North Central College - Naperville, IL

Oral Presentations

Goldspohn Hall and Harold and Eva White Activities Center
Session 1: 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.

The Power of the Pen: Language, Rhetoric and Punctuation
Moderator: Dr. Silvia Goldman, Spanish    
Location: White Activities Center, Fireside Lounge

A Smattering of Semicolons: The Science of Style in Dickens’ “David Copperfield”
Kelly Noel Rasmussen ’14, English: Writing, Spanish
Advisor: Dr. Francine Navakas, English

Over time, the function of punctuation has changed in English grammar, but sometimes, rather than recognizing this when we read aged pieces of literature, we impose our own contemporary grammatical rules upon these works; in the case of Charles Dickens, this is extremely easy to do. In Dickens’ novel “David Copperfield” (1849-1850) he uses an inordinate amount of semicolons by today’s standards. For this reason, using Schou’s article “The Syntactic Status of the English Language” (2007), I investigate the punctuation rules during the Victorian Era and I apply them to a passage in his novel, focusing on the minutiae of each comma, each semicolon. From there, I discuss the possible reasons Dickens may have had for constructing his punctuation as he did, acknowledging both his love of performing and how that may have influenced his punctuation, that the semicolon is most certainly in vogue.

How Survey Wording Affects Political Confidence: An Experiment
Jamie Solus ’13, Organizational Communication   
Amber N. Bray ’13, English Print Journalism
Krista E. Valeskey ’13, Organizational Communication
Advisor: Dr. Hillary Shulman, Speech Communication

The purpose of this research is to examine the relationship between the language used in public opinion polling and how that language affects the respondents’ levels of comfort and confidence with the subject matter. Examining this topic can give insight to the technicalities of survey design and allow researchers to create better surveys that are more effective in discovering overall public opinion. We constructed an online survey experiment where participants received either difficultly worded public opinion questions or easily worded public opinion questions. This was followed by questions pertaining to their political involvement, knowledge and confidence. We expected that when respondents were given easier questions their confidence, interest and knowledge scores will be higher than those given more difficult questions. Participants were solicited both online and at North Central College.

Crafting Roman History
Taylor J. Hagen ’13, Classical Civilization, History
Advisor: Dr. Michael de Brauw, Classics

Caesar’s “Commentarii De Bello Gallico” contains only one personal anecdote. Through analysis of this passage and research conducted in Roman exemplarity, I have come to the conclusion that this is an exemplum, a moral anecdote meant to inspire and guide the actions of others. Exempla, in Livy for example, focus on greatness in the past, a time when, as the Roman historian Sallust put it, Romans fought enemies from outside and competed with themselves for glory. Caesar’s age, however, was a time of Romans fighting amongst themselves and pursuing their own interests. Caesar himself was named part of a “three-headed monster” for this very reason. The story in De Bello Gallico 5.44, however, tells of two contemporary Romans competing for glory in the manner of Livy’s Horatius Cocles, Rome’s most important exemplum of valor. With this exemplum, Caesar rebuts this charge. He argues that the morals of the old days are still alive and embodied in his legions. By applying an understanding of Roman exemplarity, we find a previously unnoticed rhetorical strategy in Caesar’s literary work.

The Lost Chapters of 20th Century German History
Moderator: Dr. Gregory Wolf, German    
Location: White Activities Center, Banquet Hall

Bound by Faith: The German Resistance to Hitler
Whitney L. English ’13, History
Advisor: Dr. Bruce Janacek, History

When Hitler came to power in 1933, he quickly gained the support of much of the German population by improving unemployment and Germany’s economy. He also promoted a powerful force of nationalism that not only brought the German people together, but seduced millions of Germans into believing they were a morally superior “race” which had catastrophic consequences throughout Europe. Yet, it is a common misconception to classify all Germans during that time as Nazis. Some Germans resisted Hitler and the Nazi party in different ways and on different levels. Though the resistance movement was largely unorganized and unsuccessful, the testimonies and writings of resisters like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sophie Scholl, Marion Yorck and Karl-Heinz Schnibbe reveal how resisters, driven by their religious convictions and sense of moral duty to themselves and their country, engaged in activities that put themselves in danger. They relied on a bond of unity of the German people that never came.  

Widerstand Im Dritten Reich: The Legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Christina L. Bodigor ’13, German, Organizational Communication
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Wolf, German

After the National Socialists came to power in Germany, citizens were persuaded by force to conform to the vision of the new regime. No organization, including the church, was exempt from the process known as Gleichshaltung. The German Christians (DC) were one of the largest advocates of National Socialism and ensured that congregation members were exposed to Nazi ideals. Despite the onslaught of propaganda, there were those who opposed the DC and by association, the Nazis. Through the use of books, documentaries and articles, my study explores the notion of exercising leadership and resistance during a violent epoch via pacifism, as exemplified by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. By acting as a pastor, spy, theologian, teacher and friend, Bonhoeffer was able to help while staying true to his convictions, regardless of the inherent risk. Although Bonhoeffer’s time was short, he managed to inspire the humanity in people and continues to until this day.

Expressionism: An Artistic Representation of Longing for an Idealistic Past and a Brighter Future in Urbanized Germany
Veronica M. Walker ’14, Global Studies: Europe
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Wolf, German

The turbulent period of urbanization and modernization in Germany during the late 19th and early 20th centuries gave rise to an artistic reaction to the newfound hardships and challenges in a rapidly changing industrial society. Loosely organized groups, such as “Die Brücke” in Dresden and “Der Blaue Reiter” in Munich, developed an artistic program that stressed the expression of subjective emotion over realism. According to Randolph Schwabe, expressionism is “the concentrated presentation of emotion sought from within the artist’s consciousness—an insistence on feeling rather than visualization and reproduction of the external world.” My research investigates common themes, such as a return to nature, longing and a desire for meaningful communication evoked by expressionist paintings by artists such as Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele and Gabriele Münter, and explores how these Expressionists used color, shape and form to thematize the collective sense of alienation present in German society.

