Class of 2016

This research was a qualitative study that looked to analyze the differences between citizen journalists and traditional journalists in sports reporting. The philosophical and practical issues between the two disciplines were analyzed by careful observation and interviews conducted with one citizen journalist and one traditional journalist. The research questions centered around 1) the erosion of gatekeeping that citizen journalist have presented 2) the code of ethics involved in each discipline 3) the credibility of sourcing involved with citizen journalism and 4) the legal restrictions involved in citizen journalism in regards to access. The study revealed that citizen journalists have eroded much of the gatekeeping walls because no editor is present. Ethics were determined by the individual person and their morals and values. The credibility of sourcing is needed, but because of the nature of citizen journalism writing, there is more room for speculating and commenting on rumors. As far as legal restrictions, it is harder for citizen journalists to gain access, but other legal areas seem to be opening. This research showed that there is a different approach to sports reporting that citizen journalists and traditional journalists take. While traditional journalists are more factual based, citizen journalists are more opinion based which allows room for both in the media world.
Emerging adulthood is a life developmental stage characterized by a youth’s exit from the constrictions of adolescence, without full immersion into the roles and responsibilities that accompany adulthood. Decisions made during emerging adulthood can have long-term effects on one’s life. For African Americans, emerging adulthood is difficult to navigate due to cultural constraints and can lead to the development of General Anxiety Disorder. Using a population-based sample from the Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS) public database, the current study examined what everyday life factors influence the presence of general anxiety. Pearson’s r correlation results suggest that neighborhood cohesion, parental cohabitation, and socioeconomic status affect the reported anxiety levels of African Americans during emerging adulthood. These areas should be taken into account when policymakers and health practitioners consider the importance of these factors for the well-being of emerging adults; especially relevant in areas where services are lacking.
Marijuana is an herb that individuals grow and consume illegally in most U.S. states. THC is the primary active ingredient found in marijuana. Upon consumption, THC is converted to the metabolite 11-COOH-THC or 11-Nor-9-THC that can be detected through drug testing. There are four types of biological evidence that crime laboratories use to test for THC usage. These biological samples include saliva, urine, blood, and hair. THC is detectable longer in hair; however, the detection process is time consuming. The purpose of this study is to refine the method used in crime laboratories to detect THC metabolites in hair. In this research, the standards, THC, THC-D3, 11-Nor-9-THC, and 11-Nor-9-THC-D3 were analyzed on the LC-MS. Calibration curves were created by plotting area vs. concentration and height vs. concentration. The R2 values determined from the calibration curves ranged from 0.973 to 0.999. These high R2 values indicate that the experimental technique and setup are sufficient and can be used to determine unknown concentrations of THC and its metabolites in hair samples.

In this experiment, 0.5 grams of hair was collected from the brush of a known cannabis user and .44 grams of hair was collected from the brush of a non-cannabis user. Samples were then washed, dried, pulverized, and mixed with 2 mg/mL of standard THC and THC-D3 and .5mL of NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide) solution. The mixture was heated, and THC and THC-D3 was extracted using 5mL of 9/1 hexane/ethyl acetate. The organic phase, where the sample molecules are found, is then removed and placed on the centrifuge. Finally, the sample is placed in 100µL of the mobile phase. Due to the time constraint of one month to conduct this research, sufficient data was not collected to address the initial research question regarding the refinement of the LC-MS method’s effective use in crime laboratories to extract THC metabolites from hair.
Youth crime in the African American community is a significant problem, particularly in Chicago, IL. Previous research suggests that African American youth turn to crime because of factors such as poverty and segregation. This researcher conducted semi-structured open-ended interviews of six Chicago experts with experience in working with African American youth. While some respondents indicated causes of youth crime stated in previous literature, others provided variables such as mass media and low self-esteem. This indicates the need for additional research on a social problem that affecting thousands of at risk youth in the nation’s third largest city.
This study explores present day skin tone preferences among children. The study is an extension of the original doll study conducted by Kenneth and Mamie Clark in 1947 as well as the CNN Pilot Demonstration in 2010. The 25 participants of this study were children aged 6 to 10 years old. The researchers in the original doll study showed children two dolls with one doll having features associated with a White child and the other have features associated with a Black child. As with the CNN study, participants in the present study saw pictures of images with a variety of skin tones (i.e., "White", "Olive," "Light", "Brown", and "Dark"). In the previous studies, the researchers asked children to choose a doll or character for each specific attribute. In the present study, the researchers gave the children ten notecards that had different and opposing adjectives printed on them, with five positive words and five negative words (e.g. "good", "bad", "pretty", "ugly", etc.). The participants assigned at least one word to each doll. The researchers hypothesized that the views on skin tone were similar to past studies, and the darker skin tones would be associated with negative descriptions. Participants placed more negative adjectives with the Dark skin toned child than the other images; however, a majority of the adjectives placed with each of the images were positive. Furthermore, most of the negative adjectives were not placed with any of the cartoon images. Additionally, participants who self-identified being most like the White cartoon child used fewer negative words than the other participants.
