North Central College - Naperville, IL

Oral Presentations

2011 Oral Presentations
Session 1: 10:45 - 11:30 a.m. Session 2: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Goldspohn Hall and White Activities Center

Session 1: 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.

From Adolescence to the Office: The Psychological Study of Depression, Justice and Relationships
Moderator: Dr. Mary Beth Ressler, Education, Location: Goldspohn 11

A Pathway to Depression: The Effects of Self-Efficacy, Self-Esteem and Aggression on Scottish Adolescents
Rachel C. Garthe ’12, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Patricia Schacht, Psychology

In recent years, increases in cases of childhood and adolescent depression in Scotland have raised concerns and questions. Previous research has shown that several risk factors are related to the development of childhood and adolescent depression. Feelings of self-inefficacy and low self-esteem are shown to correlate with cases of depression or depressive symptoms (Bandura et al., 1999). Also, aggression in children and adolescents is found to be in correlation with depression (Bradshaw & Hazan, 2006). However, an important question is, “How are all these risk factors linked to the development of depression?” The present study examines these three risk factors to see if they are correlated to the development of depression, specifically in Scottish youth. It was hypothesized that all the risk factors were to be significantly correlated with the development of depression. Results indicate that all three factors were significantly correlated with depression in Scottish adolescents.

Perceptions of Procedural and Interpersonal Justice Using Video Vignettes
Jessika Bajorski ’12, Psychology
Jennifer Ciesiulka ’12, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Karl Kelley, Psychology

A manager often has two choices when making a decision: to follow the rules without considering personal circumstances or to allow those distinctive conditions to guide the final verdict. We hypothesized that interpersonal factors, such as accepting responsibility and professionalism, would have more influence when evaluating the fairness of a manager’s decision. Participants viewed one of eight video vignettes, which depicted a manager and an employee discussing a violation of company expectations regarding the employee’s pattern of tardiness to work. Videos varied in regard to the explanation offered by the employee, the behavior of the employee during the meeting, and the manager’s adherence to company policy. Consistent with our hypothesis, the violation was viewed as more serious if the employee was casual and made excuses during the discussion. The manager was viewed more positively even when she/he violated company policy if the employee was professional and took responsibility for her/his actions.

The Effects of Parent-Child Relationship on Adolescent Dating Behaviors
Jessica K. Reynolds ‘11, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Patricia Schacht, Psychology

Despite the abundance of research studying marital conflict and parent-child relations, little research has examined the impact of both conflict and parenting styles on adolescent outcomes and romantic relationships. Perhaps adolescent behavior when dating parallels parents’ conflict behavior and parenting within the parent-child subsystems. This study investigates the relationships between parents and their adolescents and the impact of each parent’s behavior on adolescent development. It is hypothesized that parent-child conflict will be related to similar behaviors in adolescents within their dating relationships. The present study investigated adolescent psychological adjustment, dating behaviors, parenting styles and parent-child conflict. Questionnaires included were the Parenting Styles Questionnaire (PSQ; Paulson & Caldwell, 1994), the Conflict Behavior Scale (CBS; Cummings & Davies, 2007) and the Dating Questionnaire (DQ; Cummings & Davies, 2007). Analysis of data is expected to find direct and indirect relationships among these interrelated variables.

Examining the Brighter Side of Life: Studies on Happiness and Humor
Moderator: Dr. Kelly Howe, Theatre, Location: Goldspohn 31

Happiness Matters: A Case Study of the Impact of Gross National Happiness Upon Governmental Policy in the Kingdom of Bhutan
Edvard Joseph ’11, Economics, Finance
Advisor: Dr. Matthew Krystal, Anthropology

Created by King Jygme Wangchuk of Bhutan in 1972 as a result of the limitations observed in the Gross Domestic Product’s (GDP) ability to evaluate subjective well-being (happiness), the Gross National Happiness (GNH) is an alternate measure of both economic performance of a country and the well-being of its population. However, due to its subjective nature, the GNH is difficult to comprehend and define, as the variables that affect it produce different results under the same circumstances. Variables such as education, time balance, etc., are not equally weighted in all countries. Moreover, some, like religion, a significant cultural influence in the Kingdom of Bhutan, seem to be more important than others. Through the observation of everyday Bhutanese culture and formal interviews with Bhutanese scholars and government officials, the strengths and weaknesses of the GNH will be analyzed and compared to the GDP as an economic indicator.

Humor Reception and Attraction
Patrick J. Nebl ’11, History, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Thomas Sawyer, Psychology

Evolutionary psychology has suggested one’s ability to produce and appreciate humor indicates creativity and high cognitive ability and can be used as an indicator of the fitness of a potential partner. The current research extends previous work in this area by manipulating the response to humor by a potential partner. Male and female participants viewed a video displaying either “intelligent” or “crude” humor and then viewed a video of an opposite-sex confederate responding to the video, either with laughter or no reaction. Participants then responded to questions pertaining to the attractiveness of the confederate and the likelihood of engaging in various types of social/sexual interactions with this individual. Two effects were hypothesized: First, the confederate laughing will be rated more attractive than the confederate showing no reaction, and second, enjoying the intelligent video will be rated as more attractive than enjoying the crude-humored video.

