Analysis of Otolith Morphometrics to Predict Fish Age and Length

Presenter(s): Simi Komenda
Mentor(s): Anthony Overton, Kwadwo Antwi-Fordjour
Poster #: 6
Abstract: Otoliths are often used to determine the age and size of a fish. This study assesses the use of otolith weight to predict age, otolith length-total length relationship, as well as otolith width-total length relationship. We collected Black Crappie (Poxomis nigromaculatus) from Lake Purdy in Birmingham, Alabama (N=170) during 2020 and 2021. Our fish ranged from 2 to 6 years old. The mean otolith weight was 0.08g (S.D. ± 0.02). There was positive correlation between otolith weight and fish age for both linear (y=0.01378+0.0184x RSS=0.0452) and logarithmic (y=0.0458+0.0412 Log(-1.108+x) RSS=0.0412) models. Otolith length (RSS=207.428) and otolith width (RSS=93.034) have a weak positive correlation to total length. Otolith weight can be used to age Black Crappie using either the linear or logarithmic models. Multiple regression analysis could be done to determine better models to predict fish age and total length.

Investigation of Intraindividual Variation of the 5.8S rRNA Gene Sequence in the Plant Parasite Cuscuta pentagona.

Presenter(s): Adam Cason
Mentor(s): David A. Johnson
Poster #: 29
Abstract: The rRNA genes present in a eukaryote’s genome are usually maintained as completely identical copies, but cases have been found where individual organisms have variation in their rDNA sequences. Earlier research in our lab indicates that Cuscuta pentagona (the five-angled dodder), a parasitic plant, is such a case: both the 18S and 5.8S rRNA gene show this intraindividual variation in rDNA sequence. We are investigating a related question: Are these multiple copies of rDNA actually used to make rRNA in the cell — are they all transcribed? RNA was isolated from the same specimen that showed 5.8S rDNA variation, then the RNA was reverse-transcribed into DNA, and as segment of the 5.8S rDNA was PCR-amplified. These amplicons were then cloned into E. coli and clones were sent for sequencing to determine if all of the variable rDNA sequences are transcribed and, presumably, used to make ribosomes. We show that the two sequence variants of the 5.8S rRNA gene from a single plant are both transcribed into RNA.

DNA Barcoding Using Eggshells from Depredated Turtle Nests

Presenter(s): Alice Hunt
Mentor(s): Jennifer Layton, Drew Hataway
Poster #: 37
Abstract: Conservation of rare turtles with threatened status is enhanced by identification and protection of nesting sites, and identification of depredated or vacated nests will expand protected nesting habitats. Eggshells were collected from depredated nests of unknown species, and the size and depth of the nests and the number of eggshells provided a preliminary species identification. DNA extraction was done using Quiagen DNEasy kits, though extraction success was varied due to degradation of the samples as a result of the predation event. Species were identified using mitochondrial d-loop loci primers specific to the subset of potential species. These sequences were subsequently aligned to previously published data for species identification. Identification of the species will identify new nesting habitats, and the results will provide data for monitoring and management collaborators such as Share the Beach, which monitors marine turtle nesting in the state of Alabama.

Resistance to Commonly Prescribed Antibiotics via Weak Selective Pressure: An Adaptive Laboratory Evolution Study

Presenter(s): Bryce Pierce, Nicholas Hammond
Mentor(s): Brad Bennett, Drew Hataway
Poster #: 44
Abstract: Probiotics, live microbes in certain foods such as yogurts, interact in a mutualistic way with humans. They provide a myriad of benefits for the human body including vitamin conversion and barrier protection against pathogens. However, current over-prescription of antibiotics poses threats to the efficacy of antibiotic consumption due to the cultivation of antibiotic resistance genes and their subsequent transmission to pathogens. Little is known of the effects associated with exposure of probiotics to sublethal concentrations of common antibiotics. We utilized an adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) experiment to determine if the functionality and fitness of the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum is altered by exposure to sublethal concentrations of amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, or doxycycline. Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MICs) were established using broth microdilution. Replicate cultures of L. plantarum were continuously grown for 1000 generations in media containing either 10% of the MIC value or significantly lower concentration based on a global average of surface water values. Fitness tests were periodically performed to examine how the initial MIC values changed over time. Fitness tests involved inoculating a 96-well plate containing a gradient of antibiotic concentrations with small aliquots of L. plantarum and 24 hours of incubation. After 24 hours incubation, the optical densities of each well were recorded. The growth of each experimental well was expressed as a percentage of growth of the control wells and a model was fit to the data to determine a precise MIC value. Cultures grown in both exposure levels of ciprofloxacin and doxycycline showed increases in the MIC, especially at the higher exposure level. Additionally, aliquots of each culture were frozen every 50 generations to explore the mechanisms of acquired resistance.

Developing a Rapid Method to Estimating Potential Fecundity in Black Crappie.

Presenter(s): Jacqueline Hintz
Mentor(s): Anthony Overton
Poster #: 49
Abstract: Determining reproductive growth potential in fishes is essential to managing fish populations. This is primarily done best estimating fecundity. Estimating individual reproductive potential is key to understanding the reproductive biology of fishes. Typically, fecundity has often been estimated using the gravimetric method, in which fecundity is the product of the number of oocytes per gram of ovary tissue (oocyte density) and the weight of the ovary in grams. This method of counting is very time consuming. This research presents a method of estimating oocyte density using image analysis. We compared gravimetric methods and digital image analysis to calculate fecundity estimates in Black Crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus from Lake Purdy, Birmingham, Alabama,. . We analyzed 20 Black Crappie oocytes and distinguished the oocyte density approximating between the gravimetric and image systems. Processing time, including the manual preparation of the sample for analysis and the data processing afterward for the gravimetric method, was approximately two hours per sample, whereas; image analysis processing time was roughly one hour. There was a significant relationship between the gravimetric and image oocyte density estimates (Y=0.89x+103.5; r2=0.91). The imaging system oocyte density estimates were routinely lower than the gravimetric method. This is possible because of the oocyte’s diameter. Our samples were collected from fish early in the pre-spawn season whose oocytes were smaller and lesser developed. We hypothesize that more significant, more developed oocytes would provide more accurate oocyte density estimates and easier processing methods. Accurate and more precise measurement of oocyte density is vital in assessing the maturity and spawning of fishes. The image analysis approach represents a highly time-efficient procedure compared to the traditional gravimetric techniques.

An Analysis of Age and Length Relationships for Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) at Lake Purdy, Birmingham, Alabama

Presenter(s): Kathryn Jones
Mentor(s): Anthony Overton
Poster #: 53
Abstract: Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) are a popular game fish for recreational fisherman across their native range. Consequentially, their popularity has led to some populations becoming overfished or stunted in growth. Implementing regulations regarding fishing and boating along with taking regular population assessments is important in preserving these populations. Regular assessments will help to assess year to year health and size of the target populations. This project aimed to assess 172 Black Crappie from Lake Purdy, Alabama from the spring of 2020 to the spring of 2021. The lengths and ages of each fish were recorded to determine this population’s Von Bertalanffy Growth (VBGF) curve and back calculated lengths. The otoliths of each of the 172 fish were collected and aged; this sample of fish ranged from 2 to 6 years of age. The VBGF showed that the length at age for Lake Purdy crappie is as expected from a healthy population. The back calculations suggest that the individual fish as slightly smaller than they could be when compared to the VBGF for the population.

Steel Cross Surgical Technique

Presenter(s): Noah Stenslie
Mentor(s): Robert Harris
Poster #: 57
Abstract: Introduction: Malleolar fractures are a common orthopedic injury representing 9% of all fractures with an increasing incidence. For fractures requiring surgical management, internal fixation with a locking plate is commonly used. In an effort to deliver more cost-effective care, we utilize a technique termed Steel Cross for fixation of the lateral malleolus. This technique incorporates a 1/3 tubular nonlocking plate with 3.5mm/2.7mm screws angled in the distal fibula to interlock the threads for fixation. This pilot study was performed to compare the safety and efficacy of the Steel Cross versus standard locking plates for lateral malleolar fractures. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation for isolated lateral malleolar fractures. Consecutive patients treated with the Steel Cross were identified, and the electronic medical record and radiographs were reviewed for patient characteristics, outcomes, and complications. Similarly, a control group of patients treated with a locking distal fibular plate was identified in a 1:1 ratio. Results: The study included 48 patients divided equally between Steel Cross patients (n=24) and locking plate patients (n=24). Both groups were similar in the age, sex, smoking, and diabetes distribution. All patients achieved union, and none experienced instrumentation break or fixation failure. Regarding complications, 9 total complications were encountered. The difference in complication rates between both groups was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Open reduction and internal fixation is a safe and effective treatment for lateral malleolus fractures. The Steel Cross technique represents a viable alternative to locking plates in providing stable fixation. This technique achieved excellent union rates (100%) with a complication profile similar to that of locking plates while reducing implant cost by 24.4%.


Data Analytics for Accounting Applied to COVID-19

Presenter(s): Miles Morris, Paul Kelley
Mentor(s): Kevin Pan
Poster #: 18
Abstract: How can data analytics improve the accounting profession in terms of efficiency and accuracy? That is our research question. The purpose of this project is to see how data analytics can impact the field of accounting, focusing specifically on programs such as: Python, Google CoLab, and Excel. Our research is important because it provides more knowledge of Python coding, how to explore financial statements, and how to categorize companies based on certain situations/events that occurred within the company that year. As data analytics becoming more relevant in accounting, the implication of our research is that our work could potentially help accountants improve efficiency and accuracy in the field of accounting. In a larger scholarly context, our work extended the previous literature by applying Google CoLab. For this project, we targeted biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the first three months of 2020 (the COVID-19 outbreak) by separating financial disclosures based on industry sector through the use of PivotTables. We ran those 8-K text files through a Regular Expression text string analysis to categorize the filings into different stages of COVID-19 responses. Our results show that our code can separate into three categories: biotechnology innovation, delays in supply chain, and disruption of in-person operations. We found the false positive rate to be about 10% and the false negative rate to be less than 10%.

Computer Science

Vehicle Service Tracker

Presenter(s): Alan Crisologo
Mentor(s): Brian Toone
Poster #: 9
Abstract: One of the principal challenges with vehicle maintenance is keeping track of all details regarding vehicles a user owns. Many times, vehicle owners receive paper maintenance logs and have multiple service centers throughout their vehicle’s lifetime. With the creation of the Vehicle Service Tracker application, users can keep track of vehicle maintenance with a simple application on their device. To implement this idea into a useful mobile application, I utilize an Apple computer with the Xcode software development environment. Xcode works natively with Apple’s programming language, Swift, which is used for all iOS applications. Specifically, I use the latest Swift 5 programming language to produce the Vehicle Service Tracker application. The iOS application will allow the end-user to track necessary details for their vehicle within their device. Throughout the development of the application, I am learning that “source control” is a crucial factor in a successful software engineering endeavor. Source control is the process of backing up and archiving all changes that one makes to their code. This archive allows a developer to quickly restore their old code to correct an error or misstep that a developer introduces into their project. I use two source control backups, one with Apple’s Xcode, and one with GitHub. Another important aspect of this project is incremental application development. Application developers need to add a few features at a time to an application. This process allows developers to itemize and compartmentalize what needs to be done for the application. I am able to use this process to slowly build my application adding specific features that build off the previous iterations of code while minimizing tangential coding.

