Undergraduate Research Symposium

Browse

Recent Submissions

  • Publication
    Deploying feminism at the UN: Do more gender equal missions better protect civilian populations.
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Campbell, Amy
    United Nations Resolution 1325 affirmed the UN’s commitment to including women in peacekeeping missions. Some scholarly work has examined the impact of increased women’s activity on mission effectiveness, but this work has largely been limited to case studies or theoretical arguments. Even so, this work does suggest that missions with more women may be better able to interact with local populations, improve public attitudes towards missions, and help maintain greater internal accountability. Women police might be especially important as they would be able to gather more effective intelligence. I predict these factors would also make those missions more effective in supporting their peacekeeping mandates. To test this hypothesis, I use cross-national data from post-civil war African countries between 2000 and 2017 in which the UN deployed a peacekeeping mission with a civilian protection mandate. I specifically examine whether missions with more women serving as troops and police translate into a reduction in violence against civilians.
  • Publication
    Aluminum-enhanced filament for additively manufactured hybrid rocket fuel
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Dorrell, Trey
    This poster presents the impact of aluminum powder additives on Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) filaments for additively manufactured fuel grains for hybrid rockets, which combine solid fuel with liquid oxidizers for safer handling. Aluminum integration into ABS aims to enhance thrust and efficiency, potentially rivaling solid and liquid rocket performance. The research involves designing, fabricating, and testing hybrid motors with aluminum-infused ABS fuel grains, using Nitrous Oxide as the oxidizer. Standardized fuel grains of 54 mm diameter are produced via additive manufacturing for consistent testing. Experiments on a hybrid rocket test stand measure thrust and specific impulse, comparing aluminum-enhanced ABS to pure ABS and traditional materials. Preliminary results suggest significant performance gains, underscoring the potential of advanced materials in improving hybrid rocket propulsion and safety. This work contributes to aerospace engineering by demonstrating the benefits of material innovation in propulsion systems.
  • Publication
    Transgender voice therapy: A path to self-acceptance
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Eaton, Abigail; Pascale, Emily
    This presentation highlights a novel therapy practice of providing vocal treatment to transgender clients. Based on findings from therapy sessions, this presentation will showcase results of therapy, the client’s evolving perception of desired vocal traits, and education on effective diagnosis and treatment.
  • Publication
    Passing to play: Examining student-athlete academic motivation
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Berry, Elsa
    Student-athletes at all levels are tasked with managing academic success and athletic performance simultaneously. Many of these students may only achieve passing grades in order to remain eligible to participate in their sport. This is when the idea of “passing to play” comes about (Lapchick, 1989). To gain insight on this, I conducted a survey with Oklahoma high school students who are or were student-athletes, and the professionals who work with these students. Within the survey it asks for demographic information and questions about their academic performance and its relationship to their athletic participation. It also included the opportunity to be interviewed and answer further questions to examine personal motivations and influences on academic performance. This study was conducted and once the data was collected, it was coded for common themes across the participants' answers. Knowing what motivates this population of students can influence teaching practices, administration, and school policies, as well as how teachers, coaches, and other staff members frame academics in relation to these students’ athletic endeavors. By understanding how students are motivated, their experience and success in school can be improved.
  • Publication
    Determining DNA differences: Using PCR to determine the genetic material in Deltochilum gibbosum fed on either dung or carrion
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Shaw, Ethan; Youssef, Noha; Mills, Emma; Jones, Amelea
    Dung beetles of the subfamily Scarabaeinae are notable for their coprophagous, or dung eating, behavior. They feed on animal dung as adults, use the resource as a part of reproduction, and when their eggs hatch the larvae feed on that dung as well. However, a species of dung beetle native to Oklahoma is just as comfortable using animal matter, such as fur, feathers, and carrion, as they are using dung. Deltochilum gibbosum, the humpbacked dung beetle, is a large (> 2 cm) dung beetle that displays this feeding behavior. A beetle that can perform the ecosystem service of nutrient recycling using both dung and carrion is not only ecologically important but is also valuable to cattle operations looking to keep their pastures healthy. Since Deltochilum gibbosum can utilize both dung and carrion, they would need to have a gut microbiome suited for both resources. However, the microbiome of these beetles has never been examined. We acquired eight Deltochilum gibbosum, four male and four female, from the Insect Adventure. Two of the males and two of the females were fed on pig dung, while the other beetles were fed using dead laboratory mice. After staying on their target diet for a period of four weeks, the beetles were dissected, and their guts were preserved in a freezer in ethanol. The DNA was extracted using a DNeasy Plant Pro Kit and the associated process. A PCR test will be performed on the extracted DNA. This data will allow us to get an idea of the microbiome of these beetles while also determining if there are any differences between the beetles fed on dung and those fed on carrion. We hypothesize that the microbiome of Deltochilum gibbosum fed on carrion will be different than the microbiome of those fed on dung.
