Symposium for Student Innovation, Research, and Creative Activities 2023 Posters

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    The impacts of meditation vs mindfulness on stress levels of nurses in the hospitals post-COVID-19
    (2023-08-30) Caster, Reesen; Guadalupe, Patrick; Quezon, Zeinhelle; Rodriguez, Leanna; Leal, Melissa
    Due to the concerns regarding mental health awareness and increasing burnout from COVID-19 within the nursing field, the question was raised: how does a group activity like practicing mindfulness for 15min/day or meditation for 15min/day affect fatigue and ultimately, patient outcomes?
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    The lived experience of very old adults living in a senior facility during the COVID-19 lockdown
    (2023-08-30) Gumban, Therese; Sandoval, Sydney; Lee, Kyoung Eun
    While there is growing literature of the impacts of COVID-19 lockdown, little studies have been done on the effects on very old adults living in a senior facility.  The intention is to identify the communal themes relating to the perspectives of how their lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 and the coping mechanisms they adopted to adjust to the changes.
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    Service-Learning at the Wesley Community Center: Health & wellness
    (2023-08-30) Barrera, Guadalupe; Zarate, Lesly
    Our purpose for this community-based project is to learn about issues facing low-income families. As future healthcare providers, we hope to develop empathy and understanding to provide better quality care to low-income families.
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    Development of a machine learning system for detection of the atmospheric potential of wildfire-driven thunderstorms
    (2023-08-30) Krell, Evan; Nguyen, Chuyen; Nachamkin, Jason; Peterson, David; Hyer, Edward; King, Scott A.; Tissot, Philippe; Estrada, Beto; Tory, Kevin J.; Campbell, James
    Machine Learning Pipeline: Align pyroCbs to satellite fires > Remove weaker fires > Add engineered features > For valid dataset, drop either fire features or unaligned pyroCbs > K-Best Feature Selection > Data balancing techniques > Train & Evaluate models
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    Improving the voltage and lifetime in aqueous redox flow batteries utilizing the organometallic [Fe(bpy)3]2+/3+
    (2023-08-30) Burghoff, Alexis; Holubowitch, Nicolas
    Long term battery storage is needed for renewable energy sources to buffer their variable output. Redox flow batteries (RFBs) have the potential to store large amounts of energy for on-demand power generation. Current issue: low energy density due to poor solubility of the active species and low voltage outputs. Robust, high voltage catholytes are needed. Iron (II/III) tris-2,2’-bipyridine ([Fe(bpy)3]2+/3+) is a suitable catholyte. This work introduces a new way to synthesize [Fe(bpy)3]2+ and methods to improve performance.
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    The influence of distance on throwing kinematics in young health baseball players
    (2023-08-30) Arizpe, Omar; Perez, Joshua P.; Applequist, Bryon C.
    Due to the high-intensity and repetitive nature of the throwing motion, baseball players are prone to arm injuries. There is a sudden rise in angular velocity through the kinematic chain as players increase their throwing distance. (Loftice, J., 2004) Long-toss routine is seen as a tool implemented in the hopes to reduce injury. (Fleisig G. et. al, 2011) This regimen consisted of players gradually increasing their throwing distance on both flat and a mound. Distinguishing whether a program can be advantageous or detrimental in its implementation is crucial.
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    Don't blame the siblings! Social experiences of gender non-conformity: Does a higher proportion of male siblings and negative feedback affect masculinity among sexual minority men?
    (2023-08-30) Cowan, Alisha R.; Seidel, Steven
    Social role theory Eagly et al. 2004 ; Eagly , 1987) suggests that individuals who conform strongly to traditional gender roles promote the hegemonic male's hierarchy a model of power, status, and strength to receive the benefits of social inclusion For sexual minority men, however, violating these gender roles can lead to negative consequences such as social exclusion, physical violence , and suicidal thoughts Fiske et al. 2002; Vaughn et al. 2017). As a result , sexual minority men may feel pressure to conform to traditional masculinity standards to gain social approval (Taywaditep , 2002; Research has often neglected to consider the significance of sibling relationships from the perspective of sexual minority men. Although sibling relationships are viewed as a normative part of growing up, they can have a significant impact on one's emotional and behavioral development. Positive sibling relationships may serve as protective factors against mental and physical health risks faced by individuals who experience prejudice based on their sexual orientation (Hilton & Szymanski, 2014). Therefore, it is important to investigate the role of sibling relationships in the developmental trajectories of sexual minority men. This study aimed to explore the relationship between a sexual minority man’s experiences with their sibling’s social feedback about their gender nonconforming behavior and his subsequent levels of masculinity. Specifically, does negative feedback from brothers or sisters because of their gender nonconformity in childhood affect a sexual minority man's schema of masculinity and adherence to traditional gender roles in adulthood?
