A Celebration of Independent Study at The College of Wooster!

Welcome to the Virtual Senior Research Symposium, showcasing the innovative Independent Study (I.S.) senior thesis projects of students at The College of Wooster. We invite you to visit as many project pages as possible to explore student work and leave a comment or question on their page. Students will be answering questions about their projects live on real-time text chat beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 28 through 6 p.m. Friday, April 29.

The Senior Research Symposium Live Stage YouTube stream from Gault Recital Hall in Scheide Music Center will begin with presentations at 9 a.m. through 2 p.m., including an I.S. awards ceremony at noon.

View Symposium Award Winners   Go To Virtual Projects

Senior Research Symposium Live Stage

Live Senior Research Demonstrations

Virtual Symposium Directory Directory of In-Person Posters, Presentations & Demos Senior Studio Art Portfolios


Senior Research Symposium 2022



Head shot of Natalie Bean

Sioux Resistance: How the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota People Maintain Their Fight Against the United States for Sovereignty and Land

Name: Natalie Bean Major: History Minor: French and Francophone Studies Advisor: Dr. Jordan Biro Walters This independent study seeks to determine how members of the Sioux Nation resisted […]

A Knock-out Experiment on a Neuronal Boolean Model

Name: Aelon Ketema Samuel Advisor: Dr. Erzsébet Ravasz Regan, Dr. Rebecca Williams (second reader) Major: Neurobiology Minor: Studio Art Neuronal cell cycle is a […]


The Infection Frequency and Severity of Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis in Northern Two-Lined Salamanders in Wooster Ohio

Name: Vince Gilleylen Major: Biology Advisors: Dr. Rick Lehtinen, Dr, Stephanie Strand The study of invasive species and their effects is often vital in the process of […]

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Positive, Negative, and Apocalyptic Climate Messages: The Effect on Attitudes and Possible Future Behaviors Toward Sharks

Name: Truong Nguyen Majors: Communication Studies and Environmental Studies Advisors: Denise Bostdorff and Matt Mariola The purpose of this study is to find out the best […]

Head shot of Emma Saxton

Are You Sure You Don’t Know Me? A Facial Recognition Study and Examination of the Other-Race Effect with External Feature Alterations

Name: Emma Saxton Major: Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Advisor: Dr. Grit Herzmann The Other-Race Effect is the phenomena wherein people recognize individuals of their own- race, or […]

Head shot of Pragya Mittal

Cheer Me Up: A Game Theoretic Optimisation Analysis of the Relationships Between Morale, Corruption and Individual Tax Evasion Decisions

Name: Pragya Mittal Majors: Mathematics and Economics Advisor: Dr. Moses Luri This paper asks the question, “what is the impact of morale on evasion, when corruption and […]

head shot of Brian Luck

For Every Adaptation Belonging to Me as Good Belongs to You: Analyzing Intertextuality in Lauren Gunderson’s Literature-Based Plays

Name: Brian Luck Majors: English and Theatre & Dance Minor: Education Advisors: Dr. Shirley Huston-Findley and Dr. Susanna Sacks This Independent Study explores the ways in which playwright […]

Melita Wiles head shot

Using Machine Learning and Regression Techniques to Rank Liberal Arts Colleges on Social Mobility and the Advancement of Underrepresented Groups

Name: Melita Wiles Majors: Physics and Mathematics Advisors: Dr. Christina Horr, Dr. Drew Pasteur (second reader) The purpose of higher education is to contribute to the […]

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Together Everyone Achieves More (T.E.A.M.): An Investigation of Recreational Sports Teams’ Coaches’ Knowledge of Best Practices for Working with Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Name: Abigail Johnson Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders and Education Advisor: Donald M. Goldberg, Ph.D. This study investigated community recreation sports teams’ coaches’ knowledge regarding working with […]

Head shot of Kayla Bertholf

To Clean or Not to Clean: Exploring the Ability of Biocidal Compounds to Induce Physiological Changes in Bacteria that may Increase the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance Genes

Name: Kayla R. Bertholf Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Minor: Religious Studies Advisor: Dr. Stephanie Strand The prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes in non-clinical settings is increasing, and […]

Gunjan Joshi

Exploring Augmented Reality Using Snapchat’s Lens Studio

Name: Gunjan Joshi Major: Computer Science Minor: Economics Advisors: Dr. Drew Guarnera and Dr. Thomas Montelione Augmented reality is a technology that uses visual elements, sounds, hardware like […]

Hannah Nguyen

“Not Liberating Women Means the Building of a Socialist Society is Only Half-Way Done:” A Feminist Analysis of Ho Chi Minh’s Advocacy for the First Law on Marriage and Family in 1959 Vietnam

Name: Hannah Nguyen Majors: Communication Studies Advisor: Dr. Denise Bostdorff Second Reader: Dr. Oscar Mejia To view Hannah’s Independent Study, please click the button […]

head shot of Hitomi Okamura

Examining the Relationship Between Phonological Processing and Second Language Acquisition for Spanish-English Bilinguals

Name: Hitomi Okamura Major: Neuroscience – Cognitive Behavior track Advisor: Dr. Grit Herzmann; Dr. John Neuhoff (second reader) Second language acquisition is inevitable in a globalized […]

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Predicting Formula 1 Races using Ordered Logistic Regression and Elo Ratings

Name: Luke Pritchard Major: Statistical & Data Sciences Minor: Global Media and Digital Studies Advisor: Dr. Moses Luri, Dr. Jillian Morrison (second reader) This paper investigates the Formula […]

head shot for Mia Chen

An Investigation of the Clinical Considerations of Speech-Language Pathologists When Working With Spanish-English Bilingual Adults With Aphasia

