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Celebration of Learning 2022 Poster Presentations I

Poster Presentations I will run from 9-10 a.m. in the Gerber Center Gävle rooms.

Texas Medical Center

Inducing Enteric Viral Calcium Waves through Purinergic Signaling

Presented by Mary Therese Gehrmann; advisors Dr. Joseph Hyser, Dr. Heidi Storl, Dr. Chad Yuen, Dr. Patrick Crawford, Dr. Pamela Trotter and Francesca Scribano

Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death globally in children under 5. The main two causes of childhood diarrhea are the enteric viruses, rotavirus and norovirus. Many enteric viruses dysregulate host cell calcium signaling to enhance their replication. The Hyser lab has shown that rotavirus hijacks calcium signaling through the P2Y1 purinergic receptor to induce intercellular calcium waves, which propagate from infected to uninfected cells. While it is established that the P2Y1 receptor is necessary for intercellular calcium wave production in MA104 cells, whether or not this receptor alone is sufficient enough to produce the waves in other cell lines has not yet been determined. Using lentivirus transduction, the P2Y1 gene was genetically introduced into the genome of LLC-MK2 cells, which do not natively express P2Y1 and therefore do not exhibit calcium waves upon rotavirus infection. First, the LLC-MK2(+)P2Y1 cells were validated by checking their response to P2Y1 agonists with a calcium signal. Then, the new cell line was infected with rotavirus and live calcium imaging was used to determine whether LLCMK2(+)P2Y1 cells exhibited intercellular calcium waves. However this data is preliminary and if verified that the LLCMK2(+)P2Y1 cells produce intercellular calcium waves, this will establish that expression of the P2Y1 receptor is both necessary and sufficient to support rotavirus-induced calcium waves. This data will establish the P2Y1 receptor as an important novel host-directed and broad spectrum drug target for enteric virus infection.

Addressing Existential Suffering and a Loss of Self in Terminal Cancer Patients: A Phenomenological Approach

Presented by Rosalie Looijaard; advisor Dr. Heidi Storl

Background: A terminal cancer diagnosis can cause existential suffering, a loss of self, and anxiety towards death. In caring for the whole person, it is important to ensure that these symptoms are addressed to facilitate a good death. Establishing an ontology of terminal illness can help identify what these patients need. Methods: A literature review was conducted to identify qualitative studies regarding patient experiences with existential suffering, a loss of self, and anxiety towards death. These sources were analyzed through a Heideggerian phenomenological approach that centers the patient experience from a first-person perspective to establish the ontology of living with illness. This ontology was used to deduce strategies for alleviating existential suffering and identify implications for clinical practice. Conversations were also held with health care providers to identify how existential suffering appears in patients and what practical solutions have proven effective. Results: Preventative and psychosocial measures were consistently effective in building resilience to existential suffering. Encouraging projects that help connect the patient to values and social roles and helping the patient focus on quality over quantity at the end of life was also found to help. Conclusion: While a good death is different for every patient, much can be done preventatively to ease existential suffering and anxiety toward death by helping patients maintain meaning and regain their sense of identity.

Cephalothin Analogs Inhibit GD3 Synthase and Target GD2+ Breast Cancer Stem-Like Cells in Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Presented by Zoe Arvanitis; advisors Dr. Appalaraju Juggupilli, Dr. Vivek Anand and Dr. V.L. Battula

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancer. Breast cancer stem-like cells (BCSC) comprise a small section of the primary tumor, which are highly tumorigenic, metastatic, and resistant to conventional cancer treatments. However, there are no specific drugs that target BCSCs. It has been shown that Ganglioside GD2 expression identifies BCSCs in TNBC. It was found that GD3 Synthase (GD3S), an enzyme that produces the precursor molecule (GD3) for GD2 biosynthesis, is highly upregulated in GD2+ cells. Inhibition of GD3S expression in TNBC cells significantly inhibited their stem-cell function and tumor growth in vivo. Here, it's hypothesized that targeting GD3S enzyme activity using small molecule inhibitors reduces tumor growth and metastasis in TNBC. Using a structural homology modeling approach, cephalothin (an FDA-approved antimicrobial agent) was identified as a potential inhibitor of GD3S. TNBC cell lines were treated with cephalothin and its analogs at different concentrations for 72 hours. Treatment with cephalothin decreased the percentage of GD2 expression by 2-to 6-fold. Six additional cephalothin analogs (A1-A6) were identified and tested for their effect on GD2 expression in TNBC cell lines. Interestingly A3, A4, A5, and A6 significantly inhibited GD2 expression. These data indicate that cephalothin is a potent lead compound inhibiting GD3S enzyme activity.

