Student Oral Presentation Abstracts

2019 Symposium Student Oral Presentation Schedule

Choose a Session Bloc Time on the schedule below to jump down the page and view the Presentation Abstracts for that Session Bloc.


Espino Room AEspino Room BEspino Room CEspino Room DUC Room 210 (Groups)
1:15-1:50CJ & Political Science Moderator: Dr. Francine Richter
Marcus Rubio (Criminal Justice)
Megan Hussy (Political Science)
Wildlife Management & Animal Science Moderator: Dr. Theron Francis
Howell Pugh (Wildlife Management)
Justin Burt (Animal Science)
Moderator: Dr. Jeanne Qvarnstrom
Megan A. Miller (Education)
Mary Powers (Education)
Philosophy/Ethics & Literary Criticism Moderator: Dr. Sarah Roche
Tyler Phillips (Philosophy/Ethics)
Camryn Hardin (Literary Criticism)
Poetic Form
Moderator: Dr. Nelson Sager
Anthony Quintana, Derek Rasor, Mabel Garcia, Samuel Largent, Michelle Ramos & Matt Berkshier (Creative Writing)
2:00-2:50Psychology & Literacy
Moderator: Dr. Bibiana Gutierre

Amanda Rubio (Psychology)
Kaylee Plowman (Psychology)
Mackenzie Attwood (Literacy)
Geology & Animal Science
Moderator: Jesse Kelsch

Joseph Parker (Geology)
Corbin Carsrud (Geology)
Justin Burt (Animal Science)

Wildlife Management
Moderator: Dr. Chris Herrera

Erica I. Dunn (Wildlife Management)
Trestan Bryant (Wildlife Management)
Literary Criticism & American Literature
Moderator: Dr. Francine Richter

Erin Bittner (Literary Criticism)
Charles Brooks (Literary Criticism)
Family Communication
Moderator: Dr. Joseph Velasco

Chani Spear, Kasandra Cruz, Melissa Morales, Cicilie Falbo & Ashley Tandy (Family Communication)
Lorenzo Fowler & Bobby Campbell (Communication Studies)
4:00-4:50Chemistry, Biochemistry, Kinesiology & Human Performance
Moderator: Dr. David Leaver

Luis Payan (Chemistry)
Leslie Gonzales (Biochemistry)
Samantha Cardenas (Kinesiology & Human Performance)
Animal Science, Wildlife Management & Biology
Moderator: Dr. Chris Ritzi

Brittany Perron (Animal Science)
Joshua Coward (Wildlife Management)
Lauren Garrett (Biology)
Education, Early Literacy & American Literature
Moderator: Dr. Jennifer Miller

Asia Saucedo (Education)
Megan A. Miller (Early Literacy)
Naomi Presley (American Literature)
Philosophy, Languages & Literature & Literary Criticism
Moderator: Benjamin Barrientes

Adrian Salmon (Philosophy/Ethics)
Cambry Sheedy (English)
Brandee Jones (Literary Criticism)
Philosophy & Sustainability
Moderator: Dr. Tiffany Culver
Nathan Gonzales & Gabriel Villarreal (Psychology)
Betsy Evans, Liam Duggan, Cody Kalinowski & Sarah Adams (Sustainability)
5:00-5:50Languages & Literature & Creative Writing
Moderator: Dr. Theron Francis

Raleigh Darnell (Literature)
Leatrice Ynostrosa (Creative Writing)
Al’Tristen Licon (Literature)
Choral Music, Philosophy & Wildlife Management
Moderator: Dr. Francine Richter
Kaitlin Blalack (Choral Music)
Aaron De Leon (Philosophy/Ethics)
Alyssa Miranda (Wildlife Management)
Computer Science, Wildlife Management & Biochemistry
Moderator: Dr. Kennard Laviers

Robert Rasor (Computer Science)
Barbara Sugarman (Wildlife Management)
Jonathan Carrasco (Biochemistry)
Psychology & Wildlife Management
Moderator: Dr. Bibiana Gutierrez

Kaylee Plowman & Nicholette Riojas (Psychology)
Zoe Carroll (Wildlife Management)
Agriculture Education & Wildlife Management
Moderator: Dr. Alicia Trotman

Aspen Wash, Sarah James, Alejandra Camarillo & Kensley Rice (Agricultural Education)
Erica I. Dunn, Walter G. Flocke, Samuel Largent & Cody A. Putman (Wildlife Management)

1:15 – 1:50pm Session Bloc Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

1:15-1:50pm / Espino Room A – C J & Political Science – Moderator: Dr. Francine Richter

Name: Marcus Rubio
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francine Richter (Languages & Literature)
Title: “Contemporary Practices of the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit”
Poster/Presentation: Presentation – Undergraduate
Abstract: “SWAT teams were first established by the Los Angeles Police Department in response to the Watts riot of 1965” (Cubilios 1). After the dreadful sniper event in Austin, Texas in 1966, more American cities began creating their own Special Weapons and Tactics teams, or SWAT teams, which could be called into action in extremely precarious situations involving the threat of violence or hostages (Cubilios 2). Since their inception, SWAT teams have proven to be an essential part of the United States police forces. It is therefore important to determine the best contemporary practices of these teams so that they will be highly efficient and successful in defusing hostile situations such as those above. Three areas in which advances have been made include training in military weapons and gear, canine units, and tactics.

Name: Megan Hussey (Political Science)
Faculty Mentor: Jessica Velasco (Communication)
Title: “Naturalization: The Process Unveiled”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: This project describes the naturalization process through which a person not born in the United States becomes a U.S. citizen and it presents the results of a survey, in which SRSU community members were faced with questions from the U.S. Naturalization exam. The presentation also includes suggestions for improving the naturalization process.

1:15-1:50pm / Espino Room B – Wildlife Management & Animal Science – Moderator: Dr. Theron Francis

Name: Howell Pugh
Faculty Mentor: Carlos E. Gozalez (Wildlife Management)
Title: “Home Range of Translocated Pronghorn in the Trans-Pecos”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) once numbered 17,000 individuals within the Trans-Pecos region of Texas; however, the population began to decline in the 1980s. From 2008–2012, a historic low occurred with numbers falling from 10,000 to below 3,000. This significant population decline was due to a combination of factors including brush encroachment, drought, barriers to movement, predation, and disease. In 2011, restoration efforts were initiated through translocating pronghorn to supplement declining populations. Through 2017, five translocations have been completed moving 668 pronghorn from the Panhandle to the Trans-Pecos. While translocation strategies have helped to increase pronghorn numbers in the Trans-Pecos thus far, translocations of large ungulates can be challenging. To evaluate translocation movements post-release, 30-60% of adult females in each translocation were affixed with Global Positioning System (GPS) collars. We are using the GPS data from multiple translocations to establish home range estimates of translocated pronghorn in the Marfa Plateau and the Marathon Basin. Preliminary results show seasonal variations in home ranges between acclimation periods for the translocations years 2014 and 2016. Further analyses of all translocations will allow us to compare home ranges of transplanted pronghorn to those in other regions of North America. These data will help state agencies make future decisions on translocations, stocking densities, and amount of habitat needed for successful transplants.

