Honors Project Summaries, 2016-2017

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Art and Art History

Writer: Sam Genualdi
Faculty Advisor: Benjamin Rinehart and Matt Turner
Topic: Looking Through the Glass
Summary:

For my honors project I will be composing, recording and producing a full length album of original music. The album will draw upon a wide variety of musical influences including folk, free improvisation, electro-acoustic composition, hip-hop and post rock. Accompanying the album will be a short edition of handmade artist books to be interacted with while listening to the music. The musical and visual content will both be drawing upon the particular set of resources that are available to me living in Appleton as a part of the LU community, and will discuss my current perspectives - almost like an auditory/visual diary.

Biology

Writer: Tina Czaplinska
Faculty Advisor: Alyssa Hakes
Topic: Exploring the Impact of Associational Effects on C. pitcheri to Better Biological Control Practices
Summary:

Lake Michigan dwelling dune thistle, Circium pitcheri, is a federally threatened plant, whose reproduction is affected by a non-native weevil, Larinus planus. Originally introduced as a biological control agent to combat the spread of Canada thistle, Circium arvense, this weevil is instead using C. pitcheri as a host for its larvae. Associational susceptibility is an important factor to consider in hopes of preventing the damage to this endangered plant. The goal of this study was to observe L. planus behavior to determine why there is a correlation between increased density of beach grass and high levels of C. pitcheri damage. We hypothesize that C. pitcheri’s neighboring grass community is used as a dispersal aid for the non-native weevil, making neighboring thistle hosts more susceptible to weevil damage in grassy environments. To test this, we conducted ethogram studies at Whitefish Dunes State Park (WDSP) in Door County, WI. At WDSP, we found that L. planus physically used beach grass to get to C. pitcheri and largely failed to disperse using the sand. These results should help provide ecologically sustainable management strategies, while also promote more in-depth host specific analyses prior to the release of biological control agents.

Biology

Writer: Casey Ann Merkle
Faculty Advisor: Bart DeStasio
Topic: Spiny Waterflea Invasion and the Effect on Zooplankton Communities in Green Bay, Lake Michigan
Summary:

The spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) is an invertebrate aquatic invasive species (AIS) in the Great Lakes that competes with native fish species for smaller crustacean prey, perhaps contributing to a decline of fish populations or changes in zooplankton communities in Lake Michigan. Bythotrephes produce two types of eggs, immediately hatching versus resting eggs which are tolerant to harsh conditions and allow for rapid dispersal. We determined Bythotrephes population density in the Lower Fox River, and population dynamics along with their effects on zooplankton community composition in Green Bay during the summer months of 2015 and 2016. Bythotrephes were not found in the Fox River in 2015 and only on a single date at one site in 2016. Population dynamics were similar at both sites in Green Bay in each year, with peak population abundances in September of 2015 and late July in 2016. Resting eggs were produced by July 8 in 2017, and by June 17 in 2016; production continued into at least early October in both years, after which sampling ceased. Bythotrephes were not observed in Lake Winnebago, however population dynamics in Green Bay should be considered when managing the lock system along the Fox River.

Biology

Writer: Monica Paniagua
Faculty Advisor: Alyssa Hakes
Topic: Abiotic Conditions of Rare Pither's Thistle Attract Secretion by an Invasive Weevil
Summary:

 

Biology

Writer: Luqoing Wang
Faculty Advisor: Judith Humphries
Topic: Molecular Characterization and Immune Responses of Macraphage Expressed Gene from the Freshwater Snail biophalaria glabrata
Summary:

 

Biology

Writer: Katharine Kollman
Faculty Advisor: Eric Lewellyn
Topic: A CRISPR-Cas9 System Optimized for Expression in Yeast
Summary:

 

Economics

Writer: Elana Lambert
Faculty Advisor: Jonathan Lhost
Topic: Happiness Economics: Exploring the Impact of Social Capital on Average Life Evaluation Through an Ordered Logit Model and a Generalized Ordered Logit Model
Summary:

This paper explores the impact of different factors of social capital on the Cantril Life Ladder, which measures life satisfaction, through data from the World Happiness Report by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network commissioned by the United Nations in 2012. Social capital is defined as capital that promotes trustworthiness, creation of networks, or institutions. The variables from the World Happiness Report used to analyze social capital on average life evaluation are social support, freedom to make life choices, and positive affect. This analysis reveals that social capital does have a positive correlation with increasing levels on the life ladder.

