Program and Abstracts

College of Charleston EXPO


10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.


Jump to poster presentation abstracts

School of the Arts 

School of Business 

School of Education, Health and Human Performance

School of Humanities and Social Sciences 

School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs

School of Science and Mathematics 


McAlister Hospitality Suite

Session 1 (10:30-11:45)
10:30 - Literacy Practices of Parents with Preschool Age Children, Barnie Howell
10:45 - Joaquin Orellana: Music Decolonizer, Laura Diaz Coronado
11:00 - Native Americans from the South: A Perspective on Native Americans living in the Southeastern United States Since the Removal Era, Jenna Chalhoub

11:15 - Public Health Implications of War and Conflict:  Literature Review and Case Study, Patricia Pena

11:30 - Resistance in a Mental Institution: The South Carolina Lunatic Asylum as a Site of Patient Agency, Chayyim Holtkamp
Session 2: (12:00-1:00) DATA BLITZ
12:00 - Reimagining Religious Relations: Interfaith Organizations in the 21st Century, Kelsey Gallo       

12:05 - Backwards Balloting: Analyzing Anti-Self-Interest Voting in the South, Ryan Thompson
12:10 - Cultivating Health: Examining the Past, Present, and Future of Herbal Remedies in a Pluralistic Society, Emilia Olson

12:15 - "Fresh Prince Fits" - Upcycling and Fashion, Brandon Alston

12:20 - Controversies and Constraints: Performance of the Cannabis Industry, Paige Turley
12:25 - Demolished Buildings on the Main Block of the College of Charleston Campus,
Gabriella Rowsam

12:30 - A Journey Map of a Patient’s Experience through Radiation and Chemotherapy Treatments, with a focus on Head and Neck Cancers, Jillian Gray

12:35 - Uyghurs and the State in Modern China, Guinevere Hartman
12:40 - IDKonnects, Elise Courtney
12:45 - Exploring Queerness and Gender Diversity in Video Games, Alex Tate-Moffo
12:50 - Children of the Revolution: Removing Mothers from the Carceral State, Savannah Vories
12:55 - Teachers and Administrators Views and Opinions Toward Gay-Straight Alliances in the Secondary Setting, Joshua McCall


Session 1


1. Literacy Practices of Parents with Preschool Age Children
Student Presenter: Barnie Howell (Master of Education Candidate)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keonya Booker (Teacher Education)

Research validates early reading to children provides the building blocks for language and tools for lifelong social and emotional skills. What is less understood are the literacy practices of parents/caregivers of pre-school aged children. This research aims to identify the barriers and facilitators to parental involvement with reading. Specifically, this study will determine the nature of the relationship between reading habits with the child and the child’s reading level as reported by the parent. A secondary purpose is to determine if correlations exist between the importance that a parent places on reading to the child and the number of books read to the child. A survey method was utilized to pose questions to parents with preschool age children at daycare centers with varying demographics. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis was used to explore barriers and facilitators to parental reading involvement. The importance of this research effort is to understand the various barriers to parental reading involvement with their children in order to develop and promote potential programs to remove these obstacles for families. Conversely, identifying facilitators to reading involvement with children could be reinforced and duplicated in future programs to encourage reading with children by their parents and caregivers.


2. Joaquin Orellana: Music Decolonizer
Student Presenter: Laura Diaz Coronado (Majors: Music Performance and Computer Science)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael O’Brien (Music)

Joaquín Orellana (1933 -) is an experimental Guatemalan composer, instrument creator, and
violinist. In his early career he was internationally recognized for composing works that were largely consistent with the tonal language of Western classical music. In 1967 he earned a fellowship for a residence at the Latin American Center for Advanced Musical Studies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a short-lived but profoundly important institution where some of Latin America’s most elite and imaginative composers learned from each other. The graduates of the Di Tella Institute were characterized by both experimentalist techniques and the political convictions that their music should engage with the political and social realities of their own countries, rather than merely reflect European conventions. Orellana was profoundly influenced by this experience and spent the rest of his career embracing experimentalist techniques inspired by decolonial ideologies and by Guatemala’s cultural history and conflicted social context.

This project draws on the methodologies of ethnomusicology (ethnographic interviews with the composer and his assistants) and musicology (formal and structural analysis of his scores and instrument) and seeks to understand the specific social context in which the works were composed. I also analyzed Orellana’s musical “texts” themselves. These included musical scores, which were digitized since most of them were still in manuscript form and studied them to try to understand their formal structure, non-traditional notational practices, and post-tonal musical language. The poster will provide visual examples of instrumental design and innovative scoring that reflect Orellana’s decolonial ideology.
and praxis.


3. Native Americans from the South: A Perspective on Native Americans living in the Southeastern United States Since the Removal Era
Student Presenter: Jenna Chalhoub (Major: Historic Preservation and Community Planning)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Julia Eichelberger (English, Director of Southern Studies Program)

As members of the College of Charleston community, it is our responsibility to study the histories of people who have been historically marginalized or ignored, especially within our region. Most people are unaware of Native American tribes living in the South that persisted throughout the history of the United States and continue to contribute to our communities today. I studied and made personal contact with two Tribes directly associated with Charleston: the Edisto Natchez-Kusso Tribe and the Wassamasaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians. These Tribes can trace their roots in “the South” long before European contact. With limited written documentation of their histories, I began listening to the stories of Native people in these communities. The College of Charleston should continue this process as we seek to unravel the complex narrative of U.S. Southern history. Developing connections with these Tribes will have more impact than a single land acknowledgement. Learning history is crucial, but it is also essential for outsiders of these Tribes to listen to the needs of the People and participate when appropriate. These connections have created the groundwork for further research that should expand through South Carolina and the South as a region.


4. Public Health Implications of War and Conflict: Literature Review and Case Study
Student Presenter: Patricia Pena (Major: Public Health)
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Mulugeta Gebregziabher (Medical University of SC- Department of Public Health Sciences)
Dr. Christy Kollath-Cattano (Health and Human Performance)

Introduction: War constitutes a threat to the healthcare of a country. Not only does war pose significant interferences to the health of civilians directly, but also indirectly. Dramatically disrupting the number of services available to citizens and even leaving some services nonexistent. Armed conflict causes total displacement of supplies and essential resources which can cause a healthcare system to collapse.

Methods: During the active civil war in Ethiopia, data was collected from February 2021 to June 2021 even with a forced communication blackout. Data was validated by three sources and included data on zone, woreda, health facility type, health facility status, and health facility services.

Results: Before the war in Tigray, zero of the health facilities were actively running. Only 9.7% of health centers, 43.8% of general hospitals, and 21.7% of primary hospitals are fully functional. Only 24.8% of health departments have an electricity supply and only 24% have an available water supply. Moreover, only 9.39% of health facilities have essential medicine and supplies above 80%. Only 8% of health facilities have in-patient services and 10.9% have out-patient services, 6.7% have laboratory services, 10.8% have pharmacy services, 15.7% have maternal services, 9.3% mental health services, 1.12% OR services, 12.4% have immunization services (BCG, Penta, Measles), and 11.27% HIV (counseling, testing) services, and 1.5% have an ambulance service.

Conclusion: It is evident that the atrocities that are in Tigray can worsen the overall framework of healthcare. The severe shortage of medical services can thus lead to higher rates of mortality and morbidity in populations. Public health can play a prominent role in mitigating the injurious consequences of war and is critical in preventing war.


5. Resistance in a Mental Institution: The South Carolina Lunatic Asylum as a Site of Patient Agency
Student Presenter: Chayyim Holtkamp (Major: History)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jacob Steere-Williams (History)

For decades scholars have characterized nineteenth century mental health asylums as spaces of coercion and control over the mentally ill. Less work has been done that focuses on these institutions as sites of resistance and agency by patients. My thesis examines the agency of patients institutionalized at the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum (SCLA) in Columbia, South Carolina. The SCLA was in operation from 1821 to 1895, when it then changed names to the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane. Relying on a rich archival record, and using the lenses of gender and race, I explore both the diverse actions patients took to assert their own agency as well as how that resistance was viewed by medical professionals and visitors. Patients resisted the controlling staff through a number of means, such as escaping, destroying their clothing, and refusing to interact with asylum staff. In turn, the asylum staff responded with treatments and punishments, such as seclusion and restraint. My research shows that white and Black female patients were the most likely patients at the SCLA to be secluded from other patients due to what the asylum construed as misbehavior. My research provides a narrative that centers the patient narrative and contributes to our understanding of the way race and class have been critical to disability studies and theories of mental illness. This has important implications in today’s world, as mental hospitals continue to brutalize mentally ill patients, such as at the Judge Rotenberg Center that has been electrocuting resistant patients.

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Session 2 


6. Reimagining Religious Relations: Interfaith Organizations in the 21st Century
Student Presenter: Kelsey Gallo (Majors: Religious Studies and Spanish)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Elijah Siegler (Religious Studies)

Religion is an essential part of diversity in our world, much like race and nationality are.
Interfaith activists agree with each other that in such a diverse environment, the key to survival is learning how to respect fellow human beings and peacefully live among each other, which requires removing one’s assumptions about the other and adopting an open mind, being willing to learn from the other. Interfaith activities have been pursued throughout history to enable others to do this and ensure reconciliation in the midst of wrongdoings. As more incidents of hate and bigotry have occurred over the years, especially in the 21st century, interfaith organizations have risen to the forefront of dialogue and have become more determined to develop more unique and understanding solutions to the problem of a biased religious culture.

In spite of their similarities, interfaith organizations approach interreligious relations in their own manners because the concepts relating to religious interactions are so complex. They react to these relations by tailoring their geographical scope, organizational type, mission, goals, types of dialogue events held, and political views to the demographic that they wish to serve. I will analyze the similarities and differences demonstrated by the ways in which interfaith organizations foster peaceful relations among religious groups, as well as their implications for society as a whole.


7. Backwards Balloting: Analyzing Anti-Self-Interest Voting in the South
Student Presenter: Ryan Thompson (Major: Political Science)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gibbs Knotts (Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Political Science)

This study examines the relationships between race, geographic location, poverty status, religious affiliation, and generation on views of welfare policies and opinions on stereotypes related to race. Research has shown that welfare recipients have been stereotyped since the Reagan Administration as being lazy or abusing the system and through coded language this rhetoric has been adopted by the Republican Party at large. These stereotypes play a role in electoral politics and influence voters’ decisions when deciding on candidates or policies to support. This paper focuses on explaining why voters in the South that would benefit from governmental aid policies like SNAP, Medicaid, and others vote for candidates that do not support these policies. Building off previous research on this topic, this paper explores how racial animosity in voting has been passed down through generations in the South and continues a pattern of anti-self-interest voting by impoverished whites in order to maintain social supremacy. The research was collected by the 2020 American National Election Study (ANES) and then put into the Statistics Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to generate cross tabulations, chi-square tests for the respective crosstabs, and regressions. The results indicate that although Southerners are more likely to have positive attitudes towards those stereotyped of using welfare policies, voting patterns indicate different opinions.


8. Cultivating Health: Examining the Past, Present, and Future of Herbal Remedies in a Pluralistic Society
Student Presenter: Emilia Olson (Majors: Public Health and International Studies)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Blake Scott (International Studies)

At the turn of the 21st century, there emerged a rebirth in community and academic interest in herbal medicines. Distrust in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States, as well as increasing interconnections among global communities, has provided exponentially more access to knowledge regarding herbal remedies. In various communities around the globe, herbalism, the use of medicinal plants for the treatment of biomedical and spiritual illness, has been central to achieving health—especially in indigenous communities. In Belize, for example, the medicinal properties of herbs have been recorded to allow for the dissemination of information about these plants and further research. In the Carolina Lowcountry, historically, there was a strong culture of herbal practices from both the Gullah-Geechee and Native American communities. Despite this increasing consciousness of herbal remedies and their health benefits, there has been little investment in the cultivation of and education regarding native herbal remedies of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Drawing on the disciplines of international studies, public health, medical anthropology, and ethnobotany, this research examines primary and secondary accounts of plant medicine use to evaluate the benefits of herbal remedies as a community-based health intervention. This paper encourages an understanding of the benefits of plant medicine integration into healthcare to promote the wellbeing of both communities and the environment.


9. "Fresh Prince Fits" - Upcycling and Fashion
Student Presenter: Brandon Alston (Major: Theatre)
Faculty Mentor: Professor Janine McCabe (Theatre and Dance)

Roughly 20 - 30 years ago the average American purchased 28 new pieces of clothing a year. Now that number is doubled, and we throw away 83 pounds of textiles per person every year ( The student has been developing a sustainable clothing brand, Fresh Prince Fits, that takes thrifted and vintage, second-hand clothing and incorporates new design components for a fresh look at existing materials, resulting in a mixture of art and fashion. Each completed work is a one-of-a-kind unique piece of clothing with a story. This research project has allowed the student to expand knowledge of fashion trends, sustainability efforts and the technical skills necessary for garment design and construction. The individual stitching and patterning skills acquired throughout the process are important, but even more critical was the focus on the ability to think through specific needs, research techniques necessary to accomplish those, and problem solve them independently. Each fashion project requires its own individual creative process that combines a mixture of technical skills and ingenuity. The student researched, practiced, and learned various methods of sewing construction, patterning techniques and research methods that will support growth moving the Fresh Prince Fits business forward. This project presentation includes a snapshot of the research, process, and techniques used with examples of completed garments. The student goals beyond this project include sustainable efforts to produce better-made clothing than the “fast fashion now” production happening today, while creating unique pieces that tell the story of the wearer.

10. Controversies and Constraints: Performance of the Cannabis Industry
Student Presenter: Paige Turley (Major: Finance)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Weishen Wang (Finance)

Controversies and Constraints: Performance of the Cannabis Industry reviews controversies around the cannabis sector, examines the constraints cannabis related organizations face, and analyzes their growth and stock performance. Cannabis related operations face significant legal constraints from accessing mainstream financial services. Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana, or cannabis, is currently considered a Schedule 1 drug meaning that the possession, distribution, or sale of marijuana or other marijuana-derived products is illegal under Federal Law. However, as of 2022, thirty-seven states have legalized the medical use of cannabis. Due to these controversies between federal and state laws, cannabis related operations are constrained in their operational and financial performance. The cannabis sector also faces controversies due to the plant's legal status and the environmental, social, and governance issues surrounding cannabis. In order to analyze whether these financial constraints and controversies affected performance growth, we created a portfolio containing twelve cannabis stocks to measure internal growth and stock performance. We also examined the performance of the cannabis industry compared to similar industries and market averages. In conclusion, we found that despite the constraints of financing, organizations in the cannabis industry have high internal growth rates financially, their stocks perform fairly compared to other board indexes.


11. Demolished Buildings on the Main Block of the College of Charleston Campus
Student Presenter: Gabriella Rowsam (Majors: Historic Preservation and Community Planning and Art History)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Grant Gilmore (Historic Preservation and Community Planning)

Since 1888, approximately 115 historic structures that once stood on what is now considered the main block of the College of Charleston campus have been demolished and replaced over the years and with them the history of the people who once inhabited them has faded as well. There are currently 25 buildings standing on this portion of the College of Charleston campus and eight of them are modern construction. For the College to stay relevant and in step with its competition, it has needed to embrace modernization of amenities and new construction on its campus. There are numerous publications that tell the history of the College of Charleston, but none tell the story of the buildings that were here before and what historic architecture was lost when the college has expanded throughout the years. To truly understand the history and impacts of the college, one needs to understand how the college has evolved throughout the years. By understanding the history of these structures that have been lost to time, one will better understand who the people who occupied these buildings were and what impact they left on the City of Charleston and the College.


12. A Journey Map of a Patient’s Experience through Radiation and Chemotherapy Treatments, with a focus on Head and Neck Cancers
Student Presenter: Jillian Gray (Major: Public Health)
Faculty Mentors: Professor Paul Gangarosa (Public Health)
Dr. Sarah Grace Dennis (Medical University of SC – Division of General Surgery)

In 2020, cancer was the second leading cause of death in the United States, killing 602,350 people.1 Despite revolutionary innovations in medicine and substantial advancements in medical care, hundreds of thousands of patients die each year. Numerous health barriers exist in patient care and treatment methods in the treatment of cancer that lead to poor patient outcomes, long-term disability, and in some cases, death. An in-depth analysis of head and neck cancer patient outcomes and participation in a trial at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) was performed to identify key health barriers in head and neck cancer patients’ experiences. The researcher performed a journey map of head and neck cancer patients’ experience utilizing the up-and-coming Public Health approach. Journey mapping is a visual process that goes through a person’s experience in the completion of a specific task or event; the research focuses on identifying key health barriers and implementing solutions in a cancer patient’s experience through radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Through journey-mapping a patient’s care experience during chemotherapy and radiation treatments, key health barriers were determined. Researchers found the following factors leading to long-term disability and adverse health effects: overall lack of consideration by health care providers towards the quality of life throughout treatment, and harsh radiation use. The researcher determined several solutions which could lead to better patient outcomes and quality of experience through chemotherapy and radiation treatments; these include testing albumin levels prior to treatment, implementation of a modified ‘geriatric assessment’, and counseling throughout treatment.


13. Uyghurs and the State in Modern China
Student Presenter: Guinevere Hartman (Majors: History and Secondary Education)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Gordanier (History)

This project aims to analyze the current experience of the Uyghur Muslims in China’s northwest Xinjiang region through a historical lens. Primary sources such as interviews with Uyghurs, Chinese and U.S. government reports, and leaked documents from the Xinjiang authorities are combined with secondary sources such as Chinese and United States media, academic articles, and historical accounts in order to provide background for the treatment of the minority Uyghur population by the Chinese state. The project emphasizes the ethnic nationalism of the Chinese nation as well as the importance of education, language, and historical memory to building a national consciousness, with special attention paid to the language and cultural education of children. This project additionally describes and analyzes the comprehensive surveillance state and the construction and operation of internment camps in the area. Within the project there was also research and analysis into theoretical frameworks of nationalism, cultural education, punishment in a society, and human rights as whole as well as the specific attributes of human rights in Asia. This project can assist the general public in understanding the experience of the Muslim minority in a state dominated by nationalism and Chinese historical memory, as well as raise awareness of the inhumane experiences of Uyghurs in internment camps and schools, along with the constant surveillance and threat of punishment in the Xinjiang region. Implications of nationalism and education in the modern day were studied at length and can inform people of the experience of minorities in the Chinese state.


14. IDKonnects
Student Presenter: Elise Courtney (Major: Business Administration)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Iris Junglas (Supply Chain and Information Management)

I have spent the last year working with a non-profit organization called IDKonnects. IDKonnects is a data initiative that supports the intellectual disabilities community by providing an integrative, aggregative, and comprehensive platform online. It delivers informational resources to families, ranging from resources about agencies and therapists to financial resources and transitioning a child into adulthood. IDKonnects is a one-stop platform for parents and providers alike.

The visionary and sponsor of this project, Mindy Allen, collected these resources for more than 10 years in the hopes of making them available to families in need one day. I have worked with Mindy to put these resources into an easy-to-navigate and consolidated database. In addition, and in order to distribute these resources effectively, I have created a prototypical website that provides dynamic reports and data entry forms. Apart from curating the website, I have presented IDKonnects to interested organizations in the Lowcountry, and I am actively working towards gaining government sponsorships and grants. At present, IDKonnects supports over 2,300 families in the Lowcountry, with plans to expand its data resources to a national level.

IDKonnects is an initiative that emphasizes the value of early detection, diagnosis, and intervention to avoid adverse childhood experiences. It aids in facilitating meaningful relationships between healthcare providers and patients by creating a one-stop environment in which families and individuals can find trusted and reliable resources.


15. Exploring Queerness and Gender Diversity in Video Games
Student Presenter: Alex Tate-Moffo (Major: Computing in the Arts)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sarah Schoemann (Computer Science)

Exploring Queerness and Gender Diversity In Video Games is a Bachelor's Essay project by Alex Tate-Moffo (he/they). The project is focused on creating a video game, titled FIT, and authoring an accompanying research paper. FIT is a puzzle platformer game about some of the experiences of non-binary, transgender, and gender diverse people, which are rarely the focus of games. Throughout FIT, the player is forced to choose different outfits, and thus ways of presenting gender identity to others, in order to overcome different obstacles in each level. Each piece of clothing provides the player with a different move set or way of interacting with characters and the environment, with some combinations making it much easier to progress than others. The goal of the project is to create a game with an explicitly non-binary player character that focuses on and creates conversations around what it can be like to be non-binary, transgender, or otherwise gender diverse. It is not intended to be an “empathy” experience, but rather to start conversations on the subject by allowing players to engage with the topic through the medium of a game.


16. Children of the Revolution: Removing Mothers from the Carceral State
Student Presenter: Savannah Vories (Major: Sociology)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Heath Hoffmann (Sociology and Anthropology)

In this research, I contextualize the historical approaches used to regulate and control mothers within the prison industrial complex, beginning in the eighteenth century through the development of mass incarceration in the mid twentieth century. Historical contextualization allows for a more critical analysis of contemporary models through an abolition feminist perspective. By analyzing the waxing and waning of prison reform, the stranglehold that carceral institutions have on our society becomes visible. Women are the fastest growing demographic among those who are incarcerated, many of whom are mothers. Studies indicate that imprisonment of a parent can have detrimental effects on a child’s growth and development. Since the majority of these women will eventually exit the carceral state, it is imperative that we reconsider our approach to punishment as a means of rehabilitation. Toward this end, I critique carceral feminist scholarship as well as traditional modes of prison reform to emphasize the cyclical nature of reform, challenging the entire carceral apparatus under which it operates. I suggest we move away from a prison fundamentalist approach and instead focus our attention on non-reformist alternatives to imprisonment outside of the carceral state.


17. Teachers and Administrators Views and Opinions Toward Gay-Straight Alliances in the Secondary Setting
Student Presenter: Joshua McCall (Masters in the Arts of Teaching, Learning, and Advocacy with a Concentration in Diverse Learners Candidate)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keonya Booker (Teacher Education)

The study aims to identify trends among the views and opinions of secondary teachers and administrators in the secondary setting regarding Gay-Straight Alliances (henceforth GSAs). Nationally, this demographic of students face increased levels of bullying (both in-person and cyber), higher levels of mental health issues, and feel less safe in schools than their heteronormative peers. GSAs have been shown to improve the experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and other sexually and gender non-conforming (LGBTQI+) students. GSAs are not common in high schools in the tri-county area, and by providing a qualitative survey to these individuals at the high school level across the three districts, the researcher will be able to make recommendations on how to best support faculty in the creation and maintenance of this type of organization.

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Arts Management 

18. The ABC Model: A Case Study of State-Funded Partnerships in Arts Education Legislation
Student Presenter: Lauren Dryzer
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kate Keeney

The advancement of arts education at the state level relies on a myriad of public and nonprofit actors. This project explores the role of the state arts agency in advancing arts education in the state of South Carolina and the agency’s collaborative efforts with nonprofit arts organizations. Existing knowledge of public sector and nonprofit organization relationships leads to questions surrounding the efficiency of collaboration and how that partnership affects arts education implementation and outcomes. The perceived disadvantages of public-nonprofit relationships from the perspective of the nonprofit are rooted in the mistrust of the government to fulfill its end of the bargain and the fear of losing volunteers and organizational autonomy. However, advocates for collaboration have compiled an extensive list of advantages, including the ability to confront complex problems, cost savings, increased quality of service, and competitive advantages in the industry (Gazley & Brudney, 2007). With these alliances in place, collaborative efforts can result in a stronger sense of community and--for the government partner especially--greater public accountability. This project offers a view of 1) the criteria required for an efficient structure of the aforementioned relationship, 2) the reliance of state agencies on nonprofit organizations in the arts education context, and 3) the gap of knowledge surrounding how arts education is affected by a public-nonprofit relationship. The presenter utilizes the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project as a model of a public-nonprofit relationship and gathers data from interviews with representatives of the partners that guide this model.

Studio Art

19. Scroll Drawing as a Function of Time
Student Presenter: Bryn Berry
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Barbara Duval

A scroll is a painting or drawing that is much longer than it is tall, giving artists the rare opportunity to use the passage of time as a component of the work. I chose to create a scroll in order to create a space for the viewer to become a part of the artwork and move through the story it tells in a uniquely immersive way.
I completed this work in ink wash in order to lend maturity and fluidity to the piece as a whole. When working in ink wash I begin by working lightly and slowly build up the darker values of the image as I work on it. This allows me to adjust the image as it takes form and create a more sophisticated end result.
Alongside this main scroll I created a variety of other large scale ink wash pieces to further explore ways to control the medium and depict the human figure. This creative endeavor deeply affected the way I approach images and radicalized the way I think about and engage with the process of image making.

Theatre and Dance

20. Exploring Wanderlust (Wan·der·lust /ˈwändərˌləst/ - a strong desire to travel) Through Design
Student Presenter: Mattie Davis
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Janine McCabe

Wanderlust: A Dance Concert explores the concept of wanderlust (Wan·der·lust /ˈwändərˌləst/- a strong desire to travel) as seen through the eyes of the dancers, choreographers, and designers developing the concert. Wanderlust is about finding one’s path in life and challenging one's inner urge to explore. The student explored their individual interpretations of the definition of wanderlust in order to collaboratively develop ideas with student choreographers and student lighting designers to create a cohesive concert of 6 different choreographed pieces exploring these concepts. The student completed research on various types of dance genres used by the individual choreographers to best support the choreographic interpretation for each dance piece. During this process, the student worked with choreographers' concepts and music to develop a costume that coincides with the piece. The student both designed and constructed costumes for 5 dance pieces by going through a process of communicating initial ideas with choreographers, researching dance, researching fabrics and clothing, developing first design concepts for costume silhouettes, color, and fabric, facilitating first fittings, design alterations, and improvements, and finalizing the design. In order for the student to construct their costume designs, they went through the process of pulling from costume stock, shopping online for things that the stock couldn't provide, and then altering and dying costumes into the final and complete representation of the design ideas agreed upon by the choreographer and designer. This presentation includes research, progress photos, incite into each of the individual dances and concepts, color exploration, and final production photos.

21. Reconstructing History: Delft 17th Century Masterpieces for Fashion
Student Presenter: Savannah Fatigante
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Janine McCabe

The purpose of this project was to reconstruct 17th century apparel depicted in Johannes Vermeer’s The Art of Painting, Woman With a Water Jug, and The Music Lesson. After the student completed detailed research on the mentioned paintings, materials, construction methods, and the significance of fashion in 1630s Delft, the garments were replicated by hand using historically accurate techniques. This included investigating tools and fabrics of the period, gathering items as close to those as possible, and performing traditional tailoring methods as researched. The package includes research for the social and environmental contexts, analysis of the paintings for construction, rough sketches and notes for patterning, draped and drafted pattern pieces, swatches of accurate materials, sewing process photos, and final finished garments (bodice, petticoat, and overskirt; slashed doublet and breeches). The intention behind this project is to grow skills in meticulous research and development of patterning skills for fashion and costume construction. The research and technical skills required for this project aid in the costume design process. Use of museum archives, fashion plates, and surviving written and physical documentation provided information for the careful and accurate reconstruction of these period garments represented in Vermeer’s paintings.

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22. Let's Bee Serious
Student Presenter: William Helfgott & Aidan Riordan
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso

Throughout the past decade, honeybee populations, both feral and commercial apiary colony populations have been on the decline. In this poster, we will evaluate colony loss and the leading causes across each state. We will highlight the most well-known causes of colony loss. We will show the importance of bee colonies in the United States from an agricultural, economic and sustainability point of view. Along with this, we will display the economic and agricultural value lost due to colony collapse overtime. We will evaluate the Medical University of South Carolina as a bee friendly campus in comparison to the College of Charleston. In accordance with The College’s mission to “empower the campus community to create innovative sustainability initiatives”, we are applying to the Cougar Changemaker Challenge. As a part of our application, we are looking to install a beehive on top of the School of Business and include what steps The College should take to become a more environmentally friendly and sustainable campus.

23. Health-Related Repercussions of United States Free Trade Agreement
Student Presenter: Anna Heuisler
Faculty Mentors: Drs. Jessica Madariaga and Beatriz Maldonado

What impact does free trade with the United States have on rates of obesity and Type II Diabetes in other countries? Does the signing of a free trade agreement signify a shift in these health disparities? There has been a wide array of research that shows a positive correlation between free trade and health, but there is little evidence of a causal relationship. This study aims to examine whether a causal relationship exists between free trade agreements with the United States and increased rates of obesity and diabetes in Latin America. Using observations from the NCD-RisC database on adult body mass index (BMI) and Type II Diabetes as indicators of health, the data set covers 18 Latin American countries between the years 1984 and 2014. Given that not all the Latin American countries in the sample sign free-trade agreements with the United States, we are able to employ a difference in difference technique to gauge the causal relationship between free trade agreements and health outcomes.

Management and Marketing

24. What is Your Bike Story?
Student Presenter: Stephen Astor
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso

Given the current housing crisis on campus, many students will find themselves living further from campus than they ever have in their college career. Our project will explore options to offer students at the College of Charleston to access a free bike, whether it be for a day or for the whole semester, simply by using their cougar card. This project is aligned with the sustainability and green initiatives put forth by the school. Giving this free access to transportation, the College would greatly benefit in terms of limiting the clutter on campus in between classes and tardiness, while also making the campus a more sustainable place. This solution will give the school a very feasible program that will better assist these students who live far away from campus. The bikes offered through this initiative will be donated to the school or will have been left behind by departing students and repurposed to serve incoming ones. Every bike has a story and every cyclist has important memories and moments tied to that bike that bring back certain emotions. Get your bike, make new memories, and create your story.

25. Impact of Sustainability-Related Education on Student Decision Making
Student Presenter: Hannah Ploskonka
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso
Additional Authors: Alexis Carrico

The College of Charleston’s School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Standard 9 of the AACSB Guiding Principles and Standards for Business Accreditation is about engagement and societal impact. For this project, we evaluated the impact of sustainability-related education on students’ group decision-making skills in an International Management course from Spring 2019-Fall 2021. During the CESIM Global Challenge, students worked in small groups and were challenged to choose ethical and sustainable suppliers for a company. In a nine-round simulation, student groups managed a global technology company through technological and market evolution in three global regions. The regions had varying customer preferences, growth rates, currencies, taxes, and tariffs. Students also managed corporate social responsibility and human resources for research and development. In Spring 2019, 60% of students chose ethical and sustainable suppliers. In Fall 2021, that number increased to 83.33%. Another factor that was examined during the simulation was whether choosing more ethical and sustainable suppliers impacted the companies’ operating profit or earnings per share. However, those ratings were designed to minimally impact profitability within the simulation. The increase in students’ behavior related to choosing sustainable and ethical suppliers supports the recommendation that the School of Business continues to prepare students to become effective managers by embedding sustainability into courses, simulations, or broader research initiatives.

26. Management Implications for Randomly-assigned, Team-based Adult Athletic Leagues to Increase Team Enjoyment and Repeat Participation
Student Presenter: Sarah Cavallaro
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Esta Shah

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing need for physical and social experiences to improve mental health. City athletic leagues are proving to be an important medium in facilitating this need by randomly assigning registered adults into competitive teams throughout the year. The purpose of this study was to identify factors in randomly assigned, team-based recreation sports that may contribute to team enjoyment and likelihood for future participation. A survey was distributed to several online ultimate frisbee groups across the United States. Eighty-eight (39 male, 49 female) participants with current and recent experience in ultimate frisbee recreation leagues completed the survey. Unsurprisingly, the survey found a significant, predictive relationship of team enjoyment on future likely to join the league again. As a result, we chose to investigate factors that may affect the enjoyment of one’s team in the league, such as captain competitiveness. Significant differences between captains (N=42) and non-captains (N=46) emerged in predicting team enjoyment. Among captains, personal competitiveness influenced enjoyment of the team. We hypothesize that captains are gaining more joy by fulfilling self-esteem needs, correlating to their desire to be a captain. Follow up analysis revealed that self-esteem significantly predicted competitiveness for captains but not for non-captains. When self-esteem and competitiveness were entered into the predictive model together, self-esteem did not predict team enjoyment; suggesting a pathway where self-esteem predicts competitiveness and competitiveness predicts team enjoyment for captains but not for non-captains. Implications for public health and team-based community management are discussed.

Supply Chain and Information Management

27. Home invasion turned National Veterans Crisis
Student Presenter: Carson Cooper
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso

In 2006, two teenagers broke into a suburban Maryland home. The pair stole a handful of electronic devices, including a tv, cell phones and a laptop. The two young robbers sold these devices for a couple hundred dollars and didn't think twice. Little did they know the laptop belonged to a Veterans Affairs data analyst. Whom two years prior secretly exported confidential and personal information of over 26 million retired US veterans. This simple home invasion led to a $50,000 bounty, a three-month long data breach exposing millions of veteran’s personal information. We intend to discuss this case study in depth and expose the gross negligence of the Veterans Affairs Department to safeguard their critical data. We plan to make an infographic poster that goes into detail about the importance of encryption, how to keep your organization protected from attacks, and the policies implemented in order to prevent future attacks and how to handle them when they occur. We will model encryption and other data security methodology using the National Science Foundation, GENI network. GENI is an open infrastructure for at scale networking and distributed systems research and education that spans the US.

28. Hanging Out to Help Mental Health
Student Presenter: Isabella Padula
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso

Among students on college campuses, levels of anxiety and depression are spiking. According to a 2017 study, 67% of the college-aged respondents reported feeling tremendous stress, and 61% of the student respondents felt overwhelming anxiety (Meredith). Mental health and well-being should be prioritized on college campuses, especially as studies continue to support Nature Deficit Disorder, a theory connecting decreased amount of time spent outdoors with a variety of mental health issues. As mental health issues continue to exponentially increase, a solution must be found. The proposal is the implementation of sustainably produced hammocks and hanging chairs in outdoor study spaces around the College of Charleston campus such as Rivers Green and Stern Student Center. These new sustainable spaces will aid in decreasing mental health issues among college students. Though there are some outdoor sitting spaces, there are not enough to support the growing College of Charleston student population. Due to the limited seating in outdoor spaces, students are spending an exponentially low amount of time outdoors, which, according to the Nature Deficit Disorder studies, is resulting in negative behavioral effects over time. The plan to halt the exponential increase in mental health issues related to time not spent outdoors is to purchase seating spots from La Siesta. Two sustainably produced hammocks with stands will be placed in Rivers Green and three hanging chairs will be hung from the pergola in Stern Center Gardens.

