Student Creative Arts and Research Symposium | 2022

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    Loss in ATE1 may affect energy metabolism through leptin
    (2022) Kopchenko, Nicholas; Alkhatatbeh, Mosleh; Brower, Christopher
    Arginyl-tRNA protein transferase 1 (ATE1) regulates protein degradation by Arg/N-end rule pathway. Previous studies have shown that downregulation of ATE1 can lead to neurodegeneration, behavioral abnormalities, hyperphagia and lower body weight. To determine how loss of ATE1 affects energy metabolism and food intake, ATE1-deficient and ATE1-containing mice were given high fat diet for 6-8 weeks. Based on our current data, we found significant sex differences in body weight and food intakes, with ATE1-deficient mice less sensitive to the obesogenic effects of high fat diet even while consuming the same amount of high fat diet as controls. Interestingly, ATE1-deficient mice exposed to high fat diet displayed lower plasma leptin levels even after normalizing to white adipose tissue (WAT) weight. We also show sex differences in ATE1-deficient female mice given acute leptin treatment. Taken together, these data indicate that loss of ATE1 affects leptin levels independent of WAT but may alter leptin sensitivity in ATE1-deficient mice.
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    Overview of the Surface Adsorption of Common Dyestuffs Used in the Textile Industry onto Granulated “Green” Materials
    (2022) Vallelian, Laura; Salazar, Gustavo A.
    The contamination of water sources via the release of chemical dyestuffs used in textile manufacturing has become a source of concern for environmental scientists in recent years. Furthermore, the accumulation of heavy metals and organic compounds used in the dying process present adverse effects towards natural biodiversity (plant, aquatic, and marine life), as well as negative effects on human health. Attempts to remediate and further prevent these contaminants from polluting public waterways using adsorption-based removal processes are currently in place. However, those processes typically use expensive and/or ecologically unfriendly settings. Thus, the search for “greener” adsorbents, such as crushed eggshells, is of paramount importance.
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    Removal, isolation, and analysis of microplastics from local soil using physical and chemical techniques
    (2022) Driver, Liliana; Salazar, Gustavo A.
    Plastic pollution continues to be a severe and -still- unresolved problem in the 21st century. The mechanical fragmentation of plastic waste in the natural environment has led to the formation of below 5 mm plastic litter known as “microplastics.” While many scientists have worked studying the fate of microplastics in oceanic and fresh water, less attention has been placed on soil. Therefore, the purpose of this project focuses on soil samples, specifically those collected locally at the Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center in Denton, TX. Techniques such as mechanical sieving, vacuum filtration, and Fenton oxidation will be described; furthermore, spectroscopic, and microscopic results from the collected microplastics will be discussed in detail.
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    Solution-based study of the clay-surfactant-microplastic interactions
    (2022) Roma, Rebecca A.; Salazar, Gustavo A.
    Since the end of the 20th century, plastic pollution has reached even the most remote locations of our planet; today, plastics litter can be found in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Consequently, plenty of efforts has focused on this problem making it a hot topic of research, particularly plastic found in the hydrosphere. Regarding the lithosphere, the fate of microplastics - plastic pieces of less than 5 mm- in soil has recently gotten more deserved attention; nonetheless and to the best of our knowledge, less efforts have pursued the interactions between clay particles -a main component of soil- and microplastics. In this poster, we present a systematic analysis of such interactions using analytical techniques such as dynamic light scattering, solution conductivity and pH.
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    Microwave-assisted recycling of Poly(bisphenol A carbonate)
    (2022) Gallenstein, Raven; Salazar, Gustavo A.
    The exponential increase of non-biodegradable plastics in the environment continues to be a well-known problem. In fact, with our increasing consumption of single-use goods and the further development of electronics with a minimal lifespan, it is not surprising to see plastic pollution remain a main global issue. Poly(bisphenol A Carbonate), PC, is the main component of the plastic used for the fabrication of cell phone casings, baby bottles, and eyeglasses’ lenses. The slow natural degradation of PC in electronics has drastically contributed to making them a concerning environmental problem. While important efforts have achieved the PC’s chemical recycling in laboratory settings, the use of “greener” conditions is still limited. Here we address various approaches to recycle PC chemically, and describe our efforts employing microwave-assisted irradiation. (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Gustavo Salazar)
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    Bringing Photodegradation of Plastics into the “Green Age”
    (2022) Akinniyi, Akinwande S.; Salazar, Gustavo A.
