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Humanities

Moderator: Janani Sridhar

The Sweet Refuge of Music
Maria Zabaneh
Research Advisor: Dr. Jama Grove, Department of History

The Siege of Leningrad. The Harlem Renaissance. The Expulsion of the Acadians. None of these events is like the other and yet they all share one thing in common: Music. As Aldous Huxley, an English writer and philosopher, once stated, “After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” Musicians like Dmitri Shostakovich, Duke Ellington, and a number of Acadian artists provided a platform for their marginalized communities to be heard by creating musical compositions like the Symphony No. 7 ‘Leningrad,’ Black, Brown, and Beige, and Evangéline.

Relics of the South: The Fugitives and Agrarianism
Callie Fedd and Sarah Thompson
Research Advisor: Dr. Steve Shelburne, Department of English

“The Fugitive flees from nothing faster than from the high caste Brahmins of the Old South.” This proclamation of fierce independence was published in the foreword of the first issue of The Fugitive (1922-1925), a poetry magazine created and run by a group of young literary visionaries out of Vanderbilt University. After the magazine came to an end, its central figures—the poets John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren—went on to form the Agrarian movement that attracted Southern intellectuals who advocated a return to a pastoral past. The philosophy they championed expressed romantic sentiments of the virtues and morality of ruralism; and, in the face of rising modernism, this notion of idyllic living became synonymous with a bygone era of the South. This paper will explore how the Fugitive poets transitioned into the polemical Agrarians, and examine the paradoxical nature of a movement rooted simultaneously in an immersive past and a disenchanting present.

Puja in Jainism
Taha Hayat
Research Advisor: Dr David Cowles, Department of Religious Studies

Through this project, I attempt to answer the question of why the modern laity community within Jainism performs puja, and what role this ritual has to play within Jainism. I will conduct this through research of academic literature that focuses broadly on Jainism, as well as the role, or lack of role that worship, ritual, and theism play within this religion.

 

Social Sciences (PSC Panel 1)

Moderator: Amanda Donahoe

The Intersectionality of African American College Students and Their Relationship to American Patriotism
Aeron Tisdale
Research Advisor: Dr. Amanda Donahoe, Department of Political Science

The purpose of this project is to explore how intersectional experiences effect the way college-aged African American students relate to the idea of American Patriotism after the 2020 Black Lives Matter Movement. This study analyzes portions of literature on Critical Race Theory, the Double Consciousness, and Patriotism to create a picture of how African American students navigate the American Identity in a time of Political Chaos.

Gender Wage Gap in the Workforce
Morgan Ersoff
Research Advisor: Dr. Amanda Donahoe, Department of Political Science

My senior seminar paper will argue that the gender wage gap exists and how other workforces compares to the professional soccer career. The gender wage gap has existed since women were allowed to start working. Even that statement right there, “since women were allowed to start working” proves there is a societal difference between how people view men and women. The gender wage gap has closed some in the last 50 years, but the gap still exists. The women of the United States Women’s National Team filed a lawsuit a few years ago against US Soccer because of the unequal pay and work conditions. In this project, I will examine this case by the women’s national team and the gender wage gap in other professions and analyze how it has changed over time.

Gerrymandering and Caddo Parish
Peyton Fowler
Research Advisor: Dr. Amanda Donahoe, Department of Political Science

My project will be looking at the presence and effects of gerrymandering in the United States. Gerrymandering is defined as to manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class or to achieve (a result) by manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency. The data I find will then be compared to similar data concerning Caddo Parish to establish whether or not it is present in our area and what effects it has should it be present. Part
of the project will focus on differentiating between two reasons gerrymandering occurs: race and political partisanship. My project will be looking at the presence and effects of gerrymandering in the United States. Gerrymandering is defined as to manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class or to achieve (a result) by manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency. The data I find will then be compared to similar data concerning Caddo Parish to establish whether or not it is present in our area and what effects it has should it be present. Part of the project will focus on differentiating between two reasons gerrymandering occurs: race and political partisanship.

Legalization of Marijuana and Rural Poverty
Patrick Riley
Research Advisor: Dr. Amanda Donahoe, Department of Political Science

In this presentation, I will examine the correlations between drug prohibition and rural poverty. Rural poverty in Louisiana is largely rooted in poor educational funding and failing school systems as shown by decades of peer reviewed research. By looking at the negative effects of prohibition and the positive effects of legalization I will conclude that rural poverty in Louisiana can be solved, in part, through a state wide recreational marijuana program. While not the entirety of the solution, this policy proposal would be a piece to the puzzle in solving a problem that has plagued our state for decades and hampered our socioeconomic development.

 

Natural Sciences

Moderator: Joshua Lawrence

CNQX without the side effects
Ashley Strawder
Research Advisors: Drs. Joshua Lawrence1 and Jarett Richardson2, Departments of Chemistry1 and Neuroscience2

6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione, (CNQX) is a commonly used AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist in electrophysiology. It is known, however, to have physiological effects unrelated to its biological action. We attempted to prepare perfluoroalkyl-analogues for screening as AMPA/kainate receptor antagonists, with the hope that these may be more selective. As CNQX is a disubstituted quinoxaline, we initially attempted to prepare a CNQX analogue by perfluoroalkylation and nitration of quinoxaline. Perfluoroalkylation of quinoxaline yielded no perfluoroalkyl compounds, so a longer synthetic route starting from 2-nitroacetetanlide was explored. The yields of a necessary intermediate in the synthetic scheme were low and highly inconsistent. Lastly, our attempted synthesis of a trifluoromethyl-CNQX analogue beginning with 4-(trifluoromethyl)-o-phenylenediamine will be described.

Perfluoroalkylation of aniline: effects of substituents, Lewis acids and Brønsted-Lowry bases
Na’Lani Zeno
Research Advisor: Dr. Joshua Lawrence, Departments of Chemistry

Many pharmaceuticals, such as Januvia, Celebrex, and Prozac, contain both an aromatic trifluoromethyl group and a basic amine group. There are currently no efficient methods for installing perfluoroalkyl groups onto aromatic compounds in the presence of basic amines. This presentation will describe the trials and tribulations associated with Fe-mediated perfluoroalkylation of aniline derivatives focusing on highly variable yields, effects of Lewis acid additives, effects of Brønsted-Lowry basic additives, and progress and limitations in substrate scope.

Supplementing THP-1 monocytes with Active V.D., before stimulated inflammation, resulted in greater MCP-1 suppression than supplementing with Active VD after stimulated inflammation
Chris Stevens
Research Advisors: Dr. Jarret Richardson, Department of Neuroscience

Active Vitamin D (VD) is one substance that has been extensively researched and shown to reduce inflammation by suppressing the amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines released by monocytes and macrophages. An increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines can result in tissue and cell damage, organ failure, capillary damage, inflammation, lung injury, and even death in severe cases. Due to these detrimental effects, finding the most effective way to reduce the number of cytokines that instigate inflammation is of great importance. This study examined the hypothesis that treating THP-1 monocytes with Active Vitamin D, prior to stimulation by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), will result in a greater suppression of cytokines, compared to treating monocytes, with active VD, after stimulation by PMA.

 

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