  • Publication
    TikTok poetry: the death of art or a new frontier?
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Eckert, Jillian Hope
    Poetry as an art form shifts and evolves alongside new developments in communication and technology. The emergence of TikTok has provided a new medium for poets to experiment with. My thesis will investigate how poets engage with TikTok’s trends, algorithms, and formats. Much like popular Instagram poetry during the 2010s, TikTok poetry tends to be broad in an effort to be relatable and easy to consume. However, the app’s unique combination of audio and visual elements adds a new dimension to poetry written for social media: sound. TikTok poets certainly draw inspiration from slam poetry, though with a few significant departures. TikTok poetry also follows trends and is largely written to gain followers and popularity, not just for the sake of writing poetry. Its surface-level nature also garners criticism from people who don’t consider it “real poetry.” However, there are some instances of TikTok users stumbling upon poetry as a vehicle for critiquing the state of society and internet culture at large. Alongside the poems reminiscent of popular Instapoetry, a whole new type of TikTok poetry is emerging—the type that can only exist because of TikTok itself.
  • Publication
    Pheromone binding to pest control: investigating olfaction mechanisms in Ostrinia furnacalis
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Russell, Jennie Lynn; Paudel, Pratikshya; Combs, Patrick; Jackson, Emily
    Understanding the molecular intricacies of pheromone binding and release in insects is paramount for developing innovative and eco-friendly pest control strategies. Pheromones are hydrophobic and volatile chemicals that are secreted by female insects to attract the male insects for mating. Pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) in the antennae of male insects serve a crucial role in transporting hydrophobic pheromone molecules to olfactory receptor neurons (ORN). This process enables male insects to locate a mate. Unraveling this mechanism opens the door to designing synthetic ligands that can compete with natural pheromones, confusing male pests and impeding their mating. Such an approach offers an effective pest mitigation strategy without the reliance on traditional pesticides.
  • Publication
    The Deaf Experience, Deaf Expression project and how it is tied to the social determinants of health using thematic analysis
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Olender, Chelsea; Hedge, Mady; Robinson, Lynnen; Ferguson, Mattie; Avance, Lenna
    The Deaf Experience, Deaf Expression (DXDX) project is a large-scale research study that was launched to serve members of our community. Our purpose is to gather interviews documenting real-life experiences from deaf people across the lifespan. We aim to create a database for newly diagnosed individuals, parents, friends, and professionals to use as a community resource. This collection will serve as a convenient guide to support deaf people and their family members through major life decisions.
  • Publication
    LASER pulse simulations on bilayer thin films for optimal high entropy alloy formation
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Dunbar, Mary; Mandal, Soumya; Paduri, Vikas
    High Entropy Alloys (HEAs) are a new class of material where particles are composed of five or more elements in approximately equimolar proportion. One of the ways to form these materials are by layering thin films of pure metallic elements and melting these nanofilms with a laser pulse. In a fraction of a second, laser pulse melts the element layers which coagulate into spherical nanoparticles of mixed composition, cool, and solidify into HEA nanoparticles. An optimal temperature must be achieved during laser irradiation; otherwise, the metals will not form nanoparticles or will be vaporized. The purpose of this research is to determine the optimal thickness and orientation of a bilayer Silver and Cobalt thin film system in order to form nanoparticles containing these two elements in equimolar proportion. This will act as the prototypical studies to expand on HEAs. Because laser irradiation is costly, both in time and material, COMSOL Multiphysics will be used to simulate the laser pulse-induced melting and solidification on Ag-Co thin films. Various combinations of layer thickness and orientation will be simulated under a laser pulse, and the maximum temperature of each film combination will be recorded. R will be used to analyze the data acquired in this study. Using the temperature data, the film combination for optimal nanoparticle creation of an Ag-Co bilayer system will be determined. The results of this research can be used to predict the ideal thickness and orientation of more complicated thin film systems, such as those with more or different elements.
