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Federal Reserve Interest Rate Management: Combatting Speculation of Market Volatility and Recessionary Sentiment

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Abstract: Handling the multiple functions of monetary policy that protect the U.S. economy not only on a short term, but also long-term scale is a complicated responsibility assigned to Federal Reserve, in which their actions present a profound impact on

Abstract: Handling the multiple functions of monetary policy that protect the U.S. economy not only on a short term, but also long-term scale is a complicated responsibility assigned to Federal Reserve, in which their actions present a profound impact on consumer confidence towards financial markets and global economies. Specifically, one of the most important goals of the Federal Reserve is to mitigate the risk of the United States to enter a recession, while maintaining a balanced approach when making those policy decisions. In this thesis, we focus on the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, particularly, their role in controlling interest rates to prevent recessionary sentiment in the current state of the economy. Since 2008, markets have been stronger and previous policies like Dodd-Frank have ensured that market collapses during the Great Recession do not repeat itself. Yet, fluctuations in the yield curve, polarizing investment views, and unsettled consumer confidence has pointed to another recession in the near future. In this case, we will look at the way the Fed has implemented short term policies to lower this risk in order to fight volatile markets, however, fluctuating interest rates has its consequences. The goal of this thesis is to analyze the various ways the Fed has managed interest rates in the past and present, and further, to offer a framework to serve as the most effective policy to combat volatility and recessionary sentiment in the U.S. economy.

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2020-05

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Who's in Control?: On the relationship between locus of control and the influence of unethical authority

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The goal of this study was to explore the relationship between locus of control and the influence of an unethical authority figure. This research is a preliminary, exploratory study given research design limits. It was hypothesized that subjects oriented towards

The goal of this study was to explore the relationship between locus of control and the influence of an unethical authority figure. This research is a preliminary, exploratory study given research design limits. It was hypothesized that subjects oriented towards internal locus of control are better able to resist pressure from an unethical authority figure. Subjects oriented towards the powerful others and chance orientations were hypothesized to be less able to resist pressure from an unethical authority figure. The results found that the presence of an unethical authority figure had little to no influence on self-perceived unethical decision-making; the difference in unethical behavior between cases with an authority figure present and without one present was not statistically significant. Further, no support was found for the hypotheses as no statistically significant relationship between locus of control orientations and the difference between the control case and test case was found (R2 = 0.02, model P-value > 0.05). Further analysis confirmed the results of Detert et al. (2008), finding no relationship between survey subjects’ locus of control orientations and unethical decision-making. Additional analysis indicates a relationship between unethical decision-making and gender (B = -5.14, P = 0.03, P < 0.05), providing some interesting avenues for future research.

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2020-05

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Iterative Size Reduction of Bead Placement in Nanosphere Lithography

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Nanosphere lithography is a high throughput procedure that has important implications
for facile, low cost scaling of nanostructures. However, current benchtop experiments have
limitations based on the placement of molecular species that exhibit greater than singlemolecular binding. In addition, reliance

Nanosphere lithography is a high throughput procedure that has important implications
for facile, low cost scaling of nanostructures. However, current benchtop experiments have
limitations based on the placement of molecular species that exhibit greater than singlemolecular binding. In addition, reliance upon bottom-up self-assembly of close-packed
nanospheres makes it problematic to resolve images using low-cost light microscopes due to the
spacing limitations smaller in magnitude than light wavelength. One method that is created to
resolve this issue is iterative size reduction (ISR), where repetitive ‘iterative’ processes are
employed in order to increase the precision at which single molecules bind to a given substrate.
ISR enables inherent separation of nanospheres and therefore any subsequent single molecule
binding platforms. In addition, ISR targets and encourages single-molecule binding by
systematically reducing binding site size. Results obtained pursuing iteratively reduced
nanostructures showed that many factors are needed to be taken into consideration, including
functionalization of nanosphere particles, zeta potential, and protonation-buffer reactions.
Modalities used for observation of nanoscale patterning and single-molecule binding included
atomic force microscopy (AFM) and ONI super-resolution and fluorescence microscopy. ISR
was also used in conjunction with zero mode waveguides, which are nanoapertures enabling realtime single molecule observation at zeptoliter volumes. Although current limitations and
obstacles still exist with reproducibility and scalability of ISR, it nonetheless exhibits limitless
potential and flexibility in nanotechnology applications.

