Class of 2021

Southern English (SE) and Southern African-American English (SAAE) are two varieties of American English that coexist in many communities in the southern United States. There has been very little research that compares the acquisition of SE and SAAE in children of the South. This study examines the performance of children in North Mississippi, aged 2-13, who speak these Southern varieties along with a control group of children who speak Mainstream American English (MAE), and analyzes their performance in four key linguistic domains: syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and phonology. The Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation Norm Referenced (DELV-NR) assessment test (Seymour, Roeper & de Viliers, 2003) was used to evaluate the three groups’ performance. Further, based on the results from the diagnostic test used, this study creates developmental curves, by age, for each group’s performance in the four targeted linguistic domains. Following past research, we hypothesized that (a) SAAE-speaking children would perform highest in syntax and substantially lower in phonology, and (b) SE speaking-children would perform moderately lower in phonology than their MAE-speaking peers, but slightly higher than their SAAE-speaking peers. No prediction is made for the results in semantics and pragmatics because past research has not directly contrasted the acquisition of SE and SAAE-speaking children to MAE-speaking children in these domains.
Distance perception is a major topic that has been investigated for decades in the world of Virtual Reality (VR). Previous studies include experiments discussing how distance perception has affected participant frontal view. However, there has been little discussion about how distance perception operates in the visual periphery. To this researcher’s knowledge, Peillard et al. (2019) has conducted one of the first studies dealing with differences in egocentric distance perception between the frontal and peripheral views. This study replicates the basic procedures of the Peillard et al. experiment. In this study, distance estimation by comparing objects that are placed in the front of the participant with the objects placed on the side of the participant are observed. This research finds there is no difference between the front and side references. Furthermore, research results have determined that the peripheral eccentricity of an object does affect the perceived depth of an object. This study paves the way for future experiments associated with distance perception in virtual reality.
Pike County, Mississippi has three public school districts – North Pike, South Pike, and McComb. North Pike has a higher state accountability grade, a B, than the other two districts, which have Ds. Lower grade distinctions lead to inequitable funding, difficulty staffing schools, and students facing higher barriers to academic success. This research seeks to explain the differences in those grades. The literature led to hypotheses regarding student demographics, school funding, teacher quality, kindergarten readiness, absenteeism, and disciplinary problems. After collecting data mainly from the Mississippi Department of Education, it was found that North Pike has fewer disadvantaged students than South Pike and McComb school districts. The data also show that North Pike’s success in teaching its disadvantaged students is not significantly greater than the other districts’ success, calling into question the validity of its higher state grade. As a result, it is recommended policymakers restructure the district grading formula, create more equitable resourcing practices, develop teacher training programs focused on improving academic outcomes, and increase teacher salary.
Deliberate practice has commonly been used in areas such as music, chess, and medicine. However, there is a lack of deliberate practice found in psychotherapy. The purpose of this is to examine whether deliberate practice can be applied to learning psychotherapy techniques. In this study, the subject learned modules independently from the Unified Protocol manual and then engaged in roleplay sessions with an expert. The subject received immediate feedback from the expert and engaged in deliberate practice exercises. The subject rated their performance along with the expert. Next, the expert designed deliberate practice exercises to help improve the subject’s performance. The findings of this study reveal that deliberate practice is an effective method in learning psychotherapy techniques. The subject was able to perform better each time with the use of deliberate practice. The study concluded that deliberate practice would be an effective tool for future clinicians in helping them to improve in the treatments that they are administering to their patients.
Neoantigen peptide vaccines (NPVs) used for boosting immunogenicity in various cancers are prone to aggregation at the site of injection and lack inherent immunogenicity. To address this, immune agonists (i.e. adjuvants) capable of provoking a robust immune response to peptide antigens can be co-delivered. Reseachers involved in this project designed glycopolymeric nanoparticles with a poly[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl methacrylate] (PDPA) block as the core for loading lipophilic adjuvants and the “pH-responsive switch” to transition from hydrophobic at extracellular pH (7.4) to hydrophilic at pH values of the endolysosomal pathway (below ~6.8). The hydrophilic poly[(pyridyl disulfide ethyl methacrylate)-co-(methacrylamidoglucopyranose) (P(PDSMA-co-MAG)) corona provides colloidal stability, cryo-protection, and reversible attachment sites for peptide conjugation. Ovalbumin is conjugated to PDSMA by thiol functionalization followed by disulfide exchange. Thiolation was quantified to be 3 thiolations per Ovalbumin. Protein conjugation was confirmed by colorimetric methods as well as SDS PAGE. Upon Ovalbumin conjugation, the size of the NPs increased up to 60 nm with s surface charge of ~10 mV.
