|Friday, April 20th|
Leslie Ortiz-Quiroz, Winthrop University
The efficient market hypothesis (EMH) states that an efficient market will price securities appropriately because they reflect all available and relevant information. In saying this, the investment theory suggests that investors are rational and will seek investments that will provide the highest return for a given level of risk – however, this is not always the case. In reality, investors lack the financial sophistication to properly evaluate the various securities that are offered in the financial market. This study evaluates information asymmetry within mutual fund distribution channels, to examine the concept of mutual fund managers, brokers, and financial advisers being incentivized for specific transactions. In a situation where there is asymmetric information, there is an opportunity for the more knowledgeable party to take advantage of the less knowledgeable. In assessing investor behavior, this thesis presents flow findings from U.S. equity mutual funds within various distribution channels, particularly during times of volatility. The analysis will compare their funds’ relative returns against the performance of the market and yield results for investor behavior.
Drew Griffin, Winthrop University
Prior to 2015, grammar in the South Carolina standards only required students to learn basic sentence types and mechanics. However, the introduction of Common Core into the state standards now requires much more thorough instruction. But is that instruction taking place? Gartland and Smolkin define grammar as “a set of rules that explain how a system operates, and in language, this system typically refers to syntax (the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language) and morphology (the study of how words are formed in a language).” Proper grammar instruction is essential for students to be able to find success in academic writing. Unfortunately, more and more professors find that students struggle to write basic sentences by the time that they enter college. The purpose of my study was to discover the effectiveness of grammar instruction in South Carolina and to find ways of making that instruction more effective. To do this, I administered surveys to students and teachers throughout the state to determine their perception of the instruction. In several 9th grade classes, I also administered pre-tests and post-tests to determine student progress following instruction. At the end of the study, I have determined that, while students showed marginal improvement after grammar instruction, more varied and intensive instruction is needed throughout the state and in all grade levels if students are to meet the level of writing required for a professional career.
Devon Oepen, Winthrop University
Faculty Mentor: Karen Stock, Ph.D.
Art has long since extended beyond the tradition of aesthetic beauty as a measure of merit and into a new tradition of deconstruction and politicization. However, contemporary art has seen an emergence of a new optimism entirely uncharacteristic of postmodernism. Jeff Wall exemplifies the transitionary figure of the modern to the contemporary. His documentary style of photography rejects narrative exploration and instead forces the viewer into the role of voyeur. This dialogue of discomfort is entirely unlike the passivity of viewing in a museum, rather it creates an intimate moment of sheer intentionality in which the viewer is imposing upon the work. Wall encourages the intellectual engagement between history and his work and plays with the line between commercialism and artistry. This is not the inaccessibility of postmodernism, instead an invitation for viewer interpretation and an exercise in analysis and wonderment. Furthermore, Wall does not reject the realm of classical high art but instead incorporates the geniuses of art history’s canon into his photography. This attention to the role of the viewer in generating meaning, reemergence of classical forms, and intertextuality of the contemporary and postmodern has established Jeff Wall as a true metamodernist and one of the most important artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Willard Z. Ramsey, Winthrop University
Faculty Mentor: Laura Dufresne, Ph.D.
Gustave Flaubert's literary masterpiece, Madame Bovary, challenges readers to think about cultural and societal standards in the analysis of the moral conundrum faced by the central character. Flaubert specifically presents a critique of women's role in society by using strong elements of irony and melodrama. The contemporary artist Gustave Courbet similarly challenges viewers to self-reflect on their cultural and societal status within his work. He directly acknowledges the viewers in his work, allowing him to politically confront them with a strong opinion. This paper will present how these artists create a sense of morality in a seemingly amoral world of their own creation.
Evan Schultheis, Winthrop University
Faculty Mentor: Laura Dufresne, Ph.D.
The Santa Maria Maggiore mosaics are a well-studied example of early Christian and late Roman art, considered the earliest surviving church-sponsored mosaic and highly regarded for its depictions of the virgin Mary. Indeed, the mosaics were commissioned in time to coincide with the ecumenical council of Ephesus in 431, which condemned Nestorianism and confirmed the virgin’s title of Khristotokos and Theotokos. However, the commissioning and construction of the church was shadowed by the tumultuous political circumstances between the eastern and western administrations in the 420’s and 430s C.E. The decade saw a civil war to ensure the continuation of the Theodosian dynasty, the rise of Aetius, and the Vandal invasion of Africa, all of which impacted the sociopolitical climate of Roman Italy. It is possible that in support of the new emperor Valentinian and his mother, Galla Placidia, elements of the Santa Maria Maggiore may have reflected the political developments surrounding the transition of power in the middle of the decade by displaying legitimizing and authoritative imagery of the Imperial dynasty.
Madeline Weih, Winthrop University
While studying in Spain, I was introduced to a new form of food that interested me, the Spanish tapa. I became interested in this food after having gone to some of the Spanish restaurants and experienced first-hand the unique role they played in the development and construct of Spanish society, both socially and culturally. I began to suspect that, from the time of its origins to today, there must be something within the food that helps to keep the Spanish society so integrated and social. Research suggested that, in fact, the use of the tapa has evolved over time, and continues to affect not only Spain but also other countries, as it becomes more widely popular. I argue that the Spanish tapa is a vital component of Spanish culture, and that its role as a mere accompaniment to a drink to a social food has enhanced the Spanish society, as well. To test if the usage of the tapa has evolved within Spanish society, I used surveys sent to native Spaniards, asking questions about how their use of the tapa has changed over time. The research results support my claim that, while the idea is still traditional, the tapa is becoming more and more a social symbol, rather than just a food to eat. As time goes on and its popularity continues to spread, it will alter the way that food is used in other countries, as well.
DIGS 114 Session II, 2:45-4:15 p.m.