Oral Presentations

Oral Presentations

Monday, April 12




Examination of Eastern Iowa Water Policy

Author: Tyler Green
Program: Geographic Information Science
Co-Authors: Jordan Nichting and Daniel Bennett
Faculty Advisor: Lisa Tabor

Water policies in the Eastern Iowa area were analyzed to determine their effects on the area as a whole. It was examined to see how effective these policies are in both practice and how they look to the public to better understand what policies for water are effective or ineffective. This is important because it allows one to see what needs updating to modern standards and what modern methods are working in the right direction with advancements in science. The methods used were to analyze and interpret data and findings from several sources including: City codes and plans, research papers and articles, news articles, and opinions from locals and experts. In this research, it can be expected to find information regarding water policy and how it compares across the Eastern Iowa area.

From Power to Recreation: Repurposing Dams Along Iowa's Cedar River

Author: Casey Shanaberger
Program: Geographic Information Science
Faculty Advisor: Thomas Larsen

This study explores how Iowa cities have repurposed dams through time and place, with a focus on three separate styles of dams in Charles City, Nashua, and Cedar Falls. The researcher combined methods in geographic information systems (GIS) with archival research. Cities build dams along rivers for a multitude of reasons, including electricity through mill dams. However, many of these dams have become obsolete as communities change and as infrastructure is not maintained. No longer in use for their intended purposes, the three dams now serve a main purpose of recreation.

Engineering the Buffalo Commons: How is it Possible to Engineer Restored Prairies for Soil Carbon Sequestration

Author: Victor Burns
Program: Geography: Environmental Systems & Sustainability
Faculty Advisor: Thomas Larsen

Carbon dioxide emissions from human activities have been on the rise since the turn of the twentieth century, leading to irreversible changes in the Earth system. One way to combat the growing carbon emissions is to sequester carbon via soil carbon sequestration. In this paper, we identify and enumerate factors that influence soil carbon sequestration rates and propose methods to engineer restored prairie grasslands to sequester carbon more effectively.




Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Motor Cortex on Cycling Time Trial Performance and Prefrontal Cortex-A

Author: Abigail Auten
Program: Master of Arts in Kinesiology
Co-Authors: Kristina Cavey and Emily Busta
Faculty Advisor: Terence Moriarty

Purpose: To investigate if tDCS, administered via Halo Sport, influences time trial performance in recreationally trained cyclists, and if changes in exercise performance are associated with prefrontal cortex activation and muscle oxygenation. Methods: Twelve recreationally trained males cyclists volunteered to participate in two 10-kilometer time trials following 20 minutes of tDCS or a sham condition. Results: There were no significant differences in exercise performance (time to complete, watts) or physiological measures (BLa-, HR, Muscle O2, PFC Oxygenation) between the Halo and Sham conditions. Discussion: These results indicate that the application of acute tDCS via Halo Sport does not induce changes in exercise performance or related physiological parameters in recreationally trained cyclists.

Dementia Friendly 18: A Program to Increase Community Dementia Awareness

Author: Bailey Rustad
Program: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Co-Author: Anne Gradoville
Faculty Advisor: Elaine Eshbaugh

The purpose of the Dementia Friendly 18-day email training is to provide participants with a unique and efficient way to learn about dementia through articles and videos in 5 to 15 minutes daily. The content of the presentation will include why and how we got involved in this project, our goals, our methods, the results and feedback received from participants, and ideas for future improvements.

First-Generation College Student Belongingness & Academic Behaviors

Author: Lacie Hines
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Nick Schwab

The purpose of this study is to better understand the theorized relationship between belongingness and academic behaviors in first-generation college students, those whose parents did not attend college. Belongingness has been found to be an influential variable in first-generation college students’ adjustment to college, yet research has not focused on belongingness' association with student's academic behaviors. The relationship found between feelings of belongingness and their academic success would have major implications for future research and interventions that would likely improve the retention of these students.

Supporting Mental Health at UNI

Author: Dominique Kornely
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology, Clinical Psychology Emphasis
Co-Author: Hannah Nelson and Kristine Hoskinson
Faculty Advisors: Sarah Montgomery and Nathan Taylor

The Supporting Mental Health cluster Graduate Assistantship was created as a resource to bolster mental health and well-being initiatives for students, faculty, and staff on UNI’s campus. In using community based participatory research practices, the current cluster of graduate assistants have identified existing strengths throughout UNI, are coordinating and providing resources to support current initiatives, and are working on recommendations for future action plans.




