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Friday, April 24th

Poster Number: 001

The Impacts of Financial Compensation of Student-Athletes in NCAA Division I Men's Basketball on the Labor Market


Gabriel Boscardin Dias, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

The purpose of this study is to identify the impacts that financial compensation of men’s basketball student-athletes in the NCAA Division I will have on the market of collegiate athletics. As the NCAA is facing issues involving governmental pressure to allow student-athletes to receive monetary compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses (NLI), the consequences will inevitably impact the entire sports industry. The main pressure the Association is facing now involves the compensation of men’s basketball student-athletes, as they are part of the sport that brings the largest amount of revenue via sponsors and television contracts. This study is seeking to predict how the changes in the intercollegiate athletic model currently under consideration will affect student-athletes, the professional and amateur competitiveness of basketball, and the sports industry. The study will be based on data collected by trustworthy basketball entities, including the NCAA, NBA, and FIBA, as well as official statements announced by the Association.

Poster Number: 002

Should College Athletes be Paid? Examining the Perception of Sports Fans

Thomas Glenn, Winthrop University

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

Recently, there has been a worldwide conversation focused on the question of whether college athletes should be paid. Everyone has their different perspectives—including professional athletes, former college athlete superstars, the media, and others—and it is interesting to see various reasons behind why people are for or against this issue. One of the biggest points of discussion is the California bill and whether it should be passed or defeated. A New York state senator proposed a bill that would give college athletes the ability to sell the rights to their own names and likenesses. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to examine and conduct group comparison on the issue of whether college athletes should be paid. Participants were categorized into fans versus non-fans, and college athletes versus non-athletes. A survey was utilized to collect data from these participants. 71.13% of respondents believe that college athletes should be paid, while 28.87% believe that they should not be paid.

Poster Number: 003

Stress in College Students and How Athletics Play a Role

Taylor Brown, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Janet Wojcik, Ph.D.

Stress affects individuals often, and it may become a part of their everyday lives. Too much stress can be detrimental to the body, causing an individual’s immune system to weaken, possibly triggering depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure. College students undergo daily stressors in both their school work and their social lives. Adults go through different kinds of stress, such as paying bills. The purpose of this review is to evaluate mind and body stress by determining the differences in coping behaviors between college student-athletes and non-athletes, in addition to their cortisol levels and symptoms of psychopathology. The studies used in this review of literature examine multiple ways to cope with stress across different genders within the college setting. The methods in these studies used a collection of saliva samples, multiple questionnaires to assess stress levels and coping behaviors, in addition to 90-minute sessions on cognitive behavioral skills and relaxation responses. Overall, the results showed an increase in cortisol levels 30 minutes after waking up. For coping methods, many individuals use listening to music, exercising, and even meditation to relieve some of this stress. Finding what calms individuals will help decrease stress, and for many athletes, that is exercising, while non-student athletes would rather listen to music. For further research, considering different types of environments such as warmer versus colder states and higher versus lower economic status would help determine different stressors.

Poster Number: 004

Student-Athlete Stigmatization of Mental Illness

Sara McGuire

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

There is a strong stigma toward mental health and illness among collegiate student-athletes because of the expectation that they are mentally and physically tough. The stigma surrounding seeking help for a mental illness is only one of the barriers that deters student-athletes from taking control of their own mental health. The demands put on student-athletes, both on the field and off, put them at an increased risk to suffer from a mental illness, yet they shy away from seeking help. Athletes who are both physically and mentally healthy create a successful team on and off the field, thus emphasizing the importance of good mental health. This presentation will discuss the student-athlete stigmatization of mental illness, including perceptions of mental health and attitudes toward seeking professional help.

Poster Number: 005

The Effects of Protein Timing on Performance Measures in Athletes

Heath Byrd, Winthrop University

Protein is an essential macronutrient in the diet and is important for successful athletic performance. Current research headlines the importance of overall protein intake and its relation to physical performance measures. However, the purpose of this study was to provide a connection between athletes’ performance and protein timing, specifically examining the number of protein servings throughout the day. This was studied at a university in the Southeastern United States and included 13 NCAA Division I baseball players, all of whom consented to participate. Data collection consisted of a 24-hour dietary and physical activity recall that was completed by each player one day prior to testing. On the day of testing, the athletes’ BIA measurements were recorded, and then each athlete participated in three trials of a vertical jump test and one trial of a 30-yard sprint test. The analysis represented a trend that a higher number of protein servings resulted in increased vertical jump and decreased sprint times. However, this was not statistically significant, perhaps due to the study’s limited sample size. The application of this study examines protein timing in relation to athletic performance, but also posits that a distribution of protein throughout the day is beneficial for athletes.

Poster Number: 006

Emotional Maturity in Athletes


Ashlynn Harris

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Emotional maturity is the ability to handle and assess situations without escalating them. This is a key lesson that most athletes learn at an early age due to the higher demands placed upon them. The age that one matures plays a role in decision-making, behavior, regulation, and methods of emotional expression. Those four components are the key aspects of emotional maturity. Previous research conducted by Tamminen (2016) has shown that athletes feel that their emotional expression has an impact on others around them. This is important to study, as the emotional side of athletes is often overshadowed by their physical performance. This presentation will discuss the difference in emotional maturity in athletes versus non-athletes.

Poster Number: 007

College Students’ Perceptions of Athlete versus Non-Athlete Privilege

Megan Loveland, Winthrop University
Karina Grant, Winthrop University
Vijay Mishra, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

This study examines the construct of “athlete privilege,” modeled after constructs such as “white privilege.” Participants were 146 college students (60% Caucasian; 82% women), with a mean age of 20.62 (SD = 1.31). Division 1 athletes comprised approximately one third of the sample. Participants were randomly assigned to read a paragraph that described either “athlete privilege” (e.g., favored status, funding, excused absences) or “non-athlete privilege” (e.g., more free time, less pressure, less stress). Participants then responded to items to assess their attitudes about athletes and non-athletes, as well as scales to measure entitlement, envy, pride, and life satisfaction. Results mostly supported our predictions. College students did not agree equally with our two paragraphs about privilege. Instead, students agreed more that athlete privilege exists than non-athlete privilege. Participants were then asked to imagine themselves in the other group, athletes and non-athletes felt they would have privileges that they did not currently enjoy if they switched places. Athletes thought life would be easier, while non-athletes thought their social prestige would be higher; these perceptions may reflect stereotypes or perhaps some truth. College students who were more envious, more entitled, less proud, or less satisfied were more upset about athlete privileges. Although both groups saw benefits of being in the other group, each group also admitted that they experience privilege. The privileges of athletes, however, seemed to be either more salient or desirable for college students.

Poster Number: 008

Media Influence on Viewers' Perceptions of Athletes

Austin Whiteside, Winthrop University

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

This study pertains to how viewers of media content perceive an athlete emotionally, as well as in terms of attitude. The study was conducted through distributing a survey via smartphone and through posting a survey link on social media accounts. The survey included two clips of Ezekiel Elliott, running back of the Dallas Cowboys (on-field and off-field). Participants rated their emotions and attitudes toward Elliott after viewing each clip. Results showed that there was no significant finding for emotion toward an athlete after viewing a short clip. There was a significant finding for attitude toward an athlete after viewing a short clip. Participants had more positive impressions of Elliott after viewing the first clip compared to the second clip. This allows those researching sport to take into account that viewers of media content have to see more content of an athlete to properly evaluate how they feel about an athlete emotionally. However, viewers may develop a particular impression (referring to attitude) of an athlete based upon the content they have seen.

Poster Number: 009

The Real and Perceived Effects of Social Media Usage on Relationship Outcomes


Stephanie Carr, Winthrop University
Kayla Pelle, Winthrop University
Tiana Whitney, Winthrop University
Destiny Black, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Tara J. Collins, Ph.D.

Social media platforms are one of the most common ways that humans interact in societies all over the world. The primary purpose of the current study was to examine the influence of social media on the outcomes of relationship satisfaction. We hypothesized that both real and hypothetical social media usage would associate with decreased romantic relationship satisfaction. This study consisted of 138 participants that were a convenience sample of Winthrop University students. Those participants aided in measuring perceptions of social media through completing social media usage scenarios and previously created questionnaires. The scenarios described the average day of a Winthrop University college student, including varying amounts of social media usage. Additionally, the research utilized previously created measures that asked participants about personal social media usage incorporated into their everyday lives. The participants went through the questionnaire online, developed for this research, by answering questions examining the actual and hypothetical impact of social media on romantic relationship satisfaction. From these results we can conclude that although people perceive that social media usage will have a significant negative effect on romantic relationships, it does not appear to significantly predict actual romantic relationship outcomes. Further, the data are very beneficial to the concept of how social media usage can influence romantic relationship satisfaction outcomes. That is due to specific predictors yielding significant findings. However, future research is needed to examine whether social media usage truly predicts romantic relationship satisfaction.

Poster Number: 010

Influence of Social Media Exposure, Knowledge and Officer Location on Police Perceptions

Victoria Newman, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

The study investigated exposure to police-related content on social media and adults’ perceptions of police use of force. Location of the police activity was also manipulated to gauge its effect on perceptions. Participants were 119 adults with a mean age of 24.36 (SD = 10.13). The majority were Caucasian (64%) and women (80%). Participants were assigned to one of three experimental conditions via an online platform. In all conditions, participants read about police-citizen interactions that varied in the use of force and level of suspect resistance. The conditions differed in where the interactions were said to have taken place: familiar small town, familiar large city, or unfamiliar small town. Participants provided their opinions about the scenarios, and responded to a knowledge quiz about policing, the Perceptions of Police Scale, and questions about their exposure to social media as a news outlet. Results revealed no support for the hypothesis that geographic location would influence perceptions of police-citizen interactions, suggesting that perceptions of police officers maintain across situations and reveal global consistency. Instead, race and social media exposure were more predictive of police perceptions. Matching the hypothesis, reliance on social media related to more negative attitudes toward police officers. Perhaps social media exposure helps create the negative attitudes, or conversely, those with negative attitudes look to social media for confirmation of their opinions. Compared to Caucasians, and reflecting current societal tensions, African American adults reported more negative police perceptions and more exposure to negative postings about police on social media.

Poster Number: 011

Perceptions of Sexual Harassment in Ambiguous Social Media Posts and Comments

Mary Morris, Winthrop University
Vanessa Vaughn, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Tara J. Collins, Ph.D.

Research has been done over the past few decades to learn more about sexual harassment and the ways in which it impacts its victims. Researchers tell us that sexual harassment consists of sexual attention that is written, spoken, or any sexual action that is unwanted by the victim. While there is information like this, researchers tell us there has been little research on sexual harassment in terms of the digital world. The present study aimed to explain some of these interactions on social media. Manipulated pictures were used to represent Instagram posts to figure out how participants interpreted sexual harassment online. It was predicted that if photo captions were soliciting of sexual behaviors, they would not be interpreted as sexually harassing. This was not supported, as the participants viewed the comments that were sexual as inappropriate regardless of the caption type. Participants were also asked to record their frequency in receiving and participating in online sexual harassment, as well as their emotional responses. Here it was predicted that women would receive sexual harassment more than men but participate less. This hypothesis was not supported, but the data set for men was too small for a viable test. The significant results, that the participants viewed sexual comments as negative and inappropriate, gave some insight into how sexual harassment online is interpreted and accepted, but more research needs to be done for a more thorough understanding.

Poster Number: 012

The Effects of Media on Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation Comfort and Attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ Community


Katherine Harper, Winthrop University
Jaylan Luvene, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Tara J. Collins, Ph.D.

The main hypothesis was that after viewing a lesbian-appearing profile, participants would have a more positive view of the LGBTQ+ community, compared to participants who viewed a heterosexual-appearing profile. Additionally, it was hypothesized that more media representation of LGBTQ+ and prevalence of LGBTQ+ role models would produce a positive correlation with attitudes. Participants were 16 men, 55 women and nine participants who did not gender identify. The participants’ ages ranged from 18-50+. Through an online survey, using various questionnaires, participants’ attitudes toward the social media profiles (one profile appearing heterosexual and the other lesbian) were assessed. It was found that there were significant negative correlations between feelings towards LGBTQ+ role models and condemnation, and between LGBTQ+ role model prevalence and perceived immorality. Independent samples t-tests were used to examine the effect of profile condition (heterosexual vs. lesbian-appearing) on attitudes about being pursued by a member of the same sex. It was found that the participants who viewed the lesbian profile expressed significantly less discomfort with receiving romantic attention from same-sex individuals compared to the participants who viewed the heterosexual profile. There was also a significant difference in the profile means. Beliefs about transgender people were affected in a similar way, with participants who viewed the lesbian profile having more transgender-affirming beliefs compared to those who viewed the heterosexual profile. Thus, it can be theorized that the manipulation of one “relationship status” photo in the profiles initiated a change in the participants' acceptance of and contact with the community.

Poster Number: 013

Young Adults' Argumentativeness and Responsiveness to Social Media Posts Varying in Emotional Tone

Derek Velez, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

The present study examined young adults’ willingness to respond to social media posts varying in emotional content, hypothesizing that adults would be more willing to respond to posts with an emotional, versus a neutral, tone. It was also hypothesized that argumentativeness would predict greater responsiveness to social media posts. Participants were 144 adults with a mean age of 21.75 (SD = 5.52). The majority were women (84%) and Caucasians (62%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions via an online platform. Each condition had social media posts with a specific emotional tone: neutral, negative, or positive. Participants rated their reactions and willingness to respond. Participants also completed scales to assess their argumentativeness and social media activity. Contradicting the hypothesis, young adults were more reluctant to respond to the provided posts that had an emotional tone, even though the negative posts elicited the strongest emotional reactions. Despite saying they were hesitant to respond to the emotional posts in our study, participants indicated that they typically respond to happy and sentimental postings on their own social media sites; this contradiction might reflect inaccurate self-perceptions or the possibility that anonymity elicits different responses than does being identifiable. In partial support of the prediction, argumentative people seemed to seek opportunities to argue by responding to angry posts. Lastly, in comparison to African American adults, Caucasian adults reported being more concerned with being perceived badly on social media and more irritated when others were not similarly cautious.

Poster Number: 014

Self and Social Acceptance: How Popular Media Affects the LGBTQ+ Population

Erin Streetman, Winthrop University

The LGBTQ+ community is vulnerable to many kinds of discrimination. From bullying during youth to discrimination in everyday adult life, LGBTQ+ individuals are frequently faced with hostile environments. This discrimination can have widespread negative physical and mental effects, so it is important to find ways to combat discriminatory practices and prejudices against minority groups such as the LGBTQ+ community. In recent years, media and social media have become major parts of everyday life and have become a safe space for oppressed individuals to band together, mature in their identities, and explore their senses of self. The promotion of positive representations of LGBTQ+ individuals on various media platforms could promote more positive online and offline interactions between those within the LGBTQ+ community and those outside of it. The present study analyzes how positive and negative media and social media representations of the LGBTQ+ community may affect attitudes towards the community from both those within the community and those outside of it. By measuring sexual orientation, media usage, and awareness of and prescription to prejudices and stereotypes, it was possible to study the effects of positive and negative media on attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community.

Poster Number: 015

Expression of Endothelial Protein C Receptor in Prostate Cancer


Jessika Bonner, Winthrop University
Austin Brewington, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Laura Glasscock, Ph.D.; Kathryn Kohl, Ph.D.; and Kunsiri Grubbs, Ph.D.

Endothelial cell protein C receptor (EPCR) is expressed in the serum of patients with prostate cancer and in a prostate cancer cell line, PC-3. EPCR is normally expressed by endothelial cells in the blood vessel, where it functions as a co-receptor in the anti-coagulant protein C system. The localization and function of EPCR on endothelial cells is well-documented. Our previous studies have shown that the receptor EPCR interacts with thrombomodulin (TM) on endothelial cells. TM is also expressed by prostate tumor cells in vivo and in vitro, where it regulates proliferation and invasion by these prostate tumor cells. The concentration of TM in patients with prostate cancer is elevated compared to controls. Since EPCR and TM are co-receptors, our goal was to determine the concentration of EPCR in patients with prostate cancer compared to normal controls, and to localize EPCR in PC-3 cells. ELISAs on serum samples from patients with prostate cancer indicated that EPCR concentrations were statistically elevated (82.5 ng/mL to 892.5 ng/mL) compared to control patients (102 ng/mL ± 0.002) (p £ 0.05). Western blotting of cell media and cell lysates from PC-3 cells demonstrated that EPCR is expressed by the prostate cancer epithelial cells. These data provide additional evidence that the anticoagulant protein C system, specifically, EPCR and TM, are involved in prostate cancer progression.

Poster Number: 016

Communication and COVID-2019: A Review of Transdisciplinary Communication Scholarship

Jadden Bergholm, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Chen Chen, Ph.D.