Blockchain Algorithm in the Food Production Industry

Presenter(s): Max Lattermann
Mentor(s): Brian Toone
Poster #: 19
Abstract: While Blockchain algorithms are widely known in the cryptocurrency world, the exact functionality and how the security features of this technology can be used in other areas of the real world is still largely unknown to most consumers. The blockchain algorithm uses a peer-to-peer network that does not rely on one central trustworthy authority to guide transfers, traffic, or any other form of communication. This research explores the issues associated with porting the secure, anonymous network used by blockchain algorithms to collect and track data associated with the entire food product lifetime – from creation, to delivery, to purchase by consumer. With no central authority subject to corruption, this usage of the blockchain algorithm can provide consumers with accurate information about the labor conditions and any other uncertainties connected to global food trade associated with the products they intend to buy. Existing research explores this type of application, however, the actual implementation is largely lacking due to the extensive work to equip all actors in the supply chain. A theoretical design with mock data and scaled down to accommodate to the smaller mock data set, however, enables users to see the benefits not in an abstract manner but through hands on experience. This is the purpose of this research project – to actively demonstrate how the algorithm works outside of the financial context.

IdeaShare Website (Tenatively named)

Presenter(s): Nicholas Lavett
Mentor(s): Brian Toone
Poster #: 30
Abstract: For my research, I am designing a website using MVC. The purpose of this project is to gain knowledge and experience in web development and share the lessons learned along the way. The main website itself is tentatively called “IdeaShare” and is a place for others to post and derive inspiration from others. Users can post ideas for projects under suggested categories for guests or other users to implement or gain inspiration from. One feature of the website is the presentation of categories of topics with ideas to give users a starting point for making their own idea and project suggestions. The design of the front-end of the website incorporates user friendly, visually appealing aspects that I am documenting in this research. The design strategy is to use my storyboarding experience from previous projects to facilitate the creation of a logical, coherent design. While I hope to build a complete website with both user and guest functionality, the primary goal of this research is to document the technologies used and lessons learned. This research is important to me for acquiring knowledge and experience using these tools to create a website. Being a computer science major, I will likely work with these tools in the near future, so the practice and experience in web development through this project is helpful for my future career goals.

Video Game Capture Software

Presenter(s): Nolan Waldschmidt
Mentor(s): Brian Toone
Poster #: 38
Abstract: The goal of the project is to use the accumulation of what I have learned as a computer science student. My project is to create a version of screen capture software that captures smaller video segments. This software is meant for use in capturing gameplay and will implement features that other similar software lacks. One of the things that I have learned from my classes is the Agile method called “Scrum”, which is a project management methodology. Scrum involves creating a backlog of tasks and splitting those tasks up into “sprints” which define a short period of time in which to complete those tasks. For the actual project I am using two different programming languages: Python and C++. Python powers the front end, and C++ powers the back end connection to SQLite data storage. One final goal of the research is to share my experience with these technologies that will be quite helpful in my future career as a computer scientist.

GAS: The General Anesthesia Simulator for Learning Machine Safety in Virtual Reality

Presenter(s): Sawyer Emerson
Mentor(s): Brian Toone, Greg Kawell
Poster #: 48
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated many shortcomings of virtual education for retention and comprehension. Particularly in the medical field, education normally conducted in labs, hospitals, and clinics has been limited to remote learning and scenario planning. In Samford University’s College of Health Sciences, for example, nursing students are required to learn several anesthesia procedures including a safety checkout on an anesthesia machine that ensures the proper functioning of the machine before surgical operations. On campus, Samford has a simulation lab where students learn, practice, and complete evaluations. However, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions students have limited access outside of classes. We introduce the General Anesthesia Simulator (GAS) as a novel virtual reality (VR) application to resolve these limitation concerns that allows anesthesia students to complete the safety checkout procedure for anesthesia machines. The use of VR for education has shown potential to aid students’ education by allowing access to tactile learning without the need to be physically present. Therefore, this VR application enables students to learn the safety checkout procedure remotely without physical presence in the simulation lab. Our application allows students to complete the entire safety procedure covering the entire spectrum of learning from no knowledge of the procedure to completing evaluations. The virtual environment includes a fully developed operating room and an interactable anesthesia machine that ensures students receive similar tactile practice and muscle memory as they would in person. Finally, the application displays a results analysis summary, which enables students to gauge their understanding and progression in their ability to perform the procedure.

Evaluating Quarterback Success using Python

Presenter(s): Tyrone Boles
Mentor(s): Brian Toone
Poster #: 60
Abstract: Jalen Hurts who is a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles just completed his first season as the full-time starter. In this project, I analyze his statistics from this past season and compare them to other prominent quarterbacks in the NFL. The goal is to determine if the data indicates Jalen Hurts has the potential to be the Eagles’ franchise Quarterback going forward. The project includes a visualization of these results to show if there is a talent differential that the Eagles should be concerned about going into the upcoming season. The research that I am doing will bring clarity to not only the Eagles front office who have to make decisions before the draft about either drafting a quarterback or trading for one, but also to Eagles fans like myself. Although this project is centered around sports it still fits into a larger scholarly context within my field because I am using the skills that I have learned during my time as a computer science major to code in Python to find the results for my research. While Python is used for retrieving and analyzing the data, Microsoft Excel is the platform for displaying graphic illustrations of my results. I believe that this project makes a unique contribution to my computer science field because not many times do you see concerns within NFL team management solved with the use of computers and coded data. Nevertheless, as a football player who majors in computer science, I thought it would be interesting to incorporate both of my interests into a senior project. I attempted to address my research question by using data from the past season and comparing it to the data of prominent quarterbacks in the league, which should show and give the Eagles a clear answer going forward.


Social Capital, Institutions, and Geographic Mobility in the United States

Presenter(s): Sydney Rennich
Mentor(s): Art Carden
Poster #: 10
Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between social capital, institutions, and geographic mobility in the United States to determine the relationship between migratory patterns and social ties. Using regression analysis, I analyze the relationship between an individual’s likelihood to have moved in the past year and the social capital in their county as measured by the number of social institutions and community engagement levels in their county. I find that individuals were more likely to have moved if they lived in counties with higher amounts of institutions and healthier social ties. I also find that counties with healthier institutionally generated social capital levels are more geographically dynamic; that is, they have higher percentages of individuals in their county that moved in the past year. This study will contribute to the current conversation about the effect of social capital on mobility with a unique focus on geographic mobility. As Americans have become increasingly closed off and grouped up in past decades, physical stagnation may be threatening impoverished Americans. Due to the socio-economic implications, the paper will be a useful tool in conversations about institution building and social capital promotion as a means of fostering social and economic mobility. If moving to opportunity can have large effects on future prosperity, understanding stagnation in the pipeline of movement to opportunity is necessary for policymakers aiming to increase outcomes for those in hurting communities. Public and private institutions alike should note the importance of community and encourage mobility for the sake of expanding opportunities for citizens across this country.

Exercise Science & Nutrition

Effects Of Yohimbine Hydrochloride Supplmentation On Explosive Bench Press Performance And Strength-Endurance

Presenter(s): Hope Sternenberg
Mentor(s): Christopher Ballmann
Poster #: 1
Abstract: Yohimbine hydrochloride (YHM) is an alpha-2-adrenergic receptor antagonist which induces the “fight or flight” response. While it has been previously investigated for weight loss, few studies have investigated YHM in the context of exercise. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of acute YHM ingestion on bench press exercise power, velocity, and repetition volume. In a double-blinded crossover design, resistance trained males (n=14; ages 18-24) participated in two separate bench press trials each with a different single-dose treatment: Placebo (PL; gluten free corn starch) or Yohimbine Hydrochloride (YHM; 2.5 mg). In each trial, participants consumed their respective treatment 20 minutes prior to exercise. Following a warm-up, participants completed 1 set × 2 repetitions as explosively as possible while a linear position transducer monitored mean power and velocity of the barbell. Participants then completed 3 sets × Repetitions to failure (RTF) at 75% of 1-Repetition Maximum (1-RM) separated by 2 minutes of rest. Motivation to exercise and subjective measures of energy/fatigue were measured post-exercise. Total RTF, mean velocity, mean power, motivation, subjective energy/fatigue were compared and analyzed. Mean power (p=0.472; d= 0.16) and mean velocity (p= 0.297; d= 0.25) were unchanged by treatment. However, total RTF (p= 0.045; d= 0.56) was higher with YHM treatment. Motivation to exercise (p= 0.011; d= 0.64) and energy levels (p< 0.001; d= 1.27) were significantly higher with YHM ingestion versus PL. Subjective fatigue was significantly lower with YHM ingestion (p< 0.001; d= 1.65). In conclusion, current findings show that YHM consumption enhanced muscular strength-endurance. Furthermore, YHM improved feelings of motivation, energy, and fatigue. YHM ingestion may therefore be useful for athletes or competitors seeking to improve performance or combat subjective fatigue.

The Effects of Food Consumption on Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry Body Composition Measurements

Presenter(s): William Lee, Hope Sternenberg
Mentor(s): Tyler Williams
Poster #: 2
Abstract: Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) is a gold standard measurement of body composition. Currently, the pre-assessment instructions, including food consumption, prior to DXA scans are vague and research is lacking. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects food consumption on body composition results recorded through DXA. College-aged, physically active males were recruited to participate in this study. Subjects completed two visits in a randomized and counterbalanced order that consisted of a fasted DXA scan and another DXA scan after consuming different quantities of food. During one visit, subjects consumed a nutritional bar (80 g) containing 330 kcals with 500 mL of water (SNACK) between the first and second DXA scan. During the next visit, subjects consumed two nutritional bars (160 g) containing 660 kcals and 500 mL of water (MEAL) between first and second DXA scans. Total mass, lean mass, fat mass, and bone mineral content for the total body, trunk, arms, and legs were recorded and analyzed to determine difference between baseline and post-meal DXA scans. A 2 x 2 repeated measures analysis of variance was used to determine differences in tissue mass between conditions for each body segment. There was a significant increase in total body mass following the SNACK and MEAL (p < 0.001). Total lean mass increased following the MEAL (p < 0.001). Total trunk mass increased for the SNACK (p = 0.03) and MEAL (p = 0.001). Following ingestion of the snack, trunk fat mass increased (p = 0.016), while trunk lean mass increased following ingestion of the MEAL (p = 0.004). The results of this study suggest that consuming food of small and large quantities prior to a DXA assessment can affect body composition results, primarily in total body measurements and the trunk. Food consumption does not appear to affect body composition results in the upper and lower extremities.

