Undergraduate Academic Symposium 2012-2013

“Education, Meet Technology: Learning to Fly in 2013” — Michael Stratte, Technology
I created a training course in the format of an iBook to explain the basic concepts of operating tail wheel aircraft. The course includes concepts, specific maneuvers, and reference materials to help a student through the training process. Because of its electronic format, I was able to integrate videos, photos, and 3-D interactive models into the course. This is significant, because most aviation training materials consist of manuals, textbooks, DVDs, and more. My course compiles these elements into one easy-to-use “book,” an industry-first to my knowledge.
“Providing Effective Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder: Are Providers Equipped?”— Estée Pummel, Social Work
The purpose of my research was to determine if Walla Walla University master of social work students are being adequately equipped to treat people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition, the study tested whether there is or is not any difference between (BSW) Advanced Standing master of social work student or the Regular Standing master of social work student’s level of knowledge about Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“Art as a Tool” — Karissa Jacobson, Fine Art
I explored how art can be used as a tool in the workplace, education and healthcare systems.  I researched how artists have impacted each area and examined techniques in art, art therapy techniques, and also personal art.
“Unmanned Aerial System for Ground Surveillance” — Michael Kudla, Nathan Curry, and Jonathan Anderson, Engineering
We designed and built an unmanned aerial vehicle capable of ground surveillance. This project was sponsored by our clients, Leo Wilson and Jason Douglas, who wanted to create an easier way for farmers to survey their crops. Their solution was to have a UAS that could fly over a field and take images of the ground. We designed a prototype which has a one-foot wingspan with flight times aimed at one hour. This project benefits the engineering community because the prototype will potentially offer substantial increases in flight time than previously seen in unmanned aerial surveillance and is much smaller than current designs on the market. Though our model is not yet “market ready,” we are continuing to work on it with our sponsors during summer internships.
 “The Incredible Edible Macro® Greens Super Food” — John Clary, Jr., Biology
Macro Greens® is a non-allergenic, gluten-free, nutrient-rich super food supplement that claims to increase energy, promote weight loss, increase mental clarity, balance blood sugar, strengthen the immune system and improve digestion. I tested the claim that Macro Greens® strengthens the immune system by examining T-cell proliferation in mice. Mice were fed the “super food” with peanut butter for five weeks. A control group was fed only peanut butter.  After week five, the spleens were removed and the cells were harvested. I found that mice that were given Macro Greens® super food demonstrated an increase in T-cell proliferation, which may indicate a healthy immune response. 
Piano Lessons” — Miles Bell, English
“Piano Lessons” recalls the feelings of learning an instrument from a teacher I couldn't connect with. From the crowded and suffocating room, to the reprimands for failures, to slow progress, the piece shares my experiences and what I learned from them in a way that acknowledges the commonality of such trivial childhood struggles.
“Indicators of Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors”— Emily Muthersbaugh, Environmental Studies
The purpose of this study is to observe if environmental attitudes and behaviors differ among people holding different religious views, political affiliation, or living in different regions of the U.S., and to consider if any one of these attributes (religious views, political affiliation, or region of residence) provide a significantly stronger indicator of various environmental attitude and beliefs than the others. I surveyed students, faculty, and staff members from WWU. Findings from this study suggest that political affiliation provides the strongest indicator of environmental attitudes and behaviors because of the more comprehensive positions on issues that political ideology provides. However, findings of this study may suggest that beliefs about the Bible and sacredness of nature may provide even stronger indicators, though further research is necessary.
Foundations” –Danielle Shull, English
My writing portfolio is a collection of short stories and prose poems based on my family's journey to Alaska and our experience building a home there. Some of the stories were first-person creative non-fiction and some were third-person fiction. The theme of searching for and building a home tied all the pieces together. Sometimes I chose to write about memories I couldn't get out of my head, such as watching older boys carry my brother to the pond, or building the foundation for our house in Wasilla. Sometimes I wrote certain pieces, particularly the fiction stories, asking, "What if this had happened? What if things had been just a little bit different?" Sometimes this kind of questioning led to new insights, and I certainly found I began to understand myself and my family better.
“Why are you so impatient?"- Shelby Rae Paulsen, Psychology
Current research has shown that exposure to sexual cues causes impatience along with a negative effect on decision-making and discounting of the future. I researched the effect that sexual stimuli has on impatience when it comes to choosing between different monetary awards. I provided a control group with neutral pictures and exposed the experimental group to sexual cues consisting of arousing (though not explicit) pictures of the opposite sex. Both groups were then given a decision-making test involving delayed gratification.
