1998 Honors Theses

Reynaldo A. Aligada, Political Science

Advisor: J. Scott Johnson

"Race and Baseball in North Dakota in the 1930's"

In the 1930s in North Dakota, town teams employed black players from the Negro Leagues. In the communities of Bismarck and Jamestown, North Dakota, players were denied membership while performing a socially important function--playing baseball. Because of their race, they were ineligible for membership.

Angela C Anderson, French

Advisor: Karen Erickson

"Denying Limitations: Women's Seizure of Education in Revolutionary France"

Prior to the French Revolution of 1789, women were seen primarily as private and domestic individuals, whereas men were seen more as public and political. Women were oppressed in many ways, and girls had fewer opportunities to become educated than did boys at this time. During the Revolution, however, women came into a new existence and became politically involved in various manners, and it was in this way that women seized a non-traditional form of education. Women initiated politically motivated marches, such as the October Days (4-5 October 1789), during which thousands of women marched from Paris to the king's palace at Versailles. Other methods of their political involvement included the founding of women's political clubs in which women would write, sign and present to the national legislature petitions and demands concerning women's rights. Although women gained little from these activities proceeding the Revolution, this is a period during which women took matters into their own hands and received a non-traditional education through experience.

Lorinda Asmus, Chemistry

Advisor: Brian Johnson

"The Synthesis and characterization of monometallic and bimetallic Pd-PNP complexes"

The bridging ligand, 2-[bis(diphenylphosphino)methyl]pyridine (PNP), is ideal for synthesizing mono- and bi-metallic catalysts due to its potential to be bidentate (P-P or P-N) or tridentate and its ability to bind to one or more metals. Three Pd-PNP complexes, [Pd(PNP)2]+2 (1) and two complexes resulting from the removal of one or two methine pronouns (2 and 3), have been synthesized. The removal of one methine proton changes the PNP bidentate binding mode. In complex 1 and 3, the two PNP ligands are P-P bound. However, upon the removal of one methine proton, one of the PNP ligands in 2 changes to P-N binding. This change in coordination of the PNP ligand upon the removal of one or two methine protons may provide control over the ability to add a second metal in future research. All complexes were characterized with FT-IR, 31P{1H} NMR, 1H NMR and x-ray crystallography.

Tony Baumert, Biology

Advisor: Elizabeth Wurdak

"The Components of Feeeding Behavior in the Rotifer Asplanchna herricki: Attack, Capture, Consumption, Selectivity, and Trophi Morphology"

The rotifer Asplanchna herricki (A. herricki) is an integral predatory species impacting rotifer and algae populations of fresh water lake habitats. In order to determine the feeding behavior and mechanism of A. herricki, stomach content analysis was performed and predator/prey interactions were observed. A. herricki encountered prey randomly, only attacking after physical contact of the prey with the corona. It was found that A. herricki prefers small rotifer prey as opposed to algae. Algae such as Volvox and Pediastrum appeared to deter ingestion due to size or shape. Rotifers such as Keratella cochlearis, Brachionus patulus, and Ploesoma are preferred items, generally eliciting the highest overall frequencies of attack, capture, and ingestion, corresponding to trends seen in similar species. The polymorphic defense mechanisms of Keratella and Brachionus were found to be somewhat effective, yet these prey were highly preferred food items. Polyarthra was not capable of being captured due to its jumping defense. Trophi analysis showed that A. herricki possesses both numerous small teeth-like serrations, along with a moderately sized midramal tooth on each rami, suggesting a mixed diet of both rotifer and algae, corresponding to stomach content analysis. According to these results, A. herricki has the strongest impact on populations of Keratella, Brachionus, and Ploesoma; however, further studies questioning prey item nutritional content, prey size, and the effect of prey density on Asplanchna consumption are needed in order to more clearly determine prey preference.

Anna E. Benoit, Elementary Education

Advisor: Lynn Moore

"The Reggio Emilia Approach to Education."

Educators are constantly searching for more effective ways to teach children. This thesis describes one approach to educating, the Reggio Emilia Approach. The history and philosophy of this approach, which caters to children from birth to age six, is explored. Links to systems of education within the United States are also made. Particularly important is the idea that Reggio Emilia serves as a model for the Developmentally Appropriate Practices suggested by the National Association for Young Children.

