Below you will find CASL students' virtual research presentations - work done through classwork, lab assignments, or an independent study.  Because students did not have the opportunity to present their work in class or at conferences, the college has set up this site for viewing their work remotely.

Behavioral Sciences Presentation Abstracts and Videos

Megan E. Doty: "Veterans' Adjustment to Academia and the Workplace Post-Deployment" (Psychology)
Veterans' Adjustment to Academia and the Workplace Post-Deployment
  • Student author: Megan E. Doty
  • Faculty co-author: Marie Waung
  • Faculty sponsor: Marie Waung
  • Department: Behavioral Sciences
  • Work completed: Winter 2020
Abstract

After deployment, many veterans return home and enter academic settings or the workforce. However, psychological and physiological health issues may disrupt their ability to thrive in academic and work environments. In this study perceived danger when deployed, meaningfulness of school/work, and level of PTSD were measured. It was hypothesized that those who could find more meaning in their work would adjust more easily to life after deployment. Gender was also examined to explore if female veterans adapted differently than male veterans. As expected, levels of danger and PTSD symptoms were positively correlated. However, meaningfulness of work was unrelated to veteran adjustment (as measured by PTSD symptoms). These variables were also examined by gender, but gender differences were not statistically significant. Although, data trends indicated that females perceived greater danger and suffered greater PTSD than males, and experienced lower meaningfulness in their work. Recommendations for veterans in academia include increased support (academic skills, study skills), and more applied learning that emphasizes problem-solving and active learning. For military women steps are needed to reduce sexual harassment and sexual assault, while deployed, and more resources should be geared toward the adjustment of women upon returning home.

Keywords: Veteran, meaningfulness of work, mental health, gender, PTSD, trauma

Alicia Forsythe: "Parental Attitudes toward Receiving Psychological Care for Their Child Through Integrated Primary Care Psychology" (Psychology)
Parental Attitudes toward Receiving Psychological Care for Their Child Through Integrated Primary Care Psychology
  • Student author: Alicia Forsythe
  • Faculty sponsors: Nancy Wrobel, Roger Loeb
  • Department: Behavioral Sciences
  • Work completed: Winter 2020
Abstract

Integrated primary care psychology (IPCP) can help children with psychological and medical diagnoses. Kazak’s (2006) biopsychosocial approach to pediatric healthcare allows everyone involved in a child’s life to be integrated into the care of the child. Parental attitudes toward using IPCP for their children has not been examined. It was predicted parents would be higher in acceptance for receiving PC for their child with a psychological ailment than a medical one.

Data consisted of 224 parent participants (113 Female, 110 Male, 1 not identified by gender). They received revised Parental Attitudes Toward Psychological Services Inventory (Turner, 2011) via Qualtrics assessing openness to receiving PC for their child with psychological or medical diagnoses. Questions addressing PC for psychological diagnosis (a = .81) were delivered, followed by a demographic screening, ending with questions adapted to reflect PC for medical diagnosis (a = .88).

Factor scores were derived and compared with the original measure. A paired sample t-test was conducted where parents scored higher on acceptance of getting PC for children with psychiatric diagnoses (M = 36.99; SD = 13.49) than getting PC for children with medical diagnoses (M = 34.53; SD = 13.08), t = 5.71, p < .0001. Male parents were found to be more accepting of care for psychological (M = 41.35; SD = 15.49) and medical (M = 39.13; SD = 14.56) ailments, compared to female counterparts. Parent acceptance could be valuable for treating medical issues with frequent psychological aspects like asthma and chronic pain, perhaps leading to better medical outcomes.

