North Central College - Naperville, IL

Oral Presentations

11th Annual Rall Symposium Research Abstracts
2008 Oral Presentations
10:30-11:50 a.m. Goldspohn Hall

Explorations of Risky Behavior
Goldspohn 11
Moderator: Dr. Jonathan Mueller, Psychology

How Evolutionary Psychology Impacts our Courtrooms
Brian Lesiewicz ’08, Economics
Advisor: Dr. Karl Kelley, Psychology
The field of evolutionary psychology, which is relatively new, primarily examines human psychological behaviors under evolutionary theory. Evolutionary psychology is a powerful theory  that can be used to explain and hypothesize the different decisions all forms of life make. That being said, evolutionary psychological theory is commonly mistaken as a theory that applies only to animals or primal humans, when nothing could be further from the truth. Evolutionary psychology is becoming exceedingly applicable in today’s society because it helps humans identify where their behaviors originated, and why they were necessary. The honors thesis that I am writing with Dr. Kelley explores how evolutionary psychological principles can be used to understand decisions made in modern court cases. The particular focus of my thesis is on intimate murders(e.g., killing one’s lover) and how trends in the data can be supported by evolutionary psychological principles.

Uncertainty Analysis and Sensitivity Analysis of R0 in Modeling Chlamydia Transmission
Christine Muganda ’09, Mathematics, Spanish
Christina Lorenzo ’11, Mathematics
Dorothy Tran ’10, Biochemistry, Applied Mathematics
Luke Eichelberger ’09, Mathematics, Economics
Advisor: Dr. Linda Gao, Mathematics
We use mathematical models to investigate the dynamics of chlamydia transmission in the United States population and the effectiveness of potential vaccination. A set of parameter values was estimated for a compartmentalized model of the spread of chlamydia trachomatis using data obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and previous research. Each parameter is an average representing a distribution of data. Uncertainty analysis was then performed in order to estimate the variability of the basic reproductive number R0 as a result of the uncertainty in estimating the parameter values. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to determine the sensitivity of R0 to the variability of the parameters. The impact of the parameter values was compared by calculating the sensitivity index for each parameter.

An Age-Structured Model of Chlamydia Transmission
Luke Eichelberger ’09, Mathematics, Economics
Christine Muganda ’09, Mathematics, Spanish
Dorothy Tran ’10, Biochemistry, Applied Mathematics
Christina Lorenzo ’11, Mathematics
Advisor: Dr. Linda Gao, Mathematics
In order to build an age-structured mathematical model to investigate the dynamics of chlamydia transmission in the United States, we need to be able to track and forecast the population age distribution. In this project, Leslie matrix method is employed to model United States population growth. Through searching, compiling and translating fertility, mortality and population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we are able to track the population age distribution from 1980–2006 and make plausible projections up to 2060. We then superimpose an epidemiological model consisting of systems of nonlinear differential equations on this population model. By observing the behavior of the disease transmission dynamics and the effects of control measures in this age-structured model, we determine whether age structure significantly affects the results of the chlamydiamodel explored earlier in a group project on chlamydia.

A Mathematical Approach to Characterize the Effects of Vaccination for Chlamydia Trachomatis
Dorothy Tran ’10, Biochemistry, Applied Mathematics
Advisor: Dr. Linda Gao, Mathematics
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most frequently reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States, with an estimated 2.8 million Americans infected per year. Although chlamydia is treatable, approximately 50 percent of men and 75 percent of women infected are asymptomatic, causing severe health effects, especially in women. Currently, researchers are investigating potential vaccines for chlamydia. We used mathematical modeling to investigate the dynamic of the chlamydia transmissionin the population and the effectiveness of potential chlamydial vaccination by constructing deterministic models involving a system of nonlinear differential equations. We analyzed local stability of equilibriums and computed the basic reproduction number, R0, of the model to determine their dependence on parameters. Numerical solutions are also explored.