Short-Term Positive Emotions
Brandi Linnell Balensiefen ’11, Psychology
Jessica VandenBerg ’12, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Karl Kelley, Psychology

Fredrickson’s (1998) Broaden and Build theory suggests that positive emotions broaden our perspectives and build a variety of psychological, cognitive, social and physical resources. Additionally, positive emotions can provide a buffer against negativity, allowing one to effectively cope with a negative situation. The current research explores the effects of specific short-term emotions— Mindfulness Meditation (MM), Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM), humor and gratitude—on various resources (social, cognitive and psychological). Data is currently being collected, but we are expecting participants in the positive emotion induction conditions to report higher levels of positive affect than the control group, participants in the gratitude and LKM conditions to indicate higher levels of social and psychological resources, and participants in the MM condition indicate higher levels of cognitive resources.

The Dark Side of Globalization
Moderator: Dr. Jeffrey Anstine, Management, Location: Goldspohn 33

Human Trafficking: How Media Portrayal Impacts the Public
Grace Hollister ’11, Speech Communication: Organizational Communication
Advisor: Dr. Mara Berkland, Speech Communication

Human trafficking has been a problem for centuries; however, it has recently escalated to meet growing consumer demands. Although the public is largely unaware of it, many of these atrocities occur here in the United States. In fact, thousands of men, women and children per year are bought and sold on United States soil. Unfortunately, without an increase in public knowledge as to the true extent and location of this crisis, combating it is nearly impossible. The purpose of this research is to provide an answer for why Americans are unaware that human trafficking occurs within national borders. Through a critical discourse analysis of 188 articles from the four most popular magazines and newspapers in the country, this research concludes that lack of public knowledge is a result of framing and agenda-setting practices utilized by the media.

The Failed State Next Door: The Political Failures of the War on Drugs in Mexico
Christopher Bilbro ’11, Political Science
Advisor: Dr. William Muck, Political Science

Despite thousands of deaths and billions of dollars of military and judicial aid, efforts by the United States and Mexican governments to permanently dismantle the drug trade have resolutely failed. This study will examine why U.S. and Mexican policies have been unsuccessful through an in-depth analysis of the often unclear relationship between a continuously evolving black market and the policies it is forced to respond to. This will require determining why prior efforts have specifically failed to combat and have perhaps even contributed to rising violence, declining stability and greater drug profits, particularly in light of free market economic theory. Mexico is fundamentally locked in an unending battle between the state and criminal enterprises which, when suppressed, inevitably resurface in new and more virulent forms to claim ever-increasing margins of profit, power and influence. While both parties clearly regard this relationship as adversarial, evidence suggests that it may be self-reinforcing.

Dishwashing and Table-Running in Beijing: China’s Low-Wage Migrant Worker Phenomenon
Weien Wang ’11, Biology
Advisor: Dr. Matthew Krystal, Anthropology

Understood to be the largest internal mass migration in history, the movement of migrant workers from rural to urban areas of China is increasingly capturing attention from professionals, writers and officials alike. However, because important subtleties in migrant workers’ stories are missing from public awareness, this study chose to explore the working lives of the employees at two Beijing restaurants in the summer of 2010. During this period, the author spent one month working as a dishwasher and, later, a table runner in order to build relationships with his coworkers. The experiences gleaned from this participant-observation study suggest that this generation of migrating individuals thinks differently and faces social structures that vary from its predecessor. These shifts have serious implications not only for the fate of China’s cultural integrity, but also for the domestic and international markets in which it participates.

Violence and NonViolence: Past, Present and Future
Moderator: Dr. Katherine Heller, Mathematics, Location: Goldspohn 35

Duty, Honor, Country and Robots
Liz Hasseld ’12, Global Studies: International Relations, Political Science

Advisor: Dr. William Muck, Political Science
The U.S. Department of Defense will spend more than $22 billion to develop, buy and operate drones between 2007 and 2013. Drones are unmanned piloted machines used to gather surveillance and target terrorists. Increased interest in this form of warfare raises many important ethical questions, including whether the U.S. government will be more prone to initiate conflict when U.S. troops are not required. This project examines the attitudes of U.S. military veterans on the use of drones in conflict. Specifically, I will assess whether there are generational differences among veterans on the ethics and usefulness of drones. The project will present the findings from interviews conducted with veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan to distinguish any generational shifts in opinion. The data will contribute to the growing literature on whether younger generations, which grew up surrounded by technology, are more comfortable with this tactic of war.

An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Gene Sharp’s Nonviolent Methodology in Freedom Movements Using the Lithuanian Model
Rima Gungor ’11, Philosophy, Political Science
Advisor: Dr. William Muck, Political Science

This paper examines the significance of nonviolent resistance movements as they relate to the research of Professor Gene Sharp and the nonviolent resistance movement in Lithuania from 1989 to 1991. Sharp, the pioneer of nonviolent struggle strategy, based his life’s work on the analytical aspects of nonviolent struggle and the development of its methodology. Sharp states that one of nonviolent struggle’s biggest successes occurred in Lithuania. From 1988 to 1991, Lithuania used nonviolent resistance strategy to gain its independence from the Soviet Union. To explore the relevance of nonviolent struggle methodology in today’s society using Lithuania as a model, this paper analyzes research from the Lithuanian historical archives and interviews with leaders of the movement, cross-referencing it with the research about, published works of, and interviews with Sharp, assessing the impact of this methodology and its previous successes to current movements across the globe that often refer to Sharp’s work.

