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Poster session III

GÄVLE ROOM, THE GERBER CENTER
3:15-4:30 p.m.

Snacks will be served during this poster session.

Diney Osman
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Approaches to Case File Management at World Relief

Poster #1

The purpose of this Senior Inquiry project was to provide a formal recommendation for case file management at World Relief in Moline, Ill. Case file management systems help agencies organize and retrieve their records quickly in order to focus on unique client needs. World Relief works mostly with refugees who have fled their home countries because of fear of persecution. Many of these individuals have experienced trauma and have mental problems as a result. The agency needs to make sure that every client receives the appropriate treatment. This project helped the agency keep client files organized and provided clear procedures for staff to follow. This project examined similar organizations’ methods of filing to inform the new evidence-based system for World Relief. This will help the resettlement agency keep better track of its case files and provide more efficient and impactful service to clients. 

Buck Webb
Project advisor: Dr. Jane Simonsen; history, women’s and gender studies
The Problem with Pussy

Poster #2

An exploration into the harmful uses of the vagina as a symbol of feminism.

Nora Graehling
Project advisor: Dr. Sheila Goins, business administration
Generational Differences in the Workplace

Poster #3

Within the workforce, there are different generations that are expected to interact and communicate ideas effectively. Certain stereotypes have been known to come between different cohorts, causing a lack of communication and productivity. I am curious as to how well known these stereotypes are among each generation and how they effect their workplace.

An Nguyen Dang
Project advisor: Dr. Forrest Stonedahl, computer science
Migrating BehaviorSearch’s User Interface from Swing to JavaFX

Poster #4

Agent-based models (ABMs) is a genre of computer modeling that simulates actions and interactions between individual entities (agents). ABM is widely used to simulate behavior in many fields, including biology, ecology, chemistry, physics, economics and social science. NetLogo is a well-known, agent-based programming language that provides a powerful platform to build and examine ABMs. However, to fully analyze a model, one must run the model many times with different parameters, which can be a daunting task. Therefore, Dr. Forrest Stonedahl developed BehaviorSearch, a software tool to help with automating the exploration of ABMs.
The software interfaces with the NetLogo platform and allows
the client to search for combinations of model parameter
settings that will result in a specified target behavior. The earlier version of BehaviorSearch uses the Swing UI library for its user interface, which has several disadvantages, including: 1) Graphical components and controlling methods are embedded in the same code, which makes the code really long and hard to debug; 2) The interface’s style is dated back to Windows 2000; 3) Swing doesn’t support displaying charts inherently; and 4) Application doesn’t scale well to modern high-resolution screens. My project focused
on migrating the user interface to the JavaFX library, which fixed
all of the problems listed above. JavaFX allows the separation of graphical component into an .FXML file. It also supports CSS3 styling and chart display. Overall, this project modernized the look and feel of the BehaviorSearch program and improved its compatibility with newer hardware.

Mark Lundine, Myles Wallin, Luke Robinson, Ying Zhao
Project advisor: Dr. Stacey Rodman, applied mathematics
Creating a Pricing Model for a Chicagoland Limousine Company

Poster #5

Current pricing models for the black car industry are outdated. These outdated models use fixed rates that often cause overpricing and under-pricing of certain trips, making the company less competitive with more modern companies like UberBlack. Many factors affect the cost of limousine trips, but in the past, it has been impractical to implement these factors into pricing models. With advancements in statistical and scripting tools, additional factors can be included to develop a more accurate and adjustable pricing model. Our team has been creating a pricing model for 38th Street Studios, a partner of Windy City Limousine, which is a black car company based in Chicagoland. We began our investigations by making conjectures on different factors to include in a general pricing model, including location, gas prices, trip times, trip distances and vehicle types. We then used statistical and spatial analysis of historical data to write a Python script of an automated pricing model.

Riley Kenning
Project advisor: Dr. Jane Simonsen; history, women’s and gender studies
Corporate Pride

Poster #6

This project is a zine created to examine the ways in which “pride parades” have shifted from their radical beginning in the fight for LGBT rights, which addressed the ways in which this oppression is rooted in the capitalist system in the United States. They are now events largely hosted and sponsored by corporations that do not participate in the fight for LGBT liberation.


