Concurrent Session 1

Concurrent Session 1 is 9:40 - 10:20 am. Talks are arranged with interdisciplinarity and themes in mind.

Empathy - KCC Jones A

Romanticized Rape in the Age of Consent: An Analysis of Literary Sex Scenes, Rape Culture, and the #MeToo Movement
Sarah Schauer, Mentored by: Dr. Jonathan Steinwand

Unbraiding the Process: Writing, Workshopping, and Eventually Publishing a Traumatic Story
Emilee Moeller, Mentored by: W. Scott Olsen

Reproducibility - KCC Jones B

Reprogramming Stem Cells into Neurons
Kenneth David, Mentored by: Dr. Kristin Baldwin and Dr. Loraine Campanati, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA

Replication of “Going Green to be Seen”
Stephanie Nelson, Sydney Lundebrek, Morgan Nordheim, Mentored by: Dr. Mona Ibrahim

Health & Safety - Lab Theatre

Land of 10,000 Buffers: An Evaluation of the Implementation of Minnesota’s Vegetative Buffer Law and the Public Opinion
Erik Wallevand, Mentored by: Dr. Jennifer Sweatman

Betaine-Dependent Re-Methylation Abnormalities Contributes to Homocysteine-Mediated Endothelial Dysfunction in Polycystic Kidney Disease
Alexis Adrian, Mentored by: Dr. Maria Irazabal, Mayo Clinic

Relationships - Olin 124

The Social Media Shift: Understanding and Comparing Fear of Missing Out in Facebook and Snapchat Users
Micayla Bitz, Mentored by: Dr. Aileen Buslig

Virtual Resident Assistant: Increasing Access to Information
Abigail Roberts, Mentored by: Dr. Dan Biebighauser

Gender & Power - Integrated Science Center 201

Subverting the Stereotype: The Performances of Josephine Baker and the Presentation of Her Body
Margaret Noah, Mentored by: Dr. Susan Lee

Joana Vasconcelos: Craft Material in the Contemporary High Art World
Katelyn Mitchell, Mentored by: Dr. Susan Lee

#BREW - Integrated Science Center 260

Open Data in Environmental Informatics
Jane Nolan, Mentored by: Dr. Jennifer Sweatman

An Open Letter to Progressives Like Me:  A Theological Reflection on Diversity and Universal Compassion
Anna Brock, Mentored by: Dr. Jacqueline Bussie

Decisions - Integrated Science Center 301

Motivating Young Adults to Save for Retirement: Effects of Positive and Negative Stimuli
Hannah Papenfuss, Mentored by: Dr. Philip Lemaster

The Marriages in Rear Window
Austin Kulzer, Mentored by: Dr. Don Rice

Abstracts:

Romanticized Rape in the Age of Consent: An Analysis of Literary Sex Scenes, Rape Culture, and the #MeToo Movement

Sarah Schauer

Rape culture is characterized by centuries of the subliminal normalization of sexual assault. This normalization has paved the way for a continuance of testimonial smothering and repression of the victims of this form of violent dominance. Even though we have advanced in legal proceedings and awareness, rape culture is still a prominent influence in modern society. Through my research, I examine rape culture and the ways in which it is represented in modern civilization through literature and entertainment, as well as the ways it affects the mindset of those living within it. My research analyzes literary sex scenes in British and American literature, and categorizes these scenes by the severity of their representation of sexual misconduct or sexual consent. I have created a framework for the careful and informed reading of rape scenes, and give suggestions of what characterizes a consensual literary sex scene. My research method consists of the close reading and analysis of literary texts, paired with the examination of scholarly sources related to the works that have been explored. Sources consist of literary works of fiction and nonfiction, scholarly journals, newspaper and magazine articles, television, and film. This research asserts that we are influenced by the entertainment and information we consume and the culture that surrounds us. It does not suggest that representations of rape should not be read or studied, but rather that a discussion of the historical context and modern implications of these works should accompany the reading of these scenes.

Mentored by: Dr. Jonathan Steinwand

 

 

Unbraiding the Process: Writing, Workshopping, and Eventually Publishing a Traumatic Story

Emilee Moeller

This presentation recounts the story of my writing and publishing a manuscript based on my experience with sexual trauma as a teenager. The presentation will begin with a brief explanation of what happened. However, as this presentation is about writing, I will move quickly to the manuscript itself, giving an approximately 15 minute reading. After the reading, I will go back to the beginning, talking about how my personal experience was transformed into a manuscript for a writing class; how that manuscript was received; how I negotiated the various risks (social, personal, etc.) that making a deeply personal story public entails; how I eventually decided to seek publication; and the fallout, both personal and literary, from each of these decisions. I will try to shed light on the two inseparable threads that make up this essay:  the real-world event, as well as the artistic telling of that event.