Expulsion or Exodus: The Jews of Claudian Rome and Ostia
Rebecca M. Lawrence ’11, History
Advisor: Dr. Michael de Brauw, Modern & Classical Languages

Did Emperor Claudius (41-54 CE) ban Jews from the city of Rome? There is evidence for a large Jewish community in Rome as early as 59 BCE (Cicero, Speech for Flaccus 66-69) and for an expulsion of Jews in 19 CE under Tiberius (Josephus, Antiquities 18.4.1). Reports of a similar incident under Claudius are conflicted. On one hand, it is attested in Acts (18:2) and Suetonius (Claudius 25). On the other, Josephus makes no mention of it, and Cassius Dio (Roman History, 40.6) claims Rome’s large Jewish population could not be expelled; instead, Claudius banned their public meetings. Modern historians disagree which ancient account is correct. My paper proposes a reconciliation: Claudius did not expel the Jews, but his restrictions prompted many to leave. Their departure offers a partial explanation for the formation of the synagogue in Ostia—the only known ancient synagogue in Italy—around 65 CE.

The State of Affairs in East Africa
Moderator: Dr. William Barnett, History, Location: Goldspohn 37

Crisis Journalism in Uganda Compared to Crisis Journalism Around the World
Ryan J. Piers ’11, Speech Communication: Broadcast Communication
Advisor: Dr. Stephen Macek, Speech Communication

My research compares the journalistic strategies used by Kampala-based Ugandan (UG) and international reporters in covering the conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army and Uganda’s People’s Defense Force, with the strategies of journalists reporting on other conflicts around the world. These crises include the “drug war” occurring along the U.S.-Mexican border and the recent conflict in Turkey between the Kurds and the Turkish government. The strategies that were used by Kampala-based Ugandan and international reporters as well as crisis journalists in other conflict areas are concluded to be the “best practices” to crisis journalism. The practices can be universally applied to reduce an apathetic response to a crisis from their audience. The information presented in the presentation is derived from interviews with journalists and documental research. I conducted the interviews with the Uganda-based journalists while on a Richter-funded study in Kampala, UG.

Hitler’s Shadow: Revisiting the Killings in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Etienne Mashuli ’12, Political Science
Advisor: Dr. William Muck, Political Science

This research project analyzes the life trajectories of 12 Rwandan and Congolese citizens who lived through the genocidal pogroms committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1997. Through firsthand interviews, I gathered testimonies which shed more light on what transpired when the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invaded the DRC to pursue their Hutu opponents. Ultimately, the purpose is to categorize the nature of the massacres that were perpetrated. The data to emerge from the interviews suggest that the killings orchestrated by the RPF and military affiliates could meet the internationally accepted definition of genocide. Accordingly, an analysis of my respondents’ recollections, all of them survivors of the massacres, suggests intent to commit genocide on the part of the Tutsi-led RPF. The finding that the Rwandan RPF forces engaged in genocidal behavior during the 1996-1997 period has much to contribute to the literature on human rights and genocide studies.

Pamoja FM: Community Radio and the Empowerment of the Kiberan Community
Steven J. Oliveri ’11, Interactive Media Studies: Convergent Media
Advisor: Dr. Stephen Macek, Speech Communication

Radio’s unique characteristics have permitted it to become a highly popular and influential medium around the world, especially in the poorest of areas. In Africa, rural and community radio stations meet the need for information in areas where the majority has no other access to media. Founded in 2007, Pamoja FM, a community radio station in Kenya’s Kibera slum, aims to educate and empower the impoverished and underdeveloped Kiberan community to ensure equal, sustainable development and peaceful co-existence. Through on-site observation and field interviews, my research identified and analyzed the relationships between Pamoja FM and the surrounding community. I examined Pamoja FM’s programming philosophy as articulated by the staff, the programming itself, and perceptions of that programming by community leaders and ordinary listeners. I intend to present the main findings of my research into Pamoja FM’s relationship with the Kiberan community.

Lost in Translation? Extracting and Preserving Meaning in Textual Analysis
Moderator: Dr. Norval Bard, French, Location: White Activities Center, Fireside Lounge

The Influence of Translation on Meaning: A Comparative Analysis of English Translations of San Juan de la Cruz' Llama de amor viva
Kathryn R. Braun '11, Classical Civilization, Spanish
Advisor: Dr. Paloma Martinez-Cruz, Spanish

Poetry, given its reliance on both form and content, figurative language and sound effects to convey meaning, lacks a single formula for translation, thus presenting a significant challenge to translators and producing a wide variety among translations of the same work. This paper examines this complex process of poetry translation, particularly its impact on meaning, by comparing the translations of Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez, Willis Barnstone and Loren Smith of 16th-century Spanish mystic San Juan de la Cruz’ “Llama de amor viva.” Using these translators’ approaches to meter and rhyme scheme, metaphors, individual problematic words and Spanish grammatical constructions lacking a direct English equivalent as evaluation criteria, this study concludes that although no translation entirely preserves the original meaning, each effectively transmits part of this meaning through at least one of the above areas while developing different shades of meaning through others, emerging as both translation and independent poem.

