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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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The Impact of Legally Blonde on Women Entering the Legal Profession

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This thesis seeks to understand how the film Legally Blonde has portrayed the interaction between femininity and women. Specifically, this paper will consider how feminism—defined through the context of the era and Legally Blonde—has empowered women to enter male-dominated professional

This thesis seeks to understand how the film Legally Blonde has portrayed the interaction between femininity and women. Specifically, this paper will consider how feminism—defined through the context of the era and Legally Blonde—has empowered women to enter male-dominated professional workspaces—specifically in consideration of the legal profession. The feminism presented in Legally Blonde can be characterized through Elle Wood’s simultaneous displays of intelligence and focus on typical feminine interests: such as marriage, cosmetics, and the like (Marsh, 2005; Lucia, 2005; Hoffman-Longtin & Feldner, 2016). The “third-wave” feminist era surrounding Legally Blonde promotes the duality of women in expressing femininity and holding agentic capability (Dole, 2008). This thesis uses the film’s definition of feminism to consider the changes in women entering the legal profession, the identity of women who connect to the film, and the media’s responses and portrayal of the film. Legally Blonde defines feminism by presenting women as both intelligent and typically feminine—challenging the typical gender role of women in society with her expression of capability and seriousness. While the film elucidates a definition of feminism based on femininity and female agency, some women may not fit into this definition based on the lack of consideration of intersectionality in the film. While the film underlines a changing shift in acceptance of women’s expression of femininity, the film’s message may not apply to all women. Yet, Elle Woods remains a role model for many women to attend law school and her impact is emphasized in popular culture even today.

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2020-05

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Effect of Rexinoids on Inducing Effector T Cell Chemotaxis

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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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The Sustainability and Safety of Student Stage Managers in Educational Theatre

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An auto-ethnographic overview of the author's personal experiences in professional and educational stage management in Arizona. Provides a critique of ASU's stage management program and offers solutions to improve the sustainability and safety of student stage managers.

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2020-12

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Does chronic unpredictable restraint produce dendritic retraction in long-shaft CA3 hippocampal neurons?

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Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a widespread mood disorder that affects more than 300 million people worldwide and yet, high relapse rates persist. This current study aimed to use an animal model for depression, unpredictable intermittent restraint (UIR), to investigate

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a widespread mood disorder that affects more than 300 million people worldwide and yet, high relapse rates persist. This current study aimed to use an animal model for depression, unpredictable intermittent restraint (UIR), to investigate changes in a subset of neurons within the hippocampus, a region of high susceptibility in MDD. Adult male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to four treatment groups based on sex (n = 48, n = 12/group). Half of the rats underwent UIR that involved restraint with orbital shaking (30 min or 1 h) for 2-6 consecutive days, followed by one or two days of no stressors; the other half of the rats were undisturbed (CON). UIR rats were stressed for 28 days (21 days of actual stressors) before behavioral testing began with UIR continuing between testing days for nearly 70 days. Rats were then euthanized between 9 and 11 days after the last UIR session. Brains were processed for Golgi stain and long-shaft (LS) neurons within the hippocampal CA3a and CA3b regions were quantified for dendritic complexity using a Camera Lucida attachment. Our findings failed to support our hypothesis that UIR would produce apical dendritic retraction in CA3 hippocampal LS neurons in both males and females. Given that UIR failed to produce CA3 apical dendritic retraction in males, which is commonly observed in the literature, we discuss several reasons for these findings including, time from the end of UIR to when brains were sampled, and the effects of repeated cognitive testing. Given our published findings that UIR impaired spatial ability in males, but not females, we believe that UIR holds validity as a chronic stress paradigm, as UIR attenuated body weight gain in both males and females and produced reductions in thymus gland weight in UIR males. These findings corroborate UIR as an effective stressor in males and warrant further research into the timing of UIR-induced changes in hippocampal CA3 apical dendritic morphology.