Name: Justin Burt
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jamie Boyd (Animal Science)
Title: “The Effects of a Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Fermentation Product on the Average Daily Gain, Digestibility, and Meat Quality of an Annual Rye Grass Hay Based Finishing Diet for Hair lambs in Feedlot”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if supplementation of a yeast fermentation product impacted Average Daily Gain (ADG), and performance of Katahdin sheep on an annual ryegrass hay diet. Twenty-four Katahdin lambs were divided into two groups (CON and SCFP; male, n = 8; female n = 16) based on weight and gender in a repeated block design. The lambs had an IBW of 21.5 ± 2.5 kg, and concluded with a finishing weight of 36.3 ± 3.4 kg. Lambs were housed on a drylot with shade structures. The diet offered was a TMR diet formulated to be isocaloric and isonitrogenous at 14% CP and annual ryegrass hay based. The SCFP received the yeast supplement at a rate of 4/g/h/d. A one week standardization period was conducted to obtain a 5% refusal rate. Orts were collected and recorded daily and weekly feed samples were collected two times a week, and compiled for chemical analysis for NDF, ADF, ASH, CP, and ether extract. Temperature and humidity data was collected throughout the study. Lambs were weighed weekly to determine ADG. Proc mixed procedures of SAS was used for data analysis. We found no statistical significance in DMI (CON=11.14 ± 3.36 kg/d and SCFP= 10.89 ± 3.55 kg/d per group), and no statistical significance by gender (P < 0.11). There was a statistical significance (P = 0.0003; CON 0.15 ± 0.002 and SCFP 0.16 ± 0.002), for ADG per group. This suggests that there is improved performance and ADG for lambs supplemented with a yeast fermentation product.

1:15-1:50pm / Espino Room C – Education – Moderator: Dr. Jeanne Qvarnstrom

Name: Megan A. Miller
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeanne Qvarnstrom (Education)
Title: “The Lack of Preparation in Classroom Management”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: In 2017, Flowers, Mckenna, and Haring observed “Research suggests that many teachers are underprepared for the behaviors that their students may bring to the classroom” (163). Many first-year educators are placed in shock when they realize they are not fully prepared or trained for classroom management. In this study, we look at many cases in which newly placed teachers struggle with handling student behaviors, the problems they experience, what the factors are that cause these problems, and how they go about handling the situations. Research also shows that many teachers face elevated levels of stress due to the lack of training in how to manage their classroom properly. This paper explores innovative ideas on how to successfully manage the behaviors of students through technology, music, and more. A focused teacher equals a focused classroom.

Name: Mary Powers
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeanne Qvarnstrom (Education)
Title: “Agents for Change in Education”
Presentation: Education
Abstract: This paper ventures into the notion of what it means to be a change agent in the profession of teaching, and in some cases specifically, teaching Physical Education (PE). The published articles supporting this paper range from 1986 to 2015 in an effort to establish or seek out any patterns or developments that have taken place over the decades with regards to educators becoming change agents. This paper explores how technology and social aspects of the education system can influence how educators can develop into effective change agents. Complications that may arise when educators present themselves as such also are discussed and reviewed.

1:15-1:50pm / Espino Room D – Philosophy/Ethics & Literary Criticism – Moderator: Dr. Sarah Roche

Name: Tyler Phillips
Faculty Mentor: Benjamin Barrientes (Philosophy/Ethics)
Title: “The Virtue of Moderation”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: Moderation is one of the virtues that Plato mentions and became a cardinal virtue of the Western tradition. In the East, Buddhism and Taoism speak of it as well. On an individual level, moderation is the self-discipline of overindulgence. Moderation ensures that we don’t eat to the point of obesity or drink to the point of losing one’s sanity. It keep us from ruining our lives. In a social context, look no further than the 20th Century to see what fascism, communism, and other violent social movements have left on the earth. Moderation is meant to promote anti-radicalism. Radicalism on both the left and right of the political spectrum can lead to blood in the streets that is usually comprised of the blood of children. The enemy of moderation is the notion of self-righteousness and our willingness to think that we may not be wrong. Imagine a world where the fascist took this into account and recanted on their negative world views.

Name: Camryn Hardin
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francine Richter (Languages and Literature)
Title: “The Unraveling of One Event in the Eyes of Three in ‘Victory Lap’ by George Saunders”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: “But seriously! Is life fun or scary? Are people good or bad?” (Saunders 7). In the short story “Victory Lap” by George Saunders, questions like these often go through the characters’ minds, and they always contemplate if what they are about to do is the right thing to do. “Victory Lap” takes place in a suburban neighborhood. It is about two teenagers, Alison and Kyle, and a man who attempts to kidnap and rape Alison. The stranger appears on Alison’s front door and is pretending to be a meter-reader. As the assailant attempts to grab Alison and take her back to his van, Kyle is watching the event unwind and is persistently debating if he should intervene or not. Throughout the account, George Saunders allows the readers to take a look into the minds of these three characters. This permits the readers to see what the characters are thinking. Alison has a great many events running through her mind, from her perfect someone, to ballet, to a fantasy with a baby deer, and to the “poor goof” next door (Saunders 6). All Kyle ever seems to think about is whether his parents will approve of his actions, and the stranger is dealing with problems of his own from the past and present. As the story unfolds, Saunders uses the literary elements of plot, character, and point of view to explore the themes of moral dilemma, coming of age, and the quest for power.

1:15-1:50pm / UC Room 210 – Poetic Form – Moderator: Dr. Nelson Sager

Name: Anthony Quintana, Derek Rasor, Mabel Garcia, Samuel Largent, Michelle Ramos & Matt Berkshier (TEAM) (Creative Writing)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nelson Sager (Languages and Literature)
Title: “Poetic Form and Creativity, A Poetry Reading”
Performance: Undergraduate
Abstract: Poetry typically emulates the work of a predecessor, who sets an example for the poet. This session involves a reading of poetry by poets in Nelson Sager’s poetry workshop. Each poet will first read a poem from a recognized author who influences their work. They will then discuss the form of the exemplary poem, touching on the tropes, line, sound, image, rhythm, and voice. They will then read a poem of their own which is influenced by the author’s poem.

