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.
Ryan W. McEvily
In mid February 2020, the U.S. Equity market experienced a sharp decline in stock prices due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Near the end of March, the stock market had an initial rebound and has continued an upward trend throughout the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 as Covid-19 vaccines plus fiscal stimulus packages have given investors renewed hope the the economy and equity markets will continue to normalize.In this study, my objective is to analyze the returns during the initial decline and rebound period for a number of size/style investment indexes offered to investors by Willshire. Size is identified as large and small while style is identified as value and growth. The size/style investment indexes are also dimensionalised by market value weighting and price weighting. I test the following hypotheses: (1) Large cap indexes outperform small cap indexes on the downswing, while small cap indexes outperform large cap indexes in the upswing period. (2) Value outperforms growth in the downswing while growth outperforms value in the upswing. (3) Market value weighted indexes outperform price weighted indexes in the downswing and price weighted indexes outperform market weighted indexes in the upswing.
Julia Marie Muccio, Allison Connor Papesh, Anna Elizabeth Serey, Dominic Agostino Speights, Kaylie Hope VanDoren, Margaret Clare Walker
Our study aims to discover the effect of COVID-19 on the mental health of college freshmen and seniors at the University of Dayton. Through survey design, we explored mental health-related factors such as stress, academic performance, social well-being, anxiety, and overall well-being. We will explore how these factors have changed for students over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we expect to find different outcomes related to mental health across both groups. In order to combat the negative mental health consequences of COVID-19, higher education institutions must continue to focus on preserving the quality of life for their students during this unprecedented time.
Michael F. Kane
In this study I look at the relationship between stock market volatility (measured by the VIX) and 5 S&P Sector ETF's over the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The 5 SPDR sectors are Consumer Discretionary (XLY), Consumer Staples (XLP), Industrials (XLI), Healthcare (XLV), and Information Technology (XLK). I use uni-variate regression analysis to specify the linear relationship between the sector price indexes (Y) and VIX (X). Both a down swing (from mid February to late March) and an upswing (from late March to mid summer) periods are modeled. I test the following hypotheses: (1) There is an inverse relationship between sector price indexes and the VIX, (2) During the down swing period, the growth sectors XLY and XLK showed the sharpest declines in their price indexes and (3) during the upswing period the growth sectors, XLY and XLK showed the largest increases in their price indexes.
Rebecca J. Barton, Alyssa R. Legarreta, Matthew Lee Rowan, Cathryn Ann Vandenbosch
Creatine is a well studied and utilized supplement within the athletic population. It has been associated with increased strength and power outputs, improving overall athletic performance. Additionally, research has suggested cognitive benefits, specifically in enhancing memory. The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of how students and athletes at the University of Dayton (UD) perceive creatine supplementation and its benefits. Participants will be recruited from the University of Dayton student population through email and messaging apps. This is a cross-sectional study, with goals to analyze prevalence of creatine use and attitudes. A survey will be sent to UD students discussing their perception of creatine, the cognitive benefits, and if they would be willing to take it under certain conditions. After analyzing the results, we aim to have a better understanding of creatine usage and associated attitudes in UD students.
Sama Wathiq Ahmed, Ana Teresa Aleman Belendez, Nicolette Marissa Bettuzzi, Tamara Lynn Devine Rinehart, Kathleen Theresa McCaslin, Joia Marie Mitchell-Holman, Allison C. O'Gorman, Jared K. Puckett, Isolyn M. Radford, Shaila C. Rajendran, Isabel Zavala
What can we all do to enhance the UD campus climate for diversity, equity and inclusion for all? Students, faculty, and staff in UDI 380 have been working together Spring semester to answer this question as they participated in a mini-course focusing on privilege and oppression, and attended the White Privilege Conference. The session will be spent in conversation with the audience about strategies to improve the campus climate at the University of Dayton. As we all play a role in the university community, we welcome conversation with everyone (from those new to conversations about social justice to the seasoned veterans!). Come join us!
