This summer CSU’s Office of Research sponsored 55 research projects from six colleges, involving 77 of our finest undergraduate students.The Fall 2018 Undergraduate Research Poster Session took place on September 6, 2018 from 11am - 2pm in the Student Center Atrium. Students, faculty, and staff attended the poster session, which provided students the opportunity to discuss their research with the CSU community.
Assessing the Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs in Urban Schools to Support Academic Achievement
Nicholas Petty and Sade Vega
The ability for students in K-12 academic settings to learn can be significantly impacted by their overall social, emotional, and mental health needs. Needs assessments must be conducted to better determine and understand the social, emotional and mental health needs of students in academic settings. Using a survey-based approach, this study examined the social, emotional and mental health needs of high school age students in an urban school setting. Survey design and item development was informed by prior research. The results of this study showed discrepancies between what students identified as areas of need versus the teachers’ observations of the needs of the students. Implications for practice are discussed to further support the importance of assessing the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students in urban school settings.
The Strong Black Woman (SBW) ideal depicts someone who is nurturing, self-reliant, hides their emotions, and strong willed (Nelson, Cardemil, & Adeoye, 2016). This ideal is associated with psychological distress, low self-esteem, and chronic health conditions (Thomas, Witherspoon, & Speight, 2004). We hypothesized a serial mediation model wherein SBW would be associated with maladaptive perfectionism (MP), which would be associated with low self-compassion, in turn leading to negative psychological outcomes (depression, anxiety, and loneliness). Two hundred and thirtyseven female African American undergraduate students participated in the online survey. Results from structural equation modeling supported the hypothesized serial mediation model. All the paths were significant except for the path from SBW to MP and to loneliness. The study’s clinical implications highlight the importance of creating coping strategies for MP and to cultivate SBW’s self-compassion.
Marissa Burrell and Melissa Montague
Abstract not provided
PLAAY (Participation in Leisure Allowing Access for everYone) on the Move is a program promoting independence, mobility, and access for young children with sensory and mobility impairments. As PLAAY on the Move emerged from the preexisting GoBabyGo program at Cleveland State University, a collaborative program, showcasing research and educating the community about the services provided, became a necessity. Conducting primary research as well as secondary research helps determine the best content management system (CMS) to fulfill the needs of the program. Additionally, user testing and surveys about the website, created with the CMS, proves the effectiveness of the platform while considering individuals limitations. Squarespace ultimately proved to have the best calendar, image gallery, and RSVP or reply features. These components are vital for families to be able to learn more about what PLAAY on the Move provides and inform the faculty of the parent’s interests in their services. After the webpages were formatted and designed, the surveys and user testing allowed for any issues that arose to be addressed. This testing also confirmed the ability for the website to load onto multiple devices and browsers. Creating a platform for PLAAY on the Move to use provided the resources for a program that creates a huge impact on local families, allowing more people within the community to learn about what they do and hopefully get involved in the future. As many of these families must prioritize their child and their child’s impairments, the website serves as a form of communication for the parents looking for resources and support.
Austin DiLorenzo and Brock James Fahringer
The Impacts of Trauma Exposure and Differential Access to Medical Services on the Incarceration Experience
Laura Wimberley and Shelby Smith
Michael Dodrill and Bridget Coyne
Geophysical and archaeological investigations were conducted this past summer at the Fort Hill Earthwork Complex located in the Rocky River Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks. Our investigations have not only revealed when the earthworks were created and by which prehistoric culture group, but we also have uncovered data to suggest how they were constructed and for what possible purpose they may have served. In addition, we conducted extensive archival research at several local historical societies and museums looking for previously unpublished information about this site’s initial discovery in the mid-1800s and for any additional information concerning the prehistoric occupation of the Rocky River Valley.