The goal of this research was to synthesize small molecule near infrared (NIR) fluorophores for bioimaging applications. The target molecules for this study were BTD-Thiophene and BTD-EDOT. Bases on a donor-acceptor-donor (DAD) approach, the target molecules were designed and synthesized in 3-4 steps to achieve lower band gap electronic transitions with stronger absorbance and emission intensities. Challenged by the final synthetic step, a Buchwald Hartwig animation, the synthetic strategy and characterization of intermediates are described. Future works are aimed at optimizing the reaction conditions to achieve the final targets and use them in bioimaging applications.
Although a potential overlap has been proposed between the clinical construct of psychological flexibility (i.e., related to the ability to self-regulate one’s emotions to reach long-term goals) and the cognitive construct of cognitive flexibility (i.e., related to the process of adjusting responses to evolving environments, Cherry et al., 2021), relations between the two constructs have not been examined. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between psychological flexibility and cognitive flexibility. In addition, flexibility potential similarities and differences in how these elements of flexibility operate in important social interactions, specifically within friendships were examined. One-hundred and five college-age students between the ages of 18-22 completed self-report survey measures related to psychological flexibility, friendship quality, and responses to friendship transgressions in addition to behavioral measures of cognitive flexibility. Findings revealed that psychological flexibility did not relate to cognitive flexibility. Further, there were important differences in how the two elements of flexibility related to friendships. More psychologically inflexible individuals exhibited more negative elements in friendships (i.e., conflict, negative interactions, and difficulty with conflict resolution), interpreted friendship transgressions as devaluing the friendship, and endorsed more rumination on the transgression one week later. Cognitive flexibility showed few relations to friendship quality and no relations to responses to friendship transgressions. Results suggest a little overlap between the two types of flexibility and that psychological flexibility may be more relevant for understanding relationships and interactions with friends in college.
Large molecules like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) account for a large amount of the carbon in the universe. On earth, PAHs are considered carcinogens and are produced through the combustion of fossil fuels and tobacco. In space, they are abundant everywhere, including various molecular clouds, stars, and galaxies. Some estimates suggest 10-25% of the carbon in space is trapped in them. Their rich molecular diversity and their formation can be best explored via the study of smaller PAHs such as cyclopropenylidene (c-C3H2). Its identity as the smallest polar aromatic hydrocarbon may suggest that it may be a precursor to the larger PAHs. Many heavenly bodies, such as Saturn's moon Titan and the Taurus Molecular Cloud, have already shown evidence for the presence of cyclopropenylidene. Detection of smaller PAHs can be tricky as they lack a dipole moment because most of the PAHs are nonpolar, but the attachment of a cyanide group makes it more accessible. Hence, cyanocyclopropenylidene (c-C3HCN), with its dipole moment of 0.5 D, may make it possible to be found in the interstellar medium. Therefore, this work provides rotational constants and the anharmonic/fundamental vibrational frequencies using quartic force fields for the future detection of the molecule via SOFIA missions or the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.
Maternal mortality is death that occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. After analyzing articles and data, for the purpose of this research, the questions were raised: How can the healthcare system create a system that protects black women? Why are black women dying at a higher rate than white women? It was then then hypothesized that medical racism still exists and influences the negative maternal health outcomes. Medical racism was examined through the lens of maternal mortality in MS. There was a mixed method approach that consisted of surveys and interviews. The survey elicited fifty-two responses and two healthcare professionals who specialize in reducing the rate of maternal mortality in MS were interviewed. Interview results revealed 90.4% of the participants do not fully trust the healthcare system, 84.6% believed that sociological factors influence the care of black women, and racism, poverty, and sexism as factors that have the most impact on the care of black women. This proves that many people are aware of distrust in the healthcare system, and that methods to improve the infrastructure of the healthcare system must be found.  
