Undergraduate Symposium on Diversity - 2016

Inaugural Undergraduate Symposium on Diversity (USD) – Opportunities and Challenges for the Inclusion of Diversity in Higher Education and Society
January 20th, 2017 in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union


  • 9:45-10 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
    Dr. Susana Peña, Director, School of Cultural and Critical Studies
  • 10-10:45 a.m. Keynote Address
    Barbara Waddell, Director, Office of Equity and Diversity and Title IX Coordinator
    “Open My Eyes”
  • 10:45-11 a.m. Break and Refreshments
  • 11 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Poster presentations
  • 12:45-1 p.m. Closing Remarks
    Dr. Cordula Mora, Director, Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship

Download the 2016 Undergraduate Sympoisum on Diversity Program (pdf)

The Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS) invites proposals related to diversity in all areas, including culture, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, and disability, from undergraduate students of all disciplines for our inaugural Undergraduate Symposium on Diversity (USD).

This symposium offers undergraduates students the opportunity to disseminate findings on critical issues within their respective fields. We particularly welcome posters (as well as other types of displays) based on projects conducted by students in undergraduate courses on any topic related to diversity. We are, however, also looking for submissions based on research, scholarly, or creative work conducted by individual students with a faculty mentor. Both group and individual presentations will be accepted.

The top three presentations will be recognized with an award and all presentations are encouraged to be also presented at the annual BGSU Undergraduate Research Symposium to be held on April 23, 2016 in Olscamp Hall. Select presentations will also be displayed in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union and/or hallways/foyers during MLK Day celebrations on January 18, 2016 (student presenters will have the option, but are not required to be present that day).

Poster Presentation Abstracts

Andrea Danziger.  Mentor: Dr. Melissa Miller, Political Science. Course or Program:  Political Science

Prior literature examining the role of gender in politics often reveals gender-based differences in political attitudes. Across the board, political scientists consistently find that women are more likely to hold liberal political positions than men. Women are also more likely to self-identify as Democrats. This study, bearing previous findings in mind, seeks to determine if gender plays a predictive role in attitudes toward government spending. Utilizing data from the General Social Surveys of 2000 and 2010 with sample sizes of 2,817 and 2,044 respectively, this study tests three specific hypotheses on stereotypically 'gendered' areas of government spending. These areas include: 'military, armaments, and defense,' 'improving the nation's educational systems,' and 'welfare.'  This study finds statistically significant results in two of the three issues areas analyzed. Gender can act as a predictor of attitudes on both educational and welfare spending; specifically that women are more likely to think too little is spent in these areas. In terms of spending on the military, no significant gender-based differences were found. This study raises both methodological and normative questions. Further study should consider the possible effects of exposing a respondent to the implicit costs associated with answering 'yes' to increased spending.  Deeper investigation of gender-based political attitudes across time could also benefit from analyzing the domestic economic conditions at the time of data collection. Finally, further study of this topic should consider the role gender socialization plays in individual issue position formation. These questions perpetuate the need for further study and research on this topic.

Kelly Blakely, Ashanti King-Johnson, Gabrielle McGill-Kapper, Brooke Miller. Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: SOWK3120 Social Welfare Institutions.

Medicaid is a service that helps 65 million people in the U.S obtain the health-care benefits that they need, 43% being African Americans and 63% Caucasians in Ohio. African Americans face racial disparities when it comes to these services, especially in regards to the benefits they are receiving. Minorities are not treated equally within the healthcare system compared to the majority population. The purpose of this research is to examine the difference between African American and Caucasians within the Medicaid system and to educate other Social Workers on this discrepancy. Research and interviews with professional practitioners at local Hospitals will provide information on disparities of African Americans within Medicaid and give insight on how these issues can be expedited. It is expected to find that African Americans and other minorities are more likely to have healthcare needs, yet lack high quality care. This is important because there are minorities who are dying from lack of access to the healthcare coverage that they need. The lack of local hospitals willing to discuss the issue of racial disparities within Medicaid may be a limitation. The results of this research should be known by all Social Work practitioners to insure the fair and equal treatment of minorities in regards to the Medicaid system. Social workers should advocate for African Americans that are receiving different treatments, promote expansions of Medicaid, and educate the health care system to facilitate change.

Kelly Brake, Erica Luthman, Samantha Brownlee,  Jessica Mason,  Gabrielle Sassano,  Shelby Yacchari. Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: SOWK3120 Social Welfare Institutions.

A current issue sweeping the nation is the high levels of incarceration due to drug offenses in this country and rates of recidivism are increasing from those serving drug charges due to the current policies set in place. The goals of this study is to compare the legal and judicial systems in the United States with other countries including Germany and Finland, as well as finding effective alternatives concerning drug related crimes. We found that drug courts and rehabilitation programs are more effective for drug offenses compared to the current criminal system. This study suggests a change in policy to allow individuals charged with drug crimes more access to drug courts and rehabilitation programs, leading to lower incarceration rates. Social workers should advocate for bettering the needs of the individuals as well as the family and community by promoting rehabilitation programs.

Ryann Daniels, Tess Lohse, McKenzie Martin, Kaitlyn Rehbeck,  Jordan Temple. Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: SOWK3120 Social Welfare Institutions.

After a veteran returns home, there is an adjustment period where as a family they must learn a new rhythm and way of functioning as a complete unit. Within the Military Community and Family (MC&F) policy, it entails a lack of integrated comprehensive services for the family. Our purpose in this study is to identify issues within MC&F; pertaining to family advocacy, youth engagement and counseling in spousal or group environments. MC&F fails to fully address certain areas within the family that need more support during reintegration. Also, more notice for the service members before deploying so family members can be better prepared physically and emotionally. For instance, spouses can be educated on paying bills, filing taxes, or how to address car issues while their service member is deployed. There are many limitations towards veterans and their families, but just a few are: finding employment, dealing with loss of purpose, isolation after leaving the military, and extended wait periods to obtain disability benefits. Current research indicates a total of 22.5 million homeless veterans, and an increased rate of divorce since 2001. Additionally, separation anxiety, decline in academic performance, and signs of apathy are usually shown within children. Studies suggest that social workers could help through implementing peer support groups, home visits, and family intervention. For instance, a strength-based approach works better for any kind of family therapy or intervention. Using this the strength-based approach method, veterans and their families can discover their full potential, while also addressing the instability within their lives. Veterans with the support of resources that they need they can reach their full potential in all areas of their life.

Lauren Ross, Tiffany Gerken, Heather Paramore, Jessica Darling, Jade Callum.  Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: SOWK3120 Social Welfare Institutions.

The number of prosecutions of human sex trafficking victims is on the rise in the United States with Toledo, Ohio being third in the country for child trafficking. Since 2012, there have been 98 arrests and 17 criminal convictions in Ohio related to sex trafficking. These victims are tortured, beaten, and emotionally abused by their trafficker. In this study, we analyze the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which seeks to end trafficking and criminalize the trafficker. In our policy analysis, we found that currently there are policy stipulations that keep the number of prosecutions for traffickers low. We found that there is a need for laws and policies to use more explicit language that serves to protect victims fully and result in the prosecution of their traffickers. Laws that were originally intended to end prostitution and improve the morality of the community now serve as a barrier for victims trying to leave their traffickers due to victims’ fears that they will be imprisoned. Any victim of sex trafficking is still a victim, regardless of the level of severity, and they all deserve the same treatment and help. Sex trafficking victims are a delicate population that deserves a tremendous amount of respect, sensitivity, and support. Women and young girls that are being trafficked are being failed by the social-welfare system. We need trauma-informed legal and social responses that take into consideration the needs of the victim over the needs of the system. By understanding the gaps in policies, social workers can work to shape policies that empower sex trafficking victims and work to ensure their dignity.

