Recent Submissions

  • Examining the Barriers and Opportunities to Black Students along the Pre-Med Track

    Olsen, Lauren; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    For this project, I have engaged in research on one of the biggest impediments to diversifying medicine and eliminating health disparities: the pipeline problem. Black students in the medical professional pipeline face barriers and a lack of opportunities that prohibit their advancement to medical school. In my project, I focus my analysis on Black students’ efforts to successfully matriculate into medical school and how undergraduate institutions play a pivotal role in the process of becoming a physician. To engage in this project, I draw upon several disciplines, because the “pre-med” experience is unique and multifaceted, spanning the disciplines of public health, medicine, sociology, and education. After I did a thorough and synthetic literature review, I conducted qualitative research through interviews with pre-med students to identify resources and constraints that impact attrition, and the extent to which it is racialized. I focus on the inconsistencies between what is said needs to be done to increase the number of Black students matriculating into medical school and whether there is something being done. I find that there are four main areas of barriers: inequalities in college advising, inequalities in access to resources, and pre-med social support inequalities. Based on my findings, I conclude the paper with a few research-informed policy recommendations to address the gaps in pipelines to becoming a physician for Black students in medicine.
  • The Digital Presence of German Community Archives

    Melzer, Patricia, 1970-; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    Humanities researchers find and utilize online data while researching. Often times, familiarity with programming, or the ability to use Digital Humanities (DH) tools increases the types of analyses that one can make with this digital data. For Digital Humanities research to be undertaken, sources and data must be extant and published in a digital manner. German archives that deal with counter-cultural milieus are typically independent of large institutions and are thus often poorly funded. These organizations typically do not have the funds to digitize their materials. This means that many of the sources housed in these archives are not included in historical and cultural analyses. This problem can be made visible using digital tools and interviews. The results of this project are multifaceted, including Python web-scraping scripts, a case study and quantitative assessment of independent archive websites, interviews with archivists, and an experimental case. The final part of my project will make recommendations to improve the online presence of German independent archives. The goal is to highlight the importance of digital tools developed specifically for accessing historical and social data stored in a decentralized network of archives and the contributions of the digital humanities to the larger humanities. I will present a paper that introduces descriptions and analyses of quantitative reviews of online archives, interviews with archivists, scraping scripts, and associated datasets.
  • The Modern State of Counterterrorism

    Gratson, Scott; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    In this post 9/11 era, how have countries developed their counterterrorism policies following major terrorist attacks? How have these counterterrorism policies affected the security and privacy of the citizenry? Through analyzing these counter-terrorism policies in the context of Policy Convergence Theory and Foucault’s concept of Panopticism, I seek to answer and understand these questions and more in the context of the present day. Policy Convergence Theory serves as a theory for helping understand why counterterrorism policies are similar and different across countries. Panopticism refers to the idea of humans acting accordingly to the feeling of being watched, an idea that has become much more apparent as more information about surveillance of citizens has been revealed. In this paper, I will be examining the United States, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia as case studies to answer my questions about explanations for counter-terrorism policies following major terrorist attacks and the lasting effects of these policies on privacy and security. The completion of this project marks a significant contribution to the study of counterterrorism and human rights around the world.
  • Tales of a Just Transition: Nia & Lifelong Learning

    Winston, Celeste; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    Decades ago, the American people woke up to the reality of the climate crisis and decided to build a future worth living. Soon enough, we reached net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by restructuring our economy to work for people: we established access to clean, safe housing and quality healthcare as human rights; we guaranteed good-paying, low-carbon jobs to all who wanted them; we secured lifelong access to education for all people who wanted it, and so much more. Today, life after the Just Transition looks different, but similar too. This holds true in Zion, a community in a familiar American city, and Zion’s New University, or “the New” as Zion’s residents call it. Let’s take a closer look at Zion and the New in 2054 and follow a day in the life of one particular student, Nia Greene.
  • The Relationship between Strum Rhythm and Speech Pauses in a Trial Study of Music Enriched Verb Network Strengthening Treatment

