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  1. Understanding the Experience of Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs: A Portraiture Study [Download]

    Title: Understanding the Experience of Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs: A Portraiture Study
    Author: Scott, Andrea Richards
    Description: While women entrepreneurs have significantly contributed to the U.S. economy, their enterprises have been depicted as being smaller, having less profits, concentrating in low-profit sectors, and generating fewer jobs than their male counterparts (Blank et al., 2010; Hughes, Jennings, Brush, Carter, & Welter, 2012; Marlow, 2014; Minniti & Naude, 2010; U.S. Department of Commerce Economic and Statistics Administration, 2010). Thus, the portrayal of women and their ventures as disadvantage is prevalent in the women entrepreneurship literature and there is a need for research that presents a perspective that does not perpetuate this discourse (Marlow, 2014). The purpose of this qualitative portraiture study is to understand the essence of U.S.-based, growth-oriented women entrepreneurs’ experiences in growing their businesses by centering women’s ways of knowing in the male normative environment of entrepreneurship. The study explores the following research question with two sub-questions: How do growth-oriented women entrepreneurs understand their experiences in growing their organizations within a male-normative environment of entrepreneurship? How do women entrepreneurs identify and use facilitators to grow their businesses? How do women entrepreneurs describe the experience of acquiring knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed to grow their businesses? An appreciative inquiry perspective, a key tenet of portraiture methodology that was selected for this study which is a blending of art and science (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997), guided the examination of growth-oriented women entrepreneurs’ experiences in this study. Rather than looking for the deficiency in the women entrepreneurs’ experiences, this perspective allowed a search for ‘the good’ (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997; Lawrence-Lightfoot, 2008). The ontology that guided this study was social constructivism (Creswell, 2013; Crotty, 1998; Guba & Lincoln, 1989) and the epistemology was based on women’s way of knowing (Belenky, Clinchy, Golbert, & Tarale, 1986). The portraits of the three women entrepreneurs selected for this study were assembled into a gallery with their artifacts and stories organized and presented in a consistent way. My interpretation of each participant’s story was presented in a poetic form which depicted the essence of each woman entrepreneur’s experience in growing her businesses. The findings of this study revealed the following six themes: women’s entrepreneurial experiences, perception of their entrepreneurial characteristics, entrepreneurial learning, entrepreneurial reflections on gender, entrepreneurial knowing, and entrepreneurial self as knower. Conclusions are presented on the experiences of women entrepreneurs’ growth within the normative environment of entrepreneurship, facilitators that women entrepreneurs use to grow their businesses, women entrepreneurs knowing along with implications for research and practice.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Human and Organizational Learning, Economics, Women's studies, Portraiture methodology, Entrepreneurship
    Date Uploaded: 04/21/2018
  2. Effectiveness of Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma [Download]

    Title: Effectiveness of Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    Author: Singh, Apurva
    Description: Abstract Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) is usually treated with radiation therapy (RT). We wish to study whether the heterogeneity of the tumor affects the clinical outcome after RT. A database is available that contains HNSCC images acquired in various modalities. Each image modality gives different information about the patient; we wish to test whether a combination of modalities will help to assess the likelihood of success of RT. The computerized tomography (CT) scan image gives us anatomical information whereas the positron emission tomography (PET) scan gives us physiological information. The tumor is visible in the pretreatment PET images. PET images have poorer resolutions than CT images, but the PET-CT imaging system ensures that the pre-treatment CT images are registered with the PET images. Thus, using the tumor information in the pre-treatment PET image, we can locate the exact position of the tumor in the pre-treatment CT image. On registering the pre-treatment CT images with the post-treatment CT images, we have the original location of the tumor displayed in the post-treatment CT image, which, in turn will give us the location of the presumably cured tumor in the post-treatment PET image. The effectiveness of the treatment can be judged by the presence, location and size of the tumor at a particular time after the start of the treatment. This involves a study of both the pre- and the posttreatment images. Shifts are observed between the various images, however, because of factors including change in the position of the patient between the imaging sessions. Thus, image registration is important to combine the information obtained by the different imaging modalities and also to correct the shift between the pre-and post-baseline images. The clinical data accompanying the database indicate whether there was a local recurrence of the tumor in the patient after the completion of the treatment. The patients are divided into local recurrent and non-local recurrent categories. The RT Plan, included in the database, is used to indicate the tumor boundaries in the pre-treatment PET images. Once the tumor region has been extracted, various texture measures are computed on it. Those include energy measures, moments of the tumor texture, correlation between the tumor pixels and their neighbors, Fourier measures and others. We also aim to examine whether the heterogeneity of tumor textures can be a factor that predicts the treatability of the tumor by radiation therapy.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Radiation oncology, Biomedical engineering, Radiation therapy, Cancer treatment
    Date Uploaded: 04/21/2018
  3. Improvement in Aortic Vascular Inflammation by PET/CT Associates with Improvement in Aortic Distensibility by MRI at One-Year in Psoriasis [Download]