Angela J. Chappell, Math

Advisor: Marc Brodie

"Counting Cards: Combinatorics, Group Theory, and Probability in War"

My project involved taking a look at the card game War, searching for patterns which develop in the game, and then looking for Mathematical explanations for those patterns. The project began when my advisor, Professor Marc Brodie, was playing War with his children and began to notice patterns and ask questions about them. The questions I set out to answer were: What is the probability of playing a game of war in which a loop develops? If we know the size of the deck we are using, can we determine what loop lengths are possible? How are cards cycling between players within a loop? What patterns of winning occur within a loop? What effect does changing the number of suits in the deck or the number of players have on the cycling of cards within a loop and the loop length? We found at least partial answers to all of these questions and more using Mathematica programs of simulated games along with basic theory from Combinatorics, Group Theory, and Probability.

Stephanie J. Eckerman, Chemistry

Advisor Kate Graham

"The Use of Bioassay-Guided Fractionation in the Isolation and Characterization of Novel Antifungal Drugs from Fungal Sources"

As the medical need for novel antifungal compounds continues to rise, chemical ecology is becoming an attractive tool with which to derive antifungal agents. Ecological tools point to a variety of potential sources of fungistatic secondary metabolites. It is speculated that endophytic fungi, in particular, provide for a wealth of potential antifungal compounds. Endphytes appear to protect host plants from natural enemies by producing mycotoxins and antifeedants. The endophytic fungus, KG77, a basidiomycete, was isolated from Selagenilla arenicola (sand spikemoss) from the Archbold Biological Preserve in Florida. The fungus was cultured on Sabouraud Dextrose agar and in Sabouraud Dextrose broth. The secondary metabolites were extracted from the broth with ethyl acetate. The extracts, at an amount of 0.25 mg of product, have shown antifungal activity against Candida albicans C109, C. Albicans 406, C. Albicans wisconsin, C. Albicans A72 and Saccharomyces cerevisiae in disc-diffusion bioassays. Bioassay-guided franctionation has yielded an antifungal compound. Final purification, activity determination and structure elucidation is ongoing.

Michelle C. Ethun, Nutrition

Advisor: Amy Olson

"The Correlation Between the Dietary Intake of the Fat-soluble, Antioxidant Vitamins Alphatocopherol and Retinol and Their Fasting Plasma Concentrations in Postmenopausal Women"

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in older women with 500,000 dying annually. Postmenopausal women have a different relative risk for CHD due to the loss of ovarian function and cessation of menses. Recent epidemiological studies indicate that 1) an increase in -tocopherol is associated with a decreased susceptibility of LDL to oxidative modification. This study examined the dietary intake of -tocopherol and retinol in a group of 32 postmenopausal women, and the correlation between dietary intake and plasma concentrations of these two vitamins. The 3-day diet records indicate that 66% of our population receives the rDA (8mg) of -tocopherol and 93% receives the RDA (800 RE) of retinol. The mean intake is 38.43 mg TE for -tocopherol and 1720 RE for retinol. Weak, positive correlations between intake and plasma concentrations for -tocopherol and retinol were seen with correlations of r=0.326 and 4=0.204 respectively. In general, this population consumes above average quantities of -tocopherol and retinol (NHANES III). However, many are not meeting the RDA for -tocopherol and only five are receiving 100 IU of -tocopherol which is necessary to see antioxidant benefits. The low correlation coefficients between the intake and plasma levels suggest that dietary intake of -tocopherol and retinol cannot accurately predict their plasma concentrations, nor do plasma levels of -tocopherol and retinol reflect intake for the levels consumed by these women.