During a crisis event, communication is crucial to the safety and survival of the people who are directly impacted. Global disaster events such as earthquakes, epidemics, and nuclear meltdowns require the swift and efficient spread of accurate information for the purposes of awareness, aid, and safety. Scholars of technical communication and intercultural rhetorics, such as Huiling Ding and Jingwen Zhang, have studied how cultural backgrounds impact the informational narratives. Others have conducted research on the usage of digital media platforms such as Twitter and how hashtags and other tools affect the spread of information in an international environment. Scholars recognize the important role of social media and online discourse in an international crisis event. Through this literature review, it is intended to illustrate the role of digital media in the international and intercultural circulation of information during global crisis events. This project will review literature from a breadth of scholarship from transnational technical and professional communication, risk communication, health communication, and rhetorical studies. It argues that this review of the existing transdisciplinary literature is crucial to the current understanding of how communication has been and continues to be conducted in regard to the current COVID-19 epidemic. Events like the current outbreak provide a chance to critically analyze the digital cultural discourse in a global crisis context, which is vital to social justice and advocacy.

Poster Number: 017

Childhood Obesity in Relation to Low Socioeconomic Status

Nathaniel McLean

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Childhood obesity is a crisis in our country. Over the decades, there has been a significant increase in sedentary behavior and unhealthy lifestyles. This rise in sedentary behavior has increased in obese individuals, especially children. In the United States alone, 18.5% of children and adolescents were diagnosed as obese in 2019. Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in our country and worldwide. Obesity is more prevalent among children who come from low-income households. Socioeconomic status is a key indicator of a child’s health. The goal of this research is to better understand the relationship between socioeconomic status and childhood obesity, understanding how variables like lack of nutritional education, limited access to healthy food, and lack of resources negatively affect children from low-income households and ultimately affect their weight.

Poster Number: 018

Caffeine Consumption among Adolescents

Meredith Howey

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Caffeine is a commonly consumed compound that can provide an individual with energy, attentiveness, and focus, among lots of other factors. However, many people tend to ignore the negative effects of caffeine due to the positive, but temporary results it brings. Adolescents should be consuming around 100 mg of caffeine. However, it is very common that adolescents are seen consuming well over that amount. Caffeine consumption has taken a major toll among this age group with too much overuse. This can be a dangerous, misused drug that adolescents need to have proper education about. This presentation will describe the adverse symptoms of caffeine consumption and explore why adolescents are among the top consumers of caffeine.

Poster Number: 019

Underwater Treadmill Training on Different Populations


Ashley Erwin

Faculty Mentor: Joni Boyd, Ph.D.

There are many populations of people who need rehabilitation but sometimes normal treadmill and overground rehabilitation can bring more pain than help. This is because of the gravity and weight that is being put on the body and this causes patients to stop going to therapy because they are in pain and the cycle of deterioration begins. This is when it would be beneficial to try underwater treadmill training, which is using water’s buoyancy to take pressure away from the body. The goal of these studies was to find which population would be affected by completing underwater treadmill training over certain periods of time. Each study used the Hydrotrak treadmill or one of the top leading underwater treadmills competitors. The hypotheses that were shown in the articles all showed the want to improve gait, balance, and overall personal mental health. Many different populations were being tested, such as, athletes, stroke patients, spinal cord injuries, cardiovascular patients, obese patients, and healthy patients. They almost all reacted positively to the training, and this shows that underwater training is used for more than what is known for with stroke patients. We have seen that even when the water is up to the navel it relieves the pressure of gravity up to fifty percent, and when it is up to the xiphoid process it relieves more than sixty percent. This presentation will discuss the different populations this training could be used for, as well as different activities that can be done in the water for rehabilitation.

Poster Number: 020

Improving BMD in Elderly Women with Osteoporosis

Hadasah Hoffmann

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Osteoporosis is a major public healthcare problem affecting the elderly population, especially women. Osteoporosis means porous bone, and it is a disease in which density and quality of bone are greatly reduced. The bone disease is preventable, and can be managed if diagnosed. Although osteoporosis is not a new disease, many women believe they are not susceptible to developing the bone disease, but researched preventative steps should be considered by young women. Based on research, the best method to prevent and treat osteoporosis in elderly women is weight-bearing exercise activities providing high impact at high loading rates to the bone. This presentation will discuss what types of weight-bearing exercises should be done by elderly women with osteoporosis to increase their bone mineral density and reduce bone loss.

Poster Number: 021

The Efficacy Of Mindfulness Interventions in the Treatment of Chronic Diseases

Zak Butt

Faculty Mentor: Janet Wojcik, Ph.D.

Healthcare costs in the United States have reached approximately $3.5 trillion each year, with the majority of costs arising from the physical treatment of chronic disease patients, including surgeries, radiotherapy, physical therapy, and medication interventions. Chronic disease patients (e.g., cancer, HIV/AIDS, coronary heart disease patients) are afflicted with a significant amount of physical complications (e.g., pain, fatigue, nausea), which are the primary targets of medical treatment; however, these physical complications often coincide with cognitive and psychological complications including stress, anxiety, and anger, all of which remain heavily untreated among many patients. Mindfulness, a technique that can be traced back to the early rise of Hinduism, has been suggested as a process that can assuage both the physical and cognitive complications of chronic disease patients. The mindfulness techniques most commonly discussed in recent literature refer to “present moment practice,” or methods in which an individual dedicates a non-judgmental awareness and cognizance to the present moment. The purpose of this literature review is to analyze the effectiveness of mindfulness techniques in chronic disease patients who suffer from a plethora of somatic and cognitive complications. Among prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS, and coronary heart disease patients, the practice of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) has been found to assist in treating not only the psychological complications but also the physical complications that chronic disease patients face. The findings of this literature review suggest that nonmedical and non-pharmaceutical interventions such as mindfulness practice could play a significant role in the future treatment of many chronic conditions.

Poster Number: 022

Impacts of Physical Activity on Sexual Health and Experiences

Holly Ellis, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Shelley Hamill, Ph.D.

Health and exercise are popular topics in today's media. One aspect not always considered when working to improve overall health is sexual health. Engaging in sexual activity can improve the quality of life and is a core component of developing an intimate relationship. This literature review shows how being physically active impacts sexual health. Exercising and participating in sexual experiences have both been shown to help regulate the cardiovascular system and improve overall mood while decreasing the chance for certain illnesses. Studies analyzed the impact of body weight and body image, the influence of activity levels on body functions, and what influence, if any, exercise has on men’s health. Another component of this review focused on the repercussions physical activity has on sexual function. Studies revealed that a positive body image is linked to more enjoyable encounters, particularly in women. Various studies also reinforced the idea that frequent positive sexual encounters can improve internal bodily functions. While one study noted that individuals with higher Body Mass Index (BMI) have more sexual encounters, those encounters were found to be less enjoyable. Women were found to be less sexually satisfied due to poor body image perceptions, while men were determined to lack cardiovascular and respiratory endurance. Sexual activity is present in many peoples’ lives. Knowing how being physically active can improve one’s sexual health is important.

Poster Number: 024

Knee Pain and Injury in Volleyball Athletes


Tori Dube, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Today, athletic programs in schools are becoming increasingly popular. Volleyball is one of these popular athletic programs, along with basketball, soccer, and football. Because of the increased popularity of these sports, there have been increased rates and occurrences of injuries. Among the most common injuries recorded are knee injuries, including ACL tears and overuse injuries like patellar tendinitis. Overuse injuries can be quite painful and are linked to increased risk of osteoarthritis. Athletes tend to set aside this pain to avoid missing playing time. However, it is crucial for overall health to implement intervention strategies and programs to treat these types of injuries to induce healing and enhance performance. This presentation will discuss and compare the different types of knee injuries that occur often in volleyball. This presentation will also provide prevention and intervention strategies to treat these injuries.

Poster Number: 025

Shoulder Injuries in Volleyball Players

Emily Wunder, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Shoulder injuries are very prevalent in volleyball players, especially in attackers and servers. Shoulder injuries can cause players to have to sit out of play for an average of four to six weeks during a season. Research has shown that most chronic shoulder discomfort and injury is caused by overuse of the shoulder through repetitive arm swings and muscular imbalances. Common chronic shoulder issues include impingement, tears, displacement, and tendinitis. It is crucial for these overhead athletes to maintain strength, stability, and proper range of motion in order to perform at their best and prevent these shoulder injuries from occurring. If shoulder injury does occur, however, there are steps to regain these essential shoulder components through the four main phases of rehabilitation: acute, intermediate, advanced strengthening, and return to play. The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate why shoulder injuries are so common in volleyball players, to better understand the mechanics of the shoulder in order to prevent these injuries from occurring, and to discuss treatment methods if these injuries do happen.

Poster Number: 026

Injuries to the Shoulder Complex in Professional Tennis Players

Connor Williamson

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Tennis at a professional level is highly impactful on the body. Every tennis professional has encountered some type of injury across his or her career. Common injuries in professional tennis players can vary from muscle sprains, joint pain, torn tendons and ligaments, to career-ending surgeries. My research has concluded that the most common injuries occur in the lower extremities; however, the most common injuries in tennis players are injuries to the shoulder complex. This is because the most forceful strokes in tennis, such as the serve and ground strokes all come from the use of the shoulder. In this presentation, I will discuss the causes of injuries to the shoulder complex, what the most common shoulder injuries in tennis are, treatments, and prevention strategies.

Poster Number: 027

Shoulder and Elbow Injury Prevention in Baseball Pitchers


Taylor Charlton

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Shoulder and elbow injuries are extremely common in baseball pitchers due to overuse and extreme stress. To assess the risk factors for these injuries, adolescents were chosen to complete testing on strength and range of motion. Many pitchers do not pay attention to the risk of injury while playing, but the longer they pitch without prevention programs, the higher their risks for future injury. The literature finds that posterior shoulder weakness and rotator cuff weakness are the leading causes of injury in adolescent pitchers. Athletic trainers, coaches, and/or parents have the ability to take athletes through prevention programs with the goal of strengthening weak aspects of the shoulder and elbow. This presentation will discuss how weaknesses in the shoulder and elbow increase injury risk, and how prevention programs can lower the risk of injury.

Poster Number: 028

Concussions and Injuries in Football

Malik Harper, Winthrop University

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

NFL players were diagnosed with more concussions in 2017 than in any season since the NFL started sharing data in 2012. There were over 281 concussions during the preseason and regular season. The injuries in the NFL have become so brutal that players are retiring early. Former All-Pro quarterback Andrew Luck was one example of a player to retire because of brutal injuries that result in the National Football League. On May 2, 2012, former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was found dead at the age of forty-three with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. His death was classified as suicide. Many believe his suicide was related to multiple concussions and brain trauma. Therefore, the purpose of the research is to examine the impact that brutal injuries have on parents’ perspective and NFL revenue. Are young football players doomed because football is so brutal? Is this impacting whether parents allow their kids to play football or even watch football? How will this affect long-term NFL revenue if young kids aren’t allowed to participate in and watch football?

Poster Number: 029

Ways of Prevention and Rehabilitation from Spinal Injuries in Contact and Non-Contact Sports

Alisa Soloveva, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Joni Boyd, Ph.D.

The purpose of this research is to describe the most common ways of prevention and rehabilitation for spinal cord injuries within college athletes. Spinal injuries are one of the most common health issues in the athletic world. Approximately 8.7% of all spinal cord injuries are caused by sport-related activities. These types of back-related injuries can be either traumatic or non-traumatic. The main sports that experience the most traumatic injuries are American football, hockey, wrestling, snowboarding, and skiing. The most non-traumatic sports include gymnastics, swimming, golf, and tennis. The main examples of serious back injuries are fractures, disk hernias, and acute cervical sprains. There are multiple ways of prevention. The most effective ones are informing people about the importance of their spinal health and exercising, in combination with some therapy. One of the most common causes of non-traumatic spinal injuries is completing physical activities using incorrect or poor technique. Informing is the best solution for any type of health problem. Another common cause of spinal injuries is overloading. Athletes who perform rotational types of sports frequently have to deal with spinal injuries due to the lack of muscular support and increased pressure on their spines. Exercising helps stabilize the spine and build extra muscles to support vertebrae. Certain types of therapy, such as massage, acupuncture, swimming, and stretching are proven to be beneficial for muscular relaxation and pain relief. The main idea of this review of literature is how to keep the spine strong and healthy and how to avoid back injuries as an athlete.

Poster Number: 030

Rehabilitation of Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries

Taylor Robinson

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a major tissue that is found in your knee joint that connects your femur to your tibia. ACL injuries occur when too much stress is placed on the knee. Different motions can cause your ACL to tear (e.g., landing awkwardly from a jump, a collision directly to your knee, changing directions quickly). While thousands of people tear their ACLs every year, the injury is especially common in athletes. When an individual tears his or her ACL, he or she must undergo surgery and then attend rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is vital in gaining back the stability and mobility of the knee. Many people recover from ACL injuries differently. There are many exercises that can be helpful in the rehabilitation process (e.g., lunges, squats, running, walking, box jumps). This presentation will discuss the rehabilitation process of ACL injuries. It will also explain the most effective way to gain back your mobility and stability, as well as strategies to prevent this injury.

Poster Number: 031

Injury Prevention for Lower Extremities in Basketball: A Literature Review

Javon Koiner, Winthrop University
Whitney Carter, Winthrop University
Emily Denardo, Winthrop University
Zavier Mattison, Winthrop University
Dabreon Benson, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Joni Boyd, Ph.D.

Basketball is a very demanding sport. This fast-paced sport requires ballistic movements, agility, maximal anaerobic power and endurance, and upper/lower body strength, leading to many opportunities for injuries. Research shows that more than 1.6 million injuries are caused from basketball. In addition, a study of NBA players shows that out of 12,594 reported injuries, 62.4% were lower extremities. The most common injuries reported were ankle sprains and ACL injuries. The studies in this literature review discuss injury prevention programs that focus on reducing common lower-extremity injuries. These studies focused on proprioceptive control, hip-joint function, and improving neuromuscular based on a sport-specific basketball training program to help with injury prevention for ankle sprains and ACL injuries. To improve proprioceptive control, the studies implemented exercises concentrated on unilateral training for the lower body. The hip-joint function was enhanced through improving hip strength, balance, and executing appropriate technique for jump-landing maneuvers. The neuromuscular training program included jump training, dynamic warm-ups, and flexibility exercises, in addition to speed, endurance, agility, acceleration, and strength drills. The studies showed reduction in those common injuries. In addition, they showed improvements in performance, stability, and movement control. These studies show that strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, and physical therapists can implement these exercises in their training and rehab programs to reduce those common injuries and reduce the re-occurrences of those injuries.

Poster Number: 032

The Comparison of Ballistic Stretching versus Other Stretching Methods: A Review of Literature

Jordan Fields, Winthrop University
Lillian Peay, Winthrop University
Victoria Taylor, Winthrop University
Shajeh Horton, Winthrop University
Ashley Parsons, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Joni Boyd, Ph.D

The purpose of this review of literature was to determine the effects of ballistic stretching on performance in comparison to other methods of stretching, such as static, dynamic, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). Ballistic stretching is a way to rapidly stretch muscle fibers and improve muscle activation in athletes who perform more high-velocity movements. The results from the research establish changes in performance due to the use of ballistic stretching. Overall, there were positive effects in utilizing ballistic stretches in the subjects. One article identified static stretching as superior to ballistic stretching for hamstring lengthening. The research also noted that subjects saw an increase in performance and range of motion. This is critical for coaches, trainers, and athletes to understand the importance of the different types of stretching and the effects it has on their physique. Ballistic stretching is often undervalued and misunderstood by the general population. It is also the least researched type of stretching in athletics. This type of research information could potentially inform the public of the important role that ballistic training plays on performance, range of motion, and muscle fatigue.

Poster Number: 034

Social Work Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes toward Autism


Hannah Buckner
Jenna Kutz

Faculty Mentor: Monique Constance-Huggins, Ph.D.

The number of children with autism is on the rise, which means that, increasingly, social workers must be prepared to practice with this population. In fact, it is reported that 75% of social workers work with clients who have developmental disabilities, including autism. The attitudes they hold toward people with autism will invariably shape their approaches and practice. Accordingly, social work students need to build an awareness of the needs and struggles that people with autism face in society, so that they can be equipped to serve them at all levels of social work practice. Despite the significance, little is known about social workers' knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes toward this population. The current study seeks to address this gap by exploring the attitudes that Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) and Master’s of Social Work (MSW) students hold towards people with autism. These students, who are enrolled at a liberal arts university in the Spring 2020 semester, are being assessed using the Societal Attitudes towards Autism (SATA) Scale. Preliminary results show variation in attitudes based on demographic and educational factors. These results hold implications for social work practice, teaching, and research.

Poster Number: 035

Knowledge of and Attitudes toward Autism Spectrum Disorder

Ryan Zavitkovsky, Winthrop University

Attitudes toward developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder have been shifting in recent years with the normalization of mental illness and its presence in popular media. The purpose of this study is to examine differentiations in attitudes toward individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, looking into three variables: gender, knowledge, and high versus low functioning. It is hypothesized that the low functioning condition will yield more positive attitudes, that female pronouns used in either condition will produce more negative attitudes, and that participants with more knowledge about the disorder as opposed to less will exhibit more positive attitudes across all conditions. This study will be accomplished through an online survey utilizing four randomly assigned vignettes, the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale toward Persons With Disabilities, and the Knowledge of Autism Scale.

