Honors Program

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/2346.1/30016


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 41
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    Letters found: an exercise in playwriting
    (2022-12) Calfa, Angelica Grace; Eoff, Shirley M.; Anderson, Daniel; Clark, Rebekah
    The core of this thesis is an original work, Letters Found, inspired by a contemporary news article. The broader thesis discusses the playwriting process through Aristotelian approaches, George Pierce Baker's playwrighting mechanics, and the perspectives of modern playwrights Lauren Gunderson, Octavio Solis, and Sarah Ruhl, along with their influence on the creation of Letters Found. I also discuss the influence of Linda Hutcheon's work on play adaptation. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the playwright's thoughts on the performance of the piece, the influences of the director and lighting designer, and how they supported or altered the playwright's intentions.
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    Screening for coronavirus strains in Myotis velifer
    (2022-05) Ellzey, Lily; Eoff, Shirley M.; Kellermeier, John; Cope, Robert; Branham, Loree; Huffman, Mellisa
    SARS-CoV-2 is the causative virus of COVID-19 and a member of the group of viruses known as the coronaviruses. The Coronaviridae family contains four genera of viruses grouped as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta coronaviruses. Bats are the natural reservoir for alpha and beta coronaviruses, the two genera known to have species that infect humans. Seven coronaviruses cause disease in humans, and all of these originated as a zoonotic infection that spilled over from an animal source. In monitoring and predicting potential zoonotic disease outbreaks, being aware of wild reservoirs of viruses is vital. A first step in this process is screening for the presence of virus in wildlife. While alpha and beta coronaviruses have been found in many groups of bats and are believed to have coevolved with bats, bats from Texas have not yet been analyzed to determine which, if any, strains of coronaviruses these bats carry. I hypothesized that bats from Texas would carry coronaviruses within the alpha or beta coronavirus genera. In this study, RNA was extracted from gastrointestinal tissue samples of bats from Texas and subjected to reverse transcriptase-PCR to assess for the presence or absence of coronavirus. Exon priming, intron containing primers of bat housekeeping genes and novel coronavirus primers were designed for the amplification and analysis of degraded samples. No coronavirus RNA was detected in any of 13 samples tested.
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    Monstrous paradigms: nature and culture in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula
    (2022-05) Cleveland, Autumn; Eoff, Shirley M.; Ashworth-King, Erin; Dushane, Allison; Badiola, Susana
    Monsters in literary texts have attracted plenty of attention from literary scholars. Literary monsters have been analyzed from the lenses of critical race studies, feminist studies, queer theory, psychoanalysis, and Marxist criticism. Monstrous Paradigms contributes to this conversation by placing two foundational Gothic texts, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula, into conversation with contemporary work in the interdisciplinary field of Science Studies, which includes work that draws from fields such as philosophy, history, sociology, and literature to situate scientific knowledge in its cultural contexts. Through close readings of these literary texts alongside nineteenth-century scientific and philosophical texts, I will explore how these novels dramatize the transitions taking place in science and culture between the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions. Situating these readings in a theoretical framework derived from historians and philosophers of science such as Thomas Kuhn, Steven Shapin, and Bruno Latour, I will argue that literature actively participates in larger processes of scientific and cultural change.
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    Predicting prosocial tendencies among college students
    (2022-05) Martin, Cassidy; Eoff, Shirley M.; Forbes, James; Araiza, Ashley; Livingston, Tyler N.
    Prosocial behaviors inherently benefit oneself, others, and the larger society. Therefore, further investigation as to which factors influence positive social acts is beneficial to better understand what motivates prosocial behavior as well as how it may be promoted. Much of the literature on prosocial behavior targets the construct of empathy. However, little research has been done to differentiate between cognitive and affective empathy, and their relationship with prosocial behaviors. Moreover, proponents of rational compassion, consisting of rational thinking and compassion, contradict the positive assessment of empathy's contributions to positive social acts by proposing that empathy may not be the best predictor of prosocial behavior. Consequently, this project aimed to determine which among the constructs of empathy and compassion in addition to fairness and kindness best predict prosocial tendencies in a variety of contexts. The current study assessed prosocial tendencies, cognitive and affective empathy, rational compassion, fairness, and kindness among college-aged participants. The resulting data were analyzed using a hierarchical regression with empathy, compassion, fairness, and kindness as predictors, and prosocial tendencies as the outcome variable. Results indicated that cognitive empathy and kindness were the strongest predictors of positive social behavior. Sex was also explored as a moderator and indicated that the effect of kindness on prosocial tendencies depended on participant sex. Overall, this study elucidates the factors that influence prosocial behavior.
