Freshman Focus Presentation

8:00 AM Sections Third Floor Shilling Hall

Autumn Meyer — Dr. George, Room 319, 8:00 AM

The Analysis of Symmetry of Aliens in Science Fiction Films

I am analyzing and researching why science fiction film creators make alien characters anatomically similar to humans. After observing different science fiction films, I notice that even though that aliens aren’t biologically the same as humans, aliens share many similarities with humans. One big and observable characteristic humans have is symmetry. Our body is symmetrical, and we would not be able to function and communicate if we did not have that symmetry. My question related to science fiction is why creators of science fiction films make most alien characters anatomically symmetrical. I analyzed and used Star Wars and Avatar as examples. I also researched different articles and academic sources about symmetry, and found that we, as humans, are naturally attracted and familiar to symmetry. Our brains naturally recognize symmetry, and we are able to communicate and interpret different aspects and characteristics, like health, because we have symmetry.

Logan Bader — Dr. George, Room 319, 8:00 AM

Water Conservation and Modernization: Why not Both?

Throughout the modernization of our world, industrialization has flourished. However, with the growth of modern industry, the natural health of our ecosystems, especially fresh water wetlands, which is the focus of my study, are diminishing. Many legislative attempts have been made to protect our fresh waters, however, it is extremely difficult to mediate between water conservation and the economic value that industrialization provides. Water conservation is important for obvious reasons, yet our world is becoming so modernized that its importance needs to be further recognized. However, it is inarguable that industrialization is a key component to how the modern world exists today. Throughout my research, I strive to promote the importance of conserving these natural freshwater bodies, especially those that are considered “unmarked” water bodies. I propose that the current Trump executive order against the conservation of these unmarked waters and the past Obama legislation that overprotected the water bodies both be amended to promote optimal balance between water conservation and industrialization.

Tanner Barnes — Dr. George, Room 319, 8:00 AM

Struggles in Panem and Basis of Revolution

no summary available

Al Joritz—Professor Crowe, Room 327, 8:00 AM
BA Theatre & BS Psychology

“Peeling Back the Layers: Examining the Monster in Shrek”

Shrek is a multidimensional new-age fairy tale for all ages. Everyone knows the story of Shrek, but few fans have thought about what makes it work so well and examined it at great lengths. I will consider what exactly makes Shrek a “monster” or rather, who the actual monster in Shrek is and why. In doing so, I will create my own definition of what exactly constitutes a monster, and go into societies view of Shrek, and Shrek’s view of himself.  

Abigail Gawart -- Professor Crowe, Room 327, 8:00 AM
Musical Theatre Major

“Horror En Pointe”

Behind the pink tights and pointed shoes, professional dancers are victims of an industry riddled with grueling standards. From waistlines to mental health, the body of a dancer is subjected to endangerment and scrutiny that can only be categorized as horror. Causing effects such as eating disorders, the high expectations of the professional dance community sacrifice the well-being of dancer bodies for an artificially constructed and systemically traditionalized visual aesthetic.  

Mackenzie Barnett – Professor Crowe, Room 327, 8:00 AM
Musical Theatre

“Killing Mean Girls: How Female Relationships Are Reflected in Scream Queens”

Every girl has had to deal with a mean girl. Whether she was bullied by the mean girl, kept her distance from the mean girl, or was the mean girl herself, she has dealt with one. This type of girl is quite a stereotypical archetype for middle school through college women. My goal is to explore the horror of “mean girls” and negative female relationships through Ryan Murphy’s television series, Scream Queens

9:00 AM Sections Third Floor Shilling Hall

Emily Boes — Dr. George, Room 319, 9:00 AM

Video Games Deserve Respect

The definition of literature is a difficult thing to pin down, but most people believe in one fundamental element: the work is published in a written format. However, this leaves some works into question. What does this do for works that are written, but unpublished? Could they be considered literature? Does a play stop being literature when it is performed, in a live production or on film? I argue that our present definition of literature not containing certain performance arts is outdated and excludes a lot of pieces of art that have massive impacts on society from academic discussion. In this presentation, I will focus on narrative driven video games as a performance art with strong literary elements, and I will argue that those games should have their literary elements considered valid for discussion in an academic setting. I intend to focus on three games in particular that, I find, contain those strong literary elements and whose gameplay empowers those elements and makes them even stronger than if they were written in a novel format. These games are Bioshock, published by 2K Games, Undertale, and independently released game by Toby Fox, and Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, published by Nintendo.

Masha Kostic — Dr. George, Room 319, 9:00 AM

The Exploration of Gender Roles in Science Fiction

My presentation will be an exploration of how traditional gender roles affect women in STEM portrayed in science fiction movies. I will be analyzing the films Interstellar, Gravity, and Contact and talk about how the women in these films are affected by gender roles. I will also be featuring my research done from books and theories in this presentation.