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2020-12

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Rainbow Rhetoric: LGBTQ+ Media Discourse and Implications

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Aside from uplifting and tearing down the mood of a young LGBTQ+ kid, journalistic media has the potential to alter the way audiences understand and react to individuals of the LGBTQ+ community. Looking at the rhetorical approaches, frameworks, and expanded

Aside from uplifting and tearing down the mood of a young LGBTQ+ kid, journalistic media has the potential to alter the way audiences understand and react to individuals of the LGBTQ+ community. Looking at the rhetorical approaches, frameworks, and expanded narratives of news sources, this project engages with the concepts of same-sex marriage, lifestyles, bans, and children in education in order to attain an understanding of what media messages are being shared, how they are being communicated, and what the implications of such rhetoric are. Summary of the findings:
• Same-sex marriage as the win that cannot be repeated.
Infamously known as the central legal battle for the LGBTQ+ community, same-sex marriage finds itself in many political speeches, campaigns, and social commentaries. Interestingly, after being legalized through a Supreme Court decision in the United States, Same-Sex Marriage finds itself framed as the social inevitability that should not be repeated in politics or any legal shift. In other words, “the gays have won this battle, but not the war.”
• There are risks around the “LGBTQ+ lifestyle” and its careful catering to an elite minority and the mediation through bans.
The risks of the LGBTQ+ “lifestyle” date back far, with many connotations being attached to being LGBTQ+ (AIDS epidemics, etc.). In modern journalism, many media outlets portray LGBTQ+ individuals to be a tiny minority (.001% according to some) that demands the whole society to adhere to their requests. This framework portrays the LGBTQ+ community as oppressors and obsessed advocates that can never “seem to get enough” (ex: more than just marriage). The bans are framed as the neutralizing factor to the catering.
• LGBTQ+ children and topics in academic and social spaces are the extreme degree.
When it comes to LGBTQ+ issues and conversations as they revolve around children, media outlets have some of the most passionate opinions about them. Often portrayed as “the line that shouldn’t be crossed,” LGBTQ+ issues, as they find themselves in schools and other spaces, are thus portrayed as bearable to a certain degree, never completely. Claims of indoctrination are also presented prominently even when institutional efforts are to protect LGBTQ+ kids.

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2018-05

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Can You See Me?: Stories to Fight Erasure

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There has been a recent push for queer fiction, especially in the young adult genre, whose focus is gay and lesbian relationships. This growth is much needed in terms of visibility and the furthering of acceptance, but there are still

There has been a recent push for queer fiction, especially in the young adult genre, whose focus is gay and lesbian relationships. This growth is much needed in terms of visibility and the furthering of acceptance, but there are still subjects within the LGBTQ+ community that need to be addressed, including bisexual, asexual, and non-binary erasure. There are many people who claim that these identities do not exist, are labels used as a stepping stone on one's journey to discovering that they are homosexual, or are invented excuses for overtly promiscuous or prudish behavior. The existence of negative stereotypes, particularly those of non-binary individuals, is largely due to a lack of visibility and respectful representation within media and popular culture. However, there is still a dearth of non-binary content in popular literature outside of young adult fiction. Can You See Me? aims to fill the gap in bisexual, asexual, and non-binary representation in adult literature. Each of the four stories that make up this collection deals with an aspect of gender and/or sexuality that has been erased, ignored, or denied visibility in American popular culture. The first story, "We'll Grow Lemon Trees," examines bisexual erasure through the lens of sociolinguistics. A bisexual Romanian woman emigrates to Los Angeles in 1989 and must navigate a new culture, learn new languages, and try to move on from her past life under a dictatorship where speaking up could mean imprisonment or death. The second story "Up, Down, All Around," is about a young genderqueer child and their parents dealing with microaggressions, examining gender norms, and exploring personal identity through imaginary scenarios, each involving an encounter with an unknown entity and a colander. The third story, "Aces High," follows two asexual characters from the day they're born to when they are 28 years old, as they find themselves in pop culture. The two endure identity crises, gender discrimination, erasure, individual obsessions, and prejudice as they learn to accept themselves and embrace who they are. In the fourth and final story, "Mile Marker 72," a gay Mexican man must hide in plain sight as he deals with the death of his partner and coming out to his best friend, whose brother is his partner's murderer.