“Everybody's Worried about that Atomic Bomb: Civil Defense in the City of Roses”— Ian Bilinowich, History
My paper centers around civil defense preparations in Portland, Ore., during the 1950s and early 1960s. Portland’s civil defense program quickly became an issue of national attention and was regarded as one of the best programs in the nation. Portland became the first city in America to build an underground city hall that could withstand a nuclear attack.  Taking advantage of readily available federal funding, Portland’s government took an opportunistic approach to civil defense and spent a massive amount of money to improve city infrastructure. Surprisingly, as civil defense was gaining national attention, Portland pulled the plug on its program and officially discontinued it in September 1962, before the Cuban Missile Crisis. Portland’s response to civil defense gives valuable insight to fears and reactions of Americans during the height of the Cold War.  Its program paved the way for many U.S. cities to boost their civil defense programs.
"Socratic Dialogue and 'Weak Thought': Alternatives to Negative Ressentiment"Tyler Jacobson, Modern Languages
My paper investigates how Nietzsche’s theory of ressentiment explores the polarization of many modern debates. He proposes two methods for more productive debates: Socratic dialogue and postmodern ‘weak thought.’ Socratic dialogue approaches discussions as opportunities to learn rather than battles that must be won, which avoids conflating the problem at hand with party politics or other issues. ‘Weak thought’ entails a willingness to embrace a state of “unknowing;” it acknowledges the complexity of a topic by avoiding absolutism. Between these two strategies, he proposes an approach for productive rather than destructive, discourse. 
“Film: Composite Shots” — Michael Franks and Kyle McCluskey, Communication
We used advanced film production tools in creating the “Pilgrim series.
 “Utilization of Campus Counseling Services among College Students” — Sara Mayne, Social Work and Music
My paper explores college students’ decisions to utilize campus counseling services versus off-campus counseling services, and seeks their perceptions of these services, with the goal of providing useful data to campus counseling services. After conducting my research, I found that there was a relationship between students’ perception of counseling services and their likelihood of pursuing counseling, but the relationship did not strongly indicate that students have a strong preference for on- or off-campus counseling services. Rather, it indicated that students’ perceptions of counseling and their need for treatment led most of them to neglect seeking out all services. The most notable finding out of the body of research is the students’ perceptions that they have never been in need of counseling.  Most students who participated in this study had not received any counseling services and believed that they have never needed them. Some students who had utilized counseling services expressed fear of others finding out they were in counseling. This project is significant because it serves to advocate for better, more effective services for college students.  Understanding how college students view counseling in general leads to increased opportunities to abolish myths and misconceptions about counseling and mental health services. 
“An Investigation of the Effect of Hyssopus Officinalis on T-cell Proliferation in Mice”— Katelyn Winter, Biology
This study sought to investigate the effects of hyssop on the mammalian immune system.  Hyssopus Officinalis is used as a natural remedy in European/Mediterranean countries for respiratory ailments. “Hyssop” is also referred to in the Bible as a symbol of cleansing and purification.  I supplemented an experimental group of mice with hyssop and peanut butter for 6 weeks and a control group with just peanut butter.  When I removed the spleens and tested T-cell proliferation, I found that the experimental group had less T-cell proliferation.  This potentially indicates that hyssop is a suppressant of T-cell proliferation and potentially of the immune system in general (although the immune system is more complex than just T-cells and evidence from my experiment cannot fully back up the claim that hyssop is an immunosuppressant.).
"Exploring the Authenticity of the Globe Theater Reconstruction"-Hillary Smith, Engineering.
 “Bionic Wrist/Hand”— Bradley LaLonde, Sholoman Lynch, and Loren Libby, Engineering
The purpose of this project was to design a working prototype of a prosthetic hand from fingertip to elbow with five degrees of freedom while staying within a $1000 budget.  Though some of our initial calculations were off, we were able to control the five degrees of freedom and were able to stay well within our established budget. After conducting strength tests on the prototype, we were able to rotate the wrist to get 16 lb of lift. Due to the tight cable geometry our pinching force was short of our goal. We feel that with optimized cable paths, this goal will still be achievable using our design. Our work on this project has shown that it is possible to have an effective, low cost prosthetic hand.
“Fractals: The Art of Seeing”- Joe Hughes, Physics and Engineering
Complex numbers can make it easy to perform a simple process over and over again. I have written a computer program which uses this property of complex numbers to make a piece of fractal geometry which responds and changes based on input from a camera. The program uses image recognition and processing to take a live video and find a small flashlight held by the user. It then uses these coordinates as the seed of the fractal piece of artwork. All of this results in a dynamic piece of mathematically-inspired performance art. The program is called "Beanstalk" because for some inputs it resembles a beanstalk unfurling.
“Shaping Ideas Into Sound: Four Perspectives of God Through Music”— Aric Vyhmeister, Music, Engineering, Physics
This project explores the process of taking an idea and expressing it viscerally through sound.  I composed a suite for a brass choir, inspired by four hymn tunes, whose texts express four different aspects of God’s character. My method draws from multiple sources and is based in a long historical tradition of composition that includes elements of the past while in the process creating an individual voice.