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    Online and simulation-based training: Prepping nursing students for deeper, practical engagement
    (2023-08-30) Massey, Sameera; Squires, David; Fomenko, Julie; Amidon, Brayton
    There is need for effective virtual learning design for clinical nursing students that yields high levels of knowledge acquisition, self-efficacy, and transferrable skills. Students’ experiences during learning impacts these outcomes. An online innovation project was developed at a South Texas University, designed to measure students’ experiences in simulated clinical experiences. We hypothesized that custom, personalized online learning simulations may reduce cognitive load and promote online students’ self-efficacy, potentially impacting associative information processing. Researchers collected data measuring cognitive load, students’ experiences, and embedded analytics and were analyzed using open and thematic coding. Participants reported low levels of frustration, high levels of support in the modules, perceived skill transferability, and self-efficacy. Planning personalized, online scenario-based modules that reduce cognitive load, may positively impact students' self-efficacy and associative skill transfer.
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    Shell morphology of an intertidal patellograstropod (cellana exarata) varies with shore type
    (2023-08-30) Larriviere, Keenan; Cate, Kinley; Bird, Christopher
    C. exaratalimpets (locally called‘opihi) are a crashed fishery & are culturally important, Inhabit the emergent tidal zone –never submerged & periodically washed by waves1, Evolutionary trade off in shell shape between thermal stress & predation2,3, Shells maladapted to thermal stress on islands with humans2, Will negatively affect sustainability considering global warming4, May be differences in shell morphology between shores with more (boulder) and less (bench) thermal refuges
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    Interaction between nitric oxide and serotonin in the formation of long-term sensitization in the mollusk Aplysia
    (2023-09-19) Richards, Landrue; Wainwright, Marcy; Mozzachiodi, Riccardo
    Learning is a process by which all animals modify their behaviors to ensure increased fitness (Nordell 2021). Long-term sensitization (LTS) in the mollusk Aplysia is a well-known example of learning in which defensive responses, such as the tail-siphon withdrawal reflex (TSWR), are heightened for prolonged periods following repeated exposure to noxious stimuli (i.e., aversive training; Byrne and Hawkins 2015). The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) mediates LTS formation in Aplysia (Byrne and Hawkins 2015). In vivo, 5-HT exposure alone can induce LTS (Levenson et al. 1999). However, recent findings indicate that the neurotransmitter nitric oxide (NO) is also necessary for LTS formation (Farruggella et al. 2019). Therefore, in this study, an experiment was designed to position NO on the 5-HT-mediated biochemical pathway.
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    Changes in blood cell morphology associated with HBA1c levels in diabetes mellitus
    (2023-08-30) Flores, Gabriel; Nguyen, Arthur; Chessher III, David; Sparks, Jean; Omoruyi, Felix
    Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by impaired glucose utilization leading to chronic hyperglycemia. It is an endocrine disorder that presents severe clinical and public health problems worldwide, including in South Texas. Blood glucose levels are commonly used in the diagnosis of diabetes. Microvascular and macrovascular complications are common in patients with uncontrolled diabetes. However, HbA1c is a simple blood test that measures the average blood glucose levels over the past 2 to 3 months and is used to diagnose and effectively manage diabetes mellitus to prevent diabetic complications. In this study, we evaluated changes in red blood cell morphology with varying HbA1c levels in diabetic patients versus nondiabetic patients. Blood samples were collected from Driscoll and Shoreline Hospital labs in Corpus Christi, Texas. Sample collections are still ongoing at clinical sites. Peripheral blood smears were prepared from the unidentified patients’ blood samples and examined under the microscope for the number and kinds of cells present and other morphologic abnormalities. The collected blood samples were categorized based on HbA1c levels - group 1 (< 5.7% - nondiabetic); group 2 (5.7 - 6.4% - prediabetic); group 3 (>6.5% - diabetic) and by pediatric and adult groups. The pediatric control group indicated the highest number of ovalocytes (94%), anisocytosis (78%), and echinocytes (76%), the prediabetic group (80%, 90%, 60% respectively) and the diabetic group (83%, 83%, 67% respectively). The adult control group showed 53% ovalocytes, 58% anisocytosis, and 83% echinocytes, the prediabetic group showed 75%, 0%, 75% respectively, and the diabetic group showed 67%, 43%, 65% respectively. Surprisingly, the adults with the highest HbA1cs showed few morphological alterations. Overall, the numbers of anisocytosis, echinocytes, and ovalocytes in both pediatric and adult diabetic samples did not correlate with HbA1c levels, the observed few morphological changes may be attributable to the clinical care.
