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Friday, April 24th

A Breakdown of Visual Online Media and Its Relation to Creativity

Spike Rubin, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

Creativity is important to exercise as it can lead to greater problem-solving skills, emotional well-being, self-expression, work-ethic, originality, and innovation. Eighty-five percent of children in 2008 were less creative than children tested in the 1980’s. The overall decline in creativity can be attributed to factors such as online social media and entertainment. To explore creativity on social media platforms, it must first be examined by using the different skills and ideas implemented in online visual storytelling by social media users. A loss of creativity can be explained due to the changing nature of social media platforms and how that has affected visual storytelling methods, reception, and viral-ness. By analyzing through the disciplines of psychology, mass communications, and visual arts, it is possible to arrive at an answer to fix the loss of creativity. Psychology’s discipline lens is being used to understand how creativity is measured, its types, and how it is linked to entertainment and environment. The lens of mass communication focuses on engagement and responses to popular videos to explain how websites are being formatted to encourage copying and other behaviors that lead to a loss of creativity. Visual art is being used to break down the visual storytelling elements present in videos and compare different levels of technical skill, which would influence the level of reception and creativity. To understand and improve creative storytelling, its loss must be documented and analyzed over time; then, the current nature surrounding online media and its main issues must be changed.

A Full View of Sin in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina

Jacob Stiling, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Leslie Bickford, Ph.D.

Within literature, a favorable theme, element, and motif is sin. However, as often as sin appears in literature, it is just as common for sin to be portrayed in a shallow form when compared to hamartiology. Hamartiology is the study of sin in theology and philosophy. It is common for literature to focus on a singular concept or facet of sin; thus, sin portrayed in literature is unbiblical or non-theological. However, when criticized from a structural lens, it can be seen that Tolstoy’s use of sin is both biblical and theological from a hamartiological view. The portrayal of sin in Anna Karenina is both realistic and genuine. Among its characters and relationships, readers can see the progression, acts, consequences, and guilt of sin. Moreover, there is a parallel to these acts that clearly reflect and copy the progression, acts, consequences, and guilt of sin of characters in the Bible. The characters specifically being analyzed are Anna and Vronsky. It is in these characters that sin is fully fleshed out and developed. In doing so, Tolstoy creates a story with characters that are remarkably relatable and realistic to the human struggle and existence.

A Genealogy of the Criminalization of Poverty In America

Richard Lyda, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Hye-sung Kim, Ph.D., and Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.

This research aims to address the evolution of power structures as they relate to opinions and policies surrounding poverty in the United States. The analysis focuses on welfare policy, privatization of penal systems, and so-called quality of life offenses. The time frame of this analysis begins in the seventeenth century; however, the focus is primarily later nineteenth century forward. Arguably, in order to understand contemporary issues surrounding poverty policy and the treatment of the indigent, one must first understand the economic, political, and social conditions from which those policies have developed. Examining welfare policy over time illuminates ideologies that shaped the conceptualization of poverty, as well as how through surveillance the welfare system became intertwined with the legal system. In understanding the privatization of penal systems, it becomes clear that criminalization of the poor relieves burdens on the State while allowing for the creation of a pernicious profit system for wealthy individuals. Quality of life violations transform the racist roots of private penal systems into modern day classist systems of oppression that benefit the wealthy at the expense of the poor. This genealogical approach elucidates the persistence of class- and race-based systems of oppression and how they continue to profit private industries through disproportionate application of legal penalties against the indigent.

A Guide to African Princesses


MaKayla Ray, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jason Tselentis, M.F.A.; Alice Burmeister, Ph.D.; Adolphus Belk, Ph.D.; and Jesse Weser, M.A.

A Guide to African Princesses inspires young Black/African American girls and will encourage Black/African American storylines in Hollywood. It includes Princess Yennenga, Queen of Sheba, Queen Amina of Zazzau Kingdom, Kandake, the empress of Ethiopia, and Yaa Asantewa. To achieve this, the guide focuses on having text including each princess’s name, lifespan, legacy, and appropriate phonetic transcription. Phonetic transcription is important because the spelling of a word or name does not always tell someone how to pronounce it. The guide also includes decorative elements; the decorative elements, linking back to the culture of each African princess. Research methods include, but are not limited to: artifact analysis, content analysis, secondary research, and prototyping. The purpose of the artifact and content analyses is to aid in approaching the project systemically: systematically observing, examining, and describing the written and visual materials. Secondary research and prototyping of the project will take all information gathered from artifact and content analyses in terms of aesthetics and information gathered from mentors to create a guide of African princesses.

A Sensual Exploration of Melancholy


Rachel Blumer, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jason Tselentis, M.F.A.; Jesse Weser, M.A.; Tamara LaValla, B.F.A.; and Casey Cothran, Ph.D.

What does it mean to be melancholy? It is a distinct and personal emotion—a type of sadness and a feeling all its own. Melancholy is not something people usually seek out, but it can be a comfortable, pensive, and creative space to sit in. The beautiful thing about melancholy is how one is able to be both joyful and sorrowful at the same time. I began the project by conducting a survey about what others think sadness smells, tastes, and sounds like. I have also researched poetry and music. I explore melancholy in different mediums and creative techniques, including a melancholy package design, spatial design, a song, prints, interface design, and tattoos. Why do so many people avoid sadness and melancholy when they are sensual, visceral, and natural aspects of life? I want to express how and why I am able to find peace in this form of deep sadness. My thesis will show others that experiencing and thinking about melancholy instead of avoiding it can yield some beautiful results. My thesis is a deep dive into my own subconscious. It is an attempt to understand my own affinity for the emotion just as much as it is a creative project.

A Sports Psychology Approach to Exercise and Athletic Participation in Individuals with Physical or Mental Disabilities: A Comprehensive Review

Rachel A. McLaughlin, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Joni Boyd, Ph.D.

The purpose of this review of literature was to investigate the effects of sports and performance psychology techniques and theories when applied to athletic and non-athletic populations with physical or mental disabilities. Sports psychology is often utilized with elite athletes to serve as a competitive edge to increase their likelihood of exceling in their respective sports through improved mentality. Research is lacking within a large area of the athletic community: athletes with physical and mental disabilities. Additionally, physical activity is important for individuals with physical and mental disabilities. Implementing sports and performance psychology findings can help promote exercise and physical activity within inactive populations, as well. Doing so offers an outlet for frustrations surrounding the disease and promotes a healthy lifestyle. This review serves to investigate the research available as it pertains to the motives and stressors of athletes (more frequently elite athletes) with disabilities and the benefits that these findings and exercise in general can have on this population. The studies within this review of literature examine imagery, motivational factors, self-talk, stressors, and engagement. The results found can help to increase athletic performance, increase participation in athletic events, and promote physical activities and an increased quality of life through both physical and mental health in persons with physical and mental disabilities.

Adipose Derived Stem Cell Morphology and Gene Expression in Two-Dimensional versus Three-Dimensional Environments


Streaming video available

Caroline G. Hammond, Winthrop University

Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are a population of mesenchymal stem cells with multipotent differentiation ability. Three-dimensional cell culture environments are particularly valuable for observing stem cell behavior as they represent a more accurate model of in vivo conditions than simple two-dimensional culture. The purpose of this research was to explore the potential to use several different three-dimensional culture systems to better understand how ADSCs cultured in three-dimensions behave relative to ADSCs cultured using traditional two-dimensional cell culture. The present study hypothesized that both ADSCs both on top of and inside of collagen hydrogels and as spheroids could be cultured to better understand how the cells behave in those environments. It was also hypothesized that cell sorting could be used to obtain a rare subpopulation of ADSCs known as Muse cells. Muse cells have greater developmental potency and the ability to differentiate at a faster rate than non-Muse mesenchymal stem cells. After both two-dimensional and three-dimensional cell culture, real-time RT-PCR was used to analyze gene expression of the housekeeping gene Mrp19 and genes of interest Cxcl12 and Cxcr4. It was observed that ADSCs are amenable to spheroid culture and self-organize into toroids when cultured on top of collagen hydrogels. Several differences were also observed in Cxcl12 and Cxcr4 gene expression between two-dimensional and three-dimensional cultures and between different three-dimensional culture platforms. In addition, the present study was able to identify Muse cells within the ADSC population, which will allow comparison between the behavior of Muse and non-Muse ADSCs in three-dimensional culture in future experiments.

An Analysis of Two Perspectives of Queer Christianity

Sydney Strother, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: M. Gregory Oakes, Ph.D.

Queer theology is the process of unsettling the common effort to reduce the experience of God and Christianity into simple heteronormative categories and dismantling binary thinking about gender. Queer theology contains two main perspectives: (1) reparative, which states that queer theology is an active theology that uses the processes of queer(ing) and trans(ing) the sacred and biblical texts to disrupt cishetnormative Christianity, and (2) aboriginal, which is the recognition that the sacred and biblical texts are already queer(ed) and trans(ed) and what makes them appear cishetnormative are cultural and societal influences throughout history. Theologian P.S. Cheng explains in his book, Radical Love: Introduction to Queer Theology, that queering is an active process, that one extracts the queer translations from a text or chooses to experience God as a queer God. Theologian Austen Hartke makes the argument for the reparative perspective that the book of Genesis should be read with the removal of binary gender. To contrast, Teresa Hornsby and Ken Stone make the primary argument for the aboriginal view in their book, Bible Trouble, that queerness originates in Christianity from the chaos of creation. Additionally, Elizabeth Edman, in Queer Virtue, argues that Jesus is the queer(er) at the historical origin of Christianity. Both viewpoints on the nature of the queerness of Christianity provide insight into the topic, but the aboriginal view provides a better argument overall.

Analyzing the Regulations and Statistics for Opportunity Zones

Justin Grigg

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) was the most significant tax reform since the Tax Reform Act of 1986. TCJA ushered in tax law changes including reforms to stimulate the economy. One such TCJA reform was the enactment of tax incentives called opportunity zones. Opportunity zones were designed to encourage economic development and job creation in “distressed communities,” which are defined by the Internal Revenue Service. There are different views on the effectiveness of the opportunity zones legislation. Some believe the tax incentives are too generous, while others believe the regulations are too lax. Analyzing the success of opportunity zones is very difficult, since qualified opportunity zones, which encompass distressed communities, were not announced until April of 2018. This paper seeks to analyze existing opportunity zone regulations and statistics to explore ways for improving the regulatory guidance. More focused regulatory guidance may allow distressed communities to realize the benefits of economic development and job creation as intended, rather than just tax benefits to investors. Opportunity zones are a brilliant idea, but there needs to be more regulatory guidance to instill greater benefits for distressed communities.

Animal Agriculture and Sustainability

Ashlyn Allen, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

The topic for this paper is animal agriculture’s impact on sustainability. The rise in animal agriculture leads to a rise in climate change, deforestation, and more environmental issues that affect the human race on an everyday basis, whether we realize it or not. For example, a major issue surrounding animal agriculture is the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into our atmosphere. As these gases are emitted, we notice a rise in global temperature, leading to global warming. This in turn can lead to species dying, water temperatures rising, icebergs melting, etc. Due to a large number of animal farms, we notice a decline in sustainability, and it is about time we act on finding more sustainable and ethical ways to produce the food we need without further damaging our world. Therefore, the question is: How can we prevent animal agriculture from causing any further decline in sustainability? In order to answer this question, it is crucial to use an interdisciplinary method. The first discipline is environmental science. With a vast knowledge of the environment, sustainability, and the world as a whole, environmentalists have been able to show the direct effects of animal agriculture. Environmental scientists are the experts who study the rise in global warming and patterns of GHG emissions and study the food patterns throughout the world. The second discipline is agriculture science. This discipline gives insight on the specifics of animal agriculture. From the farming methods practiced to the harmful effects on the environment, this discipline specifies just what about animal agriculture is so harmful toward the environment. After researching, I propose that we can lower the harmful effects of animal agriculture on the environment by reducing meat consumption, practicing productivity-based farming, and utilizing appropriate minerals.

