Undergraduate Research Day 2014

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The Third Annual UC Undergraduate Research Day was held at Southern New Hampshire University on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014. This year’s Undergraduate Research Day was our largest event yet, with 55 projects and nearly 100 student participants.

This collection includes the abstracts of all projects presented at Undergraduate Research Day as well as the full text of those projects submitted for archiving. It represents the diversity of projects presented on April 2nd, and it is a testament to the intellectual rigor and sophistication of the students of Southern New Hampshire University. This year students presented research in the form of panel presentations, works-in-progress roundtable presentations, and poster presentations. Projects were submitted from across the three schools and represented research in over fifteen disciplines. Many projects represented traditional research practices while others were an example of community-based research.

View the abstracts with links to full text of all Undergraduate Research Day 2014 items.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 32
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    Raise your hands: a reaction to Lean In
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Friese, Melanie; Clamp, Christina
    After reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, a non-fiction book discussing women’s current roles in the workplace, I have become enlightened of the challenges that women continue to face. I was under the impression that the United States was continuing to progress towards gender equality, but in reality, it remains at an awkward standstill. My research will include a personal reconstruction of Harvard’s Heidi/Howard study, a study in which participants were given the story of a successful female and asked to provide their perceptions of her, while a separate group of participants were given the same story with just the gender of the protagonist changed and asked to give their perceptions. This study tested the perceptions of successful females in the business environment. The difference with my experiment is that the story of the successful female will be of a female student in higher education instead of a woman already far into her professional career. In addition, I will observe some classes at Southern New Hampshire University and record the participation of both male and female students to if there is male dominance in the classrooms. This study will also utilize a literature review of current research on gender equality in the United States of America. (Author abstract)
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    Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance at Southern New Hampshire University
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04) Thomas, Michaela; Cox, David
    This in-progress research explores Southern New Hampshire University students’ awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance, and aims to determine the percentage of the Southern New Hampshire University student body affected by these conditions. I first provide context for my research by defining gluten and describing the foods in which it is found. I then define the condition of gluten intolerance (or sensitivity) and compare and contrast it with the characteristics and symptoms of celiac disease. I document my own experiences with gluten intolerance and provide statistical information about the prevalence of celiac disease and gluten intolerance worldwide, within the United States, and among Southern New Hampshire University students. I also report statistics regarding the demographic of most commonly afflicted persons and explore the hypothesized reasons for the affliction of this demographic in particular. Additionally, I consider different arguments for the recent increase in reported celiac diagnoses. The methods used for this paper include the collection of primary and secondary data from empirical studies in medical journals, news articles, student surveys and individual student interviews. The survey sample data collected will be used to make conclusive statements about the prevalence and level of awareness that Southern New Hampshire University students exhibit of these conditions through quantitative techniques such as summary statistics and confidence intervals. The interviews will be used for qualitative comparison to my experience of a gluten intolerant life. These results will drive my conclusions about potential steps to be taken by decision makers regarding dining options to accommodate the increasing numbers of individuals on campus with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. (Author abstract)
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    Draft now, lose later: evaluating NFL prospects' draft stock based on character concerns
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-05) Daly, Joe; Blais, Doug
    In recent years, social scientists have shown an increased interest in researching the relationship between a person with a criminal record and their subsequent success in the labor market. This research paper will look at all 1,016 players who were drafted into the labor market of the National Football League between 2010-2013 to determine what affects character concerns, specifically arrest records and team conflicts, have on draft status. This paper will determine if college football players who have a history of non-criminal related suspensions will negatively affect their NFL draft stock more than those who have an encounter with law enforcement. To prove this, data must be collected from every player who was drafted in 2010-2013 and determine whether the player had a formal criminal charge or was suspended for team or university violations, or both. We then must collect data from expert NFL draft analysts to see the correlation of the player’s pre-draft ranking (where they are projected to be drafted) and where the player was actually drafted. Then a beta regression model will be conducted to determine the correlation, if any, between the player’s incident and where they were drafted compared to their pre-draft ranking. (Author abstract)