The Effects Of Dietary Beetroot Juice Supplementation On Simple Reaction Time And Agility Performance

Presenter(s): Ashleigh Davis
Mentor(s): Rebecca Rogers
Poster #: 5
Abstract: PURPOSE: The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of acute beetroot juice supplementation on simple reaction time and agility performance in young adults. METHODS: In this double-blinded study, 12 physically active, college-age males (21.6±0.79 yrs, 83.2±13.6 kg, 70.1±2.47 in) were recruited. Participants visited the laboratory two times and completed five drills: a simple reaction time test, the home base drill, the semi-circle drill, and the universal drill. Two hours prior to the visit, participants either consumed 140 mL of beetroot juice (BRJ) or placebo (black currant juice) (PL). The BRJ and PL trials were randomized and counterbalanced, and each visit was separated by a 72-hour washout period. RESULTS: Simple reaction time (p=0.28), home base drill reaction time (p=0.78), and universal drill reaction time (p=0.78) were not significantly different between BRJ and PL trials. Additionally, time to completion on the simple reaction time test (p=0.42), home base drill (p=0.33), semi-circle drill (p=0.07), and the universal drill (p=0.41) were not significantly different between conditions. Semi-Circle drill reaction time (p=0.011), Get Up and Go response time (p=0.02), and Get Up and Go time to completion (p=0.016) were significantly different between BRJ and PL trials. CONCLUSION: Findings support the acute use of beetroot juice supplementation for improving lower body reaction time drills and agility performance in healthy, physically active men.

Effect of task difficulty on dual tasking during isometric exercise

Presenter(s): Briana Holmes, Elise VanNoord
Mentor(s): Mallory Marshall
Poster #: 8
Abstract: Data suggests that splitting attentional resources between two tasks, or dual tasking, may result in performance on one or both tasks suffering. However, the difficulty of the tasks may affect the degree to which performance decrements occur. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of cognitive task difficulty on isometric exercise performance. Male and female college age adults were recruited via convenience sampling and visited the laboratory on four occasions and completed a bar hang and a plank exercise to exhaustion. During one visit, no cognitive task was performed and during the other three visits, participants performed the isometric exercises while simultaneously counting backward from a 3-digit number by either 1’s (easy mathematics), 3’s (moderately difficult mathematics), or 7’s (hard mathematics). Performance on the bar hang and planks was measured by total time to failure (in seconds), and number of correct and attempted subtractions was also recorded as a measure of cognitive performance. One-way ANOVA with Tukey post-hoc correction was used to compare time to fatigue for baseline vs the three math conditions as well as evaluate performance on the math tests. Participants correctly responded to significantly more easy math subtractions compared to moderate and hard during both the plank and bar hang (p<0.05), but there were no significant differences in bar hang or plank time to exhaustion in baseline vs any of the three math levels (p>0.05). These data suggest that physical performance is not affected by increasingly difficult cognitive tasks during dual tasking.

Effects of Topical Menthol Cream on Anaerobic Exercise Performance

Presenter(s): Callie Ledford, Kayla Dendy
Mentor(s): Tyler Williams
Poster #: 11
Abstract: Topical menthol cream is commonly used to reduce muscular pain following vigorous exercise. However, menthol’s pain reduction abilities may minimize the muscular discomfort during intense exercise and lead to enhanced exercise performance. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of topical menthol cream on maximal effort cycling exercise. College-aged, physically active females were recruited for this study. In a double-blinded, counterbalanced, crossover deign, subjects received a topical application of a 10% menthol cream or placebo to the anterior and posterior thigh prior to exercise testing. During each trial, subjects completed 3 sets of 15 second maximal effort cycling sprints against a resistance equal to 7.5% of the subjects’ body mass. Peak power, mean power, fatigue index, and total work were measured and recorded using an electronic cycle ergometer. Subject’s perceived exertion and pain perception were recorded following each sprint. A 2 × 3 repeated measures analysis of variance was used to determine differences between conditions for each outcome measure. There were no significant differences in peak power, mean power, fatigue index, or total work between conditions (p > 0.05). Furthermore, there were no differences in perceived exertion or discomfort during the sprint tests between conditions (p > 0.05). Based on the results of this study, topical menthol cream should not be recommended to enhance high-intensity exercise performance.

The Effect Of Vinyasa Yoga On Creative Thinking In College Aged Females

Presenter(s): Emma Pierce
Mentor(s): Rebecca Rogers
Poster #: 14
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Meditation has been shown to stimulate the neocortex part of the brain, which is responsible for higher order thinking, thereby enhancing creativity. Vinyasa yoga is a yoga style that focuses on body movements and power holding. The purpose of this study was the examine the acute effects of Vinyasa yoga on creative thinking. METHODS: College-aged females were recruited into the study and completed a health history and informed consent. Participants visited the laboratory two times and in a randomized, cross-over design, completed either a 30-minute video of Vinyasa Yoga, or sat and watched a 30-minute video of a Ted talk, which served as the control session. Before and after each session, participants completed five tests of divergent creative thinking: the Alternative Uses Test (AUT), the Letter Test, a Critical Thinking Dilemma, and a Connect the Lines test. RESULTS: The AUT fluency (p=0.042), AUT originality (p=0.041), and the letter list originality (p=0.015) was significantly higher after Vinyasa yoga compared to the control session. There were no significant differences in the other measures of creative thinking after yoga or the control (p>0.05). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that Vinyasa yoga can improve certain domains of creative thinking after one session.

The Effects of Fluid Restriction on Reaction Time in Healthy Females

Presenter(s): Halee Morris, Karson Fallin
Mentor(s): Courteney Benjamin
Poster #: 21
Abstract: Hydration impacts all aspects of life including exercise performance, short term memory, psychomotor skills, perceptual discrimination, and even visuomotor tracking. Studies deploying cognitive-motor tasks to measure perceptual discrimination target accuracy, visual tracking, choice reaction time, attentional focus, concentration, and fatigue perception concur that the effects of mild hypohydration result in cognitive-motor dysfunction. No studies have investigated the mechanisms for these outcomes and few studies have examined females. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the impact fluid restriction on various components of reaction time in females. Healthy females (n = 7; age = 21 ± 1 y) participated in this randomized, counter-balanced, cross-over study. Participants completed two trials in which they completed a 12-hour fluid restriction (FR) protocol and a prescribed fluid (PF) intake protocol in which they consumed 500 mL the night before the trial and 500 mL the morning of the trial. Visual, motor, peripheral, and central reaction times will be assessed on both the dominant and non-dominant hand using the DynaVision. Average choice motor reaction time involving the non-dominant hand was significantly slower following FR (0.38 ± 0.10 sec) compared to PF (0.33 ± 0.08 sec, p = 0.041). When examining the visual and motor components of reaction time of the dominant hand, the fastest choice motor reaction time was significantly better following PF (0.64 ± 0.08 sec) compared to FR (0.74 ± 0.08 sec, p = 0.005). Average Reactive Mode A central reaction time was significantly faster following PF (0.77 ± 0.04 sec) compared to FR (0.79 ± 0.03 sec, p = 0.010). Results from this study demonstrate the impact fluid intake has on various components of reaction time in healthy females. In order to optimize reaction time, females should be sure to consume appropriate amounts of fluid.

Effects of Dry Cupping Therapy on Muscle Soreness

Presenter(s): Jane Beck, Hailey Mahan
Mentor(s): Thomas Kopec
Poster #: 22
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of dry cupping therapy on muscle soreness recovery following a bout of exercise. It was hypothesized that dry cupping would improve muscle recovery. Methods – In a randomized crossover counterbalanced study design, twenty (20) participants were measured for initial soreness, pain-pressure-threshold (PPT), and total joint range of motion (TROM) of their radiocarpal joints in a rested state. Soreness was measured with a visual analog scale (VAS) and participants were asked to rate their current discomfort level. Next, participants performed an exhaustive wrist extension exercise protocol and then were treated with either the experimental (EXP) treatment of dry cupping applied to the proximal extensor tendon, or the control (CON) treatment of dry cupping applied to the proximal flexor tendon. Following the respective treatment, participants were again immediately assessed for soreness, PPT, and TROM, and then again measured 48-hours later. Context – Dry cupping is an emerging treatment for acute muscle soreness, but it’s effectiveness as a standalone treatment for alleviating muscle soreness has not been established. Results – Paired-samples t-test showed significant differences in pain scores assessed immediately following treatment (PPT (p=0.030), but not between any other measurement (TROM (p=0.570); Soreness (p=0.474)), nor at 48-hour follow-up (PPT (p=0.408); TROM (p=0.066); Soreness (p=0.211)). Implications – Dry cupping may be effective for immediate pain reduction following insult but was not effective for reducing muscle soreness nor restoring ROM. Contributions to the scientific community – Clinicians should not utilize dry cupping alone to treat acute sore muscles.

The Effects Of Acute Rauwolscine Supplementation On Anaerobic Exercise Performance

Presenter(s): Julianne Hill
Mentor(s): Christopher Ballmann
Poster #: 27
Abstract: Rauwolscine (RW) is an alpha-2-adrenergic antagonist which has sympathomimetic properties through increases in systemic norepinephrine release. Currently, there is a paucity of evidence on the possible ergogenic benefits of RW supplementation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of acute RW supplementation on repeated high-intensity sprint exercise performance. Resistance-trained males (n=12) were recruited for this study. Using a double-blinded, counterbalanced, crossover design, subjects were supplemented with either 2 mg of RW or a placebo (PL; gluten-free cornstarch) 30 minutes before anaerobic testing. During each trial, subjects completed 3 x 15 s Wingate Anaerobic Sprint Tests (WAnT) with a 2 min active recovery period between tests. Mean power, peak power, fatigue index, total work, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded and analyzed. Additionally, blood [Lactate] was measured prior to and immediately following the exercise tests. RW treatment did not impart performance enhancing benefits for peak power (p=0.821), mean power (p=0.453), fatigue index (p=0.980), total work (p=0.429), and RPE (p=0.999). However, RW ingestion resulted significantly higher post-exercise blood [La-] compared to PL (p= 0.040). Acute RW supplementation had no effect on anaerobic exercise performance or perceived exertion in resistance-trained males. However post-exercise blood lactate was significantly higher with RW indicating possible alterations in skeletal muscle metabolism.