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2:00 – 2:50pm Session Bloc Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

2:00-2:50pm / Espino Room A – Psychology & Literacy – Moderator: Dr. Bibiana Gutierrez

Name: Amanda Rubio
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francine Richter (Languages & Literature)
Title: “The Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”
Poster/Presentation: Presentation – Undergraduate
Abstract: According to researcher Rosanna Breaux, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders” (1455). Because of the prevalence of the diagnosis, parents of children with the disorder will likely not feel isolated and alone in figuring out how to deal with the problem. Indeed, given that ADHD is so common means that much research and helpful interventions will be available to not only to the families of those dealing with the frustrating symptoms, but also to the educators and health care professionals, who must offer insight, guidance, and support to those families. Experts in the field are first going to address with caretakers two fundamental concepts: ADHD is a neurological condition and ADHD is defined by ongoing inattention and/or hyperactive impulses (Attitude 33). For proper diagnosis and viable treatment of children, all responsible adults will need to understand the symptoms of inattentive ADHD (ADD), the symptoms of Hyperactive ADHD, and symptoms of impulsive ADHD.

Name: Kaylee Plowman
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bibiana Gutierrez (Psychology)
Title: “Art-Based Intervention Effects to Reduce Anxiety Levels”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between an artistic experience (painting) and anxiety. Anxiety being a daily emotion felt by many, the objective of this research was to see if a painting intervention or “class” could reduce individuals’ State Anxiety levels. The study consisted of a Pilot Study and a Community Study. Data was collected using the Spielberger State/Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) (Spielberger, 1983) to explore the relationship between variant amounts of anxiety within an individual before and after exposure to an artistic intervention (painting). Anxiety levels were self-reported through identical STAI questionnaires given prior to the intervention and subsequently afterwards. The measurement calculated State Anxiety—a measurement of current feelings—and Trait Anxiety—a measurement of characteristic personality-based anxiety. The initial hypothesis was confirmed through the reduction of State Anxiety within the Pilot Study. However, in the Community Study results differed and it was found that Trait Anxiety might be more effectively reduced with the art intervention. This result suggests that individuals that are more characteristically anxious may benefit to a greater degree with an artistic intervention than individuals with lower levels of trait anxiety.

Name: Mackenzie Attwood
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Miller (Education)
Title: “Expression of Student Perspectives through Makerspace”
Presentation: Graduate

Abstract: Makerspace provides a hands-on, creative way to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent items as they engage in multiple different tasks and topics. The topics are not limited to one specific subject. In fact Makerspace can be used for almost any topic and subject within the school curriculum. Students are able to think like artists, engineers, journalists, scientists in order to create a project of their own, which they present to a wider community. Lang (2015) stresses that “makers are dreamers, problem solvers, builders, and inventors” (30). Fleming (2014) views the “maker movement as a process in which children imagine, create, and build” to improve reading comprehension as a storytelling activity (28). Using Miller’s (2019) makerspace project-based learning approach, learners have the potential to improve their self-efficacy and attitudes toward STEM. The purpose of this presentation is to explore how confidence levels toward reading improve due to a makerspace project-based learning approach.

2:00-2:50pm / Espino Room B – Geology & Animal Science – Moderator: Jesse Kelsch

Name: Joseph Parker
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Thomas Schiller (Geology)
Title: “Structural Analysis and Synthesis of the Chisos Pen Area, Big Bend National Park: A Preliminary Report”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: The Chisos Pen region in Big Bend National Park is located within the northernmost extension of the Burro Mesa fault zone, approximately six miles east of the western entrance of the Park, north of Panther Junction Road. The Burro Mesa fault zone is a twelve-mile-long, north-northwest trending obsequent fault line scarp formed during Basin and Range extension. The Burro Mesa fault is a normal slip fault, offsetting upper Cretaceous strata against Tertiary igneous rocks. A combination of Laramide compressional deformation (70 Ma – 50 Ma) and Basin and Range extensional deformation (17 Ma – present) results in a structurally complex series of faults, and folds exposed in the study area. Within the northern extent of the fault zone, the western down-dropped block consists of Burro Mesa Rhyolite while the eastern block consists of Cretaceous Pen and Aguja formations underlying the Cretaceous-Paleogene Tornillo.

Name: Corbin Carsrud
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jesse Kelsch (Geology)
Title: “Patterns of Conglomerate Deposition Associated with the Solitario Dome, Presidio and Brewster County, Texas”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: The Solitario dome is one of the US Southwest’s most striking geologic features, a circular formation so large it can be viewed from space. At almost 16 km across, the dome is the uplift over one of the largest laccoliths in the world. It is located within the Trans-Pecos Magmatic Province in Presidio and Brewster counties, Texas and comprises the northeast area of Big Bend Ranch State Park. Late Eocene to early Oligocene uplift of the Solitario dome generated coarse sediments comprising the Solitario Conglomerate (Tsg), an approximately 63 m thick mixed-clast formation outcropping to the west and the north of the dome. Tsg represents an alluvial fan network that is interpreted as the depositional product of major and minor pulses of uplift related to the igneous activity under the Solitario between 36 and 30 million years ago (Ma) (Henry and Davis, 1996). Near Fresno Canyon immediately west of the dome, the Solitario Conglomerate outcrops in Arroyo Mexicano where it conformably overlies the Chisos Formation. The base of the conglomerate is composed chiefly of silicic igneous lithic fragments; vertically, the silicic igneous clasts decrease in occurrence as more Cretaceous limestone clasts appear. At the top of the formation, clasts of Paleozoic cherts are present. This depositional sequence is consistent with the unroofing sequence of rocks uplifted by the Solitario dome. This study analyzes clast compositions through the vertical section, noting first appearances of clasts and recording changes in clast sizes; thus, reconstructing the uplift history of the Solitario dome. Tsg occupies an interval of 36 to 30 Ma (Henry and Davis, 1996). An ash layer was recently found within the conglomerate that could further constrain the timing of unroofing.

Name: Justin Burt
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jamie Boyd (Animal Science)
Title: “The Effects of a Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Fermentation Product on the Digestibility of an Annual Rye Grass Hay Based Finishing Diet for Lambs”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if the supplementation of a yeast fermentation product had an effect on the digestibility performance in Katahdin sheep fed a ryegrass hay based diet. Six Katahdin wethers (n=6) were divided into two groups, CON and SCFP, and placed into individual metabolism crates. The lambs were also fitted with fecal collection bags. Lambs were offered an ad libitum TMR diet that was formulated to be isocaloric and isonitrogenous at 14% CP and was annual ryegrass hay-based, and top dressed with ground corn as a carrier. The TRT received the yeast supplement at a rate of 4/g/h/d. The diet was offered at 2% of the lamb’s body weight ad libitum. Lambs were housed in the metabolism crates for 1-wk to before the start of the study. A one week standardization period was conducted to obtain a 5% refusal rate. Orts were collected and recorded daily, as well as daily feed samples. Fecal collection and urine was collected four times during the collection period for each wether, and compiled for a chemical analysis for NDF, ADF, ASH, CP, and ether extract. iADF was used as a marker to determine apparent digestibility. Temperature and humidity data were also collected throughout the study. Lambs were weighed weekly with a rolling weight being used for the ADG of the lambs. A 2-way Randomized Block ANOVA in SPSS was used for data analysis. There was no statistical significance found for apparent digestibility between the two groups (P > 0.05).