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    The Abolition of Man in dystopian literature
    (2014-04-29) Doe, Samuel; Cook, Susan
    This thesis argues that two important works of dystopian fiction, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, can be read through the lens of C. S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man. In this book, Lewis writes of an intellectual trend which he labels Subjectivism, and which he believes is engaged in undermining humanity as we understand it. Lewis sees an example of this trend in a schoolbook on English writing, which he calls the Green Book (The Control of Language: A Critical Approach to Reading and Writing, by Alex King and Martin Ketley), and uses a criticism of this book as a departure point for a criticism of the whole philosophy of Subjectivism. I believe that Bradbury and Huxley are concerned with some of the same contemporary intellectual and moral trends as was Lewis, and, like him, feared the advent of a broken humanity. I will also be bringing Nietzschean philosophy to bear on this examination, for to really understand what Lewis means by the Abolition of Man, one should understand the ideas he is arguing against. To understand them, one should understand their origins, and the best way to do this is to go back to Nietzsche. Using The Abolition of Man as its central text, this thesis will work backwards to establish the argument between Lewis and Nietzsche, and will then analyze the philosophical ideas of both at play in the worlds of Bradbury and Huxley’s novels.(Author abstract)
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    Photoshopping in advertisements and its effect on body image
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-03-29) Grotton, Bailey; Carnell, Kelsey; Brenner, Sarah; Ferrucci, Adam; Eklou, Amendah
    Does Photoshop and the alteration of body images affect the self-esteem and purchasing habits of customers? This is an essential question regarding morals and ethics in advertising that this study attempts to address. The purpose of the study was to discover what techniques marketers use and how they affect consumers. We are looking into the Aerie Real Campaign which is ignoring the use of Photoshop to market “real” models and products to their target customers. “The goal, said Dana Seguin, the director of marketing for aerie, is to help shoppers see what the clothing might look like on them -- even if they don’t look like a typical lingerie model” (p1). This campaign is focusing more on the positive light of the average body and not the manipulated version that is unrealistic. “A woman’s body image is an important source of her self-esteem. Approximately 50% of girls and young women report being dissatisfied with their bodies. According to the American Psychological Association these dissatisfactory feelings can play a major role in the development of low self-esteem, depression, eating disorders such as bulimia”. This affirms that the study we are focusing on is very specific and definitely has an effect on consumers and retail organizations.(Author abstract)
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    Economic impact report: New England Pond Hockey Classic, Meredith, NH 2014
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04) Cowels, Michelle; Conley, Devin; Daly, Joe; Hecox, Mark
    For our Sport Management Practicum, we conducted an Economic Impact study of the Town of Meredith, NH in relation to an event that the town hosts every year: The New England Pond Hockey Classic. The CEO of the event, Scott Crowder, approached our group with the task of gathering information on how much the average participant spends on Travel, Lodging, Groceries, and Restaurants and Bars in the town of Meredith. We also looked into an increase, if any, in the sales of the local restaurants, bars, and motels in the area. After concluding our research, we will present our data to the CEO and the Meredith chamber of commerce. (Author abstract)
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    The roles of media, language, and practice on solving the Tower of Hanoi problem
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Worth, Elizabeth; Mercieri, Angela; Kosegarten, Jay
    The current study presents findings of a study conducted on the Tower of Hanoi problem. The Tower of Hanoi problem is a logical puzzle involving recursion in which there are three pegs with discs stacked in ascending order on the left peg. The object is to restack the discs on the right peg in ascending order, moving one disc at a time and never having a larger disc placed on top of a smaller one. The fewer the moves to accomplish this, the more successful the trial is judged to be. Subjects were randomized into one of eight cells and all were measured on their ability to solve the 4-disc version of the Tower of Hanoi in terms of three dependent variables: total number of moves, total moves-to-optimal moves ratio, and completion time. In a 2 X 2 X 2 between subjects factorial design, subjects were assigned to three different conditions with two levels each. Subjects performed either a computerized or physical version of the TOH; verbalized their strategies while doing so or were instructed to remain silent; and were allowed to practice on easier two-disc and three-disc versions or were not given the benefit of doing so. Main effects were found in that subjects completing the physical TOH did so more efficiently than those completing it on the computer. Subjects also benefitted from verbalizing their strategies over remaining silent. Interaction effects were also found for practice and verbalization. (Author abstract)
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    Life expectancy by country
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Berube, Brandon; Wallace, Michael; D'Agostino, Susan
