End of the Year Report

This research project was a lens into the real world of research and data collecting. In our American history, a lot of global issues have progressed simply from the misinterpretation of data. The United States involvement with Iraq is a prime example of such where one data collector finds that a Middle Eastern country found a source of uranium and then begins the domino effect of war. This is a real world instance where data has made a huge effect on international diplomacy. Granted, my data collecting did not have that exact impact, it still gave me insight into the present issues in our policing system.

My research was about encounters between the mentally ill and the police when deadly force is used. When I began researching I found a wealthy amount of literature on the topic. There were also hundreds of webpages with statistics about how many encounters were “deadly” and the circumstances behind each situation. I also had to inform myself more on the specifics of mental illnesses in order to fully comprehend the situations and policies that were within the research. I also needed to refresh myself on police procedure so when reading I could identify mistakes made when handling cases with mentally ill people.

It was within this research that I found that people with an existing mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed by the police. The Treatment Advocacy Center really stands up for those who suffer with mental illness. They often fight for better/ more available treatment centers and for specialized police task forces for cases with mentally ill in order to save their lives.

The paper writing was the hardest part for me personally. I had never written a literature review before and actually struggled really hard with doing so. In addition to my heavy course load this semester I definitely could have been a better research assistant for Professor Arslan. I tried my best to devote as much time to writing the paper as possible but many obstacles from my classes and other curricular came my way. The research was more of a time commitment than I had originally anticipated, however, when Professor Arslan depended on me to complete a data sheet I worked day in and day out to do it.

A data sheet is an excel spreadsheet that has many different cells consisting of details about the incident of deadly or excessive force being used on a person. There is a cell for the persons name, gender, race, location of the incident, and especially whether or not the person is mentally ill (including much more). This excel spreadsheet makes up the S.H.O.T. Database for Police use of Deadly Force. This database looks at the issue of police use of deadly force in its entirety. My job as the researcher was to focus in on the mentally ill column of the spreadsheet and then fill out any other information as it came my way. I had experience working on a similar project from my Terrorism and Society class (which is amazing, highly recommend it) with Professor Arslan. It was exciting to contribute to the database and leave my mark on it as it progresses to be something even more amazing.

There were trials and tribulations within this research work. There were times where it overwhelmed me and I shut it out, but there were also times where I buckled down and enjoyed the work I was doing. I am soon having my final meeting with Professor Arslan to discuss the charts and poster board for our Show Case. This research topic will go far and I can’t wait to see what it develops into moving forward.

Voting Behavior Amongst Young Adults: An Analysis of Youth Nonvoters and how Behavioral Economic Concepts can be Applied to Increase Young Voter Turnout.

The title of my research is as followed: Voting Behavior Amongst Young Adults: An Analysis of Youth Nonvoters and how Behavioral Economic Concepts can be Applied to Increase Young Voter Turnout. The presidential election of 2016 displayed a poor voter turnout, especially among young adults. Yet, youth are heavily affected by policy changes politicians make. This research analysis seeks to first answer the question: What are the significant factors that discourage young voter turnout? Then, it will analyze behavioral economic concepts that could be applied to increase the voter turnout amongst that age group.  Persuading young people to exercise their right to vote and to make more rational decisions towards voting will aid the issue of voter presence in presidential elections. Recent studies reveal that the effects of behavioral economics have a great impact on an individual’s decisions by using positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions. This study has three major objectives:

  1. To determine the factors that discourage the youth from voting within the United States.
  2. To discuss the rationality and irrationality of young voters decision making.
  3. To provide possible solutions using behavioral economic concepts to encourage young adults to vote.

