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2020 Graduate Research Showcase

Schedule of Posters & Presenters


Time Presenter(s), Department(s) Title
1:00-1:10 PG Moreno, Library



Jian Gao, History

Causing Troubles Elsewhere: Shining Path and It's International Networks, 1980-1993


Saashya Rodrigo, Special Education

Malleable Factors that Contribute to Teachers’ Stress, Burnout, Job Satisfaction, and Job Attrition in Special Education


Yifan Xu, Communication Studies

The Influence of Leadership Styles and Supervisor Communication on Employee Burnout


Jasmine Nelson, Geosciences

Phylogenetic Proxies for Hearing Range and Sensitivity in Extinct Reptiles


Thomas E. Evans, Kinesiology and Health Education

Can Everyone have a Chance Now? The Impact of NCAA Scholarship Limits on Competition


Nnenna Odim and Latoya Teague, Early Childhood Education; African American Diaspora Studies

Young Black Girls Awakening: Declarers of Joy, Surveyors of Power


Robyn Croft, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

The Cross-Cultural Clinical Utility of Self-Disclosure of Stuttering


PG Moreno, Library


Jian Gao

Causing Troubles Elsewhere: Shining Path and Its International Networks, 1980-1993



With little room to survive domestically and under incessant condemnations from the governments worldwide, the Maoist group Shining Path of Peru looked elsewhere for resources and gradually established its own international networks for survival. It achieved considerable success, which explains why and how the organization was able to survive for more than a decade. By tracing the diverse intracontinental and international contacts of Shining Path, this paper demonstrates the ways in which the guerrillas actively sought underground transnational avenues for financial support and firearms. While unable to confront the Peruvian government directly, Shining Path members sought alternative ways to terrorize the officials abroad by defacing Peruvian embassies, threatening consular officials, and rallying support from the local Europeans and migrants. By causing troubles elsewhere, not only did Shining Path prolong its existence, but it also projected its influence onto a much wider audience than Guzmán had initially envisioned.

Saashya Rodrigo

Malleable Factors that Contribute to Teachers’ Stress, Burnout, Job Satisfaction, and Job Attrition in Special Education



Teaching is widely considered a noble profession. However, the profession of teaching, much like the field of education at large, is under-valued and underestimated. As a result, teachers experience a variety of negative feelings stemming from their work experiences, including stress, depression, and physical and mental exhaustion. These negative consequences collectively lead to job dissatisfaction. As these feelings intensify over a period of time, the desire to quit one’s job also intensifies. Such is the reality of the teaching profession. Special education teachers, in particular, are prone to experiencing work-related, negative feelings as a result of their unique job demands and job experiences. The alarmingly high percentage of special education teachers who quit their job due to their work-related experiences is deeply concerning, as it impacts student achievement, teacher wellbeing, and the education system at large. It is therefore crucial that the field identify the causes of such work-related, negative experiences. It would be particularly beneficial to identify causes that are more susceptible to change, so that the special education teacher turnover crisis can be better addressed. This study reviews research that explores easily modifiable factors that have shown to impact special education teachers’ feelings about their jobs, such as, workload, support from administration, self-efficacy, and lack of clarity and control over one’s job roles.


Yifan Xu

The Influence of Leadership Styles and Supervisor Communication on Employee Burnout



The purpose of this study is to examine the associations between employees’ perceptions of their supervisors’ leadership styles, communication competence and reports of their communication satisfaction with their supervisors, and employee burnout. Employees who were employed on a full-time basis for at least one year (N = 166) completed a cross-sectional, online survey about the interactions with their supervisors. Results from the path analysis indicated that both task- and relationship-oriented leadership were positively associated with communication competence. Only relationship-oriented leadership was positively associated with communication satisfaction. In turn, communication satisfaction predicted decreased employee emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and increased personal accomplishment. Taken together, the findings from the current study suggest the importance of relationship-building between supervisors and employees.

Jasmine Nelson

Phylogenetic Proxies for Hearing Range and Sensitivity in Extinct Reptiles



Hearing is a crucial sense that can aid in predator avoidance, allowing predators to localize prey items, and facilitate inter– and intra-species communication. Many extant tetrapods use the tympanic middle ear system to hear, in which the middle ear bone(s) of the air-filled middle ear connect(s) the tympanic membrane to the inner ear labyrinth that holds the sensory epithelium and transmits auditory signals to the brain. The morphology of both the middle and inner ear affect overall hearing capabilities. Efforts have been made to predict the hearing ranges of extinct reptiles using preservable morphologies of the skull using extant taxa, but current proxies have limited sample sizes, exclude morphology of the middle ear, and do not apply phylogenetic comparative methods. Here I present phylogenetic proxies using preservable measures of the inner and middle ear to predict best hearing range, maximum hearing frequency, and maximum sensitivity. The application of these proxies will allow for more accurate estimates of hearing sensitivity and range in extinct reptiles as well as a better understanding of what extinct reptiles were using their hearing for.

