11th Annual Westmont College
Undergraduate Research Symposium
 
 
April 18, 2007
3:30-5:00 p.m.
Kerr Student Center
Westmont College
 
 

A hallmark of Westmont College’s academic program is the opportunity for undergraduate students to work directly with faculty on research projects. Work presented here from all of the divisions is representative of student research conducted during the past year. The purpose of this symposium is to celebrate the research accomplishments of these Westmont students.


Greg Allen
Major: Chemistry
Poster #27
 
Cailin K. Andruss
Major:  Psychology
Poster #8
 
Courtney Bigley
Major:  Chemistry

Poster #22

 

Amber Baisz

Major:  Chemistry

Poster #24

 
Jon Burdett
Major:  Chemistry
Poster #28
 
Caley Coulson
Major: Neuroscience
Poster #17
 
Caitlin Brougher
Major:  Kinesiology 

Poster #5

 
Christina Duncan
Major:  Neuroscience
Poster #15
 
Michelle Evans
Major:  Chemistry
Poster #22
 
Jeff Bednark
Major:  Neuroscience

Poster #11

 

Robert Danduran

Major:  Chemistry

Poster #25

 
Rebecca K Edwards 
Major:  Sociology and Psychology

Poster #7

 

Sarah Fry

Major:  Chemistry

Poster #24

 

Jonathan Ekblad

Major:  English 

Poster #2

Madison Fragoso
Major:  Kinesiology

Poster #6

 
Andy Garrett
Major:  Communication Studies 
Poster #1
 
Elisa Grieco
Major:  Biology
Poster #21
 

Alethea Hicks

Major:  Chemistry

Poster #25

 
Allison Hughes
Major:  Kinesiology

Poster #6

 
Angie Mayfield
Major:  Chemistry
Poster #25
 

Daniel Ian Hunt

Major:  Neuroscience

Poster #17

 

Karli Johnson

Major:  Biology and Philosophy

Poster #20

 
Megan Kober
Major:  Psychology

Poster #9

 
Alina Logerquist
Major:  Cell and Molecular Biology

Poster #10

 
Meghan Long
Major:  History and Social Science

Poster #3

Jennifer Lorden 
Major:  English

Poster #4

 
Mike Magnus
Major:  Computer Science
Poster #18
 
James Meikle 
Major:  Psychology

Poster #14

 
Alaina Phillips
Major:  Neuroscience
Poster #13
 
 Shea Mosby
Major:  Physics
Poster #19

Joshua Newton

Major:  Chemistry

Poster #25

 
Steve Raub
Major:  Computer Science

Poster #18

 
Adrian Rogers
Major:  Computer Science
Poster #18
 
Lucas Santoro
Major: Psychology

Poster #12

 
Kahlee Shaff
Major:  Kinesiology

Poster #6

 
Alina Smiyun
Major:  Kinesiology

Poster #6

 
Joel Stewart
Major:  Computer Science
Poster #18

Roberto Valladares

Major:  Chemistry

Poster #26

Emily Wiegand
Major:  Biology
Poster #21


Philip J. York 
Major:  Psychology

Poster #16



________




2007 Westmont College Undergraduate Research Symposium
Kerr Student Center
April 18, 2007
 
 
 
 
 
 
Poster #1
A Rhetorical Revolutionary: The Rhetoric Surrounding the Life and Death of Che Guevara
Andy Garrett and Greg Spencer*
Communication Studies Department, Westmont College
 
Who was Ernesto “Che” Guevara? Some think of him as a martyr for the ideals of the revolution, yet others see him as a murderer whose actions led to the destruction of life. Although a popular revolutionary in life, Che’s death transformed him into an pop-icon. Marred in controversy and ambiguity, Che’s image has come to represent the polar opposite ideas of freedom to some and persecution to others. The words we use to describe him have served as the chief tools in constructing these differing realities. This paper will look at the rhetoric surrounding Ernesto “Che” Guevara and the corresponding images that are constructed of this revolutionary icon.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Poster #2
Problems and Solutions: Ngugi, Achebe, and the Politics of Language in African Literature
Jonathan Ekblad and Omedi Ochieng*
Communication Studies Department, Westmont College
 
