Student Symposium

The 2024 Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium will take place on Tuesday, April 9.

The annual Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium brings together all members of the 91社区 community for a day of scholarly and creative presentations, exhibits, debates, performances, and posters. To be invited to participate in the 91社区 Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium is both an honor and a privilege.

Questions or inquiries can be directed to the Symposium Committee Co-Chairs, Zachary Cook or Jacquelynn Popp.

For those who cannot attend in person, livestreams of every panel and musical performance are available in the links below.

Schedule of events »

students, faculty, and staff viewing posters at symposium

Block 1
9:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

PANEL 1: Exploring Black Tapestries. 鈥楾ill I Became My Own Master鈥: The Literature of Slavery

Lillard 144
Faculty Moderator: RL Watson

Students: Hannah Mitchinson, Katelyn Stickney, Alice Virani, Simi Osinaike, Keanna Price

The "Exploring Black Tapestries" panels showcase diverse research projects by students in African American Studies, emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The symposium celebrates the intersections of history, literature, politics, philosophy, and culture within African American Studies. Covering a wide range of topics, the panels delve into historical studies on slavery and census data, analyses of literature by formerly enslaved authors, and contemporary examinations of Black intellectual thought and activism. The collection highlights the depth and diversity of research, emphasizing the intersections of race, identity, and culture. By amplifying marginalized voices and unraveling the complexities of African American life, the showcase contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the African American experience. "Exploring Black Tapestries" reflects the commitment of students to academic rigor and social relevance, challenging preconceptions and offering a nuanced understanding of their chosen field. Through this exploration, students contribute to broader academic discourse, enriching the understanding of the complexities inherent in the African American experience.

PANEL 2: Labor, Wages, and Income in America

Lillard 128
Faculty Moderator: Nancy Tao
Student Moderator: Haley Goodman

The Effects of Divorce on Children’s Education Attainment and Future Income

Student: Sophia E. Chapman
Faculty Sponsor: Rob Lemke

Abstract: While divorce rates have fluctuated over time in response to ever-changing societal views, presently, almost half of all children in the United States will grow up with divorced parents. As with divorce rates, the degree of social stigma associated with divorce has also changed over time. Whereas divorce was largely seen as a social ill with harmful consequences a generation ago, negative attitudes toward divorce have softened in the twenty-first century. Using the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a panel data set collected on people born between 1980 and 1984, this research sets out to quantify differences in educational attainment (e.g., high school or college completion) and future income (e.g., income at age 30) between children of divorced parents and children whose parents remained married through their teenage years. Despite less negative social stigma surrounding divorce, the analysis suggests there remains a substantial negative relationship between children of divorced parents and their eventual educational attainment and future income.

The Effect of Immigration Status on Income: An Analysis of the US Labor Market

Student: Mariam Blanco Paz
Faculty Sponsor: Rob Lemke

Abstract: Over 45 million immigrants currently live in the United States, with almost 25 million being naturalized citizens. Labor market outcomes of immigrants in the US are widely varied for many of the same reasons outcomes are highly variable for US-born individuals such as differences in education, age, occupation, etc. However, immigrants also differ by their immigration status. Using data from the Current Population Survey, this research explores the determinants of income in the US labor market across three identifiable groups: US-born individuals, naturalized citizens (i.e., immigrants who are now citizens), and non-citizen immigrants. The effect of immigration status is also estimated by gender and by education level. Significant wage penalties are found, with the penalty being about twice as large for non-citizens as it is for naturalized citizens.

The Wage Gap in Male Dominated Workplaces in the US

Student: Caprice Kalvelage
Faculty Sponsor: Nancy Tao

Abstract: Research suggests that the gender wage gap fluctuates between different occupational categories; however, little research is available that explores why this fluctuation occurs. Understanding this could be useful in advising those deciding their career path, as well as providing insight into policy decisions. In this study, an occupation will be denoted as “male-dominated” if 30 percent or less of the workers in the field identify as female. In this experiment I use cross-sectional U.S. Census data from 2021 and run regressions including education levels and work characteristics against the log of personal salary and wage income. This study also confirms the existence of the gender-wage gap. I conclude that males should be advised to enter non-male-dominated occupations and females should be advised to enter male-dominated occupations to offset the gender wage gap.

Immigration in the United States

Student: Kevin Jose Mesa Rivera
Faculty Sponsor: Nancy Tao

Abstract: This project investigates whether states' immigration population is related to states' minimum-wage laws and public investments. 

PANEL 3: Natural Laws in Physics and Biology: Exploring the Underlying Patterns of our World

Lillard 130
Faculty Moderator: Rebecca Delventhal
Student Moderator: Emily Bross

A Data-Driven Approach to C-value Reassignment using R and the fqar Package

Student: Irene Luwabelwa
Faculty Sponsor: Andrew Gard

Abstract: We explore the nuanced landscape of plant species interactions through a data-centric lens. Utilizing R and the fqar package, we systematically reevaluate assigned coefficients of conservatism (c-values), concentrating on species exhibiting notable c-value differences. Our approach involves leveraging data from universalFQA.org to construct a robust dataset for analyzing the cooccurrence patterns of over 1,300 species. This project represents a substantial contribution to the understanding of the conservative value of plants.

An Investigation of the Pressure Amplitude in an Acoustic Levitation Apparatus

Student: Bellise Kigozi Nakimuli
Faculty Sponsor: Scott Schappe

Abstract: Acoustic levitation is a phenomenon where objects are suspended in mid-air by the pressure exerted by high-intensity sound waves. Pressure amplitude is a crucial factor in acoustic levitation as it determines the force exerted on the objects being levitated.  This research measured pressure variations of our acoustic levitation apparatus. This experimental setup included two opposing piezoelectric transducers with sonotrodes operating at 28.2 kHz, which set up a standing wave in which objects levitate. For this research, we levitated single spherical beads of different densities but similar diameters and measured their oscillation frequencies when perturbed.  The dependence of oscillation frequency versus density generally agreed with the theoretical prediction and indicated a pressure amplitude value of 245±10 Pa.

Glial-specific Knockdown of a Subunit of the ER Membrane Complex Impacts Development and Adult Survival of D. melanogaster

Student: Maria Jose Orozco Fuentes
Faculty Sponsor: Rebecca Delventhal

Abstract: The ER membrane protein complex (EMC), evolutionarily conserved from yeast to humans, is believed to participate in crucial functions of the endoplasmic reticulum such as protein folding, insertion, and packaging. A previous study showed decreased expression of EMC4 in glia after a traumatic brain injury in Drosophila. We studied the effect of an RNAi knockdown of EMC4 in glia, which resulted in delayed development, strongly impaired locomotion, a substantially shorter lifespan, and increased protein aggregation. We conducted a temporally-restricted knockdown with normal levels of EMC4 during development decreases the severity of adult phenotypes suggesting that EMC4 has an important role in glia during development that impacts organismal health during adulthood. The dramatic effect of development-specific glial knockdown together with the known role of EMC in protein biogenesis suggest that EMC4 plays a critical role in developmental function of glia involving transmembrane proteins.

Building a Pendulum, What Could Go Wrong?

Student: Beny Verezub
Faculty Sponsor: Michael Kash

Abstract: The Foucault Pendulum is a fascinating experiment, both in what it demonstrates and in how it is set up. The pendulum, dating back to the 1800s, shows that the earth is round. However, the pendulum is deceptive, with endless minute problems that can cause errors left and right. Topics discussed will include non-inertial reference frames, challenges in experimental physics, and the history of physics.

Unearthing the Secrets: Deciphering How Soil Elements Influence the Argentine Ant Invasion in Southern California

Student: Shane E. Hathaway
Faculty Sponsor: Sean Menke

Abstract: The invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) has been problematic in Southern California since its introduction in 1907, as it disrupts native ant composition reducing the biotic integrity of invaded habitats. Argentine ants invade habitats with greater water availability which has led to the widespread invasion of urban and riparian areas in Southern California. It is unclear how soil composition influences this pattern in natural environments. In 2023, we resurveyed natural sites for Argentine ants in Torrey Pines State Park that were originally surveyed in 1999, to determine if the distribution of Argentine ants have changed. Then, using ArcGIS, we cross referenced the sites change in invasion status with the percent sand of each sites soil. We targeted sand percentage in the soil because it is an indicator of water retention. Using chi-squared statistical analysis, we determined that there is a significant relationship between changes in Argentine ant distribution and the percent sand of the soil, suggesting soil type as an indicator of where Argentine ants will invade. Our results suggest that models could use soil data to predict Argentine ant distribution in the future.

PANEL 4: Unveiling Mao Zedong's Narcissistic Personality in World History: A Comparative Analysis of China鈥檚 Cultural Revolution and Global Youth Movements

Lillard 132
Faculty Moderator: Shiwei Chen

This panel explores the nuanced relationship between the rise of Maoism in China and the global youth movements of the 1960s and 1970s. The panel conducts a comparative analysis of three key topics: an in-depth study of Maoism, a comparison of Mao's influence and grassroots movements in China and the United States, and a comprehensive examination of China's foreign relations within the contemporary geopolitical landscape.

Exploring Mao Zedong's Narcissistic Personality—A Comprehensive Analysis within the Context of China's Cultural Revolution

Student: Georgia Tsakos and Rim Rawadi
Faculty Sponsor: Shiwei Chen

Abstract: This analysis delves into Mao Zedong's leadership through the lens of narcissistic personality disorder, tracing the roots of his narcissism to his distorted parental dynamics and dichotomous self-conceptualization. Examining his pathological symptoms, including a constant need for admiration, paranoia, and distrust, the study connects Mao's narcissism to key events like the Sino-Soviet Split and the Great Leap Forward. The research also explores the cult of personality around Mao, highlighting apparent narcissistic traits in visual representations. Ultimately, the examination emphasizes the significant impact of Mao's narcissistic pathology on both his political decisions and pivotal historical events.

Mobilizing Youth in the Cultural Revolution: A Comparative Study of Mao's Influence and Grassroots Movements in China and the United States

Students: John Niccoli and Carson James Kennally
Faculty Sponsor: Shiwei Chen

Abstract: In the dynamic 1960s, global societal shifts unfolded, spanning civil rights, decolonization, women’s liberation, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental movements. Amidst this, Mao Zedong launched China's Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), utilizing Red Guards to enforce Maoist ideology. Simultaneously, U.S. students in the 1970s pursued change through activism. Despite different goals, both movements used grassroots tactics to challenge norms. This research delves into Mao's mobilization and the Red Guards' violence, offering insights into the Cultural Revolution's spirit and its impact on shaping youthful ideals.

China's Diplomatic Journey: Unraveling Historical Parallels in Contemporary Geopolitics

Students: Bart Brophy and Conor Murphy
Faculty Sponsor: Shiwei Chen

Abstract: This presentation delves into Chinese foreign relations, tracing the journey from the Cultural Revolution to the present. Mao Zedong's era marked isolation, straining ties even with allies like the Soviet Union. Deng Xiaoping later opened China globally, introducing "socialism with Chinese characteristics." However, under President Xi Jinping, assertive foreign policies emerged, driven by economic prosperity. Events like the "Second Cultural Revolution" and the South China Sea challenges illustrate fluctuating motives. Border disputes with India and the Taiwan Strait crisis highlight evolving dynamics. This study navigates historical contexts, revealing China's nuanced global position today and offering students a comprehensive understanding of its foreign relations in the current geopolitical paradigm.

PANEL 5: Intersections of Art: Theater, Performance Art, and Architecture Across Disciplines

Lillard 244
Faculty Moderator: Lia Alexopoulos

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Theater Studies

Students: Melia Bartosh and Suma Pasupulati
Faculty Sponsor: Chloe Johnston

Abstract: Students will present their original research on the intersection of theater and other fields. The presentations highlight applied theater—how the form can be used to investigate, explain, and illuminate ideas across disciplines. Melia Bartosh will present on the topic “Theater and Education.” Suma Pasupulati will present on the topic “Theater and Neuroscience.”