True to Form? Assessing Modern Interpretations of the Classics
Moderator: Dr. Matthew Kirkpatrick, English    
Location: White Activities Center, Dining Room

Shakespeare Simplified: An Exploration of Romeo and Juliet Adaptations for Children
Kimberly Grazulis ’13, English: Writing, French
Advisor: Dr. Sara Eaton, English

My research investigates three contemporary animated versions of Romeo and Juliet—Kelly Asbury’s “Gnomeo and Juliet” (2011), Phil Nibbelink’s Romeo and Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss (2006), and BBC’s “Romeo and Juliet” (1992)—which have received little serious critical attention, to evaluate the uses in popular culture of Shakespeare’s iconic text. All three directors were not afraid of radically changing Shakespeare’s text to make their films more palatable to their audience. These adaptations delete characters, soften tragedy and warp language, hoping to tell the original story in a comprehensible manner. Ultimately, these films oversimplify the original play, relying too heavily on visuals and humor and straying too far from Shakespeare to still be considered accurate representations or, perhaps, even serious adaptations. That being said, they have potential as pedagogical tools that can help ease young learners into Shakespeare’s legacy.

No Country for Old Men: Rethinking Individualism in the Western
Andrew J. Smith ’13, English: Writing
Advisor: Dr. Mathias Regan, English

Because the trope of individualism has always been deemed central to the Western’s ideological version of masculinity, scholars have yet to recognize the importance fellowship plays in the genre’s dominant narratives and tropes. In order to show how strongly fellowship figures in the traditional Western, I compare three texts: two well-known historical Westerns—”Deadwood Dick,” “The Prince of the Road” (1877) and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966)—and Cormac McCarthy’s recently published postmodern novel “No Country for Old Men” (2005), which I argue is best regarded as belonging to the Western genre.  I argue that McCarthy’s novel subverts the iconic shootout narrative, which is misconstrued to only be about upholding individualism, in order to pose specific questions about preconceptions of the Western genre and broader cultural questions about the valuing of individualism over collectivism within Western society.

Richard in the Present: Staging Disability in the 21st Century
Colin Loeffler ’14, English: Literature, Theatre
Advisor: Dr. Sara Eaton, English

Due to the belief in physiognomy during the early modern period, Richard’s disability in “Richard III” would have been grossly exaggerated and taken as proof of Richard’s villainy, thereby equating deformity with evil. Due to an increased interest in disability studies and a more ethically minded society, contemporary productions of “Richard III” have a responsibility to perform in a way that does not offend anyone with an actual disability. Presentism as a theoretical perspective claims that both the context in which a text was written and the context in which it is read are equally key to understanding it. More important, however, is the difference between them. This project combines presentism with performance analysis. Three productions of “Richard III” were attended. The research examines the staging of Richard’s disability, as well as how different characters respond to this physical deformity.

Earth, Wind and Fire: Studies of the Natural Environment
Moderator: Dr. Gregory Ruthig, Biology    
Location: White Activities Center 10

A Greenhouse Study on the Improvement of Soil Quality With Biochar as a Soil Amendment
Michelle Ruffatti ’13, Chemistry
Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Jankowski, Chemistry

Biochar as a soil amendment has the potential to improve soil quality, reduce the carbon footprint, reduce fertilizer pollution, and be a source of alternative fuel. Previous studies have indicated that the tree species Gleditsia triacanthos and Acer saccharum responded positively when exposed to fertilizers and mulches. A factorial experiment, measured in terms of improved tree growth, was conducted to compare the effectiveness of biochar to other soil amendments such as biosolids, compost, fertilizer, mulch and aerated compost tea. The results of this 18-month study indicated the treatments significantly affected the growth of the trees and that the soil type of the individual sample microcosms did affect the tree performance. Biochar was consistently ranked second of the soil additives in terms of overall tree biomass and root volume which supports the utilization of biochar over the soil amendments currently used.  

Successional Response of Insects to Fire in Illinois Deciduous Woodlands
Jordan R. Kremer ’13, Biology
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Ruthig, Biology

Fire is an important disturbance in woodland ecosystems and has been used as a method of restoration for many years. There is a significant amount of data on the effects of fire on the vegetative community, but little is known about the effect it plays on Illinois deciduous woodland arthropods. Ten sites were established in two Illinois forest preserves for insect collection, Blackwell and Herrick Lake forest preserves. Each had a range of years since their last fires: 1 year, 4 years, 7/8 years, 12/13 years and 18 years following a burn. Results showed statistically significant trends for richness but not diversity. A u-shaped trend can be fit to all graphs, opposite to that of the IDH. The highest richness and diversity were consistently found one year following a burn and then 18 years following a burn. Future results will examine the effect of fire upon trophic levels and specific species.

Untangling Myths and Misconceptions of the World Around Us
Moderator: Dr. Matthew Krystal, Anthropology  
Location: White Activities Center 12

The End of the Maya Calendar and the Beginning of a New Era
Haley Kirk ’13, Global Studies: Developing States, Spanish
Advisor: Dr. Matthew Krystal, Anthropology

As December 21, 2012, approached, we watched as the Internet and media exploded with speculation on the Mayan apocalypse. However, the date came and went without catastrophe or destruction. This presentation will analyze some of these apocalyptic misinterpretations and also clarify the actual Maya interpretation of the date. December 21 did mark a significant date for the Maya, however, it was never interpreted as the end of the world. It has rather been viewed as an opportunity for change and rebirth. Based on five months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Guatemalan Highlands, this research gives examples of how this idea of rebirth has manifested itself in dialogue and social organizations, particularly concerning the environment and social justice.

