Sample Abstracts

An overview of abstract guidelines can be found in CALL FOR ABSTRACTS AND PAPERS. Below we have provided examples of abstracts from different disciplines. Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Your abstract will appear as submitted in a published proceedings booklet . Be sure to read, proof, spell and grammar-check and have your faculty supervisor approve your final submission.

Sample Abstracts

Art
Miller, D. Exploring Environmental Identity.  This exhibition will present mixed media drawings inspired by nature. The media used to create the drawings are charcoal, pastel, and India ink. The primary concepts for the work are the exploration of environmental identity, and the celebration of eco-diversity. I will display several small observational studies of elements found within a specific environment. These elements may include plant, animal, and geological forms, as well as referencing meteorological elements such as wind, rain, or cloud formations; all are collected from one location. I have also created large scale works that layer these images in rhythmic compositions with the intent of communicating a more comprehensive experience.

Biology
Williams, D & Rannazzisi, N. The Effects of Steroid Mimics on Hormone Mediated Development.  There have been numerous reports of reduction in the number of amphibians, fish, and non-pest insects in the wild. It is proposed that these reductions may be related to the utilization of petroleum-based products and/or the synthesis of related chemicals. There are numerous materials in the everyday life of people, as well as the rest of the environment, which are based on this chemistry including plastic products, pesticides, and the waste product of fossil fuel that may act as hormonally disruptive compounds. It has been demonstrated in the St. Joseph’s College Biology laboratories that the steroid mimics bisphenol-A and dibutyl phthalate result in skewed sex ratios in fish and interfere with development in the insects Drosophila and Manduca, Steroid hormones serve as signaling molecules for a myriad of functions related to the development and fuction of multicellular organisms, and include the vertebrate sex hormones and the insect ecdysteroids. They pass through cell membranes, and interact with the Steroid Hormone Receptor Superfamily of transcription factors, which in turn modulate RNA synthesis. It was proposed and has been demonstrated that changes in polytene chromosome puffing patterns in Drosophila serve as markers to identify the steroid mimic activity potential of such chemicals.

English
Hicks, B. A .Fire Within: The Flames in Morrison’s Sula.  Fire is a powerful force; in Toni Morrison’s novel Sulathe women of the Peace family are physical manifestations of fire. The women of the family, Sula, Eva and even Hannah, possess a unique freedom. The women do not feel any responsibility to act in accordance with what society wants or expects. Even though these women each represent fire, they are all a different type of fire. From the tamed Hannah to the wild Sula each woman possesses an arguably fiery disposition. Hannah, like a candle, attracts positive affections but burns out too soon. Eva is the hearth fire; she is tame but is not a slave to anyone. Sula, the youngest woman, is a wildfire being constantly fought by the people. The paper explores the freedom these women hold and how they are responsible for the different events throughout the novel, either directly or indirectly. Like fire, the women have a capacity to effect things and beings that they do not come into their direct contact. Fire is amoral; it is not intrinsically good or bad, but can be used for either purpose. As the women effect their environment, their environment affects them. The town, after Sula’s death loses itself because they no longer have a common enemy to unite them. Fire can bring people together or tear them apart. The Peace women are as free as fire, but with this awesome power comes an even larger responsibility.

History
Beather, H. Quaker Women: Irrational or Ahead of their Time. This paper will present a case history of 10 Quaker women who preached and protested against Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1656-1677. These women held Quaker meetings, distributed Quaker literature, walked naked in public and did not attend required Church services. Some historians have argued that these women were irrational, social deviants. My paper suggests a different perspective drawing on that Quaker women were literate, married and of middle social/economic status. They were in their twenties and thirties and felt compelled to protest against the Puritan authorities. These women began to challenge the role of women in society, which laid the groundwork for future reform movements.