The Business of Show Business: How Theatres Navigate Publicity and Promotion

Student: Chelsea Lael Davis
Faculty Sponsor: Tracy Taylor

Abstract: With over 250 theatres of varying types in Chicago alone, it seems safe to say that industry is booming, right? Well, not exactly. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more convenient forms of entertainment have captured consumers’ attention, causing audiences to leave the theatre and never return. Is theatre dying? How do marketing and public relations affect the industry? Is an innovative communications and marketing campaign enough for the theatres to differentiate themselves and draw in audience members in such a competitive and ever-changing marketplace? Through qualitative research and literature reviews, my research seeks to answer some of these questions.

Nick Cave

Student: Janie Sulecki
Faculty Sponsor: Lia Alexopoulos

Abstract: Chicago artist, Nick Cave, combines performance art, sculpture, costuming, and music with his magnificent surreal Soundsuits. The otherworldly works of art have been worn in public protest, on display in museums, and have been featured in mosaic form on the walls of what is known as the 42nd street connector in New York City. Though striking in all art forms, is the message and mood of the Soundsuit altered when they are alive in performance, as opposed to when they are stationary? These sculptures in motion disguise the performer, effectively blocking the ability of any individual to make assumptions based on race, gender, presentation, and sexual orientation, making for a vibrant, effective, and safe public protest strategy. When the elaborate costumes are empty exoskeletons, the Soundsuits serve as a memorial for lives lost due to bigotry and discrimination. Overall, the Soundsuits represent the beauty of persistence, acting as non-violent demonstrations against oppression, simultaneously reminding viewers of the lasting, present pain blatant discrimination continues to cause. This essay dissects Nick Cave’s influences, motivation, and creative flare by inspecting Cave’s masterpieces and exploring his education, career, and interviews while also discussing the history of Black Art in Chicago.

Tribune Tower

Student: Gavin Reger
Faculty Sponsor: Lia Alexopoulos

Abstract: This research paper analyzes the architectural style of Chicago’s Tribune Tower skyscraper. I address both the Tribune Tower’s design as well as the competition that was held by the Tribune to design the new building. The tower’s exterior decoration and ornamentation, as well the city’s embracement of Howell and Hood’s winning design, highlights an appreciation and admiration of the Eastern European art forms. Simultaneously, the simple building design of the tower in its vertical structure and technical, modern skeleton shows an admiration for the modern, simple building style that was contagious within the growing city of Chicago. The city’s overwhelming support for Eliel Saarinen's second place submission, a more modern interpretation of the Tribune Tower, displayed the city’s passion for its newly-formed architectural identity.

Intermission Musical Performance 
10:20 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.

Lillard first floor lobby

Ant Colony Body

Performers: Kiara McKee, Riley Leja, Claudia Domusiewicz, Hannah Mitchinson

Block 2
10:40 a.m. – Noon

PANEL 6: Exploring Black Tapestries. Africa 鈥 the Continent in Imagination and Collective Memory

Lillard 144
Faculty Moderator: Aundrey Jones

Students: Andrew Kame, Kelu Mutuku, and Léa Asopjio

The "Exploring Black Tapestries" panels showcase diverse research projects by students in African American Studies, emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The symposium celebrates the intersections of history, literature, politics, philosophy, and culture within African American Studies. Covering a wide range of topics, the panels delve into historical studies on slavery and census data, analyses of literature by formerly enslaved authors, and contemporary examinations of Black intellectual thought and activism. The collection highlights the depth and diversity of research, emphasizing the intersections of race, identity, and culture. By amplifying marginalized voices and unraveling the complexities of African American life, the showcase contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the African American experience. "Exploring Black Tapestries" reflects the commitment of students to academic rigor and social relevance, challenging preconceptions and offering a nuanced understanding of their chosen field. Through this exploration, students contribute to broader academic discourse, enriching the understanding of the complexities inherent in the African American experience.

PANEL 7: Human Rights and Governments: Ethical and Political Issues in the Past and Present

Lillard 128
Faculty Moderator: Rudi Batzell
Student Moderator: Margaret Bugnacki

Bank Deserts in Minority Neighborhoods

Student: Maria Belen Cuadros Carrion 
Faculty Sponsor: Nancy Tao

Abstract: This study investigates the presence of bank deserts in the United States from 2018 to 2022. Utilizing large datasets from the American Housing Survey (AHS), Zillow, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), this research applies regression models to analyze access to banking services.  The findings reveal that neighborhoods with higher percentages of low-income families have less presence of banks. These results underscore the need for inclusive and equitable access to financial services, especially for minorities and low-income families. 

Reasonability of Force Assessments as a Mediator of the Link between Police Experience and Use-of-Force Decision Making

Student: Wiktoria M. Pedryc
Faculty Sponsor: Vivian Ta-Johnson

Abstract: Use-of-force (UoF) decisions among police officers typically occur under stressful and fast-paced conditions. Because judgment and decision-making from more experienced individuals are considered more effective, efficient, and accurate compared to less experienced individuals, researchers have sought to understand the specific skills involved in the selection of appropriate uses of force among expert officers compared to novice officers. Many studies have reported that experienced officers are less likely to use force than less-experienced officers, and when force is used, experienced officers are more likely to use lower levels of force than less-experienced officers However, no study has examined the mechanism(s) underlying this link. We address this gap in the literature in the current study. First, we sought to replicate previous findings showing that experienced officers use less and lower levels of force than less-experienced officers. Second, we tested if officers’ reasonability of selecting a particular force option mediates the link between officer experience and force selection. Officers observed a series of body-worn camera footage of real-world police-citizen encounters across the US that were temporally occluded at several decision points. At these decision points, officers were prompted to describe the course of action they would take in the next few seconds if they were the officer on scene. Responses were coded for behaviors that officers indicated they would engage in. A series of linear mixed-effects models revealed that experienced officers were more likely to use less and lower levels of force, and this was mediated by nearby weapons of opportunity and availability of force mitigation opportunities. These results open a new pathway for researchers to assess and understand the skills and processes involved in expert UoF decision making, and they contribute evidence-based insights for police UoF training to develop interventions that reinforce the fundamental processes involved in expert UoF decision making.

Free Speech on Campus: Navigating First Amendment Protections amidst the Israel-Hamas War

Student: Jaqob Sharifi
Faculty Sponsor: Stephanie Caparelli

Abstract: This project will explore how campuses are regulating, monitoring, and balancing free speech interests while also attempting to adhere to their commitments to diversity and equity.

Geographies of Racial Move-In Violence in Chicago, 1944-1960

Student: Ava Sudman
Faculty Sponsor: Rudi Batzell

Abstract: My research seeks to answer questions regarding the forms of violence perpetrated by many white individuals against African Americans who moved to predominantly white neighborhoods in Chicago between the years 1940 to 1960. The research highlights historical tensions and increasing conflicts in Chicago between white and black populations.  The research was organized for a Mellon Grant funded collaboration in partnership with the Chicago History Museum and builds off of previous research conducted by a former student of 91社区. The types of intimidation documented by archival research in newspapers and other sources include, but are not limited to, arson, stoning of homes, mob gathering, threatening letters, etc. This research contributes to a new, interactive map to be hosted by the Chicago History Museum. This will underline that it was not only top down actions such as redlining and racially restrictive covenants that contributed to segregation in Chicago but also popular, bottom up resistance to integration by white residents.

Dignity in Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID): Do MAID Requests from Patients with Psychiatric Disorders Constitute a Dignified End of Life?

Student: Petra Urgacova
Faculty Sponsor: Jay Carlson

Abstract: Medical assistance in dying (MAID) is available in many countries around the world, but only a select few allow for MAID in cases solely attributed to psychiatric illnesses. The Canadian law is set to include this legislation starting March 2024, sparking many debates surrounding this decision—one being whether this end-of-life choice constitutes a dignified end-of-life. Some argue that if MAID for psychiatric conditions is permitted, it will undermine the integrity of mental health treatment. On the other hand, some arguments state that individuals with unbearable suffering should have the autonomy to make this decision. I will present a literature review on the topic and argue that MAID in cases of psychiatric disorders constitutes a dignified end of life.

PANEL 8: The Brain, Personality, and Human Behavior

Lillard 130
Faculty Moderator: Ben Swerdlow
Student Moderator: Kyle Lassen

Negative Affective States and their Impacts on Clinically Relevant Problem Behavior

Student: Johnny Monahan
Faculty Sponsor: Benjamin Swerdlow

Abstract: Archival data analysis of clinically relevant problem behavior (CRPB), which is harmful behavior to oneself or others, shows how it is impacted by different subscales of the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms (IDAS-II). Dysphoria, Lassitude, and Panic are all subscales of the IDAS-II representing severe negative affects with different levels of activation (energy) involved. These states are baseline personality trait measures that represent the general proclivity an individual has towards being in a state of negative emotion. Using Ecological Momentary Assessment, the current study aims to highlight the specific impacts of unique negative affect as a means of predicting CRPBs and identify the way that individual unique affective states impact behavior rather than the generic label of "negative affectivity" as a personality trait. Using two separate samples from larger studies on undergraduate students from a large university in California, this study aims to produce an ecologically valid model of the temporal dynamics at play to identify the damaging properties of specific negative affects.

Investigating the Bidirectional Relationship Between Traumatic Brain Injury and Sleep Homeostasis in D. Melanogaster

Student: Rebecca Ray
Faculty Sponsor: Rebecca Delventhal

Abstract: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden, severe impact to the head causes brain damage. This can impact short- and long-term health and homeostatic behaviors, like sleep. Recent studies have established D. melanogaster as a model for TBI that displays many characteristics of TBI in humans. Since sleep is a conserved behavior in nearly all animals, we decided to investigate the relationship between TBI and sleep using D. melanogaster. To test how TBI affects sleep over time, we used the High-Impact Trauma (HIT) device to injure wild-type flies and measured their sleep in the days and weeks post-injury. We found that at 48 hrs and 1 wk post-TBI, injured flies had more fragmented sleep than uninjured controls but progressed to sleeping more at 2 and 4 weeks. We then asked if disrupting sleep via a genetically short-sleeping fly had a detrimental effect on TBI recovery. We found that injured short-sleeping flies had a significantly higher acute mortality than injured flies with normal sleep, suggesting sleep has a protective effect on TBI recovery. We next asked what the underlying mechanism of this bidirectional relationship between TBI and sleep might be. Prior research supports the theory that sleep helps clear reactive oxygen species (ROS), protecting against oxidative stress. To investigate whether ROS mediates the relationship between sleep and TBI, we manipulated the neuronal expression of the antioxidant SOD2 in order to change neuronal ROS levels and measured both short- and long-term TBI recovery. SOD2 knockdown in neurons had no effect on acute mortality or lifespan within injury conditions. Interestingly, injured flies with SOD2 overexpression in neurons had significantly higher acute mortality than injured flies with normal SOD2 expression. Injured and uninjured flies with SOD2 neuronal overexpression also had a decreased lifespan compared to controls with normal SOD2 levels. This poses new questions as to how neuronal antioxidant expression affects ROS levels and oxidative stress throughout the body and if successful TBI recovery requires clearance of ROS in other tissues besides neurons. Future research manipulating ROS levels ubiquitously and in other cell types could further our understanding of ROS’s role in the relationship between TBI and sleep, which could have implications in new TBI prevention or recovery strategies.

Personality, Parenting, and Romantic Attachment

Student: Zuzana Smilnakova
Faculty Sponsor: Vivian Ta-Johnson

Abstract: Previous research has shown a link between grandiose and vulnerable narcissism and attachment styles in adult romantic relationships. However, it remains unclear how gender and age moderate these links despite the negative association between age and narcissism and the under-representation of women in narcissism research. In addition, no study has examined the role of parenting styles on the link between narcissism and attachment styles even though evidence suggests that attachment styles are partially influenced by parenting styles. I sought to address these limitations in the current study. 97 participants were recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk where they completed a survey that assessed self-reported levels of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism, attachment styles, and parenting styles. The results not only highlight the topic of replicability, but also inform the complex relationship between narcissism, attachment styles, and parenting styles. Recommendations for future research will also be discussed.