Vivian Carney, Elle Garrick, Marissa Lindsley, Zack Heeter. Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: SOWK3120 Social Welfare Institutions.

American LGBT citizens face discriminatory firing processes based on their sexual orientation. Many people are affected by the lack of laws protecting LGBT citizens within the workforce, what resources are available to them, and to advocate for such citizens, including what can be done to change the discriminatory practices within the firing processes of businesses. This study will demonstrate interview by examining the experiences of three individuals with the hypothesis being that there are more LGBT people struggling with discriminatory firing and fewer resources available than believed. One limitation this study will face is the lack of issue awareness in Northwestern Ohio, meaning fewer interview opportunities. The implications of this study on social work practice, as well as a suggestion to come out of it, will likely be that there will need to be more resources implemented for LGBT citizens facing workplace discrimination.

Chelsea Kennedy, Katie Molina, Kendra Vermillion, Hillary Routt, Michael Zeck, Caitlyn Neumann. Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: SOWK3120 Social Welfare Institutions.     

Euthanasia is a controversial, ethical subject. It deserves more recognition and consideration of legalization in order to allow terminally ill patients the option of shortening the span of their suffering. Currently there is no federal law in the United States for or against the practice of euthanasia. Instead it is referred to the States decision, and is legal in more liberal states Oregon, Montana, Vermont, Washington, and New Mexico. Our purpose is to collect the general attitudes of euthanasia among Ohioans and educate the public on hospice patients who are experiencing a terminal illness. We would survey around 100 Ohioans who are at least 18 years of age in Northwest Ohio. We expect to see many conservative views among the older, more rural population that we survey while potentially seeing a more liberal approach among the younger population. Overall, we aim to educate the terminally ill on their options at the end of life ranging from hospice and comfort care to euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. We also aspire to begin the discussion of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide for the right of patients and clients as a right of free will. Implications for social work would revolve around advocating for hospice patients to make their own decisions and improve the client’s self-determination to improve their overall quality of life. As social workers, we can intensify the idea that legalizing Euthanasia in Ohio would enhance on basic human rights.
Social Welfare

Gracie Henry, Arika Speicher, Jennifer Cook, Megan Sommers, Tiara Jackson, Emily Metzger. Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: SOWK3120 Social Welfare Institutions.

Adults with Autism are an area of growing concern for social workers. There is an abundance of services, programs, and research centered on children suffering from ASD but they are limited after the age of 18. For the past decade the diagnosis of this disorder has been increasing. Once these individuals age out of the school systems there is not enough services and programs available for them. The purpose of this study is to discover programs and services that can be readily accessible for adults with ASD within the Northwest area and to alleviate financial stress for the individual and their families. In-depth observations and research will be conducted at an agency that provides residential, occupational, and educational programs for individuals that fall within the Autism Spectrum. Findings will show that agencies in the Northwest area are some of the first agencies that offer programs and services that are helpful to ASD individuals to get them into the community, and help make these individuals feel as close to normal as possible. Implications state that although there are services and funding available to help adults with ASD, societies lack of knowledge regarding various levels of functioning causes an inadequate amount of services and funding for the increasing amount of individuals on the spectrum. Thus, it is essential to educate society in order to advocate for adults with ASD regarding financial support, employment, and integration within the community.
Social Welfare Institutions 

Andriel McBrayer, Meghan Bishop, Iyonna Thompson, Margaret Scott.  Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: SOWK3120 Social Welfare Institutions.

The issue with inpatient and crisis intervention centers is the lack of individualized and client centered services, speed of service, and appropriate aftercare referrals. This study explores the benefits of collaboration between community mental health, crisis intervention, and inpatient services. Social workers should evaluate all aspects that effect the individual accessing the mental health system. Factors such as social economic status, cultural and ethnic background, and community resources should be considered. The most effective way to improve the mental health system is a holistic view of the community and its residents and their unique needs. Cultural competency, is key to social workers in mental health. Additionally as practitioners, it is very important to be aware of insurance benefits and how to empower our clients to use their insurance to the fullest. The objective of this study is to identify what programs can be implemented through collaboration to more effectively care for patients. By observing and surveying local crisis intervention workers in Northwest Ohio, we identified the crucial needs of these particular mental health systems. These needs included follow up services, community partnerships, more stringent staffing requirements, improved individual care plans, and sharing data and care plans with collaborative agencies. This holistic view of crisis intervention would aid in improving this collaboration between inpatient care and follow up treatment. This would ensure a smoother transition from crisis care to inpatient care or therapy. Findings suggest that social workers should work for raising standards of care in crisis intervention and advocating for effective crisis intervention.

Destiny Norris, Miranda Wagnitz, Jessica Ricker, Monica Gupta. Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: SOWK3120 Social Welfare Institutions.      

Every year, approximately 18,000 youth “age out” from the foster care system.  Aging out not only affects the individuals, but society as well.  Some issues with aging out is that resources like housing and education are not easily accessible for these individuals, not to mention the added family difficulties and responsibilities this process creates.  Additional struggles can include policies pushing individuals to be self-sufficient as well.  Self-Sufficiency can discourage assistance from the individual’s support systems. The purpose of this study is to examine the transitional difficulties young adults confront once they age out of the system, as well as explain how the development of the “Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act’ could help or hinder these individuals.  The ‘Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act” offers states various resources and new requirements.  We evaluated the ‘Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act'. Our findings indicated that there are some issues with the process, mostly concerning the lack of available agents for the aging out individual to help with the process.  Findings also suggested the amount of resources depended on geographical location of the individual.  Larger geographical locations tend to have more readily available practitioners, and resources.  Within the evaluation of the act, the 90 day transition plan was critiqued.  The act requires aging out youth to have a transition plan for the 90 days prior to leaving care.  An agency must assist the youth with a plan including issues such as: options on housing, education, health insurance, and employment services.  Through this act, social workers are lawfully required to spend a specific amount of time with these young adults that ultimately heightens their functionality in society.

Claire Sherman, Bridget Dewulf, Rachel Burrer, Hope Brickner, Erica Kavalauskas, Angela Gurchak. Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: SOWK3120 Social Welfare Institutions.

