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1999 McNair Program Abstracts

The Role of Chemokines in Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis
Andrea Zaborac
Mentor: Janet Kirkley, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Knox College

Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) are idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. Recent studies have been investigating a possible link between the pathogenesis of PM and DM and the expression of intracellular messengers called cytokines. This study examines the expression of a sub class of cytokines called chemokines. A mouse muscle cell line, C2C12, was stimulated with supernatants from lipopolysaccharide stimulated macrophages and monocytes. The RNA was extracted, cDNA was synthesized, and RT-PCR was performed for chemokines such as MIP-1a,MIP-1b, and RANTES. The PCR products were analyzed with an agarose gel for the presence of chemokines. (Research Year: )

Big Band Jazz Composition
Andrew Darby
Mentor: Scott Garlock, Music, Knox College

Musical composition, concentrating in jazz writing for big band. Analysis of leading composers Nestico and Sebesky led to my own work in combo and big band writing. The prime concerns were learning principles of five-part harmony and jazz orchestration. The end result was "Jutton's Buttons," a traditional swing tune for big band, to be performed at the Knox Jazz Ensemble's fall concert. (Research Year: 1997)

Nationalism in America: Culture and Geography as Determinants of National Identification
Dunston Simpson
Mentor: Stan Ackroyd, Political Science, Arizona State University

Nationalism measures not only the individual's identification with the nation, but the cultural integration into dominant national social groups as well. As this process of acculturation spreads, it fosters a more homogeneous, egalitarian, and stable nation. The process is therefore particularly relevant for the United States, which has traditionally viewed itself as a "melting pot" of many diverse cultural groups. The process of assimilation, however, is not uniform. The cultural identification of Mexican-Americans as a unique group, for example, remains strong, and appears to grow as a function of proximity to the U.S. Mexico border. This study, then, attempts to measure national identification as a function of cultural identification and geography, using the Mexican-American experience as a case study. (Research Year: 1997)

Mate Choice Copying in Guppies (Poecilia Reticulata) is Affected by the Number of Model Females
Emily Kunz
Mentor: Alastair Inman, Biology, Knox College

Females of a number of species use social cues when choosing mates. For example, females have been shown to prefer a male simply because she has seen other females choose that male in the past. I have extended this work by asking whether female guppies (poecilia reticulata) prefer to mate with a male who has been previously chosen by a group of three other females, over a male who has been previously chosen by just one other female. The 'focal' female was placed in a central compartment within an aquarium positioned between two end chambers, each containing similar males. A small in front of one male contained one model female, while the chamber in front of the other male contained three model females. The focal female was given the opportunity to choose between the males. Mate choice was assessed by recording the amount of time the focal female spent in the proximity of each of the males. The focal female strongly preferred the male surrounded by groups of three model females. This suggests that the number of females that are observed by a focal female influences the focal female's propensity to copy their mate choice. (Research Year: 1997)

Factors Influencing Nest Protection by Parental House Sparrows (Passer Domesticus)'
Jasmine Davis
Mentor: Anne Houtman, Biology

The benefits of group living were studied by examining responses of House sparrows (passer domesticus) to simulated predation threats as the distance of their nearest neighbors varied. A stuffed predator (snake or raccoon) was placed n the ground under a nest entrance and the occupant's response was noted for five minutes. We examined strength of response as it related to 1) nearest neighbor distance, 2) investment in offspring (number of chicks), 3) male quality (badge size, cloacal width and hematocrit level). Strength of response was measured by the time of reaction, closeness to the predator, and behavior toward the predator.

Variables such as nearest neighbor distance and parental investment were not correlated with parental response. Male quality is associated with male dominance and aggressiveness and may influence parental protection of the nest. Male quality especially male hematocrit level did produce trends that imply increased male quality may increase the parental protection of the nest. (Research Year: 1997)

Knox College Theater from 1965-1975 and How it Reflected the Social and Political Movements of the Period
Jessica Jurgens
Mentor: Robert Whitlach, Professor of Theater, Knox College

Knox College Theater, in the 1960's and 1970's, developed and grew with its approach towards student written and directed works. throughout this era, students used the theater department to express their views. Student Theater during this period focused on issues concerning the Vietnam War, civil Rights and the generation gap, among others. Information supporting this thesis has been found in issues of the student newspaper and in the art and writings of students during this period, as well as from first hand accounts from the theater alumni. this project supports the idea that theater is a reflection of society's ideas, hopes and fears. (Research Year: 1997)

Alienated Labor, productive Power and the Post-Industrial Commodity Producing Society.
Shavonna Kelley
Mentor: Ken Pahel, Professor of Philosophy, Knox College

My McNair project is largely based on Marx's concept of alienated labor. This study outlines the capitalist process of production and works into the manner in which a capitalistic commodity producing society produces commodities as well as social relationships that are alienated, objectified, and unhealthy. The works of existentialist philosophers Martin Heidegger and S¿ren Kierkegaard have been pulled into the study as well as existential psychologist R.D. Laing to strengthen my arguments for the reasons why an alienating production process can be damaging to human well-being. Working from Laing's concept of a divided self, I have developed an analysis of alienating labor conditions that extend to and negatively effect the way in which the self relates to itself, the loss of human power, and the
impoverishment of the human spirit. (Research Year: 1997)

The Mother/Daughter relationship as an Embodiment of Culture Struggle
Tammy Godfrey
Mentor: John Donahue, Sociology, Trinity University

This summer I have conducted a research project focusing on the relationships between Korean wives of American military servicemen and their daughters. From the shared life histories of both the mothers and the daughters, I've examined the degrees of Korean and American identities each have established and incorporated within their lives. From this analysis I will be able to establish what Korean identity is to the Korean mother and her biracial daughter. I intend to be able to establish the degree of Korean identity among the mother/daughter pairs by using several indicators along a continuum of greater to lesser identification with these indicators. Due to the small number of life histories I was able to collect I suggest that my research is preliminary work to a larger, more encompassing project. (Research Year: 1997)

The Value of Peristence in Persifer Township and The Important Role of the Early Arrival Premium
Tom Scheiding
Mentor: Mary Gregson, Assistant Professor of Economics, Knox College

Persistence was a fact of life for only one third of settlers in a typical frontier township. Many settlers chose not to persist because of the glowing reports of more fertile and cheaper land westward being made. It was with persistence and not mobility however that led to a farmer enjoying a greater amount of wealth in subsequent years. The creation of a positive relationship between wealth and persistence owes its existence to the accumulation of site specific human capital. The significance persistence had on wealth was magnified when the settler arrived in the area early. (Research Year: 1997)

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