2017-2018 #2: Other Englishes

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.

Source: https://web.stanford.edu/~zwicky/aave-is-not-se-with-mistakes.pdf

AN INVESTIGATION OF GENDER INEQUALITY IN COMPUTING

Throughout the research, I have been using a literature search to gather and review articles based on gender inequality in computing. As mentioned in the previous blog, my focus is to gain a better understanding of this issue through the literature. The purpose of the research is to investigate the possible reasons why so few females study computing and pursue computing careers compared to males. In addition, understanding college students’ perceptions about computing may help me identify strategies to help close the gender gap.

In my search for literature related to my topic, I found a research article that provides survey questions that might be adapted for my research study. I plan to finalize the survey and distribute it to undergraduate Seidenberg students. My advisor, Dr. Feather-Gannon, said I will need to contact the author of the article to seek permission to adapt her survey questions. At the same time, I am learning how to use Qualtrics, the online survey tool available to all Pace faculty and students. By mapping the survey questions to my research questions, I should be able to answer the following:

RQ1: What experiences do students have related to computing?

RQ2: How do student experiences relate to whether or not they are pursueing a computing

major?

RQ3: How does gender relate to students’ interests in pursuing a computing major?

My advisor, Dr. Feather-Gannon, and I has been collaborating on this research project since the beginning of this semester. Dr. Feather-Gannon will be providing guidance and suggestions so that my survey questions help to answer the three research questions. We have our meetings every week via Skype or in person to discuss the future strategies for completing the research project

Blog # 2 Fall 2017 – due Monday, December 11th: “A Predictive Model of the Non-Profit Sector”

Title:       “A Predictive Model of the Non-Profit Sector”

Introduction.-

  • This project reaches into the dynamics of the nonprofit sector at a macro level, fundraising for specific causes, like the environment, and individual giving at the micro level (third phase).
  • The purpose of our research is to determine what variables come into play in determining the ups and downs of nonprofit revenues, and which factors act as moderators.
  • From the macro perspective, we take into account data series such as GDP, disposable income, and public awareness regarding social causes, among others.

Progress made so far (June to December 2017).-

  1. Research Design.
  2. Review of the Literature.
  3. Securing data series. Cleaning. Trial analyses.
  4. Running clean data through SPSS.
  5. Predictive Model: Environmental segment.
  6. Replication of existing study: Macro.
  7. Corretations Matrix: Macro, Total Non-Profit Sector.

Results and findings of the research (where applicable), and provide insights and reflections on the data and/or results and findings.-

  • We replicated the research of List, John A. (2011) “The Market for Charitable Giving. Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 25, Number 2, Spring. ISSN: 0895-3309.
    • List (2011) sought relationships between macro-economic variables and total revenues of the non-profit sector.
    • He discarded the correlation between GDP and NPR as obvious, perhaps, but did not explore Disposable Personal Income as a macro-economic variable. And he seemed to stick to single variable searches.
    • He found a correlation between the S&P index and NPR, but not a perfect parallel. He then worked with lagged figures.
    • He found a significant correlation between prior year S&P results and NPR.
    • And he confirmed the correlation using percent changes in both, rather than the raw indices.
    • He did not, however, propose a model at the macro level, as we have done in this research study.
    • The author states the following: “Many economic facts concerning the charitable market remain unknown. The literature has begun to address some of the important issues, but a first lesson that I take from this body of research is that what we do not know dwarfs what we do know about the economics of charity. This perspective pinpoints some of the areas where economists have been able to speak to policymakers, provide theorists with empirical facts, and give practitioners useful advice, but clearly more work is necessary. I suspect that this line of research will continue to be a strong growth area. As fundraisers continue to recognize the value of experimentation, economists will increasingly be called upon to lend their services. Likewise, as economists continue to recognize the value of using naturally occurring settings as laboratories, such domains will increasingly be used to generate new data sets…
  • This clearly confirms our views below.
    • List arrived at a correlation coefficient of 0.636
  • Our model, after extracting variables, arrived at a Pearson’s R of  0.935, with almost perfect significance levels.
    • NPR Environment = -4401.542 + 528.327(DPI) +23.121(TVCoverage) + Ɛ 
  • Lastly, we ran correlations at the macro level, to find significant relationships between Google searches for “social causes” (in the absence of a macro indicator of public awareness or a sum total of press coverage for the overall sector), and DPI, as determinants of Non-Profit Revenues.