 

Hannah Johns: "Employment Opportunities for Cognitively-Impaired Adults" (Psychology)
Employment Opportunities for Cognitively-Impaired Adults
  • Student author: Hannah Johns
  • Faculty sponsor: Marie Waung
  • Department: Behavioral Sciences
  • Work completed: Winter 2020
Abstract

Employment provides the means for independence, social engagement, and skill development for the cognitively-impaired. The purpose of this study is to examine the link between Occupational Therapy (OT) and employment success, and to better understand how to prepare cognitively-impaired adults for employment and to support them in employment settings. Occupational Therapeutic (OT) interventions for cognitively-impaired young adults were examined in relation to job satisfaction. A snowball sampling method was used with respondents being asked to forward the survey to others using email. Data were collected using an online survey completed by the legal guardians of cognitively-impaired adults. In addition, the cognitively-impaired adults were asked to complete three questions about their work satisfaction. Pilot data (n = 10) indicated that guardians perceived some support from employers (i.e., means ranged from 3.57 to 6.75 on a 10-point scale with anchors from “not at all” to “a very large amount”).  In addition, cognitively-impaired adults reported high levels of job satisfaction (i.e., means were around 8 on a 10-point scale). Although preliminary, these results are useful because they account for both guardian and cognitively-impaired adult perspectives. The results suggest the need for increased OT services and increased support from employers. However, additional data is needed to fully test the study’s hypotheses.    

Keywords: Occupational Therapy, cognitively impaired, employment, gender, satisfaction

Nabeel Karapatsakis: "Depression Associated with Masturbation to Avoid Displeasure and Negative Post-Masturbatory Feelings" (Psychology)
Depression Associated with Masturbation to Avoid Displeasure and Negative Post-Masturbatory Feelings
  • Student author: Nabeel Karapatsakis
  • Faculty co-author: Roger Loeb
  • Faculty sponsor: Roger Loeb
  • Department: Behavioral Sciences
  • Work completed: Winter 2019
Abstract

Previous research has linked masturbation to aspects of negative mental health such as depression, decreased relationship satisfaction and decreased life satisfaction. The link between masturbation and these negative factors is not clear. This study aims to investigate the relationship between depression and reasons for masturbation as well as the relationship between depression and post masturbatory feelings. Participants were recruited on an online crowdsourcing platform. The survey included The Beck's Depression Inventory as well as questions regarding participants' reasons for masturbation, feelings after masturbation and their sexual behaviors. A factor analysis was used to categorize the reasons for masturbation into four groups, two of which we called masturbation for pleasure and masturbation to avoid displeasure. A factor analysis was used to categorize the post masturbatory feelings into two groups which we called positive and negative post masturbatory feelings. Depression was positively correlated with masturbation to avoid displeasure, masturbation to avoid partnered sex, masturbation because one’s partner left them unsatisfied, masturbation for a boost of energy and negative feelings after masturbation. Future research is necessary to understand the link between masturbation, depression as well as other negative factors.

Keywords: Depression, Reasons, Masturbation, Feelings

Natural Sciences Presentation Abstracts and Videos

Tejas Athavale: "Bioconjugation of Gold Nanoparticles" (Chemistry)
Bioconjugation of Gold Nanoparticles
  • Student authors: Tejas Athavale, Luay Jawad
  • Faculty sponsor:  Krisanu Bandyopadhyay
  • Department: Natural Sciences
  • Work completed: Winter 2020
Abstract

Gold nanoparticles provide an ideal way to deliver genetic material, proteins, drugs, and small molecules into the body. They demonstrate low toxicity, easily controllable synthesis and morphology, and can be quickly adapted to serve as carriers. We synthesized 20nm gold nanoparticles using a modified Turkevich method with trisodium citrate as the reducing and capping agent. A monolayer of 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUA) is obtained by performing a ligand exchange reaction between the MUA and the citrate molecules adhered to the surface of the particle. 4-(4-Aminophenyl)butyric acid, a histone deacetylase inhibitor and chemical chaperone, is attached to the particles using EDC and sulfo-NHS under closely controlled pH conditions. The synthesis and functionalization processes are monitored using DLS size measurement, zeta potential measurement, UV-Visible spectroscopy, and NMR spectroscopy. For further analysis and tracking of the particles, a fluorescent marker is covalently bonded to the outer surface allowing for efficient monitoring once inside the subject.

