The Commonwealth Honors Program fulfills Salem State's commitment to provide a stimulating academic environment that offers a high quality education at an affordable cost. It's designed to offer a more challenging curriculum to students whose abilities and previous performance are demonstrably higher than the norm. All majors are eligible to participate in Honors. The program enables motivated and talented students to work with our most accomplished and enthusiastic faculty. Honors courses are qualitatively different in design and content, and smaller class size allows greater interaction. A seminar format is used in most Honors courses, giving students the opportunity for independent research, class presentations, and the chance to learn from one another. Field trips and visiting scholar sessions add to a rich academic experience. Students are encouraged to think independently and creatively, and complete a senior honors project, typically a capstone experience that stands as an education high-water mark.

Recent Submissions

  • A Guide To Embracing The Multicultural Classroom As A White Educator In Boston

    Girard, Jill; Grimes, Catherine
    Effective teaching goes beyond strong lesson plans and curriculum. It’s important for educators to have a deeper understanding of a student’s culture to maximize learning. This project explores culture, specifically the diverse cultures in a classroom. It serves as a guide for white educators to effectively teach students of diverse cultures in a classroom, with special attention to the students within Boston Public Schools. This project provides strategies and resources for an evolving, necessary topic of cultural responsiveness of white educators in the field of elementary education, specifically in Boston. The layout of this project is a guide. The guide can be read on this document or through a website to accommodate accessibility. This guide draws on research from different reputable sources within the education field, primarily Zaretta Hammond’s book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. Through my research, I have been able to intake and organize a guide of approaches with supporting resources for white educators with discussion of culture and Boston Public School statistics.
  • The Necessity For Disability In Social Work Education

    Mirick, Rebecca; Jarvis, Alexa (2023-05-01)
    Although over a quarter of the United States population has one or more disabilities, past studies and reviews of the social work curriculum indicate that students do not receive a well-rounded education on the topic. Building upon previous studies, this research study aimed to further understand social workers’ education around disability in their social work programs. Social work students and graduates (N=78) completed an anonymous online survey exploring this topic. Social workers strongly believe that this is an important topic for social work education. While most learned about mental health disabilities, fewer than half reported learning about other types of disabilities (e.g., cognitive/intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, hearing disabilities, visual impairments, invisible disabilities). Only one-third believed they had learned how to recognize ableism in practice. These findings suggest that while some programs include substantial disability content, other programs have substantial work to do in this area. Implications from this study urge social work programs to enhance visibility about disability in both the curriculum and the community. Most social work students understand the importance of disability education and wish it was covered more in the classrooms. The voices of disabled students indicate that disability is something that warrants more presence and celebration in social work programs. Another important implication is that the level of disability education a social work student receives is dependent on the program they attend, so disability is a topic that is being covered in some courses and programs. This demonstrates the need for consistency amongst accredited social work programs to ensure students are equally prepared to work with disabled clients.
  • From One Mentally Ill Artist to Another: An Actor Takes on Bo Burnham's Bleak Musical Humor, Inside-style

    Jaros, Michael; Schuster, Rachael (2023-05-01)
    In 2020, actor and comic Bo Burnham filmed, directed, produced, and acted in Inside, a musical comedy special filmed in his guesthouse. Inside is a piece of artwork dripping with sarcasm that reflects Burnham's cynical view of the world. It is laden with apparently genuine moments brought into question by Burnham's performativity. Burnham and his stage persona are two very different people, and Inside shows how he straddles this line and blends the personal and the performer into one entity whose mental stability is questionable at best. Upon my first viewing of Inside during COVID-19, I heard my voice overlaid with Burnham's. His performativity and self-criticism resonated strongly with my creative spirit. The harshly realistic concepts of acting to survive and existing in a hyper-critical, Internet-saturated world felt like he was peering into my anxiety-riddled mind. Analyzing Burnham's comedy specials and considering the suffocating post-COVID landscape I still find myself in, I selected songs and monologues I could re-perform. Pulling from fevered breakdowns and journal entries, I wrote monologues, weaving together my texts and his into a cohesive story, interspersed with my recreations of his witty and often startlingly melancholy music, and created, filmed, and recorded this all in one academic year, solely in my dorm room. This film is a space where the lines between my acting and ramblings, captured by the camera, are blurred so indistinguishably that no one, perhaps even myself, can tell the difference.
  • Cosmetic Consumer Confidence: An Informed Approach To Shopping