His Majesty Orders Hierarchy: The Story of Tongdaeng in Thailand
Emma J. Rothenfluh '12, English: Writing, Theatre
Advisor: Dr. Mara Berkland, Speech Communication

This paper uses a well-known, popular Thai text, “The Story of Tongdaeng”, to learn more about the culture of Thailand and how it is affected by acts of communication. “The Story of Tongdaeng” was written by King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2002 as a tribute to his favorite dog, a former stray named Tongdaeng. It describes her origins, personality and attributes, and her relationship with the King. This children’s book was sold out the day it first hit bookstore shelves, and the highly anticipated cartoon edition was received with the same—if not greater—enthusiasm. Through close textual analysis based on cultural study, I have determined that “The Story of Tongdaeng” maintains Thailand’s traditional commitment to a hierarchically leaning society. Such values as deference, respect and absolute authority are taught by example of how this dog obeys her master.

Die Märchen und das Volk: The Evolution of German Culture and its Influence on the Changing Relevance and Perception of the Brothers Grimm and Fairy Tales
Emily L. Rademaker '12, Classical Civilization, German
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Wolf, German

Cultural fascination with Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and their most famous product, “Kinder-und Hausmärchen” [tr. Children and Household Tales], has been maintained by German and global society for almost 200 years. Modern German culture preserves the spirit of the folktales as a significant source of history, utilizing such media as film, theater, literature and public venues. Though the memory of the Brothers Grimm and their tales have maintained cultural worth, their relevance and perception have transformed due to changing moral and value structure, as influenced by historical events within the realms of war, politics and economics. This study focused on the observance of German fairy-tale culture to obtain an understanding of modern cultural awareness of the Brothers Grimm and the Märchen. Through the use of Rapid Ethnographic Procedures, this study identified a misperception of the Brothers Grimm in modern Germany. As culture changes, this misperception is expected to continue developing.

Understanding Culture and Ethics Through Artistic Expression
Moderator: Dr. Jonathon Kirk, Music, Location: White Activities Center, Banquet Hall

Vocalizing Desire: Kristeva’s Semanalysis as Postmodern Ethical Practice
Bethany H. Henning ’11, Philosophy
Advisor: Dr. David Fisher, Philosophy

The United States is a postmodern civilization currently facing the challenge of constructing an ethical umbrella that can include rather than annihilate otherness. Traditional ethical systems depend on the freedom of the will and choice; however, studies of psychoanalysis and linguistics in the 20th century have posed significant threats to the ideal of a self-authorizing, autonomous subject. This paper suggests that systems are insufficient to handle some ethical problems. Using Julia Kristeva’s rehabilitation of the psychoanalytic triangles and the example of John Adams’ 1987 opera “Nixon in China,” I will explore how practices of artistic creation and musical expression can be understood as instances of ethical practice that may be better suited to handle our current crisis.

The Space Between State and Self: The Music of Dmitri Shostakovich, Soviet Artist
Kathryn E. Brouch ’12, History, Music
Advisor: Dr. Matthias Regan, English

Understanding Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s reaction to the repressive Soviet state affects the listener’s aesthetic experience. In other words, the nonmusical informs the musical Interpretation of Shostakovich’s music depends upon recognizing how his association with the Soviet state contributes to his musical intent. Consideration of this association is as necessary as consideration of more purely aesthetic associations. This paper interprets Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 5”, opera “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” and other works by considering how he wrote into a “four-walled space.” The walls were: the state of music’s development, his financial need to write popular music, the state’s ideological demands, and the span of Shostakovich’s musicality. Within this context, the goal of my analysis is to differentiate influences from nonmusical or ideological associations from influences ascribable to the more abstract aesthetic discourse of musical development. I intend to show how differentiating these influences helps clarify certain fundamental aesthetic intentions.

Determining the Existence of a Comic Convention Subculture in the United States and France
Stephanie N. Kuersten, ’11, East Asian Studies, French, Japanese
Advisor: Dr. Sophie Hand, Modern & Classical Languages

While scholarly research has been done in the United States and France about comic book literary culture, there is no research analyzing comic book conventions and their French equivalent, the festival de bande dessinée, that grow out of the comic book literary culture. Thus, the purpose of this research is to determine whether or not comic conventions constitute a subculture in the United States and France through attending multiple conventions and conducting interviews of the attendees. Based on the convention experience itself, the interactions witnessed there and interviews from each convention, the author presents the results that there is a subculture present at American comic conventions, but there is not a subculture at the French festival de bande dessinée. This is due in part to the role that comic books play in each country, the types of people present at conventions, and why they attend conventions.