2:00-2:50pm / Espino Room C – Wildlife Management – Moderator: Dr. Chris Herrera

Name: Erica I. Dunn
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Louis Harveson (Wildlife Management)
Title: “Mule Deer Feeder Visitation in Relation to Lunar Phases in Trans-Pecos, Texas”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: There are countless opinions and interpretations when it comes to lunar phases in relation to animal activity and behavior. Studies have been conducted on the relationship between lunar phase and deer in other regions of the world, but limited information exists on lunar phases in relation to mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) feeder visitation in Texas. Objectives of this study were to: 1) Determine if mule deer feeder visitation differs with varying lunar phases; 2) Determine which lunar phases mule deer visit feeders most and least often; and 3) Determine if there is a difference between daytime and nighttime feeder visitation in relation to lunar phase. Between October and March of 2015–2018, motion activated trail cameras collected pictures at free-choice protein feeders on a private ranch located in Brewster County, Texas. Trail cameras (n = 12) were rotated around the ranch throughout each season and collected pictures at 24 different feeders. Collected pictures were first sorted by species. Pictures containing mule deer (n = 129,806) were then sorted by lunar phase (new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter), and finally sub-sorted by the number of deer in each picture. The results of this study will help researchers, managers, landowners, hunters, and mule deer enthusiasts better prepare management strategies, such as spotlight surveys and harvest recommendations, in relation to lunar phases.

Name: Trestan Bryant
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ryan Luna (Wildlife Management)
Title: “Survival and Site Fidelity of Translocated Rio Grande Turkey”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: A combination of overharvesting and habitat degradation in southern Brewster Co, Texas, have led to plummeting populations of wild turkey and the riparian habitats they rely on. For this study I translocated 17 Rio Grande wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) from a ranch in Collingsworth County in the panhandle utilizing a combination of rocket nets and drop nets over baited areas. I then relocated them onto the Terlingua Creek on a ranch in Southern Brewster County. I equipped 14 hens and 3 toms with VHF store on board transmitters to gather GPS data of their movement every 4 hours, and continue to monitor their survival as well as the release site fidelity for one calendar year from release. I will use these GPS points to conduct spatial vegetation analysis and habitat specifics the hens were selecting for during their key periods of that year (Pre-Nesting, Brooding, Roosting). There has been little research conducted on the habitat selection and nest site selection of turkeys within an arid to semi-arid environment, this study hopes to quantify that data to better help researchers understand the requirements of turkeys in those areas.

2:00-2:50pm / Espino Room D – Literary Criticism & American Literature – Moderator: Dr. Francine Richter

Name: Erin Bittner
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francine Richter (Literary Criticism)
Title: “Unreached Potential in ‘Ranch Girl’ by Maile Meloy”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: “’You’re so lucky to have a degree and no kid,’ Carla says. ‘You can still leave.’ And Carla is right: you could leave” (Meloy 56). Carla is the “ranch girl’s” closest friend, who is stuck in a static lifestyle; unlike the “ranch girl,” who could have much more than an unchanging ranch life. “Ranch Girl” portrays the life of a nameless young women, who is raised on a ranch in Haskell, Montana. She leads a plain life and follows her love interest, Andy, to Western Montana College. At college, she does not apply herself because she feels that she will not fit in anywhere other than the ranch. She has the opportunity to leave Haskell and explore her own individuality and ambitions, but she chooses to stay because she fears that she cannot amount to being more than a “ranch girl.” Meloy skillfully uses second person point-of-view, setting, and plot to explore life decision making conflicts in the life of a “ranch girl.”

Name: Charles Brooks
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francine Richter (Literary Criticism)
Title: “The Trials of Nonconformist Fatherhood in “You Were Here” by Cote Smith”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: In Cote Smith’s experimental short story “You Were Here,” a Kansas sheriff plays a highly questionable, ongoing game of “Cops and Robbers” with his rowdy sons, Brett (nine) and Otis (seven). The unorthodox dad, Dave, has a distinctly different way of raising Brett and Otis. He does not set normal limits. They have access to all the R-rated films and computer games they want, as long as they do not tell their mother, Kim, when they visit her. Brett’s psychological state worsens under these conditions, as he has watched too many horror movies and played the role of the “bad guy” every time the family takes up “Cops and Robbers.” Dave, on his part, does not listen to his ex-wife, Kim, about how Brett is acting out. Eventually their role playing gets physical and gets out of hand. In his 2016 short story, Cote Smith explores the theme of nonconformist, unconventional parenthood and its perilous journey through the characterization of the Kansas City police chief, Dave, and his atypical sons, the developing plot of the story, and the setting of contemporary Kansas City, Kansas.

2:00-2:50pm / UC Room 210 – Family Communication – Moderator: Dr. Joseph Velasco

Name: Chani Spear, Kasandra Cruz, Melissa Morales, Cicilie Falbo & Ashley Tandy (TEAM)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joseph Velasco (Family Communication)
Title: “Family Communication: Literature Reviews”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: Whether we like it or not, family communication impacts all of our lives. Five students will present separate literature reviews on topics including bereavement, parenting, marriage, conflict, emotion socialization, family-types, and much more.

Name: Lorenzo Fowler & Bobby Campbell (TEAM)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joseph Velasco (Communication Studies)
Title: “Solving Community Problems through Effective Communication”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: Community issues can be resolved through effective communication strategies.

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4:00 – 4:50pm Session Bloc Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

4:00-4:50pm / Espino Room A – Chemistry, Biochemistry, Kinesiology & Human Performance – Moderator: Dr. David Leaver

Name: Luis Payan
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Leaver (Chemistry)
Title: “The Design of Irreversible Inhibitors of Sterol C24-methyltransferase (24-SMT) as Potential Therapeutics to Treat Parasitic Protozoan Infections”
Poster/Presentation: Presentation – Undergraduate
Abstract: There are currently seventeen neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the world and three of them belong to the parasitic protozoan class: the Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT, or sleeping sickness). It is estimated that healthcare and related costs of Chagas disease in the US is almost $900 million annually, making it comparable to better known infections such as Lyme disease and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections. It has been shown that ergosterol biosynthesis for these protozoan parasites is essential for survival and thus blocking this pathway with appropriate inhibitors is a valid therapeutic option. Sterol C24-methyltransferase (24-SMT) is required for protozoan parasites to survive, while it is absent from the human host and thus offers the potential for species differentiation and enhanced selectivity. The design of synthetic 24-SMT inhibitors that do not contain the ABCD sterol ring will be described.