Both devices with various categories in exercise were employed in this study to compare the effects of two distinct blood flow restriction devices on blood flow. The results from a few subjects were collected to look for differences in muscle responses using both devices. This research was carried out because, according to numerous publications read, BFR has grown in popularity as a workout tool and more individuals are adopting it. The purpose of this study is to see if two separate BFR devices, Hokanson and Delfi, have any effect on the muscular response to blood flow restriction exercise. With materials and methods, researchers conducting this study examined muscle size, tissue saturation, and force. This experiment also included the usage of items such as the two BFR devices, cuffs, NIRS sensor, pulse oximeter, and weights. With AOP and muscle thickness, the Samsung ultrasound equipment played a part as well. There was a 5-minute pause after determining the arterial occlusion pressure standing, with two total visits but mostly focused on visit 2 for activity. The thickness and force of the individuals' muscles were then measured. During the exercise, four sets of as many one arm curls as possible were performed, and after each set, exertion and discomfort ratings were reported. Muscle thickness and force were measured again after the exercise. With the opposite arm, the individual repeated the process. According to the findings, the Delfi device, which is commonly used in clinical settings, provided more accurate results than the Hokanson device. This indicates that the participants experienced fatigue in force, increased muscle size with muscle swelling, and increased tissue saturation as the sets progressed. The Delfi's increase in muscle thickness illustrated how muscling edema caused an increase in muscle size after exercise. The Delfi showed a higher fall with force, indicating that the few individuals were tired. Finally, tissue saturation was clearly higher with the Delfi device before and after sets than with the Hokanson device, indicating that more oxygen was being delivered to the tissues. The two separate BFR devices caused changes in blood flow constraints, which was the goal of this investigation.
In this study, comparing cardiovascular responses with blood flow restriction between the Delfi and Hokanson were recorded. The purpose of this study is to better understand if the two devices could produce the same results, to better understand the devices’ differences and to better understand if the devices provide similar or identical feedback. Blood flow restriction (BFR) is a training method partially restricting arterial inflow and fully restricting venous outflow in working musculature during exercise. With BFR one can fatigue quickly with lighter weight which increases muscle strength and muscle size. To prevent muscle loss, blood flow restriction has also been used alone without exercise. . Some devices used in BFR are Elastic knee wraps, Delfi, Kaatsu band, and the Hokanson. The Hokanson and Delfi have not been compared to see if they both have a similar change in blood flow. The Delfi was FDA approved, mostly used in clinics, smaller and more portable, and automatic. The Hokanson was not FDA approved, mostly used in research labs, larger and less portable, and manual. The Delfi cuff was much wider and tubing was small and made of rubber, while the Hokanson cuff was narrow and tubing was larger and made of plastic. Changes in blood flow were recorded with the ultrasound using the probe and tissue oxygenation was recorded with the NIRS device. On day 1, information such as the subject’s height, weight, age, dominant arm, etc, were recorded. The participant laid supine on a table for a 5-minute rest, while a BFR cuff was placed on their arm and a NIRS device on their forearm. Researchers then read the participant a discomfort scale. Next, the participant’s AOP was taken, followed by a second 5-minute rest. Following the five-minute rest, three measurements were taken, 2 with no cuff inflation and 1 with 50% AOP. Heart rate, blood saturation, and discomfort were being recorded after each measurement, and the second device was used after the first one. Only a few participants data were collected and with the Delfi participants had high blood flow volume, heart rate, and tissue saturation index in all measurements. Both the Delfi and Hokanson had the same results for participants oxygen saturation in all three measurements. With the data collected cardiovascular responses shows that the Delfi had higher outcomes in blood flow volume, heart rate, and tissue oxygenation with the few participants that participated. The data can vary between the two devices with more participants.
Adolescent sleep quality is prospectively associated with the development of generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. In an attempt to relieve GAD symptoms during adolescence, safety behaviors are utilized as a maladaptive form of emotion regulation. Although other emotion regulation strategies (e.g., emotional suppression) are associated with sleep quality and shown to exert an indirect effect on the relation between sleep and GAD symptoms in adolescents, limited work has examined if safety behavior use, adolescent sleep quality, and GAD symptoms are related. Prior work suggests safety behavior use may partially account for the association between poor sleep and generalized anxiety disorder symptoms among adolescents over and above other emotion regulation strategies that have been linked to sleep quality and anxiety. The current study tests the potential indirect effect of safety behavior use on the relation between poor sleep quality and GAD symptoms among adolescents. To examine this, two hundred and forty-four adolescents (n = 66 boys, n = 123 girls, n = 44 non-binary, and n = 8 prefer not to say) between the ages of 12 and 16 years (Mage = 14.81; SD = 1.31) were recruited using social media (i.e., Facebook and Instagram) to complete a set of measures. The findings show an overall effect of adolescent sleep quality relating to adolescent GAD symptoms. Furthermore, safety behavior use exerted an indirect effect on the relation between adolescent sleep quality and adolescent GAD symptoms. These results indicate adolescent sleep difficulties increase safety behavior use and safety behavior use heightened symptoms of GAD among adolescents. Therefore, prevention efforts aimed at reducing safety behavior use during adolescence may have long term additional benefits for GAD symptoms and sleep difficulties.
