2024 Faculty and Student Research Poster Session and Research Fair

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/11310/6160

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    Texas Panhandle Schools as Sites of Opportunity and Exclusion for LGBTQ+ Youth
    (2024-03-07) Peeples, Shanna; Kraus, Nicole Butkovich
    Recent work has drawn attention to the relative gap in the study of LGBTQ life in the South and Midwest as well as "ordinary cities" and rural areas (Stone 2018, Robinson 2006). This study seeks to contribute to closing that gap while exploring the critical role of schools and the experience of secondary education for rural LGBTQ youth. As a social institution, schools play a critical role in the socialization of young people into future citizens, whether inside or outside the classroom. Increasingly, schools have become responsible for more and more of the work previously done by families, religious and social organizations, and the state. Relying on in-depth interviews with 20 individuals who graduated from small, rural high schools between 1987-2022, this study explores the educational experiences of LGBTQ+ students in the Texas panhandle, a notably religious and politically conservative part of the state despite the oft-ignored diversity of the region. Preliminary results expose a few significant themes for positive experiences including the importance of specific ally educators and using other high-status identities like academic achievement or athletics to mask sexuality. Respondents largely employ avoidance strategies and detailed awareness of safe/dangerous groups within their respective schools, and few report openly identifying as gay while in high school. Male respondents in particular noted the ways in which male gender expression was officially and unofficially policed. We conclude the article with suggestions for how rural schools might continue to acknowledge and incorporate diversities of all kinds into their educational repertoires.
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    Environmental Drivers of Water Quality Variability in Lake Meredith, Texas
    (2024-03-07) Crosman, Erik; Mukherjee, Maitreyee; Cuthbert, Robyn; Ogle, Heather; Mbanefo, Simon; Olatunbosun, Afolarin; Pool, Grayson; Taylor, Darby
    An ongoing study on water quality that began in March 2023 has resulted in unprecedented data to improve understanding of how environmental variability impact the water quality of Lake Meredith, Texas, the premier recreational and municipal and agricultural storage reservoir on the Texas Panhandle that provides crucial water supplied to both the Amarillo and Lubbock metropolitan areas. The runoff from heavy rains in May and June 2023 raised the level of Lake Meredith by over 10 feet and decreased the Salinity by over 30%. Strong gradients in salinity and temperature were found to result in unusually strong vertical stratification of Lake Meredith in summer 2023, which has implications for water usage and lake biology. Surface and depth profiles of lake physiochemistry (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity and salinity) were collected monthly beginning in March 2023 at 6 locations on the north and south sides of Lake Meredith, and every 10 minutes at the Sanford-Yake Marina. This study has provided novel data on understanding how environmental forcing mechanisms impact water quality as well as microbiological communities at Lake Meredith.
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    History of implementation of Nanotechnology in the novel air purifiers with a special reference in reduction of Pollen, Mold Spore and PM2.5 Indices
    (2024-03-07) Nguyen, Marytrihn; Burciaga, Betty; Ghosh, Nabarun
    Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has become a major concern for the public health. Global warming exerts substantial effect on flora and fauna. Increasing greenhouse gases cause accelerated pollinosis and fungal spore production, two major aeroallergens for asthma and allergies. We used a Burkard Spore Trap for aeroallergen sampling that provided us with the information regarding the onset, duration, and severity of the pollen season that clinicians use to guide allergen selection for skin testing and treatment. We also used pollen grains from different plant species of our locality for identifying and characterizing the pollen through Scanning Electron Microscopy. We examined the samples with an SEM (TM-1000) after gold coating and Critical Point Drying. We measured the pollen grains using the TM-1000-imaging software that revealed the micro-morphology with the size of colpi, sulci and the detailed microstructures. This information can aid data for classification and circumscription in Angiosperm taxonomy. For viewing the fluorescence in pollen, we used 2-3 drops of Fluorescein-based dyes with deionized water on the slides. The slides were mounted and observed under the microscope. During the last two decades, the use of SEM has greatly increased our knowledge of the microstructure of pollen. Mature pollen grains are stable in a vacuum: this allows quick preparation for SEM examination. The low level of technical expenditure required, in combination with the high structural diversity exhibited and the intuitive ability to understand the "three dimensional", often aesthetically appealing micro-structures visualized, has turned pollen studies into a favorite tool of many taxonomists. The daily weather was recorded including temperature, wind speed, precipitation, humidity, average soil temperatures. This allowed the estimation of the clinical significance of the various pollen types by combining data concerning in vivo allergenicity and terminal velocity as a means to judge the clinical significance. Presently our Laboratory has been focusing on the issues of PM2.5 pollution. Particulate matter of 2.5 micron is a major issue in Global Air Pollution. WHO