Questions raised from the data collected.-

  • There is simply no macro indicator of public awareness about social causes in general terms. Specific measures were available only for the environment, and that considering media coverage (Factor analysis suggested to disregard print media, and keep TV News Coverage only).
  • Researchers have struggled to pinpoint mathematical models of the Non-Profit Sector, without much success.
  • They have concentrated on the micro view.

Challenges and/or successes you have experienced with this project.-

  • The lack of data and analyses is overpowering, and sad.
    • But our hypothesis (H1) was proven, non-profit funding responds, for the most part, to public awareness and disposable personal income.
    • NPR=a+bDPI+cEnvironNews+e
  • We will now go on to survey donors and sponsors to tie our macro model to the micro view.

Describe what you have learned from the project.-

  • We have learned the intricacies of research, especially in regards to securing reliable data series.
  • We have learned how important the literature review is in constructing and/or consolidating hypotheses.
  • We have learned about the importance of a detailed research design and schedule.
  • We have also learned that there is much interest in our research topic.  

Impact this project has had on us and any future plans we may have related to this research.-

  • We thank the Division of Student Success of Pace University for its support.
  • We are also most excited about the support offered by other foundations, to make their donor networks available for polling in the micro stage (Spring 2018).
  • We are most interested in pursuing other research projects, particularly one, relating to the application of Neuroscience in Marketing.

Navarro/Coppola Blog 1

The purpose of this research project for the 2017-2018 academic year is to study, analyze, and, explore how technology and older adults (ages 60+) interact. As of now, the focus is primarily relating to how technology can be utilized by older adults in regards to their overall health and well being. This includes using digital monitoring devices to obtain information such as oxygen levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. Once these vitals are taken, they can be digitally sent and stored in an online portal that can be accessed by the patient, or primary care physician, at a later time. An understanding of these vitals is important in providing proactive treatment of serious issues that can arise including strokes and heart attacks. Previous research has shown that older adults are willing and eager to utilize technology, and this project will further explore the benefits of interconnecting this population with today’s technological advancements. The working title for this project is “Digital Health Education for Seniors.”

From this project, a better understanding of exactly how digital health education can be beneficial to this population will be obtained. This research will allow us to learn more about the ever-growing relationship between senior citizens and technology. Are they willing to accept and utilize this technology for a specific purpose? How quickly can they adapt to new software/hardware? In what ways do they learn best? How can an overall understanding of their health lead to a better of quality of life? All of these questions will be addressed and investigated during the course of the project.

A number of different methods will be used in order to accomplish this project. Most notably, partnership with Senior centers (tentatively Carter Burden Network and Brookdale) will be used in order to access the target population. Additionally, the research team with partner with Vital Care Services, an organization that specializes in digital health management and collaboration. A comprehensive test will be given at the beginning and end of the research so that the success rate can be examined. The research will consist of frequent and consistent monitoring of older adults and their relationship with new technology, ideas, and practices. At the end of the project, a better understanding of this population and their needs will be found.

AN INVESTIGATION OF GENDER INEQUALITY IN COMPUTING

The purpose of my research has evolved as I have been extensively reading the literature about gender inequality in computing.  From my literature review, I found a large number of studies were done in the late 1990s, which has made it a challenge to find recent studies. I want to investigate the reasons why so few females study computing and pursue computing careers compared to males. Understanding college students’ perceptions about computing may help me identify strategies to help close the gender gap.