RE-1 Silencing Transcription Factor (REST) and DNA Methyltransferase-1 (DNMT1) Interaction in Medulloblastoma

Presented by Jouwana Bzal; advisor Dr. Heidi Storl

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common tumor of the central nervous system in children with high metastasis rate and ineffective therapies. It has been found the upregulated expression of the RE1 Silencing Transcription Factor (REST), a repressor of neurogenesis, to be associated with poor survival in patients with Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) subgroup of MBs. Through a loss of function screen, DNA methyl transferase 1 (DNMT1) was identified as a high-priority candidate that is critical for the viability of tumor cells in the context of REST elevation in SHH MBs. 

To detect the effects of REST upregulation on DNA methylation status and the overall survival, we analyzed a publicly available database of SHH MB patients. Volcano plots were generated to identify differential methylation between low- and high-REST expressing human medulloblastoma tumors in different genomic locations. Locations that were hypermethylated in high-REST cells in CpG Island (CGI) sites at the promoter were chosen for pathway assay analysis and further analysis using DNA methylation and RNA-seq data in mouse neural progenitors from RESTTG and wild type (WT) mice and for validation at target genes by bisulfite pyrosequencing assay and quantitative reverse transcription PCR in three MB cell lines (DAOY, UW426, UW228).  

Volcano plots of publicly available DNA methylation datasets of human MBs revealed genome-wide differences in methylation in the context of REST elevation. We found that CpG sites in CGIs to be more hypermethylated when REST levels are high than in shore and shelf and non-CGI. The pathway assay performed on hypermethylated genes in CGIs at the promoter showed their involvement in cancer. Compared to tumors with low REST expression, samples with higher REST expression exhibit hypermethylation at the promoter, gene body, and intergenic locations. The consequence of these differences to REST-dependent cell proliferation is being investigated. 

(In)Fertility Education: Addressing Infertility in Pro-Natal Gambia through Research-Based Educational Infographics

Presented by Alyssa Klauer; advisors Dr. Lena Hann and Dr. Elena Petrova

In The Gambia, persistent gaps in quality of obstetric care contribute to suboptimal health outcomes, including excess maternal mortality and infertility. Despite free and accessible maternal health care, excess infertility is a result of untreated or poorly managed reproductive tract infections from sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy-related sepsis, and post-partum infections. This Senior Inquiry project, in collaboration with Baylor Global Health's clinical provider training program at Kanifing General Hopistal, developed research-based educational infographics on the importance of sexual and reproductive health, in addition to sanitation practices and sepsis prevention. These educational materials, rooted in the Health Belief Model and Theory of Change, will ensure that all clinicians at Kanifing General Hospital have access to sexual, reproductive, and sanitation knowledge to address the causes of infertility and pioneer critical changes.


Structural Geology and Cenozoic Deformation: Western Northern Range, Trinidad

Presented by Abigail Clark; advisors Dr. Jenny Arkle and Dr. John Weber

The Northern Range, Trinidad, underwent deformation due to oblique collision of Caribbean plate with northern South America, which was then followed by transform plate motion. Deformation began in the late Miocene when sedimentary protoliths were ductility deformed and metamorphosed to greenschist facies; this event and subsequent transform deformation drove exhumation of these rocks and created their high topography. This project provides constraints of the structural history of the western Northern Range where bedrock mapping and structural analyses are most complete. Initial geologic mapping of Northern Range focused on attempting to establishing and map a protolith stratigraphy. Our new approach has been to simply map the observed metamorphic rock types.

Point Cloud Modeling of Shatter Cones from Wells Creek Crater, Northwestern Tennessee

Presented by Andrew Baxter; advisor Dr. Michael Wolf

Meteorite impacts are regarded as significant megascopic events that can alter the Earth. In addition to obvious crater features, shatter cones are utilized as one of the primary macroscopic indicators of impact events. These conical deformations form within rock through intense pressure produced only by large impact events or nuclear explosions. The Wells Creek crater located at Cumberland City, Tenn., provides an excellent location to observe the precise deformation of local Mississippian limestone by an impact event. Shatter cone samples were cut by saw into slices perpendicular to the shatter cone's c-axis. A point cloud model was created to efficiently visualize the fracture patterns within Wells Creek shatter cones. Samples were photographed with an iPad Pro, and the was data imported onto Adobe Illustrator. Fracture features were traced with a specific color within Illustrator, and a custom Python script exported these features as point cloud data. The fracture patterns of each slice face were isolated within individual project layers and joined to create a single project. Creation of such a point cloud allows for the modeling of the fracture features throughout the rock. The model supports deformation of rock within shatter cone formation is focused within 2 mm of the shatter cone surface. These findings coincide with proposed shatter cone mechanics from Fackelman et al. (2008). Further investigation with models may indicate further correlations within shatter cone formation within carbonate rocks.