The Art of Transformation and the Search for Humanness
Goldspohn 14
Moderator: Dr. Jennifer Jackson, English

Glass Casting: Experiments in Kiln Glass
Katy Luxion ’08, Studio Art, Interactive Media Studies
Advisor: Ms. Christine Rabenold, Art
After studying in the United Kingdom this past fall, I’ve had an increasing interest in kiln casting glass. Taking a course in hotand kiln glass is what inspired this initial interest, perpetuated by examining the work of Karen LaMonte, as well as the sheer joy created by working in this medium. After returning to the United States this winter, I have continued to read, work andresearch glass as a medium. Outside the confines of the traditional casting, I’ve been working on expanding and examining a medium that transforms from liquid to solid, from fire into ice. This presentation seeks to share my experiences studying at“The National Glass Centre” in Sunderland, England, as well as share my experiences and experiments since returning.

Finding Frida: Locating “The Self” in Self-Portraits
Mandy Bert ’08, English:Writing
Advisor: Dr. Sara Eaton, English
Frida Kahlo, a 20th century Mexican painter, is famous for her plethora of self-portraits, all of which depict a woman with piercing eyes, a connected brow and marked facial hair. While they are often viewed as her autobiography, I propose that herself-portraits are deliberate constructs through which Kahlo lived. My research, including that done in situ at La Casa Azul in Coyoacán, Mexico City, and the gender construction theories of Simone de Beauvoir, Judith Butler and Laura Mulvey suggest that Kahlo conceived of canvas as a proverbial blank slate upon which she could create not just a biography, but an identity. To better explain this notion of identity construction, I will explore several of her most famous paintings, such as “Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress,” and look at the way in which Kahlo’s gaze suggests that she is simultaneously occupying the space of art, artistand audience in her self-portraits.

Genealogy in Beowulf: The Incomprehensibility of Grendel and Grendel’s Mother
Mary Boscarino ’08, English
Advisor: Dr. Richard Glejzer, English
While some critics claim that Grendel’s mother reveals the humanness, and thus comprehensibility, of the monstrous, this essay argues that Grendel’s mother actually signifies the futile attempt by humans to comprehend the monstrous. Comprehension of the monstrous can never be attained because the monstrous is beyond the attempts at comprehension to which it is necessarily subject. Through close reading and analysis of particular passages, this essay asserts that Beowulf initially depicts Grendelas incomprehensible, extends this incomprehensibility to Grendel’s mother, and preserves the incomprehensibility of both throughout the text. Beowulf illustrates Grendel’s initial incomprehensibility by aligning the human with linear genealogy and the monstrous with an ambiguous atmosphere of evil. And since Grendel’s mother’s genealogy is just as ambiguous,this incomprehensibility is not alleviated by the appearance of Grendel’s mother but actually extended to include her. Themonstrous in Beowulf is subjected to, yet always eluding, human attempts at comprehension.

A Defense of the Moral Equality of Animals
Matt Rogers ’09, Philosophy
Advisor: Dr. Robert Lehe, Philosophy
In his book Animal Liberation, Peter Singer challenges the traditional belief that we are not morally obligated to give as much consideration to the interests of animals as we give to the interests of humans. He argues that giving more weight to the interests of members of our own species than to members of other species is morally equivalent to giving more weight to the interests of people of our own race than to people of other races. Bonnie Steinbock argues in “Speciesism and the Idea of Equality” that humans have certain capacities that justify weighing the interests of humans more heavily than the interests of other animals. In my essay I defend Singer’s position, argue that the human capacities that Steinbock discusses fail to justify giving greater weight to human interests, and discuss the implications of all this for our treatment of animals.

Learning and Culture: A Global Voyage
Goldspohn 22
Moderator: Dr. Renard Jackson, Education

Teaching in Different Cultures
Kimberly Brook ’08, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Heather Coon, Psychology
For this qualitative study I interviewed nine teachers in two different settings: a private Christian elementary school in rural Zambia and a private Christian school in a low-income suburb of Chicago. Both schools are run by Western teachers who are teaching in cultures different from their own. I originally attempted to look at the clashes that arise when teachers attempt to teach in a culture different from their own, but the analysis revealed a specific clash between wanted and perceived parental values toward education and school. While education may in fact be a universal value, this study demonstrates the relative distinction of how parents of different cultures express their beliefs.