Applying Gauthier's Social Contract Theory to Libertarianism

David Truesdale, Winthrop University

While Libertarianism is often portrayed in modern American politics as a form of radical conservatism that minimizes the influence of government as radically as possible – as seen through the Tea Party – this research will contend that it need not necessarily fall under the umbrella of conservatism. The question at hand is something along the lines of the following: what is the theory of Libertarianism? To address this question, the research aims to present a brief history of Libertarianism in American politics, specifically discuss the Libertarian theories proposed by Robert Nozick and Jan Narveson, and present the new idea for how Libertarian theory ought to be specifically understood through the lens of David Gauthier’s Morals by Agreement – a contractarian philosophy that replaces Hobbes’s Leviathan and Locke’s God as enforcers of the social contract with individual reason, arguing that one chooses to engage in the social contract because it is individually beneficial. Specifically, the goal is to discuss how Gauthier’s view of the social contract may allow for a broader discussion on what Libertarianism is. Furthermore, the hope is to apply these understandings of Libertarianism to a specific issue and ask where they are in these conversations – are they not involved, not loud enough, or simply ignored?

Artificial Intelligence and the Trucking Industry: How Many Jobs Are at Stake?


Tyrrell Keim

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

As of 2018, the trucking industry in America employed over 3 million drivers and brought in almost $800 billion dollars. The industry’s labor cost is a third of this amount, with the average driver making about $22 an hour. How much of this cost could be minimized with the use of artificial intelligence in order to make the industry more profitable? Andrew Yang, an early candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Presidency, was the first political candidate in recent memory to speak of the potential pitfalls and job loss that automation could potentially bring to an industry, specifically for truckers. Could automation truly put a lot of workers in this industry out of a job? If so, when can we expect these changes to occur and at what rate? Furthermore, is it possible for these truckers to find employment in a new industry in order to keep their jobs and continue to provide for themselves and their families? This paper will discuss the potential overall impact that artificial intelligence could have on the trucking industry and its employees in the near to intermediate future.

Assistance Animals: The Legitimate and Fraudulent Working Animals of America

Mariah Houser, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

Assistance animal fraud has become a major issue in the United States within the last decade. People passing off their untrained pets as service dogs, who then go on to attack real service dogs, and illegitimate emotional support animals wreaking havoc on airplanes are all too common in modern society. Legitimate assistance animal teams, whether service or emotional support, should not be punished for the crimes of the fraudulent, however. Creating inaccessibility for the disabled is not the solution to the problem at hand. So, how can we best solve the problem of people misrepresenting their pets and abusing the system for assistance animals without harming the disabled people who rely on their legitimate assistance animals? Finding the best way to resolve the issue of people abusing the system for assistance animals is incredibly complex and will require connecting multiple disciplines in order to uncover the solution that will be the most effective and accessible. Political science is important to consider for the policy-making aspect, to consider how laws should be reimagined, erased, or created. Mass communication is crucial to spread information, so that the average citizen can be better informed on what assistance animals are, their differences, and the actual applicable laws (not the fictional ones people like to spread around). Existing state and federal laws need clarification and centralization, and emotional support animals need new regulations and requirements. The general public can be better educated on the topic using television shows and streaming services that are well versed in the different types of assistance animals; hosting fun, educational events at schools; and providing mandatory ADA training for employees.

Character Strengths across Cultures: Examining Virtue Differences in Kenyan and American Samples

Emma C. Harris, Winthrop University

Understanding the development and progression of human character strengths has a direct association with human flourishment and happiness on an individualistic scale. Research suggests that sociocultural factors are more influential to the measure of strength characteristics than biological factors. This research strives to understand any similarities or modifications made to character strengths across cultures by examining an American sample (Winthrop University) and a Kenyan sample (Strathmore University). It is hypothesized that the strength virtues of wisdom, humanity, and justice will be more prevalent in Americans, whereas strength virtues of courage, transcendence, and temperance will be more prevalent in Kenyans. This research further hypothesizes that Americans will feel more overall life satisfaction. A major implication for this research is that existing international and cross-cultural studies do not explore VIA-IS character strengths. A deeper understanding of strength behaviors will inform social efforts directed towards the optimization of characteristics with the biggest positive social influence.

Dance as a Tool for Proprioceptive Training for Children on the Autism Spectrum

Samantha Mathews, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Julianna Hane, M.F.A.

There are many questions on the topic of balance and proprioception in dance, specifically on the subject of children with sensory challenges. Children on the autism spectrum often have difficulty with their balance and proprioception. Could dance help give children the tools to develop these senses? This research paper discusses these questions and focuses on the possible benefits of dance for children who may have sensory issues. How does our sense of balance work, and does every individual’s work the same? What is proprioception? Emotional and social dance therapy is common among children on the autism spectrum, but would children benefit if there were more emphasis placed on the physical aspect of dance therapy? Research of dance and its kinesthetic impact on proprioception is used to answer these questions and give an explanation of the physical benefits dance may have for children on the autism spectrum.

Determining Pronunciation of /p/ and /r/ in Spanish 101 Students Using Spanish Tongue Twisters (Trabalenguas)

Olivia Greathouse, Winthrop University

Previous research shows that tongue-twisters can improve pronunciation in second-language learners. This experiment explores the pronunciation of /r/ and /p/ from participants in two Spanish 101 classes at a small, public, four-year university. One class participated in weekly tongue-twister practice sessions for eight weeks, where the professor read a tongue twister, the participants repeated the tongue-twister, and then practiced on their own or with a partner. The second class was used as a control group and no pronunciation practice was provided. Sound analyses were conducted post-experiment to determine if pronunciation improved when using tongue-twisters in the classroom. Additionally, a pre-experiment survey provided information on participants’ motivations in improving Spanish pronunciation, which allowed for correlations to inform researchers on the non-linguistic factors that may have aided in pronunciation improvement.

Developing a Multicomponent, Three-Dimensional Culture Model of Esophageal Cancer

Connor B. Hogan, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Stern, Ph.D.

Esophageal cancer is an uncommon form of cancer, making up just 1% of cancer diagnoses in the United States. While rare, a diagnosis of esophageal cancer carries a poor prognosis, with only 45% of patients surviving five years. One of the ways to improve cancer treatment is to improve the experimental models used to study cancer and to test different treatment strategies. Despite a recent trend toward the use of three-dimensional culture models in cancer research, few such options exist for esophageal cancer. We hypothesized that a three-dimensional, multi-component tissue model could be created utilizing commercially available advanced cell culture platforms. We initially attempted to use cell sheet technology to assemble a three-dimensional model; however, the human esophageal epithelial cells we intend to employ could not be effectively collected and transferred as cell sheets. We moved on to exploring the use of the RAFT system by Lonza, which concentrates cell-seeded collagen hydrogels in a way that facilitates constructing composite tissue models. We have succeeded in culturing multiple cell types within the RAFT system. One of the key features of our theorized model is the fluorescent labeling of each individual cell type in order to monitor the fate of different cell types within the model and facilitate the use of fluorescence-activated cell sorting to isolate and study each cell population separately. We are currently using a combination of selective culture and cell sorting to generate esophageal cancer cell lines that express a fluorescent marker protein for use in our novel model.



Margaret Feltman-Ruiz, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jason Tselentis, M.F.A.; Elizabeth Dulemba, M.F.A.; and Casey Cothran, Ph.D.

Throughout history, women had to change themselves in order to accomplish their goals. My thesis brings attention to these often forgotten or dismissed women of the past. Disguysed is a nonfiction children’s book that focuses on 12 women from history who disguised themselves as men to further their careers or lives. Each spread contains an illustration of the woman, along with a biography from the research I collected. Separate from the biographies, the book contains extra historical context to shed light on the social climates that these women experienced. The design of the illustrations isn’t masculine or feminine, in the hopes of attracting not just 8- to 12-year-old girls, but boys as well.

Effects of Brain Training on Brain Function


Jeanae Williams

Faculty Mentor: Aaron Aslakson, M.A.

Over one million Americans are diagnosed with brain diseases or disorders each year. This means brain disease is very common, and because most brain diseases are incurable, it is vital that more information on prevention is provided. Brain training is a program of regular activities that claims to maintain or improve one’s cognitive abilities. Cognitive abilities are brain-based skills required to perform various mental tasks, from the simplest to the most complex. This presentation will discuss the effects that brain training activities have on cognition and brain function.

Death Bakes Pies: An Exploration of Creative Burnout and Procrastination


Alexis Simmons

Faculty Mentor: Jason Tselentis, M.F.A., and Elizabeth Dulemba, M.F.A.

Death Bakes Piestells the story of a student from my point of view, a student who struggles with mental health and burnout. These tongue-in-cheek stories, shown as webcomics, feature myself and a supporting character named Death. The latter is an ironic analog for the emotional support systems and positive relationships necessary to stave off depression and apathy caused by burnout. As much as this thesis is about the end product, it’s also about the process. A large inspiration for this project sprouted from my struggles working on, and procrastinating on, my personal thesis project. And so, a component of the project was finding successful methods of remaining productive and rekindling the joy I originally felt in illustration. Accessibility and ease of understanding are important components, as well. My experiences are something anyone could go through and many people do go through. I want to present my work in an unpretentious, approachable manner. I want people to see parts of themselves in my experiences.

Environmental Burdens within the Fashion Industry

Ebony Anderson, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

Most people do not know what fashion waste is, nor do they know the current effect that it has on the environment. The fashion industry is one of the leading pollutants in the world. Increased production of clothing made from synthetic fibers, declining longevity, and levels of waste and greenhouse gas emissions greater than the combined effects of flights and international shipping all contribute to fashion-industry pollution. Consumers are shopping 20 times more than before, and as a result of consumer decisions, the fashion industry is forced to discard clothing much faster than before. Chemical based clothing is being discarded into landfills in less fortunate countries, where the waste is being burned by the ton. Due to the burning of clothes, chemicals from textile dyeing and synthetic fibers are released into the atmosphere, shrinking the ozone layer. The purpose of an ozone layer is to be open so that heat can be released, and cool air can enter into the atmosphere. Not only is it affecting the environment, but it is affecting the human population because we are inhaling these toxic chemicals and they are making us sick. The issue must be dealt with immediately for the sake of the entire human population and our existence here on Earth. This has led to the question: What are the best ways to reduce fashion consumption, improve sustainability, and spread awareness on fashion pollution? Although raw materials are limited resources and more costly, they are prized possessions that add tremendous value to the fashion industry. Through consumer consciousness, environmental activism, and ethical business practices the industry could lower the rate of fashion consumption and improve sustainability.

Establishing an Optimal Withdrawal Rate and Portfolio Allocation for FIRE Investors

Helena Morrow, Winthrop University

There is a relatively new movement among young investors called Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE). A significant portion of FIRE investors are in their mid- to upper thirties. While this movement of being financially independent and retiring early has become more popular, little research has been done on the sustainability of their financial assets over the course of their lives. One of the first studies to look at an optimal portfolio withdrawal rate, was done by Bengen (1994). Bengen looked at individuals who retired around age 65, and determined that if these individuals withdrew four percent of their portfolios, adjusted for inflation and appropriate asset allocation, their portfolios would last throughout retirement. More recently, a study by Finke, Pfau and Blanchett (2013) shows that the historical four-percent withdrawal rate is not optimal for today’s low interest rate environment. They determined that a more ideal rate would be closer to three percent. While both studies provided guidance on how much money someone should spend each year in retirement, they only looked at individuals who retired after age 65. So, what is a sustainable withdrawal rate for those who attain financial independence and retire at an early age? Furthermore, individuals who retire before age 65 do not have access to Medicare, which means they will have higher healthcare costs from health insurance premiums. The purpose of this study is to determine an appropriate withdrawal rate and portfolio allocation for individuals who retire in their late 30s or early 40

Examination of Fan Behavior at Youth Sporting Events

John Muller, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jinwook (Jason) Chung, Ph.D.

The purpose of this research was to observe the fan behavior at youth sporting events, focusing on what causes fans to act the way they do at these events. Survey partipants consisted of attendees at youth sporting events in the past six months, typically parents of youth athletes. The results of this research indicated that a coach showing favoritism toward a player influenced fans’ aggressive and upsetting behavior about the youth sporting event. Kids being yelled at during the game was also a significant factor. This study can help sports managers at youth events to understand the impact of a negative environment created by various factors.