Crystal Gray, Dr. Amanda Owen Van Horne
Project advisor: Dr. Amanda Owen Van Horne, communication sciences and disorders
Changes in Grammatical Accuracy in Narrative Retells by Children with Specific Language Impairment Following Recast Intervention

Poster #7

We examined whether improvements in finite morpheme use
would be observed in the narrative retells of children with specific language impairment (SLI) after receiving intervention focused on regular past tense. We also investigated whether these gains would influence on unrelated linguistic measures, such as MLU in words, lexical diversity, number of utterances, and use of noun markers. Twelve children with SLI (ages 4-10) received 36 intervention sessions over a six-month period (approximately 45-minute sessions twice a week). Intervention techniques included sentence imitation, observational modeling, syntax stories and recasting. Narrative retells of Mercer Mayer’s “Frog, Where Are You” story were used to assess progress at three time points: pre-test, immediate post-test and delayed post-test (4-8 week delay following intervention). We hypothesized that children would show significant improvements
in regular past tense use and some improvement in other finite morphemes from pre- to post-test. Additionally, we hypothesized that little to no significant improvements would be made in unrelated linguistic measures. Results will be discussed in the context of changes in morphological accuracy after intervention and will include clinical implications.

Dr. Ann Perreau, Alexandra Watts, Dr. Dan Corts
Project advisor: Dr. Ann Perreau, communication sciences and disorders
Listening Effort Measured Across Different Cochlear Implant Profiles

Poster #8

Several studies have examined listening effort in individuals with hearing loss to determine the extent of impairment. Regarding cochlear implants (CIs), results have found that listening effort is improved using bilateral CIs compared to unilateral CIs. However, few studies have investigated listening effort and the short electrode CI. The purpose of this study was to compare listening effort across three CI groups and to a normal hearing control group. The participants completed a dual-task paradigm with a primary task identifying sentences in noise and a secondary task measuring reaction time on a Stroop test. Performance was assessed at different signal-to-noise ratios (SNR), ranging in 2-dB steps from 0 to +10 dB, which was individually selected based on the individual’s SNR-50, or SNR required to correctly repeat 50% of the sentences. The participants also completed subjective questionnaires. Results revealed a significant decrease in listening effort for listeners with normal hearing compared to bilateral CI users. Interestingly, there was no significant difference in listening effort between the three CI groups. Finally, results found that age was significantly correlated with listening effort.

Cheyenne Morton, Garrin Jost, Alyssa McCannon, Alexandra Madison, Emma Morawski, Emily McHugh
Project advisors: Dr. Randy Hengst and Dr. Mike Egan, education
Exploring the Implementation of Combining Technology and Tangible Manipulatives During Kindergarten Math Interventions

Poster #9

Children entering kindergarten bring with them a wide range of math-related experiences. While some students begin the year
with math skills learned from preschool programs or their parents, some students begin with few or no math skills whatsoever. With the implementation of Common Core mathematics standards, beginning in kindergarten, students without these early math skills often fall behind. In an attempt to accelerate these students’ learning and help them perform at grade level, we have been working with cooperating kindergarten teachers and our program advisors to develop a multi- sensory approach to early math intervention. By using an approach that features manipulatives, number writing, drawing, discussion and technology, we’ve provided these struggling students with many opportunities that the classroom experience wouldn’t be able to facilitate.


Michael Dax
Project advisor: Dr. Lendol Calder, history
Asking the Right Questions: Historical Inquiry of the 1960s in the High School Classroom

Poster #10

This project will explore multiple skills used by historians, and the way these skills can be taught in the high school classroom. The project will use a variety of events from the 1960s history of the United States to teach a list of skills used by historians.

Douglas Williams
Project advisor: Dr. Lendol Calder, history
Corn, Cities, and Trains: Investigative Approach of Illinois Historical Settlement Through Local History

Poster #11

I am constructing a unit for an Illinois History class. The unit will focus on the early settlement and rise of the state. The unit will
be based on the investigative approach with a large focus on local historical sources. The unit will go from the introduction of the topic until the final assessment.

Madeline Crook
Project advisor: Dr. Dara Wegman-Geedey, biology
Pre-Health Professions Service-Learning vs. Medical Missions: Who Says They’re Ethical?

