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Celebration of Learning 2017: Oral presentations and performances session IV

SESSION IV 2:15-3:15 p.m.


Dr. Pat Shea, Shannon Smith, Haylee Walker, Devyn Absher, Madison Stoneman
Project advisor: Dr. Pat Shea, communication studies
Reflective Practitioner Senior Inquiry

Using two frames—Augustana Student Learning Outcomes (2013) and the seminal work of Donald A. Schon, The Reflective Practitioner (1983)—RPSI (Reflective Practitioner Senior Inquiry) students explored, reflected, connected and responded to the multi-dimensional learning experiences of Augustana College. This capstone project provided students the opportunity and tools to demonstrate their personal and professional abilities and talents that empower them to respond in service and leadership to the complexities of a diverse and ever-changing world. RPSI integrated the two established approaches of Senior Inquiry projects and offered students an opportunity to creatively express the goal of Senior Inquiry—to integrate the many different courses into a capstone project. It provided a way for them to demonstrate to graduate schools and employers the range of their knowledge and abilities. Through yearlong conversation, reflection, creative expression, writing, reading and commitment to the RPSI process, students generated a personal and professional product that expresses who they are and what they can do to effectively respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ever-changing diverse world.

Shannon Smith
Self: Exploring Academic Works Through a Gallup Strengths Assessment Lens

My Senior Inquiry project is an analysis of my Gallup Strengths Assessment, how my strengths manifested throughout my collegiate career and how they will benefit me post-graduation. With this, I will use a social science theory to better explain these strengths and will use a combination of an oral and visual presentation.

Haylee Walker
Travel Responsibly: Analyzing and Applying the Behaviors and Choices of Travelers and Their Effects

I will be presenting my Senior Inquiry research on the topic of “responsible tourism” and providing a small tool for travelers in response to this worldwide issue. My goals are to create awareness and inspire/motivate listeners (or readers) to participate in “responsible tourism,” pass on this information, create discussions on what they have learned, and continue their own research on this topic. I will be analyzing the intertwined behaviors and choices made by tourists in relation to hosts and brokers, and in turn, showing the positive and negative effects this has on several fronts.

Devyn Absher
Communication Studies Reflective Practitioner Senior Inquiry Project

My Senior Inquiry project is focusing on how communication theories and humans are so unique and different, and yet work together to flow in and out of situations to help us do something very important: express ourselves. My goal for my Senior Inquiry was not only to reflect on my academic experiences from these past four years at Augustana, but also to take that knowledge and apply it in a way that would create a visual artistic representation. My 5 x 7-foot canvas shows how I comprehend communication theories through texture.

Madison Stoneman
Reflective Practitioner Senior Inquiry: How Fashion Communicates

I have been working on a capstone project through the year. The final goal of this project is to display the choices people make to portray themselves, particularly through fashion. The main theme of my project is how fashion communicates, which is grounded in the theory of strategic communication. How I got here: I started fall term working on consistency. For 30 days I had my picture taken each day at the same exact time. At the time, I saw this project heading toward the ideas of image and social media. I wanted to expose how many times people took the same picture just to post it. In my case, I was given only one photo and however it turned out was the way I was going to display it in my gallery. Later on in the year, I thought more about fashion, something I am truly inspired by. I began to dissect my photos, and I realized the beauty of them is the way my clothes were able to make a variety of expression. In the second half of the project, I decided that I wanted to display someone else. Since I had focused on consistency before, I decided to work in an unsystematic way during the second part of the capstone. I followed my subject, Kathleen, for 30 days taking photos of her whenever I saw her that day. I wanted to showcase that clothing is not only a form of covering up one’s body but also extremely strategic. Our clothing at that time represents one part of ourselves that makes up our identity. In my display, I am not only a student, but I am a friend, daughter, sorority sister, mentor, workout partner, artist, etc. Why strategic communications? Strategic communication ties in perfectly with my project because “it focuses on how the organization itself presents and promotes itself through the intentional activities its leaders, employees and communication practitioners.” Though I am claiming that the way one dresses is in fact strategic and not random, I do not disregard the “unintended consequences of communications (that) can adversely impact the ability of an organization to achieve its strategic goals.”

SESSION IV-A [HANSON 102] 2:15-3:15 p.m.