Poster Number: 036

The Connection between Mental Health and Physical Activity


Rachel Fisher

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

There is a significant connection between mental health and physical activity. Correlations between severe mental illnesses (SMI), such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, have shown to have a relationship with physical activity. Mental illness alone is something hard to overcome, but research has shown that physical activity can decrease the severity of the illness. Along with the impact that physical activity has on mental health, studies have shown that those who block out physical activity in their lives have higher chances of developing a severe mental illness. Many treatments can be prescribed for a SMI, but one treatment that can significantly decrease the rate of development of a mental illness is one that does not need a prescription. This presentation will discuss the clear-cut examples of SMIs and the effects that physical activity has on this topic.

Poster Number: 037

Implications of the Gut-Brain-Microbiome Axis and Stress Response for Maladaptive Eating Behavior: A Literature Review

Emily Garrett

Several areas of research are revealing that the gut microbiome, or the bacteria colonized in human intestines, can have a significant impact on specific disease states, including maladaptive eating behaviors and eating disorders. Specifically, the gut microbiome can influence signaling pathways that affect brain regions related to emotion and behavior regulation. This connection between the gut and brain suggests that there may be mechanisms by which the gut influences behavior. If these mechanisms can be understood, interventions can be developed to improve gut health, as well as emotion and behavior regulation. This paper reviews the current literature pertaining to the gut microbiome, the gut-brain axis, and behavior regulation interventions, specifically in populations with eating disorders. Findings suggest that eating behavior is strongly influenced by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which produces the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can be influenced by alterations in gut hormones caused by a dysregulated gut microbiome. If the gut microbiome is dysregulated, HPA axis activation will be dysregulated, and the body will respond to physical and psychological stressors with abnormal amounts of cortisol, which in turn influences hunger and satiety hormone levels and alters subsequent eating behavior. Studies indicate that when the stress response is attenuated by mindfulness practices, behavior regulation improves, suggesting implications for food intake and eating behavior. This paper also explores gaps in the available data related to stress response and eating behavior, future research directions, and ways to further implement some existing mindfulness-based interventions in the field of nutrition.

Poster Number: 038

Mental Health Effects on Young Athletes: A Comprehensive Review


Katie Moore, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Joni Boyd, Ph.D.

Just like physical health, mental health is important for any young athlete. Significant focus on mental health is imperative, as mental illness continues to rise in individuals ages 10-24, in addition to the demands that come with playing a competitive sport. The purpose of this review of literature was to observe how mental health affects young athletes and their methods of seeking help. Statistics have shown that mental health has taken a toll on younger populations in recent years, and it is important to consider how the components of being an athlete can weigh in. Methods throughout these studies consisted of various scales, surveys, and questionnaires to research how mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety have an effect on young individuals who participate in sports, and specifically their outlook towards receiving help they may need. Results showed that there are significant differences of mental health concerns between athletes and non-athletes, especially when there are other factors such as academics involved. Stigmas attached to mental health also showed to be a concern when it came to seeking counseling services, and many said that positive attitudes from figures like coaches would help. This review can be useful for implementing mental health programs and services designed specifically for athletes, and for bringing more awareness to this issue.

Poster Number: 039

Perceptions of and Barriers to Help-Seeking Behavior in College Students

Gary Broadwater, Winthrop University
Kelley Horton, Winthrop University
Alexis Turrill, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Tara J. Collins, Ph.D.

The objective of the current project was to examine the perceptions of – and barriers to – seeking professional mental health treatment in undergraduate college students. Though lower than the non-college population, suicide rates for college students are alarming, ranking suicide as a leading cause of death for 18-24 year-olds. A troubling aspect of this crisis identified by researchers is that only about 20% of collegiate suicides involved help-seeking at a campus facility prior to the event. This research sought to understand what causes students to feel stigmatized and to identify what prevents them from seeking help. Participants were 22 men and 90 women from a southeastern university. Data were collected through a convenience sampling strategy. This study examined attitudes and barriers to seeking help using two standardized measures and one that was developed specifically for this research. It was hypothesized that students who had perceived less stigma and fewer barriers toward seeking help would be more open to seeking treatment and more knowledgeable of campus resources. Five regression analyses were conducted to predict knowledge about resources from perceived barriers and attitudes about seeking help. The results suggest that there is a strong relationship between perceptions of stigma toward treatment and the knowledge a student has of their university’s services. It was concluded that the perceptions of and barriers to receiving professional help can ultimately deter a student from seeking professional help. This is compounded by a lack of knowledge or awareness of mental health resources, resulting in fewer students receiving the needed treatment.

Poster Number: 041

Far From Home: Consumption and Personalization in College Dorms


Mattin Avalon, Winthrop University
Kaitlyn Clingenpeel, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Michael Sickels, Ph.D.

For many traditional college students, their campus is the first “home” they will ever choose for themselves. Their dormitories or residence halls are the first spaces they will ever personalize as young adults. This paper examines those personalization processes, and the resulting navigations of institutional control, identity, and reconceptualization of home within the college student population. Data were collected through eight interviews and dormitory tours conducted with full-time campus residents at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The resulting analyses examined the systematic process of personalizing a dorm room, and how that process is affected by the institution and issues around privacy as a university student. The broader implications of this paper lie in its understanding of how the future generation of homemakers construct identity, and how future consumer values become transmittable elements as college becomes a necessity and a commodity all its own. This research was limited because data came from the student body of only one university; future research should be conducted with additional universities to strengthen the validity of this study.

Poster Number: 042

College Students' Attitudes More Negative toward Older versus Same-Aged Peers

Selena Gonterman, Winthrop University
Janie Howland, Winthrop University
Olivia Guillen-Blas, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

We examined current college students’ responses to common college social situations that varied in closeness and age of the target individual. We hypothesized that college students would have more negative attitudes toward older compared to same-aged peers. We hypothesized that a higher fear of death, a higher fear of missing out, or more emotional distance from grandparents would predict more negative attitudes toward older students. Participants were current college students (n = 88) with a mean age of 20.90 (SD= 1.87). The majority were women (70%) and Caucasian (51%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions. All of the conditions described the same social situations. Participants were asked to imagine themselves in the situation (e.g., meeting a roommate, working on a group project, playing intramural sports). In one condition, the age of the other person was not specified. The other conditions specified either an 18-year-old, a 30-year-old, or a 50-year-old. Participants responded to scales to assess fear of death, fear of missing out, and closeness with grandparents. Results revealed partial support for our first hypothesis. Traditional-age college students felt more negatively toward close, but not casual, campus interactions with 30- and 50-year-olds compared to 18-year-olds. Our second hypothesis that fear of death and grandparent interactions would predict attitudes, was not supported. These results suggest that traditional-age college students’ attitudes toward older peers may be based more on immediate comfort and relatability issues rather than on personal fear of and experiences with aging.

Poster Number: 043

The Relationship Between Future Orientation, Social Support and GPA


Chelsea Harris, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Melissa Reeves, Ph.D., and Matthew Hayes, Ph.D.

Future orientation (FO) is broadly defined as one’s perception of one’s future. It has been shown to act as a protective factor for adolescents regarding substance abuse, risky behavior, and internalizing problems, as well as promoting greater academic success. Most FO research has focused on children or adolescents, leaving a gap for young adults. Similarly, social support (SS) has been shown to act as a protective factor and promote positive mental health and academic outcomes. FO develops and shapes itself in accordance with an individual’s social context, including SS, making it valuable to study the two variables together. This study examines FO in college students and investigates the mediating effect of FO and SS on GPA. Participants were recruited through social media and data were collected through an anonymous online survey. The results indicate higher FO positively correlated with higher overall SS and GPAs; however, SS from a special person had a significant negative relationship with student’s GPA scores after accounting for the variance in FO and overall SS. A possible explanation for this could be the type of SS received from those special others and the likely distraction they impose for the student’s school work. Implications could include school resource centers drawing attention to these findings to increase awareness in students of how their FO and different sources of SS could be affecting their academic performance.

Poster Number: 044

Process Goals Raise Academic Confidence and Performance of First-Generation College Students


Gabrielle E. McGee, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Donna Nelson, Ph.D.

First-generation college students (FGCS) enter college less academically prepared than their peers. Additionally, FGCS encounter more academic difficulty and earn lower grades compared to their counterparts. As such, it is important to find ways to increase academic confidence and performance among FGCS. One potential avenue for doing so may be to influence their goal orientation when approaching academic work. Process goals focus on the steps needed to achieve a desired outcome, while outcome goals focus on the desired outcome itself. Research suggests that, for difficult tasks, process goals result in greater levels of performance, lower feelings of anxiety, and higher perceptions of self-efficacy than outcome goals. The present study manipulated goal orientation on a difficult task, and then measured confidence and performance with respect to a subsequent pop quiz. It was expected for FGCS to exhibit lower academic confidence and performance compared to non-FGCS when instructed to adopt outcome goals; however, no such differences when participants were instructed to adopt process goals were to be expected. Participants consisted of 29 FGCS and 38 non-FGCS students in introductory psychology courses. All participants completed a challenging anagram task. Students were randomly assigned to either the Process Goal Condition or the Outcome Goal Condition. Results confirmed that FGCS benefited from process goals.

Poster Number: 045

Relationships between Family Values, Academic Motivation and Performance

Kahdaijah Williams, Winthrop University
Jarismary Polo, Winthrop University
Taji Mayberry, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Tara J. Collins, Ph.D.

Although everyone has different outlooks on what motivates them, scholars have found that when it comes to students and motivation, they are related. The primary goal of this study was to examine the ways in which motivation, family values, and performance has a positive significance on academic performance. College students, primarily from Winthrop University, were surveyed to see the ways in which their experiences from home and school life influenced their academic performance. The constructs that were measured were (a) family values, (b) reading comprehension, and (c) motivation (intrinsic/extrinsic). Overall, it was found that reading comprehension held no significance in determining a student’s academic performance, nor was there a significance in a student’s academic motivation. It was also found that a student’s family values held to be statistically significant on the construct levels of general attitudes and curiosity, making our main hypothesis to be partially supported. From the results, it can be concluded that academic performance is measured by things other than just the student, but that they are influenced by external factors as well. The things that were assumed to be related were not significant, which was unexpected since it was hypothesized that there was a positive significance between all variables and academic performance. These findings may suggest that the more a person is curious about his or her work, and the more positive the guardian’s general attitudes, the better the child is likely to perform.

Poster Number: 046

The Effects of Competition and Student Ability on Achievement Goals


Kelsey Allen, Winthrop University
Gabrielle E. McGee, Winthrop University
Shannan Keianna Goodwin, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Hayes, Ph.D.

The present study examined whether the effect of competition on achievement goals depends on student ability. The 129 college students who participated in this study received a packet that included a short learning activity with corresponding questions, an achievement goal questionnaire, and demographic items. Half of the packets contained instructions that had students answer the questions to the best of their ability, which created a non-competitive environment. The other half contained instructions that had students do the best that they could, because their scores would be ranked against those of their classmates. This facilitated classroom competition. Afterward, the students completed a questionnaire to assess the achievement goals used to complete the learning activity. Finally, the students answered demographic questions. Self-reported GPA was used to measure student ability. The results found that competition did not affect achievement goals for any students; it is possible that the competitive manipulation was not strong enough or that achievement goals are more trait-based than state-based in nature. It was found that low-ability students tended to have approach motivation, as they either wanted to learn the material or do better than their peers. Overall, students exhibited more performance goals than mastery goals. Students who did have mastery goals tended to have an approach motivation, meaning that they wanted to learn the material from the activity. This indicates that student learning at the collegiate level is not entirely performance-oriented for all students. It can be concluded that competition does not affect students’ achievement goals when facilitated through instruction.

Poster Number: 047

Partner Characteristics, Confidence, and Knowledge Predict Sexual Consent Attitudes

Andrea D. Ward, Winthrop University
Erin Creed, Winthrop University
Nadirah Madyun, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

This study examined college students’ perceptions of consent in sexual situations comprised of different partner-pairings; we included non-heterosexual couples, as research on sexual consent within these groups is very limited. Participants were 95 young adults (62% women; 50% Caucasian) with a mean age of 19.36 (SD = 1.41). Participants provided their perceptions of one of four randomly assigned scenarios; the scenarios described sexual encounters between a heterosexual couple, a gay couple, a lesbian couple, or an age-diverse heterosexual couple. In all scenarios, sexual consent was ambiguous and not clearly offered. Participants also responded to scales to measure sexual consent attitudes and sexual risk-taking. Mixed results were found for the hypotheses. Age did not influence college students’ perceptions of sexual consent; instead, students found the lack of consent less troublesome for a gay couple than for lesbian or heterosexual couples. This perception may reflect an (incorrect) assumption that consent is more important for a woman to give than for a man. Interestingly, the results did not find gender differences in overall perceptions of consent. Individuals who were African American, confident, or knowledgeable about sexual consent felt the most in control of their own sexual consent. However, knowledge of sexual consent was also linked to sexual risk-taking. Perhaps risky sexual choices create situations where sexual consent is necessary. Social media use, a common behavior among college students, predicted increased sexual-risk taking. This information, particularly regarding non-heterosexual couples, contributes to the growing body of research focused on understanding sexual consent on college campuses.

Poster Number: 048

Relationship Norms in China versus the U.S.

Shelley Hamill, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Shelley Hamill, Ph.D.

The purpose of this research is to examine Chinese and American relationship norms. Research shows that while relationships in China used to be controlled by parents, the power is beginning to shift to the children, primarily through the introduction of online dating. These relationships are now more of an emotional involvement rather than a business deal. Young adults in America, on the other hand, have experienced sexual freedoms since the 1920s, beginning with the invention of the car. Additionally, the number one reason for marriage in America is love. Research also shows a difference in the age in which children in these countries start dating. Previously, youth in China started dating sometime after high school and rarely engaged in premarital intercourse. Recently, though, the number of hookups among college students in China has steadily increased; however, the experiences they have are fewer in number than those of American youth. In a particular study in North America, it was found that 60-80% of college students had experienced a hookup. In another study, it was found that 32% of seventh, ninth, and 11thgraders reported having sexual intercourse. Premarital sex and casual sex are common and generally accepted practices in American culture. This research shows how different countries have different practices with regard to relationships.

Poster Number: 049

Relationships Between Sleep Disturbance, Energy Levels, Low-Energy Coping Mechanisms, and GPA

Eva Hermanova, Winthrop University
Kanesha M. Rhodes, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Tara J. Collins, Ph.D.

College students are said to be the most sleep-deprived group of individuals; therefore, it is crucial to understand how sleep deprivation affects our well-being, especially with regard to academic performance and overall quality of life. It is hoped that this study adds to the existing research on the effects of sleep deprivation by examining low-energy mechanisms, and how these variables correlate with academic performance. We hypothesized that individuals with higher sleep disturbance would have more fatigue, increased use of low-energy coping mechanisms, and lower GPAs. Seventy-five undergraduate college students participated in our online, self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire assessed participants’ level of sleep disturbance, fatigue, GPA, and low-energy coping mechanisms: coffee, tea, and energy drink consumption; exercise and diet. The analyses revealed that sleep disturbance significantly positively correlated with energy drink consumption and coffee consumption. However, the relationship between sleep disturbance, tea consumption, diet, and exercise proved to be insignificant. This study also examined the relationship between sleep disturbance and fatigue, finding that sleep disturbance significantly positively predicted fatigue. From the results, it can be concluded that coffee and energy drink consumption negatively impact one’s sleep quality, while exercise, diet, and tea consumption have no impact. Contrary to the hypothesis, it was found that higher sleep disturbance significantly predicted higher GPA. The results have important implications for the overall quality of life of college students and can potentially be used to help individuals increase their GPAs and sleep quality by not consuming caffeinated beverages such as coffee and energy drinks.

Poster Number: 050

Age, Race, and Sexism Predict Hostile and Benevolent Ageism


Madison DeMott, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Donna Nelson, Ph.D.

The concept of ambivalent sexism demonstrates how both subtle and overt gender prejudice can exert a powerful influence. Ambivalent ageism illustrates how benevolent and hostile prejudice affect how older adults are viewed. I investigated the unique effects of each type of ageist prejudice on reactions to stereotype consistent and inconsistent images. I also investigated associations between sexist and ageist attitudes and differences in each type of prejudice as a function of gender, age, and race. I expected hostile ageism to predict unfavorable appraisals of counter-stereotypical portrayals of older adults and benevolent ageism to predict favorable appraisals of stereotypical portrayals of older adults. Results show that participants spent the most time looking at pictures that were age and gender stereotypical before responding. Higher hostile sexism scores correlated positively with hostile ageism and benevolent ageism. Compared to men, women scored higher on the benevolent sexism scale. Compared to African American participants, Caucasian participants had higher benevolent ageism, hostile ageism, and benevolent sexism scores. In summation, images that confirmed sexist and ageist attitudes were the ones participants spent the longest time looking at. This reflects an effort to react against unwanted biases. Higher hostile sexism scores predicted ageism of any type. This supports the idea that prejudice in one area predicts other forms of prejudice. African Americans scored lowest in both types of ageism, suggesting greater intergenerational support within their communities. Overall, a lack of divide between benevolent and hostile ageism indicates a wider acceptance of various ageist views.

Poster Number: 051

Dual Process Model and Perceptions of Gendered Communication

Megan Herbst, Winthrop University
Elle Martinez, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Hayes, Ph.D.

