More than 700 students submitted over 300 individual and team research projects to present at the annual Stander Symposium on April 22, 2021. Students chose to share their research in a variety of ways: downloadable posters and papers; live presentations on Zoom; recorded presentations; and safe-distance live presentations from front porches and other locations on campus. Browse the gallery below or search for specific research projects using the search function at the top left of the screen.
This gallery contains projects from the 2021 Stander Symposium that address issues raised in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Lauren E. Luechtefeld, Chris J. Meyers, Nathaniel J. Neading, Blake Geoffrey Warren
Maintenance Inventory Management Project
Canine Handlers and College Student's Perceptions on K-9's Ability to De-escalate Violent Arrest Situations
Kathleen Maria Schumacher
Canine units are an expanding field in police departments as they are proving to be seen as valuable tools to the organizations. Canines possess multiple abilities and there is limited research completed to fully examine untapped potential. Recently there has been significant discussion on the use of force officers demonstrate in policing situations that has caused serious backlash on the law enforcement profession. The research issues being examined addresses exactly these types of situations and the impact canine units might contribute to resolve these issues. This research project is a mixed-methods approach that includes both quantitative and qualitative research. The quantitative approach includes a survey that was sent out to college students attending universities within the Midwest region and the qualitative approach includes interviews with police officers at local departments within the Midwest. Overall, the canine handlers perceived the use of canines to de-escalate violent arrest situations as positive as long as the canine is trained for the situation. The same conclusions resulted from college students’ responses when it comes to situations that occur within the public. However, when it relates to domestic situations, the college students disagreed with the use of canines to mitigate the scenario. In the end, canines have been proven as a solution to de-escalate violent arrest situations as long as they have completed the necessary training, but I would recommend researching this topic more with a higher interview response by officers.
Jahmia A. Bridges-Butler, Eva S. Hill
Canopy Cover Effects on the Rate of Leaf-Litter DecompositionBy: Jahmia Bridges-Butler & Eva HillDecomposition is a vital ecosystem process that is a crucial part of nutrient cycling, and, if altered, can cause a change in the environmental productivity of an ecosystem. This process plays an important role in nutrient cycling by breaking down plant biomass and facilitating new plant growth. We tested the hypothesis that canopy cover would affect the rate of decomposition in forested and open areas: An open canopy cover will lead to decreased rates of decomposition due to being exposed to natural elements that can slow down decomposition. However, the open canopy area would be expected to have more arthropods present and participating in the decomposition.To determine decomposition rates, we conducted a litter-bag experiment in the Environmental Research Area at the University of Dayton. We created 10 sets of 4 bags each, each filled with 5 g of green Ginkgo leaves. We picked up one bag from each set at different points in time to determine how much litter mass was lost over time. Half of the litter bags were put in a closed canopy site and the other half in an open canopy site. We then calculated the rate of decomposition by comparing the starting litter mass to the end litter mass. We also determined what arthropods were present in the last two time points by identifying the arthropods to order that we extracted from each litterbag using a Berlese funnel.We expect to find an overall lower rate of decomposition in the litter bags placed in the open canopy site, compared to the rate of bags in the closed canopy site. More specifically, we expect to find a higher k value with the litter bags in the closed canopy area than those placed in the open canopy. We expect these results due to the open canopy bags being exposed to the elements during the winter months, which would include precipitation like rain and snow, that would cause a decrease in decomposition.These results could be important for gaining more knowledge and insight into what kind of things can affect decomposition rates in ecosystems. We can learn about how anthropogenic factors, like deforestation, can alter the rate of decomposition for vegetation in the area, which in turn affects the carbon cycle.
In this project, we aim to study the CAPTCHA in virtual reality. We integrate 3 different CAPTCHA methods, namely, ReCAPTCHA, Image-based CAPTCHA, and text-based CAPTCHA. The virtual environment is rendered in Unity3D. The user is able to experience the CAPTCHA by using Google Cardboard VR headset with an Android phone. The experiments show that users have different preferences to CAPTCHA methods in virtual environment.
