The Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium recognizes and celebrates academic excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. This annual event provides an opportunity for students from all disciplines to showcase their intellectual and artistic accomplishments. The Stander Symposium represents the Marianist tradition of education through community and is the principal campus-wide event in which faculty and students actualize our mission to be a "community of learners."
Danielle M. Bott
This study sought to discover what gifted female students felt and experienced in both high school and college mathematics classes and whether these feelings and experiences had an effect on their choice of college major(s) or career field(s). A researcher-designed survey was used to prompt the participants to reflect on their experiences and feelings. Through a qualitative analysis of the data few themes emerged, therefore, a question-by-question analysis of each participants' responses was completed. Results indicate that most of the participants had good experiences in high school and college, in general, but their responses varied greatly in how they viewed those experiences.
Comparison of Notophthalamus viridescens Transposon Expression in the Dorsal and Ventral Iris during Lens Regeneration
Glenna M. Knape
The Eastern Newt, Notophthalamus viridescens, has regenerative abilities. This study delved into the ability of the newt to regenerate the lens of its eye from the iris following a lentectomy surgery. To regenerate, the dorsal and ventral regions of the iris dedifferentiate and proliferate, yet only the dorsal iris redifferentes to create a lens, rather than both the dorsal and ventral iris. Several candidate transposons, or sections of viral DNA incorporated into another organismÃ¢ÂÂs genome, were selected from a transcriptome to study. In order to compare the differences between the dorsal and ventral irises, the candidate genesÃ¢ÂÂ expression levels were monitored in regenerating lens at 0, 4, and 8 day time points following the surgery. The expression levels were compared to determine whether they are correlated with the regenerative ability. A further understanding of the newtÃ¢ÂÂs regenerative abilities as a model organism could lead to groundbreaking advances in regenerative biology and medicine.
Comparison of Numerical Methods for Analysis of the Diffusion of Soluble Proteins Through Sensory Cilia
Nicholas D. Haynes
A recent paper in the Journal of General Physiology disproved the hypothesis that the ciliary axoneme and the basal bodies of cilia impose selective barriers to the movement of proteins into and out of the the cilium using a combination of numerical modeling and observation with confocal and multiphoton microscopy. We compare the accuracy and computational efficiency of the numerical method used in the paper, known as the method of lines, to another method, known as sinc collocation, and discuss the possible use of other methods for improving the algorithm.
William F. Nelson
Flash rusting is a corrosion process in which steel rapidly oxidizes upon contact with air at a high relative humidity. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a bio-inspired flash rust inhibitor that is water-soluble and environmentally friendly. Several proteins and polypeptides from two classes of marine invertebrates have been identified for their potential to inhibit corrosion: the blue mussel Mytilus edulis and the sea squirts Mogula manhattensis and Styela clava. The most important feature of these biomolecules for corrosion prevention applications is the presence of post-translationally modified amino acid L-3, 4 dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa). L-dopa has a well characterized ability to form strong bonds with metal ions, thus stabilizing the metal surface and inhibiting corrosion. Also, when enzymatically treated, L-dopa can participate in crosslinking reactions, which has been shown to lead to a thicker and more durable protein layer. In this study, cyclic potentiodynamic polarization was used to characterize the performance of the free amino acid form of L-dopa as a corrosion inhibitor. Mass loss and total charge passed were used to assess the extent of the corrosion reaction, and in addition, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) data was also collected. The results indicated that L-dopa is ineffective as a corrosion inhibitor when not included as part of a larger polymer, most likely due to insufficient adhesion to the substrate. Preliminary exposure chamber tests were also done with an unpurified mixture of proteins from Mytilus edulis. The results indicate that the proteins are inhibiting corrosion effectively for a short amount of time before failing. To increase the effectiveness of the protein, different incubation conditions will be investigated in the future.
