Marion Campus Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses

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Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses from the Marion Campus. More about the Ohio State Marion Honors Program can be found at:

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    "If She Thinks Me Such a Monster, I’ll Play the Part": An Analysis of the Relationship Between Tyrion Lannister's Dwarfism, Masculinity & Monstrosity
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-12) Holbrook, Sarah; Crosby, Sara
    Since the first book was released in 1996, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has become as integral to the modern fantasy genre as J.R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. In many ways, ASOIAF takes on fantasy conventions and tropes, only to turn them on their heads. When it comes to the character of Tyrion Lannister, Martin plays with the various tropes of dwarfs that have become pervasive in literary and folkloric tradition: the drunken fool, the comedian, the sexual deviant, and the monster. Tyrion himself seems remarkably self-aware of these stereotypes, especially the idea of dwarfism being associated with monstrosity. Indeed, Tyrion is a monster, but not because he is a dwarf, as the people around him believe. Tyrion experiences oppression for being disabled, but he simultaneously benefits from privilege because he was born a nobleman in a patriarchal society and because he has access to the vast wealth of House Lannister and to the kind of connections that only someone like the King's brother-in-law could have. Not only is he privileged, but he flagrantly abuses his power and privilege to hurt even the people he claims to love, especially if they do something to impact his sense of masculinity negatively. Thus, Tyrion is not a monster purely because of his dwarfism but because he has a fragile sense of self due to the complex relationship between his dwarfism and masculinity. When this ego is threatened, he tends to lash out at the people around him to reassert his power over them, knowing that, due to his privilege and power, he likely will not suffer any repercussions for giving into his most monstrous impulses.
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    Frequent homozygous deletions of the CDKN2A locus in somatic cancer tissues: analysis of chromosomal aberrations in cell cycle regulator genes
    (The Ohio State University, 2018-12) Hamid, Abdulaziz; Petreaca, Ruben
    Homozygous deletions (HD) of human CDKN2A and neighboring regions on the p arm of Chromosome 9 have been previously reported in some cancers but a pan-cancer analysis of the aberrations of this locus is lacking. Here we analyzed the copy number variations that include CDKN2A locus using data acquired with an Affymetrix SNP6.0 array and deposited on the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) database. We find that inactivation of CDKN2A by HD is not cancer specific. A majority of HDs of this locus have a median range of 1,255,650 base pairs. We then mapped the positions of breakpoints of these deletions on both the telomere and centromere proximal sides of CDKN2A. Remarkably, most of the telomere proximal breakpoints map to a narrow region of the chromosome where the genes MTAP and MIR31HG are located. The centromere proximal breakpoints of the deletions are distributed over a wider chromosomal region. This comprehensive analysis shows that inactivation of CDKN2A by homozygous deletion is not cancer specific but rather determined by the chromosomal region.
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    Multivariate analyses of cranial morphology inform the taxonomy and evolution of geomyoid rodents
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-12) Noftz, Lily; Calede, Jonathan
    Morphological analyses are critical to quantify variation within and across species, identify taxa, understand species relationships, and shed light on evolutionary patterns. This work is particularly important in groups that display great morphological disparity. Such is the case in geomyoid rodents, a group that includes two of the most species-rich families of rodents in North America: the Geomyidae (pocket gophers) and the Heteromyidae (kangaroo rats, pocket mice, and their relatives). We assessed variation in skull morphology (including both shape and size) among geomyoids to test the hypothesis that there are statistically significant differences in cranial measurements at the family, genus, and species-levels. Our sample includes a total of 886 specimens representing all geomyoid genera and a total of 39 species. We used the geometric mean of all specimens in the dataset to compare size across taxa. We also used 14 measurements of the skull and lower jaw normalized for size and multivariate statistical methods to compare shape among and within taxa. Our results show that cranial measurements enable the distinction of geomyoids at the family, genus, and species levels. There is a larger amount of size variation within Geomyidae than within Heteromyidae. Our phylomorphospace analysis shows that the skull shape of the common ancestor of all geomyoids was more similar to the common ancestor of heteromyids than that of geomyids. Geomyid skulls display negative allometry whereas heteromyid skulls display positive allometry. Within heteromyids, dipodomyines and non-dipodomyines show significantly different allometric patterns.
