Recent Submissions

  • Conical Intersections: The Seam Space Between the Sciences

    Matsika, Spiridoula; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
    When molecules absorb light and become excited, the energy ultimately has to go somewhere; the energy can be lost by radiation, transferred to another molecule, or lost as heat. To predict how molecules interact with light and other matter, theoretical chemists use calculations based on the Born-Oppenheimer Approximation to numerically estimate energies and other properties of interest. Most processes can be explained within the bounds of the approximation; however, the spontaneous nonadiabatic loss of energy as heat cannot. These non- adiabatic processes are driven by conical intersections and play an important role in many known phenomena. Computationally, conical intersections rise out of the breakdown of the Born- Oppenheimer Approximation and the coupling of electronic and nuclear wavefunctions. Physically, conical intersections represent the seam space of degenerate electronic states on the potential energy surface of a molecule. Metaphorically, conical intersections represent the seam space of the research frontiers in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science. The present work is a review of the work in, and application of, each respective field related to conical intersections and a benchmarking study of the most viable current methods used to calculate conical intersections.
  • Other Worlds: A Multi-Disciplinary Portfolio of Alternative Realities

    Winch, Gregory; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
    This project explores the human tendency of fleeing the real world and constructing a more desirable other. While the notion of creating an alternate world—worldbuilding as it is referred—may seem extremely individualistic, and therefore insular, personal worlds always have political implications and can, therefore, serve to critique larger cultural structures and societies. This paper will particularly analyze worldbuilding as an intentional process of constructing a new space without socially prescribed constraints that is in some way better than a person’s current reality. While worldbuilding is at times a survival tactic, can it simultaneously promote isolation from others? Additionally, if worldbuilding is a strategy to achieve other-worldly transcendence, what are the consequences of losing earthly ties? These questions are addressed through an exploration of the alternative worlds within the works of authors, artists, and characters of various countries and time periods, presenting the universal and timeless need to create an otherwise.
  • U.S. Citizen Children of Undocumented Parents: Examining Political Activism and Immigrant Generation Identity

    Hsueh, Roselyn; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
    How do U.S. born children of undocumented parents politically act given their indirect experiences with ill-calibrated immigration policies? As immigration becomes a growing concern for undocumented communities and their mixed-status families, U.S. born children of undocumented parents may be more likely than children of U.S. citizen parents to engage in democratic activism demonstrating opposition to anti-immigrant policies. Experiencing fear of a parent’s deportation, U.S. born citizens of undocumented parents act in resistance to policies that are overly restrictive to the livelihoods of their mixed-status family and policies that appear anti-immigrant. Given their citizenship and account for a growing population in the United States, these individuals can engage in electoral politics and influence the abolition of punitive immigration laws. Little research exists addressing whether a parent’s legal status impacts the political engagement of their U.S. citizen children, despite the existence of nearly 17 million Americans living within a mixed-status family. By examining civic engagement data from first-generation children of undocumented immigrants and children of U.S. citizen parents, I will identify whether exposure to navigating “illegality” through their parents and the impact it has on their family’s livelihoods politically mobilizes them and if it surpasses the activism of their third-plus generation counterparts.
  • Development and Assessment of a Theater Group for People with Aphasia

    DeDe, Gayle; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
    The Philadelphia Aphasia Community at Temple (PACT) utilizes a group therapy approach for people with aphasia (PWA) by providing opportunities for PWA to enhance communication skills in an interest-driven setting. Recent research demonstrates how theater can improve the communication of ideas through both non-verbal and verbal means and can offer a medium through which PWA can interact and share their experiences. The main goal of this project was to examine how theater has been used with PWA and how theater games and experiences can be adapted for PWA at PACT. Existing studies were reviewed in regard to the benefits of theater for people with communication disabilities and the theories underlying different theater games. These concepts were applied to a pilot theater group at PACT. Nine PWA attended six weekly sessions throughout Summer 2019, and eight PWA attended weekly sessions throughout the Fall 2019 semester. Sessions incorporated different theater games and activities to gauge interests and skills, with support from Physical Therapy. Pre-/post-group testing included the Communication Confidence Rating Scale for People with Aphasia and a theater survey examining participant’s interests, skills, and knowledge of theater. Results from pre-test and post-test were compared to determine changes in perception of theater, enjoyment, and overall benefits of a theater group for PWA.
  • Shi'a Political Thought: The History and Evolution of Wilayat-al-Faqih

    Blankinship, Khalid Yahya; Yom, Sean; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
    The standard teaching of the doctrine of Wilayat-al-Faqih (guardianship of the jurist) emphasizes Ayatollah Khomeini’s innovations as a jurist rather than the underlying theological or ideological applications of Shi’a political thought. In this paper, I ask what the historical roots are of this doctrine in Safavid Persia. I argue that this doctrine was practiced during the Safavids (1502-1736), the last and only Shi’a empire by incorporating the position of Shaykh-al-Islams, jurists who would exercise political power, into their political apparatus. This finding shows that the doctrine of Wilayat-al-Faqih is not new, but rather is updated and expanded to include Khomeini’s mystical and philosophical teachings.
  • Using mapping and quantification of ecosystem services to understand habitat threats to North and South American bat populations