    DeDe, Gayle; Eyre, Lillian; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    Aphasia is a language disorder that may be caused by stroke or traumatic brain injury. Individuals with aphasia (IWAs) may experience difficulties with word finding, reading, auditory comprehension, writing, and/or other speech and language related challenges. Many IWAs receive speech-language therapy to address these issues. One speech-language intervention for this population is Verb Network Strengthening Treatment (VNeST), which focuses on action verbs and related subject-direct object (agent-patient) pairs. Music therapy (MT) has also been used to treat aphasia, exploiting elements common to speech and music such as pitch, rhythm, and prosody to address non-musical clinical goals related to verbal expression. MeVNeST (Music Enriched Verb Network Strengthening Treatment) is an experimental music therapy treatment currently being investigated by doctoral candidate Jing-Wen Zhang. MeVNeST follows the same steps as traditional VNEST but replaces spoken prompts and responses with improvised singing in the context of live, improvised guitar accompaniment. The purpose of both VNEST and MeVNEST is to improve clients’ ability to retrieve common action verbs along with related nouns. The present study focuses on the relationship between accented beats in the guitar accompaniment of MeVNeST sessions and the duration of pauses before and within client responses to clinician prompts. The goal is to determine whether certain strum patterns are associated with more efficient word retrieval. Two strum conditions were identified: a normative beat (unsyncopated) and a syncopated beat. Fourteen audio samples from Zhang’s study were considered: seven from each strum condition, drawn from two study participants. Music and speech data from two of these samples were then coded in Praat and analyzed in Excel. Results showed no statistically significant difference between strum conditions for pauses before responses. There was a statistically significant pause duration within responses, with shorter responses being associated with the syncopated strum condition. Future studies should continue to examine how rhythmic musical accompaniment might be used to support and enhance purposeful, fluent speech and to minimize verbal hesitations.
  • The Neurological consequences of Early Life Stress

    Shah, Mansi; Johnson, Kareem; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    Early life stress can be defined as extreme stress or trauma experienced by a child during developmental stages. This type of chronic stress can cause far reaching consequences well into adulthood. The following literature review will focus on the neurological consequences from ELS exposure. Studies show that ELS exposure can be linked to decreased hippocampus volume and blunted mesolimbic pathway, potentially increasing the risk of depression. ELS is also associated with increased amygdala volume and increased attention bias to negative cues, which might increase susceptibility to anxiety. Furthermore, insults during early childhood stages can affect the functioning and development of cognitive circuits, resulting in impaired learning and memory as evidenced by human and rodent studies. Epigenetic studies indicate that DNA methylation and BDNF expression can be altered by ELS. Fortunately, some epigenetic modulations can be targeted for therapeutic purposes.
  • Korean Development: Institutional and Ideological Origins of the Divergent Economic Outcomes in the DPRK and ROK

    Diamantaras, Dimitrios; Das, Sheyasee; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    North and South Korea are both distinctive in their heterodox approaches to economic development, governed by institutions unique to Korean history and influenced by broader international, ideological forces. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea adopted a variation of the Soviet model of controlled and centralized industrial development while espousing but failing to achieve self sufficiency through the national Juche ideology. A command approach, focused on heavy manufacturing, was retained over the more pragmatic market reforms seen in China, leading the DPRK to follow a similar arc to the USSR, seeing explosive early growth followed by stagnation and decline. The development approach of the Republic of Korea included further development of Korean liberalism and the adoption of 19th century European industrial policies, embracing an adapted approach that mirrored the processes of Japanese development. The tiered promotion of agricultural independence followed by a focus on export surplus enabled rapid development and was a foundational pillar of achieving long term growth. From these particular cases we can determine that development of agricultural self-sufficiency followed by the implementation of export oriented industrialization policy is the most effective means to achieve long term growth rather than the horizontal development of heavy manufacturing at the expense of consumer goods. Liberal democracy emerged in the South as an outcome of the economic prosperity that the country was experiencing, but the North failed to liberalize, even at its most prosperous, with the authoritarian regime only becoming more entrenched as the economy declined. In spite of this history, it is not a foregone conclusion that market reforms might be successfully implemented in the future, should the Kim regime relinquish some legal and economic control in favor of liberalization.
  • Sexual Selection in Pair-Bonding Versus Non Pair-Bonding Rodents