Vanessa Lopez, Alina Zabolotico
Project advisor: Stephanie Fuhr, biology and pre-medicine
S.T.A.Y. C.A.L.M.–Promoting Awareness, Prevention and Access to AEDs

2:15-2:35 p.m.

Today, 450,000 people die per year due to sudden cardiac death (SCD). It happens within seconds, leaving an everlasting effect on the victim, family and the victim’s health if they survive. Because of this effect, we focused our research on the number one first-response factor in the population that would enable the ability of civilians to take action in cases of SCD, which is through automated external defibrillators (AEDs). In our study, we first found current research conducted on the education of AEDs as well as the AEDs’ ability to decrease mortality rate if civilians knew how to use them. We then went out to the Elgin community—the number one community with Hispanic women in Illinois, which is the primary group with the most SCD incidences. We ask residents and the police a set of questions regarding access to AEDs and the use of AEDs. After analysis of the results, we created and implemented a protocol called S.T.A.Y. C.A.L.M. This acronymic protocol is the beginning step for our goal of raising awareness and education of access to AEDs though civilian action and technologically based matters. A description of our linked project called VirtualLynk will be described with an example of one of our first patients. To impact the communities and ethnicities with the highest number of SCD deaths—Hispanics and African Americans—a branch of VirtualLynk was specifically created and initiated. Communities of different ethnicities may have a health risk of which they are not aware. Thus, through S.T.A.Y. C.A.L.M. and the VirtualLynk Hispanic Outreach Initiative, we plan to increase awareness and community action, transcend healthcare and direct telemedicine not only to communities in the United States, but also to Ecuador.

Charlie Bentley, Jamie Fee, Mackenzie Ryan, Francesca Scribano, Dr. Kimberly Murphy
Project advisor: Dr. Kimberly Murphy, biology
Contributing to Studies on the Evolution of Myxococcus xanthus in the Laboratory

2:35-2:55 p.m.

Myxococcus xanthus (M. xanthus) is a Gram-negative bacterium typically found in soil that is known for its complex social behaviors. M. xanthus wild type DK1622 laboratory strain originated in the laboratory of Dale Kaiser at Stanford University and has been distributed to laboratories worldwide. DK1622 “sublines” were collected from nine research laboratories by Roy Welch at Syracuse University, and the genome of each was sequenced. These DK1622 “sublines” have evolved since their physical separation. We obtained two of the DK1622 “sublines” and are currently disrupting the same subset of genes in both. Therefore, we are creating several new mutant strains. Each mutant strain will be assayed for motility and fruiting body development to determine if the phenotypes are different when the same gene is disrupted in different wild type DK1622 “sublines.” Our results combined with others are helping the M. xanthus scientific community better understand the evolution of M. xanthus in the laboratory.

SESSION IV-B [HANSON 304] 2:15-3:15 p.m.

Christopher Saladin
Project advisors: Dr. Emil Kramer, Classics; Dr. Christopher Whitt, political science
Revolution in the Divided City: The Plebeian Social Movement, Secessions, and Anti-Government in the Roman Republic During the 5th Century Struggle of the Orders

2:15-2:35 p.m.

This paper examines the formation of the plebeian movement and government in the Roman Republic during the 5th Century BCE of the Struggle of the Orders. The Struggle of the Orders was the political conflict between the plebeian and patrician classes of Rome that lasted from 5th-3rd Centuries BCE of the Republic. Most of this period is shrouded in legend, but later Roman historians provide evidence that suggests a major social and political revolution occurred during the early years of this struggle. Using kernels of evidence from later narrative histories, namely that of the 1st Century BCE historian Livy, I construct a new narrative of the early struggle that reveals a city crippled by divisive revolution. I begin by examining the catalysts of this social revolution, then focus in on the First Secession of 494 BCE and the establishment of the plebeian movement and formation of its anti-government. Next I move to the impact the plebeian movement and the radical oligarchy of the Decemvirate that followed. Lastly, I examine the Second Secession of 449 BCE and incorporation of the plebeian institutions into the Roman government through the Valerio-Horatian Laws and the Twelve Tables. I particularly focus on the development of the plebeian order, the scale and nature of this revolution, and the role the city of Rome’s geography played. I ultimately argue that the secessions were full scale political revolutions carried out by less advantaged Romans that totally redefined the government of the Roman Republic for centuries.

Irene Mekus
Project advisor: Dr. Chris Strunk, geography
Greek Identity Past and Present in the Quad Cities

2:35-2:55 p.m.