Molly Dugger — Dr. George, Room 319, 9:00 AM

Continuation of Innovation: How Fictional Science Influences Nonfictional Science in the Modern World

Technology and medicine are fields that constantly grow and change. There are innumerable factors that play a part in the evolution of these modern sciences. One invention or idea can spark another and another, and inspire scientists around the world, until what was once merely a thought becomes an important piece of actual, modern science. Science fiction literature is one genre that can greatly influence the future of medicine and technology. In many television shows, movies, and works of literature, like Star Trek or Star Wars, the creators of the piece create revolutionary and imaginative weapons, communication devices, and other inventions. An audience member or viewer of these works of science fiction may see these unreal creations and be inspired to make them real. This inspiration is what inspired things like the cell phone and cloning. As time progresses, science fiction influences real science, and real science inspires science fiction, allowing the world of science to change and evolve constantly.

Stephen DeMartini — Dr. George, Room 319, 9:00 AM

Religion in Science Fiction: A Religious Analyzation of Star Wars and Dune

Star Wars and Dune are two major works of science fiction that I believe to have a much stronger religious meaning than previously considered. In order to analyze the religious content of Star Wars and Dune I have compiled a collection of books explaining the basics of 4 major religions as well as sources that compare religions in order to find common themes that span across them. Using these texts, I will analyze the Star Wars films and the Dune novel for religious content for both specific religious references or general characteristics of a religion. Scanning through the two science fiction works I will look of overarching themes such as good and evil that dominate much of both science fiction and religion, as well as themes such as an afterlife, the separation of body and soul, and the presence of a mystical entity responsible for natural phenomena. By analyzing Star Wars and Dune in the context of general themes that reflect religious beliefs as well as specific religious characteristics and references I believe I will provide enough evidence to support my claim that both Star Wars and Dune are highly religious in content.

Matthew Frank — Dr. George, Room 319, 9:00 AM

A Literature Review of Frank Herbert’s Dune and his Creation and Use of Mélange as a Source of Power

 When Frank Herbert was writing Dune in the 1960’s, LSD was being studied and researched as a way to help/cure autism, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. In the novel, his main character, Paul, undergoes serious mental transformation when using the addictive spice mélange. While using the spice, Paul’s mental capacities are increased tremendously, allowing him to see possible futures and pathways, bend space-time, and control other people with the use of one word. After reading the novel, I was interested in what made Herbert choose a drug that was capable of this, instead of some talisman or artifact. Another interesting thing Herbert did was to make the spice easily accessible, but only on one planet. I started my research by finding various experiments with LSD in the 1960’s to see what Herbert may have known about cognitive enhancement. I also wanted to know why Herbert made his spice so addictive and deadly to those who stopped using it. For this, I found the effects of withdrawal from alcohol and heroin, which have addictive effects that can kill. The last main focus of my research was trying to find out the combination of drugs/addictive substances that Herbert chose to use to create his spice mélange and explain why that combination made sense in the novel.

Delaney Schmidt—Prof. Crowe, Room 318, 9:00 AM
BFA Musical Theatre

“Why You Most Likely Did Not Get the Job: The Horrors of Auditioning”

An audition consists of small elements that add up to make the process what it is. There are the pre-requirements of the audition, and there is the actual audition itself. Then, there is also the waiting and the possibility of rejection that comes after the audition. This process affects both men and women, but it affects them in different ways. By then end, I should have proven that the audition process is one that has many horrors that are hidden from people outside of the business.

Teague Phillips—Professor Crowe, Room 318, 9:00 AM

“Terror in Transness: Piercing the Public Eye”

There are plenty of transgender people in America, but we are scarcely represented in the media and are often ignored or excluded in public spaces. Much of America is pretending transgender people are something to be afraid of, and using a variety of examples currently and throughout history, I intend to illustrate the horrific nature of this mass ignorance.

Trey DeLuna – Professor Crowe, Room 318, 9:00 AM
Musical Theatre Major

“The Real Freaks: Fears of the Physically Disabled and Concepts of Normality in American Horror Story: Freak Show”

Prejudice, discrimination, and the overall degradation of physically disabled persons has been a problem within American society throughout history. Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Freak Show depicts this horror through a fictional group of traveling “circus freaks”, struggling to keep their business afloat against a society that dehumanizes them. I aim to analyze how this television show depicts American society’s concept of “normality” and its views of the physically disabled.

Kyra Lamartine--- Professor Crowe, Room 318, 9:00 AM
Theater Major

“The Horrifying Truth of How Far from Fiction the Film Get Out Truly is”

The new horror thriller film Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, is one of a kind in its ability to examine the different extremes of racism in liberal, white America. Focusing in on the interactions with African Americans throughout the film, I plan to reveal the underlying references to the slavery mentality in America, the true horror behind the effects of their racism on black culture and how far from fiction this movie truly is.

Haley Schuck—Professor Crowe, Room 318, 9:00 AM
Math Secondary Education

“Control: The Uses and Effects in Film The Skin I Live In”

The theme of control and the lack thereof is prevalent throughout the film The Skin I Live In. All the main characters show controlling behavior at some point as well as some loss of control. Controlling people can create horror on screen. Many factors can cause a person to act controlling, such as mental disease, traumatic loss, or being raped. I seek to help better understand how controlling characters create terror in film.

Emily Pfaff - Professor Crowe, Room 327, 9:00 AM
Stage Management Major

“The Horrors of High School in Heathers: The Musical”

Many 1980s films were focused on young adults facing issues from relationships to bullying to becoming an adult, but few are darker than Heathers. Decades later, Heathers: The Musical now challenges audiences with the same themes of bullying, murder, and suicide. My intention is to explore each of the darker themes of the musical to show that Heathers: The Musical is a horror story and how those themes have maintained relevance in modern society.

