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A Theory of Change: How the Mind, the Heart, and the Future can be Shaped Through Creative Expression

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The goal of this thesis was to create a theory of change for an annual Multicultural Arts Camp (MAC) that offers youth with trauma histories opportunities to cultivate protective factors associated with resilience. MAC is designed to promote four primary

The goal of this thesis was to create a theory of change for an annual Multicultural Arts Camp (MAC) that offers youth with trauma histories opportunities to cultivate protective factors associated with resilience. MAC is designed to promote four primary protective outcomes among its participants: (1) safety, (2) self-expression, (3) skill-building and (4) self-efficacy through exploration of various multicultural art forms and connecting with caring adults. The theory of change was informed by my observations during my experience as a MAC volunteer and my review of academic literature to better define and understand how various factors involved in the MAC program are linked to resilience processes. Arts programming can provide opportunities for youth who have experienced trauma to feel safe enough to engage in self-expression and build corresponding skills that promote feelings of self-efficacy. Building these protective factors thereby strengthens children’s capacity for resilience. Accordingly, the theory of change articulates program activities and processes that promote these outcomes among participating youth. Program directors may draw on the theory of change for strategic planning and evaluation efforts assessing the program’s processes and corresponding impact.

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2020-05

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Effect of Rexinoids on Inducing Effector T Cell Chemotaxis

Description

The retinoid-X receptor (RXR) can form heterodimers with both the retinoic-acid
receptor (RAR) and vitamin D receptor (VDR). The RXR/RAR dimer is activated by ligand all
trans retinoic acid (ATRA), which culminates in gut-specific effector T cell migration. Similarly,

The retinoid-X receptor (RXR) can form heterodimers with both the retinoic-acid
receptor (RAR) and vitamin D receptor (VDR). The RXR/RAR dimer is activated by ligand all
trans retinoic acid (ATRA), which culminates in gut-specific effector T cell migration. Similarly,
the VDR/RXR dimer binds 1,25(OH)2D3 to cause skin-specific effector T cell migration.
Targeted migration is a potent addition to current vaccines, as it would induce activated T cell
trafficking to appropriate areas of the immune system and ensure optimal stimulation (40).
ATRA, while in use clinically, is limited by toxicity and chemical instability. Rexinoids
are stable, synthetically developed ligands specific for the RXR. We have previously shown that
select rexinoids can enhance upregulation of gut tropic CCR9 receptors on effector T cells.
However, it is important to establish whether these cells can actually migrate, to show the
potential of rexinoids as vaccine adjuvants that can cause gut specific T cell migration.
Additionally, since the RXR is a major contributor to VDR-mediated transcription and
epidermotropism (15), it is worth investigating whether these compounds can also function as
adjuvants that promote migration by increasing expression of skin tropic CCR10 receptors on T
cells.
Prior experiments have demonstrated that select rexinoids can induce gut tropic migration
of CD8+ T cells in an in vitro assay and are comparable in effectiveness to ATRA (7). The effect
of rexinoids on CD4+ T cells is unknown however, so the aim of this project was to determine if
rexinoids can cause gut tropic migration in CD4+ T cells to a similar extent. A secondary aim
was to investigate whether varying concentrations in 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 can be linked to
increasing CCR10 upregulation on Jurkat CD4+ T cells, with the future aim to combine 1,25
Dihydroxyvitamin D3 with rexinoids.
These hypotheses were tested using murine splenocytes for the migration experiment, and
human Jurkat CD4+ T cells for the vitamin D experiment. Migration was assessed using a
Transwell chemotaxis assay. Our findings support the potential of rexinoids as compounds
capable of causing gut-tropic migration in murine CD4+ T cells in vitro, like ATRA. We did not
observe conclusive evidence that vitamin D3 causes upregulated CCR10 expression, but this
experiment must be repeated with a human primary T cell line.

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2020-05

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Menopause Symptoms in Underserved and Homeless Women living in the Extreme Temperatures of Arizona

Description

Regional and geographical differences may explain variability in menopausal symptom occurrence due to development of climate-specific thermoneutral zones leading to population-specific hot flash frequencies. Limited information available regarding menopausal symptoms in underserved women living in extreme heat.

Understanding the perception of

Regional and geographical differences may explain variability in menopausal symptom occurrence due to development of climate-specific thermoneutral zones leading to population-specific hot flash frequencies. Limited information available regarding menopausal symptoms in underserved women living in extreme heat.

Understanding the perception of menopausal symptoms in underserved women living in extreme heat regions to identify if heat impacts perception of menopausal symptoms was the objective of this study. Women in free, low-income, and homeless clinics in Phoenix were surveyed during summer and winter months using a self-administered, written questionnaire including demographic, climate and menopause related questions, including the Green Climacteric Scale (GCS).

