Student Research Symposium 2009




Intemperate Audacity: Contrasting Moralities in Howell’s “A Modern Instance”

Chandra Booker, UVa-Wise

“A Modern Instance,” published in 1882, is one of the first examinations of divorce in modern American literature.  William Dean Howells, the man widely regarded as one of the fathers of American literary realism, expertly uses the literary technique to explore the difficulties surrounding the disintegration of the marriage of Bartley and Marcia Hubbard, as well as the societal ramifications.  By employing the use of realism, Howells illustrates the complexities of the emotions of the characters, as well as their situations.  In “A Modern Instance,” Howells places a microscope on the lives of the characters about whom he writes, and allows their lives to play out based on their own actions or inactions.   


Teaching the Passé Composé and Imparfait in the Beginning French Classroom

Kelly McCall, Kelli Smith, Emory & Henry College

In the barrage of verb tenses that students learn in the year-long Beginning French course, the passé composé and the imparfait are two past tenses which are typically difficult for native speakers of English to master. Most instructors agree on teaching the basic forms of the passé composé and the imparfait, but the great difficulty comes in the teaching of the distinction between the two in their methods of use. After evaluating available data on techniques for teaching the passé composé and the imparfait, student drill instructors Kelly McCall and Kelli Smith have designed an experiment where one group of students is taught this lesson using a narrative-based context-driven explanation of the material, and the other group learns the material using a traditional approach typical of many textbooks that offers the students grammar charts and broad generalizations about the grammatical principles involved. With the results, we hope to learn which type of pedagogy works best for Emory & Henry students of the 21st century.


Reason, Religion, and the Rights of Man: Religious Sermons and the Legacy of Enlightenment in the Revolutionary Era

Tiffany Necessary, Emory & Henry College

Historians have long been fascinated by comparisons between the American Revolution in 1775 and the French Revolution of 1789.  While some have stressed such commonalities as adherence to Enlightenment thought, others have highlighted differences in the preconditions, goals, and outcomes of the respective revolutions.  By contrast, this paper will argue that more effective comparisons of the American and French Revolutions need to move beyond simple analyses of similarities and differences and consider more complex issues, such as the ways in which theoretical approaches to one revolution might inform examinations of the other, or ways in which new source analyses might shed light on the interplay among the various cultural and social components that helped shape and drive the respective revolutionary movements.


Parallels between the ‘Fall’ of the Garden of Eden and the ‘Fall’ of the Southern Eden in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”

Jeffrey Robinson, UVa-Wise

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” holds a very important distinction in the annals of American literature.  The novel displays the horrors that slaves faced from day to day in the nineteenth century, causing such a stir that it prompted Abraham Lincoln to say, when introduced to Stowe (in reference to the civil war), “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”  The novel was published in 1952 and became the second best-selling book of the nineteenth century, second only to the Bible, and indeed, it is the Bible itself that has given scholars a source for debate. Over the years, many scholars have argued that Uncle Tom serves as a symbolic Christ figure within the novel, whereas others argue that Eva serves as the Christ figure.  In this essay, I argue that the story functions allegorically as a parallel to Eden and the “Fall” and thus Tom functions as a postlapsarian Christ figure who becomes the symbolic sacrifice for all parties involved to secure salvation. 


The Buried-Alive Motif in Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”

Joel Sprinkle, UVa-Wise

Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” was originally published in 1839 and paints a dark and horrific picture of the decline of a noble family.  Many critics have puzzled over the meaning of its chaotic ending and Madeline’s curious and hair-raising resurrection.  Many have ascribed supernatural causes for this, such as the strength of Madeline’s will or even, as Lyle H. Kendall contends, vampirism.  Poe himself, however, did not use such devices as supernatural beings in his works but on the whole dwelt more upon the human psyche and personal psychological fears.  This can be seen and reinforced in many other of his tales. 