Social Studies educators argue that primary sources are the preferred method of introducing material to students, as opposed to textbooks. By using this method, teachers aid students in developing critical thinking skills by studying sources to reach their own nuanced historical conclusions. Primary sources such as oral histories provide an aural, intimate, and a richly detailed way for students to engage with the past. The purpose of this research was to provide high-quality teaching materials aligned to Ohio Department of Education standards, and that utilize audio clips of interviews conducted in 2016. These materials were posted on two CSU blogs: Social Studies @ CSU and History Speaks. These blogs were designed for keyword searches, increasing their discoverability online. This project was supported by an Undergraduate Summer Research Award from the CSU Office of Research.
Based on the investigations of cognitive function and the processing of music, a system of techniques for music therapy called Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) was developed by Dr. Michael Thaut. Thaut (2014) defines NMT as “the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor dysfunctions due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system” (p. 1). This project proposes further study of one of the NMT techniques: Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation (RAS), which addresses sensorimotor rehabilitation. RAS is supported by extensive research in laboratory settings, resulting in improved gait and coordination with patients who suffered a cerebrovascular accident or were diagnosed with Parkinson’s or Huntington’s (Thaut, Mertel, & Leins, 2008). There is a specific protocol for RAS; however, simply, it uses a specific auditory beat as an external cue for the timing of walking. This primes the premotor cortex for movement and entrains the brain to activate the lower extremities at the specified beat. Extant literature indicates priming and entrainment result in improved gait parameters, such as cadence, velocity, and stride length (Clair & O’Konski, 2006). This study aims to test whether this temporal priming still occurs if the rhythmic cue is given visually as well as through tactile sensation.
Nick Mintern, Chad Wright, and Joe Massaroni
Against all odds, Donald J. Trump shocked the world when he won the 2016 presidential election and became the 45th President of the United States. Few foresaw such a victory for the Republicans; it was widely believed among political scientists, election analysts, media pundits, and reportedly even Trump himself that victory would ultimately go to the Democratic party. So how and why did he win? We examine the multitude of factors that contributed to his electoral victory, including his iconic “Make America Great Again” campaign, how his policies resonated with voters (as well as his primary opponent’s policies), and shifts in voters’ party preferences prompted by racial diversity. Our findings indicate that his campaign was boosted most by strategically using social media, having a message that resonated with supporters of the rising Populist movement, and aggressively campaigning in swing states. We also found that his primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, failed to attract key swing voters, many of which instead voted for Trump. Finally, we found that diversity increases Democratic or Republican party support among particular social groups based on the level of diversity in an area, thus prompting some of the unexpected electoral outcomes of the election.
Alec DeBoard and Alyssa Williams
Rape culture as it is used within this analysis refers to the general trend as a society to normalize the occurrence of sexual violence and can encompass behaviors such as acceptance and perpetuation of common rape myths, “slut-shaming”, and victimblaming. These behaviors are taught from a young age, mostly through the media or socialization. However, through examining sixteen sex education textbooks, certain themes seem to highlight the notion that children are exposed to rape culture through school systems. The aspects explored include discussions of consent (or lack thereof), forced stigma towards sexuality, perpetuation of harmful misconceptions including gender stereotypes, and the tendency to teach individuals how not to be raped rather than teaching how not to rape.
Brenda Castaneda Yupanqui
In Peru, there are 3 million people whose primary language is the indigenous Quechua. Further, in the provinces where it is most prominent, the language enjoys co-official status with Spanish and is a symbol of cultural and ethnic identity that has deep roots. Despite the vitality of indigenous languages on the decline worldwide, especially in urban settings, Quechua has remained strong in Peru. Intercultural Bilingual Education (IBE) is a language-planning model that has been criticized for attempting to normalize Quechua from a purely Spanish-speaking context in its application, stripping the language of its agency and cultural power. The current study seeks to gain an understanding of the potential effects of IBE on the bilingual population in urban Cusco. Data was collected at the Pukllasunchis Institute, a center of higher education for those looking to implement an IBE approach. The institute conducts classes in both languages while teaching both cultures and respecting their impact on teaching methods. Over the course of the study, approximately 100 students completed questionnaires and 28 students were interviewed. The data suggests that conscientious application of IBE does promote acceptance and greater use of Quechua on the part of the urban bilingual population of Cusco, Peru.