    Title: Improvement in Aortic Vascular Inflammation by PET/CT Associates with Improvement in Aortic Distensibility by MRI at One-Year in Psoriasis
    Author: Shukla, Parag
    Description: Introduction: Globally, 18 million people die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) annually, making it the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In recent years, inflammation has been established as a key cause of CVD, but the effects of anti-inflammatory treatment on cardiovascular (CV) risk remains poorly understood. Psoriasis (PSO), a chronic inflammatory skin disease associated with increased CV events, provides an ideal clinical model to study inflammation and CV risk. Cardiovascular inflammation can be monitored by PET/CT of the aorta. Aortic distensibility (AD) is an important marker of subclinical CVD and has been shown to predict future CV events. Following subclinical markers, such as AD, enables physicians to make judicious treatment decisions before events such as stroke, myocardial infarction, or angina occur. Our study demonstrates a novel association between VI and AD in patients with chronic inflammatory disease. Hypothesis: A reduction in aortic vascular inflammation (VI), measured by PET/CT, will associate with increased AD, measured by PET-MRI at 1-year. Methods: Consecutively recruited PSO patients (N=50) underwent whole-body PET/CT scans to quantify VI as target-to-background ratio (TBR). Descending aorta contours on PET-MRI were traced throughout the cardiac cycle [Qflow, Medis] to measure AD. Longitudinal changes in aortic VI and AD were analyzed by multivariable regression. Results: The cohort was middle aged (mean ± SEM: 49.8 ±1.9 years), mostly male (56%), had low CVD risk, and mild-to-moderate PSO. At 1-year follow up, patients had a median improvement in PSO severity of 40% (p<0.001) with use of biological therapy (28/50 patients) while aortic VI decreased by 8% (1.81 ± 0.05 vs 1.67 ± 0.04, p<0.001) and AD increased by 10% (0.61 ± 0.03 vs 0.67 ± 0.04, p=0.04). Reduction in aortic VI was associated with an improvement in AD beyond traditional CV risk factors, statin use, and systemic/biologic PSO therapy (β=-0.36, p=0.04). Conclusion: Improvement in aortic VI in patients with psoriasis by PET/CT is associated with improvement in AD by PET-MRI at 1-year, suggesting that treatment of inflammation may have a favorable impact on functional characteristics of the aorta. These findings further advance our understanding of the role of inflammation in CVD and the utility of PET-MRI for inflammatory CVD risk prediction. Our novel findings can help improve the accuracy of CVD risk prediction, enable physicians to make evidence-based decisions, and decrease the global economic burden of cardiovascular disease on healthcare systems.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Psychology, Cardiovascular disease
    Date Uploaded: 04/21/2018
  4. Wrath and Woe of Heroes: Translating Male Grief in Homer’s Iliad [Download]