reports that a very high number of people die every year due to this particulate pollution. With is current scenario of air pollution we have targeted in developing an advanced level of air purifier to solve the problem of Indoor Air Quality or IAQ. Global economies are so tightly interconnected that companies, governments and industries will soon be forced to cooperate in ways we could not have imagined just a few years ago. Innovations in technology continue to have massive effects on business and society. We're now seeing emerging markets become hotbeds of innovation, especially in efforts to reach the growing middle class and low- income consumers around the globe. This report covers the information on how a Nanotechnology research product was developed and marketed in many countries. Collaboration between the corporate worlds with academia has been proved to be beneficial in scientific inventions. With the increased population growth and industrial expansions most of the cities are experiencing poor air quality. Global warming exerts substantial effect on flora and fauna all over the world. Increasing greenhouse gasses causing accelerated pollinosis and fungal spore production, two major aeroallergens for asthma and allergy symptoms. We are in the need of a much-advanced air purifier that works without filter and improve the air quality with a greater extent than the existing air purifiers in the market. We have been working in developing an efficient device to reduce the indoor aeroallergen to alleviate the symptoms of allergy and asthma. Collaboration between Dr. Ghosh's Aerobiology Lab at the West Texas A&M University and air purifier industries developed a nanotechnology called Advanced Hydrated Photocatalytic Oxidation (AHPCO) technology. This technology has been used for building novel filter-less air purifiers, cell phone sanitizers, food preservation equ
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    Circadian Regulation of Peripheral Serotonin and Platelets in Mice
    (2024-03-07) Karaganis, Stephen; Zimmerman, Joey
    Most organisms are known to possess biological clocks, which control and coordinate numerous physiological processes over each 24-hour day. Circadian oscillators play a role in generating biological rhythms and coordinating numerous processes with environmental stimuli, such as timing of a meal or exposure to light. The indolamine molecule, serotonin, is an important peripheral hormone produced by the intestinal mucosa of mammals, but its regulation as an output of the circadian clock is not well understood. Recent studies in our lab have investigated circadian rhythmicity of serotonin and its entrainment to light stimuli or food availability in various tissue compartments in mice, including blood serum, stools, and the intestinal wall. Because most serotonin is released into the blood and taken up by platelets, we investigated regulation of circulating platelet levels as well. In these experiments, mice were fed ad libitum (AL) or placed on a gradual daytime restricted feeding regimen (DRF) while maintained in a 12:12 light-dark cycle (LD) or constant darkness (DD). We assessed serotonin levels in duodenum, colon, and stool and demonstrated a high-amplitude circadian rhythm of serotonin in stool samples that persisted in constant conditions and entrained to both light and food availability, with a peak occurring close to the day-night transition under LD conditions. In contrast to some published findings, no circadian rhythm of serotonin was detected in blood serum. Serotonin levels from duodenum and colon also exhibited food-entrainable circadian rhythms, peaking in the early morning under LDRF. mRNA levels of tph 1, the rate-limiting enzyme for non-neuronal serotonin biosynthesis, was also rhythmic in the duodenum, and entrained to food availability, with a peak occurring approximately 16 hours prior to the peak in serotonin. This delay may reflect the kinetics of protein synthesis and turnover, as well as rising levels of serotonin transporter (SERT) measured in the late evening under RF conditions. Interestingly, a circadian rhythm in total platelet number was strongly entrained to cycles of food availability, but not to light.
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    Promoting Wellness: An Influenza Vaccination Initiative for University Health
    (2024-03-07) Loftin, Collette; Devkota, Shravan; Phillips, Angela; Correa, Priscella; Friemel, Alee; Drinnon, Sherri
    The annual influenza season in the United States poses a considerable public health burden, leading to numerous deaths, hospitalizations, and substantial economic costs. Despite the preventable nature of influenza, vaccination rates remain below the target, with only 46.9% of adults immunized during the 2022-23 season. This study examines the effectiveness of a comprehensive influenza vaccination initiative implemented at the West Texas A&M University to address the specific challenges of a densely populated campus environment. A campus wide influenza immunization initiative that began in 2018, has demonstrated positive outcomes, with increasing vaccination numbers each year. The study utilized a survey to evaluate the experiences and motivations of faculty and staff who participated in the fall of 2023. Convenience emerged as a key factor influencing vaccination decisions, with over 88% of participants cited it as a major consideration. The survey also revealed the initiative's success in attracting individuals who might not have actively sought vaccination elsewhere, emphasizing the importance of on-campus accessibility. Nursing faculty wish to continue to promote on campus wellness and so to further enhance vaccination rates, the study recommends robust marketing strategies, follow-up conversations with vaccine decliners, additional vaccination dates, easily accessible drive-through clinics, and faculty-led wellness events.
