PLNU Undergraduate Honors Projects

This collection includes projects completed by Point Loma Nazarene University undergraduate honors scholars. These projects are completed under the supervision of a faculty advisor or committee and cover a wide variety of disciplines.

2018-2019 Honors Projects

Bioassay-Guided Investigation Of Inhibitors Of Pierce’s Disease And Citrus Greening Disease

Connor Brandenburg
Bioassay-Guided Investigation Of Inhibitors Of Pierce’s Disease And Citrus Greening Disease
Pierce’s Disease, threatening grapevines in California, and Citrus Greening Disease, plaguing commercial citrus trees in Florida, are caused by bacterial plant pathogens. Xylella fastidiosa and Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) are the respective agents of these destructive diseases. Both reside in the plant vascular system, leading to dwarfed plants with dehydrated fruits that are ultimately worthless for the production of wine, juice, and oil, among other goods. If left untreated, these pathogens ultimately kill their host plants.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015147

Bioassay-guided Isolation of a Natural Product Inhibitor of Epicoccum Nigrum to Combat Citrus Greening Disease

Jennifer Cordoza
Bioassay-guided Isolation of a Natural Product Inhibitor of Epicoccum Nigrum to Combat Citrus Greening Disease
Huanglongbing disease (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease, is a bacterial infection that impacts citrus trees across the United States. Citrus greening is caused by Candidatus
Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), a bacterium that blocks sugar flow through the phloem, leading to unprofitable harvests. In this study, we used bioassay-guided isolation and organic structure
elucidation to identify an inhibitor produced by Epicoccum nigrum, an endophytic fungus isolated from citrus trees residing in infected groves.
Huanglongbing disease (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease, is a bacterial infection that impacts citrus trees across the United States. Citrus greening is caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), a bacterium that blocks sugar flow through the phloem, leading to unprofitable harvests. In this study, we used bioassay-guided isolation and organic structure elucidation to identify an inhibitor produced by Epicoccum nigrum, an endophytic fungus isolated from citrus trees residing in infected groves.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015153

Cerebrovascular Crises Leading to Major Neurological Disabilities and Rehabilitation Implications for the Occupational Therapist

Megan Butterweck
Cerebrovascular Crises Leading to Major Neurological Disabilities and Rehabilitation Implications for the Occupational Therapist

A Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) is the most common label ascribed to people who have experienced strokes. Ischemic Stroke, Hemorrhagic Stroke, and Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA) are the most common causes for neurological disability that impairs quality of life. CVA’s can be the result of a variety of morbidities, including thrombotic occlusions, atherosclerotic calcification, ruptured aneurysms, abnormal blood pressure, and irregular blood flow, associated with irregular dynamics.

A Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) is the most common label ascribed to people who have experienced strokes. Ischemic Stroke, Hemorrhagic Stroke, and Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA) are the most common causes for neurological disability that impairs quality of life. CVA’s can be the result of a variety of morbidities, including thrombotic occlusions, atherosclerotic calcification, ruptured aneurysms, abnormal blood pressure, and irregular blood flow, associated with irregular dynamics.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015151

Computational Analysis of the Relationships Between Antibiotic Resistance and Plasmid Backbone Genes

Mariele Lensink
Computational Analysis of the Relationships Between Antibiotic Resistance and Plasmid Backbone Genes
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are becoming one of the leading public health threats globally. Although, the presence of plasmid-encoded antibiotic resistance has been both extensively researched and well-documented, the relationships between antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and plasmid backbone structure have not. Understanding these relationships would provide important insight into the history of how bacterial plasmids have developed and the potential of plasmid backbones to acquire ARGs.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015189

Concurrent Validity And Reliability of Mobile Applications In Measuring Vertical Jump Performance

Madelyn Dow
Concurrent Validity And Reliability of Mobile Applications In Measuring Vertical Jump Performance

The purpose of this study was to test the concurrent validity and intraclass reliability of two mobile apps designed to measure countermovement jump (CMJ) height. The concurrent validity and reliability of two mobile applications (MyJump2 and What'smyvertical) designed to measure vertical jump heights were analyzed using a force platform and 3D motion analysis as criterion methods.