    Title: Wrath and Woe of Heroes: Translating Male Grief in Homer’s Iliad
    Author: Alpert, Margot E.
    Description: Homer’s Iliad has always held a fascination for me in the drama of its central heroes, particularly when it comes to Achilles. The original Greek text holds little back in its depictions of its heroes; Achilles wails as he rips off his clothes and in other moments of heroic redemption drags a body around the city. While there are obvious displays of masculinity within the Iliad, what is often overlooked is a softness and emotional intelligence with which the Ancient Greek portrays these men. My research has been not only locating and examining these moments of purposeful change, but also finding the reason for why they have come to be. In studying translations of Homer’s Iliad, I have found what appears to be a tendency to not only subvert the emotional responses of men, but to masculinize them, especially when it comes to displays of grief. This study pulls from literary theory fields of both translation studies as well as affect theory to examine how translators have interpreted Homer’s original Greek to fit their contemporary standards. My research focuses on three translations of this text: Alexander Pope’s 1715 edition, Samuel Butler’s 1898 edition, and Caroline Alexander’s 2015 edition. Pope takes on the challenge of this translation by updating the text into a metered verse in English, while Butler takes a more standard approach in keeping his translation in prose. However, I found it necessary to include Alexander’s approach, in that her translation provides us the lens of both a contemporary translator and a woman. From these three translations, I have been able to evaluate how translations of this text have changed within a 300 year period, and how these translations represent the cultures of masculinity from which they were created.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Homer, Gender, Masculinity
    Date Uploaded: 04/21/2018
  5. Effects of Breastfeeding on Postpartum Depression and Anxiety [Download]

    Title: Effects of Breastfeeding on Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
    Author: Chen, Steven
    Description: Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious mental health condition that affects an estimated 13 – 19% of mothers, with well documented negative consequences on maternal and infant health (O’Hara & McCabe, 2013). Research has explored risk factors for PPD, including depression history and social support. However, breastfeeding as a risk factor remains understudied. Recent research has found mixed findings on the relationship between breastfeeding and PPD, in part due to varying operationalization of breastfeeding and depression. Breastfeeding difficulties may not only be due to depression but also anxiety, but anxiety has not been measured as much as depression. To address these research gaps, the present study evaluated the association between breastfeeding and PPD and between breastfeeding and postpartum anxiety. Given that depression and anxiety are highly comorbid (Austin et al., 2010), we hypothesized that there will be a negative relationship between breastfeeding and depression, and between breastfeeding and anxiety. We reviewed medical charts from 283 postpartum mothers who received OBGYN services at 6-weeks postpartum. The sample included predominantly married (58.3%), African American (46.4%) women. The Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was used to identify women with symptoms of both depression and anxiety, with higher scores indicating higher severity. Postpartum mothers were separated into two groups: (1) Breastfeeding group (n= 224), who reported breastfeeding exclusively breastfeeding or combined breastfeeding and formula feeding; and (2) Formula feeding group (n= 58), who reported exclusively formula feeding or formula feeding due to early cessation of breastfeeding. Results indicate no significant difference in depression scores between breastfeeding (M= 0.37, SD= 0.42) and formula feeding groups (M= 0.37, SD= 0.55); t(280)= -0.07, p= 0.95. There was a marginally significant difference in the anxiety subscale, in which the breastfeeding group reported having more anxiety symptoms (M= 0.87, SD= 0.66) than the formula feeding group (M= 0.67, SD= 0.72); t(280)= 1.97, p= 0.050. These findings suggest a mixed relationship between breastfeeding and PPD, and breastfeeding and postpartum anxiety. Future research should be conducted to understand the extent of comorbidity between anxiety and depression. Additionally, research should focus on the role of anxiety in PPD to understand why higher anxiety scores on the EPDS may occur for postpartum mothers who either breastfeed or formula feed their infant. Our results suggest the importance of screening for both PPD and anxiety, and encouraging mothers to make decisions about breastfeeding that are best for them to decrease risk for maternal depression and anxiety.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Postpartum depression, Mental health, Breastfeeding
    Date Uploaded: 04/21/2018
  6. Media Coverage and the Gender Gap In Political Ambition [Download]

    Title: Media Coverage and the Gender Gap In Political Ambition
    Author: Chevalier, Kat
    Description: Research has shown that the lack of women in elected office is due to a disparity in the number of women who choose to run. But little research considers whether the media environment may exacerbate this so-called gender gap in political ambition. In this project, I test whether exposure to news stories that emphasize the importance of candidates’ policy expertise and public speaking ability make women less interested in running for office. This hypothesis arises from previous research that finds women often view themselves as less qualified for political office than similarly qualified men. To test the hypothesis, I draw on an original survey experiment conducted in early 2018 with a national sample of adults and a sample of college students. If the media play a role in reinforcing misperceptions that women lack the qualifications to run for office, that may help explain the persistence of gender inequality in the American political institutions.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Media, Gender inequality
    Date Uploaded: 04/21/2018
  7. The Explanatory Role of Mechanisms in Providing Successful Medical Treatment [Download]