Mentored by: W. Scott Olsen

 

 

Reprogramming Stem Cells into Neurons

Kenneth David

The purpose of my research was to determine optimal laboratory conditions for transforming lymphocyte-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into neurons. iPSCs are derived from reprogramming mature cells into an embryonic-like state. This approach removes the ethical considerations surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells. iPSCs hold transformative potential for disease modeling and regenerative medicine due to their ability to differentiate into all tissue types. Low differentiation efficacy, however, remains a critical hurdle before employing iPSCs in experimental and therapeutic applications. Our goal was to increase the efficiency at which iPSCs differentiate into neurons. We adapted a protocol used for reprogramming fibroblasts into neurons and analyzed multiple factors thought to affect differentiation efficiency. These included doxycycline concentration (used to turn on gene expression), plated cell density, and supplementation with fibroblast growth factor (FGF). We found an optimal doxycycline concentration for cell viability, and FGF appeared to decrease differentiation efficiency. Interestingly, high-density iPSCs produced few neurons, potentially due to cellular crowding on the plate. On-going experiments are testing whether low-density cell seeding improves differentiation efficiency. Once a refined protocol is established, it will be used to explore genetic and epigenetic factors of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by comparing neuronal gene expression of individuals with ASD to familial baselines. Future experiments will model additional neurodevelopmental disorders, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), with patient-specific iPSCs.

Mentored by: Dr. Kristin Baldwin and , Dr. Loraine Campanati, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA

 

 

Replication of "Going Green to be Seen"

Stephanie Nelson, Sydney Lundebrek, Morgan Nordheim

Our study is a replication of an original study called "Going Green to Be Seen" by Griskevicius, Tybur, and Van den Bergh (2010). The study aims to examine how status affects the decision between purchasing green or non-green product. It is vital to research this relationship in order to understand the motivations that drive consumers to purchase eco-friendly products. Previous studies have found that status is a significant motivator when purchase green products. The current study is a replication because this process is one of the most important steps of the scientific method used to validate results and form accurate conclusions. We hypothesize that the higher the hypothetical status, the more likely individuals are to purchase green products. To carry out this study, undergraduate students at Concordia College over the age of 18 will participate in a survey that includes a status motivating story and a control story. Our intended sample size is N=84 participants. Participants will then fill out a brief questionnaire asking for them to decide between an eco-friendly and a more luxurious non-green product, both of which are the same price. We will use the SONA system to recruit participants and Qualtrics will be used to administer the survey. After responses are collected, a one-way ANOVA will be used to analyze the data.

Mentored by: Dr. Mona Ibrahim

 

 

Land of 10,000 Buffers: An Evaluation of the Implementation of Minnesota's Vegetative Buffer Law and the Public Opinion

Erik Wallevand

In 2018, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency reported 618 new listings of impaired waters.  This recent addition sums up to a total of about 5,000 listings in approximately 40% of MN lakes and streams.  Gov. Dayton and other lawmakers created a statewide regulation to grow and maintain vegetative buffer strips along all public waterways, which is a level of environmental regulation that has yet to been seen in the country.  This is an important issue, because it challenges the policy of local action to address environmental issues and other states can consider adopting a similar policy.  In this paper, I shall work to answer important questions such as: do the benefits of buffer strips justify the costs of its implementation, what could MN lawmakers have done better in creating the regulation, and should other states consider adopting this policy?  This paper investigates the process of implementing the buffer strips, how the buffer law impacts the productivity and financial stability of MN farmers, and what benefits are to be expected in the coming years.  To find all of these opinions and information, I will consult people either involved with the creation and monitoring of the buffer law or those affected by it.  These people will include officials from Board of Water and Soil Resources, other environmental agencies, and MN farmers.  The findings and expert opinions gathered in the study will be used in the evaluation of public opinion and implementation of the buffer law.

Mentored by: Dr. Jennifer Sweatman

 

 

Betaine-Dependent Re-Methylation Abnormalities Contributes to Homocysteine-Mediated Endothelial Dysfunction in Polycystic Kidney Disease

