Monday, September 30, 2019
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
USTF Student Ruth Tallman Jasperse Presents her Research at Computers and Writing hosted by Michigan State University
Ruth Jasperse was thrilled to take her analysis of the Super Seducer game series to Computers and Writing, hosted this year at Michigan State University. Computers and writing hosts a thriving interdisciplinary academic group focused on digital rhetoric, composition, and pedagogy, in which Jasperse’s psychologically framed rhetorical analysis of digital media fit into the larger academic discussion.
Despite being an undergraduate she was welcomed to the Graduate Research Network workshop at the beginning of the conference to roundtable her research with other students and advising professors.
Knowing of the silent auction held each year to raise money for graduate travel funding Jasperse also made and donated a quilt featuring the conference tee of the previous year with a winning bid of $250 for the fundraiser.
Jasperse feels she had an excellent experience of intellectual exchange and learning, being exposed to so many wonderful projects, and receiving invaluable feedback on her own research. New connections and opportunities for collaboration have been forged and she is tremendously grateful to have been welcomed into this academic community and for their encouragement of taking the next steps in expanding her analysis. Jasperse thanks OSCAR, Dr. Beth Caravella and Dr. Leah Adams for their contributions with which this experience would not have been possible
Companion website for the poster at http://superseduceranalysis.
strikingly.com - likely best matched with “her analysis of the Super Seducer game series.
Monday, September 23, 2019
Saturday, September 21, 2019
My experience at the 2019 State Politics and Policy Conference was valuable and enriching. I was able to speak to leading scholars in an emerging area of political science, state and local politics. This is a field that is rapidly growing in prominence, so it was fascinating to see all the cutting-edge research being done. In addition, although it is rare to present at this conference as an undergraduate, I felt entirely supported throughout the whole process, not only by Professor McGrath who helped me immensely on this project but everyone I spoke to at the conference. The feedback I received from my panel discussant has been valuable in helping me improve my work for a poster session at the 2019 APSA Annual Meeting in addition to eventual manuscript preparation. I was also able to hone my presenting skills through sitting in on panels and poster sessions. Overall, my experience at SPPC 2019 was worthwhile and rewarding.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Any musician can tell you that the prospect of performing at the legendary venue of Carnegie Hall in New York is something they can only dream of. I, along with some peers in the University Chorale, had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do so under Dr. Lisa Billingham this past May. The opportunity was first presented to us during the Fall 2018 semester, and over the next few months, we rehearsed our piece – Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest. We held a concert to present the piece to our local friends here at Mason one week before the Carnegie performance, and had great reception. That following Friday, we set out for New York. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings were dedicated to the full-choir rehearsals of the combined choirs of the University Chorale, Sullivan County Community Chorus, and Morris Knolls High School Chorale, for a grand total of almost 150 vocalists. On Tuesday afternoon, we had the dress rehearsal and had the chance to step onto the stage in the Stern Auditorium for the first time. That evening, we had our performance, starting at 8 PM. Our choir was the first of the three performances scheduled for the night, and we absolutely nailed it. I remember being overwhelmed by many different emotions as we stepped off the stage, as were many others; some with tears, some with a grin from ear to ear, you name it. After the performance, we had the opportunity to go on a dinner cruise down the Hudson, and we got to see many sights from the river, including Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Overall, the trip was filled with lots of fun, hard work, exploration, and excitement, and I hope to do something like this again in the near future.
Sunday, September 15, 2019
USTF Student Carl Roy Presents Research in Buenos Aires at the 64th Annual International Linguistics Association Conference
The research Dr. Serigos and I presented at the 64th Annual International Linguistics Association Conference in Buenos Aires focused on the opinions in Argentine media towards the use of Anglicisms in Spanish. Anglicisms are defined as words or expressions that are either directly taken and used in another language (i.e. software, marketing) or that are derived into other words or expressions (i.e. políticamente correcto, estrés), and are commonly read and heard throughout the country. It has been very trendy within the last decade to use English to advertise a store or product or for people to use political terms, like “déficit,” when discussing the news. Dr. Serigos and I examined the country’s two largest newspapers for articles about Anglicisms and classified the opinion(s) as positive, negative, neutral, divided, complex, or NA. The NA group, those articles in which “Anglicism” appears as a passing reference, was the most common. Out of the articles that did express an opinion, however, most were negative, as they expressed fears that Spanish is changing for the worst. The research we completed provides quantitative evidence necessary to understand how changes in language as a result of globalization are perceived.