There is a growing concern about the knowledge and accessibility of current treatments for those addicted to heroin. Two of these evidence-based treatment options are Methadone and Suboxone. The purpose of this study is to analyze the current availability of Narcan, methadone, and Suboxone and the lack of knowledge of other treatment options available to those attempting to recovery from heroin addiction. A chemical dependency social worker who is knowledgeable about the use of pharmacological treatments and other treatment options was interviewed to gain insight into the professional viewpoint. Two individuals with differing sobriety lengths were interviewed to gain insight on firsthand accounts of those seeking treatment. Findings indicated that there is limited availability of Narcan and limited knowledge of the other treatment options that are available to assist those who are seeking treatment. Furthermore, pharmacological treatment options such as methadone and Suboxone are widely available to those seeking treatment. However, those who have undergone treatment find pharmacological options to be disadvantageous. The findings suggest that social workers need to work to make Narcan more available to those addicted and to increase community awareness of other treatment options such as long-term rehabilitation and biophysical rehabilitation treatment for these individuals in our Northwest Ohio area. As social workers it is our duty to analyze these pharmacological treatment options and their impact on our clientele’s recovery. Though pharmacological treatments can be beneficial, it is vital to assess all available therapeutic options such as self-help groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a holistic approach.  Due to the limited sample size of this study, the results are not generalizable to the population of Northwestern Ohio.

Elizabeth Wagner. Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: CURS Summer Project.

Dementia is a disease that corrodes one’s cognitive abilities such as their memory, affecting around 5 million people in the United States. This number is expected to skyrocket over the next few decades as the Baby Boomer generation ages. While there is currently no treatment available to cure dementia, music therapy was found effective to help reduce its symptoms. Based on the Music and Memory program created by Dan Cohen, this study examined the impacts of listening to a personalized music playlist on observable behavior, memory, and mood of older adults with dementia. The Music and Memory program was applied to 6 residents with dementia at a Retirement Center in Northwest Ohio. Two white men, three white women, and one Mexican woman participated in the study with their ages ranging from 67 to 95 years old. The findings indicated that listening to a personalized playlist had a positive effect on improving moods and disruptive behavior of participants, with more increased eye contact, smiling, face relaxation, joy, responsiveness, and decreased agitation. Furthermore, each individual reacted differently to their playlist. While some decreased in agitation and calmed down, others danced and smiled. However, everyone had strong positive reactions in their own way. This study was set up using a framework of person centered care, fully embracing each participant’s uniqueness and empowering them. Besides having their own individualized music, they got to pick when and where they listened to their playlist. Finally, this study suggests that social workers should take on the roles of educators, evaluators, brokers, and advocators for their clients with dementia.

Heather Paramore. Mentor: Hee Soon Lee, Social Work. Course or Program: Honors Project

Sex Trafficking, a form of human trafficking, is commercial sex exploitation which traffickers use force, fraud, and coercion to lure victims. Survivors of trafficking are often subjected to being beaten, raped, emotionally abused, and financially manipulated. It is estimated that sex trafficking effects nearly 4.5 million people globally, with a reach that extends to the United States. In 2013 alone, roughly 34,155 sex trafficking victims were identified. Once recovered, these victims are in need of comprehensive services to help them with services such as gaining access to emergency housing, trauma counseling, legal advocacy, getting connected to community resources and more. Despite the adaptation of local communities, many areas are lacking many essential services and lack a unified approach to helping survivors of sex trafficking. The purpose of this study is to assess the availability of services in the northwest Ohio region to ensure that sex trafficking victims can receive comprehensive treatment to recover from their trauma. To assess the availability of services for sex trafficking survivors, service providers were surveyed regarding their breadth of services and their ability to provide their services to survivors of sex trafficking. After surveying services providers, the gaps in services available in the northwest Ohio region were then analyzed by comparing the services currently available to services needed. By understanding the gaps in services, service providers can collaborate to fill service gaps to help sex trafficking survivors heal, and advocate for survivor focused policy reforms that will enable the financial support of said services.

Christel Ciolino, Elizabeth Richley. Mentor: Lynne Hewitt, Communication Sciences & Disorders. Course or Program: Communication Sciences & Disorders.

In order to best advocate for individuals who are neurologically diverse, it is necessary to understand public awareness of the markers of neurodiversity. If the general public is unaware of what constitutes as a hallmark of neurodiversity, it is impossible to begin breaking down barriers that prevent these individuals from accessing the activities they would like. In recent years, research in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has resulted in many changes in how the disorder is conceptualized. Changes to from the DSM-IV to DSM-V eliminating several diagnostic categories as well as categorizing their symptoms, makes this especially important. In addition, there have been many public advocacy campaigns from the CDC and private organizations to promote increased understanding of the disorder. These also must be evaluated. This study investigated college students’ knowledge of ASD, to find out whether they are aware of contemporary understanding of ASD symptomatology. An electronic survey containing questions about the general symptoms of ASD as well as two case studies were distributed. Both open and closed-ended responses were obtained. This survey was disseminated to the university community via email and other university communication systems. Findings from the 382 undergraduate students who submitted completed surveys showed that while year in college and major did not influence number of correct responses, experience with ASD and gender were factors. Both open- and closed-ended responses showed most respondents had awareness of key aspects of ASD diagnosis.

Madison Rosenthal. Mentor: Mariana Mereoiu, Special Education. Course or Program: EIEC 2210 Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Education.

The purpose of this presentation is to inform and inspire a class of future educators on how children in the foster system are currently educated and how we can best set them up for success in our forthcoming classrooms. To gather this information I looked at current trends in the foster care system and in education and how they are affecting one another. I examined the relationship between children’s foster care experiences and their performance in school. I also read several journals and scholarly articles that talked about the barriers and ways we as teachers can help them overcome these barriers. Throughout this presentation I will highlight the importance of education for children in the foster care system to change the course of their lives and send them off in a more successful direction. This presentation will give practical everyday strategies for current and future teachers to use in their classroom, when working with foster students, to give them the best education possible. It is also my hope that during this presentation these future teachers will be able to clear their minds and put themselves in the shoes of a child in the foster care system so that they can attempt to understand the difficulties and the social emotional barriers these children must overcome to thrive in their current environment and for the rest of their lives.

Stephanie Wonnell. Mentor: Mariana Mereoiu, Special Education. Course or Program: EIEC 2210 Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Education.

I will include what transgender means as well how educators can help these students be true to who they are. I will include tips for teachers on how to help other students understand what transgender is as well as tips for parents who have transgender children or know transgender children. I will include my personal experience, as I have a transgender girlfriend, as well as much of the research I have found while learning for my personal self as well as research that I used while making my presentation for my class. I will also include pictures and comics from Assigned Male, a Facebook group by Sophia Labelle that supports transgender individuals as well as educating non-transgender people. I have already received permission from the author to use her comics and images. I feel that this is an incredibly important topic because there has been very little information brought up about it in classes or in the general media. Most people are not even sure what transgender really means. I would like to help future educators learn for their own lives how to be an ally to the transgender community as well as help them learn how to support children and families that may be in their future classrooms. LGBT is more than homosexuality, and I hope to educate individuals on what the “T” in the acronym means.


Emily Brad. Mentor: Mariana Mereoiu, Special Education. Course or Program: EIEC 2210 Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Education.

This poster will outline the aspects of cultural diversity that we see in children television shows today and what aspects are often missing. It will discuss the importance of using diversities to learn in the education system. The connection will be made between the information portrayed in TV and the amount of time spent watching TV resulting in less cultural sensitivity in our children. Due to their stage of cognitive development children are unable to process the information that is thrown at them. Not very often are children receiving conversation from caregivers to sort out the information and look at it from every point of view. Due to this it becomes the responsibility of the educators to include culturally diverse activities into their classroom. Educators should be developing each child sense of self and identity based on their individual cultural backgrounds. The inclusion of all children and their backgrounds can become extremely helpful in the classroom. Using each child expertise on their cultural to teach the whole class work build self-esteem and a feeling of safety into the classroom. Educators should be careful to use culturally sensitive language in order to portray the idea that all forms of diversity are ok. Educators should also be sure to include forms of diversity outside of just race and ethnicity. Diversity should include all forms such as, family structure, sexual orientation, same sex marriage families, transgender families, differing socio economic status’s and religion. Television and primary caregivers are often the only sources of information at such a young age. This makes it important to create a culturally sensitive environment in early childhood education classrooms.