To answer my research questions, I plan to do a descriptive quantitative study by using a survey instrument with Pace’s student population. I’m currently trying to find a survey that has already been validated, but I may be expected to create my own survey. The survey instrument should help me answer my three research questions. The three research questions are the following:

RQ1:  What experiences do students have related to computing?

RQ2:  How do student experiences relate to whether or not

they have pursued a computing major?

RQ3: How does gender relate to students’ interest in pursuing a

computing major?

 

My advisor, Dr. Feather-Gannon, and I will be collaborating on this research project during this academic year. Dr. Feather-Gannon will be providing guidance so that I can map the survey questions to my three research questions. We meet every two weeks via Skype or in person to work on the research project.

2017-2018 Blog Post #1: Intro/Deconstructing ‘My Fair Lady’

The 2017-2018 school year marks the continuation of “Sharing Englishes and Social Media”, a journey embarked on by Dr. Florescu and I. The first portion of our project has explored personal experiences, scholarly texts, and some previous research surrounding the way the monolinguistic ‘English’ has shaped our lives. This upcoming part of our project will be centered on how the concept of monolinguistic English appears in social media. “Social media” — for the sake of our project — branches outside of what we have come to know as present day social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. We will be exploring those platforms as well, but “social media” for this project will also encapsulate the arts, such as movies, literature, and so on.  Dr. Florescu and I also plan to take a closer look into how our present society has found ways to branch away from monolinguistic English, creating other Englishes are, indeed, valid forms of Englishes.

As an introduction to the half of our research dedicated to media, I’d like to begin by deconstructing this clip of My Fair Lady. For those unfamiliar with the film, the Google synopsis of the film is as follows:

“In this beloved musical, pompous phonetics professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) is so sure of his abilities that he takes it upon himself to transform a Cockney working-class girl into someone who can pass for a cultured member of high society. His subject turns out to be the lovely Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), who agrees to speech lessons to improve her job prospects.” 

The synopsis alone is very telling: language becomes a classist factor, a tool that can be used to differentiate who is of ‘high society’ and who is not. Not only does Eliza Doolittle’s working-class society set her apart from high society, but linguistically, her Cockney accent — common among working-class Londoners — becomes a dead giveaway to her social standing.

The clip begins with Higgins asking Doolittle to recite the phrase: “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.” He is clearly exasperated by her pronunciation, calling it an offense to the Lord (My Fair Lady 0:00-0:37). Although ‘proper issue’ is more often than not looked upon as a minority issue, it is important to note that both Higgins and Doolittle are white; the only thing that separates them is that Doolittle is a female and more importantly, she is working-class.

The film takes on a rather classist approach. The premise of the movie is centered around Doolittle not being considered a proper lady due to the way she performs her English, as it is associated with being working-class. The fact of the matter is that Doolittle does speak English, but clearly, this is not enough for Doolittle. He needs her to speak proper English or fulfill what I have previously referred to as the gold standard of English. In his eyes, her Cockney accent does not satiate the requirements. Rather than being looked at as a full-fledged human, Doolittle is Othered because her Cockney accent is a signifier of her marginalized working-class status. Professor Higgins asserts his superiority over her; he is white, male, and upperclass, and so, he becomes the standard. In order for her to be perceived as acceptable to him and his society, she must assimilate and shape herself in his likeness. This process becomes impossible if she cannot change the way she performs her English and thus, she becomes his project — a broken thing that needs fixing. An entire song is dedicated to his plight, titled “Poor Professor Higgins”, as he endures the burden of civilizing the social savage.