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    Adenovirus screening in Myotis velifer from Texas
    (2022-05) Holland, Katie; Eoff, Shirley M.; Livingston, Tyler N.; Lippi, Stephen L. P.; Kreitler, Crystal M.; Dailey, Jeffrey
    Viruses in the family Adenoviridae are nonenveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses that infect a variety of hosts, including reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals. Viruses in the genus Mastadenovirus may cause respiratory, ocular, and gastrointestinal disease in mammals, including humans. It is, therefore, important to understand the distribution and transmission of adenoviruses in infected organisms. Bats have been found to serve as reservoirs in the evolution of adenoviruses due to bats' atypical ability of harboring genetically diverse viruses within a single geographic location or host species. In the United States, adenovirus DNA has been detected in Rafinesque's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii) in Kentucky and in Cave Myotis (Myotis velifer) in Oklahoma, but adenoviruses have not yet been screened in Texas bats. I screened intestinal (n=65) and fecal samples (n=102) of M. velifer collected in 2018-2021 from 13 Texas counties and found all samples to be negative for adenovirus DNA. The absence of detection supports the hypothesis of low presence of adenoviruses in Cave Myotis in Texas.
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    Madness, marginalization, and the epistemic limits of justice in Shakespeare's King Lear
    (2022-05) Preston, Morgan Jane; Eoff, Shirley M.; Celso, Anthony N.; Bechtol, Bruce E., Jr.; Taylor, William A.; Tasker, Twyla J.
    Critical interpretations of Shakespeare's King Lear have for too long focused narrowly on the experiences and redemption of Lear in isolation from the other characters and the political landscape of the play. I respond to this tradition of reducing the play to the character with whom it shares its namesake by emphasizing where Lear and Lear diverge. I argue that the play as a whole denounces Lear's attempt to discover knowledge of metaphysical order through isolated introspection, and whereas the popular humanist interpretations of the play celebrate Lear's escape from the political world, I argue that the play itself condemns this selfish choice and demands its audience to pursue justice despite its inevitable difficulties. The main way that the play condemns or condones the actions of its characters, I argue, is the effect that these actions have on the pervasive forces of marginalization within the play. Lear's inability to respond to clear examples of injustice during his isolated epistemic pursuit of an objective basis of justice marginalizes the other characters, and it especially silences his favorite daughter Cordelia. I offer an interpretation of the play that fully recognizes the constant marginalization that Cordelia suffers before she is ultimately silenced in death. By expanding the scope of investigation into Lear to include Lear's constant marginalization of Cordelia, I argue against redemptive readings of the play and instead offer an alternative source of optimism through the character Edgar. The play endows Edgar with the moral authority of its final lines because Edgar recognizes the limits of his reason, responds to others' needs, and uplifts the voices of those around him, making him a better source of optimism in the play than Lear.
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    Comparison of motor performance between passive and active warm-ups
    (2021-05) Nguyen, Quang Vinh; Eoff, Shirley; Parker, Adam; Byars, Allyn; Fohn, Laurel
    Foam rolling and static stretching are passive interventions designed to improve flexibility and motor performance. Dynamic exercises (active modalities) may create an optimal environment for power production. The purpose of this study is to compare the efficacy of motor performance between passive and active warm-up protocols. In this crossover study, ten active subjects were randomly assigned to either passive or active warm-up intervention on the first session and switched to the other intervention on the second session. The passive intervention includes one set of foam rolling on the front of the hip for both legs and one set of the Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch. The active intervention includes one set of the Bodyweight Split Squat and one set of the Kettlebell Swings. Each participant performed the Prisoner Squat Jump to obtain the power output and muscle activation. The findings showed that while active warm-ups increased flexibility, passive protocol decreased peak velocity. There was no significant difference between the passive intervention and active intervention for peak power, peak force, and muscle activation. The findings suggest that active warm-up is the preferred modality to enhance functional range of motion, and passive intervention may be avoided prior to exercises requiring peak velocity.
