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Volume II: Spring 2014


Calum Akins – “The Hypnotist”


Gabe Braendlein – “Sunny Days Amidst Cloudy Skies”

“Sunny Days Amidst Cloudy Skies” is an original composition for jazz ensemble scored for trumpet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, bass and drums. The composition is framed in an AABA form, similar to the form found in many jazz standards. This uptempo piece includes a number of harmonic substitutions, a contrapuntal presentation of the melody, a section featuring improvised solos, and a soli passage showcasing the horn players scored in block voicings.


Esther Flatau – “Building a Campus Community Dock: An Interdisciplinary Design Proposal”

This project proved to be the first step in establishing an interdisciplinary initiative to build a river dock for the campus community at WSU Tri-Cities. This first step consisted of a social art distribution of prints to generate conversation around the proposal of a dock. This also included a gallery exhibition as well as the construction of a 3D model. This dock is to be a central gathering place—a place for the campus community to engage in social interaction, study and conduct coursework, or simply find solace. The Campus Dock is structured to be an interdisciplinary project benefiting the student population at Tri-Cities as a whole, initiating a social transformation, both in the way the community interacts with the campus, and also by bridging the gap between art and science. This project engendered a formidable and worthwhile community-based discussion stirring the atmosphere and setting the stage for future plans and continued progress related to the dock initiative.


Elizaveta Luzina – “Evening”

This short movie tells a story of the feelings between two people, questioning the idea of appropriacy and privacy.


Brianna Riddle – “Movement”

This video focuses on the comparison of movements between people and animals.



Katie Hayward, Andrew Hayward, and Matthew Swanson – “History, Culture, and Analysis of the Fayum Mummy Portraits”

The Fayum mummy portraits are facial portraits that were found attached to mummified bodies primarily within the Fayum Basin of Egypt, having been painted in the 1sh3rd centuries. The portraits serve as a spectacular display and preservation of Egypt’s rich history during a tumultous time period, capturing much of Egyptians’ prior religious and cultural practices. This paper proposes that the Fayum mummy portraits were not a Coptic practice, but a result of the blending of cultures, religions and customs. This proposal stems from an in-depth analysis of both the historical context, including culture, religion and mummification practices, as well as the painting technique, including the mediums, styles, and subjects within the paintings.


Alison Mand, Carly Campbell, and Sarah Rausch – “Deliberate Destruction of Art and Culture: Iconoclasm in Afghanistan”

The Taliban destroyed two colossal ancient Buddha statues in 2001. These were globally treasured monuments located in the Bamiyan province of Afghanistan. This act of iconoclasm inspired Mand, Campbell, and Rausch’s examination of the rich Afghan art history, how Islamic iconoclasm and the Taliban threatened it, and the global effort to restore and protect Afghan heritage. This paper discusses how the Taliban came to be in power, the political context of their regime and religious ideology, and how these put the Taliban in a position to destroy a huge portion of the country’s invaluable art in a matter of days without any formal repercussions.


Amelia Nixon, Megan Saito, Corri Van Schijndel, and Jonathon Waldrip – “Folded Steel: The Art of Sword-Making and the Enduring Image of the Samurai”

The samurai culture is one of ancient origin and has developed a deep and intricate society throughout its existence. The samurai were at the height of their potential near the beginning of the Tokugawa Shogunate; the spirit of Bushido was firmly implanted in their lifestyle and the samurai sword had reached the epitome of efficiency and elegance. However, during the Edo Period, samurai fell into low status during the peaceful times dominating throughout the Tokugawa Shogunate. Nevertheless, their swords maintained sophistication and were continually the result of the mastery of metallurgical arts and weaponry. With a great weapon comes great responsibility, therefore the samurai were bound by “the way of the warrior,” or Bushido. The art of Bushido keeps the samurai class one of the most respected of their time and their elegant weapon is viewed as an extension of the soul. Finally, the depiction of the samurai (history, culture, and war tactics) for western culture is represented mainly in contemporary media. Nostalgic, sword styled, and anime films have had a huge impact on the contemporary view of the samurai.