The dual process model (DPM) specifies two drivers of prejudice. One is rooted in beliefs that the world is dangerous, to which people respond with respect for authority and tradition (right-wing authoritarianism; RWA); the other is rooted in beliefs that the world is a competitive jungle, to which people respond by supporting group-based social hierarchy and opposing efforts to redistribute resources away from their group (social dominance orientation; SDO). The present study examined whether more stereotypically masculine (versus feminine) gestures interacted differently with SDO and RWA to affect perceived masculinity and femininity ratings of a male actor. Participants were 168 undergraduate students. Participants were randomly assigned a 30-second video of a male actor displaying either feminine or masculine body language. Following the video, participants used the Short-form Bem Sex-Role Scale to assess the masculinity and femininity of the actor. This was followed by two ideology measures. SDO measured two views on intergroup hierarchy: group-based dominance and opposition to equality (anti-egalitarianism). RWA measured an individual's alignment with three core values: submissiveness to authority (conservatism), compliance to traditional ideals (tradition), and authoritarian aggression (authoritarianism). The results revealed significant differences in aspects of SDO and aspects of RWA, rather than the ideologies as a whole. Individuals high in dominance rated masculine behaviors as more masculine, whereas individuals high in traditionalism or authoritarianism gave lower masculine scores for masculine gestures. Feminine gestures didn’t interact with our ideology variables. This study contributes to how SDO and RWA may impact how others are perceived and therefore judged.

Poster Number: 053

The Effect of College Setting on Perceptions of Cisgender-Transgender Interactions

Victoria Sulak, Winthrop University
Haley Kane, Winthrop University
Ashley Underwood, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

This study assessed students’ perceptions of a social interaction with a transgender individual in different college settings. Participants were 101 college students with a mean age of 19.6 (SD = 1.82). The majority were cisgender women (87%), Caucasian (55%), and heterosexual (78%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions. All conditions described a social interaction on a college campus where a transgender male student was mis-identified as a woman, and a similar situation where a transgender female student was mis-identified as a man; the conditions varied in where the interaction took place: a restroom, residence hall, or classroom. Participants provided their perceptions of the situation and responded to scales to assess transphobia, self-esteem, open-mindedness, and need to belong. Results revealed that students reported low levels of transphobia. However, violating the hypothesis, they tended to be more sympathetic to a bystander who unintentionally mis-gendered an individual than they were to the transgender individuals; this was especially true for those with more transphobic attitudes. Students also felt the mistaken speaker would feel the most unsafe in the restroom compared to other settings, suggesting that location was a factor in perceptions. Personality characteristics were more predictive than race. Higher transphobia predicted lower open-mindedness, but also higher self-esteem and no need to belong. Perhaps students with lower self-esteem were more cautious in presenting negative opinions, or perhaps those higher in self-esteem had a greater misunderstanding of the challenges faced by other students. These findings provide new insight into the experience of transgender individuals.

Poster Number: 054

Ambivalent Ageism, Familiarity, and Empathy as Predictors of Charitable Donation Decisions


Madison DeMott, Winthrop University

Recently, researchers have identified two distinct forms of ageism: benevolent ageism, in which older people are patronized or pitied, and hostile ageism, in which older people are devalued. Raymer et al. (2017) found that young adults also can also be targets of negative, age-related attitudes; however, this topic is relatively unexplored. Thus, this study examined how young adults’ ageist attitudes related to charitable decisions for young and senior adult recipients. It was hypothesized that hostile ageism would decrease donations to senior adults (SA), while benevolent ageism would increase donations to SA and predicted the same pattern regarding youth-ageism donations for young adults (YA). Participants were given the task of dividing money between SA and YA donation recipients; they also completed scales to assess benevolent and hostile ageism. To assess youth-ageism, the ageism scale was modified to refer to common stereotypes about YA. Average donation amounts revealed a bias towards YA. Ageist reasoning for donation choices predicted higher donation amounts for a YA recipient and less for a SA recipient. Hostile ageism predicted all other forms of ageism. Familiarity with SA in the form of volunteer work and having African American ethnicity predicted higher benevolent ageism. In conclusion, young adults favored their age group when making donation decisions. The relationship between empathy and Ambivalent Ageism is discussed. These findings provide new insight into youth-ageism.

Poster Number: 055

Young Adults’ Perceptions of Non-Gender Conformity Across Occupations


Emily K. Hayes, Winthrop University
Orion Hanna

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

The study examined young adults’ perceptions of a man, varying his appearance and labeling him with different occupations. Participants were 116 adults with a mean age of 19.90 (SD = 5.20). The majority were women (76%), Caucasian (53%), and heterosexual (71%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: a picture of a man labeled as either a doctor or barista and the same man wearing make-up labeled as a doctor or barista. Participants rated how accurately a list of masculine and feminine traits matched the picture, and responded to scales to assess their need to belong, self-esteem, and attitudes toward transgender individuals. Need to belong, self-esteem, race, and gender did not predict perceptions of the pictures. Conformity and occupation did not interact. The stated occupation was minimally influential in driving perceptions; the doctor was viewed as having more feminine behavior, which might reflect the fact that doctors help people, which is considered stereotypically feminine. The appearance of gender non-conformity drove perceptions more than did the race, gender, self-esteem, and social needs of the viewer. The non-gender conforming individual was seen as having masculine and feminine behaviors, which matched his appearance. Adults also viewed the gender-discordant individual as more capable at his job, regardless of his occupation. Adults may have seen the flexibility in appearance as a sign that he would be a flexible colleague, or perhaps our participants, who were generally positive toward transgender individuals, were showing support for a person they believed to be transgender.

Poster Number: 057

Concerns Pregnant African American Women Face within the Healthcare System

McKenzie Mosley

Faculty Mentor: Aaron Aslakson, M.A.

African American women are one of the most underrepresented and mistreated groups of people in the United States today. Whether it is in the home, workforce, social setting, or even within the healthcare system, they may have to fight social trespasses to be able to be seen and treated equally. There is a crisis going around in the United States today involving pregnant African American women. They face a higher rate of birth complications, infant deaths, and pregnancy failures than any other race. In an attempt to examine why, this research will explain what African American women of middle and especially low socioeconomic status go through while pregnant, one of the most vulnerable times in a women’s life.

Poster Number: 058

Two Drug Epidemics in a Racist World: Comparing the Crack Crisis with the Opioid Epidemic


Téa Franco

America has faced two nationwide drug addictions: the crack crisis and the opioid epidemic. Despite several similarities in the spread of the addictions, the two garnered vastly different reactions from the media, society, and the government. It has become apparent that the reason for these different reactions is the race of those typically afflicted by each addiction. The crack crisis predominantly affected impoverished communities of color, whereas the opioid epidemic has affected more white Americans. Through journalistic methods including FOIA requests, government documents, interviews, and the gathering of primary and secondary sources, I have examined the way that race plays into how America responds to drug addictions. This project includes multimedia components as well, creating a comprehensive, multimedia, data-driven news package.

Poster Number: 059

Perceptions of Professional Women’s Eurocentric versus Afrocentric Hair

Keonna Jordan, Winthrop University
Chance Walcott, Winthrop University
Jamesia Morris, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh Ph.D.

The present study examined men’s and women’s perceptions of their own hair and that of women in the workplace. It was hypothesized that Afrocentric hair on a black woman would be perceived as less professional than Eurocentric hair on either a white or black woman. It was also hypothesized that black women would have higher hair esteem than white women. Participants were 125 young adults with a mean age of 20.01 (SD = 4.61). Seventy-six percent were women, and 24% were men. 44% of participants were white, 43% were black, and the remainder reported other ethnicities. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions where they viewed one image: black woman with Afrocentric hair, black woman with Eurocentric hair, or white woman with Eurocentric hair. (The depicted women wore the same business suit.) Participants provided their perceptions of the pictures and then responded to a hair esteem scale as if they were the pictured woman and then as themselves. Social dominance, subtle prejudice, and symbolic racism were also assessed. Matching the hypothesis, black adults seemed to have very positive attitudes about black hair. However, they simultaneously expressed concern over how they were perceived by others. Overall perceptions of the black women were more positive than that of the white woman, with the Eurocentric hair garnering more favorable ratings than the Afrocentric hair. This favoritism suggests that Eurocentric standards of beauty still exist. White people who perceived black hair poorly had more racist attitudes toward black people in general.

Poster Number: 060

Women's Rights on a National Level: Worst versus Best States for Women to Reside

Kiara Brown, Winthrop University
Khaila R. Moss, Winthrop University
Alanna M. O'Brien, Winthrop University
Sadarria T. Hall, Winthrop University
Tayler S. Leone, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Darren Ritzer, Ph.D.

According to the Pew Research Institute in 2019, more women vote in United States election than men, and this difference has held since the 1990s. Consequently, women’s issues can be a critical element of a politician’s platform. For example, reproductive rights were heavily promoted in the November 2019 mid-term elections. Politics heavily influence the culture of a geographic region. News and social media contributors have recently attempted to identify pro-woman states, focusing on issues such as employment equality, equal rights, and women-friendly policies. The goal of this study was to examine different states using a range of variables that directly impact women, including: the number of abortion clinics, domestic violence incidents, life expectancy for women, graduation rates, and the income/wage gap. It was hypothesized that women-friendly states would cluster in the Northeast and the West Coast. Scores were standardized across variables and summed to create an overall score for each state. The highest possible score was 255. Results revealed that the most pro-women states were New York (202), Vermont (196), California (195), Connecticut (190), Massachusetts (181), Florida (180), Maryland (176), New Jersey (176), New Mexico (175), Iowa (171), and New Hampshire (170). The worst scoring states were Kentucky and Utah, both with scores of 54. The hypothesis about regional clustering was supported. In general, a larger number of northeastern states were represented among those most pro-woman, while a higher proportion of southeastern states were ranked as less woman-friendly.

Poster Number: 061

Why Can't Women Win in the Workforce?


Isabelle Schmidt, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: William Schulte, Ph.D.

On average, women in the U.S. earn 20% less than men. In order to close the gender wage gap, the public needs to be made aware of the startling statistics accounting for the gap, the root cause of the gap, and the path our collective society needs to take in closing the gap. There are several underlying factors accounting for the gender wage gap, including education, occupational selection, marital and family status, share of women in the workplace, and women’s duties outside the workplace. Over the past several decades, women have made great strides to overcome these underlying factors. For example, there has been a remarkable increase in the labor force participation rate of women, and women have actually surpassed men in educational attainment, and yet the gap remains due to gender discrimination. Pay inequity is a symptom of deep-seated bias and social pressures. Gender bias presents itself in many ways, including stereotyping of children through colors and toys, cultural and media sexualization of women, traditional role of women as caretakers, societal pressure on women's occupational choices, and workplace bias that solidifies gender-specific jobs. The best approach to closing the wage gap is a two-step path. One step is to end gender bias and stereotyping. The other step is to urge the public to enact stronger laws protecting women from wage discrimination. Stricter regulations need to be placed on companies, demanding them to be transparent with their pay practices. The more informed we are, the better chance we have in closing the wage gap.

Poster Number: 062

Active Shooter Protocols: Perceptions, Preparedness, and Unintended Consequences


Veronica Worthington, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Hayes, Ph.D., and Melissa Reeves, Ph.D.

The national concern about active shootings has pushed schools to implement intense drills without considering some unintended consequences. Studies have found that training had the potential to increase preparedness; however, some studies have found that training increases anxiety. While these findings apply to short-term effects, there is a lack of empirical research on long-term effects of active shooter drills. The present study investigated whether active shooter training completed in high school impacts current levels of anxiety and preparedness of undergraduates. Participants (N = 364) completed an online survey and answered questions about their perceived knowledge of protocols, protocol actions, and training methods from high school followed by the same set of questions, this time referring to their current university. Participants then completed an anxiety measure and a preparedness measure. Two hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to predict anxiety and preparedness. This study expanded findings on the effects of active shooter training by demonstrating long-term effects for high school training; evacuation protocols and perceived knowledge positively impact anxiety and preparedness of university students. Experiences at the university level have an additional, larger impact on student anxiety and preparedness, which seem to overshadow the effects from high school. This may be problematic, because the perceived knowledge that leads to higher feelings of preparedness may not translate into appropriate actions in a real-life situation, potentially risking lives.

Poster Number: 063

Willingness to Commit Crimes in Relation to Prior Crime Exposure and Personality

Chloe Rizer, Winthrop University
Veronica Skubisz, Winthrop University
Iyegbekosa Siobhan Omoigui, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Tara J. Collins, Ph.D.

The main objective of the present project was to study the correlation between exposure to crime in childhood and adolescence, with other weighing factors such as childhood adversities, socioeconomic status, personality, and the acts of criminal behavior in adulthood. 191 individuals participated through an online survey assessing their exposure to criminal behavior in childhood and their willingness to commit crimes in adulthood. Crime was measured by assessing the participants’ frequency of witnessing or experiencing crime. Childhood adversities assessed the frequency with which participants experienced those different adversities in their lives. Socioeconomic status was measured to assess the socioeconomic categories the participants fit into in childhood, as well as parental education levels and levels of consistency of legal guardianship in the home. Simple demographic questions were then asked, such as age, race, and gender. It was found that the main hypothesis of exposure to crime had a positive correlation. It was also found that psychological childhood adversities did have a significant correlation to willingness to commit crimes; however, the other childhood adversities such as physical, household substance abuse, and criminal behavior in the home did not. The only personality trait that yielded a positive correlation was conscientiousness; the other four traits did not hold statistical significance. It can be concluded that exposure to crime or criminal behavior in childhood and adolescence does predict an increased likelihood of willingness to commit crimes in adulthood. This can also be due to other factors such as personality type, gender, or childhood adversities.

Poster Number: 064

Factors that Predict Knowledge and Perceptions of Police Use of Force

Alexis McInnis, Winthrop University
Alexandra Smith, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

This study examined whether use of force perceptions depend on the gender(s) of the police officer and citizen involved in the situation. Participants were 100 adults with a mean age of 19.51 (SD = 1.71). The majority were Caucasian (63%) and women (65%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four scenarios. In all scenarios, a police officer interacted with a citizen during a routine traffic stop, ultimately ending with the police officer deploying a taser. The gender of the police and citizen were modified across the four versions to be male/male, male/female, female/male, and female/female. Participants responded to items to assess their perceptions of the presented situation, knowledge of use of force, perceptions of police, and aggression levels. Results revealed that young adults had negative perceptions toward the police officer and use of force in our scenarios. Participants were most understanding of a female officer using a taser to subdue a male citizen and viewed the remaining three gender combinations similarly. Perhaps this finding reflects participants’ assumptions about the size and strength of the female officer and male citizen. Having positive past interactions with police was linked to more positive attitudes towards police officers; however, these positive past interactions did not predict more positive attitudes toward the use of force in the scenarios. Aggressive individuals were not more supportive of use of force and felt more negatively toward police officers, perhaps reflecting their overall hostility toward others or because their aggression had caused previous problems with authority figures.

Poster Number: 065

Past and Present Views on Criminal Responsibility

Kalvin Anfinson, Winthrop University

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

In this paper, I look at the development of laws as they pertain to criminal responsibility. I argue that people’s views on criminal responsibility have changed thoughout the years, and will continue to change, given the increasing amount of information generated from neuroscience. This investigation ranges from the earliest records of legal systems through contemporary times. I show how laws regarding criminal responsibility have changed over time and how neuroscientific evidence may support laws granting lowered criminal responsibility to specific individuals. In addition, I compare the views of Aquinas and H.L.A. Hart on the relation between morality and law, their justifications of punishment, and opinions on how individuals should be punished.

Poster Number: 066

Examining Economic Impacts of Terrorism in Nigeria

Joseph Yakabowskas
Vincent P. Wasner
Broderick E. Nicewonger

Faculty Mentor: Hye-Sung Kim, Ph.D.

In recent years, many violent conflicts have plagued the state of Nigeria and have posed a major risk to the citizens who live there. In this research, we examine the relationship between economic growth and the conflict risks in Nigeria. We use time-series data from the World Bank’s World Development Indicator (WDI) dataset and the Systemic Peace’s Major Episodes of Political Violence Index, for the time period between 1960 and 2012. Our dependent variable is the Major Episodes of Political Violence index, the independent variable is per capita GDP growth, and the control variables are total population, population density, CPI-based inflation rate, unemployment rate, GDP per capita, and the percent of the industry in the GDP. We hypothesize that, as the per capita GDP growth increases, major episodes of political violence will decrease. We use multiple regression models to test our hypothesis.

Poster Number: 067

Soil Skirmishes: A Study of Political Violence in Kenya and Uganda

Michael Kendree

Faculty Mentor: Brian McFadden, M.S.

This study seeks to determine if there is any underlying correlation between soil quality and the environment in the countries of Uganda and Kenya and outbreaks of violence within the two countries. Outbreaks of violence in Kenya and Uganda, spanning from 1997 to 2018, have been catalogued, geographically plotted, and briefly described. Various environmental and soil metrics have also been recorded, including soil pH, soil cation exchange, bulk density, water storage capacity, and precipitation levels. When analyzing the distribution of skirmishes, it is important to note any patterns related to their geographic locations. Especially in Uganda, there are geopolitical factors which might explain the distribution of skirmishes. For instance, friction with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west of Uganda has always been a source of turmoil. Additionally, the presence of paramilitary and terrorist organizations, such as the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and al-Shabaab in Kenya, will add to conflict frequency in the areas in which they operate. Given Kenya’s and Uganda’s status as developing nations, it is likely that overpopulation in urban areas coupled with underdeveloped infrastructure also contribute to strife and conflict. It is the goal of this study to evaluate to what degree environmental factors augment, or even influence, the prevalence and spread of violence with relation to the aforementioned geopolitical causes. This analysis will examine both constant (e.g., cation exchange) and temporal (e.g., precipitation per year) factors and will relate them to the prevalence of violence in a given timeframe and geographic area.