Megan E. Frillici, Colin L. Lamb, Nicholas James Patritti, Ian Rasaan Robinson
Research (e.g., ten Brinke et al., 2014) indicates that type of questions asked of observers will determine degree of accuracy in deception detection (DD). The present research examined the advantage of virtual reality (VR) in DD using both direct (e.g., Is the person lying?) and indirect (e.g., Does the person appear nervous?) questions of participants. Indirect questionnaires included probes assessing biases that observers might see as common deceiver characteristics (e.g., failure to make eye contact). The usefulness of these type of questions in DD is believed to interact with the use of VR. The first of three hypotheses for this research is that indirect questioning would produce strong DD due to questions such as those influenced by bias towards certain professions, and decisions to work with a person on a project and character traits such as body language and facial expressions. The second hypothesis is that a subset of indirect questions designed to detect bias about dishonest behavior would produce greater accuracy in DD than those related to facial and body indicators. The third hypothesis is that VR would enhance observations of nonverbal facial-emotional and body language characteristics. Participants wearing VR headsets watched brief videos, each featuring an actor depicting a student who had participated in a game. The actors were each interrogated about having cheated, and either lied or not. After each video, participants completed a direct or indirect set of questions about the honesty of the actor, as well as questions designed to obtain details about their responses on the initial questionnaire. Data collection is continuing; however, preliminary analysis of the type of questionnaire and correct DD indicated that DD is greater when responding to indirect questions. Further, specific focus questions indicate that facial-emotional and body language cues are enhanced by the use of VR.
Martin Barry McKew
Throughout time, national histories have utilized ancient figures as political tools, especially to strengthen their military and popular standings on the world stage. Three heroes, Boudicca from the UK, Vercingetorix from France, and Arminius from Germany, were all used in this manner. There are distinct parallels between them that speak to the efficacy of this practice in nationalism and nation-making.
Kelly Laureen Pleiman
Cancer tumors can have thousands of mutations but determining which of those mutations actually contribute to tumor growth is critical in understanding the disease. Through the use of productive models in machine learning, this capstone project focuses on determining the severity of different genetic mutations using available data from Kaggle on the mutation’s gene, variation, and clinical text evidence. By performing data analysis and applying different models on this complex data set, the class or severity of genetic mutations on a scale from 1-9 can be predicted. Decision tree, random forest, SVD, logistic regression, and K nearest neighbor are among the models that were used to classify genetic variation. Obtaining higher model accuracies allows for better classification of genetic mutations and could eventually expedite the time pathologists spend manually classifying mutations.
John P. Auer, Margaret Lavelle Hutter, Emily A. Reynolds, Andrew Jacob Smolek
Cyber Range assessment and scoring portfolio for OCRI
Lauren Kathleen Moore, Darian A. Ramirez
Although prior research has shown that there is a correlation between psychopathic traits in youth and the propensity to commit delinquency, there is very a lack of research linking it to aggressive offending. The current study aimed to understand the association between specific psychopathic traits such as callousness and grandiosity and aggressive offending among adjudicated juveniles. Data used for the study was the Pathways to Desistance Study that followed 1,354 juveniles from their adolescence into their young adulthood years. The sample consisted of 86% males, 41.4% African American, 20% White, and 33.5% of the rest of the sample consisted of other races, who had been found guilty of at least one serious violent crime, property offense or drug offense. A bivariate correlation was conducted to test the relationship between these two specific traits and aggressive offending. Findings show that only callousness was statistically significantly correlated with aggressive offending. Implications of the study will be discussed.