Getting all Warm and Fuzzy With the Isomorphism of Fuzzy Groups
Moderator: Dr. Neil Nicholson, Mathematics, Location: White Activities Center, Dining Room

Weak Isomorphism of Fuzzy Groups
Kelvin R. Guilbault ’12, Computer Science, Mathematics
Jonathan Rascher ’12, Computer Science, Mathematics
Advisor: Dr. Godfrey Muganda, Computer Science

The field of fuzzy mathematics has existed for years, but there are still aspects that seem to need refining before the extent of the field’s potential is realized. Currently, most of the literature defines fuzzy properties on mathematical objects using only the unit interval to grade membership of elements. One paper in the past has introduced a promising generalization of fuzzy structures to allow for only partial ordering among elements’ membership grades. In doing so, however, the author also has generalized the concept of isomorphism of these fuzzy structures so that it uses partial orders, but the definition is too rigid to be useful. In this presentation, we present a new concept of isomorphism also based on partial order. This definition we term “weak isomorphism” is more flexible, allowing more structures to be considered isomorphic. Using this definition, we investigate the isomorphism classes of fuzzy groups.

A Computer Program for Exploring Isomorphism of Fuzzy Groups
Jonathan Rascher ’12, Computer Science, Mathematics
Kelvin R. Guilbault ’12, Computer Science, Mathematics
Advisor: Dr. Godfrey Muganda, Computer Science

When studying the properties of fuzzy groups, we need to find concrete examples of groups with specific properties in order to formulate conjectures and counterexamples. In particular, it is useful to have an automated means of testing isomorphism of fuzzy groups. We shall present a Java program which uses a backtracking algorithm to generate the collection of all fuzzy groups which can be defined on a given group. The program then tests these fuzzy groups to determine which groups are isomorphic, i.e., which of the fuzzy groups have essentially the same structure. We will present an overview of the program’s backtracking algorithm and give some justification of its correctness, and then we will briefly demonstrate the program’s operation.

Session 2: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Shades of Gray: Studying Lying, Disingenuous Rhetoric and False Memory
Moderator: Ms. Sharon Gilbert, Psychology, Location: Goldspohn 31

Innocent Until Proven Guilty Or So You Thought
Mike R. O’Connor ’11, Psychology, Sociology: Criminal Justice
Advisor: Dr. Karl Kelley, Psychology

Lying can be thought of as a complex psychological interaction between an actor (liar) and an observer (lie detector). It can be argued that some people are better at lying and some are better at detecting deceptions. The current research explores individual differences in nonverbal indications of lying after committing a transgression and claiming otherwise. Additionally, this study identifies if individual observers are able to pick up on these nonverbal indications on a consistent basis and can correctly identify deceptions. Utilizing two actors who committed a transgression and filming their answers to an interrogation, researchers coded the content for nonverbal behavior which indicated lying. Then participants viewed this same video and attempted to identify in which case the “criminal” is lying. The current project is in progress, but this study will have important implications for law enforcement. Project issues and limitations are discussed and improvements for future studies are made.

Planting False Seeds: A Case Study of the Appleseed Project’s Disingenuous Rhetoric and its Negative Impacts on Political Debates
William Miller ’12, History, Political Science
Advisor: Mr. John Stanley, Speech Communication

Debate has always been a cornerstone of American democracy, but recently it seems that productive debates are rare. This problem is exacerbated with the rise of right wing radical militias, which are becoming more secluded from the general public. Additionally, as Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, states, “The militia movement is changing its tactics when it deals with the public.” By utilizing disingenuous rhetoric, some of these organizations are deceiving the American people. My research analyzes one particular group, the Appleseed Project. This analysis will apply Gordon R. Mitchell’s “Placebo Defense: Operation Desert Mirage? The Rhetoric of Patriot Missile Accuracy in the 1991 Persian Gulf War” to the rhetoric of the Appleseed Project. The analysis reveals the negative impacts that disingenuous rhetoric can have on society, which includes the prevention of intelligent discourse.

Survival Processing, Stress and Memory Performance
Brandi Linnell Balensiefen ’11, Psychology
Anne Taddeo ’11, Psychology
Karly S. Quillinan ’12, Psychology
Ryan Mueller ’12, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Daniel VanHorn, Psychology

This study investigates the effects of stress and survival processing on false memory. Specifically, it examines whether survival processing is truly special and if there are conditions where its effectiveness is limited. Each participant (n=84) was instructed to rate a list of words based on their relevance to a survival scenario (survival processing) and a moving scenario (semantic processing). The two independent variables were a between-subjects factor, stress level (induced stress vs. no stress), and a within-subjects factor, level-of-processing (survival processing vs. semantic processing). Stress was manipulated following protocol outlined by the Trier Social Stress Test (Kirschbaum et al., 1993). True recognition and false recognition were measured. Current data reveals that survival processing yields higher rates of both true memory and false memory; additionally, data suggests an interaction between stress and level of processing. This heightened sensitivity suggests survival processing is not always superior to other types of semantic processing.