In my paper I analyze two of the most famous figures in African literature in terms of their view of African language in relation to literature. I critique both but focus on Ngugi Wa Thiongo's praxis of writing in Gikuyu and not English and how it is tied to an essentialist view of African identity. In the end I offer India as a solution to the problem of language, by suggesting that writing in both English and indigenous languages helps foster a hybrid identity that accurately reflects the postcolonial condition.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Poster #3
Harry v. Dwight: How the McCarthy hearings, presidential objectives, and personal differences in approach changed the rhetorical devices used in presidential speeches made by Truman and Eisenhower between the years of 1947-1954
Meghan Long and Chandra Mallampalli*
History Department, Westmont College
 
A comparative research project looking at the rhetorical strategies of Truman and Eisenhower and how their public (and private) political ideologies were shaped largely due to the impending threat of communism rather than personal agendas. Thesis of the paper: This paper seeks to examine rhetorical devices used in presidential speeches and personal writings between the years of 1947-1954 and prove, that while presidential objectives, and personal style varied between presidents, it was the overshadowing development of fear, and impending threat of communism during the McCarthy era that was responsible for the difference between the two president’s rhetoric and their relationship with the American public.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Poster #4
Medieval and Modernist Uses of Poetry
Jennifer Lorden and Randall VanderMey*
English Department, Westmont College
 
In this comparative study of Old English and Modernist poetry, I examine how literature created according to very different aesthetic styles and compositional standards may be similarly effective and even useful in creating contexts for understanding one another. Focusing primarily on Old English elegies and the works of Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, I explore each period\'s respective poetic technique and style, response to historical and social contexts, and use of content and themes. Interrogating the standards by which literature is written and read, the comparison disturbs easy categorization of either period and deepens appreciation of both.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Poster #5
Effects of Different Time Intervals of Lower Extremity Water Massage on Ankle Dorsiflexion of Ambulatory Elderly Adults
Caitlin Brougher and Gregg Afman*
Kinesiology Department, Westmont College
 
This project measured the acute change in passive and active ankle dorsiflexion following a session on a "H2O Massage" water massage bed. Each participant underwent a 5, 10, and 15 minute session of posterior lower extremity massage. The sessions were randomized, and each session was at least 1 week apart to prevent residual effect. The dorsiflexion was measured using a Goniometer, immediately before and after treatment. Data collection is complete, but analysis of results is pending.
 
 
 
 
Poster #6
Training effect of Nordic Walking Poles on elderly individuals
Madison Fragoso, Allison Hughes, Alina Smiyun, and Kahlee Shaff and Gregg Afman*
Kinesiology Department, Westmont College
 
Our research examines the training effect of Nordic Walking Poles on elderly individuals. Ten subjects (mean age 80 years) trained two days per week for seven weeks using walking poles. Training durations increased from eight to 25 minutes per session.  Variables of balance, upper arm muscular endurance, posture, agility and confidence in activities of daily living were pre and post tested to determine possible training effects.  Our final results will be analyzed this week.
 
 
 
 
Poster #7
A Study of Sexual Behavior Opinions
Rebecca K Edwards and Laura Montgomery
Sociology Department, Westmont College
 
The purpose of this study was to determine what the differences were between male and female college students’ recognitions of selected sexual behaviors as sexual assault, and what the severity of that sexual assault was.  To test this, a survey was compiled that contained 27 behaviors; 22 of which were considered to be sexual assaults. The participants were asked to first determine if the behavior was a sexual assault behavior by indicating yes, no or I don’t know and than rating the severity of said sexual assault on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the most severe.  The results showed that yes, there were differences in the behaviors recognized and in the ratings of those behaviors. This illustrates that there are gender differences in terms of what behaviors are considered to be sexual assaults and how severe the assault is.


