Epic Expo

This Earlham Day, join us for the Epic Expo: an all-campus showcase of the Earlham experience.

The Epic Journey is the totality of every Earlhamite’s experience. It’s the story of how academics, co-curriculars, internships and research, and off-campus study come together in an experience unique to each person—an experience that will carry you into the future as you shape a life and career of purpose.

At the Epic Expo, we celebrate that journey—and the experiences that move you forward—through presentations of student learning.

Many of these experiences could not be possible without the support of Earlham alumni and donors. Their generosity makes these kinds of journeys accessible to each new generation of Earlhamites.

Join us on April 28 as we celebrate Earlhamites’ journeys forward.

Schedule of events

9 – 9:20 a.m.Welcome
Includes performances by the Earlham Hand Drum Ensemble and the Jazz Ensemble.
Face masks strongly recommended.
Athletics and Wellness Center
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.Poster session
Faculty and students from a variety of departments and career communities will present their research, scholarly work and internship experiences. View poster abstracts.
Athletics and Wellness Center
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.Student Success Photoshoot
We would like to celebrate the success of our Earlham students, especially those who have secured opportunities for summer 2022 and beyond. Whether you have landed a job or been accepted to graduate school; secured an internship, apprenticeship, or research opportunity; or completed a certification— we want to know and celebrate with you and give you a token of congratulations!
Athletics and Wellness Center
10:45 – 11:45 a.m.Concurrent sessions #1
Panels and presentations by students and faculty. View the available sessions below.
Face masks strongly recommended.
Various locations
Noon – 1 p.m.Lunch
1:15 – 2:15 p.m.Concurrent sessions #2
Panels and presentations by students and faculty. View the available sessions below.
Face masks strongly recommended.
Various locations
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.Concurrent sessions #3
Panels and presentations by students and faculty. View the available sessions below.
Face masks strongly recommended.
Various locations
4 – 5 p.m.Spring Awards Ceremony
A celebration of Earlham student achievement.
Face masks required.
Goddard Auditorium
5:15 p.m.Earlham Day Festival
Wrap up the day with games, rides and snacks! Make sure to drop by the giving tent to make a gift and unlock an extra $400 for the Earlham Fund plus the chance to win the Earlham Day 2022 banner signed by friends and classmates.
The Heart
(Rain location: AWC)
8:30 p.m.Muslim Student Iftar
For those observing Ramadan.
Comstock Room, Runyan Center

Poster session details

Learn more about the poster presentations in AWC. Posters are grouped according to relevant career communities.

Art 343: Responsive Objects presents “Touch”
Instructors: Shannon Flaherty and Melis Agabigum
Students: Mikey Milligan, Neil Lindop, Prinshu Gautam, Miranda Klein, Masha Morgunova
Touch examines the social aspects of being in separate spaces while also existing within a communal space. What happens when you are separated visually but still have the opportunity to touch and remain connected to someone on the other side?
This inflatable sculpture and art installation offers some insights into our relationship to each other and space.

A New Metric on Predicting a Company’s Stock Price
Hailee Dang
This paper aims to find a new metric on predicting a technology company’s stock performance besides 5 fundamentals metrics that have been proved and frequently used in corporate valuation.

Collaborative Filtering Recommendation Method and SVD-based Incremental Approach 
Winnie Nguyen
My EPIC Expo presentation is my Computer Science Senior Capstone Project. It is about my research of an updated recommendation system applying to streaming service – Netflix:  In recent years, the need for more accurate recommender systems to improve user interaction and provide more personalized services on eCommerce platforms such as Amazon and Netflix has been increasing globally. The motivation results from a desire to help users find an appropriate product that fits their tastes and meets a variety of special needs, enhancing users’ satisfaction and loyalty.  However, with the overload of vast amounts of customer data, recommender systems face challenges in processing data robustly and accurately. This proposal focuses on designing a movie recommendation system that works for offline and online processes, meaning performs well when new data is added to the original dataset.  The base algorithm in my paper is Singular Value Decompositions (SVD), an applied matrix factorization method of the item-based collaborative filtering model. To solve scalability matters and reduce the expensive matrix factorization steps, the updated iterative SVD is expected to improve in prediction accuracy and run time. 