Jenna Reneau. Mentor: Mariana Mereoiu, Special Education. Course or Program: EIEC 2210 Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Education.

The purpose of my presentation is to inform my class of fellow future educators about the difficulties and struggles those children who have one or more parent deployed in the military face. Throughout my presentation I will present strategies that teachers can use to help children that have deployed parents. I plan to show what the teachers can do to help their student plan for deployment, how the teacher can help the child while their parent is away, and what to do to support the student’s changed behavior and schedule upsets. One of my goals is that my fellow teachers understand that there are more than ten million children who are currently affected by the deployment of one or both parent(s) and the affect that deployment has on the children in the classroom. I also want my classmates to be able to put themselves in military children’s shoes and be able to effectively help these children in their future classrooms. I plan on showing a video of actual military children explaining the difficulties and barriers that they have had to overcome. I want to inform future educators that military children are just like other students, only with additional challenges.  They don’t mean to act out or get upset easily; it is just that they have major stressors going on in their life.  These students still need teacher-set boundaries, but more than ever they need to know that the teacher is there for them. Finally, I want to emphasize the different issues that military children can experience.  These include: problems sleeping, increased stress and anxiety, declining grades, behavioral problems, increased mistreatment of other children, constant relocation, and uncertainty and trust issues.

Paige Lepowsky, Christa Lunger, Stephanie Werth, McKenna Gabriel, Allison Laber, Gabby Dugger. Mentor: Sharon Subreenduth, Teaching and Learning. Course or Program: Honors Project

Why are women in the sex trade often not viewed as victims in an assault? Does their profession make them any less of a victim of sexual abuse? Ultimately, do these women deserve these crimes enacted onto them? These are the questions we want to respond to through this research project that will be presented at the Diversity Symposium. For this research project, we defined the sex trade to include those involved in prostitution and pornography. We have found testimonies and statistics that shed light on sex workers and the way they are perceived by society, and how this perception can infringe on their human rights, such as their right to consent and their right to receive legal action after assault. Unfortunately, our data suggests these rights are often violated. Our research begins with the definition of rape and prostitution, and focuses on violence against sex workers and their interactions with the law. We also include testimonies of those involved in the sex trade, and the (mis)conceptions of those committing acts of violence towards these women. Our research has indicated that woman prostitutes and women in pornography often do not receive protection by the law under circumstances of physical or sexual assault. As college age women, we feel that we would likely receive justice with regards to sexual or physical assault, but these women are being neglected and not taken seriously because of their profession. Therefore, we want to raise awareness about this inhumane treatment of sex workers through our research presentation.

Annamarie Long, Will Seger, Preston Smith, Nathan Higgins, Ben Myers, Savannah Baum. Mentor: Sharon Subreenduth, Teaching and Learning. Course or Program: Honors Project.

Since the devastating attacks of September 11th, 2001, Islam was mired in controversy. Many Americans feel threatened, or even under attack by Muslim culture. In response to fear, there have been hundreds of cases of hate crimes and intolerance against Muslims in the United States. This hatred even extended into one of the most important institutions in American society, the public school system. Muslim students in k-12 go to school every day feeling belittled, berated, and discriminated against by teachers and other students. A recent survey conducted at The Ohio State University states that over 70% of students surveyed reported that they know someone who has been discriminated against, or they had witnessed some sort of discrimination. Many teachers have been accused of teaching or promoting Islamophobia in their classrooms in some way. In a time when less than one-third of Americans hold Islam in a favorable view, according to the Pew Research Center, tolerance is more important than ever. Through this project we hope to bring to light the many injustices faced by Muslims in the American school system. Their faith, their culture, and their way of life are an integral component to the American life. The United States has accepted wave after wave of immigrants from abroad, and each has contributed to United States culture. Germans brought Christmas trees, African Americans developed jazz, and Italians brought many classic American foods. Muslims should have the right to bring their own culture to the table, as well as be educated in schools without feeling like outsiders. With peer reviewed research and a creative presentation, we will proudly represent the Muslim educational community at the Bowling Green State University Undergraduate Symposium on Diversity.

Emily Clark, Lisa Gemmer, Olivia Henderson, Cole Highhouse, Judah  Kania, Kelsie Mothersead. Mentor: Sharon Subreenduth, Teaching and Learning. Course or Program: Honors Project.

Food is a vital part of human society and is one thing that all cultures have in common. Eating, of course, is an important part of survival and human relations, and is often considered the most important part of any gathering of people. Throughout history, culture to culture, meals have been treated as forms of bonding, and a way for people to connect with one another. However, the way in which each culture approaches the various aspects of the meals and eating can drastically differ from each other. Some cultures place more importance on the food than on who is in attendance, while other cultures place importance on the etiquette and manners used to dine amongst people. These differences can directly affect the nature of each meal and those who partake in it. Our aim is to research both French and American eating patterns and ethics to see the differences and similarities that the cultures’ eating habits have, and how it affects familial relationships. Things such as time and location of meals, how much importance the meal is given, and the manners which family members are expected to take part in changes how people communicate over eating. Based on our research question we have found that the timing and importance of meals differ in both cultures as well as the reverence that food is treated with when being prepared for any meal and studies we have examined shows some of the different effects. Taking time to eat together is a large part of how families grow close, but how are these differences in the meal processes changing the dynamics of that bonding? Our presentation will shed light on how cultural eating practices impact these dynamics.

Becca Ebert, Mia Eberts, Cary Flanders, Julia Gallatin, Joey Goldblum, Courtney Kemmerling. Mentor: Sharon Subreenduth, Teaching and Learning. Course or Program: Honors Project.

We focused on exploring the diversity of individuals with physical disabilities and how their college experience is affected by their various disabilities. Our group decided this topic was worth discussing because there is often a lack of education on disabilities and how individuals with disabilities have to adapt to different situations, in this instance, college life. We wanted to raise awareness of the difficulties these individuals must overcome in order to achieve a higher education. For example, after a couple of days of trying to live the lifestyle of an individual who could not take the stairs, we quickly realized how challenging the reliance on ramps and elevators can be. Not only is it difficult to access many of the buildings, some of the classrooms are not equipped to be wheelchair friendly. Sitting in the back of a large lecture hall is the fate for many students. By researching the diversity of the lifestyles of individuals with physical disabilities, we began to shed light on this underrepresented group on campuses everywhere. Based on our interviews of students/experts, peer reviewed studies, and an inventory of accessibility related to ramps, elevators, and handicap buttons at BGSU, we have concluded that the term “disability friendly” is very ambiguous. While buildings are technically considered disability friendly, many are difficult to navigate, and some were impossible to access at all. Our presentation will focus on our findings into the advantages and challenges students with physical disabilities experience when entering college as well as throughout their college experience.