The purpose of this study was to test the concurrent validity and intraclass reliability of two mobile apps designed to measure countermovement jump (CMJ) height. The concurrent validity and reliability of two mobile applications (MyJump2 and What'smyvertical) designed to measure vertical jump heights were analyzed using a force platform and 3D motion analysis as criterion methods.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015170

The Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training versus Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Maximal Oxygen Uptake in Sedentary Adults

Jacob Barragan
The Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training versus Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Maximal Oxygen Uptake in Sedent

The purpose of the investigation was to compare the effects of 8 weeks of low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT) versus the effects of high-volume moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) in sedentary adults. We hypothesized that increases in VO2max after both interventions would not significantly differ between groups. 24 participants (27.1 ± 8.4 yr, VO2max = 27.7 ± 6.7 ml*kg-1*min-1) completed 4 wk (3 sessions/wk) of MICT (30 min, 70-75% HRmax).

The purpose of the investigation was to compare the effects of 8 weeks of low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT) versus the effects of high-volume moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) in sedentary adults. We hypothesized that increases in VO2max after both interventions would not significantly differ between groups. 24 participants (27.1 ± 8.4 yr, VO2max = 27.7 ± 6.7 ml*kg-1*min-1) completed 4 wk (3 sessions/wk) of MICT (30 min, 70-75% HRmax).
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015145

Evaluation of the Braden Scale In Regards to the Efficacy of Predicting Skin Breakdown Related to Medical Devices

Lauren Struffenegger
Emma Valeri
Evaluation of the Braden Scale In Regards to the Efficacy of Predicting Skin Breakdown Related to Medical Devices
The literature synthesis demonstrates the Braden Skin Assessment Tool potentially does not adequately assess for patient risk of developing pressure injuries. Recommendation to improve assessment includes: improved communication, care planning, quality monitoring, and facilitated documentation. Education on device related pressure injury assessment recommended. In healthcare settings there are a multitude of device related pressure injuries that often have multiple points of intervention.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015211

Evidence of Energetic Charged Particle Emission During Electrochemical Pd/D Co-deposition

Micah Karahadian
Evidence of Energetic Charged Particle Emission During Electrochemical Pd/D Co-deposition
An integrative solid-state nuclear track detector (CR-39) was used to measure energetic charged particles formed during an electrochemical co-deposition of Pd/D. Tracks of alpha particles ranging in energy from 1.0 to 7.5  0.5 MeV were measured. Tracks of energetic protons were observed. Evidence of triple alpha tracks appearing to originate from the same point lead to possible evidence of secondary reactions between energetic neutrons and carbon within the detector.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015183

An Examination of the Social, Political, and Economic Experiences of the Latinx LGBTQ Population in Southern California

Elina Mendoza
An Examination of the Social, Political, and Economic Experiences of the Latinx LGBTQ Population in Southern California

Latinx LGBTQ communities within the United States are largely underrepresented socially, politically, and economically. This particular group’s overlap of race/ethnicity and sexual identity/orientation presents unique challenges for those who identify with this group. This paper closely examines the lived experience of Latinx LGBTQ members in Southern California.

Latinx LGBTQ communities within the United States are largely underrepresented socially, politically, and economically. This particular group’s overlap of race/ethnicity and sexual identity/orientation presents unique challenges for those who identify with this group. This paper closely examines the lived experience of Latinx LGBTQ members in Southern California.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015202

The Experience of Childbirth at a Midwife-Run Birth Center

Samantha Archer
The Experience of Childbirth at a Midwife-Run Birth Center

There are several factors that influence a woman’s birth experience. A large portion of these factors is the preparation that she takes for the event of labor. This study focuses on both the motivation for and experience of labor at a midwife-run birth center. The data collected provides more information to better inform the field of labor and delivery on this population’s experience. The findings can be applied both within the hospital and outside of the hospital setting.