English

Writer: Lucy Wallitsch
Faculty Advisor: Melissa H. Range
Topic: Fashioning a Feeble Mind: Cognitive Disability in American Fiction, 1830-1940
Summary:

Between 1830 and 1940, American fiction is populated by an increasing number of cognitively disabled characters. I explore the relationships between these cognitively disabled characters and the rapidly changing scientific and political environments in which they were created. Drawing on a variety of regionally specific primary sources, I analyze the influences of medical and social conceptions of cognitive disability on works of American fiction containing characters which fit historical labels for cognitive disability such as The Deerslayer, “Life in the Iron Mills,” the short stories of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, The Sound and the Fury, and Of Mice and Men. Scholarship on these works has neglected historical analysis of their intellectually disabled characters, flattening them into common and unchanging literary tropes. I argue that the way the authors represent these characters is not only dynamic but is also deeply influenced by changing American disability culture

 

 

Gender Studies

Writer: Tatiyana Jenkins
Faculty Advisor: Amy Ongiri
Topic: A Recipe for Black Girl Magic: A Critical Study of the Mise-en-Scene in Beyoncé’s Visual Album Lemonade as a Radical Representation of Black Women
Summary:

For this honors project, I plan to explore the mise-en-scene of the visual album Lemonade created by Beyonce Knowles in 2016. I will examine it for its Black feminist perspectives on the representation of Black women as informed by the work of Patricia Hill Collins, bell hooks and Audre Lorde. The imagery, setting, clothing, blocking and props in Lemonade counteracts the historical representations of black womanhood in mainstream media culture. Additionally, I will be looking closely at the various creative inspirations for the project, including the poetry by Warsan Shire and the music of the album to inform my understanding of the visual experience of Lemonade.

Gender Studies

Writer: Deepankar Venkat Sai Tripurana
Faculty Advisor: Helen Boyd Kramer
Topic: Creating a Rural Health Care Center for the Midwest
Summary:

The purpose of this Honors Project is to create a Rural Health Care Community Center for the Midwestern United States in terms of providing physical infrastructure, researched patientcare practices, and a public policy proposal for the health care center. This is a primary literature review paper that will take in multiple disciplines with cited information related to patientcare: along with the paper will be a three-dimensional model and a storyboard to show the physical structure of the health care center. The project will create a patientcare model for Midwest patient populations, ethical guidelines for biotechnologies, list of health services, analysis of cost control measures, public policy considerations, environment-friendly practices and infrastructure, and an anti-discrimination policy. Looking at model health centers, such as the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center of New York City, the goal of this project is to create a similar health care center that takes a more decentralized approach in providing healthcare resources and services to vulnerable patient populations specific to Midwestern United States.

 

Music

Writer: Sam Genualdi
Faculty Advisor: Matt Turner and Benjamin Rinehart
Topic: Looking Through the Glass
Summary:

For my honors project I will be composing, recording and producing a full length album of original music. The album will draw upon a wide variety of musical influences including folk, free improvisation, electro-acoustic composition, hip-hop and post rock. Accompanying the album will be a short edition of handmade artist books to be interacted with while listening to the music. The musical and visual content will both be drawing upon the particular set of resources that are available to me living in Appleton as a part of the LU community, and will discuss my current perspectives - almost like an auditory/visual diary.

