Recent Submissions

  • Journeying Through The In-Between: An Exploration Of Liminality In José Saramago’sblindness, All The Names, And The Cave

    Valens, Keja; Miller, Evan (2022-05)
    This thesis focuses on the concept of liminality and the presence of liminal states in José Saramago’s trilogy of novels, Blindness, All the Names, and The Cave. Defined by qualities of disorientation and ambiguity, liminality speaks to being in a state of “in-between,” which, I argue, is applicable to the central characters in each of these texts. Specifically, I examine how Saramago’s characters experience these liminal states, as well the qualities of the liminal states themselves, which share many - though not all - of the same characteristics as labyrinths and caves. To that end, I trace the liminal journeys of the central characters in each novel, the actions required to successfully complete their journeys, and how the culmination of these journeys manifest as an achievement of change engendered by realization, epiphany, and clarity of consciousness. This thesis is divided into three chapters, bookended by introduction and conclusion. In the first chapter, I detail the history of liminality and define the “liminal state” and “liminal subject.” I also discuss how Saramago’s characters can be considered liminal subjects, and the events that precipitate the characters’ entrances into their respective liminal states. The second chapter features the analysis of the beginning stages of the characters’ liminal journeys - the “descents into darkness and the “confrontations with death” - and introduces the concept of “concentric liminality,” as well as the parallels between liminality and symbolic existence. The third chapter explores the final stage of the liminal journey, the “ascension to light,” and the processes by which the characters can achieve their transformations and exit their liminal states.
  • Scar Of Nox

    Carey, Kevin; Scrimgeour, J.D.; Hughes, Miranda (2021-12)
    After witnessing her Papa's soul ripped from his body by the Unhallowed worshippers of the underGod, Nox has undergone the rigorous training of the Divine Shadows, an elite and secret force run by the Church of Adonex, god of Afterlifes. Fueled by the desire to free him, she prepares for the Rite of Death, the ritual that will give her incredible power. Before she can do that, she must overcome two obstacles--balancing her mistrust and fear of Adonex, the god who scarred her face the night Papa was taken, and learning to get along with her Tomas, her newest and most stubborn scholar-in-training yet. Follow Nox into the darkness as she hunts the Unhallowed, their Desecrated victims, and the truth behind the events that changed her life forever. This thesis is an exercise in writing for young adult audiences and exploring the use of fantasy as a way of discussing deeper topics. Nox herself is an exploration into the mind of a young woman facing trauma and pursuing closure that forces her to constantly choose between giving respite to the dead or saving the living, representing the often-difficult battle of attempting to overcome the past and plan for the future at the same time, a struggle I believe many readers can relate to.
  • Emotional Flashbacks

    Scrimgeour, J.D.; Hughes, Courtney (2022)
    A collection of non-fiction poetry and prose that focuses on enduring and overcoming emotional trauma.
  • A Key Without A Lock

    Carey, Kevin; DeCiccio, Albert; Quackenbush, William (2021)
    The first five chapters from the book A Key Without A Lock.
  • Exploratory Theatrics: Muriel Spark's Treatment Of A Woman's Absurd In The Driver's Seat, Memento Mori, And "The Portobello Road"

    Valens, Keja; Escobar-Leswell, Chantelle (2022-05)
    Muriel Spark is sharp in her wit and delivery. She has been known to ‘hold her own’ among male writers of the contemporaneous period -- no small feat. for a woman who came of age in the 1930s. She writes dark -- veering towards sinister -- novels, novellas, and short stories, but what is striking about each of them is her uncanny ability to portray the absurd, a field rarely penetrated by women at all. In the chosen texts, Spark creates at once a sense of agency for the women characters, and an overarching lack of control over the universe in which they exist. Using select feminist theory alongside critical analyses of the absurd, this thesis aims to illuminate the ways Spark’s unique storytelling creates space for women in male-dominated terrain. This includes both the arena in which she chose to write, and in the circumstances she sets up for her characters.
  • Mosaics Of Wholeness: Healing Through Queer Indigenous Self-Telling In Billy-Ray Belcourt’s A History Of My Brief Body And Deborah A. Miranda’s Bad Indians

