Class of 2020

The Blame Game: Victims, Perpetrators, and Bystanders in Sexual Assault Cases Current research has yet to examine the effect that consideration of bystanders has on victim and perpetrator blame in sexual assault cases. The present study investigated the blame attributed to the victim and perpetrator when bystanders were provided as another person/persons to hold responsible for the sexual assault. Participants were given a sentence that stated, "At a party, John raped Kim". In Experimental Condition 1, participants were asked to attribute a percentage of responsibility to the victim and the perpetrator, with a blank provided for participants to indicate if any other entities were responsible. In Experimental Condition 2, participants were asked to attribute a percentage of responsibility to the victim, the perpetrator, the victim’s friends, the perpetrator’s friends, and other people at the party. Results indicated there is a significant difference in the responsibility attributed to John when bystanders were named in the answer choices compared to when bystanders were not named. The author discusses considerations and implications.
Cancer metastasis kills most patients; ninety percent of cancer deaths happen in the metastasis phase. Platelets play a key role in cancer metastasis, and platelet activation is an important step in the progression of malignancies. In the cardiovascular setting, platelet activation occurs in response to vessel injury and is important for the arrest of bleeding. Platelet activation during advanced cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) leads to vascular occlusion and ischemic damage. In malignant tumors, cells can act equivalent to injured cells by communicating with platelets to activate them by the same mechanisms by which they are activated in response to vascular injury. The sufficient roles of platelets in the metastatic cascade have prompted the usage of antiplatelet agents from cardiovascular medicine to be utilized to treat metastatic cancer in addition to their usefulness in CVD. Multiple pathways contribute to platelet activation and could potentiate cancer metastasis. Here, for the purpose of this research, four pathways important for the activation of platelets: Cyclooxygenase, Thromboxane, P2Y12, and Thrombin were reviewed. In theory, by blocking any of these pathways metastasis can be prevented and the mortality associated with metastatic cancer decreased. The future of this approach is very promising because of the availability of safe drugs to repurpose from CVD. Soon, the repurposing of these safe and effective antiplatelet drugs could provide transformative new treatment options for those suffering from cancer metastasis
What are some of the frameworks and approaches that educators and scholars have developed to teach and engage black students, especially in the years since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002? This project will address this question by exploring three popular pedagogical frameworks designed with black students in mind: Hip-Hop pedagogy, reality pedagogy, and abolitionist teaching. Specifically, this project will highlight some of the primary tenets of each of these approaches and model some ways that each approach might be enacted in the classroom setting. In general, research on effective ways to teach black students has focused on inclusive ways that nonblack teachers can engage black students, and the most effective strategies for structuring and disciplining classrooms. This project will contribute to this research by comparing and contrasting three of the most popular race-conscious pedagogical frameworks, with attention to how inclusive they are to black students' engagement in the classroom, how they account for the limits and challenges of classroom instruction, and how they affect teacher perspectives about students and classroom instruction. Ultimately, this work will raise important questions about how to best accommodate the unique perspectives, lived experiences, and aspirations that black students bring to the classroom.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that prompts the deterioration of the nervous system, especially the neurons in the substantia nigra of the midbrain. In PD, dopamine-producing neurons either become impaired or die. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for reward, motivation, memory, attention, and regulation of body movements. Reduction of dopamine neurons results in symptoms of bradykinesia, tremors, and impaired balance/coordination. PD primarily impacts older individuals with a median age at onset of 60 years old. While there are multiple studies that prove that PD is more prevalent in men than women, the exact attributions of this disease, such as the influences of race/ethnicity on PD, are unknown. The goal of this study was to examine race/ethnicity with an emphasis on African Ancestry in PD through a systematic review. Out of 448 scholarly articles that were originally extracted from the PubMed/MEDLINE search, 445 were excluded due to their irrelevance regarding race/ethnicity and African ancestry in PD. Three scholarly articles were obtained through a search for the review. Amongst the three sources that were chosen, there were more than 450,000 participants with PD that ranged in age from 40-65+; each case of PD within these studies were reported from 1993-2005. The varying races/ethnicities of White/non-Hispanic White, Black/African American, Asian, and Hispanic/Latino were included in these three studies. In these three studies, the first study concluded that the PD rate per 100,00 was highest in Whites with 2,168.18, Asians with 1,138.56, and lowest in Blacks with 1,036.41. In the second article, Whites also had the highest rate of PD with 54 cases per 100,000, Latinos following with 40, and lastly, African Americans with 23. In the third and final study, contrastingly, Hispanics had the highest incidence rate per 100,000 of 16.6 while non-Hispanic White rates followed with 13.6. In the same study, Asians had a rate of 11.3 per 100,000, and lastly, Blacks with a rate of 10.2. Based on the systematic review of the three sources, PD varies by race/ethnicity, and it is less common in Blacks/African Americans. Further research and closer examinations of PD regarding the influences of biological and social factors will enhance future discoveries of Parkinson’s Disease.