Margaret M. Edison
This research project examines the researcher's cultural experiences and subsequent reactions toward them during a four-month study abroad program in Ireland. Daily experiences were recorded via journaling and then compared to research-based attributes of culturally responsive educators. The researcher compared the self-analysis of the journalsto research-based attributes of culturally-responsive teachers in an attempt to discover what qualities and skills the researcher needs to further develop and improve. From the comparison, an action plan for the researcher's professional development with regard to becoming culturally competent has emerged. This research project is significant because the researcher intends to be an urban teacher and therefore will be working with students of many cultures. Understanding what is required to be culturally competent will allow the researcher to successfully work with all students.
Decoupling the Biomechanics of Locomotion and the Direction of Spatial Updating During Blind-walking Tasks
Natalie L. Anderson, Adam Barnas, Ryan N. Fuentes, Kevin Longacre, Natalya N. Lynn, Katherine Y. Peters, Nicole A. Schlater, Jeremy T. Schwob, Adam D. Sitz
Spatial updating, or the process of keeping track of the locations of objects relative to one's spatial position while moving, is critical to a variety of navigation tasks. Although updating is likely to occur automatically during sighted walking, walking without vision requires imagined updating of the spatial relationships that change concurrently with movement. In particular, dynamic spatial updating likely underlies accurate performance when blind-walking to previously seen targets, a task commonly-used to assess distance perception (Rieser et al., 1990). Studies of imagined walking suggest that the biomechanical information from locomotion influences the accuracy of spatial updating and blind-walking (Kunz et al., 2009). We further investigated the role of biomechanical information in spatial updating by manipulating the biomechanics of locomotion and the direction of spatial updating during blind-walking. In Experiment 1, participants viewed targets that were positioned directly in front or behind them. Participants were instructed to walk without vision to the targets while spatially updating their positions in the environment as they walked either forward to targets in front of them or backwards to targets behind them. Participants were generally accurate in both forward and backward walking, suggesting that participants spatially update in a manner consistent with their direction of movement, even for backwards locomotion. In Experiment 2, participants viewed targets that were positioned directly in front of them and either walked forward while spatially updating to where they believed the targets were located or matched the distance between them and the target by walking backward without spatially updating. Experiment 3 decoupled the biomechanics of walking and the direction of spatial updating. Participants viewed targets positioned directly in front of them and either walked forward without vision to the targets while spatially updating or walked backward from the targets while spatially updating in a manner consistent with forward walking.
Designing Planar, Shape-Changing Rigid Body Mechanisms for Profiles with Significant Differences in Arc Length
Shamsul A. Shamsudin
Design of shape-changing machinery is an area of emerging importance. Shape-change may be used in the near future to vary the cross section of a wing, create flow-field control by altering shapes to locally affect downstream fluid behavior, or create extrusion dies with varying cross section critical in a variety of applications including automotive components. The three primary ways of creating shape-change are smart materials, compliant devices, and the focus of this research, rigid body shape-change. Each offers advantages over the other, with rigid body shape-change mechanisms providing the highest capacity to withstand loads and the easiest-to-predict behavior of the three. The goal of this research project has been to modify the synthesis theory to address shape-change where significant differences in arc length motivate the problem. In practical terms, this corresponds to a wing not only changing camber but also changing chord length in operation. The advances proposed here allow rigid-body shape change to address entirely new classes of problems. This is important as rigid body shape-change uses well established mechanical design practice once the bodies have been sized and joints located according to the new theory. These new techniques, combined with the established practice, provide a suite of design tools that allow for problems to be addressed in a fundamentally new way. Shape-changing technology has the capacity to advance manufacturing through an entirely new class of extrusion dies. The design of shape-changing spoilers, beds, wings and chairs are also being considered.
Design, Prototyping and Evaluation of an Elastically-Based Mechanical Starter for Automotive Engines
Travis M. Schubert
This thesis presents the design and prototyping of a torsion spring-driven mechanical starter for potential use in vehicle engines. Torsion springs are considered for this application for three primary reasons. First, a charged spring can deliver the brief but powerful burst of energy required during starting. Second, once the starting energy is stored in a mechanical state, as in a spring, conversion losses are eliminated like those present with the traditional battery to electric motor to engine arrangement. Third, these springs can be inexpensively charged by a motor and battery significantly smaller than those currently in use, thereby reducing the negative environmental impact associated with the disposal of those components. The realized design combines fundamental machine components into a new starter concept, a bench top prototype of which was assembled for validation. Experiments and an accompanying analysis of the starter proved useful for sizing the device for commercial implementation, as well as identifying additional design concerns for a more roadworthy prototype. This work is part of a larger effort on developing mechanisms that use elastic elements to harvest, store, and power devices useful in automotive applications.
