KSP Student Publications | Pepperdine University | Seaver College

KSP Student Publications

Author: Kristin Brisbois, SCCUR 2013

Author: Kristin Brisbois

Title: Don't Touch! Examining the Role of Hands-On Children's Programs in Museums

Type: Oral Presentation
Discipline: Art
Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Kristen Chiem, Assistant Professor of Art History
Venue/Publication: SCCUR 2013

Until the 20th century, museums were designed mainly for scholars to conduct research on rare and endangered objects. In the past few decades, museums have broadened their outreach to the general public to include people of all ages and demographics. Many museums now offer children's programs that include hands-on activities as a way to stimulate a love for learning in a more relaxed and independent fashion. At two institutions targeting the same demographic, the Los Angeles Zoo and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art [LACMA], children are able to learn about endangered animals and rare works of art through hands-on activities. Although the LA Zoo and LACMA are challenged by exhibiting subjects that cannot be touched, they have succeeded in bringing children closer to both animals and art through the construction of children's spaces, interactive children's programming and supplemental materials. Through a comparative analysis of the Los Angeles Zoo's Critters n' Kids Program and LACMA's NexGen program, this paper investigates the role of hands-on activities in museum children's program as a way to bridge learning for a younger demographic. My analysis of the recent development of the interpretive media, programs, and spaces at the LA Zoo and LACMA provides a basis for redefining the role of the public museum in society. This will highlight the idea of the importance of using interpretative media as a way for museums to serve as a perpetrator of education for society.

Author: Victoria Lekson, SCCUR 2013

Author: Victoria Lekson

Title: Influence of Temperature on the Tensile Strength of Spider Silk (Araneus gemmoides)

Type: Poster
Discipline: Biology
Faculty Mentor(s): Laurieanne Dent, Visiting Professor of Biology and Stephen Davis, Distinguished Professor of Biology
Venue/Publication: SCCUR 2013

Differences in day and night temperatures in Southern California can be >30°C and may influence the functioning of ectothermic organisms. Arachnids produce silks from a pair of spinnerets in their abdomen and rely on variance in protein composition to make different types of silks. The rate at which this silk is produced as a function of temperature may influence tensile strength of filaments. We tested the effects of temperature on tensile strength of dragline silk of five specimens of Araneus gemmoides (orb-weaver) which were collected from Malibu Creek State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains of southern California, under five temperature conditions. Each specimen was placed in a 0.0283 m3 mesh enclosure and allowed 24-hours to acclimate to a temperature increase of 5°C. Photoperiods were set at 12-hour intervals for light and dark to simulate the average sunrise at 7:00 and sunset at 19:00 in Malibu. We then removed a single thread of dragline silk and measured tensile strength using an mechanical testing device (Instron 5544-A). We found that dragline silk is typically composed of two monofilaments wrapped together at points and thus quantified transverse area of both the monofilament and the (typically) two monofilament silk strand as a method of trying to understand the atypical stress-strain curves that were obtained. After running a one way ANOVA statistical analysis for repeated measures, we found that at 10°C both the Young's Modulus and stress at break were significantly greater (P<0.05) than values obtained at 15°C. Additionally, higher masses of spiders seem to correlate with greater tensile strength (R2=0.52). Currently, biomaterial engineers are attempting to exploit the incredible properties of silk for production of fiber materials. Therefore, understanding how Araneus gemmoides silk is influenced by temperature offers insight into the optimal temperature for harvesting silk.

Author: Steven Lesky, SCCUR 2013

Author: Steven Lesky

Title: iPad and Pedagogy: Exploring the Impact of One-to-One iPad Classroom Integration on Perceived Educator Effectiveness

Type: Oral Presentation
Discipline: Education
Faculty Mentor(s): Stella Erbes, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education
Venue/Publication: SCCUR 2013

This qualitative study explored how one high school history teacher and one middle school English teacher from an independent school in southern California prepared to integrate a class set of iPads into their instruction, and investigated how the instructors perceived that iPad integration affected their pedagogies and effectiveness as educators. One-to-one programs and "BYOD" (bring your own device) policies are currently being considered by schools, and are more easily adoptable in private, highly affluent institutions. Studies related to educational technology are plentiful, but empirical research addressing the role of the instructor in adopting such innovations is remarkably scarce and will be valuable to the educational community.