For this study, it is necessary to gather recent exit poll data and analyze what the causal relationships between nonvoting and demographic factors, such as family income, gender, education, race, etc are. The Current Population Survey (CPS) derives from the monthly microdata of the United States Labor Force Survey. The CPS includes demographic information, employment data, and supplemental data, such as voter registration which makes it imperative to this study. After consolidating this data, I will conduct several statistical regression analysis’ about the factors that discourage people ages 18 to 24 to vote. First, I will examine the results for the presidential election in 2016 across all 50 states, then I will examine the results across several past presidential and congressional elections. Once I conclude what factors are positively or negatively significant, I will explain several behavioral economic concepts to ratify the issue of nonvoting amongst young people. Behavioral economics is a mixture of traditional economic theory and psychological theory. Concepts may include certain types of nudges, such as default options and anchoring approaches to encourage the youth to vote.

Learning what factors truly affect the youth’s decision to not vote is extremely important so that states can take action to eradicate the issue of low voter turnout. This research is sought to allow people to gain a  different insight on the various ways we can target this issue through the use of the newly developed behavioral economic concepts.

Persuade to Date: A meta-analyses of advertising appeals of online dating applications from American, European, and Asian countries.

The title of the research is: Persuade to Date: A meta-analyses of advertising appeals of online dating applications from American, European, and Asian countries. The study will examine the advertising appeals and messages used by the online dating services. We will discover persuasiveness of the core messages used by the most popular dating websites and applications within the European, American (Northern and Southern), and Asian countries.  What is more, we will do a cross-national and cross-continental analysis which will explore any potential differences—between the types of the advertising appeals—which may exist.  If the differences will be discovered, we will consider cultural, economic, and social factors.

To find the most popular dating websites and applications for each country from given continents, I used the Google search where I was typing the following: “online dating application” or “online dating website” and the name of the country I was researching. I assumed that the outcomes (websites and applications) that showed up, were one of the most popular for a certain nation. What is more, I was also using the ratings of the most successful services if they popped out in the Google search results. It was even more helpful in determining which online dating services are popular in a certain society. Subsequently, I collected their advertising appeals and I put all of them into the table. The table was created for each country separately. It consisted of name of the dating service, core message, and the references.

Furthermore, I determined the most essential and significant parts of these marketing messages based one the following criteria: emotional, wealth, religion, social influence (other do, so do I) etc. On the next step, I had to create an Excel file which will be used as a material for coding. The following information was provided in a given order to each of the excel column: continent, country, advertising message, added features, the original language of the provided advertising message, determination whether the dating service automatically translated the website into English, determination whether the service is global or local, determination whether the service is an application or the website.

After collecting the data (the marketing messages/advertising appeals) from all of the dating websites I found, my Professor- Aditi Paul prepared a sheet with seven different motivations which make the potential customers join a certain dating service in order to do coding manual. The motivations are the following:

M1 (Motivation1)- Relationship; fall in love, build a serious relationship etc.

M2-Sex; find a sexual partner, seek someone with the same sexual interests etc.

M3-Peer pressure; because everyone is doing it, to be trendy etc.

M4-Socialize; make new friends, flirt, broaden social network etc.

M5-Entertainment; for fun, combat boredom etc.

M6-Design; ease of use, visually appealing, free of cost, geolocality etc.

M7-Indetity; Try new identities, escape from who you are, live out a non-sexual fantasy etc.

Next, we coded the following aspects of the appeals our team collected:

  1. whether an appeal mentions a sexual orientation (by referring to LGBTQIA),
  2. whether any of the appeals mentions a religion orientation

Subsequently, we started to code the visual aspects of the samples:

  1. a primary visual element (video, photo, no element, or other)
  2. composition of the primary visual element (single, couple, or group),
  3. apparent race of the apparent visual element,
  4. apparent age of the primary visual element
  5. social distance of the primary visual element (intimate, close personal, far personal, far social, public)
  6. coding dress (demure, suggestive, partially clad, nude, not applicable)

This experience will teach me how to collect and manage data, have an objective approach, and do coding. Moreover, I have already taken a Statistics class, so I can apply the theory—I got to know from this class—into practice. This research is one step towards knowing how to understand the world.  It is done by finding the variables whose dependence we examine and by trying to explain why there are correlated, we discover new things, become more open, and develop ourselves. This is also what I expect from this study.

