Research Across Disciplines: Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule

Friday, April 29

Registration

  • 4 – 5 p.m.
  • East Academic Building
    Lobby of Edward Jones Commons

Poster Presentations

  • 5 – 6 p.m.
  • Edward Jones Commons

Oral Presentations

  • 5 – 6 p.m.
  • East Academic Building, Room 253/262

Reception

  • 6 – 7 p.m.
  • Edward Jones Commons

Webster University Dance Ensemble
Spring Concert

  • 7:30 p.m.
  • Loretto Hilton Center

Saturday, April 30

Registration

  • 8:30 – 9 a.m.
  • East Academic Building
  • Lobby of Edward Jones Commons

Breakfast Reception and Opening Remarks
by President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, PhD

  • 9 a.m.
  • East Academic Building
    Edwards Jones Commons

Poster Presentations

  • 9:15 – 10 a.m.
  • Edward Jones Commons

Oral Presentations

  • 10 – 11:15 a.m.
  • East Academic Building, Rooms 238 and 253/262

Oral Presentations

  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • East Academic Building, Rooms 238 and 253/262

Additional Student Presentations

April 29
Department of Teacher Education Senior Overview Presentations
12 – 1 p.m., Sverdrup, Room 112

April 30
Webster University Dance Ensemble Spring Concert
7:30 p.m., Loretto Hilton Cente, Browning Mainstage Theatre

May 1
Webster University Dance Ensemble Spring Concert
2:00 p.m., Loretto Hilton Cente, Browning Mainstage Theatre

May 2
Social Movements and Technology, “Sexual Assault on College Campuses”
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., EAB, Room 254

May 3
Innovation and Creativity, “Library Makerspace”
8:45 – 9:30 a.m., EAB, Room 254

May 4
Social Movements and Technology, “Sexual Assault on College Campuses”
8 – 9:45 a.m., EAB, Room 261

Leading from Where You Are/Leading from Where i Am
6:15 – 7:15 p.m., EAB, Room 102


Presentation Schedule

Friday, April 29
Poster Presentation Session

5 – 6 p.m, Edward Jones Commons

(Click on the title of a presentation to see the abstract)

Determining the Metal Content in Paper Using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy
Katlynn Agosta, Maryville University

Reproductive biology and pollen limitation in Monarda bradburiana
Sakara Alejo, Maryville University

The Effects of Bisphenol A on Fragile X Drosophila Melanogaster Behavior
Sophia Bieser, Webster University

Expression of Cell Regulator Proteins During Retinal Development in Chickens
Kaleb Collver, Maryville University

Variation in the reproductive biology of Phlox divaricata and the impact on reproductive success
Shawn Gans, Maryville University

Temperature regulation of the capsule and biofilm formation in Klebsiella pneumoniae
Sindi Haxhi, Maryville University

Arabidopsis thaliana Phyllosphere Microbiome and its Relationship to Leaf Shape
Sara Mack, Webster University

Developing Novel Image Analysis Software Methods to Analyze Phenotyping Experiments on Setaria
Elizabeth Mahood, Webster University

The effects of mitoxantrone and piroxicam on human urinary bladder cancer cell viability
Mia Malcolm, Webster University

Identification of Novel Bacteriophage From Webster’s Natural Area
Afton Nelson, Webster University

Bioassay guided Chemical Investigation of Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis leaves
Miranda Valleroy, Maryville University

Chemical composition and Antioxidant activity of Rosemary Officinalis extracts
Miranda Valleroy, Maryville University

Friday, April 29
Oral Presentation Session

5 – 6 p.m., East Academic Building 253/262

(Click on the title of a presentation to see the abstract)

Listening to the Other Within: Developing Irigaray’s Approach to Subjectivity
Rosie Jones, Webster University

Post-War Reconciliation in Refugee Communities: the Experience of the American Bosniak Diaspora
Jesse Koons, Webster University

Functional Group Optimization for the Antibacterial Activity of Thymol
Chloe Nagasawa, Maryville University

Saturday, April 30
Poster Presentation Session

9:15 – 10 a.m., Edward Jones Commons

(Click on the title of a presentation to see the abstract)

Student Attitudes and Perceptions toward GCP
Hannah Price, Webster University

Substance Abuse in Sexual Minority Youth: A Review of Counseling Literature
Frankie Salisbury, Webster University

The impact of plant height on the reproductive success of Campanula americana in bluff and wetland populations
Adam Wilson, Maryville University

Saturday, April 30
Oral Presentation Session 1

10 – 11:15 a.m., » East Academic Building 253/262

(Click on the title of a presentation to see the abstract)

Photoreactive Silver (I) Ladder-Like Coordination Polymers
Marizela Ekic, Webster University