Robert R. Euteneuer, Management

Advisor: Paul Marsnik

"The Increasing Use of Temporary Workers"

This is a study of the increasing use of temporary workers during the late 1980's and the 1990's. The paper begins with an investigation of current literature in order to define temporary employment and illustrate the size of the temporary workforce and its growth. The use of temporary workers is then analyzed by examining several industries. Following this, the use of temporary workers in organizations is explored in order to determine what perceived benefits organizations receive by using temporary workers and the potential problems they may experience as a result of this usage. A similar search is also done for temporary employees to examine what advantages and disadvantages one may experience by working as a temporary employee. The last portion of the paper looks at the results of two different surveys that were used to test two hypotheses. Hypothesis one is that people who work as temporary employees gain advantages over people who do not work as a temp. Hypothesis two is that the use of temporary workers will provide organizations with tanginble benefits. A complete analysis of survey results, conclusions, and limitations is included.

Timothy M. Gallant, Art

Advisor: Gordon Goetemann

"The New Plastic in Sculpture"

In his "new plastic" paintings, Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) created an aesthetic of universal dimensions through the unification of simplified visual elements. Through an intuitive process of trial and error, Mondrian achieved the unity required for his universal aesthetic by creating a delicate tension between simplified elements in simulated three dimensional space. Mondrian's "new plastic" (neoplastic) aesthetic in painting, however, is physically bound to the two dimensional surface of his canvas and allowed only the appearance of three dimensions. In my thesis, I outline the translation of Mondrian's aesthetic into a physically three dimensional context, creating a universal aesthetic in sculpture that operates on the same principles of simplicity and unity. I then illustrate the translated aesthetic in a series of four studio works, of which pictures are included.

Elaine A. Garbe, Political Science

Advisor: Manju Parikh

"Human Rights in U.S.-China Relations"

Since the United States and China have very different cultures and societies, differences in policies and opinions occur frequently. In the past twenty years of normalized relations, no where are these differences felt more than on the issue of human rights. In examining human rights in U.S.-China relations, this thesis paper seeks to prove that a policy of gradual reform must be maintained by both the United States and China in order to improve human rights in China. In seeking to illustrate the importance of this directive, this paper first addresses the theoretical debates behind the concept of human rights, which include the dichotomy between civil and political rights versus economic and social rights, as well as the "Asian values" debate and the foreign policy dilemma over U.S. human rights intervention. After laying this foundation, the paper then examines the conditions within China that influence human rights protection and explores Chinese demands for freedom and democracy. Finally, the paper analyzes how U.S. human rights policy has sought to address human rights in China, how the Chinese have responded to that policy, and how that policy should be altered for the future. International norms of human rights did not appear overnight nor will they provide a foolproof resolution to the debate within U.S.-China relations. But, this does not mean that human rights are unimportant. Rather, the pursuit of human rights in China, and indeed around the world, is an ongoing process, and both the United States and China need to institute policies which reflect that process.

Sarah M Gravelle, Management

Advisors: Wendy Klepetar & Lisa Dopp (Leadership Initiative)

"Corporate Leadership"

Corporations can initiate an emergent form of leadership that encompasses the importance of values and relationships into the philosophies that articulate the organizational direction. This thesis established the most and least often articulated values from the mission statements of the Fortune 50 corporations. One of the observations noted by this research is that profit is the most frequent and loyalty is the least. The author finds this problematic and states that establishing an emergent form of leadership can be beneficial to organizations by redefining the practice of leadership within the organization, thus redefining the culture. Furthermore, the organizational transformation can then be articulated through the mission statements.

Catherine R. Isaac, Math

Advisor: Tom Sibley

"Generating Two-Transitive Equidistance Spaces"

Two-transitive equidistance spaces can be represented as edge colorings of complete graphs with the property that any two vertices can be mapped to any other two vertices while preserving the structure of the coloring. This paper begins by disproving the conjecture that a two-transitive equidistance space with fewer colors than points must be regular, using a design based on cosets. The idea of generating an equidistance space from a given group of automorphisms and set of edges is then discussed, and a theorem which guarantees the existence of two-transitive generated designs is proven. The relationships among equidistance subrelations are then explored, including a theorem which states that the two-transitive subrelations form a lattice.

