The Library Prize for Undergraduate Research was established in 2004 to encourage the use of Library resources, to enhance the development of library research techniques, and to honor the best research projects produced each year by Temple University undergraduate students. Winning entries exhibited originality, depth, breadth, or sophistication in the use of library collections; exceptional ability to select, evaluate, synthesize, and utilize library resources in the creation of a project in any media; and evidence of personal growth through the acquisition of new found knowledge.

Launched in academic year 2015-16, the Livingstone Undergraduate Research Awards are Temple University Libraries’ reshaped, expanded, and improved initiative rewarding the best undergraduate work at the university. The Livingstone Awards address the depth and breadth of undergraduate research subjects, methods, and projects through six distinct categories:

  • Humanities
  • Social sciences
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematical disciplines
  • Creative works and media production
  • Diversity and social justice
  • General education courses

The new awards were named to honor our generous donor, John H. Livingstone, SBM ‘49, who has supported undergraduate research through the original Library Prize and now Livingstone Awards for more than a decade. academic year by Temple Libraries and Gale, a leading organization in e-research and educational publishing. The diversity and social justice award is generously sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning. Papers and projects for all categories except GenEd are selected each year to win $1000. The general education award is co-sponsored by the Libraries and the GenEd program and carries a $500 cash prize.

Recent Submissions

  • Sociopolitical Influence and the Impact of Deterrence: An Examination of the ICC's Effectiveness in Preventing Global Human Rights Abuses

    Pollack, Mark A., 1966- (Temple University. Libraries, 2024)
    Imagine a world where perpetrators of repeated human rights abuses can escape justice and even sabotage the efforts of those who seek to hold them accountable. This is the reality that the International Criminal Court (ICC) faces in its mission to deter and prosecute international crimes. In this paper, I will argue that the ICC is largely ineffective in deterring human rights abuses by leaders abroad, based on descriptive qualitative studies of several cases involving Russia, Afghanistan, Libya, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan, and Kenya, where political influence, among other related factors, undermined the court’s authority and legitimacy. My research question is as follows: How effective is the ICC in deterring international human rights abuses by leaders? I hypothesize that the ICC is mostly ineffective in deterring human rights abuses abroad, especially by political leaders, albeit with a few notable exceptions. Utilizing information from primary sources, such as the press comments of relevant politicians and firsthand news articles detailing the events, and secondary sources, such as court documents and journal articles, This paper argues that the ICC is not only circumvented, but frequently undermined by political influence. Renown executives, such as the George Bush administration in the U.S. or William Ruto in Kenya, were able to directly interfere with investigation efforts by witness tampering or manipulating legal loopholes. In these cases, innate vulnerabilities were exposed, showing the ICC can be rendered powerless against human rights abuses. A historical and theoretical study on these cases and the implication of their respective ICC interactions will be the leading basis of my paper.
  • Swann's Way: Marcel Proust's Sanctuary of Remembrance

    Joshi, Priya (Temple University. Libraries, 2024)
    The following examination of the metaphors and memories that shape Swann’s Way utilizes context surrounding Proust’s aesthetic affinity for English writer John Ruskin, whose philosophical ideas he translated into French and diffused into his own oeuvre. The origins of Proust’s metaphors are understood further in their wider social function in the novel, which will be discussed alongside Marxist critic Walter Benjamin’s essay “The Image of Proust” that fully shapes this discussion as one of both the inner and outer spheres of experience that the novel is preoccupied with. Ultimately, Proust’s veneration for the value of a writer’s words – the artist’s capturing of an object, a person, an experience – surpassing the object itself is what defines his status within the modernist milieu. Proust posits an empiricist theory made fully literary as he reenacts the writer’s journey towards a fully realized artistic perception amidst the crowdedness of modernity, marking the social and interior selves as intertwined.
  • Unpacking Social Impairment in those with Opioid Use Disorder: Linking Impulsivity, Childhood Trauma, and the Prefrontal Cortex