Poster Number: 068

Castro and the United States during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Dayseanna Able, Winthrop University

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

This research focuses on the relationship between Fidel Castro and the United States during the Cuban missile crisis. It argues that the imminent threat of communism and covert operations by the United States government ultimately led to the world being on the brink of catastrophe. It then gets to the root of the deep issues that the two countries have with one another, specifically focusing on the Castro regime and the United States government and where those issues stem from. The study focuses on covert assassination plots on Fidel Castro, such as Operation Mongoose, and the exclusion of Castro during negotiations of the crisis. Utilizing several sources, including CIA documents, letters written by Castro and Khrushchev, and newspapers supports the overall objective of this paper.

Poster Number: 069

Motivations behind Joining Social Movement Organizations

Katy Osborne, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Hayes, Ph.D.

This study examined the effect of uncertainty and life history strategy on whether people join a Social Movement Organization (SMO) for sanctuary or agency. While previous research has identified sanctuary and agency as two main reasons people join SMOs, no studies have examined factors that might affect which reason would be more influential. Life history (LH) theory predicts that people coming from stable childhood (slow LH) would be more likely to invest effort in long-term change (agency), while people from harsher, more unstable childhood (fast LH) would be more likely to join a SMO for short-term benefits (sanctuary). Based on Uncertainty Identity Theory, greater uncertainty should magnify these effects. All 215 participants belonged to at least one SMO and completed three online measures assessing LH strategy, reasoning for joining their SMO (sanctuary or agency), and current uncertainty. As predicted, fast LH strategy leads to stronger sanctuary motives; however, greater uncertainty did not intensify this effect. Instead, greater uncertainty reduced sanctuary motives among slow LH participants. Contrary to prediction, this same pattern of results was observed for agency motives. The results suggest that fast LH strategy increases both agency and sanctuary motives; however, these motives are unaffected by uncertainty. Whereas Uncertainty Identity Theory predicts that greater uncertainty should drive people to greater group affiliation, the present results suggest that greater uncertainty has the opposite effect for those with slow LH strategy, prompting greater disengagement.

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: 071

The Influence of Common Reminders on Attitudes toward Immigrants

Elle Martinez, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Hayes, Ph.D.

Xenophobia, the fear of what an outgroup can do to one's community, comes from fear of the unknown. Dual Process Model describes two different pathways to outgroup prejudice and xenophobia. One way involves beliefs that the world is dangerous, and people should value tradition and follow authorities (Right-Wing Authoritarianism), which leads to xenophobia because of the threat outsiders pose to security. The second pathway leads to a competitive jungle in which all groups compete for position in a social hierarchy (Social Dominance Orientation), which leads to xenophobia because outsiders threaten to take resources and push one’s group down the hierarchy. Mortality salience, the awareness of one’s death, can amplify these negative attitudes, but may not be commonly encountered in daily life. A daily encounter would be social media. In the 2016 election and as President, Trump uses xenophobic language (e.g., “building a wall”) on Twitter. This study compared effects of mortality salience and xenophobic tweets on negative attitudes toward immigrants. 158 students who completed an online survey assessed SDO and RWA. Then, participants were assigned to one of the following conditions: read three negative tweets about immigrants from President Trump (condition) or read three tweets on non-immigrant topics (control); write about death and what happens afterward (condition), or write about dental pain (control). Finally, participants completed a version of the modern racism scale modified to assess attitudes toward immigrants. Results indicate that commonly encountered reminders, such as tweets made by President Trump about immigrants and non-immigrants, do not trigger additional anti-immigrant attitudes.

Poster Number: 072

The Relationship between Social Dominance Orientation and Ethnocentrism: The Case of Attitudes toward Illegal Immigration

Elle Martinez, Winthrop University

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

This study investigates individuals’ ethnocentric attitudes. Using the within-variation survey experiment, the extent of ethnocentrism is found by measuring the effect of responding to the phrase “illegal immigration,” as opposed to “immigrants.” The present study also measured Social Dominance Orientation attitudes in this survey, by asking a short, six-question assessment that will assess an individual’s ideology, which is divided into Group Based Dominance and Anti-Egalitarianism categories. Using this measure, conditional analysis was conducted to see whether the effect of “illegal immigration” on individuals’ support for immigration varies by their Social Dominance Orientation attitudes measures. To this end, an online survey was conducted to collect the data. The survey consisted of questions on Social Dominance Orientation (SDO), the experimental questions on “illegal” immigrants, and sociodemographic information on individual respondents. The data were collected using a convenient sampling among Winthrop University students. It is hypothesized that a respondent with a high-level SDO will tend to show more ethnocentric attitudes. In particular, It was hypothesized that the negative effect of “illegal immigrants” would be greater among individuals with high-level SDO compared to those with low-level SDO.

Poster Number: 073

What Immigration Means For U.S. Employment and Wages


Lilibeth Lopez

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

Immigration has a significant impact on U.S. economic growth. Immigrants account for 14.4% (over 44 million) of the U.S. population. Their success has an important impact on the U.S. economy. This paper will focus on the impact of immigration on employment and wages. The Center for Immigration Studies shows that immigration has impacts on wages and employment. The negative effect of immigration on wages is primarily confined to native workers in low-skilled occupations. Immigration lowers wages for those at the bottom of the economic scale. Factors such as technological change and globalization have also played a role in the deterioration in wages for lower-skilled workers. Lower wages increase unemployment, which leads to fewer natives wanting to accept lower wages. Even with lower wages, the introduction of immigrants in the labor force increases consumption, spending, and investing, which leads to an increase in GDP and economic growth. This paper will address the benefits and costs of immigration on the U.S. labor market.

Poster Number: 074

Food Security and Social Conflict: A Comparative Analysis of Four Latin American Countries

Reagan Cady, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Maria Aysa-Lastra, Ph.D.

Colombia implemented for several years a “food security policy.” However, the effects of the armed conflict on the food security status of the population has not been evaluated. There are lasting implications of armed conflict that impact the ability for a country to be food secure, whether it is the ability to be politically stable or have access to basic drinking water. This paper seeks to explain three main objectives. First, it compares the food security status of the populations in Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. The former three countries suffered from periods of armed conflict or political and economic instability, while Chile serves as the benchmark for food security status in the region. Second, it explores the relation between conflict and food security status in these countries between 2000 to 2016. Third, it evaluates the magnitude of the negative impact of measures of armed conflict on measures of food security status. Using data from the World Bank Health, Homicide, Poverty, and Urban Development indicators; the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre; and the Food and Agricultural Organization, this paper will cross-examine variables relating to food security and armed conflict. Preliminary estimations indicate that while numbers of battle-related deaths and numbers of intentional homicides are not strongly associated with measures of food security, indexes measuring political instability are strongly associated with food security status.

Poster Number: 075

Remote Sensing and Decomposition Rates of Forest Succession Plots in the Piedmont of South Carolina

Dakota Shope, Winthrop University
Blake Campbell, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Scott Werts, Ph.D.

The Piedmont of the U.S. is dominated by ultisol soils, which often contain highly weathered geologic materials. Due to the diverse nature of land development in the southeastern U.S., these soils are often under a wide range of developmental stages and, especially in the surface horizons, contain a great deal of spatial variability in properties. In this study, we have begun a decompositional study of four forested plots in various stages of succession of former farmland. Litter bags containing native litter and cellulose paper were placed at each site and collected over two-week intervals in order to compare decomposition rates from site to site. Remote sensing stations were also established at each location to record differences in soil temperature and soil moisture. Initial results suggest that there is high variability of decomposition rates in between all the sites, even when controlled for litter type with cellulose paper. Initial decomposition rates were higher for native vegetation than the litter paper. The most recently established plot showed the highest initial rate of decomposition, followed by the more well established sites. Although soil temperature was higher in the lesser established plots, soil moisture remained lower in all these plots during the decomposition study as well, which may explain the slower decomposition rates.

Poster Number: 076

The Survival of the American Beef Farmer in Today’s Market


Zackary Heustess

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

Once the world’s agriculture leader, the United States has lost dominance over recent decades to international competitors, specifically Brazil. Since the number of American farms reached its peak at 6.8 million in 1935, this number has fallen drastically to 2.1 million by 2002. This paper will touch on one specific area of this field, beef cattle farming. Even with annual beef consumption continuing to increase in the United States, some developing trends might threaten farmers even further in the near future. These trends include the rapid scaling of corporate farming, the increased concern over the environmental impact from red meat, and health concerns. This paper will research how the American farmer can survive in today’s quickly changing market, with a focus on beef cattle farming. To do this, analysis of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data and scholarly articles will occur to evaluate the current status and future trends for consumption and the farming market. After thorough evaluation, recommendations for how farmers can make the necessary adjustments to survive moving forward will be presented.

Poster Number: 077

Nutrition and the Labor Market


Jesse Defalco, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

Do different income levels affect the foods people consume? It is commonly known that healthier foods are more expensive than unhealthy foods. Those with lower incomes tend to gravitate toward fast food and junk food, with those with higher incomes tend to gravitate toward fruits, vegetables, and healthier options, including having personal chefs and ordering proportioned meals delivered to their homes. Lower income people consuming unhealthy foods potentially leads to health issues such as malnutrition, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Not everyone is aware of the health side effects of their diets. It is shown that people who are less educated (and more likely to have lower paying jobs) do not know the effects of their diets as well as those who are highly educated. However, some people are still aware of the health effects of their diet but their occupation, such as being a truck driver, for example, requires them to eat on the road more (fast food). There are many statistics that need to be looked at to confirm these statements, including the incomes and jobs of people who consume fast food versus those who eat at healthy establishments. Another factor is the locations of various establishments, and the average income of the area. In conclusion, this research will explore how wealthier people have healthier options than people with lower incomes.

Poster Number: 078

The Bridge


T.J. Peeler

Faculty Mentor: Bryan McFadden, M.S.

Rock Hill is expanding. Long term projections for growth in and around the City of Charlotte mean that people will continue to move to the City of Rock Hill. Recently, the Carolina Panthers announced the purchase of 200 acres for development of a practice facility, restaurants, hotels, office space, and residential expansion. Rock Hill has hosted national competitions in numerous sports, and has recently hosted a world competition in biking. Infrastructure must be improved to help support a growing population and increased visitation. This project focuses on the location of a new bridge crossing over the Catawba River between the Highway 21 Bypass bridge and the Highway 5 bridge, which would help connect the Indian Land, Weddington, Waxhaw, and Monroe areas to Rock Hill. This bridge would promote visitation to the soon-to-be 1,900-acre Destiny Park that will be constructed at the end of Nealy Store Road. It also has the potential to increase Rock Hill's economic interest, by allowing easier access to Destiny Park, the Panthers’ practice facility, and Rock Hill shopping areas. Using geographic information systems and public data, I will investigate a potential bridge site to identify sensitive habitats, parcel ownership, and accessibility.

Poster Number: 079

Climate Change-Induced Relocation of Coastal Alaskan Communities

Sara Mulligan, Winthrop University

Although the existence, or intensity, of future climate change is heavily debated, coastal Alaskan communities are already impacted by rising sea levels and reductions in the amount of sea ice. These communities are vulnerable to severe and increasing coastal erosion, causing them to consider relocating. However, leaving a place where they have deep cultural roots and traditions on how to live off of the land that are passed from generation to generation causes significant challenges in deciding to abandon their home land. The politics, economics, and cultural aspects of climate change-induced displacement will be discussed by following the journeys of current Alaskan communities, such as Shishmaref and Newtok. In relation to these communities, possible pathways towards a sustainable future will also be proposed, with attention to each interdisciplinary perspective.

Poster Number: 080

Microplastics in the Bahamas: Tiny Plastics, Big Problem

Lauren Forsythe, Winthrop University
Norah Mendoza, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Diana Boyer, Ph.D.

A big problem the world's oceans are currently facing is plastics being integrated into marine ecosystems. The majority of the plastics found in the world’s oceans are identified as microplastics (<5>mm). Microplastics were the main focus for this study conducted in San Salvador, Bahamas, a remote and subtropical island with numerous beaches. This study aimed to provide evidence for the presence of microplastics and to quantify and classify microplastics found on Bahamian beaches with respect to grain size. Samples were taken from the following seven beaches: Rocky Point, Sue Point, Monument Beach, Grotto Beach, Sandy Point, French Bay, and East Beach. From each beach, approximately 150 g of surface sand was collected from the high tide line. A NightSea Royal blue light was used to identify and examine microplastics, as most weresize, abundance, and classification of plastic particles and fibers in the sand. The results of this study revealed that microplastics were ubiquitous, and those of sub-millimeter size were surprisingly abundant.

Poster Number: 081

Energy Conserving Behaviors among Winthrop University Students

JOSHUA ATECA, Winthrop University

This thesis seeks to answer the question, “Why do students at Winthrop University vary in their energy conservation behaviors?” The paper sets out by establishing the importance of energy conservation, followed by an introduction to consumer behaviors that conserve energy. It then attempts to explain why people conserve and makes the claim that people conserve energy at varying degrees. Finally, the thesis takes a closer look at the behaviors of Winthrop students, as revealed by original research, and compares their behavior to that of college students in general, as described by current literature. The core objective of the thesis is to draw conclusions about the conservation behaviors of Winthrop students, and to make recommendations for improving educational content and strategies that foster increased student engagement in energy conservation.

Poster Number: 082

Updating of USGS Data for Large Scale Land Use Analysis

Sara Mulligan, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Bryan McFadden, M.S., and Scott Werts, Ph.D.

Geospatial technologies are tools that can be used to map, measure, and monitor data about the surface of the earth. Data can be collected from satellite and aerial sensors, or locally from field observations. Combining these various pieces of information allows for the creation of a detailed, large-scale dataset that can be used to better understand local area patterns and issues. Highly detailed geographic datasets can be analyzed to track change over time and better understand the impacts of land-use change. This project will consist of integrating various geospatial datasets acquired from federal, state, and local entities. Specifically it will involve acquiring soil survey data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a local property and updating the information based on soil samples and profiles collected from the site. Combining field samples taken from a local South Carolina site and geospatial analysis techniques will help to update the database and allow for a more specific and detailed survey of the local soils and potential land-use impacts. The large-scale local study provides project-based analysis to be able to compare and map different aspects of soil samples such as type, drainage, and vegetation. Highly detailed information creates a more useful catalogue of soils, allowing for widespread use of the updated, more accurate data.

Poster Number: 083

Methods for Mapping Algal Blooms: Do They Produce Similar Results?


Paige Denney

Faculty Mentor: Bryan McFadden, M.S.

Algal blooms occur when there is an overabundance of algae in a freshwater or saltwater body. Algal blooms often have negative effects on human health, the environment, and the economy. They increase during summer months due to heightened water temperatures. With the climate warming gradually, the occurrence of algal blooms will likely increase. Mapping algal blooms using geospatial data and analysis methods is incredibly important to understanding where algal blooms happen and how they have increased over time. In my research project, I use geospatial data to map an algal bloom in Lake St. Clair, Michigan. My data originate from the satellite Landsat 8 and were collected on July 14, 2019. I use the Blue Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (BNDVI) and the Surface Algal Bloom Index (SABI) for my analysis of the data. I combine each of these, as well as the original data, with a supervised classification. The purpose is to determine whether similar results can be derived from each of these methods.

Poster Number: 084

Factors that Influence Young People’s Spiritual Beliefs during the Transition to Adulthood

Adalaina Musheff, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

This study examined whether young adults perceived their faith to have changed since high school and what factors influenced the transition. Participants (n = 102) were adults (74% White and 81% women) with a mean age of 22.67 (SD = 6.99). Participants responded to an online survey to assess faith practices and Christianity beliefs. Questions were created to assess past and current ethical behaviors, motivation for church attendance, and social aspects of spiritual beliefs. It was anticipated that high school experiences would predict religious beliefs in young adults. This idea received some support. Adults who held conservative religious beliefs in their family of origin tended to maintain the beliefs, but not necessarily the religious behaviors. In fact, spiritual beliefs influenced later beliefs more than did early religious behavior or activities. Most of our participants indicated that their parents were the most influential people in determining their faith; however, those with conservative ideology were also more likely to agree that they relied on a spiritual mentor in high school who was not a parent. If adults perceived their parents as hypocritical, they felt it damaged their relationships with God. If adults perceived the church as hypocritical, they directly blamed God. In other words, adults equated the church with God but saw their parents as more of spiritual guides. These findings suggest that spirituality, which impacts young adults’ health and achievement, begins during the high school years, but also evolves, with progressive faith beliefs being more malleable than conservative faith beliefs.