Name: Mia Chen Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders Minors: Psychology and Spanish Advisors: Dr. Joan E. Furey; Dr. Grit Herzmann (second reader) The broad purpose of this […]

head shot of Shelby Jones

PaleoliTHICC: Understanding the Woman of Willendorf using contemporary fat studies

Name: Shelby Jones Major: Anthropology Minor: History Advisor: Dr. Siavash Samei; Dr. Beth Derderian (second reader) My research focused on the Woman (“Venus”) of Willendorf figurine, one of […]

Photo of Lily Barnett

If There is a God, He’s Probably on Wall Street: A Genre Analysis of Social Criticism in Horror and Melodrama Films

Name: Lily Barnett Major: Communication Studies Minor: Global Media and Digital Studies Advisors: Dr. Ahmet Atay and Dr. Nii Nikoi The purpose of this project is to conduct […]

Head shot of Joseph Henry

Hunger Hacker: An Exploration of Neural Networks for Food Preference Prediction

Name: Joseph Henry Major: Computer Science Minor: Communication Studies Advisor: Drew Guarnera; Thomas Montelione (second reader) This study explores what makes up neural networks and the subsequent […]

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How to Build up the Most Effective Soccer Team

Name: Yuntao Zhang Major: Mathematics Advisor: Dr. Drew Pasteur Second Reader: Dr. Christina Horr Soccer is the most influential sport in the world. Professional […]

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Highlights Generation for Tennis Matches using Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing and Audio Analysis

Name: Alon Liberman Major: Computer Science and Mathematics Advisors: Heather Guarnera and Subhadip Chowdhury This project uses computer vision, natural language processing and audio analysis to automatize […]

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Combinatorics of Phylogenetic Trees and Networks

Name: Baihe Luo Major: Mathematics Advisors: Dr. Colby Long and Dr. Robert Kelvey To view Baihe’s Independent Study, please click the button below (Wooster log-in credentials required)

Head shot of Stacey Park

The Influence of Familiarity with Faces on the Other-Race Classification Advantage

Name: Stacey Park Major: Psychology Advisor: Dr. Grit Herzmann; Dr. John Neuhoff (second reader) Own-race faces are often recognized faster than other-race faces, but the opposite trend […]

Head shot of Bang Nguyen

Queering NLP: A Non-Heteronormative Approach to Quantifying and Investigating Sentiment Bias against LGBTQ+ Identities in Word Embeddings

Name: Bang Nguyen Major: Computer Science Minor: Statistical & Data Sciences and Communication Studies Advisor: Professor Kowshik Bhowmik; Professor Thomas Montelione (second reader) To view Bang’s Independent Study, […]

Head shot of May Zin Hlaing

Investigating Substrate Specificity for 6-Hydroxynicotinate 3- Monooxygenase (NicC) with Alternative Substrates: Consequences to Catalysis of Replacing the Ring Nitrogen

Name: May Zin Hlaing Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Advisor: Dr. Mark Snider; Dr. Dean Fraga (second reader) 6-Hydroxynicotinate 3-monooxygenase (NicC) is a group A flavin dependent […]

Shankar Bhat

Healthy Democracy, Healthy Citizens: Examining how the Quality of Democracy Impacted the Public Health Responses in South Africa’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Name: Shankar Bhat Majors: Political Science Advisors: Dr. Michele Leiby Democracies are understood to improve the responsiveness of leaders to citizen needs due to […]

head shot of Maris Woldin

Prescribed Burns in Remnant Prairies: Pollinator Fidelity for Echinacea angustifolia and Plant Composition

Name: Maris Woldin Major: Biology Advisors: Dr. Jennifer Ison and Dr. Nick Brandley Over the last few centuries, anthropogenic activity has reduced the extent of prairie habitats […]

Head shot of Morgan Kromer

Wildfire Simulation Using Agent Based Modeling: Expanding Controlled Burn Seasons

Name: Morgan Kromer Major: Mathematics Minor: Statistical and Data Sciences Advisor: Dr. Colby Long; Dr. Drew Pasteur (second reader) The United States is home to many different […]

Elementary Geometry in Non-Elementary Spaces: Counting the Moduli Space of Pentagons on Finite Projective Planes

Name: Maxwell Hosler Major: Mathematics Minor: Computer Science Advisors: Dr. Robert Kelvey; Dr. Pam Pierce (second reader) In the world of projective geometry, we think about spaces in […]

head shot of Rachel Semel

Help Wanted: An Investigation of Professionals’ Approaches to and Perceptions Regarding Vocational Development When Working with Young Adults with Autism or Down Syndrome

Name: Rachel Semel Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders Minor: Education Advisor: Joan E. Furey, Ph.D.; Cara Hammond (second reader) The purpose of this study was to investigate the […]

head shot of Karen Suzue

Adaptive NPC Behavior in Maze Chase Game Using Genetic Algorithms

Name: Karen Suzue Major: Computer Science Minor: Studio Art Advisor: Drew Guarnera; Sofia Visa (second reader) Game balancing, which involves fine-tuning in-game factors to match the capabilities and […]

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On Implementing and Testing the RSA Algorithm

Name: Kien Le Majors: Mathematics and Computer Science Advisors: Sofia Visa and Subhadip Chowdhury In this work, we give a comprehensive introduction to the RSA cryptosystem, […]

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Sweeney Todd: Adaptation Across Media & Time