    Valens, Keja; Cook, Jessica (2022-05)
    This thesis examines texts by two queer Indigenous writers, Billy-Ray Belcourt (Driftpile Cree) and Deborah A. Miranda (Ohlone/Costanoan Esselen), to consider how writing about the self—what the Western literary canon commonly terms “memoir” or “autobiography”—is a form of healing in the afterlife of settler-colonialism. Through close readings of Belcourt’s essay collection A History of My Brief Body and Miranda’s Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir, this thesis explores how Belcourt and Miranda both invent and reclaim the Indigenous self through the construction of metaphorical mosaics which, in their assembled wholeness, reflect a kind of “living through” of colonialism. Within this framework, this thesis goes on to argue that the stories of the self crafted by Belcourt and Miranda effectively reconstruct the queer Indigenous embodied self, writing against the colonial imagination with assertions of non-heteronormative sexual desire.
  • Studying Land Cover Change In The Goviefe Todzi Sacred Forest, Volta Region Ghana

    Young, Stephen; Bremer, Madden (2020)
    Sacred natural sites can be defined as any place in nature possessing a unique spiritual significance to peoples and communities. Throughout the world, sacred natural sites support ecological biodiversity, provide habitat stepping stones, and play a crucial role in the continuation of traditional spiritual practices. These variables in combination create a unique biocultural landscape that warrants conservation and conversely, sacred sites offer a mode of conservation. This research examines land cover change within the Goviefe Todzi sacred forest, located in Ghana’s Volta region, using satellite imagery. We utilized techniques in digital image processing to generate land cover classification maps of the study area for 2012 and 2015. Land cover classifications of high resolution QuickBird-2 and WorldView-2 imagery informed the hypothesis that closed forest cover within the sacred site decreased at a lesser rate than neighboring non-sacred closed forest cover. The Global Forest Change dataset from the University of Maryland framed our understanding of how forest cover changes within the study area and how it fits into the global context of forest cover change. Results demonstrated that the Goviefe Todzi sacred forest exhibited less closed forest loss when compared to non-sacred forest and closed forest was most often converted to open forest in the event of a land cover change. We recognized that other factors such as accessibility to nearby settlements, pre-existing agricultural fields, the time span of the study, as well as the topography of the sacred forest may also contribute to its lack of closed forest loss.
  • Need for Greater Access to Language Services in Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    Luna, Marcos; Castonguay, Meghan E. (2020)
    This research assesses the geographic access to drug treatment centers providing interpretation services for limited- or non-English speakers seeking drug or alcohol treatment in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Only 68% of the available treatment centers serve languages other than English. A lack of language services may contribute to rates of relapse. This research uses rasterized surface distance analysis, also known as Euclidean distance analysis, to measure the average straight-line distance from each Census tract in Massachusetts to available treatment centers. The results of the Euclidean distance demonstrate how access to treatment services varies for those who speak English less than “very well.” This research may potentially impact healthcare policy in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by providing sound and necessary data for policymakers and other interested stakeholders to make practical decisions on providing language services for addiction treatment in the Commonwealth.
  • A Literature Review of Effects of Concussions on the Brain and Mental Health of Athletes

    Scottgale, Thomas; Devine, Tyler (2021-03-29)
    This literature review investigates the effects concussions have on the brain and mental health of athletes. The mechanism of concussions is described as how it affects the brain and some possible cellular effects. Then several studies are highlighted in the major contact sports of football and soccer as well as a comparison of the rate of concussions in men's versus women's sports. It is also pointed out that concussions occur much more often in competition than in practice sessions. The analysis shows there's a strong correlation between concussions and mental issues such as anxiety, depression, behavioral and emotional changes. Functional Neurocognitive Imaging is a new technique used in detecting concussion injuries and can be used to develop a treatment plan for injured individuals. It is also pointed out that concussions can lead to serious disorders like Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) and Parkinson's Disease, but with the correct amount of treatment and recovery time, athletes can go back to living their life normally without the fear of future mental backlash from their initial concussion.
  • Betting Just Got Easier: The Power Of Machine Learning And Making Predictions

    Nafa, Fatema; Ngandjui, Johnson (2021)
    There comes a time in your life when you have endeavored to place a wager, whether minuscule or astronomically immense the goal is to victoriously triumph. What if you knew the chances of you winning? In this project, I analyzed The Big Five European soccer leagues data where I predict the probability of what team will win using various machine learning techniques while answering questions to maximize the accuracy of my prediction. The project drives away from the rigorous concepts of numbers, with a visual representation of the analytics. This breaks away from the extensive data into a more conceptualized aspect of betting. Many Bettors bet based on favorites, is that a valid way to place a bet? The first phase of this project is creating a descriptive analysis for understanding the data, the second phase is diving into support vector machines, random forest, and Xgboost to organize data elements and standardize how the data elements relate to one another to answer questions pertaining to wager making. I will make use of PySpark to show distinction between supervised learning models. The complex components will follow a sequential design metric to understand correctly how to maximize your bet. The results will consist of a prototype web application with a descriptive analysis of my findings, this includes betting prediction on my data. Users will get a deep understanding on why the results presented as they did.
  • A Literature Review Of Alternative Approaches To Escape Extinction In Feeding Protocols