Gender, Identity and the Portrayal of the Feminine
Moderator: Ms. Abigaile VanHorn, Political Science, Location: Goldspohn 33

In Praise of Cultural Understanding: The Avoidable Gender-Based Oppression in Modernist and Fundamentalist Islam Within the Arab World
Danielle H. Clark, ’11, Religion, Studio Art
Advisor: Dr. Wioleta Polinska, Religion

Two major gender ideologies within the Arab Muslim world deserve exploration: Modernism and Fundamentalism. While Modernism claims a more socially advanced, Western-centered system and Fundamentalism a “purer” Islamic ideology, both systems inherently oppress women. With each ideology having the goal of furthering a particular cultural identity rather than the well-being of individual women, both clearly have oppressive elements. Citing discourses from both ideologies, specifically those outlined by Leila Ahmed on the Modernist side and the Fundamentalist views described by Ayesha Imam, both concerning the practices of veiling and seclusion, I call for greater cultural sensitivity in the critique of any culture, given that Fundamentalism developed in backlash to insensitive critique from the Modernist perspective. Thus, through the historical development of both systems of oppression we observe the importance of a perspective centered around cultural understanding rather than the inherent senses of correctness posed in both Modernist and Fundamentalist discourse.

A Humanistic Narrative of Catholic Saints
Marcy J. Thomas ’11, Art: Studio Art
Advisor: Ms. Christine Rabenold, Art

What if Saint Joan had been portrayed as screaming and cursing through her fiery death rather than accepting it? Did Rose ever wish to shed her crown of thorns? And do even the incorrupt ones eventually perish? This series of sculpture portraying Catholic saints tends to have a spiritual implication, but it is not its intention to convey a religious message. My sculptures reflect spiritual questioning, human longing and the feminine. Through the humanization of subjects who are typically venerated, the viewer’s previous perceptions of these historical figures may be challenged as well. The creative process required to create these sculptures demonstrates an advanced level of investigation of religious studies, art history and theory—from the writings of Hegel to both Renaissance and contemporary art. My research is an integral component in the conceptual and technical aspects of each piece, responsible in creating a distinctive form of representation.

Anonyma: Striving to Identify
Ivana Miljic ’11, German, Political Science
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Wolf, German

The events in Germany’s history following World War II changed women’s identity and gender roles in society. This project focuses on the time frame between April 20 to June 22, 1945, and the impact Russian soldiers had on gender identity of German women. In this project I engage in a textual analysis of the well-known diary, “Anonyma: Eine Frau in Berlin,” which follows the daily life of one woman during this period and her encounters with Russian soldiers. Scholarship has shown that the malleability of identity is critical to survival. My analysis finds that women during this time literally numbed their bodies and minds due to the rape and mental abuse by the Russian soldiers, altering their gender roles in order to survive. My conclusion shows that this ability to adapt is what allowed Anonyma and women like her during this time to survive these horrible circumstances.

The Impact of Space and Place on the Human Condition
Moderator: Dr. Kristin Geraty, Sociology, Location: Goldspohn 35

The Climate of Architecture for Homeless
Timothy D. Whitney ’11, Mathematics, Art: Studio Art
Advisor: Dr. Wendy Koenig, Art

This comparative study considers the effects of climate on emergency homeless shelter design in Los Angeles, Detroit and Las Vegas. These cities have three of the top four homeless populations and they represent three different climates. The study argues for the importance of individual control of indoor climate (i.e., lighting, temperature, climate standardization, paint color, air flow, and furniture arrangement) in shelter design and includes analysis of three aspects of emergency homeless shelter design: an approach that views each person as an individual and considers strategies that allow for self-actualization; the relationship between climate and the homeless experience; and the architecture of emergency shelter(s) in these regions. The project examines how shelter design accommodates (or attempts to accommodate) climatic differences in courtyards, dayrooms and dormitories and concludes that the standardization of a built climate has negatively affected the homeless through institutional associations, stressed resources, unrealistic standards and artificial expectations.

Wicker Park: Glorified Grunge or Family Friendly Edginess?
Kati A. Riess ’12, Theatre
Hywel Griffith ’12, Theatre
Lindsey M. Stewart ’13, Sociology
Advisor: Dr. Louis Corsino, Sociology

The purpose of this research was to further understand Henri Lefebvre’s insights in regard to “production of space” in a specific urban environment. We conducted this research on the Chicago neighborhood of Wicker Park, specifically, using Lefebvre’s tri-lateral analysis of space (to be precise, how a space is conceived, perceived and lived). We engaged in numerous methodological techniques, including personal mental maps, interviews, a walking tour, participation observation and historical analysis. With these data collection techniques, we discovered that Wicker Park is an area where conceptions are being driven by people’s differing perceptions of the area. A culturally diverse and artsy area represents the old of the neighborhood, where the new characterizes a family-oriented, hip and edgy, yet safe area. These two concepts of the area are in constant battle driving it to be a gentrified area of young families and college yuppies, elder settlers, art and vibrant diversity.

Orthodox Missions and Alaskan Identity: Synthesizing Culture and Religion
Sarah E. Miller ’13, Economics, Finance
Advisor: Dr. Perry Hamalis, Religious Studies

In the field of Christian ethics, missionary practices are one of several controversial issues, including accusations that some Christian denominations practice “cultural imperialism” and forced conversions of indigenous people. In the case of Russian Orthodox missions to Alaska from 1790 to the early 1900s, however, a distinctive approach to evangelism can be seen that seems to avoid many common criticisms of Christian missions. My paper, which draws on both historical and theological sources, describes some of the important characteristics of Orthodox evangelism that were demonstrated in the Alaskan context. This distinctive approach to evangelism, I argue, enabled Russian Orthodox missionaries to appropriate and protect the Alaskans’ indigenous culture without compromising their Christian message. The result was a new cultural synthesis, Aleut culture, which, I further contend, could have become an influential model of evangelism had it not been systematically undermined by the U.S. government after the Alaska purchase.