Experimental Investigation of Crystallization Textures: Interpreting the Juwa Pass Rhyolites and the Saliña Matijs Basaltic Trachyandesites, from Bonaire, Leeward Antilles

Presented by Audrianna Schneider; advisor Dr. Michael Wolf

Bonaire, an island within the dissected Cretaceous arc in the Leeward Antilles, has a starkly different magmatic history than that of its current sister islands, Aruba and Curacao. Bonaire has more silicic/intermediate compositions within its bedrock whereas the other islands' basements are mainly mafic. This study compares textures of igneous rocks found at Juwa Pass and Saliña Matijs, Washington Slagbaai National Park, northwestern Bonaire, to those formed in experiments in order to recreate the emplacement, cooling and crystallization environments of rhyolite and basaltic trachyandesite. Experiments ranged in time from 11 to 1,346 hours, with cooling rates ranging from 0.29°C/hr to 2.24°C/hr. The samples created were analyzed by SEM (SE & BSE imagery) to study crystal growth patterns, and then compared with natural textures seen in thin sections. Samples were then compared to one another, finding which cooling rate best matched each sample. Bonaire's Washikemba Group has no distinction on historical geologic maps (Westermann & Zonneveld, 1956) between the basaltic trachyandesite intrusions and rhyolite hypabyssal or surface flows, and my study aimed to find a similarity between the two through microtextural analysis. Both the rhyolite and the basaltic trachyandesite have allotriomorphic matrixes, indicating a similarity in cooling rates, despite chemical differences and emplacement geometries. The rocks have more similarities to experimental samples with slower cooling rates, and the basaltic trachyandesite sample would need more time in cooling rate experiments to better mimic textures found in the natural rocks.

Provenance of Northern Range Trinidad Using Detrital Zircon U-Pb Geochronology: Implications for Northern South American River System Paleogeography

Presented by Cheyenne Bartelt; advisors Dr. Jenny Arkle and Dr. Jennifer Burnham

The Northern Range of Trinidad is located in a key area for evaluating the Mesozoic-Cenozoic evolution of the Caribbean and South American plates. Here, we present detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology for 2391 grains from ten samples collected from metasedimentary rocks of the Northern Range.Detrital zircon ages range between 3136.5 ± 22.9 Ma and 139.0 ± 5.4 Ma, which reflect apparent contribution from a variety of crustal affinities; however, since the youngest ages are 199.5 ± 7.4 Ma to 139.0 ± 5.4 Ma, it is unlikely that sediments were sourced from the Caribbean Plate, which is ca. 88 Ma. Samples from the western Northern Range exhibit significant peaks clustering around 1.0 Ga, suggesting a prominent Grenville basement sediment source. In contrast, samples from the eastern Northern Range have bimodal peaks at ca. 1.4 Ga and 1.75 Ga, which overlap with Central Amazonian crustal ages. Central Northern Range rocks exhibit a single, well-constrained peak at ca. 2.0 Ga, which may be associated with Eburnean-West African to Northern-Central Amazonian terranes. While all samples show significant contributions from the South American craton, suggesting this was their primary sedimentological source, potential source area changes are explored because samples were collected from different structural horizons. These results are among the first to quantify the maximum depositional age of the metasedimentary rock and indicate that the youngest Northern Range clastic sediments were deposited in the Early Cretaceous (Valanginian). Additionally, based on the high frequency of detrital zircons from the western interior of South America, our data suggest that the proto-Orinoco River may have begun draining to the northeast coast of South America earlier than previous research suggests.

Morphological Analysis of Wolf-Like Canids Reveals Evolutionary Relationships

Presented by Irysa Boyer; advisor Dr. Kelsey Arkle

During the Pleistocene, Aenocyon dirus, dire wolf, was a prominent member of the terrestrial mammal megafauna. A. dirus went extinct during the Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Epoch. Today, this taxon is well-known from the fossils of the La Brea Tar Pits. At the La Brea site, A. dirus shared an ecosystem with two other canids: the gray wolf and coyote. Due to their ecological and morphological similarities, it has long been believed that A. dirus was sister taxa to these two canids. Recent phylogenetic research by Perri et al. (2021), however, has offered an alternative hypothesis - A. dirus is genetically more similar to Black-backed and Side-stripped jackals than to either gray wolves or coyotes. Through research, I aim to provide further support to the Perri et al. (2021) interpretations by determining whether morphological data supports the genetic link between dire wolves and African jackals. To do this, I used landmark analysis, 2D imagery, and 3D photogrammetry to quantify the cranium and mandible morphologies of skull specimens belonging to each of these canid groups (dire wolves, gray wolves, coyotes, and African jackals). Specimens used were from Museum of the North, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, WY; Yale Peabody Museum, New Haven, CT; Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, Claremont, CA; Field Museum, Chicago; Augustana College, Rock Island, IL; and from my own collection. Comparisons of measurements using bivariate and multivariate analytical methods are ongoing but seem to point to complex relationships among these canid groups that may be the result of phylogeny, ontogeny, or evolutionary change (among fossil and recent taxa belonging to the same species).

