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2002 McNair Program Abstracts

Sexual Harassment in the Military
Nicole DeHart
Mentor: Lauren Holland, University of Utah at Salt Lake

The military has been consistently plagued with problems of sexual harassment and discrimination despite repeated laws and policies prohibiting such behavior. This paper seeks to find an explanation for the continuing sexual harassment of women in the military. Initially, there must be a definition of military culture. What purpose does the military serve? Next, what will be examined is the characteristics of a 'soldier' needed to fulfill the purpose of the military. Now once this is established, it can be looked at how those characteristics or qualities are instilled or trained into 'soldiers.' The argument of this paper will be that the military training recruits receive perpetuates sexual harassment and discrimination. It is as though they are trained into sexism. The case study used for this paper will be the United States Navy. It will examine formal training such as boot camp and physical requirements and informal training such as slang and hazing. What will be discovered at the academy and other training facilities is that the learned behavior being taught is sexist in nature, predisposing recruits to commit sexual harassment. Finally, this paper will examine what of these characteristics taught are needed to prepare men and women for combat. There is a discrepancy of what is being taught and what needs to be taught. Once this is discovered this can hopefully be the first step to reducing the sexist nature of the military training. (Research Year: 2000)

Official and Unofficial Language Policies/Laws and Programs
Pamela Hernandez
Mentor: Karen Gourd, Educational Studies

My research examines the official and unofficial language policies/laws and programs, and the schooling experience of Spanish-speaking students. To this point, I have found that the official and unofficial language policies/laws and programs are assimilation oriented. The system of education, with its language policies and programs, are a form of assimilation into the mainstream for the Spanish-speaking students. Students are made to believe that in order to achieve academic success they have to renounce or alter their cultural and linguistic identity. From the data reviewed about student's schooling experience, I have found that there are implicit acts of racism and discrimination because of the Spanish-speaking students' ethnicity and many times because of their linguistic abilities. The Spanish language is for the most part perceived as a negative component to a student's education and many times is curtailed from the instructional practices of school. (Research Year: 2000)

Feminist Theory and Deconstructive Aporia in Shirley Jackson's "The Tooth"
Melissa Adams
Mentor: Robert Smith, Department of English, Knox College

Though only twenty short pages in length, Shirley Jackson's "The Tooth" proves a difficult challenge to literary critics and scholars attempts at a definitive interpretation. In this paper, the story is analyzed from two often-clashing feminist theoretical perspectives, Anglo-American feminism and Post-Structuralist French feminism. By providing two contrasting theoretical views of the story, one sees both the strengths and weaknesses of each interpretation only to discover in the end that Jackson's creation leaves one in a state of ultimate aporia, or "an insuperable deadlock, or 'double bind,' of incompatible or contradicting meanings which are, 'undecidable,' in that we lack any sufficient ground for choosing among them" (Abrams 58).

Abrams, M. H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 7th ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999. 58. (Research Year: 2000)

Reconciliatory Efforts Between Black Muslims and Black Christians and How They Can Benefit the Black Community
Angela Denell Moton
Mentor: Louisa Sue Hulett, Department of Political Science, Knox College

Religion has been a major influence and source of strength in the lives of African Americans. In the quest for freedom, justice, economic equality, and respect politically as well as socially, religion has been there to boost African American confidence and will. Christianity has been, and still is, the major religion among African Americans since the days of slavery. Islam has grown at an outstanding rate among African Americans over the past seventy years and, by the nature of its small starting and current percentage, it is currently the fastest growing religion among African Americans. Both groups have made efforts to improve the situation of Blacks within the United States. While both have been effective in some areas, it may prove to be more beneficial if both groups come together to work towards the spiritual, social, and economic uplifting of the African American. (Research Year: 2000)

"White Trash," Terrible Stories, and Redemption: An Analysis of Gender in Dorothy Allison's 'Bastard Out of Carolina' and 'Cavedweller'
Danielle E. Docka
Mentor: Magali Roy-Fequiere, Department of Women' Studies, Knox College

Within her two novels, Dorothy Allison challenges restrictive notions of "preordained" gender pervasive in a society dominated by the ideology hegemonic masculinity presents. What makes a "real man" and "what women really want" are ideas she explores at length within her literature. The present study is concerned with Allison's unique ability to present, critique, and address gender roles and stereotypes from both sides of the glass. Allison's literature pays due attention to both feminine and masculine reality. Issues examined and themes discussed include the influence of social class and poverty on traditional masculinity; sexual exploitation and desire; Allison's representation and reconsideration of the Madonna-whore dichotomy; the dialogue the two novels are engaged in with respect to redemption; and the use of metaphor, symbolism, and religious imagery within Cavedweller and Bastard Out of Carolina. (Research Year: 2000)

The Effects of Water Quality on Algae Population at Lake Sharvey
Erika Lynn Kreutzberg
Mentor: Stuart Allison, Department of Biology, Knox College

In this study I examined the effect of water quality on the types of algae populations at Lake Sharvey, part of Knox College's Green Oaks Biological Field Station. The knowledge that may be gained from such a study would include an assessment on the lake quality and what could be done to improve it or maintain it. The information gained from this study will broaden the scope of research at Green Oaks and also provide a general comparison, based on a literature review, of Lake Sharvey in relation to other similar lakes. Several different water collection devices were used to gain samples from varying depths. Other materials included a Secchi disk, a multi-function apparatus that measures pH, temperature, and conductivity, and preservation equipment for the samples. (Research Year: 2000)

Effects of Heat Stress on In Vitro Translocation in Barley Aleurone ER Membra
Kathryn Palacio
Mentor: Mark R. Brodl, Department of Biology, Knox College

During heat shock (HS), the synthesis of secretory proteins has been shown to be selectively suppressed in barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Himylaya) aleurone layers. This decrease is, in part, due to the fact that heat shock destabilizes secretory protein mRNAs. As another factor, HS also causes the dissociation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lamellae, the site of secretory protein mRNA translation. Exposure to HS causes changes in ER composition. The fatty acids of ER membrane phospholipids become more saturated. This increase in fatty acid saturation is even more pronounced when barley aleurone layers are gradually brought to 40°C (heat stress vs. heat shock). This change in fatty acid saturation is thought to be adaptive. This project uses in vitro translation/translocation assays to examine the translocation of secretory proteins in ER samples isolated from aleurone cells incubated under normal (25°C for 19 h), heat shock (16 h at 25°C followed by 3 h at 40°C), fast heat ramping (25°C for 16 h then temperature increased 5°C/h for 3 h), and slow heat ramping (25°C for 13 h as above 2.5°C/h for 6 h) conditions. Our assays show ER samples isolated from cells incubated at heat shock temperatures can translocate only 59% of the protein translocated by non-heat-shocked controls when the assays are performed at 25°C. This improves to 145% when the assay temperature is raised to 30°C. We predict that samples from heat-stressed cells will translocate proteins more efficiently at higher temperatures. (Research Year: 2000)

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