The Clay Studio Internship
Prinshu Gautam
The presentation delves into the details of my internship at The Clay Studio located in Philadelphia. The Clay Studio is a ceramics based non-profit organization with the mission of deepening the connection between people and clay. The Clay Studio focuses on providing studio access to community members, established artists, and instructors. Along with providing a studio space the organization also manages a gallery with ceramic works from a multitude of contemporary ceramicists. For my winter internship, I worked as a studio intern under the supervision of the organization’s two studio technicians Corrine Kula and Paul Serena. My duties revolved around the maintenance of the general studio spaces which comprised of two throwing spaces, two hand-building spaces and one kiln room. The internship helped me acquire technical competence in making essential materials for a ceramic studio such as reclaimed clay, glazes, slips and oxides. I was also provided with multiple opportunities in assisting the studio technicians with loading kilns for various firings for both gas and electric firings. Along with acquiring technical skills I was also able to connect with various ceramic artists at different stages of their ceramics journey. The internship increased my confidence as a budding ceramicist. 

Marketing Intern with Lactalis – Eswatini’s #1 Dairy Company
Tsitsi Makufa
Lactalis Eswatini is the local subsidiary of the world’s largest dairy company. They are specialists in the manufacture of fermented dairy products like emasi and yoghurt but also produce dairy blend beverages, fresh milk and cheese. I worked as a marketing intern for 4 months for a company passionate about making great dairy products. My presentation will show case some of the key projects I worked on during my time with the company as well as some key things I learned.

Characterization of Thioether Sanidic Liquid Crystals
Grace Olive
Sanidic liquid crystals are a “board-like” class of crystals that exhibit similar properties found in both calamitic and discotic liquid crystals. Known for their rigid, aromatic cores, they are most useful in their charge transfer capabilities. A new subgroup of sanidic liquid crystals has been under investigation in the last decade having a dibenzo[fg,op]naphthacene core. Research has been previously performed on the effects of alkoxide and alkyl side chains.1,2 A thioether variant has been studied for its thermochemical and photochemical properties using DSC, POM, UV/Vis and fluorescence spectrometry, and DFT calculations. A preliminary evaluation of the new compound has hypothesized that it behaves similarly to the already existing alkyl compounds. 

Predicting molecule properties using deep learning
Khoa Nguyen
Drug discovery and development is a costly and time-consuming process, taking up to billions of dollars and 12-15 years from basic research to FDA approval. Early stage discovery involves intensive search through an enormous database of molecules and analysis of their quantitative structure-activity relationships. Important features like absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) are extracted to measure how these compounds interact with the human bodies. At its root, this is an optimization problem in which researchers try to identify the “best” compounds with desired properties to be qualified for clinical development to produce a safe and cost-effective drug. Nowadays, with stronger computation power, the process can be sped up significantly with artificial intelligence. Many deep learning models have demonstrated highly accurate predictions on the ADME properties of drug-like small molecules. In particular, graph neural networks are shown to learn effectively graph-based molecular representation. To extend the libraries of deep learning architectures for chemoinformatics, this project examines the feasibility of several state-of-the-art graph neural networks on predicting the solubility (logP – partition coefficient) of commercially available compounds in the ZINC database for early state virtual screening of drug development.

Exploring the Antioxidant Property of Black Knot Fungal Melanin
Feven Naba
Melanin, a naturally existing high molecular weight biopolymer, plays an important role in skin pigmentation, metal-ion sequestration, free radical quenching, photoprotection, and neuroprotection in different species ranging from microorganisms to mammals. Although its applications are broad, the commercially available melanin (both natural and synthetic) is very expensive ($450/g). To counteract this, my research group has previously extracted melanin from the black knot fungus, scientifically known as Apiosporina morbosa, using the acid-base extraction procedure. The characterization of the extracted melanin using techniques such as XPS, IR and NMR revealed that the black knot melanin is an allomelanin, which consists of nitrogen free precursor 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (1,8-DHN) and helps fungi to survive harsh environments. Since the black knot fungus is a widespread plant pathogen that grows on tree branches decreasing fruit production, it is a cost effective and environmentally sustainable source of melanin that can easily be commercialized. For my REU project, my group and I explore the antioxidant activities of the previously extracted natural allomelanin from black knot and compare it with artificially synthesized polydopamine (PDA), sepia nanoparticles ,and ascorbic acid (vitamin C, a control) with the intention of extending its future applications in sunscreens as radiation protecting agent and in packaging.