Members of license-issuing agencies have been largely overlooked in concealed carry weapons (CCW) research but stand to provide a critical viewpoint from firsthand experience with the guidelines and procedures in place. This exploratory study examined the perceived level of adequacy, stringency, and implications of the current CCW licensure process in Ohio. A 43 item online survey was distributed via email to all county sheriffs in the state of Ohio, yielding a total of 26 respondents. The data indicate satisfaction with the current process and requirements necessary to obtain an Ohio CCW license. Data indicate a perceived need for CCW licenses in the state. Sheriffs report the current number of licenses improves their personal and public safety; however, they did not believe these impact the number of law enforcement officers shot and or killed on duty annually. Sheriffs feel their departments are the appropriate agency to handle CCW licensing, spending more than 20 hours attending to the process per week. Results show most sheriffs do not think Ohio should become a constitutional carry state. More research is necessary to determine if these views are consistent amongst license-issuing agents in other shall-issue states.
Liliana F. Capelli, Sydney H. Griger, Michael Travisano, Gregory Marc Zlatkin
CLG Datacenter...new DC & Software to improve flexibility/access/visualization
Challenging Genetic Dogma: Testing Whether Modularity is a General Feature of the Switches that Control Animal Gene Use
Katherine A. Kohnen
Animals build, organize, and maintain a diversity of cell types throughout development and adulthood. Cellular diversity results from the regulated expression of genes, where most genes are “pleiotropic” with expression occurring in several cell types and/or developmental stages. Cell type and developmental stage-specific patterns of expression are activated by cis-regulatory element (CRE) DNA sequences. In contrast to genes, CREs are generally assumed to function in a modular non-pleiotropic manner. Where each CRE activates expression in one cellular context, and gene pleiotropy arises from their regulation by multiple modular CREs. This assumption shapes the way CREs are thought to impact development, evolution, and genetic disease. However, the generality of CRE modularity has not been satisfactorily demonstrated, as it is difficult to test for CRE activity or inactivity in all cell types and developmental stages. The major goal of my Honor Thesis research is to test whether CREs tend to be modular or possess pleiotropic gene expression regulating activities. For any identified pleiotropic CRE, I will reveal how their multiple expression activities are encoded in DNA sequence. Specifically, I will investigate 13 Drosophila melanogaster CREs that each activate gene expression in the abdomen of this fruit fly species by reporter transgene assays. For these CREs, I will inspect for additional reporter transgene expressions in embryonic, larval, pupal, and adult cell types. For any identified pleiotropic CRE, I will subject it to a series of discrete mutations to see whether zero, one, or multiple expression activities are disrupted by the introduced mutations. These experiments will provide a novel test of the modularity hypothesis and provide insights into how expression patterns are encoded in CREs. The outcomes have broad implications in biology, notably on the roles of CREs in development, evolution, and genetic disease.
Joseph G. Beckett, Anna L. Biesecker-Mast, Andrew Michael Buchanan, Jacob Robert Cogley, Mary C. Connor, Katherine Victoria Evans, Bridget Therese Graham, Tyler Elizabeth Horton, Jessica A. Jenick, Robert C. Kelly, Alexandra Marie Landman, Kayla A. Lenahan, Kaitlin B. Lewis, Jordan N. McCormick, Elena Jean Niese, Samantha Bourelle Niewoehner, Abigail R. Shahady
The Junior Chaminade Scholar cohort invites you to our interactive presentation on the role of beauty in our lives. Beauty is a fundamental aspect of creation that we encounter every day in nature, other people, and the creative work of man’s careful stewardship over the Earth. By its very presence, this beauty demands our attention, fills us with energy, and calls us to act. This presentation will focus on how this beauty calls us to spread balance and harmony to areas of the world where environmental and economic injustices systematically deny large portions of the globe their fair share of the material gifts and beauty God bestowed on creation. By failing to address these inequalities in our world, we degrade fellow humans to sub-human living conditions so that others may live in sinful affluence. This is a far cry from the model Christ set for us when he not only came to live among the poor, but also to serve them. Through our collective awakening to beauty’s role in our own lives, we hope to help others realize that we are all called to be artists striving to create a masterpiece with our own lives as we fulfill our roles as stewards in creation.
