Oral Presentations Session #1 (Saturday 9:30-10:30am)
Impacts of Ideology (Chancellor West)
9:30am: As Faiths Collide: The Impact of Athens’ First Official Mosque on Dialogue, Integration, and Education at a Time of Global Migration
Elsa Barron (University of Notre Dame)
Since 2006, the Muslim Association of Greece has been campaigning for the establishment of the first official mosque in Athens, as Athens is the only EU capital to lack such an institution. While the government has agreed to its construction, the promised mosque remains stalled in its opening. This inaugural mosque project has been very controversial in Greece and been strongly opposed by alt. right groups such as Golden Dawn. Fear and frustration surrounding the presence of Muslims in Greece have only been heightened since the recent migrant crisis in Europe, coupled with an economic downturn in 2009, around the time the mosque’s construction began. Additionally, historical memories of Ottoman occupation color the dialogue surrounding the existence of Islam and the integration of Muslims in Greece. Despite facing many challenges, the mosque project continues to have resilient advocates. However, the potential impact of this new institution has yet to be examined. Through interviews with faith leaders in Athens, this paper examines the effect of an official Athens mosque on diverse faith communities in Athens including the majority Orthodox community, the small minority of Greek Muslims, and the quickly growing Muslim migrant population. This paper finds that an official mosque in Athens will bolster relationships between faith communities through interreligious dialogue, migrant integration, and diversified religious education.
9:50am: The Ideologies of the Islamic and the Islamic State (9:50am)
Omar Elhaj (University of Virginia)
In 2014, ISIS (or IS) captivated and terrified the world with their terror attacks and beheadings. In this thesis, I explore the following question: what is the ideological construction of IS? More specifically, what are the politics of how we—scholars, policymakers, and the Western public-at-large— conceptualize this particular extremist group? Groups such as Al-Qaeda and Boko-Haram are commonly and automatically associated with IS. Is there something particularly valuable about these groups being Muslim in their political analysis? If not, why is Islam used as the primary motivator for the way we analyze these groups?
This thesis explores the comparisons and structures of Islamic fundamentalism and jihadism in the Western mind. I challenge these assumptions that scholarship makes upon extending frameworks and comparisons of IS to other Muslim terrorist groups. I first explain academia’s propensity to understand IS in three different ways: the terrorist, the insurgent, and the proto-state, and then argue why scholarship thinks in this way.
I then broaden the universe of cases surrounding IS to include two examples— firstly, Zionist violence in the establishment of the Israeli state, and secondly, the contemporary resurgence of white nationalism in the US. These movement’s ties to religion show that they can help us understand each other by placing them side-by-side. I subsequently show what we gain in our understanding of IS by expanding our universe to include these cases. This thesis, in summary, provides us with a better understanding of the relations between state and non-state actors, and of security studies.
10:10am: The Importance of Understanding the Differences between the North and South Korean Dialects for Human and National Security (10:10am)
Cayla Sharp (Syracuse University)
The Korean Peninsula has been politically and ideological divided since 1945, and the respective sides have been growing apart continuously. The differences between North and South Korea’s foreign policy and political systems are obvious; however, there is another important difference that is commonly neglected: language. Language is the vehicle by which communication occurs, whether through the same language or translation, and language is an integral part of every country’s relationship with the rest of the world. After the division, the variations of Korean spoken in the North and the South began to diverge. Unlike South Korea, North Korea maintained traditional Korean lexical and phonological features, and refused to incorporate loanwords into their lexicon. For this reason, North Korean defectors are easy to locate in South Korea because of their different language use. Often overlooked by policy makers, these dialectal differences can pose a significant hindrance to the successful integration of the North and South if the peninsula were to reunify. This project examines the most contrastive features of the dialects as well as their implications for social integration and future political and economic inter-Korean and international cooperation.