    Sinko, Laura (Temple University. Libraries, 2024)
    Background: Challenges with social functioning, which is a hallmark of opioid use disorder (OUD), are a drawback in treatment adherence and maintenance. Yet, little research has explored the underlying mechanisms of this impairment. Impulsivity, a known risk factor for OUD, and corresponding neural alterations may be at the center of this issue. Childhood adversity, which has been linked to both impulsivity and poorer treatment outcomes, could also affect this relationship. This study aims to understand the relationship between impulsivity and social functioning in those recovering from OUD. Differences in the prefrontal cortex will be analyzed, as well as potential moderating effects of childhood trauma. Methods: Participants with (N=16) and without (N=19) social impairment completed a survey (e.g., social functioning, Barrat’s Impulsivity Scale, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and cognitive tasks while undergoing neuroimaging. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), a modern, portable, and low-cost neuroimaging technology, was used to measure prefrontal cortex activity during a behavioral inhibition task (Go/No-Go task). Results: The socially impaired group (n=16) was significantly more impulsive (t(33)= -3.4, p< 0.01) and displayed more depressive symptoms (t(33) = -2.8, p <0.01) than those without social impairment (n=19). Social functioning was negatively correlated with impulsivity (r=-0.7, p<0.001), such that increased impulsivity corresponded to decreased social functioning. Childhood trauma emerged as a moderator of this relationship, but only when controlling for the effects of depression, B=-0.11, p=0.023. Although both groups had comparable Go/No-Go task performance, the socially impaired group displayed greater activation in the dorsolateral (F(1,100.8)=7.89, p<0.01), ventrolateral (F(1,88.8)= 7.33, p<0.01), and ventromedial (F(1,95.6)= 7.56, p<0.01) prefrontal cortex during impulse control. Conclusion: Beyond being more impulsive, individuals with social impairment exhibited differential activation in the prefrontal cortex when controlling responses. Furthermore, the impact of impulsivity on social functioning varies depending on ACEs demonstrating that it must considered in treatment approaches. These findings have implications for addressing social needs and impulsivity of those in recovery, highlighting the importance of a more personalized, integrative, and trauma-informed approach to intervention.
  • International Students’ Academic Challenges at American Colleges

    Rhee, Eunsook Ha (Temple University. Libraries, 2024)
    The United States of America is one of the most popular destinations for international students seeking higher education. The colleges attract a diverse group of students from different cultural backgrounds. The American learning culture is subject to many literal works and includes widely spread subtopics that can be considered. Other learning cultures that international students have brought from their countries cause academic challenges that might affect international students’ performances in class. Overwhelmed by the transition from accustomed international education systems to the American College system, a lot of students are confronted with challenges in their academic careers. Examining academic challenges is crucial in order to assist international students in overcoming these obstacles and enhancing their academic performance. This literature review focuses on the academic challenges that international students face at American colleges by examining what research has already been done and what needs to be improved when it comes to dealing with students of different origins. The key points of the literary sources are mostly connected to the language barrier as well as the diversity of academic cultures, which depict a challenge and can influence the student’s academic education negatively.
  • Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization: Gender Stereotypes and Assumptions in the Language of the Supreme Court.

    Pollitt, Jennifer (Temple University. Libraries, 2024)
    Through a textual analysis of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, this project seeks to better understand and compare the language used by the Supreme Court in the majority and dissenting opinions through a lens of gender and sexuality. To better understand the biases that influence the Supreme Court, this study was conducted through a textual analysis of both the majority and dissenting opinions in Dobbs. The analysis identifies differences in the language used in the majority and dissenting opinions.
  • Complex Resonance: Complementary Contrast in the Works of Mitchell/Giurgola and Venturi Scott Brown and Associates