Effects of Music Volume Preference on Endurance Exercise Performance

Presenter(s): Kylie Nixon
Mentor(s): Christopher Ballmann
Poster #: 28
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of preferred versus non-preferred music volume on relative power output, trial time to completion (TTC), heart rate (HR), rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and motivation during endurance rowing exercise. Physically active females (age 18-25) volunteered to participate. In a crossover counterbalanced design, participants completed two trials: non-preferred (NPV) and preferred (PV) music volume. Participants began with a rowing warm-up at 50% of HRmax for 5 minutes. Following this, participants completed a 2000m rowing time trial as quickly as possible. Relative power output, HR, and RPE were documented each minute during the exercise bout. TTC and motivation levels were documented at the cessation of exercise. Results showed that there were no significant differences between NPV and PV for relative power output (p= 0.287; d= 0.17), TTC (p= 0.816; d= 0.01), and HR (p= 0.956; d= 0.08). However, RPE was significantly lower (p= 0.002; d= 0.86) and motivation was significantly higher (p< 0.001; d= 2.14) during the PV condition versus NPV. Findings suggest that while PV does not impart performance enhancing effects during endurance exercise compared to NPV, it may im-prove psychological responses related to intensity and effort which could have important impli-cations for enduring intense exercise and training.

Effect of melanin concentration on heart rate readings of wearable fitness monitors

Presenter(s): Lauren Boag, AnnaGrace Gardner
Mentor(s): Mallory Marshall
Poster #: 33
Abstract: Photoplethysmography (PPG) is a non-invasive technology designed to measure volumetric and circulation changes in blood using low-intensity infrared light or green LED light. This technology is used in fitness tracking devices to estimate heart rate (HR). There is little research on how PPG technology is affected by skin tone, despite the possibility that skin with more melanin may not reflect light as well as lighter skin. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of melanin concentration in skin on the HR measurement accuracy of the Apple Watch Series 6, FitBit Versa 3, MI Band, Fitbit Inspire 2, Letsfit Smartwatch, and Garmin Vivo 4 in treadmill walking, and activities of daily living (climbing stairs, vacuuming, picking up toys, and carrying groceries). Participants were college-age adults whose skin tone was visually assessed as Type I/II (light skin tone) or Type III/IV (medium skin tone) utilizing the validated Fitzpatrick scale. Participants completed a single session of activity while wearing the devices in a randomized order on both wrists, as well as a Polar HR monitor (the gold standard measurement) fitted to their chest. They performed activities for 5 minutes each with a 3 minute rest period between each. The percent error for each device was calculated by the formula: [(known HR – device HR) / known HR) *100]. An independent t-test was used to compare the percent errors between groups. There were no significant differences between HR reading percent error in light vs medium skin tones with the exception of HR measured by the FitBit Versa 3 during the picking up toys trial, with a greater percent error in the medium compared to light skin tone groups (p=0.038). These data suggest that the six tested devices work equally well in participants with light and medium skin tones, with one exception for Fitbit Versa 3. More research on dark skin tones is required to further understand how melanin concentration affects PPG technology.

Jump Landing Forces with Varying Dance Foot Positions in Dancers versus Non-Dancers

Presenter(s): Lenox Jones, Ellah Ball
Mentor(s): Christopher Ballmann
Poster #: 34
Abstract: Dance training initiates specific physiological and biomechanical alterations beneficial for performance. Our lab recently showed that trained dancers exhibit superior balance compared to non-dancers in varying foot positions, but only in dance specific stances. Anecdotally, dancers are specifically trained to land from jumping while rolling their feet to allow for fluid movement and possibly avoid injury. However, it is unknown if jump landing forces differ between dancers and non-dancers. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of varying foot position on jump landing forces in dancers versus non-dancers. In a static groups design, experienced dancers (n=8) and non-dancers (n=8) completed a drop jump test under the following foot positions: 1) 6th position (Parallel) or 2) 1st position (Turned-out). Participants completed 3 separate drop-jump attempts onto force plates for each foot position. Attempts were averaged and analyzed for mean breaking force, mean braking power, and braking impulse. Breaking force (p= 0.901), braking power (p= 0.726), and braking impulse (p= 0.848) were not different between dancers and non-dancers in varying foot positions. These findings suggest that landing forces when jumping are not altered by dance training.

The Effects of Environmental Conditions on Physiological and Perceptual Measures During Hot Yoga

Presenter(s): Margaret Rogers, Sophie LaBar
Mentor(s): Courteney Benjamin
Poster #: 39
Abstract: Different environmental conditions during exercise affect the way the body responds physiologically and perceptually. Hot yoga has become an increasingly popular exercise modality. No study to date has examined the physiological and perceptual outcomes during two different environmental conditions (hot humid [HH] and hot dry [HD]) matched for wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT). The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of two different environmental conditions on physiological and perceptual measures during a hot yoga session. Physically active female participants (n=4; age= 22 ± 1 y) participated in this randomized, counterbalanced, cross-over study. Participants will complete a 60-minute yoga session in HH condition (33.9°C, 55% humidity) and the other in a HD condition (40.6°C, 20% humidity), with the same WBGT. On the days of exercise trials, participants consumed an ingestible thermistor to assess internal body temperature (TINT) at least 3 hours prior to testing (CorTemp, Palmetto, FL). Participants also wore a heart rate monitor throughout the trials to assess heart rate (HR) (Polar, Inc.). Rating of perceived exertion (RPE), thermal sensation (TS), and thirst (T) perceptual measures were recorded throughout the trials. Body mass loss and fluid intake were recorded to calculate sweat rate (SR). Dependent-samples t-tests were used to assess differences between the trials. There were no differences in TINT, HR, or SR between trials (p > 0.05). There were no differences in RPE, TS, or T between trials (p > 0.05). In environmental conditions with varying degrees of temperature and humidity in which WBGT is matched, there were no physiological or perceptual differences when completing 60 minutes of yoga. Environmental conditions do not seem to impact performance or safety measures when WBGT is not altered, however, the small sample size of this study could have impacted these results, therefore, more data is needed to make firm conclusions.

Effect of surface stability during dual tasking on memory and cognition

Presenter(s): Maria Miller, Leiden Rounds
Mentor(s): Mallory Marshall
Poster #: 40
Abstract: Dual tasking, or performing two tasks simultaneously, may result in decreased performance in one or both tasks compared to performing the task on its own. Some research suggests that during dual tasking, completing a task requiring postural control may result in improved rather than worsened performance on a cognitive task. Thus the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of surface stability on performance of memory-related cognitive tasks. College-age male and female participants were recruited via convenience sampling and visited the laboratory for a single visit. During the lab session, participants completed three cognitive tests: the Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT), the Sternberg Test of Working Memory (STWM), and the Paced Serial Addition Test (PASAT). Each test was completed in a counterbalanced order while the participant stood on each of three surfaces: a flat surface (floor), the rounded side of a BOSU ball, and the flat side of a BOSU ball. Surface order was also counterbalanced, and a balance score was assigned during each test by use of a modified balance error scoring system (BESS) score. ANOVA was used to compare cognitive test errors and BESS errors among the three groups. There was no significant difference in performance on any of the three cognitive tests regardless of the surface the participant stood upon (p>0.05). However, balance was significantly worse (higher BESS score) during all three cognitive tests when standing on the flat and round sides of the BOSU compared to on the ground (p=0.023 for SCWT, 0.011 for STWM, and 0.002 for PASAT). These data indicate that during dual tasking involving balance demands, cognitive performance takes priority over balance, which may increase fall risk.

The Effects of Intermittent Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation of the Peroneal Nerve on Exercise-induced Muscle Soreness

Presenter(s): Mckenzie Parker
Mentor(s): Christopher Ballmann
Poster #: 45
Abstract: Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is a therapeutic modality widely used in clinics for rehabilitation of orthopedic related injuries. Intermittent NEMS targeted to the peroneal nerve in the lower limb has been shown to improve indices of blood flow and reduces swelling. However, it is unknown if prophylactic treatment with intermittent NMES delays muscle soreness and decrements in performance following intense unaccustomed exercise. The purpose of this study was to investigate intermittent NMES of the peroneal nerve on perceived soreness, range of motion (ROM), calf circumference (CC), and ballistic movement performance following unaccustomed exercise. Untrained college-aged females were recruited for this study. Using a randomized control design, participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: 1) Sham treatment (Sham; no NEMS), 2) Intermittent NEMS (NEMS; 1 Hz, 30 minutes). For the first visit, baseline measurements of perceived soreness, ankle range of motion (ROM), calf circumference (CC), and ballistic movement performance were obtained. Participants then completed a eccentric calf raise protocol to induce soreness immediately followed by the administration of treatment. After 48 hours had elapsed, participants returned for their second visit and repeated all measurements again. Results indicate that there were no significant differences between Sham and NEMS with regards to perceived soreness (p= 0.380), CC (p= 0.329), ankle ROM (p= 0.750), or vertical jump height (p= 0.384). However, propulsive force (p= 0.018) and propulsive power (p= 0.041) during isometric calf push testing was significantly higher at 48 hours compared to Sham. Results indicate that intermittent NEMS does not influence exercise-induced soreness outcomes but may aid in preserving muscle force development after unaccustomed exercise.

The Effect Of Ammonia Inhalants On Anerobic Performance And Psychological Variables

Presenter(s): Peighton Cumbie
Mentor(s): Rebecca Rogers
Poster #: 50
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In recent years, ammonia inhalants have been used to combat syncope and by weightlifters in resistance exercises to improve performance, but the research has revealed mixed results. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of ammonia inhalants on anaerobic exercise performance and psychological responses. METHODS: Physically active, college-age females (21 ± 0.8 yrs, 140.4 ± 30.9 lbs, 65.7 ± 2.8 in) were recruited via word of mouth for this study. The study was approved by the university institutional review board. All participants completed a health history form and a consent form. In a randomized controlled, blinded, counterbalanced, cross-over design, participants were asked to visit the lab two times at least 48 hours apart for each visit and compete three 15-second Wingate Anaerobic Cycling Tests (WAnT) at 7.5% of their body weight on a Velotron cycle ergometer after sniffing a 0.33 ammonia capsule or the placebo (water). After each WAnT test, the participant was asked their rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and how alert and psyched up they were feeling via a visual analogue scale (VAS). There was an active 2-minute recovery time between each WAnT. RESULTS: Mean watts (p=0.021), peak watts (p=0.032), anaerobic capacity (p=0.049), anaerobic power (p=0.139), fatigue index (p=0.426), heart rate (p=0.004), RPE (p<0.001), Alertness (p=0.033), and Psyched Up (p= 0.004) were averaged over the three repeated WAnTs. CONCLUSION: These results show a significant difference between placebo and ammonia salt tests, which indicates that ammonia salts can improves anaerobic performance and psychological perceptions.

Effects of Mistletoe Extract (Viscum album) on Endurance Exercise Performance

Presenter(s): Sarah Van Duser, Emmy Goode
Mentor(s): Christopher Ballmann
Poster #: 55
Abstract: Mistletoe extract (ME; Viscum album) has been traditionally used in folk medicine to combat fatigue and stress. Evidence has shown that chronic consumption of ME results in enhancement of oxidative metabolism and exercise performance. However, no studies have investigated how acute ME consumption influences performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of acute ME ingestion on endurance rowing performance. Physically active females (n=12) were recruited for this study. In a crossover, counterbalanced design, participants complete two trials each with a different treatment: 1) ME (1000 mg) and 2) Placebo (PL; gluten-free cornstarch; 1000 mg). 20 minutes prior to exercise, participants consumed their treatment. Participants were familiarized with the rowing ergometer and warmed-up for 5 minutes at 50% of age-predicted heart rate max. Immediately following the warm-up, participants completed a 2000 m rowing time trial. Blood lactate (La) was obtained with a lactate meter via finger prick before and after exercise. Power output, trial time, heart rate, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and La were collected. Analysis revealed no significant differences for power output (p= 0.511), trial time (p= 0.842), heart rate (p= 0.190), rating of perceived exertion (p= 0.951), or La (p= 0.277). While previous findings have suggested possible benefits of chronic ME ingestion, these data suggest that acute ME supplementation does not impart ergogenic effects.