Philip M. Kern, Political Science

Advisor: James Murphy

"1996 Welfare Reform: Effects on Single-Parent Families in Rural Minnesota"

In 1996, historic legislation redirected and changed our national system of welfare, a structure that had been in place for over 60 years. Despite minor tinkering in various years since the 1960s, the distribution of welfare in this country for the most part has fallen under the same guidelines since its creation. However, the recent changes, at both the national and state levels, will have a profound impact on the lives of the most disadvantaged Americans. In this thesis, I will explain the 1996 national and state welfare reform laws and how they fail to provide the necessary solutions for single-parent welfare recipients in rural Minnesota.

Sean L. Knowles, Biology

Advisor Ellen: Jensen

"Effect of Sugar Concentration on Escherichia coli and Zymomonas mobilis"

This project is a precursor to studying chemotaxis in Zymomonas mobilis. Escherichia coli, the most studied bacteria, was used as the model to study chemotaxis in Zymomonas mobilis. However, the results from the sugar concentration experiment, in which six different sugars were used, clearly show that Zymomonas mobilis does not behave like Escherichia coli. Zymomonas mobilis grow best in 5-10% sucrose, and 5% fructose proves to be the second best sugar. The other sugars do not prove to be optimum in fostering growth. The optimum concentration of sugars such as dextrose, lactose and sucrose for Escherichia coli is well documented in the literature, in that "E. coli grows best in 1% sugar" (23). Finally, these experiments demonstrate that Zymomonas mobilis cells at different optical densities and phases of growth have different % motility and cell morphology.

Nicole Kroetsch, Political Science and Communications

Advisors: Kay Wolsborn and Terry Check

The gender gap in the electorate was highlighted as a distinguishing feature of the presidential election in 1996. Because it was recognized as such an important political phenomenon, citizens, politicians, political strategists and journalists offered explanations for its existence. Two common explanations surfaced: women and men voted differently because they cared about different public issues and women and men voted differently because they responded differently to the communication styles of the candidates. When examining these claims within the specific context of the presidential campaign of 1996, their validity is challenged by solid research. Although there were some political issues, such as political affiliation and health care, that women and men reported supporting in statistically different ways, the way that women and men support such issues as political ideology, government spending, welfare, abortion, affirmative action and faith in the economy was strikingly similar. Theories of gender communication support the notion that faulty transactions in political communication can occur when politicians use certain metaphors of sport and the military. Researchers have found that when women are confronted with these metaphors they often fail to make the necessary associations and feel alienated from political discourse. An examination of the rhetoric used by Bill Clinton and Bob Dole in the second presidential debate in 1996 reveals that Dole, a candidate who suffered from lack of support from women, used far more sports and military metaphors than Clinton, who received overwhelming support from women. Because a requirement of democracy is enlightened understanding, the use of metaphors of sports and military that alienate those that use the feminine style of political discourse prevents effective democratic rule.

Peter J. Lindquist, Computer Science

Advisor: Jim Schnepf

"Data Mining in Electronic Media Usage Statistics: A Case Study of Knowledge Discovery in Databases"

As databases grow larger, analysts are turning to computers to help them analyze the massive amounts of data their computers have collected. As the difference between having data and having useful information becomes more clear, different methods of using computers to analyze data are becoming available. Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) is a general methodology for preparing the data, using software algorithms to discover new patterns or relationships in the data, and integrating the results back into the system. The KDD methodology is explained and hypothetically applied to usage statistics generated by the CSB/SJU Libraries Internet resources. Examples are drawn from that source and from other industries to clearly illustrate the properties of Knowledge Discovery and decide if KDD is an appropriate methodology for the Libraries to use in this situation.

Jennifer L. Loos, Biology

Advisor: Jeanne Lust

"The effects of Pesticides on the common leopard frog, Rana pipiens. A hematological study."

Deformed frogs are appearing frequently in the wild. Speculations of the cause of deformities are pesticides, chemicals, viruses, parasites, and ultra-violet light. I am examining the blood for chromosome fragments, micronuclei, which result in a loss of genetic material during replication and could produce deformities. Some studies on amphibians show that organisms exposed to various chemicals have a higher incidence of micronuclei than organisms without chemical exposure. By studying the blood of the common leopard frog tadpoles, Rana pipiens, exposed to the herbicide atrazine I attempted to discover if atrazine significantly alters the number of micronuclei in the red blood cells. The results of the micronuclei counts show no significant difference overall but their are some changes in specific organisms which indicate a hematological response to the exposure of the chemical. White blood cell counts, which were done with each animal also showed significant results.