Commonly, many individuals incorporate alcohol in amusement and relaxation activities. However, due to the extreme accessibility and social acceptance of the drug, society tends to ignore negative attributes associated with alcohol. Particularly, ethanol strongly affects neurotic properties. More specifically, ethanol has been shown to reduce vesicular fusion and release. However, neuro-modulatory mechanisms restore homeostasis and create tolerant synapses resistant to alcohol’s effects. Although previous studies have illuminated postsynaptic plasticity due to ethanol exposure, presynaptic plasticity remains unknown. A possibly presynaptic effector includes Dunc13. Dunc13, a protein found in Drosophila Melanogaster, proves essential for vesicular fusion and release. In the presence of alcohol, Dunc13 and ethanol interact, and ethanol inhibits Dunc13. The Roman Lab has shown that genetically reducing Dunc13 by half mimics the ethanol inhibiting interaction in flies never exposed to alcohol. This emphasizes that reducing Dunc13 may directly lead to alcohol tolerance formation. Therefore, this research project focuses on utilizing transgenic techniques to identify possible locations of tolerance formation in the Drosophila brain. Two areas of interest include the ellipsoid and mushroom bodies. Particularly, data suggest that the mushroom bodies may serve as a potential area of tolerance formation.
This project considers the gap in theorizing the hidden labor of Black women in the seldom-researched setting of urban slavery. The project unearths the hidden labor of Black women by analyzing architectural, primary, and secondary documentary evidence surrounding the urban antebellum Hugh Craft House site in Holly Springs, Mississippi. It draws on household and Black feminist archaeology theories to uncover the hidden labor in the domestic spheres that the enslaved women were actively shaping. Research methods included watching clips of Behind the Big House tour interpretations; taking a Craft House tour in Holly Springs; looking at primary sources like Works Progress Administration narratives, and federal census records; and consulting secondary sources on antebellum households, household archaeology, and Black feminist archaeology. This research finds that the layout and architecture of the site was designed to give Black women restricted and hidden access to the main house. It also shows that although the Craft family and descendants still relied on Black labor, after the Civil War, the expectations for their labor were different.
In this paper, it is argued that the collateral consequences of criminal conviction for drug-felons in the United States are unjustifiable and unfair because they disadvantage ex-felons and their families, delaying their efforts to reenter society. First, the impact and justification of collateral consequences are discussed, with specific focus on three cases: employment, public employment/social benefits, and voting disenfranchisement. Then, it is argued that each of these consequences are unjustifiable and unfair, counterproductive and contribute to mass incarceration. Finally, this research concludes with suggestions aid in decreasing the recidivism rate in the United States by reviewing the practices of different countries whose prisons focus more on rehabilitation.
Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a cannabinoid chemical found in Cannabis sativa, one of the most abused illicit drugs. Because of the increased availability of cannabis due to relaxed laws on recreational and medicinal use, pregnant women and their developing babies are being exposed. This research’s goal was to measure the potential long-term adverse impacts of developmental exposure to THC. Specifically, reproductive and behavioral deficits in zebrafish that were exposed to THC during early development were investigated. Furthermore, a transgenic zebrafish line that does not express the cannabinoid receptor 1 (cnr1-/-) was used to test the dependence of the receptor on THC’s adverse outcomes. Fish were exposed to increasing concentrations of THC from 6-96 hours post fertilization (hpf) and subsequently allowed to grow in clean water. At 3 and 6 weeks of age, control and treated fish behavior was assessed for changes in locomotion and anxiety. Anxiety was assessed by measuring thigmotaxis or time spent in the periphery of the arena. THC exposure caused dose-dependent increased velocity at 3 weeks of age in cnr1+/+, but at 6 weeks methodological improvements are needed to properly assess behavior in that sized/aged animals. At 3 wpf, anxiety was also increased by THC exposure in both cnr and cnr null animals. At 12-14 weeks, reproductive production and F1 embryo survival was not statistically different between 0.08 μM THC-developmentally exposed and controlled fish regardless if they had functional cannabinoid 1 receptor. Collectively, this research has both informed methodological improvements in juvenile zebrafish anxiety assessments, and highlighted the persistent adverse impacts of developmental THC exposure.