Alexis Adrian

Vascular abnormalities are the most important non-cystic complications in PKD and contribute to renal disease progression. Homocysteine (Hcy)-induced endothelial dysfunction (ED) precedes vascular disease in PKD, but the underlying mechanisms leading to increased Hcy remain unknown. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms implicated in Hcy-induced ED, we explored the Hcy pathway using targeted metabolomics in a murine model of PKD. Kidneys were harvested, frozen in liquid nitrogen, or preserved in formalin for metabolomics analyses and ex-vivo studies from 4-week-old PCK and Sprague-Dawley (SD) control rats (n=12 each).  Twenty-four-hour urine and terminal blood samples were collected for metabolite analysis and chemistries. Endothelial NO (eNOS) was assessed by double immunofluorescence staining for CD31/eNOS. Serum creatinine and BUN remained unchanged, yet kidney weight/body weight ratio were increased in PCK. eNOS immunoreactivity was lower in PCK vs SD. Plasma Hcy and urine excretion of its methyl donor betaine were elevated in PCK, and Hcy was positively correlated with urine betaine. Plasma betaine was similar between the groups, but tissue betaine concentration was lower in PCK. Contrarily, tissue glutathione concentration was higher in PCK vs SD, arguing against decreased Hcy transsulfuration. Plasma folate and vitamin B12 were similar, decreasing the probability of a defect in folate-dependent remethylation. Early PKD is associated with elevation in Hcy, likely related to betaine-dependent re-methylation abnormalities. These findings provide novel insights into Hcy-induced ED in PKD and suggest candidate markers that may be useful to assess vascular and renal disease severity early on.

Mentored by: Dr. Maria Irazabal, The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

 

 

The Social Media Shift: Understanding and Comparing Fear of Missing Out in Facebook and Snapchat Users

Micayla Bitz

Today's world of constant social media connection has been repeatedly linked to increased levels of Fear of Missing Out (FoMO). The present exploratory study compares FoMO across two different platforms: Snapchat and Facebook. While most existing research explains FoMO's effects on users, this study also aims to explore the specific features of these platforms that may be causing heightened levels of FoMO. A 24-item online survey was administered to 93 undergraduate students (60% female) who were active users of both social networking sites. Responses showed significantly higher rates of FoMO in Snapchat users as compared to Facebook users. Moreover, the survey revealed that users are far more likely to post about risky behaviors on Snapchat, and Snapchat users who regularly accessed the Snap Maps feature had higher levels of FoMO than those who do not. These results emphasize the need for greater research across social networking platforms and a deeper analysis into the specific features of social networking sites that cause FoMO in users.

Mentored by: Dr. Aileen Buslig

 

 

Virtual Resident Assistant: Increasing Access to Information

Abigail Roberts

Student and professional staff members in Residence Life create a safe and fun living environment that impacts many students here on campus. While much is going well, there is always room for improvement. Creating connections and providing information is a critical part of a Res Life staff member but barriers can reduce the flow of information. How can we circumvent these barriers and provide better access to information for residents? The Virtual Resident Assistant could be the step in the right direction. Through the use of network theory, I developed a Facebook messenger bot that would provide a wide variety of information and connections for residents to use at any time of day. Come try it for yourself at an interactive presentation.

Mentored by: Dr. Dan Biebighauser

 

 

Subverting the Stereotype: The Performances of Josephine Baker and the Presentation of Her Body

Margaret Noah

As the culminating project for the Heritage and Museum Studies degree, this project was a journey in discovering the significance of the subversive actions and performances of dance icon Josephine Baker. At the turn of the century Baker embodied various stereotypical only to subvert them in a way that called attention to the racist tropes. I looked at the stage performance history of Josephine Baker in comparison to the life of Saartjes Baartman, a South African woman whose body during and after life was showcased to Western audiences to tantalize audiences and subconsciously justify colonialist actions within Africa. I eventually concluded that while it was an interesting comparison, the connection between Baartman and Baker was strained, thus focusing more directly on the performances of Baker would make a stronger argument. In this new analysis, Baker's performance portfolio was widened to include her film career and be placed within the historical context of primitivism and the l'art nègre movement of 20th century Europe. Next, I explored how these performances by Baker had an active impact in the perception of black performers, especially black women, in Western society then and today. Throughout this project, I continually adapted and took into consideration new perspectives and ideas as I learned to look at the performances of the past through a historical critical lens. In my presentation, I will introduce and show some of the key elements of my findings.

Mentored by: Dr. Susan Lee

 

 

Joana Vasconcelos: Craft Material in the Contemporary High Art World

Katelyn Mitchell

Joana Vasconcelos is a contemporary Portuguese artist who has presented at some of the most prestigious shows in the art world and is exhibited in the top international art museums, yet why is it that we have not heard of her? This paper examines Vasconcelos' use of craft material and feminist commentary to talk about the inequalities and hierarchies that we see in the sphere of contemporary art. Through the analysis of several of her pieces, I aim to further explore why artists like Vasconcelos who use craft materials in the high art world are ranked lower than their male counterparts.