Linguistic Markers of the Dark Triad: A Systematic Review鈥

Student: Amelie Motzer
Faculty Sponsor: Vivian Ta-Johnson

Abstract: Although studies have examined the linguistic markers of the Dark Triad (Narcissism, Machiavellianism, Psychopathy), no systematic review of this body of literature has been conducted to better understand the nature of this relationship. As such, the aim of this present research is to conduct a systematic review of the association between Dark Triad traits and word use. To ensure coverage, several major databases were searched, and seventeen articles were identified after applying exclusion criteria. Our review revealed a consistent link between Narcissism and the usage of words pertaining to friends, social interaction, and self-image. Psychopathy was most consistently linked with the usage of anger words, swear words, negative emotion words, and words referring to basic needs—particularly money. Machiavellianism was least consistently related to any linguistic markers. Our review also highlights methodological inconsistencies across this body of literature that may impact the field’s understanding of how the Dark Triad reveals itself through language. As such, we provide recommendations for future research to enable more reliable and robust examinations of the linguistic markers of Dark Triad traits.鈥

Overcoming Financial Shocks: Is Resilience and Emotional Intelligence the Answer?鈥

Students: Anele Thomas Mayiga, Ava Pulaski, Caprice Kalvelage, Jia Zheng, Mariam Hovhannisyan, and Nathan Barnes
Faculty Sponsors: Dimitra Papadovasilaki and Ying Wu

Abstract: Financial risk-taking is pivotal for wealth building that may result in increasing one’s financial well-being. Several studies have examined the effect of cognitive variables on financial risk-taking. However, there are very few studies on the relationship between financial risk-taking and non-cognitive variables. This study explores the interplay between emotional intelligence (EI), resilience, and financial risk-taking within Taiwan's cultural context. Analyzing data from 203 participants collected in Taiwan, our findings indicate a positive association between EI and risk-taking, emphasizing the role of emotional acumen in investment decisions. Furthermore, resilience is also positively correlated with taking more financial risks. Birth-assigned gender dynamics reveal an unexpected result, namely that females in Taiwan are more likely to take financial risks. This is the first study that examines the relationship between resilience and financial risk-taking, and one of the few examining the relationship between EI and financial risk-taking. Our research provides valuable insights into the intricate relationships influencing financial behaviors in a specific cultural setting, paving the way for future studies and practical applications in finance.

PANEL 9: Historiographies of Social Movements and Reform

Lillard 132
Faculty Moderator: Cristina Groeger

Historiography is the study of how history has been written, reinterpreted, and debated over time. This year's History Department Senior Seminar focused on Social Movements and Reform, and each student chose a particular social movement or reform to focus on. They each explored how the history of a particular movement or reform has been told, the key questions that have been debated, and what is at stake in those questions. Did the Renaissance improve women's position in society, or make it worse? What caused the Zapatista uprising in Mexico in the 1990s? Did early Christians identify as an ethnic group? How did the United States react to the Greek War of Independence? Our panelists will present their findings and their own answers to these questions, with important implications for how we understand social change today.

"Did Women Have a Renaissance?": The Historiography of Women in the Italian Renaissance

Student: Riley Groark
Faculty Sponsor: Cristina Groeger

The Origins of the Zapatista Uprising: A Historiographical Consideration of Economic/Political, Religious, and Historical Factors

Student: Kathia Perez-Enriquez
Faculty Sponsor: Cristina Groeger

The Historiography of the Nationhood of Christendom

Student: Maxim Golub
Faculty Sponsor: Cristina Groeger

The United States and the Greek War of Independence: A Historiographical Analysis

Student: Georgia Tsakos
Faculty Sponsor: Cristina Groeger

PANEL 10: Art, Literature, Culture, and Identity

Lillard 244
Faculty Moderator: Roshni Patel
Student Moderator: Peter Liphardt

Is Empathy a Trait Only Humans Possess? An Inquiry with Philip K. Dick

Student: Olivia Connolly
Faculty Sponsor: Christine Walker

Abstract: Philip K. Dick's exploration of themes like technology's impact, paranoia, and humanity's essence in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" delves into the blurred lines between reality and illusion. Influenced by figures like Carl Jung and René Descartes and concepts like transhumanism and posthumanism, Dick examines the subjective nature of reality and metaphysical concepts. The novel questions what it means to be authentically human, delving into empathy's role, the forfeiture of humanity through a lack of it, and the complexities of transhumanism. Dick's perspective, as expressed in 'The Android and the Human,' suggests robots may already possess human traits unintentionally. Through empathy tests in the book, such as the Voigt-Kampff scale, Dick distinguishes between humans and androids based on empathetic responses, highlighting the significance of empathy in defining humanity. In a different lens, the project would delve into characters' interactions, like Rick Deckard and Rachael Rosen, showcasing the conditional nature and limitations of empathy. It also explores love's manifestation as empathy, exemplified in Deckard's feelings for Rachael and Roy Baty's love for his wife Irmgard. The significance of animals and Edvard Munch's art as tools to evoke empathy in the story contrasts with the treatment of androids, emphasizing empathy's selective nature. Lastly, it underscores how empathy is a learned quality, illustrated through Deckard's evolving empathy towards androids, reshaping his understanding of what it means to be human.

Leaves of Grass and the Lesbian Ghost: Where Walt Whitman Went Wrong

Student: Paige Blackburn
Faculty Sponsor: Benjamin Goluboff

Abstract: This paper focuses on transcendentalist writer and queer man Walt Whitman and his pro-gay work, Leaves of Grass. Though the piece could be considered progressive for its time, it can be argued that Leaves of Grass actually acts as a hypocritical text today. Because it excludes accurate perspectives of non-male & queer identities (other than male-male homosexuality), the work defies its own purpose as an inclusionary manifesto.

God: a Re-Presentation

Student: Sam Bickersteth
Faculty Sponsor: Roshni Patel

Abstract: In this presentation, I intend to briefly survey and dispel various misapprehensions regarding the nature of God. I will begin by highlighting and rejecting the assumption that God is in any way a "being" of his own sort, let alone the oft-levelled caricature of "a man in the sky." Navigating recent and popular atheistic critiques of religion, I will emphasise that religious traditions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and more all advocate for a God who is not a being amongst beings, but Being or Reality itself. Drawing on the writing of theologian David Bentley Hart, I will point out that the "god" critiqued by such atheists is far more akin to the Neoplatonic notion of the demiurge, which is nothing more than a discrete creative force within reality, rather than the Creator God in whom all has its origin. Therefore, the preponderance of contemporary atheistic critiques of religion simply have no purchase on actual theology. On this basis, I will “re-present” the God of religious tradition in such a way as to address qualms that may be offered by the agnostic or sceptic. I will do so by elucidating the futility and recency of fundamentalism, rejecting sharp divisions between religious and secular spheres, and arguing in favour of a natural theology which shows that all people, irrespective of individual belief, naturally “know” God by merit of their existence alone.

“Not Every Girl is Into Dead Guys": How Buffy Grew into her Power Through her Vampire-Human Romantic Relationships 

Student: Robin Rudolph Woitesek
Faculty Sponsor: Linda Horwitz

Abstract: This project analyzes the cult television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer through applying radical feminist theory, queer theory, and television criticism to examine the romantic relationships that Buffy Summers, the title character, has with vampires Angel and Spike. The examination of the show will initially prove how the series’ groundbreaking queer representation went beyond one of televisions’ first lesbian relationships, and in fact, can be seen in Buffy’s own vampire-human romantic relationships. Analyzing the two relationships through those theoretical frameworks shows how Buffy’s romantic relationships are inherently queer because of the sexuality and gender roles that are being presented. As such, the show is actively restructuring how heterosexual, cisgendered, romantic relationships are supposed to be which allows for consciousness-raising. Furthermore, through comparing the two vampire-human romantic relationships that Buffy goes through, it becomes clear how Buffy’s journey of self-actualization encompasses what she learns from each relationship. The intersections within Buffy’s relationships with both Angel and Spike not only positively portray feminist queer ideals, but show Buffy’s growth both within and outside of those relationships which lead her to self-actualize herself as the Slayer, a role that she previously felt was forced upon her. This makes Buffy’s journey throughout the seven seasons of the show not only about her growing from a rebellious teenager to a confident young adult, but more importantly, about accepting the responsibilities of her vocation as a slayer. This vocation pushes Buffy to be the best form of herself through embodying the queer feminist ideals that the show not only endorses, but actively encourages through Buffy’s own journey.

A for Ambiguity: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter

Student: Brenna Burr
Faculty Sponsor: Benjamin Goluboff

Abstract: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s use of symbolism in his allegories, The Scarlet Letter and “Young Goodman Brown,” subverts the structure of allegory through his expert ability to first establish his own meaning in his works and then shift that meaning to represent many different things. In tracking the journey of symbols in Hawthorne’s work, one can see that Hawthorne begins by carefully guiding readers to an intentional and obvious meaning to be derived from his symbols, such as the eponymous scarlet letter, which first represents Hester’s sin. Hawthorne then disrupts this meaning, introducing a different, often opposing meaning, such as when the scarlet letter comes to represent Hester’s benevolence. The same pattern happens with Hawthorne’s other symbols, Pearl in The Scarlet Letter, and the forest, Faith, and Faith’s pink ribbons in “Young Goodman Brown.” Hawthorne’s ability to subvert his own established symbolic meanings not only disrupts the traditional structure of allegory, it also requires the reader to bring their own meaning to a text, creating Hawthorne’s signature ambiguity.

Greenhouse Plant Sale and Open House
11:00 a.m.– 2:00 p.m.

Lillard First Floor Lobby

Faculty Sponsor: Lynn Westley
Students: Tatiana Kapinos, Brayden Cade Saunders, Martin Ettlin Cuitiño, and Shrija Chhetri

Student Publication Informational Booths
Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Mohr Student Center

Informational booths for student journals, newspapers, and other publications

91社区 has numerous student publications, from research journals to literary magazines and journalistic newspapers. During the lunch hour, there will be several informational booths to learn more about what these student publications entail. Stop by to talk with student editors, student contributors, and faculty advisors to learn more about these platforms that showcase students’ remarkable work.

Poster Session
Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Lillard Lower-Level Lobby

Poster Session

Repeated Restraint Stress Induces Sex-dependent Activation of BNST and Anxiety-like Behavior 

Students: Rose Jasmin Montes 
Faculty Sponsor: J. Amiel Rosenkranz 

Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders, and women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed. This suggests underlying sex differences in the neural circuitry may contribute to the prevalence of anxiety disorders in females. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is sexually dimorphic, stress-sensitive, and activated during anticipatory anxiety or anticipation of a threat. Prior studies show that female rodents extinguish conditioned freezing to anticipatory anxiety faster than males. However, the extent to which stress modulates anticipatory anxiety in parallel with BNST activation is unknown. Since females are more sensitive to stress, we hypothesized that social interaction would facilitate greater BNST activation in stressed females compared to stressed males and control animals. To test our hypothesis, we used male and female rats exposed social interaction (for 10 minutes) with naïve rats and then to repeated restraint stress (20 min/day for 7 out of 9 days) or control handling. Following treatment, rats underwent another round of social interaction (with naïve rats and for 10 minutes) Afterwards, we immunostained the BNST for c-Fos expression. There was no difference in time spent interacting in the first day of the social interaction. We found significant interactions between sex in that males displayed more avoidance before than females. Preliminary data further suggests that these stress-induced sex differences on anxiety-like behaviors may be related to c-Fos expression in the BNST. We found increased expression in the BNST of stressed rats compared to controls. We also found that they were more prominent in female rats. Together, these studies show how stress influences anxiety-like behaviors in a sex-dependent fashion, possibly through differences in activation of the BNST. 