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    True Crime Media Consumption in Women: Relating Perceptions of Safety and Victimization
    (2021-05) Kerestly, Grace; Eoff, Shirley; Draper, Brittany
    Women make up a disproportionate portion of the audience for true crime media. This research investigates potential differences in perceptions between women who are high consumers of true crime media and those who are low consumers of true crime media as there is evidence to support that crime related media consumption can influence perceptions of safety and victimization (Morgan et al., 2015; Shah et al., 2020). A survey was conducted in order to identify low and high true crime consumers and examine their reported perceived likelihood of victimization, feelings of personal safety, and preparedness to avoid victimization. Findings of the following project support that women who do not consume true crime report greater feelings of preparedness to avoid victimization compared to those who are high consumers of true crime media.
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    (2021-05) Foley, Christine; Eoff, Shirley; McMillan, Rebekah; Dickmeyer, Laurie
    In the year 1900, a woman named Maud Gonne established a group called Inghinidhe na hEireann — the Daughters of Erin. This group, made entirely out of women, aspired to bring independence to the Irish nation by advancing cultural and political nationalism in a number of different ways. This thesis investigates how nineteenth century poverty and attempts to mitigate it served as an avenue to bring middle-class women into the nationalist movement. It explores how the three themes of nationalism, poverty, and female political activism interacted with one another to uncover the roots of the Daughters of Erin, who would later help advance Ireland’s fight for independence against Great Britain.
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    (2021-05) Dudley, Margaret; Eoff, Shirley; Lynch, Sarah B.; Archer, Kenna Lang
    The first half of the fourteenth century completely altered Europe through a series of disasters, particularly the Great European Famine, the Great Bovine Pestilence, and the Black Death. These alterations included the daily diet and the physical health of the people of northern Europe. One disaster followed another in rapid succession, impacting the food supply and affecting northern European society to its core, quite literally to the very hearts of the survivors. With each new event, trends in eating habits shifted to accommodate the current circumstances. Famines, new food sources, and increased availability of food collided with medicine and magic cures to create new daily diets for the European people. Some of these newfound culinary trends persisted even after the circumstances in which they initially arose. Utilizing contemporary writings, archaeological evidence, and modern famine research, this paper examines these alterations in European diet and how they led to physiological outcomes in the survivors of the early fourteenth century disasters, some of which impacted people decades and even generations later.
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    (2021-05) Creecy, Phyllis Kate; Eoff, Shirley; Rodriguez, Leslie; Brojakowski, Benjamin; Bartl, Anthony
    In March 2019, federal officials announced charges (CNN, 2019) in the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice” (NBC 6 South Florida, 2019). Authorities dubbed this effort Operation Varsity Blues (Lens, 2021). Certain individuals stepped forward to apologize for their roles in the scandal. Operation Varsity Blues created an opportunity for new research to add to extant image repair literature and to study the event’s broader impact. The researcher (1) used publicly available texts of individuals’ apologies and analyzed these texts through the lens of Benoit’s (1997) Image Repair Theory, (2) compared the strategies used in the apologies and evaluated the strategies’ effectiveness, and (3) studied Operation Varsity Blue’s impact on the college admissions process in the United States. The researcher ultimately concluded that, generally, the individuals’ image repair efforts were successful and that the scandal did not create meaningful change in the college admissions process.
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    (2021-05) Bacon, Jane; Eoff, Shirley; Jarmon, Mark
    In 1975, the Senate designated a Committee, generally referred to as the Church Committee, to investigate the unlawful actions of Intelligence Community member agencies such as the FBI and the CIA. During the preceding decade, the FBI had conducted several programs that infringed on American citizens’ rights, particularly in their Counterintelligence Program [COINTELPRO]. Although much research has been done into the effect that COINTELPRO had on the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the academics who were targeted due to their opposition to the Vietnam War have largely gone unnoticed. This thesis investigates the effect on those academics through the case study of the experiences of Anatol Rapoport. It goes on to trace the influence of the Church Community through time to show how their recommendations have been eroded and to illustrate their influence on life today.
