Interdisciplinary Research Conference

 

Interdisciplinary Research Conference 2022

A Celebration of Scholarship

 

About

The Interdisciplinary Research Conference was developed to recognize the scholarship of students and faculty in all disciplines. It provides our undergraduate and graduate students as well as our faculty with the opportunity to present their scholarly work to the campus community. In this context, research is interpreted as any scholarly or creative activity ranging from scientific experimentation to artistic expressions, service-learning, literary criticism or case-study designs. The conference was designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas among all fields of inquiry, encourage scholarly investigation and foster the educational function of research, broadly defined.

 
 

 


 

Keynote Speaker 

About Dr. Thomas (Thom) Parham

Dr. Thomas Parham, Professor of Communication & Media Studies, College of the Arts, is the keynote speaker for the University’s annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference 2022.

ThomasAfter graduating from Annapolis, Dr. Parham spent seven years on active duty, during which he qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer. He left the Navy to complete graduate studies in performing arts and communication studies. Dr. Parham worked at Paramount Pictures in the mid-90s as supervisor of publishing for the studio’s licensing division and also worked on more than 100 episodes of broadcast television during that decade. He has written for the long-running CBS’ drama JAG and the Family Channel sit-com Big Brother Jake and also served as on-location writers’ assistant for the third season of Touched by an Angel.

His teaching experience includes Biola University and Azusa Pacific University, where he created graduate and undergraduate Screenwriting degree programs and also served as founding chair for the Department of Cinematic Arts. Dr. Parham is widely published and has contributed chapters to the American Chemical Society’s anthology Hollywood Chemistry: When Science Met Entertainment; Doing Good, Departing from Evil: Research Findings in the Twenty-First Century; The Gospel According to Super-Heroes: Religion and Popular Culture; and Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith, Film, and Culture. His book Hailing Frequencies Open: Communication on Star Trek: The Next Generation was published by McFarland & Company in 2019. He is a 2015 Television Academy Faculty Fellow and received APU’s 2013 Undergraduate Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award and Act One’s 2007 Faculty Award. Dr. Parham’s professional memberships include the Writers Guild of America, Popular Culture Association, and Television Academy. IMDB

 

Sessions & Presentations

 

Student and Faculty Oral Presentations

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - Helen K. Persson Recital hall in Vera Lea Rinker Hall

Kierkegaard’s Baffling Book: An Interpretation of Fear and Trembling

 

Dr. David F. Horkott

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Faculty Fellow for Service-learning

9–9:30 a.m.

 

About

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a Danish philosopher, poet, culture critic, and devout Christian.  He is considered (along with Friedrich Nietzsche) to be a founder of the existentialist movement.  Fear and Trembling is a difficult book and has been the subject of much scholarly interpretation.  It is a relatively short work that investigates the story of how God tested Abraham’s faith in Genesis 22. This paper will argue that Fear and Trembling is not a tribute to Abraham on account of his willingness to sacrifice Isaac. 

Relying on recent scholarship, the presentation will be divided into four parts. The first part of the paper will treat Kierkegaard’s broken engagement to Regina Olsen along with Kierkegaard’s other motivations for writing the book.  The second part of the paper will discuss its literary aspects.  For instance, Kierkegaard called Fear and Trembling a “dialectical lyric” and published the work under the name of a pseudonym.  The third part of the presentation will focus on the functions of each of the five sections of the book including “Tribute to Abraham” and the recondite “Problems” section which includes the teleological suspension of the ethical.  The paper will conclude by referencing other primary and secondary sources that offer insight into the actual basis of Kierkegaard’s admiration of Abraham’s faith.

In Fear and Trembling Kierkegaard utilized the story of Abraham to address a spiritual crisis in the Denmark of his day.  Given the secularization of western European society in our day, this meditation on Abraham’s faith is timely.  

Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman as A Perpetually Relevant Text in Feminist Discourse: Tracing Her Influence from 1792 to Today

 

Jessica Kieffera

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

9:30–10 a.m.

 

About

Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is “quite rightly regarded as the founding feminist text in English” (Ford 189), yet the cornerstone text has received widely varying reviews since it was first published in 1792. Wollstonecraft’s ultimate vision for a socially just world was radical enough for her time as she urged that the woman be considered “as a whole … instead of a part of man” (Wollstonecraft 127). In words that are controversial even today, she writes, “I do earnestly wish to see the distinction of sex confounded in society, unless where love animates the behavior” (Wollstonecraft 132). Beyond her practical prescriptions for education and family life, Wollstonecraft crafted a blueprint for a socially just world; this blueprint, her Vindication, has been reshaped and reinterpreted by each wave of feminism to mirror the issues of the day. The eternal qualities of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman have allowed the text to remain relevant through to the present day.