Do Autonomous Individuals Strive for Self-Positivity? A Test of the Universal Nature of Self-Enhancement
Bridget P. Lynch
This research explores the relationship between self-enhancement motivation (i.e., the motive to have and maintain positive feelings about the self) and autonomy (i.e., the motive to feel in charge of one's own life). Extensive research has shown that all people are motivated to feel positively about the self. However, a small set of studies have noted that people who feel in charge of their lives and decisions (i.e., high in autonomy) do not appear to meet the need to feel good about the self in the same way as their peers. In Study 1, 150 participants completed a series of self-report measures to assess recently identified self-enhancement strategies and levels of autonomy. Study 1 will identify which types of self-enhancement are consistent with varying levels of autonomy. Using the results from Study 1, Study 2 will experimentally examine the relationship between self-enhancement and levels of autonomy by manipulating the type of self-enhancement task that 150 participants will engage in. After the manipulation participants' well-being will be measured. Data from both studies will be analyzed using multiple regression. It is expected that people will have greater psychological well-being when they self-enhance in a way consistent with their levels of autonomy. This research will either provide support for the universality of self-enhancement by identifying the strategy autonomous individuals use to self-enhance or may contradict the idea that everyone is motivated to meet the need to feel good about the self.
Do Dividends Matter: An empirical analysis of the impact of dividends on portfolio stock selection, portfolio weights, and portfolio returns for S&P 500 stocks over the period 2005-2010
Gregory J. Castell
Because of a growing number of dividend-focused portfolios today, the critical issue is whether or not these types of portfolios create alpha. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine if a portfolio of stocks focused on dividends can create alpha (i.e. excess returns) in both declining and rising stock markets. Holding constant such key factors as valuation, earnings growth, and profitability, at the margin, I have assumed the critical dividend factors in determining alpha are dividend yield, dividend growth, and dividend payout ratio. To test the hypothesis that one or a combination of the above dividend factors can contribute to a portfolio's alpha, I will develop a "baseline" portfolio that has these general parameters:  the stocks in the portfolio will have Price to Earnings Ratios below the market,  their expected growth rate in earnings is greater than the market, and  the return on common equity will be higher than the market. The stocks in the baseline portfolio will then be weighted respectively by their dividend yield, dividend growth rate, and dividend payout ratio for the periods 2005-2010, allowing for yearly rebalancing. The portfolio returns will be compared to the S&P 500 market returns over the same time periods to determine if alpha was created. I will also calculate information ratios for the various dividend portfolios to determine risk-adjusted excess returns.
Stephanie M. Jabre, Kristin A. Mullen-Muhr
This two year long field experience examines the challenges and successes of leading a brand new after school music program in an urban environment. Our work addresses the importance of creating a curriculum, applying for grants, and securing university volunteers in order to sustain the program. Our project also describes how we have addressed the problems that have arisen throughout the program, including recruitment and consistent attendance of participants.
Nancy P. Silverman
With the intent of integrating educational activities into the existing medical school curriculum that prepare the attitudes of medical students to care for the terminally ill, this study seeks to determine the opportunities and constraints within the medical school environment that could potentiate or prevent its fruition. Crucial to understanding what is involved in developing this program is knowing what the physician seeking certification in palliative medicine is required to know. Building an introductory end of life care (EOL) program requires a survey of the requirements of governing agencies, accrediting bodies, the extent of current EOL program support, and time constraints. I will use Imogene King's dynamic interacting systems framework to direct the development of the program that introduces the concept of palliative care and attitudinally prepares them to provide palliative medicine to the terminally ill patient. Modalities for learning will be suggested that help teach to student attitudes. Program integration considers the school year and opportunities for patient exposure.