Quality and Quantity of Social Support in College Students with ADHD Symptomatology

Author: Chloe Reeble
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology, Clinical Psychology Emphasis
Faculty Advisor: Elizabeth Lefler

Social support has been found to be a protective factor in some mental illnesses. College students with ADHD often have a hard time maintaining peer relationships. This study examines the relation between ADHD and social support in college students. I found that those who experienced increased social impairment and elevated ADHD symptoms experience reduced social support quality. These results suggest that college students with elevated ADHD symptomatology may experience a harder time cultivating and maintaining friendships. Clinical implications include better appraisal of social support in clients with ADHD, and treatment approaches that address social impairment.

The Moderating Role of Mindful Awareness in the Associations between Adverse Childhood Experiences, Coronavirus and Sleep

Author: Shyanne Sporrer
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Dilbur Arsiwalla
Awards: Nadyne Harris Scholarship for Honors Research; Fruehling Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Although the associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and sleep outcomes (Chapman et al., 2011) have been explored in prior research, few studies have examined the role of mindful awareness during the current pandemic on this link. Additionally, few studies have explored the impact of COVID-19 on sleep. In the current study, participants self-reported current sleep patterns, exposure to COVID-19, and mindful awareness and their past ACEs. Results of the study were partially consistent with past literature on ACE and sleep outcomes (Koskenvuo, Hublin, Partinen, Paunio, & Koskenvuo, 2010). The main effects between mindful awareness and sleep outcomes were also supported.

Halo Sport Ergonomic Effects on Older Individuals' Cognitive, Balance and Motor Performance

Author: Kristina Cavey
Program: Master of Arts in Kinesiology and Sport Performance
Co-Authors: Kelsey Bourbeau and Abi Auten
Faculty Advisor: Terence Moriarty
Award: 2020 Midwest Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine: Outstanding Graduate Research Project of the Year

Purpose: To determine if the acute application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), administered via the Halo Sport device, influences prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation or performance parameters during cognitive, balance, and a motor task. Methods: Twelve healthy older adults (50.4 ± 5.1 years old) volunteered to participate in two separate trials of cognitive, balance, and a motor task following 20 minutes of tDCS or a sham condition. Results: There were no significant differences in measures of brain activation during any of the cognitive or balance tasks, but Halo Sport produced higher brain activation and better performance of a non-dominant hand motor task. Discussion: These results indicate that the application of acute tDCS via Halo Sport does not induce changes in PFC activation or cognitive and balance performance but may improve performance of hand motor tasks in healthy older adults.




Tearing Down the Veil: Demystifying Disease During the London Cholera Epidemic of 1854-1855

Author: Peter Limbert
Program: History
Faculty Advisor: Brian Roberts

The London cholera epidemic of 1854 was a flashpoint for the study of disease and medical research. The discoveries made during the epidemic paved the way for an unprecedented leap forward in medical science. But what about the culture surrounding cholera as a disease? In this research paper, I shall be examining the cultural paranoia surrounding cholera in London and using evidence to show how the discoveries about its origins helped to dismantle a millennia-long personification of disease in the world and gave humans a new perspective on nature as a whole.

All Eyes on Space: The Search for Environmental Safety and Pioneer 10: 1969-1974

Author: Samantha Titus
Program: History
Faculty Advisor: Brian Roberts

The early 1970s marked a significant turning point in American history regarding the space race and environmental awareness. Within this context, the space probe Pioneer 10, launched in 1972, illustrates one perspective on growing environmental concern. The Environmental Protection Agency’s creation assisted with implementing numerous laws to protect the United State’s environment while NASA and other scientific organizations were looking beyond the Earth for answers. This report illustrates the unlikely connection between the 1970’s environmental movement and Pioneer 10.

Taking On the System: The Story of the UNI 7

Author: Eliza Mussman
Program: Anthropology
Faculty Advisor: Cheryl Dong

An overview of the group of student protestors who performed a sit-in in the home of former University of Northern Iowa president, J.W. Maucker in the Spring of 1970, known as the UNI 7. The presentation goes over the national climate, on-campus events, and primary documents in order to bring context to the event, as well as goes over the timeline of events as a way of bringing clarity to what exactly occured and how the situation was handled. Finally, current campus events are addressed in order to call attention to the ways in which history impacts the present, even on the UNI campus. The purpose of this project was to explore history at UNI using primary sources and documents and place that history into a national narrative as a way of recontextualizing them. Additionally, this project was created as a way of bringing attention to an interesting part of history here at UNI that is not often discussed and learning from it.