Transcending the Legacy of the Colonial Paradigm
Moderator: Dr. Shereen Ilahi, History, Location: Goldspohn 37

The Wanderings of Oisin: Yeats’s Liberationist Epic
Patrick Burfield ’11, English: Literature
Advisor: Dr. Martha Bohrer, English

In his analysis of Yeats’s poetry, Edward Said claims that “Yeats is a poet whose early work sounds the nationalist note and stands finally at the very threshold [of liberation] it cannot actually ever cross.” (89) I will argue that this “threshold of liberation,” the point at which the poet rejects the nationalist colonial paradigm and advocates decolonization, is clearly identifiable in Yeats’s 1889 heroic epic “The Wanderings of Oisin.” A close postcolonial reading of the poem, focusing specifically on the transformation of archetypical national hero into disillusioned old man, reveals a criticism of both British colonialism and Irish complacency that complicates any simplistic nationalist interpretation. Yet it is the implicit call for violence and a decolonizing transformation of the social consciousness beyond a nationalist horizon that makes Oisin truly “liberationist.” Thus I argue that Yeats reaches the “threshold of liberation” far sooner than Said gives him credit.

Beyond Blending: Finding a Space for Authentic Native American Christian Expression
Lauren B. Wallem ’11, Political Science, Religious Studies
Advisor: Dr. Wioleta Polinska, Religious Studies

Tragically, the relationship between the American Christian church and Native American nations has been marked with conquest, colonization and violence. Hundreds of years later, the pain is still fresh for Native peoples. But what does this mean for the church today? While George Tinker and other Native American theologians may fear that a traditional church structure of Christianity is inherently damaging to the integrity of Native spiritual traditions and that the past of oppression is too painful, some churches have shown the potential for reconciling Christian and Native traditions to create a new kind of church far removed from colonial theology. This balance is not easily achieved, but I argue that it is possible. While colonization and missionary violence created a tragic cultural loss for Native Americans that still exists today, there is a space in the modern church for authentic Native American Christian expressions that do not damage cultural integrity.

Neoliberalism Does Not Occur in a Vacuum: The Nicaraguan Case Study
Patrick Michael Maloney ’11, Political Science
Advisor: Dr. William Muck, Political Science

The commonly held hypothesis of global development is that if a state adheres to the accepted model of neoliberal reform, then that state will develop. However, the world remains underdeveloped despite the use of neoliberal reform over the past 30 years. There have been many explanations offered to account for this underdevelopment. Some contend that the entire system is corrupt. Others contend the system is fundamentally correct, but requires a return to a Keynesian economic system. Still others contend that the lack of development is the result of states failing to fully implement reforms. This project uses the case study of Nicaragua to demonstrate that none of these explanations fully provide an answer for underdevelopment. Instead, one must take into account certain intervening variables, government incapacity and foreign intervention, which prevent states from advancing to the next stage of development and force states to remain in a state of poverty.

Soul Searching: Creating and Conveying Cultural Identity
Moderator: Dr. Andrei Guruianu, English, Location: White Activities Center, Fireside Lounge

The Pursuit of Identity in Contemporary American Literature
Grant Swanson ’11, English: Writing
Advisor: Dr. Francine Navakas, English

This presentation will verbalize my senior thesis: “Is the Authentic Experience Required for Identity Exploration Present in Contemporary American Literature?” I incorporated a broad range of research spanning from contemporary works of American fiction by such authors as Jonathan Franzen and Don DeLillo to sociologists such as Irving Goffman and Georg Simmel. The research incorporates 17 intellectuals from various realms of the academic world, supplying multiple viewpoints and opinions to the topics of authentic experience and identity exploration. I analyzed the individual pursuit of authentic experience that generates identity and the societal constructs (family structure, society, media) that inhibit such growth. Through this research, I discovered rare, but valid, examples of contemporary textual evidence for authentic experience resulting in identity exploration. My presentation will explain the textual foundations for such concepts as authentic experience and identity exploration and will elaborate on my conclusive discoveries.

Once Upon a Tournament: Using Narratives to Foster Organizational Identification in Forensics Teams
Nicole Autry ’11, Speech Communication
Advisor: Dr. Amy Buxbaum, Speech Communication

Culture provides individuals with a framework within which they can ascribe meaning to the events, objects and people, that they encounter or experience. Organizational cultures are built upon meanings embedded within cultural performances such as traditions, rituals and narratives. These performances can introduce and/or maintain a sense of connectedness among organizational members. Forensics teams provide an interesting lens for examining organizational culture and the communicative interactions among team members because of the relatively small nature of teams and the constantly evolving membership structure. By interviewing alumni of the Northern Illinois University and North Central College forensics teams, this project examines how narratives are used as a tool for communicating organizational culture. Analysis of these narratives reveals how organizational identification is fostered among new and existing team members. Individuals come to associate strongly with a team’s ideology (values, beliefs and goals) through their immersion in the team’s organizational culture.