Social Integration: A Comparative Study of German Schools
Kendel Brady ’08, Elementary Education
Advisor: Dr. Nancy Keiser, Education
Germany has continued to perform poorly in international assessments such as those conducted by Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). There is widespread belief that the lack of sufficient education and integration of Germany’s large immigrant population is a leading cause of low assessment scores. In theory, once students become socially integrated into the majority society, their academic performances should increase. This study focused on the social integration efforts of five public and private schools in Germany. Research findings were collected through formal interviews with school officials and through classroom observations. This study examined non-native students’ social integration through school-developed goals,multicultural representation, and language support and instruction.

The Drive for English Education in Indonesia: A Qualitative Study of its Purposes, Benefits,and Drawbacks
Sarah McCutcheon ’08, Elementary Education
Advisor: Dr. Nancy Keiser, Education
Many developing countries in which English is taught experience “brain drain”—a loss of highly educated citizens to developed countries with heightened education or career opportunities. Indonesia, the fourth most populated country in the world, does not suffer these effects; in 2005, only 5 percent of Indonesia’s skilled citizens put their education to use outside the country (Dugger). With English a national curriculum requirement in Indonesian schools, yet a small influx of educated people out of the country, this qualitative study examined the purpose of teaching English in Indonesian schools, in contrast to previous studies focused on instructional methods. Interviews with teachers of English and university-bound students revealed the language to be crucial to success in higher education, career opportunities and international communication. Benefits and drawbacks corresponded to the quality of English instruction and the implications of English as an international language.

Cultures’ Role in Determining the Success of an International Business Meeting
Caroline Hirsch ’11, International Business, Psychology, French
Claudia Chlebek ’09, International Business, Economics, Spanish
Michael Gross ’10, International Business, Economics
Advisor: Dr. Robert Moussetis, International Business
Emerging global business opportunities, coupled with the saturation of domestic markets, lead business persons to explore international opportunities. The success or failure often depends on the effectiveness of the negotiations. This research effort attempts to investigate the specific characteristics of a cross-cultural negotiation (trust-building process, communications,mannerisms; Hofstede’s characteristics of high individualism versus collectivism and low versus high context) and draw observations from participating in cross-cultural negotiations. The observational process was established as follows: There were three students in the room who were taking notes and making observations independently, the U.S. manager, the Mexican managers(s)—often there were several—and the translator. The meetings lasted for one hour. Afterward we finalized our initial observations and at the end of the day we had a meeting to revisit our observations and findings. Our observations underscore the importance of building relationships and trust and the need of cross-cultural education.

Sacred Lives: A (Re)Examination of the Divinely Inspired
Goldspohn 31
Moderator: Dr. Brian Hoffert, Religious Studies & History;East Asian & Global Studies

Reclaiming Mary Magdalene
Mallory Mosher ’09, Religious Studies, Sociology
Advisor: Dr. Wioleta Polinska, Religious Studies
Throughout Christian history, the figure of Mary Magdalene has been the center of much controversy and debate. In my paper and oral presentation, false views of Mary Magdalene as a sinner, a prostitute, and/or an adulterous woman are debunked. Close analysis of the canonical gospels as well as the gnostic gospels reveals that these unsavory female figures are never referred to by name as Mary Magdalene, and therefore no written proof—Biblical or otherwise—supports Mary Magdalene in these roles. In fact, a closer reading of the texts reveals Mary to be a faithful and highly regarded disciple of Christ—one of the few women who bore witness to His Crucifixion, entombment and Resurrection.

Of Silence, of Sound: The Dichotomy of Internal and External Ritual in a Benedictine Monastery
Kelley Knapp ’09, Philosophy
Advisor: Dr. Matthew Krystal, Anthropology
This anthropological project oversaw the daily rituals of a community of Benedictine monks residing in Chicago. The rituals were scrutinized broadly under Lévi-Strauss’ structuralist theory; that is, two general cultural binaries were defined and then reconciled. This project attempted to extract the meaning and purpose of external and internal ritual. My research focused primarily on synthesizing the pairs of oppositions which emerged: sensory/non-sensory, individual/community, and temporal/celestial. I arrived at the conclusion that internal and external rituals were co-substantial elements. The existence of one complimented the other; together, internal and external rituals served as a holistic method of self-control. Specifically, this reconciliation required the submission of one ritual to another. Internalized ritual, understood as motivation or intention,took precedence over external ritual—that is, physical action. The implications of this finding suggest that a dutifully served Catholic existence is achieved primarily through means of contemplation.