Feminist Mysticism: Fourteenth Century Feminism in Julian

Jade Bolling, UVa-Wise

Julian of Norwich, a fourteenth century female mystic, is a woman writer who is neither recognized for her writing abilities, nor for her role as an early feminist. By presenting a vision of the Trinity where God is Father, Christ is Mother, and the Holy Spirit is Spouse, this study argues that Julian creates a radical idea only expressed before in a few male theologians’ writings. Julian expresses her feminist ideas in the Long Text of her Revelations (c. 1373) through the use of her “feminine God language,” by making her Mother Theology central to her writing, and by including examples of women’s equality to men found in Judeo-Christian literature and other writings of the Church that were believed to be concrete truths of the fourteenth century. This paper will argue that Julian’s writings, written during a time of great patriarchal control, both in the Church and other institutions, present radically feminist ideas.


Deconstructing Desire: The Function of “Other” in Selected Poems of William Carlos Williams

Brittany Hall, East Tennessee State University

This paper use Jacques Lacan's gaze theory to trace William Carlos Williams' search for self as Other in the poems “The Young Housewife,” “Portrait of a Lady,” and “Queen-Ann's-Lace.”  Applying Julia Kristeva's theories of the feminine subject, the author examines each poem's speaker and how he views, interprets, and desires the female body.  The relationships between the search for self as Other and the desire for a female Other become apparent when observing these selected poems through the psychoanalytic lens. 


The Dolcissimo Patre and the Nove Muse: Dante’s Poetic Usurpation of Virgil

Daniel Helbert, UVa-Wise

This project explores the psychological and poetic undertones in the character Virgil’s disappearance from the “Divine Comedy” by relating them to Dante’s previous encounters with literary influences and by detailing the function of his greatest creation and coveted muse, Beatrice, in the event. These explorations demonstrate that Beatrice’s introduction into the text is the culmination of Dante’s ambitious angst and growing antipathy toward Virgil and his other literary influences; she is the modus operandi through which Dante is able to achieve a poetical coup d’etat of Virgil and by having Virgil depart at her advent signifies not the Christian Beatrice’s replacement of the pagan Virgil as an appropriate guide figure for the pilgrim, but Dante’s replacement of his literary father in attaining exclusive access to the Muse.

Daniel, a native of Coeburn, Va., is a senior English major at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in English literature and to continue his research in Medieval and Renaissance literature.


Rewriting a Legend: the Gawain-poet's Attempt to Circumvent the Influence of Chretien on Arthurian Tradition.

Daniel Robinson, UVa-Wise

This paper argues that the Gawain-poet attempted to counteract the influence Chretien de Troyes had on Arthurian literature by portraying King Arthur as he was first seen in the epic-historical works of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Layamon. The influence of Chretien de Troyes on Arthurian literature is analyzed and compared to Arthur’s portrayal in Chretien’s “The Knight of the Cart” with that of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” To further support his thesis, the author also compares and contrasts the portrayal of figures within Arthur’s court—including Guinevere, Lancelot, and Gawain—in each text.


Flora, The Red Menace; Cabaret; and Chicago: Essentialism and Feminist Ideology in Broadway Musicals

Carrie Winship, Emory & Henry College

This paper examines the representation of women and women’s issues in three historical musicals written by the popular American writing duo John Kander and Fred Ebb. It argues that although all three musicals; Flora, the Red Menace (1965); Cabaret (1966); and Chicago (1975) are set in periods prior to 1940, the character portrayal and issues in all three musicals are indicative of the influence of second wave feminist ideology which did not emerge in the United States until the 1960s. This study suggests that American Broadway Musicals are influenced by feminist activity within the United States, and should not be ignored by feminist theatre scholarship.

Carrie Winship is from Shrewsbury, Mass., and is a senior at Emory & Henry College majoring in theatre and sociology. Next fall she will attend graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in theatre studies. 


Social Sciences


The Home Garden in Southwest Virginia

Jonathan Catron, Carol Osborne, Emory & Henry College

Our study of home gardens in Southwest Virginia reveals that the region’s gardens have not only declined in numbers but have also shifted from comprehensive subsistence gardens to more specialized units.  The changing garden has also been associated with a decline in the growing of heirloom plant varieties and the emergence of modern varieties which are often derived from hybrid seeds.