29. Student Success Center Reservation System Remodel
Student Presenter: Jackson Smith
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Iris Junglas
Additional Authors: Olivia Bradford, Marketing

The Student Success Center at the Beatty Center School of Business offers its students abundant resources, including internship guidance, career development, student involvement, life skills, etc. Last year, the school added three brand new, state-of-the-art meeting rooms to this list. The addition allows students and faculty access to these rooms and the provided resources. Not only are these fully updated facilities, but they contain advanced resources like 3D printers. The current reservation system begins with students either scanning a barcode outside of the room or going to the Student Success Center website to make a reservation. After their submission, an email is sent to Hayden Smith, the Associate Director. This email includes all necessary details for a room reservation. Mr. Smith then manually checks an Outlook calendar and either confirms or denies the reservation. The objective of this project is twofold: to; increase the autonomy of users and to improve data collection. With this accomplished, we expect to release Mr. Smith from his manual maintenance of the system and to increase the center's visibility regarding room usage. We feel this will allow Mr. Smith to pursue other value-added activities and enable the center to make better decisions regarding its resource allocation. We plan to achieve this by mimicking a pre-existing reservation system within the College. We will be using resources such as MySQL, Caspio, and Outlook to construct the system. We have high expectations for this project and look forward to presenting our results.

30. Lessons Learned: How Estonia Became a Cyber Powerhouse
Student Presenter: JP Walsh
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso
Additional Authors: Griff Walker, Philip Haase

In 2007, the Russian Federation launched a cyberattack against Estonia. This sparked a new arms race for cyber defense, as well as launching new efforts to make it increasingly hard for cyberwarfare to be waged. This has caused Russia to develop its cyber arsenal, as well as its need to use these cyber capabilities against its perceived enemies around the world. The effects of the 2007 cyberattacks have been felt worldwide and have sparked a new age of cyber innovation till this present day. This project will explore how Estonia took a very period of its history and turned it into the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center for Excellence.

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Health and Human Performance

31. Physiological and Perceptual Responses Following 28-days of Recommended Water Intake
Student Presenter: Ashton Barlow
Faculty Mentor: Dr. J.D. Adams
Additional Authors: Kate DuBose, Abby Scarborough, Donya Farzam, Sky Benjaman, Amani Dunston

Mean daily water intake from fluids has proven to be difficult to measure because of a range of non-validated data collection techniques. Observing changes in osmolality and thirst following recommended fluid intake has been scarcely studied. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to observe osmotic and behavior changes following 28-d of recommended fluid intake. Five females (21±1 yr; 67.5 kg; 24.8 kg/m2) adhered to fluid intake guidelines by the Institute of Medicine (1.8 L/day) for 28 days. Subjects also provided urine samples for urine osmolality and were assessed on thirst perception before and after the study. The average daily intake of plain water for 28 days was 1.8±0.2 L/d. Average urine osmolality (656±290 vs. 559±240 mmol/kg) and thirst perception (7.0±2.0 vs. 6.4±2.1 cm via VAS) decreased from pre to post-study assessment. Body mass also decreased following 28 days of recommended fluid intake (67.5±11 vs. 67.1±10.4 kg). In this pilot study, five females successfully adhered to fluid intake guidelines for 28 days, whilst showing decreases in osmotic and ingestive behavior assessments.

32. Dynamic Balance and Core Endurance Improve in Healthy Females Following Suspension Training
Student Presenter: Emily Cavallaro
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Wesley Dudgeon
Additional Authors: Drs. Kate Pfile and Dr. Megan Irwin

BACKGROUND: Many exercise modalities have been developed and marketed to improve core muscle function and balance. These variables are important in performing activities of daily living (ADLs) and maintaining physical activity levels. Our previous work has shown that TRX suspension training (SuT) is effective at improving body composition, muscular strength, and muscular endurance in college aged females; however, this exercise modality should also improve core muscle function and balance. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of six weeks of SuT on balance and core muscle function.

METHODS: Eighteen SuT naïve females (19.8 +/-1.5 yrs; 166.7+/-4.6 cm; 61.3+/-7.0 kg) progressed through a six-week supervised interval-style training program. Six control subjects maintained their normal activity levels. Dynamic balance and static balance were assessed using the Y-Balance Test (YBT) and Balance Error Scoring System (BESS), respectively. Core endurance was assessed using the Endurance Plank Test. The same test protocols were used for pre and post testing.

RESULTS: Dependent measures t-test analysis showed improvements (p<.05) in right leg YBT scores in all directions: anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral. The SuT group also showed left leg improvements (p<.05) in the posteromedial and posterolateral directions. Plank time improved in the SuT group (p<.05). No difference in BESS scores were observed. There were no changes in any dependent variables in the control group.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that six weeks of SuT facilitated improvements in bilateral dynamic balance and core endurance.

33. Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Cognition in College-aged Women
Student Presenter: Amani Dunston
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Sieverdes
Additional Authors: Roxi Rikard, Shi Stevens, Dr. Wes Dudgeon

Introduction: Research suggests that intermittent fasting (IF) for 16-hours each day, thereby eating in an 8-hour window, can increase several aspects of health. Specifically, this study will examine how IF may affect body composition, cognition, and blood glucose. The purpose of this report is to examine the effects of IF on several dimensions of cognition.

Methods: This study is a randomized control trial and includes a treatment group (IF group) and a control group. The subjects reported to the lab three times during a 28-day protocol (days 1, 14, and 28). Subjects were fasted to measure body composition, blood glucose and acuity testing (ZOGIM-A [attention measures], FSS [fatigue measures]). Inclusion criteria consisted of adult women between the ages of 18-29 with a BMI of 18.5-35.0. Participants in the IF group were told not to change their lifestyle or eating habits except to adhere to the 8-hour eating window.

Results: This study is ongoing. Thus far, 14 participants have started the study with 11 (control n=6, IF n=5) completing the protocol. Attention measure’s changed scores found no differences between arms (control: +4.0 [SD 3.8]; IF: +6.25 [SD 7.4], p=0.57). Fatigue measures were not significantly different either (control: +0.52 [SD.61], IF: -.45 [SD 1.1] p=0.15).

Conclusion: Findings suggest that no differences in attention or fatigue can be attributed to the IF protocol in this sample, although this data is preliminary and samples will double by the completion of the study.

34. An investigation of the effect of school attended on motor proficiency and fitness in children attending an afterschool squash program
Student Presenter: Hayley Killin
Faculty Mentor: Dr. J. Megan Irwin
Additional Authors: Haylee Rice, Jaylin Miller

Introduction: Research suggests that sufficient levels of motor proficiency and fitness are needed to engage in physical activities associated with positive health outcomes. Youth are provided opportunities to develop adequate motor proficiency and fitness through physical education (PE) programs and after school activities such as sports and recreational programs. Youth who are not involved in afterschool activities may rely more on the PE programs to develop and promote these health-related factors.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of school attended on motor proficiency, health-related fitness, and sport-specific skill in youth participating in a squash program.

Methods: Thirty-eight youth (aged 8-18 years) old were assessed on health-related fitness (Fitnessgram), motor proficiency (Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency), and squash skills. The effect of school on motor proficiency, fitness, and squash skills will be examined through correlations and MANOVA analyses.

Anticipated Results: It is anticipated that motor proficiency and fitness results will be positively associated with the level of squash skillfullness. It is further expected that results will indicate that participants’ motor proficiency and fitness will be associated with which school they attend.

Implications: Confirmation of anticipated results would indicate that the school that an individual attends has potential to impact one’s physical health and fitness. Such findings would be important for schools supporting need for evaluation of their physical education programs and for afterschool programs regarding program development.

35. Development of a blood flow restriction protocol using electromyography and metabolic stress indices using varying load and repetition speed
Student Presenter: Korey Little
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Sieverdes

Introduction: Blood flow restriction (BFR) exercise training is a method to provide a metabolic training load using lighter resistance. This study explored the literature in the development of a protocol to test novel training conditions using BFR.

Method: We performed a literature search for narrative reviews and meta-analyses to investigate training variables involving BFR to identify standards, areas of investigation, and evidence gaps. Key words consisted of “blood flow restriction training/therapy” and “blood occlusion training/therapy”. Only studies using randomized controlled trials in the last 10 years were included. Two researchers completed the search and developed themes using inductive reasoning.

Results: We identified 15 studies for our review. Themes included: wider blood cuffs resulted in lower perceived discomfort, high blood cuff pressure resulted in greater discomfort, more repetitions elicited higher discomfort, exercising to fatigue showed similar electromyographical (EMG) outcomes regardless of load or occlusion pressure. All studies used a repetition speed between 1 to 2 seconds for each repetition. This resulted in a lack of research repetition speed factors and how they affect EMG and fatigue outcomes.

Discussion: Results led to the develop of a novel BFR (30% pressure) protocol using repetition speed (2 vs 6 seconds), load (30% vs 50%), and volume by time interactions. Ten participants will perform bicep curls using 4 conditions with primary outcomes consisting of differences in EMG signaling, isokinetic muscular fatigue, blood lactate and pulse oxygen. Findings will aid in determining proper training schemes using slower training speeds. (CofC IRB Protocol:#2022-01-017)

36. Relationship between motor competence and weight status in youth participating in an afterschool sports program
Student Presenter: Jaylin Miller
Faculty Mentor: Dr. J. Megan Irwin
Additional Authors: Hayley Killin, Haylee Rice

Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States. Over 14.4 million children in the US are obese or overweight (CDC, 2018). Motor competence (MC) is an important factor in the development of a child. MC is the basis of how we move which has an effect on how children develop and perform skills in the future. This study helps identify the bidirectional relationship between MC and weight status. MC has a direct effect on physical activity which in time will affect the weight status of a child. This study examines the potential influence of weight status on motor competence. This study assessed MC and weight status in 38 children ages 8 to 18 years. MC was assessed using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2nd Edition – brief form and weight status was assessed using BMI. The relationship between weight status and motor competence was examined using correlations. The authors expect the results to indicate an inverse relationship between weigth status and MC such that children with a low BMI (normal weight) demonstrate higher motor competence than children with higher BMI (overweight or obese). Using these results, we can conclude that children with a higher BMI may show lower performance on motor skills. Having a lower level of MC will affect the growth and development of children and their skill level, which in time will affect their performance in physical activity. By using this study we will be able to promote a positive lifestyle for children.

37. An investigation of the motor skill proficiency barrier on health-fitness and sport skill in youth
Student Presenter: Haylee Rice
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Megan Irwin
Additional Authors: Hayley Killin, Jaylin Miller

Introduction: Physical activity rates in school-age children is alarmingly low. Research suggests that less than 24% of children in the US meet the daily recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Lack of adequate physical activity increases children’s risk of obesity and negative health outcomes throughout life. Research indicates that motor proficiency (how well one moves) and physical fitness are related to engagement in physical activities, such as sports, which provide health benefits. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of a motor skill proficiency barrier related to physical fitness and sport-specific performance in youth participating in a squash program.

Methods: Thirty-eight children 8-18 years of age participating in an afterschool squash program served as study participants. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2nd Edition Brief form (BOT-2 Brief) was used to assess motor competence, the Fitnessgram was used to assess physical fitness, and an assessment designed by the team’s coach was used to assess squash skills. Associations between variables were examined through correlations.

Anticipated Results: It is expected that youth with low motor competence scores will also demonstrate lower physical fitness and squash skill scores than youth with high motor competence. Implications: Better understanding of the relationship between factors that influence physical activity, could help determine why physical activity continues to decline and possibly how to intervene.

38. Differences in workload between starters and reserves in collegiate men’s soccer
Student Presenter: Kacey Smekrud
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kate Pfile

Globally, soccer is the most popular sport and has a high injury risk. Tracking and managing player workloads is an emerging strategy used by coaches and support staff to optimize performance, enhance recovery, and reduce injury risk. The purpose of this study was to identify differences between player status (starters and reserves) and position (defenders, midfielders, forwards) in overall, game, and training workloads and season-long acute chronic workload ratio (ACWR). This study focused on an NCAA men’s soccer team (n=23, age: 20±0.79 years, height: 1.79±0.06 m, mass: 75.48±4.57 kg) during the Fall 2021 season. Players had to participate in at least 50% of all games and practices to be included in the analysis. Players were considered starters if they played over 60 minutes of a game and played in at least 60% of all games. A global positioning system (GPS) tracked total distance, sprint distance, and player load (proprietary measure). We calculated season, game, and practice averages for each variable. ACWR is the ratio of acute workload (1-week workload) to chronic workload (previous 4-week average workload). Multiple independent t-tests compared player status and a 1x3 ANOVA test compared position. The results showed a significant difference (p≤0.05) between starters and reserves where starters had higher averages for season total distance and game total distance. There were no other significant findings. Coaches should create training programs to offset workload differences between starters and reserves. Doing so may optimize performance, enhance recovery, and reduce injury risk.

39. Gait Biomechanics in Individuals with Quadriceps Tendon Autograft ACL Reconstruction
Student Presenter: Bennett Prosser
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kate Pfile
Additional Authors: Hunnicutt JL (Hunnicutt Writing and Consulting, LLC), Gregory CM (MUSC), Knight H (MUSC), McLeod MM (MUSC), Slone H (MUSC)

Context: Anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions (ACLR) are frequent, especially in active populations. Growing evidence suggests the quadriceps tendon (QT) autograft is viable for ACLR. Little information is available examining walking gait biomechanics following QT-ACLR.

Objective: To describe hip and knee forces and angles during the stance phase of walking gait in QT-ACLR patients. We hypothesized that these would be different between the QT-ACLR and healthy limb.

Participants: 14 QT-ACLR patients were recruited from orthopedic offices.

Interventions: The independent variable was limb (QT-ACLR vs healthy). A biomechanics assessment was completed with an active marker set. Participants walked at a self-selected speed on a treadmill. Data were analyzed and time-normalized from 0-100% of the stance phase.

Methods: Dependent variables were 3-dimensional hip and knee biomechanics. Curve analysis graphs with averages and 95% confidence intervals identified significant differences between limbs, represented by percentages. Cohen’s d effect sizes with pooled standard deviations were calculated from the greatest difference between group means.

Results: The ACLR limb had reduced external moments: knee flexion, adduction, and internal rotation and hip flexion, abduction, and internal rotation. The ACLR limb had reduced angles: knee abduction, internal rotation and hip abduction and adduction, and external rotation. The ACLR limb had increased hip internal rotation angle and knee flexion angle.

Conclusions: Biomechanical differences exist at the hip and knee during walking gait between ACLR and healthy limbs in participants who underwent QT-ACLR. These asymmetries should be addressed when designing rehabilitation programs following ACLR.

40. Effects of Intermittent Fasting on body composition in College-aged Women
Student Presenter: Roxi Rikard
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Sieverdes
Additional Authors: Amani Dunston, Shi Stevens, Wes Dudgeon, HEHP

Introduction: Intermittent fasting has quickly become a popular diet due to social media and internet exposure. The diet consists of restricting calorie consumption to an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the day. The purpose of report was to investigate the impact of intermittent fasting on body composition in a group of young adult females.

Methods: Participants were recruited and randomized into either an experimental (intermittent fasting) group or a control group. Participants in the experimental group were instructed to follow intermittent fasting protocol for 28 days (8-hr consumption, 16-hr fast), while the control participants were instructed to continue with their normal behavior and not begin new diets or exercise regimens. Each participant visited the lab 3 times throughout the study, and completed body compositions measures using Dual-X-Ray densitometry.

Results: This study is ongoing. Thus far, 14 participants have started the protocol with 11 (control n=6, IF n=5) completing the study. We found no statistically significant differences in change scores for body composition measures (Total body Fat: control: 1.7kg [SD 4.4], IF: -.15kg [SD .34]; p=.43), Total body Fat %: control: .20% [SD 1.7], IF: -.05% [.8]; p=.79).

Conclusion: The intermittent fasting guidelines outlined in this study have the potential to enhance young adult females’ body composition, mental acuity, and health markers. In our limited sample, we did not find any meaningful changes in body composition between control and IF groups implying other behavioral and program tactics are needed in addition to IF.

41. Description of United States University Wellness Program Components by Accreditation Agency
Student Presenter: Shi'Yauni Stevens
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Sieverdes
Additional Authors: Morgan Hughey -HEHP, Karen Hakim-Butt - HEHP, Bucky Buchanan - HEHP, Campus Recreation

Introduction: Universities can promote life-long wellness through various services including opportunities for exercise, nutrition education and counseling programs. Heterogeneity of services may depend on multiple institutional factors. The purpose of this study was to describe United States (US) University wellness services between types of higher education institutions through a web-based search of 4-year undergraduate institutions.

Methods: A random sampling of accredited undergraduate US Universities with at least 1000 students stratified by accreditation agency and private vs public institution status (source: Nonresidential campuses were excluded. Two student researchers performed the web-site reviews. Measures included emphasis of the University’s wellness site, offering of psychological services, free or paid fitness and weight loss classes, health seminars, group-based activities and web-site presentation. Statistics were analyzed using descriptive and Chi-square analyses (SPSS 27).

Results: Two-hundred and twelve Universities were identified. Overall, 73.6% had a wellness web-site with 47.2% offering wellness programs. Most (75.9%) focused on healthy living. Few (2.4%) promoted weight management. Significant differences were found between accreditation agencies in several wellness variables but no one agency stood out. Public institutions provided more wellness programs, seminars, and fitness classes compared to private institutions. Urban institutions had more weight loss emphasis and less fitness classes compared to rural institutions.

Conclusion: It is recommended that universities conduct a website review of their health services to promote easier access for students. Accreditation agencies may consider mandating policies to include certain wellness services to students to increase reach of these programs.

42. It's Electric! Quantifying Energy Expenditure Differences Between Regular Pedal Bicycles And Electric-assist Bike-share Bicycles.
Student Presenter: Jennifer Sella
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Morgan Hughey
Additional Authors: Jennifer Sella, J.D. Adams, Sarah Porto (College of Charleston) Daniel Bornstein, Dimitra Michalaka, Kweku Brown, William J. Davis (The Citadel), Safae Amahrir, Kari Watkins (Georgia Institute of Technology)

One way to promote regular physical activity is through bike share systems. A growing trend among these programs is electric-assist pedal bikes (e-bikes). This study quantified the differences in energy expenditure and perceptions of difficulty and enjoyment between regular bikes and e-bikes. Fifteen participants completed the study. First, participants completed a bicycle maximal fitness test and body composition in the laboratory. Then, on separate days, participants completed two, hour-long steady-state bicycle rides at a local park, one on a regular bike and one on an e-bike. During each ride, heart rate and speed were continuously measured with a Polar H7 Bluetooth monitor. Using the Borg scale, participants reported perceived exertion at four intervals of each ride. Similarly, on a 5-point Likert scale, participants reported perceived enjoyment and difficulty at the end of each ride. Paired t-tests were used to assess differences between the e-bike and regular bike rides. Participants exerted more energy at a greater percentage of maximum heart rate on the regular bike (mean=66.4%) compared to the e-bike (mean=58.3%, p=0.006). Enjoyment was higher on the e-bike (mean=1.4) than the regular bike (mean=2.2; p=0.009). Perceived exertion and difficulty were lower on the e-bike (mean= 9.6, 4.0, respectively) compared to the regular bike ride (mean= 12.0, 2.9, respectively). E-bikes resulted in lower energy expenditure than regular bikes, though both modes could still have health benefits since they fell within the moderate-intensity physical activity category.

43. Understanding the value of caffeine stimulants and the rate at which they are consumed in the college aged population
Student Presenter: Julia Hormann
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brian Bossak

We live in a rapidly advancing world in which people are obsessed with productivity. Previous studies show that approximately 90% of US adults regularly consume caffeine. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant, but unlike other food additives, caffeine remains largely unregulated in the United States. Caffeine has been reported to increase mood and decrease tiredness; however it also has been reported to increase feelings of anxiety and promote sleep disturbances. Existing literature shows the rate of caffeine usage among US adults but fails to accurately address how its use in the college aged population may differ. The following study aims to close these gaps in the literature by measuring the rate of caffeine usage in college aged students as well as the reason for use and its perceived effect. A survey distributed at the College of Charleston measured caffeine habits and beliefs of 215 students. Data was used to address the following: 1) the percentage of college students who consume caffeine, 2) the amount of caffeine consumed by college students, 3) the reason for caffeine consumption among college students, 4) the perceived effect of caffeine on grades and/or productivity, and 5) the perceived effect of caffeine on mental health.

44. COVID-19 Mortality and Air Pollution: A Spatial Analysis of Particulate Matter Concentration and Pandemic-Associated Mortality in the US
Student Presenter: Samantha Andritsch
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brian Bossak

In 2019, a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was first reported in Wuhan, China. The virus causes the disease commonly known as COVID-19, and, since its emergence, it has infected over 252 million individuals globally and taken the lives of over 5 million in the same time span. Primary research on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 focused on understanding the biomolecular composition of the virus. This research has led to the development of multiple vaccines with great efficacy and antiviral treatments for the disease. The development of biomedical interventions has been crucial to combating this pandemic; additionally, environmental confounding variables that could have exacerbated the pandemic need further assessment. In this research study, we conducted a spatial analysis of particulate matter (PM) concentration and its association with COVID-19 mortality in the United States. Results of this study demonstrate a significant positive correlation between PM concentration levels and COVID-19 mortality; however, this does not necessarily imply a causal relationship. These results are consistent with similar studies in Italy and China, where significant COVID-19 cases and corresponding deaths were exhibited. Furthermore, maps of the data demonstrate clustering of COVID-19 mortality which suggest further investigation into the social determinants of health impacting the pandemic.

45. Resistance on the Rise: Assessment of Antibiotic-Resistant Indicator Organisms in Shem Creek, Charleston, South Carolina
Student Presenter: Brooke Emery
Faculty Mentor: Drs. Heather Fullerton and Brian Bossak

Shem Creek is a Charleston waterway well-known for numerous recreational activities such as paddle boarding, fishing, and kayaking. However, Charleston WaterKeepers, a local organization, has consistently found high levels of coliform bacteria within Shem Creek. With antibiotic prescription rates surging and coastal flooding becoming an increasing concern, antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARBs) have become both a public health and environmental risk. ARBs can lead to the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections (ARIs) within populations. Precipitation influences bacterial concentrations in a body of water. Immediately after rainfall, the levels of bacteria rise tremendously. Runoff from livestock, sewage, and hospitals are known to contribute to the development of ARBs in bodies of water. Consistent water testing is essential to preventing the risk and spread of ARIs and determining what additional factors contribute to the development of ARBs in an aquatic environment. This pilot study found that precipitation was directly associated with the levels of bacteria found within Shem Creek and validated that ARBs are present within local waterways in Charleston, South Carolina.

46. Interventions to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety in Latin America: a systematic review and metasummary
Student Presenter: Anna Benson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Katie Trejo Tello
Additional Authors: Molly Hart, Sarah Porto, Morgan Hughey

Road user fatalities account for one of the leading causes of preventable death in Latin America with pedestrians and bicyclists at higher risk for more extensive injuries as compared to other road users. Despite these vulnerable road user (VRU) risks, encouraging individuals to walk and cycle is an important public health strategy for addressing the region's obesity epidemic through promoting regular physical activity via active transportation (AT). However, in order to promote AT as a viable source of physical activity, safety of the VRU must be considered. Interventions to improve VRU safety are critical but a current understanding of the impact of these interventions in the region is lacking. The purpose of this systematic review and metasummary is to describe the effectiveness of interventions that have been implemented in Latin America to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety. A systematic literature search of public health, policy and engineering databases was completed using search terms generated through the PICO method. The PRISMA framework was used to screen articles for inclusion and analysis. Eight articles detailing nine interventions across four countries were included for final synthesis and organized according to the Three E’s Model of Injury Prevention (Education, Engineering and Enforcement). Interventions assessed outcomes related to VRU safety ranging from attitudes and behaviors to fatal injuries, with only enforcement-based interventions reporting on the latter. Evidence-based interventions to inform the design of programs to promote AT and VRU safety in the region are lacking and should be of urgent public health priority.

47. Assessing the Availability and Accessibility of Physical Activity Opportunities for Older Adults Living in South Carolina Long Term Care Facilities During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Student Presenter: Eleanore Fish
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Katie Trejo Tello

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has particularly burdened older adults living in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). In South Carolina, of the 13,504 Covid-19 cases among LTCF residents, 2,025 have resulted in death, indicating a mortality rate of nearly 15 percent. An additional risk for severe Covid-19 infection is physical inactivity. However, pandemic related lockdown measures in LTCFs may have impacted residents' access to regular physical activity programs. The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the lived experience of South Carolina LCTF residents’ access and opportunity for physical activity during the ongoing pandemic. Seven adults 65 years and older living in three LTCFs in the Lowcountry region participated in semi-structured interviews describing their physical activity experiences, desired resources and barriers to participation prior to the pandemic, during the duration of the lockdown, and currently. Thematic analysis based on an inductive approach is currently being used to guide interpretation of the results, with transcripts reviewed and coded independently by two members of the research team (one student and one faculty). Codes will be compared across interviews and themes will be identified. Full results are expected by the end of March 2022. Understanding the experiences of older adults living in South Carolina LTCFs in accessing physical activity opportunities prior to and throughout the pandemic can help to identify both barriers to and strategies for making physical activity accessible for this population.

48. I Needed To Know: Revealing the Unintended Consequences of Less is More Sexual Education Practices
Student Presenter: Abigail Foster
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Merissa Ferrara

The focus of this research is to examine the unintended consequences of our current sexual education practices. They are leaving young adults uninformed and the consequences can be detrimental. In the Fall of 2021 Dr. Ferrara and Mrs. Boye taught a ""Sexual Citizenship"" module with the goal of providing emerging adults with more comprehensive sexual education. At the end of the course some participants were inspired to write advocacy letters addressing the question of “What do you wish you had known before now and how was your life impacted by not having this information?” The answers were raw and honest. A team of emerging adults helped create a website, title, logo, and Public Service Announcement. The advocacy project is ongoing. We are analyzing over 80 letters using Braun and Clark’s 6-step framework for thematic analysis. Many emerging adults detailed experiences of sexual violence both as victims and violators. Others wrote about unhealthy relationships, misinformation, sexually explicit material fixation, feeligs of inadequacy, dangers of abstinence focused or fear based narratives, and feeling ignored in a heteronormaitve curriculum. What educators and parents do not realize is that regardless of how little they share, children will find a source for information. Sexual education is left to explicit media and peers, which are unregulated. Scripts form regardless, and when the current sex education practices preach strictly abstinence or prioritize mechanics, young people are forced to fill in the gaps. This project will showcase the website, PSA, and the thematic analysis of the letters.

49. Evaluating a College-Based Health Communication Campaign to Promote Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions during the Mid-Stage COVID-19 Pandemic
Student Presenter: Morgan Giancaterini
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kollath-Cattano
Additional Authors: Dr. Sarah Hatteberg - Department of Sociology

Rationale: As COVID-19 outbreaks threatened campus communities, universities promoted non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce transmission prior to vaccine availability. These NPIs included social distancing, mask wearing, and hand hygiene. However, as COVID-19 is an emerging disease little is known about how to best encourage students to adopt NPIs.

Methods: This study investigated the effectiveness of a college-based health communication campaign launched in January 2021 that used two different campaign messaging styles, social norms and testimonial style, to encourage NPI uptake. Social norms messages emphasized high rates of students’ handwashing and social distancing measures based on data collected from a representative student sample in the year prior (2020). Testimonial style messages highlighted personal reasons for adopting NPIs and targeted mask wearing, which were developed by a small undergraduate research team. These messages were released on all students’ course material web pages, as well as through social media and flyers posted around campus. The campaign was evaluated through an anonymous online survey conducted in April 2021(n=1003).

Outcomes: Preliminary results indicate that campaign exposure was high, reaching between 37% to 61.5% of students, depending on the message. Respondents were nearly evenly divided on the style of message they rated most effective and regression analysis indicated that consistent NPI adoption was significantly associated with campaign exposure for both message styles.

Implications: As COVID-19 is still an ongoing pandemic, both testimonial and social norm style messages can be effective in encouraging NPI uptake and can potentially be effective in future respiratory disease outbreaks.

50. Factors Influencing CDC Preventative Behaviors Through the COVID-19 Pandemic
Student Presenter: Jack Golder
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leslie Hart
Additional Authors: Sundstrom, Beth L. (Communications), Dziobak, Miranda, Lightsey, Mary

COVID-19 infection trends in university settings throughout the pandemic suggests an urgent need to understand student behavior patterns that may impact infection risk. Individual attributes such as perceived physical health and generalized concern about infection can impact individual decisions regarding prevention measures and precautions during the pandemic. In this study, 418 students were surveyed to gauge perceived physical health (poor – good) and identify preventive actions taken during three time periods throughout the 2020 portion of the pandemic. Associations between perceived physical health and COVID-19 preventive behaviors (e.g., face covering, social distancing, crowd avoidance, and the avoidance of public places) were evaluated using descriptive statistics, SEM, and regression models. Through the use of the health belief model, our findings suggest that physical health has a significant impact on the preventative measures taken by an individual through their overall perception of disease severity and as well as their perceived susceptibility to COVID-19. However, due to legislative enforcement of preventative measures, there is no significant correlation through the perceived benefits of preventative measures or the transmission risks of COVID-19. Overall, there is evidence to suggest that intrapersonal factors play a strong role in the way an individual undertakes disease control and prevention.

51. A comparison of personal care product use between undergraduate students attending military and non-military universities: possible implications for exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals
Student Presenter: Mary Lightsey
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leslie Hart
Additional Authors: Dr. Beth Sundstrom, Jack Golder (CofC) Miranda Dziobak (USC Columbia)

Personal care products (PCPs) are widely used among adults and often contain endocrine-disrupting chemical additives (EDCs). Previous studies indicate higher PCP use among college females, thereby exacerbating their risk of EDC exposure. In this study, PCP use was compared between students attending two universities with different policies regarding cosmetic use and personal grooming standards (i.e., non-military, n=121; military, n=134). Undergraduate students completed a self-administered survey to gauge the use of face, body, and hair PCPs, and cohort-specific use patterns were identified via logistic regression models, latent-class analyses, and kappa tests. Comparisons between universities did not reveal significant differences in the total number of products used by males and females (median: military males = 8.5; non-military males =8.0; p=0.47; military females = 16.5; non-military females =16.0; p=0.78), but the types and patterns of product use varied between schools. Shaving and hair product use was more common among military students (p<0.05), and despite rules against cosmetic use at the military university, significant differences were not observed between non-military and military females (p>0.05). Patterns of body and hair PCP use differed between military and non-military females, while male students at both universities had nearly identical use patterns for face and hair products. Despite differences in university policies, biological sex was the most significant predictor of product use, with females frequently using multiple PCP types. For both universities, our findings suggest that female students are at a higher risk of EDC exposure than male students, which could influence their susceptibility to related health events.

52. Associations between mental health and pandemic experiences among undergraduate college students
Student Presenter: Mary Lightsey
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leslie Hart
Additional Authors: Dr. Beth Sundstrom, Dr. Leslie Hart, Jack Golder (CofC), Miranda Dziobak (USC Columbia)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a large impact on mental health. College students’ unique position of volatility may have influenced the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health status. We transitioned from our original objectives to examine factors associated with poor mental health and decline in mental health status. Online surveys were administered to students between September 2020 and April 2021, and regression models were used to evaluate associations between mental health status, demographic variables, and environmental factors. Out of 511 students, 47.36% reported a diagnosed mental health condition. 28.38% reported prior diagnoses of depression and 44.03% reported prior diagnoses of anxiety. 35.42% of participants described their mental health status as poor and 63.41% of participants reported that COVID-19 had a negative impact on their mental health. Logistic regression showed significant associations between negatively impacted mental health and race (OR (95% CI); 0.39 (0.17-0.87)), depression (OR (95% CI); 3.19 (1.77-5.74)), moving home (OR (95% CI); 1.88 (1.24-2.86)), moving away from family (OR (95% CI); 11.47 (1.43-92.16)), and poor household relationships (OR (95% CI); 3.04 (1.24-7.48)). Significant associations were also found between poor mental health rating and depression (OR (95% CI); 1.95 (1.19-3.21)), anxiety (OR (95% CI); 2.58 (1.61-4.13)), poor household relationships (OR (95% CI); 3.77 (1.88-7.57)) and being laid off from a job (OR (95% CI); 1.83 (1.10-3.02)). These data suggest that pre-existing mental health conditions and other factors exacerbated negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more must be done to promote resiliency and positive coping in response.

53. HPV Vaccination NOW: Tailoring a campaign to increase vaccine awareness in rural communities
Student Presenter: Liza Malcolm
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Beth Sundstrom
Additional Authors: 1. Jennifer Young Pierce- Mitchell Cancer Institute, University of South Alabama, Mobile, A.L. USA, 2. Kathleen B. Cartmell- Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson SC USA; Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Charleston, SC, 3. Heather M. Brandt- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Memphis, T.N. USA, 4. Henry Well- South Carolina Cancer Alliance, Columbia SC USA, 5. Charlotte Marchell- Women’s Health Research Team, College of Charleston, Charleston SC USA, 6. Natalia Hayes-Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) System, Charleston SC USA, 7. Ragan DuBose-Morris-Center for Telehealth, Medical University of South Carolina and 8. Gweneth B. Lazenby-Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina.

Low HPV vaccination rates in rural communities result in elevated incidence and mortality of HPV-associated cancers, particularly in the southeast United States. The HPV Vaccination NOW campaign incorporated traditional and social media techniques to increase vaccine awareness in rural communities. The multicomponent campaign included (1) a ten-week social media campaign between 1 June and 6 August, 2021 and (2) an on-going in-person brief educational intervention at rural libraries through the WISE (Women in the South-East) Telehealth Network evaluated between 9 March and 15 August, 2021. Researchers employed a mixed methods approach to evaluate (1) the social media campaign, through a process evaluation and qualitative content analysis of user-generated social media content and (2) the brief educational intervention, through a web-based survey at baseline and text-based survey up to 6 weeks following baseline. The social media campaign resulted in over 545,700 total impressions, reached over 305,400 individuals, and culminated with 1155 followers. There were over 4350 social media engagements. Participants reported that the HPV Vaccination NOW campaign was informative (87%), believable (89%), and helpful (81%). The intervention earned a high acceptability score (4.2/5.0) by meeting participants’ needs, providing useful information and helping them to obtain necessary medical care and resources. Through partnering with the WISE Telehealth Network in rural libraries, the HPV Vaccination NOW campaign integrated a brief educational intervention with a statewide social media campaign to increase vaccine awareness in rural communities. This study also revealed how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted dialogue on HPV vaccination.