Geetha Somarouthu, Austin Shaffer, and Joseph Taraba
African clawed frogs locate prey using their lateral line systems to sense water movements the prey make. We’ve previously studied how the frogs choose between two stimuli; their choice is influenced by several factors including most importantly which stimulus is more rostral (i.e. more in front of them) and which is closer, which also means it arrives first with a larger amplitude. Here, we test whether stimulus amplitude affects choice. We generated surface waves by dipping two rods of different sizes into the water. Rods make waves both entering and leaving the water; both the material and diameter affect wave size. We first tested Plexiglas rods of 1/8”and 1/16” diameter; waves from the latter were 63% that of the former. We replaced the 1/16” rods with size 00 insect pins (diameter 0.3mm), dipped point first, producing waves that were only 6% of that of the larger rod. Frogs could detect waves from the smaller Plexiglas rod and even from the insect pins, as shown by orienting turns to each. Our hypothesis was that when given a choice between a large and small stimulus, frogs would show a bias for the larger stimulus simply because larger waves represent a stronger stimulus.
The Use of Retinoic Acid to Promote Atrial and Ventricular “like” cells to Aid in Atrial Fibrillation Research
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the irregular contraction of the atria, which are the top chambers of the heart. AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting nearly 2.3 million people in the United States, common among people 40 and older. When AF is present the electrical signals that control this process is unbalance. Without proper diagnoses and treatment AF can be a life-treating condition. The use of human cellderived cardiomyocytes will allow the study of cells involvement in atrial fibrillation development. The addition of retinoic acid during a 30-day time course to myocytes allowed us, to investigate retinoic functions, by comparing RA treated cultures to nontreated cultures. As data analysis is currently being reviewed future investigation is needed to determine results.
African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei, a protozoan that affects the central nervous system. This unicellular eukaryote can be transmitted to mammals by the bite of a tsetse fly. T. brucei evades the host’s adaptive immune response by carrying out antigenic variation of its protective coat of Variant Surface Glycoprotein which allows the infection to persist and be further transmitted. T. brucei lacks the sequence-specific transcription factors found in other eukaryotes, thus chromatin structures at PTU (polycistronic transcription units) boundaries are thought to play important roles in control of gene expression. This paper focuses on identifying and characterizing the roles of the chromatin mark H3v in several cellular processes. H3v plays a key role in DNA replication and transcription, thus studying it will be very beneficial for progress in research about trypanosomes. This research project will focus on creating a library of 63 single point mutations in H3v by site-directed PCR mutagenesis, then cloning them into a vector, transforming the ligated products into E. coli competent cells, and finally introducing this H3v mutant library into a trypanosome strain. Mutations will be examined for DNA replication, transcription, and antigenic variation. The non-functioning mutants will be identified to understand the roles of H3v in DNA replication and transcription.
Marc Edwards, Allan Poe, and Kuldeep Makwana
Circadian clocks are evolutionarily conserved molecular timekeeping systems that generate rhythms in physiology and behavior in almost all living organisms and synchronize them with external environment. Living organisms have multiple circadian clocks which control numerous physiological functions. The light entrained circadian clock involves a transcriptional-translational feedback loop which regulates locomotor activity and metabolic processes and coordinates them with daily rhythms. The food entrainable oscillator (FEO) clock also generates near 24 hour circadian rhythmicity by driving food anticipatory behavior in mice. Mice entrained on 12:12hr light-dark cycle have been shown in previous studies to generate circadian rhythms in food anticipatory behavior, suggesting that this clock runs not on light independent, but food dependent cues. Availability of nutrients regulates metabolic pathways, which promotes cell growth and proliferation. Acyl-CoA Thioesterases (ACOTs) catalyze the hydrolysis of CoA esters leading to the production of free fatty acids and CoA. It is hypothesized that ACOTs are critical in regulation of intracellular levels of CoA and fatty acids. Regulation of ACOTs by circadian clock mechanisms is not well studied. In particular, the mechanism by which circadian clock proteins cryptochrome (CRY) are involved in ACOT protein expression is understudied. To study the effect of feeding regimen on ACOT expression we sampled tissue from wild-type (WT), and CRY 1,2 double knockout mice. Both genotypes were also tested based on different feeding regimen; either ad libitum (AL) or 30% calorie restricted (CR). Effects on aging and the circadian clock from CR feeding regiments is well studied and thus critical to test when investigating metabolic pathways controlled by circadian clock proteins.