Poster #8

Dissociative Identity Disorder and an Alternative Approach to its Treatment
Cailin Andruss and Andrea Gurney*
Psychology Department, Westmont College
 
In Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder), two or more enduring personality states take control of a patient’s behavior, and there is amnesia for personal experiences and information.  The validity of the diagnosis has been questioned because of its close tie with childhood abuse and trauma and the false memory debate.  However, physiological differences between personalities and tests of amnesia, as well as the reality of childhood trauma reveal that some people do in fact have this disorder and would benefit from treatment.  Studies suggest that rather than being a disorder, dissociation is an ability that only becomes pathological under cases of extreme trauma when it results in fragmentation and rigid amnesia barriers which impede functioning by preventing alters from communicating and cooperating.  This paper proposes that alters are integral parts of the person who have helped him or her to survive, and instead o f aiming toward the minimization or integration of alters, treatment should focus on self-discovery and self-acceptance, leaving the choice to the patient whether they wish to live as a multiple or eventually integrate.  Thus the presence of alters is not necessarily pathological—it can even be advantageous if the system of alters learns to work together, and to this end, a family systems therapy approach to the internal system of alters would benefit the patient by helping to foster balance and understanding among the various alters.
 
 
Poster #9
Is Resurgence a Form of Disinhibited form of Spontaneous Recovery: A Comparison Between Behavioral Phenomena in Rats
Megan Kober, Raymond Paloutzian* and Steven A. Rogers*
Psychology Department, Westmont College
 
Research has suggested a possible link between Spontaneous Recovery and Resurgence; therefore, the purpose of this experiment is to test the hypothesis that Resurgence is a form of disinhibited Spontaneous Recovery.  A total of 9 Sprague Dawley rats were used fro this experiment. They were between 40-42 days of age at the start of each of 3 separate procedures (3 rats per procedure).  One group learned a bar-press response, another group learned a bar-press response and then re-learned the bar-press response, and the third group learned a bar-press response and then a rod-push response.  Two extinction trials followed each learned response and then the rats of Spontaneous Recovery were measured, and resurgence was measured for the group learning both the bar-pres and the rod-push responses.  Early results indicate the method used for measuring spontaneous recovery was valid, and early results also indicate resurgence could be a form of disinhibited Spontaneous Recovery.  More rats and more experimental and control groups are needed for future research to determine the reliability and validity of the hypothesis that Resurgence is a form of disinhibited Spontaneous Recovery.


Poster #10

Assessing the effect of the Dorso Medial Caudate Nucleus on visual stimulus Pre and Post Lesions.
Alina Logerquist and Thomas Fikes*
Psychology Department, Westmont College
 
An organism is said to have stimulus control when it is able to differentiate between multiple stimuli.  Research suggests that the dorso medial caudate nucleus may have an effect on the rats’ ability to distinguish between stimuli visually.  This study tested rats pre and post lesions to the dorso medial caudate nucleus and determined if there was an effect on visual stimulus control.  Results showed that a correlation may not exist.
 
 
Poster #11
Visual Attention: Using ERP's to Test Predictions Made by the Feature-Integration Theory of Attention
Jeff Bednark and Thomas Fikes*
Psychology Department, Westmont College
 
Three experiments were conducted to test predictions made by Treisman’s feature-integration theory of attention using a feature-absent visual search task and the ERP measures of attention. According to this theory, focused attention is directed to distracters containing the unique feature, this will cause the distracter to have a P300 component that has is larger in amplitude than that of the target stimulus that lacks the feature. Yet, despite the fact that the results obtained in the first two experiments are consistent with previous studies, the results obtained in the Experiment 3 go against the theory’s predictions. In conclusion, similarity theory is used to reconcile the results of Experiment 2 and Experiment 3. 
 
 
 
Poster #12
The Effect of a Change in Context on the Recall of Visual Stimuli
Lucas Santoro and Raymond Paloutzian*
Psychology Department, Westmont College
 
The study examined memory reconstruction and whether altering the context for a stimulus after its presentation influences subsequent recall. Participants studied a picture of what "appears to be a living room containing multiple items". The room in the picture contained three categories of items: items typically found in a living room\; items typically found at a crime scene; and items not typically found in a living room or at a crime scene. After a preliminary recall, participants in the experimental condition were led to believe the picture was of a crime scene. In a mixed 2X3X2 design, the experimenter intends to examine between group differences for the category typical items in a second recall. Results depend upon statistical outcomes yet to be determined.