54. The African American Covid-19 Experience
Student Presenter: Tayelor Morgan
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susan Farrell

In this paper, the reader will gain further insight into how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected my life as well as other freshmen POC students' lives at the College of Charleston. We will also look into how this pandemic has affected the transition from high school to college for minority students as well. Covid-19 has impacted everybody's lives, whether it was financially, mentally, or emotionally. Since the Coronavirus is a current pandemic, there are no archives or museums to visit meaning most of the research for this paper was done in person via interviews. Multiple CofC minority students were interviewed asking about their Covid-19 experiences. In the interview, I asked them to detail their high school to college transition along with other personal questions. I also asked about their well-being before the pandemic and compared them. After interviewing students, I have come to the conclusion that a majority of freshmen here at the college have had the same feelings and experiences when dealing with the Coronavirus-styled transition from high school to college. Many students were upset they missed their senior year while hoping for a somewhat normal first year of college. Others had previous mental issues that only worsened as the pandemic occurred. This is important to talk about because the pandemic is still going on. A pandemic like this only happens about every one-hundred years, making it historical. It is important to document and write about this pandemic for our future generations, so they can learn from us.

55. The Road Map to Youth Physical Fitness: An Analysis of Spatial Patterns & Built Environments
Student Presenter: Natalie Reider
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Morgan Hughey
Additional Authors: Morgan Clennin, MPH, PhD, Scientific Research Associate, Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research; Melissa Fair, MPH, Community Action Director, Furman University

Meeting physical activity and fitness recommendations can reduce the risk for childhood obesity and promote overall health. This study will 1) explore geographic patterns of youth fitness by neighborhood, and 2) examine the association between youth physical fitness, neighborhood walkability and park availability. Methods: Fifth graders at all elementary schools in Greenville County, SC (2016) participated in the study (n=5,136). Trained physical education teachers collected cardiorespiratory fitness data, measured by the PACER test. Youth addresses were geocoded and linked to census tract. Public parks were compiled using geographic files provided by all municipalities. The Environmental Protection Agency national walkability index summarizes four characteristics for each census tract: intersection density, proximity to transit stops, employment mix, and household mix. Results: About half of the sample were female (49.2%) and the majority of youth identified as White (55.8%), followed by, Black (22.3%). Geographic patterns indicated higher PACER laps among girls in rural neighborhoods, while males had higher rates in suburban neighborhoods (maps will be shown). On average, youth completed 26.7 PACER laps (SD=15.7), had 1.24 neighborhood parks (SD=1.46), and a walkability score of 7.26 (SD=1.78; below average). No significant associations were found between youth fitness and walkability or park availability for girls; however, for boys, neighborhood walkability was positively associated with youth fitness. Conclusion: Our maps and statistical analyses showed distinct gender differences among neighborhood characteristics and geographical patterns for fitness in youth.

56. Tri-County Community Health Needs Assessment: Voices and Priorities of Community Stakeholders
Student Presenter: Caitlin Ryan
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Morgan Hughey
Additional Authors: Riley Graham, Kamille Bush (CofC), Renee Linyard-Gary (Trident United Way)

Background: Every three years, all nonprofit hospitals are required to perform a community health needs assessment (CHNA) as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to keep their tax exempt status. The Tri-County CHNA was first implemented in 2013 by Roper St. Francis Healthcare, and it includes Berkeley, Dorchester, and Charleston counties. In 2016, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, MUSC Health, and Trident United Way, formed the Healthy Tri-County organization, whose mission is to improve the health of every member of the community. The objective of this project is to assist in collecting data to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and current health status of the community.

Methods: Key informant interviews (n=10) and focus groups (n=5) were conducted with community members and leaders. Each interview and focus group was recorded and then transcribed verbatim by student research assistants. As a group, students developed a codebook to represent themes across the data collection, and then each interview was coded to analyze the data.

Results: The interviews and focus groups captured data from nearly 50 community members and leaders across the Tri-County area. On average, the one-on-one interviews lasted about half an hour while focus groups lasted about an hour. Preliminary results showed that there was a major emphasis on improving access to care as the priority health need in the Tri-County area.

Conclusions: This qualitative data collection and analysis provides valuable information regarding the priority health areas in our region, informing new strategies to improve community health.

57. Park Equity and Environmental Justice
Student Presenter: Alexis (Ali) Turner
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Morgan Hughey
Additional Authors: Dr. Douglas Rivet, Kennedy Cantrell

Introduction: Parks and green spaces are vital elements in our cities as they provide wide-ranging benefits to society. Previous research has shown that white, affluent neighborhoods have greater access to parks and park facilities when compared to low-income and minority communities. Such analysis has not been completed for Charleston, South Carolina. Therefore, the objective of this study is: 1) Determine the distribution of urban parks and green space availability and acreage by neighborhood characteristics (e.g., socioeconomic status; racial and ethnic composition) in Charleston, SC.

Methods: This study took place in Charleston County. Census data files (age, hispanic/latino by race, median household income, and total population) from 2018-2020 were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau and compiled with park geo-spatial data obtained from the City of Charleston and Charleston County utilizing GIS. All identified park spaces were overlaid with census block groups to determine whether parks were equitably distributed by socio-demographic factors.

Results: Data analysis is currently underway and will be completed and available for the CofC EXPO. Currently, a total of 120 parks have been identified in 230 block groups across Charleston County. The average median household income is $66,126, and the average racial/ethnic minority composition at the block group level is 35.3%.

Conclusions: This data will reveal whether parks and green spaces are equitably distributed by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status in Charleston, SC. Results and recommendations will be shared with relevant stakeholders in the Charleston area.

58. Prevalence of Risk Factors for Sudden Cardiac Arrest in High School Soccer Athletes
Student Presenter: Alexis Sattler
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susan Rozzi

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the abrupt cessation of heart function. SCA is usually caused by an electrical disturbance and results in unexpected heart failure, loss of blood to the brain and other organs, and oftentimes death. SCA can occur in seemingly healthy individuals of all ages with no previous cardiac symptoms or warning signs. Nationally, the reported incidence of SCA ranges from 0.24 to 9.80 per 100,000 per year and the rate of death from SCA is approximately 110 athletes per year. Recently, research has demonstrated a relative risk of SCA in male high school (HS) age student-athletes to be 1.73 per 100,000. Risk factors for sudden cardiac arrest are the presence of an undetected cardiac condition, diet, history of COVID-19 infection, exercise training load, and medical history. Therefore, to determine the prevalence of SCA risk factors in male HS soccer players, we conducted a study whereby we collected potential risk factor data on 31 members of an area HS boys’ soccer program. Study participants completed a survey quantifying their training load, history of COVID-19 infections, dietary practices, and personal and family medical history. The participants’ heart rates and rhythms were obtained through an electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure was measured both seated and lying supine. We expect results to demonstrate an incidence of SCA risk factors reflective of SCA relative risk in this population. This study should aid players, coaches, and parents in gaining knowledge of SCA and decreasing risk of SCA deaths.

Teacher Education

59. Well Being in Alternative Education: The PERMA Profiler as a Tool for Teacher Support
Student Presenter: Emma Chivily
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Adam Jordan

The World Health Organization (2018) describes mental health as a state where people can ""work productively and fruitfully."" In this university/community collaborative study, the Workplace PERMA Profiler (2014) was used to assess teacher mental well-being in alternative education. Fourteen alternative school teachers (n = 14) completed the Workplace PERMA Profiler and data were analyzed descriptively. Subsequently, seven teachers (n = 7) participated in qualitative interviews. Results suggest a strong sense of purpose among alternative educators, yet several barriers to mental health were revealed. Implications for practice are discussed.

60. Diversity in Education: Perspectives of Pre-service Teachers
Student Presenter: Izzy Smith
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tracey Hunter-Doniger

The reality of public education in the United States is that it is failing students of color. Instead of providing a system is that is not racist we need to develop a system that is actively anti-racist. To provide diverse students with an educational system in which they can thrive, administration and policymakers must implement a continually updated curriculum and requirements for professional development that include culturally responsive strategies. We need to develop a system that provides a curriculum not catered toward white students and ways of life but offers equal opportunity for all students regardless of race, social class, or identity.

In the Summer of 2020, seven pre-service educators conducted an in-depth research project to gain a deeper understanding of how diversity influences the classroom. Recognizing inequities in the educational system, students aimed to identify these issues in order to inform their own personal pedagogical philosophies and present potential solutions.

Educators must incorporate socially and racially equitable teaching and learning policies into their practices. Teacher preparation programs must support educators to serve a culturally, racially, linguistically, and economically diverse student population. Similarly, students in racially and ethnically diverse communities require a diverse teaching force to provide adequate support. To bring about systemic change in teacher education, educators, students, parents, and society as a whole must think critically about current educational practices and policies.

Graduate Program in Teaching, Learning, and Advocacy

61. Knowledge and Self-Efficacy Regarding ASD Among Early Childhood Educators
Student Presenter: Jessie Montezuma
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Booker

This research study aims to assess the knowledge and confidence of early childhood educators (ECEs) in identifying and addressing concerns related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Although early identification and intervention is critical to maximizing outcomes for children with ASD, the average age of diagnosis remains above four years-old and is even higher for children from lower-income, ethnic/racial minority, and rural backgrounds. ECEs are well-situated to provide additional support and guidance for families in navigating the path to and from an autism diagnosis, which may be of particular importance for families who experience many barriers to obtaining an early diagnosis and subsequent intervention services. The group studied consists of a convenience sample of ECEs in the United States of varied age, race, background, and professional experience. Both quantitative and qualitative data were captured via an online survey to examine the educators’ knowledge of ASD features (including early signs of ASD) and their self-efficacy in sharing concerns related to development with caregivers.

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62. Love Languages and Conflict Management: A Generational Comparison
Student Presenter: Laurie Fogleman
Faculty Mentor: Drs. Deb Socha McGee and Jennifer Kopfman

Previous research has shown that people tend to express and communicate love for others in the form of one of what Gary Chapman (1992) calls the five love languages. Similarly, most individuals have certain preferences and methods for dealing with conflicts, and tend to identify with one out of the five conflict management styles (Kilman & Thomas, 2021).This study examines relationships between an individual’s love language, their conflict management style, and their generation. More specifically, the research aims to determine if a correlation exists between one’s love language and their conflict management style, as well as whether there are differences between Generation Z and millennials on these two variables. A voluntary, anonymous survey was created, consisting of two self-assessments to measure one’s love language and conflict management style, as well as a demographics section. The study included a total of 259 participants, with 170 individuals falling into the Gen Z category (birthdate of 1995-2012) and 89 millennials (individuals born between 1980-1994). Correlation tests were run and concluded that there seem to be no significant relationships between one’s love language and their conflict management style. The results of a t-test also indicated no significant differences in the love language or conflict management style selection between the Gen Z and millennial generations. Despite these results, this study serves as one of the first to combine these three variables, and is an indicator that further research on these topics is necessary to better understand these elements of interpersonal communication.


63. Critical Race at the College of Charleston
Student Presenter: Treashure Richardson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Valerie Frazier & Dr. Susan Farell

The College of Charleston, one of the first educational institutions in America, wasn’t officially desegregated 1967. But in 1951, a Charleston native and white male student by the name of Francis Sturken wrote a speech on the current state of the College of Charleston. My question is why did a white male student in the time of Jim Crow Laws and Segregation want to help desegregate the college and implement more equalist values into the College of Charleston Campus. When researching this topic my main source of evidence and analysis came from the Avery Research Center here in Charleston, South Carolina. Two texts specifically that stood out for me were the speech itself “The Liquid South” as well as the “Briggs vs Elliot Case” that took place in 1952. In results, his speech was a foundational aspect in the Briggs vs Elliot Case and it sparked a lot of conversation and controversy in the South. As we all know the education system in the south back then was segregated. Sturken’s paper however stated that race doesn’t define intelligence and it helped the Briggs vs Elliot Case because it made southerners start to realize our skin color shouldn’t be the defining factor in how we are educated. I find that even today we are still facing issues within our education systems. The College still has a problem maintaining its minority population. While its minority population has gone up from 1967, it still feels as if the college is still divided.

64. The Era of the Tau Eta Alpha Home
Student Presenter: Madison Meeks
Faculty Mentor: Drs. Valerie Frazier and Susan Farrell

For a predominantly white institution (PWI) with a troubled history regarding Black people, community amongst Black students at the College of Charleston can be hard to find. Typically, Black Greek organizations provide community for Black students on PWIs. In order to find out how Black Greek Life affected the Black experience at CofC, I conducted personal interviews with the CofC National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Advisor and a member of the Tau Eta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where I obtained access to and analyzed NPHC membership records. I learned that the Tau Eta Alphas occupied a historic home between 2002-2010– which is almost unheard of in the collegiate Black Greek world. I also discovered that CofC Black Greeks established a strong presence on campus for Black students. As of late, however, this culture has been dwindling despite eight Black Greek organizations being chartered. As the mainstream media increasingly highlights Greek life at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), a possible decline in Black Greek Life at CofC can be attributed to the association of a full Black Greek experience with HBCUs rather than PWIs. The era of the Tau Eta Alpha house represented a culture of belonging and community amongst Black Greek and non-Greek students. By shedding light on this era and the significance of the house, the culture that coincided with it may be re-established, and Black students at CofC may feel more embraced at the College.

65. The Legacy of Otto German
Student Presenter: Ashanti Carter
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Valerie Frazier

My research focuses on Otto German, who is one of the African American integrators at the College of Charleston. Otto German graduated in 1973, which was only two years after the first African American graduate at the College of Charleston. The purpose of my research was to find out what it was like for Otto German to be one of the first African American students at the College, both the positive and negative aspects. In order to carry out my research I conducted personal interviews with Otto German, and I also received information from a class interview. After the research and interviews I came upon a lot of great information about Otto German. I learned that Otto German did have to deal with racism and opposition throughout his time at the College, but he had an overall positive experience because he had a lot of support from his family and the other African American peers. Otto German specifically felt included by his basketball teammates, he actually told us about an experience that stuck with me; they were at a gym for a basketball game and the lights suddenly went off, when the lights came back on his White teammates were surrounding him and his other African American teammate to protect them from any racially motivated attacks, which allowed for a deeper connection between them. The other information that I learned included the contributions that Otto German has made to the College, including over 40 years of service.

Political Science

66. Government Decision Making: A Legacy of Distrust for Federal Authority
Student Presenter: Jackson Bell
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gibbs Knotts

In American Democracy, there is a constant debate over what decision is the right decision for our nation. This debate has led to a historical pattern of distrust between Americans and their federal government. This research project identifies what factors may reduce respondent’s trust in our nation’s leadership and decision making. This study examined three independent variables: Race, Southern Heritage, and age (by generation) as possible factors for this distrust. To explore the relationship between the dependent variable and independent variables, the study analyzed data from the 2020 American National Election Study (ANES). The statistical analysis program SPSS was used to analyze the ANES data and produce cross tabulations and frequency distributions. The results indicate that black respondents had the least trust in government decision making. They also showed a strong negative relationship between age and distrust (younger respondents expressed higher levels of distrust than older respondents). With the strongest feelings of distrust being among historically disenfranchised minority groups and younger generations expressing the highest levels of distrust in the government’s decision making, Southern heritage was not a significant factor in determining trust in government decision making.

67. Variables Affecting the Likelihood of Electing more Women
Student Presenter: Anna Catherine Farley
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gibbs Knotts

While there is a growing number of female representatives in the United States, the current percentage of women in politics is not reflective of the American population. The governmental systems in America have primarily consisted of white anglo-Saxon heterosexual men and lacked the participation of minorities in all realms, including religion, race, and gender. The dependent variable in this study is a question about the importance of electing more women. The study examines five independent variables: religion, race, feminist identification, region, and education level. This study analyzes data from the American National Election Study. According to the results, there is a high correlation between feminist respondents and support for electing more women. There is little to no correlation between Non-south v. South. There is a slight connection between religious affiliation and electing more women, indicating non-Christian religions tend to find more importance in electing women. The findings also indicate that with limited opportunities to cultural exposure, whether through religion, feminism, race, or education level, a person is less likely to believe in the importance of electing more women. This study provides insight into the likelihood of electing more women and where it would be possible in America, and the substantive policy outcomes potentially dependent on gender differences.

68. The Change in the Black Experience: College of Charleston Then and Now
Student Presenter: Miyah Jackson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susan Farrell

The College of Charleston was one of the last colleges in South Carolina to integrate Black students onto the campus in 1967. Early Black trailblazers included Eddie Ganaway, Linda Dingle Gadson, Remus Harper, Otto German, and Dennis Muhammad. As a 1967 Legacy Scholar, I wanted to research the experiences of these early Black integrators and contrast them to my own experiences today. I performed research at the Avery Institute archives, and conducted interviews with Otto German, Dennis Muhammad, and the wife of late Eddie Ganaway. These interviews shed much light on what it means to be a College of Charleston student of color in the 70s. I learned about how Dennis Mohammad would get harassed every Friday night by his White neighbors, and how Otto German was able to find solace in his teammates despite a racial divide. These interviews have allowed me to make a connection between the experience of early CofC students of color and modern-day students of color. Charleston students, faculty, and staff today are more sensitive to the various cultures that are present here on campus. My own Black experience at the College differs widely from those before me, because of programs like SPECTRA, Student Ambassadors, and the 1967 Legacy Program. The sacrifices made by past generations have fostered a campus that attracts students of color, rather than repels them. This research is extremely significant, as it allows for the College to understand the experiences of marginalized groups, and what programs further advance them.

69. Independent Redistricting Commissions and the Future of Congressional Redistricting
Student Presenter: Zachary Kronsberg
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gibbs Knotts

This research focuses on the use of redistricting commissions for decennial congressional redistricting in the United States. The study investigates four types of commissions, focusing particularly on independent commissions. In addition, this study fills a gap in the literature regarding the status and success of independent commissions by quantitatively analyzing what types of states adopt commissions and qualitatively comparing state case studies to delineate areas of strength and weakness within the application of independent commissions. The quantitative portion uses state-based demographic data, including from the most recent census as well as legislative data. The qualitative portion uses news articles and commission websites to look at four states’ redistricting histories, structures, and resulting 2022 congressional maps. Results indicate that it is difficult to discern a pattern of factors in states with commissions, but states with lower Black population percentages and higher support for Joe Biden in 2020 appear to be more likely to have commissions. Additionally, despite clear indications of success in reforming redistricting and distancing it from the legislature, the case studies indicate that independent redistricting commissions create a new set of concerns, particularly regarding the definition of “fairness.” This research will be of interest to academics, practitioners, and individual interested in the redistricting process.

70. Gun Control in The South
Student Presenter: Mac Nienstedt
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gibbs Knotts

Gun violence continues to be a prevalent issue in the United States. Mass shootings can devastate communities and the number of gun related deaths has risen sharply in recent years. Despite the very real problem of gun violence, the argument of reforming gun laws is widely debated in different parts of the United States. Different regions hold different values and these values shape how strict our gun laws should be. To explore these issues, this research examines data from the American National Election Survey (ANES). The dependent variable in this study is opinion about gun control. The independent variables in this study are: region, age, sex and race. The study indicates that region, race, and sex were the factors that had the greatest impact on opinions about gun control.

71. How Americans View Discrimination Against Blacks
Student Presenter: Edmund Philipson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gibbs Knots

May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by Officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department. It led to massive protests and some riots across the United States in all cities, big and small. These protests and riots were in honor of him and the other blacks who have been what Black Lives Matters call, gunned down by the police. These incidents were 5 months before the 2020 Presidential Election between Biden and Trump. They also took place during peak COVID-19 in the world. This paper assesses how black discrimination is understood and accepted in the United States using the American National Election Study (ANES) from 2020. The dependent variable used is discrimination against blacks. There are four independent variables used in this paper: 7 levels of ideology, race, presidential support, and South vs. Non-South. These variables are supposed to assess how different groups of races, southerners and non-southerners, and voters feel about discrimination against blacks immediately after the presidential election. In a time, where race was finally brought back into the national political conversation, discrimination against blacks and minorities in general are of the utmost importance because of what the United States and its constitution stands for. The paper will shed light onto significant and insignificant variables that will help the reader understand how different demographics and factions view discrimination against blacks in the United States.

72. LGBTQ Equality in the South vs. the Non-South
Student Presenter: Jelicia Ransom
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gibbs Knotts

Throughout the evolution of modern society, LGBTQ equality and rights have become a common topic of discussion. This issue is particularly important in the American South, a region with a conservative political culture and a large evangelical voter base. In addition, southern state legislatures continue to debate legislation that discriminates against the LGBTQ community with Florida’s “don’t say gay” law as one of the most recent examples. This research project was conducted to analyze the types of people who do and do not support the LGBTQ community with a particular focus on region. Three independent variables were studied: whether the respondent lived in the South, whether the respondent lived in the Deep South, and the age of the respondent. The data were collected from the 2020 American National Elections Study (ANES) and analyzed statistically utilizing SPSS. The results indicate that most of the respondents either have strong feelings for or against the LGBTQ community while few respondents are indifferent. However, the research does indicate regional and generational biases in opinions about the LGBTQ community.


73. From an Avery Dream to a Cougar Reality
Student Presenter: Amber Anderson
Faculty Mentor: Drs. Susan Farrell and Valerie Frazier

Last semester I was enrolled in FYSE 114: The 1967 Legacy and Beyond as a part of my coursework as a 1967 Legacy Scholar. The class examined the important events, themes, and people involved in the integration of the College of Charleston. I wanted to find out who initiated the push for integration here at the College, so I conducted archival research in the CofC Special Collections. I discovered several letters from the 1940s to the 1960s relating to integration at the College. There were letters from qualified Black students, mostly from the Avery Normal Institute, addressed to the Registrar and former CofC President Grice. There was correspondence between President Grice and his colleague Judge MacMillan about their refusal to admit Black students to the College. There was also correspondence between NAACP leader James Hinton and President Grice. James Hinton argued that Black students should be allowed to attend the College because the taxes that funded the College came from Black families, too. As a result of my research, I learned how the Avery Normal Institute and the local NAACP were heavily involved in the lengthy push for integration at the College that took over 20 years to happen. The details of integration here at the College are important to know as we strive to tell a more accurate history. The determination of those who pushed for integration can serve as a source of inspiration for people like me who are trying to carry the torch of true equality.

74. Time of Day as a Context For Renewal
Student Presenter: Ka'ala Bajo
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John J. Widholm
Additional Authors: Elizabeth Hancock (Psychology), Savannah Straff (Psychology), Olivia Dixon (Psychology), Annebeth Heller (Psychology)

Behavioral renewal refers to the reemergence of a previously extinguished behavior based upon the presence of contextual signals or cues. Most of the research examining renewal has investigated manipulations to the physical environment. The purpose of the current study was to assess whether time-of-day could serve as an abstract contextual cue to allow discrimination between the occasions of acquisition and extinction. The experiment utilized 16 rats (8 male and 8 female) that were randomly assigned to begin testing in the morning (0900; n=8) or in the afternoon (1630; n=8). Following the training of lever pressing, all rats underwent 10 days of VI30” training during their assigned time (0900 or 1630; context time A) in which lever presses were intermittently reinforced. With VI30” acquisition complete, all rats then underwent five sessions of extinction at the alternative testing time (i.e. 0900 acquisition group underwent extinction at 1630 and vice versa; context time B) in which lever pressing was not reinforced. Following extinction, the tendency to respond at both testing times (0900 and 1630) was tested on two separate renewal days. It was hypothesized that responding would be higher during the testing time associated with reinforcement (context time A). The results showed a slight elevation in responding during context time A for the females only, but the difference was not significant. The current data do not support the hypothesis that time-of-day can serve as an effective occasion setter for operant renewal.

75. Maternal Factors Affecting Autobiographical Memory Biases in Young Children
Student Presenter: Shira Bezalel
Faculty Mentor: Drs. Gabrielle Principe and Daniel Greenberg
Additional Authors: Izabella Baipho, Frannie Cohen-Dumani, Lauren Collins, Caitlin Holliday, Leah Lancellotta, Ava Lubin, Kelly McGorry, Anne Walker Payne, Grace Sorgeloos

In everyday life, young children and their parents frequently discuss memories of past events. A large literature demonstrates that parent-guided reminiscing fosters the development of children’s autobiographical remembering skills. Through these exchanges, young children learn how to structure and share their memories in narrative form. Children also depend on parents to help them evaluate the past. Yet very little is known about how variations in the ways that parents frame and guide conversations about earlier events may shape how children come to interpret and remember their experiences. To examine these issues, we carried out a study where mothers and their children (ages 3 to 6 years) reminisced about three recent shared events. Later, children independently experienced a scripted event made up of a series of ambiguous social interactions and then were interviewed about the memory for the event. Our main analyses will explore whether mothers who focus on the negative when reminiscing are likely to have children who interpret ambiguous events in a negative manner and are biased towards remembering such events in negative ways. Additional analyses will examine links between children’s memory and mothers’ cognitive biases as well as their tendencies to explain and regulate their children’s expressions of negative emotion. These findings should offer some insight into processes that might contribute to the development of negative interpretation and memory biases that interfere with emotional regulation and are associated with increased risk of emotional disorders and thus hold promise for treatment and prevention efforts.

76. Effects of Expressive Writing and Benefit-Focused Writing on Depression and Anxiety Symptoms During COVID-19: The Role of Ethnicity
Student Presenter: Kaiya Brand
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sarah Robertson

COVID-19 has negatively affected young adult mental health and writing interventions can be effective in decreasing these adverse symptoms (Robertson et al., 2019). Research has shown that ethnic minorities are more likely to engage in emotional suppression (Frattaroli, 2006) and could thus benefit greatly from expressive writing. We aimed to assess the efficacy of three writing interventions in alleviating COVID-19 related distress as a function of ethnicity.

Participants were recruited from the CofC Psychology Department (n = 121), with 87.2% ethnic majorities and 11.2% ethnic minorities. Participants were randomly assigned to three groups: expressive writing, benefit-focused writing, and control. Participants completed a baseline anxiety and depression inventory, and then completed their 20 minute writing intervention once a day for three days. Participants completed the anxiety and depression inventories again immediately after the intervention and 1-month after. A mixed repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare results as a function of ethnicity. While all participants benefited from the interventions, analyses showed no significant differences for depression symptom improvement [F (2, 3) = 0.650, p = 4.98 with p > 0.05] or anxiety symptom improvement [F (2, 3) = 0.231, p = 0.786 with p > 0.05] as a function of ethnicity. This suggests ethnic minorities do not benefit more than ethnic majorities when using expressive writing. However, the small sample of ethnic minority participants resulted in decreased power and therefore a decreased ability to detect potential differences. More diverse samples are needed in the future.

77. Let's Go Phishing!
Student Presenter: Sharon Brown
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso
Additional Authors: Arin Kaplan, Computing in the Arts; Jacob Brorman

In this social engineering project, we will be emphasizing the importance of protecting yourself from phishing attacks by recognizing the dangers of clicking on links before taking all steps to verify it is a credible source. This cybersecurity attack uses a trustworthy person or business cover to steal confidential information, such as bank account details, and can be tricky to spot. Whether it be authenticating the sender, checking for typos, or simply waiting before clicking on a link, if we don’t take precautions we leave ourselves vulnerable. Exposing our online information is the difference between a clicking on a link in an email, which is a single-second mistake, and the extreme consequence of identity theft. It has never been easier to take advantage of vulnerabilities than through a digital space where checking your email and clicking on websites is commonplace. Conversations about cybersecurity and phishing attacks are relevant to protecting individuals and society as a whole in the digital age.

78. Depressive Symptom Severity and its Moderating Effects on the Psychological Benefits of Expressive and Benefit Focused Writing
Student Presenter: Sophie Buchmaier
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robertson

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, psychologists are increasingly concerned about increased rates of mental health symptoms (Wang et al., 2020). A recent study of depression rates during the COVID-19 pandemic indicated a significant increase in depression in college aged students (Wang et al., 2020). Research has found that expressive (EW) and benefit focused writing (BF) may be helpful in decreasing depression symptoms. The current study investigated different COVID-focused writing interventions in reducing symptoms of depression in college students. We also examined the role of symptom severity, as it has been noted to be an important moderator of symptom improvement (Robertson et al., 2019). After completing an initial baseline Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), 125 college aged participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a control writing group, an expressive writing group, and a benefit-focused writing group. Participants wrote on three consecutive days and took a BDI measure on each day and during a 1-month follow-up. Results indicate a significant interaction between depression severity and time. This indicates that depression severity moderated the change in BDI over time. A more in-depth analysis will be performed to determine which groups significantly differ and the directionality of the differences. These results show that an online paradigm in all three conditions can cause change to BDI scores and that these paradigms may work better for certain depression severities. This research supports the notion that while therapies may work, individual differences moderate which therapies work best for different people. Future research should continue to investigate other possible moderating factors.

79. Barriers to Mental Health Services
Student Presenter: Kate Coffey
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lisa Ross

College-age students have an elevated prevalence of mental health challenges compared to other age groups (Mojtabi, et al., 2010). The purpose of this study is to investigate the barriers to mental health treatments among college students at a midsize southeastern college, including those who identify with a minority group. Participants were recruited via the introductory PSYC 103 course and by canvasing campus organizations. We obtained data from 19 participants (16 female; 1 male; 2 gender nonconforming; mean age 18.6 years) through semi-structured interviews inquiring about their experience with help seeking. Questions focused on what factors were discouraging and encouraging in their experience with mental health services. Most of the college students (16 of 19) in this sample indicated that they did utilize mental health services. However, many of them had a complicated experience including changing of providers, as well as inconsistent use of services. Overall, the barriers these students identified were personal barriers (attitudes, motivation, perceived time constraint, and prior experience with therapy) rather than social barriers (stigma, and community influences) or structural barriers (waiting lists, and expenses). The three students who did not follow through with therapy identified parental stigma/lack of support and bad experiences with past providers as preventative barriers. This project expands on the typical method of surveying to learn more about college student’s experience with mental health services.

80. Individual and Family-Level Contributions to Children’s Executive Functioning Skills
Student Presenter: Caitlin Dean
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Kolak

Executive functioning skills are fundamental to young children’s development (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2011). Parenting behavior is a predictor of executive functioning during early childhood (Fay-Stammbach et al., 2014; Meuwissen & Carlson, 2015). The present study expands upon previous research on children’s executive functioning by taking a family systems’ perspective (Cox & Paley, 2002) and examines mothers’ and fathers’ individual contributions as well as family-level relationship dynamics such as marital functioning. This study focuses on a sample of 690 partnered couples and their children (351 male and 339 female) from The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD) public data set. When children were 54 months old, children’s temperament, maternal depression, paternal depression, and marital love were assessed using questionnaires. At first grade, children’s self-control, executive functioning, and sustained attention was assessed. Correlation analyses showed that both maternal and paternal depressive symptoms were negatively correlated to children’s self-control whereas marital love was positively correlated with effortful control and self-control in children. Hierarchical regression models were conducted to simultaneously examine the unique and interactive contributions of child temperament, parental depressive symptoms, and marital love to children’s outcomes in first grade. For children’s self-control, father’s depressive symptoms were especially important whereas child temperament, parents’ depressive symptoms, and marital love interacted to predict executive functioning. Therefore, these findings suggest that the dynamics between parents as well parent and child characteristics can have an impact on children’s development.

81. “Do you want period?” Launching and evaluating a brief educational intervention with the WISE (Women in the South-East) Telehealth Network
Student Presenter: Shira Finke
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Beth Sundstrom
Additional Authors: Beth Sundstrom, Angela Dempsey, Shira Finke, Clare Kimiecik, Gweneth Lazenby

One simple question, “do you want a period?” has the potential to disrupt the conversation about menstruation by addressing menstrual stigma, increasing menstrual equity, and overcoming period trauma by informing patient-centered contraceptive decision-making. People who menstruate may not be aware that they have a choice of whether or not to bleed. “Do you want a period?” empowers people who menstruate to better understand their reproductive health and contraceptive choices. Researchers partnered with the WISE Telehealth Network to implement and evaluate a brief educational intervention in rural libraries. Ongoing and longitudinal evaluation research (n = 171) in English and Spanish, including web-based surveys and an innovative text-based survey using DokBot technology determined the effectiveness of the intervention. Participants reported that “Do you want a period?” was informative (89%), believable (93%), and helpful (85%). The intervention earned a high acceptability score (4.57/5.0) by meeting participants’ needs, providing useful information and helping them to obtain necessary medical care and resources. Through an interdisciplinary approach, this project challenges prevailing assumptions and offers a new perspective on cultural practices about menstruation. “Do you want a period?” is a movement to stimulate conversations between people who menstruate and their health care providers, partners, family and friends.

82. Evaluation of the effect of a history of chronic stress on stress-induced reinstatement of alcohol seeking and drinking in mice
Student Presenter: Carley Gimenez
Faculty Mentor: Drs. Chad Galuska and Marcelo Lopez (MUSC)

Stress is generally acknowledged to be a major contributing factor to the development, continuation, and relapse of alcohol use disorders and alcohol abuse. In this study, we used the restraint-stress model to investigate the effects of psychological and social stress on alcohol-seeking and drinking behaviors in mice. We hypothesized that when exposed to the acute stressor, mice who were previously exposed to the stress procedure will have greater alcohol-seeking and drinking behaviors than those who were not previously exposed. For the design, male and female subjects were separated into three groups: control, witness to restraint stress, and restraint stress. Mice were trained to self-administer alcohol through lever pressing in operant boxes. After establishing a baseline of about 50-60 responses per session, mice went through the stress procedure for one week without access to alcohol self-administration. Then, they resumed self-administration to re-establish a baseline before going through an extinction period in which lever responses were not rewarded with the delivery of alcohol (approximately 10 responses). Finally, they went through reinstatement testing after an acute stress challenge with yohimbine. Results showed there was reinstatement of alcohol seeking and drinking (~30-40 responses), but prior chronic stress did not have an effect on these parameters. Contrary to our hypothesis, this study suggests that a prior history of restraint stress or witness to restraint stress does not have an effect on stress-induced reinstatement of alcohol seeking and drinking.

83. Assessing the Reinforcing Functions of Alcohol During Negative Incentive Shifts in Food Reward
Student Presenter: Anna Grace Greenho
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chad Galuska
Additional Authors: Emily Turner, Emily Davis, David Hammer

Background: Frustration-stress resulting from reward loss is a trigger for problematic alcohol consumption in humans. Previous research in our laboratory has demonstrated that transitions from favorable-to-unfavorable food reward contexts (i.e., negative incentive shifts) engender voluntary alcohol consumption in rats when it is freely available.

Research Question. In this experiment, we determined if rats would work to produce ethanol during negative incentive shifts. Methods. Rats’ lever presses on a fixed-ratio schedule produced food pellets. The size of the reward (either large or small) alternated within the same experimental session. Presses on a second lever produced brief access to either ethanol or sweetened-condensed milk across conditions.

Results. Transitions from a just-received large reward to a signaled upcoming small food reward occasioned presses for ethanol. However, ethanol seeking occurred at a low rate relative to responding for sweetened condensed milk.