Examination of Sports Fans’ Perception of African American Athletes Portrayed in the Media

Alexis Garrick, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jinwook (Jason) Chung, Ph.D.

This paper explores a possible negative perception of African American athletes through their chosen actions and/or reactions to events in which they are involved due to their specified sport. Outside of the athletes’ actions, there are other proven factors such as: salary differences, under-representation, lack of media coverage, racism, sexism, societal expectations, fewer opportunities beyond sport, and lack of support. These factors associate the perception of the female and male African American athletes together and individually. To test the hypothesis, a repeated measure ANOVA was used to distinguish characteristics of both sets of athletes that could correlate and work individually as well. Within the provided surveys of both athletes, Antonio Brown and Serena Williams, were the same in tested variables, with differences including their sport, league/association, and themselves as athletes. However, according to the findings there was no significant difference identified between pre- and post-survey results.

Examining the Evolution of Interaction between Researchers and Indigenous Populations: An Investigation of Archaeologists and the Maya


Kaitlyn Clingenpeel, Winthrop University

Interactions with Indigenous populations around the world have been, and continue to be, riddled with the remnants of colonialist and imperialist ideals. This can be especially true when considering archaeologists and the modern ancestors of the groups of people they study. There has more recently been a push for more ethical fieldwork methodologies, though they are still not the common practice for archaeological fieldwork. By using more collaborative research methodologies, it is possible to push for change and create a more mutually beneficial research environment. Through the examination of the evolution of interactions with the Maya population living in Guatemala and an investigation into more collaborative methods of archaeological research, this study will determine how to construct a more ethical fieldwork environment for all parties involved. This will provide insight into the next steps that should be taken and possible methods of implementation to remove the stigmas surrounding research and fieldwork for Indigenous communities.

Examining the Motivations of Traditional Fantasy Sport

Tiffany Stegall, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jinwook (Jason) Chung, Ph.D.

Traditional fantasy sports have generated continuous interest in sports. However, with the growing fascination and studies regarding daily fantasy sports, the current motives for playing traditional fantasy sports have become less clear. A survey was conducted to see which motives contribute the most and the least, and to examine the effects on attendance and viewership. The survey also examined demographics and fandom level. The results showed that entertainment and surveillance are the two biggest motivational factors to playing traditional fantasy sports, while money (gambling) is the smallest contributor. Results also showed that playing does not increase attendance but does create a spike in viewership. Age doesn’t greatly affect motives and most traditional fantasy sport players are avid sport fans.

Exploring the Link Between Iron Homeostasis and PhpP Activity

David Brandyburg

Faculty Mentor: Nicholas Grossoehme, Ph.D.

RitR (repressor of iron transport) is an orphan two-component signal transduction response regulator in Streptococcus pneumoniae that is central to iron homeostasis. RitR, however, lacks the amino acid (aspartic acid) that serves as the phosphate acceptor in traditional response regulators – consequently, it does not function in the same way that other response regulators do. Since its discovery, it has been shown that this protein is indeed the target of a Ser-Thr kinase-phosphatase pair, StkP and PhpP. STK has been shown to phosphorylate RitR in response to extracellular iron. This phosphorylation impacts the DNA binding ability of RitR, leading to expression of iron uptake genes. PhpP is an intercellular phosphatase that hydrolyzes the phosphate and effectively reverses the signal. This project aimed to determine whether PhpP could be metal sensitive and, if so, to test the sensitivity. This was accomplished using a standard pNPP (para-nitrophenylphosphate) assay. By utilizing this assay, we were able to determine that PhpP is indeed capable of dephosphorylating a chemical substrate and does so in an iron-dependent manner. Steps were taken to develop an assay to monitor the hydrolysis of phospho-RitR; however, optimization is still necessary.

Global Dynamics of the HIV Latent Reservoir with Latency Reversing Agents and Immune Response

Claire Berchtold, Winthrop University
Hannah Mitchum, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Kristen Abernathy, Ph.D., and Zachary Abernathy, Ph.D.

In this project, we model the dynamics of HIV-1 latently infected cells under the effects of latency reversing agents (LRAs) to promote a natural immune response. We establish the existence of immune-free and positive equilibria and then utilize Lyapunov functions to prove the global asymptotic stability of each. Numerical simulations are performed to support and illustrate these results. We conclude with a discussion on the model’s predicted threshold for LRA effectiveness to stimulate a natural immune response and decrease the size of the latent reservoir.

Historic and Geographic Patterns of Genocide

Cheyenne Altman

The topic of this interdisciplinary research is historical and geographical patterns of genocide since the 19th century. The research question for this topic is what are the historical and geographical patterns of genocide since the 19th century? The disciplines that are being used are history and geography. The reason for these two disciplines is because the historical perspective can unveil the causality of why genocides occur at the time that they do and historical context of genocides; and the geographical perspective shows the spatial relevance of two conflict groups and how other concepts of geography can help reveal why these two conflict groups have genocidal tendencies. The historical and geographical patterns of genocide can be shown and eradicated by correcting ethnical, racial, religious, and cultural tensions/differences, imperialistic and colonialist ideologies of genocide, territorial conflicts, the mindset of a group to perform genocidal actions, and ineffective international laws on genocide. Genocide is an important topic to research because since the 19th century there have been 46 genocides that have occurred, most of which were committed in the 20th century. The majority of modern history has been plagued with these atrocities that has led to the death of over 30 million people of various different cultures, racial and religious groups, and ethnicities. These death tolls from genocide are not based on the highest estimated death toll, but the lowest estimate of those who have died from genocidal actions. Genocide is a practice that needs to be studied so that it can be eradicated in the future.

How Does Dance Education Impact Student Learning?

Kensley Brandemuehl, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Julianna Hane, M.F.A.

How does dance education impact student learning? Is it simply a fun elective or an after-school activity? This question is personally relevant because this is an ever-growing career, especially in this region. Dance education is much more than that. Because it is my future career, I wanted to know how I will impact my students. In my research, I have found many studies that prove dance and other arts education affect the cognitive function of the brain and strengthen the synapses, as well. Additionally, it has been noted that schools that have added dance into their curricula have seen improvements in behavioral issues, attendance, overall student engagement, and standardized test scores.

I Met God and She’s Black: A Perspective in Womanist Theology

Kenashia Thompson, Winthrop University

Womanism, an emergent voice for African American women, is defined as a social theory based on the history and everyday experiences of black women. The term, first coined by Alice Walker, later led Katie Canon to found a new paradigm of thought for black women’s religious experiences known as Womanist Theology. In this paper, the goal is to define Womanist Theology as a religious conceptual framework that considers, yet revises, traditional practices and interpretations of the Bible to empower and liberate African American women. It will argue, by viewing historically black denominations, that Womanist Theology can be visualized as a colloquy that allows for black women to embrace a religion, a Jesus, a God, and a lifestyle that is free from oppression and suppression of white supremacy and patriarchy. Due to the problems of racism, classism, patriarchy, and sexism, this research will also argue that the Womanist biblical approach provides an adequate solution to the problems of being black, female and Christian in America.

Impact of Student Loan Debt On Low-Income Black Students


Arrion Rogers, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Anthony Hill, Ph.D.

African American students from low-income communities who are often plagued with generational poverty have limited options for paying for higher education. Student loans are often the only viable option for this population. These students are less likely to have access to external resources, which furthers their hardship. Loans are an essential tool as a means of receiving higher education. Ultimately, students are forced to choose between borrowing themselves into debt, delaying obtaining higher education, or dropping out due to the financial burden. The literature identifies the consequential effects of student loan debt on African American students On a larger scale, student loan debt hinders economic growth and obstructs future investments, including purchasing a home. Other consequences of student loan debt include impacts on credit, further debt, and loan defaults. The impact of student loan debt needs to be addressed on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels to prevent generations of African American children from falling into debt or delaying their educations. This presentation takes a multifaceted approach to addressing the impact of student loan debt on African American students from resource-limited communities.

Implementation of a Data-Driven Solution for Student Loans: Utilizing Data Mining Algorithms Approach

James Kachamila, Winthrop University

As of 2020, student loans debt hit $1.6 trillion, with private loan debt volume reaching over $125 billion. Student loans have grown to become the second largest category of household debt in the U.S. It has also become the largest financial burden in terms of debt for graduates, with nearly 44 million individuals holding outstanding student loans. The private loan industry accounts for about 8% of the market. The private sector, even with a stronger underwriting process, still has a relatively high default rate with about 1 in 10 individuals defaulting on their loans. Credit-risk assessments conducted by these private lending institutions are heavily reliant on variables such as debt-to-income ratio, credit history, FICO scores and co-signer availability. This paper explores a data mining algorithmic approach with the utilization of “untraditional” variables to determine an individual’s credit risk in regard to student loans. Using a neural network model with data from the U.S Department of Education, the aim is to extrapolate a reliable predictive model affecting student loan repayment. The goal is also to understand the business viability and business integration value of an automated credit-risk assessment tool that in theory should reduce default risk and increase efficiency by eliminating one of lending institutions’ major areas of overhead: underwriting costs.

Implicit Bias: What We Can Do to Change the Narrative

Naomi McQuiller

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

Implicit biases are unconscious prejudices that we have about other groups of people and their experiences. Bias affects how we see the world and how we interact with those around us. This research focuses on implicit bias in the Pre-K through age 8 classroom, or infant classrooms through third grade. This topic is vital to our development as a country that wants to move toward peace, healing, and the understanding of multiple perspectives. The question at hand is, knowing that bias exists, how can classrooms be modified to be more inclusive, and how can we train teachers to recognize their own personal biases. The purpose of the research is to provide methods that have been proven to help reduce implicit bias. It also will take experts and scholars from more than one discipline to come together and form a potential solution. Implicit bias is an issue that is seen across the board in multiple disciplines, including education and social work, which are the two disciplines used to construct this paper. Scholars from both fields of study have written research that supports this. Social workers and educators arguably have the most interaction with and influence on young children in our schools. After conducting extensive research, it can be said that by ridding ourselves of the “savior complex,” using anti-bias curriculum and culturally responsive instruction and activities, and constantly reviewing our own personal biases through an accountability system, implicit bias can be reduced, and eventually eliminated in the classroom setting.

Islamophobia and the Muslim Other


Alexandria von Eberstein

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

I chose to discuss attitudes toward Muslims in the United States since September 11, 2001. There are currently 3.45 million Muslims living in the United States, of which about 75% were born Muslim, and they typically face discrimination every day. The discrimination ranges, but it exists on the most extreme and the mildest levels. The FBI reported in 2017 that, of those 3.45 million Muslims in the United States, nearly 20% suffered from a religious hate crime. That is 690,000 Muslims suffering a hate crime that only occurred due to their religion and was bad enough to report to the police. To understand this phenomenon, I researched with a specific question in mind: How have attitudes toward Muslims changed in the United States since September 11, 2001, and what can we do to end discrimination against them? To do this, I used sources from historians, geographers, and sociologists. Historians helped me understand how public policies and historic relations between the U.S. and the Middle East have affected Americans’ perceptions of Muslims. Geographers helped me see where the discrimination occurs the most, and why. Sociologists helped me recognize how factors like education and mass communications affect Americans’ perceptions of Muslims. Attitudes toward Muslims have negatively changed in the United States since September 11, 2001, with increased discrimination against the Muslim population, and we can end this discrimination through more well-rounded education and protective public policy, achieved through a nation-wide social movement.

Lust, Hunger, and Class in Émile Zola’s The Belly of Paris

Margaret Davis

Faculty Mentor: Anna Igou, Ph.D.

Emile Zola’s nineteenth-century novel The Belly of Paris gives a rich commentary on the relationships between people, using food as a medium to illustrate socioeconomic values and gender dynamics. In this paper, I will closely examine how Zola breaks his characters into two groups, les maigres (the Thins) and les gras (the Fats), whose socioeconomic differences and political views are also reflected in the foods with which the author associates them. This also plays into how Les Halles, the marketplace which is also the eponymous setting of the novel, is illustrated as a belly in which the characters may be consumed in order to uphold the status quo or be expelled as revolutionaries.