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Attending NASPA’s Region II and Region III Conference & Symposium allowed me to see research on a professional setting for the first time. As someone who is interested in academia, I was able to get a first-look into how a career in academia would look like outside of the classroom. This was also my first-time presenting research outside of Mason and it was quite a thrilling experience as I was able to network with professionals. I was actually able to see how research could be used to inform others on certain issues and to offer possible solutions with the research that you create. I thank OSCAR and my mentor for allowing me the chance to attend.
Monday, September 9, 2019
USTF Student Yenifer Castro Presents Research at the 31st Annual Association for Psychological Sciences
I recently attended the 31st Annual Association for Psychological Sciences (APS) Convention in Washington D.C. My passion for positive psychology and involvement in Dr. Short’s research lab lead me to become an APS poster presenter. The experience was eye-opening and a great opportunity for me as an undergraduate. I was able to learn about tools for analyzing psychological data through a workshop. Attending poster presentation sessions also opened my interests and stimulated new ideas.
The poster I presented at APS is titled Gratitude, Stress Mindset, and Self-Rated Health in College Students. This study examined whether 104 college students’ self-reports of gratitude and stress as enhancing mindsets were related to their self-rated health. We also assessed the relationship of gratitude to self-rated health for college students over one month. All participants completed a Stress Mindset Measure, Gratitude Questionnaire, and a single self-rated health question. College students’ reports of self-rated health correlated .26 with stress mindset and .19 with gratitude at time 1. Stress mindset was uncorrelated with gratitude. Stress mindset and gratitude were significant predictors of self-rated health in regression analyses. The regression showed that the predictors accounted for 10.4% of the variance in self-rated health (F=5.728, p<.001). Stress mindset (B=.263, t=2.768, p<.01) was a significant predictor of self-rated health and gratitude was nearly significant (B=.186, t=1.951, p=.054) cross-sectionally. After controlling for initial self-rated health scores, the predictors explained 4.1% of the change in self-rated health scores (F change=5.157, p<.01). Gratitude emerged as a unique predictor of the change in self-rated health over time (B=.187, t=2.911, p<.01) after controlling for initial self-rated health scores. The results suggest the value of interventions to increase students’ gratitude and stress is enhancing mindsets to help increase self-rated health.
Friday, September 6, 2019
My name is Alexander Steadman. I recently had the amazing opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City behind the conducting of Dr. Lisa Billingham, where I sang the Requiem for the Living, by the contemporary composer Dan Forrest. I was blessed to sing on a stage previously graced by the likes of Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra (who are deeply inspirational to me, a jazz studies major who sings jazz), and other famous and influential musicians like the Beatles. It is a great honor to be able to say I have also performed at this stage, and I will always remember this wonderful chance I was given.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
I recently had the opportunity to present a long-term research project that Dr. Changwoo Ahn's lab has been working on for the past seven years at the Society for Wetland Scientists on June 29th-31st. During my time at the conference, I had the opportunity to overhear several different symposiums examining the various ways scientists and environmental businesses integrate science and technology in preserving wetland ecosystems. I also had the opportunity to connect with professionals and graduate students across the world ranging from here at home with researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to scientists presenting their projects all the way from China and Nigeria! At the end of the day, I had the chance to talk about the research that I have conducted with other folks in Dr. Ahn's lab examining how wetland ecosystems are affected by planting diversity and nutrient enrichment. It was both interesting and humbling to talk about our research as scientists both appreciated the work that the has done as well as asked some of us very difficult questions that none of us knew the answer to. One of the moments that stood out was when one scientist came up to our poster and started to ask about the infrastructure behind the wetland with the desire to replicate it in her lab in the North. It showed me how special this long-term project is and what potential it could bring to the scientific community. Overall, the experience was extremely rewarding with the connections that I have made and very inspiring to hear about what we as a scientific community are doing to preserve our wetlands.