Sara M. Hubbell
Preliminary data estimates there were about 60,000 deaths and 800,000 hospitalizations due to the influenza virus for the 2017-2018 season (CDC.gov). With the ultimate goal of alieving some of this disease burden, current research in our lab focuses on developing a new antiviral treatment for influenza, since there are very limited options for battling influenza infection besides seasonal vaccination and non-ideal medications like Tamiflu. The Polymerase Acidic (PA) influenza protein is an appealing target for drug design due to its low genetic drift and requirement for influenza replication. The first step in designing a drug to inhibit PA is to isolate and purify a soluble version of the protein to enable structure-based drug design. Recombinant PA expressed in bacteria in our lab has demonstrated very low solubility. We hypothesized that by protecting a hydrophobic binding site, a fusion of PA and its natural binding partner, Polymerase Basic protein 1 (PB1), would be more soluble than PA alone. Mutagenic PCR primers were designed and used to attach the sequence coding for a PB1 peptide to the 5’ and 3’ ends of PA’s coding sequence, resulting in two different protein fusions in cloning vectors. Golden Gate Assembly was then used to insert this recombinant DNA into expression vectors containing fusion partners to increase the solubility of PA even further. A collection of eight expression vectors with varying protein fusions have been successfully designed and cloned. Small-scale solubility testing of these constructs is underway.
Designing Energy Efficient & High-Speed Mechanical Presses for Improved Ram Motion using Advanced Algebraic Techniques
A mechanical press is a machine that shapes parts by driving a ram into metal and deforming the material into a desirable shape. As this is an incredibly common process for forming metal parts, from pop cans to car fenders, presses see significant use in industry on a global level. Two local companies, Aida Press and Nidec Minster, are serious contenders in this global market. The objective of the proposed research is to generate alternative drivetrain designs for mechanical presses that produce specialized ram motions, which is appealing to industry. The focus of this work is on mechanical presses due to their faster speeds, lower cost, greater accuracy, higher precision and energy efficient operation as compared to other pressing options. Due to their ubiquity, even small improvements yield huge savings in terms of processing time and energy consumed. The research work under this proposal is formulated to generate designs with practical dimensions and encountering forces in line with industry expectations. Moreover, these new designs will either improve dwell or improve the range of constant forming velocity, both strongly desired in industry.
Allison Ann Coburn
Sustainable aviation fuels are the near term solution for greenhouse gas emission reduction associated with the aviation sector. There are extensive safety requirements established by an ASTM committee that the alternative aviation fuel must meet in order to achieve approval. Freeze point is one of the safety requirements that allow fuel to remain in liquid state under severe weather conditions. Methods and models to predict the freeze point of hydrocarbon blends are scarce in current literature. In the model that is currently being used, the validated temperature range for freeze point prediction is higher than the typical range for the jet fuel hydrocarbons. For other existing prediction models, an interaction coefficient determined by an experimental result is needed in the calculation to improve the accuracy of the prediction. The goal of this study is to develop an accurate freeze point blending rule for the jet fuel range hydrocarbons to evaluate eligibility for sustainable aviation fuel purposes. Here, a wide range of hydrocarbons with various freeze points were tested. Binary and ternary blends containing Bicyclohexyl, cis1-2 Dimethylcyclohexane, and an alternative jet fuel were tested. The experimental values obtained from varying compositions of each component for the binary and ternary blends were compared with linearly predicted values by volume percent and mole percent. While the linear prediction was comparable to the experimental values, there is still an aspect hindering more accurate predictions. The speculated missing aspect is the molecular structure. From other sources, it is known that molecules with the same chemical composition but varying structure can exhibit starkly different freezing points. Due to this, further testing is being conducted on molecules with these traits.