Whaling as an Anthropological Issue
Anna Rose McGreal ’13, Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Matthew Krystal, Anthropology

Over the last half century, whaling has become an international political issue, nations’ autonomy even in national waters. Yet since the mid-1980s, the theory that whaling is leading to the extinction of species has been contested over and over again. Around the same time that the scientific backing for whaling moratoriums began to waver, the ethical implications of whaling arose in political discourse, keeping legitimacy for the international whaling moratorium intact. But this kind of legitimacy is not the same as scientific reports. The ethical dilemma of killing and eating whales is unique to Western culture, and yet the moratorium affects all countries. Literature on the subject has attributed this to Western cultural imperialism in the political arena. The question explored in this research is whether or not Westerners and non-Westerners recognize a whale’s rights to be culturally relevant. Japanese, Australians and Americans will be surveyed and their answers compared.

Withdrawn Youth: Study of Hikikomori in Japan
Madelyn Higdon ’14, East Asian Studies, Global Studies: East Asia, Japanese
Advisor: Dr. Brian Hoffert, History, Religious Studies

In Japan, there has been a recent emergence of a unique social withdrawal condition called the hikikomori. Although there are social withdrawal cases throughout the world, this particular one is unique to Japan. Research that has been done so far has been split between psychological and sociological points of view. From a psychological standpoint, hikikomori is the result of some sort of mental issue closely related to social anxiety, or depression. From a sociological view, it is the result of certain stresses placed upon individuals in Japanese society, whether from higher competition on the job market, suppression of individuality or the shame culture. This study will draw upon previous research that both supports and challenges the argument. Unlike previous research, this paper will demonstrate how the hikikomori condition can only truly be explained through a combination of both psychological and sociological factors.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of American Politics
Moderator: Dr. Suzanne Chod, Political Science    
Location: Goldspohn 31

James Madison’s Scottish Enlightenment Education: Common Sense, Experimentation and Reason Shape America
Carl Monk ’13, History
Advisor: Dr. Ann Durkin Keating, History

James Madison was a leading figure at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia as well as a major advocate for ratification through his authorship of a number of essays within The Federalist Papers. The intellectual contributions of Madison shaped the American political system and perspective. Madison’s education prepared him for this crucial role in early American politics. At the College of New Jersey, now Princeton, Madison studied under John Witherspoon. Witherspoon introduced Madison to the methodology and ideology of Scottish Enlightenment, with particular focus on the School of Common Sense headed by Thomas Reid. Madison also studied the works of other Scottish Enlightenment thinkers like David Hume and Adam Smith. My research shows Madison’s commitment to reason, experimentation and common sense in his Federalist Papers, his research essays prior to the Constitutional Convention, and notes from the Convention, thus proving Madison to be the product of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Polarized Sexism in the Media: Why Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin Lost in 2008
Emily L. Goodfellow ’14, Global Studies: International Relations, Political Science
Advisor: Dr. Suzanne Chod, Political Science

The 2008 U.S. presidential election was the first time female candidates ran for both the presidential and vice-presidential seats in the same election cycle. An in-depth analysis will discuss the forms of sexism present in media from January 2007 to November 2008. This study will investigate why both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin lost in 2008 and what factors played a role in their downfall. Expectations were to find that partisan-affiliated news programs would have the highest incidence of sexist remarks. Results suggested that programs headed by male anchors were the biggest offenders. By scrutinizing transcripts from the most watched cable news programs (Nielsen Media Research), this study will code for sexist comments based on the Women’s Media Center “Pyramid of Egregiousness.” This study engages discussion on the power and presence of the media as well as the importance of further research.

Teacher Unions: Public Perceptions and Teacher Experiences
Brian Failing ’14, History
Brittany Cufaude, ’14, Sociology and Criminal Justice
Brian T. Cory, ’13, Anthropology
Molly Daukus ’13, Sociology
Fiona Long Ting Ian ’14, Sociology
Advisor: Dr. Kristin Geraty, Sociology

The teaching profession is a balancing act of public relations and students’ needs. This paper investigates primary and secondary teachers’ reactions to and understanding of public opinion about the teaching profession in light of the 2012 Chicago Teacher Union strike. Drawing on in-depth interview data with teachers at different stages of their careers, we examine how teachers understand public perceptions of the teaching profession and the value teachers see in their unions. Our study is timely with growing concern about public employee unions throughout the Midwest and unique in our focus on teachers’ perspectives. Our findings reveal the frustrations of current teachers regarding public misconceptions of the teaching profession. While there is variation among teachers in regard to the role of unions, all agree that unions are essential to protect teachers’ interests.

Scientific Assessments of Modern Technologies
Moderator: Dr. Godfrey Muganda, Computer Science    
Location: Goldspohn 33

College Students and E-book Readers: Perceptions, Attitudes and Recommendations
Victoria Volckmann ’13, Management
Advisor: Dr. Mary Galvan, Marketing

New and improving electronic book and e-reading device technology is changing the way people read. However, most college undergraduate students continue to prefer utilizing traditional print materials and textbooks. This research, conducted through a survey of North Central College students, examined what factors influence students to choose print or electronic reading materials and what impact this has on Oesterle Library. Data collected in this research indicates that the majority of North Central College students do not own e-reading devices and that few students use the devices primarily for academic work. Factors such as cost and preference for print books were relevant in students’ choice not to utilize an electronic reading format. The conclusions drawn from this research have implications for Oesterle Library in terms of collection development and how the library can provide e-books and e-reading devices in a manner that best fits North Central College students’ needs.  