    Meninato, Paul (Temple University. Libraries, 2024)
    Precursors to the Modern movement in the vein of styles such as Neo-Classicism arguably set conventions, or at least assimilated standards, for which architecture was designed in much of the western world prior to the industrial revolution. Despite these developments, the implications of industrialization and the scientific-technological advancements made in the 19th and early 20th centuries ultimately culminated in an unprecedented wave of homogeneity in architecture. The epitome of canonical Modernism—the International style—characterized by stripped, light-weight, planar forms which promoted the interior free-plan, was envisioned and promoted most famously in the likes of designers such as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe. This style rose to prominence precisely because such practitioners looked to these developments as capable of liberating architecture from the hindrances of tradition. The universality of this kind of architecture was evident in the sense that aspects of the movement had spread beyond Europe and America in one way or another before the outbreak of World War II.
  • The International Criminal Court and Restorative Justice: Community Reparations for Victim-Survivors of Sexual Violence

    Fioretos, Karl Orfeo, 1966- (Temple University. Libraries, 2023)
    This paper investigates how the philosophic justifications for punishing perpetrators of sexual violence within international law evolved as our conceptualizations of sexual violence in warfare shifted, with a focus on the tension between deterrence and restoration. In the past decade, the prevailing understanding of sexual violence has begun to shift to a focus on the ability of sexual violence to destroy the social fabric of a community, which implies an emphasis on the restoration of community in the justice process with specific attention to the reintegration of victim-survivors. I reframe the debate to the practice of reparations as an effective form of restorative justice by the International Criminal Court. By analyzing the relationship between dominant theories of wartime sexual violence and justifications of punishment emphasized by the ICC, this paper demonstrates how emerging concepts of sexual violence in armed conflict imply the need for an amplified focus on restoration in the ICC. I draw from restorative justice literature to illustrate the potential of bottom-up, gender-sensitive reparative programs to provide economic relief to the entire community while simultaneously undermining structures of gender inequality and rethreading the social fabric by returning autonomy to the community to define their needs and values.
  • French Facial Covering Ban: A Comparison of American and French Media Coverage from 2010 – 2012

    Darling-Wolf, Fabienne (Temple University. Libraries, 2023)
    In September 2010, France became the first European country to enact a ban on full facial coverings. French Parliament cited safety and French values of secularism as the reasoning behind the ban, but public debate around the true intentions of the ban and its implications for the country’s large Muslim population intensified. This paper seeks to analyze media coverage surrounding the ban and its ensuing effects on public perception of the event throughout the year it was passed and up to two years post-legislation. Turning a critical eye to the dissemination of information on an international scale, this research seeks to analyze the language, tone, and themes between major American and French news agencies as two countries with widely impactful media outlets, vast international influence, and a populous with access to the increasing accessibility of technology and social media of the time. Ultimately, France’s facial-covering ban includes written law that does not specify religious garments at all, differing from the articles identified within this research and showing potential correlation between the media’s reporting and the public’s perception of the law.
  • Assessment and Verification of Machine Learning Applications for Detecting False Data Injection Attacks in Automatic Generation Control

    Keston, Geoff (Temple University. Libraries, 2023)
    Although the increasing integration of Internet of Things devices into the modern grid infrastructure has improved grid performance and efficiency in many ways, cyberattacks now pose a significant threat to system stability and reliability. For instance, false data injection attacks modify sensor measurements and control signals, disrupting power balancing and supplication tasks performed by generation control systems. Detecting these attacks can mitigate their impact. In this paper, three machine learning detection methods are comparatively analyzed to determine implementation efficacy and practicality: long short-term memory, generative adversarial networks, and cluster-driven ensemble learning. The novel cluster-driven ensemble learning algorithm (and its associated intrusion detection system) best satisfies the evaluation criteria due to its accuracy, resource requirements, and decentralized architecture. Additionally, this paper proposes a framework for an open-source, portable cyber-physical testbed using the SEED Internet Emulator. With the framework described, the SEED Emulator can be used to address the lack of existing cybersecurity testbed platforms for grid applications and can be applied to verify the efficacy of the proposed solution. A successful implementation of the cluster-driven ensemble learning intrusion detection system will improve grid security and stability, mitigating the costly social, economic, and environmental consequences of data injection attacks.
  • Challenges and Opportunities in Creating an Accessible Web Application for Learning Organic Chemistry

