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Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Caroline Tattersfield

Marketing Black Theatre in Non-Urban, Predominantly White Communities

Historically American theatre has fiercely promoted white theatre-makers at the expense of Black artists. American theatre has made a long-term investment in sustaining the portrayal of whiteness by granting privileges and favor to White playwrights. Historically, Black theatre has not been equally represented on the American theatre landscape due to being described by White American scholars as “sub-par, reactionary, and anti-intellectual” because it hasn’t always been universally “recognized as a site of theorization” (Johnson). From the Black perspective, Black theatre is seen as a supporting force that sustains Black culture. As Stuart Hall asserts, Black theatre emphasizes that “it is only through the way in which we present and imagine ourselves that we know how we are constituted and who we are” (Hall). This project was designed in order to identify the marketing strategies that professional and university theatres in predominantly White, non-urban areas used to promote productions of plays written by Black playwrights. I seek to uncover the marketing methods theatres used to; promote messages of racial injustice toward Black people and prepare White audience members to be in a space that criticizes their historical role in perpetuating racism in America. This research is relevant to the Bucknell Department of Theatre and Dance because Black theatre that contains subjects of racism that criticize White audiences has yet to be studied in depth in a scholarly context.

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Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Ryan Bremer

The Art Building is So Weird: Looking at Bucknell’s Evolving Footprint

This research projects uses landmark flood events—1936, 1946, 1972—as guides to track the evolution of Bucknell’s campus footprint. Over this span, there has been a noticeable shift away from the Susquehanna River and towards Route 15 as the orienteer of campus. There is practicality to this shift, of course, as a majority (if not all) of Bucknell visitors arrive from the highway; however, symbolically, it shows the desire for more land and expanse. In the literature and sources leading up to the university’s 1946 centennial, there was a palpable sense of expanding outwards, and a desire to see how far the campus could evolve. As the bicentennial approaches within the next few decades, a similar prudently bold strategy seems to be emerging. The construction of Holmes Hall has made the Art Building obsolete, but also recently-constructed Academic East and Academic West have shown the direction in which the university’s orientation is trending. This physical restructuring demonstrates newer ideological ambitions of the University.

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Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Sophie Bae

Finite Element Analysis, Representation, and Interpretation of Soft Robotics Kinematics and Dynamics

Rapid progress has been made in recent years to improve the accuracy, precision, and intelligence of robots as humans seek to use them to make their lives more comfortable and convenient. Robots are increasingly incorporated into our daily lives, as well as into industry and manufacturing, causing the market demand for them to grow. Despite the number of tasks robots can successfully perform, traditional rigid robots nonetheless have the potential to cause harm to humans and their immediate environment, creating safety concerns. These risks have led to the development of a relatively new field of robotics in which soft materials are employed to limit the possibility of damage and injury. Unlike rigid robots, soft robots have more degrees of freedom and the ability to adapt to their environments, allowing for a wider range of motion and tasks they can undertake. Unfortunately, analyzing the motion and the ability to apply forces of soft robots is challenging, primarily due to their nonlinear behavior and properties. For this project, we used finite element modeling techniques to explore the
practicability of two types of soft robotic actuators: Fiber-Reinforced Elastomeric Enclosures
(FREEs) and McKibben actuators. A comparison of experimental and finite element results confirmed the accuracy of the model and allowed the workspace achieved with a module comprised of multiple FREEs to be studied. Furthermore, we were able to establish a more effective soft robotic design by considering the role of each system parameter, maximizing the range of displacement and rotation of the actuators.

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Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

Hannah Heinemann

The Political Economy of Upward Bound

This research endeavor studies the initial years (1966-1969) of Upward Bound, a federally funded War on Poverty program designed to increase college attendance and preparedness for low-income and first-generation high school students via tutoring, mentoring, and additional enrichment activities.
The method of inquiry was regression analysis to determine which political and poverty factors motivated program funding per capita. Our paper was modeled after Bailey and Duquette (2014), which sought to understand the factors that influenced funding for the War on Poverty Community Action Programs. We applied their regression formula using the program data that we merged with the relevant political and poverty variables to assess the economic and political climate of each county.
The main findings of the analysis reveal the poverty indicators, specifically for each level of income below the poverty line (designated at $3K) were statistically significant, increasing funding for each share per capita. For each share of nonwhite residents, a county received a greater amount of funding. For political variables, the size of population per capita was not found to hold any significance. For counties that experienced a change in the share of Democratic voters between the 1960 and 1964 elections, it received greater funding; meanwhile, counties that voted democratic in the 1964 election were linked to receiving slightly less funding. The presence of a major committee member/leader in the 89th Congressional House allocated greater funding to their home districts.