Poster Number: 085

Religion, Mindfulness, and Resilience as Strategies to Cope With Anxiety


Kristen Watson, Winthrop University
Hailey Upton, Winthrop University
Sara Warner, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

This study examined mindfulness, resilience, and anxiety in adults adhering to either traditional or progressive, more flexible, faith beliefs. Participants (n = 98) were college students (64% Caucasian; 85% women) with a mean age of 21.78 (SD = 5.44). Twenty-nine percent had previously received a diagnosis of anxiety. Participants responded to the following scales: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being, Mindfulness Attention Awareness, Spiritual Experience Index, and Brief Resilience. Additionally, participants were asked about their level of agreement with religious tenants in order to categorize participants as having traditional, progressive, or non-differentiated religious beliefs. It was found that mindfulness and resilience emerged as better predictors of anxiety level than did religion. Contradicting the hypothesis, higher mindfulness did not predict lower anxiety; instead, lower anxiety related to lower mindfulness and higher resilience. Perhaps a mindful, or intentional, focus on daily experiences increased anxiety in anxious people, and the current sample of college students reported high levels of anxiety. Traditionally religious college students reported using religion to cope with stress; however, they were no more or less anxious than other students. This study also found that adults who agreed with liberal theology looked more like non-religious than conservatively religious adults in terms of religion’s impact on their lives. These findings emphasize the fact that adults who consider themselves to be religious are not a homogeneous group and that the trait of resilience might be a more consistent buffer against anxiety than is mindfulness or religion.

Poster Number: 086

Story of Conversion: Why People Choose to Change Religions

Kathryn Priddy, Winthrop University

It is not uncommon for individuals to have and maintain their childhood religions throughout their lives. For many individuals, it is unfathomable to even consider leaving. However, this sentiment is not universal, as there are some people who choose to leave their childhood religion for another. The idea that someone can change from their childhood religion to another can be distressing for those who stay within their childhood religion and brings up the question as to why anyone would ever consider it. Recent scholarship suggests that there are different factors that can contribute to or dissuade conversion among people of various religious groups. In particular, four types of stress involving community, intellect, emotions, and spirituality seem to be of great importance and can be vital factors when one chooses to switch religions.

Poster Number: 087

Ethics in the Global Village

Ashley Holbert

Faculty Mentor: William Schulte, Ph.D.

Technological progress and far-reaching access to information have made media writer Marshall McLuhan’s prophesy of a global village a reality, but these advancements have introduced tremendous ethical complications to the field of international reporting. Mass media practitioners with the greatest reach are given the responsibility of interpreting natural disasters, human rights atrocities, soccer games and scenes of war on a global stage, as the world gathers around their televisions or smartphones to watch. Disparities in media coverage and a lack of native context leave a fractional picture of life beyond the reach of the Western world, and reporters in offices scattered across London and New York serve as the gatekeepers to information about countries they have never visited. The methods used to examine this issue in the following research included a comprehensive literature review focused on global media ethics and a textual analysis of three years of international news coverage regarding the country of South Sudan as reported by the New York Times. The research uncovered that sources local to South Sudan were used only a third of the time, and Western experts and reports dominated exponentially more space in the majority of articles. Additionally, reporters writing from South Sudan were far more likely to include local sources in their narratives than reporters located in Western cities across the globe. The purpose of this report is to emphasize the need for cosmopolitan journalism and greater local representation in the global news cycle.

Poster Number: 088

Do Nonhuman Animals Have the Capacity for Ethics and Morals?

Breanna Walden, Winthrop University

Ethics and morals are subjective concepts and are based on the values that individuals hold within society. Ethics is the entirety of one’s sense of self and place within the society based on the values and rules of conduct by which one lives. Morals are the universal and inviolable rules in any society. These terms are often used synonymously; however, they are not the same, and the distinction is important. Ethics and morals are able to change depending on the context in which they are being used, such as different cultures, countries, or groups. Some ethologists believe there is no biological basis for morals and ethics, and this led to the idea that nonhuman animals do not have ethics or morals. In this paper, it is argued that nonhuman animals do demonstrate morals and ethics. Key moral and ethical concepts found in most human cultures, such as altruism, community concern, conflict resolution, consolation, empathy, reciprocity, and sympathy have also been shown within nonhuman animals, and this argues for the presence of moral and ethical systems in those species, as well.

Poster Number: 089

The Correlation between Film Score and the Film's Success

Courtney AR Singleton, Winthrop University

This research analyzes the correlation between film scores and films’ success. Without the film scores, films that viewers know and love would not be as successful as they are. This can be supported by analyzing how film scores have impacted the films that they accompany. Even during the silent film era, music has nearly always played a role in film. While the visuals of a film impact the viewer at a conscious level, the music impacts the viewer in subconscious ways that heighten the viewing experience. Examples of how pertinent film scoring is to the film can be seen through John Williams’ work for Star Wars and E.T., The Extra Terrestrial. In both works, the respective directors have claimed that the film was greatly enhanced by Williams’ scores. American Beauty, scored by Thomas Newman, is another example. These examples suggest that music is a consistent part of film, and furthermore, an important part of the artistic success of most films.

Poster Number: 090

Digital Access as a Socioculturally Minded Process: a Literature Review

Anslie Vickery, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Chen Chen, Ph.D.

“Access” has many meanings in digital media and rhetoric studies, and many scholars approach it differently. This literature review seeks to highlight the need for greater awareness of a more cultural approach to access. It is crucial to understand the presence of the physical human body, even in digital spaces, as identity often defines how we approach and interact with media and digital discourses. In studies of access to digital information, we approach a crucial question: how present is the human body in online spaces? When we enter digital spaces, does the body fade? How does our sociocultural status affect our access to digital information? Free and “available” information that is not adapted to as many bodies as possible still fails to be accessible. Accessibility is also a continuous practice, requiring continued study and adjustment to provide access to as many people as possible. This poster reviews and synthesizes past and current approaches to media accessibility, focusing on scholarship in digital and cultural rhetorics such as Angela Haas’ “Toward a Digital Cultural Rhetoric” and other scholarship from disability and accessibility studies, such as work by Melanie Yergeau. This project seeks to highlight the need for a more process-oriented view of access in digital media, ultimately concluding that the study and practice of media accessibility must become more socioculturally contextualized.

Poster Number: 091

Creating a Cult: How the Canterbury Monks Capitalized on the Myth of Thomas Becket in Popular Culture, Visual and Textual Imagery, and Branding

Martha Whiteman, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Kyle Sweeney, Ph.D.

The brutal murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in his own cathedral sent tremors throughout medieval Europe, prompting a subsequent interest in Canterbury Cathedral. Immediately following Becket’s death, people began to proclaim miracles in his name. Thus, the cult of Becket originated. Over the next four centuries, Canterbury would be a primary pilgrimage site, drawing pious pilgrims and curious spectators alike. This rapid influx of pilgrims can be linked to both the myth of Thomas Becket in popular culture and the Canterbury monks’ superiority in cultivating a cult culture. This research addresses three key points. One is the importance of miracle accounts in creating a populist cult. Laypeople were the first to convey miraculous accounts. In this way, they appropriated the miracle experience and attached themselves to the cult of Becket. The second key point is the superior marketing techniques the monks at Canterbury employed in attracting the masses. This includes capitalizing on the pilgrimage experience, which can be seen in an array of souvenirs produced near Canterbury (e.g., pilgrimage badges). The third key point is creating a sensorial environment that must be experienced. By engaging the pilgrim’s senses at every station of the cathedral, the monks strategically heightened the feeling of awe one feels at experiencing something spectacular. Much of this sensorial environment is created through the cathedral’s visual culture. This essay will provide new readings of the use of visual and textual culture in the manipulation of the pilgrim’s experience – an issue relevant to both the medieval and modern pilgrimage experience.

Poster Number: 092

Reviewer Comparisons of Popular Books and the Associated Film Adaptations

Elizabeth Johnson, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Darren Ritzer, Ph.D.

Almost a quarter of the top-grossing movies across the world have been adapted from books. The goal of this research was to explore the link between the movie and publishing industries, addressing the common query of whether the book was better than the movie. Because books frequently drive movie production (and not the reverse), it was hypothesized that books would receive more positive ratings than film adaptations. The research began by identifying four movie genres, and then identifying three authors in each category whose best-selling novels were successfully adapted for the screen. Public reviews posted through sites for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Rotten Tomatoes, and IMDb were then collected. Previous research indicated that reviews on Amazon tend to be longer and more impactful than those on Barnes & Noble. A paired sample t-test comparing movie reviews (Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb) to book reviews on Amazon found that books were rated more positively than were the associated movies, t(85) = 4.48, p < 0.01. The same test comparing movie reviews to book reviews on Barnes & Noble found no significant difference, t(62) = 0.31, p > 0.05. These findings provide some support for the hypothesis. It is worthy to note that movies were never rated higher than books. At the very least, this research has provided some initial evidence that the book may be better than the movie, a tentative outcome that is likely to appeal to avid readers across the globe.

Poster Number: 095

Fans’ Emotional Reactions during a Live Sporting Event: Examination of Twitter during National Football League (NFL) Game

Caroline Rowell, Winthrop University

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

This research focused on understanding and analyzing sports fans’ emotional reactions during a live sporting event through Twitter. Technology and usage of social media arouse in the sports world. One major social media platform that stood out was Twitter and how researchers are transforming Twitter into more ways to interact with fans and gain access to live game stats. Data were collected by gathering tweets generated during the Carolina Panthers—Tennessee Titans football game that was played on November 3, 2019. The game started at 1 p.m., and 100 tweets were collected for each hour during a 3-hour window. A majority of the tweets came from the Carolina Panthers’ official Twitter pages, highlight tweets from ESPN, and Game Center Twitter pages. Tweets were compiled from major plays that occurred throughout the game, such as touchdowns, sacks, field goals, and poor play-calling. Collected tweets were categorized into 4 different emotions (e.g., happiness, sadness, enjoyment, frustration). These tweets were analyzed to examine fans’ positive or negative emotional status during the sporting event. Furthermore, the analysis provided better understanding of what plays cause fans to react more and what main emotions drive them to tweet throughout the live sporting event.

Poster Number: 097

Motivation to Participate in Adaptive Cycling among Disabilities

Mollie Barron, Winthrop University

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

The factors that encourage individuals to participate in adaptive sports are often the same motivations a person would have to be part of non-adapted sports. Those individuals motivated to pursue adaptive cycling have a unique perspective of these encouraging factors. Adaptive cycling offers countless variations of equipment, allowing for most any person with a physical restriction to be a part of the sport. Cycling, adapted or otherwise, inspires strength, independence, an escape from normal life, a way to socialize with old and new friends, and a hobby that builds physical capability and internal self-perception. These outcomes are often major motivations an athlete may have. Understanding these motivations could help further the sport industry’s inclusion of all athletes, regardless of physical ability, thereby allowing those who may not usually be able to participate in community activities to be welcomed and encouraged to get involved in the ways that matter deeply to them. This level of care goes a step farther than meeting ADA requirements and demonstrates a unique and welcoming perspective to the recreation and sport community. This research will explore the motivations people with and without physical restrictions have to cycle that are deeper than rehabilitation and competition.

Poster Number: 098

Examining the Psychometric Evaluation of How Consumers Purchase Game Day Tickets

Gweneshia Wadlington, Winthrop University

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

Why do consumers use Ticketmaster’s ticket purchasing app over other forms of ticket purchasing? Is its use due to its popularity among sponsors who partner with the site to sell their event day tickets? Is its popularity among consumers just coincidental? Or is it only because consumers are unaware of other ticket vendors? The purpose of this research is to focus on why consumers commit to a specific ticket generating app versus buying the tickets elsewhere or purchasing paper tickets from the team they are supporting, and to understand the psychometric evaluation of why the consumers do so. The data for this research were collected by conducting a 14-question survey over the course of three weeks. The survey collected data on demographics, mediums used, and sociological mindsets of respondents. It was concluded that the data collected weren’t enough to show any significant difference between either of the four mobile websites that were researched. Results of this study can be used in sports to understand consumers and their thinking, similar to the Elaboration Likelihood Model, and to understand why they gravitate to one specific mobile app and the underlying purpose for their brand loyalty towards that app, evaluating their psychometrics.

Poster Number: 099

Yoga Practitioners’ Chosen Facility Based on Their Motives for Practice and its Implications in Marketing Strategies

Cherilyn Heintz, Winthrop University

Yoga in a modern and Americanized sense has skewed from its original intent. There has been a shift from a spiritually sacred practice to a trendy commercialized exercise. The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is a significant difference in motivation for yoga practitioners who practice at a yoga studio versus those who practice at a recreation center. It is hypothesized that those who practice at a recreation center will have different motivations for practice than those who attend a yoga studio. The key motivations that will be considered are: physical fitness, spirituality, relaxation, community, and price sensitivity. This outcome will be determined by an online survey distributed to those of both populations and analyzed for significant differences. The results of this study help to understand customers’ motivations and contribute to marketing strategy for both yoga studios and recreation centers.

Poster Number: 100

Characterization of Microbacterium liquefaciencs Bacteriophages Isolated from the Local Soil Environment on the Winthrop University Campus

Hunter Tristen Cannon, Winthrop University
Ayden Dybik, Winthrop University
Nicole R. Garcia, Winthrop University
Joel A. Haley, Winthrop University
Caleb M. Meyerand, Winthrop University
Dallas Nivens, Winthrop University
Lauren E. Patterson, Winthrop University
Alexis A. Ramirez, Winthrop University
Jordan N. Rucker, Winthrop University
Laela A. Walker, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Kristi M. Westover, Ph.D., and Victoria J. Frost, Ph.D.

In the fourth year of Winthrop University’s involvement in the HHMI SEA—PHAGES program, two new bacteriophages were discovered and annotated using the host Microbacterium liquefaciens. Bacteriophages Mercedes and Leafus were isolated from soil on the Winthrop University campus in Rock Hill, South Carolina. DNA from each phage was isolated, and restriction enzyme digests were performed. Phage structures were also described using TEM microscopy. Once isolated, the DNA was sent to the University of Pittsburgh for genomic sequencing. DNA Master software and other programs, including Glimmer, GeneMark, Phamerator, the NCBI Blast Local Alignment Search Tool, the HHPred Bioinformatics Toolkit, and Starterator, were used to annotate and identify the functions of genes by comparing the sequences to other phages. The Mercedes genome length was found to be 40,230 base pairs (bp) long in a circularly permuted organization containing an estimated 59 genes. The Leafus genome length was found to be 42,000 bp long, also in a circularly permuted pattern containing an estimated 64 genes. While Leafus is a member of the EA1 subcluster, Mercedes has not been placed into a subcluster yet. The completed annotation should be able to shed light on its phylogenetic relationship with other EA cluster phages. The two most closely related phage sequences based on nucleotide similarity and gene structure are Neferthena, and EA5 subcluster phage and Chepli, an EA6 cluster phage. SEA—PHAGES research allowing for exploration of mycobacteriophage genomes will help researchers to ultimately develop gene libraries for biomedically relevant bacteriophages.

Poster Number: 102

Measuring Heat Related to the Disassembly and Reassembly of Ferritin using Isothermal Titration Calorimetry

Brandon Ellison, Winthrop University
Alexandra Perez, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Nicholas Grossoehme, Ph.D., and F. Wayne Outten, Ph.D., University of South Carolina

Ferritin is an iron storage protein responsible for the accumulation of excess intracellular iron. Native ferritin self-aggregates into a nanocage structure containing a ferroxidase center that regulates the uptake and release of iron. In recent years, researchers have begun to explore using ferritin as a component in drug delivery. Ferritin is an attractive candidate because it is a native human protein that has the ability to encapsulate small molecules. Furthermore, it can be chemically or genetically modified to target very specific cells. One major limitation of drug delivery by ferritin lies in its inherent stability: harshly acidic conditions are needed to drive the disassembly of the nanocage. It was recently discovered that replacing the E-helix of human light chain ferritin with a GALA peptide repeat (hFtnL-GALA) would allow for the pH-induced disassembly to occur at a pH below 6, thus rendering ferritin a more attractive drug carrier under physiologically relevant conditions. This project aims to express and purify hFtnL-GALA with a subsequent thermodynamic characterization of the disassembly and reassembly of the nanocage. The chimeric protein is largely isolated in an insoluble form; consequently, the published protocol failed to produce enough protein for subsequent experiments. An alternate protocol was developed that leveraged urea to resuspend the insoluble fraction, followed by slow dilution to allow the protein to fold properly. Chromatographic analysis of the sample was consistent with an intact nanocage structure. Ongoing efforts are focused on developing a strategy that yields sufficient protein for further analysis.

Poster Number: 103

Mapping Brain-Wide Inputs to Two Distinct Thalamic Nuclei


Juliana Quay, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ying Zhang, Ph.D.; Dheeraj Roy, Ph.D.; and Guoping Feng, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The thalamus contains many nuclei, among which the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) and parafascicular thalamus (PF) have been found to be the most unique based on their single cell RNA-sequencing transcriptomic signature. Functionally, ATN has been implicated in learning, memory, and spatial navigation, whereas PF is thought to contribute to both fine and coarse motor actions. The outputs of these two structures have been fairly well characterized; however, much less is known about brain regions that send inputs to these nuclei. In order to identify the regions that serve as inputs to ATN versus PF in a brain-wide manner, we used the monosynaptic rabies virus tracing approach. We imaged representative coronal mouse brain sections and aligned each section to the standard mouse brain atlas, before quantifying the number of retrogradely labeled rabies virus-positive neurons in each brain region upstream of ATN and PF. These data allowed us to create a rank-ordered list of brain regions that serve as inputs to ATN and PF, which has not been reported in the literature. We found that the retrosplenial granular cortex (RSG) and cingulate cortex (Cg1) were the regions sending greatest input to ATN, while a sub-division of the superior colliculus (InG), the anterior pretectal nucleus (APTD), and a sub-division of the motor cortex (M2) sent the greatest input to PF. This work not only sets the stage for future input-specific circuit manipulations during mouse behavioral tasks, but it will also serve as a resource for the entire thalamic neuroscience field.