This poster summarizes the results of a series of ongoing experimental investigations into the curing reactions between a novel Phosphorus-Diglycidyl Ether of Bisphenol A (P-DGEBA) flame retardant, Diglycidyl Ether of Bisphenol A (DGEBA) epoxy resin, and aliphatic amine curing agent. Epoxy resins are one of the most widely used thermosetting polymers. Epoxy resin has wide applications in the fields of composites, adhesives, coatings, microelectronic materials, and printed circuit boards, due to its excellent mechanical properties, chemical resistance, and electrical insulation. However, epoxy thermosets can be flammable, which threatens human health and survivability of composite structures that catch fire. The primary motivation for this study was the promising preliminary experimental results obtained recently on a novel organophosphorus flame retardant (P-DGEBA) synthesized by the UD Chemistry Department. This research aims to identify the feasibility of reactive organophosphate compounds that could be integrated into existing curing epoxy (DGEBA) formulations to provide fire-resistant composites with little or no compromise in processing, treatment, and mechanical properties. Consequently, a series of experimental mixing formulations and curing conditions were investigated to provide further insight. Curing conditions were characterized by various physical and thermal properties using Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). Cured samples were also tested using microscale combustion calorimetry (MCC) to investigate the flammability and decomposition characteristics of cured epoxy resins.
Check Your Ego at the Shore: Marine-Derived Nutrients Drive Size Variation in the Invasive Tawny Crazy Ant
Amy C. Feltz
Nylanderia fulva, known as the Tawny Crazy Ant, is a highly destructive invasive ant that arrived from South America to the Southeast U.S. in 2002. In their invasive range, this ant can reach a density 100 times greater than native ants and their nests contain multiple queens and workers that show no signs of intraspecific aggression, allowing the colonies to stretch thousands of kilometers along the Texas coastline. Nylanderia fulva are important to study in coastal tallgrass prairies because these ants threaten biodiversity in this imperiled ecosystem, and their abundance is driven by marine-derived nutrients, such as calcium and sodium, that are deposited by precipitation along the coast. The main question in this experiment is: how do changes in micronutrient availability in coastal tallgrass prairies affect Nylanderia fulva fitness? More specifically, we were seeking to determine: does the total amount and ratio of Ca to Na in the diet of N. fulva affect worker size? We hypothesized that the amount of Ca in N. fulva food will increase ant size while increasing Na in the food will decrease ant size. To determine how the ratio of Ca:Na affects worker size, we collected 80 colonies of N. fulva and conducted 50-day feeding trials with 16 different diets that varied the amount of Ca and Na in their food (by increasing 10%, 25%, and 50%) in 2018. At the end of the experiment, we measured the head width of 10 ants from each colony to determine worker size in each diet variation. Ca increased colony biomass while Na decreased worker size. Our findings suggest that N. fulva seeks Ca to increase colony growth, which may be an important mechanism driving colony success. Additionally, because Na decreased N. fulva worker size, increases in Na could lead to a reduction in competition among native ant species and decrease their ability to forage for food.
James David Burns, Shawn A. Gaspar
Children are one of the most vulnerable populations we have in our society in terms of victimization. This vulnerability, unfortunately, makes them an easier target for victimization and this, in turn, can have damaging effects on a child's mental health. Children suffer the highest rates of crime victimization. This research examines the impact of childhood victimization on mental health by race and gender.
Chronic Administration of the Novel SERCA2 Activator CDN1163 Induces Behavioral and Neurochemical Effects in Mice.
Intracellular calcium homeostasis is essential for neuronal function and survival, with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) being a major internal calcium reservoir. Our group focuses on the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum (SR/ER) calcium (Ca2+)-ATPase (SERCA) pump that is a pivotal regulator of cytosolic calcium levels. Compelling evidence indicates that these P-type ATPases play a critical role in brain pathophysiology. Hence, SERCA pumps comprise an emerging pharmacological target for debilitating brain diseases. Interestingly, studies suggest that a novel SERCA activator, namely CDN1163, may rescue motor and cognitive dysfunction in rodent models of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. As little is known about the behavioral and neurochemical consequences of CDN1163 administration, in the context of this study, we are presenting the effects of acute and chronic CDN1163 administration on locomotor activity and relevant affective behaviors, as well as on monoaminergic neurotransmission in naïve C57BL/6J mice of both sexes.