Not Gained, but Endowed—Ma’s Power in the Joad Family
Clay Halton, Webster University

China’s Advancement in Information Technology, Research and Development
Jason Horn, Webster University

Menstruation Across Time: How Taboos Repress Women
Carly Smale, Webster University

Saturday, April 30
Oral Presentation Session 2

10 – 11:15 a.m., East Academic Building 238

(Click on the title of a presentation to see the abstract)

Queer Migrant Intersetionality
Henrietta Campbell, Webster University

Globalization: Who Wins?
Brian Corbett, Webster University

Human’s Mental World through Multiple Voices: A Case Study of Vardaman in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying
Tianlin Li, Webster University

Propaganda in the Early Roman Empire
Erin McNellis, Webster University

Saturday, April 30
Oral Presentation Session 3

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m, East Academic Building 253/262

(Click on the title of a presentation to see the abstract)

The Border
Natalie Boesch, Webster University

Health Literacy Impacting the care continuum
Julie Hangyal, Webster University

Perfume and Clothing: The Fluid Barriers Between Civilization and Nature in Angela Carters “The Tiger’s Bride”
Bree Jennrich, Webster University

Webster University Sexual Misconduct Training Program: an analysis of efficacy
Rebecca Shuler, Webster University

Saturday, April 30
Oral Presentation Session 4

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., » East Academic Building 238

(Click on the title of a presentation to see the abstract)

Health Literacy
Marizela Ekic, Webster University

Disgraced: Exploring Issues of Identity Through Contemporary Tragedy
Madison Finley, Webster University

The Colors of Crime: St. Louis Under Siege
Leah Simms, Webster University

Neo-kinship networks and the New American Dream: How independent sales consultants use reward and recruitment to shape goals and personal interactions
Natalie Vega, Webster University


Abstracts

Determining the Metal Content in Paper Using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy

Katlynn Agosta, Kelsey Kloeppel
Maryville University

  In possible crimes, identifying different types of paper through trace metal composition can be beneficial to the case and cost effective by using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES). The problem is there are very few analytical methods that utilize this cost-effective way to differentiate or identify sample types by the amounts of trace metals in them. Analyses on paper are done using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy, which is more expensive.1 The work presented here was done using the sample preparation method from the paper by Gh. Tanase, et al, and the digested samples were then analyzed using a Perkin-Elmer Optima 5200DV ICP-OES.1 The expected outcome was that the more cost-effective ICP-OES will not only help reduce cost per analysis, but will also prove that different types of paper have different amounts of trace metals in them to be used in identification of papers during different cases where matching paper to a suspect could be critical, to include possible crimes such as kidnappings, murders and counterfeit.

1. Gh. Tanase, et al, “Trace Elements Analysis in Paper Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry,” GU J. Sci., 25 (2012): 843. Online.

Faculty mentor: Thomas Spudich


Reproductive Biology and Pollen Limitation in Monarda bradburiana

Sakara Alejo, Hannah Best, Kyra Krakos
Maryville University

Both self-compatible or geitonogamous plants face a tradeoff between reproductive assurance and inbreeding depression. This study compares the reproductive success of different sources of pollen for Monarda bradburiana and determines if the species experienced pollen limitation between the years 2013 and 2015 at Shaw Nature Reserve in Grey Summit Missouri. To determine this, we conducted hand pollination studies to measure reproductive success between natural rates of pollination, and self, cross, and geitonogamous pollen. This study found that M. bradburiana does not have statistically lower reproductive success (p=0.535) with geitonogamous pollen. Our results do show statistically lower reproductive success (p=0.031) with self-pollination. M. bradburiana is not pollen limited during 2013-2015 flowering seasons.

Faculty mentor: Kyra Krakos


The Effects of Bisphenol A on Fragile X Drosophila melanogaster Behavior

Sophia Bieser, Webster University

Fragile X syndrome is the most common genetically inherited form of intellectual disability, which includes autism spectrum disorder. The presence of the syndrome is the silencing of the fragile X mental retardation protein that plays a vital role in behavior expression. The behavioral changes experienced by a patient with fragile X syndrome are representative of a patient with autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorder is a multi-behavioral diagnosis that has seen an increase in prevalence, especially among children aged 3 to 17. Though an exact cause has yet to be found, autism is believed to be influenced by genetic and environmental factors. One environmental factor is the population’s daily exposure to toxic chemicals. Bisphenol A is one of those chemicals, and it has been found to be associated with autism spectrum disorder, but not necessarily fragile X syndrome. Drosophila melanogaster have been found to be a simple but effective model to study neurodevelopmental disorders including fragile X syndrome. This study will examine the effects of Bisphenol A on the behavior of adult fragile X mutant Drosophila by using an aversion behavior assay. My hypothesis for the overall study is that behavioral changes will be more prominent in Drosophila melanogaster with the fragile X syndrome mutation than the wild type Drosophila melanogaster when exposed to two different concentrations of Bisphenol A.