Many Greeks came to the United States and the Quad Cities in the early 1900s where there was opportunity for work and upward mobility. In 1912, East Moline was the largest colony of Greek immigrants in the area. While the immigration history of Swedes, Germans, Belgians and Mexicans in the Quad Cities is well recorded, Greek immigration is not written about to the same extent. Understanding challenges faced by Greek migrants in the Quad Cities and how these influenced Greek identity and “sense of place” over time and through multiple generations give meaningful insight into the challenges they overcame and the lives they lived. This project investigates identity formation, belonging and sense of place of first-, second- and third-generation Greeks in the Quad Cities through archival research and interviews to reveal a comprehensive look into the Greek history and heritage of the Quad Cities.

Abigail Thomson
Project advisors: Dr. Forrest Stonedahl, mathematics and computer science; Dr. Ian Harrington, psychology and neuroscience
Investigating Trust and Trust Recovery in Human-Robot Interactions

2:55-3:15 p.m.

As artificial intelligence and robotics continue to advance and be used in increasingly different functions and situations, it is important to look at how these new technologies will be used. An important factor in how a new resource will be used is how much it is trusted. This experiment was conducted to examine people’s trust in a robotic assistant when completing a task, how mistakes affect this trust, and if the levels of trust exhibited with a robot assistant were significantly different than if the assistant were human. The task was to watch a computer simulation of the three-cup monte or shell game where the assistant would give advice and the participant could choose to follow, ignore or go against the advice. The hypothesis was that participants would have higher levels of trust in the robotic assistant than the human, but that mistakes would have a larger impact on trust levels. The study found that while there was not a significant difference between the overall levels of trust between the robotic assistant and the human one, mistakes did have a significantly larger impact on the short-term trust levels for the robotic assistant versus the human.

SESSION IV-E [OLD MAIN 132] 2:15-3:15 p.m.

Daniel Fieseler
Project advisors: Dr. Jason Mahn and Dr. Daniel Morris, religion
Faith Formation and Development: A Qualitative Study of Young Adults

2:15-2:35 p.m.

This presentation is about an article that discusses faith development and faith formation of young adults through a qualitative study. For the study, 10 high school-aged students were interviewed about how they came into their Christian faith and how they have developed their faith since. The purpose of the study is to gain insight into the spiritual lives of young adults in greater depth than the insights one gains from a quantitative study. In regards to faith development, this study is used to find which ways the subjects progress their faith and the people who are influential in their faith development. The specific ways in which young adults develop their faith is also discussed in this article. Themes of faith development and faith formation occur and are discussed in greater detail with quotes from the interviews. The results are compared to those of the National Study of Youth and Religion. This article is not used for major conclusions but to gain greater insight into the lives of young adults and their faith.

Atticus Garrison
Project advisors: Dr. Brian Leech, history; Dr. Daniel Morris, religion
Retroactive Definitions: The Problem with the Traditional Marriage Argument

2:35-2:55 p.m.

Words often change meaning over time. For example, until the 1960s, the word “gay” meant “light-hearted and carefree” or “brightly coloured; showy.”1 But after the 1960s, the definition of “gay” drastically changed, to mean a “homosexual.”2 “When you’re with the Flintstones, Have a yabba dabba-do time A dabba-do time, We’ll have a gay old time!”3 This means that when we look at the theme song for the classic cartoon “The Flintstones,” we should not apply our definition of what “gay” means to how it is used in the theme song. Definitions of marriage work much in the same way as any other definition. The definition is reliant on the repeated use of an act or word. Looking over the course of American history, marriage has been in a constant state of change. Marriage was used by immigrant women in Jamestown as a way to gain wealth and social standing. In the 1800s, personal agency entered the practice of marriage, and women and men viewed love as the driving force. During the American Civil War, the ties between extensive courtship practices and the involvement of the betrothed’s families in the marriage was lessened. There were many who tried to claim that these changes were tearing down the institution of marriage. We now live in a climate that seems to speak with similar rhetoric. Proponents for traditional marriage believe that same-sex marriage goes against something that is fundamental for the practice of proper marriage. Looking at the history of marriage in America, it is hard to conclude that this is widely accepted throughout American history. Marriage holds many economic and societal roles that are not often talked about by proponents of traditional marriage. Marriage has always been defined retroactively by people who are attempting to address changes in how marriage is practiced, and the modern argument about traditional marriage is a part of this continued trend. Marriage is defined by how people practice it, not by some arbitrary definition. 1 “Gay–Definition of Gay in English | Oxford Dictionaries.” Oxford Dictionaries | English. Accessed January 24, 2017. 2 Ibid. 3 The Flintstones. Animation, Comedy, Family, 1960.