Name: Jack Williams Major: Communication Studies Minors: Music and Global Media & Digital Studies Advisors: Dr. Oscar Mejia and Dr. Ahmet Atay The character of Sweeney Todd has […]

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Designing and Implementing a First-Person Shooter

Name: Hung Vu Major: Computer Science Minor: Mathematics Advisor: Drew Guarnera; Kowshik Bhowmik (second reader) The video game industry is a one of the larger and […]

Photo of Laura Peterjohn holding an inflatable Tootsie Roll

Human Capital Investment through Education: The way to an equitable middle class in South Africa

Name: Laura Peterjohn Major: Economics Minor: English Advisor: Dr. Brooke Krause; Dr Melanie Long (second reader) When Apartheid ended in 1994 South Africa was left with one of […]

Head shot of Shankar Bhat

Fatty Acids and the Innate Immune System: A Study Infecting Caenorhabditis elegans with Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Name: Shankar A Bhat Major: Biology Advisor: Dr. Stephanie Strand Fatty acids have been previously determined to be required for the activation of certain immune response […]

Cat Moreschi

The Play’s The Thing: An Analysis of Professional and Amateur Queer Theater from 1967-1987 Through the Lens of Star Trek: The Original Series Fandom

Name: Cat Moreschi Majors: Theater and Dance, History Advisors: Christina Welsch, Naoko Skala (Advisor) For generations, queer people have struggled to find representations of […]

In Hot Water! Using Numerical Analysis to show the Effects of Climate Change on the Great Lakes

Name: Molly Likins Major: Mathematics Advisors: Subhadip Chowdhury, Drew Pasteur (Second Reader) Our Great Lakes have been suffering from the unstable weather since the […]

Using Computational Methods to Study Changes in the Fundamental and Overtone NH Stretches due to Solvent Effects

Name: Sarah Mullen Major: Chemistry Minor: Mathematics Advisors: Dr. Karl Feierabend, Dr. Sarah Sobeck (second reader) Computational chemistry uses computer simulations to solve chemical […]

joel kpapko brown

Molecular recognition within the ES complex: A mechanistic investigation to discern how 6-hydroxynicotinate-3-monooxygenase (NicC) distinguishes between substrate analogues when enhancing its rate of NADH oxidation

Name: Joel Kpakpo Brown Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Advisors: Dr. Mark J. Snider Group A flavin dependent monooxygenases catalyze the ortho or para […]

A Critical Analysis of Antiracist Pedagogical Strategies and Diverse Young Adult Literature for White Educators

Name: Jenna Stanton Majors: English, Education Advisors: Dr. Susanna Sacks, Dr. Christopher Kang (second reader) This independent study attempts to answer the following research […]

African Queens: The Unknown Voices of the Archaeological Record​

Name: Raena Gamble Major: Archaeology Minors: Classical Studies, Art History Advisors: Dr. Siavash Samei The marginalization of female voices is a common occurrence throughout […]

Head shot for Riley Smith

Add Women and Stir: The Effect of Female Mentorship on Women’s Law School Experiences

Name: Riley Smith Major: Political Science-US National Politics Minor: German Studies Advisors: Dr. Angie Bos, Désirée Weber (second reader) This study examines the effect […]

Modeling Meets Mirror Lake: How Highly Urbanized Areas Influence Surface Water-Groundwater Interactions at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Name: Mazvita Marilyn Chikomo Majors: Environmental Geoscience Advisors: Dr. Shelley Judge, Dr. Greg Wiles (Second Reader) Water plays a vital role in sustaining life, […]

Lia Khan

Deep Roots in Eroding Soil: Building Decolonial Resilience Amidst Climate Violence and Displacement in a Louisiana Bayou Indigenous Community

Name: Lia McGrath Kahan Major: Environmental Studies—Environment and Society Advisors: Dr. Iemanja Brown, Dr. Carlo Moreno (second reader) The Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe of coastal […]

Sky Gill

Finding a Way Home: Examining Outcomes of Foster Care after Maltreatment

Name: Sky Gill Major: Statistical and Data Sciences Minors:Sociology, Environmental Studies Advisors: Dr. Christina Horr, Dr. Jillian Morrison (second reader) Foster care in the […]

Hannah Groetsch

Setting the Stage for Representation: Women Candidates and Moderators’ Impact on the Prevalence of Women’s Issues in Presidential Primary Debates

Name: Hannah Groetsch Major: Political Science: U.S. National Politics Minor: English Advisors: Dr. Angela Bos, Dr. Avram Muñoz (second reader) This Independent Study explores […]

Emma Davidson

Time Flies: An analysis of circadian impact upon cell cycle regulation using Boolean modeling and a Drosophila model

Name: Emma Davidson Majors: Neurobiology Advisors: Erzsebet Regan, Seth Kelly The circadian system is an incredibly conserved physiological component of nearly all living organisms […]

Puffins, the Charismatic Clowns of the Sea: Examining the Relationship Between Community Identity and the Social Construction of Animals

Name: Megan Tuennerman Majors: Sociology, Environmental Studies Advisors: Dr. Heather Fitz Gibbon This study analyzes the factors, internal and external, that affect the relationship […]

Zdena Sinkhorn

Propaganda, Print Culture, and Popular Opinion: Newsletters and Pamphlets in Seventeenth-Century England

Name: Zdena Sinkhorn Major: History Minor: Philosophy Advisor: Dr. Christina Welsch Marchamont Needham’s unique role as a journalist in seventeenth century England allows for […]

Emily Todd

The Impact of the Securitization of Children and Armed Conflict in the United Nations Security Council on the United Nations System