Faculty mentor: Stephanie Schroeder


The Border

Natalie Boesch, Webster University

  I wrote “The Border” for my honors thesis under the mentorship of Murray Farish after traveling to Southeast Asia and Canada. The effect that contrasting urban environments had on my concept of self fascinated me. Every city has its own particular energy and, whether it be in dramatic or subtle ways, every city added something to my character. “The Border” begins in Toronto and ends in Detroit. The cities become a sort of character in their own right, putting pressure on the main character to explore her place in her surroundings and relationships. While Toronto offers youthful indulgence and the far-off chance to reunite with a past lover, Detroit houses a broken marriage and self-doubt. This story is not meant to have a clear-cut ending, but rather to spend time with the main character and observe the powerful effects of utilized space.

Faculty mentor: Murray Farish


Queer Migrant Intersectionality

Henrietta Campbell, Webster University

  My research delves into the intersections of queer and Trans people by spotlighting non-Western, non-Eurocentric experiences as a necessity for re-framing how queer people are identified nationally and internationally. Queer is defined throughout my research as any sexuality or gender expression that is not exclusively heterosexual and/or heteronormative; this term works to encompass the plethora of identities and self-identifications for humans that could be labeled as deviants in their society. Topics include scrutinizing the treatment of (illegal) migrants, immigrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees, the reasons why queer people have fled or relocated from their home countries, and overall, the intersectionality of violence against queer bodies. Queer intersectionality is explained via manifestations of detainment, deportation, harassment and injustice from law enforcement, and state-wide laws directed towards feeding queer prejudices. For balance, my research also uses storytelling to share the voice of Saleem, a gay man from Amman, who speaks on the ownership of queer Arab bodies as well as why he opted to leave his home in Jordan--which was for reasons other than fear of governmental persecution. Concluding this, I include ways to create a better climate for queer inclusivity and community, including current projects, organizations, and initiatives that involve undocumented queer migrants, queer non-Western people and so on.

Faculty mentor: Lindsey Kingston


Expression of Cell Regulator Proteins During Retinal Development in Chickens

Kaleb Collver, Danielle Kos, Kayley Johns
Maryville University

  Special proteins, known as cell cycle regulators, control the progression and exit of cells from their life cycle. In the retina, these regulators are vital to the determination of when cells will ultimately mature and what type of cell they will become. This study attempts to determine the presence or absence of certain regulator proteins in the retinal cells of developing chickens. Genetic material collected at multiple points during the developmental period will be copied to amplify specific regions of each specimen’s DNA which code for the regulator proteins. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) allows for a quantitative analysis of the regulator proteins’ presence at the time of collection. Similar experiments have found various temporal patterns with other regulators like the cyclin dependent kinases and their associated cyclins, demonstrating the importance of time in the regulation process. We expect to find that the regulators in question are produced in varying quantities at different stages of development and that the patterns of this variation will coincide with the retinal cell cycle. By recognizing these patterns, it is possible to determine the state of cells at each stage of development, allowing for more precise targeting during potential treatments for retina-related disorders. This research could be branched off into future projects by other groups and represents a basis for understanding and preventing cancer and degenerative diseases of the eye.

Faculty mentor: Stacy Donovan


Globalization: Who Wins?

Brian Corbett, Webster University

  Trade between people, nations, and continents is ancient. However, the flow of goods, services, and information across borders has radically increased in the past thirty-six years. Since the administrations of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in England, neoliberal values have dominated international economics. The definition of globalization is not agreed upon. Throughout this paper globalization will refer to rapid expansion of international exchange beginning in 1980. Globalization is a reflection of capitalist hegemony and the predominance of neoliberalism in the international political economy. This paper will investigate who benefits from globalization, and will specifically consider this issue from the perspective of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Lovers and collaborators, Sartre and Beauvoir were both existentialist philosophers and political activists. They argue that there is no a priori human nature, so humanity can only be determined through choices and action. Sartre chose as his project the promotion of Marxism, and Beauvoir feminism. Their work shows significant concurrence, but globalization appears to be an area in which their ideas end up in conflict. Like Sartre and Beauvoir, Marxism and feminism have a great deal in common, most importantly the goal of restructuring economics and politics to include the interests of the oppressed. However, because multi-national corporations prefer to hire women for export industries, women are gaining access to educational, technological, financial, and organizational tools, and are becoming mobilized as a result. Feminism, perhaps unwillingly, appears more closely aligned with capitalism than Marxism.

