Welcome to the 2023 Southeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity Virtual Conference! We’re thrilled to have a wide variety of topics and themes represented here. Please take some time to view the presentations before the live Q&A sessions on 22 April (schedule below). You can also peruse the presenters listed alphabetically or by institution by using the links below.
This presentation is about how our society is not ready for the switch from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. It covers hurdles to overcome such as charging capabilities and infrastructure as well as the supply and demand issues with lithium. It also includes information on how lithium is damaging to our planet because of the way that it is mined and by the lack of recycling facilities.
Water Distribution Networks in Indonesia: A Comparative Case Study Analysis London Weier, New College of Florida
This thesis explores the distribution of water in the context of two case studies taking place within Indonesia. I first describe Elinor Ostrom’s contributions to the field of resource management. The core of my work describes the history of water networks in Jakarta and Bali. Jakarta’s colonial history offers insights into how centuries of resource mismanagement can create a dire and almost impossibly damaged resource management system. Alternatively, Bali’s fields of rice paddy irrigation present an example of what could have been, and what could be. Through various lenses, the case for Indonesia’s water future is constructed. The ways in which a resource is managed can have drastic impacts on the effectiveness and sustainability of its distribution. Although a perfect solution may not exist, this thesis brings to light the importance of collectivization and equitable distribution of water in the fight for effective Indonesian water management.
The Influence of Vaccine Literacy on College-Aged Students’ Acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccines Ashlynn Sweat, University of South Carolina Aiken
During college-aged students’ transition to adulthood, health literacy (HL) develops as students exercise greater autonomy with healthcare decisions. The COVID-19 pandemic tested students’ developing HL and, after vaccination introduction, vaccine literacy (VL). VL, an extension of HL, became necessary for interpreting disparate messaging about the vaccine. A cross-sectional, exploratory study of United States college students aged 18-24 years was conducted to determine factors contributing to VL and decisions to vaccinate against COVID-19. The electronic survey was sent out via social media, consisting of demographic questions and vaccine literacy scales. A sample of 620 college-aged students was obtained. Significant positive associations were found between VL scores and these characteristics: older age, Christianity, liberal political affiliation, and healthcare major. High VL scores demonstrated greater reliance on academic articles and healthcare professionals. Higher VL scores were observed for students not required to be vaccinated, but chose to.
Cross-Country Comparisons of Healthcare Systems James A Bennitt, University of Montevallo
Because of the differences between healthcare systems across the globe, the ability to critique the positives and negatives of each system can be a daunting task. To diagnose the differences between healthcare systems, a better method of classification needs to be developed so that these differences can be more easily understood. This presentation explores a new method of healthcare system classification and applies this classification system to nations alongside statistics that highlight system differences within their categories with a brief conclusion of the effectiveness of the systems.
10:25 – 10:55 am Eastern / 9:25 – 9:55 am Central
Triazole Compounds – Potentials in the Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis Maggie Taylor, Mississippi University for Women
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that is caused by mutations in a membrane protein called CFTR. This mutation impairs the protein’s chloride ion channel function. The most common CFTR mutation is the DF508 mutation. Our research has shown that DF508 can be partially reversed by physical/chemical means. In cells expressing DF508-CFTR, synthetic anion carriers have shown to augment the chloride ion channel function. In this study, we use triazole compounds to determine their effects on DF508-CFTR upregulation. Human lung epithelial cell lines (CFBE) transfected with DF508-CFTR were cultured and treated with various concentrations of triazole compounds. Cell lysates were prepared and immunoblotted with anti-CFTR antibody and CFTR-specific signal was detected by chemiluminescence. Both compounds showed an increase in the CFTR band-B when compared to the vehicle alone. This suggests triazole compounds could potentially be used as therapeutic agents for Cystic Fibrosis.
Parasite Diversity and Prevalence within Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve Blue Smith, University of Montevallo
Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve is a valuable location for research. In the past it has been used for environmental, botanical, and zoological studies but this project seeks to understand more about the parasites that utilize the swamp and the species within it to survive. The terrain of the Swamp makes it ideal for opportunistic, non-invasive samplings of soil, water, and fecal material to collect parasites throughout life stages. Tracks, trails, and burrows leading up to and surrounding water access points, dig sites, fecal remains, and food remnants were commonly used to flag a sampling site and host presence. Samples were subjected to filtration to remove sediment, centrifugation to refine samples, flotation to isolate organisms, and microscopy to help link hosts and better examine parasites. Through physical sample analysis, host identifications, and the identification of parasites, better profiles of the health and environmental characteristics of Ebenezer Swamp can be created.