Effects of Acute Rauwolscine Supplementation on Strength, Power, and Agility

Presenter(s): Seth Ford, Cameron Vidal
Mentor(s): Tyler Williams
Poster #: 56
Abstract: Rauwolscine is a supplement that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and is claimed to enhance exercise performance. While it is currently being marketed as an effective pre-exercise supplement, there have been no scientific investigations on the efficacy of rauwolscine on exercise performance. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of acute rauwolscine supplementation on measures of strength, power, and agility. College-aged, resistance-trained males were recruited to participate in this study. In a double-blinded, counterbalanced, crossover design, subjects supplemented with 2 mg of rauwolscine or a placebo 20 minutes prior to exercise testing. During each trial subjects performed 2 maximal effort vertical jumps on a force platform. Next, subjects completed a reaction-based agility test using the FitLight timing system. Last, subjects completed an isometric mid-thigh pull assessment to measure peak force production. Subjects returned for the second visit following a minimum of 24 hours and completed the same testing battery under the opposite supplement condition. Vertical jump height, peak power, reaction time, and peak force production were recorded and analyzed using a paired samples t-test to determine differences between conditions. There was no significant difference in vertical jump height, peak power, reaction time, and peak force between conditions (p > 0.05). While companies are promoting the use of rauwolscine to improve performance, the results of our study suggest that rauwolscine has no effect on measures of strength, power, and agility.

The Effects of L-theanine Supplementation on Sleep and ANS Function in NCAA Division 1 Female Soccer Players Following Late-Afternoon Vigorous Exercise

Presenter(s): Audrey Kleiman
Mentor(s): Courteney Benjamin
Poster #: 64
Abstract: Due to its relaxation properties, several studies have shown that L-theanine supplementation improves sleep and autonomic nervous system (ANS) function in generally active populations, however no study has examined this following late-afternoon exercise in an athletic population. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of L-theanine on subjective and objective sleep quality and ANS function after a late-afternoon maximal aerobic exercise. NCAA Division 1 female soccer athletes (n=12; age= 20 ± 1 y) participated in this double-blind, randomized, counterbalanced cross-over study. Each participant completed a vigorous intensity aerobic conditioning session on two separate occasions. Following each training session, participants consumed either a placebo supplement (PL) or 200 mg of L-theanine (SUP) 1 hour before bed. Participants wore two wrist-worn devices to obtain objective sleep (Actigraph) and ANS function (Polar Ignite). Subjective sleep was assessed with a validated sleep questionnaire (Karoliska Sleep Diary) upon wakening. There were no differences in any objective sleep measures between trials, including sleep latency, efficiency, total time in bed, total sleep time, wake after sleep onset, number of awakenings, or average number of awakenings (p > 0.05). There were no differences in any subjective sleep measures between trials, including minutes to fall asleep, sleep quality, feelings of refresh, feelings of calm, sleeping through an allotted time, ease of awakening, and dreaming (p > 0.05). Resting heart rate, beat-to-beat intervals, and heart rate variability were not different between trials (p>0.05), however breathing rate was significantly higher following SUP compared to PL (SUP = 15.2 ± 1.28; PL = 14.8 ± 1.06 breaths per minute, p = 0.017). Although previous research has observed improvements in sleep and ANS measures, L-theanine supplementation did not impact the sleep or ANS measures of collegiate female soccer players.

Human Development & Family Science

Childhood Trauma and Intimate Relationships

Presenter(s): Bayley Levine
Mentor(s): Jonathan Davis
Poster #: 3
Abstract: This study explores the relationship between childhood trauma and intimate relationships, using emotional regulation and emotional contagion as the mediating factors. Childhood trauma consists of experiences of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, as well as neglect during childhood. Emotional regulation includes cognitive reappraisal, which is the ability to evoke emotions one might wish to fill, as well as emotional suppression, or the ability to not express emotions one might prefer not to feel. Emotional contagion includes matching personal emotions to those around them—such as when a friend is crying, an individual might start to cry as well. Each of these emotional processes can have a positive or negative effect on interpersonal relationships. The hypotheses for this study were as follows: childhood trauma has a negative relationship with cognitive reappraisal; childhood trauma has a positive relationship with emotional suppression; and childhood trauma has a negative relationship with emotional contagion. The Emotional Regulation Questionnaire was used to measure the cognitive reappraisal and emotional suppression variables. The Emotional Contagion Scale was used to measure the emotional contagion variable. Lastly, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire—Short Form was used to measure the childhood trauma variable. The online distribution of the survey received 170 responses. While none of the hypotheses were supported, the variables of emotional suppression and emotional contagion were found to be inversely correlated—as emotional suppression raised, emotional contagion fell, and vice versa. This finding is impactful in the areas of emotional therapy, education, and intervention. Professionals can use this finding to understand how the two emotional tendencies are related and impact one another. Therapists may also use this knowledge to teach their clients that opening up can lead to more emotional connection and empathy within their relationships.

Parental Criticism and Willingness to Intermarry

Presenter(s): Christa Chery, Heaven Colquiett
Mentor(s): Jonathan Davis
Poster #: 13
Abstract: Willingness to marry someone of a different race is often influenced by an era’s racial climate, meaning how parents respond will likely impact how they present their preferences for partnering with their children. Earlier research suggests a correlation between race and gender and partner preferences, and that parental criticism affects partnering. This study recognizes the impact of race relations on marriage preferences and what roles parents have in willingness to intermarry. To test two hypotheses, we distributed a survey containing the Family Emotional Involvement and Criticism Scale I (FEICS I) and the Personal/Global grid survey, which measures individuals' willingness to partner with someone outside of their race. We recruited 207 people to take our non-experimental survey from social media, including the FEICS I and the Personal/Global grid. The average respondent was a college-aged female. The first hypothesis was that participants' parental criticism shown by their scores on FEICS I correlated with the likelihood that participants would date, live, marry, or have a child with someone outside of their race, African American or Asian American. A correlation analysis determined that there was no relationship between criticism and willingness to intermarry for men (r= -.031, p= .866), but for women this relationship was significant (r= 0.166, p= 0.040). The second hypothesis suggested that race and gender may be a factor in partnering with someone outside their race, measured by the Personal/Global grid survey scores. When groups were individually compared, there was statistically no difference in race and gender being a factor in intermarriage. Our research is needed to contribute to the scarce findings exploring the relationship between willingness to intermarry and parental criticism. These findings can help inform family therapists and family life educators on parents' effects on their children's willingness to partner with people outside of their race.

Adverse Childhood Experiences & Patterns of Violence and Victimization

Presenter(s): Ella Walker
Mentor(s): Jonathan Davis
Poster #: 17
Abstract: Adversity experienced in early life can shape a person’s development. Adverse childhood experiences include abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, and even low amounts of received emotional support in childhood. These adverse experiences can lead to a range of mental health issues, which may result in later experience of relational violence or in some cases becoming perpetrators of violence themselves. This research surveyed a population of 164 students at Samford University and looked for experiences of dating violence and sexual violence beginning in August 2020. The survey was administered electronically through in-person classroom sessions, as well as classes taking place on Zoom. Our hypothesis predicted that adverse childhood experiences are positively correlated with patterns of dating and sexual violence observed in young adults attending Samford University. Using the Adverse Childhood Experiences scale, the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales, (CTS2) and the Sexual Experiences Survey Long Form: Victimization, we found a statistically significant Pearson correlation between experience of adverse events earlier in life and dating violence observed in young adults either as a victim or as a perpetrator of these types of violence (r=.179, p=.034). If we can better understand the implications of adverse childhood experiences and their association with the experience of sexual and dating violence in early adulthood, we can develop better methods of prevention and intervention, as well as ways of helping victims cultivate a sense of resilience.

Family Functioning and Chronic Illness

Presenter(s): Mary Katherine Donaldson, Ellie Johnson
Mentor(s): Jonathan Davis
Poster #: 36
Abstract: This study examines the correlation between the presence of chronic illness and family functioning. Family functioning concerns the family environment which includes the flexibility, cohesion, and dynamics of the family unit, all of which affect the family structure. The researchers hypothesized that chronic illness negatively related to the overall functioning of families that have member(s) with chronic illness. The Family Quality of Life Scale was used to measure family functioning, the Satisfaction with Life Scale was used to measure individual contentment, and the demographic question section of the survey was used to measure the presence of chronic illness. Following IRB approval, the survey was distributed, and it obtained 238 responses. Once an analysis of the data was completed, the researchers concluded that their hypothesis was supported: chronic illness relates to family functioning. These findings are significant because chronic illness has serious implications on areas including caregiver burden, parental responsibilities, social support, and coping mechanisms for families. Researchers hope that similar studies will be conducted in the future to solidify whether or not there is a relationship between chronic illness and family functioning. Future research could examine this correlation in a variety of other settings and with different populations. This could be especially beneficial for marriage and family therapists as well as counselors because it could help identify additional factors, such as chronic illness, that contribute to client wellbeing.

Christian International Missionary Families & Mental Illness

Presenter(s): Olivia Whited
Mentor(s): Jonathan Davis
Poster #: 52
Abstract: Trauma-informed care training (TICT) is widely accepted in helping professions and prepares participants to develop a better understanding of the effects of trauma on an individual’s development, how that may alter their behaviors, and how to approach a trauma-affected individual appropriately and in a way that decreases the chance of triggering him or her. However, there is a lack of literature available in regard to Christian international missionaries, their families, and TICT. This limited access to not only literature but TICT for missionaries and their families may be rooted in a stigma toward trauma-affected persons and persons who have mental illnesses. Therefore, the purpose of this research project is to investigate and compare the levels of stigma toward persons who have mental illnesses of both Christians who have lived exclusively in their passport countries and Christians who have lived abroad as international missionaries. In order to evaluate these levels between the two groups, 190 participants were recruited through social media groups and given a short vignette and then a questionnaire of seven constructs that assessed both their familiarity with mental illness and the level of stigma they have toward persons who have mental illnesses. My results indicate that there is no statistical difference in stigma toward persons with mental illnesses between Christians who have only lived in their passport country and those who have lived abroad as either an international missionary or a missionary kid. This study suggests that although there is evidently a lack of prioritizing TICT in Christian international missionary requirements and their communities, it may not relate to an increased stigma toward persons who have mental illnesses. These results may indicate that Christian international missionaries would welcome TICT in the future as they prepare to go overseas and become involved in a relationally driven career.