    Title: The Explanatory Role of Mechanisms in Providing Successful Medical Treatment
    Author: Geoca, Alexandra
    Description: How much must be known about a disease, the human body, and the relationships between the two in order to treat that disease successfully? One of the major debates in the philosophy of biology is centered on the understanding of scientific processes and how those processes can be explained when they occur across different levels in the body. This poster will argue that the best way to provide a medical explanation that will lead to successful treatment is through the use of a mechanistic model. This will be presented through two examples, the first of which is an example that emphasizes the importance of mechanisms in developing new and successful treatments for cancer. The second example tells a story of how failing to understand the mechanism of biointeraction for the drug Thalidomide led to dangerous consequences. This poster will then present the most fitting mechanistic theory to provide an adequate medical explanation. This theory has been developed by Carl Craver, and though he did not intend it to be used as a medical explanation it provides the necessary scaffolding for a sufficient medical explanation that is likely to lead to more successful treatments.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Medical treatment, Biology, Philosophy, Disease, Mechanisms
    Date Uploaded: 04/21/2018
  8. Community Partners Facilitate Access to Voice and Communication Services for Transgender and Gender-Diverse People [Download]

    Title: Community Partners Facilitate Access to Voice and Communication Services for Transgender and Gender-Diverse People
    Author: Giegerich, Alyssa
    Description: BACKGROUND: Voice training for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals is in demand, yet is often inaccessible- especially for individuals of minority race or socioeconomic status. To reduce the identified access barriers of cost, availability, and general knowledge of services, clinicians at the GW Speech and Hearing Center partnered with Whitman Walker Health to pilot a program to help people in the urban Washington DC area feminize their voice and communication. METHOD: A 3-hour Saturday afternoon “Voice Feminization” workshop was held at a local safe-space for LGBTQ community members. Nine transgender women and gender non-conforming individuals (all assigned male at birth) learned and practiced adjusting their voice characteristics of pitch, resonance/quality, and intonation in small groups lead by six graduate speech-language pathology clinicians and two licensed speech-language pathologists. Outcome measures included changes (pre-workshop vs. post-workshop) in voice fundamental frequency (pitch), the most salient gender-marker of voice, and post-workshop participant ratings of their voice and the workshop program. Each participant rated the following on a 5 point likert scale: overall workshop, structure of the workshop, content of the workshop, effectiveness of the training, pleasantness/helpfulness of staff, day and time of workshop, length of workshop, do you feel you made progress. Seven of the participants were available for follow-up via phone interview. RESULTS: Speaking pitch (mean fundamental frequency) increased (i.e., feminized) after the workshop by a mean of 2.84ST (SD = 3.71ST, Range = 0.9 – 4.61ST). Changes in intonation, measured by F0 range during speech, varied by individual: 5 increased and 3 deceased their range. All participants felt they made progress during the workshop, rating progress as “very good” on the post-workshop survey (M = 4.11, SD = 1.05). For program evaluation, all areas on the survey were rated as “good” (3) or better on the 1-5 scale. Participants viewed the overall workshop to be “very good” with a mean rating of 4.22 (SD=.67, n=9). Also with mean ratings of 4.22 were content of the workshop, effectiveness of training, and day/time of workshop. Category with highest mean rating (4.89) was pleasantness/helpfulness of staff. Comments indicating desire for a longer workshop were consistent with lowest mean ratings being for structure of the workshop (3.65) and length of workshop (3.22). Comments gathered from participants two weeks after the workshop via follow-up phone calls were consistent with post-workshop data. Generally, participants felt the need to practice their more feminized voice, particularly with a focus on resonance. DISCUSSION: Due to the high ratings of the overall workshop, and quantitative improvement, it is recommended that similar workshops be created with time modifications to benefit the target population and their experience with voice feminization.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Speech and Hearing Sciences, Gender studies, Transgender, Communication, LGBTQ
    Date Uploaded: 04/21/2018
  9. HIV Infected Cells Have Depolarized Membrane Potentials and Increased Intracellular Calcium Levels [Download]