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    (2020-05) McKee, Timothy; Eoff, Shirley M.; Meyer, Ashley; Anderson, Daniel
    This thesis hypothesizes a new dramaturgical approach to Bertolt Brecht’s Epic Theatre based on Muzafer Sherif’s Social Judgment Theory by utilizing Digital Dramaturgy and Social Media. This thesis has two lines of thought: first, it is up to the dramaturg to push Epic Theatre in a new, audience engagement oriented direction when acceptable; and second, Epic Theatre must embrace the use of social media to effectively persuade the audience in accordance with Social Judgment Theory. It also describes a project utilizing digital dramaturgy and social media in a performance of Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. To determine if the use of social media is effective in this proposed approach to Epic Theatre, this thesis examined quantitative data gathered from social media platform analytics. The results of this analysis support the continued use of social media during Epic Theatre performances at Angelo State University, but will require further development.
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    Implementing Bixby and Wagner's Almost-Linear-Time Algorithm for Graph Realization
    (2020-05) Thiessen, Neil Wiebe; Eoff, Shirley M.; Pfeil, Simon; LeGrand, Rob
    The study of matroid theory unites topics from graph theory, linear algebra, combinatorial optimization, and many other fields. An important problem in matroid theory, called the graph realization problem, is recognizing when a given binary matroid is graphic. We present a thorough treatment of an almost-linear-time algorithm due to Bixby and Wagner that solves this problem. Along the way, we consider the important graph-theoretic concept of 2-isomorphism and the related hypopath problem. Finally, we present specific details on implementation of the algorithm, as well as explore several practical applications of the algorithm.
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    "Disproportions With Superfluous Hand": Gender and Scientific Inquiry in Paradise Lost
    (2020-05) Schultz, Cassandra; Eoff, Shirley M.; Jackson, Robert Marcus; Ashworth-King, Erin; Dushane, Allison
    My thesis explores the interconnected topics of gender dynamics and scientific inquiry in Milton’s Paradise Lost, showing that Milton’s text remains culturally relevant outside of the literary tradition. Curiosity about nature is an important characteristic of prelapsarian Eden, offering opportunity for discovery and for error, and inquiry into the natural world is continually connected to social and ethical disruption in the text. Adam’s uncertainty about his position of authority over Eve parallels his observations of disproportions in the heavens, and Satan’s temptation of Eve uses the language of the new science to confirm the connection between natural philosophy and social disruption, revealing the potential impact of natural philosophy on social structures. Rather than offering easy answers or total harmony in his prelapsarian world, Milton’s epic challenges readers to think carefully about the social dynamics of knowledge attainment and the ethical implications for our ideas of nonhuman and human matter.
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    (2020-05) Briggs, Madasen; Eoff, Shirley M.; Kreitler, Crystal; Brewer, Steven
    Women face a multitude of obstacles in the workplace particularly related to equal pay, perceptions of pregnancy, child care, emotional expression, and identity representation. Additionally, the ability to negotiate, particularly for solutions to the aforementioned issues, is often not equally afforded to all employees. The expression of a supervisor’s emotions toward a female employee functions as a modulator for her experience as well as her ability to confront potential inequities. Findings of the following project reveal that the expression of anger toward a female employee attempting to negotiate, as well as the intensity of an employee’s need, impacts the perceived unfairness of the interaction. Contributing factors for workplace inequities, in addition to potential solutions and implications, are discussed.
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    (2020-05) Denham, Allie Neila; Eoff, Shirley M.; Ammerman, Loren K.; Dowler, Robert C.; Negovetich, Nicholas J.
