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Celebration of Learning 2017: Oral presentations and performances session I

SESSION I    10:30-11:30 a.m.

[OLIN AUDITORIUM] 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Ken Clay ’14, Stuart Casarotto ’14 and Mark Hoffman ’15
“So I’ve got this idea…”

You can have the greatest idea in history but unless you have the grit, persistence, perseverance and determination to see you it through, you don’t have anything. Hear from 38th Street Studios’ founders and Augustana alumni as they discuss the realities of starting a business with real-life stories of the grind. 38th Street Studios is a technology solutions firm developing customizable data-driven business tools. Understanding that state-of-the-art means continual improvement, this highly specialized, elite team looks to work with clients who strive to move their organizations to the next level of success. Its mission is to deliver on that goal by offering business solutions, developed using the client’s data and domain expertise. The solutions are used to predict future outcomes in both revenue production and cost containment. 38th Street Studios focuses on building long-term relationships with its clients by assisting them in achieving and maintaining state-of-the-art business tools well into the future.

Ken Clay ’14 – As the CEO of 38th Street Studios and an entrepreneur at heart, Ken Clay oversees all of the day-to-day operations, contract negotiations, client relations, brand management and developmental efforts. His track record for developing businesses and cultivating deep, meaningful relationships with clients continues to be at the forefront of 38th Street Studios’ agenda.

Stuart Casarotto ’14 – As VP of Operations, Stuart Casarotto oversees all company operations, focusing on strategic planning and goal setting in support of 38th Street Studios’ missions. Additionally, Casarotto acts as the primary front-end developer, working closely with 38th Street Studios’ creative director, to develop high-quality User Interface.

Mark Hoffmann ’15 – As the VP of Analytics, Mark Hoffman is in charge of managing the data pipelines from internal projects, as well as leading all modeling operations. Utilizing statistical models, machine learning algorithms and dashboards, Hoffmann works to help our clients make data-driven decisions, as well as fine-tune internal project efficiencies.

SESSION I-A [HANSON 102] 10:30-11:30 a.m. 

Sam Dunklau
Project advisors: Dr. Carolyn Yaschur and Dr. David Schwartz, multimedia journalism and mass communication
Sexual Assault at Augustana: A Journalistic Compendium

10:30-10:50 a.m.

Sexual assault on college campuses has been a hot-button issue nationwide. Recent statistics say about one in five students will be sexually assaulted while attending college. In response, both college officials and student groups have sought to improve how sexual assault cases are handled and how to prevent it from happening. This video presentation, the feature of my Senior Inquiry journalistic compendium, looks at this issue through the lens of Augustana College. It tells the stories of affected students, administrators and other experts who, together, are seeking to better inform Augustana’s campus community about sexual assault.

LuAnna Gerdemann, Ryan Jenkins, Madison Rodgers
Project advisors: Dr. Carolyn Yaschur and Dr. David Schwartz, multimedia journalism and mass communication
Professional Journalism vs. Student Media During the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Festivities: A Comparative Analysis

10:50-11:10 a.m.

This comparative analysis builds on the study “Shooting the Shooter: How Experience Level Affects Photojournalistic Coverage of a Breaking News Event” (Yaschur, 2012). During our trip to Washington, D.C., we interviewed professional journalists/photojournalists to compare their experience covering a national event to our own experience as student journalists/photojournalists.

Melissa Coons, Emily Geison, Allison Ackerman
Project advisor: Dr. Jayne Rose, psychology and public health
Stories from Guatemala

11:10-11:30 a.m.

One of the main themes from our trip to Guatemala was a sense of openness and willingness. We met wonderful communities and organizations that had a desire to share their stories and teach us, and to learn from us as well. Every organization and community we met with showed interest in us, but one of the biggest was the community of Santa Catarina. Our meeting gave us an opportunity to learn from them and take that openness home with us. While we were in Guatemala, we were able to see their culture with open eyes. Guatemala is an extremely impoverished country with most of its wealth in a few families. Although civil war and droughts have affected the economy of Guatemala, we could see that the people are rich in other aspects besides money. In all of the lives we touched during our journey, it was clear that even if the individuals did not have a lot of money, they had family, love and the work ethic to keep pushing every day. We want to share what we have learned, seen and experienced in Guatemala to the students at Augustana College.