Paternal Behaviors and Child Outcomes Into Young Adulthood

Presenter(s): Sara-Grace Elliott, Anna Jones
Mentor(s): Jonathan Davis
Poster #: 59
Abstract: This study analyzed the relationship between paternal behaviors and emotional regulation skills as well as attachment. The authors first reviewed existing literature and then hypothesized that there was a correlation between paternal behaviors and emotional regulation skills in young adults. Additionally, they hypothesized that paternal behaviors were strongly correlated with a child’s attachment to their father. The researchers created a survey utilizing 3 pre-existing measures and they distributed upon gaining IRB approval. They used the the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA) to measure attachment, the Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) to measure emotional regulation skills, and the Children's Reports of Parental Behavior: An Inventory (CRPBI-30) to measure paternal behaviors. Data was collected from 149 participants. Upon completion of data collection, the researchers processed and analyzed the data. Findings indicated that paternal behaviors were not correlated with emotional regulation skills in young adults; however, they found a strong correlation between paternal behaviors and a child’s attachment to their father.

Public Health and Privacy in the Times of Covid

Presenter(s): Withrow Newell
Mentor(s): Kelli Robinson, Kerry McInerney
Poster #: 61
Abstract: There is significant concern about the current framework for protecting public health, health information, and privacy and how the SARS-COV-19 outbreak which subsequently led to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic will affect these policies. The great dilemma that presents itself is how to balance adherence to current health privacy and security policies with providing health systems with the tools to protect global public health. National healthcare policies like The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), The HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as healthcare policies at the state and local level, have had major shifts. I evaluated various policies using a qualitative cost-benefit analysis model where I judged whether policies changes were ethical, moral, and had overall utilitarian effects. Furthermore, this evaluation was supplemented by the use of a SWOT analysis tool applied to various policies and ordinances. My research findings clearly indicate that it is important to design public health policy in such a way that they have the ability to quickly respond to public crises and outcry. An unexpected finding is that public health policy is beginning to be crafted to a partisan political end. This discovery is important because we must give our leaders and policymakers the ability to combat public health policy that is divorced from science and created with self-serving interests in mind.

Linguistics & World Languages

Las matemáticas en la poesía

Presenter(s): Sarah Westmoreland 
Mentor(s): Sara Ortega-Higgs
Poster #: 23
Abstract: Previously, there have not been many academic studies that explore literature genres that utilize mathematics as a theme even though it has been consistently present throughout history. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate and define the function of mathematics in order to discover the motive for including it in literary works. In this essay, we explore six Spanish poems that are centered around mathematical content in order to more clearly define the genre of mathematical poetry and the boundaries that are pertinent to its definition. Mathematical poetry is not determined by a defined form, structure or rhyme scheme but rather is defined primarily by its mathematical content and its ability to describe and contextualize the physical order found within nature and the abstract order present in philosophy. Within the specific group of poems used in this research, we found that there are two primary modes of mathematical knowledge found in poetry which can be described as the celebration of mathematical constants and that of mathematical operations. Interestingly, we found a correlation between mathematical knowledge utilized and the overarching theme of the role of mathematics in the world. The poems focused on mathematical constants spoke about the presence of mathematics in the physical world and how they give a framework and structure to nature that brings logic into beauty. On the other hand, the poems focused on mathematical operations spoke primarily of the role mathematics plays in philosophy and how it allows philosophers to contextualize and express the concepts that might otherwise be too complex for words.

The function of the "town's fool" in La Casa de Bernarda Alba

Presenter(s): Erica Bradley
Mentor(s): Sara Ortega-Higgs
Poster #: 31
Abstract: This essay will explore the complex role of the fool in the theater and will compare the role of María Josefa with the buffoons who appear so frequently in Shakespeare's plays and in Spanish literature prior to the twentieth century. The town fool is a marginalized character who exists outside the community and is disconnected from the main plot. Initially, the character appears to lack contact with reality, seeming senseless and irrational. The result of this characterization is, ultimately, the audience's distrust of the town fool and their own subscription to society's prejudices. It is natural, then, that the audience does not take the fool's words seriously. Yet, the town fool is often the audience’s key to understanding the truth of the plot. This relationship between the fool and the audience can be examined in the case of María Josefa, the mad, old woman in Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba. María Josefa is the mother of Bernarda Alba, the matriarch in the play. María Josefa suffers from dementia and occasionally breaks into seemingly nonsensical but rather informative monologues. This essay will compare María Josefa to the buffoons of Shakespeare and show how each one has a better understanding of reality than any of the “sane” characters in their respective plays. It will also demonstrate how the fool’s differences from the community are their most valuable strengths.


A Quantitative Analysis of the Impact of COVID-19 on Video Gaming Industry

Presenter(s): James Harrison
Mentor(s): Mingwei Sun
Poster #: 16
Abstract: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been growing at a tremendous speed all over the world since its outbreak in 2020, which results in massive uncertainty and disorder in many fields including economy, society, politics and culture. It is reported that the gaming usage has been increasing during the pandemic. In this research, we analyze the impact of COVID-19 on the video gaming industry in the United States. A quantitative analysis which focuses on the behavior of major gaming companies’ stock prices and the video gaming user data before and during COVID-19 pandemic is performed. It shows that daily player counts and average concurrent players increased dramatically with the advent of COVID-19. However, there is only a weak correlation between the concurrent COVID-19 cases and the change in daily players, which suggests that the pandemic introduced many people to video games as a more permanent new hobby instead of as a temporary alternative to entertainment and social interaction. Other important results include that the stock prices of major gaming companies did not alter significantly due to COVID-19. With exception to a few drops, their stock prices during COVID-19 have continued to grow and recover from drops in similar manner to that before the pandemic.

Statistical Modeling of COVID-19 Data with Stock Market Trends

Presenter(s): Mary Stirling Brown
Mentor(s): Mingwei Sun
Poster #: 25
Abstract: COVID-19 has affected every aspect of society, including the economy. One way to investigate the effect of COVID-19 on the United States' economy is through the economic indicator of the U.S. stock market. This research analyzes the effects of COVID-19, specifically the daily increases in COVID-19 cases and the fully vaccinated percentage of the U.S. population, on different stock indexes and prices. We also analyze what sectors of the economy were most affected by COVID-19. Important results include that the stock market was not largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the long-term, with supporting data ranging from June 1, 2018 to December 31, 2021. Further hypothesis testing proves that stock prices were only affected in the short-term. An analysis of correlation is performed to further show that COVID-19 and the stock market are weakly correlated, while vaccination efforts have a strong correlation to stock trends. The main result of this research shows that COVID-19 affected the stock market as if it was a one-time event, specifically its onset in March 2020, rather than having a long-term effect on the economy.

Fourier Analysis and Musical Signal Processing

Presenter(s): Matthew Lad
Mentor(s): Brian Toone, Kwadwo Antwi-Fordjour
Poster #: 35
Abstract: The goal of this paper is to explore the mathematics that underlies sound and music. Although music is a highly creative art, there is a rigid mathematical structure which serves as its foundation. By understanding this background, we can explore different qualities of music such as loudness, beauty (depending on how you would define this), what differentiates music from noise, and more. This paper will specifically focus on a field of math known as “Fourier analysis.” This analysis will allow us to take apart and deconstruct a song into the various notes and phrases which define it. Much of the paper provides the background information on how music and sound work as well as background information on how Fourier analysis works. Explorations into the topics are largely mixed in with these explanations. In one section I describe how sound travels in the air and then I use a computer program of my own design to visualize this movement. There are many sections in this style where my findings help to explain topics. The largest of such findings is a computer program which uses a microphone to analyze any kind of input sound. It uses the topics described in previous sections and so builds upon them. It uses the before mentioned Fourier analysis to visually describe different qualities of music such as loudness/volume, and musical notes. The intersection of mathematics and music is a fascinating world. Many people don’t know where to start or don’t have the mathematical background to understand the formulas and equations involved. By using computer programs and graphs to visualize the mathematical concepts, this paper provides something not found in many resources. For creating the computer programs, I used the programming language Python. I also used Google’s Collaboratory for running and debugging the programs. A majority of the explorations mentioned were done with Python and Collaboratory and involved graphing data.

Statistical Analysis and Modeling of Success of 'Saturday Night Live’ Sketches

Presenter(s): Merritt Cahoon
Mentor(s): Mingwei Sun
Poster #: 46
Abstract: Saturday Night Live' (SNL) enjoys great popularity as a live television sketch comedy and variety show joined by celebrity hosts and an award-winning ensemble cast. In this paper, a quantitative analysis is implemented to investigate what factors significantly affect the success of an SNL sketch. A new success indicator of an SNL sketch is introduced. A statistical model is proposed to fit and predict the success of SNL sketches using new variables, including the type of sketch, whether the host is involved, what cast members are involved, how the sketch is recorded, and if there are any cameos. Background of the comedy sketch show is provided along with media criticisms about how the show has become "too political." In addition, this paper analyzes the density of political sketches to determine if the show has become more political over the last nine seasons or if the criticisms are based on political bias. While there is existing research about the comedy sketch show, there are currently no statistical studies on how sketches are and can be successful on the show.

Impact of Allee Effect in an Interfering Population System

Presenter(s): Zachary Overton 
Mentor(s): Kwadwo Antwi-Fordjour
Poster #: 58
Abstract: The Allee effect in population biology or ecology is a phenomenon in which the population of a species impacts the mean individual fitness of the species. Using systems of differential equations, existing literatures have explored this phenomena utilizing square root functional responses to model predator-prey dynamics. In this current research, we expand the reach of previous findings through the use of a power functional response. We discuss positivity and boundedness of our model to show that it is well-behaved. We derive analytically all biologically feasible equilibrium points. Numerical simulations using Mathematica are also carried out to effectively validate our analytical results. Finally, we address the ecological implications of our results.


Participation in Musical Activities Benefits People with Disabilities: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study on Individuals with Various Disabilities

Presenter(s): Lexie Dishroon
Mentor(s): Beth McGinnis
Poster #: 51
Abstract: Participation in musical activities seems to create benefits to quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Musical activity has been found to create therapeutic effects directly relating to perceived benefits, including improvements in motor skill, cognitive processes, and emotional expression. This phenomenological study examines the perceived benefits of musical participation for three participants with varying disabilities or medical challenges, then further explores the challenges they face in musical settings. Participant A performs multiple instruments in a collegiate wind ensemble while having a significant hearing impairment. Participant B has been diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder yet showed improved academic performance after beginning musical participation. Participant C is a recoveree of a significant stroke and perceived many benefits after reestablishing their active musical lifestyle. Data was collected through interviews, and a literature review was conducted to supplement evidence related to involved disabilities and musical experiences. This study further explores the possible accommodations and modifications that individuals with disabilities can receive in musical settings. The implications of the suggested accommodations, modifications, and firsthand experiences are significant evidence to enhancing the spectrum of inclusive music education.