Urban Watershed Geochemistry and Hot Spot analysis in the Quad Cities Region, 2021

Presented by Isabelle Seten; advisors Dr. Jeffrey Strasser and Dr. Michael Reisner

This study investigates relationships between land use and heavy metal pollutants in the urban streams of Rock Island, Ill., and Davenport, Iowa. Fifty sites were tested during the summer of 2021 for pH and specific conductance in urban, suburban, and rural locations. Generally, samples from more rural and agricultural sites yielded metal concentrations that could be of concern. This can possibly be attributed to increased use of chemicals used in farming practices. Overall metal concentrations tended to be higher in rural areas, both agricultural and residential, as well as in urban recreational spaces such as parks. However, many high concentrations were found in urban land use areas. This preliminary study has created a better overall understanding of watershed geochemistry and should be used to guide future research.

A Carbon Footprint Analysis of Augustana College Residence Halls

Presented by Meghan Carr; advisor Dr. Jeffrey Strasser

With increased concern about greenhouse gasses and anthropogenic climate change, institutional carbon management becomes a necessary part of the solution. College and university campuses are ideal microcosms to examine carbon trends and deploy mitigation strategies. This study is a first attempt to estimate the carbon emissions from natural gas and electricity consumption of four residence halls at Augustana College in order to provide a carbon baseline for sustainability efforts. Constructed between 1936 and 2006, each hall varies significantly in efficiency, with one hall undergoing extensive retrofitting during the period of study (2015-2020). Results show relationships between seasonal weather fluctuations and monthly utility consumption. Analyses also indicate the positive effects of retrofitting as well as consumption changes during the transition to remote learning in response to COVID-19 in 2020. Annual carbon emissions of one building decreased by 11.3% following retrofitting, and electricity consumption overall sharply declined after April 2020.

Provenance and Geochemical Analysis of the Northern Range, Trinidad

Presented by Spencer Napiwocki; advisors Dr. Jenny Arkle, Dr. Mike Wolf and Dr. John Weber

Geochemical compositions and petrographic analyses of 13 metasedimentary bedrock samples from the Northern Range, Trinidad were used to interpret tectonic provenance, paleoweathering, and tectonic depositional setting. Petrographic analysis reveals samples are dominated by monocrystalline quartz typically greater than ~95%. Sedimentary provenance is based on modal plots and major element discriminant functions and provenance suggests  Northern Range sediments were derived from felsic igneous rocks, predominantly from a cratonic interior with minor contributions from a transitional continental setting. Geochemical analyses were also used to infer paleoweathering conditions of the source terrain. Overall, these results indicate that the sedimentary protolith of the Northern Range metasediments were derived from highly weathered felsic igneous rocks sourced from a cratonic interior and subsequently deposited along a passive margin. Potential source areas within the interior of northern South America are identified and possible sediment transport and depositional river systems explored.

Public Health

Kicking Health Care-Acquired Infections to the Curb: Evaluating Departmental Compliance with Catheter Care and Chlorhexidine Gluconate Bathing at UnityPoint Health Hospitals

Presented by Alec J. Mager; advisors Dr. Lena R. Hann, Sarah Castro and Stephanie Soliz

Both central line-associated bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections are defined as health care-acquired infections (HAIs) and are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. Daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing of patients with central lines, and daily catheter care or perineal (peri)-care of patients with catheters leads to a significant decrease in HAI rates. However, these preventative measures are often overlooked by hospital staff. This Senior Inquiry project used the Diffusion of Innovations theory to conduct an observational cohort study that abstracted daily care data from UnityPoint Health hospitals in the Quad Cities. This quality improvement project examined departmental compliance of catheter care and CHG bathing. Data showed CHG compliance to be approximately 40%, while catheter care compliance was approximately 83%. This data helped produce a formal report.

Mission Nutrition: Assessing Nutritional Knowledge in Student Athletes at Augustana College

Presented by Ashley Dehmlow; advisors Dr. Lena Hann and Denise Yoder

In the U.S., students receive less than 20% of the required nutrition education that is needed in order to affect behavioral change. Nutrition education is especially important for athletes. The purpose of this Senior Inquiry project is to understand how much Augustana student athletes know about nutrition. The focus groups conducted included 41 student athlete participants using qualitative methods to measure how much students know about proper nutrition and assess how they use these habits in their daily lives. Focus group responses showed that student athletes at Augustana have a moderate understanding of basic nutrition and what a healthy diet should look like. When it comes to applying these proper nutrition habits, student athletes at Augustana struggle for a variety of reasons: not having quality options provided in dining halls, healthier options being too expensive, laziness, or simply not knowing how to properly fuel their bodies. This research, rooted in the Theory of Planned Behavior, supported a health proposal to the Augustana College Athletic Department which proposes the school hire a dietitian to work with all student-athletes on campus.