Name: Leslie Gonzales
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Leaver (Biochemistry)
Title: “Understanding the Fundamentals of CRISPR-Cas9”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: For over 20 years, the progress that has been made towards the understanding of CRISPR-Cas9 has been revolutionary. The possibilities that come with this biotechnology are endless and scientist all over the world have joined the race to leave their mark on this field. From drug therapeutics, the food industry, agriculture, and genome modification, the impact that CRISPR-Cas9 will have on the future of science is one with no limit. The complex mechanisms that come with understanding exactly how this sequence functions have been the topic of discussion for years. With researchers frequently discovering new aspects of CRISPR-Cas9, it is no surprise that the list of ways to use this biotechnology continues to grow. However, the matter of whether or not the use of this technology is ethical has been a concern among world and scientific leaders since the discovery of the sequence. Concerns such as, scientists using CRISPR-Cas9 to create a “perfect world” and whether researchers should be allowed to patent this work have come into question. Nonetheless, the impact that CRISPR-Cas9 has had and will continue to have on the scientific field and the world in general will continue to grow every day. Whether that impact will be good or bad is yet to be for seen.

Name: Samantha Cardenas
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chris Herrera (Kinesiology & Human Performance)
Title: “Early Prevention of Running Related Injury in College Student Athletes using Asymmetrical Gait Analysis”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: Running is a common form of exercise and a crucial movement pattern required in many college sports. Unfortunately, injury among runners is common and can be the result of asymmetries between the left and right running stride. Running gait analysis is a proven method to identify and correct asymmetries and other poor movement patterns, but is rarely used for college athletes given the expense of equipment and the need for expert consultation. The SymClip is a validated alternative to standard gait analysis and is a wearable sensor consisting of multiple triaxial accelerometers that detect foot movements on each foot to compute ground contact time, strike angle, impact shock, and stride length. The purpose of this study is to validate the use of the SymClip to identify running gait asymmetries and investigate sex differences as well as the influence of other factors, including running and sport experience and industry history. The significance of this research is to identify a cost-effective solution for the early detection of risk factors for running injury among college students.

4:00-4:50pm / Espino Room B – Animal Science, Wildlife Management & Biology – Moderator: Dr. Chris Ritzi

Name: Brittany Perron
Faculty Mentor: Jamie Boyd (Animal Science)
Title: “Evaluation and Characterization of Native Grasses of the Trans-Pecos Region of Texas as an Adequate Forage Source for Horses at Maintenance”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: Intensively managed horses generally receive a balanced ration; however, those managed on native grass pastures may experience nutritional deficiencies. To date, grasses in the Trans-Pecos Region of Texas have not been characterized relative to equine nutritional needs. Objectives of this study were to determine 1) effects due to stage (dormant, green-up, seedhead in boot, mature) and species (blue grama (Chondrosum gracile), black grama (C. eriopodum), buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides)) on nutritional composition, and 2) dietary adequacy for horses at maintenance. Grasses were grab-sampled from a 14.38 ha pasture between April and August, 2018. Samples were analyzed via wet chemistry for DM, CP, NDF, ADF, Ca, P, Cu, Zn and DE. Nutritive content was analyzed via ANOVA with main effects of stage and species. Species had a significant effect on ADF (P=0.04) and P (P=0.04), with a trend for DM (P=0.06). Buffalograss had the most desirable nutrient profile with respect to NDF, ADF, CP, Ca, P, Cu and Zn across all stages. Stage affected ADF (P=0.001), DM (P<0.001), CP (P=0.008), and P (P=0.006). Across species, CP was highest in the green-up stage, while DE varied by stage and species. Compared to NRC values, all samples met CP and DE needs, except CP in dormant grasses. Ca:P ratios were appropriate for all grasses, although P was below recommended levels. Cu and Zn values were exponentially low. In summary, the nutrient profile of native grasses adequately met dietary requirements, except microminerals. Further exploration of adequacy relative to working, growing, and breeding horses is warranted.

Name: Joshua Coward
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ryan Luna (Wildlife Management)
Title: “Evaluation of Soil Factors and Changes in Plant Communities Resulting from Rooting Behavior of Invasive Wild Pigs on the Kerr Wildlife Management Area”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: Invasive Wild Pigs (IWP) (Sus scrofa) are a destructive and invasive species that cause an estimated 1.5 billion dollars in combined costs of control efforts and damage mitigation annually. They exhibit foraging behavior that can be destructive to soil structure and morphology, as well as disturbing the plant communities they occupy. Little research has been conducted in Texas to evaluate how rooting behavior affects soil composition and plant communities post rooting events. The objectives of this study are: 1) determine if there is a statistically significant increase in soil erosion/deposition after IWP rooting occurs, 2) determine if there are statistically significant changes in soil texture, moisture content, pH and EC, organic and inorganic carbon, nitrogen, and bulk densities, and 3) determine how plant communities change after rooting events. 14 erosion bridges in fenced exclosures were installed, both in rooted and unrooted areas, to measure soil erosion/deposition. These were sampled weekly from January-September of 2018. To determine how soil components are affected, areas of IWP rooting were sampled to a depth of 15cm and bulk density samples were conducted using the compliant cavity method. These soil samples were analyzed in a lab setting to determine whether soil carbon, nitrogen, moisture, texture, bulk densities, and pH/EC were significantly impacted compared to control sites. Vegetation sampling to determine cover class estimates and species presence/absence in rooted areas and the general effect on plant communities was conducted. These data will be compared to previously conducted vegetation transects from the summers of 2016 and 2017. Vegetation cover classes and presence/absence data were analyzed to determine how plant communities change after a rooting event.

Name: Lauren Garrett
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher M. Ritzi (Biology)
Title: “Survey and Life History of Bee Fly Parasitoids (Diptera: Bombyliidae) of Hymenoptera within Brewster and Jeff Davis Counties of Texas”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: Bee flies (Diptera: Bombyliidae) are pollinators as adults and larval parasitoids of various insect groups, including bees and wasps of the order Hymenoptera. Despite over half of all Texan bee fly genera exploiting hymenopterans, the prevalence, range, and specific life histories of these species are heavily lacking or non-existent in description. With increasing concerns for pollinators and native bee populations, expanding the current knowledge of bee fly life cycles and host usage may help illuminate some complex ecological interactions and fluctuations within these insect communities. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and diversity of bee flies exploiting hymenopterans within Brewster and Jeff Davis counties. Trap-nests, sand pits, and a novel pan trapping method were employed between late-March through early-November 2018 in three geographically distinct study areas: Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute (grasslands), Davis Mountains Preserve (sky island), and Terlingua Ranch (desert scrub). Pan trap assays collected bombyliids of subfamilies Anthracinae, Bombyliinae, Phthiriinae, and Usiinae, while members from subfamily Toxophorinae were solely retrieved from trap-nests. Bee flies were captured from the pan trap assays at all three study areas; however, trap-nest collections only yielded bombyliids from the grassland sites.