Valerie Skorupski. Mentor: Lisa Hanasono, Media & Communication. Course or Program: Media & Communication

An extensive body of research has examined how dual-process theories, such as the Elaboration Likelihood Model (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) and Bodie and Burleson’s (2008) dual-process theory of supportive communication, explain message reception (i.e., the ways that audience members are affected by persuasive and supportive messages). However, there is a scarcity of scholarship on how the logic of dual-process theories may explain phenomena associated with message production (i.e., the ways speakers develop and deliver persuasive messages). Drawing from the literature on persuasion, diversity and inclusion, discrimination, and social media activism, this study tested a dual-process approach to explain why some individuals produce more effective and sophisticated anti-hate messages on social media sites than do others. Specifically, we predicted that factors related to people’s ability (i.e., issue-specific knowledge and social media activism efficacy) and motivation (i.e., perceptions about the severity and relevance of discrimination) would affect the quality of their anti-hate messages. Participants (N = 480) completed an online survey and created anti-hate messages for a social media site. Guided by the principles of Brown and Levinson’s (1987) politeness theory, along with Goldsmith and MacGeorge’s (2000) facework typology, trained researchers coded participants’ anti-hate messages as aggravating (i.e., insulting or disrespectful messages that threatened recipients’ positive and negative face like “People like you are sexist and should get a taste of your own medicine”), blunt (i.e., straightforward directive that demand behavioral change like “Stop the hate”), mitigating (i.e., supportive messages that attempt to address recipients’ positive and negative face like “Let’s work together to stop racism. We can make a difference”), and off-the-record (i.e., messages that implicitly recognize participants negative or positive face by simply stating a goal or vision like “#BlackLivesMatter). Messages were also evaluated for persuasiveness and reach. Overall, the results provide empirical support for the dual-process approach. While both ability and motivation factors influenced message quality, motivation factors were particularly influential. Findings from this study extend the scope of dual process theories into the message production research paradigm and identify new scholarly directions for the study of social media activism.

Dew Ashby-King, Kevin Roberts. Mentor: Lisa Hanasono, Media & Communication. Course or Program: Media & Communication  

Cyberbullying, the use of online communication media, such as text messages, instant messaging, social media, and personal websites or blogs, to promote repeated, hurtful behaviors by a group or individuals with intent to harm others (Walker, Sockman, & Koehn, 2011), remains a pervasive societal problem that negatively impacts children, college students, and adults (e.g., Washington, 2015). Cyberbullies frequently attack victims’ demographic and diversity-related identity factors, including their race, gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, age, disability, religious affiliation, ethnicity, nationality, body size, and socioeconomic status. While cyberbullies often use social media, such as Facebook, YikYak, Instagram, and Twitter, to spread hateful and hurtful messages, a growing number of people are using social media to promote diversity and inclusion, reduce prejudice, and prevent discrimination. BG4Unity is a community-based social media campaign and service-learning project that was created by students and faculty at Bowling Green State University in 2015. BG4Unity’s goals are to persuade people to use social media more responsibly to fight hate, discrimination, and cyberbullying. Since its establishment in February, BG4Unity has networked with over 1300 unique users and made over 112,400 impressions on social media users’ Twitter and Facebook sites. Students enrolled in Dr. Lisa Hanasono’s sections of COMM 3030: Persuasion have applied course-related knowledge and skills to raise community members’ awareness about the pervasiveness of cyberbullying and persuade everyday people to use Facebook and Twitter to take a stand against hate, challenge stereotypes, and offer messages of support to victims of discrimination. In doing so, BG4Unity has played an important role in promoting diversity and inclusion on social media and in our community. Drawing from scholarship on diversity education and social media activism training (e.g., Alhejji, Garavan, Carvery, O’Brien, & McGuire, 2015; Miles, Hu, & Dotson, 2013; Patton, Shahjahan, & Osei-Kofi, 2010; Umbach & Kuh, 2006), this project makes meaningful connections between research and practice by explaining how BG4Unity can serve as an effective way to strengthen our community by promoting diversity and inclusion.

Hunter  Marcuson. Mentor: Lisa  Hanasono, Media & Communication. Course or Program: Media & Communication.

The use of social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, has grown exponentially in recent years (Brenner & Smith, 2013; Facebook, 2014; Pew Research Center, 2014). Given its dynamic features, ability to reach millions of people, and interactivity, many political leaders, organizations, communities, and everyday people are using social media for persuasive purposes (Smith, 2013). Social media activism is the use of social networking sites to advocate for or against specific social, political, health, political, or environmental issues. From organizing rallies and vigils to raising money and social capital, social media activists have the potential to shape, change, and reinforce the public’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Diversity and inclusion are two important issues that are addressed by social media activists. From social justice campaigns like #BlackLivesMatter, #NotYourAsianSidekick, and “Spread the Word to End the Word” to efforts that aim to help marginalized youth (e.g., the “It Gets Better Campaign”) and raise funds to research underrepresented health issues (e.g., Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and ovarian cancer), social media sites are empowering people with the connectivity and means to make a difference. However, not all social media activists’ attempts are successful. Critics have challenged the legitimacy of social media activism by calling it slacktivism (Lee & Hsieh, 2013), and they have questioned the ability of social media campaigns to instill long-lasting attitudinal and behavioral change (McCafferty, 2011). Indeed, the social media landscape is complicated. In this research project, students conducted in-depth interviews to explore how people define and participate in diversity-related social media activism and the impact of their online advocacy behaviors. Findings from this study reveal a broad spectrum of behaviors affiliated with social media activism and offer implications for future advocacy work on diversity and inclusion.

Dominique Seo. Mentor: Vibha Bhalla, Ethnic Studies. Course or Program: ETHN 1010 Intro Ethnic Studies.

My project will focus on an important era of within the United States history. After the 1919 racial riots, Chicago became one of the most segregated American cities. The Blacks were forced to live on the south side of Chicago in the Bronzeville neighborhood. Because Blacks were not able to work or shop in the White downtown areas, successful Black businesses thrived in Bronzeville. Jazz music was able to unite the races. My primary research question is, “How did the Regal Theater and Jazz effect racial desegregation in Chicago?” During this time period, the cultural and economic hub of Chicago’s Black community was on 47th Street, in the heart of Bronzeville. The anchor of the 47th Street business district was the Regal Theater. It was a good place for Whites and Blacks to put aside their differences and just enjoy the music. In the beginning, the main music that was performed was Jazz. Over the years, as musical tastes changed, so did the genre at the Regal. As Chicago became desegregated, Blacks were able to live, shop, and work in many more locations throughout the city and suburbs. Because of those changes, Bronzeville and the Regal deteriorated. As the city became more integrated, the businesses along 47th Street, as well as the Regal Theater, declined. This interesting and important topic shows the influence of music, especially Jazz, in the desegregation of Chicago, and the rest of the United States.

Cooper Clarke. Mentor: Vibha Bhalla, Ethnic Studies. Course or Program: ETHN 1010 Intro Ethnic Studies.