    Title: HIV Infected Cells Have Depolarized Membrane Potentials and Increased Intracellular Calcium Levels
    Author: Goydos, Ryan
    Description: Introduction/Background: Ion distribution between the extracellular, cytoplasmic, and organellar spaces creates membrane potentials which drive many of life’s processes. This bioelectric membrane potential, driven by ion channel and pump activity, can be harnessed to allow or prevent entry of signaling mediators like Ca2+ into the cytoplasm. Several HIV proteins (Vpu, Env, Vpr, and Nef) have been reported to function as ion channels or alter ion channel activity. This activity likely influences cell fate including activation and apoptosis. Hypothesis: HIV depolarizes the plasma membrane and alters intracellular calcium levels. Changing the polarization of the plasma membrane would alter the levels of HIV infection. Methods: HIV infected cells were identified using a broadly neutralizing anti-Env antibody (PG9) conjugated to AlexaFluor-647. Membrane potential measurements were done by flow cytometry using the DiBAC4(3) dye as previously reported. Intracellular Ca2+ measurements were also done by flow cytometry using the Fluo-4 dye. Ionomycin and PMA were used to show the contrast in intracellular Ca2+ levels between infected and uninfected cells. To assess the effects of membrane potential changes on HIV replication, 200μM diazoxide was added to cells during infections. Results: HIV infected cells consistently had depolarized membrane potentials in both primary cells and cell lines. When cells were cultured with a depolarizing agent, diazoxide, there was an increase in HIV-infected cells. This membrane depolarization was accompanied by an increased resting level of intracellular Ca2+ in infected cells. Following addition of ionomycin, there was a drastic difference in Ca2+ flow between uninfected and HIV-infected cells. In uninfected cells, the addition of ionomycin induced an influx of Ca2+ while PMA had little effect. In contrast, both ionomycin and PMA induced a large efflux of Ca2+ from HIV infected cells.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, HIV, Microbiology, Immunology, Tropical medicine
    Date Uploaded: 04/21/2018
  10. Art-Making for Teachers: How Can Art Therapy Combat Teacher Burnout? [Download]

    Title: Art-Making for Teachers: How Can Art Therapy Combat Teacher Burnout?
    Author: Hagemeir, Christina
    Description: Objective: Human services professionals have a higher rate of burnout than most occupations. For teachers, exhaustion and stress are exasperated by increases class sizes and reduced budgets. High rates of teacher burnout can lead to high teacher turnover and early retirement rates, as well ass, lower levels of behavioral tolerance in the classroom. Since art therapy can be used to help relieve stress and foster positive communication, it may be especially helpful in promoting teachers’ sense of wellness and expressing the burdens of teaching. Method: A one-time workshop conducted with a group of teachers in a Christian school in the Midwest U.S. incorporated art therapy protocols to investigate the benefits of art making. The teachers created 1) art about the upcoming school year and 2) response art to another participant’s artwork. Participants completed a questionnaire about their process for creating each piece of artwork and joined a discussion about the overall process. Findings: The workshop explored feelings of isolation and stress, along with feelings of relief and empathy for others experiencing similar feelings as evidence by the themes that arose in the art, questionnaires, and discussions. Thematic analysis revealed six major themes throughout the original and response artwork: stress responsibility to educate, empathy, acknowledging differences, relying on God, and support. Implications: This workshop demonstrated the effectiveness of art making for increasing support amongst teachers and fostering communication about problems in the school. Participants felt more comfortable conveying their concerns through artwork. In addition, participants felt heard and supported as fellow teachers responded to their concerns and needs visually. The results of this workshop show that art making infused with art therapy protocols can be an effective tool for helping teachers express concerns and receive support as a way to help combat burnout.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Art therapy, Psychology, Education, Visual arts, Psychotherapy
    Date Uploaded: 04/21/2018