The Effect of Induced Hypocrisy on Texting While Driving
Kristen A. Soforic ’13, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Heather Coon, Psychology

Although those who text while driving are an estimated 23 times more likely to crash than those who do not, little research has been conducted on how to reduce texting while driving. The current study sought to reduce texting while driving and increase advocacy against texting while driving through the induction of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a state of cognitive dissonance that results when people behave contrary to their beliefs. To induce hypocrisy, we manipulated mindfulness of past texting while driving transgressions and public commitment to stop texting while driving. Half of participants were made mindful of past transgressions while half were not; further, half made a public commitment to stop texting while driving while half did not. We hypothesized that those experiencing a hypocritical effect (committed and mindful) would attempt to reduce dissonance by engaging in more advocacy and ascribing higher importance to reducing texting while driving than other conditions.

Counting Cars: A Journey Into Open Source Hardware
Michael Holler ’14, Computer Science
Kyle Thomas ’13, Computer Science
Joel Wolf ’13, Interactive Media: Technology, Graphic Arts
Thomas Olache ’15, Physics, Applied Mathematics
Justin C. Scherer ’14, Computer Science, International Business
Christian Winger ’15, Computer Science
James Maher ’15, Computer Science
Brian Zable ’13, Computer Science
William Forg ’14, Computer Science
Rachel Crotteau ’14, Computer Science, Mathematics
Advisor: Dr. Godfrey Muganda, Computer Science

Open source software (OSS) is a foundational part for many of today’s software development projects; the benefits of OSS—cost effectiveness, quality, customization and adoption—have allowed the industry to prosper. This concept of technological openness has only recently become popular in hardware with the advent of open hardware platforms like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. This study shows that accurate, functional and reliable products can be designed and produced at low cost with high potential for user customization by comparing a student-developed parking tracker designed around open hardware and software with Naperville, Illinois’, system. That is, open hardware incurs the same benefits as OSS. This stands in stark contrast to the high cost of a closed and usually custom and unmodifiable enterprise solution. This study discusses implications of OSH and offers suggestions for the future of open source hardware platforms.

Who’s Counting? Mathematical Thinking and Questions
Moderator: Dr. Jaclyn Murawska, Mathematics    
Location: Goldspohn 35

Cantor’s Continuum Hypothesis -- To Infinity and Beyond
Maria E. Gommel ’13, Actuarial Science, Mathematics
Advisor: Dr. Matthew Pons, Mathematics

Cantor’s continuum hypothesis remains a mystery in mathematics. Initially developed by Georg Cantor, the continuum hypothesis states, in its weakest form, that no set has cardinality between that of the natural numbers and the real numbers. Cantor was never able to prove his hypothesis, and the combined results of Kurt Gödel and Paul Cohen later showed that the hypothesis was independent of the accepted axioms of set theory (ZFC - Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory with the axiom of choice). In this project, a detailed history of the hypothesis is presented and analyzed, specifically focusing on the work of Cantor, Gödel and Cohen. The impact of the hypothesis on mathematical thinking is emphasized, specifically in the search for possible new axioms leading to various logical systems in contrast to ZFC.

A Classification of the Uniform Edge Colorings
Tyler Schroeder ’13, Mathematics
Advisor: Dr. Neil Nicholson, Mathematics

A tiling of the Euclidean two-dimensional plane is a countable family of closed sets which cover the plane without gaps or overlaps. A tiling is said to be a uniform tiling of the plane if it is an edge-to-edge tiling by regular polygons in which every vertex is in the same transitivity class with respect to the symmetry group of the tiling. If the edges of a uniform tiling are assigned one of a set of c colors, then the uniform tiling is said to be edge-c-colored. If the vertices of an edge-c-coloring are all equivalent under color-preserving symmetries of the edge-c-coloring, then it is said to be uniform. In Grunbaum and Shephard’s book, “Tilings and Patterns,” the problem of classifying the uniform edge-c-colorings is posed. In this presentation, a classification of the uniform edge-c-colorings will be provided along with a demonstration of how to determine a uniform edge-c-coloring.

A Deep Look Into the Human Mind
Moderator: Dr. Patricia Schacht, Psychology    
Location: Goldspohn 37

Mood-Congruent Recall in Autobiographically Induced Emotional States
Sean Brady ’14, Psychology
Nicholas W. Baumgartner ’14, Psychology
Samantha Eby ’14, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Daniel VanHorn, Psychology

Two experiments examined mood-congruent recall of emotionally valenced words. Previous research has demonstrated this effect using mood-induction procedures (MIPs) with limited ecological validity. The present study sought to address this limitation by using a written autobiographical MIP. Experiment 1 measured the effect of our MIP on mood. Participants wrote about an experience that made them feel either overjoyed or depressed, and then completed a self-report mood scale. Participants in the depressed condition experienced stronger negative and weaker positive emotions than those in the overjoyed condition. In Experiment 2, recall of emotionally valenced words was measured as a function of mood. After completing the MIP, participants were shown a series of positive and negative words and were then asked to write down as many of the words as they could remember. Participants in the depressed condition recalled more negative and fewer positive words than those in the overjoyed condition.

Unfinished and Unsatisfied? Personality Variables and Internal Motivators That Contribute to the Zeigarnik Effect
Jillian Brunner ’13, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Mary Jean Lynch, Psychology

This study examined need achievement, introversion and neuroticism in relation to the Zeigarnik effect (ZE), or the better recall of uncompleted than completed tasks. It was hypothesized that individuals high in need achievement and introversion, as well as individuals high in need achievement and neuroticism, should demonstrate the most pronounced ZE. Participants included 110 undergraduate students from North Central College. Participants were administered a series of tasks assessing personality and given 10 minutes to complete 12 word anagrams, half of which could be unscrambled to create an entirely new word. Participants were then unexpectedly asked to recall the original anagrams. Results suggest that achievement and neuroticism are significant variables task completion. In addition, the interaction between achievement and introversion was significant. However, contrary to previous studies, personality did not significantly affect the ZE, suggesting that task-specific variables may not enhance the subtle effects of personality on the ZE.