    With the growing issue of plastic pollution found in e-waste around the world, many methods of management have surged to deal with this alarming rate of growth. One recent example is the use of photochemical degradation as a way of breaking down complex polymers such as those found in the category 7 of the resin code. While photodegradation of these polymers has seen significant findings over the years, it remains economically costly, and limited to the laboratory scale. This project introduces the science behind photodegradation of plastics in category 7 and shares significant findings from previous studies; furthermore, it shows the preliminary findings of our own implementation of gravity-light as a potential “greener” alternative to typical photochemical methodologies.
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    A Nourishing Space: Growing Entrepreneurs in Nutrition and Health Sciences
    (2022) Karpiel, Susan; Prajapati, Miteshri; Kathleen Davis
    A Nourishing Space was created to fill a gap at TWU by providing students in Nutrition and Health Studies experiential learning opportunities to practice their emerging nutrition education, health education, and health coaching skills while also learning key aspects of creating successful health businesses. For the 2021–2022-year, five Nutrition students and three Health Studies students were selected as Student-Coaches. Student- Coaches received training to work effectively with their TWU student peers, including training in Motivational Interviewing (MI), health coaching, and nutrition education. This allowed them to provide hands-on coaching and education for TWU students who scheduled consultations. Additionally, Student-Coaches chose mentors in entrepreneurship in their respective fields, meeting with them twice during the school year. They also attended two workshops led by entrepreneurs in their fields, learning valuable business skills, such as writing a business plan, thriving in social media, marketing their skills, leading others, and managing resources.
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    The Efficacy & Safety of Activated Charcoal for Tooth Whitening: A Systematic Review
    (2022) Rodriguez, Ernesto
    There has been an influx of home-use products on the market to whiten teeth, including products using activated charcoal that are available in the form of pastes, brushing powders, and charcoal-infused toothbrushes. With so many of these activated charcoal products available, it is important to understand both the safety and effectiveness of these products. A systematic review was conducted to assess the current evidence on the safety and effectiveness of activated charcoal in dental applications. This systematic review found that the current evidence does not support the effectiveness of activated charcoal for whitening teeth. Furthermore, the use of activated charcoal may thin the tooth enamel, which can result in increased tooth sensitivity and teeth that appear more yellow.
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    Culturally Responsive Evaluation: How Evaluator Background Influences Educational Evaluators in the Field of Special Education
    (2022) Roberts, Marilyn; Addo, Angelica
    This study explores how the personal background of special education evaluators impacts the evaluation process. We focus specifically on the evaluation outcomes for students of diverse backgrounds including differences in race, language and socio-economic status. Educational Diagnosticians and Licensed Specialists in School Psychology were surveyed and interviewed to gather data on their level of expertise in applying the principles of culturally responsive practices when conducting evaluations, interpreting the results and making recommendations to teachers. Current data regarding disproportionality in eligibility codes, disciplinary placements and more restrictive educational settings from various districts was analyzed to support findings and make recommendations for future implications. The implications of this research can provide guidance for university students enrolled in diagnostician programs and support equitable and responsive practices for our most marginalized K-12 students.
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    Mortality Rates of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil
    (2022) Sheets, Cheryl
    higher. This can be seen in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. These countries historically participated in the chattel slave trade and racial discrimination. I will examine the racial disparities of black maternity mortality rates in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.
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    Investigating the Interactions between DNA Oligomers and Gemini Surfactants
    (2022) Boatwright, Emily; Nembaware, Helen; Abbo Nono, Laureen; Ginegaw, Alexys; Iqbal, Sabiha; Sheardy, Richard
    The observation that, under certain condition, a precipitate forms in a solution of (TTAGGG)4 and a 12-4-12 Gemini surfactant led us to expand the investigation. In the initial studies, solutions were prepared that contained a fixed concentration of the DNA oligomer Poster Presentations 20 and concentrations of the surfactant ranging from 0 mM to 3 mM – hence below and above the cmc of the surfactant (1.0 mM). The amount of DNA that precipitated depended upon the concentration of surfactant: at concentrations of surfactant above its cmc, all of the DNA was removed from solution; at concentrations below the cmc, some DNA precipitated but some DNA was still in solution. Thus, we began a systematic study into this phenomenon using circular dichroism (CD), UV/vis and conductivity studies. Solutions of different DNA oligomer sequences and surfactants were prepared to examine DNA sequence context and environmental effects leading to zero, partial precipitation or total precipitation of the DNA. A progress report of these studies will be presented.