In May 2012, iPads were borrowed from a local university and given to study participants for use with their classrooms for one school cycle, or six school days. The instructors used the devices in all sections of the single subject they taught. Throughout the school cycle, instructors rotated iPads so that each section had several experiences learning with or without the device during classroom instruction.

Investigation was conducted through participant observation and a series of three formal interviews with each instructor: a pre-interview assessing technological preconceptions, interviews discussing experiences while teaching with the iPads, and a follow-up interview regarding the return to non-iPad-based instruction. Interviews were roughly transcribed and coded to organize the data systematically so that patterns could be noted. Results found that each instructor commented about their instructional philosophy, instructional objectives, tech support, teacher efficacy, and classroom management during the course of the study. Interestingly, the participants in this study were most concerned with teacher efficacy, their ability to be effective in teaching their curriculum with the iPad and being successful in preparing instruction that included iPads.

Author: Ashley Martin, SCCUR 2013

Author: Ashley Martin

Title: Conformity and How it Relates to Eating Patterns

Type: Poster
Discipline: Psychology
Faculty Mentor(s): Jennifer Harriger, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Venue/Publication: SCCUR 2013

This study examines how the eating habits and behaviors of individuals are influenced by another person's presence. Prior research has shown that participants are more likely to conform to eating patterns and behaviors of others in a large group; however this particular study focuses on the influence of just one other person. Twenty-nine females, aged 18-22, from Pepperdine University participated in a study designed to assess whether participants were more likely to conform to a confederate's healthy eating patterns. It was hypothesized that participants, when presented with a variety of foods (both healthy and unhealthy), would be more likely to conform to the healthy eating patterns of the confederate in the room. Participants were divided into two different groups: a control group where a confederate was not present to influence a participant's eating habits, and an experimental group where a confederate engaged in "fat talk" and ate only healthy food options. Results indicated that participants in the experimental condition were more likely to conform to the confederate's healthy eating, while participants in the control group were less likely to eat the healthy food choices. It is important to continue research in this topic in order to further examine the relationship between social conformity and eating patterns.

Author: Maya Rodriguez, SCCUR 2013

Author: Maya Rodriguez

Title: The Party To Which You Were Not Invited: Truman Capote and the Excessive Nature of Twentieth Century American Celebrity

Type: Oral Presentation
Discipline: English literature
Faculty Mentor(s): Darlene Rivas, Professor of History and Latin American Studies
Venue/Publication: SCCUR 2013

In the mid-twentieth century Truman Capote bridged the symbolic geographical gap between America's cultural and political capitals with his infamous Black and White Ball. Men and women of the fashionable social sphere (the likes of Frank Sinatra, the Vanderbilts, and Marilyn Monroe) and powerful political sphere (the Fords, the Kennedys, and Katherine Graham) all gathered in New York City's Plaza ballroom, parading their immense wealth at a time when the country was in a state of political turmoil over the Vietnam War. Capote was at the center of history being made, and I argue that he was more than aware of his role as a critical observer of café society when he created his guest list. I have completed a comparative analysis of the edited publication of Truman Capote's novel Answered Prayers and the original manuscript, which I traveled to the New York Public Library's archives to read; while there, I also examined interviews in order to better understand Capote's contemporaries' assessments of his motives, and I have used his unpublished short story "Yachts And Things," also found among Capote's papers, to demonstrate the earlier origins of Capote's fascination with celebrity culture manifested in his writing. From this research, I conclude that Capote held his Black And White Ball and wrote Answered Prayers not because of an emotional instability, as other scholars have suggested, but because he hoped to reveal to the public through his talent for research and writing the excesses of this glamorous class. Previous scholarship has slighted the agency and motivation behind Capote's work. My systematic interpretation of Capote suggests that he intended to critique celebrity saturation of the media in the face of public repression of real problems. The study's significance springs from parallels we could make of this phenomenon today.