Nursing & Public Health

In School Aged Children, How Does a Test to Stay Policy Compared with a Quarantine Policy Influence Student Social and Emotional Health?

Presenter(s): Allison Bonds, Breana Escobar, Natalie-Claire Gross, Cailin Holden, Hannah Precise, Natalie Still, Danielle Williams
Mentor(s): Cindy Berry
Poster #: 15
Abstract: Context: Social isolation due to COVID-19 school closures and quarantine policies has caused significant psychological distress for school aged children. Schools have faced the challenge of maintaining students’ health while also promoting a positive environment for learning and development. A single positive student can expose entire classrooms to COVID-19, resulting in online instruction for all exposed students. This makes in-person school unpredictable and can result in the same emotional distress as online instruction. With a TTS policy, exposed students are not sent home to quarantine. Instead, they are tested every other day and remain in-person, creating a more stable learning environment. Purpose: The purpose of the capstone project was to study the impact of a TTS policy on the emotional and educational health of school aged children through the following research question: In school aged children, how does a Test to Stay policy compared with a quarantine policy influence student social and emotional health? Methodology: Using the Knowledge To Act framework developed by Graham et al., a planned quality improvement project was developed. A literature review was conducted to evaluate the research question. Findings were used to develop TTS recommendations for school nurses, parents, and students. Results: Synthesis of the literature yielded the following results: 1) Isolation during COVID-19 resulted in profound negative psychological effects in this age group. 2) Three states have implemented trial TTS programs over the past two years. All were successful in protecting in-person learning without increasing COVID-19 spread. 3) Staying in school improves students educational experience and mental health. Implications: Test to Stay has been found to positively impact students and is a concept that can be used with other communicable diseases such as flu. Remaining in school improves the mental health and educational experience of school aged children.

Estimated Decreases in Infant Deaths Due to Critical Congenital Heart Defects as a Result of State-Mandated Pulse-Oximetry Screening in Infants

Presenter(s): Luke Bice
Mentor(s): Courtney Haun
Poster #: 24
Abstract: Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are any heart defects presented at birth which are a result of the improper formation of the heart. Critical congenital heart defects (CCHDs) are classified as CHDs which are incompatible with life and require surgical or procedural intervention in the first year of life. In 2013, 29.5% of infants born with non-syndromic CCHDs were undiagnosed through at least 3 days of life, meaning that these infants with severely low blood-oxygen levels, known as birth asphyxia, were left without the treatment they critically needed until they were diagnosed. Previous research has shown that newborn deaths caused by CCHDs dropped by 33% in 8 states after they implemented mandatory pulse-oximetry screenings in the first 24-48 hours of life. However, estimates of the potential effects of the expansion of mandatory pulse-oximetry screening throughout all 50 states are unknown, as are the potential effects of mandating other CCHD-detecting measures, such as fetal echocardiograms. In this study, we use current data from Association of US State Implementation of Newborn Screening Policies for Critical Congenital Heart Disease With Early Infant Cardiac Deaths on lives saved through newborn pulse-oximetry measurement mandates to extrapolate estimates on the economic and life-costs of the expansion of this mandatory measure in the United States. With increasing levels of mandatory CHD detection measures, passing of legislation to support interventions, and increases in CHD research funding, knowledge and care are trending upwards. The groundwork has been laid out to save lives and improve the outcomes for those with CHDs, but more research must be completed to further substantiate this evidence to result in real improvement.

The Impact of Mental Health on Quality of Life for Nursing Students

Presenter(s): Hannah Colvin, Ellie Evans, Sara Ianelli, Jacob Kotar, Samantha Nichols, Peyton Reilly, Madison Warren 
Mentor(s): Lora Shelton
Poster #: 41
Abstract: Context: There are several aspects of nursing students’ academic career that impact mental well-being. Students face sleepless nights studying, traumatic clinical experiences, feelings of failure from low grades, and the pressure of preparing for the NCLEX-RN exam. The effects of COVID-19 have also taken a toll on the mental health of nursing students. Purpose: This capstone project studies the impact of student involvement in nursing school-specific wellness programs through the following research question: Among pre-licensure nursing students, how does participation in nursing school specific wellness programs, compared to no participation, impact nursing school performance and quality of life? Methodology: Lewin’s Change Theory was used to guide a planned quality improvement project aimed at nursing schools. A literature review was conducted to evaluate the research question. Findings were used to design a wellness program for nursing schools and will allow students access to activities to promote mental health, wellness, and mindfulness. Results: A synthesis of the literature yielded the following: 1) Nursing students will benefit from a wellness program designed to meet their specific needs that offers a variety of activities aimed at decreasing stress and anxiety; 2) The effects of COVID-19 have significantly altered the school performance, nutrition, and psychological well-being of nursing students; 3) To combat burnout, institutions must work to promote self-concept in students and offer resources centered around bettering their mental health; 4) Faculty and nursing programs must provide continuing education to empower students and promote self-care. Implications: Designing and implementing a wellness program specific to nursing students has the potential to positively impact mental health, quality of life and school performance. There is potential to reduce burnout among nurses and positively impact patient outcomes as a result of implementing these practices.

Retaining Nurses Through Mentorship Programs

Presenter(s): Sydney Alexander, Echols Jones, Addi King, Rachael Lane, Katie Poole, Peyton Shirley, Anna-Jeanine Sullivan
Mentor(s): Amanda Barron
Poster #: 47
Abstract: With the changes healthcare has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to recognize and understand difficulties that registered nurses at the bedside face. Nurses are confronted with issues including short staffing, unsafe patient to nurse ratios, unequal compensation, and physically demanding labor. These challenges are causing burnout and has ultimately led to nurses leaving the bedside. High nurse turnover rates are harmful for both the staff and hospital. Nurses have an increased workload from inadequate staffing, while hospitals have increased financial strain from continuously training nurses. This quality improvement project strives to address new nurse turnover before it occurs by proposing hospitals implement new graduate nurse mentorship programs. Research was guided by this research question: In new graduate nurses, how does a new graduate mentorship program compared to no mentorship program affect retention rates? The evidence suggests that involvement in mentorship programs is best practice for the retention of new graduate nurses and should be implemented by hospital to reduce high turnover. We consider our project a unique contribution to the field by providing a specific solution to the new graduate nurse turnover problem rather than simply reporting current issues. In response to the research we conducted, we propose reaching out to hospital nurse educators to stress the importance of implementing new graduate mentorship programs. To aid us in communicating our findings we have developed an infographic detailing benefits of the program and a fun video to keep people engaged.

Optimal Effective Oxytocin Dosing in Cesarean Section Deliveries

Presenter(s): James Alexander Brown
Mentor(s): Terri M. Cahoon
Poster #: 54
Abstract: Post-partum hemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal mortality, contributing 1/4 of all 295,000 maternal deaths worldwide. Oxytocin, a uterotonic (UT) agent, promotes uterine contraction to reduce blood loss with infant delivery. A 36-year-old gravida 2, para 1 female presented for an elective cesarean section (CS). Following infant delivery, the patient was administered oxytocin 5 IU IV bolus over 15 seconds. The bolus was followed by an infusion of oxytocin 35 IU in 500 mL of lactated ringers to infuse over 30 minutes. During the infusion, the patient experienced side effects. The oxytocin infusion rate was slowed to infuse over 45 minutes; the side effects subsided. Clinical Question: In elective CS patients, what is the optimal dosing regimen for oxytocin to reduce PPH with minimal side effects? Evidence Based Discussion: Uterotonic agents reduce perioperative blood loss and the incidence of PPH. Oxytocin is administered one of three ways. Oxytocin 2.5 IU to 10 IU may be given as a single IV bolus. Infusion only, a second strategy, requires a higher dose of oxytocin; adequate UT is more slowly achieved. Oxytocin via a small IV bolus followed by an IV infusion is an effective strategy. Evidence for this strategy demonstrates faster onset of UT, smaller infusion dose to maintain UT, and lower risk of nausea, palpitations, and hypotension. Translation To Practice: In lower-level evidence, researchers propose an IV bolus of oxytocin 1 to 10 IU followed by oxytocin 10 to 60 IU infused over one to six hours. The wide range indicates the need for a protocol, written by an interdisciplinary team, and a pilot study. Primary outcomes are perioperative blood loss and obstetricians’ perception of UT. Secondary outcomes are side effects and response to infusion rate reduction. A randomized clinical study might be instituted. With validated evidence, the protocol might be adopted and continuously evaluated. Future research might incorporate weight-based dosing.

Implementing a Provider in Triage to Decrease Length of Stay and the Number of Patients Leaving Without Being Seen.

Presenter(s): Kelli Martin
Mentor(s): Amy Bigham
Poster #: 63
Abstract: The increasing length of stay (LOS) and the number of patients leaving without being seen (LWBS) in the emergency department (ED) has become a local, national, and worldwide problem, especially with the Covid 19 pandemic. The purpose of this project is to promote evidence-based practice (EBP) to reduce LWBS, LOS, and door to the provider (the time from when the patient registers and sees a provider in the ED) by having a provider in triage (PIT). A CRNP or PA presents to triage with a staff RN (stopping the door to provider time), listens to the patient's complaint and history, performs limited assessment based on the patient's complaint, and orders appropriate diagnostic tests. Initiating orders decreases the LWBS rates. The ED Manager provided printed copies of departmental data. In January 2022, 1,478 patients registered in a local ED, with 142 patients LWBS (10%). The average door to provider time was 51.81 minutes. The average LOS was 184.5 minutes. After implementing a PIT during February, 1,135 patients registered to be seen with a door to provider time decreasing to 31.61 minutes. Only 53 patients LWBS (4.67%) and LOS were up to 207.1 minutes. The increase in LOS is having patients remain in the ED for either an inpatient bed or transfer to another facility. Another advantage to a PIT was a decrease in the hospital's loss of revenue. In January, the hospital lost $127,000, and in February, $47,000. Limitations to this project included a decrease in the census, not having a midlevel provider every day, lack of participation from midlevel providers and ED staff, and holding patients in the ED to be admitted or transferred to another facility. This project will continue through March before a final decision to implement permanently.