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    Lower Extremity Loading During Aerobic Exercise: A Literature Review
    (2022) LaGreca, Ciara; Nguyen, Thien; Tuttle, Noelle; Avalos, Marco A.; Kwon, Young-Hoo
    have been used as a method to increase intensity in differing forms of exercise. More specifically, ankle weights have been used as a way to increase intensity during aerobic exercises such as walking or running. Many studies have compared the physiological effects, such as caloric and energy expenditure, during aerobic exercise with an increased load on the lower extremities. However, there is a limited amount of research involving the changes in running mechanics related to the use of ankle weights. Therefore, a review of the literature will be performed. This review will investigate the available information regarding the mechanics of lower extremity loading during aerobic exercise, with a focus on running studies. The information provided by this review will aid future studies in analyzing these effects and determining appropriate exercise programs.
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    National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES): What You Need to Know When Using NHANES Data for a Study
    (2022) Lopez-Neyman, Stephanie M.
    Research funding is very competitive. A way to strengthen a research grant application is including preliminary data. Preliminary data demonstrates the proposed research is promising, and the ability to carry the research is credible. Secondary analyses of current data could provide pilot data. Furthermore, funding opportunities exist that support projects such as secondary data analysis of existing data. A secondary dataset widely used is the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES is a nationally representative survey that assesses children and adults' health and nutritional status in the United States. Although NHANES is publicly available and used across many disciplines, there are many barriers to analyzing this impactful dataset, such as retrieving the data to answer a research question. Therefore, a novice, user-friendly NHANES manual that offers a concise roadmap for graduate students, academic faculty, and industry professionals interested but unfamiliar with using NHANES has been developed, awaiting piloting.
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    Helping Other PhD Students Excel (Hope), A Peer-Led Support Group Pilot
    (2022) Lopez-Neyman, Stephanie M.; Brito Silva, Francilia
    Based on the Council of the Graduate School’s (CGS) 2021 research, graduate students’ mental health has been deteriorating as they experience high levels of stress and anxiety due to isolation, depression, highly competitive campus cultures, racism, xenophobia, and financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CGS called for universities to develop strategies that supported graduate students’ mental health, including assessment practices for determining effectiveness. One promising effort includes engaging students through peers. In 2021, two TWU graduate students created a peer-led support group called H.O.P.E. (Helping Other PhDs Excel), which was first piloted in Nutrition and Food Sciences and later opened to all TWU Ph.D. students. Virtual meetings include tying graduate students to important resources and processes while also creating space for honest dialogue about their health and wellbeing. This presentation will discuss the evolution of this peer support group and their outcomes to date.
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    Perceptions of Black Pregnant Women on Birth Center and Midwifery Care
    (2022) Anyiam, Shalom; Woo, Jennifer
    The purpose of this literature review is to summarize Black women’s experiences and perceptions of midwifery care. Black pregnant women in the United States are at an increased risk for poorer birth outcomes such as higher preterm birth rates and have the highest maternal mortality rates of all other racial/ethnic groups. Adverse maternal outcomes for Black pregnant women stem from health inequities related to access to quality care and structural racism in the healthcare system. Numerous studies comparing maternal outcomes associated with the midwifery model of care to those of conventional maternity care highlight improvement and decrease in adverse outcomes for socially at-risk communities, specifically Black women. Black women report interest in utilizing midwives as maternal care providers due to the person-centered approach associated with the midwifery model of care. The literature reflects the need for more research related to access to midwifery care for Black women.
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    Giving Our Attention to Child Maltreatment
    (2022) Cummings, Liesje A.