Cancer Studies (Chancellor East)
9:30am: Evaluating Transport and Intracellular Uptake of a Protein Nanocarrier in a 3-D Tumor Spheroid
Hannah Howard (Georgia Institute of Technology)
The delivery of therapeutics into cells could open many treatment options for various diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders, but these intracellular targets have been considered largely “undruggable” by small-molecule drugs that penetrate the cell membrane. Delivery of antibodies directly to these targets would allow for more specific interaction with intracellular proteins, but intracellular antibody delivery remains an issue. To combat this, our lab has developed the Hex carrier, which can bind up to 3 antibody Fc regions per carrier and deliver them intracellularly. Previously, I have shown that HeLa cells treated with Hex-bound fluorescently labeled rabbit Immunoglobulin G (IgGRb) show a statistically significant increase in intracellular florescence compared to treatment with soluble IgGRb. To further expand on previous studies of uptake in 2-D cell culture systems, the evaluation will be extended to a 3-D tumor spheroid model. 3-D multicellular spheroids are very common models used to evaluate nanoparticle delivery, as they better mimic actual tumor behavior. This allows for a more realistic assessment of nanoparticle transport and uptake. Confocal microscopy will be used to evaluate transport of the Hex-IgGRb complex across the extracellular matrix; additionally, the intracellular uptake of fluorescent IgGRb will be assessed by flow cytometry to confirm that intracellular delivery is maintained in a complex, 3-D system. If the delivery behavior of Hex is consistent in a 3-D tumor spheroid, it will provide further evidence for improved intracellular delivery of antibodies by the Hex carrier and motivation to test this carrier in animal tumor models.
9:50am: Activation of Tumor Immunity Against Colorectal Cancer by Modification of the Colonic Microbiome
Hannah Bumgarner (University of Pittsburgh)
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most diagnosed cancers, with end-stage CRC having poor prognosis and being largely unresponsive to current immunotherapy. Our lab is interested in understanding how the tumor microenvironment (TME) of colorectal tumors is shaped by the gut microbiome and whether the microbiome could augment treatment. We hypothesized that addition of a single immunogenic bacteria, Helicobacter hepaticus (Hhep), would alter the resident colonic immune response and subsequently impact tumor burden. We induce colitis-associated colorectal tumors in a murine model via azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran-sodium-sulfate (DSS). When tumors are visible, we colonize half of the mice with Hhep. We have found that Hhep-colonized mice have a significant survival advantage and reduced tumor burden over wildtype controls. Additionally, Hhep-colonized mice have an increase in IFN-γ-expressing CD4 T cells and reduced T regulatory cells in the tumor and surrounding epithelium. Microscopy of the colon has revealed large immune infiltration into tumors of Hhep-colonized mice, with trafficking of CD4s to the tumor core and increased CD103+ cross-presenting dendritic cells to the lamina propria. We also see a significant increase in formation of tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) in the TME. Hhep-specific helper CD4 T cells accumulate in these TLSs and may be critical for development. Our research suggests that addition of Hhep drives the formation of these TLSs which may be required to activate the host immune response, limiting tumor burden in CRC. This data supports the idea that modulation of the TME may strengthen current CRC immunotherapy and enhance patient responsiveness.
10:10am: Interpretable Deep Learning Model for Prostate Cancer Detection
Christopher Trombley (University of Louisville)
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. Detecting prostate cancer early and accurately are key factors in preventing these deaths. Progress has been made in creating deep learning systems that are able to detect prostate cancer with a high degree of accuracy. However, an indispensable problem with these systems is while the performance can be exceptionally accurate, the classification outputs are non-interpretable. This non-interpretable characteristic significantly inhibits these models from being implemented in medical settings. We address this problem of interpretability of deep learning systems in the domain of prostate cancer detection. We develop a deep convolutional neural network based on the VGG16 architecture for the classification of prostate cancer lesions using T2 weighted magnetic resonance images. Our model achieves high level performance with an AUC of 0.86, sensitivity of 0.88, and specificity of 0.88. We use saliency maps for interpretation by calculating how much each individual pixel contributes to the overall class scores. We show the clusters of pixels that contribute the most to the prediction thus showing the reasoning behind the classification. We then show the interpretation caliber to demonstrate the exactness of the interpretation. This work demonstrates the potential to use saliency maps to interpret classifications of deep learning prostate cancer detection systems.