Keywords: Parkinson’s Disease, race, ethnicity, African ancestry, healthcare disparities, systematic review, genes, neuromelanin
Few studies have examined the relationship between home factors and work productivity for parents. The purpose of this study was to identify whether there was a relationship between child temperament and work productivity for parents of preschoolers during COVID-19—a period during which the work and home environment was disrupted (e.g., increased frequency of telecommuting, children completing school from home). A total of 52 parents of preschoolers (ages 2-7) were asked to report on both their child’s temperament (i.e., the Child Behavior Questionnaire) and their personal work productivity (i.e., The Endicott Work Productivity Scale). Results indicated no relationship between overall temperament and work productivity. However, when mothers and fathers work productivity was examined separately, there was evidence that children’s extraversion temperament was related to fewer work productivity issues, but only for fathers. This work suggests that work productivity may be related to factors not only related to the office setting, but consideration of family factors for parents may be important as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused many disruptions in scientific research with human subjects, especially augmented reality research. Many laws were put in place preventing large gatherings of individuals; therefore, most businesses continued production remotely or with very little in person contact. Augmented reality (AR) research was typically done in-person with specialized equipment that could retain harmful bacteria between uses. Researchers conducting this study sought a means to continue to practice AR research without causing harm to either the researchers or participants. This study focused on using video conferencing tools to determine whether augmented reality can be performed from the safety of home to perform distance tracking.
Problem: This study investigated how an athlete’s hydration status affects their game day performance.
Methods: The participants included 16 Division I male collegiate athletes who participated in the 2019-2020 NCAA basketball season. On game day, each athlete’s hydration status was assessed by Urine Specific Gravity. In addition, each athlete’s offensive and defensive game performance was coded and scored at the end of the game. A Pearson correlation was run to find the relationship between hydration status and defensive breakdowns, and hydration status and offensive points with statistical significance set at p < .05.
Results: A positive relationship was found between hydration and defensive breakdowns indicating that as hydration status was better, players had a lower defensive breakdown score and thus performed better defensively. A negative relationship was found between hydration status and offensive points indicating that as hydration status was better offensive points were higher.
Conclusion: Dehydration was strongly correlated with an increase in defensive breakdowns and a decrease in offensive points. Those findings indicate that dehydration negatively impacted game day performance in this group.
Literature has the ability to alter children’s behavior and perception of reality. The present paper aims to analyze if gender stereotypes and the lack of African American representation has any relation to child cognitive development. The research focuses on the need for diversity in literature. This study will provide insight of how literature contributes to develop perceptions and racial stereotypes, which can discredit the portrayal of dark complexion characters. Also, this study will explore how literature limits the presence of minorities and promotes unhealthy competition amongst female characters.
"Genealogies and Such" examines how contemporary Black women authors respond to and build on major movements in Black culture and events. In discussing these points, this research will detail how these authors’ work speak to and create Black community. This essay explores Black literary genealogies created by two authors: Zora Neale Hurston and Jesmyn Ward. Literary genealogy, in this context, refers to the way that authors inherit and pass down new ideas about Black culture and some of its most popular movements. The authors share their thoughts on the Black social activities of their respective eras, which include the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Scholars have conducted extensive research in understanding the importance of the work of writers like Hurston and Ward, noting that the establishment of literary genealogies coincides with creating a feeling of community for Black people. The central focus lies in the connections that the writers make to their audience. Hurston’s and Ward’s writing relate to the Black experience, which reduces Black readers’ sense of isolation in society. What Black women authors like Zora Neale Hurston and Jesmyn Ward do with their writing helps Black readers to develop an understanding of their heritage and a sense of pride in how that heritage affects their identities. While they do not share actual DNA with their readers, they do share the same experience, which, too, is a form of relatedness.
What is the relationship between surveillance and mass incarceration in the U.S.? This project addresses this question through a case study of The Black Panther Party. Special attention is focused on the stories of Angela Davis, Fred Hampton, Bobby Hutton, Dr. Huey P. Newton, and Assata Shakur. In general, research on mass incarceration has mostly focused on what disproportionately pushes black folks into the prison system (e.g., the “War on Drugs”). This project extends this work by examining an accompanying element of mass incarceration: surveillance. Understanding the ways that the state has used surveillance and incarceration to limit the movement and organization of black people is important for two reasons. First, it helps one understand both how the state views black people and how the state often denies black folks the right to be viewed as “people” (i.e., free citizens). Second, it demonstrates how the carceral state uses the collective conditioning of black folks to suppress black-led movements for civil- and human rights. Ultimately, this work raises important questions about how the institutions and social systems that define modern society often reinforce beliefs about racial difference and hierarchy.