UNI Orchesis Dance Company

Choreography: Mel Lemke
Cast: Lindsay Amundson, Ashley Bodkin and Hannah Huggins 

The UNI Orchesis Dance Company is a pre-professional dance company and student organization. We focus on modern and ballet techniques, and perform a variety of styles from jazz, hip-hop, tap, contemporary, and more! There are many other opportunities that come with being a part of our dance family, some of these include: student choreographed artistic works, outside performances both on campus and in the Cedar Valley community, and student leadership positions. Within this presentation, you will be hearing from a few of the current student members about their choreographic processes.




Redefining What's Manly: Using Masculine Attributes to Describe Counseling Services for Men

Author: Riley Rodemaker
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology, Clinical Psychology Emphasis
Faculty Advisor: Helen Harton

Participants from MTurk and UNI read a short situation and answered various measures related to their attitudes toward seeking help, gender role conflict, and adherence to traditional masculinity ideology. The masculine attributes used to describe counseling did not result in significantly different attitudes toward seeking help. Similarly, gender role conflict and traditional masculinity ideology did not significantly moderate the effect of attitudes across the three conditions.

“All Issues are Women’s Issues”: The Independent Women’s Forum and the Constitutive Rhetoric of Conservative Women

Author: Emma Newton
Program: Master of Arts in Communication
Faculty Advisor: Catherine Palczewski

The disputed and controversial confirmation process of Justice Amy Coney Barrett brought scores of conservative women to the public eye in defense of the incoming Justice’s credibility. The largest of these voices was the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), an influential conservative women’s think tank. Arguing that Barrett’s seat on the Court would give representation to conservative women across the country, the IWF’s discourse on their weekly podcast, She Thinks, provided a prolific and curated space for them to organize and make public arguments. The podcast features a (counter)public realized through conservative women’s identities, interests, and needs. Within the realm of Communication Studies, the rhetoric of conservative women continues to be an under-researched area. She Thinks provides a detailed artifact for rhetorical analysis that develops a stronger understanding of gendered communication and political identity. Using a framework of constitutive identity rhetoric and public sphere theory, this paper analyzes how conservative women rhetorically construct what ideal womanhood entails. With an identity rooted in motherhood, women of the IWF discursively outline their needs that can be supported through free-market Capitalism, ultimately framing themselves as a public that lacks a need for political advocacy.

Exploring the Prevalence & Impact of Eating Disorders in Athletes: A Literature Review and Analysis

Author: Emily Schotzko
Program: Family Services
Faculty Advisor: Elizabeth Lefler

This honors thesis literature review explores eating disorders (ED), including topics such as risk factors and health impacts, in both clinical and subclinical cases. In addition to considering this topic in the general population, I also examine ED in athletes specifically. I explore the sports with the highest rates of eating disorders, and how being an athlete can elevate the risk for the development of an ED. Lastly, I explore prevention efforts, including those targeting athletic populations, and make recommendations for future intervention and research pursuits to enhance our understanding of eating disorders.

Tuesday, April 13




"Into the Unknown": Masquerading Fear in Over the Garden Wall

Author: Kayla Lawrence
Program: English
Faculty Advisor: Brooke Wonders

In Cartoon Network's first animated mini-series Over the Garden Wall, the main protagonist, Wirt, faces his fears while journeying through the fantastical world of the Unknown with his younger half-brother Greg. Wirt has a range of internal and external fears which can be categorized in two ways: the unknown, which is marked by elements of the fantastic and often physical threat to self; and the mundane, which is an internalized, anxiety-based fear marked by low self-esteem and avoidance. This paper seeks to complicate Farah Mendelsohn’s ideas of liminal fantasy by analyzing how the show masquerades as an intrusion fantasy, and via the exploration of different types of fear.

Determining the Connection Between Henry Purcell's King Arthur and Jean-Baptist Lully's Isis

Author: Kristin Rasmussen
Programs: Music History and Oboe Performance
Faculty Advisor: Alison Altstatt

Scholars have consistently connected the ‘Frost Scene’ from Henry Purcell’s 1691 opera King Arthur to the Frozen Scythia scene from Jean-Baptiste Lully’s 1677 opera Isis. This connection has been repeated by many, but there is a lack of tangible evidence provided. My comparative analysis concludes despite their many similarities, the two excerpts are not duplicates. Rather, Purcell developed musical ideas from Lully to express the scene he was attempting to create. Determining the authenticity of this connection will determine if Purcell took any inspiration from Lully at all and prevent scholars from ascribing influence where it may not be warranted.