  • Publication
    Assessing productivity of secondary mathematics' discussions and activities
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Johnson, Taylor
    Students’ discussions about and engagement with mathematics largely shape their conceptualizations and dispositions towards learning and doing mathematics. It is crucial for educators, particularly at the secondary level, to facilitate discussions and activities that not only engage students, but support their development of productive reasoning. The purpose of the proposed research is to create a theoretical framework “assessing productivity” of discussions and activities based on related literature and empirical research. This framework will be used to analyze various aspects of students’ participation in classroom instruction, such as the students’ mathematical thinking and the prior knowledge required to meaningfully engage in the lesson. The goal of the research is to discern how to promote students’ understanding at a deeper level than memorizing facts and becoming fluent with procedures. I intend to apply this framework to analyze previously recorded data collected by my research mentor of a pre-service mathematics educator’s instruction in a secondary classroom. After the initial teaching videos were recorded, the participant went through a series of interviews where she noted moments of high quality instruction and room for improvement within her lessons that were recorded. The participant’s personal assessment and reflection of her own teaching will then be compared with my analysis of the discussions and activities that were productive in the lessons. I expect the analytical framework I propose to develop to be suitable for application at a large scale level when evaluating the effectiveness of instructional practices and/or curricular resources for secondary mathematics.
  • Publication
    Dietary insulinogenic amino acid restriction and the effect on the glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and lipid metabolism in neonatal pigs
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Speer, Sydney; Porfirio, Liliana; Gorton, Matthew; Pezeshki, Adel
    Many commercial human infant formulas with a bovine milk-based protein source contain a protein content greater than what is naturally found in human breast milk. Prolonged consumption of protein greater than nutritional requirements in early infancy has been linked to increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by decreased insulin sensitivity and impaired glucose homeostasis. Due to the negative impacts of low-protein diets on infant growth, their use in commercial formula is limited. Alternatively, dietary restriction of insulinogenic amino acids (IAA, i.e., Leu, Ile, Val, Thr, Phe, Arg, and Ala) may be considered. This study aimed to determine the impact of IAA restriction in formula on glucose and lipid metabolism in a neonatal piglet model for human infants. 32 seven-day-old Yorkshire barrows were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatment groups for 21 days: 1) NR: 0% IAA restriction; 2) R50: 50% IAA restriction; and 3) R75: 75% IAA restriction; with each diet being isonitrogenous and isocaloric. After 21 days, all animals were sacrificed, and liver, skeletal muscle, and white adipose tissue (WAT) samples were collected. Using RT-qPCR the expression of glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin signaling genes in target tissues was determined. Data were analyzed with Univariate GLM with Dunnett’s post-hoc (SPSS®). Relative to NR, the R75 treatment group increased the mRNA abundance of key rate-limiting glycolytic enzymes and glucose transporters including hepatic glucose transport 1 (GLUT 1), hepatic pyruvate kinase (PFKL), hepatic pyruvate kinase liver type (PKLR), and WAT glucokinase (GCK). R50 increased the mRNA expression of hepatic and muscular PKLR. Insulin signaling markers significantly improved via increased mRNA of muscular serine/threonine kinase 1 (AKT) and insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) when R75 was compared to NR. IAA restriction by 75% increased the mRNA expression of hepatic fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21), with R50 increasing the mRNA expression of hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (HADH). In conclusion, restriction of dietary IAA improved glucose and lipid metabolism in a neonatal piglet model likely through increasing the rates of glycolysis via upregulation of key glycolytic pathway enzymes, and gene expression of key enzymes involved in lipid metabolism.