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    (The Ohio State University, 2019-05) Lucas, Bailey; Petreaca, Ruben
    ABSTRACT Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid (DNA) Double Strand Breaks (DSBs) are the most dangerous form of chromosome damage because they result in a severed chromosome. If the chromosome doesn’t properly repair itself it could lead to major chromosomal abnormalities such as deletions, translocations, inversions, duplications and other kinds of copy number variations; all characteristics of cancer. An accurate DNA damage response pathway is imperative for repair of DNA double strand breaks. Repair may occur by homologous recombination of which many different sub-pathways have been identified. Some pathways are conservative meaning that the chromosome sequences are preserved, and others are non-conservative leading to some alteration of DNA sequence. The project focused on designing an in vivo genetic assay to study non-conservative intra-chromosomal deletions at regions of non-tandem direct repeats in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. This assay can be used to study both spontaneous breaks arising during DNA replication and induced double strand breaks created with the S. cerevisiae HO homothallic endonuclease. Preliminary genetic characterization of this assay shows that spontaneous breaks require rad52+ but not rad51+ while induced breaks require both genes. This suggests that the two types of breaks have distinct genetic requirements. This assay will be useful in the field of DNA damage repair for studying mechanisms off intra-chromosomal deletions. This assay was used to study the function of two chromatin remodeling genes: Mst1 (human TIP60) and Skb1 (human PRMT5). Mst1 is a histone acetyltransferase which functions to remove histones form the DNA double strand break and Skb1 is its regulator. It was revealed that both Mst1 and Skb1 promote conservative repair of DNA double strand breaks.
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    Comparative Anatomy of the Digestive System of Rural and Urban Raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Central Ohio
    (The Ohio State University, 2019-05) Roscoe, Christopher; Calede, Jonathan
    Since the industrial revolution, urban landscapes are ever expanding. This urbanization impacts the surrounding flora and fauna. As the landscape changes, the ecology changes with it. Animals must acclimate to new restrictions and novel diets. Some animals are adept at exploiting these resources and others are forced to colonize adjacent habitat. Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are an iconic urban dwelling animal. This adaptive creature inhabits most of North America and occupies every level of urbanization from forested areas to city centers. It feeds on a variety of foods from seeds and nuts to small mammals. A raccoon’s wide diet is critical for its successful acclimation to many environments. Remarkably, very little research has been done on the digestive system of this animal. I will be the first to document the macro-anatomy of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and to consider its implications for adaptation to environment. The GI tract starts with teeth that were examined for changes in omnivory using the fourth premolar and the first molar sheering and crushing ratios. I found little evidence of change across ecologies indicating physical changes. The hollow organs, of the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine were analyzed for significant differences in surface area to volume ratio and for length and weight differences. These aspects of the GI varied widely across ecologies and individuals indicating that the general size and shape does not change based on diet. Of the hollow organs the esophagus differed in normalized circumference across environments and suggests gorging capabilities may differ between ecologies. The solid organs of digestion, liver (with gallbladder), greater omentum and the pancreas were normalized and evaluated for weight similarly to the hollow organs. The evaluation of the relative size of these organs did not differ between habitats. It is difficult to say with confidence that there is a significant difference in the gut morphology between rural and urban raccoons. This study provides an in-depth investigation of the gut ii anatomy of Procyon lotor and a fundamental basis for exploring the effects of human expansion on indigenous fauna. The future holds more studies, with increased specimen numbers including histology and DNA profiles.
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    When I Became A Werewolf
    (The Ohio State University, 2015-05) Smith, Via; Crosby, Sara
    Film scholars have connected werewolves to everything from urban violence to sexual maturation but, while they have touched on the idea of lycanthropy, these monsters bear another under-analyzed dimension related to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder and depression. My thesis investigates the parallels between depictions of the werewolf and that of bipolar disorder and depression and asks to what extent the werewolf can be used to reflect or even change attitudes toward mental illness. Using close textual analysis, I track these portraits from classical and medieval mythology to modern horror films, paying particular attention to the differences in how these texts portray female and male werewolves. Additionally, a survey on human fear of monsters was also conducted, which revealed patterns of people’s attitudes toward mental illness and werewolves. Historically, women with mental illness have been demonized more thoroughly even than their male counterparts, and this tendency can be seen throughout older literature and folklore, as well as permeating into werewolf films. However, more recent films have transformed the male werewolf from monster into sympathetic hero, seemingly coinciding with a positive shift in attitudes toward mental illness. Yet depictions of female werewolves remain almost exclusively demonic, hyper-sexualized, or pathetic, with a minority of more sympathetic portrayals that may indicate some progress. My results agree with my original theory that the film industry has the potential to positively alter the ideas about mental illness through werewolf and other monster films, but in order to do so, must change the outdated formulas of gender stereotypes and mental illness that are continuously displayed to better represent the advancements in today’s mental health field.
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    Colorblind Ideology and Malleable Attitudes Toward Affirmative Action
    (The Ohio State University, 2014-08) Russell, Hannah; Bobbitt-Zeher, Donna
    As expressed prejudice declines in the post-civil rights era, considerable social science research has explored the nature of modern racial ideology. One element of today’s racism is the insidious belief that there is no longer racial inequality in America, thus being “blind” to race is seen as ideal (e.g., Bonilla-Silva 2014). Colorblind attitudes have been studied at length, particularly with regards to affirmative action, though no study has yet examined how malleable these attitudes are when people are faced with differing demographic contexts in an academic setting. To fill this void, this survey-based study uses a unique experimental design that poses various racial demographics at a hypothetical college. I use these data to then determine the effect of context on 512 participants’ support for the college to place extra effort into increasing the number of students of underrepresented racial groups. This study reveals that, while colorblind attitudes do predict opposition to such efforts, opposition still wavers significantly depending on the demographics at the college. This suggests that colorblind attitudes toward social policies like affirmative action are more malleable than previously realized. I conclude with discussion of the implications of these findings for contemporary race relations in a “post-race” society.