Notes:  aundergraduate student. bgraduate student

Why Values Based Leaders are More Effective Leaders

Dr. Mary Kay Copeland & Dr. David Smith

Rinker School of Business
10-10:30 a.m.

 

About

Ethical leadership is of great interest in the accounting profession. After numerous ethical and moral leadership failures over the last two decades, where accounting professionals played a significant role in the fraudulent behaviors that impacted individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole, the profession has renewed its focus on promoting ethical behavior. To date, research contributing to improving ethical behavior in the accounting profession has been minimal. A plethora of research has identified the deficiency of ethical reasoning and conduct in accounting students and professionals but has provided minimal recommendations on how to improve the status quo. Earlier studies have also found that values based, ethical and transformational leadership behaviors contribute to leader effectiveness in the accounting and business professions. What has not been studied or identified are the specific ethical and transformational leadership behaviors that should be sought or developed in professionals that would improve the ethical conduct and effectiveness of accounting leaders. This study seeks to address the gap in the literature by using neuro network analysis to understand the individual components of ethical and transformational leadership that result in leaders that are more effective in the profession. It concludes that in this study of 212 accounting professionals, ethical leaders that: (a) communicate openly, (b) are trustworthy, (c) consider and support their subordinates’ interest and (d) are altruistic, with a selfless concern for the well-being of others and transformational leaders that encourage their followers to think creatively are innovative are more effective leaders.

From a Consumer Protection Perspective, the American Bar Association Should be Subject to the United States Freedom of Information Act as the "Functional Equivalent" of a Government Agency

 

Dr. Henry Webb1 & Dr. Patrick Baker2

1Rinker School of Business; 2University of Tennessee Martin (via Zoom)

10:30–11 a.m.

 

About

We argue that, from a legal perspective, the American Bar Association (“ABA”) is the functional equivalent of a government agency and so is subject to the United States Freedom of Information Act. Under Soucie v. David and related cases, the fact that the ABA has the final decision-making authority to decide whether a United States law school is to be accredited renders it the functional equivalent of a government agency, and the ABA’s refusal to make available to the public the voluminous amount of important information produced to the ABA by law schools going through the accreditation and accreditation review processes is illegal and

would not likely survive a challenge in court. In addition, as the closure of a number of United States law schools over the last few years, and in particular the closure of the Charlotte School of Law in 2017, make clear, a strong public policy also exists for the ABA to make available to the public the information it obtains from law schools during accreditation and accreditation review processes.

Descriptive Statistics, Hypothesis Testing, and Regression Analysis: Forming Scriptural Connections in Business Research Methods

 

Dr. Cora Barnhart 

1Rinker School of Business

11–11:30 a.m.

 

About

Faith integration can appear to be more challenging in some courses than in others, particularly those that are more analytical. Is it possible to authentically and successfully integrate faith in courses such as Business Research Methods? This paper addresses this question while examining the topics covered in the course, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis. It concludes that it is possible to cover these topics and provide a framework that encourages students to incorporate faith in their understanding of these concepts.

Ajax Revisited: The Impact of Hubris and Shame on Leadership Effectiveness

 

Dr. Garret Lane Cohee

Rinker School of Business

11:30 a.m.–12 p.m.

 

About

Today’s leaders are increasingly aware of the importance of emotional intelligence; those competencies of self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, and relationship management which are linked to multiple job and leadership performance indicators.

Given this, it is strange that more attention is not provided to the various types of emotions that leaders should be actively recognizing and managing. A vacant element of leadership research involves how self-conscious emotions like guilt, embarrassment, shame, and hubris often regulate our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This is particularly true for hubris and shame, both of which are closely tied to our personal self-concept.

First, this presentation explains self-conscious emotions, particularly hubris and shame, and explains how their negative derivatives—namely over self-estimation, toxicity, perfectionism, and shame-based rage—can quickly lead to leadership breakdowns. Second, the article focuses on increasing leader’s self-awareness; namely understanding the power of narratives and our emotional triggers, challenging our locus of control, and acknowledging our behavioral blind spots. Finally, the presentation addresses methods leaders can employ to mitigate the negative impacts of hubris and shame can have on the leader’s self-concept.