Name: Emily Todd Major: Political Science: International Relations Minor: Psychology Advisor: Dr. Kent Kille This study explores the interactions between securitization, human security, the […]

“Why Not a Woman?”: A Study of How the Media Portrays Women Vice Presidential Candidates

Name: Abigail McFarren Major: Political Science—U.S. National Politics Focus Minor: History Advisors: Dr. Angie Bos, Dr. Dr. Avi Muñoz (Second Reader) The purpose of […]

Play Like a Girl: Examining the Stigma of Women’s Health and Menstruation in Sports

Name: Rachel Marie Osterhouse Major: Sociology Minor: Political Science Advisors: Thomas Tierney, Setsuko Matsuzawa This research paper examines the stigma surrounding women’s health and […]

Head shot of Jenna Smith

“No Matter Where You’re From, We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor:” Enacting Justice Initiatives and Community Formation in Faith-Based Organizations

Name: Jenna Smith Major: Sociology Minor: Religious Studies Advisors: Dr. Heather Fitz Gibbon, Dr. Seiko Matsuzawa (Second Reader) Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) in the United […]


On the Basis of Biological Sex

Name: Camille Carr Majors: Sociology, Religious Studies Advisors: Dr. Heather Fitz Gibbon, Dr. Mark Graham As of February 2022, ten states have enacted legislation […]

Nathan Kreuter

The Soybean–Soybean Aphid Interaction: Mounting Defenses and Overcoming Resistance

Name: Nathan Kreuter Major: Biology Minor: Earth Sciences Advisors: Dr. Andy Michel, Dr. Hilary Edgington The current rise of the global human population necessitates […]

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A Break From 538: A Study On The Expansion Of The House Of Representatives In Electoral College Reform And Its Relationship To The Popular Vote

Name: Philip Gray Major: Political Science Minor: History Advisors: Professor Angie Bos, Professor Bas Van Doorn This study tested if increasing the size of […]

What Girls Do: Girls’ Political Participation Reflected in Contemporary Young Adult Literature

Name: Carly McWilliams Majors: Political Science, English Advisors: Dr. Angie Bos, Dr. Jessica Cowing While young adult (YA) novels have always incorporated political themes, […]

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Boolean Modeling of the Interactions Between Inflammation, Hypoxia, and the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT)

Name: Ian Zonfa Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Minor: Political Science Advisors: Erzsébet Regan, Mark Snider (second reader) Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer has […]

Julian Ballestreros

The Physiological and Psychological Effects of Accelerated Rehabilitation, Visualization, and Virtual Reality on ACL Rehabilitation

Name: Julian Ballesteros Major: Biology Advisors: Nicholas Brandley Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are one of the most common knee injuries among athletes. This […]

Modeling Premier League Success with Extreme Gradient Boosting

Name: Dillon Wheeler Majors: Statistical and Data Sciences Minors: Economics Advisors: Christina Horr, Moses Luri In this study data over the course of seven […]

Head shot for Libby Malone

Integrating Communication and Culture in Intermediate French Classes

Name: Libby Malone Majors: French and Education Advisors: Rebecca Grenouilleau-Loescher, Matthew Broda This Independent Study focuses on the importance of communication and culture in […]

Head shot for Alicia McElwee

Following the Lead: Impact of Soil Amendments on Lead Toxicity to Tomato Plants

Name: Alicia McElwee Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Religious Studies Advisors: Dr. Paul Edmiston, Dr. Mark Snider (second reader) Heavy metal contamination in the […]

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Eradicating Pseudomonas Biofilms through Synergistic Interaction of Manuka Honey and Bacteriophage PF7

Name: Emma Bossaert Majors: Biology Minor: Environmental Studies Advisor: William Morgan Bacterial biofilms are a major cause of chronic wound infections and are infamously […]

Head shot of Katlyn Yeager

Are We Listening To Their Silent Voices? An Investigation of Speech-Language Pathologists’ Knowledge of Spasmodic Dysphonia, Their Perceptions of Treatment, and Patient Experiences with Treatment

Name: Katlyn Yeager Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders Minor: Education Advisors: Donald M. Goldberg, Joan E. Furey (Second Reader) The purpose of this study […]

What’s in the Air: Characterization of Particulate Matter in Wooster, Ohio

Name: David DiGena-Segal Major: Chemistry Advisors: Jennifer A. Faust, Rebekah E. Gray, and Paul L. Edmiston Pesticides are commonly found environmental contaminants and health […]

Kate Schlegel

Integrating Art History into K-5 Social Studies Classrooms

Name: Kate Schlegel Majors: Art History, Education Advisor: Tracy Cosgriff & Allison Neptune This independent study investigates the possibility for interaction between art and […]

Richie Pajak

A Simulation of the Economic Impact of Disaster Events

Name: Richie Pajak Major: Computer Science Minor: Economics Advisor: Heather Guarnera The goal of this project is to determine the impact of natural disasters […]

Elijah Miller

Feelin’ Groovy: A Visual Rebranding of Radio Corporation of America Records

Name: Elijah Miller Major: Communication Studies Minor: Global Media and Digital Studies Advisor: Ahmet Atay Second Reader: Nii Nikoi In this project, I explored […]

Sabrina Helck

The Infinity Conundrum: Understanding Topics in Set Theory and the Continuum Hypothesis

Name: Sabrina Helck Major: Mathematics Advisors: Dr. Subhadip Chowdhury; Dr. Rob Kelvey (second reader) This project is concerned with articulating the necessary background in […]