The Face of Development: A Case Study of Burkinabè Women’s Fight to Survive and Hope to Persevere
Kelsey Staudacher ’09, Global Studies, French
Advisor: Dr. Brian Endless, Political Science
Dryness and desiccation, hope and heartache, passion and perseverance are continually amplified in the lives of the Burkinabè women upon whom this visual study focuses. Seemingly ageless, yet as cracked and wise as the constantly shifting desert, the Burkinabè women of this study stand as a testament to the efforts of countless social and economic development agencies that seek to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable people. The radiant juxtaposition of hope and abiding pain, which shone through the eyes of the women observed, and their evident strength and will to survive demonstrate that development endeavors funded by outside sources must be directed by personal accounts and community implications. The presentation will briefly describe the methodologies used and motivation for the study followed by an in-depth analysis of the observations collected vis-à-vis the women impacted by the community development initiatives of a ministry organization.

Eastern Orthodox Christian Worship
Emily Smith ’08, Religious Studies, Spanish
Advisor: Dr. Perry Hamalis, Religious Studies
Eastern Orthodoxy, one of the three major expressions of Christianity, often strikes the non-Orthodox observer as foreigner strange, even if she or he self-identifies as a “Christian.” To better understand and assess the value of Eastern Orthodoxy, I spent two weeks observing the practice of Orthodox Christian worship in Greece, a predominantly Orthodox country. Upon returning, I conducted library research and engaged in a critical reflection on the subject with the aim of giving an account of Orthodoxy’s coherence and potential value in a way that makes sense to Western Christians. I argue that one thread through which this coherence can be traced is the dual theme of “deepening communion with God” and “reconciling humanity with God,” and I demonstrate the significance of this dual theme by examining Orthodox Christian teachings on the Eucharist,spiritual advising, prayer, the use of icons, and the theology of saints.

Gender Images in Ancient and Modern Contexts
Goldspohn 32
Moderator: Dr. Lisa Long, English

Perseverance: The Story of a Female Iraqi Refugee Interpreted Through Sculpture
Katie Nemec ’08, Studio Art
Advisor: Ms. Christine Rabenold, Art
The Iraqi war has left many of its female citizens fleeing the country in refuge. When the war is discussed, these women areseldom the focus or considered important. The method of research for this series is personal interview and technical ceramicre search. A female Iraqi refuge agreed to be interviewed and lend her life experiences to an abstract figurative sculpture series. This collection of work includes three sculptural interpretations of specific milestones in her life. The purpose of this body of work is to share the severity of female oppression in Iraq and the lack of understanding by the world community.

Male and Female Perceptions on Muscularity
Jeremy Ceja ’08, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Heather Coon, Psychology
The current study examines body image and preferences among males and females. Male and female undergraduates were shown silhouettes of male and female physiques, ranging from heavy to thin to muscular, and asked about their own preferences and those of the other gender. Women correctly chose the body type they felt men most preferred in women, and the two genders agreed on the healthiest and most feminine female physiques, but there were some gender differences. Both genders were also asked about the health and femininity of the three most muscular female physiques. On both issues, men and women held similar views, indicating that health and femininity decrease as females become highly muscular.

Fairytales and Feminism in Modern Turkey
Jessica Cohen ’08, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Heather Coon, Psychology
Feminism is largely defined as a movement toward equality between the sexes. However, the definition has been debated because the importance of feminist issues is contested. Is feminism framed and viewed differently around the world? This question is addressed using semi-structured interviews with nine women in Turkey, a traditional Muslim country which has recently shifted toward a more secular, Western perspective. I asked these women to discuss stories from their childhood,which can reflect cultural values and their understanding of women and their role in society. We also discussed modern Turkish values and their perspective of feminism in Turkey.

Violation and Danger: An Exploration of Boundaries in Sophocles’ Antigone
Faith Harrington-Taber ’08, Humanities
Advisor: Dr. David Fisher, Philosophy
This is a look at gender boundaries in Sophocles’ Antigone and the ways in which they’re violated, against the complex background of other such limits and restrictions: taboos, virginity, purity, pollution, duty, danger, control, household, city state,power, and helplessness. The analysis of Sophocles’ text is compiled from multidisciplinary backgrounds including classicist Robert Parker’s Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion, classic philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy and cultural anthropologist Mary Douglas’ Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concept of Pollution and Taboo.