    Keywords: skin tone preference, children, doll study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the ethical leadership perspectives of state superintendents across the United States, including the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense. Secondly, the researchers examined to what extent the ethical leadership perspectives of state superintendents were correlated with school leader demographics. Furthermore, the researchers examined to what extent the ethical leadership perspectives of the state superintendents were correlated with state education characteristics. Included in this survey were the Ethical Leadership Scale (ELS) and Social Desirability Scale (SDS). The ELS was used to measure the ethical leadership perspectives of superintendents in the study. The SDS was used to measure the social desirability of superintendents in the study. Additionally, the researchers collected self-reported state leader demographics and state education characteristics. The survey was sent to 38 state superintendents in the United States of which 15 responded. A correlation analysis was used to analyze the data. This analysis was used to determine the correlation between the superintendents’ ethical leadership perspectives and the self-reported state leader demographics and state education characteristics. Furthermore, the correlation analysis was used to identify which variables (state leader demographics and state education characteristics) were correlated with the ethical leadership perspectives of the superintendents in the study.
Since Paulhus and Williams (2002) coined narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy as "the Dark Triad" of personality, much research has sought its relevance to daily life. Previous studies have explored the Dark Triad’s influence in educational, occupational, and interpersonal contexts. However, there is a lack of research investigating the impact of Dark Triad personality on parenting. With no available literature on this topic, the current study seeks to explore the potential relationships between the Dark Triad and parenting. Correlational analyses revealed no significant relationships between participants’ overall scores of Dark Triad traits and parenting goals, parental need satisfaction, or helicopter parenting. Significant results include the negative relationship between Machiavellianism and self-image parenting goals; the positive relationship between self-image parenting goals and helicopter parenting; and the positive relationship between compassionate parenting goals and basic need satisfaction in the parent-child relationship. Non-significant findings are discussed.
Parent-offspring communication about sex-related topics can shape emerging adults’ attitudes, beliefs, and have the potential to contribute to their decision to engage in or withhold from sexual activity. Using a population-based sample from the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life (RDSL) dataset, the current cross-sectional study examined how sociodemographic characteristics, religious beliefs and practices, peer norms and structure, and family values predicted parent-offspring communication about sex-related topics. Regression results suggest that parental approval of birth control, closeness to mother, and father’s education significantly predicted parent-offspring communication about sex-related topics. To increase parent-offspring communication about sex-related topics, parent’s values, educational background, and bond appear to be salient factors. These areas should be considered as important domains when developing sexual health programming targeting African American emerging adults, who are at elevated risks of contracting sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.
Vibrotactile speech feedback has been documented to enhance fluency in adults who stut-ter. Researchers at the University of Mississippi have applied these findings to developing a prosthetic device that captures the speech signal of the speaker, converts this signal into tactile stimulation, and administers vibratory speech feedback to the speaker through a tactile stimula-tor. This patented device has been tested with a hand-held tactile stimulator, and documented comparable fluency enhancement to that of other speech signal prosthetic devices. The purpose of the present study is to collect pilot data measuring fluency enhancement as a function of bod-ily location of tactile stimulation so that the tactile prosthetic device can be configured to in-crease wear ability and improve user experience.

Five adults who stutter (AWS) ranging from 18 to 33 years of age were prompted to read various ~300 syllable passages under four different conditions, including a no stimulation control speaking condition, and experimental speaking conditions that stimulated the hand, dominant wrist, and dominant foot. While results indicated significant fluency enhancement, no one ex-perimental condition (or body location) performed significantly better than the other. Prosthetic implementation and future applications of the device are discussed.
As students prepare to transition to college, they often turn to their parents for support. For students to successfully transition, it is important that parents provide autonomy support that helps their children learn how to manage academic and social challenges. Research reveals that helicopter parents who exert high levels of control and are over-involved in their college students’ lives do not promote autonomy in their children. The present research collected data from 105 incoming college students who completed measures of parental involvement, psychological well-being, grit for long-term goals, and worry about the transition to college. Students who reported feeling helicoptered by their parents reported significantly lower psychological need fulfillment in the relationship with their parents. They also reported more academic and social worry about their transition to college. No statistically significant relationship was found between helicopter parenting and student grit, but these variables were negatively correlated. These findings suggest some detrimental influences of helicopter parenting on students as they prepare to transition to college.