Faculty mentor: Don Morse


Photoreactive Silver (I) Ladder-Like Coordination Polymers

Marizela Ekic, Webster University

  Photoreactions utilizing trans-1,2-di(4-pyridyl)ethylene within silver(I) ladder-like coordination polymers has been realized. The ability to vary the overall packing is also achieved due to the changing the R groups on the various organosulfonate anions. With the shape and dimension of the polymers being predictable due to the overall preference of the coordination environment of the silver atom along with the type of bridging ligand we can explore the ability to vary the expanded packing of the chains by changing the R group. The organosulfonate anions studied were based upon silver p-toluenesulfonate and silver trifluoromethanesulfonate. Observations and analysis of the overall packing of the ladders along with the overall photoreactivity of the polymers will be discussed.

Faculty mentor: Ryan Groeneman


Health Literacy

Marizela Ekic, Webster University

  Health literacy is an important factor that helps examine interactions and relationships of individuals in a different light. There needs to be more done in health literacy for adolescents. Knowledge gained from new research can help with early intervention and prevention for positive health outcomes in the future (Mangello, 2007). These studies were important and interesting because eHealth literacy abilities are especially crucial to development in early adolescence because these individuals will make health decisions through the later stages in life (Paek & Hoves, 2012). Also, most of the direct to consumer advertising on health care is targeting young adults. All these findings show some type of relationship with DTCA exposure and individuals. This exposure of direct to consumer advertising contributes to biological, psychological, and sociological factors within a particular individual that then associate with health beliefs, behaviors, and well-being within these individuals. It is important to look at research that shows the effects, interactions, and relationships these factors have on individuals. From these findings on how health literacy that have been viewed, the relationship and impact on individuals are eye-opening.

Faculty mentor: Eric Goedereis


Disgraced: Exploring Issues of Identity Through Contemporary Tragedy

Madison Finley, Webster University

  In a world of differing views and experiences, how do we construct our identity and our perception of others’ identities? This paper engages with Ayad Akhtar’s 2013 Pulitzer prize-winning play, Disgraced, which explores questions of identity in the framework of contemporary tragedy. It examines Akhtar’s formation of a modern tragic hero, focusing on the protagonist’s downfall and seeking to understand both the external and internal factors contributing to his tragic flaw. Furthermore, it considers Akhtar’s use of catharsis to redirect the tragedy towards the audience. Ultimately, through this analysis, it becomes increasingly clear that the arts may offer us an outlet for beginning to understand identity and perception, a contemporary issue that requires ongoing dialogue.

Faculty mentor: Michael Erickson


Variation in the Reproductive Biology of Phlox divaricata and the Impact on Reproductive Success

Shawn Gans, Hannah Best
Maryville University

  Plant morphology and pollination system can vary across time, and this can impact the overall reproductive success of a species. This variation and the subsequent impacts may be particularly problematic for native flowering species, which may be more specialized in their pollination systems. In this study, we looked at the reproductive biology of Phlox divaricata, specifically the morphology, main pollinator, and pollen limitation across two years. Pollination system was measured using visitation observations and pollen load analysis on visitors. Hand pollination experiments determined both breeding system and pollen limitation. There was a difference in plant height between years, but not floral display or flower size. The main pollinator was Lepidoptera in 2014 and Syrphidae in 2015. Preliminary results indicate Phlox divaricata cannot self-fertilize. Across all years, Phlox divaricata is not experiencing pollen limitation. Our results indicate that this prairie species has a more generalist reproductive biology that is potentially robust to changing environmental factors.

Faculty mentor: Kyra Krakos


Not Gained, but Endowed—Ma’s Power in the Joad Family

Clay Halton, Webster University

  John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath portrays the horrors of traveling west during the Dust Bowl (a drought that left farming families unable to farm for years) and shows how difficult it was for families to survive during this time. Ma Joad is the force that keeps her family together and is a strong, complex character in the novel. Ma is acknowledged by many as the “emerging” savior of the family as she gradually replaces Pa as the head of the family. In this presentation, I will demonstrate how Ma Joad does not “emerge” as the family savior, but possesses and maintains power from the beginning of the novel to the end. Moments analyzed include Ma’s initial description in comparison to Pa’s, her location in the family hierarchy and subsequent destruction of it, her ability to create motion for the family, and her nonverbal power.