An Analysis of Binge Eating, Dietary Restraing and Depressive Symtoms in an Undergraduate Population
Nancy G. Guzman ’14, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Leila Azarbad, Psychology

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) will be added to the next edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V)” as a recognizable eating disorder. Given that the majority of research has focused on exploring the prevalence and correlates of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, much less is known about the prevalence of binge eating in nonclinical samples. This study aimed to explore (a) the prevalence of binge eating in an undergraduate sample and (b) the relationship among binge eating, dietary restraint and depressive symptoms. Self-reported data was gathered from 154 participants using Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ), Center for Epidemiological Depression Scale (CESD), Binge Eating Scale (BES) and a self-devised dieting questionnaire. Results and implications will be discussed.

Session 2: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Goldspohn Hall and Harold and Eva White Activities Center

Economics 101: How the Market Really Works
Moderator: Dr. Brandon Sheridan, Economics    
Location: White Activities Center, Fireside Lounge

From Bubble to Trouble: The Impact of the Financial Crisis on the Demand and Value of Commercial Real Estate
Amanda M. Marek ’13, Entrepreneurship, Management
Advisor: Mr. Patrick Gray, Accounting

The burst of the “housing bubble” caused the U.S. economy to spiral into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The housing market, investors and the government have been heavily studied and chastised for their involvement. However, the commercial real estate market has lacked the same attention. This study explored the impact that the 2008 financial crisis had on the demand for and value of commercial real estate. Secondary research was conducted through online resources about the causes of the financial crisis and impacts it had on the economy. Primary research included personal interviews that focused on specific experiences from the industry. The study included that the commercial real estate market has been affected by the financial crisis. Commercial real estate prices have declined and office space compression has become a common trend among companies of all sizes. Overall, the trends of the market have drastically changed.

Popular Music and Economic Critique
John Sienkiewicz ’14, Sociology
Advisor: Dr. Louis Corsino, Sociology

Does “popular” music reflect the times? To discover whether or not it does, I examined popular songs from both the 1950s—a period of relative economic prosperity—and popular songs from the 2000s—a time of relative economic hardship. My analysis drew from Billboard’s Top 10 songs from years 1951-1960 and 2001-2010. I then operationalized varying levels of “economic critique” to gauge a song’s level of economic discontent and economic dissent. I listened to each song and read each set of lyrics. Though I had hypothesized a thematic difference in terms of levels of economic critique, the results showed little differentiation. These results suggest that the most popular music may be dominated by the music industry—that is, music artists must seek to entertain (and make money) before they can consider sending a message of societal critique. Popular music is not a “place” for societal discourse.

Germany’s Societal Transformation of Language: The Economic Miracle’s Guest Workers Influence on German Communities
Jessica K. Krempp ’16, Biology
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Wolf, German

The societal transformation in Germany in the 1950s, initiated by the increase in demand of labor due to the Wirtschaftswunder, the economic miracle, had a lasting effect on German culture specifically through the incorporation of foreign languages within German communities, adaptation of bilingualism into the German school system, and the intensifying progression of the country’s economy. The population in Germany vividly shifted from consisting of 99% Germans to only 91.5% as a result of the rush of Gastarbeiter, foreign labor-seeking workers, in the 1950s. Gastarbeiter often brought along their families, along with their customs, languages and their extensive labor from Turkey and other neighboring countries. Supported by the analysis of articles investigating bilingualism within German schools and the integration of foreign communities into Germany’s culture, my study explores how this swift transformation not only supported the booming economy, but also integrated foreign languages into the country that Germany remains today.

Lights, Camera, Action: Exploring the Power of Film
Moderator: Dr. Stephen Renk, Computer Science    
Location: White Activities Center, Banquet Hall

Creative True Storytelling: The Making of a Short Documentary Film, the Unpatentable Invention — a True History of the World’s First Microprocessor
Rie Takeuchi ’14, German, Interactive Media Studies: Graphic Arts
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Wolf, German

What is a documentary film and what is the purpose of making it? As an international student from Japan, a senior graphic arts and German major at North Central College, I have been involved with filmmaking since 2008. I have written and directed a short documentary film called “The Unpatentable Invention,” which was screened at the Omaha Film Festival in 2012. It is about how Ray Holt became involved with the U.S. Navy’s secret project as a computer engineer in 1968. While he had to keep his invention for the world’s first microprocessor chipset secret for 30 years, Intel created its own microprocessor and acquired a patent for it. Documentary films are visual documentation and a creative true storytelling; they are made to provide reality or maintain a historical record. This presentation introduces the creative process of filmmaking that I have experienced.

“Pika Don”: The Making of a 2D Animation on the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima
Tanya J. Fetzer ’13, East Asian Studies, Interactive Media Studies: Graphic Arts
Advisor: Dr. Stephen Renk, Computer Science

The atomic bomb blast at Hiroshima killed 166,000 people and changed the world forever. Survivors called the weapon “Pika Don.” Pika represents the intense fireball that erupted in the sky and Don was the force of the blast. As part of this study, on August 6, 2012, I participated in the Peace Ceremony in Hiroshima, Japan, and conducted original interviews with survivors. The survivors’ stories influenced me to create an animation to visually depict their experiences of the bombing and its aftermath. From the research, to the storyboard production, to the final animation, I want to show others the horrors of the bomb and its aftermath in the eyes of survivors. The atomic bomb may have ended the war, but it destroyed the lives of thousands. This catastrophe not only changed survivors’ lives, but Japan and the whole world.