How Contextual Factors (e.g., Poverty, Behavior, and Diversity) Influence Student Learning and Assessment. Sarah Floyd, Maggie Hamm, and Dylan Linginfelter, University of South Carolina Aiken
Through this action-based research project examining community/district, school, classroom and student contextual factors, three student researchers considered how the contextual factors of poverty, behavior, and diversity can be leveraged to improve assessment of student learning in two suburban elementary school contexts in South Carolina. A variety of factors influence students’ achievement depending on the learning contexts and cultures established within the school and community. Each student presenter/researcher focused on different aspects of contextual factors and how schools have positively impacted students’ opportunities to succeed in differentiated classroom environments. Factors discussed and learning implications explored included: creating welcoming and engaging classroom environments that embrace diversity and diverse learners, building classroom communities of learners utilizing best practices in behavioral management to optimize learning, and utilizing differentiated classroom design (e.g., nontraditional seating, learning centers, and cooperative group learning) to enhance learning for students living in poverty.
Computational Evaluation of Bioactive Compounds from Vaccinium vitis-idaea L (Lingonberry) for Treating KRAS-associated Lung Cancer Ayooluwa Ilesanmi, Mississippi University for Women
Lung cancer affects the lung’s epithelial cells with symptoms including chest pain, blood-stained coughs, etc. The exploration of natural plant sources for developing therapeutics offers great potential in complementing different treatment approaches. Here, we concentrated on inhibiting the mutated Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) by targeting an associated protein (Phosphodiesterase 6δ) to which KRAS form complexes. We evaluated 39 bioactive compounds from Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L), adopting computational approaches including molecular docking, etc. Further, 4 top compounds ; (+)–Catechin (Cianidanol), Arbutin, Resveratrol, and Sinapic acid with binding affinity higher than an approved drug, Sotorasib were subjected to molecular dynamic simulation. In conclusion, these four compounds are predicted to be the best compound of Lingonberry because of their pharmacokinetic properties and drug-likeness attributes. Also, their stability to the target receptor makes them a potential drug candidate that could be explored for treating KRAS-associated lung cancer.
Jim of Angola: From A Virginia Estate to an Early 19th-century Maroon Village in Florida Sarah York, New College of Florida
Jim is one of 50 named individuals confirmed to have lived at the early 19th-century village of maroons known as Angola on Florida’s Gulf Coast. This poster focuses on the research into the identity of Jim. Despite primary documents hailing him as formerly of the estate of General Washington, little of the existing research done on the slaves at Mount Vernon during George Washington’s lifetime reveal any Jims. Here is where research into both other avenues of slaves that lived at the estate of General Washington came in as well as a scouring of the Archives at Mount Vernon, and while expectation held that Jim must be somewhere hidden within George Washington’s records, it is other Washington family records that prove more useful in tracking down Jim and determining a likely route for his escape to Angola.
10:55 – 11:20 am Eastern / 9:55 – 10:20 am Central
Oral Presentation Session 2
The Neural Underpinnings of Motor Coordination Tatiana Pillsbury, New College of Florida
Humans are a social species that cooperate all the time. Critical to cooperation between people is interpersonal coordinated movement. However, there is little research that understands the connection between interpersonal coordination and brain activity. This study aims to investigate the neural foundation of interpersonal coordination by using neuroimaging techniques. To measure coordinated movement, a numerical-order tracing task is used. Participants performed the tracing task in two conditions: alone and together. Results indicated that there was significantly less activation in the frontal cortex and more activation in the rTPJ during the together condition compared to the alone condition. In the together condition there was more activation in the frontal cortex during part B of the tracing task compared to part A. Results also showed no correlation between neural activity and task performance. This study could lead to exploratory research advancing social psychology and clinical studies relating to social disorders.
Confluence of Business Culture and Business Practices Eva Dirr, University of Montevallo
Even though globalization and convergence of cultures seem to be increasing, there are still big differences in cultures and those create major problems for global companies and their marketing departments. This presentation shows the cultural differences between Germany and the US and how those relate to business and marketing practices in both countries.
Examining the Perceived Self-Efficacy of Inclusive Special Area Teachers in K-12 Classrooms. Deanna McCord, Skyla Watson, and Adam Taylor Eubanks, University of South Carolina Aiken
Currently, more than 60% of all students with disabilities spend 80% of their day in general education classrooms. Research has proven that inclusion can benefit students with disabilities in many ways including social development, academic achievement, and shared experiences. Although inclusion has proven to support student growth, there is scant research on how special area teachers (e.g., art, music, physical education, media specialist) feel regarding (1) the effectiveness of their inclusive classroom; or (2) their ability to teach students with disabilities. Sixty-one (61) special area teachers in a local school district in the South completed a survey indicating their preparation and practices related to inclusive teaching. This presentation provides results from that research and offers paths forward in creating more inclusive classrooms.
Beer Industry and its Role in German Culture Emily Hafner, University of Montevallo
This presentation will cover the history of beer, explaining where and how it was discovered, then will give a short overview of how beer is produced and which countries produce the most beer. It will also go into detail about which countries are the leaders in beer exports and which countries and which groups of people consume the most beer. It will also explain all the costs that go into one six-pack of beer. Lastly, it will talk about the jobs that are created through the beer industry and about Oktoberfest.
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