Discussion. The results suggest that ethanol is a relatively weak reinforcer in rats.

84. Confirmation Bias in Graph Judgment
Student Presenter: Ethan Guthrie
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Anthony Bishara

Are first impressions everything? But what happens when we later find information that contradicts what we first thought? To answer this question, 71 student participants saw a series of graphs where early information was contradicted by later information. Each graph depicted an imaginary patient’s blood cholesterol over 20 days. After the first 10 days, the patient began taking one of three imaginary drugs (Thalyde, Ofrocium, and Ziaxin) denoted by a vertical line in the graph. Participants were asked to decide whether there was an increase in blood cholesterol levels after beginning the drug. Critically, the first information they saw about each drug was systematically changed by the experimenters. To do this, participants were told whether the drug truly caused an increase in blood cholesterol for the first 18 graphs regarding each drug. For one of these drugs selected at random, 89% of these early graphs showed an increase (a treatment effect), while for another only 11% of early graphs showed a treatment effect, and 50% for another. After the early graphs, participants saw another 108 graphs for each drug in which exactly 50% had a treatment effect. Early graphs for each drug biased participants; a high rate of treatment effects in early graphs led to bias favoring treatment effects for all other graphs of that drug, and vice versa for a low rate of treatment effects. Subjective judgment of graphs by eye may lead to less effective treatment decisions, as early decisions have a disproportionate influence on later decisions.

85. Can Letting Go of the Self Influence a Healthier Climate Change Response?
Student Presenter: Katherine Liseo
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Swickert-Hittner
Additional Authors: Rachael Weidman

Mindfulness is a form of awareness where one brings all attention to their current and direct experience of the world. Decentering is a component of mindfulness where one removes themself from the center of a situation and witnesses it from a more objective and less personally involved standpoint. As decentering has been shown to benefit psychological well-being and motivation, we are interested in how it might impact climate change response. Climate change is a global threat that is already having impacts on mental health, which can be understood by terms including eco-anxiety, which is anxiety caused by concerns of climate change and the future, and pre-traumatic stress disorder, which is stress caused by impending or foreseen loss. Climate change response was measured through defensive responses including denial and scapegoating and adaptive responses including collective action and identification. It was hypothesized that those with higher levels of decentering would have lower levels of defensive responses and higher levels of adaptive responses. We are also interested in investigating any effects of negative mood and self-compassion on the relationship between decentering and climate change response. As these are related to emotional regulation and resilience, they may play a role in threat response. It was hypothesized that the relationship between decentering and response to climate change would be significantly mediated by negative mood and self-compassion. 200 participants were recruited from the College of Charleston through Introduction to Psychology courses, Yoga Club, and Meditation Club. Data will be analyzed using Qualtrics but data collection is still in progress.

86. The Effects of Expressive and Benefit-Focused Writing on COVID-19 Distress in Sexual Minority College Students
Student Presenter: Patrick Meyer
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sarah Robertson

The coronavirus pandemic has brought attention to and exacerbated the mental health disparities experienced by sexual minorities, individuals who do not identify as heterosexual (Peterson et al., 2021). Sexual minority college students must navigate the “new” college experience with public health measures (e.g. online courses, face masks) on top of encountering stressors associated with heterosexism. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of expressive and benefit-focused writing on distress related to the pandemic and explore whether differences emerge among heterosexual and sexual minority college students in both baseline distress and intervention efficacy. Participants (N = 118) were randomly assigned to an expressive (writing about one’s deepest feelings and emotions related to the pandemic), benefit-focused (writing about the positive aspects of the pandemic), or control (writing unemotionally about an inanimate object or basic task) condition. The findings indicate that sexual minority students had significantly higher baseline measures of depression. While sexual minority students also had higher anxiety scores, there was no statistically significant difference. Additionally, heterosexual students had significantly greater levels of change in depression from pre-intervention to post-intervention, but there was no significant difference in change in anxiety. These findings highlight the need for culturally-responsive interventions to support the well-being of sexual minority college students. Future research can show if explicitly mentioning sexual orientation in writing prompts will allow students to tap into the intersection of their marginalization and stress, which may produce different outcomes compared to generic prompts.

87. Leveling the Playing Field: Can We Improve Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Autism?
Student Presenter: Paige Meyers
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cindi May
Additional Authors: Rachel Kaup

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), even those with college degrees, have high rates of unemployment (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). One significant barrier to employment for people with ASD is the job interview, as candidates with ASD are rated unfavorably in traditional face-to-face job interviews relative to neurotypical (NT) candidates (Whelpley & May, 2022). Although employers perceive candidates with ASD as qualified, they tend to reject those candidates because of atypical interpersonal and social interactions. This is true in situations in which evaluators are naïve to candidates’ ASD diagnosis and have no training about neurodiversity. Our study was aimed at assessing the impact of training and diagnosis disclosure in a job interview setting. We explored whether providing neurodiversity training to employers and having candidates disclose their ASD diagnosis improves hiring outcomes for people with ASD. In our study, college students with and without as ASD diagnosis engaged in mock job interviews. The interviews were videotaped and were later watched and evaluated by raters. Each rater first completed two training modules on ASD before watching the interview videos. Before each video, raters were informed about whether the candidate did (or did not) have ASD. Raters evaluated each candidate on nine of social dimensions. They also indicated whether each candidate was qualified for the job, and how likely they were to hire each candidate. Our findings have important implications for both employers and individuals with ASD on the job market.

88. Examining Climate Change Attitudes and Knowledge as Mediators of Conservatism and Risk Perception
Student Presenter: Caroline Mowry
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Short
Additional Authors: Alex L. Marsden (CofC), Maggie E. Brooker (CofC)

In order to understand conservatism as a predictor of perceived risk of climate change (CC), finding mediating variables provides a significant insight. Previous research has found that attitude plays a significant role in opinions (Nesbit et al., 2013) and engagement (O’Neil & Hulme, 2009) towards CC. However, little is known on the mediating factors of attitude as well as knowledge of CC on predicting perceived risks. The current study observed indirect effects of knowledge and attitude towards CC conservatism as a predictor of risk perception of CC both globally and locally. A sample (N=225) of undergraduate students from a South Eastern college completed an online survey containing questions measuring conservatism, CC attitudes (Oneil & Hulme, 2009), CC knowledge (Nesbet et al., 2013), local risk perception, and global risk perception. Mediation analyses conducted on data resulted in a significant indirect effect on conservatism from CC attitudes. These results suggest that future research should focus on CC attitudes more so than knowledge in order to buffer the effects of political ideology on perceived risk of climate change.

89. Optimizing Transdiagnostic Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Enhance Learning
Student Presenter: Cameron Robins
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Wilhelm, Dr. Danielle Taylor, MUSC/VAMC
Additional Authors: Christopher T. Sege, Ph.D., and Lisa M. McTeague, Ph.D. (MUSC)

Previous research has demonstrated that vagus nerve mediated sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity is commonly observed across psychiatric disorders. Data show vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) enhances 1) flexibility of parasympathetic activity thus reducing hyperactivity; and 2) neural plasticity. This study seeks to determine the optimal dose duration for VNS delivered non-invasively via the outer ear (trans-auricular VNS; taVNS), given inconsistencies in psychophysiological modulation are attributable to undetermined taVNS dosing. Two samples of healthy participants (N=50) will be recruited in two phases, wherein heart rate variability (HRV) and electroencephalography (EEG) will be measured. In Phase 1, cognitive tasks (one passive visual task and one active, speeded response task) will be administered (baseline and last 15 minutes of each taVNS stimulation dose) and compared between three dose durations of taVNS (15, 45, 75 minutes). In Phase 2, a fear learning and extinction task will be administered after the delivery of the optimal active duration found in Phase 1.

Phase 1 will employ a 2 Time by 3 Stimulation Duration repeated measure analysis of variance on HRV and EEG to determine optimal stimulation duration. It is expected that the longest duration will modulate neurophysiology (increasing HRV and EEG amplitudes during cognitive tasks) most. For Phase 2, fear extinction rates will be evaluated using a t-test (Active vs. Sham stimulation) on each dependent variable. It is expected that active compared to sham taVNS will enhance extinction rates. If supported, hypothesized results will facilitate the translation of experimental taVNS to potential therapeutic interventions for psychiatric disorders.

90. Effects of Intermittent Access to Ethanol on Operant Ethanol Seeking
Student Presenter: Emily Davis
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chad M. Galuska
Additional Authors: David Hammer (Student, Department of Psychology), Joesph Kelly (Student, Department of Psychology), Chad M. Galuska (Professor, Department of Psychology)

Background. Frustration stress is known to produce behavioral disruptions and can be identified as a common reason for alcohol consumption and abuse in humans. Previous research conducted in our laboratory has demonstrated that the negative incentive shift, the transition from favorable to unfavorable conditions using food reinforcers, has produced variable fluid consumption when the solution is freely available.

Research Question. We sought to determine if rats, concurrently undergoing cycles of binge and withdrawal of ethanol, would lever press for access to an ethanol solution during negative incentive shifts in food reward.

Methods. During a 24-hr period of access to a 20% (v/v) ethanol solution, the first hour of exposure to ethanol was dependent on the rats’ lever pressing as opposed to 23-hr period of free access to ethanol in the home cage of rats. In addition to a lever operating on a fixed-ratio schedule of reinforcement for food pellets, a second lever produced brief access to a 20% ethanol solution. The size of the food reinforcer (large or small) varied throughout the session and was signaled via a stimulus light.

Results. Although this experiment is still ongoing, preliminary results demonstrate that rats consume increased amounts of ethanol during free access periods in the home cage as well as variably consume a 20% ethanol solution during the negative incentive shift.

91. Neuroplasticity in Invertebrates
Student Presenter: Samantha Stocking
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Ruscio
Additional Authors: Sarah Suber

This project investigated the cellular processes associated with neuroplasticity in the snapping shrimp (Alpheus angulosus). The snapping shrimp is an ideal model for understanding the dynamic changes in any nervous system for several reasons. Snapping shrimp have the remarkable ability to regenerate a lost claw, necessarily involving regenerating neurons associated with claw function. Additionally, the snapping shrimp undergoes seasonal changes in overall body growth, likely accompanied by systemic changes in its nervous system. These properties give us a model organism that provides a window into the processes of neuroplasticity and adult neurogenesis (birth of new neurons) that is `turned-on' and `turned-off' relative to environmental conditions. In the present study we aimed to determine if seasonal difference (breeding vs. non-breeding shrimp) produce quantifiable differences in the nervous system. We collected shrimp at various times of the year from the Charleston Harbor. To quantify changes in the nervous system we used immunofluorescence for several different neural markers to reveal the structure of the nervous system (Synapsin and DAPI), the presence of particular neurotransmitters (FMRF-amide) and cell division, (Ph-3) potentially indicative of neurogenesis. To date our results have provided detailed and novel descriptions of the shrimp nervous system through the localization of our neural markers. With further analysis we will quantify seasonal differences in our samples. Importantly, this is not only a descriptive study of the snapping shrimp. The translational value of this mechanism may be relevant for addressing diseases characterized by the death or deterioration of neurons in humans.

92. Analysis of Social Engagement Platforms of HIV Clinics in Charleston, SC
Student Presenter: Darby Watford
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brooke Permenter

In the early 1980’s, what we now know as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) popped up in metropolitan areas in the United States, indicated by the sudden severe illness of gay men. As the epidemic progressed and science advanced to discover the cause and treatments, clinics have been established across the country that provide confidential services like HIV testing, treatment, and support for the patients that attend. Today, social media platforms have risen in prominence as a mode of obtaining information, especially on subjects with a desire for confidentiality. The efficiency of virtual social engagement for HIV clinics is important for attracting the most vulnerable populations. The ways that people perceive these advertisements can make a difference in their decision to engage with the clinic, therefore influencing their decision to pursue services offered. The purpose of this research was to rhetorically analyze the social engagement platforms of HIV clinics in Charleston. Rhetorical analysis of the social media profiles of Palmetto Community Clinic and the Ryan White Wellness Center was conducted. These organizations engage their audiences through the incorporation of advertisements of services and community events, inspirational images and quotes, and awareness dialogue. Overall, the clinics create a welcoming and inviting presence for the people that need them.

93. Initial Development and Validation of the Climate Change Responsibility Scale
Student Presenter: Alexandra Marsden
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Stephen Short
Additional Authors: Caroline Mowry and Maggie Brooker

Most existing climate change (CC) attitude scales measure attitudes regarding knowledge of CC and/or personal and moral responsibility. However, there is a lack of scales measuring perceived responsibility - which is the purpose of this initial scale development. Research on personal morality and responsibility to respond to CC indicates that individuals are more likely to place responsibility for causation and response to CC on various groups, such as governments, corporations, scientists, and individuals (Leviston & Walker, 2021). We developed and validated a new scale to measure one’s perceived responsibility for each of these four groups. We wrote 9 - 11 items per category and collected data through an online survey containing both our scale items and demographic measures. Descriptive statistics were examined for each scale item, and reliability analyses were conducted for each subscale to determine item retention. We hypothesized that established predictors of CC attitudes (e.g., political ideology) would uniquely predict each construct (e.g., liberals placing greater responsibility on governments). The goal of this current study was to initially evaluate the psychometric properties of this new scale by examining both the internal reliability of each subscale and correlations among the subscales with a known predictor variable, conservatism.

Religious Studies

94. Let Ev'ry Land their Tongues Employ: Ritual Democracy among Shape Note Singers
Student Presenter: Allen Duggar
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lenny Lowe

Shape note singing developed in the 1700s to accomplish a simple task – to improve the quality of singing at New England Congregationalist churches. As the name suggests, this was accomplished through a system of notation that allowed singers to tell what note to sing by its shape. However, shape note singing quickly came to represent a practice in its own right, separate from the churches which first employed the technique. The Sacred Harp is the most significant collection of shape note hymns. Today, thousands of people continue to meet to sing these songs and enact a ritual with roots before the founding of our country. Over the past year, I have traveled throughout Georgia and South Carolina to sing this music and interview its practitioners. Using the lens of ritual studies, I argue that the Sacred Harp tradition performs an idealized form of Protestant democracy. It creates ritual space through arranging its participants in the “hollow square” which faces them towards one another rather than a clergyman or an audience. It then establishes ritual equality by allowing everyone present to choose what songs to sing, lowering the barrier of entry for all singers through shape notes, and by holding elections. The elections and parliamentary procedures of the tradition are underpinned by a complex mythology that traces the tradition’s origins through the American Revolution. These practices imagine a politics without the struggle of the two-party system, and the result of the attention to equality is communitas and powerful aesthetic experience.

Sociology and Anthropology

95. Evolutionary Approaches in Understanding Human Language through Internet Memes
Student Presenter: Antonia Lombardi
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Hector Qirko

This paper discusses the extent to which Internet memes can be considered a product of evolved human behavior. I consider the study of evolutionary linguistics as well as ‘memetic’ cultural evolution to understand the phenomenon of communication through Internet memes. Though the transmission of cultural data from person to person via language did of course exist before the advent of social media, I argue that the niche environment of social media platforms creates selective pressures geared toward maximizing memetic reproductive success which promote transmission and replication of particular memes that are subsequently used to communicate specific messages, regardless of their original content. Additionally, I argue that form change through replication facilitates change in message without completely dismantling the original design of the ‘parent’ meme. Through evolutionary linguistics, I also evaluate the evolutionary psychologist’s perspective on how Internet memes may be evidence of evolved cognitive modules for processing and transmitting information for the purpose of effective communication in an environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA). I use the case study of “Loss”, an internet meme that has undergone change through replication several times over yet continues to be recognizable through its most complex derivatives. By understanding the niche cultural environment that continues to replicate and ‘share’ Loss memes we can evaluate the extent to which a single parent meme has the ability to communicate such a wealth and variety of information from the creator, to the sharer, and to subsequent recipients and the evolved psychological mechanisms that facilitate it.

96. Loss, Big, and Small: College Students’ Grief During COVID-19
Student Presenter: Jayson Gulick
Faculty Mentor: Dr. George Dickinson

This study analyzes how a different schooling environment, affected by COVID-19, influenced how students processed their grief over the past academic year when quarantine rules were in place. Grief in this study is defined as any form of loss, whether it relates to death or not. Objectives include gaining insight to what losses students experienced, how heavily they weighed on the students emotionally, what their support systems were, and how helpful those systems were. Findings include high severities of both anxiety and depression. Students were hit hardest by losses in their social, love, and college lives. Students who suffered from these and negative emotions the greatest were freshmen and students of sexual minorities. Most students did not experience a death, but those who did reported more COVID-19 related deaths of people outside their families rather than within them. A majority felt they were able to cope after these deaths. They found support systems in primary social groups to be the most helpful in their grief. Students were the most aware of school specific mental health resources rather than external ones, but both were deemed overall not very helpful, with the most helpful one scoring an average of 5/10. This study offers insight to what grief students experienced and how they processed it, presenting potential tools for College of Charleston and other institutions by better understanding their grief, whether global or more personal.

Graduate Program in Child Life

97. Designing Play-Based Programming and Facility Development for a Community Organization
Student Presenter: Melanie Orama
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susan J. Simonian
Additional Authors: Erin Champion, Sarah Jane Honeycutt, Abigail Caldwell, Shelby Collins, Hannah Dee, Allegra Deley, Brooke Hammons, Hannah Patton (MSCL CofC Graduate Program)

Play-based programming is fundamental to facilitating a child's emotional well-being (Landreth, 2012). The three styles of play practices that can be used to develop programming are educational, therapeutic, and recreational. Each practice encompasses different objectives for the ongoing development of a child. This project focuses on the facility development of a local community organization known as Camp Happy Days (CHD). CHD is an organization that provides support to children diagnosed with cancer and their families. The methodology for creating play-based programming for CHD incorporates the three play practices. Through database searches, this project outlines the importance of including age-specific support for preschool, preadolescent, and adolescent campers; support for siblings, caregivers, and families; creative art therapies and dramatic play; and bereavement support. Age-specific support programming at CHD includes "Doodlebug bedtime stories," "Cabin Chat," and a teen weekend. Family support will follow family-centered care practices and take the form of support groups where people share common experiences and provide each other with comfort and advice. The use of music, art, and drama in creative art therapies will facilitate a wide range of creative and emotional expression (Landreth, 2012). Dramatic play, such as a teaching kitchen, will accommodate children with a cancer diagnosis experiencing individual needs in their diet and eating habits (Raber & Chandra, 2017). Bereavement support will improve the psychosocial health of the entire family facing pediatric cancer (Landreth, 2012). This research will guide the design of play-based programming and facility development for CHD using child life and play theory.

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98. 63 1/2 Coming
Student Presenter: Anna Duren
Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Newhard
Additional Authors: Kelsey Campbell (Archaeology/Anthropology), Emma Forsyth (Archaeology/Classics), Audrey Grau (Archaeology/History), Carolina Hannon (Archaeology/History), Caleb Kelly (Archaeology/Anthropology), Antonia Lombardi (Archaeology/Classics/Anthropology), Scott Powell (Historic Preservation and Community Planning)

Excavations at 63 1/2 Coming Street (38CH2649) occurred between March and May 2021. As part of a data recovery plan under the university's Section 106 obligations, the site yielded the back wall of what was originally marked as a kitchen in the city’s earliest surviving fire insurance maps (1888). By the 1890s, the structure was labeled as a dwelling. In summer and fall 2021 and spring 2022, work continued to analyze the artifacts collected to place the structure in its proper chronological and functional context. Preliminary results from the analysis affirms a mid-19th century date for the structure and presents characteristics of domestic contexts ranging from the mid-19th to early 20th century - a period of enslavement, emancipation, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow. Kitchens have a dramatic story to tell about the lived experiences of people overlooked by normative historical treatises because of their history as working and living spaces for the enslaved. These muted voices were heard via the discovery of the archaeological material, including a slave tag near the hearth's foundations. This project opens doors for questions about resilience, agency, and identity and the relationships between enslaved people and their enslavers, spatially and otherwise.

99. Pompeii's Prolific Cottage Industries
Student Presenter: Margaret Daily
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Allison Sterrett-Krause

Though Pompeii is the best preserved and most studied archaeological site, little is understood about the development and interactions of the several industries within the city. Garum (fermented fish sauce) production was one of the oldest and well-known inner-mural industries but underwent a period of radical reorganization in order to better provide for the demands of the local clientele. Space in the walled ancient city was assumed to be maximized for residential use, but the presence of several inner-city vineyards and flower gardens of various sizes highlights the importance of the role of agricultural cultivation and production within the city. The number of textile workshops led scholars to believe in an all-important Pompeian wool industry, but the ambiguity of several workspaces seems to have generated an overestimation in the size and importance of textile production. Though numerous city-wide professions are present in the archaeological record, these industries do not indicate a greater export economy due to their lack of overall organization and size.

100. Aquaterra 2.0: Enhancing Models for Understanding Marine/Terrestrial Least Cost Paths
Student Presenter: Charlotte Guthrie
Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Newhard

Using Least-Cost Path Analysis to model movement across a landscape is a widely used application to assess connectivity and communications between different spaces. While algorithms to model movement based on terrain and modes of travel have become rather robust, they traditionally do not take into account cultural factors. Furthermore, LCPA was designed as a terrestrially-based modeling system; areas which require conceptualizing movement across both land- and seascapes are not well-served by standard LCP protocols.
In 2014, Newhard et al. developed a prototype which enhanced these applications by integrating costs for land and sea travel and factored in avoidance or attraction to cultural elements. While the prototype was successful in presenting proof of concept, the original model was cumbersome and hard-coded various permutations relating to such things as different walking algorithms and zones of avoidance/attraction. Streamlining the code (Buescher et al. 2020) assisted in eliminating some redundancies but creating a user interface and developing subroutines based on user input remained to be developed.
Current work focuses upon making the model more user-friendly, readable, and efficient by the development of user-defined subroutines using model-builder, a visual programming module found in ArcPro 2.7. Organizing sections of the model into groups further isolated key algorithms, allowing for future refinements and enhancements. The resulting system increases speed and efficiency and enhances user engagement, while simultaneously signposting to future developer’s specific model functions, to be enhanced in light of recent work on modeling communication networks in landscapes with highly disparate geographical profiles.

101. The Annihilation of Carthage: Panarchy, Regime Shifts, and the Pervasive Romanist Perspective in Carthaginian Archaeology
Student Presenter: Antonia Lombardi
Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Newhard

By the fourth century BCE, Carthage was a dominant power in the Mediterranean successfully integrating itself within the political and economic affairs of an increasingly interconnected region. Understanding Carthage’s unique role in the Mediterranean during this time yields a holistic interpretation of complex systems developing and interacting during this time. However, despite its hegemonic strength and early imperial efforts, Carthage is often relegated to a supporting role in the story of Roman domination and conquest rather than an independent agent whose economic system attracted competition with the growing Roman State delaying interest in potentially valuable archaeological campaigns and perpetuated erasure of Punic socio-cultural identity. While the Siege of the Carthage (146 BCE) has been studied from the perspective of Roman expansion, discussions recognizing Carthage’s complexity are lacking. With new technological advancements in the field of archaeology being applied by researchers with a growing interest this area, the study of Carthage as a complex system continues to become more accessible. Using Panarchy to describe ancient Carthage as a complex adaptive system its scale, integration, boundedness, and resiliency can be interpreted from uncovered material data and contemporaneous literary sources. By treating the Carthage and Rome as two heterarchical socio-economic systems who eventually began to overlap each other, we can adjust our understanding of the classical world and begin to recognize all of the actors who shaped the culturally rich and integrated Mediterranean world.

102. The implications of land reform on the Roman Social War
Student Presenter: AnneMarie Underwood
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alwine

The murder of Tiberius Gracchus and the massacre that ensued have long been cited as the end to nearly three centuries of peace in the Roman Republic. This view of 133 B.C. as a watershed moment goes back to the Romans themselves. While most contemporary scholarship emphasizes the unusual manner through which Tiberius Gracchus passed his bill for land redistribution, I aim to provide a fresh perspective on the revolutionary nature of this moment. I study how the content and long-term effects of his bill created an unstable environment surrounding land reform and the rights of Italians, which cumulated in the Roman Social War. Chapter I explores how the Roman Republic viewed land ownership, with a particular emphasis on the system known as the ""ager publicus"" (state-owned, public lands) and the growth of this system as Rome continued to establish more colonies. Chapter II then explores how the Roman elites began to exploit public lands, and how the simultaneous slowing of territorial growth placed a new strain on Rome, as the demand for land began to outgrow its availability. With this context, Chapter III delves into Tiberius Gracchus’ proposed solution to the rising tensions: a system of redistribution that breaks up massive estates and protects public lands from private use. Tiberius’ bill sets off a catalyst of shifting agrarian laws, and Part IV explores how this period of legal instability regarding land fuels the fight for Italian citizenship, which in turn leads to the onset of the Social War.

103. Cultural Identity in Pompeii
Student Presenter: Everest Wirszyla
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Allison Sterrett-Krause

Pompeii, at the time of the Vesuvian eruption, was a growing populace inhabited by a diverse number of distinct cultural groups and identities. Like other port cities in Rome, Pompeii’s peoples would have constant interaction with a number of other cultural and regional identities allowing for a continuous introduction of new cultural ideas and customs. Through exploring the interaction of these identities in relation to the development of the urban city, it is clear that these distinct identities still remained largely prominent even after Roman colonization. Rather than a practice of repeated cultural replacement as new groups arrived or rose to dominance, cultural interaction between these groups primarily consisted of the convergence of cultural customs and ideals into a unique identity for Pompeii. The influx, and then convergence, of these new cultures is apparent through the distribution and manipulation of regional architectural styles and linguistic elements of various regions. Pompeii’s ability to adapt to the constant inundation of newcomers into its society allowed for it to evolve and prosper up until its destruction in 79 AD.

International Studies Program

104. Eddie Ganaway: Legacy of a Black Trailblazer
Student Presenter: Jalen Newell
Faculty Mentor: Drs. Valerie Fraizer and Susan Farrell

Early black trailblazers at the College of Charleston are unrepresented when discussing the college’s history. At the college, the general population composed of students and faculty have little to no knowledge of the past trailblazers whose mission was to push for desegregation in education in not just South Carolina, but the entire nation. Eddie Ganaway, one of the early black trailblazers, is an influential figure at the colleges whose contributions to diversity at the College of Charleston in the year 1967 by being the first black graduate of the college goes underrepresented. My research goes into depth about Ganaway’s experiences during his time at the college and highlights the influence his attendance had on future generations of black students at the College of Charleston through his metaphorical emphasis on the nature of plants, seminars, and memories of him from his family members and colleagues after his death. This research proves significance to the public as it is meant to inform those about the achievements of the college’s first black graduate and how his perseverance through the obstacles proposed during America’s segregation era and how that contributed to de-segregating at the College of Charleston.

105. Environmental Racism & Health Disparities
Student Presenter: Peyton Baxley
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Cavalli

The objective of this research poster was to find the correlation between environmental racism and health disparities on the Charleston peninsula and surrounding areas, including North Charleston. Environmental racism involves the destructive processes that disproportionately affect people of color and their place of living or work. Quantitative data, including health disparities reports, flood maps, and local statistics (from SCDHEC), are used to display the interrelationship. Qualitative data, including quotes from academic journals, academic books, especially those containing personal testimonies from environmental experts, support the aforementioned quantitative data. All in all, this research shows the unyielding relationship between environmental racism and health disparities, as well as sheds light on action that has been taken and can still be taken in the future.

106. Community Response to Refugees in Charleston
Student Presenter: Sara Solan
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso

Do you care about refugees? Our city has received over 86 Afghan refugees over the past 40 days, and we are expected to reach over 100 in the next few weeks. You can be involved in our community response. This data visualization project aims to promulgate opportunities for community service in order to support the Charleston refugee community. Lutheran Services Carolinas, the local refugee resettlement authority, has formed Circles of Welcome (CoW) to support refugees in their movement to Charleston. On campus, the Cougar Refugee Alliance has mobilized over 70 students to work hands-on with the local refugees. Additionally, professors have formed a Task Force within higher administration to form CofC’s very own Circle of Welcome, accepting with open arms families for the College’s community to support. Throughout our on- and off-campus communities, engaged citizens also donate to these global organizations working on our local level. Wherever you stand in the Charleston community, there are options for you to get involved and address global issues by creating a tangible local change.

Hispanic Studies

107. Respuesta cinemática de Carlos Saura a la dictadura de Francisco Franco
Student Presenter: Emma Burton
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susan Divine

Bajo la dictadura de Francisco Franco que empezó en 1939 y terminó con su muerte en 1975, España sufrió la represión casi total de su cine. Muchos cineastas huyeron, buscando países libres para crear. Carlos Saura quedó. Este ensayo explora las películas de Saura, creadas bajo la dictadura y promulgadas a despecho de la censura. Se enfoque en Peppermint Frappé (1967) y Cría Cuervos (1976), que examinan la dictadura de Franco desde el impacto que tiene sobre las relaciones interpersonales. En Peppermint Frappé, Saura explora el tratamiento de las mujeres durante el Franquismo, haciendo una yuxtaposición entre la mujer española y la mujer norteamericana para demostrar el rol cambiado de la mujer en la nación española. Usa una narrativa surrealista y el género de suspenso para hacer un comentario sobre el machismo de la sociedad Franquista sin represión de la censura. Cría Cuervos pinta la familia como microcosmo de la dictadura y encubre su criticismo usando un perspectivo fragmentado e inocente de una niña. Esta obra también incluye elementos de lo surreal en su inclusión de las alucinaciones de la protagonista como eventos reales que exponen cómo la dictadura tiene efecto en los funcionamientos de la familia, y por extensión, la nación entera. Este ensayo se enfoca en los métodos artísticos de Carlos Saura, quien criticó a la dictadura y sus cicatrices sobre la sociedad Española no desde afuera, sino desde el centro de la nación.

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108. Purification of wildtype FXR1 protein
Student Presenter: Toni Allison
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Visu Palanisamy, MUSC
Additional Authors: Dr. Mrinmoyee Majumder (MUSC Biochemistry Department)
Dr. Cynthia Wright (MUSC Department of Graduate Studies), Dr. Geslain (CofC)

Fragile X-related protein 1 (FXR1) is an RNA-binding protein (RBP) that has been found to control various aspects of co- and post-transcriptional gene expression in cancer cells, contributing to decreased patient survival when over-expressed. FXR1 targets tumor suppressor genes, promoting the growth and proliferation of cancer cells, by bypassing cellular senescence and down-regulating p21 signaling. While the relationship between FXR1 and cancer is being increasingly studied, there have been no cost and time-efficient methods established to purify the protein and its mutant forms. Here, we were able to successfully clone the wild-type FXR1 into an E. coli bacterial vector. We then induced gene transcription with isopropyl-β-d-1-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) treatment and subsequently purified the protein by metal chromatography. Establishing these purification methods will now allow us to further study over-expression of FXR1 and its mutants, with my lab being interested in PRMT5's reversal effects on FXR1.

109. Salty Frogs: The Impacts of Freshwater Salinization on Amphibian Anti-Predation Behavior
Student Presenter: Aubrey Anthony
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Allison Welch

The human actions which define the Anthropocene have now jeopardized and compromised the health of ecosystems around the world by decreasing their biodiversity, thus directly diminishing the resilience of these ecosystems. De-icing roads, mining, and agricultural runoff are all factors which directly threaten the biodiversity and well-being of freshwater ecosystems via the process of freshwater salinization which especially threatens sensitive groups such as amphibians. Highly sensitive to changes in their environments, in part due to their permeable skin, amphibians serve as ecological cornerstone carrying out vital functions as regulators of multiple insect species while feeding other predator species. Should these roles go unfilled, former prey species (i.e. small insect species such as mosquitos) could begin to overpopulate and eventual decline alongside an almost immediate predator species crash. We investigated the ecological impacts of salinization by looking at the relative vulnerability to salinity of two species of amphibian tadpoles and two species of aquatic insects that are important tadpole predators. Our results entailed a significantly lower LC50 for Hyla Cinera, commonly referred to as the Green Treefrog, than any of the other species studied during this work, showing a high sensitivity to salinity; alternatively, the Odonata nymphs had an extremely high LC50 with no individuals dying during the salinity trials. These results suggest that increased salinity in freshwater will introduce a selection pressure which could very well reduce and erase some amphibian populations while others remain alongside predators such as dragonfly larvae, decreasing the overall biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems.

110. The Dead Sea-of-C
Student Presenter: O'Brien Atkinson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Moshe Rhodes

In nature, there exists microorganisms that can live in conditions of extreme temperature, acidity, alkalinity, or chemical concentration called extremophiles. Halophiles are a type of extremophile that can thrive in hypersaline (salty) conditions. Hypersaline environments can be found naturally on earth in areas such as the Great Salt Lake (GSL) and the Dead Sea. Up until now there have only been a handful of studies in which a hypersaline environment is created de novo. In order to better understand halophiles’ ability to disperse around the globe, a one cubic meter hypersaline mesocosm pool was constructed on top of a College of Charleston rooftop. This pool contained a salinity of approximately 20% or seven times more saline than the oceans and resembles the conditions found in the GSL. Within months the pool contained a thriving ecosystem of halophilic microorganisms. Through DNA analysis of the 16S rRNA gene it was discovered that the biota of the artificial hypersaline pool contains some of the same microbes that are naturally found in salterns such as the GSL and Dead Sea. This gives evidence that halophiles are capable at least limited aerial dispersal. Not only does this experiment provide a better understanding of what’s in our atmosphere and how single celled organisms are able to disperse around the world, it also gives insight into how these ecosystems develop overtime.

111. Is Estrogen Signaling Responsible for the Effects of Exercise on Synaptic Reorganization in the Spinal Cord after Peripheral Nerve Injury?
Student Presenter: Grace Bader
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Wilhelm
Additional Authors: Vernon Kennedy and Shynese Wilson

Peripheral nerve injury can produce many debilitating physical effects such as loss of motor control that can require long-term rehabilitation. These deficits are caused in part by reorganization and loss of synaptic connections onto injured motor neurons within the spinal cord. Previous research has shown that moderate daily treadmill exercise can reduce this loss of synaptic connections. Our study examined whether estrogen receptor signaling may be employed during treadmill exercise to mitigate the synaptic changes that occur after injury to the axons of motor neurons. Using a mouse model, we cut the right common fibular nerve then pharmacologically blocked estrogen signaling using Fulvestrant during exercise. Injured motoneurons were labelled at the time of surgical transection using a retrograde fluorescent dye for later identification. Fourteen days later, changes in excitatory synaptic coverage were assessed by reacting tissue from the lumbar spinal cord with antibodies to vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (vGLUT1), a marker for glutamatergic synaptic inputs. The average synaptic coverage of glutamatergic inputs as indicated by reactivity to the vGLUT1 antibody onto labeled motor neurons was assessed using Image J. We found that blocking estrogen receptors during exercise prevented the sustaining effects of the exercise and resulted in an increased loss of inputs compared to mice not receiving the ER antagonist. Based on these results we suggest that ER signaling is an important part of the machinery required for the exercise-mediated effects on synaptic inputs onto axotomized motoneurons after sciatic nerve transection.