There are several factors that influence a woman’s birth experience. A large portion of these factors is the preparation that she takes for the event of labor. This study focuses on both the motivation for and experience of labor at a midwife-run birth center. The data collected provides more information to better inform the field of labor and delivery on this population’s experience. The findings can be applied both within the hospital and outside of the hospital setting.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015143

Factors Affecting the Quality of Life Postpartum: A Literature Update

Reena Torres
Factors Affecting the Quality of Life Postpartum: A Literature Update
Unmet motherly expectations in the postpartum period may lead to psychological issues such as postpartum depression and anxiety. This current 2019 literature review adds to where Dr. Mary Adams’ original research study Expectations and Quality of Life During the Antepartum and Postpartum Period left off in 2016. Dr. Adams’ (2016) quantitative research study found that there is a gap in knowledge concerning the relationship between expectations, maternal attitudes, mood, and the quality of life. The study intends to measure these variables in the antepartum and postpartum periods.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015217

Helping Babies Breathe: Neonatal Resuscitative Teaching to Midwives in Ghana, West Africa

Hannah Matthews
Olivia Meyers
Helping Babies Breathe: Neonatal Resuscitative Teaching to Midwives in Ghana, West Africa
The American Academy of Pediatrics designed Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), an educational program for low-resource areas. This project implemented a modified HBB program to teach neonatal resuscitation skills to four midwives in rural Ghana. The midwives averaged pre-test scores of (a) 39.2%, (b) 37.5% and post test scores of (a) 71.4%, (b) 83.7%. This train-the-trainer framework has resulted in one midwife continuing the teaching to hospitals in the region.
 
The American Academy of Pediatrics designed Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), an educational program for low-resource areas. This project implemented a modified HBB program to teach neonatal resuscitation skills to four midwives in rural Ghana. The midwives averaged pre-test scores of (a) 39.2%, (b) 37.5% and post test scores of (a) 71.4%, (b) 83.7%. This train-the-trainer framework has resulted in one midwife continuing the teaching to hospitals in the region.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015200

Homomorphic Encryption

Bryan Tapley
Homomorphic Encryption
A homomorphic encryption scheme built on polynomial rings is studied. The construction of irreducible polynomials in a given field is considered and implemented. Isomorphisms between two fields are found, and the method is evaluated. The scheme is ultimately implemented in SageMath, which is largely built on Python, and this is demonstrated.
A homomorphic encryption scheme built on polynomial rings is studied. The construction of irreducible polynomials in a given field is considered and implemented. Isomorphisms between two fields are found, and the method is evaluated. The scheme is ultimately implemented in SageMath, which is largely built on Python, and this is demonstrated.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015213

In Vitro Assembly of Bacteriophage Lambda Procapsid to Enable Payload Encapsulation For Targeted Drug Delivery

Rachel Culver
Ashley Julio
In Vitro Assembly of  Bacteriophage Lambda Procapsid to Enable Payload Encapsulation For Targeted Drug Delivery
The ability to structurally engineer viral nanoparticles makes them a useful platform for targeted drug delivery. The procapsid of bacteriophage lambda is one such structure. This hollow icosahedral structure can be made from multiple copies of three major capsid proteins: gpE (structural), gpNu3 (scaffolding), and gpD (stabilizing), and is amenable to payload encapsulation to allow transportation and delivery of therapeutics.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015164

Kekeli Women: The Impact of Being A Community Health Promoter in Ghana, West Africa

Kathrin Hoertig
 Kekeli Women: The Impact of Being A Community Health Promoter in Ghana, West Africa

The Kekeli Project seeks to improve the day to day health of individuals in Akatsi, Ghana (West Africa) by empowering lay women to serve as health promoters within their own villages and communities. These women volunteer to provide basic health education, blood pressure screening, wound care, and safe delivery assistance. Point Loma Nazarene University has been working with this group through a summer study abroad program since 2015. Previous studies have demonstrated the positive impact of lay health promoters on the health of their communities.

The Kekeli Project seeks to improve the day to day health of individuals in Akatsi, Ghana (West Africa) by empowering lay women to serve as health promoters within their own villages and communities. These women volunteer to provide basic health education, blood pressure screening, wound care, and safe delivery assistance. Point Loma Nazarene University has been working with this group through a summer study abroad program since 2015. Previous studies have demonstrated the positive impact of lay health promoters on the health of their communities.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015179