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Setzer, Olivia (2021)
    This literature review investigated different treatment packages for feeding protocols in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A literature review was conducted on case studies with participants under the age of eighteen with at least one problem behavior related to feeding. The case studies included were peer-reviewed and published in a journal article in the past twelve years. The review considered a set of variables for each study that included: the number of children who were treated, the effectiveness of the treatment, consistency of results between participants, consistency of results across studies, and follow up treatment effectiveness. Based on the literature reviewed, the results indicated there was no single treatment package that consistently demonstrates a decrease in inappropriate mealtime behavior and an increase in acceptable mealtime behavior. High probability sequences, noncontingent reinforcement, behavioral skills training, least-to-most prompting, and lag schedules of reinforcement were at least moderately effective at decreasing inappropriate mealtime behavior and increasing appropriate mealtime behavior without using escape extinction.
  • Kathrine Thomas Photography: A Business Rebrand

    Vincent, Cindy; Thomas, Kathrine (2021)
    When you think of a company, you most likely picture their logo in your head. Having a recognizable brand is something that sets a business apart from others. This thesis focuses on rebranding my business, Kathrine Thomas Photography in order to appear more appealing and cohesive. This thesis examines the successes, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats my business faces with a SWOT analysis, and identifies current communication tactics and evaluates market competition in a situation analysis. This study also incorporates a survey of current clients to understand preferred communication modalities. As a result of this research, my website is now easier to navigate and informs potential clients about what it is like to work with me. I also created a brand identity kit that includes a color palette and typefaces to serve as a guide for my business. Overall, this research serves as a resource for small business owners in rebranding their own business.
  • English Language Ideologies in ELT: Presence and Practices in Oaxaca, Mexico

    González, Melanie; Bustamante Martínez, Esaú Israel (2021-10)
    As the English language continues to expand globally, studies have found that socially constructed beliefs and ideological values around the role and status of English greatly influence the institutional policies and practices of English language teaching (ELT) programs. This study describes the findings of a phenomenological study conducted among EFL educators in Oaxaca, Mexico regarding the presence of English language ideologies in ELT programs. Findings revealed that sociocultural, linguistic, and economic ideologies affect institutional policies, access, and representation. Takeaways from this study suggest that English language ideologies impact institutional and programmatic practices in ways that relate to educational access, hiring practices, native speakerism, and an asymmetry between public and private educational systems.
  • Stories: Creating and Mirroring Community

    Valens, Keja; Eshelman, Sarah (2021-12)
    This is the portfolio of my work throughout my master’s program. I highlight five projects where I explored community as it is depicted or described in literature. I end with a final paper exploring how literature itself can be a connecting point for community in the real world through studying the work of Dawnland Voices. In my projects, I considered: community of a nation as formed by literature (examining Winthrop’s “Model of Christian Charity” and Harjo’s American Sunrise; community as a source and subject of healing in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony; community formed over shared meals in young adult literature; community as found family in television shows; community and perspective in the classroom; and community seeking its own thriving through literature and social media.
  • Emotional Flashbacks

    Scrimgeour, J.D.; Hughes, Courtney (2022)
    A collection of non-fiction poetry and prose that focuses on enduring and overcoming emotional trauma.
  • From The Inside (A Collection of Personal Essays)

    Scrimgeour, J.D.; O'Day, Joseph (2021-12)
    I’ve always favored nonfiction stories that roused my emotions and curiosity, and compelled me to scrutinize every sentence and word for meaning. Such stories often awakened memories of my own that I’d treasured but had allowed to fade. In my own writing of essays, I’ve found myself reviewing old photos and mementos, taking trips to the local library, comparing my remembrances with those of relatives and friends. I hope readers will see in these essays something familiar and perhaps revive hidden, cherished memories from their own lives. Versions of these essays have appeared in the following publications: “Hallmark Moment” and “My Precious Stuff,” Biostories; “324 Bridge Street,” The Salem News; “Unrecognized” (under the title “Healthcare Unseen”), Focus on Faulkner; and “Rousing Bits of Assorted Wholes,” Adelaide Literary Magazine.
  • Is the Lewis (LEW) Rat an Appropriate Control for the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR)?