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    An analysis of the El Nino Southern Oscillation's effects on tropical cyclones
    (2023-08-30) Lilljedahl, Madalyn; Liu, Chuntao; Lavigne, Thomas
    In the 20 years, 2,023 tropical cyclones provide us a robust sample size to study the impact of the El Nino Southern Oscillation on tropical cyclone with respect to precipitation on a global scale. It is clear that the El Nino Southern Oscillation does play a significant role in the intensity, location and magnitude of tropical cyclones. We also found that the depending on which phase of ENSO and whether it’s a major or minor tropical cyclone, different parts of the globe have experienced more or less precipitation that can be attributed to tropical cyclone. How does ENSO influence frequency of tropical cyclones globally? What is the global precipitation contribution from tropical cyclones?​ How does ENSO influence global precipitation that is contributed by minor and major hurricanes?​
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    A mental health literacy intervention to improve psychological treatment-seeking attitudes and intentions in African Americans
    (2023-08-29) Gipson-Washington, Raven K.; Houlihan, Amy E.
    Systemic-Level Barriers: The ineligibility of services, treatment disparities, limited access to treatment facilities, and the lack of culturally-relevant care Cultural Barriers: Spiritual beliefs and community stigma Individual-Level Barriers: Limited finances, lack of insurance coverage, lack of transportation, childcare, lack of social support, the fear of being locked away, the fear of losing one’s children, and negative experiences with the mental healthcare system (personal experiences or learning of others’ experiences) Psychological Barriers: The inability to recognize symptoms of mental illness, the perceived insusceptibility to mental illness, the belief that there is no need for treatment, internalized stigma, and the Black strength schema. African Americans are disproportionately less likely to receive treatment for their mental illness(es) (39.4%) than their European American counterparts (52.4%; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2021). This is a public health problem. To confront this problem, it is necessary to address the issue of treatment-seeking. Typically, the first step in the treatment life-cycle is to decide to seek psychological treatment. For African Americans, this decision is often complicated by a significant number of barriers to treatment, unique to the Black experience (Bryant et al., 2013; Conner et al., 2010; Davis et al., 2008; Haynes et al., 2017; Jegede et al., 2021; Redmond et al., 2019; Sonik et al., 2020; Ward et al., 2009; Williams et al., 2012): The present study will address the psychological barriers. The primary aim of the study is to increase formal psychological treatment-seeking attitudes and intentions by increasing mental health literacy, reducing internalized stigma, and redefining the Black strength schema. To do this, a single-session, online mental health literacy intervention, has been developed specifically for African Americans: The Black Mental Health Education Program - Anxiety and Depression (BMHE-AD).
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    Towards long-term monitoring of plastic pollution in the Matagorda Bay systems: Quantitative analysis and FTIR characterization of macroplastics
    (2023-08-29) Gallagher, Casey; Fadare, Oluniyi O.; Conkle, Jeremy L.; Abdulla, Hussain
    Marine environments are constantly subjected to the threat of microplastic pollution due to anthropogenic activities Texas coastlines are increasingly polluted with industrial and domestic wastes Microplastics are known to adsorb and transport toxic pollutants including metals such as mercury, within the water column thus becoming a major risk to marine life This study is one of the projects funded by Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust aimed toward the long term assessment and remediation of Matagorda Bay from decades of industrial pollution We carried out surface extraction of plastic particles/items along the shorelines in 12 sites across the Bay, processed and characterized the plastics using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy The overall result will help us better understand how plastic influences the biodistribution and bioavailability of other toxic pollutants in this Bay and how this affects marine life and its environments.
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    Perceptions, attitudes, and skill improvements of high school baseball players participating in visual skills training
    (2023-08-29) Paulison, Emily; Spaniol, F.; Bonnette, R.
    Professional baseball players with greater visual capacity exhibit superior batting performance, linking visual skills to a player's performance [1]. Previous research has shown vision training using analog and digital methods to improve visual skills [2,3] Confidence and perceived sport competence is an important part of a proposed positive feedback loop between physical activity and motor skills [4,5]
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    Connecting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to resources at the farmers' market
    (2023-08-29) Stinson, Julia
    This project aims to examine the issue of poverty and food insecurities on individuals' nutrition in Corpus Christi, Texas- a city where 17% of the population falls below the poverty line (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.). To address this, I have worked at the Grow Local Farmers' Market to increase access to fresh, nutritious food for SNAP recipients and provide education on its utilization.