Language and Power
Goldspohn 33
Moderator: Dr. Mara Berkland, Speech Communication

The Representation of Concordia Discors and Its Role in Creating Identity in Alexander Pope’s “Windsor Forest”
Laurel White ’10, English: Writing, Interactive Media Studies
Advisor: Dr. Martha Bohrer, English
General scholarly consensus is that Alexander Pope’s poem “Windsor Forest” is an excellent representation of the popular 18th century literary theme of concordia discors (discordant harmony). I assert that the representation of concordia discorsin the English identity evolves as Pope’s poem progresses, separating the work into two sections, one which focuses on the nation’s domestic cultivation of concordia discors, the second addressing the concept’s role in representing England’s global relationships. I also assert that Pope utilizes a repetition of two particular rhyme schemes, “-ain” and “-ood,” to exemplify the national and international development of harmony in difference. Pope utilizes the concept of concordia discors to channel a negative, conflicted history into a positive outcome. Through the portrayal of harmonious relationships, Pope creates for England an idyllic identity based upon cohesion cooperation and prosperity, an identity that he, and all of England, hoped would bloom in the coming age.

Maintaining Mediator Neutrality: An Assessment of the Standard of Neutrality in the Mediation Process
Samia Zayed ’08, International Business
Advisor: Mr. Thomas Cavenagh, Business Law and Conflict Resolution
Traditionally, mediator neutrality has been considered a necessary component of a fair and successful mediation. However,researchers and practitioners in the emerging field of mediation often question whether neutrality in mediation is achievable due to a number of challenges present in mediation today. This paper identifies and analyzes these challenges and attempts to resolve the debate by redefining neutrality in a way that addresses these concerns.

Rethinking Political Influence in Scientific Controversies
Sarah Brady ’08, Chemistry, French
Advisor: Dr. Richard Paine, Speech Communication/Theatre
There should be a clear line between the work of scientists and policymakers but it has become blurred. How and why this line is being crossed is examined by several rhetorical methods. The methods examine political influence in scientific controversies and the role rhetoric plays in the politicization of science, specifically the rhetorical methods used by the government to manipulate science. The rhetorical concepts used to examine the relationship between the government and scientists include heresy vs. orthodoxy, framing techniques, the exaggeration of scientific ethos, and a variety of concepts drawn from the study of semiotics. These methods are applied to two public debates in order to draw comparisons, contrasts and conclusions. Both debates play an important role in determining the outcome of the struggle between the government and scientists. However, the breadth of these cases allows for conclusions regarding the overall relationship between the government and the scientific community.

The Digital “Hood”: Effects of Racial Priming on Online Argumentation
Mark Jenkins ’09, Political Science
Advisor: Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo,Political Science
Recent research on online argumentation primarily centers on the outcomes produced by the discussion. There has been a push to explore the potential effect on an individual’s civic participation as a result of having access to new media sources. Democracy is believed to be weakened by the threat of selective exposure and the lack of concrete identity in the online world. However, there have been few studies that have looked at this issue through a racial lens. By using Daniel Canary’s Manual for Coding Conversational Argument (1989) and viewing racial and political content on the new media source YouTube, I examine basic and often unfiltered arguments among individuals to gauge the level of racial discourse in an online forum of a usersubmitted video featuring 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

From Objectification to Otherness and Back: Travel and Empathy Through a Historical Lens
Goldspohn 35
Moderator: Dr. William Barnett, History

Letters from a Twenty-first Century Turkish Embassy
Brianna Hyslop ’09, English Literature
Advisor: Dr. Martha Bohrer, English
This paper is primarily a reading of a selection of original travel letters modeled after the published travel literature of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu about her travel to the Ottoman Empire during the early 18th century. My letters, like Lady Mary’s about Turkey and Tunisia, were crafted with the intention of conveying the experience of one culture to individuals from another. As Lady Mary used her letters to present an image of the Orient to 18th century England, my travel letters represent my experiences in Turkey and Tunisia to a 21st century audience. Post-colonial literary critics offer theories about the gaze that an individual from one culture trains upon another culture. This project forced me to compare my gaze upon “The Other” to Lady Mary’s gaze, as I explain in my brief introduction to my original travel letters.