Perception in Young Adulthood (Hill Ballroom Central)
9:30am: Empathy, Emotion Regulation and Relationship Maintenance in Young Adults with ADHD Symptoms
Marissa Brown (Syracuse University)
Presently, little is known about the impact of empathy and emotion regulation on social relationships in young adults with ADHD. This study aims to 1) compare self-report of social relationships, emotion regulation and empathy between young adults with ADHD (n=70) and peers without ADHD (n=524), 2) compare the strength of the associations between empathy/emotion regulation and social relationships between the two groups, and 3) assess associations between ADHD symptoms and empathy, emotion regulation and social relationships in the combined sample. Data were collected from college students recruited through the Syracuse University Introductory Psychology subject pool using an online Qualtrics survey. Surveys included the NIH Toolbox Adult Social Relationships scales, Adult ADHD rating scale (ASRS), Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), Patient Health Questionnaire – 4 (PHQ-4), Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) and the Empathy Questionnaire (EQ). No differences in self-report of social relationships or emotional empathy were observed between groups. Students with ADHD reported lower levels of cognitive empathy and higher levels of emotion regulation difficulties. ADHD did not moderate the strength of the association between empathy and social relationships yet moderated the association between emotion regulation and social relationships. In the combined sample, ADHD symptoms treated dimensionally were associated with emotion regulation deficits yet not empathy skills. Emotion regulation deficits and cognitive empathy skills, are predictive of social relationship difficulties in young adults with ADHD diagnoses and those with elevated symptoms. These findings have implications for social relationship intervention development.
9:50am: Stigma, Sense of Belonging, and Mental Health Service Utilization among College Students of Color
Ahlam Islam (Syracuse University)
Existing research documents that mental health is highly influenced by stress and anxiety, factors that are common among college students. Inequalities in higher education in terms of race/ethnicity may also exacerbate the mental health of students of color, and merits further investigation. This study focuses on students of color and the ways in which their specific contextual challenges, inclusive of stigma and sense of belonging, are associated with their mental health service utilization. The existing literature highlights disparities in mental health service utilization, increased stigma in specific ethnic backgrounds and outlines sense of belonging as critical aspects of inquiry. This quantitative study investigates the mental health of students of color on college campuses utilizing data from the 2017-2018 Healthy Minds Study. The data includes information on 68427 students from 60 campuses from a web-based survey. In terms of sampling, most larger schools provided a random sample of 4000 students whereas most smaller schools provided a sample of all their students. Bivariate and multivariate analyses focus on the aforementioned variables in relation to race/ethnicity. Control variables include age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status and field of study as they all contribute to an intersectional understanding of one’s sense of identity and, consequently, mental health. Results from this study will increase our understanding of the inequalities and specific barriers present in mental health accessibility on college campuses with the hopes of alleviating them through targeted measures.
10:10am: No Place Like Home: Dorm Room Culture on a College Campus
Isabel Shepard (Duke University)
This project explores placemaking in the college bedroom through a lens of materiality and aesthetics. The dormitory has become central to higher education in the United States and serves as an institutional hotbed of cultural codes structured around a ‘normative’ student. Localized to Duke University and the digital platforms of Dormify and Instagram, my research investigates the construction, exhibition, and fixity of identity concealed by and achieved through the dorm room’s presentation. This project traces how Dormify embeds itself in Instagram and assumes some of its (anti)social qualities as it manufactures a trope of the dorm space. Amplified by Instagram’s sociality, this material and aesthetic culture defines a perceived norm and, therefore, necessity for girls eager and insecure to go to college. The brand allows for the normalization of a hyper-commodified and hyper-curated dorm space on Duke’s campus. In the complicated dialogue between freshman girls and their bedrooms, their bedrooms become contested spaces that can be both a “girly” façade and an affective home. My project acts to expose the negotiations of institutionalized norms on the level of the individual—the level of the undergraduate student and the dorm occupant. To do so, I navigate the conflicting discourse around private/public, girlhood, and human to non-human relations. My work draws upon interviews, ‘room tours,’ photographs, sketches, and descriptions grounded in the sensory to re-experience the college bedroom space.