Matthew Polett – Judith Crowe, Room 327, 9:00 AM
Music Education, Instrumental

“The Music of Horror Films and Why It Should Be Taught”

The music of film has a lot of history and has many qualities worth studying. Entire classes are centered on appreciation of this music, yet often the music of horror films is often neglected. Music has many qualities, so I will be making the argument that the music of horror exemplifies these qualities and should be taught.

Cassandra Hysler – Professor Crowe, Room 327, 9:00 AM
Accounting Major

“The Monster Inside Me: The Debatable Topic of DID in Split”

There is a common concern with dissociative identity disorder (DID) that criminals will fake this disorder to gain an insanity plea for their defense. I will be addressing that this disorder is legitimate, and there are ways to know if someone actually has this disorder or is just “faking it”. Using with the example of the “monster” in the horror movie Split (2017), I would like to show how people diagnosed with DID are victims.

Maya Dougherty—Professor Crowe, Room 327, 9:00 AM
Theatre Major

“From Screen to Stage: Analyzing the Pitfalls of Transforming Movies into Musicals”

Film and theatre are two mediums that tend to intermingle and borrow from one another. Musical adaptations of movies are an example of this. While some of these adaptations have been wildly successful, such as The Lion King or Hairspray, others have not been quite as fortunate. In my paper, I will analyze the horrors that arise when creating a musical adaptation of a movie, as well as identify the fatal differences between those that triumphed, and those that “flopped.”

Payten Humphreys – Professor Crowe, Room 327, 9:00 AM
Musical Theatre Major

“The Horrors of Stage Fright: What is Really Going On?”

Stage fright has caused issues for all types of performers. Society has neglected stage fright as a small issue, but it is much more horrifying than people who do not suffer from it realize. Physical symptoms, mental illness, and the psychology of fear make it a more complex issue than some believe it to be. From societal effects of competition to who is in the audience, this paper discusses the true horror of stage fright.

Kalli Farmer – Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 9:00 AM
Sports Management

Game, Sex, Match: An Analysis of the Sexualization of Female Athletes in the Media

Sex sells in advertising; at least that is what many people think. In this paper, I will go into depth about how this trend in advertising is used when portraying female athletes in sports media. Throughout my paper I will give explanations and specific advertisement examples to why the sexualization of female athletes in advertising is degrading not only to the athlete’s themselves, but to society. By pointing out the flaws in this trend in sports media, I hope to encourage others to see female athlete’s for their athletic skill rather than their physical appearance.

Korbin Farmer – Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 9:00 AM
Mathematics & Philosophy

"Fake News or the Good News: Exploring the Influence of Media on Christianity"

Many things presented in the media today have profound impacts on a variety of different institutions - one of which is the Christian church. In this paper, I will combine data, survey findings, and articles showing how both the negative and positive portrayals of the church today are creating a steep decline in those who practice the Christian faith, especially those belonging to the millennial generation. This paper will not simply be a presentation of facts, but rather a call to action for a generation to rediscover faith, and a challenge to all to not let media succeed in stereotyping individuals.

Matt Brown – Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 9:00 AM
Business Management

“Keep the Streak or Not? An Analysis of the Influence of Social Media on the Nation’s Youth"

The last ten years have seen such a growth in modernized technology that social media has become a dominant force on the worldwide web. For adolescents and young adults alike, it has become an expectation that they actively engage in applications like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. In this paper, I will discuss the negative influence that social media can have on the independent and intellectual growth of a young mind. I hope that my research will be an eye opener for social media users and an inspiration for them to temper their use of these applications.

Bekah Ford – Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 9:00 AM
Vocal Music Education

“Toys Will Be Toys: An Analysis of Gender Stereotypes Among Children’s Toys”

In this paper, I intend to expose the gender stereotypes found in children’s toys, entertainment, and advertising. I hope to argue why these stereotypes are harming children and their perception of themselves. Kids should be allowed to play with and enjoy any toy or game without fear of being ridiculed by peers or parents for engaging in something that is not for their gender. The research I utilize will include scientific studies, observations, both casual and professional, and opinion articles.

Cierra Patrick – Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 9:00 AM
Vocal Performance Major

 “Like Watching a Car Crash”: An Analysis of Shock PSAs

Shock advertising has long been used to battle problems concerning sex, drugs, and violence. However, in an increasingly violent society, do these ads still provoke the desired effect? In my project, I plan to analyze the effectiveness of shock Public Service Announcements from the past and present, and examine the differences in both ads’ techniques. I will also be investigating the issue of desensitization in society, and how it could be affecting what PSAs feature to their audience. The research I will use includes academic studies, opinion articles, polls, and articles written by shock advertising experts. I hope to emphasize the importance of these adverts to my audience, as PSAs are an essential resource in educating audiences and sparking conversation about major social issues.