    For this project, we questioned if it was possible to use regression analysis to predict the average life expectancy of a country’s citizen. The world is concerned about health due to poor air quality, inadequate sanitation, and lack of healthy drinking water. We used regression analysis to analyze these variables to see if they contributed to the overall life expectancy of a nation. We selected beneficial variables and eliminated variables that were ineffective. Although there are some variables that may seem to be effective, after checking residuals and correlations, we concluded which variables are useful. We chose a small sample size of twenty countries randomly in order to try to predict an accurate model for life expectancy of any country. The countries selected were Iraq, Oman, Tonga, Spain, Mongolia, Samoa, Qatar, Pap New Guinea, Lesotho, Mali, Bulgaria, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Micronesia, Mauritius, Suriname, Austria, and Sao Tome and Principe. With the research conducted, we will be able to show the inadequacies of nations that affect life expectancy, and how to increase the average life expectancy of their citizens. (Author abstract)
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    The introvert, extrovert, and ambivert: mood implications within text messages
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Casey, Bridgette; Tran, Anh; Frost, Peter
    This study sought to analyze the correlation of personal traits including introversion, extroversion, and ambiversion and mood on mobile phone usage, concentrating on text messaging. Furthermore, the study examined the relationship between this trait and an inclination towards either talking or texting. After completing personality test, thirty eight participants took the survey about their gender, age, frequent use of text messages, and preference on either talk or texting. Then they were asked to provide their most 10 recent text messages, and indicate when and where they sent the messages. We used Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count categories (Berry, Pennebaker, Mueller, & Hiller, 1997) to rate the positive and negative contents of text messages. Overall, the results did not demonstrate a relationship of personality traits and user's mood. There was a weak correlation of introversion and extroversion towards a preference for talking rather than texting. In contrast to Butt and Phillips's study (2008) extroverted and introverted users preferred talking on the phone while ambiverted users chose texting. Overall, the results contributed to the understanding of personality traits on text messages usage. (Author abstract)
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    The effects of social media on online consumer behavior
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-03-26) Dobek, Mark; Toland, Bryan; Gendron, Ryan; Kitsios, Aris; Stitt, Robert; Amendah, Eklou
    Does social media have an effect on online consumer behavior? Because social media is now used to market many companies, brands, and products, this study provides data that will conclude if social media has a major effect on online consumer behavior. The purpose of this study is to interview consumers to see what their opinions are on social media and its effect on their online shopping experience. The study will give us a better understanding of how online consumers view and use social media.(Author abstract)
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    Consumers' perceptions of QR codes
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Tobin, Patrick; Richard, Nathan; Stone, Karen
    In recent years, Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) have gained significant momentum in the United States as a use for marketing communications on product packaging (Sago, 2011). In this study, the authors will propose an experiment, survey, and interview. The intended purpose of this study will be to analyze consumer’s perceptions of the current knowledge and effectiveness of QR Codes. The experiment will be constructed to analyze consumers’ perceptions of the physical QR Codes on the packaging. The survey will be designed to produce data concerning consumers’ current knowledge and perception of effectiveness of QR Codes accomplishing the marketer’s goal for the QR Code. The interview will be used to collect qualitative data to gain understanding of how consumers would like companies to use QR Codes - that is if they think they should use them at all. (Author abstract)
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    Leadership qualities and characteristics in the Manchester, NH immigrant community
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Tobin, Patrick; Richard, Nathan; Harrington, Samuel; Remy, Alyssa; Michaud, Allison; Amendah, Eklou
    The objective of this study is to understand the immigrant community perception of leadership and its characteristics. We want to know what qualities they would assign to leaders. The study also investigates the community perception of the following leadership characteristics: decisionmaking, associations, perception, and ease of leadership. Decision-making relates to how the decision-making is determined in general by immigrants. For example, if decisions are made with a conscious awareness of how it affects others, if the decisions are made for personal benefit, if decisions are made using a cost benefit analysis, etc. .We analyze associations based on past relationships that influence good leadership in immigrant. Ease of leadership is analyzed by the perceived amount of difficulty associated with leadership. All factors are related to their effect on the immigrant community. There are multiple studies that analyze and interpret leadership factors and qualities among immigrant or minority communities. Leader to Leader discusses whom different families coming from different cultural backgrounds and areas (Leadership, 2005). Another study focused on how cultural factors influence leadership among immigrants and how these characteristics affect operations in their respective organizations (Yun-His, 2011). This study is important in understanding other cultures and their views on leadership. It also allows people to help create better leaders based on the results we may find. (Author abstract)