    Briand, Lisa A.; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    Energy investment in the production of offspring is gender dependent in rodent populations. Females expend more energy than do males, thus males must engage in competition to be considered by females, giving females the opportunity to select the fittest male. Male rodents mate strategically in order to have the highest likelihood of reproductive success with the lowest possible energy investment. Non-pair bonding males assure reproductive success by preferentially mating with previously unmated females. Unfamiliar females typically wander from their home areas, after mating females tend to return to their home territory, thus males are not required to perform paternal care. They exhibit an “all-or-nothing” mating strategy with previously mated females by increasing their mating duration and preejaculatory intromissions. In contrast, females of pair bonded species prefer socially dominant males that do not exhibit aggressive grooming behaviors and exhibit affiliative behavior. In these species, males have the highest reproductive success when they form a strong pair bond. Pair bond strength is maintained by high affiliative behavior including vocalizations, avoiding aggressive behavior, and abstaining from extra-pair copulations. Thus, we propose that females of non-pair bonding species prefer males that display a dominant phenotype, while females of pair bonding species prefer males that are likely to offer paternal care, pair bond, and refrain from aggressive behavior. Pair bonding research in rodents can have significant translational value to human relationships. Modified paradigms are needed to ensure pair-bonding rodent research can be modeled in humans.
  • Graph Convolution Neural Network for predicting Photo-excited State Properties of Indole C8H7N Absorption Spectra

    Matsika, Spiridoula; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
    Absorption spectroscopy is a very important tool in chemistry which predicts which part of the electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by a molecule, giving a unique signature for each molecule. All photo-responsive biological phenomena (i.e., photosynthesis, photocatalysis, UV absorption of DNA leading to skin cancer, and fluorescence in biological systems) are initiated by absorption of light, so many recent efforts have been shifted towards accurately modeling the spectra of molecules, where the collective vibrational effects have been identified to significantly affect the spectra shape in electronic spectroscopy. With the growing promise of deep learning in predicting properties in photo-excited molecules, this research explores the feasibility of applying the SchNet deep learning model to predict excited states properties of a molecule with added complexity outside the popular QM9 and MD17 datasets. We have found the graph convolutional structure of SchNet to account for the molecular dynamics requirements and reproduce the spectra with significantly less time and computational resources.
  • Prepping for PrEP: A Qualitative Study of HIV Service Providers’ Experiences in working with Women Who Inject Drugs (WWIDs)

    Bass, Sarah Bauerle; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
    Purpose/Hypothesis: Women who inject drugs (WWIDs) are at elevated risk for HIV due to myriad factors including injecting drugs and engagement in sex work. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can reduce HIV risk when taken-daily and is indicated for use in this population. Few studies have explored barriers and facilitators to PrEP use in WWIDs despite the medication’s harm-reducing potential. As such, this study explored the perspectives of HIV service providers on PrEP care in WWIDs at a community-based syringe exchange. Methods: A purposeful sample of 10 HIV-service providers of WWIDs at a Philadelphian syringe exchange were interviewed. Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were read to develop a coding schema, coded, and analyzed by thematic analysis using the qualitative software, DeDoose. The Temple University IRB approved this study protocol number 25028. Results: Most participants were female (n=6), half were white, 20% were black, 20% Hispanic/Latinx, and 10% were multi-racial. Interviewees had a high-level understanding of harm reduction efforts in serving WWIDs. Barriers to PrEP for WWIDs included homelessness, gender stigmas, low socioeconomic status, mistrust in healthcare, PrEP and HIV misinformation. WWIDs can be empowered by emboldened patient-provider relationship, which may improve access and adherence to PrEP. To achieve empowerment, recommendations included bundling PrEP care with other services and female-focused events that may reduce HIV, PrEP, and help-seeking stigmas. Conclusions: Providers reported many barriers to PrEP use in WWIDs. Access barriers may be surmounted by linking PrEP-services with other health- and social services within a community-facing organization. PrEP adherence may improve when patients are empowered to surmount stigmas through PrEP education.
  • Using a Size-Spectrum Community Model to Simulate the Carbon Cost of Different Fishing Strategies: Why Size Matters