    Jayamohen, Parvathi; Rudzis, Gabriella (2023-05-01)
    The growth of the cosmetics industry in recent years has made the purchasing of cosmetics more widespread as online shopping and social media have attracted new markets to the industry. The cosmetics industry has undergone changes to better accommodate these growing markets, and the demands of the consumers within them. So far, little research has been done on how ecommerce changes the way consumers purchase cosmetic products. This research project explores what factors currently affect consumer’s purchasing habits in the cosmetics industry. A survey was implemented to evaluate how cosmetic consumers across generations rate the significance of ingredients, production, environmental safety, labor rights, and trade practices within the cosmetics industry regarding their purchasing habits. The findings from the survey indicate that Gen X, followed closely by Gen Z, are the most active cosmetic consumers that engage in research regularly prior to their purchases. Compared to other generations, Gen X participates the most in the industry, and expresses the highest rates of interest and concern across all factors of the cosmetics industry. The data from this research also indicates that ingredient usage, environmental safety, and labor rights are the most important and most researched factors in a cosmetic consumer’s purchasing process. The insight from cosmetic consumers through this research better illustrate consumer buying power, market demands, and what factors cosmetic firms should focus on to better market their products and appeal to the most important needs and concerns of their customers.
  • The Need For Empathetic Care In The Healthcare System Is Essential To Build Patient-Physician Relationships: A Systematic Review Of Literature

    Everitt, Amy; Williams, Layla (2023-05-01)
    Patient happiness is a crucial aspect of healthcare that is frequently undervalued and oversimplified. Each patient has unique requirements that must be met. It is important that healthcare professionals respect patients' concerns and feelings about their care and treatment. Respect is a critical element of a high-performance healthcare team. It contributes to the development of a positive environment where patients feel respected as people, and staff can thrive in their care. In a setting where respect is valued, people perform better, are more creative, and show strong resilience. What one patient experiences or understands, another patient can feel very differently. It is necessary for healthcare providers to view their patients as more than just a source of earnings. Healthcare professionals must approach each patient with an awareness of their uniqueness and the goal of establishing a working relationship; this makes the experience for both the patient and the healthcare provider much more pleasant. To achieve a shared objective, a provider-patient relationship needs to be characterized by open communication and mutual trust. Furthermore, there is a lack of awareness of the value of compassionate care throughout the healthcare system, which would benefit both patients and healthcare professionals. Therefore, the goal of this study is to investigate the boundaries of appropriate empathy and communication between a healthcare provider and their patient. The findings of this study will help us understand patient experiences when there is increased empathetic communication between patients and healthcare professionals.
  • An Exploratory Analysis of the Lived Experiences of the Glass Sibling

    Simmons, Lamont; Ritchie, Abigail (2023-05-01)
    Glass siblings are siblings of individuals with disabilities or chronic physical or mental illnesses. While the literature is replete with information on individuals with disabilities, there is limited research about the lived experiences of glass siblings. This qualitative research study seeks to understand the experiences of individuals with siblings with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Three themes emerged from the study, including (a) Carrying Guilt, Anxiety, and Empathy, (b) Social Support is Essential, and (c) Doing What Needs to be Done. The overall findings implicate social work professional efforts that validate the glass siblings’ experiences, increase connections to adequate support, and mobilize resources that reduces stress related to caregiving.
  • The Nurses’ Thought on Physical Restraints in the Healthcare Setting