Natural Resource Curse in Virginia 

Matthew Ramey, UVa-Wise

Many economists claim that countries rich in natural resources are plagued by slower growth than resource-scarce countries.  This is often referred to as the “natural resource curse” hypothesis or simply as the inverse relationship between resource abundance and growth rate. This research examines the resource-curse hypothesis in the context of southwest Virginia’s regional economy. Mining (mainly coal) is the primary industry of southwest Virginia. The economy of southwest Virginia and its mining industry are experiencing a downward trend in employment. Depleting resources, mine reclamation practices on reclaimed land, and high environmental compliance costs impose additional challenges for the regional economy of southwest Virginia. Are these the signs of a resource curse? It is important that we understand the causes as well as the nature of economic growth in this region before we look for any remedy.


The Effect of Stress on Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, and Decision Making Using a Gambling Task

Holly Yates, Emory & Henry College

Recent research has indicated that emotion inherent to a task benefits decision making, but unrelated emotion impairs decision making.  One gambling study found that unrelated stress from exams caused participants to favor less rewarding short-term choices (Gray, 1999).  Emotion unrelated to a task may disrupt prefrontal functioning and impair an individual’s ability during learning to determine the costs and benefits of choices, thus taking an individual longer to shift toward advantageous decision making (Preston, Buchanan, Stansfield & Bechara, 2007).  The current study was designed to test whether unrelated, anticipatory stress would be beneficial or disruptive to decision making.


Mathematics and Science



Freeze Fracture Scanning Electron Microscopy Study of Early Zebrafish (Danio rerio)Development

Kevin Fowler, UVa-Wise

In light of a lack of electron microscopy use in studying zebrafish development in the literature, a research methodology was developed that used both freeze fracture and scanning electron microscopy.  Freeze fracture protocol involved first the fixation of the sample embryos at different stages before transfer to a liquid nitrogen cooled stage.  A random fracture was then produced through the sample using a light touch by a scalpel.  The samples were dried, mounted, and viewed inside a scanning electron microscope.  From the hundreds of samples and images of the first 72 hours of development, much information on the surface anatomy, scale development, spine/notochord formation, yolk, and cell layer changes was gathered.  Although much information can be gathered about the development of zebrafish in this manner, its reliance on randomness makes it a poor choice for the study of specific internal development. 


Desargues’ Theorem - Physical Models and Interpretations in Euclidean Space

Kandis Hall et al, Emory & Henry College

Desargues’ theorem is one of the most fascinating and fundamental theorems in projective geometry. The first half of this project further explores the proof of Desargues’ theorem in both two and three dimensional projective spaces through making models of different constructs in the proof. The second half of this project discusses the similarities and connections between projective geometry and Euclidean geometry through interpreting the theorem of Desargues in Euclidean space. The background behind the theorem, the uses and the significance of the theorem are also investigated.

Kandis Hall, from Abingdon, Va., is a junior majoring in secondary education with a focus in mathematics. She plans to earn her Master’s degree in mathematics and to teach.  Hollanda “Holly” Bowman, from Glade Spring, Va., is majoring in physics and education. She plans to teach high school. Ashley Nelson is a sophomore mathematics major and biology minor from Independence, Va. She plans to either attend medical school or continue her math education in graduate school. Jessica Ogle, from Gatlinburg, Tenn., is a mathematics and economics major and president of the Math Club. Sarah Thompson, of Greeneville, Tenn., is a mathematics and chemistry major who plans to pursue graduate studies in physical chemistry.

Interactive Problem Solving Tutorials Through Visual Programming

Cristina Vanover Mullins, UVa-Wise

In an effort to develop a more positive view of problem solving in frustrated physics students, a computer-assisted, interactive tutorial was created using the graphical program LabVIEW.  The tutorial focuses mainly on qualitative rather than quantitative reasoning and has the intention of instilling and increasing conceptual understanding in those students who use it.  The driving force behind the project was the desire to positively influence the reactions and attitudes of students toward problem solving.  LabVIEW proved to be a versatile and accessible graphical programming environment in creating interactive simulation.