Liliana G. Alton, Caleb Joshua Cecil, John Patrick Sheehan, Erica Kristy Wojcikiewicz
Climate change is a growing concern for many as weather extremities begin to become commonplace across the globe. Human action is the main cause of this, and we intend to explore how people think about climate change in relation to their religious beliefs, along with how official religious dogmas talk about the nature of climate change. Using research from a variety of social science studies, we examined how different geographic regions and demographics have reacted to climate change in relation to their religious influences. We looked at a range of religious practices from around the world and how these groups have responded to climate change. The influence of both cultural and personal religion does impact the relevance and sense of responsibility that people feel towards climate change.
Alexa Marie Roberts
In this presentation, we will be working with the top causes of death related to medical conditions tracked by the CDC. I examine this data throughout the years separated by season to find trends that may repeat annually. Additionally, I break it down by state and region to find more patterns that are dependent on location. I also take population into account and normalize my data to better compare the impact of each disease with a caveat comparison to trends seen in COVID-19.
Cloud Connected Real-Time Oil Condition Monitoring of UtilityTransformers using Impedance Spectroscopy
Birhanu Desta Alemayehu
We present the use of impedance spectroscopy to diagnose the oil condition inutility transformers for condition monitoring. Actual transformer oil sampleshaving different dissolved fault gas and moisture concentrations are obtained andcharacterized by analysing their impedance spectrum over a range of frequenciesfrom 1 kHz to 100 kHz using AD5933 from Analog Devices. From theexperimental results, it has been shown that the impedance spectrum of atransformer oil sample is related to its relative saturation percentage. Here, wepropose an integrated cloud-connected smart system which can continuouslymonitor the condition of oil present inside a utility transformer in real-time. As aproof of concept, the impedance values of oil samples are measured. Theimpedance data obtained is transmitted to a cloud computing interface where thedata is logged and processed. The proposed integrated system is reliable,inexpensive and suitable for implementation on utility transformers.
CNN-based Machine Learning Approaches to Skin Lesion Classification for Skin Cancer Detection and Diagnosis.
Supun Samudika De Silva
Skin cancer is a cancer type with a very high mortality rate and an incidence rate. It is also a cancer type that is known to be treatable if detected early. However, the diagnosis accuracy of a human expert is highly dependent on their experience in visual inspection of skin pigmentation. An automated detection of skin cancer based on the analysis of an image of the suspected affected area would be helpful to physicians or dermatologists in order to present a fast and reliable diagnosis. Presently, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are one of the Artificial Intelligence techniques used widely for computer aided detection and diagnosis of skin lesions. In some cases, the images that are intended to be used towards training a CNN are preprocessed by segmenting the lesion area, correcting illuminations, applying color constancy, removing attention to artefacts around the lesion, etc. Dermoscopy images are a type of images that are being used with CNNs other than standard photographed clinical images. Most of the time, classification of the images is completely based on features generated using CNNs. Transfer learning is one heavily utilized approach that uses pre-trained networks that are mostly very deep and are able to be fine-tuned for skin lesion images to generate features. This presentation introduces common approaches followed to preprocess images and learning techniques that are used with CNNs followed by descriptions of two current methods that utilize CNNs to classify skin lesions for skin cancer diagnosis.
Allison G. Gerberick
This presentation will outline the findings from a qualitative online study looking at the ways that the Covid-19 pandemic influenced alcohol use among college students. This analysis will examine alcohol use during the pandemic by undergraduate students, above the age of 18, coming from various universities predominantly located in Ohio and surrounding states. Students were recruited through several social media platforms to participate in the survey. The findings of the survey revealed statistically significant differences in consumption between men and women. Specifically, it found that men often consumed more alcohol during the pandemic while women were more likely to consume less. The main aim of this presentation is to provide further information about the pandemic’s influence on alcohol in order to encourage safe consumption.