Katie Thompson

Learning in Virtual and In-Person Elementary Classrooms: Elementary Teachers Experiences with Virtual Classrooms and their Immediacy Strategies

Name: Katie Thompson Majors: Communication Studies, Early Childhood Education with Licensure Advisors: Zhenyu Tian, Megan Wereley The COVID-19 pandemic created a shift from in-person […]

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Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators of Why Women Enter STEM

Name: Marian Overfield Major: Psychology Advisor: Meredith Hope This study examines the relationship between types of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors and […]

Jackson Stuff

A Call to Lights, Camera, and Action: How Hollywood Woke America to the Nazi Threat

Name: Jackson Stuff Majors: History, Education Advisor: Madonna Hettinger This thesis examines the evolution of anti-Nazi and pro-Intervention narratives from Hollywood films released between […]

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Investing in our Future: Identifying Students Most in Need of Assistance​

Name: Colin Mihalick Gutow Major: Computer Science Minor: Mathematics Advisors: Dr. Sofia Visa, Dr. Kowshik Bhowmik Here I will use Classification Trees, Pearson classification […]

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The Influence of Accent, Gender, and Ethnocentrism on Stereotype Content, “What Does the Black Legend Have to Do With Cusco?”: Un Discurso de la Alteridad, la Evangelización, y el Arte Religioso en el Cusco Colonial

Name: Cammy Bly Majors: Psychology, Spanish Advisors: Dr. Amber Garcia (Psychology), Hernán Medina (Spanish) Second reader: Dr. Evan Wilhelms (Psychology), Dr. Rebecca Garonzik (Spanish) […]

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Desperate Democrats in the Reagan Revolution: A Party Determined to Win the White House

Name: Matthew Akins Majors: Political Science, History Advisors: Dr. Bas van Doorn, Dr. Jordan Biro-Walters Bill Clinton’s 1992 election to the presidency as a […]

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Melting Water Towers: Analyzing the Impact of Climate Change on Himalayan Glaciology and South Asian Agroeconomy

Name: Srushti Chaudhari Major: Geology Minor: Economics Advisor: Dr. Shelley Judge The glaciers in the Himalayan Range contribute to the discharge of major South […]

Kate Read

Forming National Identity through Commemoration: Representation within Postage Stamps at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum

Name: Kate Read Major: Anthropology Minor: Art History Advisors: Dr. Elizabeth Derderian & Dr. Zareen Thomas This independent study focuses on the idea of forming a national identity […]

Head shot of Jillian Ness

The Impacts of Childhood Parental Death Among College Aged Students

Name: Jillian Ness Majors: Sociology, Education Advisors: Heather Fitz-Gibbon This study analyzes college student’s experiences with childhood parental death. I explored this research through Rismam’s […]

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Physiological Anomalies in the Bullhead of the Cuyahoga River and Killbuck Creek

Name: Damien Jouriles Major: Biology Minor: Classical Languages (Latin) Advisor: Dr. R. Williams Second Reader: Dr. S Kelly Physiological biomarkers are an important but […]

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Exploring Classical Techniques through Portraiture as a Combination of Image and Object

Name: Maya McDonald Major: Studio Art Advisor: Marina Mangubi This collection of works, through the application of classical painting techniques, explores portraiture as a […]

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Does Positive Reinforcement Training Reduce Inter-Dog Reactivity in an Animal Shelter Setting?

Name: Ellison Zupan Major: Biology Advisors: Dr. Jennifer Ison and Dr. Stephanie Strand Second Reader: Dr. Hilary Edgington It has previously been shown that […]

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Two Tales of Murder and Intrigue: The Study and Practical Application of Current French Translation Techniques

Name: Joseph Kalmar Major: French and Francophone Studies Minor: History Advisors: Dr. Marion Duval and Dr. Harry Gamble Second Reader: Dr. Laura Burch This […]

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Applications of Constraint Programming in Sports Scheduling​

Name: Troy Baughman Majors: Mathematics Advisors: Dr. Heather Guarnera Sports scheduling problems comprise in deciding the date and the setting in which each round […]

Audrey Holder

Meat Your Vegetables: An Exploration into Food Sustainability on a Small Liberal Arts Campus

Name: Audrey Holder Major: Anthropology Minor: Environmental Studies Advisors: Seiko Matsuzawa, Heather Fitz Gibbon (second reader) There have been several studies that link food […]

Huy Kieu

An Analysis of Advanced SQL Injection Exploitation and Mitigation

Name: Huy Kieu Major: Computer Science Minor: Mathematics Advisor: Thomas Montelione While technology is unequivocally indispensable in the evolution of innovative enterprises and state-of-the-art […]

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Synthesis and Photophysical Evaluation of Porphyrin-Natural Product Hybrids for Use in Photodynamic Therapy

Name: Holly McAnlis Major: Chemistry Advisor: Dr. Paul Bonvallet Photodynamic therapy is a cancer treatment that involves dosing a patient with a drug molecule called a photosensitizer, […]

Jacob Shelton

A Linguistic Look at Liberty’s Gag: Vagueness in Spain’s Ley Mordaza

Name: Jacob Shelton Majors: History, Spanish Advisors: Osmer Balam, Katherine Holt This study analyzes the Spanish law of Public Security of 2015 to verify […]

Atticus Moats head shot

Making Sensory Neuroscience Comparative: A Review and Analysis of Orientation Selective Retinal Ganglion Cells

Name: Atticus Moats Major: Neurobiology, Sensory Communication Studies Advisors: Dr. Nicholas Brandley and Dr. John Neuhoff Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are cells in the retina of […]