Kripkenstein: The Patriarchy Is a Language Game

Emilie Anderson
Kripkenstein: The Patriarchy Is a Language Game
This paper will dedicate itself to understanding the way that language functions in relation to the human condition. Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations and Saul Kripke’s Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language will serve as the structure for this paper so that I may develop a sustained conversation about Wittgenstein’s language games, the nature of rule following within those games, and
This paper will dedicate itself to understanding the way that language functions in relation to the human condition. Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations and Saul Kripke’s Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language will serve as the structure for this paper so that I may develop a sustained conversation about Wittgenstein’s language games, the nature of rule following within those games, and what this means for contemporary justice issues. In the ensuing sections, I will outline the logic at work in Wittgenstein’s language games and present the skeptic’s paradox for these rules.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015135

Navigating Faith in Criminal Justice

Sharoll Damron
Navigating Faith in Criminal Justice

The criminal justice system is failing and incarceration rates are rising as a result of punitive practices. The law will be upheld with morality, humane discipline, and restorative practices by the hands of those who are informed by their faith and who want to make a difference within the criminal justice system. In reviewing the qualitative literature, I have identified how the criminal justice system is failing, how it has distanced itself from being the just system it was intended to be, and how there is a need to change it.

The criminal justice system is failing and incarceration rates are rising as a result of punitive practices. The law will be upheld with morality, humane discipline, and restorative practices by the hands of those who are informed by their faith and who want to make a difference within the criminal justice system. In reviewing the qualitative literature, I have identified how the criminal justice system is failing, how it has distanced itself from being the just system it was intended to be, and how there is a need to change it.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015166

Navigating Macrophage Polarization

Audrianna Alonso
Navigating Macrophage Polarization
Macrophages are able to polarize from a basal, naïve state to an M1 or M2 phenotype. M1 pro-inflammatory macrophages are characterized by recognizing and eliminating abnormal cells, while M2 anti-inflammatory macrophages are characterized by tissue repair and healing. Polarization toward these phenotypes is induced by the cellular release of specific cytokines. In a tumorigenic environment, cancer cells manipulate the polarization of macrophages by directly releasing cytokines to stop the M1 attack response, and instead induce the M2 phenotype.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015133

Neuronal Pyrophosphatase Catalyzed Entanglement of Phosphate Ions in Posner Molecules

Andy Stokely
Neuronal Pyrophosphatase Catalyzed Entanglement of Phosphate Ions in Posner Molecules
A recently developed quantum mechanical model of cognition theorizes that neuronal signaling is significantly influenced by entangled Posner molecules (Ca9(PO4)6) in the brain. According to this model, entangled Posner molecules form upon the inorganic pyrophosphatase-mediated hydrolysis of singlet pyrophosphate, which produces two entangled phosphates. These entangled phosphates then coordinate with surrounding Ca2+ and other entangled phosphate molecules to form the S6 symmetric Posner molecule, which is presumed to serve as a qubit for neuronal signaling.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015208

Novel vancomycin and macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance plasmids from a set of multi-drug-resistant Enterococcus isolated from biofilm grown in wastewater

Joseph Bravo
Novel vancomycin and macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance plasmids from a set of multi-drug-resistant Enterococcus i
Antibiotic resistance among Gram-positive bacteria is a serious global health threat. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are especially concerning since they are susceptible to few if any antibiotics, and can serve as a reservoir for mobile genetic elements containing diverse resistance genes that could potentially be transmitted to other Gram-positive bacteria. The plasmids that confer resistance in Gram-positive bacteria, however, are poorly understood. In this project, a set of eight VRE strain was isolated from the influent of a wastewater treatment plant in San Diego County.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015149

Pertinent Health Needs and Values in City Heights, San Diego and How They Inform a Local Health Fair

Hope Mackliff
Alyssa Waggoner
Pertinent Health Needs and Values in City Heights, San Diego and How They Inform a Local Health Fair
A qualitative study was performed to identify the pertinent health needs and values in City Heights, San Diego and how they would inform a local health fair. Currently, Point Loma Nazarene University sponsors a Festival of Health that takes place in this area. This article discusses the health values and needs identified by five participants. Five interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded into different categories. Basic demographics were collected on participants. From these interviews five key lessons were brought forward.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015195

Physical Health, Nutrition Knowledge, Food Consumption, and Quality of Life in Female Collegiate Runners