Tharakie Pahathkumbura
Project advisor: Dr. Jane Simonsen, history, women’s and gender studies
You Eat What You Are: A Non Cannibalistic Look at What and Why College Students Eat

2:55-3:15 p.m.

An investigative documentary that explores how intersections between race, culture, and nationality affect college students’ experiences with food (food choices, preparation methods, food acquisition, community or individual consumption) and how these experiences vary based on gender. The film will be followed by a conversation about the content as well as the production choices. 

SESSION IV-G [EVALD 17 & 18] 2:15-3:15 p.m.

Lizandra Gomez-Ramirez
Project advisors: Dr. Mariano Magalhães, political science; Dr. Adam Kaul, anthropology
Building a House: Remittances, Migration, and Transnational Families in a Rancho in Mexico

2:15-2:35 p.m.

This presentation is based on my Senior Inquiry paper that presents findings from interviews conducted in a Rancho (small, rural village of 150 people) in the municipality of Acámbaro, Guanajuato, Mexico, during June 2016. The participants interviewed range from current/past migrants, family members of migrants, and local government officials. Guanajuato is a traditional migrant-sending state, which is important because recent studies show that Mexican migration to the United States has been declining and, in turn, that remittances to Mexico are declining. There were many people in this Rancho who had a migrated or had a family member who migrated to the United States for economic reasons. My paper focuses on how migration has affected this Rancho through the lenses of migration, remittances and transnational families. These findings also will provide an insight into Mexicans’ attitudes towards migration as an economic strategy to preserve the livelihood of the family and the current role of remittances in this village. This research is important to understanding whether remittances have led to sustainable development, whether Mexican migration to the United States will continue as an economic strategy, and how it has created a transnational community in this small village in Mexico.

Grace Carlson
Project advisors: Dr. Paul Croll, sociology; Dr. Mariano Magalhães, political science
Where Do Women Stand?: Attitudes Towards Female Political Participation in India and the U.S.

2:35-2:55 p.m.

This project aimed to study attitudes towards gender inequalities in politics, both in the United States and India. With original survey research and World Values Survey data, American and Indian attitudes toward women in politics were analyzed and compared. Ultimately, the project found that respondents in both countries still hold distinctly unequal views on women in the political sphere.

Trevor Rogers
Project advisor: Dr. Mariano Magalhães, political science
The Road to Hell Is Paved with Bad Public Pensions: An Analysis of Illinois’ Public Pension System

2:55-3:15 p.m

This project seeks to deeply analyze the public pension system of the State of Illinois and to explain how its mismanagement has created an economic mess for Illinois.


Hena Thakkar
Project advisor: Dr. Taddy Kalas, French
Passion, Heroism, and Duty in the Plays of Jean Racine

2:15-2:35 p.m.

To understand the theater of Jean Racine more clearly, it is helpful to compare him with his contemporary and rival, Pierre Corneille. What unites them is tragedy and the demands of classicism. However, what does each author find tragic? We will examine three concepts in particular: the passions, the dilemma and heroism. It is our contention that heroism has been diminished in the works of Jean Racine.

Jaime Schultz
Project advisor: Dr. Taddy Kalas, French
The Double Féminin in the Plays of Jean Racine

2:35-2:55 p.m.

This work takes on a feminist approach and studies extensively the oeuvre of Racine.

Elizabeth Warkocki
Project advisor: Dr. Taddy Kalas, French
French Senior Inquiry

2:55-3:15 p.m.

My Senior Inquiry focuses on an analysis of 17th-century French theater, specifically, the tragedies of Jean Racine. I analyzed the role of the stranger in his 11 tragedies and the role of Orientalism, a concept coined by theorist Edward Said. In every play where a stranger is present, which is true for all but two, the stranger character serves to reinforce the power of the dominant culture. In other words, the stranger serves as the other that embodies the negative side of the cultural binary. This character allows those of the dominant culture to gain a favorable position in comparison.