Determine the Effect of Propionate on the Interactions Between Macrophages and Listeria monocytogenes
Stephanie Marie Johnson
Listeria monocytogenes is an opportunistic and intracellular food-borne pathogen that can be deadly in high risk populations. During infection in the human body, L. monocytogenes may encounter macrophages, a type of white blood cell that is critical in innate immune response both by directly targeting invading pathogens and by eliciting adaptive immune responses. During intestinal as well as peripheral infections, both L. monocytogenes and macrophages may encounter propionate, a common gut microbiome metabolite. Although propionate is shown to have various regulatory and nutritional functions, its effects on infection outcome is not well understood. Therefore, the goal of this research is to determine how the exposure to propionate by L. monocytogenes and macrophages may affect subsequent infection outcomes. Specifically, the effects of propionate on phagocytic activity of macrophages have been quantified by measuring macrophage uptake of fluorescently labeled L. monocytogenes after exposure to different propionate concentrations. Additionally, the effects of propionate on the bactericidal activities inside macrophage phagosomes was determined by quantifying the number of intracellular L. monocytogenes mutant deficient in listeriolysin O remained inside phagosomes instead of escaping into the cytoplasm. The findings of this research will provide more information on how the immune response is regulated by propionate and offer a mechanistic insight into the vast role of the gut microbiome.
Peter Butterfield, Brigid Morgan
Different compositions of nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat are important to sustaining insect life and maintaining functions such as moving resources or structure, building nests, and regulating pheromones. Knowledge of limiting nutrients in certain environments for different species of insects is crucial to understand further the makeup of the habitat and what could be done to mitigate a potential lack of nutrients in other similar environments. To observe how different dilutions of nutrients may affect species of insects, GUD (giving up density) vials were used. GUD vials are a method used to capture insects using various baits to attract them. We had 4 different treatments: tuna (protein rich), strawberries (carbohydrate-rich), 10% sugar dilution, and a 20% sugar dilution. These different treatments allowed us to test which nutrients the insects in the area are lacking or which substances they are attracted to. The vials were placed in 4 different areas of interest within the Old River Environmental Research Area. We picked up 1 vial of each treatment at different time intervals (1, 5, and 10 minutes). These trials were run in locations twice, and at the end of each trial, each vial was snapped shut to capture the arthropods inside. We sorted insects to order, and determined how different baits affected insect abundance. We predict that the strawberries and sugar vials will be most attractive to insects as this is a very efficient energy source to produce ATP quickly. Some grasshoppers, beetles, and insects that mostly eat plants may prefer the tuna vials however, as they may need more protein than surrounding plants can give them. The correlation between nutrient deficiency and location is important for ecological management and research, and this study should help in building the link.
Matthew T. Bilotti, Karishma Sanjay Gangwani, Nathan J. Holthaus, Kathleen Theresa McCaslin
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States, with an estimated 147,950 new cases in 2020 (Siegel, 2020). Some of the most common mutations found in patients with CRC are Ras, APC mutations, p53 dominant negative mutations. We plan to develop a Drosophila CRC model by combining mutations in the Ras/MAPK, Wnt and p53 pathways in Drosophila intestinal stem cells. The goal is to generate multiple models (one-, two- or three-hit) that can help understand the interactions between the direct pathways affected by the mutations (e.g., the MAPK and Wnt/Wingless pathways) and also on other tumor promoting pathways like the Hippo and PI3K pathways. These particular mutations do not respond effectively to chemotherapy or radiation, so this study attempts to create a genetic model using Drosophila to identify better therapeutic targets for treatment. Drosophila are an effective genetic model due to their combination of quick repopulation time, ability to ingest cancer drugs in vivo, and the similarities they share with humans in regards to their molecular pathways make them a practical tool. To create this model, we will (a) develop a CRC model in flies (b) test the levels of Hippo, Wnt and other pathways in this model, and (c) use drugs to find inhibitors of these pathways. Our progress and review of current published models will be presented.
Livia M. Billen
This presentation provides an overview of a community-engaged senior capstone project in Montgomery County. I have worked with the Montgomery County Jail Coalition since early October. Throughout my time with the team, we have brainstormed, and with the help of the Public Defender's office, developed a warrant clinic for Dayton. The clinic will be launching tentatively in the month of June. I had the opportunity to listen, reflect and give input during these meetings and have formally developed an outline for the clinic. This process has not been easy, as the team have faced many uncertainties and complications while working on the clinic. In this presentation, I discuss the creation of the warrant clinic and challenges faced during development.