Faculty mentor: Sheila Hwang


Health Literacy Impacting the Care Continuum

Julie Hangyal, Webster University

  Health literacy and the need for a patient to understand health care instructions must be factored into the discharge process. The importance of recognizing the health literacy needs of every patient must occur for the promotion of health and wellness. In order for the patient to have a smooth transition from hospital to home, the health care provider must communicate health information clearly and concisely for the intended message to be understood. The identification of misconceptions that the patient may have related to the discharge, as well as implementing strategies to overcome these barriers, is essential to creating a health literate organization. Nurses need to incorporate the health literacy needs of patients into their daily practices for the benefit and well-being of the patient. In addition, other supportive techniques for a patient to retain pertinent medical information is through the use of online videos,pictures, post discharge follow up phone calls, and the teach-back method. Nurses play an important role by providing health information to patients in ways that encourage participation in his or her health care. Furthermore, a nurse that has developed strategies to impart valuable information that is conducive to learning increases the chance for a patient to succeed. Bandura’s theoretical framework of self-efficacy can be applied to health literacy, which impacts a patient’s discharge. The objective is to have a favorable outcome.

Faculty mentor: Shawn Pohlman


Temperature Regulation of the Capsule and Biofilm Formation in Klebsiella pneumoniae

Sindi Haxhi, Rebecca Girresch

Maryville University

  Klebsiella pneumoniae is a pathogenic bacterium commonly found in clinical settings.  Research has demonstrated that certain factors contribute to this species’ relative pathogenicity, two of which are explored in this study: 1) its polysaccharide capsule and 2) its ability to form biofilms on medical instruments.  With growing concern over antibiotic resistance, research into the development and transmission of pathogenic organisms is critical.  This study aimed to compare growth of capsule and biofilm of Klebsiella pneumoniae at 26 and 37 degrees Celsius.  We hypothesized that there would be larger capsules and denser biofilms formed at 37 degrees Celsius. Capsule development was compared at various points along the organism’s growth curve, as observed through an India ink stain.  Capsule size was quantified through measurements of the area of the capsule versus area of the bacterial cell (observed under fluorescent microscope).  Biofilm formation was quantified through comparison of absorbance levels on microwell plates incubated at 26 and 37 degrees Celsius.  The outcomes of this research are intended to gauge temperature-mediated regulation of two factors contributing to the pathogenicity of Klebsiella pneumoniae.  Ultimately this research serves to guide clinical practice in the handling and storage of medical instruments.

Faculty mentor: Christopher O’Connor


China’s Advancement in Information Technology, Research and Development

Jason Horn, Webster University

  Technological research, development and innovation thrive in conditions where researchers and scientists are provided the tools, resources and environment conducive to solving the technological challenges of conducting business on a global scale. While analyzing the growth of industrialized countries over these past several decades it has been observed that the answer to providing the most competitive business model no longer depends upon providing greater capitol and cheaper labor, but rather factors that involve greater levels of technology and innovation. This presentation reports a research project in investigating China’s current position in the global IT industry, research and development (R&D). According to Xinhua and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), China strives to be a leading nation in technological and scientific development and aims to be the world’s largest technological power by 2049. The presentation describes China’s plan to reform its technological system and IT infrastructure and examines the nation’s strategies to accelerate R&D. The presentation also discusses many of the challenges that China is facing in achieving its goals to be a world leader in IT. Challenges, such as internal corruption, breaking through the rigid top-down administrative system are addressed. Resolution to improve is recommended by providing a more collaborative environment, and increasing world confidence in science and technology advancement though open communication and scientific review.

Faculty mentor: Quinn Shao


Perfume and Clothing: The Fluid Barriers Between Civilization and Nature in Angela Carters “The Tiger’s Bride”

Bree Jennrich, Webster University

  Angela Carter’s short story, “The Tiger’s Bride,” presents a feminist retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.  According to Carter, the culture-created boundary between human and nature emerged as soon as Adam and Eve took up the fig leaves in order to cover their nakedness.  However, the barrier between civilization and nature is presented as more tenuous than the civilized world might like to believe.  The Beast dabbles at the fringes of society, but he does not want to exist in it, using the civilized convention of perfume to at once mock humanity and emphasize his otherness to it.  When he takes the girl out of society and back into Nature, it is her clothing that enforces her separation from nature—clothing that once removed, breaks once again the barriers between civilization and nature.  While humanity may purposefully ignore the fact that its separation from the natural world is artificial and easily broken, the Beast does not, and attempts to bring the human girl back into the natural world in order to determine what a human looks like without its false covering of clothes.