Eleanor C. Mamer, Music

Advisor: Fr. Robert Koopmann

"Ella Fitzgerald: The Music, The Woman, The Voice of America!"

Ella Fitzgerald, American jazz vocalist, had an extreme impact on the world of musicians and singers during her lifetime. Her influence is still felt today, as her recordings live on as a tribute to her lifelong commitment to her art. Most jazz vocalists have been inspired by Fitzgerald because of her versatility as a performer, her presentation of material, her scat singing, and her vocal musicianship. This thesis explores three aspects of Fitzgerald and her art. The first gives background on jazz history which makes it possible to place Ella Fitzgerald into the development of jazz. The second explores Fitzgerald's experiences as a jazz musician. The third identifies the elements of Fitzgerald's musical style that make her distinctive and shows how these elements insure her immortality in jazz history.

Matthew J. Maurer, Math

Advisor: Robert Dumonceaux

"Validating a Health Questionnaire for Predicting Neuropathy in Patients with Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus"

Questionnaires are a cost-effective method for screening large numbers of people for health problems. More expensive clinical follow-up can focus on people whose responses to the questionnaire suggest they are most at risk. To my knowledge, no questionnaire has ever been developed to screen for neuropathy in diabetics. Using the questionnaire developed by Dr. Peter Cavanagh and Dr. Robert Van Deursen at the Center for Locomotion Studies (CELOS) at Penn State University, I was able to create a model from the questionnaire that predicts the presence of neuropathy.

Hans A. Mersinger, Computer Science

Advisor: John Miller

"Heraldry and Programming Languages: the Complexity of Natural Languages Examined through the Parsing of the Heraldic Blazon"

The idea of programming computers to understand human speech and written text has been the dream, even the Holy Grail, of computer scientists and many others, since before the first computers where created. Computers in countless movies and television shows have been able to understand, and therefore interact with, the humans around them but until recently this possibility has been pure science fiction. By studying, and then attempting, the methods of parsing the heraldic language, one hopes to show some of the methods that are used to remove the ambiguity in natural languages that hamper their parsing. Given time, I feel that I would have been able to increase the size of the accepted database of words to a more useful level.

Danielle K. Nussberger, Theology

Advisor: Vincent Smiles

"The Existence of the Covenant before and after Christ in Galatians 3.15-18: A Conversation with James D.G. Dunn and J. Louis Martyn"

This study looks at Galatians 3. 15-18 by entering the scholarly conversation of J. Louis Martyn and James Dunn: 1) evaluating their claims on the issue of 'continuity' and 'discontinuity' as it is adjudicated in Galatians, 2) allowing questions to emerge from this analysis, and 3) letting the sounding of this dialogue bring forth a new exegetical voice to speak about the original text. It asks the questions: How does Paul already find continuity between the past and present constructions of the covenantal community, in the face of the opponents' belief that they must enforce a continuity that is presently being sacrificed? And, is Paul really claiming that the people of God in Christ is a creation ex nihilo, having no relationship to the people of God we find in Israel's scriptures? To answer these questions one must read Paul through his understanding of the promise/faith dynamic initiated in God's relationship to Abraham. One must read through Paul's fastening of Christ in the past, present, and future as one who hears the promises with Abraham, as one who is bound up in the destiny of the already formed people of God, and as one who is also the instrument of that destiny's present fulfillment.