Lost Lives: A Study of Transitional Homes for Human Trafficking Victims in Thailand
Esther McCarty ’09, Organizational Communication, Spanish
Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Keys, Sociology
The global problem of human trafficking, fueled by poverty and tourism, continues to uproot innocent lives in Thailand. This study explores the personal struggles of extracted victims of human trafficking in three transitional homes throughout the central and northern regions of Thailand. Participant observation was used to examine the services provided and to assess the effectiveness of the programs and the remaining needs of victims. Both informal and formal interviews were conducted with the directors from each home and eight resident children. Qualitative analysis of the data revealed that the social structure of the community plays an integral part in victims regaining their identities. Further, the directors’ methodologies and preventative work is based on a familial model, in which the staff members develop close relationships with the children and serve as role models. These elements are beneficial for enabling the recovery of the children who were victimized by this injustice.

“George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People”: An Analysis of the Presidents Who Did“Care” About Black Americans
Ann Fisher ’09, Political Science
Advisor: Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo,Political Science
Of 42 American presidents, only seven have made executive orders or proclamations in an attempt to advance African Americans in society (Lincoln, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, L. Johnson, and Nixon). I have chosen Trumanand Eisenhower’s executive orders on desegregation of the armed forces and Central High School of Little Rock, Arkansas,to uncover how these two presidents used similar executive orders to affect the lives of Black Americans. Using scholarly literature from psychology of leadership, racial communication and public opinion, I look at what preceded the orders,the public’s opinion, and the current status of the orders. The result will be a greater understanding of the roles American Presidents have played in the lives of Black Americans.

Modern Consumerism in Global Perspective
Natalia Grechkin ’08, International Business, Marketing, German
Advisor: Dr. Robert Moussetis, International Business
This presentation is based on my senior honors thesis, titled “Modern Consumerism in Global Perspective.” Although consumerism is not a novel concept, because of the significant rise of globalization in the last few decades, many people disagree about the effects of our buying on the way the societies and the corporations exist within them. On one hand,consumers drive many corporations to be more socially conscious; on the other hand, some fear that multinational corporations are gaining too much power, posing a threat to economic and political stability. This project seeks to provide some historical as well as philosophical background on the concept of consumerism, to examine its current state and its implications,both in the United States and worldwide, and attempts to make predictions about the future of the global consumerism.

Pick Your Poison: Biological, Chemical and Behavioral Analyses
Goldspohn 36
Moderator: Dr. Jeffrey Bjorklund, Biochemistry

Computational Methods for Toxin Characterization from Transcription Profiles
Deborah Muganda ’08, Biochemistry
Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Visick, Biology
Adam Smith and Mark Craven, Departments of Computer Science and Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, University of Wisconsin-Madison Determining the toxicity of a new chemical is a costly and time-consuming process. Past research has shown that computational methods can be used to classify the toxicity of chemicals based on the transcription profiles that they induce. Since we expect some methods of comparing transcription profiles to result in more accurate classifications, we tested four distance algorithms: Euclidean distance, scale-independent Euclidean distance, Pearson’s correlation and Spearman’s rank correlation. Pearson’s rank correlation and scale-independent Euclidean were able to correctly classify the toxicity of a chemical based on its transcriptional profile more accurately than the baseline algorithm, Euclidean distance.

Effect of Heavy Metal Stress on Protein Repair-Deficient Escherichia Coli
Allison Beckham ’09, Biology
Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Visick, Biology
As organisms age, their proteins become damaged. One important type of protein damage happens to the side chain of the amino acids asparagine and aspartate, converting them to isoaspartate. Nearly all organisms can repair this damage with the enzyme L-isoaspartyl protein carboxyl methyltransferase (PCM). PCM methylates the carboxyl group of isoaspartate,stimulating reconversion to normal aspartate. In Escherichia coli, PCM is required for maximal survival of oxidative, heator osmotic stress during stationary phase. The recent finding that PCM activity increased in a Klebsiella pneumoniae strain isolated from a heavy metal-contaminated environment suggested that heavy metal resistance in E. coli might also be PCMdependent. We explored both short-term and long-term effects of lead and cobalt on wild-type and PCM-deficient E. coli. There was no observable difference in the survival rates of the two strains, suggesting that PCM does not contribute directly to heavy metal stress resistance in E. coli.