    Gawrys, Carol; Parada, Jennifer (2023-05-01)
    Background: In healthcare, patient safety is highly prioritized. Health care providers may care for patients who are mentally altered due to a medical condition. When a situation escalates and the safety of the patient or staff is at risk, it's up to the judgment of the nurse if physical restraints are needed. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the nurse thinks when physical restraints are indicated. Method: A systematic review of literature took place for the research of this paper. The databases used were PubMed and CINAHL. The time frame is 2017 to 2023 in order to stay up to date with the views on the subject. Keywords would be "United States of America," "Nursing Practice/Care," "Adult," "Physical Restraints," and "cognitive impaired." The adult population found in the non-psychiatric setting is the focus of this paper. Analysis: Articles mentioned how physical restraints should not be the first option. Nurses are trained to use other techniques in order to diffuse a situation. In emergency situations, the physical restraints can be placed without a medical doctor order, but must get order within the hour. When the patient is in restraints, they should still have access to care like drinking, toileting, and comfort. Conclusion: Physical restraints should be the last resort when it comes to keeping the patient/staff safe. When physical restraints are in effect, the nurse should follow hospital guidelines on physical restraints. The restraints should be immediately removed when it is no longer needed.
  • Higher Education in Crisis: How Attacks from Conservatives, Elites, and Financiers Hurt Our Public Universities

    Mulcare, Daniel; O’Connor, Cassidy (2023-05-01)
    When discussing the state of contemporary public higher education, the conversation centers around an unfortunate, yet accidental, institutional failure. With statewide funding and federal student aid decreasing overall,1 universities have elected to cut programs, take on debt, and raise tuition and fees.2 Rising prices leave students either unable to afford higher education or push them further into debt, decreasing enrollment at four-year public universities.3 However, this crisis did not develop on its own and students are not to blame. This structural imbalance results from a long-term attack by conservative thinkers, elites, and financiers who use higher education to retain power and maximize their wealth. As examples of these trends, white supremacist ideology used privatization to circumvent the desegregation of public schools ruled in Brown v the Board of Education (1954). Throughout the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960’s, university administrations shifted the responsibility of paying for education onto students to keep them from demonstrating against oppressors.4 Private interests, bankers, and financiers used policy to further the assault on education through lobbying, tax avoidance, and investments. Tax loopholes create less tax revenue for already limited state budgets. Private nonprofit or for-profit institutions take the remaining subsidies, denying public universities crucial funding.5 This paper will outline the choices and events that created the current failure of public higher education. 1 Ma, Jennifer and Matea Pender. Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2022. New York: College 2 Mitchell, Michael, Michael Leachman, Kathleen Masterson, and Samantha Waxman. Unkept Promises: to Higher Education Threaten Access and Equity. Washington, DC: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3 National Center for Education Statistics. Total undergraduate fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by attendance status, sex of student, and control and level of institution: Selected years, 1970 2030. Digest of Education Statistics, 2021. 4 Maclean, Nancy. Democracy in Chains. Penguin Random House: New York, 2018. 5 Eaton, Charlie, Bankers in the Ivory Tower: The Troubling Rise of Financiers in US Higher Education. University of Chicago Press, 2022.
  • A Families' Guide to Emotional Intelligence in Early Childhood

    Evett, Sophia; Mendonca, Chantel (2023-05-01)
    This literature review looks over multiple research articles from researchers who investigated emotional intelligence, the different aspects of it, as well as its importance and how it can positively affect a person. Intelligence has long been considered the number one way to determine how successful someone is going to become, but plenty of research ahs been done to prove that it is far from the truth. but a different type of intelligence called emotional intelligence has been found to support success in both a person's career and social life.Emotional intelligence itself can be broken down into multiple aspects: emotions identification (identifying your emotions), emotions utilization (expressing your emotions in the right way), emotional understanding (understand your emotions as well as the emotions of others), emotions regulation (a person’s ability to respond and regulate their emotions), and empathy (understanding and being able to sense and understand the feelings of others, whether or not you yourself are feeling those same emotions or have ever felt those emotions before). The development of these skills helps support lower stress levels and better relationships with others, both in an individual’s personal life and their work life. These aspects can be taught at any point during a person’s lifetime, but the younger the individual is, the longer period of time this individual will have to develop and incorporate these skills in their lifetime. Also, although this may seem like something new to many, these skills are already being taught through practices that families utilize today such as building relationships, having open and clear communication with one another, and modeling how families themselves regulate their emotions. My work is dedicated to educating and supporting families interested in teaching their young children emotional intelligence to further build their children to success.
  • Early Detection And Preventative Methods Of Deep Vein Thrombosis In Postoperative Patients From A Total Joint Arthroplasty: A Review Of Nursing Literature