Faculty mentor: Karla Armbruster


Listening to the Other Within: Developing Irigaray’s Approach to Subjectivity

Rosie Jones, Webster University

  According to Luce Irigaray, language has the ability to create and reinforce subjectivity. However, the ways in which our language and society are constructed perpetuate a male-centered idea of subjectivity (Irigaray, 1985). The importance of recognizing multiple subjectivities must be underscored. This framework challenges current society, in which all experiences are collapsed into one. I hope to show the need for the separation of these experiences and subjectivities through contextualized examples in both the typically considered private and public realms. I will explore the need for multiple subjectivities, as well as the alterations to current interactions, such as conceptions of sexuality and masculinity, which are crucial to achieving this endpoint. Providing difference through language will be discussed in tandem to these themes, ultimately, leading to the conclusion that listening is crucial for multiple subjectivities to interact with one another. Overall, I will argue toward the significance Irigaray places within the creation of subjectivity through language, using a framework of sexual difference and listening.

Faculty mentor: Britt-Marie Schiller


Post-War Reconciliation in Refugee Communities: the Experience of the American Bosniak Diaspora

Jesse Koons, Webster University

  This study examines the progress and success of conflict resolution and reconciliation processes following instances of intra-ethnic conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina among members of the Bosniak ethnic group who fled the war as refugees. The goal is to explore the impact of pre-war, wartime and post-war experiences on the lives of diaspora communities, with particular attention to whether tensions between groups during a war continue to govern relations between groups years later. Utilizing interviews with members of the large and diverse Bosniak community in St. Louis Missouri, many of them former refugees, I hypothesize that the current disunion within the American Bosniak community results from factors other than their differing wartime allegiances. Instead, differences in lived experience during the course of the war, and the lack of legitimate memorialization and reconciliation processes contribute to the current segregation and high tension within this community. I also consider the impact of the passage of time, with particular attention paid to the impact of the wartime and post-war experiences of the community on the younger American-born Bosniaks that did not live through the war themselves. Ultimately, this project seeks to explain the reasons behind the current divisions in the Bosniak diaspora community while considering the relevance of this case to the experiences of other refugee communities and the overall prognosis for post-war reconciliation processes.

Faculty mentor: Amanda Rosen


Humans’ Mental World Through Multiple Voices: A Case Study of Vardaman in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

Tianlin Li, Webster University

  In this literary analysis of William Faulkner’s novel, As I Lay Dying, I will focus on the narrative chapters of the youngest character in the novel, a seven-year-old boy named Vardaman Bundren, whose mother has just died. As an experimental novel, As I Lay Dying uses an unconventional structure that provides multiple narrative voices to demonstrate the complicated mental world of humans, rather than simple events . Each character perceives the pieces of reality differently. Through the use of starkly different narrations for each character—members of the Bundren family, neighbors, and townspeople— Faulkner illustrates the subjectivity of the human experience. Different from other adult characters, Vardaman is the youngest son in the Bundren family, and has not become educated or developed a certain worldview yet. The lack of commonsense and rational thinking makes him perceive everything out of a child’s emotion and imagination. Thus, this character provides a unique perspective for this novel. Meanwhile, he also shares some similarities with other family members on thinking, provoking readers to think deeply about some universal human questions.

Faculty mentor: Meg Sempreora


Arabidopsis thaliana Phyllosphere Microbiome and its Relationship to Leaf Shape

Sara Mack, Webster University

  Plants have a natural flora of bacteria colonizing their internal and external surfaces just like we do. These bacteria help their plant hosts stay healthy, fight off pathogens, and gain nurturance. Scientist have only recently started studying the phyllosphere of plants. Most of the work that has been done on the phyllosphere microbiome has been done using culture based techniques. The issue with this is that most of the bacteria living within the phyllosphere from aggregates or biofilms. This makes it difficult to isolate and grow these phyllosphere bacteria in laboratory settings. We will be looking at the Arabidopsis thaliana phyllosphere microbiome, by extracting bacterial DNA from a whole leaf and then sequencing the resulting sample DNA. By doing this we will be able to obtain a more accurate picture of the type and species of bacteria present within the A. thaliana phyllosphere. A change in shape and/or structure of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves will cause a change in the bacterial phyllosphere microbiome.

Faculty mentor: Mary Preuss


Developing Novel Image Analysis Software Methods to Analyze Phenotyping Experiments on Setaria

Elizabeth Mahood, Webster University

  Automated phenotyping platforms are a new and powerful technology designed to give phenotyping high-throughput capabilities. However, these machines come with many challenges, and are limited in the data analysis they can perform. Due to this, models have been made to describe plant architectural traits that the computers in these platforms cannot easily measure. This paper tests one such model, designed to predict the tiller count of Setaria, on a Recombinant Inbred Line (RIL) population that is much larger than the one it was generated upon. The success of this model in predicting the tiller count of this population is analyzed in order to generate Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) that are associated with this trait.