Invited Presentation, Community and Academic Physicians Working Together in Integrated Healthcare Systems

 

Dr. Debra Schwinn1, Dr. Chris Stamy2, Dr. Christine Schwartz2, & Dr. Lin Po Han2

1President, Palm Beach Atlantic University; Professor, School of Health Professions;  2Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa 

1–1:30 p.m.

 

About

 

Objective: To examine best practices and policies for effectively merging community and academic physicians in integrated health care systems.

Methods: Deans of US allopathic medical schools were systematically interviewed between February and June 2017 regarding growth in their faculty practice plan (FPP), including logistics and best practices for integration of community physicians. Results: The survey was completed by 107 of 143 (74.8) of US medical school deans approached. Of these institutions, 73 met criteria for final analysis (research-based medical schools with FPPs of > 300 physicians). Most academic medical center-based FPPs have increased in size over the last 5 years, with further growth anticipated via adding community physicians (85%). Because of disparate practice locations, integration of community and academic physicians has been slow. When fully integrated, community physicians predominantly have a clinical role with productivity incentives. Deans report that cultural issues must be addressed to avoid conflict. Consensus exists that transparent clinical work requirements for all FPP members, clearly defined productivity incentives, additional promotion tracks, and early involvement of department chairs and other leaders enhances trust and creates better synergy among all physician providers.

Conclusion: Findings from this study should help guide FPPs, academic medical center leaders, chief medical officers, and professional and trade organizations in working toward positive physician synergy in consolidated health care organizations. Work and cultural considerations must be addressed to honor distinct talents of each physician group, facilitating smooth transition from disparate groups to healthy synergy.

Stamy CD, Schwartz CC, Han LP, Schwinn DA. Community and academic physicians working together in integrated healthcare systems. Mayo Clinic Proc Inn Qual Out 2021; 5: 951-960 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2021.06.008)

Partnering with the Dominican Republic:  Tracking Oceanic Medical Waste

 

Dr. Linda Sedlacek1, Dr. Randy F. Espinal Cabrera2, Dr. Angela Witmer1, Ms. Patricia Acosta2, Dr. Jenny Gomez Avila2, Dr. Suzanne Cardona1, & Ms. Aileen Mejia2

1School of Liberal Arts & Sciences; 2Pontifica Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra

1:30–1:50 p.m..

 

About

Worldwide, scientists have documented an increase in marine debris on beaches, and as a result of COVID, an increase in medical waste on beaches.  Two years prior to the COVID pandemic, PBA researchers started documenting the increase in medical waste on Palm Beach Island, FL through cataloging the material collected and determining their origin.  As a result of the COVID pandemic, PBA researchers had the opportunity to partner with Pontifica Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) to train students in the Dominican Republic to track medical waste on their beaches and to study the currents around the Dominican Republic that could move medical waste from Caribbean islands towards the Florida coast.  Medical waste on Dominican Republic beaches have been monitored on a bi-weekly basis since May 2021.  The first round of drift cards and GPS-enabled drifters were released in November/December of 2021.  The second round of drift cards and GPS-enabled drifters will be released shortly.  This data will provide invaluable information on how floating debris moves around this island nation.

In Vitro DNA Binding Analysis of a Rare LHX4 Variant Associated with Combined Pituitary Hormone Deficiency and Isolated Growth Hormone Deficiency

 

Alyssa Macalusoa & Dr. Kris Dougherty

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

1:50–2:10 p.m.

 

About

Rare mutations of transcription factors that are responsible for regulating pituitary gland development have been associated with pituitary hormone deficiency disorders such as Combined Pituitary Hormone Deficiency (CPHD) and Isolated Growth Hormone Deficiency (IGHD). One of these transcription factors, LHX4, is a LIM-homeodomain transcription factor that is responsible for regulating the early development of the pituitary gland. This research focuses on a rare LHX4-V13I variant observed in two sons from a nuclear family who exhibit CPHD and IGHD. Our results indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in the V13I variant’s ability to bind to the αGSU promoter when compared to wild type LHX4. These results suggest that the V13I mutation does not hinder LHX4’s ability to bind to DNA. Future research in assessing the V13I variant’s ability to transactivate genes and interact with other transcription factors in vivo would be valuable to decipher the other possible functional implications of the V13I mutation in LHX4.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

The Sexual Double Standard: Impact and Moderating Influences on Self-Concept

 

Shelby Brauna , Lydia Christensena, Cambria Davisa, Cindy Hugela, Nicole Merendinoa, & Brianna Rivasa

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

2:10–2:30 p.m.