Student Attitudes Toward School Drug Testing
Allison Shostrom ’09, Psychology
Megan Bentel ’08, Psychology
Farah Fathi ’08, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Thomas Sawyer, Psychology
A 24-item survey developed to assess individual differences in college students’ attitudes toward school-based drug testing programs was administered to 196 participants. In addition, other attitude/personality inventories were administered in order to assess their degree of relationship to the drug testing survey. These inventories measured students’ levels of acceptance of authority, conservatism, religiosity and authoritarianism. Our aim is to discover factors that may predict variability in students’ opinions on drug testing in the schools, which may in turn predict the success of future drug-testing programs.

Take This Job and Shove It: Psychological Underpinnings of Work-Related Attitudes and Behaviors
Goldspohn 37
Moderator: Dr. Tracy Caldwell, Psychology

Working Memory Capacity and Prospective Time Judgments
Kristen Federlein ’08, Psychology
Lisa Link ’09, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Thomas Sawyer, Psychology
Research has suggested that working memory functions, which coordinate cognitive processes when multi-tasking, play a role in prospective time judgment. The current study hypothesized that time judgments would be increasingly shorter for tasks that place greater demands on working memory capacity (WMC), and that individual differences in WMC would influence this task effect. First, participants estimated the duration they performed each of three tasks, which varied in WMC demands,for two different durations (14 or 24 seconds). Then, the “operation scan task,” a commonly used measure of WMC, was administered. Results indicated that performing tasks that require more WMC led to time estimates of shorter duration. However, no clear relationship was found between individual differences in WMC and temporal estimates.

Ethical Ideology Influences Judgment of Employees Returning from FMLA Leave
Elizabeth Konrad ’08, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Karl Kelley, Psychology
The current research examines how employees who take Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are perceived by their manager upon return from leave. The FMLA was enacted to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave after the birth of a child or to care for a sick child or parent. In this study, we look at how the ethical position of the manager, as measured by Forsyth’s (1980) EPQ, impacts how the employee is perceived. Participants in this study were asked to imagine that they were responsible for a firm during a critical time. They were told they had an employee who needed leave and were asked to evaluate that employee upon return from leave. The results indicate that individuals with low relativism and high idealism scores were the most negative in their evaluations, particularly when organizational problems occurred in their absence.

Perception of Employees Using FMLA: Reasons for Request and Responsibility for Outcomes
Meredith A. McDermott ’09, Psychology
Katlyn Humphrey ’10, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Karl Kelley, Psychology
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 allows employees 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for a birth or adoption of a child, to care for a sick child or parent and for personal illness. The purpose of the current study was to examine how the reason for the request (birth of a child, care for a sick child or parent) influences perceptions both before and after leave. Participants were asked to role-play a manager where an employee is requesting FMLA leave. It was hypothesized that requests by females would be viewed more favorably in all situations than requests by males and that males would be held more responsible for negative events during leave. Results support previous findings that there are different consequences for males and females in requesting leave. It was also found that requests for a sick child can reduce the negative consequences for men.

The Predictive Capabilities of a Personality Job-Fit Assessment on 30-, 60- and 90-Day Job Performance Reviews of Delivery Drivers
April Gonzalez ’08, Psychology, Sociology
Advisor: Dr. Karl Kelley, Psychology
One of the most common forms of research used in the field of industrial and organizational psychology (I/O) is to observe and measure natural variation in the variables of interest and look for associations among those variables. It has been suggested that personality attributes are now widely recognized as contributors to job success and performance. This study examines the relationship between delivery driver job-fit assessment scores and scores on 30-, 60- and 90-day performance reviews. This study considers the relationship between 137 current delivery driver job-fit assessment scores and their performance review scores. Results of the study indicate that there is a statistically significant association between high job-fit assessment scores and high job performance review scores. This positive correlation suggests that high job performance review scores can bepredicted from high job-fit assessment scores.