Program of Fall 2011 Oral Presentations

WSCU Celebration of Scholarship Undergraduate Research Symposium

Tuesday, November 29, 2011, College Center Ballroom


12:15 Introduction and opening remarks

12:20 p.m.

1. Carris, Claire. Communication and Theatre. Michael Brooks, Paul Edwards. Minimalism: Is Less Really More? And Exploration of Contemporary Theatre

This academic inquiry highlights an emerging theatrical production style called the minimalistic style. Minimalism represents a style of theatre, which grounds itself in the power of storytelling in contrast to the current emphasis on production values. The study not only explores the historical evolution of this theory, but additionally through practical experimentation, seeks to question the theory's viability as an artistic form. The experiment, in the form of the Peak Productions play Shipwrecked [production dates November 10th-19th], includes an exploration of such features as what rehearsal techniques best support the storytelling style, what acting techniques best compliment minimalism, and finally what is the right balance between storytelling and production values. COTH 484.

12:35 p.m.

2. DiNicola, Glenn. Communication & Theatre. Professors Brooks & Branam. Lighting Design Technology - Empowering the Artistic Vision

This comprehensive study of Lighting Design focuses on how technology empowers the lighting designer. Research includes an investigation into the past history of lighting design, how technology of the time influenced and helped the designer. Additional investigation includes current technology, and how it helps the designer achieve his or her on stage image of light. Finally we look into the future and inquire into the role of technology as it empowers design. Asking such questions as how will designers in the future use their technology? COTH 484

12:50 p.m.

3. Goodyear, Hazen. English. Dr. Todd, Dr. Jespersen and Dr. Luna. Copy vs Original in Milton's Paradise Lost

When considering Knowledge in John Milton's, Paradise Lost, it is easy to connect the concept of knowledge to the forbidden, which then leads one to question, why should knowledge be forbidden?  However, the question should be reformulated to ask; why is knowledge dangerous for God?  Allowing one to have knowledge is dangerous to God's character because it allows one to understand the flaws in copying or ratifying God's original, which in turn allows one to move the center away from God, as Satan does.

1:05 p.m.

4. Haag, James. Geology. Dave Marchetti. Stable Isotope Geochemistry from Meteoric Waters in the Upper Gunnison River Basin, Colorado

Studies of light stable isotopes (δ18O and δ2H) in precipitation have lead to major advances in meteorology, geology and hydrology.  To better understand the stable isotopic geochemistry of Gunnison we sampled local precipitation over the last 4 years and river water monthly since 2010 and measured the δ18O and δ2H values.  Using our isotopic data we created a Local Meteoric Water Line for Gunnison, which is a graphical relationship between δ2H and δ18O.  Gunnison precipitation has an extremely wide range of δ18O  and δ2H values.  It can resemble Antarctic precipitation in winter and equatorial precipitation in the summer.  The unique nature of Gunnison's precipitation stable isotope values will be of value to local studies in ecology, geology and hydrology.

1:20 p.m.

5. Thompson, Gavin. English. Alina Luna. Western Constructions of the Feminine

After analyzing several texts that disclose Western perceptions of the feminine, it is clear that the Western discourse views the feminine identity as one to be project upon; meaning that the feminine is defined as inherently inferior to the dominate masculine due to a lack of a capacity for rational violence. Western society advances this view of the feminine by projecting it upon women and non-Western peoples. It has further become apparent that both women and non-Western societies at times lash out against this projection in order to be recognized as non-inferior, but do so to little avail as their actions are interpreted by the West as non-rational expressions of weakness. The only way to break this cycle is to replace the Western discursive view of the feminine with a view that no longer sees women and non-Western peoples as inferiors, but rather as representatives of an equal alternative discourse.

1:35 p.m.

6. Wenner, Lindy. Biology. Becky D. Sears. The Effect of Menstrual Cycle Phase on Postural Sway

Female athletes incur 2-8 times as many ACL injuries as their male counterparts; thus, the possible-role of sex-hormones must be further investigated (1-6). Purpose: This study sought to establish whether fluctuating female reproductive hormones correlate with postural sway, a viable injury source. Methods:  Once a week for six weeks 10 women (22.1 3yrs) and 3 men (22yrs) performed selected yoga poses on a force platform. Balance was defined by the frequency of parallel force spikes indicative of postural sway, and each balance test was categorized by each subject's menstrual phase on each day of testing.  Results:  The follicular phase of the menstrual cycle showed a significantly higher degree of postural sway than the luteal phase (p=0.029). Conclusions: As ACL injuries are more prevalent during the same phase as high postural sway, changes in balance over the course of the menstrual cycle may help to explain gender-specific ACL injury disparities.

1:50 p.m.

7. White, Erika. Economics and Math. Sally Hays and Andy Keck. How Does Conservation Information Change Residential Water Use?

The Truckee Meadow Water Authority (TMWA) is a not-for-profit, community-owned utility that services Reno and Sparks, Nevada. Various state laws, local ordinances, and operating agreements mandate that TMWA operate a water conservation program to help protect the natural resources within this region. Our study sought to answer: how does the Water Watchers program influence the quantity of water demanded by individual households in the region? In answering this question, we will help to establish the value of this program to TMWA and its residential customers. Regression methods are used to determine whether households tend to change their behavior after having contact with the Water Watchers program, and to determine what factors affect the amount of water conserved as a function of household size, irrigated landscape, income, weather, type/purpose of Water Watcher's contact and other factors. The panel data includes the years from 2003 through 2011, and are limited to residential single-family units.

2:05 p.m.

8. Lenney, Emily, Emily Virzi, and Bryce Fisher. Environmental Studies. Brooke Moran. Environmentally and Socially Responsible Purchasing Plan.

As students of the Applied Environmental Studies class, we were responsible for the continuation of the Sustainability Blueprint; drafted by the Spring 2010 class. Our focus is on advancing a preferred purchasing plan that is environmentally and socially responsible as well as economically viable for WSC. Our efforts have consisted of working with SODEXO to implement the real food challenge, and gathering a student and administrative assistant signed petition that we have presented to both SGA and the SAC committee. We are also hoping to subsidize any additional costs of responsible products by having future students write sustainability grants. ENVS 400.

2:20 p.m.

9. Kicklighter, Alison. Honors. Kari Commerford. Improving the Health of Rural Communities.

The Rural Community Health class will present their studies of health care in the Gunnison Valley. This class has attempted to identify the unique challenges to receiving quality care in a rural community such as our own. The group has identified possible solutions to lessen the barriers to receiving care in our small community. As a result of this class, Dr. Patch Adams also came to speak to both our campus and community. A summary of his philosophy and its possible benefits to our campus and community will be presented and the developing relationship between our campus and this influential figure will also be discussed. HNRS 397.