Poster #12

Many undergraduate pre-health professions students are eager to get experience working with real patients. A number of service- learning (S-L) programs are available, allowing these students to work with healthcare providers in developing Central American (CA) nations. Some of these programs are coordinated through a college or university for a specific group of students, but other programs are open to individual students who meet the program staff and other students on the first day of the trip. This project determined if participation in these programs is ethical when considering the standards of care and training required for patient contact in the United States vs. Central America. I compared four third-party providers of healthcare S-L programs in CA to establish if aspects that contribute to ethical care, such as mission statements, were present. I also compared the parameters of S-L experiences with those of medical mission trips, to determine the standards of healthcare training required for participants in direct contact with patients. The goal was to understand if an equal standard of care could be achieved and was being achieved by both, and if not, what was causing this difference. This poster is in partial fulfillment of my Honors Capstone study.

Carly Adams
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Hospital Infection Prevention Training Materials: Proper Environmental Cleaning of Vitals Machines to Reduce the Transmission of Clostridium difficile

Poster #13

After completing a Dazo study at UnityPoint-Trinity Hospital, results showed that proper environmental cleaning of vitals machines
was completed by staff only 19% of the time. To address this public health concern, it became important to create an educational training guide and informational poster for patient care technicians. The Dazo study prompted a literature review to better understand the evidence-basis for environmental cleaning and Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Research determined that proper cleaning can be conducted by keeping high-touch surfaces wet for 3-5 minutes using a hypochlorite solution. High compliance rates of this protocol will help reduce the spread of C. diff and other hospital-acquired infections. The goal of this Senior Inquiry deliverable project is to increase compliance rates of proper environmental cleaning by educating patient care technicians with a training guide and poster.

Rachel Butter
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Learning Is Fun: An Educational Toolkit To Assess the Needs of Disabled Young Adults

Poster #14

Hand-in-Hand is a non-profit organization that creates fun learning experiences for both children and adults. This project utilized past research data from Hand-in-Hand to create an educational toolkit that will help the students in Hand-in-Hand’s after-school program accomplish their SCL (Supports for Community Living) goals. SCL goals help the students at Hand-in-Hand become more comfortable in society and help develop their independence by working on everyday tasks. The toolkit includes a handout, outline and a PowerPoint presentation with a list of indoor and outdoor activities appropriate for the Hand-in-Hand students. This toolkit was provided to the agency so that staff can help students choose activities when there is nothing else planned for the day. This project is important because it incorporates the goals of the students with past research to find the best programs and activities that are educational and promote a fun learning environment.

Amanda Cipek
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Hospital Acquired Infections: Being Your Own Healthcare Advocate

Poster #15

The purpose of this Senior Inquiry project is to educate patients
and their families about the risks of hospital acquired infections (HAIs). Patient competency is an important part of healthcare, and
it is becoming a focus for medical practitioners to encourage their patients to be more involved in decisions that impact their health. Hospital-acquired infections such as Clostridium difficile, MRSA, influenza, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and central line-associated bloodstream infections occur at endemic rates in hospitals around the United States, including UnityPoint-Trinity in Rock Island, Ill. The transmission of these infections can occur due to unwashed hands of patients, family members and healthcare providers. Review of literature and evidence-based education materials that address HAIs informed the creation of a poster for patient rooms at UnityPoint-Trinity. Incidence and prevalence rates of HAIs that occur at UnityPoint-Trinity were used to decide which infections were important to include. Collaboration with a graphic design major resulted in a comprehensive and understandable poster. These posters will be displayed in patient rooms. They include information about HAIs and strategies for patients and families to be vigilant about the hand-hygiene practices of their different healthcare providers. Encouraging patients to be advocates for their own healthcare can aid in preventing infections and illnesses in a more productive way. Future Senior Inquiry students can measure if this method of education impacted the incidence and prevalence rates of these infections.

Emily Grace
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Cultural Competence in Hospice Volunteers: Developing a Training Toolkit for Heartland Hospice

Poster #16

This public health Senior Inquiry project developed a cultural competency toolkit for Heartland Hospice in Davenport, Iowa, 
that will train volunteers to be more culturally aware of their clients’ specific needs. The toolkit includes activities, handouts,
a PowerPoint presentation and discussion questions. The first phase of developing the cultural competence training toolkit was a literature review of peer-reviewed articles from 1996 to date about key concepts of cultural competency, including cultural knowledge, self-awareness and the effects of a cultural competence training. The second phase was to work with Heartland Hospice to gather existing materials that served as the foundation of the toolkit. The aim of the toolkit is to strengthen patient-volunteer relationships as well as achieve Heartland Hospice’s goal of providing high- quality care. This toolkit will also be step forward to reducing racial
disparities among healthcare. The literature suggests that providing a family with culturally competent volunteers is imperative and essential for quality care. The toolkit will provide Heartland Hospice with the materials they need to move forward in the process of developing a more culturally competent workforce.