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    Optimizing English Language Learning: A Comprehensive Guide
    (2024-03-07) Hwang, Sang; Hindman, Janet
    Addressing critical issues in multilingual education requires tackling various challenges to ensure effective learning experiences for students who speak multiple languages. The article focuses on difficulties faced by multilingual students, providing practical strategies to support their academic growth. The study involved 55 multilingual students in Texas, predominantly refugee children speaking 38 languages on campus. The study highlights the importance of recognizing the children's unique needs and implementing effective strategies for improved educational outcomes and successful transitions to higher grades.
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    The Savior of the Aesthetic Life: Decadence, Taboo, and Oscar Wilde's Jesus
    (2024-03-07) Meljac, Eric; Reeves, Brinn
    In De Profundis, Oscar Wilde runs the gamut from bankruptcy numbers to gentle tenderness. Addressed to Bosie, the letter is as much about their relationship as it is about Wilde's relationship with himself. One portion of the letter that nearly reads matter-of-factly defines and characterizes Wilde's notion of the bodily and not ethereal body of Christ. Arguing that Christ would welcome the low and disposed, and in welcoming them forgive them, Wilde puts forward a Jesus that he claims is the greatest Individualist and Artist. However, transgressive and decadent theory lends new meaning to this portion of the letter, giving reason to believe that Wilde insinuates a Christ that is at least and erotic being, if not even a queer being. Tracing a line of religio-social power through the erotic as articulated by Georges Bataille, a landslide of writers and theorists from the Marquis de Sade to Julia Kristeva help to inform this reading of Wilde's Christ. Furthermore, when matching Wilde's version of Christ deconstructed by theories of the erotic to The Catechism of the Catholic Church , one finds that Wilde's Christ is indeed the more accurate version of Christ when considering the doxa of the Church.
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    Musical Matrons: Women and the Early History of the Amarillo Symphony
    (2024-03-07) Hieb, Kimberly
    Founded in 1924, the Amarillo Symphony was first a pet project of the Amarillo Philharmonic Club, a vibrant and active group of women who regularly produced concerts and performed music at teas, luncheons, and other events locally. The first conductor of the Amarillo Philharmonic, as it was first called, was local piano teacher, Grace Hamilton, and the group's first performers were all women drawn from club membership. In fact, women have graced the stage as performers with the Amarillo Symphony since its very inception both as orchestra members and guest artists. Women composers, especially Texas Panhandle native Radie Britain, championed and were celebrated by the Amarillo Symphony. Women's activities with the Amarillo symphony did not stop there: the key benefactors of the institution over its one-hundred year long history were women. May Peterson Thompson, a metropolitan opera star who married Amarillo hotel businessman E.O. Thompson, was a key supporter of the institution in its early days, it was the women of the Amarillo Symphony Guild who rescued the institution from financial failing in the 1970s with a heroic fundraiser, and it was Sybil B. Harrington who established the endowment that gives the symphony relative financial peace of mind today. The Amarillo Symphony, unlike many other American symphonies, was formed and fueled by the work of women in the opening decades of the twentieth century. The organization was born out of a women's music club, women served as the organization's earliest performers, both in the orchestra and as guest artists, and key women were responsible for financially supporting the organization throughout its early history. The research presented in this poster charts this particularly rich facet of the history of the orchestra, which remains a bastion of culture on the High Plains. This poster introduces the integral role that women played in the establishment and early activities of the Amarillo Symphony. The poster highlights four categories of women who were involved in the Symphony from its earliest days including the clubwomen who founded the orchestra, as well as female performers, composers, and benefactors, and briefly summarizes their contributions and involvement with the Amarillo Symphony in its earliest days.
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    Rural Young Adults' Perceptions of Cannabis: A Survey Study
    (2024-03-07) Chen, Li; Xie, Ming
    This project examines rural young adults' perceptions of cannabis (marijuana). The results of a paper-and-pencil and an online survey yielded four major findings. The research findings show the associations between exposure to social media messages about cannabis, moral foundations, perceived risks of cannabis, attitudes toward cannabis legalization, and word of mouth intentions to talk about cannabis in person and online. Data analysis suggests that young adults' attitudes toward recreational cannabis and cannabis legalization are not predicted by time spent on social media, but are associated with specific moral foundations. The research findings show that health educators may consider embedding latent moral values in their drug-prevention campaigns that target rural young adults.