Through the performance of her English, Doolittle becomes the butt of the joke. We are not meant to take her seriously in this clip because even Higgins does not take her seriously. Higgins views Doolittle, in her current state, as a blight on society, while we look at her as comedic relief because of her inability to fulfill the gold standard. However, perceiving those who speak dialects affiliated with the working-class as purely comedic is problematic, since we are taking joy/humor in someone’s social status because we see them as being lesser.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=my+fair+lady+plot&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS737US737&oq=my+fair+lady+plot&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j0l5.3655j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Brainbrow Imaging of the Zebrafish Lateral Line: Retrospective

As the summer winds down, I have been reflecting on the project Dr. Steiner and I began working on in June. Dr. Steiner and I have been utilizing multi-transgenic zebrafish to deeply explore the regeneratory process of zebrafish sensory hair cells. The current body of zebrafish research suggests supporting mantle cells divide to produce hair cells during regeneration of neuromast sensory organs along the lateral line, although evidence of such is lacking. Together, we created a plan to manipulate three transgenic lines to image the regeneration of these neuromast cells, with the end-goal of better understanding this regeneratory process and the factors that control it.

With these research goals in mind, I’ve been learning about the complexities of conducting biological research with living specimens. Many times during the semester, my colleagues and I have sacrificed time to come in on weekends to feed the fish; there have been several weeks the fish didn’t cooperate with breeding, and we had to quickly work on a new plan for the week. Truthfully, though, working with live zebrafish brings an element of physicality and life to my research. It’s a pleasure starting my day seeing our entire population of zebrafish greet me with frantic swimming.

Also challenging, but extremely rewarding, is developing the Zebrabow process I’ve been using to visualize cells of zebrafish. At its best, this method makes the cells of zebrafish fluoresce a beautiful mosaic of colors, allowing a researcher to better understand the cell divisions that potentially lead to new hair cells. No single procedure will work for every lab; Dr. Steiner has greatly helped me in creating a Zebrabow process that works for our fish in particular. At the start of the summer, we had very little mosaic fluorescence amongst the cells. This provided me several opportunities to review the process we had used, and modify it for better performance in the future. Such modifications make this research project feel like it is truly our own; over the next few semesters, I hope to refine this procedure to obtain consistent and repeatable results.

This summer project has not only taught me about valuable lab techniques, such as confocal & fluorescent microscopy and taking care of living specimens; working with Dr. Steiner this summer made me increasingly comfortable with the research process and environment, which I hope to be a part of for years to come. Being able to pave my own way through a new set of procedures is fantastic experience for my future endeavors. Most of all, I’m excited to continue my research with Dr. Steiner over the upcoming year, building upon everything I’ve learned over the past months.

Included in this blog post is an image of one of the Zebrabow treatments I’ve done, in order for readers to better understand the process. This image was taken as numerous ‘slices’ of images from the confocal microscope, then compressed into a single image. On the bottom right is the neuromast, the organ containing hair cells that Dr. Steiner & I study. One can see numerous flourescent cells, as well as some macrophages (depicted by amorphous green-flourescent projections).

Blog 2

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, collaboration has continued with a number of different senior citizens. In each of the sessions students sit down with at least one senior (sometimes in a small group) and guide them through different aspects of technology. Based on the research so far, four “critical areas” have been established and will serve as the foundation for the technology program that is being developed. These findings are based upon personal surveys and interactions, previous research, and social needs. The four critical areas are: Mobile Banking, Tele-Health Services, Digital Communication, and Basic Computer Literacy. “Mobile Banking” includes viewing online bank accounts, paying bills online, and using ATMs. “Tele-Health Services” encompasses online patient registration portals, at-home medical tests, and virtual doctor visits. “Digital Communication” is a combination of traditional social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) and other online communication tools (Skype, email). Finally, “Basic Computer Literacy” is providing the seniors with the basic skills to interact with their computers on a daily basis. This includes teaching them how to interact with computer hardware, basic keyboard tricks, and how to work their operating system. The research thus far has suggested that if older adults are provided with the skills listed above, then they will be better equipped to interact with current and future technologies. In establishing a better understanding of these topics, older adults will be able to properly interact with today’s society, other adults, and younger generations, thus lessening their feelings of social isolation. It is interesting to note that three of the four critical areas that have been identified were ones that were hypothesized at the beginning of the project. In speaking with the older adults and their families, and aids, these were areas that they hoped to learn more about. Additionally, these are areas that many younger individuals utilize on a daily basis.