Wade Smith
Project advisor: Dr. Heidi Storl, philosophy
Quantification of Ki-67 and CASP3 in Benign and Malignant Breast Cancer Tissues

11:15-11:30 a.m.

Breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in women. There are currently several risk assessment models that determine a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer by considering factors such as age, race, age at menarche, and BRCA mutations. However, none of these models have incorporated biomarkers unique to breast cancer since such biomarkers have not been definitively identified yet. Ki-67 and Caspase-3 (CASP3) are proteins that play important roles in cell cycle progression that have yet to be correlated with breast cancer. Immunohistochemical staining is a useful tool to identify the presence of specific proteins such as Ki-67 and CASP3 in tissues. However, some cases of staining can be difficult to read and lead to disagreement between pathologists. ImageJ is an open-source software that can provide physicians with the tools to obtain consistent and accurate readings for protein expression. Using benign and cancerous tissue samples collected from 375 patients, expression of Ki-67 and CASP3 was quantified using ImageJ and compared to manual predictions by pathologists to assess the accuracy and reliability of the software. These expressions were also correlated to variables such as hormone receptor expression, race, and age. The results of this study indicate that Ki-67 is more highly expressed in malignant tissues compared to benign ones while CASP3 is more highly expressed in benign tissues compared to malignant ones. These results indicate Ki-67 and CASP3 could prove to be useful biomarker additions to the current breast cancer risk assessment models. 

SESSION I-C [HANSON 305] 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Adam Lydigsen-Grimes 
Project advisor: Dr. Patrick Crawford, biochemistry
Inhibition of the LINGO-1 protein causes remyelination of neurons as a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

10:30-11 a.m.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease that is caused when immune cells attack the protective covering around neurons called the myelin sheath and causes the disruption of nerve impulses. This results in the person losing mobility over time. Researchers in the past have focused on the development of immunological treatments for the disease to stop the demyelination; however, recent neurological studies have shown that LINGO-1 or Leucine-rich and Immunoglobulin domain-containing, Nogo receptor interacting protein found in neural cells and part of the Ngo receptor protein signaling complex, inhibits the process of remyelination. It also has been found that the expression of LINGO-1 increases as there is more neuron damage in the brain, which correlates why the body isn’t able to heal the damaged neurons normally. To study this phenomenon, scientists have been using antibodies such as Li81 as inhibitors to bind to LINGO-1 and change its shape to prevent it from interacting on this complex in neurons. By inhibiting LINGO-1, its protein activity decreases and allows an increase in remyelination of neurons to occur. Researchers have not yet figured out why LINGO-1 is expressed in these conditions; however, by being able to inhibit this protein effectively, scientists can further understand the mechanism of this cellular signaling complex and synthesize new drugs in the future that can help promote remyelination of neurons and allow MS patients to regain mobility.

Griffin Welfer
Project advisor: Dr. Patrick Crawford, biochemistry
CHEM 451 Presentation on DJ-1 Proteins

11-11:30 a.m.

This presentation covers structure and function studies of the DJ-1 superfamily of proteins that help cells manage oxidative stress, as well as how nonfunctional DJ-1 proteins are linked to Parkinson’s disease and various cancers.

SESSION I-D [OLIN 305] 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Kyle Zeberlein
Project advisor: Dr. Tom Bengtson, applied mathematics and engineering physics
Modeling Building with Fantasy Football Quarterbacks

10:30-10:45 a.m.

We will present a system for predicting fantasy football points scored by quarterbacks who have started 48 or more games in the National Football League based on four independent variables, using statistics from the 2015 NFL season. These variables are the quarterback’s previous season, the quarterback’s career performance against a given team, the quarterback’s career performance excluding the previous season, and the defense’s average fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks in the previous season. We then used model building techniques to create a new model that will more accurately predict the quarterback’s fantasy performance for a given game.

William Stowe
Project advisor: Dr. Tom Bengtson, mathematics
A Recurrence Formula for Spreads

10:45-11 a.m.