Haptic Feedback Enhanced Mobility (‘White’) Cane Increases Environmental Awareness in the Absence of Vision

Students: Suma Pasupulati
Faculty Sponsor: Frederick Prete

Approximately 23 million people who are blind or visually impaired (B/VI) use mobility canes. Although effective, canes cannot detect obstacles beyond the reach of their tip. We explored the possibility of increasing cane effectiveness by incorporating tip-mounted distance sensors that triggered haptic (vibratory) feedback in the cane’s handle when nearby objects were detected. Experiment 1 compared the accuracy of ultrasonic and infrared distance sensors by sweeping canes toward and away from a stationary obstacle at four frequencies (40, 50, 60, 70 sweeps/ min). Sensors were most accurate at 40 and 60 sweeps/min which is consistent with cane sweep rates (one sweep/ step) for B/VI users. Optic infrared sensors were more accurate than ultrasonic but were more susceptible to ambient (light) interference. Experiment 2 compared three cane configurations in an obstacle-avoidance task. Canes differed in tip type (roller ball vs. stationary), haptic stimuli (short vs. long, high vs. low frequency), and object sensing range (max=12, 18, 20 inches).  Blindfolded volunteers (N=8) tested each configuration by walking back and forth across a room (8 total trips, approx. 40 feet/trip) between two rows of boxes using haptic feedback on alternate trips. We scored the number of box locations detected without touching (identify), prior to touching (bump), or after inadvertently touching (collision). Volunteers identified significantly more boxes and had fewer collisions with haptic feedback. They also preferred canes with roller tips, short duration/low amplitude stimuli, and feedback beginning within 18 inches of potential obstacles. 

Green Hydroxylation of Aryl Halides in Aqueous Solvent Under Air

Students: Alana Garcevic and Diana Rosiles-Dueñas
Faculty Sponsor: Erica Schultz

In many syntheses of phenol derivatives from aryl halides, environmentally toxic solvents and reagents are used. To reduce environmental toll, greener solvents were explored.  We found 10% aqueous polyethylene glycol-2000 (PEG-2000) solution works well. PEG-2000 is biodegradable and assists the dissolution of the reagents. Use of this solvent with a Pd-catalyst, sodium hydroxide, and halogenated benzene derivates (Cl, Br, and I) gives the corresponding phenol. This reaction can be performed under an atmosphere of air while maintaining good conversion. In the presence of air and the reaction conditions, benzyl alcohol substrates undergo a two-step, one-pot oxidation hydroxylation reaction to form benzaldehyde or acetophenone derivatives.

On The Visualization of Binary Stellar Evolution for POSYDON

Students: Dean Kousiounelos
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Vicky Kalogera, Dr. Seth Gossage, Northwestern CIERA

We present BinaryStory, an open-source visualization tool for stellar binary evolution data. BinaryStory directly integrates with data, a departure from the conventional post-data processing practices for creating illustration graphics. It generates van den Heuvel diagrams based on output data from Binary Population Synthesis Code, POSYDON. BinaryStory creates a visual profile of the stellar evolution chain, supporting visual analysis of binary stellar models. Leveraging a mixture of illustrative and computational methods, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of their data while enhancing scientific communication and outreach. 

Fitness Effects of Alternative Reproductive Strategies in Female Bean Beetles

Students: Katina Lucas and Lia Romanotto
Faculty Sponsor: Flavia Barbosa

Trade-offs are a central concept to life-history theory, arising due to differential trait investment within an organism and resulting in negative covariances between traits. The bean beetle Callosobruchus maculatus provides an outstanding model species for the study of trade-offs, since larval density is known to induce differential resource allocation in this species. Low density results in short-winged flightless morphs. High density results in morphs with large, functional wings and early-life egg production in females. Here we investigated how different female oviposition strategies affect fitness, testing the hypothesis that females developing under high density invest more in current reproduction as an adaptive “live fast” life-history strategy that emerges in response to high density levels. We employed density manipulations in the egg and larval stages and measured the effects of density in different female reproductive traits at different time points of the adult stage.

Identification of Genes that Increase Expression of YHC3, a Yeast Homolog to CLN3, the Gene Defective in Batten Disease

Students: Kotryna Andriuškevi膷i奴t臈
Faculty Sponsor: Shubhik DebBurman

Batten disease is an autosomal progressive neuropediatric disease caused by mutation in the human CLN3 gene. The disease is characterized by vision loss, cognitive impairment, motor impairment, and epilepsy, and it currently has no cure. The role of CLN3 is unknown. Our study aimed to identify genes that increase expression of YHC3 gene, a yeast homolog to human CLN3. This identification would, in turn, help us identify the conditions that induce the expression, giving us insight into the role of the gene product. The experiment utilized a yeast strain in which the ORF for YHC3 was replaced with the HIS3 gene using CRISPR. This strain allowed selection of strains for the expression at the YHC3 locus by growth on media containing 3-aminotriazole, a competitive inhibitor of the HIS3 gene product. The experiment identified potential candidate genes that increase expression at the YHC3 locus, including RPL40, TOD6, and many more.

Insight into Synucleinopathies: Molecular Dissection of β- and γ-Synuclein for Potential Toxicity in a Yeast Model

Students: Federica Bertolotti, Holly Kiernan, and Leslie Casares
Faculty Sponsor: Shubhik DebBurman

Synucleinopathies are linked to the misfolding and accumulation of the synuclein proteins (αS, βS, and γS) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD), the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease. While α-synuclein is well-studied for its direct contribution to PD, less is known about the role in neurodegeneration of βS and γS. Two βS mutants (P123H and V70M) were recently linked with Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), and recently, γS inclusions were reported observed in ALS patients. Lessons from αS toxicity demonstrate that it is not only enhanced by mutations within it but modified by different molecule modifications. Here, we further evaluated the toxicity potential of βS and γS by characterizing swap mutants by using the known mutations in αS and βS onto each other and γS, using our budding yeast PD model system. Additionally, we evaluated substitution mutants βS, to evaluate what drives the toxicity. Finally, we mutated known sites to be altered by molecules in αS and βS to assess their toxicities. We report that: (1) V70M and P123H βS mutants aggregate and are more toxic than WT βS, (2) βS substitution mutants demonstrate that gain of histidine is key to P123H βS toxicity, and (3) the V70M βS mutation when swapped into αS makes the latter more toxic than swapping the P123H. Overall, this study expands the evaluation of βS and γS to understand mechanisms of toxicity for these two nervous system proteins and illuminates mutant toxicity in βS.

Social Instability Decreases Social Interaction and Reduces Amygdala GABAergic Activity

Students: Danielle Selby
Faculty Sponsor: Shubhik DebBurman

Stable social structures are an important component of the social environment that regulate social behavior. Social instability disrupts social structure through the repeated rotation of cagemates in the home setting. This unique approach allows for the study of how social structure impacts affective behavior. In rats, social instability (repeated cagemate rotations within the homecage) disrupts social behavior and the function of several brain regions. This study investigated how brief social instability affects social and nonsocial exploration and cellular activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the basal amygdala (BA), two brain regions involved in social processing and emotional regulation. We found that rats exposed to social instability exhibited decreased social interaction and altered non-reciprocated (social avoidance-like) behaviors compared to rats in stable social conditions. However, non-social exploration behaviors remained unaffected by social instability. Brain tissue was then processed to quantify changes in cellular activity, using zif268 as a proxy, within the mPFC and BA. Within the BA, social instability reduced GABAergic activity (GAD67-zif268 colocalization). Within the mPFC, we found that social instability modestly reduced activity. Furthermore, we found that activity in the infralimbic cortex region of the mPFC was related to BA GABAergic activity and social behavior such that greater infralimbic cortex activity results in greater GABAergic activity and social interaction. Together, these results demonstrate that social instability reduces social engagement and prefrontal cortical activity that subsequently reduces BA GABAergic activation.

Insight into Synucleinopathies: Comparative Evaluation of α-,  β-, and 饾泟-Synucleins in a Yeast Model

Students: Sebastian Gacek, Leslie Casares, Federica Bertolotti, and Isaiah J. Moonlight
Faculty Sponsor: Shubhik DebBurman

Synucleinopathies are a group of neurodegenerative disorders linked with the misfolding and aggregation of 鈲-synuclein, the most well-known among them being Parkinson’s disease (PD). 鈲-Synuclein belongs to a larger family of proteins that include β- and 饾浘-synuclein. Mutant forms (P123H and V70M) of β-synuclein have been shown to cause Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). However, the extent to which β- and 饾浘-synuclein are neurotoxic is still highly understudied. While specific alterations in cellular environments and post-translational modifications alter the toxicity and aggregation of α-synuclein, less is known of their impacts on β- and 饾浘-synuclein. Here, we used our lab’s budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) model to comparatively evaluate these three synucleins (including the two β-mutants) and explore their pathological potential through the assessment of toxicity, localization, and expression under varying levels of expression. We report a number of findings. (1) Both 鈲- and β-synuclein are differentially toxic but only when expressed at high levels, while 饾浘-synuclein is non-toxic irrespective of expression. (2) Expression levels of these proteins are tied to extent of aggregation and cytotoxicity. One difference between our high and low expression systems is the Kozak DNA sequence within the synuclein genes. Eliminating this DNA difference has minimal effect on protein expression and only slightly contributes to 鈲-synuclein toxicity. (3) All synucleins are more toxic with high nitrative stress, even 饾浘-synuclein. (4) All synucleins are sensitive to altered di/triglycerides. (5) And β-synuclein displays a higher molecular weight than expected. This study adds to a growing body of research exploring disease association of the synuclein family of proteins and illustrates the importance of further evaluation of all synucleins in neurodegeneration.

Circadian Control of Dorsolateral Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis (BNSTDL) via Hypothalamic Vasopressin (AVP) Projections

Students: Lorena Monroy
Faculty Sponsor: Nora McLean

The BNST regulates fear and anxiety-like behaviors and receives inputs from hypothalamic nuclei that regulate crucial physiological processes. We previously showed that AVP directly excites STEP neurons in BNSTDL. However, the source of specific peptidergic inputs containing AVP in the BNSTDL are elusive. Hence, we used anterograde tracing and found that the SCN and SON of the hypothalamus send AVP-containing inputs to the BNSTDL. To determine whether the SCN and BNSTDL have synchronous activity, we quantified immunoreactivity patterns for AVP and STEP in the SCN and BNSTDL across four zeitgeber times. We found an inverse pattern of AVP expression in the SCN and STEP expression in the BNST, suggesting synchronous activity. To test whether chemogenetic activation of SCN-AVP neurons or inhibition of BNST-OTR neurons affects fear and anxiety-like behaviors, we used male and female AVP-Cre rats with excitatory DREADDS in the SCN and OTR-Cre rats with inhibitory DREADDS in the BNST. The rats were tested in the EPM and underwent contextual fear conditioning. Activation or inhibition of these neurons generally did not affect defensive behaviors nor contextual fear.

Inhibitory Control and Temperament in 3- and 5-year-olds

Students: Olivia Ramirez, Cecilia Flores, Jia Zheng, and Lucy Freeman
Faculty Sponsor: Naomi Wentworth

This study investigates the interplay between inhibitory control and temperament in preschool-aged children (3- and 5-year-olds) to enhance our understanding of early developmental dynamics. Inhibitory control, the cognitive ability to regulate impulsive responses, is pivotal for cognitive and socio-emotional development. Temperament embodies the enduring facets of an individual's character, influencing how they react to the world by manifesting biologically rooted patterns of emotional, attentional, and motor responsiveness. Employing a multi-method approach, the investigation implements a flanker task and dinky toys task to assess inhibitory control, and a maternal report to measure temperament. Task order is counterbalanced. The study's overarching objective is to explore the intricate relationship between inhibitory control and temperament in preschool-aged children. It is hypothesized that positive temperament remarks will positively correlate with higher inhibitory control scores (H1) and that developmental differences between 3- and 5-year-olds result in significantly different inhibitory task performances (H2).  