Earlham College CGH Medical Interpreting Program
Valerie Martinez, Diana Tobon & Rose Abigail Leon 
The Medical Interpreting Program at Earlham College officially began in the summer of 2021 as a branch program of the Center for Global Health in collaboration with the Neighborhood Health Center and the Wayne County Health Department. A medical interpreter is able to help non-English speakers communicate with their health care providers. Responsibilities include translating documents, interpreting for patient and care provider, checking for understanding on both sides, and to inform the provider about cultural healing methods.   In June 2021 we were brought together to complete the Medical Interpreting training “Bridging the Gap” offered by Colorado Language Connection. Our target language is Spanish due to the increase in the hispanic and LatinX population in Richmond Indiana. Currently Richmond only has access to one certified medical interpreter for all their health services and schools despite their strong hispanic/LatinX community. The language barrier for some of this community’s members play a significant role in the inability to access health care. As a group we believe that a cultural incompetent health care system should not hinder anyone’s (regardless of origin, race, ethnicity, etc,.) access to health care. This presentation will serve to introduce this new CGH program to the greater Earlham community.

Sound as Pollution: Soundscape Analysis and Urbanization in Richmond, IN
Jaime Coon, Liam Brubaker, Jonathan Costello, Meredith Foye & Makayla Hurey
Soundscapes are landscapes based on the types, loudness, and timing of the sounds. Noise pollution is a type of air pollution within soundscapes that threatens both human well being and biodiversity. When being exposed to loud noises, it can cause humans to have high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbances, and stress. Sound pollution can change animal behavior which can reduce their reproductive success, intensify migrations among species. In this study, we build upon projects conducted by Earlham students in 2019 and 2021 to measure the sound pollution levels in Richmond, IN, in comparison to levels of urbanization. We used the NIOSH SLM app to collect data, and we also collected the abundance of sounds created by humans (anthrophony), animals (biophony), and geological phenomena like wind or rain (geophony). We were also curious how these sounds differ by time of day. We predicted that there will be more anthropogenic sound pollution in places that are more urbanized (both foot traffic and vehicle) and at times where there is more travel/traffic (rush hour). Because noise pollution is a public health concern, it is important to understand how noise problems are distributed in order to make suggestions for reducing soundscape pollution. 

MP released from RPTEC under inflammatory conditions present CD10 expression and induce endothelial cell activation
Robert Shondel
Kidney epithelial cell damage, the major cause of acute kidney injury (AKI), can occur due to ischemic or nephrotoxic insults. In response to this stress, cells release phenotypically and quantitatively distinct microparticles (MP). MP are microvesicles (1000 nm) derived from several cell types and released in response to stress or injury. MP are unique with respect to representing cellular origin or activation state (e.g. apoptosis, activation, proliferation), antigenic composition and functional properties. CD 10 is richly expressed within the RPTEC brush border. Whether MP containing CD10 released by RPTEC can be mediators of biological activity is not known. We utilized in vitro as well as human samples from patients that had presented with AKI. Under conditions of stress RPTEC releases MPs with conserved CD10 activity from the cells in which the MPs were released. The CD10 containing MPs were also shown to increase endothelial cell activation similar to direct activation of TNF𝛼. This shows the potential for AKI to cause the potential damage of neighboring systems.
Understanding effects of Covid – 19 policies through Data Science 
Mana Yoshikawa & Kiet Nguyen 
Presenting our data science collaborative summer research on effectiveness of each countries’ Covid-19 preventative/restrictive policies, and comparisons between several countries’ Covid -19 performances. 

Gaze and its Effects on View of Self: The Relationship Between Eye Contact and Self-Esteem
Eliot StClair
Eye contact is a foundational element of non-verbal human communication. It allows for the exchange of information without the need for language, but not every person is as comfortable with or capable of understanding eye contact cues. Eye contact has been found to increase the perceived trustworthiness of another individual (Kreysa, 2016), and it also serves many purposes in the process of social bonding (Kleinke, 1986). As a result, the social lives of people who are more uncomfortable with eye contact may be negatively affected. This study examines the relationship between eye contact and self-esteem and seeks to establish causation between the two variables. Through self-report measures, subjects will rate their self-esteem and comfort with eye contact. Based on previous research, we expect to see an increase in self-esteem occur alongside increased comfort with eye contact.

