local service programs for the poor and hungry (i.e., food banks), as well as supply chain management of global food programs (i.e., the United Nations World Food Programme). Within the last decade, world food markets have portrayed rising and more volatile prices, cutting into poor families’ household spending on vital goods and services and forcing them to reduce their number of calories consumed. It can also affect their nutrition by leaving them with no choice but to shift to lower quality and less micronutrient-dense foods (von Grebmer et al. 2011).

Dr. Tekula and I were also awarded the Undergraduate Student-Faculty Summer Research Grant and are continuing our research throughout the academic year. We are examining how volatility and price spikes in global food commodities are related to local hunger levels. For our data on hunger, we are using The Global Hunger Index, containing data from the past 26 years for the 118 hungriest countries. For our data on food commodity prices, we are using data from Commodity Systems Incorporated to analyze trends in the market.

As a student, I am extremely excited about playing a key role in building a research project from start to finish and learning all the critical steps in between. I expect to enhance my skills in data analytics and attention to detail throughout the course of the project, as well as the ability to research and identify quality journal articles. We will continue to perform regression analyses in Stata and Excel in order to test our research questions, as well as explore additional online journals to grow our literature review section. I am looking forward to continuing my work with Dr. Tekula!

Blog Post #1

In our research project: “Serving Student from Mixed Status Families in Higher Education” Professor Rachel Simon and I intend to study college students that come from a mixed status home and support their needs, when it comes to succeeding in higher education. A Mixed Status Student is one who is a citizen but someone in their home, such as their parents are undocumented. These students are experiencing school with a fear in their mind that there is a possibility that their parents or someone in their home can be deported. We will also explore ways to support DACA students whose status may be changing in the near future. To do this we will examine policies and resources offered by colleges and universities to determine best practices to support students.

Throughout this research project we want to discuss best practices to help students from mixed status families in higher education so they can succeed and fulfill their maximum potential.

At the conclusion of the research project, I hope to see how the variety of resources provided to students affects the outcomes of the students both personally and professionally. We will be doing a qualitative research of colleges and universities to find effective practices for supporting mixed status students and DACA students

Characterization of the Microbial Community of the Clinging Jellyfish, Gonionemus vertens

The orange and green iridescent colonies that grabbed our attention from the Gonionemus Vertens, Clinging Jellyfish have been the subject of the semester’s research this far. There are currently nine different iridescent isolates that are the focus of my current investigations. Although this is not a novel group of Bacteria, these bacteria have never been associated or isolated from invertebrates. The Clinging Jellyfish were originally collected while wading near Rye Beach this summer. After isolating some 28 strains from the Clinging Jellyfish, I amplified the 16srRNA gene and sent these out for genetic sequencing. After getting my results I was able to compare the new sequences from the isolates to existing bacterial representatives in the GenBank database. All of my strains were grown up and archived in glycerol stock in the -80°C freezer. These archived strains will be the working stock for future experiments and prevent the loss of the isolated cultures. Each of the isolates were restreaked on media to check for pure colonies and resequenced in order to confirm the identity of the archived isolates.

I am interested in the role of the iridescent bacterium associated with the Clinging Jellyfish and proposed that they may imbue the host with certain optical properties that may help it survive. I will conduct some future experiments determine if the bacteria could directly cause a change in the properties of the host.

We have taken a further look into each of the iridescent colonies and more specifically how they are categorized according to their genus. From the sequence identifications, it has become apparent that the two dominant genera in our samples are Tenacibaculum and Pseudoalteromonas. The genus Pseudoalteromonas is of special interest to us because has been found to produce compounds with antimicrobial, algicidal, antifouling and many other pharmaceutically relevant properties. There have been no known genera of Pseudoalteromonas that exhibit this reflective property and our lab plans to sequence the full bacterial genome and further characterize its metabolic properties.

As both of these genera exhibit gliding motility that may play a role in the colonization of the hosts, I will characterize the gliding motility and potentially use motility as a phenotype for future genetic experiments as time permits.

The Effects of Positive and Negative Event Support Provision on Self-Control, Persistence, and Goal Pursuit Blog #1

“The Effects of Positive and Negative Event Support Provision on Self-Control, Persistence, and Goal Pursuit,” is the set title of the research I am working on with Dr. Gosnell. The purpose of this study is to examine whether the provision of positive event support can increase an individual’s self-control and lead to greater persistence and goal pursuit. This research is following a prior daily diary study conducted by Dr. Gosnell.

In her prior work, Dr. Gosnell found that on days when individuals provided support to others for good things that happen to them, such as getting a good grade, being accepted for an internship, etc., these individuals would also make more progress towards their own personal goals. Our study aims to build on this initial finding to determine if manipulating the type of support provided can lead to changes in self-control and goal pursuit in a lab setting, which will allow for us to draw a more causal conclusion.

Participants will be Pace students recruited from psychology classes. The participants will come into the lab and participate in an interaction in which they will provide support for another’s event. After the support provision, participants will be asked to complete a measure of self-control and a series of questions to gauge their interest and motivation to pursue their own goals. Currently, we are doing background research to finalize our measures and prepare the study for IRB submission.

Continuing Research: North Korean and American Instability, China’s Duality

In this academic year, I will be continuing my research from this summer. My efforts to realize and classify the relationships between China, North Korea, and the United States have been and will continue to be aided by historical documents from the early 2000s via WikiLeaks. To supplement this knowledge, I will use personal memoirs, official productions and documents, and sundry other sources, in an effort to produce a complete picture of modern relations.

The goal of this project is not only to further current understandings of the delicate imbroglio and power struggles regarding North Korea but also to determine the practicality of present strategies by the United States. Communications between nations are tense and current leadership of both North Korea and the United States is unpredictable, and do not follow historical trends. Similarly, China seems to be reaching a tipping point of sorts, and will likely be forced to make bold decisions to settle one of the leaders of the other two nations.

Unlike Beijing’s tepid actions of the past, the U.S.’s observatory but inactive involvement, and North Korea’s “all bark and no bite,” every piece of this political puzzle is now in motion. By understanding the new action plans in Washington and the statements by the UN and foreign bodies, this research seeks to erase the confounding variables of the situation and determine key factors of decision-making for each party. The next academic year will be spent furthering conclusions from my previous study. Namely, I will seek to further clarify my conclusions from the summer project that China must maintain its precarious duality of an alliance. I will also utilize relevant historic actions of the U.S. to create policy suggestions for the future of the nuclear situation and unraveling of North Korean relations.