Magneto as an Allegory for Golem

Spike Rubin, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jason Tselentis, M.F.A.

X-Men are well known for their entertainment value as comic books and movies; however, they can also offer commentary on different societal issues and give insight on a time period’s values. Originally, X-Men was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and in the early comic book issues, the storylines and characterizations were very straightforward and one-dimensional. Later, Chris Claremont became the writer for the series and gave the characters and plot more complexity. One such change was to the X-Men’s archenemy, Magneto, whose characterization shares various elements with Golems from Jewish folklore – monsters that are created from malleable material in order to protect their communities. This research investigates the ways Magneto and the Golem have contextual and visual similarities across X-Men movies and comic books.

Managing Mental Health in Schools

Isaiah Drayton

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Mental illness is closely associated with poverty, wars, and other humanitarian disasters, and in some cases, leads to suicide, one of the most common causes of preventable death among adolescents and young adults. Mental illness is the pandemic of the 21stcentury and will be the next major global health challenge. Adolescents’ mental health issues are on the rise due to community poverty, limited affordability and access to mental health services, and lack of family education or awareness of mental health concerns. These issues are well known hindrances in many adolescents’ lives. The goal is figure out how school districts can manage and improve the mental health services provided in their schools and communities. I will be using the disciplines of psychology and education to provide contextual information to examine what services and methods can be implemented to help manage and reduce mental health issues for children in high-poverty and urban schools. I will argue that, with the right framework, implementation of health services, and validity of results, schools will be efficient and successful as they continue managing and reducing the number of adolescents who are in need of services.

Modeling the Latent Reservoir in the Dynamics of HIV Infection with CTL Memory

Sarah Fleetwood
Josiah Bauer

Faculty Mentor: Zachary Abernathy, Ph.D., and Kristen Abernathy, Ph.D.

In this project, we model the dynamics of HIV-1 latently infected cells under the effects of a natural immune response. Our purpose in this model is to study the long-term effects of CTL memory on viral load. We establish the existence of equilibria and the global asymptotic stability of the disease-free equilibrium based on the rate that cells are latently versus actively infected. We then perform numerical simulations to illustrate the stability behavior of immune-free and internal equilibria. Furthermore, we demonstrate that anti-retroviral therapy can stimulate a memory response and reduce the viral load in the case when all equilibra exist.

Nietzsche’s Death of God and the Slave-Revolt in Morality


Ryan Haarer, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: M. Gregory Oakes, Ph.D.

None of Nietzsche’s theses stands out quite as much as his “Death of God” thesis. An argument can be made that the death of God is the result of the changes that the slave-revolt within morality bring about. Drawing on the observations that Nietzsche and scholars have made about the slaves and Christians, it is plausible that certain activities that the groups engaged in led to the unbelievability, or death, of God. The activities that will be given attention within this essay are the slave’s and Christian’s desire for progress and truth, which have negative and unintentional effects on other aspects of life, namely faith in God. The principal negative effects of progress and truth-seeking, being the death and decay of ideas and values, can be held responsible for decreasing levels of faith in God, while simultaneously being responsible for the increase of faith in science. This switching of faith, then, would be an explanation of how God’s existence has become unbelievable, ultimately resulting in what Nietzsche describes as his death.

On Prime Labelings of Berge Hypergraphs of Nonprime Graphs

Chris Chamberlin, Winthrop University

Graph labeling problems, such as the Four Color Conjecture, date back to the beginning of Graph Theory itself. Roughly forty years ago, the notion of a prime labeling of a graph was introduced: a graph on n vertices has a prime labeling if its vertices can be labeled by the numbers 1, 2, …, n, so that each edge spans a coprime pair (i.e. the labels on an edge have greatest common divisor one). A hypergraph consists of “edges” on a vertex set where the edges may contain any number of vertices. Since greatest common divisor can be generalized to more than two numbers, it is natural to consider prime labeling hypergraphs. As an entry point to this problem, we focus on a subclass of hypergraphs referred to as Berge hypergraphs. Given a graph G, the hypergraph is Berge-G if there is a matching between edges of G and edges of the hypergraph in which, in this matching, each edge is within the corresponding edge of the hypergraph. The paper gives a condition based on how “close” G is to being prime, which implies that any hypergraph which is Berge-G is prime, and finds that a handful of G for which any hypergraph which is Berge-G is prime.

Opinion Survey of South Carolina Public School District Superintendents Concerning the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunities Act and Potential Outcomes for Public School Systems

Richard Lyda, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Hye-Sung Kim, Ph.D., and Scott Huffmon, Ph.D.

In order to understand the present attitudes of South Carolina public school administrators and staff toward the proposed Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunities Act, this study directly surveyed South Carolina’s 81 district superintendents, along with a convenient sample of other staff working within the districts. The administered survey focuses primarily on the opinions of state superintendents regarding how the proposed bill may affect their districts and the overall public education system in the state. Education Freedom Scholarships were first introduced by United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, along with Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Republican Representative Bradley Byrne of Alabama in February 2019. The bill, which has 109 republican cosponsors, was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 28, 2019, and was sent to both the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Education and Labor. The proposal would create a $5 billion nonrefundable, dollar-for-dollar tax credit to encourage individual and corporate taxpayers to contribute to state-identified scholarship-granting organizations. It is hypothesized that superintendents and staff members who perceive their districts to be inadequately funded are more likely to oppose the bill, while superintendents and staff members who perceive their districts as well funded are less likely to oppose it. It is also hypothesized that, while political alignment will affect likelihood to oppose or support the proposal, perceptions about state funding to the school district will be a more reliable indicator of a respondent’s position regarding the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act.

Optimization of RNA Isolation Methodology for Gene Expression Analysis of Self-Organizing Three-Dimensional Tissue Structures

Chandler E. Burt, Winthrop University
Nathan Kidd, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Stern, Ph.D.

Three-dimensional culture systems allow for more complex cellular interactions and organization than traditional two-dimensional culture. It has been observed that cells placed on top of collagen hydrogels organize into a donut-like shape called a toroid, while cells mixed into the hydrogels do not organize into toroids. The ultimate goal of this project is to evaluate the signal transduction pathways and cellular mechanisms that are involved in toroid formation. The specific goal of the work described here was to optimize RNA isolation from cells cultured on or in collagen hydrogels – a procedure that is known to be technically challenging – and to use real-time RT-PCR to compare the expression of select genes during toroid formation. We tested and compared several different RNA isolation protocols and found that a method based on the use of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) prior to alcohol precipitation, which is more typically used in isolation of RNA from plants, proved to be the most consistently effective in our hands. These results allowed us to move onto using real-time RT-PCR to compare the expression of two specific genes, Cxcr4 and Cxcl12 in mouse adipose-derived stem cells over a 12-hour timecourse of toroid formation. Our results revealed some differences in gene expression during toroid formation. More importantly, they demonstrate the feasibility of conducting similar and/or larger-scale experiments using methods like RNA-sequencing to monitor changes in gene expression during toroid formation and to compare gene expression between different collagen hydrogel-based culture platforms.

Optimization of Smooth Muscle Cell Culture for Blood Vessel Tissue Engineering

Nicholle E. Lewis, Winthrop University

Over 1.5 million heart attacks occur annually in the United States. Vascular bypass surgery is a viable treatment option; however, grafts used in small-diameter bypass surgeries suffer from limitations. To combat those limitations, additional optimization is needed. Potential solutions include the use of tissue engineered conduits constructed using patient-specific smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs). This project tested the effects of 1) uncoated versus collagen-coated culture dishes, 2) different SMC media formulations, and 3) different mixtures of both SMC and EC media to identify optimal culture conditions for human aortic smooth muscle cells prior to and during recellularization of vascular scaffolds. The present study hypothesized that 1) collagen would enhance growth based on its abundance in the ECM, 2) both SMC media formulations tested would increase SMC growth, and 3) mixtures of SMC and EC media with more SMC media would enhance SMC proliferation. A parallel project was conducted using ECs cultured in mixtures of SMC and EC media to determine optimal conditions for simultaneous seeding. Results show that 1) collagen was not a significant enhancer of growth, 2) both types of SMC media promoted SMC growth, and 3) mixtures varied in their effect on SMC proliferation, but a 50:50 mixture showed no negative effect on SMC proliferation after 72 hours. These results indicate that SMCs grow successfully in several conditions, thus providing more leeway for simultaneous seeding of SMCs and ECs. Understanding factors needed to culture SMCs in combination with ECs provides valuable information for vascular tissue engineering.

Orthopedic Injuries in Athletes


Cameron Adams

Faculty Mentor: Aaron Aslakson, M.A.

When thinking of athletes and orthopedic injuries, we often associate these injuries with more physical sports such as football, basketball, or even soccer. What we don’t realize is that an injury of any degree can occur in any sport, regardless of the level of physicality. An orthopedic injury is any injury to the bones, muscles, or joints of the musculoskeletal system. These injuries include, but are not limited to, ACL tears, meniscus tears, broken bones, muscle tears, sprains, dislocations, or fractures, obtained during a sport. Most injuries of this nature are hard to ignore, but depending on the area and severity of the injury, some may go unnoticed or be mistaken for another issue. If not properly examined and treated, the injury could severely worsen. Orthopedic doctors and surgeons typically examine, treat, help to prevent, and provide rehabilitation services for patients with orthopedic injuries. Since their main priority is to treat and rehabilitate patients, all treatments are provided with the intent of the patient returning to normal activities of daily living or his or her respective sport profession. This presentation will discuss the specific types of orthopedic injuries that can occur, how they are obtained, what age/gender group is most likely to obtain an orthopedic injury, the sports we most see them within, and lastly how they are examined, treated, and rehabilitated.

Perceptions of Femininity and Body Image in French Culture

Sarah Golzari, Winthrop University

For decades, French fashion and beauty have been idealized by women around the world– particularly Americans– as an emblem of femininity. Countless magazine articles and books attempt to provide detailed instructions on how to achieve that seemingly effortless, feminine French look. But how much effort goes into achieving such a look? And what happens when French women don’t adhere to these strict yet unspoken cultural standards of beauty? Reconciling the gap between feminism and femininity, particularly in a culture riddled with stereotypes dictating how women should look and behave, is a daunting task. This research discusses cultural differences in the definition and expression of beauty in French and American culture. It explores influential factors in the development of culturally constructed female body image ideals, as well as differences in individuals' perceptions of body image with regard to fashion, the media, and socially perpetuated body standards in French culture.

Personalizing Religion: "New Age" Spirituality and Authenticity Online

Mattin Avalon, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Michael Sickels, Ph.D.

Traditionally, spirituality has been understood through uniform religious communities, fixed beliefs, and face-to-face worship in physical spaces. As social media sites begin to rise as a platform for both information and conversation, spiritual identity becomes an individual pursuit and virtual performance. “New age” spirituality comes to the forefront of transcendental conversation as religious practitioners are increasingly encouraged to explore, blend, and pick different beliefs to find their own unique expressions of religious and spiritual selves. This research project explores that pursuit. Three “new age” Reddit communities, oriented around spirituality and religion, are captured in this ethnographic media analysis. 600 threads of conversation were analyzed to explore the processes of identity construction within these communities, what warrants spiritual authenticity in a virtual space, and how one’s individual spiritual endeavors personalize the religious experience. The results of this project find a common thread through three different communities: an emphasis on the personal construction of sacred spaces, communication, and a spiritually powerful self. The broader implications of this project lie in the postmodern suggestions of a continuous fracturing of identity and empowerment of the individual that permeates all areas of social life—including the new and virtual.

Photoredox-Mediated Alkylation of Imines with Potassium Organotrifluoroborates in the Presence of an Organic Photocatalyst

Evan H. Thibodeaux, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: James M. Hanna Jr., Ph.D.