Suffer in Silence No More: Educating Health Care Professionals about Increased Mental Health Risks for Hidradenitis Suppurativa Patients

Presented by Caleb T. Drew; advisor Dr. Lena R. Hann

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease characterized by deep, painful lesions in the groin, perineum, genitals, and underarm areas. While those with dermatological disorders are more at risk for developing mental health disorders than the average population, those with HS have an even higher risk. This Senior Inquiry project utilized the Health Belief Model to create a pamphlet for dermatology clinics and mental health providers about HS patients' unique mental health needs. The pamphlet aimed to educate health care professionals about increased risk of mental health disorders in HS patients.

Get to Know Yourself: Developing a Web Page at Augustana College to Increase Mindfulness Meditation and Spiritual Health

Presented by Emma Nuckles; advisors Dr. Lena Hann and Pastor Melinda Pupillo

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious mental health problems. Meditation is often accepted as a mind-body technique for maintaining holistic health and wellness.This Senior Inquiry project aimed to increase participation in meditation sessions that take place on Augustana's campus in the new mindfulness space, by creating a meditation web page using the Social Cognitive Theory. The webpage identified what meditation is, the benefits meditation has on the state of being in good health, and when and where meditation takes place on Augustana's campus.

Let's Volunteer Together: Coordinating a Harm Reduction Kit-Making Event for Quad Cities Harm Reduction

Presented by Emma Paulson; advisors Dr. Lena R. Hann, Laura Rodriguez and Shanece Williams

Harm reduction organizations around the country help people avoid infections and overdose from drug use by distributing supplies like Naloxone/Narcan, safe use kits, and more. Quad Cities Harm Reduction (QCHR) depends on help from volunteers to make and distribute supply kits to people who use drugs. This Senior Inquiry project used the Theory of Planned Behavior to plan and host an event at Augustana College to make hygiene kits. This project increased awareness of QCHR and what they do, allowing Augustana students interested in volunteering to get more involved..

Wash Your Hands! Understanding Proper Hand Hygiene Practices for Infection Prevention Through an Educational Video at Genesis East Hospital

Presented by Erin N. Smith; advisors Dr. Lena Hann; Amy Nahnybida

Genesis East Hospital is a major healthcare provider in Davenport, Iowa. Patients can experience hospital acquired infections (HAIs) at medical facilities. Each year in the U.S., an average of 1.7 million HAIs are reported; each of these HAIs can be prevented through proper hand hygiene. The average hand hygiene compliancy rate for hospitals is 40-60% and data collected at Genesis showered similar rates. This Senior Inquiry project reviewed literature about HAIs, collected data from healthcare workers at Genesis East Hospital, and used The Precaution Adoption Process Model theory to create an informational video about hand hygiene. This video aimed to empower patients, loved ones, and healthcare providers to be more aware of proper hand hygiene practices to reduce HAIs, improve patient outcomes, and provide a higher quality of care. This video is played on monitors in common areas of the hospital, on the Genesis Informational Channel in patient rooms, and posted on social media platforms, in order to educate patients on HAI prevention.

Bringing Guests To The NEST: Designing Multilingual Brochures To Increase Awareness of NEST Café

Presented by Gabriela C Arreguin; advisors Dr. Lena R. Hann and Laura Evans Mahn

In 2018, 23.9% of Quad Cities residents were deemed as food insecure. NEST Café is a non-profit pay-what-you-can restaurant that aims to reduce food insecurity by providing nutritious, locally-sourced meals to anyone regardless of their means. In 2021, NEST held a series of pop-up events that served people who could afford to pay the suggested amount or more, with very few patrons requesting discounted or no-cost meals. This led to the realization that NEST needed to reach lower-income populations, a key element of their mission. This Senior Inquiry project aimed to close the communication gap between NEST Café and Quad Cities residents by utilizing the Health Belief Model to design multilingual brochures that contain general information about NEST Café in English, Spanish, and Pashto.

Breaking Down Barriers: Designing a Social Services Infographic to Facilitate Effective Communication with Clients at Family Resources

Presented by George Angelos; advisor Dr. Lena R. Hann

Family Resources is a social service organization that faces challenges communicating the services they provide to their clients. Family Resources' services such as the food pantry, donation center, holiday programming, and survivor services are specifically structured to support the needs of their clients. Over time clients tend to face an information overload and either forget to use Family Resources' services or they don't understand what some services can provide. This Senior Inquiry project utilized the Communication Organization Theory to design an infographic poster for Family Resources.

Shots Save Lives: Redesigning Quad Cities Harm Reduction's Naloxone Education Materials to address Opioid Overdose Rates

Presented by Jacob C. Ramos; advisors Dr. Lena Hann, Laura Rodriguez and Kim Brown

Nationally, overdose-related deaths have been steadily rising for years. Quad Cities Harm Reduction works with those affected by drug use by disturbing safe-use kits and clean supplies. They also provide Naloxone into the community to stop overdoses. The Quad Cities area is affected by drug use. This Senior Inquiry project utilized the Health Belief Model to create a presentation about Naloxone, how to administer it, facts about the drug, and background on why it is more important now more than ever.