Faculty mentor: Mary Preuss


The Effects of Mitoxantrone and Piroxicam on Human Urinary Bladder Cancer Cell Viability

Mia Malcolm, Stephanie Schroeder

Webster University

  The effects of the chemotherapy drug Mitoxantrone and anti-inflammatory drug Piroxicam have been widely studied in urinary bladder cancer in canines. Several studies have been done showing that canines treated with piroxicam only showed a survival time of about 181 days, with some going into complete remission and when treated with the combination of piroxicam and mitoxantrone survival time was around 291 days with nearly 50% seeing complete remission. There have been several experimental clinical studies and experimental that looked at the effects of NSAIDs on tumor growth and regression. The biggest problem that arises when using NSAIDs as an anticancer agent is the unresolved questions related to safety, optimal treatment regimen and the exact mechanism of action of NSAIDs. Currently mitoxantrone is used in humans to treat prostate cancer and certain types of leukemia and piroxicam as a NSAID to treat arthritis. Using a human urinary bladder cancer cell line HTB-4, I tested the affects of piroxicam, mitoxantrone and the combination on a human urinary bladder cell cancer line.

Faculty mentor: Stephanie Schroeder


Propaganda in the Early Roman Empire

Erin McNellis, Webster University

  This paper explores the way that the central government shaped the image of the Emperor in the first years of the Roman Empire. Statues, coins issued throughout the provinces, and the creation of public spaces all helped to create a very specific portrayal of the Emperor. This paper will discuss how successful this image was and how it affects how the Julio-Claudian Emperors are remembered today

Faculty mentor: Kyle Lincoln


Functional Group Optimization for the Antibacterial Activity of Thymol

Chloe Nagasawa, Maryville University

  The purpose of this project is to optimize the functional group in Thymol by synthesizing various ether, ester, and amino derivatives and test their antibacterial activity. Thymol was extracted from thyme seeds using steam distillation process. The phenolic group of Thymol was converted to an ether or ester through a series of different chemical reactions. Antibacterial activity of each of the derivatives was tested against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus cereus, and Staphylococcus epidermidis. The ethyl ether derivative of Thymol showed significant improvement in inhibiting the bacteria tested. Both Thymol and its ethyl ether derivative did not show inhibition against B.cereus.

Faculty mentor: Anuradha Vummenthala


Identification of Novel Bacteriophage From Webster’s Natural Area

Afton Nelson, Maria Kinley, Rowena Messmore, Jacob Milosch, Amanda Mugambage, Macee Owen, Orlando Quintero, Patrick Sharp, Melanie Spurling, Ryan Stanley
Webster University

  In Essentials of Biology II Lab, students worked collaboratively on a research project to discover new environmental bacteriophages. Water samples were collected from the natural area, isolating bacteria and bacteriophage. Compatible interactions were identified through plaque assays and individual bacteriophage were purified. The host bacteria were sequenced to determine their taxonomy. At the same time, bacteriophage were imaged using transmission electron microscopy. This knowledge can be used to further our understanding of bacteriophage/host interactions in the environment.

Faculty mentor: Mary Preuss


Student Attitudes and Perceptions Toward GCP

Hannah Price, Webster University

  As our survey is currently being reviewed by the Institutional Review Board our survey touches on the attitudes and perceptions of students toward the Global Citizenship Program. We hope to gain insight on their experience and which skills they find most important compared to employers. The skills employers find most important were discovered in a previous survey. The survey asks students to rate the areas of concentration the GCP emphasizes along with the skills employers found most important in the previous study. We hope to discover student sentiment about the Global Citizenship Program such as “Which category do you find most/least beneficial?” and “How easy is it to find courses that pertain to your major?” along with “Rate these skills in order of importance.” My faculty sponsor is Bruce Umbaugh. He feels this survey has the potential to accurately record students attitudes and perceptions toward the GCP and how they feel the skills learned will relay into later life.

Faculty mentor: Bruce Umbaugh


Substance Abuse in Sexual Minority Youth: A Review of Counseling Literature

Frankie Salisbury, Webster University

  It is fairly well know that risk for substance abuse is heightened in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals, especially during adolescence and early adulthood. However, research is only beginning to understand the reasons beyond the concept of minority stress. Studies have shown that there are many potential factors, including perceived social support, earlier childhood events, and atypical experiences during transition to adulthood. Research has also found that rates of substance use and cultural experiences vary across subgroups of LGB youth depending on race, gender, and specific sexual identity. As researchers began to look into these disparities, they found that subgroup differences can have major implications on the efficacy of treatment. They almost all suggested further research into the special needs of LGB youth as a whole and subgroups within this population, emphasizing the importance of tailoring treatment plans accordingly.