Mentored by: Dr. Susan Lee

 

 

Open Data in Environmental Informatics

Jane Nolan

Open data is a subset of a larger framework and movement within the scientific community toward free public access to scientific knowledge. It is related in overlapping ways with terms like open science, open access, and open source. There is a huge body of literature regarding open data possibilities, legislature, and arguments on either side about its merits and challenges. The goal of my project is to look at the intersection of the push for open data with the newly-recognized field of environmental informatics (EI), which applies data analysis and computer science techniques to processing environmental data.
I will examine case studies of open science in EI which exemplify the power of their intersection. One example is an open source, real time program designed to process emergency response data generated through a Twitter analysis just after a natural disaster. Another case study in open data praxis is the Open Science Framework (OSF) program, which gives researchers standardized methods, a place to publish their data and make it accessible, and resources for learning more about working with data. I will also confront major barriers to open data: cost, copyright law, privacy, piracy, and others. Last, I will give a thorough de-construction of the basics of using an open-source model for your own research and sharing your data with others responsibly and effectively. I hope these best practices will serve to inform the audience about the practical import of OSF and how simple and convenient using open source can be.

Mentored by: Dr. Jennifer Sweatman

 

 

An Open Letter to Progressives Like Me:  A Theological Reflection on Diversity and Universal Compassion

Anna Brock

In this time of polarization and culture wars, progressives like me fancy themselves to be on the cutting edge of open-mindedness and compassion. However, is this really true? Have we genuinely embraced all aspects of pluralism or are we still selectively choosing who is worthy of our compassion? In this work of creative scholarship which takes the form of an open letter to progressives like myself, I argue progressives are still trapped in an "Us versus Them" ideological binary. For progressives to sustainably empower the oppressed and completely change the structure of our institutions, we must not only accept the oppressor, but mentally allocate them the same amount of compassion and grace we designate to the oppressed. For example, progressives love to hate "Us versus Them" language when referring to 'Us: Americans' and 'Them: illegal immigrants'. Still, I would contend that many progressives are trapped in 'Us: open-minded and accepting folk,' and, 'Them: conservative oppressors' ideology. How can showing compassion to the oppressor actually help progressives become more effective allies to the marginalized? To make my case in this open letter, I will use the work of theologians and social justice advocates, Karen Armstrong, Gregory Boyle, and Nelson Mandela. I conclude by challenging progressives like me to expand their compassion to include the oppressor-- a paradigm shift that pushes us beyond the binary "Us versus Them" to a far more extreme and liberal mindset.

Mentored by: Dr. Jacqueline Bussie

 

 

Motivating Young Adults to Save for Retirement: Effects of Positive and Negative Stimuli

Hannah Papenfuss

Most marketing geared towards young adults and retirement emphasizes positive aspects like spending time with family, traveling, and exploring new hobbies. However, previous research (Carstensen, 2006) has found that young adults are more attentive to negative information versus positive information. Using this principle, we hypothesized that young people exposed to the negative framing would allocate a greater percentage of their hypothetical take-home pay than those who viewed the positive framing toward a+Z4 retirement plan. We designed positive and negative web trainings about retirement in order to determine which condition would encourage participants to allocate a greater percentage of their hypothetical future take-home pay to retirement savings. Participants were recruited from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, with the exception of one female participant who had recently graduated from Moorhead High School.Once they had consented to participate, they were randomly assigned one of two web trainings crafted by the researchers about retirement; one emphasized the positive aspects of retirement, such as travel and spending time with family, while the other focused on risks after retirement, like food insecurity and homelessness. Finally, participants completed a financial allocation task wherein they divided their expected take-home pay upon graduation among various expenses, retirement allocation being the expense we were interested in studying. Results confirmed hypothesis. Those participants who saw the negative framing allocated 14.13% of their hypothetical income to a retirement plan, while participants who saw positive framing contributed 9.48%, t(85)=-2.06, p=.043.

Mentored by: Dr. Philip Lemaster

 

 

The Marriages in Rear Window

Austin Kulzer

Alfred Hitchcock is one of the greatest film directors in the history of the industry. He tackled all kinds of topics in his movies such as homosexuality and mental disorders. Many of his topics almost seemed ahead of their time. Rear Window is one of his finest films. Using a fairly basic set and an extremely suspenseful plot Hitchcock sends the viewer on a wild ride trying to figure out if Lars Thorwald did kill his wife. The plot of this movie is full of suspense, but another thing that cannot be ignored is the reoccurring theme of marriage in this film. After watching the film, the topic is one thing that stood out to me above all else. As the main character, Jeff, looks out his window he sees different ways that a marriage could play out and end. These possibilities range from being all alone in life to being happily married and almost everything in between. In this presentation I will be analyzing more closely the relationships between Jeff and his companions, as well as analyzing what kind of possibilities Jeff is seeing from his window perch. By the end of this presentation there will be no doubt about how Jeff is portrayed to feel about marriage in the film Rear Window.

Mentored by: Dr. Don Rice