A spread is a set of points such that no three are collinear. We will prove that every spread has a convex hull that surrounds all other points. If we take the points in the spread, but not in the convex hull, this set of points is also a spread, and thus has a convex hull. The list of the orders of these convex hulls make up the genus of the spread. We prove that there is a recurrence formula for the number of genuses a spread of order n can take. This recursion is closely related to the Fibonacci Sequence. We show that the m-th term divided by the (m-1)-th term approaches a constant, and that this constant can be written as a continued fraction.

Myles Wallin
Project advisor: Dr. Tom Bengtson, applied mathematics
Productivity of Quarterbacks in the NFL

11-11:30 a.m.

Quarterbacks have always been known as the top paid players in the NFL. People believe that the quarterback impacts a success of an NFL franchise. I have found data that shows if a quarterback does or does not impact their franchise. I used fantasy football points as a way to measure productivity for quarterbacks, and I used winning percentage for the franchises. I created separate graphs for all 32 teams and then one graph that includes all the information from all 32 teams. Using the statistics of linear regression, I compared the information from the different graphs to show that quarterbacks do indeed impact the success of a franchise.


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

10:30-10:50 a.m.

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 affect their workplace. 

Joseph Carroll
Project advisor: Dr. Lendol Calder, history
Exploring National Identity: Democracy and the History Classroom

10:50-11:10 a.m.

This presentation will explore the role of national identity in a history classroom within a democratic society. 

Kristen O’Malley
Project advisor: Dr. Lendol Calder, history
What Social Studies Pedagogies Best Contribute to Closing the Achievement Gap?

11:10-11:30 a.m.

My research studies the best types of learning strategies for effective student learning in a Social Studies classroom. This research includes diving into different types of learning strategies and its effect on students in both lower and higher socioeconomic statuses. The purpose of the research is to uncover what social studies’ pedagogies best help student who attend lower socioeconomic schools have competing writing and reading scores as students in high socioeconomic schools. Working towards relative reading and writing scores in the lower socioeconomic status classrooms is important towards closing the widening achievement gap. 


Omar Medina
Project advisor: Dr. Chris Marmé, business administration
Understanding Basic Finance Principles after College

10:30-10:45 a.m.

This presentation’s overall goal is to inform students about basic finance principles after graduation. The key points are the following: understanding student loans, spending/saving habits, the importance of starting to save early (retirement), insurance/investment personally and through an employer. Students hopefully will have a better understanding of how to prepare their financial situation for the “real world” after college.

Trang Le, Dr. Sheila Goins 
Project advisor: Dr. Sheila Goins, business administration
Informed but Overconfident? The Impact of Forecast Preparation on Trading Behaviors

10:45-11 a.m.

Our parents and teachers usually indoctrinate us to do our homework since by doing so, we usually perform better. However, it is not always the case in financial markets. Why not? In a financial market, “doing homework” can range from gathering information about the product, assessing risks and the correspondent returns, and generating a forecast. The payoff from generating a forecast depends upon the accuracy of the forecast. Doing homework is likely to lead to overconfidence, which makes you engage in risky trading behaviors. If your forecast is correct, this additional risk will generate a profitable result. However, if your forecast is wrong, the increased risk will lead to losses. In this study, we examine how generating a forecast affects trading decisions, using an online futures market. The Iowa Electronic Market (IEM) is an internet-based electronic futures market where traders buy and sell contracts that predict a future event—in this case, the four-week box office receipts for a forthcoming movie. Payoffs are determined by holding the winning contract at the end of the four weeks plus any gains from selling contracts during trading. The research involves two groups of traders: one group is required to write a forecast prior to trading and the other group is not. We expected our analysis to demonstrate that generating a forecast prior to trading produces evidence of overconfidence (concentrated portfolios and frequent trading). We also expected to find the highest returns for those with correct forecasts and the lowest returns for those with incorrect forecasts. Our unique trader level data enables us to see how individual forecasts get incorporated into market prices. Our findings do not suggest that individual investors trade blindly. However, we illustrate the need to increase awareness about overconfidence and overly risky trading behavior.