Emilee R. Haines

Advances in characterizing the gene-encoded subunits that compose the nicotinate dehydrogenase and 6-hydroxynicotinate dehydrogenase complexes within the Bacillus niacini nicotinic acid degradation pathway

Name: Emilee R. Haines Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Minor: Mathematics Advisors: Dr. Mark Snider and Dr. Marie Southerland N-Heterocyclic aromatic compounds (NHACs) are […]

head shot of emily pfau

Handwriting Recognition System: Comparative Analysis of Artificial Neural Network and Convolutional Neural Network Models

Name: Emily Pfau Major: Computer Science Minor: Political Science Advisor: Kowshik Bhowmik Handwriting recognition has been a challenging research area with many functions in everyday life. […]

Aubry Miller

The Economic Impact of Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs: An Evaluation of the Provisioning Services of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Name: Aubry Miller Major: Economics Minor: Studio Art Advisors: Prof. Sookti Chaudhary and Prof. Phil Mellizo The climate crisis is an urgent issue facing […]

head shot of Burim Saciri

To Pull or To Not Pull the Lever: A Data Driven Approach to Understand the Philosophical Trolley Problem

Name: Burim Saciri Major: Statistical & Data Science Minor: Philosophy Advisor: Dr. Rob Kelvey; Dr. Jillian Morrison (Second Reader) For my Independent Study project, I […]

head shot of Clara Becker

Phages, on the Rocks: Development of a Bacteriophage Cocktail Infecting Pseudomonas chlororaphis 14B11

Name: Clara Becker Major: Biology Advisor: Stephanie Strand; William Morgan (second reader) Infections caused by antibiotic resistant organisms are predicted to pose one of the biggest public […]

head shot of Rachel Jones

Body Image Mediating the Relationship between Personality Factors, Emotionality and Extraversion, and Psychological Well-being in a Gender-Diverse and Queer Sample

Name: Rachel Jones Major: Psychology Minor: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Advisors: Amber Garcia Second Reader: Meredith Hope Research has examined the relationship between […]

Head shot of Annabelle Andersen

Rockin’ Cities Underground: An Urban Morphological Lens in the Archaeological Cavate Sites of Derinkuyu and Naours

Name: Anabelle Andersen Majors: Archaeology and Art History Advisors: Siavash Samei and Kara Morrow The underground cities of Derinkuyu and Naours, respectively found in Turkey and […]

Melita Wiles head shot

Angular frequency of rotating spiral waves in a chemical reaction-diffusion system

Name: Melita Wiles Majors: Physics and Mathematics Advisors: Dr. Niklas Manz & Dr. Cody Leary Rotating spiral waves have been observed in various excitable physical, […]

Head shot of Ben Foltz

Built to Scale: An Exploration Into Full Stack Development Strategies

Name: Ben Foltz Major: Computer Science Advisor: Drew Guarnera; Kowshik Bhowmik (second reader) This work provides an in-depth discussion of front-end and back-end development strategies, […]

head shot of Danielle J Nasoff

Are we off balance? An investigation of audiologists’ referral practices for vestibular assessments for cochlear implant candidates and recipients in the pediatric population with single-sided deafness

Name: Danielle J Nasoff Major: Communication Sciences & Disorders Minor: Studio Art Advisors: Donald M. Goldberg, Ph.D., Joan E. Furey, Ph.D. (second reader) This study investigated audiologists’ […]

Megan E. Zims Head shot

The Fading of Intention: Photodegradation Studies of Carmine Colorants and Their Implications in Art Conservation

Name: Megan E. Zins Major: Chemistry Minor: Art History Advisors: Dr. Sarah J. Sobeck Cultural heritage objects are irreplaceable objects that have artistic, historical, and/or cultural […]

Spencer Gaitsch

Misconceptions in Parallel: Belligerent Perceptions of Mediator Bias in the Chinese Civil War

Name: Spencer Gaitsch Majors: History, Political Science Advisor: Dr. Christina Welsch, Dr. Matthew Krain Scholars have long studied intrastate conflict mediation efforts, third-party intervention, […]

Head shot of Leah Wilcox

Knots, Nots, and Loops

Name: Leah Wilcox Major: Mathematics Minor: French and Francophone Studies Advisor: Dr. Robert Kelvey Knot theory is a vast branch of mathematics, one that has […]

Mitchell Reardon head shot

The Underlying Effects of the Sticky Substance Ban On the MLB

Name: Mitchell Reardon Major: Mathematics Minor: Statistical and Data Sciences Advisors: Colby Long and Christina Horr The sticky substance ban that occurred near the beginning of the […]

Margaret Jagger head shot

Developing a Virtual Modular Synthesizer for Sound Waves and MIDI

Name: Margaret Jagger Majors: Computer Science and Music Minor: Statistical and Data Science Advisors: Drew Guarnera and Sofia Visa Modular synthesis involves the alteration and […]

Head shot of Nina Catalfo

A Year of N-Confusion: Determining Aggregation in N-Confused Porphyrins Using UV-Vis Spectroscopy

Name: Nina Catalfo Major: Chemistry Minor: English Advisor: Dr. Paul Bonvallet; Dr. Karl Feierabend (second reader) N-confused porphyrins, a porphyrin derivative with a nitrogen atom on the […]

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Hands That Grab and Tongues That Say: Understanding Animal Narrators and Protagonists

Name: Sophie Helen Ryan Majors: English and Psychology Advisors: Dr. Kate Beuter and Dr. Michael Casey; Dr. Tom Prendergast (second reader) Whether through owning a pet or […]