Recently, the use of visible light combined with a suitable photocatalyst to promote key bond-forming steps in organic synthesis has emerged as a viable strategy to achieve a number of important synthetic transformations. The photocatalyst involved is often a ruthenium or iridium polypyridyl complex, which absorbs light in the visible range to give a relatively long-lived excited state, which may engage organic substrates in a series of single-electron-transfer (SET) events. The organic radicals thus generated participate in downstream reactions leading to the final product(s). During previous research, this strategy for the alkylation of aldimines with potassium organotrifluoroborates using transition-metal photocatalysts was deployed. However, because of the much lower cost of organic photocatalysts (approximately $50/mmol for acridinium-based catalysts versus $1,000/mmol for Ir-based catalysts), it was desired to explore the use of organic photocatalysts in this transformation. Optimization studies using the reaction of potassium isopropyltrifluoroborate with benzalaniline revealed that the photocatalyst 9-mesityl-10-methylacridinium tetrafluoroborate (Mes-Acr-Me) in dichloromethane gave the best yields of alkylation product, N-(2-methyl-1-phenylpropyl)aniline. In this presentation, the results of current efforts to expand the scope of the protocol to other imines and potassium organotrifluoroborates will be described.

Pieced Together


Streaming video available

Katherine N. Karban, Winthrop University

Pieced Together is a body of artwork that focuses on pattern, quilting, and the meaning items can have to an individual. Historically, visual patterns have been important to family histories as people relate imagery with family meanings. Patterns and symbols can convey feelings, represent ideals, or represent memories. Groups of people quilt together to re-contextualize symbols of importance, visually describing physical paths, showing life-changing moments, or creating new visual stories. A piece of fabric holds significance in the lives of many: a piece of clothing gifted, a family heirloom, or the most comfortable hand-me-down outfit. This project shows particular interest in the stories that reveal the importance of an item and how people relate their own self-images to visual patterns in both the quilted patterns and the patterns of the fabrics used. This could be a realistic flower motif, for example, because a subject is attracted to nature’s comfort and sees herself as a practical person seeking factual answers. This project also uses the act of quilting as a means of building a community and as the driving concept for this body of work. Discussions with individuals result in a selection of one pattern per person. These patterns are used both in a painting of a person and in a section of a quilt, roughened through printing methods as if worn through use. The resulting quilt also represents a community of individuals. It is believed that art can have the same sense of quick and meaningful interaction as a conversation or built relationship.

Ramsey and Star-Critical Ramsey Numbers involving Generalized Fans


Streaming video available

Paul Hazelton, Winthrop University
Suzanna Thompson, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Arran Hamm, Ph.D.

Ramsey Theory, one of the most well-studied branches of Combinatorics, can be paraphrased as the pursuit of "order amongst chaos." The Fundamental Theorem of Ramsey Theory (for graphs) states that, for any two graphs G and H, any large enough red/blue edge-colored complete graph contains a red G or a blue H. The Ramsey number for G and H, then, is the smallest complete graph with this "unavoidability" property. Recently, the star-critical Ramsey number was introduced, which is a slightly sharper measure on the unavoidability property. Our work focused on the generalized fan, which is formed by taking disjoint copies of a fixed graph H and joining each to a vertex. Recently, researchers have investigated Ramsey and star-critical Ramsey numbers involving this kind of graph which motivated our work. We computed both parameters for a type of generalized fan versus a complete graph, a type of generalized fan versus disjoint triangles, and a type of generalized fan versus a complete graph on four vertices.

Return-to-Play after Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries in Baseball Players


Heidi Edwards, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Aaron Aslakson, M.A.

The purpose of this review of literature is to examine the return-to-play outcomes after ulnar collateral ligament injuries among different levels and positions of baseball players. Differing treatment plans are examined throughout this review to determine which have the greatest return-to-play ratios. Some of the treatment plans include reconstruction, repair, revision, and non-surgical intervention. Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries are among the most common injuries for baseball players in all positions, especially pitchers. It is important for healthcare providers as well as athletes to know the best treatment plans for their goals.

Satan and Ahab: Milton's Influence on Melville's Greatest Work

Cameron Davis, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Fike, Ph.D.

Herman Melville’s annotations of Paradise Lost reveal an underlying theme that Ahab shares with Satan – a tendency to tie their misfortunes to the concept of fate. Whereas John Parke and Robin Sandra Grey deal with the theme of Providence and Satan/Ahab as tragic figures, the present essay develops the theme of Providence and examines Satan’s attempt to place blame on God with Ahab’s consistent anger at the universe. Not only did Milton inspire Melville’s character, but Melville also applied Milton’s idea of predestination to Ahab’s mistaken belief that fate is the same as Providence. Many of the lines Melville comments on in his volumes of Paradise Lost are reflected in Moby Dick through major symbols connected to Captain Ahab, such as his lightning-shaped scar and its similarity to Satan’s scars from the battle in Heaven. Ahab’s journey from the loss of his leg to the sinking of the Pequod parallels Satan’s role in his own demise – by corrupting the garden, he brings about his own transformation into a snake and ultimately Christ’s mission to redeem mankind. In the end, Ahab refuses to acknowledge his own failures, and arrogance leads him to fall into the depths of the sea in much the same way as Satan falls from Heaven. Ahab’s error in judgment is to confuse fate with Providence, which suggests that Melville shares Milton’s theological beliefs and explains the allusions to Paradise Lost throughout his novel.

Seen, yet Unknown: The Growth of a Boy in The Sky is Gray


Anslie Vickery, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Leslie Bickford, Ph.D.

In The Sky is Gray, Ernest Gaines chooses to narrate from the perspective of eight-year-old James, who has little understanding of either the world he lives in or the challenges he faces because of his race. Since he is unable to profoundly grasp what he sees and hears, he often shares his love for his mother and his dreams of nice things to give to her instead of offering opinions on his experiences. Through his eyes, ears, and thoughts, we watch James learn more about his mother’s seemingly strange, prideful actions, and we observe as he develops into a young man willing to take action for her sake. To reduce his story to merely a cautionary tale of the effects of segregation would be to ignore the intricacies of his relationships with his mother, her pride, and his surrounding world, and it would further weaken the impact of James’ growth into manhood through his sensory experiences. This paper will approach the purpose of Gaines’ narrative style by focusing on James’ senses and the way he interprets what he sees, hears, and remembers. This paper also intends to draw connections between what he sees and hears his mother doing in the beginning of the story and the actions he takes to care for her in the end in an attempt to show how James has, through his sensory experiences, grown into the man his mother wants him to be.

Songs for the People: Music’s Recreation of the Black Identity in the Works of Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin

Faith Rush, Winthrop University

While many critics acknowledge the important role of music in Ralph Ellison’s and James Baldwin’s works, they do not fully consider the importance music plays in developing the protagonists’ black identities. Music has embedded itself into African American culture since enslavement. While the sound of black music has changed over the centuries, music still poses a transformative power within the community, allowing their voices to take up space in a world that seeks to suppress them. This paper argues that music, specifically in Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man and James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues,” highlights the importance of music to the development of the black identity. While the invisible man in Ellison’s novel only recognizes music’s importance in his reflection of recent events, Sonny fully places his identity in his music which is misunderstood by the narrator. The genres of jazz and blues, old folktales, and spirituals allow the protagonists in each text to define themselves in a society where assimilation is preferred. In looking at the history and development of blues and jazz within American and more specifically the black community, it will be argued that both texts merge music with psychological conflict to allow the protagonists to reveal that their transcendence of oppression begins when they recognize who they truly are.

Spanish in the Workplace


Sandra Reyes

Faculty Mentor: Jo Koster, Ph.D.

Language in America is, and has always been, as diverse as the American population. Never has one language been the sole language of America. However, it is a common belief that English is America’s official language. This misconception has caused issues throughout America, and this essay will discuss how this misconception affects Spanish speakers in the workplace. It will also discuss how implementing English-only policies in the workplace not only hurts Spanish-speaking employees, but how it hurts American business, as well. The sources that have been used throughout the essay range from The United States Business Bureau, The Department of Labor, court cases of Spanish-speaking employees suing against discrimination, Pew Research Center, various reports of the continuously growing Spanish-speaking population, to Benjamin Franklin. From this research, it can be concluded that Spanish in the workplace is necessary and essential for the growth of American business and prompts diversity in various ways. Since America is experiencing a growth in a minority that has normally been disrespected, it is normal for Americans to want to prevent changes from happening; however, this hesitation toward the changing of America is harmful and prevents the growth of America as a whole.

Student Attitudes toward Campus Mental Health Services

McCayla Partain

Faculty Mentor: Wendy Sellers, Ph.D.

The attitudes that students hold toward the mental health services on campus impact service utilization and overall student well-being. This project, which is currently awaiting IRB approval so that it can move into data collection, seeks to discover campus-wide attitudes toward campus mental health services, as well as student knowledge of the services that are available to them. Since these attitudes and knowledge of what services are available and how to receive them impact service utilization, and other research shows that college is a vulnerable time for student mental health, it is important to see how these factors combine in order to improve services and their availability to students. The goal of this study is to see how students view the services that are being offered to them and to see if they know how to access those services, so that both the services themselves and the process of accessing them can be improved to provide for the best interest of students.

Student Loan Debt: The Pursuit for a Brighter Future

Christopher Simpson

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

This research paper examines the issues surrounding the student loan debt crisis in America from an educational, economic, and political point of view. Also, the research helps gauge the impact of student loan debt at the national level. The issues of high importance surrounding student loan debt impact the lives of every American, whether they have a post-secondary education or not. Also, these issues continue to impact a large majority of college graduates further, even if they did not require student loans in order to finish college. The rising costs of tuition and fees are the most prevalent driving force behind the growing student loan debt crisis in America. Therefore, new students naturally assume more debt with each passing year. The repeating cycle of higher tuition and fees, along with more Americans than ever seeking higher education, perpetuates the issue of student loan debt further. Most all Americans seek to improve their economic influence or range through some manner of education, but the issues around student loan debt place college students in an immediate hardship upon graduation, if they graduate at all. This paper focuses on finding better solutions to the issues surrounding the American student debt crisis. Experts suggest some courses of action that students can use to improve their economic footprints surrounding student loan debt. The research seeks to provide concrete solutions to help the ever growing student loan debt crisis in America.

Student Views on and Concerns Regarding Campus Safety

Jada Givens
Jasmine Ellis, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Michael Sickels, Ph.D.

This study examines how campus safety is constructed as a part of the student experience by students at Winthrop University. At Winthrop, campus safety has been a recurring topic amongst students, so in order to learn how students actually feel about safety on Winthrop’s campus, we conducted 12 one-on-one interviews. The participants ranged in class standing (excluding freshmen) and gender. We found that both men and women at Winthrop University do contemplate safety and how they can feel safer on campus. Women are more likely to feel unsafe at night while alone and more likely to carry something with them to protect themselves. Men are likely to feel unsafe when they believe that campus police do not take them seriously; however, they fight against these feelings because the social construction of gender makes them believe that they must be strong and unafraid. We suggest improving building design, police presence, self-defense classes, and lighting in outdoor areas in order to improve campus safety.

Subverting the Patriarchy: Artistic Manipulations of the Female Trope in Weimar Germany

Martha Whiteman, Winthrop University

Gendered social anxieties prevailed during the Weimar Republic as women gained the right to vote. With the rapid departure of men from Germany at the onset of World War I, women were thrust into the public sphere to fulfill necessary labor roles. This cross-over from the domestic to the public sphere incited anxiety in the male population, who felt a loss of control and dominance in an otherwise patriarchal society. In reaction to this fear, men began to both physically and societally exert their dominance over women through the science-based process of classification. By breaking the collective idea of women down into categories, men created a distinction between their idea of a woman and all those who deviated from it. The avant-garde male artists were especially influential in German society, as they visually depicted the gendered changes around them. By depicting women as subjects of these classifications, they effectively reinforced these classifications and created concrete tropes. The four main tropes that this research will address are the Neue Frau, the Garçonne, the Prostituierte, and the Mutter. In looking closely at these classifications, this research intends to reveal the flawed misconceptions of female autonomy and sexuality by visually comparing male and female artistic renderings of women in the Weimar Republic. Through more intimate and sympathetic renderings of female subjects, women artists utilized stereotypical female classifications as a way to subvert the male-created trope, painting a more complex and authentic picture of female sexuality and autonomy in the Weimar Republic.

Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice: Connecting Students to Global Issues


Sierra T. Davis, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Wendy Sellers, Ph.D.