    Jennings, Robert; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
    The net effect of carbon sequestration in deep sea sediments in response to phytoplankton blooms has been very well studied. Recently, researchers have started to view large marine species as analogous to terrestrial old growth forests, holding onto carbon stores between seasons and years and eventually the deep sea when they die. By removing heterotrophs from the marine environment through whaling or fishing, the net carbon in the community of organisms can decrease, adding to greenhouse gas emissions. Through mizer, a size-spectrum model, food chain interactions in response to different size-selective fishing strategies were simulated. The results suggest that fishing over a wider range of fish sizes to maintain a target yield can preserve more carbon within the community. This project introduces a novel ecosystem service that can be exploited through thoughtful fisheries management.
  • Impact of Warm Water Anomalies on Phytoplankton Composition in the Santa Barbara Channel

    Houskeeper, Henry; Kudela, Raphe; Cordes, Eric; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
    Ocean color remote sensing enables the study of sea surface temperature (SST) and phytoplankton on a large scale, although coastal systems remain a challenge due to their optical complexity. Here I focus on the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC), a complex coastal system that lies in the lee of Point Conception, which partially shelters the region from strong equatorward winds that flow along the central California coastline. I use a remote sensing abundance-based approach that partitions Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentrations by phytoplankton size class and functional type to estimate the underlying biomass composition. I validate the remote sensing classification method using matchups with in situ time series of phytoplankton abundance, and perform a regional spatial analysis of Chl-a and biomass composition in the SBC to improve understanding of how phytoplankton may respond to future ocean temperature shifts in coastal upwelling ecosystems. In 2005, delayed upwelling-favorable winds throughout the California Current System (CCS) triggered a warm water anomaly that coincided with increased levels of toxic dinoflagellate species. Then in 2013-2015 the oceanic phenomenon known as the Blob resulted in record water temperatures in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean. I examine whether the Blob triggered a similar shift in phytoplankton composition in the SBC as during the 2005 warm water anomaly. As harmful algal blooms (HABs) become less predictable and occur more frequently in the CCS, improvements to remote sensing methods for studying phytoplankton must be made for largescale analyses. To gain a socioeconomic perspective of this issue in California, I interview fishermen local to the Santa Barbara region and examine the effects that toxic blooms and warm water events have on their businesses.
  • Peer Victimization Predicts Neural Response to Simulated Social Feedback from Peers

    Olino, Thomas; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
    Peer victimization has been found to relate to internalizing problems, including depression and anxiety (Reijntjes et al., 2010). Research has also shown that peer victimization relates to neural response to social feedback, such as increased activation in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and anterior prefrontal cortex to social exclusion (Rudolph et al., 2016; Will et al., 2015). The current study aims to examine the impact of peer victimization on neural response to social feedback using the Chatroom Task. It is hypothesized that higher levels of peer victimization will be associated with increased neural response to social feedback. Fifty-two adults (Mage = 17.32, SD = 1.00) recruited from the Adolescent Cognition and Emotion Project at Temple University participated in the current study. The Social Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ) was administered to measure levels of peer victimization, and the Chatroom Task was completed in the scanner to examine neural response to social feedback. Multiple regressions will be run with level of peer victimization as the predictor variable and neural response as the outcome variable using Statistical Parametric Mapping 12. These findings will contribute to the understanding of the impact of peer victimization on response to social feedback and the associated internalizing symptoms.
  • High-Achieving Low-Income High School Students and their Awareness and Perceptions of Acceptance to Top-Tier Universities