Nikki Marie Elizabeth Hoseus

“Orange Is the New Mistreatment?”: An Analysis of Knowledge and Perceptions of Incarcerated Women and their Mistreatment Through (Non)Viewing of Orange Is the New Black

Name: Nikki Marie Elizabeth Hoseus Majors: Communication Studies, Sociology Advisor: Dr. Denise Bostdorff and Dr. Setsuko Matsuzawa How are incarcerated women mistreated in the […]

Pavithra Brahmananda Reddy

Recommender Systems

Name: Pavithra Brahmananda Reddy Majors: Computer Science, Mathematics Advisor: Thomas Montelione Second Reader: Robert Kelvey Many products that we buy online are suggested to […]

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INSIDE OF INFLUENCERS: An analysis and framework of social media influencers’ self-branding practices

Name: Alison Lindsey-Noble Major: Communication Studies Minor: Global Media & Digital Studies This study aimed to understand the practices social media influencers (SMIs) use to create […]

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Exploring the Name, Image and Likeness Legislation Within Collegiate Athletics

Name: Hamilton Johnson Major: Communication Studies Advisor: Nii Nikoi The newly passed Name, Image, and Likeness legislation allows collegiate athletes to benefit financially off of themselves while […]

Abigail Breitenbucher

Gaming the System: A Game Theoretic Approach to Risk Management and Cybersecurity

Name: Abigail Breitenbucher Major: Mathematics Minors: Anthropology, History Advisor: Dr. Colby Long Second Reader: Dr. Subhadip Chowdhury The goals of this project were to […]

Saralee Renick

Will You Accept this Rose?: The Representation of Black Women on The Bachelorette Seasons 13 and 18

Name: Saralee Renick Major: Sociology Minor: Political Science Advisors: Michael Miyawaki, Heather Fitz Gibbon The purpose of this Senior Independent Study is to understand […]

Jacqueline Spieles

Effects of microbiome diversity and indole on Candida albicans infections in Caenorhabditis elegans

Name: Jacqueline Spieles Major: Biology Advisors: Dr. Stephanie Strand, Dr. Richard Lehtinen The opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans causes infections in humans that are […]

Grant Sprague

Bring Me a Shrubbery: A Study of Native Amphibian and Mammal Responses to Native Deciduous Plant Community Restoration in Wooster, Ohio

Name: Grant Sprague Major: Biology Minor: Environmental Studies Advisors: Dr. Lehtinen Second reader: Dr. Brandley Invasive species are a growing threat to global biodiversity, […]

Anjolaoluwa Olubusi

Backlog Burner: An Adventure Into Automated Scheduling

Name: Anjolaoluwa Olubusi Majors: Computer Science, Mathematics Advisors: Dr. Thomas Montelione, Dr. Colby Long The focus of this independent study is to explain the […]

Meghan Wright

Seminal Fluid Adipokinetic Hormone Influence on Remating Behaviors of Female Ae. aegypti

Name: Meghan Wright Major: Biology Advisor: Dr. Laura Sirot Second Reader: Dr. William Morgan Arthropod borne viruses (arboviruses) affect millions of people worldwide posing […]

Nathaniel Stevens Seeley Jr.

Invasive Autumn Olive’s impacts on native Red Oak tree growth rate and germination

Name: Nathaniel Stevens Seeley Jr. Major: Biology Advisor: Rick Lehtinen Second Reader: Seth Kelly Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellate) is an invasive plant in Midwestern […]

Rebecca LaRue

From the Parks to the Polls: National Parks, Place Attachment, and Environmental Voting Behavior

Name: Rebecca LaRue Major: Political Science (U.S. National Politics) Minors: Geology, Education Advisors: Dr. Bas van Doorn My project examines the relationship between National […]

Justine Paul Berina

Unearthing the effects of European-American settlement on a northeast Ohio kettle lake through diatom stratigraphy

Name: Justine Paul Berina Major: Geology Advisors: Mark Wilson & Greg Wiles Recently, wetland conservation has highlighted the necessity for assessing limnological changes following […]

Abigail Tarburton

Why Students Struggle in General Chemistry: Understanding Open-Ended Assessment in the Chemistry 111 Classroom

Name: Abigail Tarburton Majors: Chemistry, Education Advisors: Dr. Lilliana Morris (Advisor), Dr. Ryan Ozar (Education Advisor) Second Reader: : Dr. Jennifer Faust The world […]

Elijah Winfield

Does Having a Birth Plan Impact Your Birth Experience? A Deeper Look into Birth Plans, Birth Assistants/Attendants, and The Microbiome in Birth Experiences

Name: Elijah Winfield Major: Social Health (Student-designed major) Advisors: Dr. Thomas Tierney & Dr. Stephanie Strand The importance of pregnant women’s well-being to the […]

Shawn Ngwena

An Analysis of The Effects of The Rapidly Growing Technology Industry on Income Inequality in The United States

Name: Shawn Ngwena Major: Economics Minor: Computer Science Advisors: Prof Melanie Long, Prof Brooke Krause Does everyone in the United States economy equally benefit […]

Julia Weisberg

“Pretty Privilege” and Survival: Recognizing the Difference in Social Treatment, Most Notably in Healthcare, Towards Those Who Are Highly Attractive

Name: Julia Weisberg Major: Philosophy Advisors: Dr. Karen Haely, Dr. Elizabeth Schiltz (second reader) This Independent Study is divided into four chapters. The first […]