During the novel COVID--19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, social media has failed to provide consistently accurate information to the public. While the virus has posed a threat to public health globally, the spread of misinformation during the pandemic has amplified social anxiety and created distrust in health care workers and officials. Facebook has been a key source of the spread of misinformation and disinformation. Influencers and manipulators have shaped and shifted the minds of audiences. This study examines the virality of COVID-19 misinformation and how this virality has been characterized by constant controversy and false information, in light of framing theory and controversiality. This systematic content analysis examined 188 COVID-19 fact-check articles and the original social media posts they checked. The articles, primarily from five fact-check organizations, ran Jan1-June 1, 2020. For this research, researchers explored the prevalence of clickbait articles that contained false information on Facebook, as well as audience engagement metrics that highlight the viral spread of misinformation. The results show that 80% of Facebook posts were intentionally false and misleading. An analysis of Facebook metrics showed that audience participation greatly enhanced the spread of COVID19 misinformation.
Cancer immunotherapy has become an effective treatment in the toolbox of oncologists. Immunotherapy offers a less toxic alternative to standard cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and can have prolonged curative effects to decrease cancer recurrence. Today, many drugs and biological agents have been developed that target the immune system and elicit an antitumor/cancer response. These agents are known collectively as cancer immunotherapies. While immunotherapies have radically improved treatment outcomes for many cancer patients, there are drawbacks to using these treatments. Immunotherapy treatments have poor clinical responses in patients with tumors that lack immunogenicity. Some of the treatments also pose a risk to induce systemic toxicity when used at high doses and risks of autoimmunity are essentially inherent. To mitigate these shortcomings of immunotherapies, biomaterials can be used as a delivery vehicle to alter the pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, and control release of therapeutic agents targeting the immune system. This review article outlines the general design considerations of various biomaterials and their applications in cancer immunomodulation. Many studies show promising results in murine tumor models with potential for translation to human disease, but further research – via rigorous clinical trials – is needed to assess the effectiveness of immunomodulatory biomaterials in cancer patients.
This research considers the effects of the novel coronavirus on the mental health of African American college students, a group that already faces heightened challenges to their emotional well-being. A brief online survey for Tougaloo College students patterned after a nationwide survey of psychological distress among Chinese people during the COVID-19 epidemic was constructed. The distress scores for the Tougaloo students were not significantly different than the scores for Chinese young adults. However, the distress caused by the pandemic was overshadowed by academic concerns and other stressors. This research offers an effective, accessible method for determining the nature of stressors affecting African American college students.
This study seeks to identify different types of COVID-19 health misinformation on social media and patterns in misinformation posts that appeared in early 2020. Misinformation on social media can have potential harmful effects on audiences, such as stress and anxiety. The hypodermic needle theory, a lens for examining misinformation effects on social media, occurs when the media and its creators infuse messages into the minds of the audience. Research questions guiding the study examined different types of misinformation that fact checkers flagged on social media platforms to stop the spread of misinformation, as well as how fact checkers rated the posts. The content analysis utilized 25 variables to quantify the presence, meanings, and relationships of words, themes, and concepts in 186 fact-check articles from 10 fact-check sites. Statistically significant findings included differences across misinformation categories for flagged Facebook posts and tweets and across misinformation categories for truth-rated Facebook posts.
Few studies have examined the relationship between child temperament and parental anxiety during periods of extreme stress. The purpose of this study was to identify whether there was a relationship between child temperament and anxiety experienced by parents of preschoolers during COVID-19—a period during which the “stay at home” orders and closing of schools were put in place. A total of 52 parents (ages 26-46) of preschoolers (ages 2-7) were asked to report on both their child’s temperament (i.e., the Child Behavior Questionnaire) and their anxiety due to COVID-19’s impact (i.e., COVID-19 Exposure and Family Impact Survey). Results indicated that there was a relationship between child temperament (effortful control and negative affectivity) and parental anxiety. This work suggests that children’s behaviors and emotions relate to their parent’s anxiety related to COVID-19.
In what ways have black queer women used art to resist and reimagine normative ideas about race, gender, and sexuality? This project addresses this question through a critical reading of Dirty Computer, the 2018 release of singer-songwriter Janelle Monae. Specifically, using Audre Lorde’s “the Erotic,” the ways Monae’s lyrics and aesthetics center pleasure and agency for black women. In general, research on black female sexuality in black feminist theory and womanist theory has focused on heterosexual sexual expressions, the policing of black female sexualities, and the sexual abuse and exploitation black women face. And queer theory tends to center whiteness and white people. To borrow the noted feminist text But Some of us Are Brave, when it comes to studying and better understanding the women’s sexuality, it seems that all the “blacks are straight and all the queers are white.” Where then, does that leave black queer women? This project calls for a more inclusive discussion of black female sexuality, one complex enough to include the realities of queer black women. Perhaps most fundamentally, this project reconceptualizes “self-care,” making room for desire, “the erotic,” and the many other ways that queer black women reclaim autonomy and pleasure.