Alyssa Hernandez
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Wheels that Heal: Instilling Self-Sufficiency in Domestic Violence Shelter Clients Through Reliable Transportation

Poster #17

This Senior Inquiry focused on creating a guideline of rules to
run a transportation system for the Family Resources domestic violence shelter in Davenport, Iowa. Instilling self-sufficiency among clients is the overall goal of domestic violence shelters. Reliable transportation plays a major role in this. To be self-sufficient, clients must obtain jobs, have a stable daily life routine and be able to provide for themselves and their families. Clients must be able
to make it to work and back every day to have a steady source of income. Although there is a public bus system available in the Quad Cities, many clients find the operating hours restrictive and the schedule difficult to navigate. As a solution to this transportation barrier, a foundation for an accessible and reliable transportation system was created to cater to the needs of domestic violence shelter clients. A need for transportation was identified through
the qualitative methods of surveys, focus groups and observations made while interning at Family Resources domestic violence shelter. Through these methods, it was identified that transportation is
a major barrier to shelter clients becoming able to take care of themselves and their families after leaving a domestic violence situation. Developing new transportation options will allow clients to not only feel hopeful about their future, but also provide them with additional tools necessary to build a new life free of violence.

Nicole Morrissey
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Emergency Room Overuse and Medicaid Population: Creating a Toolkit to Decrease ER Misuse by Family Resources Clients

Poster #18

One of the biggest issues facing healthcare in the United States
is excessive spending on Emergency Room (ER) visits. It costs the United States’ healthcare field about $38 billion a year to treat patients who might not necessarily need the immediate attention. The Medicaid population is one of the highest users of the ER. The most common reasons for going to the ER are behavioral issues and having no other place to go. Family Resources, a non-profit organization in Davenport, Iowa, works to connect families with healthcare facilities in the area based on each family’s needs. Many of the clientele use Medicaid and struggle with the ER. To combat this issue, a toolkit was created to inform and educate Family Resources’ Medicaid population on when it is appropriate to take a child to the emergency room and when they might need help from other healthcare professionals. This toolkit includes an educational brochure for the families, a PowerPoint presentation, and a training outline for staff who will give the presentation. The brochure contains information on clinics in the area that accept Medicaid,
the suicide hotline and a flow chart of which health facilities are appropriate for different issues and emergencies. This toolkit provides Family Resources an evidence-based foundation that it can continue to build on as client needs evolve.

Dr. Jessica Nodulman
Sowing the Seeds of Peace: The Development of a Meditation and Mindfulness Program Series for Genesis Grief Support

Poster #19

Meditation and mindfulness programs lead to improvements
in anxiety, depression and stress (Goyal et al., 2014) as well as increases in overall wellness and quality of life (Manocha, Black, & Wilson, 2012). With funding from the New Faculty Research Fund and the Faculty Research Fund, I became a certified meditation and mindfulness instructor. I then developed a free meditation
and mindfulness program series for Genesis Grief Support, titled “Sowing the Seeds of Peace.” I partnered with Genesis Grief Support because it is a Quad Cities organization that serves people with a special health and wellness need. In this presentation, I
will discuss the meditation certification process, recruitment of a community partner, development of program content, recruitment of participants, assessment measures and outcomes, and contributions to the health and wellness of the community.

Hannah Lindaman
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Reassess for Highest Success: Formal Report To Reassess Visual Assessment Techniques in Lead Project for Scott County

Poster #20

The Upper Mississippi Center has been working closely with Scott County Health Department on a two-year project addressing the stunningly high rates of lead poisoning in parts of Scott County, Iowa. This formal report correlates visual characteristics with the risk-category of lead poisoning in specific parcels in Scott County. Data was collected from the pilot survey in the winter of 2016 and used to run tests using SPSS to find relationships between the visual characteristics that were assessed and the risk-category of the parcel. This report aims to address the fact that the standard for residential visual assessment has a multitude of criteria that seems excessive for what it is trying to accomplish. By finding the highest correlations between visual characteristics and the risk category it falls into, the report will be able to communicate which criteria are more than likely necessary for visual assessment and which criteria are the least correlated and seemingly unnecessary. It is hopeful that this formal report will be used to make visual surveying more efficient for this project’s full-scale survey and will be able to be applied to other lead projects as well.