Xhuliana Fafaj and Nikkhil Velingkaar
Many mammalian physiological and behavioral aspects show 24-hour circadian rhythms such as metabolism, sleep-wake cycle, body temperature and blood pressure. These 24 hour rhythms are regulated by circadian clocks, which are internal timekeeping systems located in every body cell and tissue, and synchronize these rhythms with the external environment. At the molecular level, CLOCK and BMAL1 are core clock genes involved in transcription-translation feedback loop which in turn regulate biological processes and coordinate them with daily rhythms. Circadian clock has been demonstrated to regulate cell cycle, cell proliferation and differentiation, but the mechanism in liver is not clearly known. Hippo pathway is an evolutionarily conserved pathway that plays an important role in regulating organ size, cell growth and cell differentiation. Hippo acts as a negative regulator of YAP1 by inducing phosphorylation and sequestration in the cytoplasm, thereby inactivating YAP1; on the other hand, switching off Hippo activates YAP1, thus enabling the translocation to the nucleus and promoting the transcription of pro-proliferative genes. How Hippo signaling and circadian clocks interact is not known. It is also established in multiple studies that peripheral clocks such as in liver are regulated by feeding cues; how these cues affect Hippo signaling in liver is also not known. Hence we plan to investigate the interaction of feeding cues and circadian clock with Hippo signaling. We applied two different feeding paradigms and analyzed transcriptional and translational activity of YAP1. Our initial observations suggest that feeding regimens have differential effect on YAP1 phosphorylation and YAP1 downstream targets. We further investigated this interaction at the transcriptional level in clock mutant mice (Bmal1 and Cry1,2-/-) using two of well-known targets of YAP1, Ctgf and Cyr61. While circadian control of Ctgf is CR dependent, on the other hand, Cyr61 rhythmicity is regulated in a time dependent manner and is independent of circadian control and feeding paradigms, thus above results suggest a complex interaction between Hippo, clocks and feeding cues.
Changes in Sterol Patterns of Rat Alzheimer’s Models in Response to Administration of Neuroprotective Compound (-)-P7C3-S243
PURPOSE: Accumulating evidence indicates a potential link between activity of enzyme Cytochrome P450-46A1 (CYP46A1) in the brain and neurodegenerative Alzheimer’s disease. Past research, using low doses of efravirenz treatment on 5xFAD mice to activate CYP46A1CYP46A1 showed two significant trends: an increased level of Plasma 24-hydroxycholesterol and decreased Alzheimer’s pathological hallmarks such as amyloid, amyloid precursor protein and behavioral symptoms. This study was designed to measure sterol precursor levels in the brain of rats treated with (-)-P7C3- S243, observing the activity of CYP46A1 as a pharmacologic target of Alzheimer’s disease. METHODS: The homogenate brain samples analyzed were TgF344-AD rats, a wellcharacterized preclinical Alzheimer’s model by isolation isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. RESULTS: The statistical relevance found was that cholesterol levels of vehicletreated rats, were lower in 15-month-old models than in 24-month-old models. Female diseased rats had higher desmosterol levels than males. Younger male wild-types possessed higher cholesterol and desmosterol levels than diseased rats. CONCLUSIONS: There was no clear indication of a link of biological pathways between CYP46A1 activity and administration of neuroprotective agent (-)-P7C3- S243. However, results corroborated past findings in 5xFAD knockout mice; cholesterol levels were lower in younger rats due to developmental causes.