Phuong Nguyen, Dr. Sheila Goins 
Project advisor: Dr. Sheila Goins, business administration
One Hundred Dollars Now or a Half Million Dollars Later?

11-11:15 a.m.

Most people do not think about retirement savings early enough and miss years of compound interest earnings. According to Investopedia, the average 55- to 64-year-old American has approximately $104,000 in retirement savings, which translates into $310 income per month. The prospect of millions of seniors living well below the poverty level is not ideal. The purpose of our study is to determine if different methods of envisioning the future can prompt millennials to increase their savings early in life. Land-use management experts use a “backcasting” approach to generate future scenarios that enable planners to easily identify strategies to achieve those goals. Both land-use management and retirement planning require tradeoffs between short-term sacrifices and long-term gains. For example, using forecasting, we focus on saving $25 per month and determine what our savings will be in the future. Using backcasting, we determine what income we want in the future, then calculate how much we have to save each month to achieve that goal. We hypothesize that backcasting will result in higher savings than forecasting. In our experiment, we presented a scenario to prompt subjects into a forecasting or backcasting mode. They were then asked to save a portion of their participation fee. One week later, the same subjects repeated the experiment in the other mode and again were asked to save a portion of their participation fee. The study highlights the cognitive processes involved in time-dependent decisions. We also will recommend strategies to improve the retirement financial independence of millennials by illustrating ways to encourage them to start saving while they are young.

Camilo Duarte 
Project advisor: Dr. Mark Salisbury, institutional research
Heywire: Behind the Scenes

11:15-11:30 a.m.

We will discuss what it takes to run a student organization, and how it all comes together. Everything from training new members to performing and marketing will be discussed; but fret not, as we will make sure to entertain and keep everyone engaged. If you are required to go to a Celebration of Learning session for class, this is a great way to fill that requirement as improvisation applies to all.


Elena Leith 
Project advisor: Dr. Jane Simonsen, women’s and gender studies
Feminist Protagonists and the Future of Feminism: Analysis of Legend, Hunger Games, and Divergent

10:30-10:50 a.m.

What do young readers learn from characters like Katniss, June and Tris? How does feminism evolve from the actions of these models? This project discusses these major protagonists and how feminist ideals have been interpreted as well as dismissed in popular young adult dystopian literature. The development of feminist morals in these novels lend context to the growth of fourth-wave feminism and the lack of intersectionality in past feminist movements.

Evan Marzahn 
Project advisor: Dr. Jane Simonsen, women’s and gender studies
Don’t You Have Anything Better To Do? Care Ethics in Undertale

10:50-11:10 a.m.

This presentation explores the feminist ethic of care in Undertale’s meta-narrative and gameplay.

Rachael Meadors 
Project advisor: Dr. Jane Simonsen, women’s and gender studies
The Importance of Diversity in Intentional Communities

11:10-11:30 a.m.

Intentional communities have long been places designed to be sites of healing. By breaking away and becoming separate from society, these communities are able to foster growth, personal values and intentionality. The ability to partake in these communities is something that belongs to people who are privileged to a degree. As a result, the population of intentional communities has the tendency to be homogenous. I explore the current limitations and barriers to access (especially for marginalized people). I continue on to explore how to best build a diverse, inclusive community. Drawing on leaders who have excelled in community building and social justice, I have found a variety of models and methods that result in accessible communities. This research will help transform communities and give marginalized groups such as women, people of color and LGBTQIA+ the ability to access and thrive in intentional communities that will sustain and elevate their emotional health and belongingness.

SESSION I-L [LIBRARY 2ND (MAIN) FLOOR] 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Dr. Brian Leech, members of History 320: Public History Course
Project advisor: Dr. Brian Leech, history
Augustana’s Lost Museum

10:30-11:30 a.m.

The Augustana Historical Society holds a large collection of artifacts; yet, few students, faculty or staff know anything about them. What once was a fairly well-traveled museum is now largely hidden from view. This pop-up museum exhibition will feature many of these objects as a way to tell the broader Augustana community more about this lost museum, the college’s fascinating history and many items once used by Swedish immigrants to our area. Students in History 320: Public History will be on hand to tell visitors about these tangible reminders of our past.