Brenna Whisler
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
‘Taking the Lead’ in Lead Poisoning: Redesigning Lead Poisoning Education Materials for the Scott County Health Department

Poster #21

This Senior Inquiry aimed to update lead poisoning education materials at the Scott County Health Department in conjunction 
with the Live Lead Free program following a two-trimester internship. The redesigned handouts focus on both nutritional and environmental factors that cause lead poisoning, prevent reinfection and reduce lead levels in a lead-poisoned child. Health professionals at the Scott County Health Department will use these materials to easily and concisely explain lead poisoning to families of children impacted by lead poisoning. Qualitative methods were used to recreate the materials. Observation of public health professionals interacting with families of lead-poisoned children was the primary method. Other methods included: review of evidence-based toolkits created by other health departments, individual interviews with health professionals at the Scott County Health Department, and implementation of health literacy strategies. An Augustana College graphic design student created new visuals to help the educational materials appeal to a variety of audiences. Ultimately, the redesigned materials can help reduce the prevalence of lead poisoning in Scott County through education and prevention.

Irene Mekus
Project advisors: Dr. Chris Strunk, geography; Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Going to the Market! Identifying Barriers and Increasing Access to Farmers Markets for Rock Island County WIC Program Recipients

Poster #22

WIC (Women, Infants, Children) is a supplemental food program for mothers and children up to the age of 5 who are at nutritional risk. WIC recipients receive food vouchers to use at grocery stores year-round, and during the summer, they receive special vouchers to use at farmers markets for fresh fruits and vegetables. In Rock Island County, less than 50% who receive the farmers market vouchers actually use them. Interviews with WIC participants and WIC staff revealed that markets should be more accessible
to WIC participants’ unique needs. This Senior Inquiry project combines public health and geographic perspectives to examine how Rock Island’s location, as part of a cross-state metropolitan area, affects market use. Barriers such as market times, location and social capital play into how WIC recipients navigate grocery shopping and farmers markets. This project culminated in a formal recommendation for the Rock Island County Health Department regarding next steps in making farmers market vouchers more useful for WIC recipients.

Melissa Coons
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Autism Speaks Loudly to All Who Listen: Autism and Applied Behavioral Analysis Awareness

Poster #23

Autism spectrum disorder is a growing concern in society today. Whether it is due to the change in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual standards of autism or that more children are being born with autism over the years, the fact is that the prevalence of autism is increasing. Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy is one way to work with children who have autism. The Quad Cities Autism Center in Moline uses ABA therapy to help children with autism learn and perform the activities of daily living. A brochure was created to increase awareness of autism and the Quad Cities Autism Center. It was made for parents coming into a physician’s office with young children who may have autism. The brochure informs the parents of the red flags of autism and has space for the parents to fill out the instances where these red flags occur for their own child. The brochure also includes information about the Quad Cities Autism Center and ABA therapy. It is important to spread awareness of autism spectrum disorder and the resources within the Quad Cities for those who are living with autism.

Jessica Czarnecki, Kristina Humphreys, Danielle Hurmis, Colin Kalmes, Lauren Pasetes, Megan Steinhoff, Steven Todorov, Dr. Shara Stough
Project advisor: Dr. Shara Stough, neuroscience and psychology
Impact of Social Contact on Predator-Induced Fear Responses in Young Male Chicks

Poster #24

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is thought to involve unusually strong associative memories between the intense fear
felt during a traumatic experience and other environmental cues present at the time of the trauma. Our study uses an animal
model to investigate social contact, one of the factors that can impact fear responses, to learn more about possible risk factors or interventions that may be relevant to humans who may experience PTSD. Freezing, or the cessation of movement, is a common fear response observed in laboratory animals in the presence of a perceived threat. We tested whether the degree of fear expressed
by a social companion impacted the level of fear demonstrated
by young male chicks. We initially predicted that the presence of
a companion would reduce the fear demonstrated by a chick in response to an audiovisual predator stimulus, known as social buffering of fear. Previous results in our lab actually demonstrated the opposite effect. Chicks that experienced predator stimuli in the presence of another chick remained immobile longer than those who experienced the predator alone. It seemed as though chicks were mirroring the fear expressed by their companion. The current study was aimed at investigating whether social transmission of fear is, in fact, occurring between chicks. To more carefully control the fear response of companion chicks, we created two different videos to serve as the “companion” stimuli in this experiment. In one, a control chick walked around naturally, and in another, the chick demonstrated fear that was timed to the onset of the predator stimulus. After three daily habituation sessions to the testing apparatus and video screen, 48 Cornish Cross chicks were exposed to one of four conditions: no predator stimulus and a non-fearful video companion, no predator stimulus and a fearful companion, predator stimulus and a non-fearful companion, or predator stimulus and a fearful companion. One chick from each home cage was randomly assigned to each condition. Half of the chicks were exposed to the predator stimuli and half were not. In each group, half were paired with a fearful companion video and half were paired with a non-fearful companion video. Activity of each chick was recorded and quantified by behavioral analysis software (Smart 3.0, Panlab). Statistical analysis revealed a significant main effect of the predator stimulus.