    Sewall, Brent; Sorrentino, John A.; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
    Bats are crucial members of their ecosystems despite the common fears and misconceptions that many people believe. Their wide range of feeding types allows them to provide many effective ecosystem services through seed dispersal, pollination, and pest control, among others (Kunz et al., 2011). Frugivorous bats can disperse seeds over far distances and manage ecosystem regeneration (McConkey & Drake, 2006). Nectarivorous bats are key pollinators of many economically relevant plant species (Rapidel et al., 2011). Additionally, insectivorous bats save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in pest control costs while minimizing the use of potentially harmful pesticides (Cleveland et al., 2006). However, habitat change presents a severe threat to a multitude of bat species, their prey, and their homes. Threats to North and South American bat populations are ever increasing, but there are many viable solutions that have been presented and implemented on smaller scales in recent years. This thesis highlights the dangers of a variety of prominent habitat threats to bat populations including climate change, habitat fragmentation, wind turbines, habitat loss, and wildfires. Further, this project offers conservation solutions that have been suggested to combat these changes including bat box construction, prioritization of vulnerable species, compilation of big data on bat populations, and virtual training for conservationists. This thesis provides a comprehensive review of the current state of conservation as it pertains to bat response to habitat threats. Bats comprise 1,419 species and are found across many types of ecosystems over six continents (Simmons & Cirranello, 2020). Mapping these populations is a monumental task which can have significant outcomes for the study of bats and their conservation. Maps constructed for this project show relationships between bat species presence in North and Central America in relation to environmental variables and ecosystem services. These provide a framework for the analysis of ecosystem services provided by local bat species and can be used as a stepping-stone for estimating quantifications of these services.
  • The Perceptions, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Students Toward Their Honors Program: A Study of the Temple University Honors Program

    Hantula, Donald; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
    Through an online survey and in-person interviews, I studied the attitudes and perceptions of Honors students at Temple University in Philadelphia to better understand how they interact with their Honors Program. A quantitative analysis of 152 survey responses found that involvement, especially in certain organizations, is highly correlated with how much a student feels as though they belong in the Honors Program. For the qualitative analysis, several major themes arose, such as barriers from the Honors staff, the atmosphere of the students, the lack of representation, and barriers to involvement. I created a list of nudges and interventions that can be implemented to combat these themes. Overall, this project has shown that the people with the solutions are often the ones closest to the problems.
  • “We're IMGs, and We're Often Seen as Human Garbage”: Rejection and Reproduction of Status Hierarchies in Medical Education

    Olsen, Lauren D.; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
    The fact that status inequality exists between different types of medical trainees and physicians is widely accepted within medicine, and leads to differences in both treatment and quality of training, One important status difference exists between high-status USMDs, who are receiving an allopathic medical degree in the US, and low-status non-USMDs, who are either receiving an allopathic medical degree internationally, or an osteopathic medical degree. Little research has been conducted on how this status hierarchy is introduced and reproduced throughout medical education. In order to better understand this status (re)production, I qualitatively analyzed an electronic support forum on Reddit, called “Name and Shame 2019,” where 4th-year medical students discussed their experiences with status during residency interviews. Drawing from these students’ stories and discussions with their peers, I found that residency programs often reinforce this unequal status hierarchy to students during the interview process. Students then responded to this reinforcement in different ways: while lower-status non-USMD students were often able to reject these status hierarchies through discussion with their peers, higher-status USMD students tended to reproduce the reinforced status beliefs that benefited them. These findings shed light on how and why status hierarchies are constructed, reproduced, and rejected within medical education, while raising questions about how status inequality affects the equity of medical education, and the overall quality of medical care.
  • Energy as a Hyperobject to Support Renewable Energy

    Craig, Lindsay; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
  • An Examination in Social Engineering: The Susceptibility of Disclosing Private Security Information in College Students

    Rege, Aunshul; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
    While security technology can be nearly impenetrable, the people behind the computer screens are often easily manipulated, which makes the human factor the biggest threat to cybersecurity. This study examined whether college students disclosed private information about themselves, and what type of information they shared. The study utilized pretexting, in which attackers impersonate individuals in certain roles and often involves extensive research to ensure credibility. The goal of pretexting is to create situations where individuals feel safe releasing information that they otherwise might not. The pretexts used for this study were based on the natural inclination to help, where people tend to want to help those in need, and reciprocity, where people tend to return favors given to them. Participants (N=51) answered survey questions that they thought were for a good cause or that would result in a reward. This survey asked for increasingly sensitive information that could be used maliciously to gain access to identification, passwords, or security questions. Upon completing the survey, participants were debriefed on the true nature of the study and were interviewed about why they were willing to share information via the survey. Some of the most commonly skipped questions included “Student ID number” and “What is your mother’s maiden name?”. General themes identified from the interviews included the importance of similarities between the researcher and the subject, the researcher’s adherence to the character role, the subject’s awareness of question sensitivity, and the overall differences between online and offline disclosure. Findings suggest that college students are more likely to disclose private information if the attacker shares a similar trait with the target or if the attacker adheres to the character role they are impersonating. Additionally, this study sheds light on the research limitations, emphasizes the relevance of the human factor in security and privacy, and offers recommendations for future research.