 

About

Misogynistic standards that have long minimalized women in society still exist in our modern era. Recent studies have found the presence of a sexual double standard (Marks et al., 2019) to be positively correlated with feelings of guilt and shame (Gilchrist et al., 2020) in young women. This study sought to further research the relationship between emotional intelligence, the sexual double standard, religiosity and self-concept. Data was collected from 264 participants with ages ranging from 18-48 (M = 20.7, SD = 2.9), who completed the following four scales: revised version of the Sexual Double Standard Scale (Muehlenhard & Quackenbush, 2011);

Personal Self Concept Questionnaire (Goñi, et al., 2011); Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (London Leadership Academy, 2010); and the Religious Commitment Inventory (Worthington et al., 2003). The study found that emotional intelligence and self-concept did not relate to the sexual double standard scale. Self-concept and emotional intelligence were significantly positively related, and a significant correlation was found between religiosity and all of the Sexual Double Standard subscales. Mean differences between male and female participants and moderator effects will also be discussed.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - Helen K. Persson Recital hall in Vera Lea Rinker Hall

Archaeological Investigations in Early Medieval Ireland: Observations from Excavating the First Anglo-Norman Fortification

 

Caleb Bowmana

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

9:15–9:45 a.m.

 

About

The site of FerryCarrig is the first recorded Anglo-Norman fortification in Ireland and is currently undergoing archaeological investigation by the Irish Archaeology Field School, which the presenter participated in during the Summer of 2021. Following the invasion and ascension of William the Conquer to the throne of England, the Anglo-Normans sought to expand their power and influence into Ireland. A preliminary force under the command of Robert FitzStephen came to the aid of an Irish king and began the process of Anglo-Norman

conquest in Ireland. The fort at Carrig marks the beginning of English military control of Ireland and is crucial for understanding the development of subsequent political tensions between these countries in the centuries to follow. The archaeological site provides critical insight into the broader context of the Anglo-Norman colonization of southern Ireland, serving as an example of the early stage military conquest, providing evidence of the maturation of the Anglo-Norman colonies, and is indicative of these settler's decline in the 14th century.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Imperial Harrow

 

Dr. Elizabeth Stice & Paige Stanisha

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

9:45–10:15 a.m.

 

About

This presentation is the result of SUGAR research during the summer of 2021. We will be discussing the connections between the British Empire, Harrow School, and World War I, through the lens of our research into Harrow wartime student publications.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Composing Texture

 

Ms. Heather Couch

College of the Arts

10:15–10:45 a.m.

 

About

Heather Couch presents images of her sculptural work from an exhibition at the University of Dallas. This work explores texture through various combinations of structure, gesture, and form. The tactile qualities of the materials are celebrated as well as the processes of making. This work attempts to address the problem of uncertainty through creative reflection on experience and the layering of material identities. Precarity and tension may not always be resolved but are at times allowed to be peacefully present in the work. With overlaps of discrepancy and a playful use of material, this exhibition presents work that is warmly exploring the edges of stability.

Keynote Address
Secret Origins of a Research Mentor
Dr. Thomas D. Parham, III
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m

 

About

Dr. Thomas Parham has taken students to national conferences, directed acclaimed stage productions, and executive produced award-winning student films. He will share his secret origins as an interdisciplinary research mentor and pay tribute to the Naval Academy English professors who inspired his research interests. In addition, Dr. Parham will discuss some of his protégés who have succeeded as academics, actors, broadcasters, businessmen, directors, producers, and screenwriters.

Targeting Ovarian Cancer Using Plant-Derived Bioactive Molecules: Thymol and Carvacrol 

 

Allison Coola, Amanda Calderona, Dr. Cidya Grant & Dr. Christopher J. Hickey

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

2–2:20 p.m. 