Phoebe Strell, Payton Petruchuis, Nora Bosslet, Allison Bjork
Project advisor: Dr. Daniel Corts, neuroscience and psychology
Student-Teacher Rapport Moderates the Relationship Between Course Difficulty and Academic Dishonesty

Poster #25

Surveys indicate around 75% of undergraduates intentionally cheat on schoolwork and, not surprisingly, there are normative beliefs among students that this figure is correlated with course difficulty (Rettinger, Jordan, & Peschiera, 2004; Rettinger & Kramer, 2009; Witherspoon, Maldonado, & Lacey, 2010). We asked whether student- teacher rapport might moderate those beliefs, hypothesizing that rapport with a teacher reduces the estimated likelihood of cheating. Researchers distributed an online survey to traditional-aged college students at a selective liberal arts college receiving 95 completed forms. Participants indicated whether they had engaged in each of 14 academically dishonest behaviors (Witherspoon, Maldando, & Lacy, 2010), which represented classroom-based (e.g., copying test answers) or out-of-class (e.g., plagiarism) behaviors. Independent variables were assessed by the Difficulty Appropriateness Inventory (Heckert et al., 2006) and a modified measure of student-teacher rapport and teacher immediacy (Gorham, 1988; Gorham & Christophel, 1990). Hierarchical regression showed a significant association between difficulty and out-of-class cheating (beta= 4.02) that was moderated by rapport (beta = -4.29) such that strong faculty-student relationships reduced the tendency to cheat, F(3, 27)=5.932, p< .003, adjusted Rsq = .330. There was a similar moderating effect of rapport on difficulty (beta = -4.834) when in- class cheating was the dependent variable F(3, 27) = 4.79, p = .008, adjusted Rsq = .275. In conclusion, these data support previous research connecting difficulty to increased academic dishonesty. In addition, the data provide new evidence that a positive experience with a teacher may prevent some of that cheating.

Ashley Adams, Courtney English, Summer Lawrence, Zachery Yakey, Erin Ansusinha, Dr. Rupa Gordon
Project advisor: Dr. Rupa G. Gordon, neuroscience
Physiological Synchrony in Conversation

Poster #26

During social interaction we tend to pick up on the behaviors
of our conversational partners. This conversational synchrony
helps to signal active interest and mutual understanding, and it enhances rapport (Cappella & Panalp, 1981; Garrod & Pickering, 2009; Giles et al., 1991). Research suggests that not only do overt behaviors (e.g., gestures) become more similar in conversation,
but non-conscious physiological measures, such as heart rate
and skin conductance response (SCR), also become similar (Marci
et al., 2006). We predicted that emotional conversations would
elicit stronger correlations in physiological responses between participants, indicating physiological synchrony, compared to neutral conversations. Pairs of friends first discussed a relatively neutral scenario followed by an emotional moral scenario (adapted from Koenigs et al., 2007) while SCR was recorded. To assess participants’ abilities to pick up on the emotions of others, a questionnaire was used to measure trait empathy (Baron-Cohen & Wheelwright, 2004). Raters watched and assessed video recordings of the interactions for awkwardness and engagement on a scale of 1-5. We calculated SCR concordance indices for each conversation by correlating the slope of the participants’ SCRs. While the pairs did show physiological synchrony that was relatively similar to previous studies (Marci et al., 2006), there was no significant difference between the emotional and neutral conversations. Interestingly, physiological synchrony was not correlated with empathy or the raters’ impressions of awkwardness or engagement during the interaction. Although these results do not support our hypothesis, these results help us further understand the factors that impact physiological synchrony.