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    The Dalhousie Manuscripts Project: Navigating the Ethics of Digital Editing
    (2024-03-07) Sprouse, Sarah J.; Valles, Sarah Banschbach
    The objectives of this project are to produce a digital edition of a pair of manuscripts held at Texas Tech University's Special Collections collectively called the Dalhousie Manuscripts. This edition features high-resolution images of the manuscripts in a IIIF viewer, TEI-coded diplomatic editions of the text, bibliographies, and critical apparatus.
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    Flee the State Fantasy
    (2024-03-07) Biery, Piper
    When individuals are confronted with encroaching state power in their lives they have historically had three general choices. They can: assimilate, fight, or flee the state. However, in the modern state system opportunities to flee the state have largely disappeared alongside frontiers' states administer over most spaces and technology makes individuals increasingly legible to state apparatus. Yet, there are some individuals who still look for this third strategy. In this paper I use the Sovereign Citizens Movement (SCM), an extremist movement grounded in conspiracy theories that individuals can become sovereign entities themselves, to illustrate the ways that some citizens have reinvented a flee the state strategy in an international system with no stateless spaces.
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    Accuracy of VO2 Testing Using Apple Watches
    (2024-03-07) Doernte, Lee; Phipps, Riley; Gamon, Jesus; Stout, Kara; Vance, Jodi
    This study assesses the accuracy of VO2max estimations provided by the Apple Watch Series 5, comparing them with measurements obtained from the VO2MasterPro analyzer. Conducted on sixteen healthy volunteers, the study employed a crossover design with participants undergoing tests on both devices under different conditions. The VO2MasterPro analyzer's results averaged 39.9 ml/kg/min, while the Apple Watch estimated an average of 37.7 ml/kg/min. A paired t-test showed no significant difference between the mean values of both methods, but a weak Pearson correlation coefficient (0.2) indicated considerable variance in individual measurements. Notably, the Apple Watch demonstrated a gender disparity in accuracy, with underestimations more prevalent in female participants. These findings highlight the potential and limitations of wearable technology for cardiovascular fitness monitoring, suggesting the need for cautious interpretation of data, especially in clinical or research settings. Future research should explore larger, diverse populations and investigate the algorithms behind wearable device measurements to enhance their reliability and accuracy across different demographic groups.
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    Graduate Nursing Student Success Modules
    (2024-03-07) Phillips, Angela; Smoot, Teresa; Neely, Shaina; Rausch, Mary; Klaehn, Daniel; Mueggenborg, Lacy; Dowd, Whitney
    Graduate Nursing Student Success Modules Abstract Writing is hard for every student. Strong academic writing is essential for graduate students. Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) graduate student writing is expected to stretch and grow critical thinking skills and therefore contribute productively to their area of interest within nursing. Faculty have expectations for students in writing as they enter into graduate programs. Effective instruction from faculty directly impacts student success; thus it is essential for faculty to lead students to develop their writing ability. At West Texas A&M University (WTAMU), in the Graduate nursing programs, faculty noticed that students do indeed struggle with writing. Analysis of the topics students most struggle with include paraphrasing, quotes, APA citations, and plagiarism. Students also lacked the skills necessary to utilize scholarly resources. In 2021, Graduate nursing faculty began working with library staff to formulate specific writing resources for students. An information guide began to be offered to students in the fall semester of 2021. Students can access writing modules directly through a library link. Beginning fall semester of 2022, MSN students recently admitted were required to complete modules before beginning graduate courses. The goal of this poster is to report ongoing use of writing modules within Graduate nursing at WTAMU.
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    Flexible Foams and Elastomers from Castor Oil
    (2024-03-07) Shrestha, Maha L.
    Self-transesterification of castor oil was employed to prepare higher molar mass polyols possessing interesting properties. Detailed structures of the polyols were studied using various standard techniques along with spectrometric analysis such as MALDI-TOF/MS. Polyurethane elastomers prepared from these polyols provided soft material with low Shore A hardness. These polyols were also tested in molded polyurethane foams and their polyurethane properties were compared with that of the commercial bio-polyols.
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    Housing Voucher Discrimination and Deaths of Despair
    (2024-03-07) Meredith, Neil R.; Brooks, Christopher A.; Meredith, Amy A.