    Aparicio, Carlos; Hensley, Jason (2021)
    The Spontaneously Hypertensive rat (SHR), the most widely accepted rodent-model of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is compared with its normotensive control the Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat looking for between strains differences in impulsive choice. But the WKY is not a proper control for the SHR when the procedure requires locomotion to choose. The SHR has deficiencies in dopamine activity in nucleus accumbens causing lower tolerance to delayed outcomes than the WKY. Locomotion and anomalies in dopamine in the Lewis (LEW) rat are like those in the SHR, suggesting that the LEW is a good control for the SHR. This possibility was analyzed with SHRs and LEWs responding to concurrent-chains procedures. Choice was measured in the initial link where two random interval schedules arranged entries to two terminal links, one delivering 1-food pellet immediately and the other delaying 4-food pellets 0.1, 5, 10, 20, 40, or 80 s. Impulsive choice increased with training, but the SHRs showed faster changes in preference, making more impulsive choices than the LEWs. The hyperbolic-decay model and the generalized matching law fitted the data well. Positive correlations between discounting rate and sensitivity of choice to the immediacy of reinforcement suggests compatibility between the models of choice.
  • Delay Discounting and Polydipsia in Spontaneously Hypertensive and Lewis Rats

    Aparicio, Carlos; Malonson, Malana (2021-07)
    The choices made by Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHRs) were compared with those made by the Lewis rats (LEWs) responding to a concurrent-chains procedure varying the delay to the larger later reinforcement (LLR). Impulsive choice was measured in conditions where a bottle of water was or was not available in the choice situation. Both strains produced discounting functions with proportions of choice decreasing with increasing delay to the LLR. At the beginning of training the LEWs made more impulsive choices than the SHR, but late in training both strains produced similar discounting rates suggesting same levels of impulsivity. Sensitivity of choice to the magnitude of the LLR also increased with extended training in the choice situation. Adding the bottle of water to the choice situation did not affect the impulsive choices made by the SHRs and the LEWs, but both strains developed polydipsia indicating that it was induced by food, with the SHRs drinking substantially more water than the LEWs. Licking mostly occurred in blackouts and before starting the choice cycles, showing a tendency to decrease in the initial and terminal links of the concurrent-chains procedure. Licking persisted when the water was removed from the choice situation, but the spout of the bottle was available for the rats to lick, indicating that water was not necessary to maintain licking. Overall, these findings support the laws of allocation, induction, and covariance (Baum, 2018a, 2018b).
  • Language And Political Participation Alternative Language's Positive Correlation To Political And Democratic Processes In The United States

    Coughlan, Elizabeth; Caufield, Marilyn (2021-01-01)
    With this study, I aspire to further evaluate how alternatives to “standard English” within the majority of political process platforms, specifically taboo, explicit, profane, and obscene language, lead to fewer inhibitors when exercising political participation in the United States. This is seen through the suppression of such expressions of profane speech in contrast to the “standard English” used in political processes. An introspection into how freedom of speech is inhibited through real-world examples is illuminated. The ways in which the United States political processes are set up to suppress such alternative linguistic choices and the needs of the constituents to participate to a more free and equitable extent are also consequently shown. This research provides a more in-depth analysis into the ever-growing spectacle on US oppressive behaviors and tactics employed to discourage variants of language choices amongst constituents despite having the freedom to one’s own speech that are continuously being overextended to attempt to encompass both language choices and needs. This is done through analyzing the relationship between political/democratic participation and language choices and needs, specifically looking at profane language in comparison to the accepted and socially preferred “standard English”. The evidence given within this text alludes to the theoretical explanation as to how profane language choices in the US democratic and political spheres are beneficial to participation.
  • Investigating FDA-Approved Anti-Tumor Drugs For Effects On Template-Switch Mutagenesis (TSM) In E. coli

    Laranjo, Laura; Addorisio, Sydney (2021-01-01)
    Quasipalindromes (QPs) are imperfect inverted repeats of DNA that are known to form secondary structures (such as hairpins and cruciforms). QPs sites have also been associated with a specific class of mutation known as template-switch mutations (TSM). It is known that TSM can be caused by the addition of drugs such as 5-azaC, AZT, and ciprofloxacin. This study aims to analyze the effects of two FDA approved antitumor drugs, CPT-11 and Doxorubicin hydrochloride for their ability to promote or prevent template-switch mutagenesis and, if there is an increase in mutation rates, we aim to clarify by what mechanism that effect is induced. To do this, we use a previously published TSM reporter in the lacZ gene that provides both a qualitative and quantitative measure of TSM frequencies. Using this established system, we study mutation frequencies and rates in both the leading and lagging strand of DNA to provide possible pathways that lead to TSM. Our data proposes mechanisms of mutations that are correlated to each drug mode of action.

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