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    Synthesis of aspartic acid-based bifurcated tripeptide surfactants
    (2023-08-29) Swonke, Roslyn; Garcia, Angelina; Billiot, Eugene; Billiot, Fereshteh; Olson, Mark; Azad, Chandra
    Amino acid-based surfactants (AABS) are amphipathic molecules composed of an amino acid-based polar headgroup and nonpolar hydrocarbon chain. Surfactants, the truncated name for surface-active agents, are molecules that decrease surface tension. It is this property, along with their amphipathic structure, that imbues surfactants with useful properties, such as encapsulating other compounds and emulsifying insoluble phases. AABS are of particular interest, as they incorporate amino acids, which are the building blocks of life. The incorporation of amino acids as the polar headgroup thus improves bioavailability and biodegradability, thereby increasing the applications of this subset of surfactants. The objective of this study is to synthesize and characterize a group of novel tripeptide bifurcated AABS with aspartic acid as the central amino acid at the polar headgroup.
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    Alkane composition of the microlayer in Corpus Christi Bay: Implications of HAB formation
    (2023-08-29) Hodge, Wayne; Silliman, James
    Short-chain n-alkanes (n-pentadecane, n-heptadecane, and n-nonadecane) stem primarily from algae. Long-chain n-alkanes (n-heptacosane, n-noncosane, and n-hentriacontane) originate from terrigenous/land plants and are introduced to coastal waters by runoff. Since alkanes are hydrophobic compounds, they tend to concentrate in the microlayer (air-water interface). This study strives to ascertain the efficacy of using the aquatic-terrigenous ratio (ATR) as a precursor to harmful algal bloom (HAB) formation. Since the ATR is a new HAB parameter, it may further our understanding of HAB formation. Corpus Christi Bay microlayer samples have been collected via the glass plate method. Although algal and terrigenous n-alkanes have been detected in these samples using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), they are present in lower concentrations than expected. As a result, new microlayer samples are currently being collected at larger volumes to increase their n-alkane concentrations. Once adequate concentrations have been achieved, ATRs will be calculated in order to establish a range in baseline values for Corpus Christi Bay. ATR values are expected to increase prior to and during HAB events.
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    Fine-Scale genotypic diversity in the seagrass Halodule wrightii from Oso Bay
    (2023-08-29) Burton, Amanda; Larkin, Patrick D.
    Seagrasses are the only marine angiosperms in the world. They reproduce sexually and asexually through clonal growth. Seagrass beds are vital ecosystems that harbor the adult and larval stages of many marine animals, including fish, manatees, stingrays and many other vertebrates and invertebrates. Seagrass also play a vital role in carbon sequestration, protecting shorelines from wave energy, and maintaining the water quality of coastal bays. Seagrass beds around the world are declining at alarming rates, and conservation-related research is becoming increasingly important. Genetic variation in seagrass beds has been demonstrated to be positively correlated with productivity, resistance to, and recovery from environmental stress. While several studies have examined genetic diversity at fairly large (meter) scales, few have examined fine-scale (cm) genotypic diversity. Diversity at this scale could have important implications for biological and chemical processes such as pollination or toxin neutralization. This project focused on the seagrass Halodule wrightii, otherwise known as "shoal grass”, the most abundant species of seagrass on the Texas Gulf coast. Ninety six single rhizome fragments were collected from each of three, 60 x 90 cm quadrats placed in H. wrightii beds on the south side of Ward Island, Texas. Each sample was genotyped and genetic diversity estimates (genotypic richness, evenness, and architecture) were produced for each qaudrat. We found a fair amount of genotypic variation at this scale, that declined from east to west in the sampling region. We also found the presence of a very large clone that was present in all 3 quadrats. We conclude that H.wrightii has been present near Ward Island for at least a century, and that environmental and/or anthropogenic factors may be influencing H. wrightii reproduction in an, as yet, undetermined manner.
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    Financial literacy outreach to local high school students
    (2023-08-29) Rogers, Paige; Alvarez, Diego
    A lack of financial literacy can lead to significant barriers for students trying to access education (Chen, 1998). Our project aims to address this issue by engaging with local high school students in the Corpus Christi area to improve their financial literary. Through this initiative, we hope not only to empower students with the financial knowledge they need to succeed but also expand our own understanding of the finance world.