Jingle Lizard: An Undergraduate 3D Animated Short and Investigation Into the 3D Animation Process
Amber Leigh Dvorak ’13, Interactive Media Studies: Graphic Arts
Advisor: Dr. Stephen Renk, Computer Science

Successful 3D animation is predominantly a commercial enterprise. Proprietary concerns limit the amount of published literature available on efficient and effective production methodologies. This project investigated current commercial approaches to animation with the goal of identifying methods that translate to the single, independent animator. I was granted access to interview production team members from companies that are traditionally closed to the public, where I learned about practices used by smaller-scale studios. My findings were synthesized into a document outlining a proposed methodology for small entrepreneurial filmmakers and were implemented to create an original short film demonstrating their use. As technological resources become more widely accessible, individuals are better equipped to pursue their own 3D animations. Independent animators will benefit from this study that pares down the production pipeline for smaller teams, as will educators, whose limited time and resources pose challenges for teaching 3D animation.

Deconstructing Identity: Political and Religious Socialization
Moderator: Dr. Hillary Shulman, Speech Communication    
Location: White Activities Center, Dinning Room

The Influence of Partisan Politics and Values: How Western-Chicago Suburb College Students Analyze the Health Care Debate of the 2012 Presidential Election
Alina M. Perez ’13, Biochemistry
Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Visick, Biology

The reformation of health care proved to be one of the central debates of the 2012 presidential election. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has significant implications at stake, especially concerning the U.S. finances. Theoretically, when making such an important decision individuals should analyze their values and choose a candidate whose message most closely aligns with theirs. Education is a common indicator of cognitive-sophistication (Capara et. al, 2006). We, therefore, hypothesized that values would be more meaningful for university-educated voters. This study tried to distinguish whether personal values or party identification was more important in decisions concerning the presidential health care debate for college students in the western Chicago suburb area. The results indicated that values were more important to the voters surveyed, especially in response to ethical scenarios. However, party identification was present in response to some political prompts, indicating relative importance of political association.

The Political Socialization of Americans
Krista E. Valleskey ’13, Organizational Communication
Advisor: Dr. Hillary Shulman, Speech Communication

The purpose of this research is to investigate the relationship between current political interest and exposure to political news and conversation while growing up. Understanding the political socialization of children is important in giving some insight into how people become active citizens and understand the government. In order to test this I have constructed an online survey where participants will answer questions about different political questions and then rate their political interest. Following that there will be questions about the political atmosphere they had while growing up. Participants will be solicited both online and at North Central College. I believe when there is a more open political atmosphere encouraging political discussions and allowing different points of view as children, participants will be more interested in politics. In return I believe they will be more actively involved as well.

The Journey Up: The Study of Secularization and its Impact on Christianity and Young Adults in the U.K.
Jessica Coffey ’14, Sociology
Advisor: Dr. Kristin Geraty, Sociology

Scholars in the sociology of religion articulate two central theories about how religion functions in modern industrial societies: secularization theory, or the idea that religious pluralism has become a reality in many societies leading to a decrease in religious participation, and “supply-side” theorists who believe that competing world views actually cause religious participation to increase because it makes organized religion work harder to gain members. I used these theories to analyze data I collected while studying abroad in Liverpool, England, with the help of a Richter grant. Because religious pluralism is prominent in the U.K., I explored how religion is influencing the lives of young adults by conducting an original qualitative research study. My project focuses on the following central research questions: Are young Christian adults able to cope with the secular culture and can they express and articulate their beliefs when questioned and in their behavior?

The Law as a Social Institution
Moderator: Jennifer Fredette, Political Science    
Location: White Activities Center 10

The German Reinheitsgebot: Legalizing Tradition
Louis Waldmeir ’13, German
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Wolf, German

In 1516 the Reinheitsgebot, or “beer purity laws,” were instituted in Bavaria. They limited the ingredients in beer to barley, hops and water and were adopted in 1871 by the country upon its unification. Even though the laws were allowed to lapse in 1993 as part of new regulations imposed on Germany by its membership in the European Union, German brewers still adhere to them, as one said, “To brew something not in accordance with Reinheitsgebot is to brew something other than beer.” This project explores the ongoing influence of these laws, which is so strong that brewers observe them even though beer consumption is declining nationally across Germany. It addresses not only the economic consequences of the laws but also their cultural impact and examines the relationship between German brewing and the wider national culture. The project draws from research completed during a project funded by 2012 summer Richter grant.

Spring for Stability in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: A Content Analysis on the Effects of the Constitutional Amendments on the Rule of Law
Lindsey Drummond ’13, Political Science
Advisor: Dr. Suzanne Chod, Political Science

The events of the Arab Spring called the legitimacy and stability of several Middle Eastern countries into question. Among the varying responses within each country were constitutional overhauls and amendments. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan reacted to numerous protests by implementing multiple constitutional amendments. By examining these constitutional amendments under the scholarly works on establishing a strong rule of law, a qualitative content analysis can be made as to whether these amendments were effective in strengthening the rule of law and thus increasing the legitimacy and stability of the country.

The Relatively Unknown Jury of Peers
Madalyn Phillips ’13, Legal Studies
Advisor: Mr. Thomas Cavenagh, Business Law and Conflict Resolution

Peer Juries are diversionary programs in which youths decide sentences for other youths who committed minor crimes in the community. Peer Juries vary greatly in format and regulation since no formal legislation or mandatory guidelines currently exist for these programs in Illinois. In my project, I discuss critically the four main types of Peer Juries currently in use. Using case law, I then review the due process obligations in traditional jury proceedings to assist in evaluating the Peer Jury process. In addition, I examine three crucial issues in the Peer Jury process: confidentiality, whether the appropriate foundation for the Peer Jury program is restorative justice or punitive, and the operational definition of the word “peer.” Finally, using my interviews with Peer Jury coordinators, research and my own observations of these proceedings, I conclude by presenting a best practices section which can be applied to current and future Peer Jury programs.