Poster #13

The Effects of Fimbria-Fornix and Caudate Nucleus Lesions on Visual Discrimination of a Flashing Light Stimulus
Alaina Phillips and Thomas Fikes*
Psychology Department, Westmont College
 
The objective of the current study is to investigate the attributes of memory and learning by bringing an operant conditioning task under stimulus control using a flashing light stimulus. The animals were trained in the task in an operant conditioning chamber and then were lesioned either in the fimbria-fornix or caudate nucleus, or were assigned to a no lesion control group.  After recovery, the animals were tested in the same task and chamber.  It was hypothesized that following lesions the animals with the lesion to the Caudate nucleus would  be impaired in their ability to visually discriminate and therefore would be unable to bring the task under stimulus control. 
 
 
 
 
 
Poster #14
An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude in a High Stress Environment
James Meikle and Ray Paloutzian*
Psychology Department, Westmont College
 
The effect of grateful outlook on psychological and physical well-being was examined during a week-long voluntary construction experience.  Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions (hassles, gratitude listing, and teamwork); they then kept daily records of their moods, coping behaviors, health behaviors, and physical symptoms.  The results are currently being processed and will be analyzed in time for the symposium.
 
 
  
Poster #15
The Mediation of Conditioned Taste Aversion and Immunosuppression by the Insular Cortex of the Rat Brain
Christina Duncan, R. Paloutzian* and Thomas Fikes*
Psychology Department, Westmont College
 
This study investigates the mediation of conditioned taste aversion and conditioned immunosupression by the insular cortex of the rat brain.  Three groups of animals were presented with different conditions and saccharin intake and immune response levels were measured.   



Poster #16

The Relationship between Depression and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults.
Philip J. York, Steven Rogers* and Raymond Paloutzian*
Psychology Department, Westmont College
 
Research has suggested a strong relationship between depression and cognitive functioning amongst the elderly, but little has been done to examine how depression relates to the degree of cognitive decline. The present study investigates the relationship between depression and the degree of decline from premorbid functioning within the various cognitive domains. Sixteen older adults (age >= 50) were administered a battery of neuropsychological tests measuring depression and multiple cognitive domains, including memory, language, attention, visuospatial, and executive functioning. The study presents data determining whether there is a relationship between depression and overall cognitive decline, as well as decline in individual and/or matched domains.
 
 
Poster #17
Event Related Potentials
Caley Coulson, Daniel Ian Hunt and Thomas Fikes*
Psychology Department, Westmont College
 
Event Related Potentials (ERP's) study the intersection between psychological and cognitive processes of the brain in response to an event. The electrical response of the brain to an event allows one to assess the correlation between that event and the cognitive response.  The brain generates very small electrical impulses or potentials that can be recorded and averaged. ERP's analyze those signals from various locations of the brain before, during and immediately following a stimulus to determine how the brain pattern changes in response to the event. The practical applications of this field are large as there are many distinct waveforms and electrical patterns that can be analyzed. Variations in amplitude, positive/negative deflection, latency to peak response and others measurements can be used as criteria for testing different physiological aspects. This study used two experiments to focus on two different applications of ERP's. The first experiment investigated the ERP's generated in planned, voluntary muscle movement. This procedure examined a phenomenon known as the Bereitschaftspotential (also known as the Readiness Potential) to look at brain activity before muscle movement. Because each hemisphere of the brain is specific and controls the opposite side of the body, the purpose of this project was to examine the differences in latency and amplitude of the Bereitschaftspotential on the ipselateral and contralateral hemispheres of the brain leading up to a button press in a specific hand. The second experiment dealt with the psychological effect of priming in which subjects were asked to classify words as either old or new based on an earlier presentation of semantically related word lists. The ERP waveform investigated in this study was the P300 which is a positive electric deflection created in response to target probability. This procedure tested the idea that the latency of the P300 wave indicated a true or false recognition of words.  