Mary Margaret Price, Biology

Advisor: James Poff

"Bumblebee Pollination Ecology in a Restored Prairie Ecosystem: Foraging Rates, Pollen Sources, and Resource Partitioning"

A major factor in evaluating the success of prairie, and other, ecosystem restoration projects is a determination of the extent to which pollinator communities have been reestablished along with the flora. I studied bumblebee pollination ecology of a prairie restoration project in central Minnesota to determine the extent to which the several bumblebee species were interacting with the reestablished native prairie flora and with each other to reestablish a viable pollinator community. This was accomplished by determining if the bumblebees are majoring, if they are majoring on the native prairie plant species conservation efforts are attempting to restore, and if resource partitioning is occurring. My study shows that individual bumblebees are specializing on one or a few of the restoration's target plant species. Fifty-five of the 75 bumblebees sampled were majoring on at least one of ten native plant species. The combined result is that the bumblebee population as a whole is pollinating many of the native prairie plants. In addition, the data suggests the various species are demonstrating resource partitioning by concentrating on different assemblages of the available bloom. I have concluded that bumblebee portion of the prairie pollinator community is reestablishing itself.

Pericles P. Regas, Biology

Advisor: Marcus Webster

"Circadian rhythms of body temperature and metabolic rate in the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)"

Birds maintain a fairly high body temperature (Tb) compared to most mammals. In order to maintain a high Tb birds must have a high metabolic rate. High daytime energy expenditures are decreased during the night by lowering Tb. In this experiment daily Tb in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) were determined by telemetry methods. Tb (n=6) showed a decrease of 3.00 C from daytime to night time. The average daytime Tb was 42.7 C and night time was 39.7 C. Oxygen consumption (VO2) was measured in an open flow metabolism system. Metabolic rate had a daytime to night time difference of 2.40 O2/g.hr. Thermal conductance (K) decreased from a daytime K of .23 (mL O2.hr)/C to nighttime K of .14 (mL O2/g.hr)/C. At a Tb of 42.7 C the night time energy expenditure would be 38.8 KJ. At 39.7, the average night time Tb for house sparrows (n=6) the energy expenditure is 36.0 KJ. Therefore a house sparrow saves 7% energy in maintaining circadian rhythms. Deeper depressions of Tb, known as torpor, may be energetically efficient, but costly in predation.

B. Daniel Rösch, English

Advisor: Dr. Nancy Hynes

"Pains and Contradictions in The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey"

Holden Caulfield and Franny Glass struggle with the phoniness and egotism that pervades society. They long to escape their problems and decide to run away -- he by becoming a hermit and she by retreating into spirituality through the Jesus Prayer. They soon realize the folly of their solution and through their pains and contradictions, they learn how to cope with social squalor. Holden realizes that he needs to love and accept people unconditionally, and Franny learns that she needs to shed her egotism and act altruistically. I believe J. D. Salinger outlines a spiritual coping strategy through Holden and Franny's struggles that leaves readers with a sense that they, too, can overcome phoniness and egotism through unconditional love and the loss of egotism.

John M. Sandahl, Theater

Advisor:Tom Darnall

"Acting Methods for Solo Performance"

arnall The focus of this thesis was to learn about acting through the performance of a solo script. On February 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1998 I performed Krapp's Last Tapeby Samuel Beckett and On the Harmfulness of Tobacco by Anton Chekhov at the Benedicta Art Center. Through these performances I learned a tremendous amount about my acting process and so in this sense the goal of the project was achieved. A paper was also written primarily as a reflection on the process and outcome of the project.

Eric L. Schneider, Chemistry

Advisor: Henry Jakubowski

"Synthesis and Characterization of a Trypsin Inhibitor"

Inhibitors of biological enzymes are frequently produced by mimicking the molecular structure of the enzyme's natural substrate. Because of the extensive studies that have already been performed on the trypsin enzyme, its natural substrates and its mode of interaction with them are well understood. By finding an easily synthesized molecule to inhibit the trypsin enzyme, college level laboratory experiments could be designed and integrated into organic chemistry and biochemistry courses. In this project, a possible trypsin inhibitor molecule, 4-fluorobenzylaimine, was chosen based on its similarity to the natural trypsin substrates and because it has been predicted through computational studies to be a potential trypsin inhibiotr. 4-fluorobenzylaimine was synthesized and tested for inhibition using Michaelis-Menten kinetics. The inhibition constant, Ki, determined experimentally for a standard 4-fluorobenzylaimine was found to be 0.65 mM, which compared closely to the Ki calculated by Kurinov and Harrison. However, the Ki determined experimentally for the synthesized 4-fluorobenzylaimine was found to be 3.2 mM.