112. STEAM Living-Learning Communities
Student Presenter: Jimeace Bonaparte
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso

This faculty and student project will highlight the outcomes of a faculty STEAM Professional Learning Club (PLC). At the College of Charleston, the vision of the STEAM community is to recruit, recognize, innovate, and invest in their students, while valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion. STEAM majors and minors are unique and gifted, bringing individuality, creativity, and bright ideas to the environment. Receiving an interdisciplinary education is beneficial for students, molding them to be well-rounded individuals and successful within any given field. But their abilities reach far beyond academic success, possessing the skills and determination to showcase their diverse knowledge and make an impact in various ways. Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics encompass a wide range of individuals ready to show the world who they are. The Honors College STEAM mentoring cohort aims to provide students with the tools and resources necessary, in order for them to not only display their scholastic intelligence but to tell their personal stories and demonstrate their talents. Introducing students to opportunities, helping them make connections, and serving as a community of mentors are methods to help them excel.

Student Presenter: Millar Elferdink
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Naohiro Yamaguchi, MUSC
Additional Authors: Venkat R. Chirasani - Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ryanodine receptor calcium release channels (RyRs) play critical roles for cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction by releasing Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum to cytosols. RyRs are associated with multiple muscle diseases. Thus, better understanding RyR regulatory mechanisms are essential for future drug discovery and preventive care of diseases. RyR channels are activated by ~1 µM cytosolic Ca2+, while higher concentrations of Ca2+ (>300 µM) inhibit the channels. In this study, we aimed to understand the molecular basis of Ca2+-dependent regulation of RyRs. We have identified the EF hand domain of RyR as a low affinity Ca2+ inhibitory site; however, it is distal from the ion conduction pore site. Molecular dynamics simulations based on the near-atomic structures of RyRs showed two hydrogen bond interactions between the EF hand and S2-S3 loop, a part of pore-forming transmembrane region. Thus, we examined the role of these amino acids for Ca2+-dependent regulation of RyRs. We introduced point mutations on the hydrogen bonding amino acids of skeletal RyR isoform (RyR1), expressed mutant RyR1s in HEK293 cells, and determined channel activities by [3H]ryanodine binding methods. Two mutations in the EF hand, K4101E and K4101M, decreased affinity for Ca2+-dependent inhibition. Also, two mutations on the S2-S3 loop, R4736Q and R4736W, decreased Ca2+ and Mg2+ inhibitory effects. Our data suggest that RyR1 amino acids forming hydrogen bonds in EF hand and S2-S3 loop play important roles in Ca2+ inhibition. Future computer simulations of mutagenesis will help us understand how mutations alter the interaction between two domains.

114. A Microarray Atlas of tRNA Expression in Normal Mouse Tissues
Student Presenter: Ansley Elkins
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Renaud Geslain
Additional Authors: Dr. Breege Howley and Dr. Philip Howe, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MUSC

Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are extremely abundant molecules, responsible for the translation of cellular messenger RNAs into their corresponding proteins. It is often assumed that tRNAs expression is homogenous in multicellular organisms. However, recent studies have challenged this assumption, demonstrating that tRNA levels vary among different cell types and organs. Additionally, studies have shown that rogue cells, such as breast cancer cells, display unique tRNA expression patterns in mice. These studies suggest that cells modulate the expression of tRNA to optimize the expression of certain proteins. This project hopes to expand upon these findings, by establishing that some, if not all, tissues display unique patterns of tRNA expression. Additionally, we hope to correlate tRNA profiles with published proteomic profiling data to ultimately prove that the synthesis of tissue-specific proteins requires the expression of tissue-specific tRNAs. This project will monitor the expression of 46 tRNA species across 13 different mouse tissues. Total RNAs were isolated from those tissues via a phenol-chloroform extraction technique and purified through gel-electrophoresis. In the upcoming months, those tRNAs will be enzymatically labeled with radioactive phosphorus using the T4 polynucleotide kinase. Microarrays specific to mouse tRNAs will be printed in the lab. Each radioactive mouse tRNAs extract will be hybridized onto an array and tRNA profiles will be generated by phosphorimaging. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a complete atlas of tRNA expression will be investigated. Through the microarray profiles generated by this study, we will gain a better understanding of how tRNA expression varies between tissues.

115. Proteomic analysis of Muddy Brown Granular Casts – Is Uromodulin Really the Top Protein?
Student Presenter: Elizabeth Fongheiser
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Janech
Additional Authors: Alison Bland (CofC), Juan Carlos Q. Velez MD, Vipin Varghese MD, Akanksh Ramanand MD, (Ochsner Medical Center University of Queensland), Benjamin Neeley PhD (National Institutes of Standards and Technology).

Urinary casts are cylindrical structures composed of cellular debris bound together in a matrix of proteins found in urine. Muddy brown granular casts (MBGC) are urinary casts that are pathognomonic for acute tubular necrosis For over a century, scientists have believed that uromodulin was the most abundant protein in all types of urinary casts; however, this speculation was never examined through unbiased protein analysis. We hypothesized that if uromodulin is the most abundant protein in urinary casts, then uromodulin will be the most abundant protein analyzed by a comprehensive approach in patient samples. Urine samples and MBGC were collected from 11 patients at Ochsner Medical Center and isolated using filtration. MBGC were proteolytically digested and analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry to determine protein composition. Proteins from the samples were ranked by normalized spectral abundance factor, and mean ranks +/- SD were calculated. Experiment-wide, there were 3315 proteins identified with an average of 1887+/-246 proteins per sample. The top 10 proteins based on mean ranks across all patients represented 29.5+/-5% of the individual proteomes. Notably, 8/10 proteins were less than 30 kDa. All top 10 proteins were grouped in the “binding” classification using Gene Ontology. The top-ranked protein was retinal binding protein 4. Uromodulin had an average rank of 7/10 indicating that uromodulin is not the most abundant protein in MBGC based on molar ratios. Future discussions of urinary casts should consider including retinol binding protein 4 as one of the dominant proteins alongside uromodulin.

116. Co-impact of the obesogenic emulsifier DOSS and Clozapine on the mouse gut microbiome
Student Presenter: Heather Ghent
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Moshe Rhodes

The link between the human microbiome and the brain is becoming more recognized; however, the extent of the microbiome’s effects on cognition, behavior, and brain chemistry are not well understood. It was not until recently that the human microbiome was investigated, which has been shown to influence metabolic rates in mouse models and is now also being shown to affect cognition. DOSS, a compound used in stool softeners prescribed to pregnant women, has been linked to metabolic diseases in offspring when administered during gestation, although fed a normal diet. DOSS is often administered with other compounds, and thus this study is investigating the co-impact of DOSS and Clozapine, often prescribed together to pregnant schizophrenic patients, on the gut microbiome as well as cognition. Investigating the effects of fetal exposure and continued adult exposure to these compounds will allow us to identify changes in the microbiomes using genetic analyses and cognitive abnormalities via neuroscience protocols. One potential outcome is that exposure to DOSS and Clozapine will alter the gut microbiome and lead to cognitive impairment in mice. Another possible outcome is that while fetal exposure may alter the gut microbiome, the combination may not have significant effects on cognition, although it may in other facets of brain development, prompting further investigation. Researching how exposure to DOSS and Clozapine affects the gut microbiome and cognition of mice will further our understanding of the effects of compounds on multiple facets of health and represents both potential treatments and diagnostic measures for many diseases.

117. Carryover effects of elevated salinity exposure during embryonic stages of southern toad (Anaxyrus terrestris)
Student Presenter: Regan Honeycutt
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Allison Welch

Carryover effects occur when experiences during one phase of life impact an organism’s performance later in life. For example, a stressor experienced during an earlier life stage may alter performance during a future stage, or physical changes induced in response to the stressor may remain after the stressor is removed. Increased salinity is a relevant source of environmental stress in freshwater ecosystems, due to coastal storm surge or runoff of road salts. Later, these elevated salinity levels may be alleviated with rainfall or an influx of freshwater. Amphibians can be particularly sensitive to increased environmental salinity, with their permeable skin and semi-aquatic life cycle. In this study, we used southern toads to investigate the impact of elevated salinity, experienced during embryonic development, on performance during the larval stage. Embryos were placed in weakly brackish or freshwater and, upon reaching the tadpole stage, were reared in either the same or opposite treatment. Among tadpoles reared in freshwater, those exposed to elevated salinity as embryos, were smaller after 5 weeks compared to those who weren’t. Tadpoles reared in the salinity treatment, however, showed no effect of embryonic salinity exposure. These results demonstrate a carryover effect of elevated salinity during embryonic development, particularly when salinity stress was alleviated later on. Our findings suggest exposure to elevated salinity can have relatively long-lasting impacts on organismal performance even if the stress is experienced for a short time. Carryover effects should be considered when evaluating the potential impact of environmental stressors on sensitive organisms and ecosystems.

118. Do Undergraduates Know “Nephrology”? – A Single Site Survey of College Students
Student Presenter: Julia Hopkins
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Janech
Additional Authors: John M. Arthur (Division of Nephrology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR)
Juan Carlos Q. Velez (Department of Nephrology, Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA)

Over the past decade, Nephrology has experienced a 43% decline in fellowship applicants. A factor to choosing Nephrology could be a lack of early exposure. If an individual has never been exposed to a certain field, it stands to reason the chance of developing an interest in that field is low. While studies have been conducted to explain why residents choose a specific fellowship program, none have surveyed the undergraduate student population. To this end, we conducted a survey of undergraduate students at the College of Charleston to test the hypothesis that Nephrology will rank amongst the least recognizable specialties. Methods: 274 undergraduates at CofC responded to a survey where they were asked to select every medical specialty they recognized by name (15 real specialties/1 fictitious). Several demographic questions were included. Differences were considered by comparing confidence intervals or Chi-Square test. Spearman-Rank test was used to examine whether or not the number of applicants per specialty fellowship position was correlated with the proportion of responses. Results: Out of 15 medical specialties, Nephrology ranked lowest (29%). Pre-med students were about twice as likely (p<0.001) to have recognized Nephrology versus non-pre-med students (49% vs. 22%, respectively). There was a correlation between the proportion of undergraduate students who recognized a specific medical specialty and the number of U.S. applicants per fellowship position in 2019 (R2=0.4, p=0.03). Conclusion: Nephrology was the least recognized specialty amongst undergraduates. The discrepancy between Nephrology and other specialties highlights a gap in name recognition at an early career stage.

119. A Model System of Peptide Hydrophobic Collapse
Student Presenter: Lane Kenan
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Giuliano
Additional Authors: Rachel Wilkinson

Human galanin is a 30 amino acid neuropeptide with potential medical use as an anticonvulsant agent. Previous studies in the Giuliano lab have indicated that its N-terminus has irregular alpha helical character, and the C-terminus is believed to be a naturally evolved solubility tag. They also found consistent clustering of hydrophobic residues to be responsible for its secondary structure. In this study, we use 2D 1H-1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy to study and compare the properties of small modified peptides to previously characterized fragments of galanin in an attempt to develop a model system of hydrophobic collapse, which is the earliest stage in the folding of all proteins.

120. Teaching Simple Harmonic Motion Using a Model of Interval Timing
Student Presenter: Brynn Korin
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sorinel A. Oprisan
Additional Authors: Drs. Mona Buhusi and Catalin Buhusi (Utah State University)

Perception of durations in the seconds-to-minutes range, interval timing, is critical in decision-making processes and rate estimation. Lesion and pharmacological studies found that interval timing is the emergent property of an extensive neural network that includes, among many other areas, the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the basal ganglia (BG), and the hippocampus (HIP). We used the Striatal Beat Frequency (SBF) model as the backbone of our new interval timing learning algorithm. We investigated the effects of biological noise and phase delay. Our hypothesis is that delays added to PFC will worsen the performance of the computational model. The added phase delays mimic action potential frequencies in microgravity environments. Delays in the PFC were added with a positive and negative slope in order to observe all possible outcomes.

121. Defining the importance of proline residues in the hypervariable region of HRAS for interaction with RAF
Student Presenter: Megan Mazzei
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John O'Bryan, MUSC
Additional Authors: Imran Khan, Mariyam Zuberi, Michael Whaby
Department of Pharmacology, MUSC

RAS GTPases play a major role in the control of cell proliferation and are strongly associated with the development and progression of human cancers, making it a key target for pharmacological inhibition. The RAS family consists of 3 highly related genes, HRAS, NRAS and KRAS that encode 4 different proteins including HRAS, NRAS, KRAS4A and KRAS4B. These isoforms contain a G domain and a Hypervariable Region (HVR). The G-domains are highly similar in sequence between isoforms and are responsible for the binding and activation of RAS effectors such as the RAF Ser/Thr kinase which activates the RAS effector pathway, RAF/MEK/ERK. The HVR varies greatly across the isoforms and is the site for post-translation modifications. Many groups have focused on inhibiting the RAF/MEK/ERK signaling pathway. A RAS biologic inhibitor, developed in this lab, inhibits both HRAS- and KRAS-mediated ERK signaling; however, the two isoforms interact differently with RAF in the presence of this inhibitor. We propose that the potential cause for this different interaction are the HRAS specific proline residues 173,174 and 179 that cause structural kinks within the molecule. By mutating these prolines to a smaller amino acid, alanine, a decrease in RAS/RAF interaction in HRAS (G12V) in the presence of the biologic inhibitor is expected and an increase in the absence of this inhibitor. This difference in RAS/RAF interaction is important not only in the context of the RAS biologic inhibitor, but also in understanding the biochemical differences between the isoforms that prompts differentiation in interaction.

122. Direct Measurement of Properties of Cell Membrane Mimics
Student Presenter: Gabby Molloseau
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Giuliano and Dr. Forconi

The environments of cell surfaces are notoriously complex and play a large role in intercellular communication and other biological processes. The interaction between water molecules embedded in the cell’s membrane and other molecules is what creates such a convoluted environment, that has yet to be researched fully. It is believed that the surface of the cell near the membrane will reflect similar properties to organic solvents, since most of the nearby water is bound up by the membrane itself. Previous work in the lab has allowed us to synthesize small organic reporter molecules that is now be used to embed into mimics of the membrane of a cell. Atoms in the reporter molecule give unique spectroscopic signals, due to their sensitivity to the solvent surrounding the cell’s surface. These signals allow for a better understanding of the properties of the environment of the cell’s membrane. Understanding the intricate nature of cell surfaces will allow for a better understanding of cell signaling and communication, the binding of medicines to cellular targets and how it affects their designed purpose, and how structure and function of biomolecules are related to their environment. The aim of this study is to develop new broadly applicable probe molecules that allow for direct spectroscopic measurement of the solvent environment at the surface of several different mimics of the cell membrane.

123. Investigating the Role of MEF2C in Inhibitory Neurons for MEF2C Haploinsufficency
Student Presenter: Divya Proper
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Cowan, Jennifer Cho, MUSC

The MEF2 (Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2) family of transcription factors regulate gene expression controlling cell differentiation and synapse development. Loss-of-function mutations or deletions of the MEF2C gene cause a neurodevelopmental disorder, termed MEF2C Haploinsufficiency Syndrome (MCHS), that includes symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability, seizures, and motor and sensory abnormalities. MEF2C is highly expressed in excitatory and GABAergic inhibitory neurons, but its role in GABAergic neurons, and the relevance to MCHS-like phenotypes in mice, is unknown. To study the role of MEF2C in GABAergic populations during mouse development, we bred Vgat (vesicular GABA transporter)-Cre mice, to create offspring that only express Mef2c as heterozygotes in GABAergic cells (Mef2c cHetVgat-cre). We then subjected these mutants and littermate controls to tests measuring MCHS-relevant phenotypes, including spatial working memory, anxiety-like behavior, social preference, sensory sensitivity, and Pavlovian learning and memory. Mef2c cHetVgat-cre mice showed significant deficits in spatial working memory and social preference, both of which are prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent. Interestingly, we noted that conditional Mef2c knockout mice (Mef2c cKOVgat-cre) showed embryonic and early postnatal lethality, probable seizures, and severe motor coordination problems, highlighting the importance of MEF2C function in GABAergic populations. We hypothesize that MEF2C plays a cell-autonomous role in GABAergic interneurons to control the balance of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the developing and mature brain, which in the Mef2c cHet mice might be critical for PFC-dependent learning and memory and sociability.

124. Biosignature Volatiles of the Halophile H. morrhuae
Student Presenter: Joelle Reich
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Moshe Rhodes
Additional Authors: Dr. Peter Lee, Hollings Marine Lab

The presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), in the atmosphere of planets has been cited as some of the strongest evidence in the search for extraterrestrial life. VOCs are created by specific biological activity of each living organism, and the more complex a compound, the more likely it is to only be made by biotic activity. This implies that the presence of complex VOCs directly imply biotic activity in the habitat they were found in- such an extraterrestrial planet. This project worked to determine the biosignature volatiles released by Halococcus morrhuae, a halophile which thrives in conditions similar to those assumed to be the traits of liquid water on Mars (extremely saline, >20%). This project focused on isolating and analyzing the VOCs released by H. morrhuae. This was done first by developing a defined media for H. morrhuae, which was then grown in an airtight bottle until the exponential phase. The bottle was left overnight in order for the VOCs to collect in the headspace of the bottle, and the headspace was then analyzed utilizing volatile mass spectroscopy. Possible VOC matches were then compared against known genetic sequences for metabolic processes so that a conclusion could be drawn on which VOCs were being produced by which metabolic processes. Results showed a statistically significant (p> 0.001) amount of VOCs produced, with complex structures such as ketones, aldehydes, and alcohols. Strong candidates for these molecules include methanethiol, dimethylsulfide, acetophenone, para- and/or ortho-vanillin, isocineole and phenanthrene.

125. Reprogramming regulatory T cells for solid tumors using chimeric antigen receptors
Student Presenter: Rob Robino
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leonardo M.R. Ferreira, MUSC
Additional Authors: "Rob A. Robino [1, 2, 3], Capers M. Zimmerman [1, 2, 3], Russell W. Cochrane [1, 2, 3], Matthew D. Dominguez [1, 2, 3], Lucas Bialousow [1, 2, 3], and Leonardo M.R. Ferreira [1, 2, 3]
1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
2 Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
3 Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC"

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a subset of T cells dedicated to suppressing immune responses, essential to maintain self-tolerance. Yet, Tregs also constitute a barrier to anticancer immunity by heavily accumulating in tumors, inhibiting their clearance by tumor antigen-specific T cells. Conferring antigen specificity to immune cells using a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) dramatically expands what cells can be used and what targets can be pursued in immunotherapies. CAR T cell therapy has accomplished great success in liquid tumors. However, solid tumors remain refractory to this strategy, with CAR T cells either failing to penetrate the tumor microenvironment or becoming exhausted. In contrast, Tregs migrate to solid tumors and remain abundant once there. Previously, we found that anti-CD19 CAR Tregs control tumor growth in immunodeficient mice. Here, we generated anti-CD19 CARs featuring different signaling domains to dissect CAR Treg signaling and function, and tested their impact on in vitro activation, expansion, cytotoxicity, suppression, and stability in human Tregs. Interestingly, CAR Tregs up-regulated perforin and granzyme B expression 48h post-activation, whereas CAR CD4+ effector T cells (Teff) did so in 3h. Cytotoxicity assays revealed that CAR Tregs kill target tumor cells, but to a lesser extent than CAR Teff cells. Intact CD28 signaling was required for maximum activation and expansion, whereas alternative CD3 chains decreased CAR Treg cytotoxicity and expansion. Altogether, this work will elucidate the genetic programs induced by CAR and illuminate the acquired antitumor properties of CAR Tregs for their use in solid tumor therapies.

126. The Role of Microgravity Stressor in Time Perception
Student Presenter: Madelynne Saddow
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sorinel Oprisan
Additional Authors: Drs. Mona Buhusi and Catalin Buhusi (Utah State University)

Interval timing is the ability of organisms to measure the passage of time accurately and precisely in the seconds-to-minutes range. Brain lesion and pharmacological studies found that interval timing is the emergent property of an extensive neural network that includes, among many other areas, the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the basal ganglia (BG), and the hippocampus (HIP). Striatal Beat Frequency (SBF) attempts to model the complex neural network involved in interval timing. Since different brain parts contribute to interval timing, we modeled the connectivity delay between them using frequency-dependent phase delays in the prefrontal cortex and temporal events memory. We tested both positive and negative rates of frequency-dependent delays between brain regions to identify the breaking points of the neural network in terms of time precision and accuracy. We predict the width of the SBF output, which measures the accuracy, should increase with the noise level induced phase fluctuations in the neural oscillators. The particular question we explored is how the BG noise changes the performance of the interval timing network. We hypothesize that delays added to BG will worsen the performance of the computational model.

127. The Impact of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor on Metabolic Outcomes and Stroke Recovery
Student Presenter: Madelynne Saddow
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Serena-Kaye Sims
Additional Authors: Luke Watson, PhD, Madelynne Saddow, and Catrina Sims-Robinson, PhD

Stroke produces long-term disability in many of those who survive by reducing their ability to participate in activities of daily living. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that has an active role in post-stroke recovery and synaptic plasticity has been associated with abnormal levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1C, which often precede and exacerbates complications after stroke onset. As BDNF levels in serum and neuronally derived exosomes (NDE) are indicative of greater post-stroke recovery, these studies aim to explore the correlations between metabolic factors and the neuroprotective form of mature BDNF and the apoptotic uncleaved pro-form of BDNF. Methods: In these studies, human stroke serum and NDE samples were analyzed for both the mature and pro forms of BDNF via protein analysis. Outcomes: Serum analysis revealed that mature BDNF steadily increased at 3 and 12 months post-stroke compared to baseline while proBDNF levels decreased at each post-stroke timepoint. Additional analysis also revealed a positive correlation between high levels of A1C, cholesterol, and triglycerides and proBDNF serum levels and an inverse relationship between mature BDNF NDE levels and these same adverse metabolic outcome measures. This data indicates a possible predictive relationship between proBDNF levels and metabolic abnormalities. Implications: This research focused on determining a viable way to assess BDNF levels in patients, and investigating the relationship between BDNF and metabolic levels post-stroke. As higher mature BDNF levels rise post-stroke and are further correlated with lower adverse metabolic levels, increasing BDNF post-stroke may promote greater post-stroke functional recovery.

128. The effect of hypoxic cold storage and reperfusion injury on autophagy and endothelial cell integrity
Student Presenter: Kirsten Snyder
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Satish Nadig, MUSC
Additional Authors: Dr. Dinesh Jaishankar (MUSC)

In the transition between donor and recipient, transplanted organs are subjected to cold storage in organ preservation solutions (OPS) such as histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate (HTK) or University of Wisconsin (UW), followed by rapid reperfusion, during which organs incur significant damage; resultant low oxygen and ATP levels from ischemia trigger autophagy. The role of autophagy in endothelial cells (ECs) is widely unstudied, yet is of paramount importance, as ECs line vessels of transplanted organs and are the first point of contact with the recipient immune system. Autophagy modulates antigen presentation and causes greater immunogenicity, increasing risk of organ rejection. It is important to understand how basal EC autophagy levels change in cold storage and reperfusion conditions to which transplanted organs are exposed. To measure variations in autophagy levels, mouse microvascular-cardiac endothelial cells (MCECs) were incubated with HTK or UW for six-hours under cold hypoxic conditions. Reperfusion was initiated by exchanging OPS for warm culture medium. Lysates were collected during cold storage and reperfusion and probed for autophagic markers via immunoblotting. Changes in markers were compared to MCECs in normothermic conditions. Using densitometric analysis, minimal variation in autophagy levels between UW and normothermic conditions were observed; the marker was lower at the six-hour time point in HTK than normothermic, indicating reduced autophagy. At four and 24 hours of reperfusion there were higher markers in UW than normothermic, demonstrating increased autophagy. Observed variations in autophagy between storage conditions implicates autophagy modulation in transplanted organs to ultimately reduce antigen presentation and EC immunogenicity and organ rejection.

129. Establishing a surface sterilization method for macroalgae in Charleston
Harbor Student Presenter: Olivia Suarez
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Heather Fullerton
Additional Authors: Dr. Heather Spalding

Algae are primary producers and provide habitat for many marine organisms and their microbiomes are essential to host health. To effectively measure bacterial abundance within the microbiome, endobionts must be separated from epibionts. Each algal genus has a unique thallus structure, and the chemicals used in surface sterilization can be too harsh for some delicate species of algae. Therefore, new methods must be developed and optimized for each alga to be studied. Previous research on this methodology was limited to only one species of alga, however, this alga is not the dominant species in Charleston. This project was focused on what methods of surface sterilization are most effective on Ulva spp., Bryopsis spp., Gracilaria tikvahiae, and G. vermiculophylla found around Charleston, South Carolina. Additionally, DNA from the endobionts was extracted using three different DNA extraction kits with a fourth method of kit protocol modification to determine which was the most effective. Subsequently, the microbiomes were quantified using qPCR. Optimizing a method of separating endobionts and epibionts will allow proper analysis of organism health in the future.

130. Assessment of Scinderin and DDAH2 as a Correlate of Muddy Brown Granular Casts and Markers of Acute Tubular Injury
Student Presenter: Colin Suplee
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Janech
Additional Authors: Alison Bland (College of Charleston); Vipin Varghese, Akanksh Ramanand, Juan Carlos Velez (University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School)

Muddy Brown Granular casts (MBGC) are present in the urine of patients and are pathognomonic for acute tubular necrosis (ATN). Identification of MBGC requires microscopic inspection of the urine, which is both time consuming and requires a trained professional. Proteomic analysis found 242 proteins were elevated in MBGC enriched sediment compared to urine supernatant, two of which were Scinderin (SCIN) and dimethylarginine dimethyl-amino-hydrolase 2 (DDAH2). The purpose of this study was to determine if SCIN and DDAH2 correlate with MBGC abundance in whole urinary sediment from patients with ATN. Urine sediment from patients (n=16) hospitalized with suspected ATN were collected at Ochsner Medical Center. Patients: 40% Black, 60% White; 88% male; median age 62 [range: 20-79] years. Median serum creatinine at the time of urine collection was 3.5 [range: 1.9-5.1] mg/dL. Sediments were used for semi-quantitative western blotting. Immunoaffinity was quantified at the predicted molecular weight and the full lane. Signal intensity was correlated with percent MBGC per low powered field (%MBGC/LPF) and maximum MBGC per LPF (maxMBGC/LPF) using Spearman-Rank correlation. No significant relationship was detected between SCIN vs %MBGC/LPF or MBGC/max (p>0.19). No relationship was detected between DDAH2 vs MBGC/LPF or MBGC/max (p>0.3). SCIN signal intensity above the 20th percentile was able to identify 100% of patients with greater than 0.3 MBGC/LPF. Although SCIN or DDAH2 were detected in a majority of sediments containing MBGC. Neither protein correlated with MBGC abundance; however, high levels of SCIN were able to discriminate between patients with low versus high MBGC load.

131. Auxin and Root System Variation in Arabidopsis thaliana: from Seedling to Reproductive Maturity
Student Presenter: Patrick Sydow
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Courtney Murren

Through plant development, hormones influence the growth of roots and shoots. The hormone auxin influences the development of structures including lateral roots that branch from primary roots. The link between auxin-related genes and early life cycle root initiation has been studied extensively, but little is known about root structures at reproductive maturity. Variation in developmental trajectories is also influenced by the addition of a poly-A tail to mRNA transcripts at various sites in a gene via alternative polyadenylation (APA). A library of available Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes allows for the study of phenotypic variation resulting from the mutation of specific genes. Here, we studied homozygous lines with mutant alleles of auxin-related genes that exhibit variation in APA to test how their below-ground and above-ground phenotypes would respond to exogenous auxin applications over time. We found that auxin treatments delayed the shift to the reproductive stage while increasing root branching and growth without a significant impact on fitness. Auxin treatments decreased the variation in above and belowground phenotypes across genotypes with inserts in auxin-related genes. Natural accessions exhibited greater variation than lines with mutations in a single auxin-related gene. Root traits of auxin mutants varied by the number of APA sites and developmental stage, indicating that seedlings are not fully representative of mature root systems. These results suggest that seedling root phenotypes might not capture the full spectrum of variation for crop improvement, and we advocate for further studies at plant reproductive maturity.

132. Direct Impact of Exposure to DOSS on Gut Microbial Isolates
Student Presenter: Vi Truong
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Moshe Rhodes

Diabetes and obesity are chronic diseases that affect an increasingly large portion of the U.S. population. These diseases have been attributed to genetics and poor diet. However, recently, researchers have found evidence that exposure to obesogens, like Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate (DOSS), can drive obesity and diabetes in individuals. DOSS is widely used as an emulsifier/wetting agent in products such as stool softeners and food additives. Prior results from the Rhodes lab at CofC, have shown that DOSS has an impact on the gut microbiome. To determine whether the effect of DOSS on the microbiome is direct or modulated by the human body and immune system, we will investigate whether direct exposure to DOSS at varying concentrations will impact the growth of several known gut microbes. This study aims to mimic the bacterial content present in the human microbiome using MRS broth and NewRhthym Probiotics capsules and observe how increasing amounts of DOSS may affect those populations. The populations were monitored using DNA based methods and the data was further analyzed using various lab techniques and Qiime 2, a bioinformatics platform. Thus far, we have observed that there is a relationship between DOSS and bacterial abundance, particularly there was a more significant change in the samples with higher concentrations of DOSS. The study is important because it has the potential to explore what the implications of DOSS mean for human health.

133. Effects of the Eastern Mud Snail (Ilyanassa obsoleta) on Community Structure of Benthic Microalgae
Student Presenter: Timara Vereen
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Craig Plante
Additional Authors: Kristina Hill-Spanik (Department of Biology) and Josiah Waters (Department of Biology Marine Biology Graduate Program)

Mudflats are ecosystems that organisms rely on for food and habitat. Benthic microalgae (BMA) are major contributors to the function of these ecosystems as they are primary producers and provide stability to the sediments; therefore, it is important to understand what influences BMA communities. One possible factor influencing BMA communities is the highly abundant mud snail, Ilynassa obsoleta. Given that BMA is one of the major components of the mud snail diet, we expect that BMA biomass and overall diversity will be higher where there are fewer or no snails. In 2021, a mudflat near Grice Cove, Charleston, SC was surveyed. A 60-meter transect was divided into 10 blocks with one experimental unit each of three treatments: ambient, no snails, and with snails. Cylindrical wire-mesh cages were constructed for snail inclusion and exclusion. At t=0 and t=14 days, surficial sediment was randomly sampled within each treatment using syringe corers for chlorophyll a (biomass), organic matter (OM), and DNA analyses. Biomass differed significantly among treatments (p=0.004), with more biomass in the no-snail treatment compared to the snail (p=0.017) and ambient (p=0.001) treatments. From day 0 to 14, OM significantly increased within the no-snail and snail treatments when compared to the ambient treatment (p= 0.034, 0.017; p=0.04). Our results show that snails do appear to impact BMA biomass, but DNA analysis examining BMA composition and diversity will need to be completed to better understand these influences.

134. Characterizing the diversity and community composition of macroinvertebrates within Caribbean sponges
Student Presenter: Kate Davis
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chris Freeman

Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse habitats on the planet. The ecological success of these ecosystems can be attributed to the prevalence of marine sponges and their unique ability to filter water of bacteria and phytoplankton and cycle nutrients. To facilitate pumping and filtration, sponges have a complex canal system, and recent studies have found that many invertebrates (Polychaetes and Crustaceans) use this internal space as habitat. However, no study has yet surveyed these communities in the most common sponge species on Caribbean reefs. This study investigates and compares macroinvertebrate diversity and community composition among sponge species from central and south Florida. Eight different sponge species (Chondrilla caribensis, Tedania ignis, Ircinia campana, Ircinia felix, Amphimedon compressa, Aplysina cauliformis, Aiolochroia crassa, and Iotrochota birotulata), were collected from Ft. Pierce, Florida and the Florida Keys then hand dissected under a microscope to isolate and identify the infaunal invertebrate species. Polychaetes, Amphipods, and Decapods were the most common phyla found. Ircinia campana displayed the highest species richness, with an average of 9 different infaunal species found. Aplysia cauliformis had the highest abundance of organisms, housing a total of 1,655 individual polychaete worms among five sponge samples. There was also evidence of strong host specificity in infaunal community composition in Ircinia campana, Tedania ignis, Aplysia cauliformis and Amphimedon compressa. This research highlights novel diversity on coral reefs and is an initial step in expanding our understanding of the role that sponges, and their macroinvertebrate communities, play in coral reef health and conservation.

135. Allometry and growth in the adult stalk-eyed fly, Teleopsis dalmanni
Student Presenter: Catherine Waggoner
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jason Vance
Additional Authors: Catherine Waggoner, Kayla Pehl (CofC), John Swallow (University of Colorado, Denver)

Eyespan in the stalk-eyed fly, Teleopsis dalmanni, is sexually dimorphic, and both sexes exhibit considerable variation in eyespan which may impact moment of inertia, maneuverability and flight behavior. T. dalmanni are not sexually mature until approximately 4 weeks post-eclosion, suggesting that investment into gonads may further increase abdominal mass and overall body mass across age. The purpose of this study was to investigate morphological compensation across age and between sexes in adult flies. Twenty-four groups of approximately 30 1-day old flies were collected and housed in separate 3L chambers so that the age of each fly was known at the time of the morphometric analysis. Male (n=175) and female (n=189) flies from these groups were collected over a 2-month period, anesthetized with CO2, photographed and weighed, then immediately dissected and their heads, thoraces and abdomens individually weighed. Images were analyzed to determine eyespan, thorax width and length, and wing length. Males were heavier and had larger eyespans and longer wings than females. Wing length and thorax width and length varied proportional to eyespan in both sexes. Total body mass, abdominal mass and thorax mass increased logarithmically across age in both sexes; body mass increased 48% during the first week post-eclosion, then increased an additional 31% over the following 7 weeks. However, the ratio of thorax to abdominal mass did not vary across age, suggesting that investment into abdominal tissues is met by proportional, compensatory growth of thorax tissues, presumably to maintain flight performance as flies become heavier with age.