4:00-4:50pm / Espino Room C – Education, Early Literacy & American Literature – Moderator: Dr. Jennifer Miller

Name: Asia Saucedo
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeanne Qvarnstrom (Education)
Title: “Mental Health in Secondary Education”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: This literature review explores ten peer-reviewed articles that report on the issue of mental health in secondary education. The research questions include: 1) How are secondary schools dealing with the issue of mental health for students? 2) Are schools being silent, or do they try to reach out to help students? 3) Do teachers turn a blind eye to signals displayed by students, or do they try to help? 4) Is our educational system failing our students? The articles cover programs, prevention, counseling, and they illustrate what schools are trying to provide for their students. The articles highlight the topics of suicide prevention and how the schools are addressing students’ depression due to immigration status. The articles stress the importance of students seeking help and maintain that access to help could lower the suicide rate (Study Protocol, 2017). Research shows schools are an ideal and opportune setting in which to reach out to young people (Study Protocol 2016). The articles explore programs that are helping students and also describe how schools may be avoiding the topic of mental health.

Name: Megan A. Miller
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Miller (Education)
Title: “The Importance of Phonemic Blending and Segmenting”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: In the development of phonemic awareness, children are taught to hear, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in a spoken word. Phonemic awareness in turn contributes to reading fluency. That is where phonemic blending and segmenting comes into play. Blending is the ability to combine the sounds in words. Segmenting is the opposite: it is where we break apart the sounds in a word. These two concepts within phonemic awareness are important when it comes to the understanding of alphabetic principles. It is easy to see the difficulty in teaching this, especially for those of us who were not taught phonics ourselves. Students are in need of blending and segmenting not only in reading but writing too. Imagine coming to an unfamiliar word and not knowing how to properly sound out the word, or trying to spell out a word and not knowing how to blend it together correctly. In this study, students were observed in two different settings, in order to characterize the difficulties they faced in blending and segmenting. Worksheets alone will not do the trick. Some students benefit from the use of a manipulative; some need assistance due to a lisp; and some students need to be reverted back to the alphabetic principles. In the classroom, success starts with confidence, and confidence starts with support.

Name: Naomi Presley
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sarah Roche (American Literature)
Title: “’Rising or falling? Men or things?’: World War I African American Poetry”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: World War I was a global experience that can be experienced through poetry. William Yeats, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, and Wilfred Owen are associated with capturing the experiences of British soldiers fighting at the frontline. However, America had a robust poetic movement also. For African Americans, poetry provided a medium for expressing the prejudice, inequality, and violence that they faced every day. Yet poetry also served as a way for them to entertain hope that by fighting for democracy in Europe they would contribute to greater democracy in America. My research is based on primary source poems written during World War I, and it includes a spectrum of well-known poets, unknown poets, poets who were just beginning their careers as Harlem Renaissance poets, and soldier poets. This presentation will focus on three poets, James Weldon Johnson, and Zelda and Lucian B. Watkins, whose poems showcase the physical and psychological experiences of African Americans during World War I. James Weldon Johnson’s “To America” explores the deterioration of race relations after Reconstruction and the loss of his position as US Consul in Venezuela. Zelda’s “To the Patriotic Lady Across the Way” illustrates and explores the theme of American hypocrisy in a large northern metropolis. Lucian B. Watkins’ poem “The Negro Soldiers of America: What We Are Fighting For” blends hope and discouragement about hopes that fighting for democracy in Europe would bring democracy to Memphis, Tennessee.

4:00-4:50pm / Espino Room D – Philosophy, Languages & Literature & Literary Criticism – Moderator: Benjamin Barrientes

Name: Adrian Salmon
Faculty Mentor: Benjamin Barrientes (Philosophy)
Title: “Priests and Politicians are Splitting Us”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: Morals have sneakily been decaying throughout the years. Right and wrong can no longer be the only two categories that they fall into. Psychological studies have shown that children recognize rules about clothing, food and other aspects of life as social conventions. Orders that prevent harm are moral rules. As we start to grow around more social influences, our mental process starts to change the way we deal with what we feel is “right.” Our morals are what group us into communities; we don’t even realize what we are a part of already. Whether it’s your church buddies that share the same faith, or your bar buddies that have the same conservative lifestyle as you, these beliefs shape our lives and decisions more than we realize. Politics and religion are the two main factors that divide the masses and ultimately change our lives. These strain a lot of productive thinking throughout life. Political parties and interest groups strive to make their concerns become current triggers of you moral modules. Religion casts beliefs under a roof with others whose practices eventually unite into a single moral community. Humans are a selfish species and naturally like to group with others. Instead of implementing religion and politics in the household, talks and discernment of other cultures could help broaden the perspectives of children and keep their mindset on the right track as far as determining what could potentially harm others. After all, that would be the moral thing to do, wouldn’t it?

Name: Cambry Sheedy
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francine Richter (Languages and Literature)
Title: “Art Therapy in Philadelphia for Children Suffering from Learning Disabilities”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: “Art therapy is integrated in several mental health care programs for people with mental disabilities and is also a stand-alone therapy” (Abbing 2). Indeed, many studies have shown the efficacy of utilizing different types of art therapy that the therapist can employ to relieve suffering children. Art therapy is a creative method of expression using the arts as a calming technique. Therapies include mandala design, collage making, free painting, and clay work. The first ever recorded experiment with art therapy was conducted in the1920s by Hermann Simon. He introduced the practice of art therapy into his facility in Warstein, Germany. He created art therapy for patients, so they could reconnect within society. Art therapy can provide great and lasting results in children who are experiencing troubling symptoms which impact the quality of their lives.

Name: Brandee Jones
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francine Richter (Languages and Literature)
Title: “Discovering an Authentic Nature Through ‘Drinking Coffee Elsewhere’ by ZZ Packer”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: Standing in the hall, a lonely Heidi quotes a Frank O’Hara poem: “When I was a child…I played by myself in a corner of the schoolyard all alone. I hated dolls and I hated games, animals were not friendly and birds flew away. If anyone was looking for me I hid behind a tree” (ZZ Packer). As Dina’s newfound friend Heidi speaks, Dina feels she is reading her mind. Until now she has felt isolated in an integrated world. “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” by ZZ Packer, is a short story published in 2000. This short story takes place in modern times at Yale University. In the first-person point of view, the story is seen through the eyes of the protagonist, Dina. Dina is an African American, middle-class, college freshman from Baltimore. Self-identified as a misanthrope, she struggles with the idea of attachment. The consequences of an act of rebellion sentenced her to a year’s time of psychiatric counseling with Dr. Raeburn, along with isolation in a private dorm. She believes she is content with this arrangement, that is, until a frumpy, Caucasian girl named Heidi comes knocking on the door of her dorm. As the semester goes by, Heidi and Dina begin to build a strange, intimate, nonsexual relationship. When Heidi’s mother passes away, Dina does not know how to react, as she has experienced the death of her own mother. Through her sessions with Dr. Raeburn, Dina realizes that this make-believe world she has created has been her coping mechanism for dealing with her mother’s passing. ZZ Packer uses the literary devices allusion, foil, and flashback to develop her three themes of alienation, social identity, and denial regarding the struggles of searching for an authentic, conventional nature.