An International Look at Gender and Power
Moderator: Dr. Brian Hoffert, History, Religious Studies    
Location: White Activities Center 12

‘Wartime Women:’ The Role of Young Adult Females in Post-9/11 Young Adult Literature
Rebecca Ann Sage ’13, English: Literature, French
Advisor: Dr. Lisa Long, English

Intrigued by the popularity of “The Hunger Games” (2008), I wanted to know what about the book appeals to young adults (YA) within post-9/11 society and how the themes fit into other YA novels with this ethos. Post-9/11 YA literature contains post-apocalyptic societies that highlight the instability felt by young adults. Unlike adult literature, how the events of 9/11 affected YA literature has not been discussed. This study integrates gender analysis and trauma theory to analyze how traditional feminine coming of age novels are influenced by trauma associated with a post-9/11 society. These themes force female protagonists to alter traditional roles and adopt masculine characteristics to survive traumatic experiences. The traditionally masculine characteristics of stoicism and numbness that American culture adopted in response to this generation’s experiences with trauma are showcased through the experiences of female characters, highlighting the effect trauma has on the portrayal of gender roles/expectations within a society.

Good Wife, Wise Mother: The Slow Development of Feminism in Modern Japan
Kaitlyn A. Gordon ’14, East Asian Studies, Global Studies: International Relations, Japanese
Advisor: Dr. Brian Hoffert, History, Religious Studies

This paper explains the slow development of feminism in Japan by focusing on the concept of ryosai kenbo (good wife, wise mother), which has remained the dominant expression of the female role in Japanese society from the Meiji period (1868-1911) to the present. This concept’s development is explained by examining historical changes, which affected Japanese gender roles and cemented a woman’s primary duties as serving her husband and raising his children. The paper concludes with an examination of the 1986 Equal Employment Opportunity Act, which led to two options for working women: the career track (career-oriented, but virtually impossible to pursue due to gender norms) and the office lady track (temporary position). This has led to the creation of a vicious circle for Japanese women who wish to break free from the constraints of their traditional social roles but cannot due to the rigidity of Japanese social norms.

Lady Ume’s Diary
Elizabeth Mason ’14, East Asian Studies, Japanese
Advisor: Dr. Brian Hoffert, History, Religious Studies

The purpose of this presentation is to explore my research into women’s court writings from Japan’s Heian Period, 782 – 1167 CE. I have studied the autobiographical diaries of the women of the Heian Period and having utilized these and other relevant cultural and historical sources, created my own fictional autobiography of a court lady. My East Asian Studies Capstone is one of creative writing, but it is linked to history through documented aspects of Heian era culture such as festivals and events, the aristocratic way of life, religious and folk beliefs and the style of prose and poetry. My goal was to reconstruct the life of a Japanese aristocratic lady through creative writing in conjunction with academic endnotes and bibliographic sources in order to demonstrate my understanding of this style of literature, both in the wider context of East Asian history and international women’s studies.

Competing Narratives: Interpretations of Native American Culture
Moderator: Dr. Martha Bohrer, English    
Location: Goldspohn 31

German Fascination with the American Indian: From Karl May and the 19th Century to the Present
Tiffany Tindell ’15, Anthropology, History
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Wolf, German

Beginning in the 16th century, German citizens received their first taste of the American Indian. First popularized through the literary works of Karl May, this phenomena continues to grow, with a heightened appreciation today. The overarching popularity of the Indianer can be observed through multiple carnival-like festivals. Through the utilization of a cultural anthropological historical analysis composed in a Richter grant exploring how and why German interest in the American Indian is manifested in Germany and the manner in which this manifestation has evolved over time, the results propose that the Indianer’s popularity is the outcome of shared struggles, similar environmental views, and a desire to escape from everyday realties. Many Germans join “hobbyist” groups, Indianer clubs, to expand their interests. General hobbyists focus on “liv[ing] exactly as Indians” did in the past (Lopinto). Others concentrate exclusively on academic interests and are politically active in Native American causes.

This Wilderness Condition: Views of Nature and Human Nature in A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration
Elaine Cannell ’15, English: Literature
Advisor: Dr. Martha Bohrer, English

The topic of “Indianization” has been addressed many times regarding the captivity narratives of colonists during the 17th century. Mary Rowlandson, one of these captured individuals, returned from her “removals” from the Puritan society seemingly surer of both her faith in God and her role in civilization. Through rhetorical analysis of the text, this paper demonstrates that despite her avowed increase in faith, Rowlandson’s account actually betrays her unconscious assimilation into Native American culture. Such assimilation is revealed in her changed views surrounding her roles as a woman, her subtle critique of the formerly romanticized Puritan society and her shifting definition of “wilderness.” References to Rowlandson’s Puritan faith, the Bible, the historical context, diction and imagery are included.

Humanity as Inherently Evil: Mary Rowlandson’s Puritan Perspective
Kristin A. Rose ’15, English: Literature
Advisor: Dr. Martha Bohrer, English

Mary Rowlandson’s “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” is considered the quintessential Puritan captivity narrative. Through a close reading of Rowlandson’s text and the use of several outside sources for support, it is obvious that Rowlandson portrays human nature as inherently evil.  While critics have hinted at Rowlandson’s Puritan influence, they have not fully considered how Puritanism shapes Rowlandson’s depiction of the natives as evil. She essentially degrades the natives to justify the redeeming presence of the Christian colonizers. Rowlandson also applies this pattern of degradation and redemption to herself as a captive in the wilderness to demonstrate the fallen and sinful state of the natural world. This analysis suggests that Rowlandson considers the Christian world and the civilized world to be synonymous. This essay examines specifically how Rowlandson’s Puritan view enables her to rationalize the hardships of her captivity as an act of divine discipline.  