Ann F. Schumacher, Psychology

Advisor: Anthony Sorem

"Personality Characteristics Which Predispose Potentially Self-Destructive Behaviors"

In the college setting, many adolescents choose to engage in potentially self-destructive behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and body piercing, despite the associated risks. It is hypothesized that the tendency to participate in these behaviors is correlated with personality characteristics. Personality tests measuring sensation seeking, locus of control, and impulsiveness, along with three scales measuring the tendency to participate in three self-destructive behaviors: smoking, drinking, and body decoration, were administered to 102 college-aged students. Results showed that most of the self-destructive behaviors were negatively correlated with subscales of the sensation seeking measure. One possible explanation of these results would be the conservative, Catholic, campus culture of the university. However, more research is necessary to substantiate this type of group difference.

Nathaniel T. Schutta, Computer Science

Advisor: James Schnepf

"The Impact of Technology on Special Education Students"

Computers are becoming a part of our everyday life. Every facet of our society, including education, is changing in response. This thesis asks: what impact is technology having on students in one special education classroom? This thesis gives an overview of what technology is present in classrooms, how technology has been used, and examines the handful of studies that have been conducted on the impact of technology on students. I examined a special education classroom focused on the use and maintenance of computers, use of the Internet, and the use of multimedia for presentations. A study was conducted that investigated the impact that this curriculum had on the critical thinking skills of special education students. Results of the study point to the need for further investigation in this area.

Yuko Taniguchi, English

Advisor: Mike Opitz

" An Eastern Mind Attached to a Western Brain: The Influence of Zen Buddhism on Jack Kerouac."

A great American author, Jack Kerouac, loved the Eastern philosophy, Zen Buddhism, which influenced fifteen years of his writing career. The theory of Zen Buddhism taught him what was in and out of human control as well as the true essence of nature. Kerouac reflected on and described his daily life of Zen Buddhism in his novels, and Zen Buddhism certainly became his spiritual inner home for fifteen years. However, searching for a true spirituality never settled him down emotionally; therefore his loss of faith in Zen Buddhism demolished his inner spiritual home, and his struggle began. My thesis examines the conflict between Kerouac's ultimate goal, which was to find the absolute truth, and the philosophy of Zen Buddhism, which teaches about the limitations of human life and how to live in this suffering world full of mystery. His realization of human limitations was a great disappointment for him, and his doubt and loss of inner spirituality lowered him to the loneliest feelings. It is possible to say that Kerouac's realization was very realistic, but his desire perhaps was unrealistic. Kerouac's writing described his self-discovery process through the study of Zen Buddhism, showing his deep and hopeless sorrow and disappointment in human life. For Kerouac, who lived passionately, with his imagination expanding endlessly, to understand the limitations of human knowledge was the most difficult fact to accept. Perhaps Kerouac's desire for absolute knowledge combined with the study of Zen Buddhism was a dangerous mix; nevertheless, he created an incredible voice through his involvement with Zen Buddhism.

Shana L Vifian, Biology

Advisor: Marcus Webster

"The Effect of Temperature on Post Feeding Metabolism in House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus)"

In this study I measured resting metabolic rate (RMR), costs of thermoregulation, and specific dynamic action (SDA) in House Finches and I tested the hypothesis that SDA heat substitutes for costs of thermoregulation at low temperatures in House Finches. Oxygen consumption of both bed and fasted birds was measured at three different temperatures (5 C, 15 C, and 30 C) using an open flow metabolism system and converted to metabolic rate (kJ/hr) using caloric equivalents. RMR, obtained from the fasted metabolic rate within the thermoneutral zone (30 C) was 1.65+.10 kJ/hr. Costs of thermoregulation at 15 C and 5 C were measured as the difference between fasted metabolic rate at these temperatures and the RMR. At 15 C costs of thermoregulation were .41 kJ/hr and at 5 C were .59 kJ/hr. SDA was calculated from the difference in the metabolic rates between fed and fasted birds and expressed as a percent of gross energy intake (GEI). SDA averaged 3-5% of GEI. No effect of temperature on SDA was observed. At 30 C SDA was 4.12% of GEI and at 5 C was 3.68% of GEI.SDA is expected to decease with decreasing temperature if it substitutes for the costs of thermoregulation at low temperatures. I found no evidence to support the substitution hypothesis. High variability, however, made it different to draw solid conclusions.