  • Publication
    Probing the dynamic behavior of cyclohexane
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Gardner, Adonis; Eastham, Georgia
    Cyclohexane is a textbook model used to discuss the concepts of molecular strain and conformational interconversion in undergraduate organic chemistry courses. The rate of interconversion and/or relative population of conformers can be impacted by temperature, solvent environment, and chemical substitutions on the cyclohexane ring. In this work, we investigate the ability of classical models to capture this behavior. Additionally, we use quantum chemical calculations to help parameterize components of the classical force field and quantify the roles of these components on determining the rates and relative populations. These insights deepen our understanding of cyclohexane's behavior in diverse chemical environments, offering new information about a textbook example.
  • Publication
    Perceived leadership competency development through a short-term study abroad program in Costa Rica
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Carson, Hunter J.; Humphrey, Newlin A.; Coleman, Bradley M.; Lewis-Cline, Lauren
    As complex issues arise in the agriculture industry, development of leadership competencies within a domestic and global context can ensure challenges are managed. Short term study abroad (STSA) programs provide participants with experiential learning opportunities and personal exploration. While STSA offers many benefits, accessibility can be limited due to finances, language barriers, opportunity cost, and perceived safety. With these barriers, observation of STSA programs and their relation to perceived leadership competency development in students is essential. We investigated the perceived development of leadership competencies among participants of an agricultural STSA to Costa Rica. Those who agreed to participate in the study (n = 72) ranged in age from 18 to 21.
  • Publication
    Determining DNA differences: Using PCR to determine the genetic material in Deltochilum gibbosum fed on either dung or carrion
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Shaw, Ethan; Hoback, W. Wyatt; Youssef, Noha; Mills, Emma; Jones, Amelea
    Dung beetles of the subfamily Scarabaeinae are notable for their coprophagous, or dung eating, behavior. They feed on animal dung as adults, use the resource as a part of reproduction, and when their eggs hatch the larvae feed on that dung as well. However, a species of dung beetle native to Oklahoma is just as comfortable using animal matter, such as fur, feathers, and carrion, as they are using dung. Deltochilum gibbosum, the humpbacked dung beetle, is a large (> 2 cm) dung beetle that displays this feeding behavior. A beetle that can perform the ecosystem service of nutrient recycling using both dung and carrion is not only ecologically important but is also valuable to cattle operations looking to keep their pastures healthy. Since Deltochilum gibbosum can utilize both dung and carrion, they would need to have a gut microbiome suited for both resources. However, the microbiome of these beetles has never been examined. We acquired eight Deltochilum gibbosum, four male and four female, from the Insect Adventure. Two of the males and two of the females were fed on pig dung, while the other beetles were fed using dead laboratory mice. After staying on their target diet for a period of four weeks, the beetles were dissected, and their guts were preserved in a freezer in ethanol. The DNA was extracted using a DNeasy Plant Pro Kit and the associated process. A PCR test will be performed on the extracted DNA. This data will allow us to get an idea of the microbiome of these beetles while also determining if there are any differences between the beetles fed on dung and those fed on carrion. We hypothesize that the microbiome of Deltochilum gibbosum fed on carrion will be different than the microbiome of those fed on dung.
  • Publication
    Stroke prediction in patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis using electronic health records
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Silvey, Jackson
    Introduction: Medical management of cardiovascular disease has improved since the studies were done to determine the best management for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis. With the one-year stroke risk for these patients being similar to the periprocedural stroke risk for treatment, we reviewed 10 years of patient data to determine if machine learning analysis of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) clinical data could help to separate the cohorts with the best outcomes from medical management vs those benefiting the most from operative intervention.
  • Publication
    Racial ambiguity: Preferences, perceptions, and prejudice towards those who are beyond racial group boundaries
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Skinner, Izabella
    The United States of America has a long history of discrimination against people of color. With past legislation such as the “one drop rule,†mixed-race individuals have also faced similar levels of prejudice and discrimination to their monoracial minority counterparts. Currently, biracial and multiracial populations have been growing at an exponential rate since the U.S. Census began allowing respondents to select multiple races. This research attempts to add to the current literature by investigating how the majority group (Caucasian) and monoracial minorities perceive and judge racially ambiguous individuals from a multitude of different racial makeups to provide more generalizable evidence of the treatment of multiracial individuals in America by asking 1) Do perceivers judge racially ambiguous/multiracial individuals based on racial stereotypes/ on a rule of hypodescent? 2) Does the majority group have better perceptions/ judgments of other majority group members than racially ambiguous/ multiracial individuals? To answer these questions, participants completed an online survey consisting of various cognitive tasks and questionnaires to determine their perceptions of racially ambiguous individuals to show how the results compare to their judgments of Caucasians. It was found that there were no significant differences in the perceptions of racial minorities and Caucasians, but white participants did report significantly higher positive emotionality towards other Caucasians.