Blog #2

Since the last blog, our research project has developed and we have made many strides and have crossed many tasks off of our research checklist. Some of those tasks include reviewing in depth the current research on our topic and beginning a literature review, registering with IRB, creating an informed consent document for the human research subjects, and creating a flyer to attract nursing majors to participate in our study, and compiling a list of questions for our student interviews.

Some of our successes include frequent and open communication between Dr. Northrup and I and swiftly completing tasks to get our research to where we want it to be. Some difficulties include needing to wait for the school year to conduct our nursing student interviews and not having many current articles or research about our specific topic to use as a guide.

I have learned that the research process is always changing. I have learned to let the process guide the project instead of letting my original idea of the project control the process. The ending product may be very different from the original idea, but that is the beauty of research.

This research project has made a lasting impression on me. As someone who has always found research very intimidating, I have learned that by taking it step by step, it can be an enjoyable journey. For this upcoming year, Dr. Northrup and I will be conducting interviews on junior nursing students, compiling the data, and obtaining conclusions based on the interviews.

Blog #1

My name is Arva Turku and I am a communication science and disorders major here at Pace. I am an incoming senior with a new found passion for adult communication disorders. My interest peaked when I took a course with my professor and mentor, Dr. Linda Carozza. My heightened interest combined with Dr. Carozza’s experience and knowledge blossomed into this research project. Before I explain the project, I want to stress how important research in this field really is. Dementia is a common and chronic disease that severs daily mental abilities and brain function. It is a disease the health and science community still only know so much about. There is no cure and no definitive diagnosis. It is mentally debilitating, deteriorating most if not all brain functions including speech and language. This is where research means so much.

Temporal Structure of the Speech of Individuals with Dementia is the title of this research project my mentor and I are embarking on. The research question being; are there temporal characteristics in dementia that can be used as bio markers for dementia progression? At this point in time, our study is a “pilot” but our goal is to indicate whether motor speech decline patterns are associated with the decline in dementia. We plan on using statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA) which would compare means of different subjects (as compared to one another and also within the stimuli set) where we will analyze and note any individual differences. We are still gathering research participants and building up our data and knowledge as we are just beginning the basic measurements. However, we expect that the real bulk of this project will take place in the fall once we have accumulated enough data as well as completed our test- retest in which the participants are tested once again after 6 months in order to note dementia progression. Dr. Carozza is extremely knowledgeable in this field and it is truly such an honor and pleasure to be assisting her in research that can one day be ground breaking. I hope that you see what we see, as our research journey continues.

Blog Post 2, Part 2

My second research project is with Dr. Lavariega in which we are working on a book entitled “Voces” about the Latino experience and issues facing Latinos in the United States. So far we have sent a prospectus to a publisher and are currently in correspondence. I have been recruiting people to write for the book and we will then edit from there.

Reading all of the different essays makes me very proud to be Latina and shows how diverse our experiences and perspectives are. There is also so much history and so many real issues we face every day that are given an important spotlight in this collection of essays.

Hydrophobicity of Cyclic Siloxanes

The first variable I altered in trying to find the optimal time and temperature to make a surface hydrophobic using cyclic siloxanes was time. I allowed the reaction to run at 9 different time intervals: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 6 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, and 168 hours. I had hypothesized that the longer the reaction was allowed to run, the more hydrophobic the silicon surface would become, and the thicker the siloxane layer coating the silicon would become. This set of reactions was done at 100°C with about 150 mg. of hexamethylcyclictrisiloxane present in each vile.

After running these reactions and gathering data through ellipsomerty and goniometry, I discovered that generally speaking, my hypothesis was right in regards to the change in hydrophobicity. The 15 minute reaction resulted in an average advancing contact angle of 68° and an average receding contact angle of 63°. By the time the reaction ran for 6 hours, the hydrophobicity increased to new advancing and receding contact angles of 96° and 89°, respectively. The additional 162 hours the reaction proceeded for only resulted in a 10° increase for both advancing and receding contact angles. What this data tells me is that most of the increase in hydrophobic qualities occurs within the first 6 hours under these conditions, and gradually plateaus soon after.