Effects of Dietary Regimen on Lifespan and Fecundity of Blow Fly, Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae)
Allissa M. Blystone, Ryan M. Huttinger, Connor Ratycz
The green bottle fly, Lucilia sericata, is a forensically important organism that is used to determine post-mortem interval (PMI) in deceased individuals. Insect colonization and species succession on decaying organic material are well-characterized events with Lucilia sericata being one of the first species to colonize. Forensic methods for determination of PMI using insect developmental stages have been developed based on laboratory methods for culture of insect species but there is no standard method for laboratory culture of Lucilia with respect to diet. This study focuses on the role of diet in the development of the blow fly, Lucilia sericata. Flies were reared using three common laboratory dietary regimens: 1. Honey-Water and Water, 2. Liver and Water, and 3. Granular Sucrose and Water. For each dietary treatment, three replicate cages of 15 male flies and 15 female flies were run simultaneously. Developmental metrics were recorded (survivorship, number of eggs oviposited per event, and number of oviposition events) over the course of the study and data were analyzed to determine which diet was most efficient for fly maintenance and reproduction. Analyses revealed that flies fed honey-water and water lived an average of 37 days but did not lay any eggs. Flies fed liver and water lived an average of 22 days and laid an average of 300 eggs per cage. Flies fed sucrose flies lived an average of 30 days, but similar to the honey-water treatment, no eggs were laid. These results indicate that a protein source is necessary for the female egg production and support the premise that standard laboratory culture methods are a critical link between establishment of a standard developmental life cycle pattern and application of life cycle staging in forensic determination of PMI. Future research will focus on refinement of a standard balanced laboratory diet.
Grace M. Callahan
The public education system has recently been undergoing many changes, with new policies such as No Child Left Behind, an increased focus on high states testing, and the implementation of value added teacher evaluations; the ultimate goal being to raise achievement levels for public school students. In the midst of all of these changes, educational funding has become an important issue, with average per pupil expenditures growing from $6,663 in 1982-83 to $11,470 in 2004-05 (Grubb, 2009, p. 2). In response to the spending changes, many have studied whether or not there is in fact a correlation between school expenditures and student achievement. The question has become more and more important and controversial over the past few years, because the data gained from studies attempting to find an answer has an impact on policy, yet a definitive one has not been found. My purpose is to investigate the various reports on this topic to discover if any definite conclusions can be derived from the data. I will be reviewing the methodologies used to collect data and the analyses of the data presented. I will also draw upon other authors who have written about this topic and review their opinions and ideas. A theme that many researchers are beginning to agree on is that the use of educational funds is much more important than the amount, so I will also discuss the thoughts on how allocation of resources might be more affective in producing the desired result of increased student achievement.
Nisrin R. Abdelal
This project investigates the electrical and thermal characteristics of mixed conductor composites made of PEO:LiN(SO2CF2CF3)2 and activated carbon. The crystalline- amorphous transition in the mixed conductors was characterized by a differential scanning calorimeter (DCS). The ionic conductivity and the transport numbers were measured using the AC impedance and the potentiostatic techniques. The possibility of harvesting electrical energy from the ionic conductors when subjecting them to a mechanical excitation (vibrations) was investigated. Results showed that at room temperature the ionic conductivity of PEO:LiN(SO2CF2CF3)2 is 7.839X10-5 S/cm and it increased by almost five times when doped with 9wt% carbon. The ionic conductivity enhancement was attributed to two factors; to the space charge effect, and to the existence of the amorphous phase of the polymer as a result of dispersion of carbon particles. Results also showed that the electronic transport number increases with increasing the wt% carbon until it reaches its maximum value at 4wt% carbon. Finally, it was proven that it is possible to harvest electrical energy (in Micro-Joule) from the (PEO:LiBETI:C) mixed conductor when excited both electrically (with a small biased voltage) and mechanically(by mechanical vibration).