Underwater Laser Scanning for River Bathymetry

Author: Courtney Johnson
Program: Mathematics and Environmental Science
Faculty Advisor: James Dietrich

Shallow water bathymetry is a critical variable for characterizing both the geomorphic and ecologic conditions in streams. In wadable streams, traditional survey methods can be used to collect bathymetric data. In non-wadable conditions, deeper water (>50cm) can be surveyed using sonar, but shallower water (<50cm) is usually blank or heavily interpolated in bathymetric datasets. To accurately measure shallow water bathymetry, we are testing a custom underwater optical laser line scanner. The scanner consists of an off-the-shelf waterproof digital camera and a high-power green laser line generator. Measurements are made using right-angle trigonometry to map the laser line seen in the images to real-world coordinates in the river. The overall measurements can be used to give an average depth for each image or with additional processing, can provide sediment size characteristics.




The Effect of Proximal Carceral Contact on Political Participation 

Author: Emily Loomis 
Program: Political Science 
Faculty Advisor: Scott Peters

The purpose of this research is to further examine the relationship between the carceral state and the individuals who come in proximal contact with it. Through the use of a national survey and detailed data analysis, I aim to gain a better understanding of the effects that the carceral state has on everyday citizens who do not have direct contact with the system but nonetheless are affected by it.


Affordable Care Act Insurance Coverage Gains in the Midwest: Evidence from the Dependent Coverage Provision 

Author: Sarah Herz
Program: General Economics 
Faculty Advisor: Matt Hampton

This paper analyzes how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Dependent Coverage Provision affected insurance coverage in the Midwestern region. The Dependent Coverage Provision allows individuals ages 19 to 25 to remain as dependents on parental health insurance plans. This provision was implemented to decrease the number of young adults who were uninsured. Using data from the American Community Survey spanning the years 2008-2013 and estimating difference-in-differences models, we test the impact of the policy implementation on health insurance coverage among a sample of Midwestern young adults. Under our preferred specification, which includes two-way fixed effects as well as controls for observable characteristics, we find that the policy led to a 5.63 percent increase in insurance coverage among young adults in the region. In an analysis of policy heterogeneity, we find that the Dependent Coverage Provision had the largest impact among Black males that were unemployed, a subgroup that likely had difficulty acquiring appropriate health insurance prior to the ACA. Our study indicates that the Dependent Coverage Provision was effective in increasing the number of insured individuals.


Public Perceptions of the Police: Race, Socioeconomic Status, and their Interaction

Author: Grace Tolliver
Program: Sociology 
Faculty Advisor: Ashleigh Kysar-Moon
Award: CSBS Spring 2021 Fruehling Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Public perceptions of the police have been of interest to social researchers and criminal justice agencies since the police force was created. Through secondary analysis of public perceptions of the police and police behaviors measured on the Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS) PPCS 2015, this study expands our understanding of how race, socioeconomic status (SES), and the interaction between race and SES impact public perceptions of the police. Findings from this study show race and socioeconomic status are both significant for increasing the odds of police-citizen interactions and negative perceptions of the police. Interestingly, SES has a stronger influence overall in this sample, and the interaction term suggests a more complicated association between race, SES, and perceptions of the police. The predicted probabilities for perceptions of the police by race and SES varied across income levels and was significant at the .05 level.


A Study of the Institutionalized Discrimination Against Afghan Women at the Workplace 

Author: Hasina Jalal
Program: Master of Arts, Women's & Gender Studies 
Faculty Advisor: Tom Hall

The purpose of this study was to inquire about the Afghan female workers’ workplace experiences of employment discrimination. To do so, I used the post-structuralist, post-modernist, and critical feminist theoretical framework and studied Afghan female workers’ experiences of workplace discrimination from the structuralist, performance of identity, and masculinities approaches to the study of discrimination. Furthermore, I adopted an intersectional lens to assess workplace discrimination against Afghan women more comprehensively. Also, I studied their experiences at the interpersonal, inter-group, and intra-group levels. Using an interpretive methodological paradigm, nine Afghan women, who worked across sectors and belonged to diverse backgrounds, were interviewed. To fully understand participants’ experiences and the meaning they associated with those experiences, in-depth interviews were conducted and semi-structured questions were asked. 