  • Publication
    Does semantic depth and learning modalities improve word-learning in 3-4-year-old children?
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Olender, Chelsea Ann
    This project investigates word learning in preschool-aged children. Prior research indicates the benefit of semantic cues, perceptual, and production learning when used individually to teach new words. Perceptual and production learning are types of “learning modalities”. Production learning provides auditory feedback and the action of repeating speech sounds. Perceptual learning only provides auditory feedback. Semantic cues are also beneficial to word learning. In this study, these factors will be examined together to determine how they affect language development.
  • Publication
    New perspective on a classical experiment: Understanding the effects of asymmetry on the double-slit experiment
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Martin, Landren
    The double-slit experiment performed by Thomas Young over two-hundred years ago established that light has wavelike properties. Since then, methods derived from double-slit experiment have become fundamental to numerous precision measurements.
  • Publication
    Passive treatment of mine drainage and the behavior of manganese
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Souders, Scotland
    Non-point source pollution poses a significant threat to the environment and can be difficult to prevent and remediate. One contributor to this is mine drainage, which can contain numerous contaminants of concern. Passive treatment systems have been developed as a method of remediating mine drainage. The behavior of manganese within these systems has raised questions regarding its ability to be retained by the organic substrate used for remediation, with a prior study showing manganese sometimes being released in higher concentrations than when it entered the system. The goal of this current study is to further research on the behavior of manganese and determine if there is a pattern of its release within treatment systems. For this study, cubitainers are set up containing an organic substrate and a manganese solution. Biweekly testing is currently being conducted to measure pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and oxidation-reduction potential. Along with this, samples of water from each container are being analyzed for manganese concentrations. This is an ongoing project, and samples will continue to be taken into the next academic year. At the end of the semester, three of the containers will be sacrificed to analyze the manganese content within the organic substrate itself. This information will be used to determine in which part of the substrate the manganese is retained. This will provide further insight into improving passive treatment systems for a variety of contaminants.
  • Publication
    Impact of pinto bean and resistant starch supplementation in memory and cognition in a mouse model of estrogen deficiency
    (Oklahoma State University, 2024-04-16) Ford, Jorja; Hurd, Jesse; Olawale, Femi; Alake, Santi E.; Chandrashekhar, Rajintha; Islam, Proapa; Chaffin, Nathan; Sutton, Brooke; Smith, Brenda J.; Lucas, Edralin A.; McCullagh, Elizabeth
    Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is worse in women than men, causes pathology progression and memory impairment. 70% of those affected by AD in the United States are women. Previous research has shown that the loss of estrogen women experience in menopause could be a trigger for AD and relate to the progression of more severe symptoms in postmenopausal women. Due to this previous research, this study investigates the effects of pinto bean (PB) and resistant starch (RS) supplementation on cognitive function and short and long-term memory in mice with an estrogen deficiency. To investigate this, thirty-two three-month-old female C57BL/6 mice were injected with vinyl cyclohexene dipoxide (VCD) or vehicle (VH) daily for 30 days and randomly assigned to dietary treatment groups for 12 weeks (n=8/group): control (AIM-93M), 10% (wt/wt) PB, and RS (similar fiber content as PB). At the end of 12 weeks of dietary treatment, mice underwent a variety of tests to analyze their cognition, memory, and behavior: Open Field (OF) Maze, Y-Maze, and the Morris Water Maze (MWM). Data were analyzed using linear and linear mixed models with estrogen status (VCD vs. VH) and diet as factors. In the Y-Maze, RS and PB-supplemented mice showed better short-term memory and/or exploration. Whereas, in the MWM, VCD mice indicated having reduced long-term memory characteristics, mainly seen in the RS-VCD mice, contradicting the performances seen in the other mazes. The continuation of this project focuses on understanding how PB and RS alleviate menopause-related cognitive and memory decline.