Author: Taylor Stucky, SCCUR 2013

Author: Taylor Stucky

Title: Leaf Mechanical Strength Predicts Physiological Traits among Three Life History Types in California Chaparral

Type: Poster
Discipline: Biology
Faculty Mentor(s): Stephen Davis, Distinguished Professor of Biology
Venue/Publication: SCCUR 2013

The Santa Monica Mountains of southern California represent a Mediterranean-type climate region experiencing frequent wildfires. Chaparral shrubs dominate the landscape and have evolved three life history types in response to wildfire – those that sprout after fire but do not germinate seeds (obligate sprouters = OS), those that do not sprout after fire but reestablish by seed germination (non-sprouters = NS), and those that sprout and germinate seeds after fire (facultative sprouters = FS). There are two families of chaparral shrubs that contain all three life history types -- Rhamnaceae and Ericaceae. The purpose of this study was to determine if life history type in response to wildfire is related to leaf mechanical strength in terms of Young's modulus, leaf bulk modulus of elasticity (cell wall rigidity), hydraulic conductivity, water storage capacity or capacitance, osmotic potential, and photosynthetic rate. We hypothesized that greater mechanical strength would result in lower hydraulic conductivity. We used an Instron Mechanical Testing Device to estimate Young's modulus, a Scholander-Hammel pressure chamber to estimate leaf bulk modulus of elasticity, an evaporative flux method to estimate leaf hydraulic conductivity, and a field portable gas-exchange system to estimate maximum photosynthesis and transpiration, in situ. Ten species were examined, seven in the family Rhamnaceae and three in Ericaceae. Opposite our predictions, statistical analyses indicated that leaf mechanical strength tended to be greatest in obligate sprouters and least in non-sprouters. There was no evidence that greater mechanical strength resulted in lower hydraulic conductance. Greater leaf mechanical strength was associated with more negative osmotic potentials and turgor loss points. Bulk modulus of elasticity was associated with lower gas-exchange rates, more negative osmotic potentials, and lower leaf capacitance. Leaf mechanical strength was found to be a predictor of physiological traits associated with water stress tolerance and gas-exchange but not water transport efficiency.

Coauthors: Richard Aylward, Steven Lesky, Lance Marxen, SCCUR 2012

Coauthors: Richard Aylward, Steven Lesky, Lance Marxen

Title: Exploring the Impact of iPad Integration in the Classroom on a Professor's Pedagogy

Type: Poster
Discipline: Education
Faculty Mentor(s): Stella Erbes, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, Pepperdine University
Venue/Publication: SCCUR 2012

This study sought to examine the impact that having a class set of iPads in a college classroom had on a professor's pedagogy. The researchers found that the current data on this topic focuses narrowly on the effects that iPad implementation has on the students and while this data is certainly of vital importance, the full effects of the implementation of this new technology cannot be understood without examining how iPad technology impacts teachers. This qualitative study investigated the changes professors made in their teaching in order to integrate iPads into their classroom, and the effects that the iPad had on the way they interacted with their students. Four professors from Pepperdine University with a history of iPad usage were interviewed regarding their experiences while using iPads in their classrooms, and the data they provided was synthesized and examined for significant patterns. Results showed that having iPads in the classroom led the instructors to place greater emphasis on group activities, eliminated some of the barriers that existed between themselves and their students, and allowed them to engage more freely. These changes led the professors to believe that the iPads allowed them to interact more effectively with their students. As implementation of this new technology expands in many universities, the use of iPads in the classroom will mark a shift in the way that professors interact with their students and the degree to which they encourage their students to work together.