A total of 139 predominantly Hispanic (56 %), uninsured (53 %), menopausal (56 %), mid-aged (mean 49.9, SD 10.3) women were surveyed— 36% were homeless or in shelters. Most women were not on menopausal hormone therapy (98 %). Twenty-two percent reported hot flashes and 26% night sweats. Twenty-five percent of women reported previously becoming ill from heat. More women thought season influenced menopausal symptoms during summer than winter (41 % vs. 14 %, p = 0.0009). However, majority of women did not think temperature outside influenced their menopausal symptoms and that did not differ by season (73 % in winter vs. 60% in summer, p=0.1094). No statistically significant differences seen for vasomotor symptoms between winter and summer months.

Regional and geographical differences may be key in understanding the variability in menopausal symptoms. Regardless of season, the menopausal, underserved and homeless women living in Arizona reported few vasomotor symptoms. In the summer, they were more likely to report that the season influenced their menopausal symptoms rather than temperature suggesting an influence of the season on symptom perception.

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2018-05

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Film Buff Reviews Stuff: A Film Review Blog

Description

This creative project centers on creating evaluative writing about film, in the form of a film review blog. Preliminary writing was done, in which the distinction was made between critical film writing and movie reviewing, as well as an analysis

This creative project centers on creating evaluative writing about film, in the form of a film review blog. Preliminary writing was done, in which the distinction was made between critical film writing and movie reviewing, as well as an analysis of how film critics have honed in their criticism and what makes their content effective for their audience. The rest of the writing for this project consists of a total of 15 reviews for 15 different movies released in 2017 and 2018. In these reviews, there is a brief introduction of the plot and context in which the film is made, followed by an evaluative analysis of what made the film effective or ineffective in achieving its artistic goals. The reviews involve an amalgamation of the content and topics taught in the Film and Media Studies program at Arizona State University, from screenwriting to cinematography. This process of writing reviews and being edited by the Director and Second Reader allows for the opportunity to find a unique writing voice and create content that is accessible for the wide audience that would be reading the work. All of the writing completed for this project (except for the "My Favorite Film Critics" piece) is compiled together in a WordPress blog, in an easily readable and accessible format. The blog itself serves as a way to reach the desired audience, as well as entice them to engage with the writing and the films being written about. This includes providing images and trailers for each respective film, to add a visual component to the writing. The final product is a unique way to engage with the content taught in the Film and Media Studies program, while simultaneously building a portfolio of writing that will be expanded upon and continued in the future.

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2018-05

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New Diagnostic Methods for Detecting Microvillus Inclusion Disease

Description

Microvillus Inclusion disease is a fatal disease found in the Navajo population caused by a single nucleotide polymorphism. It is characterized by intractable diarrhea and is often fatal early in life.1 The current method of diagnosis is sending duodenal biopsies

Microvillus Inclusion disease is a fatal disease found in the Navajo population caused by a single nucleotide polymorphism. It is characterized by intractable diarrhea and is often fatal early in life.1 The current method of diagnosis is sending duodenal biopsies for histopathological examination and confirmatory testing through genomic sequencing. The purpose of this experiment was to create a more simple and cost-effective diagnostic method for detecting Microvillus Inclusion disease. Three methods were explored (RFLP2, ARMS3,4, and Tentacle Probes5,6) and two methods were tested to determine their ability and their efficiency in detecting the SNP that causes the disease.2 Tests using the RFLP2 method and synthetic DNA resulted in 9% false-positive rate and 11% false-negative rate in a blind trial for detecting both target (mutation present) and non-target (mutation absent) DNA when gel analyzing software was used to compare Rf values after gel electrophoresis. Using the ARMS method3, a nine-sample randomized test was run that ended up with 22% false-positive rate and 19% false-negative rate from a blind trial when using a gel analyzing software to determine presence of the SNP by band intensity. Disclaimer: No DNA from human patients was used in this study. Only synthetic DNA used.

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2018-05

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The Role and Function of Feature Film Trailers as a Marketing Tool and Artform

Description

Trailers are an effective tool used by marketing teams in the film industry to persuade people to spend money to see a movie. Their role in film marketing has changed and exponentially increased throughout the history of the medium, and

Trailers are an effective tool used by marketing teams in the film industry to persuade people to spend money to see a movie. Their role in film marketing has changed and exponentially increased throughout the history of the medium, and their form is constantly evolving. While the core function of trailers is to advertise a finished product, they are created with a focused effort on grabbing an audience's attention and initiating an emotional interaction. The development of a feature film trailer by an organized marketing group is also an artistic venture that requires a high level of proficiency at editing and storytelling to effectively communicate the necessary elements of a film in an effort to persuade. Trailer making is a craft honed by an extraordinary amount of person-hours and intentionality, with a blend of plenty of diegetic and non-diegetic functions which exhibit the best parts of a movie. While trailers can suffer from hyperbolicism as well as excessive genre signaling, it's important to stand out and prove a product worthy of a customer's dollars especially in a film culture saturated with content. As marketing budgets continue to balloon in the entertainment industry, it seems that trailers will continue to be a mainstay of promoting art, and will evolve to fit any societal shifts they encounter.