Alex Herrera - Dr. O'Conner, Room 317, 9:00 AM

We All Have a Voice, but Do We All Have an Image?: Body Type Representations in Popular Television Series

Everyone deserves to see themselves in everyday life, and  television should be no different. I will be looking at the representation of different body types in the long lasting television series of "How I Met Your Mother," "Rules of Engagement," and "That 70's Show." Through the analysis of these series and the use of academic journals, I will determine how diverse the body types used are, and how this can affect people positively and negatively. My research will hopefully open the door to more media outlets representing more diverse body images for the public.

Frankie Paredes - Dr. O'Conner, Room 317, 9:00 AM
Commercial Music

“Images and Music: Seeing and Hearing Combined Into a Greater Art Form"

 In this paper, I will discuss the effects that images and music have on each other through various media, but more importantly, how listening to music can change how one perceives an image, and how seeing an image can change how one listens to music. The two arts of images and music have been practiced for thousands of years and thrive in all cultures. Alone, they are already prominent and powerful aspects of daily life. But through my research, I will show how, when combined, the two art forms enhance the effects that either one has on an audience.

Justin Corp – Dr. O’Conner, Room 317, 9:00 AM
Commercial Music

“Album of the Year: How Album Covers Revolutionized Pop Culture”

     In my paper, I will research the ways that artists advertise their albums through cover art, and I intend to establish album cover art as a legitimate and integral part of the modern art community. Albums like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and The Beatles' Abbey Road have album covers that have become so iconic that few people across the world fail to recognize the art. Even though album art is commonly overlooked as a member of the art community, it is one of the most influential aspects of pop culture. Analyzing album art as traditional artwork allows for more educated interpretations of the hidden messages within larger works of art and music.

Maddy Batek – Dr. O’Conner, Room 317, 9:00 AM
Biology/Pre-Med. Major

“Beyond the Naked Eye:  Hidden Messages in Advertising”

Subliminal advertising was first conceptualized in the 1950s when hidden messages were placed in movies in an attempt to "persuade" viewers to buy more soda and popcorn. Despite mixed research results on its effectiveness, its use grew throughout the following years. Out of concerns for invasion of privacy and deceptive practices, the US Federal Commerce Commission stated that they would revoke the license of any company that uses subliminal advertising. Despite this ruling, we are bombarded on a daily basis by advertising that contains hidden messages. This paper will outline the history, describe the underlying psychology, present research studies, and illustrate current day examples of subliminal advertising.

Olivia Brewer – Dr. O’Conner, Room 317, 9:00 AM
Biology and Psychology Major

Have It Your Way: Childhood Obesity in a Media-Filled World

The rate of overweight children in many countries across the globe has been steadily increasing for several years. Previous research has highlighted the relationship between television viewing and obesity, yet numerous studies miss the connection between exposure to advertisements and being overweight. I will explore how unfair marketing methods are employed in children’s commercials and online advertisements to create a loyal customer base. Slight government regulation of advertisements targeted toward children could put a huge dent in the startlingly high rates of childhood obesity.

10:00 AM Sections Third Floor Shilling Hall

Aimee Frost — Dr. George, Room 319, 10:00 AM

The Representation of Females in Science Fiction

In the science fiction genre, men are often portrayed as the main characters and strong, brave heroes. With the feminist movement becoming a huge part of our culture, we are starting to see more women being put into these roles. Women are no longer just the crazy villain or damsel in distress. Women are now heroes, too. Are they equal to the roles of male heroes, though? In this paper and presentation, I will discuss how female roles have improved, but how female heroes are still portrayed differently than male heroes. Why does this happen and will a female hero ever actually be the same as a male hero? How these characters develop and portray their heroic destinies actually vary immensely. I will focus on the Star Wars’ characters Leia, Padme, Rey, and Jyn to show both how females in Star Wars has changed and how those characters differ from the males of Star Wars including Luke, Han Solo, and Anakin.

Sophie Green — Dr. George, Room 319, 10:00 AM

Language and Culture in Science Fiction

This paper will explore how languages have been used and created for science fiction as well as how culture is connected to language.  The question I am attempting to answer is as follows, does language affect culture or does culture affect language? While language is an essential part of daily life, many people do not consider the effect it has on their day-to-day routine and culture.  Science fiction authors often use language to create a richer culture in a fictional world, frequently producing dialects that are associated with the language they use. Many authors do this so that their characters come to life and create a more relatable storyline. The addition of these created elements sets the story in a more plausible world that has commonalities in the non-fictional world. Culture and language are, in my mind, inseparable and their use in science fiction is essential to creating a realistic world in which these stories take place.

Alissa Kanturek — Dr. George, Room 319, 10:00 AM

Language and Culture in Science Fiction

This paper will explore how languages have been used and created for science fiction as well as how culture is connected to language.  The question I am attempting to answer is as follows, does language affect culture or does culture affect language? While language is an essential part of daily life, many people do not consider the affect it has on their day-to-day routine and culture.  Science fiction authors often use language to create a richer culture in a fictional world, frequently producing dialects that are associated with the language they use. Many authors do this so that their characters come to life and create a more relatable storyline. The addition of these created elements sets the story in a more plausible world that has commonalities in the non-fictional world. Culture and language are, in my mind, inseparable and their use in science fiction is essential to creating a realistic world in which these stories take place.