Beneficial interactions between different species can help shape entire ecosystems. Lichens are an interesting model system for the study of these mutualisms because they are made up of an obligately mutual fungus and a typically facultative mutualistic alga. It is still unknown what governs the evolution, specificity, and diversity of lichens or more generally, fungal/algal mutualisms. In order to answer these questions, this research developed a method to screen for beneficial interactions between fungi and algae by growing them together in co-culture. The aim is to provide early insight into the diversity of fungal/algal mutualisms in order to potentially identify specific genes involved in mutualism formation and possibly trace back the evolutionary events that could have resulted in the formation of early fungal/algal mutualisms. A general fungal/algal medium, Kitchen Sink Medium, was developed and shown to be capable of culturing a broad range of microalgae and fungi. The first round mutualism assay was cultured in this medium. Eighty percent of tested fungal strains showed a potential beneficial symbiosis when cultured with Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Co-cultures had as much as 1.85 times more dry weight biomass than the sum of monocultures. These initial results are promising because it shows that the newly developed mutualism assay is capable of identifying both beneficial and antagonistic interactions. Given the high percentage of mutualistic interactions amongst the tested fungal strains, it will be interesting to test a broader range of fungi and algae in future experiments.
Synthetic cannabinoids have become an issue for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to control. Cannabinoid chemical structures change constantly making it difficult for law enforcement officers to identify them with common analytical methods. Compared to traditional cannabinoids found in marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids have more adverse effects on the brain and body when used in high dosages. These compounds bind to the same cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) as Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. In this study, interactions between an active-state CB1 model created by Doerksen R. et al and twenty-one CB1 agonist JWH naphthoylindole ligands were examined. Using Maestro computational software, all twenty-one compounds were docked successfully to the CB1 active-state model. The compounds were categorized based on pi-pi interactions between residues of the CB1 receptor and JWH ligands. Preliminary results suggest synthetic cannabinoids with similar chemical structures have similar docking profiles.
The state of Mississippi has always been synonymous with segregation and racial tensions. No state in the South was more resistant to the struggle for black equality. Lynching became a form of intimidation and terrorism to instill fear into blacks. Historian Neil McMillen describes Mississippi as the most "racially restrictive state" in the South. African Americans had virtually no education, no rights and no legal recourse against whites who exploited, cheated or attacked them. Mississippians who had no way to leave were forced to endure these conditions. Men like Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson worked seemingly endless amounts of farm land in Mississippi on massive plantations, like the Stovall Plantation among others, in the Mississippi Delta where Waters was raised. These men toiled daily under the searing sun, but honed their skills as musicians at night in the shot houses, juke joints, and back porches that were welcome escapes from the unavoidable grind of a sharecropper in Mississippi. These are the conditions that lead to the creation of the blues. The focus of this research is how Mississippi bluesmen specifically Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters influenced not only rock and roll but African American culture and musicians as well.
The career field of Student Affairs is one that most individuals know nothing about until coming to college when they have the chance to interact with professionals in the field. How exactly do individuals come to be professionals in student affairs? This study seeks to engage in this discourse by exploring a phenomenological interpretation of how undergraduate experiences influence one’s decision to pursue a career in Student Affairs. Furthermore, the study attempts to outline the most common influencers and how those influencers may manifest themselves differently for various individuals. The results yielded that there was not one single moment that had the largest influence or impact on any of the participants. However, there was a collection of experiences primarily including interactions with Student Affairs professionals and undergraduate student involvement that ignited the desire to follow the path to Student Affairs.
In this study, the topics of performance and emotional labor in Black servers are explored. Using discourse analysis, nine semi-structured open-ended interviews with Black servers from Mississippi, Florida and Texas were analyzed to understand the role of racial identity in servers’ performances. Of the nine respondents, 56% of those interviewed performed special behaviors to elicit tips from patrons because they believed that their racial identity influence patrons’ tipping. However, 44% performed additional labor for other reasons. In addition to racial identity, respondents discussed factors such as socialization, gender identity, and perception of patrons’ identities.
The ATH homeodomain transcription factor regulates development of the boundaries between the stem and the reproductive and vegetative organs, and is required for stamen abscission. Its role in boundary formation has been found to partially overlap with the roles of the CUC transcription factors. Previous research has shown that the ath1 cuc1/+ cuc2 triple mutant has blurred organ boundaries, but it was not reported whether abscission of the sepals and petals is also blocked. The goals for this research project were to identify ath1 cuc1 and ath1 cuc2 double mutants, and cross them to each other to generate a triple ath1 cuc1/+ cuc2 mutant. In this experiment, the stamenstay2 mutant was used, which is a new allele of the ATH1 gene. Genomic DNA from 36 sta2 x cuc2 F2 plants was prepared and one sta2 cuc2 double mutant found through a genotyping process that will be described here. The sta2 cuc2 mutant flowers were compared to wild-type and single mutant flowers. Ultimately, this research will determine if floral organ abscission zones are missing when flower-stem organ boundaries are lost.