    Gawrys, Carol; Maggiacomo, Emily (2023-05-01)
    Deep Vein Thrombosis is a serious complication following any extensive surgery such as a total joint arthroplasty (TJA) where the entire joint is replaced. An analysis of existing literature was evaluated to identify the most effective course of action in regard to medication, intervention, patient assessment, and effective education of both the patient and the care team. Through this review, it was determined that to provide the most comprehensive care aimed toward preventing DVT occurrence, it would be beneficial to determine which medication not only works the best but makes the most sense for the patient in regard to finances and side effects. Furthermore, ensuring that there are clear guidelines or policies provided by the institution for assessments of the patient both preoperative and postoperative to determine risk and or occurrence of signs and symptoms indicative of a developing thrombus. Such assessment would entail a comprehensive head-to-toe assessment, imaging, and blood tests to identify a baseline prior to surgery that can be compared to any results following. Finally, it was ascertained that providing the client with education and evaluating their understanding of their risk and concerning signs is crucial to the early detection of such a disorder. Equipping the care team with this knowledge and tools, it should help in the decrease of occurrence and or severity of DVT following a TJA due to early action and identification.
  • The Social Dimensions of STEM Culture: How Does Lack of Diversity and Inclusivity Affect a Student’s Socialization?

    Conlin, Luke; Mendoza, Gisady A. (2023-05-01)
    Diversity and inclusivity matters in STEM and without them, STEM would fall apart. In the United States, Latine and African American students are severely underrepresented in STEM fields and they obtain fewer STEM degrees compared to their white counterparts (Hall, Nishina, Lewis 2017). The reasoning behind this can be due to societal, social, individual issues, or ethnic discrimination (Wiedemann 2019). This can affect retention rates, academic outcomes, self-efficacy, and one’s socialization (Estrada 2021). Students and educators need a sense of belonging to be able to thrive in the rigorous STEM environments. Students from underrepresented backgrounds need experiences of love, kindness, and a sense of belonging regardless of their diverse backgrounds. For many students and educators, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of stress and only increased the need for compassion and kindness. Students are working from home, “juggling pets, children, elderly relatives, economic pressures, unstable internet, health disparities, political unrest, climate disruptions, racism, violence, and death” (Estrada 2021). While efforts are being made to reduce this large disparity in STEM, it is not enough. Trends in the STEM fields can also be seen at Salem State University (SSU). This presentation will describe a study that attempts to understand how SSU fosters a more inclusive STEM environment for minorities and how students can find support from others like themselves. This study employs a mixed methodology that will study the institutional diversity statement and policy at SSU, and current students will be asked to fill out an anonymous survey on their sense of belonging, experiences at SSU, and how well students feel that they are supported. At the end of the survey, there is an option where students can participate in a personal interview to learn about their experiences on campus.
  • A Picture Book of Boston's LGBTQ+ History

    Condie, Cami; Moran, Emily (2023-05-01)
    “To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin…” (hooks, 1994). Part of respecting and caring for students, and their “souls” as hook says, is respecting and representing all parts of their identity and culture. When looking at the marginalized LGBTQ+ community, we see little representation of their history in elementary schools. Very few LGBTQ+ history resources are available for students, and none that I could find focused on my home state, Massachusetts. This gap silences the history of a whole community. My presentation will describe my process of creating a picture book designed for late elementary school students (3rd-5th graders) that presents Massachusetts LGBTQ+ history that is accessible to them. The presentation will also describe my research process learning about Boston’s LGBTQ+ history and how I told the stories of LGBTQ+ historical figures in a way that students could understand without minimizing what these advocates did for the Massachusetts LGBTQ+ community. The point of my book was not to idolize these figures but to highlight them alongside other Massachusetts historical figures like Paul Revere, Crispus Attucks, and Tom Brady. My book and presentation will give the audience a multi-view perspective of Boston’s history and will hopefully start conversations around LGBTQ+ representation in K-12 classrooms.
  • Math in Origami