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2018-05

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Optimal Prosthetic Development for the Good of all Amputees

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This paper emphasizes how vital prosthetic devices are as tools for both congenital and acquired amputees in order to maximize this population's level of societal productivity, but several issues exist with the current technological focus of development by the prosthetic

This paper emphasizes how vital prosthetic devices are as tools for both congenital and acquired amputees in order to maximize this population's level of societal productivity, but several issues exist with the current technological focus of development by the prosthetic industry that creates unnecessary hurdles that amputees must surpass in order to truly benefit from these tools. The first major issue is that these devices are not readily available to all amputees. The astronomical cost of most prosthetic devices is a variable that restricts low income amputee populations from obtaining these vital tools regardless of their level of need, thus highlighting the fact that amputees who are not financially stable are not supported in a fashion that is conducive to their success. Also, cost greatly affects children who suffer from a missing appendage due to the fact that they are in constant need of prosthetic replacement because of physical growth and development. Another issue with the current focus of the prosthetic industry is that it focuses on acquired amputees because this population is much larger in comparison to congenital amputees and thus more lucrative. Congenital amputees' particular needs are often entirely ignored in terms of prosthetic innovation. Finally, low daily utilization is a major issue amongst the amputee population. Several variables exist with the use of prosthetic devices that cause many amputees to decide against the utilization of these tools, like difficulty of use and lack of comfort. This paper will provide solutions to cost, discrimination, issues in development, and daily utilization by emphasizing on how lowering the cost through alternative designs and materials, transitioning the focus of technological development onto the entire amputee population rather than targeting the most lucrative group, and advancing the design in a fashion to which promotes daily utilization will provide the largest level of societal support, so that the amputee population as a whole can maximize their level of productivity in a manner that will allow this group to conquer the hardships that are introduced into their lives due to a missing appendage.

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2018-05

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Effect of Student Relationships and Motivation on Student Learning and Teacher Lessons

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The fields of psychology and education are typically housed within separate contexts. Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, thoughts, behaviors and actions (Nordqvist, 2018). The history of psychology originated centuries ago in Europe, although some attribute the beginning

The fields of psychology and education are typically housed within separate contexts. Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, thoughts, behaviors and actions (Nordqvist, 2018). The history of psychology originated centuries ago in Europe, although some attribute the beginning of mind study as far back as Aristotle. Currently, the American Psychological Association has 54 active scientific divisions, ranging from the Society of Military Psychology to Psychological Hypnosis. Education, has been studied in a variety of ways, including curriculum, instruction, and educational policy. Educational psychology is a relatively new field that examines the effects of how psychological science can be applied to learning and educational success (Parankimalil, 2014). Some of the factors that educational psychologists study include: educational reform, classroom interactions, stimuli effects on learning, student motivation, individual and collective self-beliefs, goal orientation, theory of attribution, and cognitive development. It is important to distinguish that each student has a unique approach to learning. Student relationships in classrooms can profoundly impact this learning. Moreover, student motivation stems intrinsically and is influenced by external factors. Research demonstrates the positive effects sensory stimuli, including auditory, tactile, olfactory and visual, can have on student learning as well. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are inseparable facets of student learning, as explained by the self-determination theory. This allows for student progression from external to internal motivation, to develop better learning methods. Educational psychology is very relevant to study today, more so in a classroom where students are actively synthesizing the information learned, to apply it to real-world situations. Future research includes studying cultural effects, technology, stereotypes and reciprocal determinism in an educational setting and providing individualized learning opportunities. This research provides a transition to a student focused change rather than the cyclical model currently driving the education system today. By studying the psychological effects in a classroom, the goal is to reduce the dropout rate and improve child and adolescent education by personalizing learning.

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2018-05

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The Emergence and Evolution of Gendered Products in America

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Gendered products are prevalent in the modern consumer products market. This paper provides historical context for the change in the consumer products market which started as a genderless product market and shifted to a female consumer-centric market reflecting the economic

Gendered products are prevalent in the modern consumer products market. This paper provides historical context for the change in the consumer products market which started as a genderless product market and shifted to a female consumer-centric market reflecting the economic needs of the United States through World War I and II. This female consumer-centric market results from the rise of consumer research and many household products are created to satisfy female consumer preferences. But as the consumer demographics change with more women entering the labor force, the types of products being sold change to appeal to the increasing number of male consumers who begin shopping for themselves. This increase in male products is what leads to the booming men's personal care products market that we see today. With an increase in gendered products, there has also been an increase in the number of backlash companies face for creating specific gendered products. This paper outlines the history of gendered products and the potential future of products in the United States.

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2018-05