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2018-05

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Precarious Fauna: An Art Exhibition

Description

Human nature drives us to focus primarily on the present or near-future, instead of considering what consequences our actions may have many years from now. However, in a new era that is increasingly dominated by humans and their ambitions, this

Human nature drives us to focus primarily on the present or near-future, instead of considering what consequences our actions may have many years from now. However, in a new era that is increasingly dominated by humans and their ambitions, this tendency has destructive repercussions on the very environment that once supported and nurtured humankind. Wild animals are highly susceptible to human activities that damage ecosystems, and a loss of animal diversity can have unforeseen consequences on future human populations. In the research, I examine the avoidable reasons for the severe decline in population of four animal species, and through my art, imagine the losses associated with their disappearance. The artwork created evokes an emotional response in the viewer through dramatic, contrasting imagery, making them reassess the relationship between humans, animals and the environment.

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2018-05

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Eat In, Not Out: A Comparative Analysis Between at Home Cooking and Restaurant Dining

Description

This creative project seeks to demonstrate the nutritional and financial benefits of cooking in versus eating out to college age students. We sought to determine what factors significantly differentiated restaurant meals versus home-cooked versions, and how we could share this

This creative project seeks to demonstrate the nutritional and financial benefits of cooking in versus eating out to college age students. We sought to determine what factors significantly differentiated restaurant meals versus home-cooked versions, and how we could share this information with our peers to potentially influence them to make a healthy lifestyle change. The first step was to determine the factors that influence college-aged students eating habits, and was presented with a review of relevant literature in several topics. We researched food literacy in young adults, the impact of fast food, social media's role in healthy eating habits, health behavior change in young adults, and the benefits of home cooking to obtain a general baseline of the knowledge of college-aged students. The initial research was utilized to write more effective blog posts that appropriately addressed our targeted demographic and to determine what platforms would be most appropriate to convey our information. These ideas were taken and then translated into a blog and Instagram account that contained healthy, copycat recipes of popular restaurant meals. We wrote 30 blog posts which were made up of 20 original recipes, 8 nutrition informational posts, and an introduction/conclusion. Finally, a focus group was hosted to ascertain the opinions of our peers, and to determine if they would be willing to make a lifestyle change in the form of cooking more frequently as opposed to eating out regularly. We provided them with a pre and post survey to gather their opinions before and after reviewing the findings of our research and project. We concluded that if given the information in an accessible way, college students are willing to eat in, not out.

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2018-05

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Calculative Thought with a Meditative Purpose: Forensic Science and Hermeneutic Thought

Description

As human beings we go through the world interpreting – seeing a situation, gathering context, and making a decision on the meaning of the thing we just experienced. The philosopher Martin Heidegger calls this way of being hermeneutics – a

As human beings we go through the world interpreting – seeing a situation, gathering context, and making a decision on the meaning of the thing we just experienced. The philosopher Martin Heidegger calls this way of being hermeneutics – a practice of interpretation. This method of approach does not ignore a person’s bias, instead bias is highlighted, understood, and possibly even overcome. In the following pages the basic definition and process of hermeneutics will be discussed. Leading into the difference between calculative and meditative thought – scientific and philosophical – in order to later discuss the possibility and need to merge the two in the field of Forensic Science. Forensic Scientist uses hermeneutic thought by way of merging calculative and meditative thinking. In order to support this claim artistic renderings of ‘the pieces of an unknowable whole’ were created to literally illustrate this truth.
Forensic science is tasked with using calculative thinking with scientifically accepted methods of measurement and detection as well as the meditative task of applying their data to messy, real-world events. In order to support my supposition of forensic scientists being hermeneutical workers, three paintings were created. The three paintings can be considered a tryptic of sorts due to the context in which they are presented: forensic science. They each tell a story that is weaved within each other – spatter indicating violence long past, the empty void of a body gone, and the cold decomposition of a victim found. It is the forensic scientist that must interpret each piece separately and is tasked with finding how and why they are put together. The hermeneutical work of the forensic scientist interpreting a crime scene uses the same methods as one who interprets text. A forensic scientist opens possibilities of meaning in the same way that Martin Heidegger’s hermeneutic circle does. There is interplay between the interpreter (the forensic scientist) and the text (the crime scene), questions are formed (what happened here?) and responses are made (evidence found at the scene). This question and response outlook is what make the forensic scientist a hermeneutic thinker.

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2018-05

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Food Sustainability: an Agricultural, Ethical, and Millennial Perspective through Film

Description

This documentary shows how what we eat affects our planet. Meat and dairy consumption is the number one pollutant to the environment and yet it is often not discussed among environmentalists. There is so much devastation taking place on our

This documentary shows how what we eat affects our planet. Meat and dairy consumption is the number one pollutant to the environment and yet it is often not discussed among environmentalists. There is so much devastation taking place on our planet due the animal agriculture industry: air pollution, and water contamination, destruction of the the Amazon rainforests. Natural resources, such as water - it takes one thousand gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk - are being over consumed. Land is being cleared of trees at a massive scale in the Amazon to make more room for land to raise livestock and grow its feed. Following the stories and experiences of several ASU students and other community members, the documentary highlights this connection between food and its effects on the environment and what people can do to make a difference.

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2018-05