Jordan Niebuhr — Dr. George, Room 319, 10:00 AM

Progression of Gender Equality in the Work Force: True Equality?

This research project focuses on the equality between men and women in the work force in the United States and will use different factors to investigate both advancements and drawbacks. Issues and advancements regarding the gender pay gap will be discussed, in regards to the ideals of male supremacy. Additionally, it will discuss the levels of education both men and women receive and how it affects their success in their fields. Participation in leadership roles among women will also be examined and compared to those held by men. By examining and comparing the past to the present factors of this issue, it will present conclusions as to how the future of this inequality will look. This paper will then determine whether or not men and women can reach true equality in the work force.

Lucas Chatterton — Dr. George, Room 319, 10:00 AM

Eugenics, Star Trek, and Star Wars

This research project will be focusing on the morality and ethical justification of eugenics in human society, through the lens of popular works of science fiction, such as Star Trek. I will be focusing primarily on the character of Khan Noonien Singh from The Original Series. I will also be looking at cloning while using the Grand Army of the Republic, or the clone army, from Star Wars. Then I will use the works of well known philosophers such as Plato to try and determine whether the usage of genetic engineering and cloning to create a better human and better society is morally permissible.

Ben Maynard – Professor Crowe, Room 318, 10:00 AM

“College Eating: The Horror Every Student Faces”

Universities have the potential to teach their students how to eat healthy through the food they offer during meal times. However, many do not take advantage of this opportunity to positively impact students’ lives on a nutritional level. I will attempt to explain the challenges of healthy eating that college students face at universities where, in addition to being surrounded by fast food restaurants, the health standards of cafeteria food can be horrifyingly low.

Madison Taylor Jester—Professor Crowe, Room 318, 10:00 AM
BA Theatre

“The Layers of Fear in Modern Horror”

With horror being a large aspect of today’s media and gaming culture, it is important to be able to discern what makes the genre what it is today. This essay will use the game Layers of Fear, one of the iconic horror games of the late 2010’s, to discuss what horrific things have come out of game technology, as well as to figure out what might be the next step in the immersion of horror.

Carrie Thompson- Professor Crowe, Room 318, 10:00 AM
Graphic Design Major

“We’ve Met with a Terrible Fate, Haven’t We?”

“BEN Drowned,” a famous story in the Creepypasta (an online horror story forum) culture, has many layers when analyzed that bring awareness to certain problems that do not necessarily get enough attention.  This horrific story disturbs its readers by using horrors that are a reality in the world today; I seek to analyze the story and the themes it utilizes in order to bring the audience’s attention to these horrific components.

Emily Cotner—Professor Crowe, Room 318, 10:00 AM
Music Business

“Tic Tacs and Tribulations: The Trump Administration and the Horror Inflicted Upon Women”

The Women’s March on January 21 of 2017 was largely celebrated as women uniting. But underneath that excitement was the very real and true fear of what would be in store for the women of America during the Trump presidency. In this paper, I hope to illustrate how women’s issues and voices in America are in jeopardy of being silenced by not just Donald Trump, but by his administration as well.

Melanie Wilson - Professor Crowe, Room 318, 10:00 AM
BFA Stage Management and BA Spanish

“Superstition in Theatre: The Personal and the Supernatural”

Theatre is an art that is “spiritual” by nature. These spiritual connections can be personal, like religion and personal rituals; or they can be supernatural and otherworldly, as many theatres are known for ghostly encounters. The spirituality of theatres both causes and is caused by superstition. While it varies by person and theatre, superstitions are almost always present and they can comfort, protect, or curse theatrical productions.

Morgan Bettner – Professor Crowe, Room 327, 10:00 AM
Secondary Math Education

“STEM: The Gender Inequality in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math”

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), are growing topics of concern among many countries, specifically in the United States. The government wants more people to pursue careers in this field so that the U.S. can continue to develop and advance. Unfortunately, there is a gender gap in STEM. Repeatedly, it has been acknowledged that there are more males than females in STEM-related areas. This is shocking because in this day, especially with all the advocates of gender equality, the gender ratio should be equal, which would give more opportunity for new technology and ideas to emerge. This opportunity comes from the potential women bring to them field, in that one of them could be just the person to solve a certain problem or develop a new piece of technology.

Austin Taylor—Professor Crowe, Room 327, 10:00 AM

“The Unjustified Fears of Spiders”

The vast majority of people enter a state of unease at the thought or sight of a monstrous, disgusting spider. Arachnophobes form irrational thoughts and exaggerated responses of fear about their deadly venom and “massive” fangs. As one of the most successful organisms on the planet, arachnids are common and nonthreatening, but humans have formed unjustified opinions about spiders from countless negative portrayals seen around the world. I seek to explain reasons not to fear creepy, crawly spiders and provide their many benefits they have to the human race and planet.

Isaac Hopper-Professor Crowe, Room 327, 10:00 AM
History Major

“Beef: A Silent and Dangerous Threat”

Beef is among the most consumed global products. Unfortunately, with an ever-increasing demand for beef comes an ever-increasing threat to our planet and way of life. The production of beef directly contributes to the global water crisis, global warming, and public health issues. I will seek to present the horrors of beef on an individual and global scale.