    Crow, Kathi; Lorenzo, Anaily (2023-05-01)
    Geometry is not only used for math but also to create art! Geometry is used to create Origami, the ancient Japanese art of folding paper. There are seven origami axioms that can be used to solve general cubic equations through the Beloch fold (corresponds to an origami axiom). Origami is also being used to revolutionize technology, from space, to the least explored environment on Earth, the ocean! NASA James Webb Space Telescope and the ocean robotic device RAD, are just a few of the many new origami-inspired technologies.
  • Treatments for Adolescents Affected by Eating Disorders: A Systematic Review of Literature

    Frost, Marion; Lessieur, Kaleigh (2023-05-01)
    A systematic literature review (analysis) for treatment options for patients diagnosed with eating disorders or predisposed to risk behaviors. Eating disorders are a mental health concern that affects many adolescents, who are more at risk due to certain behaviors such as body dissatisfaction or distortion, circadian rhythm disorders, or other diagnoses of mental/physical health such as obesity, poor nutrition, anxiety, depression, for example. This review is for the purpose of awareness of evidence-based practice in treatment and how care of patients in treatment plans can be improved in order to provide the best quality.
  • Creating Character Through Costume: The Costume Design Process for Small Mouth Sounds

    Kiernan, Julie; Kiff, Sam (2023-05-01)
    As people, we use our appearance to convey ourselves for others to see. This concept pertains to Theatre Arts as well. In theatre, the costume designer creates costumes, or appearance, of a character. The job is to curate a perception of the character that matches the director’s vision. To achieve this, there is a process. Every designer’s different. I chose to document this process, leading to the creation of my thesis. I designed Bess Wohl’s Small Mouth Sounds. Unlike many, this play has minimal dialogue. Without the aid of character dialogue, my costume choices had to express the personality of the six characters. The rigorous design process is too large to cover in the world of an abstract. However, it is spoken about, in detail, in my process paper: a personal recollection of my process, and thoughts, throughout my costume design journey. This consists of an explanation of my process, from analysis to conceptualization, to final costume. Paired with my personal commentary on my findings and thinking for each stage of the process. Imagery, from early sketches to finalized renderings, even the accredited stage photography of the final costumes is included in the form of a digital portfolio. This collection of images will provide insight into my rapidly evolving designs, with yes, even more commentary, as I gained a better understanding of both the world of the play, and the world of costuming.
  • The Relationship Between Abusive Relationships and Substance Abuse

    Aparicio, Carlos; Lamarche, Fabianiz (2023-05-01)
    Victims of abusive relationships attempt to leave seven times before officially ending the relationship (Respond, 2023). This behavior pattern characterized by leaving and returning to their abusive partner may also be seen in substance abusers, as a user terminates drug use but relapses to it three or more times. Both cases share patterns of incidence behavior representing a vicious cycle. The aim of this literature review is to study this vicious cycle of victims of abuse relationships and substance abusers to increase our knowledge on the inconsistent leaving process. The second objective is to find similarities between abusive relationships and substance abuse in neuropsychological, behavior analytical, and social aspects. Lastly, the third objective is to suggest a more effective treatment plan to eliminate the negative stigma characterizing victims of abusive relationships. It is possible to dismantle this stigma of "character flaw" by educating individuals about the vicious cycle characterizing abusive relationships and substance abuse. This study contributed to improve our understanding of abusive relationships by showing that there is a connection between abusive relationships and substance abuse proposed in the neuropsychological, behavior analytical, and social perspectives. Each view provided a rationale to understand the behaviors of victims of abusive relationships and substance abuse, showing that both cases share neurological dopamine pathways, behavior patterns, and mental health disorders. Together, the present findings demonstrated that abusive relationships and substance abuse are related to one another, and they should be treated in comparable ways. It is concluded that the productive treatment plan for victims of abusive relationships could be like that elaborated to substance abuse. This conclusion is important because it will guide future researchers to develop successful treatment plans for victims.
  • The Role of Attachment and Well-Being on Adult Relationships