You Can Save Lives: Creating an Infographic to Increase High School Blood Drive Turnout with the American Red Cross

Presented by Jamie Terry; advisors Dr. Lena R. Hann and Gwendolyn Bartoluzzi

The American Red Cross (ARC) collects, tests, and distributes blood and blood products. The Quad Cities and West Central Illinois chapter of the ARC serves over 750,000 people in 21 counties. This Senior Inquiry project utilized the Theory of Planned Behavior and previous literature to create an educational infographic to persuade high school students to donate blood. A barrier to having a secure blood supply for the nation is low turnout at blood drives. High school students are a unique population of potential donors because this is generally the time when they are first eligible to donate.

The Ultimate Guide to Nutritional Needs: Bringing Awareness of Nutrition Resources and Healthy Eating Habits to Low-Income Families at the Boys and Girls Club

Presented by Jazlyn Arce; advisors Dr. Lena R. Hann and Maria Lopez

Boys & Girls Clubs provide after-school programs to low-income families. Studies show that after-school programs support children's well-being and encourage healthy eating habits. Many members don't meet the nutritional guidelines due to insufficient knowledge of healthy eating and nutritional barriers. The goal of this project was to generate resources for meeting nutritional needs based on the Social Cognitive Theory. To help reduce these disparities, this Senior Inquiry project distributed pamphlets to members and caregivers of the Boys and Girls Club.

Food for Thought: An Informational Brochure to Address the Lack of Food Options Available for International Students at Augustana College

Presented by Josephine Y. Prempeh; advisors Dr. Lena R. Hann and Xiong Sony Yang

International students make up over 12% of Augustana's student population, and up to 25.5% of these students are classified as having low food security. Unhealthy eating habits due to inadequate food availability include meal skipping and high consumption of fatty foods. This Senior Inquiry project utilized the Community Organizations theory to conduct a focus group with international students, allowing them to play an active role in highlighting and addressing the matters that they experience.These themes and suggestions were included in an informational brochure presented to Augustana's Dining Services and the Office of International Students Success to bridge the communication gap between international students and dining hall staff.

Empowered Bodies, Empowered Minds: Using Public Health-Informed Messaging to Increase Body Empowerment at Augustana College

Presented by Katie L. Zenisek; advisors Dr. Lena Hann; Dr. Miao-Hsueh Chen

Body size and weight stigmatization has increased about 66% since the implementation of health campaigns targeted at body size. It is imperative that public health knowledge be included in body size and health discourse to reduce stigma and reform previous health campaigns. One possible way is to refrain from equating size with health and to acknowledge other factors that contribute to health besides individual behaviors, such as dieting and exercise. This project utilized the Ecological Model and Health at Every Size framework to create a series of body empowerment health posters that were posted around the Augustana campus.

Your Mental Health Matters, Too: Creating a Refugee Mental Health Screening Tool at World Relief

Presented by Kody C. Walker; advisors Dr. Lena R. Hann, Jen Osing and Grace Fitzpatrick

World Relief, a global Christian humanitarian organization, aids with the resettlement of immigrants and refugees. Often World Relief refers their clients to health care providers in the Quad Cities, and a majority return with a lack of mental health services. This Senior Inquiry project used the Theory of Planned Behavior to develop a mental health screening tool for health care providers to use on their refugee patients by ensuring cultural competence.

Screen and be Seen: Designing Informational Sheets to Increase Gilda's Club Members' Use of Cancer Support Screening Tools

Presented by Lauryn N. Tassell; advisors Dr. Lena Hann and Kelsey Allen

One in three people with cancer experience mental or emotional distress during their diagnosis, treatment, or remission. Gilda's Club offers support groups, educational workshops, and other social workshops in order to help people. New members at Gilda's Club receive a cancer support screening tool. This Senior Inquiry project used the Health Belief Model to create an information sheet on the cancer support screening tool, which allows members to understand the purpose of the screening tool, what it is, and how to use it properly.

Parents Get Schooled: Utilizing Home Mailing to Inform Caregivers about Adolescent Relationships at Geneseo Middle School

Presented by Lizz Merrill; advisors Dr. Lena Hann, Teri Mincks and Karna Frerichs

Caregiver knowledge of healthy adolescent relationships is vital to keeping young people saf. This is important because 33% of adolescents experience one or more forms of dating violence. This Senior Inquiry project utilized the Precaution Adoption Process Model to create home mailings containing adolescent relationship information about how to identify unhealthy behaviors, how to begin conversations about relationships, and additional resources to learn more.