Alex Pratt – Professor Crowe, Room 327, 10:00 AM
Accounting and Information Systems Double Major

“The Friendly Monster”

The idea of evil being a part of human nature is a common thought among most people. Although people have different views of what evil is, most can agree that there are different levels and severities of evil within humans. In looking at the shadow archetype and the negative view associated with it, I will argue that with the correct education and guidance, people can use the monster inside of them to have a positive impact on the society in which they live.

Tressa Rudolph – Professor Crowe, Room 327, 10:00 AM
B.A. Theatre and Creative Writing Double Major

“High School Musical: The Subliminal Messages of Horror”

Horror can be discovered in the most unexpected of places. Sometimes, horror has been buried behind layers of comedy and complicated dance numbers in a high school cafeteria. I hope to take the popular adolescent-targeted movie High School Musical and bring to light the horrific messages that are subtly hidden within the plot, character relationships, and cinematography of the film.

Mia Klok - Dr. O'Conner, Room 315, 10:00 AM
Musical Theatre Major

“That’s So (Not) Gay”: Finding False Stereotypes in Film

Ever since movies have been able to be produced, they have included criticism and false stereotypes regarding homosexuals and who they are. In the research paper, I will compare and contrast the similarities and differences between movies filmed throughout the decades. I predict to find an increase in negative stereotypes of homosexuals in films as the decades go on because of the increasing awareness of this community as the years have passed. It is important to accuse these films of creating such false stereotypes of others and their prejudice of these people.

Frank Macaluso — Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 10:00 AM
BA Theatre

Mommy, How Come No One Looks Like Me On Friends?

In American media, there is a phenomenon in which roles in films, television programs, and even plays that are written for people of color are cast with white actors. There are many excuses given for this practice, which our youngest generations have branded with the epithet “whitewashing”. My intention is to examine the practice, its origin, and all the reasons given behind its perpetuation, as well as its ethicality.

Kayla Alpers – Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 10:00 AM
Art Therapy Major

 “Healing with Hues: The Beliefs and Doubts of Art Therapy”

In my formal research project, I plan to focus on how art therapy uses psychology and visual rhetoric to help better people’s health. Art therapy is a topic that, although has been present in history for some time, is often doubted. This being said, there are many sources that try to disprove the benefits of art therapy. I hope to include these counter-arguments in my research to further explain the very real benefits art therapy brings to society.

Brian Barker- Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 10:00 AM
Musical Theatre and Philosophy

“Giving Hitler the Right Cross: Examining Propaganda Used in Comic Books During WWII”

In this paper, I intend to take a closer look at the dark side of comics and the propaganda that was utilized in them both during WWII and beyond. I hope to give people a deeper look into how this form of media shaped the view of an entire generation of people and influenced one of the bloodiest wars in history in the favor of the Allies. We will be looking at both cultural and social issues that were specifically addressed by comics in and around the WWII era and how their rhetoric influenced the people who read them in both positive and negative ways and led to many major changes to the culture at the time.

Jessica Best - Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 10:00 AM
Biology Major

Barbie Dolls vs. G.I. Joe Action Figures: Gender Stereotypes in Children’s Advertisements and the Media

Over the past several decades since television has become prominent in almost every home, children have been bombarded with advertisements for toys and television shows that are very gender stereotypical. By doing this research and writing this essay, I can find out why this child advertisement and television show gender stereotyping first started and how it has effected the world’s children over the years, because children deserve to be able to watch or play with whatever they want without feeling like they are not being manly or girly enough based off of societies stereotypical standards.

Nikki Wiltjer – Dr. O’Conner, Room 317, 10:00 AM
Vocal Performance Major

"Nudity Spikes Follows and Likes: Uncovering the 'Body Bias' in Advertising"

Using sexual images or references has been a popular and effective way for companies to advertise their brand; whether it is for shoes or fast food, people respond to this type of advertising.  In my paper I will be exploring the difference in male and female celebrities and how they present themselves in public and on social media (advertising their brand), focusing on the difference in clothing modesty (or lack thereof).  The number of female celebrities exploiting the sexuality of their bodies is significantly higher than the number of men using this form of advertising.  By bringing this biased objectification into light, I hope to eliminate the expectation for women to use their "assets" in order to get attention.  

Elizabeth Heisz- Dr. O’Conner, Room 317, 10:00 AM
Vocal Music Education Major

See It and Believe It: Sexism in Advertising

In this research project, I will explore the way some advertisers continually produce sexist advertisements that portray women as objects and how those underlying messages help rationalize and justify violence against women. My research will provide ways to analyze advertisements and recognize their sexist connotations, therefore allowing people to understand how those hidden messages may impact their views and their actions. This is especially important to college students due to the continual issue of sexual harassment on college campuses.

Heidi Buch- Dr. O'Conner, Room 317, 10:00 AM
Vocal Music Education

When You Wish Upon a Star… Makes No Difference Who You Marginalize: An Analysis of the Messages of Homophobia & Unrealistic Body Standards in Children's Movies

In this research project, I will explore the ways that images in children’s movies enforce underlying messages of homophobia and unrealistic body standards. My research will show that Disney movies, specifically, cast a negative light on members of the LGBTQ community as well as people with anything but perfect body types, and in turn, children have preconceived associations with these marginalized groups when they encounter them in real life. Through this research, I aim to inform people on how to recognize these stereotypes and avoid associating people with the faulty perceptions of them in movies.