“HIVE Redesign for Bayer Aspirin” — Trevor Iwata, Technology
I redesigned a pre-existing product using blister packaging in order to improve the innovation and design.
“Redesign of a Laminator Controller for Intellipaper”— Kurt Hildebrand, Engineering
I reverse engineered an existing circuit to add the functionality requested by my client, IntelliPaper. Intellipaper wanted the new controller to have speed feedback, display actual temperature and speed, and remember previous settings.
“Pythagorean Triangle”— Kyle Eggers, Math
Pythagorus is one of the most notable historical mathematicians. My project covers the building of an algorithm to develop unique Pythagorean Triples. The main questions I explored are “Is there an infinite amount of unique Pythagorean Triangles?” and “If so, how can we find them?”  The process of inquiry is driven by these main ideas and the proof and derivation fall straight from this. The project results were: Given any primitive Pythagorean Triangle (a,b,c) with an odd, there exist relatively prime m,n, one even the other odd with m>n, such that
a = m2 – n2
b = 2mn
c = m2 + n2

Therefore, we have found that there are an infinite amount of primitive Pythagorean Triangles. Also we have found a way to generate them all! The proof of this follows from the book "Pythagorean Triangles" by Waclaw Sierpinski.
“General Perception Market Research Project for Adventist Health Medical Group”—Macie Sattlelmayer and Matthew Anderson, Business
We performed a general perception market research analysis for Adventist Health Medical Group. We created a 10-question survey and sampled  people in the community. Our research will help AHMG to plan and execute a targeted marketing campaign.
“How Does Chia Affect the Mouse Immune System?”— Cedric Thiel, Biology
I studied how chia affects a mouse’s immune response. Chia is touted as a “superfood” in today’s dietary-supplement market. To test the effect of chia on immune function, we fed chia to mice for six weeks, after which the immune response of the mouse was compared to the response of a mouse which wasn’t fed chia. These results demonstrated that chia seems to decrease the immune response of mice, but only for a short period. Chia has been used to treat allergies, and our study may demonstrate the mechanism behind this phenomenon. Our results showed a decrease in T-cell replication. Because T-cells are necessary for the initiation of an allergic response, a reduction in T-cell proliferation may inhibit allergic reactions.
“Murder, Lies, and Wartime Allies: The Katyń Forrest Massacre, the OWI, and Realpolitik in the USA”— James Mayne, History and Education
My paper examines the manner in which the U.S. Office of War Information reacted to and handled the Katyń Forest Massacre in 1943, and how the decisions it made on the basis of expediency and realpolitik negatively affected the standing of the Polish Government-in-Exile. It addresses the tensions between propaganda, war aims, alliances, and truth concerning a significant atrocity of World War II.
“Language Proficiency and Intercultural Anxiety: A Critical Look at Study Abroad Programs” — Megan Cleveland, Communication
I studied the relationship between elapsed time since a study abroad experience, language proficiency, and anxiety when communicating in a foreign language. Based in the theoretical perspective of Gudykunst’s Anxiety/Uncertainty Theory and Berger’s Uncertainty Reduction Theory, my study established that students who returned from their study abroad experience within the past year will not necessarily perceive themselves as being more proficient and will, on average, feel more anxiety when communicating in their foreign language. The data suggested, rather, that students who are given time to mature in their language abilities will perceive themselves as having a higher proficiency level and will experience less anxiety when communicating in that language. Additionally, my data establishes that students who use their foreign language on a weekly basis will perceive themselves as having a higher level of proficiency and will also experience less anxiety when communicating in their foreign language. 
“Modesto”— Nicole Im, English
My pieces were about my childhood growing up in Modesto. The question I explored in my writing was what people do with the home they were given. My portfolio includes a set of prose poems called "An Incomplete Portrait of My Father"— sometimes those whom you love the most are the ones you'll never be able to fully understand. I also have a prose piece about what it was like going to charm school and a poem about sharks. My professor told us to start writing from where we knew best. For me, that was my family, memories of growing up, and my hometown.
"Differential Pressure Alarm System”- Michael von Pohle, Katie Emerson, Engineering
We designed and built a prototype pressure sensor and
alarm system for Delta Airlines. When transporting dry ice, Delta wants
to ensure that CO2 will not leak into the crew rest. A crew rest is an
area where aircraft crew can sleep and take breaks on long flights. To
prevent CO2 leaks, the crew rest needs to be at a higher pressure than
the surrounding cargo compartment. Our prototype was designed to detect
the difference in pressure between an aircraft's crew rest and the cargo
compartment. The prototype monitors the crew rest pressure and warns the
crew if a dangerous condition occurs.
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