Changes in Immune Signaling May Mediate Different Outcomes Between Mild, Repeated TBI and a Single, Severe TBI.

Students: Jorge A. Garcia
Faculty Sponsor: Rebecca Delventhal

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a common neurological disorder, affecting more than 1.5 million people nationwide and often causing hospitalization, long-term disability, and death. However, due to differences in age, sex, and other demographics, it is difficult to compare outcomes of different injury patterns amongst humans, especially because the characteristics of TBIs sustained are often highly variable. To study head injuries in a controlled manner, we used Drosophila Melanogaster as a model organism to assess the effects of mild, repeated TBI (multi-day, MD) compared to a single, severe TBI (single-day, SD). We wanted to know if different patterns of TBI differ in short- and long-term outcomes. To determine this, we measured acute mortality, lifespan, and climbing. We found that flies given a SD TBI exhibited higher acute mortality, but the surviving flies showed a longer lifespan than flies given a MD TBI. Likewise, flies given a MD TBI showed worse long-term locomotor ability. We hypothesized that different immune responses to MD vs. SD TBI may mediate differences in short- and long-term outcomes. To test this, we measured expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) 4 hours post-TBI and found that AMP expression increased after each day of the MD TBI and was eventually equivalent – if not greater – than expression four hours post-SD TBI. We are currently investigating long-term AMP expression post-TBI. We also measured acute mortality and lifespan of Imd and Toll mutant flies post-MD and SD TBI. We found that loss of Imd led to worse short- and long-term survival in both injury conditions, indicating that Imd signaling is protective in both injury types. Interestingly, while loss of Toll led to worse short-term survival after SD TBI, Toll mutants survived better after MD TBI. When we measured Toll mutants’ lifespan post-MD and SD TBI, we saw that loss of Toll did not significantly change the flies’ lifespan post-SD TBI but modestly increased the lifespan of flies post-MD TBI, suggesting that Toll signaling is detrimental for both short- and long-term outcomes from a MD TBI. To understand cell-type specificity in Toll signaling, we are conducting glial and neuronal knockdowns of Toll and testing short- and long-term outcomes. Understanding differences in cellular immune responses to different types of TBI could enable the development of tailored treatments, improving outcomes.

Education and Architecture: Unveiling the Archaeological Remains of Armour Flats and Armour Mission

Students: Emma Zagaiski, Ian Cox, Riley Groark, Sofia Vizinho Santana, and Theresa Wilhite
Faculty Sponsor: Rebecca Graff

In Summer 2023, 91社区 students conducted an archaeological excavation at the former site of Armour Flats and Armour Mission in Bronzeville, Chicago. The site, now part of Illinois Tech, was originally established by the Armour brothers, owners of Armour Meatpacking Company. Armour Mission evolved from a non-sectarian church to a settlement house, offering diverse community activities. Armour Flats, initially housing senior employees, later expanded to include faculty and students. Both structures were demolished in the 1960s as part of urban renewal efforts. The exhibition presents artifacts showcasing the site's dynamic history, revealing residential, educational, and architectural uses. The findings contribute to understanding Chicago's urban development, and student participants will engage with visitors, providing insights into the archaeological process. This exhibit serves as a platform for historical insights and educational exchange.

Stories of Religion at 91社区

Students: Daniel Contreras, Emma Zagaiski, Harriet Townsend, Heli Villaseñor Garcia, Isabel Hinojosa, Jessica Caal Chamam, Katherine Mikna, Nickie Figueroa, and Miles Wells
Faculty Sponsor: Ben Zeller

Throughout the semester we identified effective museum practices and techniques which we implemented in this exhibition. The class particularly focused on how religion is presented in museums and inspired us to create our own exhibition about religion. Not only will you see the development of the Religion Department at the College, but also student portraits and stories of their religion and spirituality.

Ionothermal Synthesis of New Tin Thiophosphate

Student: Amy Tram
Faculty Sponsor: Jason Cody

Ionic liquids (ILs) are green and renewable solvents that have become more widely used recently due to their low vapor pressure, high ionic conductivity, and high thermal stability. These solvents can replace traditional solvents, such as water and organic solvents, as more environmentally friendly substitutes. This project aims to use ILs as solvents and structure directing agents, building on past successes with Ni, Fe, Co, Mn, and Cr to prepare new thiophosphates with Sn. The two ionic liquids [EMIM][CF3SO3] and [EMIM][BF4] are used with ratios of elemental tin, red phosphorus, and sulfur. The compound [EMIM]2[Sn(P3S9)2] has been synthesized using [EMIM][CF3SO3]. Extensive analyses by IR, DSC, and X-ray diffraction are presented.

The Olive Branches In Our Veins – A Story of Palestinian Environmental Justice and Resilience

(Short Documentary Screening in Lillard 044)

Student: Valentina Ferreira Figueroa
Faculty Sponsor: Brian McCammack

This project explores the intersection of social injustices faced by indigenous Palestinians with environmental concerns, highlighting the link between the Palestinian identity, culture, and their connection to the land. By weaving personal narratives, documented instances of settler abuse, and principles of Environmental Justice, the study delves into the complexities of Palestinian environmental injustices under occupation. It scrutinizes the historical trajectory of Palestine’s occupation, revealing the environmental degradation inflicted upon Palestinian territories while spotlighting Israel's 'greenwashing' tactics. Drawing from the Principles of Environmental Justice and insights from scholars like Kyle Whyte, the project examines how settler colonialism disrupts indigenous relationships with the environment. Through the lens of Palestinian experiences, it elucidates how the uprooting of native vegetation, particularly the symbolic olive trees, and the imposition of non-native flora adversely affect both the environment and Palestinian livelihoods. Ultimately, the project asserts that Israeli settler colonialism not only inflicts social injustices but also engenders environmental degradation, entrenching the erasure of Palestinian identity and culture.

Block 3
1:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

PANEL 11: Exploring Black Tapestries. States, Slavery, and the Census

Lillard 144
Faculty Moderator: Courtney Joseph

Students: Doyin Ogunshola, Josiah Kidd, Payton Ross, and Rory Gillespie

The "Exploring Black Tapestries" panels showcase diverse research projects by students in African American Studies, emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The symposium celebrates the intersections of history, literature, politics, philosophy, and culture within African American Studies. Covering a wide range of topics, the panels delve into historical studies on slavery and census data, analyses of literature by formerly enslaved authors, and contemporary examinations of Black intellectual thought and activism. The collection highlights the depth and diversity of research, emphasizing the intersections of race, identity, and culture. By amplifying marginalized voices and unraveling the complexities of African American life, the showcase contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the African American experience. "Exploring Black Tapestries" reflects the commitment of students to academic rigor and social relevance, challenging preconceptions and offering a nuanced understanding of their chosen field. Through this exploration, students contribute to broader academic discourse, enriching the understanding of the complexities inherent in the African American experience.

PANEL 12: Politics and Policy in Latin America

Lillard 128
Faculty Moderator: Marilén Loyola
Student Moderator: Kathia Perez-Enriquez

Memory: The US Omission of Documents from the Brazilian Dictatorship and Its Consequences in Brazil’s Delayed Search for Justice

Student: Emília Guilhermina de Paula Fonseca
Faculty Sponsor: Diana Dávila Gordillo

Abstract: In 2014, as part of declassifying Cold War documents on Latin America, Joe Biden provided Brazil with a hard drive containing 43 documents detailing the dictatorship's violence. Simultaneously, the Brazilian Truth Commission, established after a slow, politically complex process, was concluding its inquiry into dictatorship-era disappearances. Hindered by limited documentation and testimonies and hampered by the persistent Amnesty Law, the Truth Commission maintained a non-punitive approach. This study explores the US's delayed delivery of documents, illustrating how the information gap directly obstructed the Truth Commission's formation and progress. Ultimately, the US handing over documents 29 years post-dictatorship and after the Truth Commission's establishment impeded Brazil's pursuit of truth and justice.

Peruvian Elections: The Triumph of Pedro Castillo

Student: Eliane de Lurdes Wiehle Fenita
Faculty Sponsor: Diana Dávila Gordillo

Abstract: One thesis within this presentation scrutinizes President Pedro Castillo's triumph in the 2021 Presidential Elections in Peru, examining the factors that led to his electoral success. It identifies a populist rhetoric in his electoral campaign, shifts in voter preferences during the second round, and Castillo's status as a political newcomer as key elements contributing to his victory. The strategic decisions made by voters, choosing a newcomer advocating change over an established conservative opponent, played a pivotal role in securing Castillo's win. This election positioned him as a symbol of change, representing a formidable challenge to entrenched power structures.

Mexico and the Battle for Women’s Protection against Femicide

Student: Melina Pineda Aguilar
Faculty Sponsor: Marilén Loyola

Abstract: In Mexico, where rates of femicide are among the world's highest, legislative action has been slow moving, the process only expedited when international outrage is expressed. These actions have left women and minors exposed to increased dangers because of a lack of enforcement of existing legislation. After the first recorded femicide in Mexico in 1993, the country was placed under a microscope by their own feminist activists and internationally. My project delves into Mexico’s history with femicide over the last 30 years and how the country arrived at the current legislation and enforcement of regulations to protect girls and women from femicides. By examining the progress of legislation, public actions and statistics of femicides by state, I aim to offer insights into the effectiveness of Mexico’s femicide rulings and how far the country has come in the last 30 years.

Territorial Segregation in Costa Rica

Student: Monserrat Alfaro
Faculty Sponsor: Diana Dávila Gordillo

Abstract: My paper explores the phenomenon of territorial segregation in Costa Rica, with a specific focus on its profound impact on rural areas. The urban-rural divide contributes to significant disparities in access to social rights, particularly in the realms of education, healthcare, and economic opportunities. Collectively, these disparities contribute to the perpetuation of a cycle of poverty, impeding upward mobility for residents. Effectively tackling this cycle and systemic inequalities requires implementing strategic interventions and focused initiatives to foster a more equitable future for Costa Rica.

Immigration in Argentina: An Open Door in an Era of Closing Borders, 1880-1930

Student: Emilce Antonella Mamani Fabian
Faculty Sponsor: Rudi Batzell

Abstract: The aim of this research was to address the historical particularity of Argentina as a immigrant receiving country from 1880 to 1930. Unlike other destinations for mass migration (the United States, Australia), where borders were gradually closed to keep immigrants out, Argentina retained a remarkably open immigration policy.  The primary focus was on the historical Argentine labor market and any role or debates surrounding the increasing influence of these immigrants in both political and social parameters. My academic engagement was primarily with Spanish academic texts from a wide range of Argentine scholars. The starting point of my research was secondary sources, articles analyzing the Argentine historical context at that time, the demographic implications of immigrants and their settlements throughout the country, and the role of immigration in the agroexportador model. This information provided the foundation to seek primary sources, such as the survey conducted by the Argentine Social Museum in 1919, titled “Immigration After the War,” where Argentine academics offered their opinions and recommendations regarding the management of the immigration flow.

PANEL 13: Climate Change: Biological and Legal Challenges of a Warming Planet

Lillard 130
Faculty Moderator: Sean Menke
Student Moderator: Kateryna Malkina

Concerns and Opinions Regarding Climate Change on Campus

Students: Anela Elze and Magdalena Gavina
Faculty Sponsor: Todd Beer

Abstract: The presentation will explore how 91社区 students feel about climate change, how well they understand the causes, and the policies that they support. Drawing on original survey data of a large random sample of 91社区 students from the spring of 2023, we look at not only the variation of opinions but also the predictors of variation in knowledge, concern, and different policy options.