Morgan Powers - Dr. O’Conner, Room 317, 10:00 AM
Chemistry Major

“PETA to the Slaughter: The Organization’s Use of Propaganda and Its Negative Effects on Agriculture”

In this research project, I will explore the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) organization, the controversy that surrounds them, the controversy of their shock advertisement, and the effect that PETA has on the agriculture industry. I believe that my research will show that the PETA organization may not have as good of intentions as they present to the public through their advertisement. When people find out the true motives behind PETA, the organization will become less credible and the agricultural industry will regain their authenticity.

Rubi Rodriguez- Dr. O’Conner, Room 317, 10:00 AM
Biology/Pre-Med Major

Dangerous Disposition: How Media Distorts Our Perception of Minorities in America

As the prevalence of media in our lives grows, it is essential to recognize the effect that it has on our culture and beliefs. In this research, I will explore ways in which media outlets such as movies, television shows, and news sources may portray minorities as oversimplified individuals who rarely deviate from the stereotypical characteristics. I will then analyze the ways in which these portrayals influence the public’s perception of minorities, and minorities perceptions of themselves. By recognizing the unjust ways in which groups are portrayed, it is possible that viewers will be more conscious of these racist undertones and fight against them rather than unknowingly soaking them up.

11:00 AM Sections Third Floor Shilling Hall 

Jillian Jones — Dr. George, Room 319, 11:00 AM

You’re Remembering It Wrong: The Implications of the Mandela Effect on Memory

It is a well-known fact that a human’s memory is unreliable, but just how bad is it? There are multiple reports of people claiming to remember and have experienced events in ways that differ from reality, sometimes with no evidence that the event ever occurred. They have reported the deaths of well-known public figures decades before their actual passing. They claim that the spellings of words have inexplicably changed without notice. These people all report collective false memories. Unable to explain why their memories do not align with reality, the Mandela Effect was born. Claims of alternate universes and diverging timelines are popular on the Internet, but could there be a more rational, logical explanation for these discrepancies? My paper goes into detail on the phenomenon and is a study and explanation of the Mandela Effect and the implication it has for the concept of memory itself.

Eric Curtis — Dr. George, Room 319, 11:00 AM

Fictional World Building from an Ecological Standpoint

My presentation will look at the aspects of biology, chemistry, and ecological interaction in world building. I will primarily be focusing on the subtopic of biological structure and function in the movie Star Wars. Analysis of creatures and beings from the Star Wars universe will give evidence for the use or lack of use of ecological sciences in the design of these creatures. Visuals of the anatomy of various creatures including the Rankor, Acklay, and Hutt will allow me to explain their scientific function or lack thereof. The overall conclusion is that the creatures created for Star Wars were intended more for cinematic flare than scientific functionality, but holds a few exceptions where organisms appear to be advantageously adapted to their home environments.

Margot Frank - Judith Crowe, Room 318, 11:00 AM
Musical Theatre

“Nudity: Stripping down elements of Horror Films”

Nudity is an often-used element within the horror film industry. The multiple views of nudity: sex, rape, menstruation, innocent de-robing/shower scenes, are deliberately integrated into these films. They play on a plethora of feelings, those ranging from vulnerability, excitement, discomfort, and above all, fear. I hope to analyze those different views and find connections between their purpose and the American society that created the need to be naked.  

Mackenzie Martin – Professor Crowe, Room 318, 11:00 AM

“Look Away: Horrific Eye Motifs in A Series of Unfortunate Events”

    Surveillance, an increasingly problematic issue in modern society, is explored through the eye motifs and dark humor in the Netflix show A Series of Unfortunate Events. In the series, author and screenwriter Lemony Snicket draws upon centuries of terrifying folklore of the eyes. Films such as Psycho, The Great Gatsby, and 1984 underline the eye motif through their themes of voyeurism, judgement, and surveillance. Collectively, visual representations of the eye work to allude to the darker side of this children’s series.

Michael Duling—Professor Crowe, Room 318, 11:00 AM
BA Theatre

“Just Picture Them in Their Underwear”

It is commonly believed that Performance anxiety is an issue that only affects children, young adults, and students, but the causes of this anxiety are often deep psychological stressors that often stay with sufferers through their whole lives. Even professional actors struggle with anxiety on stage, and addressing this problem in our society and education system could positively affect the mental health of actors for generations to come.

Hayley Paladines—Professor Crowe, Room 327, 11:00 AM
Music Education- Instrumental

“The Psychopath: The Spell They Put People Under”

Serial Killers, they’re just like us! Their psychopathic nature of not having any feeling or emotion allows them to have the ability to act like a siren and people get drawn to them. In horror films, this concept of likeable psychopaths is used to scare audiences in a new and modern way. Since audiences are evolving to no longer be afraid of gore or jump scares, writers and directors have started using the concept of likeable psychopaths to make viewers confused as to what they should or should not believe. Through my research, I hope to convey the horrific nature of on-screen likeable psychopaths and how this influences the techniques writers and directors use to terrify modern audiences.