Henry L. Aldridge
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a developing technology that breaks down organic materials in liquids while generating electricity. They come in several forms and applications, including: micro-sized for medical implants, sediment for remote sensing and communications, and large-scale for industrial or environmental remediation. Few studies have looked at MFCs operating over 45ÂºC. Use of extremophiles as the fuel cell culture allows for high-temperature applications including industry, deserts, and alien space environments. This project includes the construction and operation of a membrane-less single chamber microbial fuel cell (ML-SCMFC), using the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus at about 80Â°C. The volcanic spring native S. solfataricus was used within a MFC to demonstrate feasibility of an extremely high temperature MFC and characterize the electrical power parameters from this device. A maximum power density of 25.26 mWm-3 was obtained using a carbon cloth anode and cellobiose as the substrate. Maximum sustained current densities ranging from 5.63 and 39.9 mAm-2 persisted for 15-30 hour durations. Continued modifications can potentially improve observed values, including new substrates, inclusion of separators and new anode materials.
Adam Barnas, Daniel A. Hurlburt, Kaitlin E. Key
When viewing a painting, "a person has an aesthetic experience that consists of visual scrutiny of interesting pictorial features detected initially to satisfy cognitive curiosity and to develop aesthetic appreciation of the display" (Locher et. al, 2006). The present study evaluates aesthetic preferences for faces, specifically relating to those influenced by art. Portraits and photographs of faces are matched for variables such as gender, artistic medium, ethnicity, face shape, facial hair, hair color, eye color, and facial position (full or profile) and then shown to participants, individually in separate conditions and then simultaneously in another condition. Data will be collected using self-report ratings and an eye tracker, which is a device that measures eye positions and movements while a participant is viewing the painting and/or photograph. Our hypothesis is that the faces in portraits will be rated higher for pleasingness than faces in the photographs because of the greater aesthetic appreciation and consequent value associated with art (Locher et al., 2006). Further, we expect that data from the eye tracker will be consistent with these ratings and will show that eye scanning movements will focus on features of the portraits that determine the aesthetic value of the paintings and more time will be spent in eye fixations on these features than in similar features of the photographs. This research has implications for marketing and product development, as well as significance for our understanding of what makes art "art."
Experimental Confirmation of Strong Fluorescence Enhancement Using One-dimensional GaP/SiO2 Photonic Band Gap Structure
We report the experimental confirmation of the fluorescence enhancement effect using a one-dimensional photonic band gap (1D PBG) structure. This 1D PBG structure consists of periodic multilayer thin films with gallium phosphide (GaP) and silicon dioxide (SiO2) as the alternating high and low index materials. Strong evanescent field enhancement can be generated at the last interface due to the combination of total internal reflection and photonic crystal resonance for the excitation wavelength. In addition, the 1D PBG structure is designed as an omnidirectional reflector for the red-shifted fluorescent signal emitted from the surface bounded molecules. This omnidirectional reflection function helps to improve the collection efficiency of the objective lens and further increase the detected fluorescent signal. Compared with the commonly used bare glass substrate, an average enhancement factor of 69 times has been experimentally verified with quantum dots as the fluorescent markers. This fluorescence enhancer may find broad applications in single molecular optical sensing and imaging.
Zachary M. Kaylor
My research revolves around the job shop environment. The job shop is an environment in manufacturing where jobs arrive randomly and take a random amount of time to complete. For instance, a maker of specialized metal parts most likely involves some sort of job shop. The job shop can also represent a bottleneck in a larger manufacturing process. The main obstacle in the job shop is the queue of jobs waiting to be worked upon. The trick is to order the queue so as to perform the jobs to optimize for various metrics. These metrics vary and involve things such as the average time in shop to the aggregate lateness of the jobs. My research explores the repercussions of ordering the jobs using various queueing rules under a variety of conditions.
Michela A. Buccini
Choy (2001) found that first-generation students were twice as likely to leave a four-year institution in comparison to students who are non first-generation students. This study was done in a phenomenological research framework to hear the stories of first-generation students at the University of Dayton in order to understand the barriers these students would face in this context. The one-to-one interviews that were conducted gave a group of first-generation students an outlet to voice their concerns and successes to assess the support systems for first-generation students at the University of Dayton. Findings suggest that students are interested in support, however fear being othered.