Megan Miller
Physical Health, Nutrition Knowledge, Food Consumption, and Quality of Life in Female Collegiate Runners
Collegiate athletes undergo a pre-participation examination, but it often does not analyze dietary habits, nutrition knowledge, or quality of life. The purpose of this study was to assess these factors in female collegiate runners. Twenty-eight track and field and cross country runners from a Division II University completed this study. Blood pressure, body composition, and fasting blood glucose and lipids were measured.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015204

Pornography’s Effect on the Circulation of Rape Culture

Megan Kleber
Pornography’s Effect on the Circulation of Rape Culture

This study assesses the effects of pornography on an individual’s acceptance level of rape myths. Rape myths are a society’s set of attitudes and beliefs in regards to sexual assault and rape which circulate rape culture. Rape culture can be associated with certain ideas that place blame on victims, make excuses for the actions of a perpetrator or obscure the difference between consensual sex and rape. Research has revealed that higher exposure levels to pornography does in fact increase an individual's acceptance of rape myths.

This study assesses the effects of pornography on an individual’s acceptance level of rape myths. Rape myths are a society’s set of attitudes and beliefs in regards to sexual assault and rape which circulate rape culture. Rape culture can be associated with certain ideas that place blame on victims, make excuses for the actions of a perpetrator or obscure the difference between consensual sex and rape. Research has revealed that higher exposure levels to pornography does in fact increase an individual's acceptance of rape myths.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015185

Predator-prey relationships for coyote (Canis latrans), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), and puma (Puma concolor) in Costa Rican ecosystems

Amy Eppert
 Predator-prey relationships for coyote (Canis latrans), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), and puma (Puma concolor) in Costa Rican ec

Evaluating predatory-prey relationships is critical for understanding the dynamics of ecosystems and implementing effective conservation efforts. I investigated whether Neotropical mammalian predators select prey based on relative abundance alone, on a subset of known prey species regardless of abundance, or on a combination of both. Data collected from camera traps located in seven sites in Costa Rica were used to calculate coefficients of overlapping (∆) to assess the similarity of activity patterns between predators and their prey.

Evaluating predatory-prey relationships is critical for understanding the dynamics of ecosystems and implementing effective conservation efforts. I investigated whether Neotropical mammalian predators select prey based on relative abundance alone, on a subset of known prey species regardless of abundance, or on a combination of both. Data collected from camera traps located in seven sites in Costa Rica were used to calculate coefficients of overlapping (∆) to assess the similarity of activity patterns between predators and their prey.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015175

The Role of the Microbiome in Human Health

Verushqa Andrade
The human microbiota is a thriving ecosystem that has remained a great mystery, as we have yet to develop a complete understanding of its complex nature and capabilities. Nonetheless, numerous studies have demonstrated its significant role in an individual’s physical and mental health. Overall, a high diversity of endosymbiotic gut microbiota has been shown to be a key determinant of host health due to its molecular interactions with bodily systems, including the immune and nervous systems.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015137

The Role of Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily Molecules on regulation of T cell response to Zika virus

Becca Salgado
The Role of Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily Molecules on regulation of T cell response to Zika virus

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family and as of February 2016 has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Understanding the T cell response to ZIKV is critical in making steps towards developing vaccines and antiviral therapies. This project investigated the effect of tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily members on T cell activation during a primary ZIKV infection. The T cell response was most aptly seen in wild-type C57BL/6J mice treated with an anti-Ifnar1 blocking antibody one day prior to infection.

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family and as of February 2016 has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Understanding the T cell response to ZIKV is critical in making steps towards developing vaccines and antiviral therapies. This project investigated the effect of tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily members on T cell activation during a primary ZIKV infection. The T cell response was most aptly seen in wild-type C57BL/6J mice treated with an anti-Ifnar1 blocking antibody one day prior to infection.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015206

Student Evaluations of Faculty Generosity and Course Quality

Francesca De Francisco
Student Evaluations of Faculty Generosity and Course Quality
Recent research has suggested that student evaluations of courses and professors are predicted by a variety of factors, ranging from rapport (Wilson, Ryan, & Pugh, 2010) to nonverbal behavior (Ambady, & Rosenthal, 1993). However, research has yet to examine how such evaluations are predicted by professors’ strivings and philosophy of student-professor interactions.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015168

Studies at Hannibal Bank, Panama: A Study of Evolutionary History of Mollusks and Developing a Program to Review Dive Track Data