4:00-4:50pm / UC Room 210 – Philosophy & Sustainability – Moderator: Dr. Tiffany Culver

Name: Nathan Gonzales & Gabriel Villarreal (TEAM)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tiffany Culver (Psychology)
Title: “An Analysis of Family Educational Support and Socioeconomic Status”
Poster/Presentation: Presentation – Undergraduate
Abstract: What is the relationship between family educational support and socioeconomic status (SES)? In an effort to research this question, participants were asked to complete a demographic survey, a support survey and a socioeconomic survey. Researchers hypothesized that students from lower SES have less family educational support. This lack of support may deter students from completing their education and rising above their current SES level.

Name: Betsy Evans, Liam Duggan, Cody Kalinowski & Sarah Adams (TEAM)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Theron Francis (Languages and Literature)
Title: “The SRSU Sustainability Survey: A Framework for Planning Sustainable Development on Campus”
Presentation: Undergraduate & Graduate
Abstract: In the fall of 2018, the Sustainability Council – made up of Sul Ross students, staff, and faculty – surveyed the SRSU community on its “knowledge of sustainability, attitudes about sustainability topics, and awareness about Sul Ross State University’s sustainability initiatives.” We will interpret the results of the survey using as a framework the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals, which guide the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). This report both reflects SRSU’s awareness of sustainability on campus and makes recommendations for how the university can implement sustainability.

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5:00 – 5:50pm Session Bloc Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

5:00-5:50pm / Espino Room A – Languages & Literature & Creative Writing – Moderator: Dr. Theron Francis

Name: Raleigh Darnell
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Theron Francis (Languages and Literature)
Title: “The Picturesque in Humboldt’s Personal Narrative”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: Alexander von Humboldt, an early scientific explorer of the 19th century, wrote with a scientific mind as well as with a romantic spirit. Humboldt’s work, Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent, showcases his use of the romantic in his scientific methodology to inform fellow researchers as well as the general public. The Personal Narrative influenced scientists (e.g. Charles Darwin) and artists (e. g. Frederic Church) alike. The picturesque is a major component in Humboldt’s Romantic methodology for acquiring knowledge. Humboldt’s Personal Narrative is a blend of scientific report and romantic narrative so much so that this work can be considered an early form of science writing in the tradition of literary journalism. This study evaluates Humboldt’s style in the genre of literary journalism by using the Eason-Webb Spectrum developed by William Roberts and Fiona Giles, which locates works on a stylistic continuum from subjective to objective. Analyses looking only for objectivity or only subjectivity fall short because of Humboldt’s use of the picturesque alone. The picturesque reveals Humboldt’s scientific philosophy and epistemology and creates a dynamic feedback loop between objectivity and subjectivity. Uniting these styles serves the methodological holism of Humboldt’s epistemology.

Name: Leatrice Ynostrosa
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Laura Payne (Languages and Literature)
Title: “The Genesis of ‘Waiting’: Processes and the Creation of a Roman-a-Clef”
Presentation & Performance: Undergraduate
Abstract: “Waiting” is a fictionalized biographical short-story highlighting a landscape setting that serves also to reflect the emotional landscape of the narrator/protagonist, an overworked, overstressed mother trying to maintain the balance between her children, her marriage, her job, and her faith. The presentation will examine the challenges faced writing such a genre, the genesis of the piece, and will end with a recitation of the story.

Name: Al’Tristen Licon
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francine Richter (Literature)
Title: “The Challenges of Competition in ‘Cage Run’”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: “Step into the arena where gladiators meet, the Cage at West 4th home of hallowed concrete, where the ballers test skill…” (Smith 2). Here, Smith explains how athletes with high skill test themselves against the local competition in basketball. Walter Dean Meyer’s short story “Cage Run,” in the collection Pick-up Game: A Full Day of Full Court, is about Boo, who is the main character that makes statements about every player who goes to the court and predicts the outcome of games and the skill of players. He and his friends meet up at the street courts in Manhattan to play for money and see who the best players in town are and see who can make it to the big stage of professional or college basketball. The story brings out the best of how hard work, dedication, and the willingness to sacrifice many things come into play when the athletes step onto the court. The athletes do it for the love of the game and for competition to get better. Meyer uses characterization, plot, and setting to examine and support the theme of underprivileged young men and their trials in overcoming huge obstacles on the way to their dreams of success and fame.

5:00-5:50pm / Espino Room B – Choral Music, Philosophy & Wildlife Management – Moderator: Dr. Francine Richter

Name: Kaitlin Blalack (Choral Music)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francine Richter (Languages and Literature)
Title: “Why Music Education Matters in Texas Public Middle Schools Today”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: Music education matters in Texas public middle schools, because it teaches students important life skills and academic knowledge. However, many school districts approach music as a less than important subject. They prioritize core subjects and sports, and allocate most of their budgets towards these areas. While Fine Arts Departments get little funding, Choral Music Departments get even less. To be specific, public schools receive at least $1.65 billion in funding from the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program. While Fine Arts programs only get $30 million from the Assistance for Arts Education program. The lack of support for Choral Music Departments makes it difficult for schools to teach life skills, which are not taught through the core curricula.

Name: Aaron De Leon
Faculty Mentor: Benjamin Barrientes (Philosophy)
Title: “The Fool is the Precursor to the Savior”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: Benjamin Franklin was a moralist, who set an example of how one earns a good reputation. He represents the conscientious leader who follows moral necessity. A good reputation is partly determined by one’s associates and partly by the surroundings where one chooses to live.

Name: Alyssa Miranda (Wildlife Management)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francine Richter (Languages & Literature)
Title: “The Devastating Result of Elephant Poaching in Africa”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: “Without intervention, wild elephants could be mostly extinct by the end of the next decade” (McDonald 113). No one is certain about how many elephants remain in Africa, and this lack of knowledge about exact numbers hampers preservation efforts. Elephant poaching and the ivory trade are unlawful in Kenya and pose a significant risk to the elephant’s population in the country. The demand for ivory is the main reason for the decline in elephant populations to dangerously low levels. Thousands of elephants fall as victims of poachers every year for their ivory tusks. Ornaments and jewelry are often made of ivory. China is the primary consumer market for ivory. Since many of the female and male elephants are getting killed for their ivory, some elephants are being born without tusks, therefore the “tusk” gene is disappearing. Enabling safe access to greater natural resources, will reduce elephant encroachment onto agricultural fields and villages. Therefore, human-elephant conflict will be reduced. Also, donating to the World Wildlife Fund allows work in the field of wilderness preservation and lessens the production of human impact on the environment. The third salutary action that can be taken is to create a specific boundary of protection.