Intersectionality and Equity (Hill Ballroom South)
9:30am: Black Community Organizing & Urban Change in early 20th Century Atlanta
Gino Nuzzolillo (Duke University)
At the turn of the 20th century, the city of Atlanta flaunted its status as capital of the New South — filled with civic pride, focused on commerce, and devoid of racial conflict. W.E.B. Du Bois commented that the nation “talked of [Atlanta’s] striving,” an image effectively projected by the city’s elite Black and white communities. For all of its New South aspirations, however, stark inequality along lines of race, class, gender, geography, and access to the Atlanta’s many resources defined daily life. In September 1906, a violent massacre — which left dozens of Black Atlantans dead at the hands of a white mob — tarnished Atlanta’s New South veneer and made clear the ways in which competing visions of a “New South city” were playing out in Atlanta’s streets, saloons, and neighborhoods. This thesis focuses on these many visions, primarily from the perspective of diverse Black community organizers, social workers, educators, and preachers who articulated their worldviews and put them into action. Using personal papers, maps, city ordinances, conference proceedings, and newspaper archives, this thesis tells the story of how Black Atlantans made claims upon, and asserted a right to, a rapidly changing Atlanta from 1890 to 1930.
9:50am: #MeToo with Women in STEM
Victoria Kraj (Georgia Institute of Technology)
The #MeToo movement has now made its presence in the academic community with #MeTooPhD and #MeTooSTEM. Outside of the military, women in STEM have the highest rates of sexual assault. Due to the expansive consequences of this issue, the National Academies conducted a consensus study report in 2018: “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.” Additional research on sexual harassment in STEM is required because women’s retention in STEM is critical to expanding the nation’s talent pool. This study aims to continue the conversation by providing a literature review along with a case study of fifteen participants who were interviewed from Georgia Tech’s Women in Science Technology (WST) program to answer: Have women in STEM felt a perceptual shift in safety? Do women feel that they can speak up publically about sexual harassment? Do women feel that the workplace is more likely to act in the protection of women if they report their sexual harassment? These questions were evaluated qualitatively due to the scarcity of data for quantitative analysis, the sensitivity of the questions, and the nature of the subject. Using a conflict (and postmodernism) theoretical lens that views power relations, individual narratives were woven together to create a grand narrative about these experiences. Research found that the participants would speak up about sexual harassment dependent on their time at the workplace, relationship with superior, gender identity of superior, and severity of discrimination/sexual harassment.
10:10am: Free Women of Color in Late Eighteenth-Century Saint-Domingue: How They Were Objectified by White Men and Free Men of Color
Denisse Sandoval (University of Miami)
In the colony of Saint-Domingue, before the Haitian Revolution, there existed a population of free people of color who found themselves in limbo between the black enslaved population and the white wealthy class. Born from mixed parents who tended to be white fathers and black enslaved mothers, they emerged as a new social group in the colony of Saint-Domingue during the late 17th and 18th centuries. In the 1780s and 1790s, free men and women of color became subjects of interest to white wealthy men such as Moreau de Saint-Méry and Michel Etienne Descourtilz, whose writings focus on the physical attributes of both sexes and their cultural habits. At the same time, there were free men of color such as Julien Raimond, who wrote on their experiences and tried to justify and establish their position as free men of color. This thesis aims to answer the following questions: How different were the views of white wealthy men and free men of color toward free women of color, in what ways were they similar, and why did they consider the depiction of free women of color important for their respective political agendas? Both groups of men viewed women of color as objects of desire, however, their grounds for this viewpoint differed, and likewise the goals that these two groups of men had in depicting such women in their writings. To support my thesis, two paintings from Italian painter Agostino Brunias that depict free women of color in social settings, are included.