Sebastian Elsenbroek
Studies at Hannibal Bank, Panama: A Study of Evolutionary History of Mollusks and Developing a Program to Review Dive Track Data
This study focuses on the phylum Mollusca from Hannibal Bank in Panama. Through DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analyses, the biodiversity and evolutionary history of mollusks were evaluated. The results of this study were found to support molluscan relationships reported in previous studies. Seventeen distinct species were collected. Bayesian and Maximum-Likelihood analyses revealed that the class Polyplacophora was basal to the sister clades Bivalvia and Gastropoda. Gastropoda was also found to have two distinct clades in both analyses: Vetigastropoda and Caenogastropoda.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015173

A Study of Pencil Urchin Population Genetics at Hannibal Bank

Lee Hannah
A Study of Pencil Urchin Population Genetics at Hannibal Bank

Hannibal Bank is a seamount-like feature known for its high productivity and biodiversity that is located in an UNESCO World Heritage Site off the Pacific coast of Panama. The biodiversity and biogeography of two species of pencil urchins at Hannibal Bank were studied using genetic analysis and geographical imaging systems. DNA barcoding of the COI mitochondrial gene identified gene sequences for 80 samples of two species of pencil urchins (Genus Hesperocidaris).

Hannibal Bank is a seamount-like feature known for its high productivity and biodiversity that is located in an UNESCO World Heritage Site off the Pacific coast of Panama. The biodiversity and biogeography of two species of pencil urchins at Hannibal Bank were studied using genetic analysis and geographical imaging systems. DNA barcoding of the COI mitochondrial gene identified gene sequences for 80 samples of two species of pencil urchins (Genus Hesperocidaris).
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015187

Survivor-Informed Recommendations for Health Care Professionals on How to Better Treat Victims of Sex Trafficking

Mays Makenna
Survivor-Informed Recommendations for Health Care Professionals on How to Better Treat Victims of Sex Trafficking
Human trafficking is deemed by many as a worldwide epidemic that is affecting millions of people of all races, genders and social statuses. This research focuses directly on sex trafficking and how the victims of the commercial sex trade perceive their lives to intersect with the healthcare system. Healthcare professionals are at a unique vantage point because they are often one of the only direct contacts from the outside world with victims of sex trafficking.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015197

Torus Knots

Moyra Dyer
Torus Knots
This is a self-contained paper assuming no background knowledge of knot theory. A knot is a closed curve in three-dimensional space that does not intersect itself anywhere. A (double) crossing is where two strands of the knot meet; a triple crossing is where three strands of the knot meet. In this paper, a specic family of knots, called torus knots, is studied. This paper explores different properties of knots and how they are realized in torus knots. The relationship between the number of double crossings and triple crossings is investigated for a specic type of torus knot.
This is a self-contained paper assuming no background knowledge of knot theory. A knot is a closed curve in three-dimensional space that does not intersect itself anywhere. A (double) crossing is where two strands of the knot meet; a triple crossing is where three strands of the knot meet. In this paper, a speci c family of knots, called torus knots, is studied. This paper explores different properties of knots and how they are realized in torus knots. The relationship between the number of double crossings and triple crossings is investigated for a speci c type of torus knot.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015222

A Web-Based Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Ophthalmic Pathologies

Carlee Taylor
A Web-Based Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Ophthalmic Pathologies

Chronic ophthalmic pathologies are a prevalent cause of blindness and vision impairment (VI) in the world. There are an estimated 1.02 million people who are blind, 3.22 million people with vision impairment, and 8.2 million people living with correctable vision impairment. 1 Glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataract, cancers, and diabetic retinopathy are the prominent pathologies among the many that can cause vision impairment or vision loss.

Chronic ophthalmic pathologies are a prevalent cause of blindness and vision impairment (VI) in the world. There are an estimated 1.02 million people who are blind, 3.22 million people with vision impairment, and 8.2 million people living with correctable vision impairment. 1 Glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataract, cancers, and diabetic retinopathy are the prominent pathologies among the many that can cause vision impairment or vision loss.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015215

What People Volunteer?: A Look Into How Race, Gender, Religion and Socioeconomic Status Effect Prosociality in America

Michael Gracia
What People Volunteer?: A Look Into How Race, Gender, Religion and Socioeconomic Status Effect Prosociality in America
The purpose of the study was to investigate how one’s race, religious background, socioeconomic class, and gender affect how likely one is to volunteer. In this project, prosociality is defined as how often someone has volunteered within the past year. Previous literature shows little relationship between prosocial behavior and gender or race. With regard to socioeconomic class, results are mixed and vary depending on the economic system in the country the studies are performed in; i.e. socialist, capitalist, etc.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015177

Which Factors Cause People to Use Illicit Drugs?