This pilot study will contribute to the literature surrounding study abroad using a new framework to gauge the effect travel has on knowledge of global issues. The United Nations created a list of sustainable development goals meant to rectify pressing issues in the United States and abroad. The goals have been separated into the categories of ending poverty, ensuring prosperity for all, and protection of the planet. Using them as the framework for a quantitative study, data were collected from college-level students around South Carolina on perceptions of global issues through a sustainable lens. The project has had two phases; results and implications of the recent phase will be discussed.

Switching Suitcases: Holden's Novel for the Proletariat


Beth Warnken

Faculty Mentor: Leslie Bickford, Ph.D.

J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye has a difficult structure to pin down. This paper argues that this is because Holden exists outside of society’s superstructure, and although he has familial ties to the bourgeoisie, he longs to be a part of the proletariat. He makes this novel in an attempt to participate in Louis Althusser’s concept of production theory, and to establish an alternate hegemony. Holden’s rejection of prep schools, phoniness, and all the things that are representative of the bourgeoisie solidify his longing to become a member of the proletariat, and his symbolic swapping of suitcases highlights his desire to detach from his possessions. Although society’s control is ultimately too strong for Holden to overcome in the end, it is an enlightening novel on the reality of the intense struggle between the dominant hegemony and those attempting to revolutionize an alternative one.

Teacher Wellness: Building Hope for the Future Today

Shelby Peek, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Allan Nail, Ph.D.

Given the three-year national average for classroom teaching careers, the present study will examine the problems associated with the lack of teacher wellness and propose research-based strategies to implement wellness into the teaching profession. By presenting a personal case study paired with a literature review, this study will propose several common challenges teachers face. Then, it will give a literature review of current research of teacher wellness in public schools in the United States. It will conclude by proposing research-based strategies for improving wellness as it relates to the teaching profession.

The 1871 Ku Klux Klan Trials: A Legacy of Injustice

Tiffany Owens, Winthrop University
Zaria Mcbride, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: O. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight, Ph.D.

In 1871, Columbia, South Carolina, became the arena for one of the largest trials in American history. Over 200 members of the Ku Klux Klan were brought to the courts on charges of inciting violence against African Americans. These various acts of violence were a form of resisting African Americans being free and having rights during the Reconstruction Era. White supremacist groups influenced every institution in America, from politics to education. These trials set a precedent for how African Americans would be tried in the American criminal justice system over time, and how the system has been used to keep African Americans oppressed and white Americans superior. We contend that, due to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan, Reconstruction was a failure, which resulted in the continuous failure of the American government in its duty to protect African Americans per the 14th amendment.

The American Opioid Epidemic

William Tomlin, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

America’s opioid epidemic is a complex, multifaceted issue that needs to be solved using an interdisciplinary approach. The American opioid epidemic is important because of the recent rise of deaths caused by opioids in America. The CDC states that opioids in America kill roughly 130 people every day. What are the best ways to combat the American opioid epidemic? In order to solve the opioid epidemic in America, we need to implement alternative pain management, stop overprescribing, curtail the illegal opioid market and better educate the public about the dangers of opioid use. The American opioid epidemic can be best combated by using the disciplines of education and psychology. Psychology and education are the two most qualified disciplines to solve the opioid epidemic in America because of their insights into addiction and opioid abuse. The discipline of education is most appropriate for combating the opioid epidemic because we need the public to know the dangers and risks involved when taking opioids. The discipline of psychology is most appropriate because of the insights it gives to addiction and how Americans view pain.

The Changing Face of Racism in America

Caleb Clayton, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Virginia Williams, Ph.D.

As we trudge deeper into the 21st century, racism in the United States continues to present continuous problems to our society. While the biological conception of race and genetic differences between people with lighter or darker pigmentation is a made-up fallacy, we have nurtured a social hierarchy aligning with it, creating very real consequences. Since the 19th century, people with white skin have dominated across the political and economic spectrum in the United States. Moving through time, as certain political schemes and institutions have fallen, we have somehow continued to experience this privilege of having white skin. Racism is important today in that our nation continues to present people of color with various disadvantages, even though they don’t necessarily appear how they did 250 years ago. In addressing the topic of racism in America, this research will revolve around answering this question: How has the face of racism in America changed from the late 19th century to our current society? In order to address this question, history and geography will be essential disciplines in finding results. History will allow the research to draw upon the past, examining efforts put into place to oppress minorities that have real, consequential results in our society today, along with following the evolution of our racism as a nation. Geography will allow the research to provide a spatial awareness and identity for how these people have been oppressed over time. Both are key disciplines in understanding that racism has slowly changed in our country from a mostly individually oppressive system to a system that presents an unconsciously entrenched face of racism over the past 250 years.

The Efficacy and Convenience of Different Means for Improving Blood Pressure


Zain Anderson

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

As of 2016, hypertension affects 33.2% of adults over 20 years old. Many people know that lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity through exercise, can improve their blood pressure. Sadly, more than 80% of adults do not meet the recommended guidelines for weekly aerobic and resistance training activities. People who do not already exercise might struggle with adherence to new, regimented programs, or they might find gyms to be intimidating, unfamiliar places. There is a need to inform this population of how they can improve their blood pressure most effectively without compromising other aspects of their lives. There are many forms of physical activity that can meaningfully improve blood pressure, including the use of hand grippers, aquatic training, and other more traditional forms of aerobic and resistance exercise. There are also passive means of improving blood pressure that do not require the use of pharmaceutical intervention, which can negatively impact an individual’s quality of life. This paper evaluates the efficacy and convenience of different means for improving blood pressure for a general population that does not regularly exercise, with the goal of providing approachable recommendations to get more people physically active while combatting hypertension.

The Female Slave Experience


Christopher Adams, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Leslie Bickford, Ph.D.

In this paper, I evaluate slavery from the perspective of female slaves to show how their experience may have been more difficult than that of male slaves. Although most slave narratives have come from the male slave’s point of view or from a male author, there may be evidence that the female point of view may be of more importance. To argue this, I use Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and Clotel by William Wells Brown to show that the slave experience for females was more difficult than the slave experience for males due to the way that they were oppressed. I believe the authors of these two works illustrate this oppression from a fictional and autobiographical view to show how being sexually harassed can affect an individual’s psyche, where the fascination with the female slave body comes from, along with how female slaves had to deal with the consequences of resentment from their masters’ wives or mistresses. Working from the research of Katie Frye, Seda Peksen, and Ann Taves, I also delve into the psychology in terms of why female slaves had certain feelings and why the mistresses of slave owners had such animosity against female slaves. This evaluation will help scholars and students alike understand that female slaves endured things that male slaves could not even comprehend happening to them.

The Impact of Mainstream Media on Public Opinion and Policy Decisions: Coverage of the Israeli—Palestinian Conflict

Aisha Muhammad

The focus of this research will be on media influence, specifically regarding coverage of events surrounding the Israeli—Palestinian conflict. This thesis examines the influences of mainstream media regarding this issue in the United States, and briefly compares it to mainstream media influence in the United Kingdom. It explores the impact that the frequency of the coverage has on viewers, the general public, and, eventually, policy decisions. This thesis also scrutinizes and measures the kind of language and words used by popular television news channels concerning the conflict. Misinformation, misrepresentation, and sensationalism are common factors of mainstream media. This thesis analyzes how and why news channels cover stories differently and the impact or lack of impact it has on viewers. The Israeli—Palestinian conflict has been a popular issue in the news since the mid-1900s, but this thesis focuses on more recent coverage over the last 15 years of the conflict. This thesis will then study how the rate and type of coverage have impacted public opinion and support or opposition to government decisions regarding Israel and Palestine.

The Literal Interpretation of Genesis Reevaluated

Kathryn Priddy, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: M. Gregory Oakes, Ph.D.

Whether the theory of evolution can be accepted alongside the belief of an inerrant Bible has been a point of contention in the public sphere for nearly a century. While it might be common for some Christians to assume a literal interpretation of the Bible in terms of morality, spirituality, history, and science, this was not always the case throughout history. The principles of non-literal interpretation are held by both ancient and modern writers. Furthermore, Christians have always held that it is important to believe in truth, whether it is natural or not, so if evolution is true, it is better for the Christian to believe in evolution rather than any other theory.

The Man Who Cried Whale

Bailey Babb

Faculty Mentor: Kelly Richardson, Ph.D.

Captain Ahab from Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick is an enigmatic character. Perhaps even more enigmatic are the “forces” surrounding his obsession with the Whale. Is Ahab a pawn of fate? Is he a victim to God’s wrath? Is the Whale the embodiment of evil, a supernatural force that curses Ahab? Or is it Ahab’s “monomania,” his madness, that drives him to pursue Moby Dick? If any of these are true, Ahab is not completely at fault for the deaths of the crewmen of the Pequod and instead is a victim to forces beyond his control. This essay seeks to prove that Ahab is in control of Ahab and that he is solely to blame for the tragic ending of his men, his ship, and himself. Each claim to innocence (fate, God, prophecy, curse, the Whale’s supernatural ability, and madness) is called into question. Using the text as well as scholarly research, each of these is vindicated as being the puppeteer behind Ahab’s drive to hunt and kill the Whale. Instead, Ahab is left exposed to the reality that it is his actions and his arrogance that lead to destruction, and that each of these “forces” are truly only shields, used to deflect the full extent of the blame.

The New Kid on the Block: How the Dominican Republic Intimidated Lyndon B. Johnson into His Biggest Mistake

Tiffany Owens, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Gregory S. Crider, Ph.D.

In 1965, just two years into Johnson’s presidency, the Dominican Republican government led by Juan Bosch found itself in a civil war with the Dominican Revolutionary Party. Johnson’s decision to send American troops to the Dominican Republic is one of his most regretful choices of his presidency, but he indicated on record that he would do it again if he had to. This paper contends that Johnson had personal and economic motives for intervening in the Dominican Republic but used the guise of protecting the United States and the West from communism. It also argues that Johnson was intimidated by the small island country just as he was by Cuba, and that he feared that the rest of Latin America was beginning to contend in the world power arena. The paper then analyzes voice memos and transcripts from the National Security Archives and the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, along with telephone conversations between President Johnson, the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and the U.S. Ambassador in the Dominican Republic. These voice memos and phone conversations provide insight into Johnson’s motives. The use of official memoranda between Johnson and his administration pertaining to activity in the Dominican Republic is deployed to compare the confidence of Johnson on paper compared to reality.

The Potential Impact of Background Music on Creative Thinking in the General Elementary Classroom

AnnaMarie Wilde, Winthrop University

Music has been known to enhance cognitive abilities in the classroom and this study is investigating to see whether there is a similar connection between music and creative thinking in the classroom. Creative thinking is like creativity, which is defined as the ability to produce something that is both useful and novel. Creativity is not just about the arts; it is also a large part of critical thinking and problem solving. This study looks at two elementary school classrooms where approximately 45 students complete a creative thinking activity, based on portions of the Torrance Test for Creative Thinking (TTCT). The students will spend ten minutes drawing one picture which will be directly followed by ten additional minutes spent drawing ten different pictures. One classroom will be playing calm, non-lyrical background music, while the other classroom will be playing no music. After the test is over, the students will be given a short survey to see how they feel about music playing or no music playing and whether it impacted their ability to creatively think on the activity. The activity will be scored based on the originality and elaboration of the drawings, two key components to creativity. The hope for this study is to highlight whether background music is helpful while producing creative thinking in the everyday activities in the general elementary school classroom.

The Representation of Female African American College Students on Television: A Content Analysis of A Different World and Grownish

Monejah Black, Winthrop University

This research examines the portrayal and representation of the African American female college experience on television sitcoms. A content analysis was conducted on two situational comedy television shows, A Different World and Grownish, coding the comparative aspects of each show to include: the depiction of the female lead, the predominant theme of each episode, resolution of conflict, perceived realism, and overall tone. The study suggests that though Grownish addresses diverse issues faced by millennial students, the portrayal of these issues dilutes the overall message, while A Different World succinctly illustrates the problems students face. Results and implications will be discussed.