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2020-05

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Sustainability Disclosures as a Financial Asset and Tool for Brand Management

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Sustainability disclosures have existed and been in use for over 20 years. Over the last century, corporate social responsibility ideals changed drastically from both the perspectives of consumers, investors, and corporations. Shifting from a start as an innovative initiative to

Sustainability disclosures have existed and been in use for over 20 years. Over the last century, corporate social responsibility ideals changed drastically from both the perspectives of consumers, investors, and corporations. Shifting from a start as an innovative initiative to now a crucial instrument in maintaining a public image and keeping up with competitors, sustainability can now be used to an economic benefit. The benefits of sustainability disclosure exist now as major factors of key performance indicators and major impactors of the bottom line.

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2020-05

Human Physiological Adaptations to Starvation and Caloric Restriction

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Throughout history humans have had to adapt to changing conditions in order to survive. Food shortages are one of the major pressures that have shaped past populations. Because of this, the human body has many physiological adaptations that allow

Throughout history humans have had to adapt to changing conditions in order to survive. Food shortages are one of the major pressures that have shaped past populations. Because of this, the human body has many physiological adaptations that allow it to go extended periods of time consuming little to no food. These adaptations also allow the body to recover quickly once food becomes available. They include changes in metabolism that allow different fuel sources to be used for energy, the storing of excess energy absorbed from food in the forms of glycogen and fat to be used in between meals, and a reduction in the basal metabolic rate in response to starvation, as well as physiological changes in the small intestines. Even in places where starvation is not a concern today, these adaptations are still important as they also have an effect on weight gain and dieting in addition to promoting survival when the body is in a starved state.

Disclaimer: The initial goal of this project was to present this information as a podcast episode as a part of a series aimed at teaching the general public about human physiological adaptations. Due to the circumstances with COVID-19 we were unable to meet to make a final recording of the podcast episode. A recording of a practice session recorded earlier in the year has been uploaded instead and is therefore only a rough draft.

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2020-05

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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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Towards Purification of human TRPV1 Pore Domain

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The transient receptor potential channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) functions as the heat and capsaicin receptor. It can be activated by heat, protons, pungent chemicals, and a variety of other endogenous mediators of nociception. TRPV1 is a non-selective cation

The transient receptor potential channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) functions as the heat and capsaicin receptor. It can be activated by heat, protons, pungent chemicals, and a variety of other endogenous mediators of nociception. TRPV1 is a non-selective cation channel consisting of 6 transmembrane domains (S1-S6), with helices S1-S4 forming the sensing domain and the S5-S6 helices forming the pore domain. Understanding the TRPV1 channel is imperative due to its relation to a variety of human diseases, including cancer, type II diabetes, hyper and hypothermia, and inflammatory disorders of the airways and bladder. Although TRPV1 is the best-studied thermosensitive-TRP channels of all the 28 family members, the molecular underpinning and the contributions of the human TRPV1 pore domain in thermo-sensing remains elusive. Recently, the human TRPV1 sensing domain was found to contribute to heat activation. It was found to undergo a non-denaturing temperature-dependent conformational change. This finding triggered interest in studying the function and the role of the human TRPV1 pore domain in the heat activation process. Specifically, to identify whether heat activation is intrinsic to the pore domain. This thesis paper explores and optimizes the purification protocol of the human TRPV1 pore domain through three different methods. The first method was using a denaturant, the second method was increasing the length of the histidine tags through Q5 insertion, and the third method was incorporating the protein construct into nanodiscs. In addition to the above three methods, size exclusion chromatography and ion-exchange chromatography were utilized after thrombin cleavage to separate the human TRPV1 pore domain from the cleaved MBP deca-histidine tags as well as the impurities.