Thomas E. Evans

Can Everyone have a Chance Now? The Impact of NCAA Scholarship Limits on Competition



This paper examines the impact scholarship limitations placed on Division 1A/FBS Football, Division 1 Men’s Basketball, Division 1 Men’s Hockey, and Division 1 Men’s Wrestling had on the competitive balance of those sports. The NCAA began limiting the number of scholarships for those sports beginning in 1973, and gradually lowered the number for each sport until 1993. Studying this intervention, fifty-five seasons of each sport were examined, beginning in 1963 and ending in the 2017-2018 season. Competitiveness was measured by the number of Number 1 AP rankings and top ten AP rankings in football, NCAA championships won and top ten AP rankings in basketball, NCAA Championships won and NCAA top 10 finishes in wrestling, and NCAA Championships won and NCAA Frozen Four Appearances in hockey. It appears that scholarship limitations have not created greater competitive balance in these sports. Addressing this puzzlement, the presentation will consider factors including coaching personnel, which may have a more remarkable impact on a team’s success than the number of scholarships awarded. A study of past rule changes and non-scholarship participation will also be considered.

Nnenna Odim and Latoya Teague

Young Black Girls Awakening: Declarers of Joy, Surveyors of Power



Just beyond the experiences of pain, dismissal, and hyper(in)visibility, young Black girls live within a space of emotional awakening. This awakening shapes fluid notions of normalized identity markers, recalls relationships with more-than-human beings, and exposes ancestral liberatory practices. The awakening manifests within the everyday moments as a young Black girl moves, writes, and creates. Black girls fly among and beyond the material conditions of enslavement and temporality. As a result, Black girls cultivate “alternate nows” (Eliot and Tuck, 2017) with every turn that declare their power. We lean into contemporary literature to extend historical archives and think about the ways that Black girls embody self and wholeness through dehumanizing structures. Young Black Girls Awakening: Declarers of Joy and Surveyors of Power explicitly responds to silences in the research of young Black girls to show the distinctions as well as connections among teens and womxn. This work advances the notion that Blackness is ever expansive, conflicting, and intersecting. Joining Christina Sharpe’s notions of life beyond the precarity in an anti-Black climate and Tera Hunter’s understanding of freedom, we situate liberation among the everyday moments of young Black girls. Leaning into the brilliance of authors and illustrators of children’s picture books, contemporary young adult novels, poetry, photographs, and paintings, we hone in on how young Black girls emote and express themselves in pursuit of joy. In imagining moments beyond infrastructures demeaning Black life, we foreground the experiences of Black girl’s among an awakening of communal healing, sustenance, and liberation. Young Black Girls Awakening Declarers of Joy and Surveyors of Power further offers an intervention for curriculum construction, educator relationships, and research to include the extensive knowledges that Black girls hold.

Robyn Croft

The Cross-Cultural Clinical Utility of Self-Disclosure of Stuttering



Purpose: Research conducted around the world shows that people who stutter (PWS), regardless of country or culture, experience stereotype threat and a negative impact of stuttering on quality of life. Research also indicates that perceptions of stuttering manifest differently across culturally and linguistically diverse populations; thus, cultural context must be considered prior to implementing treatment.While self-disclosure has been utilized as a clinical tool to increase positive perceptions of stuttering the USA, it has yet to be examined across diverse cultural and linguistic contexts. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of informative versus apologetic self-disclosure among Hebrew-speaking PWS in Israel.

Method: Participants included 92 adults who reported permanent residence in Israel (n = 92). All participants completed an electronic survey in which they viewed video of a male or female Hebrew-speaking PWS who either self-disclosed informatively, apologetically, or did not self-disclose at all. Participants then rated the speaker on ten personality traits (e.g., shy, intelligent, friendly, insecure, etc).

Results Results indicated that listeners were significantly more likely to rate the speaker who used an informative self-disclosure statement as more outgoing compared to the no self-disclosure condition. No significant differences between the informative and apologetic or apologetic and non-disclosure conditions were found. Listeners were also more likely to view males as friendlier and more outgoing than females.

Conclusions Results indicated that speakers who self-disclosed in a neutral and informative manner were more likely to be viewed as a person who pursues and enjoys social relationships (i.e., outgoing), a valued personality trait in Israel’s culture. Findings also indicated a negative gender bias towards the female speaker who stutter, which aligns with previous research. Taken together, results from this study support the use of self-disclosure as a culturally and linguistically sensitive tool to improve listeners’ perceptions of PWS.

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