Griffin Bray: "Vascular Plant Analysis of Ecosystems on the Rouge River Floodplain of the University of Michigan-Dearborn" (Environmental Science)
Vascular Plant Analysis of Ecosystems on the Rouge River Floodplain of the University of Michigan-Dearborn
  • Student author: Griffin S. Bray
  • Faculty co-author: Orin G. Gelderloos
  • Faculty sponsor: Orin G. Gelderloos
  • Department: Natural Sciences
  • Work completed: Winter 2020
Abstract
  • The 12.25 hectares (30.3 acres) of the Rouge River floodplain on the University of Michigan–Dearborn campus consist of a variety of natural landforms with unique communities of woody and herbaceous plants. 
  • We identified 4,246 individuals representing 39 species of subcanopy (9.1-20 cm diameter) and canopy trees (>20 cm diameter) distributed in various patterns throughout the floodplain ecosystems. 
  • Black Maple (Acer nigrum) constitutes 51% of the stems followed by Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum; 9%).   
  • By contrast, Black Maple and Silver Maple constituted 25% and 15% of the relative dominance, respectively. 
  • We identified seven (7) ecosystems on the floodplain namely levee, bottom, backswamp, former levee, terrace, deposition bar, and annual flood area. 
  • From multiple 200-square meter sample plots on each ecosystem, we recorded the woody stems in three categories: 1.5 – 9.0 cm (undergrowth), 9.1-20.0 cm (subcanopy) > 20.1 cm (canopy).
  • Groundcover species were sampled in ten (10) one-meter square randomly-chosen plots in each ecosystem for percentage of coverage. 
  • Comparison of woody species present in each of the ecosystems with the Jaccard Similarity Coefficient showed between 7% – 45% similarity between any two ecosystems, while the similarity of groundcover species between ecosystems ranged between 0% and 36%. 
Cindy Hakim: "Gold Nanoshells in Cancer Remediation as Drug Carriers and Photothermal Ablation" (Chemistry)
Gold Nanoshells in Cancer Remediation as Drug Carriers and Photothermal Ablation
  • Student authors: Cindy Hakim, Dhuha Al-Rasool, Lena Juratli
  • Faculty sponsor:  Krisanu Bandyopadhyay
  • Department: Natural Sciences
  • Work completed: Winter 2020
Abstract

The photothermal properties of silica-gold core-shell nanostructures hold great potential for use in non-invasive cancer remediation therapy. The conducting gold shells, coated on the non-conducting silica core through electrostatic attraction, absorb pulsed illuminating near-infrared light and transform this energy into the surrounding environment. These photothermal properties open the door for optimization of thermal plasmonic application of nanoparticles. Our research has explored the synthesis and resulting photo-physical property trends of varying gold shell thicknesses on both gold-seeded and palladium-seeded polyethyleneimine silane functionalized silica cores. We have found that the use of formic acid as a reducing agent in conjunction with longer reflux time yields better results. We aim to find the optimal shell thickness and silica core diameter for improved heat generation to achieve the maximum rate of tumor destruction. The photo-physical properties were measured by peak absorbance values in ultraviolet-visible (UV-Visible) spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

Social Sciences Presentation Abstracts and Videos

Danielle Anderson: "Public Breastfeeding: Policy and Perception at the Turn of the 21st Century" (History)
Public Breastfeeding: Policy and Perception at the Turn of the 21st Century
  • Student author: Danielle Anderson
  • Faculty sponsor: Georgina Hickey
  • Department: Social Sciences
  • Work completed: Winter 2020
Abstract

This project argues that while grassroots advocacy and recognition of breastfeeding as a political issue has brought legislative change, the policies passed are not an adequate tool to address the underlying cultural issues which prevent recognition of personhood in public and quasi-public spaces. This analysis draws on newspaper articles, hearing testimony, and the records of social activist organizations. Using these sources, it analyzes feminist organizing strategies which resulted in public pressure to pass such legislation. Ultimately, controversies and responses to breastfeeding in public or the workplace reveal the complex power structures and surveillance under which women and working class Americans must function in society.

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