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    Tablet technology learning outcomes in elementary education
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Rea, Jennifer; Rogers, Audrey
    With the implementation of Common Core Standards in 48 of the 50 United States classroom technology has become increasingly important. As early as first grade students are asked to, “…use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers"(National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010, pp. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.6). The use of tablet technology in the classroom meets this need. For the purposes of this research tablet technology will be defined as “A general-purpose computer contained in a single panel. Its distinguishing characteristic is the use of a touch screen as the input device” (The Computer Language Company, 2013). This paper will examine the learning outcomes achieved through using tablet technology in elementary school classrooms. Learning outcomes will be measured through qualitative teacher interviews and quantitative student assessment data. (Author abstract)
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    First impressions: phrenology and physiognomy in David Copperfield
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Mitchell, Rebecca; Cook, Susan
    This paper examines the influence of phrenology and physiognomy in Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield. The title character spends a large section of the novel indicating various characters’ appearances as a way of illustrating his feelings towards them, following the popular culture of the time in which the book was both set and written in. One of the most prominent characters examined in this paper is Uriah Heep, who unnerves young David almost immediately upon seeing him because of his unsettling appearance. Though the Victorians may have popularized phrenology and physiognomy, the concept of understanding someone's personality based on their appearance can be traced back as early as Plato and the ancient Chinese civilizations. Other characters, such as the Murdstones or Mrs. Crupp, are also affected by these pseudosciences because of David's impression of them. During and even after the Victoria era, people used phrenology and physiognomy to attempt to prove criminals guilty simply because they had suspicious facial features. This paper uses these examples and others from both the culture at the time and the novel itself to determine if there is any truth in David Copperfield's judgment of other characters based on his first impressions of them. (Author abstract)
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    Cyberbullying: what can we do about it?
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013-12-11) Maccini, Mary; Cook, Susan
    Cyberbullying is one of America’s largest issues today, although it is often overlooked. The effects that cyberbullying has on today’s youth can be more harmful, in many ways, than the effects of physical bullying. Because of the spread and growth of technology, it is easier for today’s youth to hide behind the mask of a computer screen and harm others. Cyberbullying has led to countless suicides, depression, and other disorders throughout the past ten years. The cruel words can stay with victims longer because they are able to read them over and over again, and the bullying is becoming harder to escape. Today, verbal bullying does not end when students walk away from each other after school; it continues into the home, via computers, cell phones, or other electronic devices. A study done at Pembroke Academy explains how 72 students were anonymously surveyed about cyberbullying. Furthermore, an interview with Nicole Moore, a guidance counselor in Virginia, helps to bring cyberbullying into the light regarding the elementary school population. In this paper, solutions to cyberbullying are identified and explained. Solutions begin right from the home, and continue onto school grounds. It is more important than ever before that parents and educators be involved in their child’s life, because they may just save their child’s life. My research project specifically examines how cyberbullying is affecting our local community to argue that we need to take preventative measures as soon as possible. (Author abstract)
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    The advantages of social media for small businesses
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Laurin, Nathaniel; Bickford, Crystal
    The poster, “The Advantages of Social Media for Small Businesses” focuses on social media and its positive and negative effects on small businesses. The author begins by introducing the topic through a brief history of the internet, web 2.0, and its byproduct, social media. The text continues on to discuss the central question of, “is social media beneficial for small businesses?” This question is studied as the author negotiates the positives and negatives associated with social media and its potential impact on small businesses. The author outlines the main benefits of social media and examines them in greater detail and then provides examples of ways businesses can use social media to increase their publicity. These range from targeted and affordable advertising, to funding a project using fans as backers. The poster also compares these benefits of social media with the potential downsides and offers specific examples of products developed by small businesses, such as Minecraft, the Ouya Console, and the Pebble Smartwatch, to illustrate the ways in which social media has contributed to make each a success. The author concludes the research project with a summarization of why the benefits of social media outweigh the detriments for small businesses. (Author abstract)
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    Selective mutism in children
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Kennedy, Sarah; Pepin, Elise