Annelise Radzin and Elizabeth Beran
Trypanosoma brucei is a protozoan parasite that causes human African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in people and nagana in cattle, both of which are fatal without treatment. This parasite is injected into the host through the bite of the tsetse fly and is able to evade the host’s immune response due to changes in its major surface antigen, variant surface glycoproteins (VSGs). This constant switching prevents the host from making a single antibody that can recognize the antigen and eliminate the parasite. VSG expression sites have been found to be near the telomeres of Trypanosoma brucei, and studies from our lab have shown that a telomere protein called TbRAP1 is essential for regulating VSG silencing. In order to better understand the mechanisms of how TbRAP1 silences VSGs, we aim to identify proteins that interact with TbRAP1. We have done a yeast 2-hybrid screen using the TbRAP1 fulllength protein as bait previously, but TbRAP1 itself has a weak transcription activation function that leads to identification of false-positive candidates. TbRAP1 protein has several functional domains, among which the BRCT domain has a weak transcription activation activity while others do not. In the current study, we aim to perform a yeast 2-hybrid screen using TbRAP1-aa426-761 fragment as bait. Without the basal transcription activation activity from the TbRAP1 BRCT domain, we will be able to identify true interacting factors of the TbRAP1-aa426-761 fragment. One initial screen has been performed, resulting in 10 candidates. We are currently performing another screen, hoping to identify more interacting candidates.
Quantifying the ability of common invasive shrubs to acquire and use water, to tolerate drought, and compete with native plants within Holden Arboretum, Ohio
Sean Fenton and Brooke Sietz
There is very little data on the interaction between native and invasive shrubs in Eastern North America. There are a number of traits that make the establishment and impact of shrubs different than other species. Early emergence of leaves and varying rates of photosynthesis play a significant role. How plants use water, and how plants are influenced by drought have not been studied thoroughly. This is important for a better understanding of how plants will respond to the alteration of precipitation regimes that occur from climate change. Research has been predominantly focused on how water availability can shape the interspecies plant competition. Species of interest are Honeysuckle (Lonicera Morrowii, Lonicera x Bella), Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum), Red Maple (Acer Rubrum) and Multiflora Rose (Rosa Multiflora). Photosynthetic rates were measured by observing gas exchange vs light level for each species. Water potentials of leaves are recorded to better understand the depth of water usage and water stress levels of the plants. Drought tolerance for each species is measured by recording the turgor loss point of a leave after complete saturation. The species interaction between native and invasive shrubs should be taken into account when assessing the impacts they pose on Eastern North American Forests.
Urban agriculture has been increasing all over the United States, especially in shrinking cities such as Cleveland, where increases in vacant land have brought opportunities for farming. There has also been a more interest in sustainable farming, as more people prefer locally sourced and organic food. However, like rural agriculture, urban agriculture also faces the problem of weed management, especially when growing organically eliminates some control options such as chemical means. As there is little to no research available on urban agricultural weeds, this research aims to identify and examine urban weed communities to obtain a better understanding of them, and to be able to compare urban weed management with rural weed management.
Expression and purification of full-length recombinant Plasmodium falciparum PfMC-2TM Maurer’s cleft protein
Alberto R. Williams-Medina and Kush Addepalli
Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum remains the most virulent form of malaria, resulting in 216 million cases and 445,000 deaths globally. Invasion of red blood cells by P. falciparum leads to the formation of membranous structures known as Maurer’s clefts (MC). Virulence markers of P. falciparum such as PfEMP1 are transported across the MC to the surface of the infected red blood cell. Insight into the formation and function of the MC will be important for the discovery of new vaccine and drug candidates. The PfMC-2TM is encoded by a multi-gene family of 13 members. PfMC- 2TM is a protein localized to the MC. We induced expression of PfMC-2TM encoded by 1 family member [PF3D7_0114100 (PFA0680c)] in BL21 DE3 strain of Escherichia coli following transformation with recombinant pET-28a plasmid containing a chemically synthesized gene. The purpose of this study was to determine immunogenic properties of the resulting recombinant protein using western blot analysis. The recombinant plasmid was isolated and analyzed in 1% agarose gel and an approximately 5kb band was identified. Pilot expression of transformants showed expression of recombinant PfMC-2TM by western blot. Recombinant PfMC-2TM protein will be expressed and purified for antibody production to allow subsequent domain analysis and characterization.