The results gathered regarding the change in thickness of the siloxane layer was different than what I had hypothesized. What I found is that, over the first 72 hours, the thickness has sharp increases and decreases. The thickness changed from 9.63Å to 3.27Å in 15 minutes, than went up to 7.67Å in just an additional half hour. This rise and fall in thickness continued until the third day, and after 72 hours there was a steady decline in thickness, which began to plateau.

The next variable I would like to alter after gathering this data is the temperature of the oven in which the reaction takes place. I am interested to see how the patterns from this experiment being performed at 150°C for the same time intervals will compare and differ to the patterns I found at 100°C.

Blog Post 2

Professor Colman and I have been working on this research project and after running some regressions, we have come to some conclusions regarding the data. Some of the conclusions we came up with are as follows. People who are unemployed, specifically for an extended amount of time, tend to be less educated, have less work experience and lower IQ’s. However, and to our surprise, once we controlled for these factors, unemployment had little impact on the memory of the subjects included in the data be pulled. As Colman and I looked deeper into it, some questions arose in regards to ways we could improve this research. One way this study could be improved, would be to expand the scope of intelligence measures. Instead of focusing solely on IQ, and how much education the subjects have completed, we could look at their numerical abilities. There is a popular cognitive ability test in which subjects are asked to countdown from 100 by 7 – it has actually been proven to be a good measure of cognitive ability. Professor Colman and I discussed using this test in future research. Another interesting way we would like to expand this research is to look at a wider demographic. The data we pulled focused on people between the ages of 45 and 55. We figured it would be more interesting if we shifted the demographic, or expanded it, to include people in their 20s and 30s. Once we change up the ages, Professor Colman and I would like to break up the study in terms of race and gender. By adding these variables, and switching the scope of the data, we may achieve different results.

There were a few obstacles that Professor Colman and I faced while working on this research project.  The begin, the data was not very easy to find, and upon finding the data, it needed to be managed. Understanding the data was not an easy task either. Professor Colman and I had to really sit down and “get our hands dirty” with the data. Once we ran the regression, interpreting the results proved to be a little bit of challenge because they were not what we expected. When there was no direct link between unemployment and cognitive ability, we had to search deeper and try to come up with some reasons as to why that might be.

While there were many challenges along the way, there were definitely a lot of successes. First and foremost, I got to work on a topic I love with an outstanding professor. As I really do have a love for macroeconomics, behavioral studies and the labor market, I was able to delve deeper into topics I have a lot of interest in. Outside of my econometrics class, I had not really worked with data so heavily. Pulling all this data, managing it, and running all the regressions was definitely a huge learning process. Professor Colman truly knows his way around data and STATA, so he was an excellent resource throughout the course of this research project. I really learned how to analyze data and draw conclusions from results. Before that, and perhaps the biggest learning experience, was learning how to recode the data we pulled. Working with STATA in such detail, and for such an extended period of time, was definitely a huge takeaway from working on this research study. The way I used STATA throughout the course of this project helped prepare me for starting my senior thesis, as well.

Working on this project definitely sparked a lot of questions. Now that I feel more comfortable working with data and analyzing numbers, I hope to continue on with this research project and expand it. Professor Colman and I are currently discussing ways in which we can improve this study. Whether it be my adding new variables, or expanding the scope of the ones we used, there are ways in which we can improve this study and come up with more interesting results. Being that this topic encompassed a lot of topics that I have a particular interest in, I am hoping to pull ideas from this research project and branch them off into different research projects. I now feel more prepared to work on my senior thesis and complete a project that I am proud of.