The objective of this project is to determine whether or not race, income, and district expenditure play an important part in the quality of education received by a St. Louis County and City high school student. The National Center for Education Statistics offers information for all public schools in the country. I used the databases information on St. Louis County and City high school's racial makeup, district spending, and number of students and teachers. The US Census website offers income and poverty information on the municipalities that each high school is located in. The Missouri Comprehensive Data System presents each high school and district average ACT scores. After analyzing the data it is clear to see that the quality of education received in St. Louis County and City greatly varies based on the majority race of the high school and on the income background of the students. The most compelling result from the data is that district expenditure has little to no effect on student achievement. My conclusion is that the secondary education system in St. Louis County and City is deeply flawed to favor white and middle class students.

Dakota Patton. Mentor: Laura  Landry-Meyer, Family & Consumer Sciences. Course or Program: Family & Consumer Sciences.

Crossroads is a research- and theory-based program designed to give high schools students the opportunity to learn more about identity, advocacy, and creating community change. The program was implemented in a local high school over the course of six weeks with one session per week. Often high school students are not provided with the opportunity to learn about marginalized identities and social justice related topics until they pursue higher education. Individuals who do not pursue, or who cannot pursue, higher education should still be afforded access to this information. Providing a foundation of information based on the concepts of intersectionality, privilege, and oppression is crucial to further understanding of identity and social justice initiatives. Crossroads utilizes a needs based approach in combination with a group discussion setting to bring relevancy to the program and to allow students to voice their thoughts and ideas. The curriculum of this program is formatted in a way that provides the students with information that will be needed to successfully implement the change they have a desire to create. Throughout the first four weeks students examine: intersectionality, privilege/oppression, advocacy, and an over view of LGBTQ+ identities and their role in the media. Once students are presented with information during the first four weeks of the program they can then utilize the last two weeks to begin working towards their project or change they would like to see in their community. These sessions are not steps towards understanding social justice and related topics in their entirety, but rather the first steps in having dialogue about how to effectively create change through systems of informal support. Crossroads is a program that aims to start the conversation about identity and inequality in a high school setting.

Landra Maschari. Mentor: Raymond Schuck, Communication (Firelands). Course or Program: Communication (Firelands).

This research explores the education and communication of Palestinian and Jewish children living in war-torn Israel. Hand to Hand primary school located in Jaffa, Israel, educates Arab and Jewish children. Educators employ Arabic and Hebrew speaking teachers who instruct the children in both languages. The students and staff commemorate all Muslim, Jewish and Christian holidays. I will explain the importance of The Common Ingroup Identity Model in association with Hand to Hand primary school, to teach the children how to overcome prejudice within their cultures. Authors Remland, Jones, Foeman and Arevalo explain Common Ingroup Identity Model, “decategorization (seeing people as individuals) or categorization (seeing people as members of a particular culture), the modem focuses on recatergorization, whereby we see people as members of one inclusive, overarching or superordinate group with a shared identity” (Intercultural Communication, A Peacebuilding Perspective, 44). Research shows individuals who attend Hand to Hand primary school utilize The Common Ingroup Identity Model. The results present the importance of diversity in education through: a reduction in cultural prejudice, an increase of peaceful dialogue should a conflict with others arise and respect for opposing cultural traditions.

Jose Diaz. Mentor: Raymond Schuck, Communcation (Firelands). Course or Program: Communcation (Firelands)

When it comes to entertainment few venues have the power of video games. Combining cinematics, music, and character control, the immersive nature of video games allows people to live out fantasies and pretend to be whoever they want. In many ways though, video games need to change to include more people. Many people are tired of the way women, people of color, and LGBT people are portrayed in video games and want this to change. As video games evolve it is important that the medium improves the portrayal of marginalized groups. More women are playing video games than ever before, and the presence of non-binary and transgender people in the field something that is under reported. The video game industry continues to grow year after year so it is important to consider these groups going forward because the discussion on gender is expanding to include these people. Representation in this growing field is not only necessary for the mediums survival, it is necessary for our society to view these people in a different light than just bit characters or the brunt of jokes.

Katelyn Lang. Mentor: Kaitlin Wauthier, Ethnic Studies. Course or Program: ETHN 1010 Intro Ethnic Studies

This presentation will be about the effects of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) on the body and the economic disparities that go along with this. Today, there are many foods that are produced with HFCS because it is a cheaper form of sugar and preservation. Typically, those of lower income buy these unhealthy products because they cannot afford the healthier options, whereas, the well off are able to buy the healthier foods. The income gap affects the health of the lower class because they rarely get the opportunity purchase foods that do not contain HFCS. I have already made a poster on the effects of HFCS on the body titled “A Sticky Situation: Health and HFCS” for my Biology 2000 class; thus, I would make a separate poster connecting this to economic disparity.

Cory Obendorfer. Mentor: Jamie Stuart, Cultural and Critical Studies. Course or Program: WS 2000 Intro Women's Studies

Urban renewal replaces decaying, old, and poor buildings with new, improved, and more expensive ones. This process tears down the old and builds the new in an attempt to make the city better. It fuels the economy with new jobs and money spent on improvements and creates better buildings. It also displaces people by buying out there property and it raises property taxes. The people who live in the old and decaying part of a city are usually poor and mostly consist of a minority population. The displacement and tax increases remove them from their homes and new homes are often too expensive for the poor to afford. This process does transform the "bad" part of town into a better area, but it also forces people out of their homes. Chicago used urban renewal to improve their city. My goal is to research the advantages and disadvantages of urban renewal with regard to the economy, buildings and the people affected. My focus will be on Chicago and I will display these facts in a poster presentation depicting the effects, both positive and negative of the urban renewal process.

Emily Jayjohn, Kelly Soinski, Sierra Young, Jen  Backus, Thomas  Miller, Christina Rodriguez, Jordan McCormick, Aaron Williamson, Bradley Holmes, Shira  Smith.  Mentor: Laura Sanchez, Sociology. Course or Program: SOC 2680 Introductory Methodology

This study explores race differences in BGSU students’ experiences of cultural diversity and culture shock.  The study uses a newly constructed survey administered to a Fall 2015 introductory sociology course via Qualtrics online software.  The original study incorporated both quantitative and qualitative components.  The effective sample size is 122 students with a 67% response rate.  The majority are Freshmen with 75% non-Hispanic White and 25% Black.  Sixty percent are female.  Fully 80% of students report making friendships outside of their race or cultural group and the majority report satisfaction with opportunities to experience diversity at BGSU and the ways BGSU provides diversity and cultural programming and assistance to manage culture shock.  Black and White students do not differ in whether they ever experienced campus diversity or culture shock, but Black students are significantly more likely to come from more racially and culturally diverse hometowns, perceive BGSU as less diverse, feel greater ease in adapting to college, and are more likely to perceive culture shock as a very enjoyable part of college life.  While Black and White students do not differ in feelings of happiness, sense of belongingness, acceptance, and independence, White students experience greater depression, confusion, anger, and loneliness.  The qualitative findings suggest that part of these greater negative emotions for Whites are tied to confronting a sense of how overwhelming diversity experiences are at BGSU and how they experienced their hometown backgrounds as more conservative and mono-cultural.  Thus, for this sample, a critical finding is that White students have somewhat greater difficulty adjusting to diversity at BGSU than do Black students and may need opportunities to reflect on how they can bring their new experiences of race/ethnic and all other sorts of diversities back to their hometown experiences.