 

The research has raised a number of questions, and provided subsequent challenges in developing a proper technology program at Carter Burden. First and foremost, how can the success of the technology program be accurately measured in a meaningful way? It is hard to quantify the success rate because so much of the work that is being done is subjective to the individual. The understanding of the findings is limited because a proper survey (or tool) that is able to adequately measure the success rate has not yet been established. Furthermore, another challenge/question that has come up is how to teach and interact with older adults with physical/mental handicaps. Many of the challenges that are associated with teaching older adults such as memory loss, and decreased mobility, are magnified with those with a mental/physical disability (dementia, etc.). Research is still being done in understanding how the program will overcome these challenges in helping the adults learn.

 

One of the main successes and lessons of the research is that the needs and abilities of this community are now better understood, which provides a solid foundation as the research continues. There is an entire community of individuals who were not privy to growing up with today’s technology, but who nonetheless, are wanting to better understand and connect with these devices. Not only are older adults able to learn about technology with the proper teacher and resources, but they are eager to jump into the digital age! It has been very interesting to see how these adults approach new technology and ideas with a sense of ambition and determination. There are so many aspects of the digital age that many take for granted, but it has been wonderful to see these adults grow as they learn more about the technology that surrounds them.

 

This research and project have greatly impacted me and my future studies in this field. I now have a better understanding of an underrepresented community within our society. It has been a pleasure to meet and interact with so many diverse and welcoming individuals. Furthermore, I have firsthand knowledge of what it takes to teach older adults, and how although it can be a timely process, it is equally if not, more fulfilling and enjoyable.

 

Second post for my summer research project

Recently I have been reviewing the interactions between Dr. Fink and former college journalists who were members of their student newspapers. I have been listening to the recorded interviews done by Dr. Fink and then I have been highlighting key components that was said by the former college journalists so it could be used in our findings.

My biggest question that I have from my research is that nine out of the ten interview subjects were at private schools, so I was curious to know that if public colleges ran into the same issues when it came to FOI. I wondered if it would be easier to request information at a public school because it is  government funded.

The biggest challenge I had in this project was finding people that met our requirements. Our requirements were that they had to have held a editor position for their college newspaper in the 2016-2017 academic year, and they have to have filled a FOI request. So finding people that fit that criteria was a bit difficult.

I learned how valuable it is to file FOI requests. Doing that can be a very valuable tool to journalists because it gives you access to information pertaining to your school or government. This upcoming semester when I am editor- in-chief of the Pace Chronicle  I will use FOI laws to my advantage.

Blog #2

We have come to the final tweaks of the project and I believe we did an amazing job. It is something that will be useful to so many different teachers and students for years to come. Throughout the project, I have learned so many different things that I can carry with me through life. The process was difficult at times with sometimes very little information to go off of, but the more I learned the better I felt about the outcome of the project.

Since our project was not a data based project we did not have any results to experiments or any studies to have findings for. We did our research based on what these four helpers experienced back in the 1940s and how their actions helped stretch the Frank’s lives for just a few years longer. With this project, we had our main subjects to find information on, but the deeper we searched we found different people that were involved that hardly anyone knew about. It was great to be able to not only bring awareness to the amazing people who helped the Frank’s and the others in the Secret Annex but to also shine a light on others who survived and rebelled against the Nazi regime.

With this project, I have learned what bravery can do to help save lives. The bravery to stand up for what you know is right and to not let fear deter you. This project has helped me in numerous academic ways such as with research, but the more important lesson is one I can carry with me for the rest of my life. These four helpers risked their lives to help those innocent families and others and stood up for what they knew was right. They knew the risks of what they were doing, but they did not back down. Even when they were caught they did not let fear overtake them. With what is happening now in this country and around the world this lesson is one that is necessary for everyone to know. This study guide is not only a way for students to learn about what these helpers did, but to help them take the courage the helpers used and use it in their day-to-day lives.