 

About

Plant-derived extracts and essential oils have therapeutic value for the treatment of various human maladies. Our research focuses on Oregano-derived bioactive molecules, Thymol and Carvacrol, known for having anti-cancer properties. We hypothesize that these bioactive molecules only target cancer cells that express their cognate receptor TRPA1. Individual bioactive molecules (0-125μM) were evaluated on two non-cancerous cell lines: BEAS-2B (TRPA1+) and HEK293 (TRPA1-), and two cancerous cell lines: HeLa (TRPA1-) and SKOV3 (TRPA1+ probable). Supporting our hypothesis, we observed a decrease in proliferation in a dose-dependent manner for the ovarian cancer cells, however this response was absent among TRPA1 +/- non-cancerous cells and TRPA1- cancer cells. Cellular proliferation assays revealed a reduction in ovarian cancer proliferation, 39.1% (Thymol) and 36.1% (Carvacrol). Similar results were obtained through biochemical proliferation assays showing a decrease of 21.9% (Thymol) and 18.3% (Carvacrol). Furthermore, ovarian cancer cells displayed a 55% increase in cell death when treated with 125μM Thymol, supporting our reduced proliferation data. Our results indicate that Thymol and Carvacrol specifically decrease proliferation for cancer cells expressing the TRPA1 receptor.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Trends in Seagrass Abundance and Associated Manatee Mortality

 

Dr. Tom Chesnes

Liberal Arts & Sciences

2:20–2:40 p.m.

 

About

Seagrass communities are considered to be one of the most valuable and productive aquatic ecosystems, providing an array of important ecological and economic services for coastal communities.  Of recent note, declines in seagrass abundances in eastern Florida have been linked with occurrences in mortality of the federally protected West Indian Manatee.   

Seagrass abundance and diversity has been documented since 2010 in Lake Worth Cove, a protected region of Lake Worth Lagoon in collaboration between the Palm Beach Atlantic University Department of Biology, Florida State Park scientists and volunteers. This historical record provided evidence of an incredibly productive system, once designated as the most biodiverse of any seagrass community in the western hemisphere.   Since then, the subsequent declines in submerged macrophyes have been documented, along with the associated mortality of herbivorous charismatic megafauna.

 

The Effect of Stachyose on Survival and Development of Eimeria tenella Sporozytes In Vitro as an Alternative to Ionophore Monensin

 

Miguel Pazaa & Mr. Gregory Rummo

Liberal Arts & Sciences

2:40–3 p.m.

 

About

This study will analyze and compare the effects of the drug monensin, a common and efficient ionophore used to treat coccidiosis, and a structurally similar oligosaccharide stachyose, on survival and development of Eimeria tenella sporozytes in vitro. Eimeria tenella is a protozoan parasite that causes the infection in poultry known as coccidiosis. This infection costs the poultry industry millions of dollars each year. Due to parasitic resistance to common antibacterial treatments and the consumer driven demand to remove antibiotic residues from meat, there is a need for more natural treatments. We believe that stachyose will mimic the pharmacological function of the drug monensin, thus acting as a natural or non-antibiotic ionophore. Experiments will be done in vitro, with light microscopy analysis. We postulate that stachyose will lyse the coccidial cells, thereby reducing the parasite population before it can penetrate the epithelial cells of the host chicken. We believe stachyose has potential for use as a natural treatment for coccidiosis and therefore will serve as a significant contribution to the no-antibiotics ever (NAE) in chicken movement.

Note. a undergraduate student; b graduate student

Turning Colors into Music with Robotics

 

Dr. Michael Kolta & Dr. Marsha Guntharp

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

3–3:20 p.m.

 

About

We will demonstrate an actual robot interpreting art work as sheet music and playing the corresponding musical notes. This will be done using the TI-Innovator Rover, a small robotic car. The robotic car will drive across a series of strategically placed colors (the art work) and sense the colors underneath it. It will then interpret the colors as music notes. It will play the correct music notes for the correct durations, as specified by the art work, thus producing a musical performance of sorts. We will write the code, thus programing the robot, to make this happen. We will also provide the specially designed art work that the robot will “read”. This is an interdisciplinary work involving visual arts, musical performance, computer science and robotics. It is also research into pedagogy as it demonstrates a fun way to bring STEAM into the classroom which can be adapted and modified for a variety of educational activities.