Emilie A. Moses
Multidrug resistance in bacteria, defined as the ability of a bacterial strain to resist the killing effects of more than one antibiotic, represents a major threat to global healthcare. Every year in the United States, two million people are infected with a multidrug resistant strain of bacteria. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), out of those two million people, about 35,000 will die from their infection. Thus, these multidrug resistant diseases are considered by the CDC to be the most dangerous diseases in the world. While multidrug resistance can occur through several different mechanisms, a major contributor to multidrug resistance are the bacterial efflux pumps. Efflux pumps are transporters that reside in the membrane of a bacterial cell, and they function by pumping out toxic organic compounds, including antibiotics, from the cell. These efflux pumps often lack specificity for the compounds that they can expel from the cell which means that a single type of efflux pump can confer resistance to many types of antibiotics all at once. When bacterial cells produce high levels of these efflux pumps in their membranes, it can give rise to a multidrug resistance characteristic. I intend to inhibit the efflux pump using single-stranded DNA aptamers that I developed using a CELL-SELEX procedure. Any aptamers that can successfully inhibit the efflux pump will be analyzed to determine their potency, their specificity, and to identify their specific nucleotide sequence. These aptamers should either clog the pump opening and/or bind to the Tol C region of the pump, making it inactive so antibiotics are not expelled from cells. This would allow antibiotics to once again be effective and work to their full potential.
Patrick M. Breitenstein, Peyton Andrew Huth, Robert Thomas Pearson, Matthew David Westman
Locus Robotic Optimization Review
Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) Simulation to understand the Nanoparticle Dispersion and Aggregation behavior in Polymer Nanocomposites
Polymeric systems such as natural rubber used in car and truck tires require the addition of suitable additives for the enhancement of numerous properties, including reinforcement and durability. The behavior of such fillers, (carbon black, silica, and metal oxides and some combination thereof), and their influence on nanocomposite effectiveness, depends on the filler structure, the interaction between filler-polymer matrix as well as the processing history. To understand this problem, we perform Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) simulation of these blends, varying polymer-polymer, filler-filler, and polymer-filler interaction energy. We will discuss the effects of interaction strength, the scaling of polymer chains, and methods to quantify the filler percolation threshold and mesh size as a function of filler concentration. The simulation results are also validated against small angle x-ray scattering data. Additionally, the effect of such agglomerates on the structural and dynamical properties of the nanocomposites, measured via the radial distribution, mean square displacement, and autocorrelation function are also explored.
Trinity Peace Hines-Anthony, Emily Elizabeth Hunt, Cameron Jacob Page, Declan Michael Phelps, Daniel V. Sheldon, Anna Jean Simmons, Dont'e Christopher Scott Stevenson, Alexander Charles Wilhelm
The University of Dayton Music Performance (MUP) Majors present a showcase of Diversity and Inclusion in Music. This presentation will explore a vast array of genres, composers, and musics that are underrepresented in our culture today. For each piece performed, there will be a brief discussion contextualizing the diverse and inclusive aspects of each. Performances will include music from Ireland under British rule, music utilizing quarter tones and multi-phonics, atonal music, and composers of less represented backgrounds.
Do Cognitively Stimulating Activities Benefit Brain Function of Individuals with Neurodegenerative Diseases?
Olivia Ann Defoggia, Caroline Elena Grace Frazee, Michelle Marie Greenwood, Nicole Marie Kozak
Studies have shown cognitively stimulating activities including puzzles and games are beneficial to individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. The studies concluded that cognitive functioning was improved with daily cognitive engagement that included different puzzle and game type interventions. The aim of our study is to find how interventions of brain training through cognitively stimulating activities could potentially increase cognitive function for those with family history of neurodegenerative diseases. At the beginning of our study, participants will take a six question questionnaire to determine whether they will be in the control or experimental group. Once the groups have been separated, each group will complete three pre-tests, a week of interventional brain stimulating games, and then a post-test to compare the results. The results of the pre and post tests are based upon time, while the results of the interventional aspect are a combination of time and highest level achieved. Results of the study will be given during the presentation.