    This thesis focuses on selective mutism, a rare childhood disorder in which the child refuses to speak in many situations and there are no underlying medical or speech disabilities that explains their behavior. The research of the paper focuses on the many different factors that can have a role in the development of selective mutism, including parent child relationship as well as the development of anxiety. Also discussed are the impacts this disorder can have on a child’s development, two main areas being academics and social relationships. Many teachers and parents do not have a full understanding of selective mutism, which may hinder the support that is made available to the child as the age of onset often occurs around the child’s entrance to school. This makes selective mutism an important topic because there is a need for educating caregivers. Part of this project will be surveying teachers in order to gain an understanding of their knowledge of selective mutism and what can be done to bring more awareness to the disorder. This thesis will also discuss the positive outlook for selective mutism as there are many different types of treatments and approaches available for helping the child overcome their intense fear of speaking. (Author abstract)
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    Stop and frisk: unconstitutional practices by the NYPD
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Gambon, Christina; Clamp, Christina
    Recently, a federal judge decided that the stop-and-frisk practices carried out by the New York Police Department were unconstitutional and violated not only the fourth amendment, but also the fourteenth. Since the decision made last August, there has been debates about if the judge was correct or not. In this paper, I will be researching through the practices made by the police and the statistics of their stop-and-frisks to see if there is some racial discrimination that would cause the practices to be unconstitutional. I will research statements made by both sides of the story, the police and the citizens, to understand their feelings on this issue. I will also be looking at essays and articles written by scholars on the topic of racial discrimination to get their side of the story. If there is racial discrimination in these practices, then there are social repercussions to follow, such as a distrust of the police and more arrests of innocent people. The stop-and-frisk is a catalyst for division among races, among protector and the protected, by creating discrimination when proceeded in an unlawful manner. (Author abstract)
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    Frankenstein and Shelley: the author and her work
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Gambon, Christina; Cook, Susan
    When writing Frankenstein as a young, impressionable woman, Mary Shelley was heavily influenced by the works and legacies created by both her parents, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Godwin and Wollstonecraft made their names in the world with their revolutionary ideas written out in books spread in Europe; with large shoes to fill as their daughter, Mary Shelley knew that she needed her own revolutionary work to move the world like they did. Because of this connection of legacy with her parents, many themes and lessons concerning her parents are featured in her novel, Frankenstein. The absence of her mother, who died ten days after giving birth to Mary Shelley, created the absence of a father in Victor Frankenstein for his creature. Mary as a child was tutored by her father in many subjects that would not normally be taught to females in this time period. That learning allowed her to include the subjects of science, humanities, and literature in her novel. In this paper, I will explain how knowing about Mary Shelley’s connection with her parents shaped her life and learning, by extension shaping her novel, Frankenstein. I will be looking at primary source materials by William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mary Shelley to note the connections between the texts, as well as secondary sources concerning Mary Shelley and her influences when it came to writing Frankenstein. I also will be looking at biographies of Mary Shelley’s life in order to relate her story to Frankenstein’s and the creature’s stories. The parallel between the author and the characters is essential in understanding the importance of Shelley’s parents in shaping her not only as an author, but as a woman in the Romantic Era. (Author abstract)
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    Effects color has on mood and stereotypes
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2014-04-02) Frazier, Alicia; Kosegarten, Jay
    This paper is a further exploration of some findings by Buckalew and Bell (1985). Their experiment classified the drawings of faces drawn by 18 children between the ages of four and six as happy, sad, or indifferent. The author found that color had an effect on mood. In our study, 30 college students between the ages of 19 and 26 were given five different colored piece of paper (red, yellow, green, blue, and white). Each colored pieces of paper had the outline of a stick figure with a blank face and no gender identified. From the five colors listed, subjects were asked their favorite color, least favorite color, and then to rank the colors on a scale of one to five, from their favorite to least favorite color. Subjects’ drawings were then analyzed to see if mood was reflected in the drawings. We also wanted to explore the potential stereotypes surrounding colors (e.g., would red be associated with aggression or would blue be considered male). The drawings were examined to see if test subjects added more detail to the drawing on their favorite colored piece of paper; if more aggression was expressed in the drawings on the red piece of paper as opposed to the favorite color; also what gender was associated with each color. We conclude that color does have an effect on mood, and evidence supports the notion that association about color can be stereotypical. (Author abstract)
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