    Fleming, Steven A. (Steven Alan) (Temple University. Libraries, 2023)
    This research project has three distinct contributions. First, questionnaire data were gathered from 56 participants related to the development of an organic chemistry web application, called web-based Organic Reaction Animations (webORA). Second, usability test data were collected from 12 participants which focused on accessibility challenges that users face when using webORA. Third, an accessibility analysis was conducted using Wave, a web accessibility evaluation tool.
  • Two Sides to the Story: Linguistic Assimilation in America

    Toomey, Melissa (Temple University. Libraries, 2023)
    This research project aims to answer the following research question: “Should immigrants work to fully assimilate into American society by only speaking English instead of their native languages?” It argues that immigrants should not work to linguistically assimilate into American life because it restricts these individuals to a superficial sense of belonging within American society and distances them from their native identity. In order to demonstrate this claim with a unique genre, the author created a satirical American survival guide promoting English only, juxtaposed with a second ethnic minority empowerment magazine.
  • Creating Positive Change for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals in the Philippines

    Hall, Matthew L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2023)
    This research project explores the scope of sexual health issues in the Philippines.
  • Bach Transcribed for Oboe: History and Interpretation

    Zohn, Steven David, 1966- (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    Johann Sebastian Bach’s solo oboe music, though regarded today as a treasure, does not really exist as such. Instead, these pieces come down to us as harpsichord concertos (and in some cases church cantata movements) that have been later reconstructed for solo oboe. For example, Bach’s Concerto in C Minor for violin, oboe, and strings (BWV 1060R), was reconstructed from a work for two harpsichords and strings when nineteenth-century scholars realized the high probability of the solo parts originally having been conceived for oboe and violin (which are more soloistic instruments than the harpsichord). In this paper, I focus on performance approaches and styles to the first movement of BWV 1060R. After explaining how Bach’s solo oboe repertoire was derived from his keyboard concertos and church cantatas, I investigate the performance traditions of this movement from the mid-twentieth century to the present using a variety of recordings. This evaluation is based in part on my own experiences of playing oboe and listening to professional oboists. My goal is to clarify not only the history of J.S. Bach’s solo oboe repertoire, but also to reveal how the history of performing the opening Allegro of BWV 1060R on the oboe has unfolded, and how it is still developing today.
  • Deafness in Australia: Where to Go from Here

    Hall, Matthew L.; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    In 1982, the company Cochlear Ltd. was founded and based in Australia, and in collaboration with the Australian government, "sought to bring the cochlear implant to market” (Blume, 2010; Cochlear Ltd.). Today, 80% of Australia Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children are implanted with a cochlear implant (Hyde, 2005). Cochlear claims that they “empower people to connect with others and live a full life.” But what is stopping a DHH person from living a full life? Many people in the Australian Deaf community would argue that being Deaf is not a loss, and that being connected to one’s Deaf identity and a sign language is empowering and meaningful, and certainly a part of a “full life” regardless of if cochlear implant is involved (Levitzke-Gray, 2016). The role of the cochlear implant is established in its founding but is nevertheless symbolic of a broader issue. The othering of DHH people is not unique to Australia, but certainly a key reason why DHH people struggle there. The reliance on cochlear implants can delay language acquisition, as the subsequent reliance on spoken language, as opposed to a sign language like Australian Sign Language (Auslan), affects a person’s ability to navigate the world (Levitzke-Gray, 2016; Madden, 2008; Winn, 2007). This missed opportunity for acquiring language more easily for DHH people – which would open the gates earlier for things such as socialization, connection to Deaf culture, access to health care, etc. – affects a Deaf Australian’s right to a healthy life. Organizations such as Deaf Australia and activists like Drisana Levitzke-Gray advocate for doctors and the people of Australia to recognize sign languages like Auslan as a full and useful language, and for acceptance of Deaf people and their culture, and to not rush to “fix” a DHH child with a cochlear implant, which often do not work as intended or make the child “hearing” (Madden, 2008). The Australian government, too, is being asked to step up and ensure rights to people with disabilities as they promised by signing the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This paper will explore these two options to help the DHH people of Australia, and recommend which direction is best.
  • Beloved, Beyoncé, and the Burdens Of Our Past: A Critical Examination of Healing From Trauma in the African American Gothic