Grace E. Oldfield, Christopher Evans Peck, Anna Marie Peterson
Frugivorous animals are known to drive seed dispersal—an essential ecological function in most ecosystems—and an understanding of these animals’ seed preferences for different types of seeds allows us to identify which types of frugivores are responsible for the dispersal of what seeds.While it is largely understood that seed preference varies by species, we sought to identify if seed preference differed based on elevation. Do tree dwelling species have different seed preferences than those on the ground? We hypothesized that seed consumption would be highest at the ground level, especially for the hard-shelled sunflower seeds, because seeds at the ground level are accessible to all species.Those species that are active on the ground in the spring are known to consume primarily hard nuts and seeds due to their abundance and high nutritional content. To determine the respective consumption rates of the sunflower seeds and peas, we arranged six feeding pans (3 pans on the ground level, 3 pans suspended from low tree branches) at three different locations within the University of Dayton’s Environmental Research Area. Each feeding pan contained equal parts sunflower seeds and peas by mass (5:1 sunflower to pea ratio) and were set out for three-day intervals for each trial, for three trials in March. At the end of each trial, we recorded the remaining amount of each seed type and compared preference between elevation and location.Because the role of frugivores in the dispersal of seeds is significant in ecosystems, understanding their seed preference patterns may help us to predict the ongoing dynamics of seed dispersal and germination within an ecosystem.
Caroline G. Larkin, Eleni Papastratakos, Megan V. Petric, Cierra Danielle Sanders
Social media has become increasingly popular in today’s society, particularly among young adults. There has also been an increased effort to break the stigma surrounding social media usage and one’s health, both mental and physical. Current research provides information regarding mental health, physical well-being, and social media usage by undergraduate college students. However, there is a lack of research examining the impact of social media usage on the mental and physical well-being of undergraduate college students. In order to expand upon current research, we will evaluate the physical and mental variables through a cross-sectional study design that will measure individuals’ physical satisfaction, sleep, stress levels, and exercise activity. This Google Form questionnaire will be sent out to students from various schools within the University that have at least one social media account. Once data is collected, it will be analyzed using a multiple regression test. The results will be provided during our presentation at Stander Symposium.
Prajakta D. Deshpande, Emily M. Snider
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a progressive form of dementia that presents itself in individuals aged 65 years or older. AD is characterized by a decline in memory and cognitive function. Currently, there is no cure for AD though symptomatic treatments are available. One of the hallmarks of AD is the accumulation of β-amyloid plaques formed in the brain due to improper cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein. The extracellular accumulation of β-amyloid plaques triggers the hyperphosphorylation of tau, a microtubule-associated protein that helps stabilize microtubule structures in neurons. In its hyperphosphorylated form, tau loses affinity to bind to the microtubules and can oligomerize. This results in the formation of tau tangles and the destabilization of axons and dendrites (necessary for cellular communication). We employed the GAL4-UAS system in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster to misexpress human Aβ42 within the developing fly retina. Using forward genetic screening, we found N-acetyltransferase 9 (NAT 9) as one of the modifiers for the Aβ42 phenotype. NAT 9 is an enzyme that acetylates microtubules and supports the regulation of microtubule stability. This study aims to understand the role of NAT 9 in Aβ42-mediated neurodegeneration. The overexpression of NAT 9 in GMR>Aβ42 background suppresses the Aβ42-mediated neurodegeneration whereas loss of function of NAT 9 in GMR>Aβ42 results in depigmentation, necrotic spots, and a reduction in eye size as compared to GMR>Aβ42 eye. Our hypothesis is Nat9 may play a role in Aβ42-mediated neurodegeneration.