    Housing policy relating to the opioid epidemic is receiving increased scrutiny. Concerns have arisen that rejecting housing vouchers is harming public health. We estimate the relationship between legalizing housing discrimination of Section 8 housing vouchers (VDA) and deaths of despair using state level mortality data on U.S. adults from the Centers for Disease and Control database. Leveraging 2015 legislation in Texas and Indiana that legalizes Section 8 housing voucher discrimination, results suggest the policy increased the prescription opioid mortality rate by 2.438 deaths per 100,000 people. The findings imply that legalizing Section 8 housing discrimination may worsen public health in the ongoing opioid crisis.
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    Decoding the Wonders of Nanomachines
    (2024-03-07) Ozmaian, Mona
    Transducing chemical activity into motion serves as a pivotal element in the nanomachine mechanism. The enhanced molecular mobility has sparked controversy within the scientific community. Some studies indicate a substantial increase in mobility post-reaction, while others report no observable changes. In this investigation, we delve into the diffusion amplification following an exothermal reaction between two interacting species in an explicit solvent, employing extensive Langevin dynamics simulations. Our examination explores the impact of various parameters, including reactants' geometry and reaction energy. Our findings reveal no significant boost in the products of the exothermal reaction. However, when a polar solvent is introduced, a subtle increase in diffusion becomes apparent.
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    Comparing Automobile Accident Rates in Counties from the Texan Panhandle
    (2024-03-07) Li, Wenhao; Ramos Salazar, Leslie
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the accident rates of counties in the Texan Panhandle. Given the high percentage rates of fatalities and crashes reported, it is important to examine accident rates in order to prevent future fatalities. A comparison analysis was conducted using Tableu using Texan Panhandle data. Results provide the factors that contributed to vehicle accidents. Additionally, Potter County had more accidents in comparison to Randall County. Findings have implications for the safety of Texan Panhandle automobile drivers.
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    Examining Factors that Explain the Cyberbullying of University Faculty During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (2024-03-07) Ramos Salazar, Leslie; Weiss, Adam; Yarbrough, Jillian; Sell, Katelynn
    During the COVID-19 pandemic faculty were forced to transition their classes from face-to-face to virtual modalities. As a result, faculty spend an increased amount of time communicating using technologies in order to perform their academic jobs. Because of this transition faculty became more vulnerable to become cybervictimized in the academic workplace. This study obtained the perceptions of 179 faculty victims in higher education using Qualtrics. Findings revealed that faculty failed to adequately address cyberbullying incidents across relationship types (i.e., peer, administrative). Females were also more likely to be cyberbullied in comparison to males. Personality traits also played a role in being more likely to become victimized. Implications are also offered to prevent future cyberbullying victimization rates in higher education.
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    An Investigation of the Generation Cohort, Self-Efficacy, and Innovation of Faculty Teaching with ChatGPT in Texas Higher Education Institutions
    (2024-03-07) Ramos Salazar, Leslie; Peeples, Shanna
    Generative artificial intelligence (AI) such as ChatGPT is challenging the status quo of higher education institutions. In this study, the frameworks of diffusions of innovation, self-efficacy, and technological pedagogical content knowledge provide insights in the investigation of the use of ChatGPT in the classroom. The purpose of this study was to examine the generational cohort and faculty rank differences based on the types of generative AI used, learning approaches, and the integration of course assignments. Further, we examine the predictors of the use of ChatGPT in the classroom. Findings reveal generation differences in the use of ChatGPT. Further, both self-efficacy and innovation were significant predictors of the use of ChatGPT in the classroom.
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    Financial Socialization and Behavior of Young Adults: Objective and Subjective Financial Knowledge as Mediators
    (2024-03-07) Ramos Salazar, Leslie; Solis, Oscar
    College students in the U.S. have faced severe financial challenges, throughout the pandemic and remain a highly researched demographic for investigating financial behaviors and decision-making (Robb & Chy, 2023). From a societal context, college-aged adults have sought financial guidance from their families and peers to learn about financial matters to make informed financial decisions. Using financial socialization theory and the theory of household consumption behavior, we examined the antecedents of financial behavior and the mediating role of financial knowledge on financial socialization and financial behavior. Students also face different financial socialization in their upbringings about financial matters that explain their financial behaviors (Antoni et al., 2019). Family and social factors such as income, financial attitudes, and financial behaviors may influence college students' attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors about financial matters (Serido et al., 2015). Using a cross-sectional survey in a public, state institution from the Texas Panhandle in the U.S., we analyzed data from 207 participants using a Qualtrics survey shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic. Results provide evidence that financial socialization and subjective financial knowledge are related to financial behavior. Findings supported the mediating effect of objective and subjective financial knowledge on the relationship between financial socialization and financial behavior. Additionally, household spending had a moderator effect on the relationship between objective knowledge and financial behavior. The current study also provides implications for education and financial stakeholders working with college students.