Acupuncture: The Effectiveness of Belief 
Robert Lemon
Acupuncture is defined as the practice of inserting needles into specific body spots for therapeutic purposes, and despite being proven many times over as an effective method of treatment, it is still a controversial discussion (Ernst, 2006). A possible phenomenon that maintains this label on acupuncture is the fact that not all patients of acupuncture see some or even any results of the treatment. The purpose of this study is to investigate the variety of effectiveness of acupuncture for patients. It is believed that a patient’s belief in the effectiveness of acupuncture correlates with their reported treatment results. This line of thought correlates with the proven concepts of placebo and nocebo effects. Through investigating individuals with varying beliefs and observing their reported results, we can find if there is a correlation between a patient’s beliefs and their reported results. The answer from this study can be utilized to end misinformation about acupuncture’s effectiveness and allow for it to become a more common practice. This in turn can reduce the pill’s influence in the medical system and aid in ending the opioid crisis the US has been facing for decades. 

Trauma, Body and the Brain: Synchronicity, Rhythmicity and Play in the Healing of Trauma: Innovations in Psychotherapy Conference
Abby Stewart
Does the body keep the score? I attended best-selling trauma research author, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s, psychotherapy conference, “Trauma, Body, and the Brain: Synchronicity, Rhythmicity and Play in the Healing of Trauma” to find out. During the week-long conference, I learned how to break the cycles of trauma and implement Van der Kolk’s new, ground-breaking research to benefit my own clients.

Comparison of Near-Infrared Imagery and Visual Light Imagery in Edge Detection methods for finding clandestine graves
Tamara Blagojevic
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have in recent years opened new doors in image analysis and remote sensing. Data collected through these devices in combination with available satellite imagery has a notable potential in improving remote sensing strategies and the quality of input data and thus the accuracy of its results. This computational technique can be applied to solve a wide range of societal issues.  The aim of this study is to examine the role of this approach of remote sensing and image processing in detection of clandestine graves. Furthermore, the study compares the use of near infrared (NIR) and visual light images (VLI) taken by drones to detect hidden graves. It is aiming to compare how accurately the graves can be detected post-image processing using the same edge detection technique. The primary motivation is to help future researchers more easily decide which data collection technique they should use in their research.

Parameterized Maze Generation Algorithm for Generating Mazes of a Specific Difficulty
Liam Peachey
Mazes are accessible problem domains that are easily understood by those within and outside of CS and have applications in algorithm research, games, and art. Existing research focuses heavily on analyzing and producing specific topology within mazes as well as determining which algorithms produce more difficult mazes. However, there is little research in producing mazes of a specific difficulty according to a difficulty analysis model. This project proposes a parameterized generation algorithm coupled with a neural network to accurately solve this problem.

Preparation of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells using Beetroot and Turmeric Extract
Kevin Nguyen & Andrew Belec
Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC) were created using the natural extract of Beetroot and Turmeric Compounds. The compounds were dissolved in three different solvents each; both were dissolved in ethanol and acetone, while beetroot also used water and turmeric also used methanol. Solar Cells were created by sensitizing TiO 2 plates in solutions made of each extract and their respective solvents, as well as a combination of the two extracts in both ethanol and acetone. After sensitizing, an I/V Curve of each solution was created, which can be further analyzed to determine the efficiency of each compound

Research on Low-Cost Portable Air-Quality Sensor Systems
Jarred Costa & Charlie Peck
I am working on the development of a low-cost portable air-quality sensor system. I want to make it in a DIY format to test the practicality of creating kits for creating the system and to get them to as many people as possible for as low a cost as possible. People deserve to know the safety of the air that they are breathing and many cannot afford the expensive sensor systems that are already on the market. I will also look into the theoretical networks and data mapping of using such a system since it will be wireless and Bluetooth to smartphones.