Nested in Plants: Adopting Plant-Based Solutions to Nourish Everyone Sustainably Together at NEST Café

Presented by Madison R. Mayer; advisors Dr. Lena Hann and Rev. Laura Evans Mahn

Studies overwhelmingly support that consuming more plants and limiting or eliminating animal products in one's diet is beneficial for human health and disease prevention. NEST (Nourish Everyone Sustainably Together) Café is an emerging nonprofit restaurant in Rock Island, Ill., that provides sustainably sourced food to all who enter regardless of their means. This Senior Inquiry project used the Social Marketing framework to showcase how offering plant-based choices is a sustainable action that reduces the barriers faced by nutrition insecure individuals. A thorough review of the literature on plant-based diets, nutrition insecurity, nonprofit restaurants, and the public health of Rock Island culminated in a formal presentation to the board members of NEST Café.

Afghan Airport Assistance: Creating a Refugee Navigation Tool for World Relief Quad Cities

Presented by Marcela C Arreguin; advisors Dr. Lena R. Hann, Jen Osing and Grace Fitzpatrick

World Relief Quad Cities is a nonprofit organization that works to resettle refugees in the U.S. Since August 2021, over 50,000 Afghan refugees have flown to the U.S. Research shows that refugees and immigrants face many issues while traveling in American airports. This Senior Inquiry project utilized the Social Ecological Model and informational interviews with Afghan refugees that already arrived in the U.S. to create a resource sheet that helps refugees communicate with airport staff, even through a language barrier.

"Wait, we have a clinic?" Increasing the Augustana Community's Utilization of the Campus Health Clinic

Presented by Sophia M. Gilmore; advisors Dr. Lena Hann and Sandra Sieg

The Augustana Convenient Care Clinic first opened in fall of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when students and faculty were participating in hybrid learning either on or off campus. As a result of this isolation, many individuals in the Augustana community today are unaware of the variety of health services available to them at the clinic.Therefore, promoting campus-wide awareness of the many medical services provided by the clinic is essential. This project is supported by the Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM), which focuses on an individual's personal journey going from a lack of awareness to deciding on both action and maintenance. By addressing this knowledge gap through the creation of advertisement posters, a medical ID card, and a detailed informational pamphlet located inside the clinic, patients can use this gained knowledge and decide whether or not to act with the information and tools they are given.

Cultural Competency for Educators: Developing an Individualized Education Program Toolkit for the Black Hawk Area Special Education Center

Presented by Summer L Hall; advisors Dr. Lena Hann and Amy Skinner

There are significant racial differences in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis rates with white children significantly more likely than Black or Hispanic children to be diagnosed with ASD. There is no evidence to support any biological reason for these differences. The Black Hawk Area Special Education Center (The Center) has a very diverse student population and a primarily white staff population. In order to assist staff in writing culturally competent educational goals, this Senior Inquiry project utilized the Social Marketing Theory to create a toolkit explaining cultural differences in autism.


Muskrat Survey of the Gremel and Amboy Nature Preserves in North Central Illinois

Presented by Dr. Bohdan Dziadyk and Dr. AKM R. Bashar

From 2018 to 2021, muskrat populations were analyzed at the Illinois Audubon Society's Gremel Nature Preserve and the adjacent Amboy Marsh Nature Preserve in Lee County, north central Illinois.The direct observation approach was used to estimate muskrat numbers and to record behavior. In the winter of each year; an effort was made to count muskrat leaf nests and bank dens at the frozen ponds. Because leaf dens, typically constructed of cattail leaves and mud mounded up to a meter or more in height, are more reliably counted than snow-covered bank dens, this report is focused on the leaf nests of one major pond at each preserve.

At the Main Pond of Gremel Nature Preserve the numbers of leaf nests varied across the four years from 24 to 19 to 19 to 13, consecutively. At Big Marsh Pond of the Amboy Marsh Preserve the numbers of nests declined more precipitously from 27 to 17 to 3 to 4 across the same years. Muskrat homes, whether nests or dens, are reliably indicative of overall animal numbers. Thus, the numbers of muskrat nests across the four years is an indicator of a significant decrease in animals. Continued long-term study may reveal how characteristic and cyclical this trend may be.

The Flavonoids Diosmetin and Primuletin Alter Focal Adhesion Formation to Influence Breast Epithelial Cell Adhesion and Migration

Presented by Alexander Michalak and Isabela Costa; advisor Dr. Scott Gehler

Cancer cell metastasis accounts for 90% of cancer-related deaths. Consequently, finding antimetastatic treatments is of interest, particularly for highly metastatic cancers like breast cancer. One treatment source arises from natural compounds called flavonoids, which have various anticancer effects. The effects of flavonoids, including the compounds diosmetin and primuletin, have been demonstrated in the context of cell proliferation. However, little research exists characterizing the effects of diosmetin and primuletin on breast cancer cell migration and tumor metastasis. In this study, the effects of diosmetin and primuletin on MDA-MB-231 breast epithelial cell adhesion and migration were examined. Interestingly, both compounds yielded about 50% reduction in FA formation compared to control. These results suggest that diosmetin and primuletin affect FA formation to influence breast epithelial cell adhesion and migration, albeit by an unclear mechanism which ought to be the subject of future studies.