Jessica Czarnecki, Theresa Nalty
Project advisor: Dr. Heidi Storl, philosophy
Analyzing Physical and Mental Health of Orthopedic Oncology Patients Using the PROMIS Global Health Tool

Poster #27

Discovering the influences of cancer on all elements of health
has been an ongoing experimental quest for many decades. It is
yet to be explored how different forms of cancer relate in health improvements after treatment, and how they can be analogous to
a cure. The NIH PROMIS Global Health tool is a 10-question patient reported survey that assesses physical function, fatigue, pain, depression, anxiety, emotional stress, quality of life and social health after surgical treatment of cancer. The purpose of this study was to use this validated patient reported outcome tool to compare quality of life based on physical and mental health for the orthopaedic oncology population. Data was collected from 60 (N=60) metastatic and non-metastatic oncology patients over the course of pre-op baseline to six months post-surgery. The results of the independent- samples t-test show a significant difference at six months for the physical T-scores between spine and pelvic/sacral tumor locations. The PROMIS Global Health tool detected an improvement in physical and mental health at six months post-operative treatment, with greater change in non-metastatic patients or pelvic/sacral patients.

Cassidy Belske
Project advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Strasser, geology
Lead Leached from Household Plumbing and the Effects of Water pH Levels

Poster #28

The recent crisis in Flint, Mich., has raised awareness of the hazards of lead (Pb) in public water supplies. Pb has long been known to
be hazardous to humans, and consumption of Pb, particularly by children, can result in irreversible damage to the nervous system. The U.S. EPA banned the use of Pb in public water systems (1986), yet many cities have aging infrastructures with Pb pipes. Moreover, many older, privately owned buildings still retain old Pb pipes. The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of the rates of Pb leaching from pipes in water of different temperatures and pH. Previous studies have shown that as the pH of water and the stagnation time increases, the concentration of dissolved
Pb also increases, yet few controlled experiments that simulate actual conditions have been carried out. This project’s controlled lab experiment consisted of Pb pipe sections immersed in water
of different pH for six weeks. Of the eight experiments, four
were heated to constant temperatures of 41°C-43°C, while the other four were left at room temperature (25°C). Water samples were taken at one- to two-week intervals and analyzed by XRF spectroscopy. The highest Pb concentration was 518 ppm, well in excess of the EPA limit of 0.015 ppm (15μg/L). Room temperature experiments produced Pb concentrations up to 167 ppm, while heated experiments generally resulted in higher concentrations. As expected, Pb concentrations in water were inversely proportional to pH. Although previous research has shown that as the stagnation time increases, the concentration of Pb increases, the results of these experiments were not as definitive. Of the eight experiments, only three showed a consistent increase in Pb concentrations over time, suggesting that some Pb may have actually precipitated
out of solution, although there was no obvious evidence of this process. This study indicates a need for more thorough laboratory experiments to develop a better understanding of the rates of Pb dissolution under different temperature and pH conditions.

Tanner Osing
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Addressing Childhood Lead Poisoning with GIS: A Proactive Approach in Scott County, Iowa

Poster #29

Many communities are weathering lead’s detrimental health impacts on children, and health departments are looking for new ways to address the problem. Addressing childhood lead poisoning through geographic information systems (GIS) allows health departments to shift from a reactive approach to a proactive approach. While using GIS to analyze lead exposure risk is not new, the scale used in this study, which analyzes risk at the tax parcel level, is less common. The tax parcel level is the most detailed scale that can be examined for residential properties, the place where children are most commonly exposed to lead. Taking place in Scott County, Iowa, where approximately 50 children are diagnosed with lead poisoning every year, this study presents an exposure risk model using four widely recognized risk factors of housing age, median household income, renter occupancy and African-American populations. A GIS spatial analysis was conducted after these risk factors were categorized and weighted against one another to produce a lead exposure risk map. The resulting risk map displays residential properties in four priority levels that can be used by public health officials for targeted prevention programs at areas of greatest impact. Ultimately, this study hopes to reduce the number of lead contaminated residences and in turn, prevent children from being exposed to lead. Since similar risk models have been found generalizable, this model’s applications may stretch beyond Scott County, Iowa. 

Colette Salinas
Project advisor: Dr. Lendol Calder, history
Why the Hard Stuff Matters: The Case of the Holocaust 

Poster #30

While the Holocaust is a subject that everyone has heard of, it is often overlooked as an important issue in history teaching. My poster seeks to set up a unit of study that critically looks at the implications of the Holocaust through an inquiry model of learning.