Philip Anthony, Sherria Flournoy, Courtney Ebert. Mentor: Beatrice Guenther, Romance and Classical Studies. Course or Program: Romance and Classical Studies

Franco-Algerian relations have been shaped and formed primarily from 1830-1962; their interdependent history had especially impacted the French population towards the end of Algeria’s War of Independence. Due to their interdependence, new identities have formed combining both nations. This presentation focuses on a chronological timeline highlighting the history between Algeria and France beginning with the colonization of Algeria in 1830 continuing to present day. Our presentation will show how French-Algerian identity is constantly evolving throughout this time period by employing the Civil Rights Movement in the United States of America as a way to connect and perhaps even, better understand the changes that took place in France and Algeria. The Jim Crow Laws will be highlighted in relation to the inequality that was present between the French/ Europeans and the Algerian Muslims or the indigenous population. In addition to the Jim Crow Laws, we will make a comparison between the tactics used by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to work towards equality, which parallels with the Beur movement. In order to properly demonstrate the constant evolution of identity, our presentation centers on two main groups, Pieds Noirs and Beurs. The term “Pieds Noirs” refers to the French Algerian population who returned to France in exodus at the end of Algeria’s war of Independence. Upon arrival in France, the Pieds Noirs were not well received as many were labeled as supporters of OAS, Organisation Armée Secrète (Secret Army Organization), an extreme right movement established in 1961 that used terror methods to support French Algerians. The other group, “Beurs,” are composed of a minority group which stems from the second-generation Algerian immigrants in Paris. Both Pieds Noirs and Beurs faced discrimination within France due to their identity and place of “origin.” It is important to use origin within quotations to demonstrate that these populations all stem from France however are not acknowledged as such. In highlighting the Civil Rights Movement, we acknowledge that the Black community has endured countless race-based atrocities and the Beur community has also endured many hard times, which may be in part, because they do not belong to the dominant ethnic class within their respective communities— being citizens of color as opposed to white. A close reading of “Immigrant Politics in a Republican Nation” by David Blatt will be the main text used to draw connections between the Beur community and the movements lead by Dr. King and Malcolm X. It is our hope to educate our peers on the issues of identity that occurred in both the French and United States’ contexts, which continue to occur today. The goal of our presentation is to provide an awareness of cultural and social identities present within the USA and France. Our presentation will end with a focus on current identities and issues within France, such as the recent terror attacks and xenophobia (i.e. le Front National), in comparison to the anti-Muslim rhetoric occurring in the United States (e.g., Donald Trump).

Katie Moran, Suzanne Pergal, Denzel Coleman. Mentor: Beatrice Guenther, Romance and Classical Studies. Course or Program: Romance and Classical Studies

The contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. have affected many efforts for the encouragement of diversity on a global scale, aside from being a lasting presence within the framework of the American Civil Rights Movement. As diversity and multiculturalism become increasingly prevalent arguments for a successful contemporary culture, our research aims to examine manifestations of these phenomena abroad.  Long a marginalized group in France, the Beur, French nationals with North African origins*, mobilized in the latter half of the 20th-Century to fight for their place within French society. Inspired directly by the March on Washington, Beur activists formed their own Marche des Beurs—a moving display of anti-racism solidarity, which weaved its way hundreds of kilometers from southern France to Paris. With these movements in mind, what has become apparent through our research and analysis is the importance that each culture has placed on non-violent activism, especially among the youth. This pacific ideology proposed by MLK, has proven to be one of the most effective ways for underrepresented populations to speak out throughout various points in history. Using the work of Martin Luther King Jr. as a canvas, we will discuss the role of diversity in France through discussion of the history and contemporary reality of the Beur movement. *The term Beur is a play on the French word “Arabe.” Beurs are typically the children of immigrants from the former French colonies of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Leslie Potts. Mentor: Thomas Edge, Ethnic Studies. Course or Program: McNair (Political Science)

Research shows that Twitter usage can reinforce a person’s social identity and self-concept. The virtual community known as Black Twitter develops a safe space and reinforces the collective identity of Black users by providing visibility in conversations both within and outside of social media. Black Twitter’s existence combats the mainstream erasure of racialized topics. By using hashtags like #blacklivesmatter, the community swiftly disseminates information and creates solidarity. Through surveys of young Black-identified users of Twitter and observation of users interacting publicly with the platform, we can better understand the relationship between young Black adults’ and hashtags like #blacklivesmatter.

Darrico Harris. Mentor: Ewart Skinner, Telecommunications. Course or Program: McNair (Psychology)

Based on grounded theory, this qualitative study examines the most influential factors determining black males’ decisions to attend college. Fifteen black males who have graduated high school are interviewed and asked a series of in-depth questions about their decisions. Some chose not to attend college, while others are currently attending or have earned a college degree.  The results of this study can be used to innovate programs and initiatives to encourage black males to attend, persevere and graduate from college.

Annette King. Mentor: Lisa Hanasono, Media & Communication. Course or Program: McNair (Human Development & Family Studies).

As the number of minority students enrolled in higher education grows, the need for diverse, inclusive learning spaces becomes essential. Students from traditionally underrepresented groups now make up about 35% of the undergraduate student population nationwide, yet these students tend to drop out at high rates. One potential solution to support underrepresented students’ college success is to improve their educational institutions’ campus racial climate. This study uses Broffenbrenner’s systems theory to examine how institutional policies, practices and resources – along with campus racial climate – influence students’ abilities to thrive academically. Using online surveys, I examined participants’ (n= 136) perceptions of their experiences in higher education at several small and medium sized midwestern universities.  My results found perceived differences in racial climate and that racial climate impacted students’ academic performance.

Edward Vaughn. Mentor: Anne Mitchell, Ethnic Studies. Course or Program: McNair (Political Science)

Over the past 5 years, various new art and music movements have developed online. Vaporwave is one of the most prominent, recognized for its imitation of “elevator music”/Muzak made of slowed down samples of 1980s and 1990s pop, and has been seen as a critique of capitalism and consumerist culture. This study investigates the revolutionary nature of Vaporwave by examining how 2 albums use sampling and the music streaming site Bandcamp to resist copyright infringement. My goal is to identify the mechanisms Vaporwave uses in production & distribution, and whether these shift power structures toward marginalized groups, especially People of Color.


Cara Walton. Mentor: Lynne Hewitt, Communication Sciences and Disorders. Course or Program: McNair (Communication Disorders and Sciences).

Research has examined the language spoken by African Americans and how it affects their educational success. This study specifically investigates whether African American English (AAE) speaking freshmen college students are prepared for college level writing at the same readiness as Standard American English (SAE) speaking Caucasian Americans. The hypothesis is AAE speakers will differ from SAE speakers in college writing due to dialectal, grammatical and discourse differences. Essays were collected from self-identifying speakers of AAE and SAE enrolled in a freshman writing seminar and were analyzed for grammatical errors in fourteen different categories by two coders.