Naomi Klingbeil - Professor Crowe, Room 327, 11:00 AM

“Fitting Into the White Coat: The Truths of Medical School”

While the aftermath of medical school has rewarding end products, being a medical school student is not an easy task itself. Financial obligations, test preparation, finding the perfect medical school, and failure are just a few of the horrific activities endured by the medical student. I hope to shed light on these horrors in order to show what it truly takes to earn a white coat.

Nicole Cushman--Professor Crowe, Room 327, 11:00 AM
Musical Theatre Major

“Curtains Out, Lights Up, Misogyny - Where?”

 Women are often faced with objectification and discrimination in many different aspects of society. However, some of the worst of the misogyny today can be seen in the one place where few think to look because it is simply expected to be there: the theatre. From the beginning of women’s involvement in theatre after the times of Shakespeare to modern day, misogyny, or sexism, has been a very prevalent issue in the show business of theatre that is not talked about as much as it should be. I will be comparing the misogyny in theatre from the past to the present and discussing the horror of the misogyny in theatre that is simply not recognized as the issue that it is.

Blaine Traylor – Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 11:00 AM
Chemistry Major

“Prescription Advertising: Making Medicine Mandatory”

In this paper, I will attempt to explore the methods and ethics of advertising prescription medication directly to the consumer and show the lack of care for the patient when a pharmaceutical company wishes to push a product. I hope to shed light on the controversy behind these types of advertisements and to argue their legal basis in the United States. Additionally, I hope to be able to analyze the effects that advertising has on society's view of having a "pill for every ill." The research I will use will consist of polls, peer reviewed scientific studies, opinion articles and articles written by both advertising experts and doctors.

Emily Long – Dr. O’Conner, Room 315, 11:00 AM
Musical Theater

“Pretty as a Princess…And Size Zero Too? A Study of Disney Princesses and the Negative Body Images
They Present"

In this paper, I will be focusing on Disney movies and how the way in which the characters are drawn and portrayed—especially in context to body image—can negatively affect those who watch the films. I believe my research will show how even though Disney is thought to be a family-friendly company, it is reinforcing body stereotypes that can cause harm to the children who the movie is targeting. By recognizing the harm that body stereotypes can cause to viewers, perhaps parents will speak out and make Disney consider changing the way in which they write their stories and movies.

Emily Winland—Dr. O'Conner, Room 317, 11:00 AM
Music Business Major

"Being Black is a Crime: A Closer Look into Media Coverage and African Americans"

While many Americans think racism is minimal in this nation, it is clear to the African American community that this is far from the truth. One of the largest proponents of subtle racism is the news and media. When it comes to crime, the media is obviously biased. I will explore the differences between how media presents white Americans versus African Americans as it relates to crime. This encourages racism without viewers even realizing it.

Andy DeLeon-Dr. O’Conner, Room 317, 11:00 AM
Music Education Major

“Diversity? It’s a Whole New Myth: Unveiling Disney’s use of Character Diversity to Create the Illusion of Inclusion and Diversity, and the Effect They Have on Children’s Perceptions of the World.”

Disney has a past of racism in their cartoons, as do many of the first animation companies, but they are making strides in trying to show their acceptance of everyone. In my research though, I intend to reveal the harsh use of stereotypes Disney relies on to create some of their most popular characters. By disproving Disney’s claims of diversity, I can show how these films are a large factor in creating incorrect perceptions young children see as normal in the real world. Through my research, I hope readers will gain an understanding of this unethical stereotyping and how to avoid letting it change the way we interact with each other.

Dalton Long- Dr. O’Conner, Room 317, 11:00 AM
Chemistry Major

“Hey You Want to Watch Some Cartoons?”: A Visual Analysis of Cartoons and Their Effects on Behavior

Cartoons are everywhere from the internet to Netflix to television, and are not just based for kids anymore. They have evolved to include more vulgarity and sexuality, appealing to older audiences. These changes in animation can cause behavioral effects on an older audience just as adolescent children are effected by the cartoons they watch. I intend to determine if there is a relationship between mature content and cartoons in older groups using past research and using a brief, informal study of my own on college students.

Rebecca Mendenhall - Dr. O’Conner, Room 317, 11:00 AM
Music Business

“To be, or not to be..” Just Like Our Idols?

The positive and negative influence of celebrity idolization on every-day people is very apparent in today’s world. In a society that is very media and glamor-based, it is hard to ignore the stigmas and examples set by the rich and famous. I will be using examples of life choices people make based on the actions of the celebrities they idolize, not always knowingly. It is important to realize these influences and just how much they help shape viewpoints, life choices, and actions of people every day.

Douglas England- Dr. O’ Conner, Room 317, 11:00 AM
History Major

How to Beat Hitler: The Effectiveness of Wartime Propaganda

Propaganda has been extremely successful throughout history, especially in America, to bring a nation together for the purpose of war. In this paper, I will analyze what made wartime propaganda, especially during World War 2, so successful, and if it would be as successful today. These posters, often being very racially offensive, greatly shaped the American viewpoint even after the war was over. By having this knowledge people will be able to more easily recognize what it is about propaganda that influences them and be wary of it in the future.