 

Musicology

Writer: Lauren Vanderlinden
Faculty Advisor: Sonja Downing
Topic: We Are One: Singing, Sisterhood, and Solidarity in Appleton-area Women's Choirs
Summary:

Despite its relatively small population, the city of Appleton has a large and thriving women’s choir community. Between the Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir, which serves hundreds of girls every year, and Lawrence University’s Cantala, a collegiate women’s choir, opportunities for involvement in nationally-recognized female-voice ensembles range from second grade all the way through college graduation. Using the theories of Foucault, Bourdieu, Butler, Green, and Bentham, this project explores the women’s choir culture of Appleton in an attempt to discover the core values of these two influential programs. I accomplished this by conducting ethnographic research in the form of interviews and surveys as well as completing analysis of existing literature. At the end of my research, I determined that there are three key areas that have defined the success of each program: the ways in which community and intimate relationships are fostered, the performance of challenging and meaningful repertoire, and the empowerment of singers. These programs encourage young women to “find their voices” by breaking, discarding, reclaiming, and subverting stereotypes associated with women and women’s choirs.

 

Philosophy

Writer: Christopher L. Barr
Faculty Advisors: Mark Phelan
Topic: Creating Human-Like Moral Psychology in Artificial General Intelligence
Summary:

Humanity seems well on its way to creating artificial general intelligence, or AGI, within the next century. Such a creation poses great existential risk to humanity, as an AGI of suitable power could conceivably wipe us all out, either by accident or through actual malevolence, and this threat has lead many to search for a solution to the “Control Problem”. Current theories propose various kinds of rule-based solutions, like Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, supposing that a rule-based system would be sufficient for creating a cooperative AGI. I argue that this is not the case; rather, what is necessary is an AGI with a human-like moral system. Building on the work of Rawls and Mikhail, I have created a property-based, explanatorily accurate theory of moral grammar, which I believe will allow us to create human-like moral grammar in AGI. This, I argue, is the only way to ensure that our creations will be cooperative and work for the betterment of humanity rather than ending it.

 

Physics

Writer: Christopher Kiehl
Faculty Advisors: John Brandenberger
Topic: An Optical Heterodyre Spectroscopic Technique Between Electromagnetically Induced Transparency Resources in 87 Rubidium
Summary:

 

Psychology

Writer: Rebecca Schachtman
Writer: Juliana Earvolino
Faculty Advisor: Peter Glick
Topic: The Nature of Stereotypes About Men and Women and Their Implications
Summary:

 

Our project is the culmination of three studies, addressing a rarely researched topic: sexism directed toward men. While previous research has revealed the frequency and consequences of sexism directed toward women, sexism directed toward men is poorly defined and, as a consequence, is often dismissed or disregarded. We propose that this dismissal of sexism toward men is greatly due to the differing content of male and female stereotypes.  In our first two studies, we examine the content of stereotypes about men and women, asking participants to report comments they heard about “what men/women are like.” The final study utilizes experimental methods to evaluate how men and women differ in their responses to sexist comments about both men and women. Our results provide descriptive data about stereotypical comments people hear about men and women as well as their differing responses to such sexism.

 

Religious Studies

Writer: Brett Barnard
Faculty Advisor: Martyn Smith
Topic: Supplanting the Wrong with the Right: A Synoptic Overview of Christian and
Islamic Reactions Towards the Subject of Heresy
Summary:

When claiming to be the “one true religion,” just what is it that defines “heresy?” Is it the choices made by “heretics” to hold beliefs contrary to the mainstream? Or is the way in which “orthodox” authorities assert their own superiority while eliminating the competition? When overlooking belief systems that claim universal theological authority, what stands out is the fact that the greatest threat comes not from exterior rivals, but from interior division. Consequently, it has always been the task of the “orthodoxy” to observe, counteract, and stamp out views perceived as “heretical” lest they ever challenge the mainstream or misguide otherwise devout worshippers. To provide greater insight into the motivations and strategies for such counteractions this study shall analyze the means that orthodox authorities in Christianity and Islam have identified and reacted against “heretical” views within their respective religious traditions. Through analyzing various primary sources within both belief systems, be they canonical or “heretical,” I make the argument that the “heresies” that early Christians and Muslims sought to oppose were no more set in stone than the “orthodoxy” that sought to uproot and categorize them.

 

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