Poster Number: 104

Diet Analysis of Juvenile Dragonflies Using Group-Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction

Rachael Rowe
Whitney Player

Faculty Mentor: Cynthia Tant, Ph.D.

Aquatic food webs are complex, and understanding interactions in these food webs can give an indication of ecosystem health and stability, as well as movement of energy and nutrients through ecosystems. Previous studies have utilized both microscopic gut content analysis and stable isotopes to aid in constructing food webs in these ecosystems. However, gut content analysis is time-consuming, stable isotope analysis can be cost prohibitive, and both methods only identify general categories of food items. The application of newer, molecular-based approaches has the potential to provide previously unavailable taxonomic resolution in aquatic food webs (i.e., who is eating whom?). DNA-based methods have been used in other disciplines for diet analyses, but have not been widely applied in freshwater ecology. We collected juvenile dragonflies (Odonata, Anisoptera) from Winthrop Lake in Rock Hill, South Carolina, dissected gut contents, and extracted DNA from individuals in three genera. We amplified DNA via PCR, using group-specific primers targeting mitochondrial CO1 gene regions for midges (Diptera, Chironomidae) and mosquitoes (Diptera, Culicidae) to identify these potential prey in gut contents; we used gel electrophoresis as a presence/absence test for DNA from these prey groups. Occurrence of prey groups in gut contents varied by individual and by genus of dragonfly examined. With further refinement, these methods have the potential to provide previously unavailable detail on predator—prey interactions in these ecosystems.

Poster Number: 105

Optimization of RNA Isolation Methodology from Three-Dimensional Collagen Hydrogel Culture Systems

Nathaniel C. Kidd, Winthrop University
Chandler E. Burt, 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, which better replicates an in vivo environment. Interestingly, 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 higher order structures. The goal of our project is to evaluate the signal transduction pathways and cellular mechanisms that mediate toroid formation. The specific goal of the work described here was to optimize RNA isolation methodology 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. We went on to conduct a twelve-hour time-course experiment where RNA was isolated from adipose derived stem cells cultured under toroid-forming conditions every two hours. This enables us to compare gene-expression profiles of cells during toroid formation via methods like real-time RT-PCR andRNA sequencing in the future. Such comparisons will provide valuable insight into the mechanisms of toroid formation and self-organization by stem cells in developmental and regenerative contexts.

Poster Number: 106

Isolating, Purifying, and Investigating Mycobacterial Lysogens

Allyssa L. Lewis, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Victoria Frost, Ph.D.

Bacteria have shared an entangled evolutionary history with bacteriophages for the past three billion years. Some bacteriophages use a specific type of infectious pathway (lysogeny) that maintains their hosts’ viability, thus enabling a mechanism of coexistence. In certain phage genomes, annotation has revealed the presence of immunity-related genes, which suggests a mechanism of how some bacteriophages can protect their hosts and resist superinfection by other related bacteriophages. To investigate this further, two temperate (and previously annotated) mycobacteriophages (ExplosioNervosa and Rhynn) were isolated in an effort to create lysogens in their host cell, Mycobacteria smegmatis. Once created, the lysogens were purified and tested against their original infecting phage as well as an unrelated bacteriophage (Haimas) to see if they were able to resist superinfection. Tests showed that both Haimas and the original viruses were still able to infect the lysogens and cause them to lyse. The ability of bacteriophages to lyse their own lysogens raised the idea of spontaneous reversion: the prophages could have reverted to the lytic cycle due to a triggering condition in their environment. The ability of the host—phage relationship to respond to certain environmental signals warrants further investigation, as does manipulation of the genes linked with immunity and infection. Investigating the triggers and unraveling the mechanisms that fuel coevolution help further our understanding of the host—parasite equilibrium that exists today and highlights opportunities for future applications.

Poster Number: 107

Host Range Investigations of Novel Bacteriophages

Bethany M. Wise, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Kristi Westover, Ph.D., and Victoria Frost, Ph.D.

Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacterial cells, using them as hosts to express their genetic material and replicate. Some bacteriophages use a specific strain of bacterial host for this procedure, while others are less host-specific. This study aims to help understand this area of phage—bacteria interaction by investigating the ability of bacteriophages to replicate in alternative hosts. Bacteriophages originally isolated from Microbacterium foliorum were tested for their ability to infect and lyse Microbacterium testaceum, Microbacterium paraoxydans, Microbacterium liquefaciens, and Mycobacteria smegmatis. Spot titer assays demonstrated plaque formations on alternative hosts by two of the 16 phages (MonChoix and Sirkeiram). Three of the phages (Aries55, BravoCanis and Iann) were able to infect Mycobacteria smegmatis. In addition, two novel phages (Ixel and Nebulous) were isolated from the bacterial host M. liquefaciens. Using M. liquefaciens as the host, the infective abilities of Ixel and Nebulous were compared to those of MonChoix and Sirkeiram. The phenotypic measure of infectivity is termed Efficiency of Plating (EOP) and for both the M. foliorum isolated phages, the EOP was less (<1) when compared to the host phages. It is likely that the expression of particular genes in the genomes of phage and bacterial host is able to influence this phenomenon. A number of the phage genomes have been annotated. Genetic comparison and further testing phenotypically, will help elucidate whether specific, present genes function to enable phage to use a wide host range.

Poster Number: 108

Evaluating the Effects of Detergent Concentration on the Ultrastructure and Recellularization of Porcine Internal Thoracic Artery Scaffolds

Carlos E. Escoto-Diaz, Winthrop University
Jesse B. Kooistra, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Stern, Ph.D.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in developed countries, leading to an increase demand for coronary artery bypass graft surgeries. Currently, bypass surgery requires either that a vessel is harvested from the patient or that a donor graft is provided. An alternative approach is the use of tissue-engineered vascular grafts. The goal of this study is to evaluate the potential of scaffolds derived from porcine internal thoracic arteries (PITAs) for use in vascular tissue engineering. PITA scaffolds can be produced through the process of decellularization, which uses detergents to remove porcine (pig) cells while leaving behind the extracellular matrix of the tissue. We hypothesized that increasing detergent concentration during decellularization would affect the ultrastructure of PITA scaffolds and be associated with greater residual cytoxicity. We evaluated the ultrastructure of the scaffolds using scanning electron microscopy and observed that increasing detergent concentration was associated with greater scaffold porosity. We evaluated the residual cytotoxicity of the scaffolds using the alamarBlue viability assay and found that extensive rinsing is required to eliminate scaffold cytotoxicity. We verified the ability of endothelial cells to grow on/in the scaffolds using a combination of the alamarBlue viability assay and fluorescent microscopy. Taken together, our results show that PITA scaffolds with different ultrastructural features can be prepared and repopulated with endothelial cells as long as the scaffolds are properly rinsed. Establishing an effective procedure for recellularization of PITA scaffolds will ultimately aid in the development of a clinically relevant alternative to our current options for vascular grafts.

Poster Number: 109

Investigation of an Indirect Defense Mechanism of Chapmannia floridana in Florida Scrub

Mackenzie Jenkins

Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Schafer, Ph.D.

Glandular trichomes (i.e., sticky hairs) that entrap carrion act as indirect defenses in some plant species. The sticky hairs attract predators that consume the carrion. Predators then deter herbivores from harming the plant, leading to an increase in the survival and/or reproduction of the plant. Flowering stems of Chapmannia floridana (Florida Alicia), a perennial plant endemic to Florida, are covered in sticky hairs, which may act as an indirect defense. For 84 flowering C. floridana individuals across six habitats in the Florida scrub ecosystem, we counted the number of fruits, flowers, and buds present and documented any damage to reproductive structures. In addition, we counted the number of carrion, herbivores, and predators on each flowering stem. There was a positive relationship between the length of the trichome-covered portion of the stem and the number of carrion trapped. Only 19% of flower buds, 15% of flowers, and 10% of fruits we counted were damaged. We found predatory spiders on 6% of flowering stems and herbivores such as grasshoppers and caterpillars on 37% of flowering stems. For scrubby flatwoods and firelane habitats, we found no association between habitat and damage. There was no association between carrion presence and damage; however, the probability of damage to reproductive structures decreased as the number of trapped carrion increased. Overall, our results suggest that herbivory of C. floridana reproductive structures is relatively low and that glandular trichomes on C. floridana may be acting as an indirect defense.

Poster Number: 110

Investigating the Responsiveness of Embryonic Chick Retinal Ganglion Cells to Semaphorin-3A

Shane Ira C. Lacanin, Winthrop University
Fatoumata Nancy Cisse, Winthrop University
Allison T. Reed, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Eric Birgbauer, Ph.D.

During embryonic development, neural connections are made when axons grow over long distances to find their synaptic targets, guided by terminal structures called growth cones. Growth cones either continue to grow or collapse, retracting and growing in a different direction, in response to attractive or repulsive cues. One such axon guidance cue is Semaphorin-3A (Sema-3A). Luo et al. (1993) showed that Sema-3A causes growth cone collapse from embryonic chick dorsal root ganglion cells (DRGs) but not from chick retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). However, the experiment was repeated in Dr. Birgbauer’s lab, and we found that Sema-3A can cause growth cone collapse of chick RGCs. There are several possible hypotheses on why the results of those two experiments differed. There could be a dose-dependent difference or an age-dependent difference. There could also be a time-dependent difference, since the previous research assay was for 60 minutes while we used a 15-minute assay. We have tested these hypotheses and found a dose-dependent growth cone collapse in chick RGCs. Also, the time response of Sema-3A was investigated, revealing that RGCs exhibited a peak of collapse after 15 minutes, and that they started regenerating at 20 minutes. We also examined the responsiveness of different embryonic ages to Sema-3A, and it was found that as the chick embryo develops, the chick RGCs maintain a significant level of responsiveness (p < 0.05). We have also investigated the expression of Sema-3A receptors, Neuropilin-1 and Neuropilin-2, as well as their co-receptors in the chick retina by RT-PCR. We found that all of these are expressed except for Class B plexins and Neuropilin-1. In conclusion, we have found strong evidence that Sema-3A induces growth cone collapse in embryonic chick RGCs. We found that the retinal growth cone collapse is dose-dependent and developmentally relevant. Also, embryonic chick RGC growth cones rapidly desensitize to Sema-3A, explaining the difference from Luo et al.

Poster Number: 111

Optimization of Culture Conditions for the Simultaneous Recellularization of Porcine Internal Thoracic Artery Scaffolds with Multiple Cell Types

Holdyn C. Ferguson, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Stern, Ph.D.

The increasing prevalence of ischemic diseases has generated a growing need for heart bypass surgeries. The goal of our research is to tissue engineer vascular grafts from scaffolds derived from decellularized porcine internal thoracic arteries that can be recellularized with patient-specific cells and restore function more effectively than current methods. The ability to recellularize scaffolds with multiple cell types, including endothelial cells (ECs), smooth muscle cells (SMCs), and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) is important for imparting function to an engineered vessel. However, an important question that arises is what type of cell culture media should be used to allow the different cell types to grow together. We hypothesized that mixtures of two media types that support growth of two of the cell types of interest could be identified. To test our hypothesis, we grew ECs in different combinations of 1) EC and SMC medium and 2) EC and ADSC medium. We also grew ADSCs in different combinations of EC and ADSC medium. We monitored the viability of the cells and assessed the expression of CD31 by ECs cultured in different media combinations. In all cases, the growth of the cell type of interest was no different in a 50:50 combination of its medium and the other medium than growth in 100% of its own medium. In addition, CD31 expression was maintained by ECs under all experimental conditions. These results suggest that 50:50 mixtures of culture medium will support the growth of two cell types within our vascular scaffolds.

Poster Number: 112

Synthesis of Diarylpyridines as Aggregation Inhibitors for Alzheimer’s Amyloid-β Peptide

Kendall J. Claxton, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: James M. Hanna Jr., Ph.D., and Robin K. Lammi, Ph.D.

Amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) self-assembles into neurotoxic, β-structured aggregates, which are the primary component of the extracellular senile plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. A variety of small molecules have been shown to inhibit the aggregation process; typically, these contain aromatic groups and one or more hydrogen-bond donors. Previous studies have demonstrated that terphenyltetrols exhibit some degree of efficacy as Aβ aggregation inhibitors. For example, o-terphenyl-3,3″,4,4″-tetrol is a moderately effective inhibitor of Aβ aggregation (IC50 = 2.7±0.3X). Recent modeling studies suggest that binding of small molecules to Aβ may occur via several types of intermolecular interactions, including both hydrogen bonding and π-π interactions (i.e., π-stacking). In addition, other studies indicate that π-interactions between benzene and electron-deficient heterocyclic aromatic rings are stronger than similar benzene-benzene interactions. Based on these observations, it is hypothesized that incorporation of a pyridine unit as the central linker in the above-described tetrahydroxyteraryl scaffold may lead to increased inhibition of Aβ aggregation. Therefore, the present study set out to synthesize a series of bis(dihydroxyphenyl)pyridines via Suzuki coupling of 3,4-dimethoxybenzene-boronic acid with an appropriate dibromopyridine, followed by demethylation in refluxing aqueous HBr. In this poster, progress toward this goal and future plans for evaluation of these compounds will be discussed.

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.

Poster Number: 114

Thermodynamics-Based Discovery of New K-La-Zr-O Compounds via Hydrothermal Synthetic Methods


Thomas Sullivan, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Maria Gelabert, Ph.D.

This project investigates aqueous modeling coupled with mild hydrothermal methods (200 °C, 16 atm) for discovery of new compounds, goals for advanced materials development outlined in SC Vision 2025 and NSF Big Ideas. Innovative luminescent materials, such as scintillators, are needed for opto-electronics and other optical technologies. Hydrothermal methods were performed, with thermodynamic guidance from aqueous speciation calculations in OLI Studio, to look for compounds in the K-La-Zr-O quaternary system. This system choice was inspired by several Na-Y-Si-O compounds previously synthesized by supercritical hydrothermal methods. By altering compositions of reactants, it is possible to generate trace amounts of novel crystals of new stoichiometries. In the previous discovery of Zn2EDTA·2H2O, optimum hydrothermal conditions were just outside of the thermodynamic stability region for ZnO, suggesting that the edges of such stability regions are potential places for discovery work. With OLI Studio, yield diagrams were constructed for the K-La-Zr-O system, with water-soluble metal salts, chelating agent, and base as reactants. Chemical systems readily form thermodynamically stable binary/ternary compounds: in this case, zirconia (ZrO2) and lanthanum hydroxide (La(OH)3). Within Zr and La subsystem yield diagrams, where the concentration ratio of metals is plotted against base concentration, locations just outside of the ZrO2 stability region were targeted for Zr:La ratios of 1:1 and 4:1. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) revealed polycrystalline morphology with some single crystals (≈50 microns) of hexagonal and greater (6+ sides) geometry containing significant amounts of oxygen, lanthanum, and zirconium, suggesting formation of a lanthanum zirconate compound.

Poster Number: 115

Developing Microfluidic Devices for Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Darien K. Nguyen, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Alireza Abbaspourrad, Ph.D., and Amir Mokhtare, B.S., Cornell University

The gaining popularity of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) calls for the introduction of more affordable and less tedious processes rather than the typical manual operations. In order for ICSI to occur, the Cumulus Oocyte Complexes (COCs) retrieved from the ovaries must be processed in order to remove the tightly-packed cumulus cells surrounding them. As of yet, this tedious and unstandardized process is being done manually by skilled embryologists, which results in variability and unavailability. The focus of this project is to develop microfluidic devices to denude the COCs for ICSI, in order to reduce the tyranny of manual operations and push toward automated, reproducible operations. These microfluidic devices are fabricated through conventional PDMS microfluidic processes and tested using automated magnetic pumps controlled by a microcontroller. To date, actual microfluidic devices have been developed and successfully tested using particles similar to COCs.

Poster Number: 116

Investigation and Optimization of the Synthesis of the Sphingosine Kinase 1 Inhibitor

Tiffany Dwyer, Winthrop University

Phospholipids such as sphingolipids are main components of the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane. Sphingolipids are bioactive signaling molecules that play roles in cell division, proliferation, and death. Sphingosine kinase-1 (SK1) is an enzyme that regulates levels of sphingolipid metabolites, such as ceramide, sphingosine, and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). In the sphingolipid metabolic pathway, ceramide is metabolized to sphingosine, which is phosphorylated to become S1P through the catalysis of SK1. Ceramide induces cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis, whereas S1P induces cell survival, proliferation, and migration. Malignant, cancerous cells have an overexpression of SK1, which causes over-production of S1P and leads to cancer cell proliferation, increased motility, and metastasis. The balance of ceramide, sphingosine, and S1P can therefore determine the fate of cancer cells. Due to its contribution to cancer progression, SK1 can be targeted in cancer therapy within the sphingolipid metabolic pathway. Inhibition of SK1 would deter cancer proliferation and result in apoptosis of cancer cells, which is the focus of any cancer therapy. A successful in vitro inhibitor, sphingosine kinase inhibitor-1 (SKI-1), was located, but is not an effective in vivo inhibitor due to its hydrophobicity and resulting low bioavailability. Derivatives of this inhibitor have been synthesized and analyzed to ultimately increase hydrophilicity and bioavailability of the parent inhibitor; these derivatives should exhibit the same in vitro effectiveness, as well as increased bioavailability, resulting in a more effective inhibitor in vivo as a possible treatment option in this pathway. The synthetic process used to synthesize derivatives of SKI-1 is being optimized. Previously, the Claisen condensation reaction of the synthetic scheme was optimized by using a microwave reactor. The overall synthesis is currently being further optimized to perform a one-pot synthesis of each derivative using the microwave reactor, and to maximize the yield and purity of the final product.