Note. a undergraduate student; b graduate student

 

Student and Faculty Poster Presentations

Monday, March 21 - Friday, March 25, 2022 - Warren Library

Athleticism Vs. Artistry: An Arch Index and Plantar Pressure Analysis of Female Collegiate Dancers

 

Sydney Eppehimera & Dr. Matthew J Mitchell

School of Education & Behavioral Studies

 

About

Turnout, one of the main aesthetic features of dance today, is often accomplished with compensatory strategies, such as hyperpronation, that produce dangerous plantar pressures predisposing dancers to injury. This study analyzed both the arch indexes (AI%) and sectionalized plantar pressures of collegiate dancers and comparable nondancers, to assess any plantar differences across the groups. The data collected found significantly higher arches, lower midfoot pressures and contact areas, and higher pressures in the medial and lateral heels of dancers. These results suggest a predisposition for dancer’s to have high arches, and a low occurrence of foot hyperpronation, suggesting that it is not the aesthetics of dancer’s training increasing their injury rates, but the genetic structure of their feet themselves. Dancers in this study averaged 13.2± 4.1 years of formal dance training, implying that it could be those with high arches that choose to stay in dance, unlike those without normal or low arches. If further research finds the dance population to repeatedly occupy these traits, proper cross-training and rehabilitation techniques may be promoted, especially for collegiate dancer training to perform or teach dance the rest of their life.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Budesonide Transdermal Disposition from Microemulsions

 

Dr. Adwoa Nornoo, Mehrnoush Mohammadpourb, & Katerina Vazquez-Faltob

Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy

 

About

Budesonide (BUD) is a potent corticosteroid that undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism with a resultant low bioavailability ranging from 6-39% from either an oral tablet or inhalation formulation. Its physiochemical properties make it an ideal candidate for transdermal delivery (MW 430.55, solubility - 10.7 mg/L, logP - 2.18). Transdermal drug delivery could address the low bioavailability of BUD thus allowing for new therapeutic indications. Pharmacokinetic parameters were obtained from sugar-surfactant microemulsions (MEs) of BUD with Emu oil or Myvacet oil as penetration enhancers. BUD MEs were applied to shaved CD-IGS® rats’ skin (10cm2) at a dose of 25mg/kg and serial plasma samples were collected at predetermined times for up to 97 hours. Concentrations of BUD in plasma was determined by LC-MS/MS and parameters were obtained from noncompartmental analysis (Phoenix 64, Certara) of plasma concentration vs time data. Preliminary findings indicate a higher systemic absorption and longer half-lives of BUD from the Emu oil MEs compared to the Myvacet oil MEs. Further studies are needed to conclusively denote Emu oil and Myvacet oil as penetration enhancers.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Characterization of a Novel Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (GAPDH) Gene in Crinum asiaticum

 

Annie Hernandeza, Sarah Makepeacea, & Dr. Kristiann Dougherty

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

 

About

Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is an enzyme involved in glycolysis that converts glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate to 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate in an NAD+-dependent reaction. In plant species, the structure of the gene is highly conserved, although several different GAP genes exist that code for GAPDH (GAPA, GAPB, GAPC, etc.). Here, we cloned and sequenced the GAPC gene from the lily Crinum asiaticum by isolating DNA from a leaf, amplifying GAPC using the polymerase chain reaction, inserting it into a plasmid, and transforming this plasmid into Escherichia coli cells. The plasmid was then isolated from the bacteria, and the GAPDH gene insert was verified using a BglII restriction enzyme digest. Four different primers were used for sequencing, and the resulting sequences were aligned using Benchling. When the consensus sequence was compared to all sequences in GenBank using BLAST, no results showed 100% alignment. There is no submission for a gene coding for GAPDH in C. asiaticum in GenBank, indicating that we cloned and sequenced a novel GAPDH gene in this species.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Differences in College Students’ Mental Rotation Task Performance Relative to Sex and College Major

 

Hannah Hutchinsa

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

 

About

Previous research has indicated that males perform better than females on the Mental Rotation Task (Vandenberg and Kuse, 1978). The present study further examined Mental Rotation Task performance by investigating performance differences among college students in relation to both sex and college major. The sample consisted of Palm Beach Atlantic University students of both sexes who were majoring in either science or the humanities.

Keywords: mental rotation task, college students, college major, sex

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Effect of Study Method Seminars on P1 Students

 

Josuah Tilusb, Samantha Cossinb, & Dr. Yolanda Hardy

Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy

 

About

The P1 year has been the most challenging academic year for pharmacy students. Multiple measures have been implemented to assist students after they have experienced challenges. However, no current measure addresses prevention through an exclusively academic program. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to implement a preventative program to equip students with study methods to increase academic performance of P1 students. This was done by creating Study Method Seminars (SMS), a three-session program designed to teach principles of effective study methods (PESM) with two reflections at strategic points of the first semester.