Poster #18

Starfish
Mike Magnus, Steve Raub, Adrian Rogers, Joel Stewart and Kim Kihlstrom*
Mathematics and Computer Science Department, Westmont College
 
Starfish is a new distributed system that places value in three dimensions: security, survivability, and performance. In classical systems, there are trade offs between the dimensions.  Starfish incorporates all three dimensions by using separate parts of the system for tasks that require different degrees of security, survivability, and performance.  Starfish is built on a gossip protocol to deliver high performance in terms of communication throughout the distributed system.
 
 
Poster #19
Neutron Multiplicity Discrimination in MoNA
Shea Mosby and Warren Rogers*
Physics Department, Westmont College
 
The Modular Neutron Array (MoNA) is a high efficiency neutron detector located at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University and used in conjunction with the NSCL/FSU sweeper magnet to conduct coincidence experiments on unstable nuclei near the neutron drip-line. Experiments using this detector combination involve the loss of one or more neutrons from particle-unbound nuclei; it is therefore important to distinguish neutron multiplicity in MoNA in order to effectively analyze data from these experiments. We've developed an algorithm to distinguish neutron multiplicity based on the kinematic propagation properties of neutrons though MoNA. Scatter plots of neutron velocity, energy deposition, and scattering angle are constructed from which gates can be drawn for neutron multiplicity discrimination. Data from a few one- and two-neutron experiments have been analyzed, and results will be presented.
 
 
 
Poster #20
Weasel Arguments: The Power of Natural Selection
Karli Johnson, Jeff Schloss* and Wayne Iba*
Biology Department, Westmont College
 
Leading evolutionist and atheist advocate Richard Dawkins made an argument for natural selection in his book The Blind Watchmaker based on a program he created which has come to be known as "The Weasel Program."  The results from this program have become a reoccurring example of the power of cumulative selection and versions of the program are now used to teach natural selection.  Our research attempts to show the influence of this program and show the ways in which it is an inadequate model of natural selection through a review of pertinent literature and a program that involves a more realistic example of the power of cumulative selection as the foundation of natural selection. 



Poster #21

Community Profile of Phyllosphere Bacteria from Quercus agrifolia Using DGGE
Kevin Bechler, Emily Wiegand, Elisa Grieco and Frank Percival*
Biology Department, Westmont College
 
Leaf surface (phyllosphere) bacterial communities are thought to be unique in different plant species, and these communities can be compared using Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) of ribosomal RNA genes amplified by the polymerase chain reaction.  Conditions for the DGGE technique were optimized to obtain a satisfactory community profile from the leaves of Quercus agrifolia.  A clone library of ribosomal RNA genes from phyllosphere bacteria was then constructed.   In the future these will be sequenced to identify specific bacteria and compared with the environmental sample using the DGGE technique.
 
 
 
Poster #22
Adlayer Structure of Naphthalene on Al2O3
Michelle Evans and A.M. Nishimura*
Chemistry Department, Westmont College
 
Previous study of naphthalene adlayers on Al2O3 indicated the strong emission of excited state dimers (excimers) in the amorphous state followed by a strong fluorescent emission in an ordered state. There were unusual features noted in the change from excimer emission to fluorescent emission prompting further study of the structure of the adlayer. Through analysis of polarized infrared absorption, further information was sought regarding the orientation of the naphthalene molecules relative to the Al2O3 surface in both the amorphous and ordered states. Quantitative analysis of the infrared absorption at different polarization angles allows for the determination of the relative populations of potential orientations on the crystal.
 
 
 
Poster #23
Studies in the Flash Vacuum Pyrolysis of Substituted Phenyl Propargyl Ether
Courtney Bigley and David Marten*
Chemistry Department, Westmont College
 
Flash Vacuum Pyrolysis (FVP) has been shown to be an effective method for transforming phenyl propargyl ether into 2-indanone. This rearrangement also has minor side-products, such as benzocyclobutene, 2-methylbenzofuran and benzopyran, which have been the focus of this study. We looked at how different substituents affected the amounts of side-products formed. The variable of temperature was also studied. We have been working to quantify the amounts of each substituted side-product. Initial results in each of these studies will be presented and interpreted.