Marcela Rodriguez – “The Marked Narrative: The Latina Immigrant Experience in Post-Racial America”

In post-racial America, racialized stigma and generalizations continue to dictate immigration policy and mainstream perceptions of Latino/a immigrants. New narratives––counter stories––allow us to redefine those images and develop an accurate understanding of individuals and their identity group. Narratives are stories that are inherently rhetorical and allow the speaker to make sense of past experiences which endow their listeners with the profound meaning of those experiences. The narratives that construct our reality determine how we interact with others, how others are defined, and how we define ourselves in relation to others. Archaic narratives are the foundation of contemporary stereotypes, which limit; while new narratives have the power to counteract and defy those limitations. They provide instances of truth and provide opportunities to make the distant come closer through the powerful use of language by responding to, and engaging with, contemporary stigma.

Through a blend of poetry, prose, and research, I offer a new narrative about the Latina immigrant experience. Latino/a immigrants struggle with the multiplicity of their identity in attempting to embrace the new while still holding on to their home language and culture because they are simultaneously being pressured to assimilate. The racial undertones of contemporary U.S. legislation contradict the “melting pot” imagery and instead reveal the anti-Latino and anti-immigrant sentiments that continue to exist. The new racism assigns Latino immigrants values within a hierarchical system that is rigged to place them at the bottom after centuries of marginalization and alienation. As a result, it determines the treatment they receive from the dominant group and affects their potential within that culture of racialization. While society pushes for full assimilation Latino/a immigrants are compelled to maintain the connection between the memories of their homeland and their new land through their culture and their language. The Latino immigrant narrative grapples with the “colonizer’s” terms and resists the loss of the multidimensionality of their identity.



Cathrine Black – “Kremen-1 Manipulation Alters Development of the Zebrafish Lateral Line”


Shauna Christensen and John Notturno – “Network Analysis of Chemical Systems: Media for Creative Community Outreach and Education Development”

A collaborative project with digital technologies and culture to produce an educational video regarding new graph theory data-mining techniques in chemistry, as implemented in the Aurora Clark lab.


Chelsea Gilpin – “Sexual Dimorphism of Brain and Behavior: The Role of Testosterone in Female Zebra Finch Behavior (Taeniopygia guttata)”

The role of the androgen testosterone in regulation of behavior has been extensively studied with respect to male aggression and paternal investment. However, the relationship between testosterone and behavior in females is unclear. Behavioral trials and GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) challenges were performed to investigate the possible role of testosterone in mediation of female behavior. Aggressive, locomotor, and nesting behavior of female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in mating pairs was observed in the presence and absence of a female conspecific. The capacity of females to produce testosterone in response to standard-dose GnRH injections was measured. No significant difference in plasma testosterone concentration between GnRH-treated and control females was observed. Similarly, the presence of a female conspecific did not cause a significant change in the frequency of any behaviors observed. The lack of response to GnRH suggests that testosterone most likely did not mediate the behaviors observed in this study and that age and stress may have skewed results.


Molly Maddock – “Effects of Thyroid Hormones on Embryo Development of the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)”

Thyroid hormones have critical functions in vertebrate development and growth. Understanding the effects thyroid hormones have on development can lead to further understanding of how maternal deposition of hormones can effect embryos as a mechanism for adaptations. This experiment investigates if thyroid hormone (T4 and T3) affects zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) embryo metabolism in the egg. The eggs oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production was monitored at various intervals of development as a means to measure metabolism and development then were sexed using molecular methods. The data in this experiment indicate that low dosages of exogenous T3 and T4 may increase carbon dioxide production in the eggs while high dosages of T3 and T4 and the combination of T3 and T4 may decreased it. The addition of thyroid hormones increased the percentage of males developing in treated eggs. There was no evidence for sex specific effects of thyroid hormones on embryo metabolism. This research needs to be further analyzed.


Alex Young – “The Effect of Environmental Contaminants on Hair Cell Regeneration in Larval Zebrafish”

In this study we investigated the effect each of these contaminants has on hair cell regeneration in the larval zebrafish. This study looks specifically at hair cells of the lateral line. The lateral line is a system of hair cells along the exterior of the fish that are homologous to the hair cells located in the mammalian inner ear. To test if a contaminant is having an effect on hair cell regeneration, we exposed fish to the hair cell toxin neomycin, and then let the fish recover for 24 or 48 hours in variable contaminant concentration. We saw no significant effect of PCB-95 and fluoride on hair cell regeneration, but observed that exposure to higher concentrations of BPA resulted in reduced hair cell regeneration. We then asked if hair cell regeneration occurs after recovery from BPA exposure, as BPA itself can kill hair cells. We observed reduced hair cell numbers 48 hrs post-BPA treatment, which suggests BPA continues to kill hair cells post-exposure, similar to treatment with the ototoxic antibiotic gentamicin. These findings add to the growing list of harmful effects of BPA for both humans and aquatic life. Future experiments will distinguish if BPA continues to kill hair cells while they are trying to regenerate, or if BPA disrupts the proliferative regeneration process.