Faculty mentor: Hasmik Chakaryan


Webster University Sexual Misconduct Training Program: An Analysis of Efficacy

Rebecca Shuler, Webster University

  Data collected by students in the KEYS 4014 Social Movements and Technology course taught by Terri Reilly during Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 is utilized in this presentation to demonstrate the efficacy of Webster University’s Sexual Misconduct Training Programs. Statistical analyses of student data establishes effective components of the current training programs and recommendations are offered for program improvements with the goal of improving student awareness of the issue of sexual assault on college campuses.

Faculty mentor: Terri Reilly


The Colors of Crime: St. Louis Under Siege

Leah Simms, Webster University

  The Colors of Crime: St. Louis Under Siege is about the amount of crime in the city of St. Louis and why we continue to make the top of the list every year for most dangerous cities. Are we really the most dangerous city in the U.S.? Why is it that cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles have their fair share of crime but St. Louis continues to top them every year in their numbers. Current and past events dealing with this issue will be included. Interviews include law enforcement, community leaders/pastor, lawyer, criminal justice specialist, journalist, and other citizens that have something to say. With all the programs, and law enforcement in this city, why is the crime rate still on the rise and how can we fix it?

Faculty mentor: Elias Huch


Menstruation Across Time: How Taboos Repress Women

Carly Smale, Webster University

  This research examines the anthropological standpoints of menstruation taboos across time and culture to call to attention how the beginning of these taboos can result in a magnitude of oppression and harmful inequality. By calling onto a handful of primary sources, academic journals and books, to understand and research a concept across many decades. Through this research there was many taboos found across all cultures, time that could have a role in the oppression of woman.

Faculty mentor: Christiana Chekoudjian


Bioassay Guided Chemical Investigation of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Leaves

Miranda Valleroy, Maryville University

  Air dried leaves of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis were extracted with Hexane, Ethyl Acetate, methanol, and Di water. All four extracts were tested for their Antibacterial and Antioxidant activity using Zone of inhibition method and Free radical scavenging activity with DPPH method respectively. Hexane extract showed the most antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis. Column chromatography and HPLC of Hexane extract lead to the isolation of Pinocembrin, a known antibacterial, anticancer, and antioxidant compound. Though isolation of pinocembrin was reported from other plants previously, it was not reported from Hibiscus rosa-sinensis leaves. Methanol extract showed highest antioxidant activity.

Faculty mentor: Anuradha Vummenthala


Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Rosemary officinalis Extracts

Miranda Valleroy, Maryville University

  Chemical composition of Menthol extract of three different samples of Rosemary Officinalis leaves was studied using Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry technique. It was found that Eucalyptol and Camphor were the major constituents in processed rosemary leaves and pre-packaged fresh rosemary leaves whereas Thymol and Thymoquinone were the major constituents found in live homegrown rosemary leaves. All three extracts were tested for their antioxidant activity using Free radical scavenging activity test with DPPH. Pre-packaged fresh rosemary was found to be the most antioxidant active.

Faculty mentor: Anuradha Vummenthala


Neo-Kinship Networks and the New American Dream: How Independent Sales Consultants Use Reward and Recruitment to Shape Goals and Personal Interactions

Natalie Vega, Webster University

  Cosmetics are a vehicle for deeper human interaction. I am interested in studying how sales consultants in multi-level marketing companies build and maintain relationships on an interpersonal basis between consultants. Tangentially, reward and recruitment shape the goals of these consultants and how they interact with their clients in order to achieve these goals. The power and promise of these rewards serves to create a sort of New American Dream for these consultants--it creates a dream of being self-sufficient, of not being tied to a corporation, gives the ability to choose one’s schedule and flexibility while emphasizing the core company values of God, family, and career. This particular career also emphasizes the rewards which will come from hard work and the neo-kinship networks that are created between consultants. This paper then, is focused on “studying up”--studying the culture of power in this particular industry and discovering from where it emanates and why the cosmetic industry retains such staying power in society and the ability to shape our ideas of beauty.

Faculty mentor: Elsa Fan


The Impact of Plant Height on the Reproductive Success of Campanula americana in Bluff and Wetland Populations

Adam Wilson, Kyra Krakos
Maryville University

  An increase in plant height could result in an increase in pollination which could increase the reproductive success of a plant. In this study we examine how height may impact the pollination system of Campanula americana in bluff and wetland habitats. We measured morphological traits and pollination systems in both habitats. We looked at the main pollinators of C. americana and if they preferentially pollinated based on height. Our results indicate that there is no morphological difference in traits (p>.05) across all traits measured. Pollinator observation results and pollen load analysis showed Bombus is the main pollinator for both habitats. There is no correlation between height and the amount of pollen a plant receives in either Bombus or Halictidae system. C. americana has a pollination system and morphology that is consistent across habitat differences.

Faculty mentor: Kyra Krakos