    Evett, Sophia; Fondulis, Sophia (2023-05-01)
    This study looked at the relationship between the attachment theory, familial systems, gender, culture, conflict resolution skills and well-being. All participants recruited in the study were 18 years or older from the social media platforms Instagram and Snapchat, along with SONA, Salem State University’s Psychology Department Research Participation System. Data were collected from 63 participants who completed a survey including self-reported information about well-being, conflict resolution skills, and relationship satisfaction. Consistent with some of the hypotheses in the study, participants who identified as Hispanic were higher in collaborating conflict resolution style than participants from other racial/ethnic groups, and secure attachment was positively correlated with self-acceptance. Contrary to our hypotheses, there were no significant differences in conflict resolution styles between men and women, gender was also not related to anxious or avoidant attachment. Individuals who come from married households scored higher on avoidant attachment than those from unmarried households. There was no significant relationship between collaborating, accommodating, and compromising conflict resolution styles and secure attachment. Other findings indicated that the competing conflict resolution style was negatively related to well-being, and fearful attachment was strongly negatively correlated with personal growth, relationship well-being, and self-acceptance.
  • Black Honors Students in Honors Spaces

    Evett, Sophia; Hoard, Emilyann (2023-05-01)
    There are not many studies addressing Black Honors students and their sense of belonging to the Honors program. This study addresses Black honors students in honors spaces. This study examines students’ interactions with the honors programs, their racial identity development, and their sense of belonging. To measure racial identity development the Multidimensional inventory of Black identity (MIBI) was used. To measure sense of belonging the Community subscale of the Relational Health Indices (RHI-C) was used. Black honors students (N=26) were surveyed from thirteen different 4- year and 2-year colleges in the United States. Overall, there was a high sense of belonging among participants, though there was little time spent interacting with the program. There was a positive correlation between Humanist and Nationalist ideologies with sense of belonging. Assimilationist ideology had a positive correlation with how often students attend events. There was a positive correlation between Oppressed Minority ideology and time spent interacting with others in the program. These findings can help determine whether honors programs need extra support for Black students.
  • The Comprehensive Care of Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD): The Application of Evidence to Nursing Practice

    Frost, Marion; Gray, Rachel (2023-05-01)
    The incidence of opioid misuse rates in pregnancy has been rising at alarming rates in recent years, paralleling the opioid epidemic seen in the general population since the 1990s. This public health crises poses a significant risk for complex medical needs in pregnant women and their fetuses and is one reason why many pregnant women do not seek prenatal care. Nurses must use pregnancy's unique opportunity to address the complex health needs of women with opioid use disorder (OUD) to promote optimal maternal and fetal outcomes. The Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literal (CINAHL) was used to complete a systematic review of literature to identify common issues and areas for improvement in obstetric nursing practice related to the care of pregnant women with OUD. Common themes identified in the literature are the need for early screening and prenatal care and lack thereof in women with OUD; the use of medication-assisted treatment to manage and lessen the harmful effects of OUD and why it is a safer option than detox; and the significance of forming a trusting, non-judgmental relationship between the care team and mother to remove the stigma surrounding opioid use. Implementing these measures will provide nurses with the necessary information to support the mother's and her fetus's personalized needs and improve obstetric nursing care. The ultimate goal for these women is to reach a safe and successful delivery and further optimize health outcomes.
  • Evaluating Template-Switch Mutations (TSM) in E.Coli After Treatment with Dexamethasone, an FDA-Approved Anti-Inflammatory Drug

    Laranjo, Laura; Hubisz, Leigha-Mae (2023-05-01)
    This presentation will provide an overview of an experiment to discover potential side-effects of current FDA-approved drugs, Dexamethasone, that can cause mutations in DNA. Mutations in DNA can change the structure and function of cells. DNA can transform into non-β form structures that stall replication and cause genomic instability. Quasi-palindromes (QP) are imperfect inverted repeats of DNA sequences which can block the DNA replication fork during DNA synthesis. If the DNA replication fork is blocked by quasi-palindrome structures, DNA polymerase can use an alternative method to continue DNA replication, called “template-switching,” which results in a perfect palindrome – a perfect inverted repeat of DNA. There is limited research for template-switch mutagenesis which tests selected FDA-approved drugs to understand the effect of TSM. The goal of this research project is to investigate the cellular effects of Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid, which prevents the release of DNA, in quasi-palindrome mutations using E. coli as the model organism. The aim is to understand the consequence of selected drugs in template-switching quasi-palindrome mutations to increase our knowledge of the potential side effects for current FDA-approved drugs.

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