Evaluation of Downing Population Reconstruction using Sensitivity Analysis and Computer Model Simulations

Tuan Van Pham, UVa-Wise

To effectively manage populations of white-tailed deer, policy makers need reliable estimates of deer populations.  Downing population reconstruction provides an estimate of abundance of deer based upon harvest-by-age data.  This method uses backward addition of cohorts to reconstruct populations based upon harvest-by-age data only.  However, Downing made several assumptions in his model that are often violated in wild deer populations and human management of that resource. This paper extends the comparisons and results given by Davis and uses computers to simulate the population of deer in many different cases. After simulating the population, the author reconstructs the population using the Downing Method as well as a backward Leslie matrix method and compares the two.


Isolation and Characterization of Leaf Endophytes in Cultivated Herbs

Jessica Weaver, UVa-Wise

The cultivation of herbs contributes to the preservation of plant diversity for human well-being. Not widely recognized, perhaps, is that herb gardens concomitantly may maintain a diversity of fungal species of wide-ranging significance. A ubiquitous characteristic of angiosperms is that their healthy tissues show symptomless internal colonization by fungi. These fungi, termed endophytes, have been implicated as playing a protective role against insect herbivory and pathogen invasion. In addition endophytes synthesize a suite of unique biochemicals that, in some cases, show significant pharmaceutical potential. Here, we report an initial survey of the endophyte complement of five species of perennial herbs, Salvia officinalis, Lavandula angustifolia, Agastache rugosa, and Melissa officinalis.





Patient Perspectives on Behavioral Health and Primary Care Collaboration

Joseph Hamil, Emory & Henry College

The purpose of the present study was to examine patient familiarity with integrated care and the use of an educational program to encourage patients to accept this model. We hypothesized that H1: Participants will not be very familiar with integrated care; and participants who view an educational video will H2: report more positive attitudes toward integrated care; and H3: report more positive attitudes toward psychotherapy. Findings have implications for understanding perceptions of mental healthcare and the development of programs that promote the integrated model.


It’s a Bike

Steven Jones, Emory & Henry College

“It’s a Bike” is a progression of paintings that range from critiques of the cycling culture and consumerism to the beauty of speed and its relevance in painting. Over the course of painting these works, I came to realize that these were not merely bikes, but also physical representations of what I feel when I ride and work on bikes. The heaviness of the tar and the paint flung across the canvas both refer to the sensations that are felt on the bike.  This relationship cumulated with my realization that cycling is a repetitive chain of events where each motion is dependent on the previous motion, cumulating with the propulsion of the bike forward.


Rotational versus Conventional Grazing

Ryan Kesler, Emory & Henry College

This paper is a preliminary comparison of conventional and rotational grazing techniques for cattle, based on interviews with farmers in southwest Virginia.  The goal is to learn whether actual farms that have adopted rotational grazing find the claims to be true. The interviews carried out with area farmers allow several conclusions to be drawn. For example, farmers who have adopted rotational grazing have seen greater profits.  Further, those who have continued to use conventional approaches seem to have done so largely out of lack of awareness.


The Relationship Between Attachment Style and Satisfaction in Romantic Relationships

Julie Looney, Emory & Henry College

The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between adult attachment style and relationship satisfaction using three different measures. H1: Participants who classify themselves as securely attached will report more relationship satisfaction than those who classify themselves as avoidant or ambivalent; H2: When participants rate the extent to which each of three attachment styles describes them, secure attachment will positively correlate with relationship satisfaction, whereas avoidant and ambivalent attachment will negatively correlate; H3: Participants who are classified as securely attached according to the Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory (ECRI) will score higher on relationship satisfaction than those classified as insecure (i.e., fearful, preoccupied, dismissive).


Adoration of the Magi: Three Artists, Three Perspectives

Jennifer Lucy, Emory & Henry College

This paper investigates depictions of the adoration narrative from three Italian artists of the 1400s: Gentile da Fabriano, Leonardo da Vinci, and Sandro Botticelli. Because the adoration was a common theme among artists (as early as the second century) we are able to witness growth and innovation over time. During the 1400s, artists were particularly concerned with naturalism, perspective, and space, and we see each of these themes incorporated into Leonardo’s, Fabriano’s, and Botticelli’s paintings. Each painting reveals truths about the life of the artist, what inspired them, and the goals they set for their work.