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2020-12

HIV Stigma: A Research and Art Investigation

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In the years following the HIV epidemic, much has changed in the way of public health, the social epidemic of stigma has remained. It is the assertion of the authors that stigma can be combatted through the propagation of accurate

In the years following the HIV epidemic, much has changed in the way of public health, the social epidemic of stigma has remained. It is the assertion of the authors that stigma can be combatted through the propagation of accurate education and exposure to the lasting negative impacts of social stigma on persons living with HIV in the United States at present. Although individuals who are not apart of this community cannot truly understand the impacts of HIV-related stigma on those directly impacted by it, a sense of understanding and compassion may be elicited through the breakdown of social stigma into comprehensible components and the provision of stigma-inspired artwork. In addition to providing a background on the scientific basis of Human immunodeficiency virus and its spread, the authors have elected to utilize public engagement by means of an anonymous survey as well as personal interactions with HIV advocates to synthesize paintings. Responses were collected from approximately 300 survey participants via social media with no demographic information collected. It was the hope of the authors that the lack of identifying questions may prompt participants to answer freely and honestly to improve overall understanding of social perceptions of HIV and its related stigma. These paintings and resources deemed appropriate based on the results of the aforementioned survey are to be displayed on a webpage for easier access and engagement with a broader audience.Moreover, this webpage is intended to be maintained and utilized beyond the timeframe of this Undergraduate Honors Thesis for the intended purpose of promoting stigma-free HIV advocacy and education.

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2018-05

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Where to From Here? A Comprehensive Analysis of Past and Future of The Republic of Cuba

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This paper analyzes modern day Cuba and draws conclusions about the most likely future political and economic events that will take place. Because of Cuba's troubled economy, leadership change and the world's continued shift towards democratization, Cuba is in a

This paper analyzes modern day Cuba and draws conclusions about the most likely future political and economic events that will take place. Because of Cuba's troubled economy, leadership change and the world's continued shift towards democratization, Cuba is in a position where drastic changes in its government and economic structure may occur. This paper investigates Cuba's history, politics, economy, and the general quality of life of its citizens, which are used to help predict what may happen to the Cuban government in the near future. The paper also analyzes options for foreign nations' policy towards Cuba and summarizes what actions they may take to increase the likelihood of an economic and political transition. Cuba's economic structure needs drastic reform, the reluctant privatization only increases wealth disparity, trust in the government continues to get weaker as more information and its human rights violations are causes of huge concern. There are four possible outcomes for Cuba's future: stagnation, adopting the mixed economic model, a peaceful transition to a democratic model, and rebellion. There is evidence that Cuba will not make drastic policy changes in favor of liberalization in the immediate future, however, if the economic conditions are not improved and an economic crisis ensues, this paper asserts that another revolution or coup will likely occur. The resulting government may be a new autocratic leader that fills the vacuum of leadership, or a democratic regime depending on the nature of the rebellion. The exact future of Cuba is uncertain, but one thing is clear, change is on the horizon.

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2018-05

Neurotact x Exotact

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Neurotact x Exotact is the product developed by Team Kensho in response to Adidas's primary research question, "How can Adidas embrace a true circular economy with far more reuse and recycling incorporated, while ensuring that all products travel from factory

Neurotact x Exotact is the product developed by Team Kensho in response to Adidas's primary research question, "How can Adidas embrace a true circular economy with far more reuse and recycling incorporated, while ensuring that all products travel from factory to foot in a more sustainable way while providing an engaging consumer experience?" Neurotact x Exotact is a modular football helmet chinstrap with an added compression neckband that has built-in motion monitoring capabilities. Neurotact x Exotact reduces development of CTE through updating football coaches on player condition through a mobile app in real time. Using motion centers installed in the chin cup, Neurotact x Exotact measures potential brain trauma received while the compression neckband reduces brain trauma through decreasing angular rotation of the head during high-risk scenarios. This thesis documents Team Kensho's attempt at proving the business model of Neurotact x Exotact. The final business report on Neurotact x Exotact is the culmination of all the research and business development conducted in order to validate Neurotact x Exotact as a valid product that meets stakeholder expectations, makes global impact, generates savings, creates sustainability, and improves the world through sport. Neurotact x Exotact is proven through the lean startup business model, where various assumptions on customer segments, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and cost structure are examined and confirmed through market research and analysis. In addition to the final business report, additional documents include the Fall 2017 business report to give background on the development process behind Neurotact x Exotact as well as a reflection paper on the W.P Carey academic experience and the role this experience had in the creation of Neurotact x Exotact.

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2018-05