Public Trust Doctrine: An Ocean of Opportunity

Student: Reece Wearing
Faculty Sponsor: Janet McCracken

Abstract: The common law system, inherited from England in the United States (US) and in New Zealand, creates law through judicial ruling on individual cases using past cases and legal doctrine as precedent. One such doctrine in common law that governs resource use is the Public Trust Doctrine, which posits that certain resources (traditionally water) are held in trust for the public by the State. In the US, this doctrine has been widely used to great effect for the preservation of natural resources and as a bind on both government and individual actors. On the other hand, New Zealand common law makes very little use of the Public Trust Doctrine, despite inheriting the same legal tradition as the US and despite facing similar concerns of environmental conservation and resource use. I argue that the Public Trust Doctrine is a legal tool of which New Zealand could make effective use, and I compare New Zealand's system without the Public Trust Doctrine to the utilization of the doctrine in the US—specifically, the State of Hawai'i.

Navigating the Waters: Modeling User Demand and Natural Supply in Colorado’s Blue River

Student: Ashley Birnesser
Faculty Sponsor: Jeff Sundberg

Abstract: The Blue River, with a watershed spanning over 600 square miles, contributes to the economic, social, and natural well-being of millions of Colorado residents and their surrounding environment. Amid current and increasing global water shortages, the future health of the Blue River and the Colorado River, which it confluences with downstream, is uncertain. The focus of this research is developing models to assess which hydrogeologic and user demand factors affect the volume of water in the Blue River, using various statistical techniques. These models, combined with demographic and climate projections, identify predictor variables for future changes in river conditions and potential water shortages.

Bumblebee Lower Thermal Limitations in a Changing Climate

Student:  Brayden Cade Saunders
Faculty Sponsor: Sean Menke

Abstract: Temperature is necessary for many aspects of an organism’s life, including metabolism, growth, and survival. However, temperature’s effect can become negative to an individual organism. I am focusing on the effects of cold temperature on bumblebee biology. My research will help fill the gaps in understanding the future consequences of climate change and serve as a tool for conservation efforts. Do three different life cycles found within a colony, represented by the queens, workers, and male bumblebees, experience differences in chill coma recovery time and critical thermal minimum depending on caste and body size? I predict that the larger bumblebees, specifically queens and larger bodied workers will have lower thermal minimums due to being able to retain heat better. Preliminary data supports a trend of larger workers having longer chill coma recovery times. This work will help predict when bumblebee populations may negatively be impacted by temperature changes. 

Characterizing the Effects of Temperature on Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Epiphytes

Student: Calliope Saban
Faculty Sponsor: Sean Menke and Mirta Teichberg

Abstract: The temperate seagrass, Zostera marina hosts epiphytic algae, cyanobacteria colonies, and biofilms. As climate change raises ocean temperatures, Zostera marina is likely to experience negative effects due to temperature-related stress, but the effects on the communities they host are not well-documented. The changes in epiphyte cover, community composition, and photosynthetic activity were monitored to address this research gap. Eelgrass was grown in various temperatures then imaged with microscopy. Respiration and photosynthesis rates were determined by measuring oxygen production. For epiphytes visible under light microscopy, a correlation between temperature, leaf age, and epiphyte cover was seen, with some organisms disappearing in warmer temperature treatments entirely. Photosynthesis was higher on seagrass blades with epiphytes indicating they contribute a larger proportion of primary production within seagrass ecosystems during the end of the growing season.

PANEL 14: Rhetorical Analysis of U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses

Lillard 132
Faculty Moderator: Linda Horwitz

U.S. Presidential Inaugural addresses are not required by the U.S. Constitution, yet they have become a critical text in the construction of the rhetorical presidency.  Inaugural addresses are a hybrid genre whose analysis illustrates how textual analysis combined historical contextual analysis allows scholars to engage in organic analysis which says something about the text but also how we as a culture both create and consume rhetorical texts. This panel will look at the first inaugurals of President Barack Obama and President John F. Kennedy.

Presidential Rhetoric: An Analysis of Obama's First Inaugural Address

Student: Hope Hoffman
Faculty Sponsor: Linda Horwitz

Abstract: This study employs Bitzer's rhetorical criticism to analyze President Barack Obama's first inaugural address, emphasizing the need for conscious analysis of rhetoric's daily-life impact. The research demonstrates that Obama's speech surpassed expectations by adeptly responding to the 2009 rhetorical situation and crafting a nuanced motivational argument that fostered unity. Applying Aristotle's rhetorical proofs within Bitzer's framework, the analysis identifies specific strategies used by Obama to address prevailing uncertainty, asserting that he skillfully cultivated a shared American identity. This fostered a collective sense of responsibility, motivating action for crucial change. The study underscores the depth and effectiveness of Obama's rhetorical choices, illuminating the interplay of ethos, pathos, and logos to inspire a collective response resonating with shared identity and responsibility. In essence, the research highlights the profound impact of conscious rhetorical evaluation in uncovering layers of influence in political discourse, illustrating the importance of understanding rhetoric's subtle influence on individuals in daily life.

President Obama’s First Inaugural Address Remains Living

Student: Delfina Jorgensen
Faculty Sponsor: Linda Horwitz

Abstract: President Obama as a speaker has been studied by many. In this presentation, we look into President Obama’s first inaugural address and how it remains a living text that still applies to a modern-day context. To begin with, this analysis is done through rhetorical criticism. Secondly, there is a gap in the literature as far as exploring President Obama’s first inaugural address through the lens of Edwin Black. Moreover, this presentation dives into President Obama’s inaugural address through Edwin Black’s critical approach and uses his three points of analysis: how the text participates in a current context, has created new audiences, and is more applicable today than when it came out. The significance of this relates to the fact that Black discusses that for a text to be a good text it must be a living text, and to do so it must meet these three points of analysis. Furthermore, once proving that President Obama’s inaugural address meets the three points of analysis, Obama’s text remains living, which ultimately qualifies it as a good text according to Black’s approach. Once finding that President Obama’s first inaugural address remains a living text, thus a good text, these findings could be applied to future generations of Presidential inaugural addresses.

How Past Words Wage Against Contemporary War – A Rhetorical Analysis and Criticism of JFK’s Inaugural Address

Student: Isabel Mantilla
Faculty Sponsor: Linda Horwitz

Abstract: My research project is an in-depth rhetorical analysis to determine whether or not John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Inaugural Address can be deemed as a “living” text according to rhetorician Edwin Black’s criteria. JFK’s speech is “alive” according to Black’s standards. It continues to inspire and provoke new trains of thought for audience members. It is more relevant for modern audiences today than it first was for audiences who witnessed the inauguration in 1961. Combined with my close textual analysis of JFK’s inaugural address, I confirm that the observations and statements which JFK communicated in 1961 are even more appropriate to draw upon in the current year since wars have continued to rage.

PANEL 15: Selections from Collage Magazine

Lillard 244
Student Moderator: Astrid Maricela Castro
Faculty Advisor: Ying Wu

Students: Marianne Su, Matthew Galindo, Jinhua Adair, Syeda Shahreen Sadeque, Masha Novikova, Kiera McKee, Evelyn Anguiano, Diale Awa, J.J. Ennis, Atlas Gregory, Andrew Kame, Inessa Kaufman, One Kenosi, Pearl Leyka, Victoria Rowland, Noelle Sheen, and Astrid Castro

Abstract: Collage Magazine represents the cultural and linguistic diversity within the 91社区 community, providing an opportunity for students of any language other than English to use their abilities in a creative medium. The magazine also encourages any members of the College community (students, faculty, and staff) to express in words their cultural perspectives.

Intermission Musical Performance
2:20 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.

Lillard First Floor Lobby

Bloomin' V

Performers: Gist Key, Cian Hyde, Eva Rowell, Troy Smith, Daniel Mies Nass, and Isaac Schultz

Block 4
2:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

PANEL 16: Exploring Black Tapestries. Legacies of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lillard 144
Faculty Moderator: RL Watson

Students: Marybel Sacramento, Loreto Galvan-Alva, and Armani Alarid

The "Exploring Black Tapestries" panels showcase diverse research projects by students in African American Studies, emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The symposium celebrates the intersections of history, literature, politics, philosophy, and culture within African American Studies. Covering a wide range of topics, the panels delve into historical studies on slavery and census data, analyses of literature by formerly enslaved authors, and contemporary examinations of Black intellectual thought and activism. The collection highlights the depth and diversity of research, emphasizing the intersections of race, identity, and culture. By amplifying marginalized voices and unraveling the complexities of African American life, the showcase contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the African American experience. "Exploring Black Tapestries" reflects the commitment of students to academic rigor and social relevance, challenging preconceptions and offering a nuanced understanding of their chosen field. Through this exploration, students contribute to broader academic discourse, enriching the understanding of the complexities inherent in the African American experience.

PANEL 17: Social Change and Policy Innovation in Global Cities

Lillard 128
Faculty Moderator: Ajar Chekirova

This panel will discuss different approaches to neighborhood revitalization and urban renewal in Budapest (Hungary) and Medellin (Colombia), the process and the impact of transnational gentrification in Dubrovnik (Croatia), and public participation in construction of the "sponge city" in Shanghai (China).

Public Participation in Shanghai's "Sponge City" Model

Student: Andrés Fuentes Teba
Faculty Sponsor: Ajar Chekirova

Abstract: China has emerged as a major global leader in addressing climate change through initiatives like sponge cities, which use green infrastructure to manage urban water sustainably. While past studies characterized China's environmental policymaking as non-participatory "authoritarian environmentalism," this research examines the role of non-state actors in shaping urban ecology policies in Shanghai. It evaluates the Yangtze River restoration program and the Knowledge and Initiative Community Garden (KIC), finding that while large-scale initiatives were top-down, opportunities for participation emerged through NGO involvement and bottom-up projects. This suggests China has created a hybrid system combining decentralized participation with state leadership, challenging ideas of strictly authoritarian environmentalism. Rather than viewing participation statically, this nuanced understanding reveals how grassroots activism interacts with the state to transform eco-governance over time in complex authoritarian contexts increasingly confronted with climate change.

How does Street Art Influence Neighborhood Change in Medellin?

Student: Juan Perez
Faculty Sponsor: Ajar Chekirova

Abstract: Once one of the most violent neighborhoods in the world, Comuna 13, a neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia, has transformed into a model of resilience, change and effective social policies, with street art playing a key role. This raises the question: How does street art impact Medellin's quality of life?  This project identifies three key components driving this transformation. Firstly, street art in Comuna 13 fosters community engagement, enhancing the sense of belonging. Secondly, it stimulates local economies, particularly in the tourism industry. Lastly, it functions as a tool to reduce violence and crime.  By conducting surveys within the affected communities, interviewing local experts, and analyzing official documents, this study asserts that street art is a significant element of social urbanism. Comuna 13 stands as a compelling example of how marginalized communities can significantly enhance their quality of life through such initiatives.

Preserving the Pearl: Investigating the Impact of Tourism on Gentrification in Dubrovnik

Student: Jana Bulic
Faculty Sponsor: Ajar Chekirova

Abstract: The intricate interplay between tourism and gentrification in Dubrovnik unfolds a complex narrative of social, economic, and cultural transformations. This research examines the multifaceted repercussions of tourism on the historic city, revealing a symbiotic dance of social shifts, economic waves, and cultural adaptations. It uncovers the pressing need for strategic urban planning to counter the adverse effects and ensure the long-term sustainability of the historic city and its local communities. Drawing from primary sources such as stakeholder interviews, demographic data, and economic metrics, this study offers a comprehensive exploration of the dynamics shaping Dubrovnik's urban landscape. It highlights the displacement of locals, changes in demographic composition, loss of community spaces, rising living costs, and commodification of culture as key consequences of tourism-driven gentrification. Additionally, the research addresses the inadequacy of traditional tourist statistics and advocates for a focus on spending distribution in the local economy.  The findings underscore the challenges faced by Dubrovnik's inhabitants and emphasize the urgent need for context-specific urban policies to confront infrastructure deficiencies and preserve the city's distinctive identity amidst the influx of tourists. By examining the symbiotic relationship between tourism and gentrification, this study contributes to a deeper understanding of the intricate forces shaping Dubrovnik's socio-economic landscape. It calls for a nuanced approach to urban planning that balances tourism-driven economic growth with the maintenance of community resilience and local authenticity, ensuring Dubrovnik's continued vitality as a global destination.