Late Life Effects of Lisinopril in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Presenter(s): Amal Nasher
Mentor(s): Patty Jumbo-Lucioni
Poster #: 4
Abstract: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the top leading causes of death in senior adults in the United States. Our group recently showed that lisinopril, an inhibitor of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), ameliorates the physical and cognitive function deficits in a young fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, model of AD. Whether the same therapeutic benefits extend to later in life in this model remains to be determined. Here, we tested the effect of lisinopril on the locomotion deficits in an old fly model of AD. We used a Drosophila line expressing the human amyloid precursor protein and the human β-site APP-cleaving enzyme in neurons as AD model. Male and female virgin flies were fed either the standard medium or the lisinopril-supplemented food at a concentration of 1mM for 30 days. Locomotion was tested via a negative geotaxis assay. Flies were tapped down to the bottom of the vial. The number of flies passing a 2-, 4- and 8-cm mark in 10 seconds was recorded by genotype and treatment groups. Fly heads were dissected and underwent standard histological procedures to determine the neurodegenerative index by the appearance of vacuolar lesions in the brain. Previous studies have shown that lisinopril at 1mM dose showed the most impact in physical function in young males. In this study, we found that 1mM lisinopril significantly improved locomotion and decreased the levels of brain neurodegeneration in 30-days old female flies, independent of genotype, compared to untreated females. The therapeutic effect of lisinopril, however, was not detected in males. Our findings provide strong evidence that long-term ACE inhibition with lisinopril mitigates the age-dependent decline in locomotion and brain lesions in females but not males. Dosage optimization experiments may be required to address these sex differences.

Lumacaftor Inhibits Anion Channel Activity of Rescued F508del CFTR

Presenter(s): Judge Ali, Kevin Rodriguez-Cruz
Mentor(s): Robert Wang
Poster #: 12
Abstract: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding a cell surface anion channel named the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). The deletion of a phenylalanine at residue number 508 (F508del) is the mutation present in 90% of CF patients. The newly synthesized F508del CFTR cannot mature or be transported to the cell surface for its physiological function. In addition, the mutant anion channel has impaired ability to open. Orkambi, the first FDA-approved drug to treat the molecular defect of F508del CFTR, consists of two active components: lumacaftor which improves F508del CFTR cell surface mobilization, and ivacaftor that opens the anion channel. Orkambi has limited clinical efficacy. To explore the underlying cause, the impact of lumacaftor on the maturation and channel activity of F508del CFTR was observed in a CF bronchial epithelial cell line expressing F508del CFTR using quantitative immunoblotting and iodide efflux assay, respectively. By comparing the effects in the presence and absence of acute exposure to lumacaftor at physiological temperature, an inhibitory effect of lumacaftor on the channel activity but not the maturation of F508del CFTR was observed. The dose-response of the same cell line to continuous lumacaftor exposure also confirmed an inhibitory effect for lumacaftor on the anion channel activity of rescued F508del CFTR at concentrations where it does not inhibit F508del CFTR maturation. These results point to an inhibitory effect of lumacaftor on anion channel activity of F508del CFTR, which limits the capability of Orkambi to provide greater improvement to the overall functionality of F508del CFTR and therefore potentially contributes to the low clinical efficacy of Orkambi in treating CF patients carrying the F508del mutation.

A Probiotic Secreting Angiotensin-(1-7) Produces Sex-Specific Effects on Cognitive and Physical Functions in a Drosophila Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Presenter(s): Aaron Smith
Mentor(s): Patty Jumbo-Lucioni
Poster #: 20
Abstract: The need for novel treatment approaches in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has directed our attention to the gut microbiome. Genetically modified probiotics (GMP) are a promising treatment strategy to deliver key peptides to the brain. Angiotensin (Ang)-(1-7) levels inversely correlate to AD severity. Its administration is challenging, but our group established a novel GMP-based delivery method. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster represents an excellent in vivo model of AD since it resembles the human phenotype. We hypothesize that supplementation with this Ang-(1-7)-releasing GMP ameliorates locomotion and cognitive deficits. To test this hypothesis, we used flies overexpressing the human amyloid precursor protein and the human β-site APP-cleaving enzyme in neurons. Lactobacillus paracasei producing Ang-(1-7) (LP-A) was diluted in 5% sucrose. Flies were randomized to receive four 24-hour doses of LP-A, the unmodified probiotic (LP) or sucrose for 14 days. Locomotion was tested at 7 and 14 days by recording the number of flies passing a 2-, 4- and 8 cm mark in 10 seconds. Memory was assessed via an aversive phototaxic suppression assay. After training, fly cohorts were tested for dark preference. Data was analyzed considering the main effects of genotype, treatment, and their interaction. Locomotion in males but not in females was improved by LP-A supplementation at 14 days. LP-A supplemented AD males were more likely to pass the 2- (p=0.0149), 4- (p=0.0023), and 8-cm (p=0.0184) mark than their sucrose-fed counterparts. AD males fed LP were as movement-impaired as sucrose-fed AD males. Memory in AD females was preserved and training alone was sufficient to increase their dark preference. LP-A worsened cognition in trained AD females but improved memory in trained AD males. In summary, LP-A shows promising therapeutic results in our fly AD model, but effects were sex-specific, which may require dose optimization to address.

Effects of Oral Cannabidiol on the Locomotive Function of a Drosophila Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Presenter(s): Mason Snell
Mentor(s): Patty Jumbo-Lucioni
Poster #: 42
Abstract: Recently, oral cannabidiol (CBD) and other CBD products have experienced a significant rise in popularity. Companies are making bold claims that oral CBD is an effective treatment in different ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but in vivo evidence is lacking. Since there is no effective therapy for AD, identifying a novel therapeutic approach is a priority. The primary purpose of this project was to determine whether oral treatment with CBD oil postpones the physical function deficits in a model of AD. A fly overexpressing the human amyloid precursor protein and the β-site APP-cleaving enzyme in neurons was used as AD model. Like humans, this model has been shown to display cognitive and physical function deficits. Optimal dilution of CBD, 1:10, in 5% sucrose was determined based on solubility. Cohorts of at least 15 males were randomized to receive four 24-hour doses of oral CBD or 5% sucrose alone over 14 days. Locomotion was tested via a negative geotaxis assay. Flies were tapped down to the bottom of the vial. The number of flies passing an 8 cm mark in 10 seconds was recorded. The levels of CBD and its major metabolites (7-OH-CBD and 7-COOH-CBD) were measured in whole fly. Regardless of CBD treatment, the average food intake was significantly greater in AD males compared to controls (0.30±0.01vs0.39±0.01 µL/fly/24h; p< 0.0001). As expected, untreated AD males were significantly movement impaired compared to untreated controls (0.46±0.04vs0.67±0.04; p= 0.0086). While physical function was unaffected by CBD among controls (0.67±0.04vs0.66±0.04), we detected a significant locomotion decline in AD flies fed CBD compared to sucrose-fed AD males (0.46±0.04vs0.17±0.04; p= 0.0004). We detected CBD, 7-OH CBD and 7-COOH CBD in treated flies, but levels were not different between control and AD males. Although preliminary, our findings do not support companies’ bold claims that oral CBD is an effective treatment for AD.

Political Science

Tax the Rich: A Quantitative Analysis of How High Property Taxes Positively Impact the Quality of Public Education in Alabama

Presenter(s): Caroline Coleman
Mentor(s): Serena Simoni, Randolph Horn, Marissa Grayson
Poster #: 62
Abstract: The current studies on wealth and public education in Alabama are largely limited to poverty rates in a community and median family income in an area. As a result of this, the understanding of wealth in Alabama is reduced to these two variables. This thesis seeks to discover a relationship between Alabama property tax rates and eighth grade standardized test scores (mathematics), in an effort to connect wealth to quality of public education. Because there are often local statutes that mandate that a portion of local sales, property, or other tax will be given to local school districts, the question of the impact this revenue makes is worth asking. Through analyzing property tax as a means of understanding wealth in an area, this thesis argues that there is a positive relationship between high property taxes and student performance in Alabama public school systems. To make this argument, a quantitative research method is utilized, running correlation analyses, descriptive statistics, and linear regression analyses. In conclusion, the objective of this thesis is to display that there is a meaningful relationship between wealth and public education in the counties of Alabama.

Social Work and Human Services

Evaluating Foster Youth's Needs in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Focus Group Study

Presenter(s): Allison Ambler
Mentor(s): Christson Adedoyin
Poster #: 7
Abstract: Youth in foster care in the Unites States are a vulnerable population who face challenges as they enter into adulthood due to lack of social and family support. The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious implications for society as a whole, specifically concerning mental health, physical health, and economics. Foster youth face barriers and hardships that have been heightened due to COVID-19. This study sought to express the impacts of the pandemic by including a focus group of five employees from Children’s Aid Society that work closely with foster youth across the state of Alabama. Focus group members were asked specifically about their work and their perspective of the needs and strengths of foster youth during the pandemic. The findings of this study yielded four major themes: (1) mental health challenges, (2) the need for more passionate DHR workers, (3) the communal experience of the pandemic, and (4) the opportunities that arose for youth in care. Implications of this study include the need for increased awareness of needed policy changes to support youth in care as well as the need for more knowledgeable, passionate workers in this field.

A Pilot Study of Title IX Perspectives Research: Understanding Students’ Perspectives on a Christian Campus

Presenter(s): Zelda Peach
Mentor(s): Christson Adedoyin
Poster #: 26
Abstract: Sexual assault is a massive social issue in the United States, and when it comes to college and university campuses, this issue remains prevalent with 8.9% of male and 32.8% of female students experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact after starting college (Cantor et al, 2019). One policy in place to fight against sexual assault is Title IX policy, which places strict regulations around sexual harassment and assault (United States Department of Justice, 2013). Perspectives about Title IX and its implementation on campuses, however, vary drastically. In this research project, a small-scale pilot study was conducted in order to gain student perspectives about Title IX policy, reporting, implementation within a private Christian university setting. In this pilot study, the overall research questions were: 1. Do students view Title IX policy positively or negatively on campus? 2. Do students perceive that sexual assault is an issue on campus? 3. Do students perceive that the Christian environment on campus affects Title IX policy in reporting/implementation?. For the pilot study, 11 graduate students within the Master Social Work program at Samford University were surveyed. Overall, survey results found unfavorable perspectives of Title IX implementation and reporting on campus. These results are then analyzed and compared to other literature and studies regarding Title IX policy. Lastly, the author then advocates for a future, larger-scale study to be done, which could provide more generalizable results to inform university faculty, staff, and policy-makers about current student perspectives of Title IX policy within private Christian university campuses and how to adjust current policies and practices for better educational, preventative, and reporting efforts.


Primitive or Empowered: Representations of Native Americans and COVID-19 in News Media

Presenter(s): Bryan Day
Mentor(s): Theresa Davidson, Niya Miller
Poster #: 32
Abstract: The history of popular representations of Native Americans in media has tended toward a narrative of a people who are savage at worst, primitive and helpless at best. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Native Americans were often featured in news coverage about the viral outbreak, likely due to disproportionately higher rates of coronavirus cases and deaths. Using close textual analysis, this study differentiates between COVID-19 themed news stories featuring Native Americans as told by Native media sources and those offered by non-Natives media sources. Though the representations of Native people offered in the reports from non-Native news agencies were generally sympathetic, they upheld longstanding and negative visual tropes of primitiveness and helplessness. Native news sources, however, portrayed Native people as empowered and community-oriented. We conclude that when Native people construct their own stories, even in the midst of a devastating pandemic, their narratives further efforts toward Native self-determination and rearticulate the archetypal framing of Native identity in US news coverage.