136. Processes of Archaeological Site Formation Relating to the Modern Marine Transgression
Student Presenter: Hannah Berkimer
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Scott Harris
Additional Authors: Sean Munson, Katherine Highfill (CofC); Katie Luciano (SCDNR)

High rates of coastal erosion coupled with increasing rates of relative sea-level rise (RSL) endanger cultural resources along open-ocean and estuarine coastlines. Within the dynamic environment of South Carolina’s barrier islands, RSL threatens the shorelines and contributes to the marine transgression along the coast; eroding some areas and burying others. This study seeks to understand the preservation potential of terrestrial sites during the modern marine transgression in a mixed-energy barrier island system. The study area is located 40-km south of Charleston, South Carolina (USA). In 2016, LiDAR imagery discovered two late-Archaic shell rings on Pockoy Island, a small (1-km by 0.2-km) hammock island. Historically isolated in the marsh, the region has seen erosion rates from 7.5 m/yr, with as much as 23 m/yr recently. Initially positioned 1 km inland from a transgressive barrier, the most seaward shell ring on Pockoy was lost to erosion in 2021. Nearshore geophysical surveys were collected in summer 2021 to better understand preservation potential of shell rings during a transgression. Sidescan sonar mosaics (14-km2), sediment grab samples, and chirp subbottom surveys (160 km) were used to map offshore shallow stratigraphy from the low tide shoreline to the 1851 shoreline position, approximately 1-km offshore. Within the chirp data, abundant buried tidal channels matching historic maps were identified, as were buried paleochannels that existed prior to historic records. Evidence of shell rings was not found in either the nearshore or offshore seafloor, though paleochannel structures were well preserved over the last several decades of marine transgression.

137. Comparing Geomorphology of Seamounts in the Johnston Atoll Unit Towards Identifying Regions of High-Density Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Communities
Student Presenter: Francesca Dellacqua
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leslie Sautter

In 2017, multibeam sonar data and ROV dive video were collected within the Johnston Atoll Unit (JAU), about 750 km southwest of the Hawaiian Islands, by scientists aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. The area surrounding Johnston Atoll is comprised primarily of basalt and is known to have sediments rich in rare metals, as well as many high-density communities of deep-sea corals and sponges. In the Central Pacific, deep-sea corals thrive in areas with hard substrate and a steep slope where depths range from approximately 950 to 1150 m. This study analyzed the region’s geomorphology using bathymetric maps and backscatter mosaics generated from sonar data. Four sites were examined, including Tanager Seamount (a guyot), a second nearby guyot, and two steeply sloping southern volcanic ridges. All sites studied are located on the JAU southern flank, where maximum seamount depths range from 1275 to 2500 m, and all fit the criteria for potential regions of high-density coral and sponge habitats. Many benthic species observed here during ROV Deep Discoverer dives are rare for this geographic area due to depth and substrate constraints, further indicating the importance of these seamounts as habitat providers. Elongated seamounts resembling ridge-like features in the study area’s southern portion may provide habitat to many diverse deep-sea coral and sponge communities by acting as a barrier to bottom current flow, allowing populations to aggregate near ridge crests. By locating regions of morphologic difference among these seamounts and pairing these data with ROV data, preferred habitat of deep-sea biota was better revealed, allowing for identification of future survey sites.

138. The Efficacy of Virtual Support Groups: Using the Lonon Foundation as a Case Study for Virtual Support in the Lowcountry
Student Presenter: Emily Dombrowski
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cavalli and Dr. Permenter

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many events have switched to online and virtual formats. Some activities take on a completely different role when they are shifted online, such as support groups. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of virtual support groups for children by analyzing literature on the topic and using The Lonon Foundation, a local nonprofit that facilitates support groups for children whose parents are diagnosed with cancer, as a case study. This study found that virtual support groups have benefits for participants and the organizations involved: they make programming more accessible and available; however, virtual support groups are not always as effective as face to face interaction and can reduce opportunities for those without internet access. As the pandemic persists and families facing cancer need to limit their exposure to the coronavirus, understanding the costs and benefits of virtual support will allow organizations to better help families receive mental health care. This study recommends a hybrid approach of continuing masked, outdoor gatherings and providing material that can be accessed remotely to best help families in the program.

Student Presenter: Eryn Faggart
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leslie Sautter

Karin Seamount Range, located 1200 km off the southwest coast of Hawaii and 130 km northeast of Johnston Atoll, is part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. This region sustains a high diversity of marine life and is thus relevant to modern scientific exploration in making informed resource management decisions. In September 2015, NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research mapped Karin Seamount Range during the Hohuna Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawaii to identify deep-sea coral and sponge communities and relate these findings to the area’s geomorphology. Karin Seamount Range has a linear configuration composed of flat-topped seamounts and peaked ridges. Three main study sites were examined - Karin Guyot, Karin Ridge, and Southeast Seamount. The sites exhibited steep, rocky-embankments consistent with the presence of deep-sea corals. Operations utilized the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer’s multibeam sonar deep water mapping system and high definition video collected during EX1504 Leg 4 by the ROV Deep Discoverer. In 2015, EX1504L4-Dive 10 was made along a Karin Seamount guyot. Diverse coral and sponge aggregations were observed at depths greater than 1,800 m in association with smooth pillow lava formations and sparse sediments. In 2017, EX1706-Dive15 revealed a hard-bottom substrate composed of abundant aggregations of corals and sponges located at a max depth of 2027 m. An analysis was conducted to determine the geomorphological characteristics that potentially support various benthic habitats. Subsequent results were summarized through approximation of deep-sea coral aggregations along Karin Seamount.

140. Examining the role of marine sponges in the consumption and production of DMSP
Student Presenter: Jake Kuenzli
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Peter Lee
Additional Authors: Dr. Chris Freeman

Coral reefs are an integral ecosystem due to their key contributions to biogeochemical cycling. In particular, the production of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) from reef-building corals is one of the largest sources of this compound, and, if the DMSP produced by the reefs is broken down into dimethylsulfide (DMS), it could play a vital role in climate regulation. The sulfide in DMS is used by the atmosphere as cloud condensation nuclei, which allows for the building of clouds. The clouds increase the Earth’s albedo and could slow the prevalence of mortality events on reefs. However, changes in the environment could be reducing the amount of sulfide available. For instance, with a decrease in the cover of hard coral due to climate change, many coral reefs are becoming “sponge reefs”. The impact that this shift will have on the release and cycling of DMSP, however, is unknown. My study used abundant Caribbean sponges, some of which contained photosymbionts, to attempt to determine if sponges could be inhibiting or increasing the availability of DMSP or DMS for the atmosphere to build clouds. It was found that there was no significant consumption or production of either compound regardless of the species of sponge. This was, however, novel research and these results provide a baseline for future studies on this topic.

141. Do environmental conditions drive ray abundance and distribution?
Comparing estimates from single and multispecies models.
Student Presenter: Robin Minch
Faculty Mentor: Tracey Smart, SCDNR

Understanding the link between environmental conditions and the abundances and distributions of species is necessary to predict the future condition of marine resources under climate change. In the United States, rays are characterized as a nuisance and bycatch in recreational and commercial fisheries. These fishes have wide ranges of physiological tolerance, and their response to changing conditions must be analyzed to understand the current and future state of our marine resources. From 1990 to 2019, the Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program – South Atlantic (SEAMAP-SA) Coastal Trawl Survey, North Carolina Pamlico Sound Survey, and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Trammel Net Survey captured ray species off the southeastern coast and in estuarine regions of the United States. The abundance and distribution of nine species were modeled using a vector-autoregressive spatio-temporal model (VAST) using single and multispecies models to test for changes in abundance, spatial distributions, and to compare fit as single species and a community framework. Five species exhibited a significant increase in abundance during the time series, indicating increased pressure on prey species as well as increased environmental disturbance from hunting behavior. Aetobatus narinari, Gymnura micrura, and Rhinoptera bonasus exhibited northward distribution shifts, and no species moved south. Fluctuations in G. micrura and Hypanus say abundance were correlated with surface salinity. The abundances and distributions of ray species are changing as a result of environmental change, with repercussions for both humans and marine ecosystems.

142. Freshwater Sponge Diversity in the Lowcountry of South Carolina
Student Presenter: Josie Shostak
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Freeman

Sponges are dominant components of tropical coral reef ecosystems, but these filter feeders are also present in many freshwater environments. Freshwater sponges were originally reported in South Carolina over four decades ago in a small pond near Columbia, but to our knowledge, no studies since have assessed their distribution and diversity in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. To fill this gap in our understanding of this important group, we visited over 30 locations in South Carolina including the original pond in Columbia and rivers and lakes closer to Charleston, SC. Sponges were found at 21 of these sites with up to three species found at a single site. Individuals were found growing on diverse substrates including natural and artificial surfaces. Sponges were identified by their spicules and, when present, gemmules. To date we have found at least 13 different species of freshwater sponges. Of these, we estimate that at least five are new records for SC and some may be new species. Ongoing work is aimed at additional collections and barcoding for molecular identification. This work sheds light on an understudied group and expands our understanding of the biodiversity in freshwater systems of South Carolina and the Southeastern United States.

143. Variations in sediment chemistry between multiple phenotypes of Spartina alterniflora in South Carolina salt marshes
Student Presenter: Charles Taibi
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Erik Sotka
Additional Authors: Dr. Theodore Them and Dr. Scott Harris (Geology)

The cordgrass Spartina alterniflora forms marshes that play important roles in the ecology of North American estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Within these marshes are a tall-form ecotype (~1-3m stem height) occurring at lower tidal elevations and a short-form ecotype (<0.5m stem height) occurring at higher tidal elevations. We explored correlations between tidal height, sediment traits and plant density and stem height using field surveys during the middle and end of the summer growing season. At six sites, we measured reduction potential, pH, waterlogging, salinity, Loss on ignition, bulk density, particle size and ammonia within paired sets of tall- and short-form ecotones. The short-form ecotone had consistently lower redox potentials and higher pH. No other soil trait correlated strongly with plant height or tidal elevation. This data suggests that plant height and density are related to pH and reduction potential. The constant flooding of the tall zone plants may have led to this distinct difference of the pH and reduction potential between the tall and the short zone sediments. This conclusion led us to believe that exposure to tidal height is responsible for the phenotypic variation of Spartina alterniflora.

144. Response to light in symbiotic and asymbiotic sea anemones
Student Presenter: Sierra Thomas-Frazier
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Podolsky

Organisms that use photosynthesis often have specific light requirements that can drive their spatial distribution. In cases where photosynthesizers are contained within the tissues of host organisms, relatively little is known about how the light requirements of the symbiont could influence the distribution of the host. Aiptasia pallida is a sea anemone that harbors in its tissue single-celled photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae. In this mutualism, the host gains energy from the symbiont, while the symbiont gains protection and nitrogen from the host. Maintenance of this type of relationship depends on the receipt of adequate sunlight for photosynthesis, and in this species (as in corals) anemones can also be found “bleached” (aposymbiotic), with a white appearance and a low concentration of symbionts. To address how sunlight exposure affects the distribution of sea anemones with and without symbionts present, we collected individuals from floating docks and exposed them to light and dark conditions to see if their movement was dependent on the presence of symbionts. Light exposure was controlled by shading half of a lane across which anemones could move to avoid or be exposed to light. The positions of the anemones within the lanes were recorded before and after about 4 hours of outdoor light exposure. We predicted that symbiotic anemones would more often express a preference for lit areas than aposymbiotic anemones. Anemones with symbionts present showed more movement overall than aposymbiotic anemones. However, the results did not match our predictions: in most cases where symbiotic anemones showed net movement, they moved toward the shade. Among the 3 trails where aposymbiotic anemones showed movement, 2 moved toward the light. These results suggest a more complex relationship between symbiosis and light exposure that might require more fine-tuned gradients to assess which light level is most preferred by symbiotic anemones.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

145. Computational Modeling of RNA Structure Dynamics Under Uncertainty
Student Presenter: Julia Goldman
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kris Ghosh

Ribonucleic acids (RNA) are essential to all forms of life. The monomeric units, or building blocks, which make up RNA strands consist of one of four nucleobases -- adenine, guanine, uracil, or cytosine-- attached to the pentose sugar ribose and a phosphate group. Due to the 2’-hydroxyl group in the ribose and bonding between weaker base pairs, the single-stranded RNA molecules often fold back on themselves to form double-stranded sections. These variations in the secondary structure of RNA lead to the diversity of roles that RNA plays in the body, and being able to predict the secondary structure of RNA is a major component to understanding human health. The most common method in the prediction of RNA folding is determining the structure with the minimum free energy. These methods usually do not factor in real RNA molecules. In our work, we model the RNA structure dynamics by representing RNA structures by graph rewriting, and uncertainty in the dynamics is incorporated by using stochastic models. Stochastic models represent uncertainty in the model when RNA strands transitions from one structure to another with different, random rates. The computational feasibility and properties of the model are evaluated by experimentation in the software, PRISM.

146. Sizing-up Muddy Brown Granular Casts from Patients with Acute Tubular Necrosis
Student Presenter: McKinley Antley
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Janech
Additional Authors: Dustin Chalmers, Juan Carlos Q. Velez, Akanksh Ramanand, (Ochsner Medical Center, University of Queensland)

“Muddy” brown granular casts (MBGCs) are tubular shaped aggregates sometimes present in the urine sediment. MBGCs are pathognomonic for acute tubular necrosis (ATN), which is a major cause of acute kidney injury. Although MBGCs have long been described using light microscopy, their size has not been reported. It is unknown whether cast size correlates to medical outcome. The objective of this study was to measure MBGCs for individual patients using light microscopy. Specimens from 5 patients with ATN admitted to Ochsner Medical Center were included in this study. Sediment was prepared by centrifugation and imaged under bright-field light microscopy (400x). Images of multiple casts (N=12-18/patient) were measured using ImageJ. Length of the MBGCs were measured along the longitudinal axis and two additional sections parallel to the axis. Width was measured in six parallel, transverse sections perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, including the widest point chosen by manual inspection. Length and width measurements were averaged and reported as mean +/- standard deviation along with range for each patient. MBGC lengths ranged between 39 and 215 microns, whereas width ranged between 9 – 95 microns across all images. Combined mean width across all patients in this study was 34.4 +/- 14.7 microns, which corresponds well with cortical tubule lumen diameter (39.5 +/- 3.5 microns). This is the first report of length and width measurements of MBGCs. Future studies will assess correlation with patient outcomes and urine chemistry.

147. Using “Ice melting” experiments to study solvent-polymer interactions
Student Presenter: Allie Archer
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dave Boucher
Additional Authors: Cahley Farrell

A fundamental understanding of the thermal and morphological properties and solubility of biodegradable polyester (PE) systems will inform and potentially determine the importance and use of these materials for their intended applications related to targeted drug delivery, bio-imaging, biotextiles, tissue engineering scaffolds, and compostable polymers. Many of these applications rely upon the solvent accessibility of the ester backbone functional groups and is partly influenced by the balance of crystalline and amorphous regions in the samples, thereby making melting temperatures and percent crystallinity important quantifiable properties in the characterization of these systems. This research is the continuation of an extensive investigation of the interactions between, and chemical affinities of, solvent systems and PEs having disparate crystallinities. In this study differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is used, for the first time, to observe the impact of poly(-caprolactone) (PCL), a crystalline PE, and poly-TOSUO (PTOUOS), an amorphous PE, on the melting and crystallization behavior of two organic solvents, chloroform (CF) and acetonitrile (AcN). In these so-called “ice melting” experiments, the DSC temperature is cycled below and then above the freezing points of the solvents (T < –75oC) and observed changes in the onset(s) temperatures, as well as variations in the associated enthalpies (“heats”), of the solid-liquid phase transitions reveal previously undisclosed details about the nature of the solvent-polyester interactions.

148. Magnetic Particles for the Removal of Heavy Metals from Water
Student Presenter: Hussain Bhagat
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Katherine Mullaugh

Globally the quality of water is deteriorating due to increasing population, rapid industrialization, environmentally insensitive agricultural practices as well as climate and other environmental changes. Furthermore, contaminants of emerging environmental concern are now being realized as potential threats to human and ecosystem health, even at low concentrations. Among water contaminants with the most documented toxicity are heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead. Because existing water treatment technologies will not be sufficient in addressing our future water needs, new strategies for the removal of various environmental contaminants are needed. The goal of this project is to investigate the potential use of magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) for the treatment of water. Magnetic NPs are small (<100-nm diameter), usually iron-containing particles that have the potential to rapidly remove inorganic, organic and biological forms of pollution from water through adsorption to the nanoparticle surface. Because of their small size, NPs have a high relative surface area and are capable of removing contaminants at concentrations far lower than conventional adsorbents. Additionally, magnetic properties will allow the NPs to be readily removed from water so they can be treated and recycled for repeated use. In this study we employ a green synthesis of magnetite (Fe3O4) NPs and evaluate their efficacy at removing heavy metals from water over a range of solution conditions (e.g., pH). Our data demonstrates how complexation of metal ions by organic ligands can interfere with the adsorption process and is a previously overlooked factor in adsorption efficiency.

149. Role of a Conserved Glutamate Residue in the Assembly Factor Cox15
Student Presenter: Jayda Carroll-Deaton
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Fox
Additional Authors: Hannah G. Addis

Cox15 is an assembly factor essential for formation of Complex IV of the electron transport chain (ETC). The ETC is the cellular process responsible for enabling ATP production by ATP synthase, providing energy for life-sustaining processes in organisms. Cox15 catalyzes the formation of heme A, an essential cofactor of Complex IV, but the mechanism by which Cox15 enables this reaction and how heme A is installed in Complex IV during its assembly are currently unknown. Investigation of these mechanisms will allow for a better understanding of diseases involving proteins in mitochondria, which are the home of the ETC.
The goal of this project is to determine the mechanism through which Cox15 facilitates the assembly of Complex IV. To investigate one aspect of this mechanism, a recently solved structure of the bacterial version of Cox15 was used to determine a specific glutamate amino acid residue in the eukaryotic Cox15 protein that is potentially important for its activity. Mutations were made to the gene encoding Cox15 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, otherwise known as the model eukaryotic organism baker's yeast, using site-directed mutagenesis PCR. A piece of DNA with this mutated gene was transformed into yeast cells, which were grown up and their mitochondria harvested. Mitochondrial proteins were then studied by techniques including SDS-PAGE and native PAGE immunoblotting to determine whether that glutamate is essential for proper Cox15 function and therefore Complex IV assembly and ETC function.

150. The Nucleophilic Copper-Catalyzed Benzylation of Aziridines
Student Presenter: Dallas Crowder
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Timothy Barker
Additional Authors: Andrew Bogatkevich

Aziridines are three-membered rings that contain nitrogen groups. They have been the subject of significant interest in the last decade for their versatile use in substitution reactions and their presence in many large biological compounds of interest such as the mycin class of natural products. The electron-deficient alpha carbon of the ring is susceptible to attack from electron-donating compounds. However, carbon-carbon bond-forming aziridine ring-opening reactions are limited in the literature. Furthermore, the reactions available often involve toxic metals. Benzylboronic acid pinacol ester (BnBpin) is an organoboron compound that has been shown as a good electron-donating compound to target these electron-deficient sites. In this project, a method for carbon-carbon bond formation is explored using BnBpin to transfer a benzyl group to the electron-deficient site. The reaction is conducted by adding the reagents under an argon gas atmosphere at -78°C and then stirring at room temperature for 3 hours. The reaction was shown to selectively target the less substituted side of the aziridine. A variety of aziridines featuring different functional groups were examined. The reaction shows success with a variety of aziridines featuring different functional groups. Carbon-carbon addition reactions involving inexpensive metal catalysts such as this method add to the aziridine literature.

151. Photodegradation of Propranolol in Simulated Natural Water
Student Presenter: Kyra Dorsey
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Wendy Cory

Pharmaceuticals continue to be a part of everyday life. As a result, they enter the waterways after passing through a water treatment plant that was not designed to remove them. Once in the water ways, they pose a threat to the health of the environment. These medications breakdown (degrade) over time from exposure to sunlight and organic materials. The resulting degradation products are also pollutants that can negatively impact the aquatic environment. In this study, the photodegradation of propranolol (PRN) - a common blood pressure medication – was studied in aqueous solution. The experimental environment was designed to simulate solar photodegradation of PRN in simulated natural water samples. The natural aquatic environment was simulated by preparing aqueous PRN solutions with varying amounts of humic acid and exposing them to simulated sunlight. The resulting solutions were then analyzed using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The data collected from each simulated natural water solution was used to determine the rates of PRN degradation with respect to humic acid concentration. The results from this study can play a part in the ongoing effort of understanding the toxic impacts of pharmaceuticals to both humans and the aquatic environment.

152. Conformational diversity of 1‑chloro-1-chloromethylsilacyclohexane
Student Presenter: Abanob Hanna
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gamil Guirgis
Additional Authors: J.Stocka (a), Platakyte (a), J.Ceponkus (a), V.Aleksa (a), V.Sablinskas (a), P.Rodziewicz (b). (a)Faculty of Physics, Vilnius University, Sauletekio av. 9 block 3, Vilnius LT-10222, Lithuania (b) Institute of Chemistry, Jan Kochanowski University, Swietokrzyska Str. 15G, 25-406 Kielce, Poland

1-chloro-1-chloromethylsilacyclohexane (1-Cl-1-ClMSiCH) is a newly synthesized molecular compound whose conformational analysis was performed by means of vibrational spectroscopy and theoretical calculations. Conventional ATR-FTIR and Raman spectroscopic methods were used to obtain vibrational spectra of the liquid sample. Additionally, FTIR spectra of the compound isolated in low temperature neon and nitrogen matrices were registered in order to make a complete assignment of the experimental vibrational spectral bands. All theoretically possible 38 canonical ring conformations considering axial/equatorial and cis/trans/gauche-/gauche+ positions of the Cl and CH2Cl group were analyzed by means of MP2 and B3LYP at aug-cc-pVTZ theory level. The most stable local energy minima were investigated in detail, with the global energy minimum structure being in the chair axial trans conformation. Detailed analysis of the potential energy surface reveals the transition states (TS) and the energy barriers. The conformational path was found to be the chair→ envelope/half-chair (TS)→ skew-boat C1→ boat (TS)→ skew-boat C2. The vibrational analysis and the experimental spectra suggest that four lowest energy (chair ring) conformers coexist at room temperature. The energy barrier for gauche to trans conversion is 1.15 kcal/mol for axial and 1.04 kcal/mol for equatorial conformers, and it is possible to observe these processes in low temperature matrices.

153. Microwave Spectra & Structure Determination of Cyclopentylsilane and Trifluorocyclopentylsilane
Student Presenter: Lucas Licaj
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gamil Guirgis
Additional Authors: N. Moon (Department of Chemistry, Missouri University of Science and Technology) , N. A. Seifert (Department of Chemistry and Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, University of New Haven), Gamil A. Guirgis (CofC Department of chemistry and biochemistry), Garry S. Grubbs II (Department of Chemistry, Missouri University of Science and Technology)

We prepared cyclopentylsilane and its its trifluoroderivative and the two compounds are characterized by NMR, IR and microwave spectroscopy. Substituted cyclopentanes are an interesting class of flexible ring molecules due to their generally low barrier to pseudorotation – a collective, large amplitude motion of the ring that allows interchange between equivalent torsional isomers – and a smaller energy gap between the prototypical equatorial and axial conformers than in the classic cyclohexane example. Due to the weaker and longer C-Si bond, cyclic hydrocarbons substituted with a silicon tend to exhibit smaller axial strain than their purely organic siblings, so the axial and equatorial conformers tend to be more energetically competitive. However, Durig and coworkers did not find conclusive evidence for competitive isomerism in cyclopentylsilane using IR and Raman spectroscopy1, but noticed significant inhomogenous broadening that they associated with the low-lying large amplitude vibrational states associated with the pseudorotation potential.
In order to explore this more, we have acquired the chirped-pulse Fourier transform microwave (CP-FTMW) spectra2 of cyclopentylsilane and its fluorinated sibling, trifluorocyclopentylsilane.

154. Magnetic Particles for the Removal of Surface Water Contaminants
Student Presenter: Fabio Najjar
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Katherine Mullaugh

The quality of water resources is threatened due to rapid industrialization, water-intensive agricultural practices, and climate-related changes to precipitation patterns. Furthermore, contaminants of emerging environmental concern are now being realized as potential threats to human and ecosystem health, even at low concentrations. Because existing water treatment technologies will not be sufficient in addressing our future water needs, new strategies for the removal of various environmental contaminants are needed. The goal of this project is to investigate the potential use of magnetic particles for the treatment of water. In this study we will employ a green synthesis of magnetite (Fe3O4) particles and evaluate their efficacy at removing organic contaminants from water over a range of solution pH. The influence of the particle surface coating is also presented with biologically derived surface modifications with chitosan. Our results indicate chitosan-coated particles are more efficient at removing anionic compounds like phthalate and that the adsorption is favored at slightly acidic pH (<7). The concentration of pollutants are measured using high-performance liquid chromatography and ion chromatography. Rinsing recovered particles with high pH solutions (>8) causes desorption of phthalate, demonstrating how the particles could be recycled, further improving their sustainability. Results from this study guide future work with real-world contaminants such as glyphosate and dicamba, organic herbicides that have been documented to leach into surface waters, as well as the removal of inorganic pollutants such as phosphate.

155. Bilayer Interactions of Endogenous Opioids
Student Presenter: Hailey Ninness
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Giuliano
Additional Authors: Dr. Stuart Parnham

The purpose of this research project is to profile the general affinity of opioid peptides for cell membranes. This study makes use of synthetic peptide samples in the presence of phospholipid bicelles, which are soluble and mimic the lipid bilayer found on cell surfaces. The aim is to extend this work to representatives of the ligands of all three known opioid receptor classes: μ, δ, and κ. Opioid peptides (met-enkephalin, leu-enkephalin, message sequence, adrenorphin, ɑ-neoendorphin) were prepared and analyzed using solid and solution phase peptide synthesis, reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) purification, and mass spectrometry. Analysis of peptide solution behavior and structure was carried out with a wide variety of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) experiments, including two-dimensional diffusion-oriented NMR spectroscopy (DOSY-NMR). The data has shown that the peptides in their aqueous state diffuse faster than in the presence of bicelles, but slower than various small molecule control samples. Lipid association appears to be a general feature of opioid peptides, which is significant since these peptides bind membrane-bound receptors, where they carry out a variety of crucial biological functions including pain sensation and mood regulation. The structure of the opioids that most strongly associate with lipids in such an environment is therefore likely tied to these important processes.

156. Structural Characterization of Human Galanin
Student Presenter: Rachel Wilkinson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Giuliano
Additional Authors: Dr. Stuart Parnham

Human galanin is a 30-residue inhibitory neuropeptide located within the central and, to a lesser extent, peripheral nervous systems. There has been marked interest in developing galanin receptor agonists and antagonists because of the association of galanin signaling with epilepsy, nerve damage, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is currently no structure of galanin in the Protein Data Bank. This research set out to determine galanin’s structure in an aqueous environment through the use of 2D 1H-1H NMR. It was found that galanin’s N-terminus was an irregular helix that seemed to be dictated by hydrophobic interactions while the C-terminus was largely unstructured. This structure is the first high resolution structure of galanin. Our findings resulted in an interest to determine if the behavior of hydrophobic clustering in human galanin is general or not. In order to test this a peptide was synthesized based off of galanin’s N-terminus where structural bias was eliminated by changing all nonessential N-terminal residues to glutamine. This research will be a prelude into seeing if hydrophobic collapse is a general design principle.

157. Investigation of Homologous Metallo-beta-lactamase Proteins with Bioinformatics Tools
Student Presenter: Dana Mae Salvador
Faculty Mentor: Drs. Jennifer L. Fox and Marcello Forconi
Additional Authors: Abigail E. Reeves

Newly discovered proteins are collected in protein databases, but many of them do not have annotations or well-known functions. We investigated one such protein called SdsA1, which is a member of the metallo-beta-lactamase family found in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This protein is highly conserved throughout bacteria and is also present in several eukaryotes, including a few simple animals. SdsA1 is responsible for the hydrolysis of the detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), starting a process that probably contributes to sulfur assimilation by the organism. However, it is unlikely the man-made detergent SDS is its only substrate. The goal of our investigation is to determine similarities and differences between SdsA1 and its homologs from a molecular and functional perspective to determine the biological function(s) of these proteins.
Multiple bioinformatics tools were used to investigate SdsA1 and its homologs. Using these tools, we assessed the stringency of alignment score threshold values used to sort protein homologs into groups and analyzed neighboring genes from genome neighborhood diagrams. From there, we generated a list of the most frequently annotated functions that appeared in each group as well as which organisms those annotated proteins were found in, providing insight into the biological function of SdsA1 and its homologs.

158. Sequencing Protein-like Polymers by Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Student Presenter: Brison Shira
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jay Forsythe
Additional Authors: Dr. Michael Giuliano

Depsipeptides are molecules similar to biological peptides and proteins, yet differ in that they incorporate hydroxy acids in addition to amino acids. This means that at key positions where nitrogen atoms are normally found, there can also be oxygen atoms. Depsipeptides are important molecules in biomedical research as well as pharmaceuticals, astrobiology, and origins-of-life research. A technique known as tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) is often used to sequence biological peptides and proteins, but because depsipeptides have slightly different chemical composition, established sequencing protocols need modification. This project aims to compare peptide and depsipeptide fragmentation mechanisms to determine more universal sequencing rules which apply to both peptides and depsipeptides. To accomplish this, small depsipeptides with known sequences (a.k.a. standards) are being custom synthesized in the lab. Using these standards and MS/MS instrumentation at CofC, the structural characteristics of these compounds can be related to fragmentation data and the generation of sequence information. Molecular modeling provides a complimentary, quantitative approach to understanding the properties of depsipeptides. Ultimately, this project seeks to better understand the origin of life by facilitating depsipeptide sequencing, enabling improved experimentation with protein-like prebiotic compounds.

159. Chemical Analysis of Model Primordial Reactions
Student Presenter: Thomas Sinkway
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jay Forsythe
Additional Authors: Hanna Heinzmann, Darrius T. Hill, Brison A. Shira, Alexis V. Torrence

An outstanding question in the scientific study of the origin of life is how biological molecules could have chemically formed and evolved over time. One way this could have occurred is through environmentally-driven cycles of water evaporation and condensation on the ancient Earth known as “wet/dry cycles.” In Dr. Forsythe’s lab in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at College of Charleston, model primordial molecules are formed by wet/dry cycling and are characterized using analytical chemistry techniques such as infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Here, we will discuss the formation and analysis of molecules called “depsipeptides,” which look similar to proteins yet contain a variety of building blocks not found in modern biological proteins. This work has important implications in not only understanding the origin of life on Earth but also in attempting to find chemical signatures of life elsewhere in the solar system.

160. Kinetics of Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution Reactions to Introduce
Orthogonal Probes into Proteins and Membranes
Student Presenter: Kimberly Sok
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marcello Forconi
Additional Authors: Gabrielle Molloseau, Dr. Michael Giuliano

Biological processes mediated by their respective macromolecules are highly dependent on the electrostatic interactions within their microenvironments. This environment is uniform in bulk solvent but can vary greatly within actual biological systems. Nitrile groups serve as efficient reporters for local electrostatic environments because (i) they are orthogonal to biomolecules, and (ii) their maximum stretching frequencies can be quantitatively correlated to the electrostatic environment in which they reside. We have found that 3,4,5-trifluorobenzonitrile (TFBN) is able to selectively modify cysteine residues with minimal side reactions. Subsequently, we turned to membrane modifications. We specifically aimed to (i) synthesize a fluorine- and nitrile-containing probe through modification of long chain thiols with TFBN via nucleophilic aromatic substitution (SNAr), (ii) determine nitrile stretching of these modified molecules in solvents with different electrostatic properties, and (iii) study the kinetics of modification. The modification of long chain thiols with TFBN produced good yields. UV-Vis spectroscopy was used to measure reaction rates. We observed that the thiol chain length had no effect on the reaction rate constant, but there was a direct correlation between increased polarity of solvent and rate constant of the reaction. Our computational analyses suggested that this SNAr proceeds through a concerted reaction mechanism. The probe-modified thiols can be used to determine the properties of their surroundings. In the future, we plan to embed these modified thiols in different membranes and measure the polarity at the membrane/water interface.

161. Adventures in Building Biodegradable Polymers
Student Presenter: WeiJun Van Lith
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brooke Van Horn
Additional Authors: Addie Barnes, Jennie Jackson, Nick Orlando

Biodegradable polymers such as poly(caprolactone) are used as building blocks in the assembly of nanostructures for personalized medicine and drug delivery systems and are also an important material candidate for biodegradable consumer plastics like straws and bags. This poster presentation will highlight ongoing work in Dr. Van Horn’s polymer chemistry lab with epsilon-caprolactone and its derivatives to make materials with specific chemical and physical properties. In this poster, four current undergraduates from the group will discuss the progress made in (1) how we prepare novel potential anti-microbial materials using caprolactone monomer systems, (2) how a variety of microstructures (sequences of monomers) for the biodegradable polymers are created using different polymerizations systems, and (3) present data regarding the characterization techniques used in the lab.

162. Correlation between polymer solubility and polymer chain microstructure
Student Presenter: McKenna King
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dave Boucher
Additional Authors: Dani Gottlieb

The choice of a solvent in processing polymer solutions is critical to obtain the desired properties of the final polymer products because polymer solubility in a given solvent impacts the phase characteristics, hence, and the processibility of the solutions. It is well-known that the microstructure of a polymer, i.e., the arrangement or configuration of monomers on the polymer backbone, impacts the solvent-polymer interactions and affects the solubility of the polymer, but, to date, there is a paucity of research in the literature aimed investigating and quantifying these microstructural effects. In this study, the quantitative solubility of the conjugated, semiconducting polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) was measured in 18 disparate organic solvents using four different P3HT samples with varying polymer chain microstructure (regioregularity). The solubility data was used to compute the functional solubility parameters (FSPs) of the P3HT samples and both Gaussian and Atoms-in-Molecules (AIMll) computational techniques were conducted to correlate the observed variations in the FSPs to the changes in the regioregularity and electronic properties of the P3HT polymers. Characterizing structure-property relationships and disclosing key molecular interactions that affect polymer solubility, such as the microstructure-dependence of solubility parameters, will aid innovation in development and processing of state-of-the-art polymeric materials.

163. Nucleophilic Addition of Cyclopropylmethylene Boronic Acid Pinacol Esters
Student Presenter: Ellie Kraichely
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Timothy Barker

Organoboron compounds are target reagents of interest in organic chemistry synthesis because of their ability to convert their C-B bond into C-C bonds. They are also appealing in organic synthesis as they are not air or moisture sensitive. The object of this research has been to examine an alkylboron reagent’s ability to act as nucleophile to create these C-C bonds with various electrophiles between Csp3-Csp3 centers. The alkylboron reagent used was cyclopropylmethylene boronic acid pinacol ester. Lewis acids were found to promote the desired reaction between the alkylboron compound and aldehydes, albeit in low yields.