Comparative Analysis of White Blood Cell Frequencies between Bison, Elk, Deer, and Cattle

Presented by Haider Ali; advisor Dr. Paola Boggiatto

Brucellosis affects wildlife and livestock, and causes clinical disease in humans. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is conducting vaccine efficacy studies to gain a deeper understanding of the pathophysiology of Brucella infections. RB51, a live attenuated vaccine, is currently utilized as an intervention strategy. The RB51 vaccine is known to be efficacious in protecting cattle from infection; however, efficacy significantly decreases in other livestock and wildlife species. In this study, we investigated whether a species-specific relationship exists between the frequencies of white blood cell (WBC) types in bison, elk, deer, and cattle to offer a potential explanation for varying vaccine efficacy. Our data allude to a species-specific difference in T cell subset frequencies between Bovidae and Cervidae species that may underlie differences in disease outcomes. However, the data does not represent the functional roles of the T cells in the animal hosts during infection.


Autism Spectrum Symptomology, Empathy and Physiological Synchrony

Presented by Linh Nguyen, Paige Ewers, Benjamin Thiele, Meghan Walsh and Dr. Rupa Gordon

Conversational partners tend to synchronize multiple behaviors, including physiological responses like skin conductance response (SCR) (Bernieri & Rosenthal, 1991; Marci et al., 2007). While physiological synchrony tends to correlate with empathy (Jospe et al., 2020), other forms of synchrony have been found to interact with social-emotional conditions. Djalovski et al. (2020) found high behavioral and neural synchrony between couples completing a motor task, while lower synchrony was found during an empathy task. It is unclear if physiological synchrony will similarly interact with social-emotional conditions, or will be more closely related to empathy.

Furthermore, difficulties with empathy and synchrony are hallmarks of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (Cheng et al., 2017; Hudry & Slaughter, 2009). Most research has focused on individuals diagnosed with ASD, however there is a “broader autism phenotype” in the healthy population associated with reduced trait empathy (Baron-Cohen et al., 2001). It is unknown if ASD symptomatology in healthy individuals might also be associated with reductions in physiological synchrony related to empathy.

Participant pairs watched and answered questions about two sad (empathy-evoking) and two amusing videos while SCR was recorded. Participants took the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), the Empathy Quotient (EQ), and reported perceived empathetic responses of their partner. Physiological synchrony of SCR was analyzed by creating a convergence score of the running correlation of physiological responses for each dyad (Marci et al., 2007). We predict a negative correlation between convergence scores and AQ/EQ scores, higher convergence scores for the empathy videos, and a negative correlation between partner-perceived empathy and EQ.

Using EEG data to study the effect of feedback during positive and negative human computer interaction 

Presented by Emma Gannaway and Ami Neway; advisor Dr. Shara Stough

The purpose of this study is to contribute to the knowledge of human-computer interaction and design through scientific research of the human brain response to feedback during the interaction. Websites with inconsistent fonts, high contrast colors, and many elements within one page contribute to a higher cognitive load than websites with simpler fonts, good interface design, and simpler colors. Negative feedback can result in stress, while positive feedback does not. A person who has increased or increased cognitive load has a larger alpha wave signature located in the frontal lobe on an EEG. As neuroscience majors who are also interested in stress and human-computer interactions, we have designed this experiment to gain experience using electroencephalogram (EEG) to study how the brain responds when humans are interacting with technology. The participants will be connected to an EEG with electrodes at the F3 and F4 locations of the frontal lobe. The participant will be shown either a well designed or poorly designed website and asked to complete tasks. After completing the tasks the participant will complete similar tasks on the other website and receive feedback on their performance during the completion of tasks. Our hypothesis is that individuals who receive negative human feedback during a positive and negative human computer interaction (using low- and high- cognitive load websites, respectively) will have an increased stress level and an individual who receives positive feedback during a human computer interaction will have a decrease in stress level shown on an EEG by change of alpha waves in the frontal lobe.

Effects of an Enriched Environment on Spatial Learning via a Detour Learning Task

Presented by Ryan Sorenson; advisors Dr. Shara Stough and Dr. Daniel Corts

It has been established that chicks are capable of rapid spatial learning to reach a goal in a multiple trial detour task. Detour tasks are utilized to gain a deeper understanding of learning and its associated motivations. Exposure to an enriched environment at a young age has been shown to facilitate spatial learning. Six-day-old female Cornish Cross chicks will be tested on a detour learning task to determine how long it takes them to learn. In this task, they must go around a U-shaped barrier in order to reach goal chicks in a separate compartment. Importantly, this requires chicks to initially go in the opposite direction of the goal. We will be manipulating the chicks' housing environment during the first 5 days of development to determine if the rearing environment impacts later spatial learning. The control environment (non-enriched) contains only food, water, and other chickens. The enriched environment contains food, water, and other chickens, along with stimulating objects including marbles, strings, perches, and places to nestle under. We predict that chicks raised in an enriched environment will show faster learning in this detour learning task.