5:00-5:50pm / Espino Room C – Computer Science, Wildlife Management & Biochemistry – Moderator: Dr. Kennard Laviers

Name: Robert Rasor
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kennard Laviers (Computer Science)
Title: “Chasing the Singularity: Relations Between Human Cognitive Behavior and Behavior Management Applications”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: The cognitive behavior of humans has drastically changed since the birth of the technological era, particularly after the development of mobile devices. Various psychological techniques, those that are antiquated and contemporary, have been used throughout the centuries to solve behavior management issues. A more recent development has been the use of mobile applications in the management of daily routines. How effective is this new form of psychological intervention? Does it contribute to long-term success? These are significant questions which will be explored in this study.

Name: Barbara Sugarman
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bonnie Warnock (Wildlife Management)
Title: “Evaluation of a Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Restoration via Translocation in the Trans-Pecos”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: Prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) populations in North America have declined over the past few centuries due to a combination of sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis), shooting, poisoning, and habitat conversion. To combat the decline of this keystone species, wildlife managers have used translocation to help restore prairie dogs to areas of extirpation. In this study, we translocated black-tailed prairie dogs (C. ludovicianus) to a site on private property 60 km from Alpine, TX. Vegetation was measured pre-translocation and will be measured at the same time of the year post-translocation to assess the ecological impacts that prairie dog reintroduction has on the ecosystem. We installed nesting boxes, tubes, and retention baskets at the restoration site to prevent the immediate dispersal of translocated prairie dogs. Two-hundred and fifteen black-tailed prairie dogs were captured: 156 from Marathon, TX and 59 from Lubbock, TX. All 215 prairie dogs were translocated to the same site. Fecal samples from prairie dogs were taken to measure glucocorticoid levels during the capture of 153 prairie dogs from Marathon, TX and at various time periods post-translocation at the translocation site in order to observe the effects of translocation on the stress level of the prairie dogs. The prairie dog population at the translocation site was regularly monitored post-translocation and predators were removed from the site. This study will help wildlife managers with future translocations of prairie dogs and will aid in the restoration of black-tailed prairie dogs to their extirpated habitat in the Trans-Pecos ecoregion.

Name: Jonathan Carrasco
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Leaver (Biochemistry)
Title: “How to Treat Chagas disease with 14alpha-demethylase Inhibitors”
Presentation: Undergraduate (5-6) – Jonathan would like to present at 5:45 pm
Abstract: Chagas disease is a neglected tropical disease caused by the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that 16–18 million people are infected with Chagas disease. A basic understanding of Chagas disease including infection and transmission will be discussed. Drugs currently used to treat this disease include benznidazole and nifurtimox; however, these drugs have unpleasant side effects. Inhibiting ergosterol biosynthesis of T. cruzi is one approach being explored as a method to kill this protozoan parasite. 14Alpha-demethylase inhibitors are known ergosterol biosynthesis inhibitors of T. cruzi. The latest research in this field will be discussed including how to prevent contraction of this disease and how to control the disease once people are infected.

5:00-5:50pm / Espino Room D – Psychology & Wildlife Management – Moderator: Dr. Bibiana Gutierrez

Name: Kaylee Plowman & Nicholette Riojas (TEAM)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bibiana Gutierrez (Psychology)
Title: “The Post-Traumatic Stress of Suicide Survivors”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: This research discusses and identifies the traumatic effects that suicide can cause for those left behind. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been proven to be a side-effect of losing someone to suicide. PTSD symptoms in suicide survivors are identified in clusters, which are then linked with treatment plans. The rate of suicides in the US is increasingly high; therefore, the rate of those grieving loved ones and facing complicated grief is even higher. Grief is a normal reaction to losing a loved one; however, losing a loved one to suicide can bring up feelings such as guilt and shame. Those left behind tend to struggle with how to react and grieve due to the unexpectedness of the death and the lack of anyone to direct their anger to, besides the victim or sometimes, themselves. People who have lost someone to suicide are at a higher risk for suicidal ideation. Often people will feel rejected by their society because of the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide. It is important for those grieving the loss of a loved one after suicide to know that Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG) is a possibility and to find external support systems to guide the process of recovery.

Name: Zoe Carroll
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ryan Luna (Wildlife Management)
Title: “Diet and Associations with Parasite Infestations of Scaled Quail in the Trans-Pecos Region of Texas”
Presentation: Graduate
Abstract: While the Trans-Pecos region of Texas hosts four species of quail, the scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) is arguably the most significant quail species in the region ecologically and economically. Despite this, research is limited regarding diet and parasite aspects of its life history. This project seeks to investigate three aspects of scaled quail life history on a Trans-Pecos region-wide scale: determine the primary forages throughout the year, examine diet shifts connected with supplemental feeding, and determine if associations exist between diet and eyeworm (Oxyspirura petrowi) and cecal worm (Aulonocephalus pennula) infestations. Quail were harvested year-round from sites across the Trans-Pecos. Crop contents were sorted, weighed, and identified in order to make determinations about primary forages and supplemental feeding in quail. Eyeworms and cecal worms will be removed from samples and counted to determine overall prevalence and to determine if any relationships exist between diet and parasite infestations. The information collected will inform researchers on primary components of quail diet, possible nutritional shifts due to supplemental feeding and if there are any relationships between diet and parasite infestations. The conclusions that come from this project can be used in order to better understand quail life history and population declines in Texas. 

5:00-5:50pm / UC Room 210 – Agriculture Education & Wildlife Management – Moderator: Dr. Alicia Trotman

Name: Aspen Wash, Sarah James, Alejandra Camarillo & Kensley Rice (TEAM)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chris Estepp (Agricultural Education)
Title: “Students’ Perceptions and Knowledge of Genetically Modified Organisms”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: This study will examine SRSU students’ perceptions and knowledge of genetically modified organisms. This research is being conducted in Dr. Estepp’s ANSC 2312 course.

Name: Erica I. Dunn, Walter G. Flocke, Samuel Largent & Cody A. Putman (TEAM)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ryan Luna (Wildlife Management)
Title: “Bait Preference of Raptor Species in Trans-Pecos, Texas”
Presentation: Undergraduate
Abstract: Based on previously published literature, the majority of people attempt to trap raptors use small birds or rodents as bait in a Bal-chatri trap. The objectives of this study are to: 1.) Determine if there is a bait preference between species of raptors (American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Sharp-shinned hawk (Acccipiter striatus), and Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii); 2.) Determine if there is a bait preference within an individual species; and 3.) Determine if artificial bait preference is effective for attracting raptors. Baits used in this study included rodents, small birds, and artificial baits. Most people use these bait types because they are easy to handle, as well as relatively easy to obtain. This project took place in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas between March and April of 2019. Two baits were placed inside separate wire boxes and placed within view of a raptor that was either soaring or perched. These wire boxes were built from hardware cloth fence material and were twelve inches long, eight inches tall, and six inches wide. The boxes were placed two feet apart from each other in sight of the raptor. The baits were then watched from a distance that allowed a view of both boxes. Whichever bait the raptor attempted to attack first was marked as its bait preference. This methodology was then repeated with various bait types. Results from this study will help researchers and falconers choose bait types for Bal-chatri traps.

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