164. Solar Photodegradation of Metoprolol in Aquatic Samples
Student Presenter: Heidi Sabatini
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Wendy Cory
Additional Authors: Heidi Sabatini

As pharmaceutical contamination in our waterways increases, there is an urgent need to understand the behavior of pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) in the aquatic environment. In this research, metoprolol (MTP), a common blood pressure medicine, was investigated as a potential pharmaceutical pollutant. Determining the rate of solar photodegradation of MTP in natural water samples is an important step in assessing the risk that this pharmaceutical poses to human and environmental health. In order to study solar photodegradation, samples were prepared in an aqueous buffer solution (pH=7.0) to mimic realistic environmental conditions. Dissolved organic matter known as humic acid (HA) was added to investigate the possibility of indirect photodegradation. The solutions were photoexposed using a solar simulator to mimic natural sunlight and then analyzed using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to determine the rate of solar photodegradation. Results indicate that increasing concentration of HA caused an increase in the rate of degradation of MTP.

165. Role of a Conserved Glycine Residue in the Functionality of Cox15
Student Presenter: Faith Emetu
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Fox
Additional Authors: Jayda A. Caroll-Deaton and Jennifer L. Fox (Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry), Charleston, SC

Cox15 is a cytochrome c oxidase assembly protein required for correct assembly and function of the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). Cox15 plays an integral role in the synthesis of heme A from heme O, and this heme A cofactor enables cytochrome c oxidase to perform its role in the ETC. In humans, Cox15 deficiencies manifest as disorders such as Leigh disease. Previous work has shown that mutations in the gene for Cox15 lead to functional deficiencies that render the ETC defective. The mechanism by which Cox15 produces heme A and therefore how that mechanism is disrupted by specific patient mutations is not yet clear. The goal of this study is to better understand the mechanism by which Cox15 produces heme A. Recently, a new human mutation to the gene for Cox15 was discovered involving a specific glycine residue. To investigate its role in Cox15, an analogous mutation was created in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast). Plasmid DNA containing the gene for Cox15 was altered using site-directed mutagenesis PCR then transformed into baker’s yeast. The yeast cells were cultured, and for some experiments their mitochondria were harvested. Drop tests and protein electrophoresis were used as analytical techniques. In drop tests, serially diluted cultures of cells with and without the patient mutation were grown on various carbon sources and their ability to metabolize those molecules assessed. Additionally, both SDS-PAGE and native-PAGE were used to assess the concentration of relevant mitochondrial proteins and the structure of ETC complexes.

166. Identification of Novel MEK1 Inhibitors with Reduced Cardiotoxic Potential
Student Presenter: Kendra Springs
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Russel Norris, MUSC
Additional Authors: Tyler Beck (MD/PhD), MUSC, Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences

Trametinib is a MEK1 inhibitor commonly used in the treatment of high-risk melanoma with BRAF V600E or BRAF V600K mutations. Trametinib has been shown in the literature to be an effective treatment for metastatic melanoma. However, it also has significant cardiotoxic effects in a subset of patients. More specifically, trametinib and other FDA-approved MEK1 inhibitors interact with major cytochromes and hERG, leading to toxicities. The goal of this research was to find a potential alternative MEK1 inhibitor with comparable effectiveness to trametinib with minimal to no cardiotoxicity. We hypothesized that, using a machine learning based workflow, MEK1 inhibitors devoid of major cytochrome and hERG interactions could be identified. We employed three different approaches for compound identification: a shape-based screen, pharmacophore search, and an analog search. Fifty novel compounds were identified cumulatively across the three screens. The compounds were tested for activity in a cell-based assay using A375 (BRAF V600E mutated) melanoma cells procured from a patient tumor. Experimental compounds were tested at six concentrations (0.01, 0.1, 0.3, 1, 3, and 10 micromolar) for 24 hours. The shape-based screen (19 compounds) and pharmacophore search (20 compounds) yielded no significant hits. The analog search (11 compounds) yielded six hit compounds with nanomolar to micromolar range activity. Specifically, Norris Lab (NL) compounds NL22175 and NL35002 were as potent as FDA-approved controls in blocking MEK1 activity and do not inhibit major cytochromes or hERG. We believe that these compounds have the potential to be used clinically for the treatment of melanoma.

Computer Science

167. Using Python and Jupyter Notebooks to Manage and Model Disparate
Environmental Datasets for a Charleston Regional Flood Mapping App
Student Presenter: Connor Cozad; Blake Mitrick
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Norm Levine; Prof. Lancie Affonso

Flooding is a serious and well-known problem for the city of Charleston. The situation is expected to worsen as the sea level continues to rise and rainfall becomes more intense due to climate change. The goal of this project, funded by the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, is to develop an app that presents an interactive map of current and future street flooding across Charleston County, South Carolina. The team as a whole (comprised of over 10 undergraduates and multiple graduate students) has been developing a rainfall runoff model and a high-resolution tide inundation model that shows current and predicted street flooding across Charleston County. Previously, we developed a data pipeline using Python to provide near-real-time tide data to this model. In this poster, we present a similar pipeline for near-real-time sources of rainfall data with which to supply the rainfall runoff model. This pipeline will retrieve recent rainfall rates from the NOAA MRMS (Multi-Radar/Multi-Sensor) system and will retrieve predicted rainfall rates from the NOAA HRRR (High Resolution Rapid Refresh) weather model. The models ingesting all of this data require significant computational resources to complete the inundation calculations in a reasonable amount of time. Therefore, we are leveraging the College of Charleston’s High Performance Computing (HPC) system to run our models. Once completed, this app will allow people in Charleston County to become more resilient in the face of increased flooding.

168. Cyber Security: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Student Presenter: Will Bennet
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso

Have you ever heard of a computer worm? Well did you know that the U.S. used a worm, in order to shut down Iran’s nuclear program. In 2020 the US treasury department was hacked by Russian backed hackers releasing the personal information of high profile US officials. Countries are both hacking and being hacked more often than ever before. Our project will inform the general public about the dangerous of cyber warfare as we enter this new era of technology.

169. Developing High Resolution Flood Inundation Maps for Charleston County
Student Presenter: Hannah Dougherty
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso
Additional Authors: Violet Smith

Flooding is a common problem for Charleston County residents; as climate change progresses flooding in Charleston is expected to get worse affecting the day-to-day lives of residents. Currently, the only system in place to show flooding on roads would be using tide gauge information and manipulating websites from NOAA’s coastal center. Our team, the South Carolina SeaGrant Flood Warning App Research Team, is developing a mobile app designed to provide Charleston residents with accurate information about current and future street flooding conditions. The team has developed a high-resolution hydro enforced digital elevation model (DEM) that can be used to model tidal flooding across Charleston County. With this new high resolution hydroenforced DEM, we can increase the overall accuracy of predictions in our mobile app. Our team has created the tidal model for Charleston County relative to the Charleston Harbor’s Mean Higher High Water (MHHW) datum. This is often referred to as a king tide in the region. Currently, we are building a notebook in Jupyter Notebooks using Python to calculate the depth of tidal flooding on Charleston County streets. We will be developing new MHHW models from 0 to 15 feet in 6-inch intervals. Developing this notebook will also allow us to update the MHHW as the climate changes allowing the team to calculate new data in the notebook. This feature would allow more accurate inundation maps to be displayed in our final app, allowing us to better predict where the water will pool during tidal flooding events.

170. Bitcoin Price Movement Prediction Using Sentiment Analysis
Student Presenter: Steven Felesky
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi
Additional Authors: Dillon Tartt

The goal of this project is to analyze how the sentiment of the media affects the price of Bitcoin. Positive sentiment about Bitcoin may influence people to buy Bitcoin; therefore raising its price. The opposite is also true, negative sentiment may make people get rid of their Bitcoin; therefore lowering the price. We are confident that there is a correlation between media sentiment and the price of Bitcoin and will further explore it in this project. We will scrape headlines from 3 major financial websites: MarketWatch, CNN Money and Bloomberg. We will get the price of Bitcoin from the Coinbase API. There are other projects on the web that have used Tweets for sentiment analysis, but no projects have used headlines. We will use the NLTK toolkit for natural language processing and an LDA (Latent Dirichlet Allocation) model for sentiment analysis. We will first determine the sentiment of the headlines and then compare that to the trajectory of the price of Bitcoin. We predict that positive sentiment will show prices rising and negative sentiment will show prices falling. We hope to achieve similar, or better, accuracy to the Tweet based models which have around 65% accuracy. We hope to prove with this project that the media does have an effect on the markets and that publications should tread more carefully when printing their headlines.

171. Optimization of Bike Taxi Pickup Locations in Downtown Charleston
Student Presenter: Tyler Glynn
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi
Additional Authors: Jane Shelby Porter

Using mobile phone data collected anonymously by Safegraph for the Charleston-North Charleston, SC Metro Area from January 1, 2018, until February 14, 2022, we are designing a regression model that predicts Charleston’s foot traffic based on the time and day of the year. Our model will be used to determine the best places for bike taxis to wait to pick up people, so they can maximize their revenue. The SafeGraph dataset contains weekly patterns for each location in Charleston, including visit counts broken down by day and hour and information about the people visiting each location, such as the neighborhood they live in and other locations they visit. With our model, bike taxi companies will be able to minimize the amount of wait time, thus optimizing their profit. Our project is unique because it specifically caters to the Charleston bike taxi market, but we could extend our model to other cities if given the appropriate information.

172. Emotion Detector and Generator
Student Presenter: Jaxson Lyles
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi
Additional Authors: Hai Nguyen

The main goal of this project is to train a model to recognize positive and negative emotions from sample faces from a test set. Once we have accomplished this base goal, we plan to move onto a second phase, to recognize and classify specific emotions of the faces. Most datasets we obtained have their faces sorted on the classification of faces. This will allow us to train the model fairly quickly and accurately. Our final goal is to generate faces from our created model. These faces shouldn’t previously exist, similar to other online tools that also create and generate faces based on a specific emotion. The intention of the project is to accomplish each goal at a time and ultimately build up to the final goal if time permits. We’ll be combining datasets based on our selected feature set of emotions for model training and testing. We plan to use Tensorflow, Facial Expression Recognition, and other common data manipulation software tools. This project is more of a learning experience for us than it is a showcase of data insight, thus we don’t have a clear idea of the “best” approach. However, this makes for a more conducive and interactive learning project for our purposes. The main outcome of this work is to learn the concepts and tools of machine learning.

173. Deriving book recommendations based on user-review similarity
Student Presenter: Richard McCarty
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi

In the growing realm of online communication and forums, recommendation systems serve as a powerful tool for businesses to leverage their gathered data to the benefit of their users by providing them with well-tuned recommendations to continue their engagement; however, in the realm of public book forums, such as Goodreads, the true potential of these recommendation systems has yet to be tapped. A common focus is that of tag-similarity and genre-similarity, connecting users with books that align with their previously reviewed literature. The fault of this methodology is that literature as a whole is incredibly diverse, and like the literature, so are the users. Genres and tags, meant to serve as categorization techniques, fail to penetrate the depths of what causes a reader to enjoy a piece of literature. We seek to utilize data collected via publicly accessible reviews from Goodreads to train a model with the public library TensorFlow Recommenders (TFRS) which will emphasize user-connectivity by focusing on User-Review similarity. With this new approach, we hope to resolve more abstract categorical markers which are explicit to the users that would otherwise not be derivable without advanced natural language processing and sentiment analysis.

174. Malicous Domain Classification
Student Presenter: Luke McGuire
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi
Additional Authors: Giuliana Tosi

Many forms of cyberattacks today rely upon the domain name system (DNS) for orchestrating operations including phishing campaigns, malware staging, and command and control servers. The identification of malicious domains can vastly improve threat detection capabilities and allow the discovery and remediation of otherwise unseen attacks. This project analyzes the potential of applying artificial neural networks using supervised learning techniques to the problem of malicious domain classification. Domains have a variety of publicly available features that may be used for classification including data obtained from DNS and Whois records as well as the lexical structure of a domain. Automating malicious domain classification can reduce the effort required by traditional network traffic analysis and result in faster detection and response to malicious behavior or compromised computer networks.

175. Kim Jong Un's Hacker Army
Student Presenter: Nathan Murray
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso
Additional Authors: Declan Sullivan, Adrian Oyakhu

North Korea is known to conduct cyber warfare operations in which classified military information and financial information has been compromised. North Korea's Bureau 121 is a main unit in their military that performs offensive cyber operations and espionage. Its main targets are South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. The poster project will focus mainly on this Bureau and their attacks that they carried out. Our particular focus will be on the Sony attack in 2014 where North Korea hacked into their servers to shut down the showing of the movie “Interview” which contained anti- North Korean propaganda.

176. Collaborative Creativity
Student Presenter: Harrison Penley
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso

For my poster project, I will make a visually interesting and interactive poster to display the positive effects of artwork as a visual stimulus and as a form of representation of the artist. I will to demonstrate the results of collaborative projects in artwork. In traditional art, working on the same project at the same time can be difficult, as you physically get in one another’s way as you attempt to collaborate. Using a server-based program called FlockMod, I want to show past team pieces that I have worked on and demonstrate the extreme merges of style and creativity from such freedoms. This poster will show the potential of such projects, and for me to make the case that there could be a form of art board in the public spaces. I would like to push for the addition of a whiteboard or blank wall space that can be used by anyone who wishes to use it to draw. This space of creative expression would be added to by any passerby, creating an adaptive collaborative piece that would go multiple iterations of layers as more and more people add onto it. Additionally, this space could just serve as a reusable writing place, meaning that more outdoor group work could be done and allow for potentially more outdoor classes if weather allows. This proposal increases the capabilities of classes and increases the expression of student creativity in public areas around campus.

177. What can Ukraine learn from the Russo-Georgia conflict
Student Presenter: William Ramsey
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso
Additional Authors: Jack Keane

We seek to research and understand what Russia did to compromise the safety of the spread of information and cybersecurity protocols during the 2008 Russo-Georgian conflict. This involves how they shutdown Georgian websites, compromised the integrity of private and public information, and what methods they used to enact this and if they were effective. We also will compare this war to the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, and use this data to compare/predict what will occur potentially in the future.

178. Tourist Itinerary Scheduling Mobile Application for the City of Charleston
Student Presenter: Isaiah Stapleton
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi

Charleston is a historic city that receives many tourists every year. In fact, Charleston has been ranked the number one city in America by Travel and Leisure for the eighth year in a row as of 2020. In 2018, Charleston received around 7.3 million tourists, a six percent rise from the previous year. These tourists were reported to have produced an estimated $8.1 billion for the city of Charleston, according to the College of Charleston's annual Office of Tourism analysis. In 2020, the economic impact of tourism in Charleston shrank by more than a third compared to 2019, and the number of visitors who came to the city decreased by 30 percent. It is no doubt that COVID-19 has negatively impacted the city's economy. To solve this problem we are developing a user-friendly mobile application that will generate an itinerary for tourists based on their interests in the hopes that this will increase tourism to the city as well as boost its economy.

179. Developing Platform-Independent Mobile Interfaces for a Flood Mapping Application
Student Presenter: Cole Westbrook
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso
Additional Authors: Norman Levine

The day-to-day lives of citizens in the South Carolina Lowcountry are routinely disrupted by unpredictable rainfall and tidally-induced flooding. Our team is developing a flood mapping application that will provide citizens with current and forecasted street flooding conditions. We are focused on creating a universal and accessible platform-independent user experience that combines geospatial data science and traditional mobile application design. Using high-resolution geospatial data, models of rainfall runoff and tidal inundation are being created for Charleston County. We are combining the strengths of various mobile and web development technologies alongside GIS data visualization tools to better distribute the flood-mapping app and related resources. Using the popular mobile app framework React Native, we are building a core application to navigate between the team’s various services and tools, including a flood conditions reporter, and property flood survey. All team members will be contributing to a comprehensive guide to the team’s work and data sources, using ArcGIS’s StoryMaps platform. To ensure that anyone, regardless of technical expertise, will be able to use the app, we will be leveraging the flexible customization of ArcGIS Experience Builder. This project will provide citizens with timely road flooding information for navigating our ever-changing environment.

180. Developing a Machine Learning Model to Determine Optimal 4th Down Play Calls in NFL Games
Student Presenter: Connor Cozad, Maddie Carrino
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi

In football, a team has three options on a 4th-down play: they can punt, kick a field goal, or “go for it” and try to reach the first down line. This project aims to create a machine learning model that will predict what a team’s most optimal course of action would be on any given 4th down play. Utilizing the BeautifulSoup package in Python, we retrieved play-by-play data from NFL games between 2002 and 2021 through ESPN’s website. By investigating data from 4th down plays, such as the position of the ball, current score, distance to the first down line, the amount of time remaining on the clock, and the outcome of the play we built a model using Python's scikit-learn package to predict whether the team should punt, kick a field goal, or “go for it.” There’s an average of 10 4th down plays per game, around 250 NFL games each season, and we have 19 seasons of data. That provides around 47,500 instances of 4th down plays to train and test the model. This large amount of data allows us to create a highly accurate model, and determine the best course of action for NFL teams facing a 4th-down play.

181. Repetition Learning: The Use of Serverless API’s to Reinforce Learning Targets
Student Presenter: Bergen Campbell
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ayman Hajja

This in progress project looks to provide an easily accessible API-based learning system that is built upon the concept of spaced repetition education. Spaced repetition learning uses re-exposure delays to improve a student or clients’ long-term knowledge retention of a topic. Based on the answers to a topic and its question set, the length of time until the next exposure can be personally adjusted to maximize efficiency and retention. Using a multiple API-based system, an in depth framework can be created to allow a free application programming interface. The community can electronically access a variety of question sets with personalized profiles to explore spaced repetition learning and the many benefits it provides.

182. Developing High Resolution Watersheds to Predict Street Flooding in Charleston County
Student Presenter: Madeline Carrino
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Norman Levine
Additional Authors: Sydney Camenzuli, Lancie Affonso

Tidal and rainfall flooding are a constant threat to the safety and well-being of Charleston County residents and businesses. The purpose of this project is to develop a mobile flood mapping application that will provide citizens with current and forecasted street flooding conditions. This is made possible through previous team research in which we developed a high resolution hydro-conditioned DEM (digital elevation model) that will allow the modeling of rainfall runoff across Charleston County. Our team is creating high resolution watershed information for Charleston County. Our goal is to classify and label watersheds approximately 20-acres in size in Charleston County. A watershed is an area characterized by all runoff being conveyed to the same outlet or body of water. We are categorizing the watersheds with information on the direction of water-flow, land-use data, and relationship with larger bodies of water to create high resolution rainfall runoff maps. The watersheds currently defined by Charleston County are too large and would yield less accurate flooding predictions. This research will increase the resolution and usability of the rainfall runoff models for more accurate flood mapping. The information from our team will be used to understand how rainfall and tidal flooding combine to increase the hazards affecting communities and properties in Charleston County.

183. Investigating Universal Preschool in Charleston County
Student Presenter: Emily Chafin
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cavalli and Dr. Permenter

In Charleston County, which ranks 30th in the state for public education, preschool education is optional. However, numerous studies suggest that universal preschool is the best way to set students up for success in later learning. Charleston County has approximately 4000 children of preschool age, but only 106 public classrooms. Zoning and income requirements limit access for many students, and the cost of private preschool education is similarly prohibitive. The end goal of this project was to introduce a plan to increase the availability of public preschool classrooms in Charleston County, thereby increasing the future success of its students and improving the overall quality of education in the county. By increasing the number of public 4K classrooms and allocating funding towards these programs in CCSD, the district can improve access for all and increase student test scores and graduation rates, creating a positive feedback loop for more funding and student success.

184. Predicting Political Affiliation using Sentiment Analysis
Student Presenter: Chesapeake Charles and Mira-Faye Lovett
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi

Twitter is an online network of news and social posts where people communicate using a limited amount of characters on messages called tweets. The purpose of this project is to use sentiment analysis to predict an individual’s political affiliation, based on statements they’ve made in posts on twitter about topics that have definitive viewpoints aligning with one side of the political isle. There will be various classifiers used to find the most practical outputs. Using Twitter’s API, the data will be fed through various classifiers to train the algorithm with the proper sentiment needed to categorize the output. The predictions will determine if the individual is aligns with Republicans, Democrats, or Independents. In the end, the sample will provide an overall prediction of which political affiliation is related to the tweet.

185. Real-Time Facial Expression Recognition Using Deep Learning
Student Presenter: Ashley Dowd
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi

In this project, we implemented deep learning models for sentiment analysis to be used in real-time . Our goals for this project were to not only maximize the accuracy of the model but create a useful model for real-time facial expression recognition (FER) using on-edge computing. In order to accomplish these goals, we researched the most recent models and techniques used for FER and created a model with the FER2013 and AffectNet datasets with 75% accuracy that is comparable to the most accurate models today. The accuracy of our model shows that when using on-edge computing, real-time applications of deep learning models do not have to trade accuracy for efficiency.

186. Would you feel safe voting for your next president online?
Student Presenter: Tripp Flowers
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso
Additional Authors: Sam Siegel, Bentley Carlow

In our project we will discuss how Estonia’s elections have evolved recently to protect against outside threats such as hacking and tampering with the results of the elections. Estonia’s i-Voting system uses an online ID as a method of authentication. E-elections allow for casting an online vote rather than the traditional paper ballots, making their elections unique and cost-effective whilst the security as well as speed of incoming results are utilized fully. We will discuss whether this type of method would work in The United States election system and if it is feasible. We will explain how to implement Estonia’s election security protocols into The United States and how it might help prevent election fraud.

187. The Evolution of Scoring in the NHL
Student Presenter: Chase Friedfertig
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi

We plan to compare the statistics of the top 10 National Hockey League (NHL) point scorers in the following seasons: 1998-1999 (the first season all the data we need was all collected), 2008-2009, and 2018-2019. We are going to use these statistics to find patterns in based on the year and develop a thesis regarding the evolution of scoring. We also want to determine what variables, for example new technology, have influenced these statistics over the years. Our database contains all the data we need from the years 1998-present. We plan to use all statistics (time on the ice, attempted shots, shots on goal, games played, powerplay/shorthanded points, points/60 minutes (1 full game time), points/game) to determine patterns of these statistics in each year analyzed. We are planning to analyze this data using python, R, and visual software such as tableau. In doing so, we can determine what scorers were more efficient in each year and try to differentiate each statistic for each year.

188. The Storytellers – Experiential and Interdisciplinary Learning
Student Presenter: Benjamin Gonzalez
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso
Additional Authors: Channing Smith, Molly Moloney

Experiential learning is an essential component of the undergraduate experience at the College of Charleston, particularly within the Honors College. In the Big Data Health Science Competition hosted by the University of South Carolina in February, Ben Gonzalez, Channing Smith, and Molly Moloney were able to apply the skills learned in classes to a real-life problem in healthcare. The team was tasked with predicting the factors of false hospitalizations, particularly those involving Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions (ACSCs), and was given a dataset of over 13 million hospital entries. Within 24 hours, the team built a Random Forest Classifier and a decision tree model (forms of machine learning) in order to correctly predict people who were falsely hospitalized and to better understand the factors that led to these false hospitalizations. Our research team, The Storytellers, were able to utilize knowledge of public health, computing, and data science in order to propose a solution to the problem, and were the only undergraduate students to compete in the final round, beating teams from prestigious schools such as Yale and Georgia Tech. The Storytellers were finalists in the case competition, not only winning a $500 prize, but also gaining valuable skills that can be applied to internships, research, and other future experiential learning opportunities.

189. A real-time environmental sensing and visualization platform
Student Presenter: Benjamin Gonzalez
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi

For the sake of analyzing environmental data, we are developing an interface to interact with and store data collected from Internet of Things (IoT) devices. We are utilizing devices with edge-based machine learning and deep learning capabilities in order to perform analysis on incoming environmental data to find environmental trends and phenomena. We store this data in a MySQL database which can be queried and used to create visualizations and dashboards by utilizing technologies such as Python and Tableau. The fundamental objective of this project is to create an interface that allows us to interact with and analyze incoming environmental data. We are creating a platform that allows us to visualize and perform data mining procedures on data, without the need for a third-party interface. So far, we have created a data pipeline that allows us to collect data using an environmental sensor IoT device in a controlled setting, storing this data (Temperature, Pressure, Humidity, etc) in a MySQL database. In addition, we have created a visualization interface in Tableau that shows live data. For the future, we plan to fabricate a device that can continuously monitor outdoor environmental data and store it in a database for analysis.

190. Understanding and Predicting the Indicators of Stress using IoT monitoring and HRV Levels
Student Presenter: Benjamin Gonzalez
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi
Additional Authors: Sean Langan

If we are able to understand the key indicators and predictors of stress, we will be able to improve the quality of life for many people and build applications that allow for understanding and managing stress. Our goal in this project was to look at pre-existing knowledge of stress factors using an existing dataset and apply this knowledge to data that we collect using wearable IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Our research consists of two parts. First, we utilized a dataset composed of heart rate variability (HRV) and other health data (which can generally be collected using a Fitbit or similar smart-watch device) and is labeled with the level of stress that the subjects of the experiment were experiencing. Using this dataset, we built a classifier to understand what health factors were most important in understanding stress levels. Next, we collected data using the ActiGraph Link, an IoT smart-watch device. During this data collection, we had participants of different ages, sexes, heights, and weights. We collected heart rate, breathing rate, HRV, and other health factor data while making the participants partake in different activities causing varying levels of stress. We used this supplemental data to better understand how different attributes in a person can affect their stress level indicators.

191. Analysis & Prediction of Attributes that Influence the Salaries of Data Science Careers
Student Presenter: Caroline Goodman and Sydney Camenzuli
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi

Throughout this data mining course, we have learned various techniques to predict and gain information from a dataset. Our final research project involves data extracted from Kaggle. The dataset contains about 1000 different data scientist careers including job description, which sector they work in, the city of the job, what skills are required, level of education, and many more from the last year. This dataset is large enough and has enough information to suffice as the only data we incorporate into this project. The ultimate goal of our final project is to determine if certain attributes may lead to a higher data scientist salary. We will utilize Python programming to establish if a combination of these factors, or if any one factor, can contribute to how a salary is calculated. If time permits, we plan on using sentiment analysis to see if there are any key words in the job description that would lead to a higher salary. There are greater implications that accompany this research. Most students in our data mining course will soon be graduating with majors and minors in Data Science degrees. By extracting information such as locations, skills, and descriptions of the various careers, both our team and our classmates will be offered vital insight to their future specialties.

192. Drowsy Driving Detection using a Convolutional Neural Network
Student Presenter: James Grooms
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi
Additional Authors: Will Myrick

In a 24/7 society, with an emphasis on work, longer commutes, and exponential advancement of technology, many people do not get the sleep they need. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2017, 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. These crashes let to an estimated 50,000 people injured and nearly 800 deaths. This statistic reveal that drowsy driving is a major cause of road accidents. The drowsiness detection computer vision model will be trained using a convolutional neural network (CNN) to accurately detect when a human face is classified to be tired. Transfer learning will be used to generate multiple feature maps before concatenating them into one final feature map and then using that as the input layer in a feed-forward neural network. The OpenCV library is used to access a live webcam feed as real-time facial detection will better serve to mitigate drowsiness related crashes. The python library Flask will used to implement an API so that we can demonstrate our model in a production-style environment.

193. Predicting Twitter's Political Affiliation Using Sentiment Analysis
Student Presenter: Mira-Faye Lovett
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi
Additional Authors: Chesapeake Charles

Twitter is an online network of news and social posts where people communicate using a limited amount of characters on messages called tweets. The purpose of this project is to use sentiment analysis to predict an individual’s political affiliation, based on statements they’ve made in posts on twitter about topics that have definitive viewpoints aligning with one side of the political aisle. There will be various classifiers used to find the most practical outputs. Using Twitter’s API, the data will be fed through various classifiers to train the algorithm with the proper sentiment needed to categorize the output. The predictions will determine if the individual is aligns with Republicans, Democrats, or Independents. In the end, the sample will provide an overall prediction of which political affiliation is related to the tweet.

194. Predicting Travel Trends through Social Media
Student Presenter: Haley Pappano
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi

The goal of our project is to gather data from people’s social media accounts and use this information to predict where these people would love to travel next. If you like certain posts, have tagged locations previously, or follow certain accounts, these are all indicators of where you may enjoy traveling next. This is very valuable information to both the individual and the social media companies. This can answer the question of “where should I take my next vacation?” without filling out a survey or searching for hours and would help social media companies cater certain advertisements and posts to their users. We plan to collect the data from social media to draw these conclusions. For example, we can use Twitter API to access information from tweets, user profiles, and even user searches. The API will also give us user age, location, and more user data we can use to give travel recommendations. Our project is unique because we will collect our own datasets and we are coming up with a new concept. We believe that this concept answers new questions as we have not seen or heard of it before. So, we are very excited to see what results we can draw from this project. How we plan on dividing the tasks: Haley- Data collection; data preprocessing such as discretization/binarization, aggregation, feature subset selection, and dimensionality reduction; building a model; draw conclusions Kyra- Data cleaning in order to improve data quality, so handling noise, outliers, missing values, and wrong/fake or duplicate data; model evaluation and selection; data visualization. We plan on using python packages like Numpy, Pandas and Scikit Learn in order to analyze this data properly.

195. Challenges and Opportunities of Drive-By Sensing
Student Presenter: Jane Shelby Porter
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi
Additional Authors: Dr. Deepak R Mishra, Yanzhe Yin, Dr. Andrew J. Grundstein (University of Georgia Department of Geography), Dr. Lakshmish Ramaswamy (University of Georgia Department of Computer Science)

With the recent increase in production of Internet-connected devices, people are relying more on Internet of Things (IoT) sensing, especially drive-by sensing, or sensors mounted on buses and cars, to monitor smart cities. As the usage of IoT increases, new anomaly detection techniques must be developed to account for new forms of data. Edge computing, or performing preprocessing algorithms at the sensor level on the data before it is saved to the cloud server, has become the new frontier to deal with anomaly detection. The challenge here is to create a program that will identify anomalies effectively. In this paper, we address this problem using data from temperature sensors mounted on public transportation in Athens, GA, USA. This data was collected for use in accurately identifying and analyzing urban heat islands. In our work, we analyze the effects of anomaly detection algorithms on drive-by sensing data using a real-world data set. We also use filtering and graphical techniques to identify anomalies. We discuss the challenges faced in this project and design a framework for implementing the algorithms used in edge computing.

196. Box Office Predictions Using Data Mining and Machine Learning Methods
Student Presenter: Bryan Rickens
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Navid Hashemi

As “big data” becomes an ever-increasing reality in our society, this project will serve as an informative introduction to the public on the topic of data science. Within the confines of building a model to predict the box office returns of movies, this project aims to be the most accessible entry for others to deepen their understanding about the entirety of the data mining process: from data wrangling, model construction, to outcome visualization. By “scraping” immense quantities of data from various websites using the Python programming language and then constructing a custom-made dataset (data wrangling), defining useful predictors before splitting the data into training, validating, and testing sets (model construction), and identifying the accuracy of the constructed models and further testing on unseen data after the fact (outcome visualization), the public will get a full demonstration of all critical aspects of the discipline. Specifically, this project will use historic box office information and both quantitative and qualitative predictors (such as budget, final box office returns, review score aggregates for both critics and audiences, and advanced natural language processing methods on the reviews themselves) in the model creation process. After splitting and validating the curated data, the public can see how new predictions are made – in this project’s case, adding an upcoming movie with all the identified features. By defining the project under this simple scope, hopefully the public can receive a thorough examination of the process, a clear demonstration of the predictive capability of machine learning, and lastly see the impact of future testing after completion (which can easily be demonstrated with each new movie release).

Geology and Environmental Geosciences

Student Presenter: Ashley Wibel
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Vijay Vulava and Dr. Timothy Callahan
Additional Authors: Dr. Heather Fullerton, Kayla Squiggins

Flooding commonly occurs in the low-lying areas of Charleston peninsula given its geographic location along the Atlantic coastline and its environmental history of filling marshes for development. These floodwaters funnel different types of urban pollutants into the coastal waters. Contaminants such as heavy metals and fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) are known to be present in stormwater runoff, but the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) in the floodwater is unknown. The goal of this study is to assess the public and environmental health risks associated with floodwater. Floodwater was collected during rainfall and/or high tide events to assess the presence of ARB under different conditions. Our preliminary results confirm the presence of high concentrations of FIB (fecal coliforms, E. coli, and enterococcus) in the floodwaters of the Charleston peninsula. Tidal floodwater contained higher FIB compared with stormwater runoff. Trace metals commonly associated with floodwater were also analyzed in these samples. Multiple flood-prone locations on the peninsula were sampled to represent urban floodwater. Floodwater from some of our sites confirmed the presence of ampicillin and amoxicillin-resistant bacteria. Trace metals of concern (e.g., Zn) were present in all floodwaters, but their concentrations depended on the source of stormwater or tidal floodwater. The presence of ARB in floodwater will be of concern to the local communities as they are routinely exposed to these floodwaters leading to poor health outcomes. Additionally, the increase in coastal flooding events is exacerbated by climate change impacts.

Student Presenter: Margaret Hanley
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leslie Sautter

The Blake Plateau is part of a unique continental margin off the U.S. southeastern coast. Situated between the continental shelf and the deep ocean basin, the broad (250 to 350 km) Blake Plateau is a largely unexplored expanse of gently sloping seabed recently mapped by the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Bathymetric mapping using multibeam sonar has provided seabed geomorphology and potential habitats. Geologic features encountered on the Blake Plateau’s carbonate platform include deep-sea coral mounds, elongate cliff-like scarps, and arc-shaped depressions. The Plateau is home to various underwater communities, including deep-sea corals that have aggregated to form hundreds of bioherms, or mounds, which provide habitat for many other benthic organisms. NOAA OER conducted Windows to the Deep 2019: Exploration of the Deep-Sea Habitats of the Southeastern United States to understand these communities better. In this study, the geomorphology of six locations with deep-sea coral mounds on the North-Central Blake Plateau was analyzed and compared with slope and backscatter intensity surfaces. Geomorphologic features found include scattered individual mounds and connected mound structures that form chains. Both mound morphologies were found on gently-sloping (<1°) seabed, occurring along and above a low-relief terrace. Individual and connected mounds in the northwest section of the study area have a depth range of 450 to 530 m, while those associated with the terrace in the southeast range 550 to 650 m. All mounds examined have flank slopes ranging 20 to 30°.