Poster #24

Enantioselective Synthesis of Para-Substituted Phenyl Glycidyl Ethers

Sarah Fry, Amber Baisz and David Marten*

Chemistry Department, Westmont College

 

The present research was an attempt to enantioselectively synthesize para-substituted phenyl glycidyl ethers for eventual use as reagents in the preparation of enantiopure β-lactams.  The phenyl glycidyl ethers were synthesized by reacting para-subsituted phenols [p-x-C6H4OH; x = Br, Cl, CN, CO2Me] with (2S)-(+)-glycidyl tosylate in the presence of cesium fluoride [Tetrahedron, 55, (1999) 14382-90].  Percent yields ranged from 40—75%.  A sufficient high pressure liquid chromatographic method for the separation of enantiomers is being examined for determining the enantiopurity of each sample.  These materials will be used for studying the mechanism of racemization in subsequent organoiron intermediates that will eventually be used in the preparation of organic β-lactams. 

 

 

Poster #25

Synthesis of Substituted Benzofurans Via an Organoiron Catalyzed Claisen Rearrangement

Angie Mayfield, Alethea Hicks, Robert Danduran, Joshua Newton and David Marten*

Chemistry Department, Westmont College

 

It has been shown that one of the best ways to synthesize substituted benzofurans is through the Claisen rearrangement of substituted phenyl propargyl ethers. Previously, this lab has analyzed the effect of using an organoiron complex as a catalyst in this conversion and dichloroethane as a solvent and found this method to be fairly successful. This semester, we worked to improve this method by changing the solvent to dichloromethane and studying the effect this had on reflux time and conditions, as well as product formation and percent yield. The current method being studied has been found to produce a higher percent yield, have a greater selectivity, and be performed under milder conditions than the previous method used in this lab as well as other methods found in the literature. 

 

 

Poster #26

Wavelength Resolved Temperature Programmed Desorption of 1,5-and 1,8-Dichloronaphthalene

Roberto Valladares, Makoto N. Masuno* and A.M.Nishimura*

Chemistry Department, Westmont College

 

1,5- and 1,8-Dichloronaphthalene was synthesized and vacuum deposited on clean Al2O3 surface at 115 K. The surface temperature was linearly ramped by resistive heating, a technique known as temperature programmed desorption (TPD). During the TPD experiment, the fluorescence was detected. A comparison of the wavelength resolved TPD will be made to that of 1,4-dicholoronaphthalene.



Poster #27

Wavelength Resolved TPD of Naphthalene and Substituted Naphthalene Adlayers

G. Allen, S. Ryland, K.A. Martin* and A.M. Nishimura*

Chemistry Department, Westmont College

 

Wavelength resolved temperature programmed desorption (TPD) were taken for naphthalene, and the 1,4-disubstituted naphthalenes. The fluorescence emission consisted primarily of excimers. A comparison of the TPDs  of these various adlayers will be made.

 

 

 

 

Poster #28

Determination of Spin-Spin Relaxation in 2-Indanone by Differential Saturation of the ODMR Line

Jon J. Burdett, K.A. Martin* and A.M.Nishimura*

Chemistry Department, Westmont College

jonconcarne@gmail.com

 

Typically, spin-spin relaxation times for electrons in the phosphorescent triplet state are obtained by pulse methods. However, because coherence times are relatively short, pulse experiments are difficult to accomplish. Line width measurement is an alternative method; the homogenous line width can be determined by hole-burning. The differential saturation method is a experimentally simple way of hole-burning an inhomogeneously broadened line. We used the method on single crystals of 2-indanone and 2-indanone-d4 (α-d4) to determine T2 times by curve fitting the differentially saturated line width. These were compared to previously reported T2 determined by pulse method and line width measurements.