Investigating Our Efforts to Get Away and Cover Up
Moderator: Dr. Heather Coon, Psychology    
Location: Goldspohn 33

Cross-Cultural Attitudes Toward Vacation Time in the United States and Abroad:  A Quantitative and Qualitative Study
Todd V. Tabor ’13, Human Resource Management, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Karl Kelley, Psychology

The current research examined attitudes toward vacation time in the United States and other countries. Specifically, this project examined not just the differences in leave policy but how people actually use their leave time. This includes both the amount of vacation time that workers actually take as well as whether they engage in work-related activities while officially away from the job. A web survey and interview questions were developed to assess whether a difference in attitudes toward vacation time exists between American, European and Asian workers. Results indicated that there was no statistically significant difference between the groups of participants on most measures. Participants did differ statistically in the amount of leave time granted, engaging in meaningful conversations with others, and self-judgment of ability to handle situations. Given the methodological limitations of the study, however, more research would need to be done to determine if these findings can be substantiated.

Requests for Employee Leave: The Subtle Stigma of Mental Illness
Storm Styles ’13, Psychology
Jillian Cadwallader ’13, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Karl Kelley, Psychology

The primary goal for this project is to examine participant impressions of employees requesting leave for a family member. In this 2 (child or spouse) by 2 (physical or mental illness) by 2 (mild or strong) design participants read a description about an organization and a specific employee who requested time off for leave. Participants were asked to play the role of manager in this organization and to make a decision based on the scenario. In general, participants reported that significantly fewer days were needed to address a mental disorder (M=34.9) than a physical disorder (M=42.0), F(1,135)=7.3, p<.01. In addition, there was a significant 2-way interaction where individuals requesting leave to care for a spouse with a mental disorder were viewed as less of a team player than other conditions, F(1,139) = 10.2, p<.05. The research supports and extends previous research by suggesting a subtle stigma for mental disorders exists.

Self-Objectification and Makeup
Taylor Anne-Marie Viering ’13, Psychology
Advisor: Dr. Heather Coon, Psychology

How does wearing makeup affect a woman? Makeup is viewed as a protective mask that enhances a woman’s physical identity. When that protective mask is removed, the woman’s levels of anxiety and self-objectification increase. Self-objectification is a term used to describe the idea that society socializes women to adopt an observer’s perspective on their physical concept of self. In this study, self-objectification was induced by telling undergraduate women they would be having a face-to-face interaction with a male peer; half of the women were also told they would have to remove their makeup before the interaction. The women’s current feelings, levels of anxiety and levels of self-objectification were assessed. It was hypothesized that women who anticipated removing their makeup would feel more anxious and show elevated levels of self-objectification compared to the women who did not have to remove their makeup.

Staying Healthy: Genetics, Developmental Timing and Training
Moderator: Ms. Kendall Selsky, Health and Physical Education    
Location: Goldspohn 35

Frequency of the SH Allele in Fc Gamma Receptors
Samantha DeWerff ’13, Biochemistry
Advisor: Dr. Stephen Johnston, Biology

Variations of the immunoglobulin G specific receptors include copy number, allelic and sequence variation. For diseases such as malaria, allelic variation of the FCGR3A and FCGR3B genes have been implicated in protection from and susceptibility to disease.  These two receptors are highly similar and encoded on chromosome 1 with 12 known allelic variants. We focused on the SH variant of FCGR3B, which shows only 4% incidence relative to the NA1/NA2 variants found at 37% and 62%, respectively. The SH variant has been implicated in protection from malaria. Using 1050 DNA samples from the Human Diversity Genome Project we created a novel genotyping assay to find the frequency of this allele in both receptors. Our results support the previously described worldwide allele frequency in the FCGR3B gene. Surprisingly, we found the FCGR3B SH allele was found more frequently (28%) and the SH allele was present in FCGR3A gene in African populations.

Ambystoma mexicanum Delays Hatching in Response to Saprolegnia sp
Andrew Dubois ’13, Biology
Advisor: Dr. Christopher O’Connor, Biology

Hatching plasticity is an important survival mechanism against threats from predators/pathogens in complex life histories. Previous work has shown Ambystoma salamanders delay hatching in response to larval predators. Eggs of some Abystomids have been shown to be resistant to infection by parasitic water molds, yet hatching behavior of Ambystomids in response to water molds has not been investigated. We exposed Ambystoma mexicanum embryos to a Saprolegnia isolate and observed a 1.5 day delay in hatching in response. Eggs exposed to Saprolegnia also increased in size relative to unexposed eggs prior to hatching. Despite the difference in hatching time, larvae that hatched from the eggs exposed to the water mold were similar in size to the larvae that hatched from the control eggs. These results suggest that Ambystoma mexicanum perceives Saprolegnia as a threat and delaying hatching time likely increases the chance of survival in the presence of the potential pathogen.

The Effects of Proprioceptive Training on the Incidence of Lateral Ankle Sprains
Trevor Magnotti ’13, Heath and Physical Education: Athletic Training
Advisor: Ms. Kendall Selsky, Health and Physical Education

Lateral ligament ankle sprains (LAS) are among the most common athletic injuries. Previous research has shown that proprioceptive training (PTr) is an effective rehabilitation measure for such injuries, as it improves the fine motor control mechanisms of the ankle and assists in functional rehabilitation. However, no recent review of prioprioceptive training as a preventative measure is present. This project attempts to fill the void in information into whether or not PTr is an effective tool for prevention of LAS in healthy adults and other poplulations, using various modalities of PTr by summarizing the current research available. This study’s results indicate that preventative proprioceptive training does, in fact, lower the incidence of lateral ankle sprains across most populations. Those with chronic ankle instability benefit especially from proprioceptive training, though benefits exist for those who had never suffered an ankle sprain as well.