Urban Renewal and Its Effects on Józsefváros District in Budapest

Student: Aidan Roberg
Faculty Sponsor: Ajar Chekirova

Abstract: This study examines the effects of urban renewal in Budapest's Józsefváros District VIII, particularly emphasizing its social improvement and displacement phenomena. The central question explores the impact of urban redevelopment initiatives on the district's social and economic landscape. This study seeks to elucidate the overarching impact of such interventions. Findings uncover a dual narrative that indicates that while urban renewal has enhanced infrastructure and increased property values, it has simultaneously led to the displacement of low-income residents. Leveraging a comprehensive array of historical data, governmental policies, Google Maps imagery, and official statistics, this investigation offers a nuanced analysis of shifts in property values, infrastructural enhancements, and displacement patterns. This evidence reveals the complex relationship between economic growth and social implications in urban planning, emphasizing the importance of considering both aspects in shaping future development strategies. 

PANEL 18: Harnessing Data: Patterns and Predictions

Lillard 130
Faculty Moderator: Rob Lemke
Student Moderator: Kristen Ahn

The Impact of AI Language Models on Job Search Outcomes: An Audit Study

Student: Rebecca Stoia
Faculty Sponsor: Rob Lemke

Abstract: In the pursuit of a more efficient, data-driven, and equitable hiring process, the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) has recently gained significant traction. However, employer decision-making, particularly during the resume screening stage, remains susceptible to subjective and implicit biases, posing challenges in quantifying and fully understanding hiring behavior. This research proposal aims to leverage the established audit study methodology pioneered by Bertrand and Mullainathan (2004) to examine the relationship between large language models (LLMs), specifically Google Bard and ChatGPT, and their impact on resume tailoring strategies and subsequent interview callback rates. The overarching objective is to identify the optimal LLM that maximizes the likelihood of securing interview callbacks. This research seeks to illuminate the factors influencing employer behavior during resume screening, ultimately providing valuable insights for job seekers to optimize their hiring prospects.

Predicting Formula 1 Success

Student: Rejna Resic
Faculty Sponsor: Rob Lemke

Abstract: Formula 1 racing is one of the most popular sports worldwide, with total prize money approaching $2.5 billion in 2023. Formula 1 popularity is also rapidly growing in the United States. There are several differences between Formula 1 and more traditional auto racing in the US, such as the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). In this research, I explore those differences to construct a dataset of factors that likely affect a team’s success on the Formula 1 circuit. Included in the analysis are team variables (e.g., team budgets, strategy decisions, and engineering choices), driver characteristics (e.g., age, experience), and track conditions (e.g., location, number of turns, spacing). Using data from the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Formula 1 seasons, I predict each team’s probability of success in each race. For robustness, “success” is measured in several ways, including winning the race, placing in the top three, placing in the top 10, finishing the race, and the number of points earned toward the season-long World Championships.

Happiness Level Around the World

Student: Monika Wolska
Faculty Sponsor: Nancy Tao

Abstract: This project aims to gain insight into the well-being and satisfaction of the world countries’ citizens and inform policies aimed at promoting happiness, well-being, and sustainable development.  This project analyzes the relationship between happiness and economic and demographic factors using data from 132 countries between 2007 and 2020.  Data is drawn from the World Happiness Report, the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Program's Human Development Index.

Art and Astrophysics: Exploring Binary Stellar Evolution Data with Accessible Visualizations

Student: Dean Kousiounelos
Faculty Sponsor: Tracy Marie Taylor

Abstract: Exploring binary star systems and their gravitational wave merger events through the Binary Population Synthesis (BPS) model -- POpulation SYnthesis with Detailed binary-evolution simulatiONs (POSYDON) -- this work culminates research completed at Northwestern CIERA as well as with the POSYDON collaboration. It requires the use of simulation modeling in Python as well as the High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster, Quest, to produce and evolve binary populations. A data-driven gallery space, which serves as a journey through the intricate narrative of binary stellar evolution and the evolutionary channels that lead to gravitational wave progenitor systems, illustrates how art practices can profoundly inform scientific understanding. Utilizing an ArtScience Approach, we aim to transcend traditional boundaries, offering a unique lens through which to perceive the intersection of contemporary art and astrophysics. The visualizations make data accessible to those with visual and auditory impairments through the use of sonification and topographical 3D-printed data visualizations. This project is made in collaboration with POSYDON and Northwestern CIERA.

Artist Recognition from Paintings

Student: Brian Rivera
Faculty Sponsor: Sugata Banerji

Abstract: Is it possible to use the technologies provided to us through computer science to decipher something as complicated as art? Using neural networks, can we identify an artist based solely on feeding it that artist’s work to help it make better, informed decisions? Like every effort in the arts and science, it is a process. Through heat maps that highlight any details the network finds important enough to make note of, we get better insight as what information the network is basing its decisions on. Nothing is definite yet, but the research done so far is enough to help us wonder what advancements we might make next.

PANEL 19: Designing Research on Women's Representation

Lillard 132
Faculty Moderator: Diana Dávila Gordillo

This panel brings together research proposals addressing women's representation. The research proposals address important aspects of women representation and introduce innovative research designs.

Researching the Relationship Between Violence Against Women in Elections and Political Ambition

Student: Diya Mokha
Faculty Sponsor: Diana Dávila Gordillo

Abstract: Despite globally women's representation in politics being low, and violence against women being high, the correlation between the prevalence of violence against women in elections and women's political ambition in elections has never been studied. This is an important area of research because women need to be in politics for both descriptive and substantive representation to advocate for women's issues, increase political participation of other women, and strengthen democracy. If the goal is to have more women in politics, women need to want to be in politics. This is where the notion of ambition comes into play. For years, scholars who were predominantly white men blamed women's lack of political participation on their naturally low ambition (Bernhard et al., 2020) when in reality there are numerous barriers that women face that lower their ambition. These barriers need to be studied in order to take measures to reduce them, thereby encouraging more women to enter politics. India presents an interesting case to study this phenomenon because it ranks in top positions for both the worst representation of women and the highest rates of violence against women.

Factors that Influence Women's Political Ambition in the MENA Region

Student: Dana Saeed
Faculty Sponsor: Diana Dávila Gordillo

Abstract: Women's ambition has been mostly researched focusing on women in the western hemisphere. We know little about ambition amongst women of color, including those of the Middle East and the North African region. My research proposal introduces a project that aims to answer not just if women participate in politics, but also why they do. To better understand the widely understudied women of the MENA region, we must first take steps to study the factors that influence women’s desire or lack thereof to influence public policy. I hypothesize that women’s nascent and expressive political ambition is affected by factors such as socioeconomic status and sociocultural pressures that influence women’s future goals. I propose to test these hypotheses focusing on three countries that work to encompass the vastness of the Middle East: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt. My research will work to study gendered political ambition in the MENA region and its effects on both nascent and expressive ambition. This research can not only help us better understand the factors that affect women’s political ambition, but also take larger steps in helping governments and societies understand how to better help accommodate increasing women’s participation in political positions of power.

Domestic and International Influences in the Institutionalization of Women’s Rights in Latin America

Student: Emilia Guilherm de Paula Fonseca
Faculty Sponsor: Diana Dávila Gordillo

Abstract: The advocacy for the promotion of women’s rights in a country is a process that can involve both domestic and international forces. More specifically, domestic social groups and international organizations can play a part in the processes that lead to the institutionalization of such rights. Therefore, in order to understand which processes effectively lead to the establishment of such rights with the goal of amplifying their promotion, the present study proposes the exploration of both layers of advocacy. Such research will be done through the methodological strategy of the “spiral model” coined by Sikkink and Risse, which is based on the exploration of domestic and international influences that have led to the creation of human rights laws. The necessary data will be achieved through the analysis of domestic and international actors involved in the cases of Law Maria da Penha in Brazil and Law of Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy in Argentina. By framing Women’s Rights as human rights, the study will analyze through the methodology what led to the success of institutionalization of rights in both cases.

Media Portrayal of Violence Against Women and its Implications on Women’s Political Careers in Brazil

Student: Beatriz Bernardo
Faculty Sponsor: Diana Dávila Gordillo

Abstract: This study seeks to explore the complicated relationship between the media's portrayal of violence against women and the political careers of women politicians in Brazil.  The central question of this study is: How does violence against women in the media impact the political careers of female politicians in Brazil?  By focusing on Brazil, a country that struggles with both high levels of gender-based violence and significant gender disparities in politics, this study seeks to shed light on an important but understudied aspect of women's political participation.  Through a combination of media content analysis and interviews with female politicians, this study aims to uncover how the media's portrayal of violence against women shapes public perception, influences political discourse and ultimately affects women's career paths in politics.  The evidence gathered will help to understand the challenges faced by women politicians in Brazil and develop strategies to counter negative portrayals and create a more inclusive political landscape.  This study aims to contribute to ongoing efforts to achieve gender equality and better political representation for women in Brazil and beyond.

PANEL 20: French & Francophone Cinema

Lillard 244
Faculty Moderator: Tessa Sermet

Un Chien Andalou: Surrealism in French Cinema

Student: Olivia Connolly
Faculty Sponsor: Tessa Sermet

Abstract: Un Chien Andalou, directed by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí in 1929, stands as a seminal work in French cinema, challenging societal and artistic norms with its surrealistic approach. Initially met with mixed reviews, the film's provocative imagery and narrative innovations eventually earned it recognition as a groundbreaking contribution to the medium. By eschewing linear storytelling and embracing dreamlike sequences, it paved the way for future generations of French filmmakers to explore the depths of human experience. Its influence is evident in the narrative experimentation of directors like Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais, who were inspired by its rejection of traditional cinematic structures. Moreover, Un Chien Andalou pushed boundaries by addressing taboo subjects and utilizing innovative visual techniques, leaving an indelible mark on French cinema. This legacy continues in contemporary French filmmaking, where surrealism remains a powerful tool for probing complex themes and transcending conventional narrative forms. In essence, Un Chien Andalou remains a testament to cinema's ability to challenge, provoke, and inspire, shaping the landscape of French filmmaking for generations to come.

Perceptions of France and "Frenchness" in La Haine and Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain

Student: Brodie Kaufman
Faculty Sponsor: Tessa Sermet

Abstract: The two cult films, La Haine (1995) and Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001), reveal images of France and what it means to be French. “Frenchness” or "francité" in French is a term that lists characteristics and behaviors associated with French culture. Frenchness also refers to the subject of widespread discussion about what the ideal French person looks like. Amélie Poulain perpetuates an ideal French aesthetic, provoking a desire for the nostalgic image of frenchness, while La Haine provides a better understanding of marginalized identities in France, revealing that the French ideal does not exist.

Ousmane Sembène and the Effect of Neocolonialism on Black Women

Student: Alice Virani
Faculty Sponsor: Tessa Sermet

Abstract: A fundamental question that I was looking to answer was how did Ousmane Sembène, a Senegalese film director, show the dehumanization, fetishization, and loss of identity that African women experience due to exploitation and neocolonialism in his film La Noire De (1966)? I found that Sembène did this through strategic use of different cinematographic elements in order to show hierarchy and oppression between characters. I found that there were downward and upward camera angles to show hierarchy, that the choice to make the film black and white had symbolism to loss of identity, and that the dialogue and inner monologues showed how the main character felt detached from herself and felt inhumane.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Student: Ethan Karabanow
Faculty Sponsor: Tessa Sermet

Abstract: The highly acclaimed 2019 film directed by Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, features a stunning romantic dynamic between two young women, Marianne and Héloïse, in France in the late 1700s.  In this film the idea of 鈥嬧媡he female gaze in the film erases the narrative of women's subjugation while showing their point of view in a non-traditional way. To delve deeper into the cinematic elements Sciamma used to create her masterpiece, I will first discuss the components of mise-en-scène such as lighting and color that work in unison to evoke specific emotions within the viewer. I will then analyze the title of the film and how it foreshadows the story, bringing the images to life within the frame. Finally, I will highlight the use of the female gaze throughout the film and how this perspective is used to sympathize rather than objectify women.