The Rise in Hostility toward Mexican Immigrants

Taylor Jordan, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

Within the last two decades, Mexican immigration has become a popular political topic within the United States. This new spotlight on Mexican immigration makes this topic critically important to discuss and eventually solve. In the last twenty years, U.S. citizens have blamed Mexican immigrants for bringing drugs or other contraband into the United States, while other Americans have praised the newly available labor force. Citizens throughout the United States are torn on their opinions on immigrants, especially recent Mexican immigrants. These opinions have become louder and more hostile than friendly within the last four years as our current President, Donald Trump, has encouraged hostility. The research question at hand is: In what ways has the growing United States hostility toward Mexican immigrants affected immigrant opportunities in the United States since 2000? To solve this question, the two disciplines of history and political science need to be used. This paper will argue that Mexican immigrants should have the right to education beyond K-12 education; citizenship requirements and applications should be reevaluated so that all immigrants have an equal opportunity to be eligible; border control should have a better system that keeps this branch accountable to stop the rise of violence, family separation, and sexual assault at the border; the U.S. should reevaluate state and national laws and policies that target specific groups of people; and the U.S. should reevaluate the perception media and government officials put out against Mexican immigrants to amend the racial tensions it causes.

the space in which we exist

Samantha Ross, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Claudia O'Steen, M.F.A.

"If you were to die today, what items would make you up as a person?" This question was asked of twenty different individuals in order to dive deeply into how people think, feel, and perceive the world that we live in. After selecting their items, participants were told to put the pieces into provided mason jars. They then were asked to explain who they were in their own writing. These written statements could involve their objects, stories about themselves, jokes—anything they could think of. I allowed their replies to be flexible and open. After receiving the jars and statements, I considered my own relationships with the participants by creating word association lists. These words were turned into sketches of simple objects that represented each of the individuals. One sketch for each person was chosen and turned into a soft sculpture. When displayed, the soft sculptures are placed in an environment that mimics a living room to give the viewers a safe and warm place to connect with the work. This placement coincides with the photographs on the walls so the viewers can hold the soft sculptures and see the photos simultaneously. This is a documentary project based on people, their perspectives of themselves, and of the way that I, as an artist, see them. The metamorphosis of these ideas leads to how we as humans change and grow due to our relationships and connections with others.

The Western Impact on Human Trafficking

Madison Ervin

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

This research paper will address the global issue of human trafficking and the factors that have contributed to its continuation across time and space. Human trafficking is an important global issue, because, despite its illegality in every nation, it is estimated that about 40.3 million people are victims of modern-day slavery around the world. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also stated that human trafficking is the third largest criminal activity globally. This infringement upon human rights has severely and negatively impacted millions of vulnerable people who suffer from various forms of inequality. This paper will focus on the question: How have Westernized perceptions toward inequality spurred the continuation of human trafficking across the globe? The disciplines that will be utilized to frame this issue are history and geography. Historians analyze events from the past and attempt to demonstrate the ways in which the past can be relevant and useful in today’s world. Geographers, however, focus on global patterns and the implications that those patterns have on both humans and their environment. These disciplines allow insight into the issue of human trafficking by analyzing how it has continued across time and space. More specifically, these disciplines help scholars to understand how Western perceptions of inequality and victimhood have impacted policy and rescue efforts across the globe. The thesis of this paper states: Human trafficking is a global phenomenon that has persisted across space and time due to Westernized perceptions toward inequality that have influenced policies and response efforts.

Theorizing Masculinity in a Post-Patriarchal Society

Richard Lyda, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: M. Gregory Oakes, Ph.D.

This essay explores the ideas of gender construction, performance, and subversion, with special attention to masculinity and its relation to patriarchy. Specifically, this essay addresses the question of whether masculine gender identities could continue to be constructed in a post patriarchal world. By engaging with Simone de Beauvoir’s response to biological determinism, I will explain why biology alone is not a sufficient explanation for masculine identity and its association with male bodies. By exploring drag and Judith Butler’s performative theory of gender, I will explain the causal relation that exists between discourse, an idea forwarded by Michel Foucault, and gender construction, and also potential means of subversion of such a discourse. Together, these ideas will demonstrate how, absent patriarchy, new ideas of gender and its social significance will emerge. Though I am not able to predict the exact details of a post-patriarchal world and give a definitive answer to the above-posed question, I can say that, absent patriarchy, gender identities and their construction would be nearly unrecognizable compared to their current schema.

Tracking Trauma: An Analysis of Sula

Lyric E. Knuckles, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Leslie Bickford, Ph.D.

This paper analyzes how racism constructs the characters in Toni Morrison’s Sula and how discrimination can lead to corrupt traits. Through a New Historical lens and a tracing of family history within the text, it becomes clear that the characters are shaped by discriminatory policies such as segregation. In this paper, I trace the characters’ lineage to assess how racism infiltrates generation after generation. Although critics such as Ali Salami and Naeem Nedaee argue that the characters are free from their context, my paper demonstrates how trauma functions as an heirloom by creating negative traits, and in turn also causing the traits to affect each descending family member. In conclusion, by analyzing the history of the Black community in America, more recent causes of discriminatory incidents become connected through the context. Viewing Sula through this point of view, I demonstrate how it is impossible to view the characters as solely corrupt individuals. Their circumstances, created by an arbitrary concept such as racism, cannot define them alone. Through these means, Sula herself becomes a victim rather than the perpetrator.

Transitioning Theme in Chbosky’s Adaptation of The Perks of Being A Wallflower


Haleigh Altman

Faculty Mentor: Siobhan Brownson, Ph.D.

In his 1999 coming of age novel The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky tells the exciting yet heartfelt story of Charlie’s first year of high school following the sudden suicide of his best friend, Michael, and his own continued trauma from his aunt’s molestation of him as a young boy, as well as her subsequent death. The 2012 film adaptation, directed by author Chbosky, neglects to give screen time and voice to Charlie’s mental health struggles and trauma, even though he does open up the narrative to include more of his best friends’ (Sam’s and Patrick’s) issues with belongingness and interpersonal conflict, ultimately creating a more PG-13 friendly version of Charlie’s story. While both the novel and the film resonated with those partial to the young adult genre, the film adaptation allows Charlie and the audience alike to dissociate from his ever looming trauma in favor of explorations of identity and what it means to fight for themselves and for each other. While this trauma is something no child should have to bear, it is important for entertainment media to give visibility to familial trauma and how adolescents can face that trauma while entering adulthood.

Treating and Preventing Childhood-Onset Mental Health Disorders


Katya Engalichev, Winthrop University

As the prevalence of mental health disorders in children rises, the need for integrated support systems and evidence-based practice increases, as well. Psychologists and psychiatrists recognize that childhood is the smartest and most effective time for intervention. Preventing severe and long-lasting mental health symptoms from developing also helps prevent crime, loss of productivity, substance abuse, family instability, and dependence on social services. One in five children in schools has a diagnosable mental health disorder, but about 70 percent of those children don’t ever receive the services they need. So how can parents, educators, and healthcare providers work together to both treat and prevent childhood-onset mental health disorders? The present research combines theories, practices, and other research from the fields of education and psychology to address childhood-onset mental health disorders. Psychology, as a discipline, views early diagnosis and immediate treatment of psychological symptoms as essential to recovery and positive health outcomes, but children often experience limited access to mental health services. Educators tend to focus more on the policy side of this issue, advocating for certified health education programs in every school, nationwide mental health awareness initiatives, and expanded school-based mental health services. This issue can be solved through interdisciplinary collaboration between the fields of education and psychology, both of which provide valuable perspectives. Such a collaboration should focus on implementing school-based mental health resources in both primary and secondary schools, expanding the psychiatric workforce, promoting health educator certification, and advocating for public funding.

Understanding Insurgencies and Democracy in Hong Kong

Ann Carroll, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

Since the turnover from British colonialism in Hong Kong to Chinese colonialism in 1997, Hong Kongers continue to lack personal influence over what rules govern their region. Deemed a special administrative region, Hong Kong’s government operates directly under China through the “One Country, Two Systems” rule. Thus, under Beijing’s ruling, Hong Kong and China are the same country, but China operates as a communist country and Hong Kong operates as a hybrid regime. Under British colonialism, citizens of Hong Kong began protesting for more political and economic freedom through political insurgencies that flourished under Chinese rule. Despite these protests, Beijing’s firm grasp on Hong Kong’s governmental system remains inflexible to change. This article empirically shows the historical precedents that led to the Umbrella Movement by analyzing the work of historians, political scientists, and journalists. This combination of disciplines yields the best results to address why democracy has not been implemented in Hong Kong and why hope for a democratic Hong Kong remains dismal. The research question is: Why have political insurgencies not brought democracy to Hong Kong? Through an examination of the majority student-led protests, Beijing’s dismissal of democracy, the use of media, insurgencies in Taiwan and the Special Administrative Region of Macau, and the future of Hong Kong; democracy will remain a foreign concept. As a result of Hong Kong’s long history of colonialism under Britain and China, citizens of Hong Kong continue to fight more for an independent political and economic system instead of a democratic society.

Unhinged: Anthology


Elizabeth Shepard, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jason Tselentis, M.F.A., and Elizabeth Dulemba, M.F.A.

Unhinged explores women in mythology and religion that are perceived as “evil,” but in my telling, are reincarnated as modern, everyday female leads. The theme of Unhinged: Anthology is how women fight oppressive forces, not shying away from female identity and power. I’ve adapted my stories from myths and folklore from other cultures. The first three stories in Unhinged: Anthology are: “The Huldra“ (Norse), “The Rangda” (Balinese) and “The Maenad” (Greek). I’ve written these stories in the form of scripts, approved by my committee members. Because traditional black-and-white high contrast adds to the horror aesthetic, the medium for the pages is ink. Unhinged: Anthology will be published into a graphic novel, with one version digital and the other printed. Readers of Unhinged: Anthology will better understand the idea of women embracing their unfortunate fate, coping with cosmic horrors, and finding a sense of freedom with their instincts and dark desires. Like the horror films of today starring women, Hereditary, The VVitch, Us, and Midsommar, readers will enjoy Unhinged.

United States Assimilation

Victoria Everest, Winthrop University

Almost all citizens of the United States, at one point in their ancestry, were immigrants. Immigrants looking to become citizens of the United States strive to become a part of America’s society. This process is called assimilation. The process of assimilation has looked different for different groups of immigrants throughout American history. The difference between the Irish and Mexican assimilation experiences is interesting and complex. You must consider many factors in order to answer the question: What are the most important factors that determine how fast an immigrant group assimilates into American culture? One discipline is not enough to fully understand the processes. Historians will look at the historical context of each group’s immigration story. Geographers look at when certain people moved and where they moved. They also look at when individuals move out of ethnic neighborhoods and into more white areas in the United States. Sociologists look at the relationships formed, both with individuals from the same group and with individuals from different groups. A combination of the three disciplines uncovers five main issues. These issues are the location of immigrants over time, relationships between immigrants and Americans, the changing immigration laws and policies, the question of race, and how their culture intertwined in the culture of the United States. The most important factors that determine how fast an immigrant population assimilates into American culture are race, United States laws and policies, and relationships formed in the United States.

Vern Multilingual Font System


Nathan Zawadzki, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jason Tselentis, M.F.A.; Jesse Weser, M.A.; Valerie Jepson, Ph.D.; Kelsey Elder, M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design; and Kurt Goblirsch, Ph.D., University of South Carolina

Vern is designed in Latin, Cyrillic, and Hebrew for a total of roughly 160 characters or glyphs in this writing system. Based on the research of these systems, a reverse contrast style fits Cyrillic and Hebrew, while normal contrast has more difficulty in adjusting to them. This slab serif, reverse contrast style keeps the look of a traditional serif font in Latin. Vern’s unified design across multiple languages works in media such as book text or large-scale signage.

Vindication? Grounds for the CIA’s Intervention of Guatemala, 1952—1954

Bowman H. Taylor, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Gregory S. Crider, Ph.D.