“Vienna, City of My Dreams” and Its Cafés
Edmund Preston Sinnott ’11, Economics, German
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Wolf, German

Little scholarly research has been published on the Viennese cafés of today—their current social role, and how well they preserve the spirit of their predecessors from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This project is an analysis of Viennese cafés and their respective patrons who share in their culture and identity. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the cultural behaviors, artifacts and knowledge fostered in these cafés combined to form a tradition and unique culture which served the intellectuals, lovers, writers and artists who utilized the space for a higher purpose. As part of a Richter Fellowship, I intend to compare and contrast, from an Austro-German cultural perspective, this historical understanding of turn-of-the-century cafés to their modern-day counterparts through interviews, observations and historical research. My investigation may conclude the persistence of an irreplaceable cultural institution, or sadly otherwise.

Creating and Assessing Global Media in the 21st Century
Moderator: Dr. Suzanne Chod, Political Science, Location: White Activities Center, Banquet Hall

International News Coverage: An Analysis of News Coverage in the Middle East
Amanda S. Dominguez ’11, Political Science
Advisor: Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo, Political Science

News media has become an important source for information and education. It has a duty to provide objective news, giving facts and letting the reader determine where they stand on world issues. This paper will look at two different aspects of international news coverage from three international news sources: New York Times, Arab News and BBC. The case for the particular study is the Hezbollah War from July to August 2006. The project will focus on two components of the articles. The first will be the use of quotes and the second will look at pictures. The project will analyze two aspects of these findings. The first is comparing the differences in coverage between the three main news sources. The final analysis will then assess if a region’s international news reflects that region’s relations in the Middle East.

Auto Tune the News: Does Everything Sound Better?
David F. DePino ’13, Social Science/History
Advisor: Mr. John Stanley, Speech Communication

Parody is a rhetorical device to disseminate a political message to a wide audience. Political news media is leaving behind the audience demographic of 18-24 year-olds and gains mainly older viewers with a median age of 61. Often ignored is the political parody presented on the Internet. YouTube received more than 700 billion unique playbacks to date and is a major distributor of political parody to a younger audience. This research project applies a theoretical framework by Robert Harriman, entitled “Political Parody and Public Culture,” to provide a rhetorical criticism of the viral Auto Tune The News segments, which have received more than 100 million unique viewers and 500,000 unique subscribers. My research applies the three steps of Harriman and provides an original analysis within that framework, before drawing original conclusions that political parody undermines American news media and rhetorically undermines the importance of politics.

Using Interactive Media to Chronicle a D-Term Experience
P. Tyler Buchenot ’11, Interactive Media Studies: Graphic Arts, Art: Studio Art
Advisor: Dr. Wendy Koenig, Art

Interactive media that was once primarily the platform for video games has become a valuable information source. Through interactive tools, the user can explore areas of interest and control information flow. After completing research on the use of interactive media, I constructed a computer-based, interactive chronicle of a study abroad trip to Rome that goes beyond mere travelogue and attempts to capture the actual atmosphere and challenges of the experience. By carefully selecting images, descriptions and videos and applying interactive tools, the project captures the immersive nature of a short-term study abroad. The project will help students understand aspects of foreign travel and demonstrate how interactive media may be effectively used to prepare students for educational experiences overseas. It will be the first time such a project has been used at North Central as a promotional tool for attracting students to international programs.

The Future of Health and Health Care
Moderator: Dr. Leila Azarbad, Psychology, Location: White Activities Center, Dining Room

Predicting Quality of Life for Two or More Health States Associated with Prostate Cancer
Grace N. Muganda ’12, Biochemistry, Computer Science
Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Visick, Biology

Cost-effective analysis (CEA) of medical treatments endeavors to quantify the effects of medical treatments on the duration and quality of life. The linear index model (LIM) and the adjusted decrement model (ADM) are both models for predicting joint health states from single health states for men with prostate cancer. The ADM is expected to predict a less biased joint health state values, however, it has not been extensively tested. We hypothesize that the ADM better estimates joint health state utilities based on composing single health state utilities for men with prostate cancer than the LIM. Improvement is based on bias and correlation. We found the LIM is a better predictor of joint health states from single health states than the ADM; however, the ADM is less biased than the LIM.

Economic Analysis of Three Cost-Containment Initiatives in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Timothy P. Lesiewicz ’11, Economics, Finance
Advisor: Dr. Timothy Morris, Philosophy

The signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on March 23, 2010, marked the beginning of a new chapter in U.S. health care policy. The landmark legislation mandates coverage for nearly all Americans, imposes new regulations on insurers to make insurance more affordable, and promises to reduce health care expenditures within the U.S. health care system. Although there are myriad variables that contribute to the escalation of health care costs, my research focuses on the reform’s cost containment measures and examines whether the measures will actually reduce health care expenditures. I identify three major cost containment initiatives in the reform act: comparative effectiveness research, health information technology and preventative measures. I examine the efficacy of these measures by first, analyzing the projected reduction in health care spending and second, comparing the breadth of each initiative to the impact of similar cost containment programs.