Kyle Ellingsen – “Miscommunication: Hispanic Language and Culture in Health Care”

My desire to research this topic originated from a personal experience with miscommunication in Spanish health care coupled with my desire to become a physician in the state of Washington. After taking my required premedical courses as well as multiple Spanish language courses to fulfill requirements for obtaining a minor, I was not fully aware of the need for Spanish fluency in health care settings. Growing up in eastern Washington, I was aware of the Hispanic influence in the Central Basin area of the state, but had never really questioned the implications that it could have on the delivery of health care until after attending a medical service trip in Guatemala. While I served as a medical translator on this trip, I was able to experience just how difficult it is to communicate medical information between a patient and a physician, and the potentially dangerous consequences that could result when there is a substantial language barrier. I learned very quickly that there is a need for full language competency when conveying medical information, rather than the intermediate Spanish skill level that is obtained through an undergraduate minor. These experiences made me realize that this problem not only applies to medical missions, but in the general delivery of health care within the confines of the United States, and even more specifically in Washington State.

I was able to discover that this medical miscommunication problem is indeed prevalent in our country, and has led to serious problems that I was entirely unaware of. Effective communication between physician and patient is a vital component to successful health care practice, and the Spanish language and culture essentially impedes the process. This study acts to identify the specific barriers that both the language and cultural differences present, and discuss the various strategies that have been done to combat this issue. These strategies are then evaluated on their use and effectiveness to ultimately shed light on the most efficient solution to this growing problem, in hopes that our nation will eventually adopt a change that will promote equity in the delivery of health care to the booming American Hispanic population.

The study concluded that the use of translation services in health care environments produce more complications than expected, and carry many potentially dangerous clinical consequences. It was then found that complete fluency at the level of the health care provider is needed to most effectively eliminate disparities, and in many counties across Washington there are not a sufficient number of health care providers compared to the demographic of which they are caring for. The study is then concluded with a proposed plan of action that will hopefully tend to this issue that is growing comparatively with the Hispanic population. Above all my hopes for this study are to help raise the awareness of the issue, and open the door for subsequent research across the state and country as a whole to eventually eliminate it.


Amy Nusbaum and Joelle Martin – “The Role of Outcome Expectancies in Reversal Learning Performance”

People often have to use feedback to correct errors or adapt to changing circumstances. Studies of reversal learning are often used as a laboratory analog of how decision makers adapt to changing circumstances. In reversal learning, one choice option is rewarded more than another, and once the contingencies are learned that better choice becomes the worse choice and vice-versa. Our study tested the hypothesis that individual differences in reversal learning performance are due to differences in the expectations that people have about choice outcomes. A sample of healthy adults (N=96) made choices between two decks of cards, with each care revealing a gain or loss of money. One deck prodcued more gains while the other deck produced more losses. Partway through the 96 trials, the deck outcomes switched. Participants were divided into three groups based on their performance in trial block four, measuring their ability to recover from the reversal. Those participants who performed best significantly overrated the good deck as compared to the other groups. There were also significant differences in affective responses, as measured by skin conductance responses.


Amanda Thomson – “Effects of Perceived Sexual Orientation on Workplace Evaluation”

The primary goal of this study is to identify whether people acting in the capacity as an employer have underlying negative bias against individuals they perceive to be gay or lesbian. Studying the influence of sexual orientation in the workplace is important because negative prejudice toward someone based on his or her sexual orientation could lead to discrimination in the workplace––discrimination that has negative economic consequences. Participants completed one of four versions of an online survey. The versions each contained a photo of an office space with a computer that had a screensaver. Each version had a different screensaver; they represented different sexual orientations. The photos were of a heterosexual couple, a gay couple, a lesbian couple, and one that showed no relationship. The survey following the photo asked respondents to evaluate the person’s desk they were viewing in the photo. Those perceived to be heterosexual, across the board, were rated higher in desirable traits. This indicates that negative prejudice toward non-mainstream sexual orientations is present in the workplace.