Susan N. Wall, French and Humanities

Advisor: Camilla Krone

"Ecrire, c'est Devenir: Une Etude de Deux Romans Epistolaires, Une si longue lettre et Lettres d'une Péruvienne" or"Writing is Becoming: A Study of Two Epistolary Novels, Une si longue lettre and Lettres d'une Péruvienne"

In my paper I have compared and contrasted two epistolary novels by women, Lettres d'une Péruvienne by eighteenth-century French novelist, Françoise de Graffigny, and Une si longue lettre by twentieth-century Senegalese writer, Mariama Bâ. Though the cultural and historical contexts of the two the novels differ greatly, I have found that the similar experiences of the two female protagonists testify to the importance of women's "coming to writing" (to use the term of the French feminist author, Hélène Cixous). Through their letter-writing, both Graffigny's Zilia and Bâ's Ramatoulaye find their voices and are able to create identities for themselves as autonomous individuals in societies often oppressive to women.

Jennifer M. White, English

Advisor: Cindy Malone

"Dickens' 'Bad Men': Representations of Elder Women in Dombey and Son and in Victorian Reality."

The paper focuses on elder women as "moral scapegoats" and grotesque figures in Charles Dickens' Dombey and Son. It also analyzes representations of younger women, focusing on constraints they face as they choose marriage or "spinsterhood." The essay draws connection between Dickens' characters and modern portrayals of elder women. My analysis is grounded in research including nineteenth-century primary documents (medical writings, essays, journals, newspapers), relevant scholarly works, modern texts, and novels preceding and contemporary with Dombey and Son. In particular, Fanny Burney's eighteenth-century novel, Evelina, along with various eighteenth-century documents are utilized to provide a historical context from which the Victorians emerged. The scanty interest in elder women throughout history makes research difficult but rewarding.

Noah K.Whiteman, Biology

Advisor: Jim Poff

"A Study of Morphological Character Displacement in the Social Wasp, Polistes fuscatus."

According to competition theory, when a population lives sympatrically with competitor populations, the variation in morphological characteristics within each population should be reduced. In allopatric populations, the variation in these characteristics should increase. I examined morphological character displacement in Polistes fuscatus populations in a north-south latitudinal gradient across the United States. P. fuscatus is sympatric with at least five other congeneric species in U.S. Gulf Coastal areas. As latitude increases, the number of species is reduced, and only P. fuscatus is found in Minnesota. Therefore, body size variation of P. fuscatus in Minnesota was predicted to be broader than the body size variation of P. fuscatus occurring in the southern U.S. To compare relative body size, I measured each species' forewing length, mesothorax width, and head capsule width from population samples from each of the latitudinal transects.

I found initial indications of character displacement in P. fuscatus across latitude, although future studies are needed. In a supplemental study, I found preliminary evidence of character displacement in island and continental populations of P. exclamans. An allopatric population of P. exclamans from Hatteras Island, North Carolina, had larger ranges of character measurements than one population of P. exclamans from continental North Carolina, and another population of P. exclamans from Alabama and Texas, where the populations are sympatric with at least four other species of Polistes.

Mary Zender, History

Advisor: Tom Huffman

"The Foundation of John Muir's World View: A study of the Tlingit Kinship"

John Muir's ideas concerning the natural world were cutting edge in the late nineteenth century and they still are today. He possessed the foresight which made his philosophies insightful and new a century later. What gave his theories the vitality to transcend time? Perhaps it was the right combination. His view of the wilderness encompassed a passion not found in most people's beliefs. I think his passion came from within, but I know he received strength from the kinship he found int eh Native Alaskans. In them he discovered the truth behind his ideas. He witnessed the manifestation of his theories in their lives. The wilderness philosophies of the Tlingit people provided Muir with the proof that matched his passion.