Trevor Lance Burrola, Henry Martin Gerhardt, Taniayah La'Shae O'Quinn-Sims, Madeline G. Terzola
Adequate resources to promote health and well-being during the college experience is important to maintain mental and physical health. However, students may lack the means to utilize services or resources contributing to overall health and well-being while in college. The purpose of this research was to assess what health resources college students actually use and prioritize when accounting for their varying financial statuses. The design of this study was a cross-sectional study with University of Dayton students. The research team utilized Google Forms to distribute our survey to the UD students with the intent of creating a snowball effect to increase participation. The survey was administered to those in sororities, club sports teams, friends, and roommates of all undergraduate grade levels. Commuter students were excluded from the study due to these individuals having a different living situation than those living on-campus. To calculate our results, scores were computed for: financial status of students on campus, the prioritization of on-campus expenses by students, and knowledge/usage of available health resources. We used varying scales to assign point values to each answer. Bivariate correlations were used to examine the correlation between variables. The results of the study will be provided during the presentation.
Matthew Dennis Spangler, Michael Weinstein
The DNA sequences of genomes encode the recipes for making functional cellular products, notably proteins, and switches that regulate when these products are made. While the genetic code for proteins has been known for decades, a similar code for the regulative switches is lacking. This presents a major challenge to understanding the genetic basis of life, as these switches (called cis-regulatory elements or CREs) may outnumber protein-coding genes by 20-50 fold. Both in vivo and in silico approaches exist to study CREs, but the former approaches are generally low throughput and not up to the scale of vast genomes, and the latter lack validation of predictions. We are merging in silico and in vivo approaches to identify the CREs controlling genes responsible for a fruit fly pigmentation trait. Here, we are leveraging the knowledge of six CREs that switch on the transcription of five different genes from a fruit fly tergite pigmentation gene regulatory network (GRN) as well as 10 predicted CREs identified through bioinformatic means. We are using the SCRMshaw bioinformatic tool to identify novel predicted CREs controlling genes within this GRN based on underlying similarities in the DNA sequences of the known CREs. From this novel list, we tested 44 for CRE activity in in vivo reporter transgene assays. Novel validated CREs will be compared with the known six to reveal what the molecular functions are for the common DNA motifs as the next stage of this research project. The encoding of information in CREs is a universal feature of life, so these results bear upon life at every level, including the betterment of the human condition
Kathleen E. Schweninger
Previous research indicates that civic engagement is declining in the United States. This decline has contributed to many of the systemic challenges Americans face today. However, diverse models of civic engagement are emerging which cultivate positive change for communities and individuals. One such model is the Community Conversations series designed by Re-Imagining America: Dayton, Ohio (RIA Dayton). RIA Dayton is reevaluating how community success and satisfaction are measured by creating new metrics of wellbeing through a series of Community Conversations with Dayton residents. This study uses a combination of survey and interview data to understand Community Conversations participants’ perceptions and practices of civic engagement. Results showed that Community Conversation participants frequently engage in both low and high-level civic engagement activities, with the latter resulting in more positive outcomes. Based on survey and interview responses, participants reported positive outcomes such as having the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation and to develop shared goals.
Comparing Social Bonds and Academic Performance of Adjudicated Adolescents Residing in a Facility v.s. Community
Nick A. Trageser
This study examined the link between social bonds and academic performance among adjudicated juveniles residing in the community versus a residential facility. Self-reported grades and variables used in the study were pulled from the Pathways to Desistance data (N = 1,354), a longitudinal study conducted with juveniles from Pennsylvania and Arizona. The data set consists of juveniles between to ages of 14 to 18, asked to rate their grades, bonding to teachers, and school orientation while residing in the community or a correctional facility. A bivariate correlation was conducted to examine the relationship between social bonds and academic performance. Findings indicate a weak to a moderately significant relationship between school bonding and grades. However, juveniles in the community had a stronger significant association between social bonds and grades. Findings and implications will be discussed.