Philosophy
Noegrut, W. Respecting the Child/Introspecting Childhood: A macro/micro Interrogation of Childhood through the Ideas of Bachelard and Korszak. This paper will explore the writings of two quite different 20th century writers about childhood. Janusz Korczak led a school in Nazi occupied Poland and argued fiercely against what we saw to be a societal dismissal of children as unimportant or insignificant. His sociological observations offer at the macro level a trenchant critique of societal attitudes which purport to love and cherish children but in fact are deeply flawed through the lack of respect for the lifeworld of the child. In The Poetics of Reverie Gaston Bachelard offers a poetic-mythic meditation on our recollections of childhood. He invites us to enter into the nature of imagining, dreaming, and the realm of memory as clues for understanding both childhood and adult selfhood. Bachelard approaches his topic through the micro-lens of self reflection and the intensely personal experience of poetry. Philosophy has made little note of children so this project begins to offer a corrective to that absence. In pairing these two thinkers, we discover a rich source of philosophical meditations on ways in which we can parse the meaning of respect for children and for childhood. As our guides, Korszak and Bachelard invite us to problematize our experience of children and childhood through examining our attitudes, behaviors, policies and day to day living, thereby reframing the meaning of respect for the child, those around us and the child within.

Psychology
Buckingham, M. Attachment or Socialization: Influences on Empathy and Prosocial Behaviors. The current study examined the relative contributions of attachment and socialization practices as predictors of empathy, volunteering and motivations for volunteering (i.e., self-focused, other-focused, social, and religious). Established self-report measures were administered to 144 college students. Females reported greater empathy, more general parental socialization efforts, and other focused volunteer motives than males. For males, parental socialization practices emerged as the strongest predictor of empathic concern and attachment to mother predicted perspective taking. For females, attachment to mother was the strongest predictor of empathic concern. Parental socialization practices and attachment were not related to volunteering behaviors or motives. Results suggest that there are different influences on the development of empathy for males and females.

Religious Studies
Penka, Z. Finding Pacifism in Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy.
Beginning with the publication of Brave New World in 1932, and continuing to the present day, Aldous Huxley has had a noticeable impact on the world of literature. Spanning over 40 years, the Huxley canon includes a multitude of novels, articles, short stories, poems and screenplays contained within the lexicon of his works. Among his most well-known works, The Perennial Philosophy was widely read and often cited as his most important statement on religious philosophy. This paper will critically explore Huxley’s motivation in editing and composing this text. It is the thesis of this paper that The Perennial Philosophy was the product of Aldous Huxley’s personal pacifist philosophy. This text was developed in response to the two world wars and showed Huxley’s conviction that the differences between the world’s warring ideologies and religions could be reconciled by finding a lowest common denominator between them. This paper will contrast with previous interpretations of The Perennial Philosophy by providing evidence of Huxley’s motives from his personal correspondences. Reading The Perennial Philosophy in this light will prove critical to properly understanding both the book itself and Huxley’s philosophical views about society.

Speech Communication
Ofaru, L. Mothers’ Verbal Responsiveness to Infants Across Three Cultures. We examined maternal responsiveness to how infants explore objects. Participants were 30 mother-infant pairs from Mexican, Dominican, and African American backgrouns. At the time of the study, infants were 14 months old. Mothers and infants were video-recorded during booksharing and play. We examined infant and mothers exploring objects. We also examined mothers’ referential (e.g., ‘That’s a bead’) and regulatory (e.g., ‘Stop it’) language. Results indicated that mothers were more likely to use referential language than regulatory language when responding to their infants’ object exploration. Mothers were more likely to use such language when the infants were distracted or off-task. Mothers from these three cultures behaved similarly. Our results suggest that infant object explorations elicites informative verbal input from mothers, illustrating that infants play an active role in their social experiences.

Sociology
Ecerlaw, K. Storms and Stratification: An Examination of the Uneven Social and Economic Impacts of a Hurricane. Hurricane Rebecca left many parts of the region with extensive damage, from the loss of electricity to the loss of life. This natural experiment provided the opportunity to add to the growing body of research on the social aspects of large-scale disasters. Using data gathered on a random sample of the population that experienced the hurricane, this paper reports the results of multivariate regression analysis from the event. The findings indicate that, similar to the outcomes of other recent disasters and in line with expectations from the environmental justice theoretical perspective, the impacts of the storm were not equitably distributed across the population of the region; in particular, racial and ethnic minorities, those with low incomes, and the elderly suffered the worst social and economic losses, both during and in the period following the storm. The results reveal the need for continued research on both the causes, and possible solutions, to the unequal experiences of disasters.

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