Spring 2012 Oral Presentations

WSC Celebration of Scholarship Undergraduate Research Symposium

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, College Center Ballroom

12:15 Introduction and opening remarks

12:20 p.m.

1. Boyers, Aaron. English. Alina Luna. The Paradoxical Nature of Orpheus' Desires

In “Book X” and “Book XI” of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Ovid chronicles the experiences of the character Orpheus through the death of his love, Eurydice, and his ensuing journey to the underworld to retrieve her. Orpheus has the opportunity to retrieve her under one stipulation; that as they left, he not look back until he got home, which Orpheus fails to accomplish. Orpheus’ passion for Eurydice inspires his desire. Desire, by extension, is the driving force behind his entry into the underworld because it inspires his power as a poet/musician. However, it is only through the loss of Eurydice that Orpheus gains power. As a result, Orpheus must ultimately sacrifice Eurydice back to the underworld to maintain his desire and, by extension, artistic ability. Orpheus’ desire is the reason why he sacrifices the control of mortality, why he is destined to fail, and his consequential reflections on what he has lost. ENG 358

12:35 p.m.

2. Buchanan, Richard. Art. Heather Orr. Virus Of The New World Disorder Version 3.0: A Critical Examination Of The Evolution Of The Fine Arts In Relation To Electronic Media

Virus Of The New World Disorder Version 3.0: A Critical Examination Of The Evolution Of The Fine Arts In Relation To Electronic Media. This discussion addresses the discourse surrounding electronic media (television and internet), which in part praises it for carrying the potential to usher in a utopia of interactive, democratic communication, expand perception, and end physical discrimination. I will argue that the works of contemporary artists dealing with electronic media, such as Nam June Paik and the VNS Matrix, have exposed that the reality of newer media is generally in direct opposition to this utopian rhetoric. While I suggest that the impact of this media has not been either all negative or positive, I affirm that it has created a new environment for the production and consumption of art. I will further contend that while developing forms of electronic media have impacted the arts, the works of the artists I bring into discussion have also impacted how we view the media.

12:50 p.m.

3. Wright, Erin. Philosophy. Anthony Miccoli. Dismantling the Binary Through Reevaluation of Gender

The patriarchal binary oppositions that dominate, obscure, and limit our thinking as a Western society can be effectively dismantled through an examination of the theories of Helene Cixous and Judith Butler. Cixous uses gender as a very direct way of confronting these binary systems. Her notion of gender as an arbitrary and socially constructed creation forces us to confront our seemingly natural ideas of male and female sexuality. For Cixous, women are victims of a socially created idea of feminine, one that is not masculine. Cixous purposely undermines the binary system through her contention that males are also victims of an idea of masculinity they are subject to. These cultural forces create and enforce unnecessary divisions between people and their own selves. Judith Butler’s notions of efficacy add to Cixous through her contention that the performative, permeability, and the un-gendered body can emancipate individuals. PHIL 397

1:05 p.m.

4. Metler, Ross. Chemistry. Jason Mullins. Progress Towards the Synthesis of Conformationally-Restricted Glutamate Analogues

L-glutamate is the primary excitatory amino acid. This conformationally flexible molecule can adopt numerous conformations. For this investigation, we aimed to fuse the amino acid backbone onto an aromatic ring structure to render it conformationally restricted. More specifically, synthetic pathways for iodination of commercially available homophthalic diester were explored. The resulting molecule offers opportunity to learn more about the transport proteins that are responsible for regulating the concentrations of L-glutamate in the synapse. CHEM 494

1:20 p.m.

5. Miller, Kylene. Art. Heather Orr. Contemporary Reclamation of the Female Nude

This discussion explores the reclamation of the female nude in contemporary artworks produced by female artists. This presentation will frame changes created by contemporary works through a comparison of traditional artworks produced by the dominant male culture. I will use objectification within traditional artwork in comparison with contemporary artwork produced by female artists. I argue that there is a distinct difference in the representation of the female nude when depicted by a female artist. I suggest that this difference includes the substitution of subjectification in place of objectification within a visual context. I hypothesize that female artists predominately allow the female subject to be an end rather than a means in comparison to male depictions. This entails reclamation of the female nude for a feminine intent rather than a male gaze. This comparison will use female artists such as Imogen Cunningham and Ghada Amer as contemporary examples of female reclamation.

1:35 p.m.