Concussion Protocols Over the Years: How Has our Knowledge of Concussions Grown to Help Athletes in the Future
Molly E. Gates, Charles Scott Guggemos, Evan David Knight, John Christopher Miller, Rachel Ann Oldendorf, Shannon M. Theobald
Many athletes have suffered from concussions without any consideration or treatment. Athletes have been told to just "walk it off" rather than actually go through concussion testing and medical advice. Our presentation is focused on how athletes have been treated over the years looking at past concussion protocols to the most recent medical discoveries. We are speaking to past and present athletes as well as athletic trainers and athletic directors that span over 30 years to get a deeper understanding through first-hand experiences with concussions. Our goal is to highlight the progress and knowledge change on concussions over the years and bring awareness to the general public.
Tesfalem Gebretsadik Mehari
This study is about identifying the potential contaminants for the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer (GMBVA). This study aims to mark areas with high contamination levels to take appropriate measures in ensuring the wellbeing of the community around. The location for GMBVA distributes in southwest Ohio, which is a groundwater that covers a total area about 2060 Km2. This Aquifer is formed in sedimentary rock deposited by glaciers that holds more than a trillion gallons of water. Therefore, the GMBVA is a valuable resource for 1.5 million people in southwest Ohio. The depth of groundwater table of the GMBVA system is less than 20 feet, which makes the GMBVA highly susceptible to contamination from the surface pollution.Generally, an aquifer or groundwater can be polluted by natural factors such as geological contamination contacting with salty water body surface as well as man-made contaminations. This study was focused on identifying and mapping different man-made contaminations that can infiltrated directly to GMBVA, including road salt, agriculture, residential area from land cover data, and the depth to groundwater.The study data contains roads, agriculture, residential area, wells, and aquifer boundaries. All these data are processed and analyzed to identify potential contamination areas. This study aims to categorize the areas into high, medium, and low depending on the overlying of the contamination factors. From the current analyzing result we found that contaminating factors lie on the surface of an Aquifer with a low depth value of wells are at high risk and wells at a high depth value are low risk. By far, we can distinguish areas of highly exposed, or less exposed or no exposed contamination on recharge areas.We would further examine the affected aquifers and take future action to prevent and or reduce further contamination of aquifers in the study area.
Meghan Elizabeth Leigh Ellis, Mark D. Franchak, Pengqing Sun
Based on the work and data gathered by Counterpart International, a development agency funded by USAID, this presentation examines efforts to increase community involvement in advocacy against gender-based violence in Bangladesh. This is part of a larger program Counterpart International has implemented since 2018, titled, ‘Promoting Advocacy and Rights’ (PAR) in collaboration with local NGOs. Anchored in the Gender/Women in Development (GID/WID) approach, PAR aims to deepen democratic values within civil society to improve public governance. The presentation will particularly focus on workshops Counterpart had organized to discuss the issue of gender-based violence against Bangladeshi women. Besides, these meetings are also used as an opportunity to train both the men and women on how to advocate against such violence. We are specifically interested in the tools and methods Counterpart uses to measure the success of these training sessions which incorporate both quantitative and qualitative indicators such as meeting attendance, participant feedback, and trainee testimonials etc. Drawing upon our analyses and based on the critical development studies framework, we raise a separate set of evaluative questions in relation to how Counterpart recognizes and acknowledges the unequal access to decision-making power and opportunities between Bangladeshi men and women, the effects of its work on the respective communities, and how Counterpart facilitates, or fails to facilitate, a shift toward equal control between men and women in Bangladesh’s society. Additionally, in incorporating Bangladesh’s historical background, we ask how does the country’s colonial past intersect with the current development work. Lastly, the presentation will provide recommendations on how Counterpart may successfully move forward in its efforts to empower Bangladeshi women.
Seaniece Denee Richardson
The purpose of this study was to see if COVID-19 has had any effects on minority students' academic performance at universities. The survey created was set up by students and distributed through three social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn). The responses from 299 students across the country were analyzed. This study arose from other research showing that COVID-19 has impacted our community and people financially, mentally, academically, etc. This project asks students about their graduation plans, classes, grades, courses, and remote vs in-person learning.