    Neuber, Amanda; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
    The purpose of this study is to determine specific barriers that prevent students in a high-achieving low-income (HALI) school from applying to selective colleges and universities. Currently, there is a drastically lower number of HALI students applying to the most selective higher education institutions (HEIs) in the United States in comparison to their equally academically successful high income peers. Prior research has shown that there are many known barriers that hinder HALI students from submitting their applications to selective HEIs, but there is no current research about the most persistent barrier that affects application submission. Therefore, this study is looking to find if the lack of HALI student applications to selective HEIs primarily stems from negative self-perceptions of ability, a lack of awareness of selective HEIs, or a misconception of the selectivity of HEIs. More specific knowledge of student experiences before and during the college application process can be used to better inform supports for HALI students leading up to and during the college application process.
  • Assessing the Cherry Pantry’s First Year of Operation and Planning for the Future

    Neuber, Amanda; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
    This research examines how Temple University supports its food insecure students and what can be learned from other school’s support systems. This includes a broad survey of food security literature as well as a deeper review of how students experience the effects of food insecurity, and how the issue is further compounded depending on one’s gender or sexuality. An analysis of public data documenting food insecurity at Temple, in addition to interviews with Temple faculty and staff offer an insight into how well services like the Cherry Pantry are serving the student body. Identifying problems and successes is a crucial first step in improving student services, but this research then offers potential solutions for Temple by investigating what strategies have worked for other schools fighting food insecurity on their campuses. This research joins a growing body of literature that shows why food insecurity needs to be a major priority for all colleges and universities. A lack of access to affordable, nutritional food greatly affects the ability of students to live happy and successful lives and their ability to engage with their academic work.
  • Paving the Road for Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS) Imaging of Myelin

    Patil, Chetan A.; Lemay, Michel; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
    Demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), result in the deterioration of the myelin sheath that covers the neural cells of the brain. A microscopy method that can be used to assess the effectiveness of therapeutics aimed at healing demyelinating diseases and to further study these diseases is needed. Specifically, a microscopy method with high specificity to myelin and low photobleaching of myelin is needed. Photobleaching is the fading of fluorescence after repeated cycles of excitation. Currently, fluorescence microscopy and similar methods that result in photobleaching and use dyes have been used to visualize the myelin. Dyes, however, stain tissue samples and may affect molecular functions. Besides these methods, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy has also been used. In contrast to other used microscopy methods, CARS microscopy’s photobleaching can be minimized, and CARS microscopy does not use stains. As an initial step toward investigating the ability of the CARS microscope to visualize different levels of myelin, which consists primarily of lipids, and to demonstrate CARS value for use in studying demyelinating diseases and in the development of therapeutic efficacy of drugs developed to treat MS; CARS imaging of lipid droplets in engineered adipose tissue was performed, and quantification and measurement of the lipid droplets was done. In addition, a mini incubation chamber for long-term in vitro imaging of demyelination was built, and a protocol for a demyelination study has been developed.
  • Talk Rocks: A Field Guide to Creative Writing

    McCarthy, Pattie; Buynevich, Ilya; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
  • Evaluation of Transcranial NIR Light Propagation for Photo-biomodulation of Neurons Using Mesh-Based Monte Carlo Modeling

    Patil, Chetan A.; Lemay, Michel A.; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
    Research has shown that photo-biomodulation of neurons with near-infrared (NIR) light can stimulate their regeneration, and thus various research groups have developed devices that emit NIR light transcranially (through the skull) to stimulate neural growth in the brain in an effort to treat neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s. However, it is not clear that clinical device designs illuminate cells in the brain with similar parameters as those shown effective for neuro-regeneration in pre-clinical work. This project employed computational modeling and simulations to assess the effect of device design parameters on transcranial light propagation, in order to optimize illumination of brain tissue and cells and thus ultimately improve clinical results of transcranial NIR-emitting devices for neuro-regeneration. Specifically, this project consisted of the development of two computational models for transcranial NIR-emitting devices and the evaluation of three device parameters: wavelength, photon number, and power density, on transcranial NIR light propagation.
  • From Civil Rights to Women's Liberation: Women's Rights in SDS and SNCC, 1960-1980

    Glasson, Travis; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
  • 'Glory of Yet Another Kind': The Evolution & Politics of First-Wave Queer Activism, 1867-1924

    Lowe, Hilary I.; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2016)

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