    Carnivores in the families Mustelidae and Mephitidae are prime targets for the nematode genus Skrjabingylus. A high prevalence of Skrjabingylus chitwoodorum has been observed in the striped skunk, Mephitis mephitis. Genetic barcoding studies of other parasitic nematodes have successfully used the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) mitochondrial gene to analyze genetic divergence. We tested the hypothesis that low population structuring occurs within the parasite species due to the high level of gene flow documented in M. mephitis. We extracted DNA from 39 samples of Skrjabingylus removed from the sinuses of M. mephitis and one from Spilogale putorius interrupta for amplification and sequencing of COI. Analysis of 492 base pairs confirmed the species as S. chitwoodorum and showed low genetic variation (1.0%) within Texas. Supporting our hypothesis, no obvious divergent lineages based on geographic location were recovered within the samples based on Maximum Likelihood analysis and median joining haplotype network analysis.
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    (2020-05) Nix, Allee; Eoff, Shirley M.; Wilkinson, Susan; Wilke, Russell
    This pilot project explored the relationship between breast health knowledge and language preference among English and Spanish speakers in the Concho Valley. It was conducted with The Laura W. Bush Mammogram Program who provide breast health services to qualifying individuals. A retrospective study of their program database showed elevated levels of breast cancer diagnoses in Hispanic populations, and existing literature has explored the relationship between language preferences, socioeconomic level, and health knowledge. Attendees at local health events were surveyed about breast health knowledge in their primary language, and the results were analyzed. A chi-square test of independence was calculated comparing whether language preference and survey scores were independent, and a significant interaction was found. Additionally, a one-way ANOVA comparing the overall survey scores and age groups found a statistically significant difference. With statistically significant results supporting a relationship between language preference or age and breast health knowledge, the distribution of critical health information should be tailored to ensure all patients are able to make knowledgeable decisions about their health.
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    (2019-05) Collom, Clancy Kate; Eoff, Shirley M; Osborne, Edith; King, Steven
    The Crotalinae subfamily of pit vipers, which includes rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins, are commonly found in many parts of the U. S., including Texas. CroFab® and AnaVip®, the current antivenoms for pit viper snake bites in the U.S., are derived from antibody fragments harvested from sheep and horses and effectively treat most snake bites, but there are some limitations to the antivenoms, including allergic reactions. In order to expand our knowledge of snake venoms and possibly open the door to new antivenom options, an affibody phage display library was used to identify affibody molecules that specifically target Crotalid snake venom proteins. By working with the library, two affibody molecules were found to bind to the venoms of three varieties of rattlesnakes, Crotalus atrox, Crotalus scutulatus, and Crotalus viridis. The venom protein targets of the affibody molecules are unknown. The purpose of this project is to identify the protein targets of the affibody molecules using a pull down assay followed by mass spectrometry analysis. The affibodies were identified while attached to the M13 bacteriophage protein pIII. For further characterization, we cloned them into an expression vector for production and purification. The affibodies were cloned into a p6xHis-SNAP-tag plasmid. A nickel affinity column was used to purify the affibody. Then the SNAP-tag labeled affibody was covalently bound to SNAP-capture magnetic beads, and a solution of snake venom was washed over the bound affibody. The affibody bound its target in the snake venom, and unbound snake venom proteins were washed away.
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    Childhood Obesity Perceptions in the Peruvian Amazon
    (2016-05) Perez, Emily Nicole; Eoff, Shirley M; Wilkinson, Susan; Walker, Molly
    While childhood obesity is not typically a concern in developing countries, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of overweight and obese children within these limited resource countries. Various contributors play into why populations see this increase, most notably the improving economy. As countries, such as Peru, develop economically, they begin to see a double-standard phenomenon, where infant mortality rates and undernutrition are falling, yet the number of children becoming overweight and obese is rising. Perceptions of health dictate what needs to change and ultimately what policies are implemented. This qualitative study utilizes a field experience to explore how childhood obesity is perceived in an urban, semi urban, and rural setting in Amazonian Peru, and why or why not people in these areas believe childhood obesity to be an issue. Diet was also looked at as a potential issue, though most people did not see a connection between diet and weight gain. Most respondents did not believe childhood obesity to be an issue, though obesity in adults was viewed as increasingly prevalent in some interviews. Peruvians in this area of the Amazon Basin do not consider childhood obesity to be a concern, and many believe it is an issue for larger cities and more developed areas. Due to this perception, no governmental changes are likely to be implemented to combat the growing issue within this area.