    Child maltreatment is a serious problem and the reporting of child fatalities has increased in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2019). One of the common types of maltreatment is neglect followed by physical abuse. For Federal Fiscal Year 2019, on a daily basis, on average, more than five children died from maltreatment (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2019). Various policies and practices are used in the fight against child maltreatment. In this presentation, we will focus on child maltreatment data showcasing the vulnerable population and challenges experienced by professionals who work with families. Recommendations for policy and practice will also be discussed.
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    Midge Flies and Botryosphaeria dothidea Fungus Form a Symbiotic Relationship on Goldenrod Plant Leaves
    (2022) Zidermanis, Adina; Hill, Morgan; Maier, Camelia
    Goldenrod, Solidago sp. (Asteraceae) is a native plant in the TWU Butterfly Garden that provides nectar for pollinators. In fall 2021, Goldenrod plant had high number of white leaf spots. The goal of this study was to determine the nature of spots to know how to care for plants. Spots were collected, dissected, and examined with a scanning electron microscope. The white spot portion was filamentous and identified as Botryosphaeria dothidea fungus. Inside the leaf structure, midge fly (Asteromyia carbonifera) larvae were identified. Female midge flies inoculate fungal spores when they lay eggs inside the leaves. Growing hyphae from spores provide food and also protection for larvae by encapsulating them until they mature. This creates a three-way symbiosis between the midge fly, fungus, and plant, mutualistic between larvae and fungus, parasitic between fungus and plant. The newly-established TWU Butterfly Garden is a significant resource for educational and research projects.
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    A Systematic Literature Review: Examining the Experiences of Family Involvementin First-Generation Latinx Undergraduate CollegeStudents Academic Success and Career Development
    (2022) Armijo, Juan; McClellan, Shaunon; LeBlanc Gillum, Nerissa
    Latino/a/x population, and is expected to become 28% of the U.S. population by 2060 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018). Within the last decades, the access to higher education has increased, particularly within historically excluded communities, such as Latino/a/x first-generation college students, but the disproportionate rates of retention, persistence, and graduation rates do not reflect this population (National Center for Education Statistics, 2020). There is literature that shows how to provide programs and services, as well as resources to aid in the academic success of Latinx, first-generation college students, but there is a gap in the literature on how families of this population of students are involved with their students and how it plays a role in their college student success. This systematic review is to identify and summarize family involvement of Latinx, first-generation college students and how this aids in their academic success.
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    Rhetoric and Interpretation: the Conestoga Massacre as a Decisive Act of Genocide
    (2022) Ceart, Sasha
    Historians have debated whether the term genocide is appropriate terminology for what happened to Native Americans. While it cannot be disputed that millions died as a direct result of government involvement, it is pedantically argued that the United States government did not “intend to kill” Native Americans by way of starvation, slavery, and scalping. Although there are more technically correct terms that could be used to classify these events based on officially documented government objectives, it is imperative that we as historians do not stop at a single (biased and disproportionately powerful) source when analyzing historical data. This project explores the events and responses of the Conestoga Massacre as a decisive act of genocide, arguing that the term is both appropriate and necessary for the majority of government affairs involving Native Americans. The project will also explain how not using the term is, in itself, an act of erasure.
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    An Online Cross-Sectional Survey of Music Therapy Graduate Equivalency Students: Examining Music Therapy Ethical Dilemmas
    (2022) Salyer, Amanda
    The purpose of this study is to explore ethical dilemmas experienced by music therapy graduate equivalency students in the educational setting through a cross-sectional survey. The survey included both quantitative and qualitative questions concerning the experiences of ethical dilemmas during participants’ education. Quantitative data were reported using statistical analysis. Qualitative data were analyzed using inductive coding, where categorical themes emerge from the data. The survey also included questions about the participant’s satisfaction level of the resolution of the experienced ethical dilemma as well as their satisfaction level with their ethical training in music therapy education. Survey participants were current or past graduate equivalency students who experienced an ethical dilemma. Nine self-identified participants took the survey, four of which indicated they experienced ethical dilemmas during their education and/or clinical training. Categorical themes from the survey responses included exclusion, discrimination, communication, invasive, violation of guidelines, and harassment/bullying.