Mallory Huston
Which Factors Cause People to Use Illicit Drugs?

Illicit drug use and its reasons are the areas that many sociologists have not researched thoroughly. The importance of impulsivity in explaining the reason for illegal drug use is dependent on societal constructs like gender, race, age, and income according to the available literature. Assessing illicit drug use is not complete until research examines the strain theory as well as labeling theory. According to the principle of strain theory, social pressure areas such as insufficient income or inadequate education and peer influence drive the members of society to engage in crime.

Illicit drug use and its reasons are the areas that many sociologists have not researched thoroughly. The importance of impulsivity in explaining the reason for illegal drug use is dependent on societal constructs like gender, race, age, and income according to the available literature. Assessing illicit drug use is not complete until research examines the strain theory as well as labeling theory. According to the principle of strain theory, social pressure areas such as insufficient income or inadequate education and peer influence drive the members of society to engage in crime.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015181

2017-2018 Honors Projects

Affecting the Eating Habits of College Students: Understanding Eating Patterns and Influencing Factors to Create Effective Dietary Interventions

Kaitlyn Offhaus
Affecting the Eating Habits of College Students: Understanding Eating Patterns and Influencing Factors to Create Effective Dieta

Download the PDF version of the honors project.

A greater understanding of the influencing factors and eating habits of college students is essential in creating effective interventions. In 2015 Point Loma Nazarene University received a grant from the USDA to survey students' health. PLNU received the grant to participate in this larger study as an intervention school. Thus throughout the year we performed four different interventions, each focusing on a slightly different area of health. The intervention specific to this research project dealt with My Plate and portion control. This study looks at the results of that survey.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00014936

A Study of the Diversity and Community Structure of Fauna at Hannibal Bank Based on Imagery Data

Jonathan Abdala
A Study of the Diversity and Community Structure of Fauna at Hannibal Bank

Download the PDF version of the honors project.

Hannibal Bank is a biodiversity hotspot off the Pacific coast of Panama. Using the AUV SeaBED, 12 photo-transects of the seafloor systematically captured over 21,712 images during a research cruise in 2015. A subset of the images was analyzed to characterize the benthic community by identifying and quantifying visible fauna based on morphology. In addition, the dominant substrate types within each image was also recorded.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00014911

A Study of the Diversity and Distribution of Arthropods at Hannibal Bank Based on Genetic and Imagery Data

Misa Sueyoshi
A Study of the Diversity and Distribution of Arthropods at Hannibal Bank Based on Genetic and Imagery Data

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Hannibal Bank, located off the coast of Panama, is a UNESCO world heritage site known for its high levels of biodiversity. The biodiversity and distribution of arthropods were analyzed using genetic and image data collected from a research cruise in 2015. Genetic data was used to determine the number of species collected at Hannibal Bank based on DNA barcodes, and image data was used to study the distribution of arthropods and discern patterns throughout the bank. The genetic data identified that among the 99 samples collected, 39 different species and 10 families are represented.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00014948

Synthesis and Computational Analysis of Novel IspF Inhibitors

Daniel Harper
Synthesis and Computational Analysis of Novel IspF Inhibitors

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A potent inhibitor of 2C-methyl-D-erythritol 2,4-cyclodiphosphate synthase (IspF) has the potential to serve as a new class of antibiotic. In this project, we explored the development of such an inhibitor using a mixed experi-mental/computational approach. A promising lead was identified using chemical intuition and previously published re-search, but it failed to show significant activity toward IspF. The computational results explained this unexpected lack of inhibition. The lead compound cannot adopt the anticipated bidentate binding motif without substantial steric and angle strain.
English
Type: 
Research paper
WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00014931

2016-2017 Honors Projects

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WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00015220
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