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Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

Kartikeya Sharma

Trajectory Gaze Path Analysis and Isolating Areas of Interest in Eye-Tracking Data for Autism Spectrum Disorder Studies

According to the CDC, about 1 in 59 children have autism spectrum disorder or ASD, representing a significant percentage of the population. Unfortunately, this condition often remains undiagnosed until later in childhood, which, in turn, delays many clinical treatments that could improve social functioning outcomes.

Researchers have identified abnormal visual attention as a hallmark symptom of ASD. With this finding, ASD researchers commonly deploy eye-tracking systems in their experiments. A typical experimental setup assesses how participants look at objects encapsulated within one static image or a stimulus. Eye-tracking systems collect real-time gaze data over a short, fixed time period. ASD experts have found that children without ASD generally focus more on objects associated with socializing, such as people or food items, than on inanimate objects. In contrast, children with ASD tend to focus on both categories of images with no preference. Heat maps, currently used in the clinical setting, forgo clinically crucial information about how children cognitively prioritize stimuli over time.

To better understand the cognitive process for prioritization of stimuli between children with and without ASD, clinical researchers need novel methods that yield visuals that show how participants prioritize stimuli over time. My work under the guidance of Dr. Brian King is developing multiple novel algorithms intersecting between the computer science fields of data mining and machine learning, including density-based clustering, object detection, and image classification. Further, we make these data visualization algorithms accessible to end-users through an interactive graphical user interface (GUI) encapsulated within a software toolkit.

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Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

Thomas Matsumura

Measuring Lower Limb Muscle Activity and
Kinematics in Variable Foot Strike Gaits

Anterior knee pain affects roughly 23% of adults and 29% of adolescents, and many cases go
untreated. Prior research has aimed to identify underlying causes of knee pain,
and while exact causes can be unknown for individuals, differences in muscle activity, gait
patterns, morphology, and loading are key contributors. To better understand links between
muscle activity and kinematics, we aimed to measure changes in surface electromyography of knee extensor muscles and others as a result of different gait patterns. A total of twenty subjects underwent surface electromyography measurements in the Bucknell motion analysis biomechanics lab and with the use of non-invasive surface EMG sensors that measure muscle activation. Specific activities and gait patterns include normal walking, toe-in/toe-out walking, heel-strike/toe strike, and normal running. Sensors were placed on the subject’s vastus medialis and lateralis, quadriceps, hamstring, and medial/lateral gastrocnemius. Following data collection, data processing included rectification, high/low pass filters, root mean square and moving envelope calculations, and normalization to maximum voluntary contraction EMG. Statistically significant patterns were identified in EMG profiles both intra-subject and between subjects, with the Vastus Medius and Vastus Lateralis showing the most variation in activation, and toe-in/toe-out walking showing the greatest activation. In several subjects, the activation profile of both the Rectus Femoris/Hamstrings and Gas Med/Gas Lat were not statistically different from themselves but were different than the Vas Med/Vas Lat ratio. The next step is to discuss clinical relevancy and how our data can inform pain prevention.

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Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

Eadaoin Kelly

Effects of Research Disturbance Levels on 5-Day-Old
Black-Legged Kittiwake Chicks

The ability to closely monitor and manipulate marked populations of seabirds is invaluable for ecological research and conservation efforts. A reconfigured radar tower on Middleton Island, Alaska provides accessible semi-artificial nesting sites for black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla). However, long-term researcher disturbance may affect seabird physiology, as disturbed and undisturbed birds may not be directly comparable in studies. We tested effects of researcher disturbance on kittiwake chicks by categorizing disturbance levels as “high”, “medium”, and “low” based on researcher activities at 3 locations. A subset of the high disturbance birds were supplementally fed (whole fish ad libitum 3x/day). A (N=77) and B (N=77) chicks were measured after being bled in <3min when the A chick was 5 days old. Regurgitation was noted if produced during measurements. Whole-blood glucose and ketones were measured with handheld point-of-care (POC) meters; glucose was further measured with plasma in the lab. Despite being validated in adult kittiwakes, glucose values of the chicks from handheld meters did not show good concordance with lab-measured glucose (R2=0.08). Red blood cells were used for genetic sexing in the lab.
Disturbance levels significantly impacted body condition in low and high-unfed A chicks, but there was no significant difference between that of low and high-fed A chicks. Blood metabolites do not reflect body condition or disturbance category. Chicks of the low disturbance area regurgitated significantly more than the chicks of any other disturbance category.