Chemical Substitution Induced Half-Metallicity in CrMnSb

Author: Adam Ramker
Program: Physics
Co-Author: Evan O’Leary and Devon VanBrogen
Faculty Advisor: Pavel Lukashev

We report results of a computational work on the half-Heusler compound CrMnSb(1-x)Px. We show that the parent compound CrMnSb is nearly half-metallic, with the onset of the band gap a few meV above the Fermi energy. Moreover, although it undergoes a half-metallic transition under a uniform compression of ~1.5%, such transition is absent under epitaxial strain. The half-metallic transition could be induced by a chemical substitution of Sb with P, which results in a volume reduction of the unit cell. In particular, 50% substitution of Sb with P leads to a robust half-metallicity, with 100% spin polarization being retained at a large range of epitaxial strain. Thus, our results indicate that CrMnSb0.5P0.5 could be grown on different types of substrates, e.g. GaAs, without its electronic properties being detrimentally affected by biaxial strain. In addition, CrMnSb0.5P0.5 exhibits a fully compensated ferrimagnetic alignment, which could be potentially useful in applications where stray magnetic fields are undesirable.


Peer Support for Mental Health

Author: Talia Pulley
Program: Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling
Co-Author: Mike Tate
Faculty Advisor: Sarah Montgomery and Nathan Taylor
Funding: Supporting Mental Health Graduate Assistantship

During these tough times the importance of peer support groups has gone up. In the past, universities and their different organizations were able to create programs and get funding for their students. Now, with the change in funding, legislation, and the pandemic, students are feeling even more isolated. Thankfully, there have been numerous brave students taking action and developing their own support groups, clubs, and activities for students at UNI. The Supporting Campus Mental Health GA's would love to shed a light on those amazing students, as well as talk about the importance of peer support groups/activities through this presentation.




Burnin' Down the Hall(s): The Story of UNI's Two Original Buildings, Central and Gilchrist Halls, and Their Ultimate Demise

Author: Mandy Hereen
Program: Interactive Digital Studies
Faculty Advisor: Cheryl Dong

145 years ago, the Iowa State Normal School held its first classes in what would soon be named Central Hall. Five years later, an additional building was added to the school campus and named Gilchrist Hall. After a few name changes, the college would settle on the name University of Northern Iowa and grow to the school we know and love today. This presentation, displayed via the ArcGIS Storymaps system, will cover weeks of archival research and 153 years of campus history to learn the story behind the University of Northern Iowa's first two buildings and what led to their demise.

"Beautiful Work": The Works Progress Administration Arts Programs 1935-1944

Author: Dana Jamison
Program: History
Faculty Advisor: Brian Roberts

On May 6, 1935 Roosevelt set into motion the controversial division of the Works Progress Administration, the Federal Art Project. During its short history, the Federal Art Project would become the target of the United States House Committee on Un-American Activities, which attempted to link certain artistic expressions with "communist" ideals. Communism fears are typically remembered as being during the Cold War Era of 1947-1992. However, the fear began sooner which can be seen in the investigation of the WPA. In my paper I am exploring how the partisan hunt for communism bleeds into the criticism of art and the Works Progress Administration's Art Programs.

Emancipated from Tyranny and Oppression: America's Invasion of Canada During the War of 1812-1815

Author: Alex Billman
Program: History
Faculty Advisor: Brian Roberts

This paper will dive into the post-Revolutionary period while America was trying to build up a newly developed nation while also defending from British rule. During this time, America was looking to expand its nation north into the Canadian region. American forces underestimated the will and power of the Canadian people and were in for more of a fight than they were prepared for.

The Birth of Wind Band Repertoire through Gustav Holst's First and Last Composition for Wind Ensemble

Author: Foteini Angeli
Program: Music - Wind Band Conducting
Faculty Advisor: Alison Altstatt

The purpose of this research is neither to recommend repertoire for wind bands, nor to compare wind bands to other music ensembles. It is to examine the beginning of the modern wind band's repertoire, which start with Gustav Holst's compositions originally written for wind band. Suite in E Flat and Hammersmith are two exceptional, refined works of the band repertoire written by a talented composer, who had deep knowledge of compositional techniques and music history. Both works are related to philosophical questions about time, the universe and life itself.