Religious Coping in Cancer Patients

Maggie Monk, Emory & Henry College

The relationship between religiosity and pain perception has become an increasingly popular topic of interest for researchers, whose aim is to gain a better understanding of how the effects of terminal illness can be lessened (Baer et al., 2006; Achterberg-Lawlis & Gibbs, 1978).  There are many religious coping approaches that include praying, watching or listening to religious programs, and reading religious literature (Baer et al., 2006).  Much of the research has been devoted to religiosity and chronic pain and has found equivocal results (Bartlett et al., 2003; Skevington, Carse, & Williams, 2001). It is the aim of the current study to investigate the relationship between religiosity and pain perception in cancer patients, specifically exploring the differences between extrinsic and intrinsic religiosity and how social support may moderate this relationship.


Presidential voting Patterns in the Appalachian Coalfields

Jack Morgan, Emory & Henry College

The coalfields region of Appalachian southwest Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southern West Virginia has long seen its voters favor Democratic Party candidates in national elections.  However, the 2008 presidential election of Democrat Barack Obama was accompanied by a new pattern in coalfields voting, as many counties went Democratic for the first time in a couple of decades.  This poster presents maps of county-by-county election results for 2008 and previous election years, and attempts to explain why the region experienced such a dramatic shift away from the Democratic Party in the 2008 election, especially in light of a national victory for the party.


Repair of Glassy Interfaces with Chemistry Specific Coupling Agents

Abigail Rousch, Emory & Henry College

Low dielectric constant (low-k) materials are currently being incorporated into advanced microelectronic devices to improve or maintain performance.  As the dielectric constant is reduced, so are its mechanical properties.  In this study, the focus is on repairing interfacial delaminations with chemistry specific coupling agents, which have the form (R1O)3-Si-R2 where R1 and R2 are organic and/or inorganic moieties, rather than attempting to stop them with a specially designed crackstop structure.  This study measures and compares critical adhesion values for deposited (virgin) interfaces and repaired interfaces.  In addition, corrosion resistance of the repaired interfaces are compared to the original interface, and the results are discussed in terms of the salient chemical reactions occurring at the debond tip.  Finally, the utility of the method for preventing device failures is discussed.


Differences in Sense of Coherence and Stress between Males and Females

Sondra Ryder, UVA-Wise

Overall my objective in this research is to see if there was any difference between men and women regarding their Sense of Coherence (SOC) and Stress. If it is proven that in male’s verses females there is a difference between the level of SOC and level of stress of it can be presented to the public to make people aware of how these factors can effect overall lifestyle decisions among the two.   My research is to observe if there was any variation between men and women concerning their Sense of Coherence (SOC) and Stress. My hypotheses is that there is a difference between the two and after performing a t-Test this significant difference (p<0.05) is evident in the complete score of SOC among males and females. Males are shown to have a higher SOC, regarding the two areas of Comprehensibility and Manageability and lower level of Stress compared to Females.


Effects of Carbon Doping and Environmental Corrosion in Glassy Films

Logan Wise, Emory & Henry College

The microelectronics industry is constantly moving toward films with lower dielectric constants to improve performance. Environmental stresses have been shown to play a significant factor in the robustness of these applications. Ambient moisture can attack the Si-O-Si backbone of dielectric films weakening the interface. In an effort to minimize the effects of ambient moisture, the film of interest was treated with a silylating agent after UV cure. The silylation agent is introduced in an effort to either increase overall bond density or introduce significant amounts of carbon to provide a hydrophobic surface such that moisture will not be able to approach the delamination tip. This approach, if successful, will result in differences in sub-critical delamination measurements and improve the overall reliability of the microelectronic device.


A Novel Polyamine Antagonist Reduces Spatial Learning and Memory Deficits in Adolescent Rats Following Third Trimester Ethanol Exposure

Holly Yates, Emory & Henry College

Learning and memory deficits are commonly caused by binge-like alcohol exposure during pregnancy. At the University of Kentucky, a medication development team has synthesized a novel compound called JR220 that appears to reduce the effects of polyamines during EWD to modulate NMDAR activity to nontoxic levels.  In the current study, we investigated the effects of binge-like ETOH exposure in rat pups during a developmental period equivalent to the human third trimester of pregnancy.