Final Report


The purpose of our project is to determine whether there is an association between the geographic location of industry leaders in an auditing firm and the auditing pricing and quality of that same auditing firm’s industry clients. Professor Reidenbach and I mainly focused on the Big Four accounting firm: Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. I collected office location, industries served, services provided, the individuals leading each respective industry, and these leaders’ office locations information from these four accounting firms. It was quite challenging to determine the names of the industry leaders within each firm since they are not available within a database and are not always easily located on the audit firms’ websites. Then, we used the Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) and picked the audit analytics dataset to collect audit pricing/fee and audit opinion data using excel format and SAS Windows_32 dataset format. Professor Reidenbach used the software application and the sets of data we have collected to come up with results for our study.

Research summary/ Accomplishments

We defined the major controlled variables for the regression analysis that Professor Reidenbach performed. The controlled variables are Log of Total Assets, Ratio of Long Term Debt over Total Assets, Ratio of EBIT over Total Assets, Qualified Audit Opinion, Inventory Record, Joint Leader (City and Nation), National Leader, City Leader, Leader CBSA (which means that the client company’s headquarter location is the same as the industry leaders’ offices) and groups of industries such as Oil and Gas, Retail and Utilities that we believe will have an impact on the result. We performed a two-tailed t test and used 0.05 as the significance level. For one of the most important controlled variables, Leader CBSA, we got the p-value as 0.2687, which is way greater than 0.05. This leads us to conclude that there is no association between industry leaders’ office locations and audit fee even when the office locations are headquarter locations. After discussing with Professor Reidenbach, we believe that one possible cause is missing data for certain industries. There is a major system called Standard Industry Code (SIC) that Professor Reidenbach used to pick out the industry data used to run the regression analysis. It is a coding system that experts created on breaking down various industries accounting firms work with and there are 99 groups broken down.  Therefore, this will be the main task for us to work on for finishing up the project.


So far, working with Professor Reidenbach has been a great opportunity for me to get the initial exposure of research in auditing. This study provides additional insight into the way that the auditor industry specialization construct works in practice. It also has shown me an interesting insight into whether the way audit firms structure their industry leadership and their market share are related. There is definitely more depth we could research further for the topic, which we will continue working on.

Changes in Host Cell Proteins upon infection with Cryptosporidium Parvum

The beginning of this summer has served as preparation for the next step into our experiments. During our lab time, Dr. Yarlett and I discuss the steps that should be taken in order to move forward, maintain reliable results, and creative viable and repeatable experiments. The beginning of the summer started with an experiment that would measure cell viability upon infection with Cryptosporidium, and as a dependent variable, different concentrations of a compound were used based on previous experiments. The cell viability was measured using two different dyes: one that would fluoresce with living cells, another one that would fluoresce with dead cells. The following experiments conducted examined the binding of these dyes to the parasite oocysts, and upcoming experiments will use a fluorescent marker that would solely bind to these parasites, as opposed to any living or dead cell.

Outside of the lab, I would study the methods that would be conducted during lab time in order to produce better protocols and reduce the margin of error. This time was also used to extend my knowledge of Cryptosporidium by learning about the nature of this parasite, the different outbreaks that have occurred, and the conditions in which this parasite thrives and survives. The amazing traits of this parasite revolve around the ability to survive extreme conditions. Due to its small size, it is more likely to remain in water after filtering, and because of its adaptability to extreme conditions, it is capable of surviving in solutions with high chlorine content past twenty four hours. One of the intriguing facts about this parasite is its mode of infection. Rather than existing in the cell’s cytoplasm, this parasite infects the cell in an intracellular and extra cytoplasmic way—or in other words—it resides inside the cell, but it does so by creating its own compartment made of a phospholipid bi-layer that separates it from the cell’s cytoplasm.

I look forward to continuing this project with Dr. Yarlett because of the importance of treatment for this parasite across the globe. Several deaths across the globe have been recorded across the globe due to cryptosporidium. Although the parasite can be abolished by the immune system, immunocompromised patients—such as young children and people living with aids—have died due to infection with this parasite. The most common way to currently treat this parasite is through therapy to strengthen the immune system; however, a viable treatment for cryptosporidiosis still remains unknown.