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Friday, April 15th, 2022

Peyton Kendall

Roman Oil Lamps of the Turnure Collection

In 2019, James Turnure, Samuel H. Kress Professor of Art History Emeritus, donated a collection of antiquities to Samek Art Museum at Bucknell University. Among the artifacts donated were seventeen previously unstudied Roman oil lamps, seven of which were selected to serve as the subject of this study. The chief aim of the project was to establish a catalog of the lamps, so as to make them accessible to the archaeological community. To do so, the lamps were individually drawn, described, photographed, and measured. Based on this information, they were then classified according to prevailing typologies, allowing for approximate dating and regional attribution. Following the documentation of the lamps, comparanda, or similar lamps, were identified in a variety of public and private collections. The descriptions, types, and comparanda of the lamps formulated the catalog, thereby creating an archaeologically standardized account of the artifacts. This documentation allows for a greater degree of scholarly access to Samek Art Museum’s holdings, thereby introducing the lamps to the known archaeological corpus. The establishment of the catalog led to the curation of an exhibit of the lamps in Bertrand Library, on display currently. Furthermore, it served as the basis for a senior honors thesis, “Molding Diana: A Critical Analysis and Catalog of a Selection of Lamps from the Turnure Collection,” which investigates modern reception of small finds, the ancient Roman oil lamp industry, and the transmission of iconography throughout the ancient Mediterranean world.

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Friday, April 15th, 2022

Kareen George

Paradoxical Paradises

“This independent study hopes to investigate how the nuances of tone and word choice in tourism-related Caribbean literature correspond to the true attitudes of Caribbean natives. I apply W.E.B Dubois’ concept of the double consciousness of oppressed people as a lens for understanding Caribbean people’s participation in the industry. The tourism industry, particularly the way it operates in the Caribbean, is notably exploitative. The demographics of the native Caribbean people versus the tourists gives rise to an interesting power dynamic, reminiscent of colonialism.The success of the Caribbean’s tourism industry is largely due to its’ citizens’ knowledge of this exploitation and the way they are able to manage their emotions and behavior in order to maintain the false image of perfect paradise that visitors expect. In order to acquire a holistic understanding of this dual sided disposition, an analysis was performed on pieces from three different genres of Caribbean Literature, namely Prose, Drama and Poetry. The three selected pieces of literature for this study are A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid, Smile Orange by Trevor Rhone and “On a Coral Cay” by Marion Bethel. These three pieces give an account of three different forms of the same Caribbean attitude of double consciousness as it relates to the Tourism industry. ” For my presentation, I will be focusing on Rhone’s Smile Orange, as it is the piece which most embodies this notion of double consciousness, as expressed through humor.

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Friday, April 15th, 2022

Diamanda Zizis

Heading for a breakdown: Assessing evolution through the hybridization of two sexual systems

Hybridization is an important evolutionary pathway that has contributed to the world’s vast biodiversity. In plants, hybridization is known to be an important mechanism for speciation, phenotypic divergence, and changes in reproductive systems. Solanum species present an ideal system to investigate how hybridization between two different sexual systems impacts the reproductive and phenotypic biology of the hybrid progeny. Hybrids were acquired from crosses between Australian species Solanum dioicum (dioecious) and S. ultraspinosum (andromonoecious). The only successful hybrids from the original crosses were those derived from S. diocium as the pollen donor and S. ultraspinosum as the pollen recipient. Due to strong maternal effects, all the F1 hybrids resembled S. ultraspinosum, so all F1 plants were andromonoecious. To assess phenotypic differences between the hybrids and their parents, I collected morphometric data and used ImageJ software. A series of statistical analyses were done using R. A principal component analysis confirmed that the hybrids were distinct from both parents, but were most similar to S. ultraspinosum. The F2 hybrids appear to demonstrate variability in inflorescence architecture, which may be suggestive of a change in sexual system, although further analysis is needed. In attempts to create an F3 hybrid generation, nearly all of our crosses have failed—suggesting that a hybrid breakdown is occurring. To determine where the breakdown is occurring, I will be employing a technique using fluorescent microscopy. Overall, my study will promote a better understanding of hybridization—a driving force of plant speciation—which has broad impacts for the long-term viability of plant species.

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