    Newman, Steve, 1970- (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    Despite being created nearly thirty years apart, Beloved and Lemonade are remarkably similar historical projects: both texts critically engage with America’s legacy of systemic racism to explore how past injustices create present-day inequality, arguing that the racist institutions that slavery was founded on did not disappear with the Emancipation Proclamation but instead continue to dramatically affect the everyday lives of people of color decades and centuries later. Both Morrison and Beyoncé allegorize this argument in their respective texts: in Beloved, Sethe acts as a microcosm for Reconstruction-era Black Americans grappling with the omnipresent effects of slavery’s legacy less than two decades after the end of the Civil War; whereas in Lemonade, Beyoncé uses her personal experience coming to terms with her husband’s infidelity as a way to examine racism’s effect on the Black family throughout American history. In both cases, this allegory serves as each woman’s proposed guide for personal and national healing in a country haunted by its racist past and present, and in both texts, the essential question becomes how to create a more just future from the wreckage of an unjust past — how to move “forward,” as Beyoncé sings in Lemonade’s emotional peak. The critical difference, however, is in how each author’s historical project merges the past and present and the largely different conclusions they come to as a result. This paper will focus on these differences between Beloved and Lemonade’s engagement with the past as a vessel for understanding the present through a comparative analysis of these texts’ functions as projects for personal healing, literary storytelling, and historical reexamination. First, I will explore the texts’ unique differences in medium and structure, paying attention to how the merging of past and present becomes an essential part of the storytelling process for each author. Second, I will contextualize each text within the legacy of African American Gothic literature, focusing on how the texts’ interest in Gothic symbols and motifs — especially ghosts and haunting — further blend past and present in ways that dramatically impact each story. Third, I will examine how each author uses water and fire as competing symbols for different processes of healing, connecting each to the texts’ shared fascination with memory as a means of reintegrating the past into the present. Finally, I will demonstrate how the conclusions each author comes to about how to approach personal and national healing in the context of systemic racism lead to vastly different paths for establishing a more just future, and I will argue that Lemonade puts forth a much more definitive model for healing with the past than Beloved, which offers an inconclusive position that is more in line with the complexities that arise from this question.
  • Self-reported communication attitudes of children with childhood apraxia of speech

    Maas, Edwin; Temple University. Diamond Research Scholars (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    Much of the research literature on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) has focused on understanding, diagnosing, and treating the impairment, rather than examining its broader impact. The present study focuses on the Personal Factors component of the World Health Organization model. Two validated communication attitude questionnaires were administered to 12 children with CAS enrolled in an intensive speech-focused intervention. Children’s scores were compared to the questionnaires’ typically developing norms. Relationships to CAS severity, caregiver perceptions of communicative participation, frustration ratings during therapy, and change over a brief period were also investigated. Preliminary findings indicate that older but not younger children with CAS are more likely to have greater negative self-perceptions about their speech. No significant correlation was found between caregivers’ perceptions of communicative participation in various contexts and communication attitudes, highlighting the need to include more child self-report measures in research. Further implications for CAS assessment and intervention are discussed.
  • Coming Out Under a Dictatorship: The Rise of the Early Gay Liberation Movement in Brazil through O Lampião da Esquina, 1978-1981