199. Geochemical Study of Magma Mixing at Lassen Volcano
Student Presenter: Abby Harper
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Chadwick
Additional Authors: Emily Lowe, Bella Fleck, Ray Depalma, Jade Benson

Lassen volcano is a large stratovolcano (10,457 ft. tall) in northern California, and is the southernmost volcano in the Cascades volcanic arc that extends along the Pacific coast up to Canada. The chemical compositions of lavas erupted from Earth's volcanoes are typically controlled by associated tectonic processes. Lassen is a subduction zone volcano, so its lavas would be expected to have the chemical fingerprints typical of subduction volcanoes found around the world. But Lassen is also located in an area of continental extension known as the Basin and Range, a process which produces lavas with a different diagnostic chemical composition. Rock samples were collected in our field work from Lassen and surrounding small volcanoes and flows in this study to evaluate their minerals and chemistry, to seek evidence for the unique chemical compositions of subduction and continental extension melting processes. Our samples have groups of minerals that are not typically found together, such as olivine and quartz, an indication of magma mixing. Major elements (such as silicon, magnesium, and iron), trace elements (such as lanthanum and barium), and isotopes (such strontium, neodymium, and lead) were measured to evaluate the varying proportions of magmas from these two sources. Our preliminary results show evidence for the two melting processes both contributing to lavas erupted in the Lassen region.

200. Biogeochemical nutrients in stormwater and coastal lake environments
Student Presenter: Kesli Kruzel
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Vijay Vulava

Stormwater runoff in rapidly urbanizing watersheds such as the greater Charleston region contributes a significant amount of pollution to downstream water bodies. Coastal watersheds also feature numerous natural and manmade lakes. These lakes perform important functions, including stormwater control and pollution reduction, and accumulate and process high concentrations of pollutants. In these lake environments, pollutants are subject to complex physical, chemical, and biological processes and ultimately affecting the downstream water quality. Nitrogen and phosphorus are the most ubiquitous pollutants present in our water environments (though not the only pollutants) and contribute to significant impairment of coastal ecosystems. In this study, total nitrogen, nitrate, and phosphate were tracked, along with total organic/inorganic carbon over a ten-week period. Four lakes were studied: (i) Alberta Sottile Long Lake, (ii) Colonial Lake, (iii) the lake at Magnolia Cemetery, and (iv) the lake at Stono Preserve. As many of these biogeochemical nutrients are brought to the lakes through stormwater runoff, the rainfall over this ten-week period was also recorded. The study hypothesized that the amount of these pollutants within the ponds would correlate with the amount of rainfall experienced. Eight sampling events were conducted in total. One sampling outing was conducted soon after (less than 24 hours) a rainfall event, six outings occurred within (but not directly following) a week of rainfall events of between 0.28-4.21 inches, and one outing was conducted after no rainfall was within the previous week. There was no correlation found between the amount of pollutants and the amount of rainfall.

201. Using InSAR Data to Measure Line-of-Sight Displacement in Coastal South Carolina
Student Presenter: Nathan Linder
Faculty Mentor: Dr. M. Scott Harris

Increased flooding in southeastern US coastal cities is a primary infrastructural concern as relative sea-level rise (RSL) rates increase. Local conditions are not only influenced by the global eustatic sea-levels, but also local conditions including land displacement due to natural and anthropogenic factors, including but not limited to local tectonics, subsurface dissolution, ground compaction, and groundwater removal. Analysis and comparison of existing CORS GPS data, tidal gauges, and satellite radar measurements (InSAR, Sentinel-1) over the past decade aids in understanding differential ground surface displacement along the Central South Carolina coast and indicates different areas of concern. The purpose of this study has been to specifically look at Charleston, South Carolina, and understand recent land surface displacement and compare to relative sea level rise rates in the area. Processing of multiple pairs of InSAR data with the Alaska Satellite Facility’s MintPy and HyP3 software has allowed calculation of line-of-sight displacement at the sub-millimeter scale, in this case measuring displacement over 5 years. Areas of artificial landfill on the outer peninsula have exhibited higher subsidence levels, with the spine of the peninsula exhibited levels of relative uplift. Continued mapping of these areas will facilitate broader understanding of the relationship between sea-level rise and land deformation in South Carolina, supplying managers and municipalities solid measurements on which to base their decisions.

202. New records of mercury accumulation during the Late Cretaceous
Student Presenter: Emily Lowe
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Theodore R. Them

Oceanic anoxic events (OAEs) represent some of the most heavily studied time intervals during Earth's history. They occurred during the Mesozoic (251 - 66 Ma) and are associated with massive volcanic activity, widespread deposition of organic matter-rich sediments or black shales, increased extent of anoxia in the oceans and freshwater environments, enhanced weathering of rocks and soils on land, increased wildfires, and extinctions. Although large-scale volcanism has been identified as the driver of several mass extinction events during the Phanerozoic, direct evidence linking volcanism to each extinction event is lacking. The sedimentary mercury (Hg) geochemical proxy is a novel geochemical tool used to link massive volcanism and environmental change to these extinctions as Hg is injected into the ocean-atmosphere when volcanoes erupt, eventually resulting in Hg concentration anomalies in sediments. The sedimentary record of Hg accumulation across Late Cretaceous OAE-2, one of the largest OAEs of the Phanerozoic, is not consistent, and therefore linking volcanism to this event is not straightforward. It is possible to generate sedimentary Hg anomalies from many mechanisms such as increased weathering and delivery of terrestrial Hg to the oceans, enhanced wildfires, and changes in local redox conditions, each of which occurred during OAE-2. This research will focus on generating Hg concentrations from two study sites in the North American Western Interior Seaway and Australia and comparing these data previously published datasets. These new data will help unravel the processes that controlled the Late Cretaceous Hg cycle and ultimately the biological turnover event during OAE-2.

203. Evaluating sedimentary mercury concentrations across the Late Devonian
mass extinction event from the Michigan and Appalachian basins
Student Presenter: Corinne Luksch
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Theodore R. Them
Additional Authors: LEROY, Matthew A. (2), HARRISON III, William B. (3), FORMOLO, Michael J. (4), RIEDINGER, Natascha (5), CARUTHERS, Andrew H. (6), GILL, Benjamin (2) and THEM II, Theodore R. (1), (1)Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424, (2)Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, 926 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24061, (3)Michigan Geological Survey, Western Michigan University, Western Michigan University, Department of Geoscience, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, (4)ExxonMobil Upstream Integrated Solutions, Spring, TX 77389, (5)Oklahoma State University Boone Pickens School of Geology, 105 Noble Research Ctr, Stillwater, OK 74078-3030, (6)Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University, 1903 W. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5241

Over the last decade, massive volcanism has been linked to all mass extinction events during the Phanerozoic. Flood basalts and large igneous provinces (LIPs) have the capacity to release enormous amounts of climate-altering gases into the ocean/atmosphere system and drive biogeochemical feedbacks that also result in the deterioration of the local and global environment. The Late Devonian Frasnian-Famennian (F-F) mass extinction event (~372 Ma) is one of the five largest extinction events of the Phanerozoic and has recently been linked to the emplacement of multiple LIPs. In some of these F-F sedimentary successions, mercury (Hg) enrichments are preserved, interpreted as the result of volcanic episodes where Hg was released and subsequently accumulated in sediments. Other F-F successions, however, do not display Hg anomalies, thereby challenging the notion that LIP emplacement played a major role in the extinctions. We have generated sedimentary Hg content data from two study sites in the Michigan Basin (MB) and one study site in the Appalachian Basin (AB) to test the hypothesis that massive volcanism played a role in the F-F extinction. Our results suggest a complex Late Devonian Hg cycle likely associated with increased weathering, precipitation, and erosion on land, as well as local changes in redox controlling Hg accumulation. It is possible that enhanced volcanism is related to environmental change during the F-F crisis, but these new data do not currently support this hypothesis.

204. Spatially Correlating Legacy Land Ownership Data for Nemours Wildlife
Foundation, Beaufort County, South Carolina
Student Presenter: Skylar Pope
Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Newhard

The Center for Historic Landscapes, in collaboration with Brockington and Associates, has been tasked to create a cultural resource assessment for Nemours Wildlife Foundation, which holds 10,000 acres land along the Combahee River in Beaufort County, South Carolina. Critical to the assessment is the tracing of land ownership. Not only does this assist in observing ties between landowners and broader historical contexts, tracing land ownership holds the potential to assist in reconstructing the enslaved communities who were the vast majority of the inhabitants. Typically, tracing land ownership is done via tracing the deeds and land titles, presenting this research in a narrative form. Previous deed research at Nemours has occurred (Baldwin & Bates, 1992), but the traditional format does little to visualize the spatial and temporal patterns of land ownership, given the complexity of land transfers (in terms of volume) within the project area. Using ArcPro, a geospatial science software application, parcel information and history of ownership has been transformed into a visual product, enabling project members to view the research area in terms of land ownership over the course time. The data are served to other team members via a secure web interface, allowing this information to be used broadly across the project to help correlate other historical information to the landscape.

Student Presenter: Jacob Stock
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leslie Sautter

From June to July 2021, NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research conducted the expedition North Atlantic Stepping Stones: New England and Corner Rise Seamounts (EX2104). Multibeam sonar data were collected from this area using the Kongsberg EM304 echosounder onboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Numerous dives were conducted by the ROV Deep Discoverer during EX2104 with several dives used to ground-truth sonar data. Three seamount sites were examined in this study: Gosnold, Allegheny, and an unnamed seamount referred to as “Y.” Geomorphology among the areas was examined using classified backscatter intensity, slope, and aspect. With a vertical relief of 3600 m and depth range of approximately 1400 to 5000 m, Gosnold is both the shallowest and deepest location analyzed. EX2104-Dive17 on the northwest rim of Gosnold Seamount (dive depths of 1714 - 1783 m), revealed a distinctly biodiverse benthic habitat, including several deep-sea coral species. Allegheny Seamount has a vertical relief of 2567 m and is 1833 m at its shallowest point, maintaining a conical shape and 31o slope that tapers out at its 4400 m base to <5o. Previously known as the Unmapped Twins, “Y” Seamount possesses a flat-top on its western side and dips at its center to an elongated, narrower eastern ridge. Steep slopes of 50o surround the seamount’s western section, with moderate 30o slopes towards the northeast. Slope, depth, and backscatter intensity data taken from dive locations will be used to identify possible deep-sea coral locations, other benthic habitats, and areas likely to contain high biodiversity.

206. Modelling Harmful Algal Blooms in Saginaw Bay using Sentinel-2 MSI Data
Student Presenter: Camille Sullivan
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Adem Ali
Additional Authors: Zelalem Bedaso, Carter Creviston (University of Dayton); David S. Karpovich, Rebecca Bowen (Saginaw Valley State University)

Harmful Algae Blooms (HABS) have been a recurring problem in Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. These blooms continue to increase in occurrence, significantly impacting recreation, tourism, and the fishing industry. Monitoring of the water quality in Saginaw Bay is currently performed through site visits to predetermined locations. This approach is expensive, time consuming, and provides limited spatial and temporal information regarding the dynamics of the HABs across the bay. This study aims to evaluate the potential of using Sentinel-2 Multispectral Instrument (MSI) data for monitoring HABs in Saginaw Bay using chlorophyll-a as an index proxy. Atmospheric correction was applied to the Sentinel-2 MSI data using the Case 2 Regional Coast Color (C2RCC) atmospheric correction for enhanced retrieval of HABs from the remote sensing observation. Standard NASA Ocean Color algorithms (OC2, OC3, OC4, OC5, OC6) were tested using data collected during summers between 2016 and 2021. For optimal results, new OC algorithm coefficients that are specific for the Sentinel-2 sensor were obtained by fitting the relationship between corresponding field and satellite observations. The modified OC5, OC4, and OC3 algorithms produced R^2 = 0.71 and RMSE = 1.83%. OC6 produced similar results with slight improvement in performance (R^2 = 0.79, RMSE= 1.9%). These results demonstrate that a simple two-band linear based OC model is robust enough to retrieve chlorophyll-a, and hence effective for water quality monitoring using satellites that will effectively contribute to the prediction of HABs in Saginaw Bay.

207. Predicted Ground Motions From Magnitude 7 & 7.3 Summerville, South Carolina Earthquakes and Building Damage in Charleston During the August 31, 1886 Earthquake
Student Presenter: Karissa Venezia
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Steven Jaume
Additional Authors: Chris Cramer (Center for Earthquake Research and Information, University of Memphis)

We re-examined building damage in Charleston, South Carolina using predicted earthquake ground motions from large earthquakes at the epicenter of the August 31, 1886 event. A previous study (Robinson and Talwani, 1983) noted minimal difference in brick building damage with respect to geologic site conditions during the 1886 earthquake. We used georectified 1884 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps and a building damage report keyed to these maps to locate and assess damage of residential and commercial brick structures. We used a previously developed damage scale (Miner, 2014) to assign a damage state for each of the building’s walls. Of the 606 structures examined so far, 455 (75%) have at least minor damage and 110 (18%) major damage. For each structure we use predicted ground motions from magnitude 7 and 7.3 strike-slip earthquakes propagated through a 3-D VS model of Atlantic Coastal sediments plus a more detailed VS model of the top 30 meters (Cramer et al., 2020. Our primary result is that ground motions vary very little in our study area. There are weak trends in ground motion as a function of damage intensity, but they are different for the M7 and M7.3 scenarios. For the M7 event PGA increases but 0.3/1.0 sec SA decrease with increasing building damage. For the M7.3 event 0.3 sec SA increases but PSA/1.0 sec SA decrease with increasing building damage. Thus it appears the nonlinear behavior of the Atlantic Coastal sedimentary structure outweighed local near surface site effects during the strong ground motion in 1886.

208. Just How Many Earthquakes Occurred Beneath the Monticello Reservoir, South Carolina, During Fall 2021?
Student Presenter: Nora Zich
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Steven Jaume

The Monticello Reservoir, located near Columbia, South Carolina, is the primary source of cooling waters for the VC Summer Nuclear Power Station. A multi-year swarm of microearthquakes beneath the reservoir started upon the initial filling in December 1977, and another earthquake swarm occurred between late 1996 through 1999. A new earthquake swarm began in October 2021 and lasted into early November. Seven of these earthquakes were large enough (M 1.7 to 2.3) to have been officially recorded by the US Geological Survey, but examination of data from the closest seismic station (JSC, Jenkinsville, SC) suggests the presence of additional smaller earthquakes. The goal of this project is to document the total number of microearthquakes that can be recognized during the most recent swarm and estimate their magnitude. To do this we use the seismic waveforms from the known earthquakes as a template, and look for smaller matching signals. This also allows us to differentiate seismic signals from local quarry blasts, which also are also recorded by JSC. To date we have identified over 25 different seismic events occurring during this period.


209. Computational Modeling of Cophylogeny
Student Presenter: Joe Brennan
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kris Ghosh

Evolutionary theory suggests that the phylogenetic trees of parasites and their respective hosts should be similar to one another due to host adaptations that directly influence the selective evolutionary pressures of parasites. Phylogenetic trees can be modeled using graphs, allowing for mathematical and computational methods to account for different events that may lead to topological differences between the host tree and parasite tree. However, with phylogenetic trees containing many nodes and edges, trying to best understand how these groups coevolved is often mathematically and computationally intensive.There has been much research investigating the best ways to reconcile these trees into one to represent how these groups coevolved; however, many of these models fail to neglect for the uncertainty of the host and parasite tree. In our research, we aim to remedy this by implementing a probabilistic model into the cophylogeny reconstruction problem. We do this by assigning trees likelihood probabilities and then creating a space of reconciled trees. Additionally, we implement a Bayesian network for our reconciled tree to account further for uncertainty. We find that this is an effective method of understanding the possible ways the groups coevolved under uncertainty. This research has implications in understanding trends of coevolution in evolutionary biology which can then be applied to problems in medicine and conservation management due to coevolution being a root of many problems in these fields.

210. The effects of damping on rogue wave formation and permanent downshifting.
Student Presenter: Lane Ellisor
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Annalisa Calini

This joint talk describes a collaboration with Constance Schober and her undergraduate student Evelyn Smith (University of Central Florida), in which we have been involved since Spring 2021. The project concerns rogue wave formation in realistic models of waves dynamics in deep water. Rogue waves are high amplitude waves that appear suddenly and unexpectedly, then disappearing without a trace in a variety of water conditions: deep and shallow water, calm and wind-swept seas, and with or without currents. Inspired by recent work of Schober and Strawn, we investigate two interesting scenarios that arise when damping (due, e.g., to wind effects or the impact of viscosity) is introduced into Nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) models of deep-water waves. Counterintuitively to the expected effects of damping, under certain initial conditions, damping may cause rogue waves to temporarily grow in height beyond the maximal height of the initial rogue wave. Small perturbations of unstable single-frequency waves (undisturbed sea state) in NLS models typically result in waves of greater amplitude that recur in time. When the steepness of the wave is large enough, energy is permanently transferred from the carrier wave to lower ``sidebands” modes. This is known as permanent downshifting, a phenomenon that usually inhibits rogue wave formation. While Schober and Strawn’s is a study of the effects of nonlinear damping, our study focuses on the effects of viscous damping on rogue wave formation and permanent downshifting, using a combination of numerical experiments and stability analysis. We gratefully acknowledge the College of Charleston for supporting this project through a Summer 2021 SURF award, and the School of Science and Mathematics for additional support during this academic year.

Physics and Astronomy

211. Forecasting Errors in Weather Broadcasting
Student Presenter: Grace Lowe
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lindner; Rob Fowler WCBD

Within this project the student should be able to understand how broadcast meteorologists forecast everyday weather to the viewer. The equipment used during this project would be day to day forecasting weather stations that are placed around the lowcountry area, GFS forecasting models, as well as WSI Max HRRR future forecasting models. During the project, the student will forecast day to day surface temperatures, rain chances, coastal flooding, and as well as any special weather conditions that will happen within the time period of the research. The student will compare these future forecasts with the actual weather and aim to only have an error of 3 degree difference.

212. Characterization of Volcanic Aerosols: Using an AFM and an SEM to Identify the Surface Morphology of Ash
Student Presenter: William McLoud
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mike Larsen

The 1991 volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo and the 2010 Pacaya volcanic eruption were catastrophic events that sent large amounts of aerosol particles into the Earth’s atmosphere. These aerosols can act as ice and cloud condensation nuclei, cause respiratory problems, and affect our planet's global radiation budget. Samples from both eruptions were collected and stored for further study. Here, we characterize the surface morphology of the volcanic ash as a first step in determining its role in cloud microphysical processes. To do this, AFM (atomic force microscope) and SEM (scanning electron microscope) images of the ash samples were recorded. These images were then analyzed using standard image processing techniques to identify significant surface features and to examine roughness and size differences between the particulates gathered from these eruptions. SEM images were used to create size distributions of the ash to better quantify the variation in sizes of the particles from a particular eruption. Following methods introduced in previous studies, AFM images were used to calculate quantitative measures of surface roughness. The results and implications of the size distribution and surface roughness observations will be presented.

213. Using High Resolution Land Use and Soil Data for Rainfall Runoff Flood Modeling in Charleston County
Student Presenter: Angela Nganga
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Lancie Affonso
Additional Authors: Callie Wilks, student - College of Charleston

Our research is part of the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium funded Flood map App project. The goal of this project, funded by the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, is to develop an app that presents an interactive map of current and future street flooding across Charleston County, South Carolina. Flooding is a common problem for Charleston County residents, to better understand flooding we have to map and model the effects of land use and the underlying soils on the water flow across the county. Our team is combining 1-meter resolution land use land class data developed at the Lowcountry Hazards Center with SSURGO soil data (USDA-NRCS) to create a curve number map of both dry and wet antecedent conditions across Charleston County. This will help researchers to better understand how the landscape will channel and concentrate rain and create problems with flooding in the county. This data combined with the watershed teams high resolution watershed maps and the rainfall prediction data for the area will create the highest resolution rainfall runoff maps for the region. The end goal of this project is to combine the data developed into a single flood mapping application that can be used to help people navigate and stay safe during both tidal and rainfall flooding that will continue to impact Charleston Country with respect to the changing climate in Charleston County.

214. Where are all the Low Luminosity Shakura-Sunyaev Disks?
Student Presenter: Erika Hamilton
Faculty Mentor: Dr. P. C. Fragile

Black hole X-ray binaries are systems in which a black hole is accreting material from a companion star. These systems are primarily observed while undergoing an outburst, exhibiting a characteristic set of spectral state transitions. The soft state is characterized by a blackbody spectrum peaking around 1keV, but only observationally seen among a narrow range of luminosities. Based on available theory, there is no particular reason why this state should be limited to such a range. In my work, I use numerical simulations to investigate black hole accretion extending past the observational range of luminosities for soft-state disks in search of insight into what sets this limit. Specifically, I investigate two separate physical disk configurations in low-resolution 3D simulations, plus a single 2D high-resolution canonical simulation as a control. So far, I have been unable to discern any discriminating characteristics limiting these disks in Nature. In essence, I have been unable to establish any physical mechanism restricting low-luminosity soft-state accretion disks to the narrow range of luminosities observed.

215. Ultrafast laser control of magnetization in 2nm CoFeB magnetic thin film
Student Presenter: Christian Brennan
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Yu Gong
Additional Authors: Drs. Alem Abraha Teklu and Narayanan Kuthirummal

Ultrafast control of magnetization plays an important role in the next generation of information technology. Here, we present our recent result on non-thermal excitation and coherent control of spin reorientation in 2-nm CoFeB thin film by low-energy femtosecond laser pulses. The magnetization dynamics were recorded by pump-probe magneto optical Kerr spectroscopy using linearly polarized laser beams. A sharp switching in magneto optical Kerr signal is observed when we rotated the pump polarization. Dependent results from the field orientation prove its magnetic origin. Our results indicate a non-thermal magnetization excitation and reorientation in CoFeB thin film. We reveal that spins can interact coherently with the polarization induced by the pulsed laser field in magnetic metals. Such opto-magnetic interactions are within femto-picosecond scale and are controlled by the laser pulses. Our results suggest the feasibility of ultrafast optical control of both the magnetization and the demagnetization responses in magnetic thin films.

216. Explaining the X-shape Morphology of Radio Galaxies with Simulation
Student Presenter: Christopher Lesoine
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Nolting

Galaxy clusters are superstructures that consist of many gravitationally bound galaxies with a sizable amount of gas between. This means that this intracluster medium (icm) has a nonnegligible effect on the morphology of the galaxies within. Our study specifically examines this effect on radio galaxies, a type of galaxy with a jet protruding from its core. It has been noted that many radio galaxies have a characteristic X-shape to their radio-emitting jets and lobes. There have been multiple theories proposed as to why they have this shape. These include the theory that the gas ejected by the jet falls back onto the host galaxy, deflecting off the sides of the gas cloud forming the wings as well as the theory that the jet axis rotates over millions of years leading to two distinct wings. Over the summer of 2021, Dr. Nolting and I performed computer simulations of radio galaxies using different parameters in order to determine what explanation is most likely based on our results. Our findings have led us to the conclusion that the most likely cause of these phenomena is the precession of the jet axis, based on synthetic radio observations that most resembled the observed morphology of these radio sources.

217. A Study of the Variability of Ultrafast Winds in Quasars
Student Presenter: John Silva
Faculty Mentor: Dr. George Chartas

We present results from the analysis of X-ray observations of nine active supermassive black holes (quasars) observed with the XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory. The main goal of this project was to constrain the properties of ultrafast outflows from these quasars. Our analysis of these spectra indicates variability over timescales ranging from a few hours to a day. We interpret this variability as caused by absorbers orbiting the central X-ray emitting hot corona. When the absorber is blocking our line of sight, we detected highly Doppler blue-shifted absorption lines and a decrease in the reflected X-ray emission from the accretion disk. When the absorber is not blocking our line of sight, the absorption lines disappear in the spectra and the reflection components from the disk are detected. Measuring the energetics of these ultrafast outflows and their duty cycle is important for determining the significance of quasar winds in regulating the evolution of their host galaxies.

218. General Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Ultra-Luminous X-ray Objects
Student Presenter: Zach Smith
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chris Fragile

Ultra luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) can be broadly described as astronomical systems whose luminosities are greater than the Eddington limit for a stellar-mass compact object (black hole or neutron star). This poses a number of questions: How can these objects reach and surpass their Eddington limit? What does super-Eddington accretion look like? To explore these questions, the general relativistic radiative magneto-hydrodynamic astrophysics code Cosmos++ was used to perform numerical experiments on hyper-accreting compact objects. An important result of this work so far is the discovery of strong outflows in my simulations; excess material is being rejected by the compact object and pushed away in the form of winds. It has also been found that the brightness of these objects depends sensitively on the angle from which they are viewed. It is hoped that these results can be used to help interpret observational data of ULXs.

219. Experimentally measured changes to ice nucleation rates of dilute solutions on insoluble surfaces
Student Presenter: Griffin Hall
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael L. Larsen

Heterogenous ice nucleation experiments were conducted with water and various dilute salt solutions (0.01M NaCl and 0.01M (NH4)2S04) across three insoluble surfaces: siliconized glass slides, freshly cleaved mica, and treated mica. The treated mica was immersed within dilute salt solutions (initiating mica potassium surface ion replacement with aluminum and strontium), dried, and used for testing. Our focus in this experiment was to evaluate the ice nucleating abilities of the 12 unique solution/substrate combinations to determine the combination that most efficiently nucleated ice. Our results indicate that the dilute salt solutions were more effective at initiating freezing events than pure water and that the treated mica sheets were more effective at initiating freezing events than mica or glass. These results are consistent with recently published work that suggested that local charge density induces a significant change in ice nucleation efficiency even when surface roughness was not measurably changed.

220. Active Optics Hardware: Experiments for Advanced Medical Imaging
Student Presenter: Brianna Joyner
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joe Carson
Additional Authors: Brianna Joyner (CofC Department of Physics & Astrophysics), Bailey Williamson (Pensievision), Dr. Joe Carson (CofC Department of Physics & Astronomy), Pensievision Team

Cervical cancer is one of the top diseases affecting women around the globe, with particularly high statistical deaths in underserved communities around the world. Shape-from-focus imaging, when combined with advanced data processing techniques, presents an opportunity to address this circumstance by enabling low-cost, simple-to-operate, 3D imaging to effectively screen for cervical precancers without the need for follow up lab work of collected samples, multiple patient visits, or expensive medical infrastructure. In an effort to advance this technique, we present an AI3DI (AI Driven 3D Imaging) test bed connected to Raspberry Pi (RPi) hardware hosting an RPi V2 Camera interface app with accompanying custom-built control software, which will allow automated collection of data with selectable parameters relating to shape from focus. The test bed connection to the RPi unit was established through the creation of a simple circuit using GPIO pins as switches for controlling movement of the test bed. The goal of testing revolves around the need for improved image statistics to further understand relevant shape-from-focus parameters and their relation to our calibration function. This will ultimately lead to more effective clinical use that will help women in underserved areas around the world.

221. Studying Jet Precession at Varying Scales
Student Presenter: Tri Nguyen
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chris Fragile

The dynamical properties of a black hole-jet system vary greatly depending on the system's accretion rate and orientation. This presentation gives insights into different scales of black hole numerical simulations, one being simulations at the very center of these systems, looking at the relationship between the system's orientation and the direction of its astrophysical jets. The main motivation for studying these objects at the stellar scale is to assess what impact a precessing disk has on the orientation and power of relativistic jets associated with it. Precession, in this case, is caused by relativistic torques from a rotating black hole acting on the tilted disk. The second section focuses on simulating a much more energetic version of black holes at the galactic scale of kiloparsecs. These objects can produce powerful jets that span across galaxies. At this scale, the main topic of interest lies in the morphologies of the jets and our simulations of radio jets attempt to match the findings of X-shaped and Z-shaped galaxies by observational astronomers.

Graduate Program in Data Science

222. Grouping works of art using deep embedded clustering
Student Presenter: Bryan Granger
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ayman Hajja

Over the past decade, deep embedded clustering has been used to combine the encoding properties of deep learning along with clustering algorithms. After reducing a high-dimensional matrix to a latent representation, a clustering algorithm can be used to group similar feature vectors together. While this technique has been used on a wide range of data, it has excelled with popular training sets such as the MNIST and USPS datasets, which consist of single handwritten digits. The applications of this process on more complex images bears further experimentation. This research project will use deep embedded clustering on a dataset of images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Open Access Program, featuring a diverse selection of images from different regions and time periods. The focus of the project will be use deep embedded clustering as an unsupervised process on a new dataset of complex images, comparing results with traditional methods such as the K-Means algorithm, but also examining what this deep learning algorithm may reveal about connections throughout art history and the curatorial process.

Graduate Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

223. Are ephemeral wetlands hotspots for avian biodiversity in Pine-Savannah ecosystems?
Student Presenter: Jackson Barratt Heitmann
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dan McGlinn
Additional Authors: Travis Folk (Folk Land Management), Stacey Lance (Savannah River Ecology Laboratory), Lisa Lord (Longleaf Alliance), Matthew Rutter (CofC).

Wetlands provide humans with critical ecosystem services and serve as important repositories of biodiversity; however, little is known about the importance of small isolated ephemeral wetlands which are largely ignored by managers and policy makers. Ephemeral wetlands located within Longleaf Pine Savanah ecosystems in the south eastern coastal plain support a host of specialist plant and herpetological species, but it is unknown if they support unique bird communities. The purpose of our study is to examine if avian diversity in ephemeral wetlands is distinctly different from the surrounding upland landscape. We will also examine how the unique wetland attributes of ephemeral wetlands (canopy cover, midstory cover, and wetland area) drive avian biodiversity. We will collect avian point count, vegetation, and wetland attribute data at two field sites managed for Longleaf pine restoration with prescribed fire. Our study will provide critical information on what bird assemblages are supported by ephemeral wetlands and how these communities are influenced by different wetland attributes.

224. Growing Seeds, Minds, and Community: A Case Study Evaluation of The
Green Heart Project's Youth Internship Program
Student Presenter: Carly Burner
Faculty Mentor: Dr. William Veal

Urban community gardens are often home to a variety of environmental education programs. One such program centered in a community garden is the Youth Internship Program created by The Green Heart Project. Through using mixed methods and a case study approach, the Youth Internship Program’s immediate outcomes were evaluated by assessing 12 participants’ changes in Career Preparedness skills, Healthy Living attitudes, Citizenship content knowledge, and Community Practices and Learning Through a Community abilities after participating in the 8-week long curriculum. These 12 participants consisted of 1st year and 2nd year interns, which were evaluated together and separately to understand the effectiveness of the program. Outcomes were assessed through the lens of Situated Learning Theory and its relation to place-based environmental education. Through analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data, results indicated that the Youth Internship Program was effective in positively changing all, 1st year, and 2nd year interns’ skills, attitudes, knowledge, and community abilities. Linear regressions showed that skills, attitudes, and knowledge had significant positive relationships with one another. This indicated that the themes were interconnected and that learning gains in one area helped interns experience gains in another area. Furthermore, analysis of the qualitative data showed that all interns developed a sense of Social Justice due to the place-based nature of the program. This outcome was important as it highlighted the program’s ability to connect interns with the local community and place. Overall, the data demonstrated that the program was effective in helping interns grow personally, professionally, and academically.

225. Using plants as an alternative to previous methods of removing water from
dredged sediments
Student Presenter: Mikayla Milford
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Timothy Callahan

Dredging is routinely practiced in coastal areas such as Charleston, SC to maintain navigational channels. Sediments naturally build up in the channels raising the ocean floor restricting large ships from passing through the channel. Large barge vessels remove these sediments off the channel floor then transport them to a disposal site. Most sediments are transported offshore to the Ocean Dredged Material Disposal site. The other sediments are either utilized for beneficial means such as the recent rebuilding of Crab Bank or disposed onto what is defined as a Confined Disposal Facility. The sediments have high water contents and contain high proportions of clay materials. This results in a slow water removal stage which is important for continual usage of the facilities. A way this is managed is through creating a series of trenches for the water to be redirected out of the facility. In this study, the removal of water was quantified through evaporation values. The evaporation was measured to compare effectiveness of the trenching method compared to the usage of plants as a water removal strategy. Evaporation using the trenching method was calculated previously as 35% of the Pan A evaporation method. These values were compared to an evaporation equation which factored in plants. Evaporation increased with the addition of plants. This study showed that cultivating plants on confined disposal facilities can be considered an alternative to previous methods of removing water from dredged sediments. Future field-based research can expand on this idea to show survivability and producibility.

226. Characterizing and Modeling Nutrient Dynamics in Pond Environments
Student Presenter: Claire O'Loughlin
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Vijay Vulava

Stormwater ponds feature prominently in coastal South Carolina and perform important functions, including flood control and stormwater pollution reduction. These ponds accumulate and process high concentrations of nutrient elements, such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), before discharging them into downstream natural water bodies. However, our knowledge of the dynamics of such nutrients are poorly understood. In this study, we focused on delineating specific nutrient dynamic pathways as water travels through a stormwater pond as it moves toward downstream waterbodies. Nutrients undergo transformations in pond environments due to factors such as seasonal temperature, dissolved O2 content, pH, and redox chemistry. The focus of this study is a freshwater pond located at the Stono Preserve and is characterized by a humid environment, mild temperatures, low topography, and widespread fresh and estuarine wetland systems. This pond serves as an analog for stormwater ponds common to the region and is driven by accessibility as well as the existing research and monitoring infrastructure present. Groundwater, pond water, and bed sediment were sampled and analyzed for concentrations of N and P. We observed high concentrations of P and oxidized forms of N in the shallow groundwater downgradient from the pond compared with upgradient of the pond. This data will be used to create a conceptual and quantitative model to describe the dynamic pathways of nutrients in such systems. We expect that this model will be applicable for use in stormwater ponds used widely across the southeastern US.

Graduate Program in Mathematics

227. An Investigation of Dynamic Partitioning Methods for the Analysis of Raindrop Data
Student Presenter: Brianna Brunson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bo Kai
Additional Authors: Michael L. Larsen (Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA; Department of Physics, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA)

Assumptions regarding raindrop arrival statistics determine strategies for measuring rain within the atmospheric science community. Historically, disdrometer data records have often been divided into disjoint, equal-time intervals of 1- or 5-minute durations. Under the assumption of homogenous rain, there is little reason to be concerned about this division. However, research within the atmospheric science community suggests that rainfall has a complex distribution even on small spatiotemporal scales. To explore the potential effects of this subdivision, we aggregate synthetic raindrop arrival data and measured raindrop arrival data into dynamic partitionings under the Bayesian Blocks Algorithm and MDL Histogram Method. We compare the results of these partitionings and discuss their possible uses and advantages over standard five-minute data aggregation. This research prompts questions about the measured variability of rainfall, how to define a rain event, and the appropriate use of partitioning methods.

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