Freshwater meiofauna are essential in our understanding of freshwater biomes. Their previous lack of attention in literature have sparked many to undergo research about their overall composition and distribution relative to many of the factors on which they depend. While more of these investigations have surfaced, few have looked at community adaptably or lack thereof when confronted with drastic changes to their environment. Therefore, this study observed what kinds of possible changes that can take place in these populations after the lingering effects of an enormous natural disaster. It is the objective of this study to identify the most influential and impactful variables to effect lotic Meiofauna abundance and spatial distribution post Hurricane disturbance. It is hypothesized that the meiofauna composition should change significantly due to the alterations in light, organic matter and sediment. To analyze these relationships, correlations between these factors and their effect on the communities in post- and pre- hurricane settings were observed using several statistical analyses. ANOSIM and Ordination test were used to procure results which exhibited significant differences between treatments and how the different treatments effected certain populations over time. These results indicate that residual disturbance effects caused by hurricanes can impact meiofauna communities.
Urja Patel, Emilia Kalutskaya, Alexis Brown, and Ali Ahsan
During oogenesis in animals deficient for REC-8, a cohesin subunit required for sister chromatids cohesin (SCC), Co recombination fails and sister chromatids segregate away from one another prematurely in meiosis I. Consequently, zygotes inherit two copies of each chromosome. Chromosome segregation in meiosis II fails and the progeny of rec-8 mutant mothers usually survive as viable polyploids. In contrast, homologs segregate randomly during meiosis I in oocytes produced by spo-11 mutants, which lack the transesterase required for crossover recombination. This results in aneuploidy, and nearly all the embryos die. We have shown that mutations disrupting SCC mediated by REC-8 cohesion, but not the related COH-3/4 cohesion complex, dramatically suppress the lethality of spo-11 mutants (88% vs 8% viable). Thus, a screen for spo-11 suppressors can identify kleisin-specific regulators critical for the formation of healthy gametes, including factors required for loading of REC-8 cohesion, for stepwise release of SCC mediated by REC-8 cohesion and for establishment of SCC by REC-8 cohesion, for example, mutations within subunits of REC-8 cohesion or in factors that couple premeiotic DNA replication to SCC establishment. A pilot screen of 4000 haploid genomes identified three suppressors. The first cloned was a null allele of htp-3, which encodes a component of the synaptonemal complex. This mutation revealed differential loading mechanisms of REC-8 and COH-3/4 and demonstrated the first evidence that HTP-3 regulates cohesin. We will continue this screen to identify additional regulators. Our analysis will provide insight into how cohesion and SCC are regulated during C.elegans meiosis. We expect our results will be relevant to plants and
Alexis Brown, Emilia Kalutskaya, Urja Patel, and Taylor R. Schilling
Under normal conditions, alleles segregate randomly during meiosis so that each one has an equal chance of being passed onto the next generation. However, in some cases, a given allele is more likely to be passed on, along with any nearby alleles. These cases are said to exhibit meiotic drive. Meiotic drive allows biased segregation of particular alleles instead of independent assortment. This process is significant because it can drive evolution by altering the genetic makeup of a population. Such a case exists in C. elegans, in which the offspring of males who carry the genetic balancer qC1 along with an inserted DNA sequence exhibit a ratio of male to hermaphrodite progeny of 80:20. Under normal meiosis, this ratio should be 50:50. With the ultimate goal of discovering the genes responsible for meiotic drive, qC1 males are mutated and crossed with hermaphrodites in order to find a set of offspring whose ratio of males to hermaphrodites is 50:50, indicating that the gene responsible for the skewed ratio has been mutated. Understanding meiotic drive in C. elegans is relevant because normal mechanisms of meiosis are comparable to those in humans and other organisms, so deviation from the normal process may be applicable as well.