6. Montoya, Tristin. Psychology. Roger Drake. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand...Innocent People

Given that eyewitness identifications can be made in either of two ways: simultaneous and sequential line-ups. Due to our short term memory, only six pictures are shown one at a time and a line-up of six to seven people allows for the participants to process the faces better than a line-up of six to seven people because there are not too many to recall. The two experiments presented show different approaches to recalling a suspect by using distractors, timing methods, and inserting blank cards to separate photos and administering questionnaires. These approaches will possibly help the future of our criminal justice system by freeing the innocent and incarcerating the right people who committed the crimes. PSY 338

1:50 p.m.

7. Sweeney, Laurel. English. Alina Luna. Domination and Destruction: Femininity and Man's Relationship to Nature in British Romanticism

In this essay I explore man's relationship to nature in British Romanticism, using Lord Byron's "Darkness" and William Wordsworth's "Nutting." The two poets represent opposing perceptions of nature-- Byron acknowledges the inherent and powerful qualities of nature, while Wordsworth maintains a more removed perception and believes nature exists to evoke certain sensations in man. Interestingly, both poets gender nature as female in their poems and use the act of destruction as a means through which man or nature asserts its dominance over the other. Wordsworth's text not only places man in a dominant position over nature but, because significant emphasis is placed on the femininity of nature, also suggests man's dominance over woman. Lord Byron challenges man's dominance over nature by depicting an apocalyptic world in which man's cognition is rendered useless and his reliance on nature is exposed. ENG 494

2:05 p.m.

8. Thompson, Gavin. Interdisciplinary/LA. Heather Theissen-Reily. The Philosophy of MMA

In recent decades mixed martial arts (MMA) has become a cultural phenomenon in the U.S and is quickly being recognized as one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Historically martial arts have been practiced for thousands of years, but only recently have the styles and methods of these various arts been mixed together causing a global interest in the cultures, practices and worldviews of some of the world’s oldest civilizations. Philosophically speaking MMA is the result of several texts of power being played out against each other and at times intermingling. Throughout time these texts have been used as both tools to fix power systems as well as to subvert power systems in tactical ways. The implication of the conflict of power playing against itself in MMA is that domination remains difficult to establish and almost always produces counter-hegemony. HNRS 462

2:20 p.m.

9. Matthews, Daisy. Math. Jeremy Muskat. Where Algebra Meets Geometry!

I will demonstrate a practical, basic application of the Grobner Basis to prove a geometric theorem. I will first prove the theorem using geometry, then re-prove it using multi-variable polynomial equations. This is but a taste of the exciting field of algebraic geometry!


10. Hazen, Cody. Communication and Theater. Brooks Michael and Terence Schliesman. Communication in Coaching.

This project will be a study of the traditional rhetorical techniques (ethos, pathos and logos) and how they are employed in the context of coaching athletics on a collegiate level. The ultimate purpose of the project is to take the conclusions derived from this study and develop a guideline for effective communication in coaching.The process involved researching past studies on communication in coaching and related fields, while paying particular attention to the coach-athlete relationship. Research from the background study was used to generate a series of interview questions which were administered to athletes and coaches, with the purpose of gaining detailed insights into the rhetorical techniques employed in coaching. Finally, this information is being used to generate an informational pamphlet and an oral presentation to coaches on how they can effectively employ these rhetorical techniques. COTH 484


11. Minchow, Kerstin. Communication and Theater. Brooks Michael and Terence Schliesman. The Role of Body Language in Talk Show Hosts.

The topic of body language will be explored from the perspective of performance. With the central question being: In what ways does body language contribute to a successful host and show? The investigation will involve the development of a rubric to assess the key elements of body language as it pertains to the specific form, the talk-show and its hosts. The rubric will be used to evaluate both shows and hosts that have been classified as successful and non-successful from an industry perspective. The data gathered will form the basis of a comparative analysis in an effort to answer, from one person's perspective the question at hand. COTH 484


12. DiNicola, Glenn, Chappin Everett, Frank Huschitt, Paul Kato, Haven LeCroy, Aaron Lujan, Alan Meyer, Lawrence Montoya, Benjamin Rief. Terence Schliesman. Social Media Habits among Gunnison Middle School Students.

This presentation reports on recent research conducted by Communication and Theatre students on the use of social media (for example, smart phones, texting, Facebook , etc.) at Gunnison Middle School. The project is associated with COTH 351 (Mass Media in Society), whereby the enrolled students collaborated with Mrs. McKee's 8th grade Journalism class in gathering data about other GMS students. Topics include a review of existing literature, methods, and results and implications. COTH 351