Sixteen P1s from the Gregory School of Pharmacy voluntarily participated in the program and four completed it. Study results via mITT protocol: Semester GPA 2.69, 100% vs 12.5% response to pre and post surveys respectively, Session 1, 2 & 3 attendance respectively 100%, 84.6%, 30.8%, 100% of post-survey participants (two students) found SMS beneficial. Small sample size and response rates prevent determination of impact of program. However, this study provided valuable insight on how to perform preventative academic interventions in the future.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Grazer-Induced Morphological Responses of the Bloom-Forming Dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis

 

Kristin Jenkinsa & Dr. Christina (Tina) Batoh

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

 

About

The marine dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, forms harmful blooms commonly referred to as red tide. Brevetoxins produced by K. brevis accumulate in consumers or may be aerosolized by breaking waves, resulting in fish kills, shellfishery closures, and respiratory distress in humans. Being athecate, K. brevis is morphologically plastic, but is distinctly heart-shaped in its vegetative state. Recently, K. brevis has been shown to adopt a spherical shape when stressed by high salinity or temperature changes. We hypothesized that when exposed to cues from a copepod grazer (Acartia tonsa), the spherical shape would be assumed by K. brevis. Thus, we exposed experimental cultures of K. brevis indirectly to waterborne cues of A. tonsa. Control cultures received no grazer cues. After a 24-hour incubation, more cells from experimental compared to control cultures were spherical (97% vs 84% respectively, p < 0.0098). These results suggest that grazer cues induce a morphological change of K. brevis. Because spherical cells are likely undetected during microscopic analysis from field samples, environmental managers should utilize more accurate molecular quantification techniques for monitoring K. brevis.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Molecular Cloning of Noncoding RNAs for Structural and Dynamic Studies

 

LesleyMarie Riveraa, Dr. Jackie Esquiaqui, & Dr. Christina (Tina) Batoh

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

 

About

In recent decades the diversity of discovered noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) has demonstrated a broad spectrum of biological function for these biomolecules including important impacts on gene regulatory pathways. Two ncRNAs of medical and environmental interest include human microRNAs (miRNAs) and the dinoflagellate RNA Spliced Leader (SL) sequence. Many miRNAs influence expression of cancer-associated genes including miRNA-145 which is well documented in its relationship to the proliferation, migration, and invasion of many types of cancer when underexpressed. The SL sequence of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis (KBSL) is part of a precursor mRNA maturation mechanism that precedes synthesis of the neurotoxic brevetoxins released in Florida red tide, an aquatic phenomenon detrimental to marine life and tourism. It is well established in the field of RNA, that structural dynamics are inherently connected to RNA function. Therefore, to study the structure and dynamics of miRNA-145 and KBSL RNA, molecular cloning of both constructs was conducted. These RNAs have been successfully cloned, amplified, in vitro transcribed, and purified for structural studies to assess how environmental factors may impact RNA function.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Quadruple Bottom-Line Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility: The Archer Daniels Midlands Case

 

Niang Thanga & Dr. Velma Lee1

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences; 1Florida International University

 

About

The purpose of this study is to shed light on the significantly interwoven components of businesses that are often overlooked in sustainability research: psychological, economic, and social. Although the economic and social aspects have been heavily researched, the psychological elements in workplace sustainability are often undermined. We analyzed Archer Daniels Midland’s (ADM) approach to reporting sustainability, a company with 120-year history and global presence in 47 countries. Using content analysis and LIWC2015 program (LIWC-Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count), we did an in-depth analysis of ADM’s sustainability practice followed by a semi-structured interview with both internal and external constituencies of ADM. The findings of our research suggest an enhanced PPP (planet-people-place) model which is more commonly known as PPP (planet-people-profit) model. The resultant framework will contribute to both theory and practice regarding the latest sustainable agribusiness practices that address the larger themes of CSR (corporate social responsibility) and CE (circular economy). Future research can test the viability of the framework for both businesses in agriculture and other industries.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Preliminary Evaluation of the Neuroprotective Activities of Native Chilean Amaryllidaceae Plant Extracts

 