André Akira, Gabriel Gineste, Betina Arujo, Andrew Harper, Augusto Bastos,  Manon Massé.  Mentor: Vaughn Thornton, Global Village Learning Community. Course or Program: Global Village Learning Community

Bullying is one of the main topics in media nowadays because of its highly relatable reality to day-to-day life, especially to teenagers. A large portion of the global population admitted to have at least once suffered or practiced bullying. But what is bullying? And when does a joke or personal saying/habit turns into bullying? How does bullying affects a person’s life? This presentation is based on four articles that embraced different aspects of bullying that could answer various questions about this important topic. The objective of this board is to summarize aspects such as the definition of bullying, what causes students to bully, characteristics of the victims, characteristics of the bullies, the effects of bullying, and more importantly how to intervene bullying. Besides that, we aimed to show the impacts of childhood bullying into mid-life, and the perspective of immigrant children victims of bullying in American schools because their race and origin. And of course the characterization of cyber bullying, because one of the main vehicles of the discrimination and violence nowadays is the internet. The main reason why talk about bullying is because of the taboo that it creates in society. There is people suffering bullying and committing bullying every day in our life’s, but sometimes they are not even aware of that. And we believe that the best solution to solve a problem is to know and understand it.

Alexia Rose, Tegan Moore, Flannery Murnen, Jessica Luna, Victoria Del Signore, Michele Doenges. Mentor: Vaughn Thornton, Global Village Learning Community. Course or Program: Global Village Learning Community

As our final project for Global village we decided upon the topic of The Gender Wage Gap between women and men on a global scale. We will start by looking closely at America and the differences between men’s and women’s pay annually, and will then branch out to about 4-5 other countries from each continent. We we will closely analyze the laws and legislation behind these differences and current changes being made in the legislation. We will track the changes in the wage gap which have occurred over the past 20 years in countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, Nigeria, and the United States. To execute the poster making process we will divide an equal amount of work among ourselves to gather articles from the U.S and the other countries. Once we have compiled comparative facts and information from all countries we will meet up as a group and have a quick brainstorm session to discuss the optimal way in which we should compose the poster board. Once we have all of the necessary information, one or two of us will meet up and then decide what and where we want our information on the poster board. The purpose of this project is to enlighten our audience as to the struggles which women face all over the world today, and to discuss the economic, social, and cultural barriers which can be lifted to equalize the gender wage gap.

Kiyah Whaley, Mia Richardson, Royal Nicolai, Gabi Coker, Gretchen Druschel, Kobe Huynh.  Mentor: Vaughn Thornton, Global Village Learning Community. Course or Program: Global Village Learning Community

Every individual has a different definition of beauty. However, in every country there is a standard of beauty that varies depending on the country. A beauty standard is a set of features that someone must have to be considered “pretty” or “handsome,” but that doesn’t mean that everyone finds those features pretty themselves. Some people would say that beauty standards are only society’s standards of beauty. Others would say that it’s based on the standards of the public. Nonetheless, beauty standards impact the world in ways that you wouldn’t think. There are more negatives about these standards than there are positives. Beauty standards make people think that “this is how I am supposed to look.” This usually causes people to do things like go through odd diets, buy expensive products, and even get surgery done just to feel pretty and good enough for the world. Recently, there have been campaigns and advertisements against beauty standards, so that people will be happy and comfortable with themselves.  Even models that we all know of have Photoshop used on them, so why should people hurt themselves to look a certain way. In this project, we are researching about global beauty standards and how it affects people. From the difference and similarity of standards in various countries to which country has the most realistic standards. We have chosen to research beauty standards in America, South Korea, Canada, Sierra Leone and Saudi Arabia, in order to find information on what these countries considers “beautiful.”

Axelle Gouverneur, Sidney Roberts, Kira Grolle, Wiebe Vossen, Kelsey Brownell. Mentor: Vaughn Thornton, Global Village Learning Community. Course or Program: Global Village Learning Community.

Everyone knows what a burger is, or what French fries are. Actually who has never heard about McDonald’s in his entire life? Whether you are American, and in this case you even know a huge range of burger variations, or Asian or European, it is very likely that you know what a burger looks like, and what French fries taste like. Thinking about those one would probably label them “American food.” Indeed, American chains such as KFC, McDonald’s or Burger King distribute those. They settled in foreign countries and contributed to expanding global knowledge about American food. But there is something else. Because The United States attract so much attention all around the world, and because they expanded their “American way of life” early in the 20th century, the rest of the world did not wait for American fast food to expand abroad and took back home traditional American food recipes. With the growing easiness of communication and under globalization, exchanges between cultures have been further encouraged. Cheesecake, bagels, donuts and other pastries are very famous among young generations and American coffee shops. Thus, American food “travelled” to foreign countries all around the world and, most importantly, has been adapted to local tastes. Most interesting thing is, if everyone might actually know what a burger is, most people from around the world would not agree on what it looks like and what is tastes like. We will then try to explore what forms traditional American foods take abroad, and how they have been enriched with local taste, colours, shapes, ingredients and look. To help us with this, we will take a closer look at huge retail chains such as McDonalds to get a sense of the modifications taken and products invented for the foreign needs and palates.

Hanui Choi, Frankie Liu, Tina Hyunh, Wen Wang, Saki Saito, Samuel Panter. Mentor: Vaughn Thornton, Global Village Learning Community. Course or Program: Global Village Learning Community.

As a part of diversity symposium, our group has decided to talk about improving local and global communities through enhancing diversity. Bowling Green State University has been trying to be diverse as possible for the past few years; however, diversity is not the school’s strongest point. According to CollegeFactual, BGSU is ranked as 1171 in ethnic diversity nationwide collaborating undergraduates and faculties. In order to spread diversity awareness, we have mainly focused on informing on-campus and off-campus cultural organizations and interviewing domestic and international students about their experiences. The on-campus organizations that we mentioned are World Student Association (WSA), Latino Student Union, Indian Student Association (ISA), Saudi Student Association (SSA) and the main cultural events they held throughout fall 2015. The only off-campus group that promotes diversity we could think of was Global Connections. The churches in the community coordinate to effectively serve International students by throwing Annual Welcome Picnic, Thanksgiving Dinner and giving out furniture and supplies. We also have interviewed some international students and domestic students who have studied abroad. As for now, we cannot say that Bowling Green is a diverse community. However there are several groups and organizations that are pursuing and welcoming more diversity on-campus and within the local community.

Ashley Evans, Ruby Duindam, Shiyan Liu, Fangnan Chen. Mentor: Vaughn Thornton, Global Village Learning Community. Course or Program: Global Village Learning Community

We are planning to make our poster for the diversity conference about Stereotypes Based on Nationality. We want to give some general information about stereotypes and how they arise. We will put that in the middle of our poster board. Then, we will divide our poster in two halves; one half is about stereotypes that Asians have about Americans, and the other half is about stereotypes that Americans have about Asians. We want to interview American students about what they think about Asian students, and interview Asian students about what they think about American students. Or ask them what they thought about the other group before they get to know a person from the other group. By interviewing people from both America and Asia, and adding our own thoughts, we want to find out what kind of stereotypes exists. Also, we want to add the correct answer to these stereotypes on the poster. For instance, if a stereotype would be; Asians only eat rice, then we could put some different traditional dishes on the poster board and explain what kinds of food are usually eaten. We also want to discuss were we think that the stereotypes come from and how we can avoid them in the future. We want to discuss this topic for the diversity conference because stereotyping, or first impressions, is something that most of the people experience when meeting new people (from other countries). We want to make people aware of this, and help them avoid stereotype thinking.