The United States government’s motivation and reasoning for the Central Intelligence Agency’s coup of Guatemalan President Arbenz’s regime in 1954 was anything but precise. Through analysis of an evidentiary base that includes declassified documents, memoranda, interviews, and letters from the CIA, National Security Archives, and the Guatemalan government, these proponents of the CIA’s operation in Guatemala have been uncovered. The CIA declared that Arbenz and the Guatemalan government were under Soviet-Communist influence, and that immediate action was necessary to stop the spread of communism in Guatemala for national security reasons. The evidence behind this claim is nearly non-existent, and there is a significant amount of documentation that refutes it. The “why” behind the CIA’s coup, otherwise known as operation PBSUCCESS, does not coincide with the evidence of the Guatemalan events or people that the CIA utilized to provide justification for their actions. U.S. intervention in Guatemala in 1954 served as an example of America abusing its sovereignty over the Western Hemisphere in order to fulfill its own agenda throughout the Cold War.

Well One Time At Camp…: A Visual Exploration into Storytelling at Summer Camp


Streaming video available

Margaret L. Claytor, Winthrop University

Well One Time At Camp… is a body of mixed media paintings exploring the history of storytelling and memory through the scope of summer camp. Subjects from Camp Seneca Lake, ranging from the ages of 8 to 58, were interviewed to recall their most memorable moments while at camp. The stories were recorded and used as narrative inspiration for the body of work. The larger mixed media paintings incorporate found objects to examine the effects left by the memory and were inspired by Robert Rauschenberg’s combine-paintings. The smaller works are inspired by plaques that line the walls of the dining hall at Camp Seneca Lake. The process of creation played with the specificity and generality of storytelling. Depending on the point of view, details and moments from the narrative can be altered or forgotten. This essay focused on the perspective and timeline of each narrative to determine how specific or general the representation of the setting could be. The abstraction, color, and materiality of each piece reflected the descriptors and word choice used in each interview. An 8-year-old’s story including distinct childlike word choice led to a more youthful and simple color palette. Lengthier memories that were told with more maturity required thoughtful consideration to details and abstracted laying of moments. The abstraction of the narratives and lack of text hinders how easily the audience can understand the narrative, but allows the audience the opportunity to add their own interpretations to continue the evolution of the story.

“What’s Yours Is Mine If I Pull Hard Enough”: Neo-Colonialism in Africa By China

Sauliha Mitchell, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Christopher Van Aller, Ph.D., and Adolphus Belk, Ph.D.

This research looks at whether China is engaged in neo-colonialism in Africa. China seems to be attempting to take advantage of a power vacuum created by the withdrawal of western powers inside of Africa. This is not something that has occurred out of nowhere. China has constantly engaged in activities over the years that reveal a pattern of exploitation rather than mutually beneficial economic development.

Wild Apparel: A Sustainable Clothing Line


Jogvan Andreas A. Jacobsen, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jason Tselentis, M.F.A.; Elizabeth Dulemba, M.F.A.; Jamey Boiter, B.F.A., Bolt Group; and Jake Nickell

The fashion industry has increasingly contributed to environmental waste through production and distrubution of crops, fibers, and garments that are dumped every day, polluting our water, soil, and air. My sustainable clothing line does the opposite, with clothes and packages built from recycled materials. With Wild Apparel, I will create casual streetware clothes with a subconcsious focus on being sustainable, contributing to bettering our earth, although not in a protesting or reprimanding way. The clothes are made from recycled plastic, driven by solar powered machines and fair wages to the employees. Wild Apparel will be working with organizations around the world that help cleaining plastic waste, by taking in some of the waste as a resource to our clothes. A percentage of the profit made from clothes created from a given organization will go right back to the organization, in an attempt to close the loop of the sustainability circle. In recent days, fast fashion – inexpensive and rapidly produced clothes – has taken over and is polluting the Earth more than ever. These clothes are made specifically for people to buy cheaply and replace within a year or two, only contributing to generating more waste. My brand stands out as a role model for slow fashion that highlights durability and style, while simultaneously battling fast fashion.

Women's Labor Force Participation and Occupational Prestige in the United States: 1968 – 2018

Katelyn Watford, Winthrop University

This research centers on the evolution of U.S. women’s labor force participation and the prestige of their occupations from 1968 to 2018. Occupational prestige qualifies the social standing of each occupation in the labor force. Previous literature recognizes that women’s labor force participation has significantly increased since the late 1960s due to cultural and historical changes, such as the Civil Rights Movement and the prevalence of war in the United States. However, few sources in the literature focus on the prestige of the occupations that women held, which raises the question of how the occupational prestige of women’s employment has changed since 1968. Based on the literature, it is expected to find that white women are more likely than non-white women to increase their participation in higher prestige occupations, that married women are more likely to participate than single women, and that the presence of children under the age of six hinders the participation of women in higher prestige occupations. This paper uses Annual Social and Economic Supplement data and prestige scales to analyze changes in the relative importance of occupations that women have held over time. Results indicate that, during the period covered in this analysis, women’s participation in the labor force and their position in the occupational structure have improved substantially, and that these trends are partially explained by their investment in education. However, the rearing of children and household maintenance activities still slow the development of their potential.

Young Adults’ Perceptions of a Mid- and Post-Transition Transgender Woman

Ashley Underwood, Winthrop University
Marcus Julien Foster, Winthrop University
Emma Kitchens, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

This study investigated whether transgender alignment processes impact perceptions of the transgender individual. It is hypothesized that a transgender individual would be perceived more positively after transitioning to the new identity than in the midst of transitioning. Participants were 83 adults with a mean age of 20.90 (SD = 2.56). There was a diverse sample; however, the majority were cisgender women (58%), Caucasians (49%), and heterosexuals (66%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: 1) a picture of a mid-transition transgender woman labeled as a “transgender woman”; 2) a picture of the same woman post-transition labeled as a “transgender woman”; 3) the same picture of the post-transition woman labeled as a “woman.” Participants provided their opinions regarding the woman and then responded to scales to assess their attitudes toward transgender individuals, self-esteem, and political views. Young adults reported more interest about the mid-transition transgender woman, but also perceived her as less attractive and felt uncomfortable evaluating her. Interestingly, even seeing the mid-transition picture elicited more negative attitudes toward transgender individuals than viewing the post-transition woman. In other words, adults were more positive when the pictures more closely matched a single gender identity. Personal experience with transgender individuals related to more positive attitudes. Democrats, who tend to be supportive of LGBTQ+ rights, were more supportive of transgender individuals than Republicans. Women and those with lower self-esteem also reported more positive attitudes toward transgender individuals, possibly because these two groups have empathy toward those who are marginalized at times by society.

Poster Number: 056

The Impacts of Racial Integration and Free and Reduced Lunch Programs on Education Quality in Rock Hill

Shannon Barber, Winthrop University
Daniel Brown, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Hye-Sung Kim, Ph.D., and Stephen Smith, Ph.D.

There has historically been a strong correlation between race, socioeconomic status, and the quality of education students receive at any given school. Focusing on Rock Hill School District data, I examine whether deliberate balancing of racial and socioeconomic disparities leads to more equality in educational quality. In addition, I also examine the policy impact of Free/Reduced Lunch on educational quality. I use a panel of data that includes all of Rock Hill School District Three and three middle schools for the period between 2007 and 2019. This timeframe includes both a period when the schools were much more heavily segregated by class and race and a period following an integration. As a dependent variable I use measures of education quality, such as teacher/pupil ratio. My independent variables are free/reduced lunch eligibility and racial composition of schools, such as the proportion of African American students. My hypothesis is that the quality of education was much poorer in schools with higher proportions of socioeconomically disadvantaged racial minorities, while Free/Reduced Lunch policy contributed to an increase in educational quality. To account for the issue of endogeneity due to unobserved omitted variables, I use fixed effects (FE) estimation.

Poster Number: 070

How Party Affiliation Affects Perceptions toward Undocumented Immigrants: A Research Survey of University Students

Catalina Harmon, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Hye-Sung Kim, Ph.D., and Scott Huffmon, Ph.D.

Today’s political climate is extremely polarized in several issues, including the topic of immigration. Democrats and Republicans, for example, show very different views on immigration policies, overall, as well as ones toward undocumented immigrants. In this study, using a “within-variation” experiment, the first action is to measure the extent to which people’s support for immigration is affected by various characteristics of immigrants, such as immigrants’ country of origin, age, legal status, education level, reason for coming to the United States, and risk of life in the country of origin. Then, using conditional analyses, this study will also explore how support for undocumented immigrants varies by partisan affiliations of respondents for the given characteristics of immigrants. For the country of origin characteristics, immigrants’ country of origin varies among five countries, Mexico, China, Iran, Philippines, Germany and Nigeria. The data will be collected via an online survey with a target population of students (ages 18-24) from Winthrop University and the Citadel, using a convenient sampling. It is expected that, in both university samples, party affiliation will have a significant impact on respondents’ support for undocumented immigrants, with less polarization than among general population samples. It is also expected that support for undocumented immigrants from Mexico will be less than support for those from other countries, particularly from Germany, but only among the respondents who identify themselves as republican.

Poster Number: 093

Examining the Impact of New Rule Changes on the Perception of Major League Baseball amongst Casual and Diehard Fans

David Winston, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jinwook (Jason) Chung, Ph.D.

Over the past few years, Major League Baseball has taken steps to fix the problems that are plaguing the game, including the slow pace of play and the inconsistency or inaccuracy of officials’ calls. Major League Baseball has introduced rules that are common in other sports, like instant replay challenges, but they have also introduced the idea of new radical rule changes that may cause certain sets of fans to become upset. This study examined the impact of new rule changes in Major League Baseball and how these rules have impacted the way fans have viewed Major League Baseball. In this study, fans were asked several questions about the new rule changes that could be introduced in the game and what they thought about these rules. The rules that they were asked about included the pitch clock, instant replay challenges, the use of a robot umpire, letting players steal first and putting a runner on second in extra innings. The conclusion of this research indicated that there were no significant findings. This showed that different types of fans would not view Major League Baseball differently even if all of these rule changes were implemented.

Poster Number: 094

Examining Travel Motives of College Football Away Games

Justin Rhode, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jinwook (Jason) Chung, Ph.D.

College football requires attendees to dedicate their free time to be in attendance. For college football away games, attendees have to dedicate more free time than for home games due to traveling. External and internal motives both play a key part in whether spectators decide to travel to a college football away game. The lack of research provided on spectator motivation to travel to away games drove this research idea. With decreased attendance becoming an issue in college football, this study can provide useful information to various athletic departments. Data were analyzed using quantitative analysis. 176 participants participated in this research. Results showed that factors related to expense were the most important ones considered by college football fans. Therefore, college athletics needs to understand the fans’ willingness to spend more monetarily on traveling to away games.

Poster Number: 096

Problems with the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement in Comparison with NBA and MLB Collective Bargaining Agreements

Morris Buckery, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Jinwook (Jason) Chung, Ph.D.

The purpose of this research was to investigate the plague of three major league sports groups (e.g., NFL, NBA, MLB) and possibly find solutions to create better collective bargaining agreements. Research questions included “Are there problems with the lack of guaranteed contracts in the NFL?” and “How can the revenue split between NFL players and owners be changed, so that players can make more money?” These were major problems in the NFL that the NBA and MLB have been successful at combating. Therefore, investigating and benchmarking the NBA and MLB enabled examination of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement. The analysis conducted was to compare what these leagues are doing now and what the NFL could do to fix these problems, which could help reduce the plagues that impact the growth of the league and its fan base.

Poster Number: 113

Seven-Step Linear Synthesis of Racemic Nicotine Highlighting the Grubbs’ Ring-Closing Metathesis

Ellie Burns, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Aaron Hartel, Ph.D.

Nicotine is a common alkaloid that is predominantly found in tobacco plants and other members of the Solanaceae family. It is a pharmacologically important molecule due to its known stimulant properties and the potential medicinal benefits of its analogues. Nicotine analogues have previously been identified as having the capability to alleviate symptoms of diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Racemic nicotine has been produced via a seven-step linear synthesis appropriate for an advanced level academic synthesis lab. The synthesis produced an overall yield of 1.02% and features a Grubbs’ Ring-Closing Metathesis (RCM) reaction in Step 5 for the formation of the pyrrolidine ring.