    Ryan, Eileen, 1978- (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    This research project looks at the development of the Gay Liberation Movement in Brazil through O Lampião da Esquina, the country’s first gay publication to gain national circulation. A movement for gay rights emerged there during a military dictatorship that lasted from 1964 to 1985. During this period, the government had the power to torture its citizens and censor the media. Having this in mind, it is intriguing that a gay publication emerged in this context. At the time, economic instability and crumbling public approval rates motivated President Geisel to slowly transition back to democracy. It is in this context of transition that leftist and democratic social movements started to arise and that alternative newspapers like Lampião were able to emerge. Through an analysis of the articles present in Lampião, this paper aims to investigate the nature of the collaboration between Brazil’s social movements during the late 1970s. The following analysis suggests that Lampião was crucial in offering gay people a platform where they could see themselves represented and create a sense of community with a culture of their own. It also argues that Lampião embodies the complex relationship between the Gay Liberation Movement and leftist groups.
  • Bioretention Systems Optimized for Denitrification: Stormwater Management Practice Design Recommendations for Philadelphia

    Keston, Geoff (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    This paper proposes bioretention design features for land developers in the Philadelphia area. For areas that experience intermittent storms that produce high volumes of runoff and high concentrations of metals and inorganic pollutants, the paper recommends constructing bioretention systems with dimensions following the Philadelphia Water Department’s bioretention sizing table. The basin media should consist of loam or sandy loam modified with a carbon-rich amendment, while the drainage layer media should consist of an amended gravel/woodchip mixture. Three exploratory, inexpensive amendments — waste tire crumb rubber, coconut coir fiber, and biochar — were evaluated to enhance the performance of the bioretention system; these carbon-based adsorbents have been proven to remove metals and inorganic nutrients from contaminated water. By pyrolyzing coconut coir fiber at around 300 deg C, biochar amendments to the soil and internal water storage layers could enhance a bioretention system’s capacity to adsorb metals while also improving microbial and plant mediated nutrient removal and water retention potential. The bioretention system is expected to meet the PWD’s requirements for metal and inorganic nutrient pollution removal even in excessive circumstances, thereby allowing the developer’s project to proceed as intended while protecting combined wastewater systems and the surrounding urban environment from excessive contaminated runoff.
  • Immigrant Children and School

    Levi, Heather, 1962- (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
  • Development of the Student Sexual Health and Wellbeing Questionnaire

    Angel Adaros, Ada Esperanza (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
    While university can be an exciting opportunity for sexual exploration, many young adults come into this experience with inadequate or inconsistent sexual health education and knowledge, and consequently experience negative sexual health outcomes. Universities can play an important role in providing resources that support students’ sexual health and wellbeing, however, this requires meaningful assessment of the students’ needs. Current measures for young adult sexual health and wellbeing are underdeveloped; often too narrow, biomedical, and outdated in their language, existing measures are not meaningful nor are they inclusive. The main objectives of this study were to (a) develop a revised, comprehensive definition of young adult sexual health and wellbeing, and (b) develop a meaningful, relevant measure for sexual health and wellbeing that could provide insight into university students’ needs. The questionnaire development process included creating an original measure for student sexual health, and a pilot study to assess the validity and reliability of the measure. The participants of the pilot study included a sample of 75 students from a small, private international university in Tokyo, Japan. Inter-item reliability analysis was used to assess the reliability for appropriate subscales, while all data was assessed for trends in participants’ experiences. The results of the inter-item reliability showed adequate to good reliability across all relevant subscales. Results showed that most students had received sexual health education during their schooling prior to entering university, and that outside of schooling the internet was, and continues to be, a primary source for sexual health information. While most students reported confidence in expressing consent, notably fewer felt confident with withdrawing consent. Regarding methods of sexual protection, students overwhelming showed comfortability with using condoms, yet were commonly unsure about using any other methods of sexual protection. Finally, while the majority of students acknowledged their sexual experiences affecting their emotional wellbeing, they much less commonly felt comfortable seeking related emotional supported when needed. Results of this study support previous research that the internet is a significant source of sexual health information, and support the benefit of utilizing a comprehensive definition for sexual health and wellbeing. They also provide key insight into directions of improvements that universities can take to provide support for their students’ sexual health. Provided the limited sample size of this study and the limited cross-cultural relevance for this measure, future research should continue include larger samples and consider adapting the measure to be specifically relevant for various cultural backgrounds.

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