Author: Hequn Cai, SCCUR 2012

Author: Hequn Cai

Title: Something Extraordinary about a Depressed Youth

Type: Oral Presentation
Discipline: Other
Faculty Mentor(s): Darlene Rivas, Professor of History and Latin American Studies, Pepperdine University
Venue/Publication: SCCUR 2012

David Foster Wallace was a post-modernist writer who authored several renowned fictional novels, such as Infinite Jest, The Pale King, and hundreds of essays both fiction and nonfiction. He was also a man who suffered under psychological depression since his college years. Through an investigation of primary sources at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas and secondary sources, I found that his depression was constructed from three different sentiments – boredom, narcissism, and disappointment. Boredom was, as stated in Wallace's commencement speech at Kenyon College, "a banal platitude" of everyday adult existence. Wallace's college essays and his lengthy research for The Pale King indicate that boredom played an important role throughout his early years. Boredom motivated him to find value in everyday life by pursuing his passion to write. Narcissism refers to a "default setting" Wallace claimed that every human being has, which is thinking that he or she is the center of everything. Numerous references in Wallace's essay collections are evident of this belief. Wallace struggled to counter this thinking. Disappointment was the most significant sentiment that caused the depression. Wallace was born and raised in a highly educated family. He had high expectations for himself as a result of the emphasis on academic achievement in his home. However, as Wallace started his adulthood in his twenties, the reality was much crueler than expectation. Correspondence with Wallace's literary agent Steve Moore and fellow writers David Markson and Don DeLillo show that Wallace constantly revealed his disappointment about himself to them. Wallace was disappointed that he didn't achieve what he expected himself to achieve. In conclusion, despite the predicament Wallace had as a youth, he fought depression, never gave up writing, and created remarkable literary work. This determination is what is significant about David Foster Wallace.

Author: Taylor S Stucky, SCCUR 2012

Author: Taylor S Stucky

Title: A Comparison of Leaf Mechanical Strength and Water Relations among Three Life History Types in California Chaparral

Type: Poster
Discipline: Biology
Faculty Mentor(s): Stephen D Davis, Distinguished Professor of Biology, Pepperdine University
Venue/Publication: SCCUR 2012

The Santa Monica Mountains of southern California are located in a Mediterranean-type climate region which experiences reoccurring wildfires due to summer drought and Santa Ana winds. Chaparral vegetation, which consists mostly of evergreen, sclerophyllous shrubs, dominates the landscape. Species of chaparral shrubs have evolved three different life history types in response to fire ­ those that sprout after fire but do not germinate seeds (obligate sprouters = OS), those that do not sprout after fire but reestablish by seed germination (non-sprouters = NS), and those that both sprout and germinate seeds after fire (facultative sprouters = FS). The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not life history type in response to wildfire is related to leaf mechanical strength, leaf bulk modulus of elasticity (cell wall rigidity), and hydraulic conductivity. We also hypothesized that there would be a tradeoff between mechanical strength and hydraulic conductivity. The hypotheses were tested using an Instron Mechanical Testing Device to estimate mechanical strength, a Shcolarnder-Hammel pressure chamber to estimate bulk modulus of elasticity using pressure-volume curves, and an evaporative flux method to estimate leaf hydraulic conductivity. Species examined were Rhamnus californica (OS), Rhamnus ilicifolia (OS), Ceanothus crassifolius (NS), Ceanothus oliganthus (FS), and Ceanothus spinosus (FS). Statistical analysis showed that C. crassifolius (NS) had several fold higher hydraulic conduction than the other species, and R. ilicifolia (OS) had twofold higher mechanical strength and bulk modulus of elasticity than the other species. Though significant differences were found across species it could not be concluded that these differences necessarily related to life history type or that there was a tradeoff between mechanical strength and hydraulic conductivity.