Andrew K. Kelly
An in-depth qualitative analysis of organizational culture was conducted of two non-profit, grassroots organizations that address poverty in the Dayton area. Shoes4TheShoeless was established two years ago and provides footwear to underprivileged children. Homefull was established more than 20 years ago and works to end poverty through advocacy, education and housing options for its clients. Interviews and on-site observations were completed at both organizations from November 2011 to January 2012. The structured interviews ranged in length from 25 minutes to more than an hour. The data was analyzed using a coding scheme and over-arching themes were analyzed. It was determined that organizational culture within grassroots organizations in Dayton shapes how the organizations operate and fulfill their service missions.
John H. Buerschen, Elizabeth B. Harbaugh, Eleanor W. Mccormick
As participants in the Building Community through Social Justice Learning and Living Cohort (BCSJLLC) our goal is to advance the cause of literacy in the Miami Valley through service learning. The BSCJLLC's community partner, the non-profit organization, Project READ, trained us to tutor students in grades K-3 and young adults. Members of our group were then placed by Project READ in tutoring assignments in DECA with high school students and in Cleveland Elementary School with first and third grade students. Our mission was to help improve the student's vocabulary and ability to read. We were consistently challenged by the different ages and skill levels of the individuals we were instructing; and the challenge to encourage and not direct our students. We found that developing personal relationships with our students helped us to encourage their overall learning and specifically helped them to gain confidence in their ability to improve their reading and vocabulary skills. Working with students in Dayton's inner city schools allowed us to see firsthand the education disparities that exist in America. As students, we believe that all people in a just society should be able to read and write. In our presentation we will reflect on how the combination of our service learning, the classes we have taken in our cohort, and our training by Project READ worked to advance the common good of the students we tutored. We will also explore the importance of our work in the context of the Marianist ideals of Lead, Learn, and Serve.
Patrick J. Danko, Jessica R. Hanley, Lauren Williams
Imagine a RecPlex where the energy you spend working out is transformed into electrical energy. Used not only to turn on the lights, but keep where you exercise cool. Advancing technologies in the modern world have made this a reality. Campuses all over the country are starting to incorporate this kind of equipment into their recreation centers. Machines that generate electricity and floors that transfer kinetic energy are two such examples. However, is this idea realistic? What would be the cost and the benefits if a RecPlex like ours were to be built with this technology? Our goal was to find out what students could do to improve the campus for a more Green influence.
Ronald A. Zeszut
The objective of this Honors Thesis is to assess the potential for algae of the variety Chlorella Vulgaris to be made into a jet fuel by analyzing the mono, di, and triglyceride content. Measuring the amount and type of these molecules in a sample will be done using high temperature gas chromatography. The chromatography will separate the sample based on volatility (e.g. boiling point) of the species present. The sample data, when compared to known materials (e.g. standards), will give information as to the composition of the components which can be used as fuel. In addition, the samples will be further processed using a transesterification process. The glyceride molecules will be broken down into fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) and further analyzed using a GC-MS. The FAME process will allow for a better understanding of the component parts of the glyceride molecules, which in turn will provide a greater understanding of the glyceride molecules as a whole.
Identifying Portfolio Investment Strategies for High Quality Ranked Stocks in the Highly Volatile Market Period 2008-2011
Mary H. Viertel
In highly volatile market periods, many investors tend to reduce their risk by purchasing large cap, higher quality stocks. The purpose of this study, controlling for firm size, is to evaluate different portfolio weighting strategies based on valuation, operating efficiency, and profitability. For this study, the analysis is on very large cap stocks called mega cap stocks. Returns for this size group will be first determined based on market cap weightings. These returns will be considered the benchmarks against which all other returns will be measured. Within each size group, portfolio weightings will also be constructed based on valuation, operating efficiency, and profitability measures. The particular metrics, in sequence, are price to book, operating margins, and return on assets. Returns for each year and for the complete period will be calculated for each of these weighting strategies and compared to the returns for the benchmark portfolio, as well as the S&P 500. Results of the analysis are forthcoming.