2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium Schedule

The 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium will take place, Wednesday, March 31, 2021 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. All sessions will be virtual via Zoom.


Taylor L. Curry, Sociology, Communication Media
Title: Neurodivergence and the Ability to Focus in a Remote Learning Environment
Sponsored by: Dr. Gregory Goalwin

Time: 9 - 9:30 a.m.
Moderator: Jennifer Davis
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/92915140282

Remote Learning offers a set of unique challenges in higher education. This research investigates the variables that impact both neurodivergent and neurotypical students' ability to focus within a remote environment. While all participants were impacted, findings showed that neurodivergent students' ability to focus was impacted significantly more than neurotypical students.


Name: Mike Brennan, History
Title: Junipero Serra: Saint or Tyrant?
Sponsored by: Dr. Mark Soderstrom

Time: 9:30 - 10 a.m.
Moderator: Jennifer Davis
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/92915140282

Spanish missionary Junipero Serra has received a lot of criticism since his canonization as a saint in 2015. Many Americans regard Serra as a tyrant. Using primary and secondary sources, one can see that he was neither a perfect man nor a tyrant; he was a man influenced by his time.


Name: Kaitlyn Caul, Biology
Title: Relationship Between Anthers and Nectar Production in Rozanne Geranium
Sponsored by: Dr. Bridgitte Barclay

Time: 10 - 10:30 a.m.
Moderator: Christopher Wells
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/99373214036

Pollinator decline is rarely addressed. However, it is a growing problem that needs urgent change. This research focuses on changes in food production if pollinators were to disappear. In addition, research was completed with the Rozanne Geranium. Further research is needed, but it is a step in the right direction.


Name: Dylan Taylor, Biology, Environmental Studies & Melissa Smith, Marketing
Title: Poaching Pangolin
Sponsored by: Dr. Bridgitte Barclay

Time: 11 - 11:30 a.m.
Moderator: Juan Colon Santana
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/98198256696

The most heavily trafficked mammal in the world, pangolins are sought after for their meat and scales. Upwards of 200,000 are trafficked every 2 years, leading to their endangerment in Africa and Asia. They do not, however, have the mass appeal of a panda or tiger and are therefore less talked about.


Name: Angie Lopez, Business, Environmental Studies
Title: Period Shame and Waste
Sponsored by: Dr. Natasha Ritsma

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Moderator: Juan Colon Santana
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/98198256696

Period plastics are one of the most common and harmful plastics found in landfills and natural landscapes. My research focuses on the direct and indirect impact that shame and taboo have on our understanding of periods and with that the barriers they create against a more sustainable future.


Name: Rachna Ravishankar, Psychology, Criminal Justice & Najabi Rios,Psychology, Sociology
Title: Gender Differences in the Perception of Media Violence
Sponsored by: Dr. David J. Rudek

Time: 12 -12:30 p.m.
Moderator: Dawn Livorsi
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/7370310746

This study examines the effects of both viewer and aggressor gender on perceptions of violent televised media. Results indicate that male participants enjoyed the violent content more than female participants (p=.003) and notably considered the female aggressor to be less violent (p=.061). These findings coincide with societal expectations of masculinity.


Name: Nolan Thilk, English
Title: Problematic Postmodernism in Cloud 9 and Breakfast on Pluto
Sponsored by: Dr. Sara Gerend

Time: 12:30 -1 p.m.
Moderator: Scott Zinzer
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/97278247827

Many authors rely on using postmodern storytelling techniques in their works, but often times the use of these techniques can come at the cost of promoting harmful stereotypes of marginalized groups. This research looks at how members of the LGBTQ+ community can be negatively portrayed in postmodern literature.


Name: Niki Patel, Psychology, Sociology
Title: Perceptions of Personal Privilege
Sponsored by: Dr. Gregory Goalwin

Time: 1 – 1:30 p.m.
Moderator: Jennifer Blevins-Mcnaughton
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/6159122015

Past research has shown that both white and male privilege exist in our society, however some individuals in these groups do not see themselves as privileged individuals. This research aims to pinpoint personal, social, and demographic factors that might impact an individual's ability to perceive their personal privilege.


Name: Jeremiah Cooley, History, Secondary Education
Title: “Is Daddy Coming Home?”: How the War on Drugs Destroyed Black Communities in Chicago
Sponsored by: Dr. Mark Soderstrom

Time: 1:30 – 2 p.m.
Moderator: James Kao
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/93729287987

My research covers the effect of mass incarceration in the city of Chicago during the 1980s-2000’s “war on drugs”. The community of focus will be the black community of Chicago. Overall, my research will answer why mass incarceration was primarily detrimental to these communities.


Name: Lillian Garcia, Art, Graphic Design
Title: My Feet
Sponsored by: James Kao

Time: 2 – 2:30 p.m.
Moderator: James Kao
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/93729287987

I decided to bring back the topic of feet… to draw more of feet… beyond that idea I had when I was middle school. For the works, I want to demonstrate my thoughts over time based on feet. The first idea I had for these drawings is to portray animal feet on myself, to see what I would look like with them. The second idea is
to portray feet in the world. How do other feet look… on others, touch or feeling, and real experiences? The last idea will be based on imagination. What can I create with these feet?


Name: William Lannefeld, Art, Graphic Design
Title: The Primal
Sponsored by: James Kao

Time: 2:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Moderator: Jennifer Blevins-Mcnaughton
Zoom link: https://aurora.zoom.us/j/98246039790

Living beings have a will to live. A will to live may have different or multiple reasonings behind it. To stick to this goal without any external or internal interference, to let the end justify any means, is what primal is. The work is to explore the machinations of primal.