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    Stress and Health in College Students
    (The Ohio State University, 2012-06) Fogle, Gretchen; Pettijohn, Terry
    Research has demonstrated that college students experience stress from sources such as poor self-care habits, educational demands, daily hassles, and perceived control over stressful situations. The present study examined perceived stress, health habits, and daily hassles and uplifts among 135 college freshmen. We hypothesized that students with lower stress levels would be male, would have better self-care habits, would experience fewer minor medical health issues, would have significantly higher academic performance, and would experience fewer daily hassles and more daily uplifts than students who experienced high perceived stress. Strong support was obtained for the hypothesis that students with low perceived stress had better health habits. Students with low perceived stress also experienced significantly fewer hassles and more uplifts per month. There were not any significant effects of perceived stress on grade point average, minor medical issues, or gender. The results could help college freshmen adjust to challenges of college by helping them understand some of the effects of stress and benefits of reducing that stress.
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    Alexandra Leaving: An Exploration into Sherlock Holmes and the Writer, Reader, Character Relationship
    (The Ohio State University, 2008-06) Mohon, Pamela; Lishan, Stuart
    My project explores the relationship between reader, writer, and character. More specifically, I am investigating the character of Sherlock Holmes. Many aficionados of the series entertain themselves by pretending that Holmes was a real historical figure and using Doyle’s suggestions to create theories for solving “problems” or mysteries left by the stories. Why did Watson’s wife call him ‘John’ when we all clearly know his name is James? Could Holmes really survive his fall off of Reichenbach Falls when his death seemed eminent? How did Holmes know so much about the swamp adder when it is not even a real snake? All of these questions are ones of authorial (un)intention, but other players take the game to the next level and try to infer facts about Holmes’ personal life that are out of the scope of Doyle’s writing. Readers want to know if Holmes was ever married or had children. Was Watson secretly the genius all along and Holmes merely took the credit? Did Holmes’ drug use have a deeper and darker side? Like others before me, I attempt to answer questions of this second nature through story and the writing of a novella. While I am writing about Holmes, I am also writing about all authors and their characters as well as comparisons between loving relationships and relationships readers have with books.
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    Gender Differences in Intuitive Eating and Factors that Negatively Influence Intuitive Eating
    (The Ohio State University, 2008-06) Kroon Van Diest, Ashley; Tylka, Tracy
    Research on intuitive eating has examined some correlates of intuitive eating, but is still rather limited. The current study was the first to examine gender differences in levels of intuitive eating. This study also assessed perceptions of an adaptive diet, and expanded on previous research assessing factors that negatively predict intuitive eating. Data was obtained from 259 college men and women by a self-report survey. Results indicated that men had higher total intuitive eating levels and were more likely to eat for physical rather than emotional reasons than women and that participants had a slightly skewed idea of an adaptive diet. Results also indicated that certain factors negatively influence intuitive eating such as: (1) perceptions of caregiver use of coercive feeding strategies, (2) being around individuals who are obsessed with food and weight, and (3) maladaptive personality characteristics (i.e. negative affect, depression, body dissatisfaction, low levels of body appreciation, maladaptive perfectionism, low levels of self-esteem, and low levels optimism).
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    Joyce, Shakespeare, and Paternity in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake
    (The Ohio State University, 2007-06) Krumsee, Kirstin; Bartlett, Laura
    “Ah, there’s only one man he’s got to get the better of now, and that’s that Shakespeare!” -Nora Joyce. In a rather astute comment made to Frank Budgen, Nora Joyce remarks on her husband’s need to outdo the writers of the Western literary canon. She implies a desire on Joyce’s part to defeat every writer in the English language, a colossal attempt at becoming the greatest writer in history. It is my objective in this piece to use the text of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake in correlation with Harold Bloom’s theory of the “anxiety of influence” to emphasize Joyce’s desire to surpass William Shakespeare, the last barrier he sees in his quest to conquer the Western canon.
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    The Role of Self-Esteem as a Buffer and Independent Predictor among Variables in Objectification Theory
    (The Ohio State University, 2007-06) Aumend, Devin; Tylka, Tracy
    This study investigated the role of self-esteem as a buffer or moderator in the Objectification Theory framework, most specifically as a buffer or moderator of the relationship between sexual objectification and both body shame and body surveillance. The participants were 327 college students, all of whom were women, and were given self-report measures that measured self-esteem, sexual objectification and forms of self-objectification. The results of the study did not show support for the hypothesis that indicated the use of self-esteem as a buffer or moderator, but did find evidence that self-esteem can be seen as an independent predictor of body shame and body surveillance. Advisor: Tracy L. Tylka