Dr. Carlos Fernandez1, Dr. Ernane Souza2, & Dr. Mario J. Simirgiotis3

1Visting Professor from Austral University of Chile; 2Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy; 3Austral University of Chile

 

About

Amaryllidaceae plants produce a unique type of alkaloids with potential for symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer´s disease (AD). Amaryllidaceae alkaloids, such as galantamine, have been studied for their cholinergic enhancer properties which may prevent cognitive decline often associated with AD. Traditionally, Amaryllidaceae plants extracts have been used as folk medicine worldwide. Despite the broad occurrence of plants belonging to the Amaryllidaceae family around the world, native Chilean Amaryllidaceae species that grow in remote areas remain to be studied for their potential pharmacological properties. The aim of this study is to investigate the neuroprotective potential of the following three Amaryllidaceae plants: Placea arzae, Phycella cyrtanthoides, and Rhodophiala advena. Bulbs of the plants were used to prepare the corresponding alkaloid-rich extracts. Chemical profiling has been described by Drs. Carlos Fernández and Mario Simirgiotis, from Universidad Austral de Chile (FONDECYT grant 3190794). The in vitro neuroprotective potential of these extracts is currently being evaluated at PBAU, in collaboration with Dr. Souza’s group.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Recovery Study of Subtidal Macrofauna in Relation to Beach Nourishment off the shore of Palm Beach

 

Ashton Sentia & Dr. Angela Witmer

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

 

About

Beach nourishments disrupt and change benthic habitats by burying macrofauna and introducing different sediment sizes. This may lead to a change in benthic macrofaunal community structures. Surveying macrofaunal populations one year after a beach nourishment project provided insight into the taxa and abundance of species present. In this study, 60 specimen and 12 sediment samples were taken along 4 transects off Palm Beach Island (50m, 100m, 150m, and 200m from the shoreline). A majority of the sediment offshore consisted of the grain size 125μm with no significance. The results indicated that being further from shore was a preferred habitat with increased taxa and abundance. It was also indicated that polychaete worms and crustaceans were the dominant taxa in this survey. Macrofaunal communities are an important food resource for organisms such as surf fish, so it is important to track these communities, especially after disruptions.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

Spirituality, Depression, and Cognitive and Affective Life Meaning in College Students

 

Krystal Castle Whitea, b, 1, & Dr. David Compton2

1The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; 2School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

 

About 

Spirituality has a well-established inverse relationship with depression. Life meaning is correlated positively with spirituality and negatively with depression and may serve as a mediating factor between the two. However, life meaning consists of two components, one affective and one cognitive, and no prior research has examined the two components separately in relation to spirituality and depression. Therefore, this study explores the relationships between spirituality, life meaning, and depression, with an emphasis on the differences between cognitive and affective life meaning. Among a sample of 108 college students, spirituality was assessed by the Spirituality Scale, depression by the Beck Depression Inventory S-19, and life meaning by the Life Regard Index, with its Framework (cognitive) and Fulfillment (affective) subscales. The results suggest that life meaning mediates spirituality’s relationship with depression and that spirituality’s relationship with life meaning is partly cognitive, such as the provision of an acceptable belief in life’s purpose. This could support development of a personal philosophy of life meaning as a point of focus in any spirituality-incorporating treatment for depression.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student

5-HTR2A Polymorphisms rs6311 and rs6313 and Major Depressive Disorder: A Meta-Analysis

 

Krystal Castle Whitea, b, 1, Dr. Angie K. McDonald2, & Dr. David M. Compton2

1The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; 2School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

 

About

rs6311 and rs6313 are two Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) on the Serotonin Receptor 2A gene (5-HTR2A) in complete linkage disequilibrium. Numerous gene association studies have examined the relationships between one or both of these two polymorphisms and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), with conflicting results. The present meta-analysis analyzed 19 case-control gene association studies, 9 of which included rs6311 (n = 3382), and 15 of which included rs6313 (n = 5590). The strength of relationship with MDD was assessed by pooled odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for both SNPs according to four genetic models. Heterogeneity was measured by Q and I2. Subgrouping was performed by minor allele and by ethnicity. Results were nonsignificant for all models and subgroups, suggesting that genotype alone does not play a significant role in genetic susceptibility to depression. The potential for epistatic, epigenetic, and regulatory RNA interactions with these SNPs is discussed, and future areas of research are recommended.

Notes: a undergraduate student. b graduate student