Poster Number: 117

Artifact Classification and Value Promotion in Makerspaces

Dominique Exley, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: David Wilson, Ph.D.; Johanna Okerlund, B.S.; and Madiha Tabassum, B.S., University of North Carolina, Charlotte

As makerspaces are becoming more prevalent, the artifacts produced within them will have an increasing impact on the world. Thus, determining commonalities in what and why makers are creating is important to the promotion and expansion of communities that partake in socially relevant activities. This study analyzes maker artifacts in an attempt to discover underlying latent themes. Topic modelling by means of LDA is used as the primary tool to conduct the analyses. Additionally, attention is placed on the potential to apply these themes to graphic designs, with the purpose of expanding maker activities and further promoting the central values and ideals of Human Centered Design (HCD).

Poster Number: 118

Large-Scale Analysis of HTTP Response Headers

Connor Leyers
Joshua Paytosh
Nolan Worthy

Faculty Mentor: Andrew Besmer, Ph.D.; R. Stephen Dannelly, Ph.D.; and William Thacker, Ph.D.

This paper examines trends in the use of HTTP response headers that relate to security, how long it takes for them to become widely adopted after release, and how quickly they are phased out after deprecation. The data come from the Common Crawl’s monthly web crawls that collect responses from what we can consider to be the entire internet. They are delivered as JSON in WAT format and analyzed in Python on an AWS EMR cluster running PySpark, which allows the analysis of data in parallel across the nodes in the cluster. For the purposes of this research, the entire dataset will be analyzed, as well as a subset representative of Fortune 500 companies. For each website in the dataset, there will be checking for the presence of 16 different HTTP response headers that pertain to security (e.g., X-XSS-Protection). The presence of each header over several months indicates the speed of adoption or abandonment.

Poster Number: 119

A Mathematical Framework of Turbulence in Adaptive Optics

Hannah Elser, Winthrop University

Adaptive optics (AO) is a technology that detects incoming waves that have been disturbed by turbulence and uses mal-formable mirrors to correct for distortion. When waves of light exit the vacuum of space and encounter Earth’s atmosphere, those waves also encounter turbulence, a chaotic fluid motion of air. This turbulent air causes distortion in the light waves. By using a wave sensor to detect incoming waves and a control computer to calculate correction, this can deform the mirror of the telescope to compensate for the distortion and reduce interference, allowing for a clearer image. Here, the present study will decipher and explore the mathematical models critical to AO systems.

Poster Number: 120

The Impact of Pay Gaps in Sport: Beyond Gender

Carleigh Greene, Winthrop University

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

The purpose of this research was to examine why there is a significantly large pay gap between LPGA and PGA players. Different individual motivational factors were analyzed as a way to uncover the true issue that exists regarding the two Tours. This study did not focus primarily on gender. The research focuses on factors including marketing, motivational factors for spectators, popularity of players, sponsorships, etc. A survey was distributed to the general population containing sixty questions. There were 137 participants who completed the survey and the results showed a lack of LPGA fans. The interest in men’s golf and the PGA was higher across the board. The discussion of this research centers on the potential explanation as to why the pay gap is exponentially larger between the LPGA and the PGA and to provide suggestions for future research.

Poster Number: 121

The Middle Class Problem

Ahmad Jones

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

This paper addresses the issue of why the middle class is shrinking in the U.S. After defining the ”middle class,” statistics will be provided on this shrinking section of American families. The following section will review factors such as the occupations of people who are considered middle class, and their levels of income. This section will shed light on factors such as the types of jobs people work and the impact those jobs have had on the shrinkage of the middle class. Literature and data will be used to show the effects of job choice and how it relates to increasing income disparity. Another question that will be addressed is why income growth among the middle class is stagnant. This paper will also explore how location affects disparity and the impact on the next generation. With a problem this complex, there are multiple solutions and potential long-term effects we can explore. A simple solution such as raising wages seems easy enough to propose, but that leads to other issues, such as remaining competitive. Also, raising wages would just lead to inflation, and people wouldn’t gain any actual wealth. Another example could be taxing the rich more heavily so that wealth can be redistributed to lower income families; this may sound good on paper, but in reality, it would cause some negative externalities. In this paper, these possible solutions will be analyzed from an economics cost-and-benefit perspective.

Poster Number: 122

Determining the Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility Programs and Wages on Turnover Rates for Fortune 500 Companies


Jacob Wacaster

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

Over the last few decades, the turnover rates for employees of Fortune 500 companies have continued to rise. As this rate continues to get higher, companies begin to lose efficiency, as they have to devote more time to training new employees and less time toward production. My research project involves looking at the effects of Corporate Social Responsibility programs and wages on turnover rates for Fortune 500 companies, in order to assess whether investing in CSR programs or raising wages will better help address the turnover issue. To determine the effect of CSR investing, I will compare the median tenure of employees in Fortune 500 companies versus their CSR score to determine a correlation coefficient between tenure and CSR score. I will then use the same process to determine the effects of wages on job satisfaction, swapping CSR scores for median pay within the same companies. Once I am able to isolate the effects of CSR scores and wages on median employee tenure, I will be able to perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether it would be more efficient for these companies to invest in CSR programs or raise median pay to increase median tenure and reduce employee turnover. From this analysis, conclusions will be drawn about how a Fortune 500 company should invest capital should it wish to reduce turnover in an effort to increase productivity and efficiency.

Poster Number: 123

Measuring Efficiency in The Soviet Union Labor Market


Angelica Urrego

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

Efficiency is loosely measured by accounting for the levels of productivity and costs involved for labor. This paper seeks to lay out the efficiency of the labor market during the height of the U.S.S.R.’s command system economy. Various literature on the subject argues that, contrary to common knowledge, the Soviet Union had an efficient economy. To effectively measure efficiency, this paper first examines the characteristics of the Soviet labor market from 1922 – 1991 and highlights important topics of productivity, employment, and supply and demand distinctions. A special focus is placed on the widespread shortages that gravely affected Russians throughout the years. The focus then shifts to an analysis of the lives of laborers, noting how their work days transpired and the level of discipline that the labor market conditioned them for. Finally, this paper compares the labor market trends of the U.S.S.R. with the trends of modern day Russia. Here, I examine the key changes in the labor market that have allowed for productivity to improve within the last three decades.

Poster Number: 124

Student Loan Debt and the Impact on the Labor Market

Christopher Simpson

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco Ph.D.

This paper examines the economic impact of student loan debt at the personal and national level. This issue is of high importance. There are several issues surrounding student loan debt that college students do not always consider. Collectively, the impact of these issues, particularly including the increased time that students take to get degrees, affects a large majority of college graduates. The U.S. student loan market stands at approximately $1.5 trillion—the second largest consumer debt market in the country behind mortgage debt. The American higher education system relies on loan funding as the prevailing method by which American families pay for college. Student debt spills over on individuals and communities, as well. The impact of student debt provides different outcomes on the labor market, including wages, hours of employment, and working hours. Finally, this paper examines important differences in the performance of the labor market for people who receive student loans compared to those who do not.

Poster Number: 125

Minimum Wage Effects on Seattle's Economy

Charles Seinsheimer

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

The Seattle minimum wage ordinance of 2014 set out to slowly increase Seattle's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021. At $15 an hour the wage would be higher than any other city in America. Depending on the size of the business and the benefits provided to the employee, the minimum wage increase will be phased in incrementally to soften a sizable increase in labor cost to the businesses. The signing of the ordinance has been a subject of some controversy in politics and in academic literature. Some workers in Seattle noted that a 7-year implementation period was too long; they wanted $15 per hour immediately. While the vote in the city council passed unanimously, the ordinance was highly controversial across the country and locally. Beyond general controversy, academic papers published surrounding the ordinance have shown contradictory views of how Seattle's business climate was affected. This paper will try to find connections between research and data to better understand how a city like Seattle was able to handle a sizable minimum wage increase. Studying the impact of minimum wage increases on Seattle workers will allow researchers to estimate how increases will impact other cities.

Poster Number: 126

Millenial Influence on Labor in the Pet Industry


Taylor Hendrix

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

The pet industry employs over a million people in the United States alone and has continued to grow and flourish every year, without taking a dip or standstill during a recession. This paper dives into the psychology and millennial influence in the pet industry. Janice Arenofsky from the Sage Business Researcher has stated that “the pet industry is considered virtually recession-resistant.” It is rare that any industry doesn’t take a hit during a recession. According to the American Pet Products Association, within the past ten years, the pet industry has nearly doubled in growth every year. The APPA also found that Americans tend to spend more on their pet care than milk, bread, or chicken. It’s come to the conclusion that most millennial households, which usually have children later in life, choose pets and treat them as part of the family. When money is limited, families continue to fund pet-related expenses for their “fur babies.”

Poster Number: 127

Understanding the Economic Impact of the Carolina Panthers Training Facility on Rock Hill


Jeremiah Hart

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

In June 2019, the construction of both a new training facility and headquarters for Charlotte’s largest sports franchise was announced. Rock Hill, South Carolina, was selected as the new site for the facilities. This decision was notable for a number of reasons: foremost, the number of new residents that would be drawn into the region via jobs created by the construction of the new facilities. In order to better understand the outcomes of the Panthers’ investment, this paper will examine similar investments in other locales by other professional sports teams. These include “The Star,” a facility constructed by the Dallas Cowboys in Frisco, Texas, and the planned “Viking Lakes” project in Minnesota. This paper will assess how different types and levels of sports facility investments impact the local job market of a city. Some notable points of focus are: What types of jobs are created? Do different types of sports facilities induce higher paying jobs? Is it possible to find a relationship between spending by the sports team and the number or type of jobs? Are they higher income jobs, or lower income? I plan to approach this topic by utilizing case studies of well-documented incentive programs and the aftermath, and, if possible, public data to provide a more quantitative approach.

Poster Number: 128

The Shortage Of Teachers In America Today


Avery Davis

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

There is a shortage of skilled labor in America today, but there is no sector where this problem is more acute than in education. The news has often covered strikes by teachers’ unions across the country, where teachers have been asking for more pay from state governments. It is clear that teachers are underpaid compared to other college graduates; this makes the profession of teaching much less attractive. This is because of the nature of the labor market for teachers, causing them to be underpaid as a whole. Teachers’ salaries are 21 percent below the median salary for other college graduates as of 2018. The main reason for the shortage of teachers is the uncompetitive salary of teachers when compared to other occupations for college graduates, leading to a shortage of people who want to become teachers. Many school districts in 2018 reported having job vacancies, and across America, school districts have had to cope with this shortage by hiring under- qualified individuals or increasing class sizes. This has led to a decrease in the quality of education in many places across America. The quality of education is extremely important to this country and could have adverse impacts on the nation as a whole and individuals in the future. The places where these problems are felt the most is in high poverty areas. The goal of this paper is to identify the effects of the shortage of quality educators in America. It will analyze education statistics across states and present possible solutions that can make teaching a more attractive career choice for college graduates.

Poster Number: 129

Stress of Preservice Teachers

Marissa Atkins, Winthrop University

Stress is something familiar to most, if not all, individuals on some level. Stress may be more common for some than others depending on how they handle being under pressure and in their day to day lives. Some professions are proven to cause people within those professions more stress. Helping professions, professions such as nurses and teachers, are one of these professions that are known to cause higher stress levels. One not so researched area when it comes to stress is how stress impacts pre-service teachers, education majors that are working to become teachers. This paper will cover what kind of stress is most common for pre-service teachers and how that stress may impact their wellbeing. The sample for this study will consist mainly of preservice teachers within one university.

Poster Number: 130

Digital Rhetoric in Library Websites: How Do We Change the One in Five Statistic?

Lily Barfield, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Kelly Richardson, Ph.D.

In the United States alone, over 43 million adults struggle with literacy, which is a compellingly large number. One of the ways that we can combat this extremely high number is by providing resources to libraries and allowing them to step in where other services cannot. The importance of communities receiving opportunities to thrive in their success and learning abilities is monumental in the success of an equal society, and one way to ensure this happens is by providing adequate funding for libraries to have correct digital rhetoric skills displayed throughout their web pages. The analysis of library websites, paired with the treatment of these libraries, is the main focus of this project. This essay will analyze the ways that digital rhetoric is used successfully across different library websites, such as Charlotte Mecklenburg County, Anderson County, and Abbeville County. The devices used to accurately display information and make that information easily remembered by the public is the main focus of this project, and the culminating factor of success for the communities where the libraries are located. This essay will also look into the successes of these specific libraries, as well, taking note as to how the libraries are funded in direct relation to the success of the websites being analyzed. Ultimately, this essay will show that an increase in positive literacy ratings has a positive correlation with good digital rhetoric skills in their library pages, which can only be achieved through appropriate library funding.

Poster Number: 131

Active Shooter Protocols: Effects on University Faculty and Staff

Veronica Worthington, Winthrop University

Schools are becoming increasingly concerned with the threat of active shooters, pushing many to conduct drills and trainings without considering any possible lingering effects. Studies have found that training has the potential to increase preparedness; however, some studies have found that training increases anxiety. While these findings apply to short-term effects, there is a lack of empirical research on long-term effects of active shooter drills. This study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase conducted over the summer, long- term positive effects on preparedness and anxiety were found in undergraduate students. The present study moves into phase two and investigates whether similar effects are found within university faculty and staff, by exploring whether active shooter training completed at a previous employer impacts current levels of anxiety and preparedness. Participants completed an online survey and answered questions about perceived knowledge of protocols, protocol actions, and training methods from their previous employers followed by the same set of questions, this time referring to their current employers. It was anticipated that active shooter protocols that were completed at a previous employer would impact current levels of anxiety and preparedness in university faculty and staff. The present study hypothesized the following: a) those who received more training than just printed materials from a previous employer will feel more currently prepared, b) those who received training that involved a simulation of a real-life active shooter event will have greater impact on levels of reported anxiety. Results and implications will be discussed.

Poster Number: 132

The Differences in Student Engagement in Preschoolers/Kindergarteners with Attention and Impulse Control Problems

Brianna McGee, Winthrop University

This thesis examines the differences in student engagement in preschool and kindergarten children with attention and impulse control problems. Specifically, this study examines not only general differences, but also differences of engagement throughout a typical school day, in order to explore whether there are specific types of activity (for example, academic centers versus large group instruction) in which these children exhibit differences in engagement. Areas of interest regarding classroom engagement are as follows: peer interactions, student-teacher relationships, and task engagement. This study examined these variances using three different methods: parent reports, teacher reports, and observation. Parent reports and teacher reports were comprised of rating scales pulled from the 2003 MacArthur Behavioral Questionnaire. The observational measure was an adaptation of the Individualized Classroom Assessment Scoring System (inClass). This study also briefly examines differences in parent and teacher reports of children’s behavior and engagement. Participants for this study were from an accredited early childhood laboratory school hosted by a southeastern university. Children were placed into groups by ratings performed by the classroom teacher. This scale was a subscale of the MacArthur Behavioral Questionnaire. Children with high ratings of attention and impulse control problems were placed in one group, while children with lower scores on this scale were placed in another. Six children (three from each analysis group) were randomly selected to participate.

Poster Number: 133

Foreign Language and Mathematical Ability Predict Cognitive Performance

Katya Engalichev, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

The present study examined logical reasoning and lexical ability of college students in light of their foreign language and mathematical skill levels. Factors chosen to compare were foreign language proficiency with math proficiency, based on pre-existing research which shows that improved mathematical ability predicts enhanced working memory and increased processing speed, as well as better logical reasoning ability. It was also desired for the present study to examine students’ beliefs about how their math and language experiences impacted their performance. The participants were 100 adults with a mean age of 21.21 (SD = 6.21). The majority were Caucasian (70%) and women (75%). Participants were asked to solve a logic puzzle and a lexical (word) puzzle in a restricted time period. They then responded to items to assess their proficiency in both foreign language and mathematics, cognitive flexibility, and resilience. The predictions were partially supported. Math ability predicted better performance on the logic and lexical puzzle, while foreign language proficiency predicted better performance on the lexical puzzle only. Ironically, participants believed that their foreign language ability was influential in facilitating their puzzle performance, but did not perceive their math ability as being helpful. Perhaps the minimization of math’s usefulness reflects college students’ frequently documented math-anxiety. Cognitive flexibility, resilience, race, and gender did not predict performance on the puzzles. In other words, cognitive performance was linked more closely to experience with math and foreign language than any of these other variables, supporting their educational value.