Senior Art Exhibit and Final Reception
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Durand Art Institute

Senior Art Exhibit

One Day I'll Be

Student: Katherine Peticolas
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: Through my poster series, I am seeking to illustrate the disproportionate opportunities in athletics, which perpetuates an unfair system against young girls. At young ages, not only are girls funneled into avenues that diverge from the athletics path, but they also aren’t given the resources, time, and energy when they are pursuing athletics. These early experiences deter them from realizing their potential in and love for athletics. This series endeavors to remove preconceptions and to reintroduce famous athletes as the fearless, determined, and talented children they once were. Each poster features a picture of famous female athletes’ childhoods, with the backdrop of iconic photos from their current professional careers. The pictures allow viewers to see the dreams and aspirations of young athletes long before they became household names and world-renowned athletes. By portraying these female athletes as children, I hope to show that greatness in athletics is not about gender, but about fueling the dreams of young children. This project is a testament to the potential that resides in every child and the crucial role society plays in nurturing or extinguishing that potential.

Untitled (a Current Movement)

Student: Kara Hennessy
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: Influenced by the transformative philosophy of impressionism, I approach my artistic endeavors with a keen awareness of the fleeting nuances that define our sensory experiences. Much like the impressionist painters who sought to capture the essence of a moment, my work reflects a commitment to distilling the vibrant, ever-changing beauty of Southern California's nature and wildlife. The brushstrokes of impressionism have played a profound role in shaping my perception, guiding me to perceive the world not just as a static tableau, but as a dynamic interplay of light, color, and emotion. My current project, Untitled (a Current Movement), is an homage to my childhood encounters with the ocean – an exploration of its boundless power and the mesmerizing forms that dwell beneath its surface. I aim to infuse this installation with the essence of my nostalgic childhood wonder and deep-seated love for the ocean. Through my art, I strive to create an immersive environment that not only visually stimulates but also resonates emotionally. Inspired by the pursuit of beauty in unexpected places, I seek to reveal the often-overlooked aspects of nature’s grace. In crafting this emotional and visual connection, my goal is to offer viewers a sanctuary for introspection, inspiration, and rediscovery of the profound beauty and harmony inherent in the world. By momentarily detaching from the ordinary, visitors to my installations can immerse themselves in the extraordinary, finding solace and inspiration in the intricate dance of light, form, and emotion that defines the natural world.

Ephemeral Threads of Grief: A Visual Exploration

Student: Satya Mueller
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: In my artistic exploration, I intertwine hyper-realistic painting with dynamic yarn work, aiming to forge a visual language that sparks introspection and deep emotional exploration. My work delves into personal grief, portraying a poignant scene with my dogs. A lifelike rendering of Mona, my beloved dog, contrasts with a blacked-out silhouette of Murphy, emphasizing profound loss. To intensify the emotional narrative, black yarn flows from Murphy's silhouette, adding a tactile dimension to the canvas and eliciting deep emotions related to grief. This work seeks to visually captivate and emotionally resonate, inviting viewers to engage with the universal theme of grief in a compelling manner.

55 McNair Road

Student: Callie Elms
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: Having moved to Singapore at the age of three, my childhood was marked by a complex and fleeting existence, constantly moving from one rental house to another. The sixth and final residence in this series was 55 McNair Road. It was only supposed to be my home for three months. We moved from 55 Gentle Road to 55 McNair Road on March 7th, 2020 during my senior year of high school. I had been accepted at 91社区 and was planning on leaving directly after graduation to stay with family over the summer. I actually lived at 55 McNair Road for a year and a half. It became both my sanctuary and my jail cell during the pandemic. I became extremely attached to the four walls of my bedroom. Leaving 55 McNair Road for 555 N Sheridan Road was like being ripped from everything I had once known and loved. Although I eventually adapted to life in the US, a part of me remains intertwined with the memories of that house. This ceramic piece is a near-perfect copy of 55 McNair Road. Utilizing Google Map's street view feature, supplemented by my parents' photographs and my own memories, I strived to recreate the home exactly. Accompanying the ceramic piece is a digital collage, curated from a blend of my personal photos, my parents' images, and vintage Singaporean paraphernalia. Together, these artworks encapsulate the emotional and aesthetic reverberations of my time at 55 McNair Road.

Inside Outside

Student: Jane Wood
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: This series of paintings, named “Inside Outside”, is an exploration of light, perspective, and the memories they provoke. In the last year, I’ve realized that specific times of day and the lighting that accompanies them conjure different emotions. In the spring, while studying in Athens, I began painting abstract compositions inspired by dusk on the suburban streets, both at home and in Greece. The result was a painting that was both geometric and emotional. I used the angles that were found in corners and windows to create dimensions within the painting, and colors inspired by the sky. “Inside Outside” utilizes those same principles but expands on them. Instead of painting on canvases, I am using found objects. More specifically, old 3’ by 3’ windows with large frames. The windows are over a hundred years old and used to belong to a bungalow. By adding and removing layers of paint to the front and back of the glass and frames, I created three unique compositions. After creating the first two, I realized that their compositions aligned. They share similar specific lines, and both use brilliant orange and blue colors inspired by the outside at golden hour. When being exhibited, I plan on hanging them from the ceiling, one in front of the other. This use of windows and two sequential windows will play with the viewer's ideas of space and color.  The third window focuses on interiors and the sharp contrast between manmade light and the night sky. I simulated a smaller window within the composition by adding a box to the back of the frame and adding warm light. Inside Outside offers a place for viewers to reflect on their relationship with light. Each composition offers a look into another world, or an altered version of their own.

Destiny Woven with Spider-Lily Blooms

Student: Mari Pliego
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: My artwork revolves around crafting narratives that critique societal norms and the impact of social media. Focusing on gender and its roles, particularly femininity versus masculinity, I challenge and blur these constructs through subjective interpretations. Rejecting fixed definitions, I explore what defines gender and its effect on audience perception. In "Fate," I present dual perspectives—one from a woman, the other from a man—employing distinct techniques, colors, and gazes to emphasize gender stereotypes. The subtle variations prompt a reevaluation of conventional norms, compelling the audience to question their perceptions of masculinity and femininity.

Threads of Identity: Mapping the Margins / Hilos de Identidad: Cartografiando los Márgenes

Student: Kimberly L Casas
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: As a first-generation, Latiné, queer artist and activist in Chicago, my art delves into self-expression, rooted in urban environments and marginalized identities. Extensive research on queer, Latiné, and BIPOC histories guides my creative process, shaping themes and narratives. Using diverse materials and mediums—from block printing to digital illustration—I strive for a multidimensional representation of overlooked stories. My ongoing project combines photography and screen printing on clothing, honoring the artmaking legacy. It highlights the importance of identities in urban spaces, preserving and celebrating marginalized voices. Contributing to the diversity dialogue, my art recognizes the archival power in capturing our shared humanity.


Student: Nenna Rouse
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: I present a suite of paintings – oil on canvas adorned with glass seed beads strung in the traditional Choctaw style. My artistic journey is a celebration of empowerment, with a profound focus on indigenous women, guided by the Choctaw term 'oklushi,' meaning 'female tribe.' The inspiration for my work arises from personal connections with strong female role models who have left an enduring impact on my identity. They have fueled my dedication to honoring the unity, strength, and resilience embodied by indigenous women. A core objective of my art is to raise awareness about the pressing issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit individuals. To authentically address this matter, I have immersed myself in research on registered Choctaw artists and sought guidance from elders to ensure culturally sensitive representation. My art incorporates potent imagery from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement, employing native color schemes like the medicine wheel and moving fire to convey a message of unwavering strength and resilience. Through my work, I invite viewers to engage in a journey of awareness, empathy, and tribute, amplifying the voices and honoring the legacy of indigenous women in the pursuit of justice and recognition.

Dreams Woven in Sacrifices

Student: Danna Blancas
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: In this presentation, I portray the arduous journey of undocumented immigrants through four paintings, depicting skeletal figures symbolizing the toll on their physical and emotional well-being. These paintings come together to form a quilt, representing the collective struggles, sweat, tears, fears, and sacrifices of these individuals. The installation includes a hand-built bed for the child of immigrants, a “dreamer,” serving as a sanctuary amid challenges. This project prompts contemplation on immigration's political landscape, challenging societal norms and perceptions. By engaging with the symbolism and tangible elements, I invite the audience to reflect on our collective responsibility to acknowledge, honor, and uplift the sacrifices made by undocumented immigrants in pursuit of the American Dream.

Eternal Memories

Student: Ashlee Clarke
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: This is a body of work about lived experiences, memories both good and bad, personal identity, how the past remains with us in our present, and how we perceive uncomfortable or heavy topics. This work includes interdisciplinary works of art, but all could be considered to be mixed media.

Suspendida Amidst Flourishing Parasites

Student: Adriana Ree-Jurek
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: This abstract presents an art installation inspired by the personal battle with Endometriosis, aiming to shed light on the condition's complexities. Through a visual narrative, it features two contrasting sculptures connected by a flowing material, symbolizing the internal struggle and resilience of those affected. The installation uses abstract forms and emotional depth to evoke empathy and awareness for Endometriosis, often unseen. By transforming personal experience into a universal dialogue, the artist fosters a deeper understanding and visibility for the condition. This work serves as a powerful medium for discussing health issues, highlighting the strength of those living with Endometriosis and the role of art in societal empathy and awareness.

Esperanza: A New Generation

Student: Natalie Mercedes Serrano
Faculty Sponsor: Susy Bielak

Artist statement: Esperanza: A New Generation is a multi-media installation that explores migration through the lens of my own family. Coming from a strong matriarchy of seamstresses, crocheters, and weavers, I am furthering these traditions of craft to continue a legacy of work. My family left Colombia between the 1970s and early 2000s due to the economic and political instability, as well as violence. It has taken 28 years for the nucleus of my family to reestablish itself in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.  Emigrando Nuestras Flores de Esperanza is a 6-foot-tall crochet piece sewn together in burlap. The burlap sack is reminiscent of exported products, depicting the laborers whose work they exploit. The wooden structure is inspired by “Silletas,” ladder-like wooden carriers used to transport goods, specifically flowers. The Silletas are carried on the backs of campesinos or Silleteros (farmers) for 22 kilometers (about 13.67 mi) from Santa Elena to Medellín. This piece is a collaborative labor between three generations of women.  Retratos de Soledad depicts the separation between my family due to migration. The quotes are from  100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Some of the flowers are complete, representing each fourth anniversary of living in the United States. Other flowers remain pending as time continues. "Si Dios nos da la vida” or God willing, we shall be together once again.

Musical Performance by West African Drumming Ensemble
4:30 p.m.

Durand Art Institute

Performers: Violet Abraham, Levi Adams, Elma Choi, Heidi Cruz, Dani Dechter, Anora Ogboka, Wiktoria M. Pedryc, June Pyo, Abby Rice, and Michelle Tkachenko Weaver 

Symposium supporter remembered

Kathleen (Kathy) BarnettThe Symposium Committee would like to honor the memory of Kathleen (Kathy) Barnett, who served as an invaluable Symposium Committee member for five years. Kathy’s commitment to helping plan the College’s traditional celebration of scholarly and creative work was unparalleled. She was diligent and meticulous, ensuring every scheduling detail was accurate. Kathy was also an advocate for students, reaching out to them to ensure they were appropriately recognized for their Symposium accomplishments. Organized, reliable, and enthusiastic, Kathy had a good sense of humor and was a joy to work with. She will be missed greatly.