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Down-regulation of Innate Immune Response Rel/NF-kB Transcription Factor Genes Relish and Dif in Cholinergic Neurons Alter Sleep Patterns in Drosophila melanogaster

Name: Kayla Audette Major: Neuroscience Minor: Statistical and Data Science Advisors: Seth Kelly and Hilary Edgington A bidirectional relationship between sleep and the immune system […]

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#Fitspiration vs. #BodyNeutrality: Effects of Social Media Communities on Body Appreciation and Food Choice

Name: Megan Fisher Major: Psychology Minor: Philosophy Advisor: Bryan Karazsia; Second reader: Amber Garcia Body image disturbances can be influenced by media that promotes body ideals, such as […]

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Sketching Big Data: Applying Probabilistic Data Structures and Algorithms

Name: Derek Alejandro Hinojosa Major: Computer Science Advisor: Kowshik Bhowmik Digital information has seen explosive growth in recent decades with the expansion of digital devices. […]

Kylie E Keller

The Influence of Silver (I) Carboxylate Ligand Structure on Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Name: Kylie E Keller Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Advisors: Dr. Marie Southerland (advisor) and Dr. Sara Martin (second reader) The bacterial lung infections […]

Sarah Neuville

Immune function of salamander species Plethodon cinereus, Plethodon electromorphus, and hybrid individuals against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

Name: Sarah Neuville Majors: Biology, Education Advisors: Hilary Edgington, Ryan Ozar, Rick Lehtinen Since the 1960’s, research has shown consistently decreasing numbers of amphibians. […]

Tyler Chumita

The All-Math Team: A comparative study to predict end of the year award voting in baseball for the North Coast Athletic Conference using an empirical analysis

Name: Tyler Chumita Majors: Mathematics, Education Advisors: Christina Horr and Drew Pasteur Over the last two decades, sabermetrics havetaken over baseball by means of […]

Zoe Dudack

Little Boxes: A Gothic Horror Novella

Name: Zoe Dudack Majors: English Minor: Music Advisors: Dr. Kate Beutner & Dr. Christopher Kang As an avid fan of horror films and ghost […]

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Biochemical Analysis of the Myxococcus fulvus 124B02 Arginine Kinase

Name: Krista English Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Advisor: Dr. Dean Fraga To view Krista’s Independent Study, please click the button below (Wooster log-in credentials required)

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Two Wrongs Make a [Far-]Right: The Rise and Success of the Far-Right in Western Europe

Name: Mia Villavicencio-Eschinger Major: Political Science Advisor: Dr. Michele Leiby Over the last two decades, there has been a rise in far-right leadership and support, particularly […]

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What’s the Buzz? Presence of a Honey Bee Hive Decreases Native Bee Visitation to Native Plant Gardens in Northeast Ohio

Name: Ren Johnson Major: Biology Minor: Environmental Studies Advisors: Jennifer Ison, Reed Johnson, Hilary Edgington; Sharon Lynn (second reader) Apis mellifera, honey bees, are kept worldwide to […]

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Visual Looming Cues Increase the Auditory Looming Bias​

Name: Maggie McCracken Major: Psychology Advisor: John Neuhoff Approaching, or looming, objects have been environmentally important cues throughout human evolution because of potential danger. Humans integrate […]

Brimmer Morrison

Grotesque Cultural Exchange; A Study of Japanese Fashion History

Name: Brimmer Morrison Major: History Minor: French and Francophone Studies Advisors: Madonna Hettinger Focusing first on the importance of Rei Kawakubo in developing her […]

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Are the eyes the window to the soul? An investigation into the role the eyes play in emotion recognition

Name: Katherine Ann Billetdeaux Major: Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience Advisor: Dr. Grit Herzmann; Dr. Evan Wilhelms (second reader) Facial expressions are used to convey important information […]

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Conjuring Authenticity: The Coven, Buckland Museum, and the Representation of Magic Behind Glass

Name: Ellen Nikirk Majors: History and Anthropology Advisors: Dr. Katie Holt and Dr. Pamela Frese Paganism and other nature-based religions are some of the fastest growing spiritual […]

William Valentine McMichael

Developing Yeast as a Cellular-based Neurotransmitter Fluorescently Engineered Reporter for Acetylcholine

Name: William Valentine McMichael Major: Neurobiology Advisors: Dr. William Morgan, Dr. Seth Kelly The ability to detect neurotransmitter release and concentration at the synapse […]

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Effect of Adipokinetic Hormone on Blood-feeding Behavior and Digestion of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Name: Ngoc Khanh Lai Major: Biology Advisor:  Dr. Laura Sirot; Dr. Sharon Lynn (second reader) The Aedes aegypti mosquito is one of the main vectors that […]

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Women of Appalachia: Common Ground, Different Matriarch

Name: Cecelia Bagnoli Majors: Communication Studies and Environmental Studies Advisor: Dr. Oscar Mejía The purpose of my Independent Study was to create a podcast, which you […]

Testing the effect of Intermittent fasting on anxiety and inflammation in rats with altered gut microbiota

Name: Nivedita Rathaur Majors: Biology, Economics Advisors: Dr. Sharon Lynn and Dr. Huiting Tian The impact of intermittent fasting (IF) on stress was determined by considering anxiety-levels […]

“TIME 4 CHANGE” A Lyrical Analysis of Conscious Rap Songs During The Black Lives Matter Era

Name: Kea’Shaun Phillips Major: Communication Studies Advisor: Denise Bostdorff My independent study is a lyrical analysis of conscious rap songs and their correlation with […]