Detecting malicious URLs with Machine Learning
Andrew Strozewski
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a link to a website. A Malicious URL leads to a malicious website that has been designed or is used for the sole purpose of causing harm to the user. In recent years malicious website attacks have been ranked first in the top 10 cyber attack techniques. Before the advent of machine learning, the common method for identifying and limiting access to malicious websites was a blacklist. In the early days of the internet, with fewer websites, crowd sourcing these blacklists was an efficient and robust solution. Now it is impossible to maintain an exhaustive list. Other methods have been implemented as extensions of blacklisting, such as heuristics, where a signature is given to common attack types and then web scanners can look for these signatures. As the technology for finding attacks has advanced so have the attacks. Google estimates 30 trillion unique URLs are currently in existence. This sheer number of URLs combined with evolving attack techniques has proven blacklisting to be slow and rigid. Previous studies in using machine learning to identify malicious URLs have primarily focused on batch learning methods. While this allows quicker processing of large amounts of data it can be limited in identifying new attack types and can be circumvented by attackers disguising their attacks. This project will utilize online learning as a way of being more adaptable and use preprocessing techniques to help avoid attacker obfuscation.

Legacy Dam Pool Sediments Less Ricky than Assumed in a Low-Head Dam in Richmond, IN
Garris Radloff, Shannon Hayes, Katherine Liu, Andrew Moore, & Amelia Richardson
The city of Richmond, IN plans to remove a low-head, weir dam to increase ecological connectivity, remove a potential safety hazard, and improve water quality of the East Fork Whitewater River. However, the industrial history of the Whitewater Gorge makes it crucial to assess the dam pool sediments for contaminants prior to removal.   We conducted a pre-dam removal study to map and characterize the nature and contaminant concentrations of the sediment wedge retained by the dam. In order to provide baseline data to assess geomorphic changes following dam removal, we surveyed a longitudinal profile of the Whitewater River and 12 cross sections using total stations and GNSS, and conducted bathymetric surveys of the dam pool and deep pools downstream of the dam using CHIRP sonar.   Our survey determined that the dam pool is approximately 370m long and contains approximately 70m3 of sand and gravel. Cores of dam pool sediment collected for chemical and grain size analysis found the sediment accumulated behind the weir dam to be bimodal, where a poorly sorted pebble population is mixed with a moderately sorted coarse sand population. Samples located outside of the main channel are commonly capped with a moderately well-sorted, fine sand population.   Analysis of 12 sediment samples for metals, pesticides, PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, total petroleum hydrocarbons, and cyanide found trace amounts of metals and hydrocarbons, but no legacy pesticides or PCBs were detected. These findings suggest that dam removal does not pose a significant risk to human health or the environment.

Monitoring the Salamander Emergence with Environmental DNA
Emmett Smith, Andrew Belec, Teagan Cooper, Emmett Howard, Ethan, Khandaker, Jacob Renner, Sam Sargent & Sabine Young
During the first warm, rainy night of early spring, salamanders emerge en masse from their winter hibernation and make their way to nearby ponds to breed. Salamander species that emerge in the spring in Indiana include smallmouth salamanders (Ambystoma texanum), yellow-spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum), jefferson salamanders (Ambystoma jeffersonianum), tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum), and eastern red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens). In this project, we build upon a long-term salamander monitoring program at Iverson Woods in Richmond, IN that has tracked salamander presence and abundance from 2003-2022. Monitoring salamander abundance during spring emergence is critical for the conservation of these sensitive species, but traditional methods (drift fences and pitfall traps) can be expensive and time-consuming. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has recently been demonstrated to be a viable method for monitoring aquatic species. We collected aquatic samples from 3 ponds on Iverson Woods and three ponds on Earlham’s back campus. We filtered the water samples to collect aquatic eDNA using 0.22 micron cellulose nitrate filters. We tested two different kits to determine which is most efficient at extracting our eDNA, then sequenced using a MinION Nanopore platform. Results will be presented at the poster! 

Constructing a Modular Genomics Ancient DNA dating Pipeline using WDL and Pipeline Builder
Tra-Vaughn James
Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field between biology, computer science and statistics, in which software is able to augment, and analyze biological data. To convert this data into useful information the use of various tools, parameters, and dynamically changing reference data is required \cite{wratten2021reproducible}. As a result, workflow management system such as Shakemake and WDL were created to develop workflows that are scalable, repeatable and shareable. Such tools have become pivotal within large-scale labs, saving bioinformaticians time, resources and streamlining the analysis process. Bioinformatic genomics labs, specifically those involved in ancient DNA, also use a variety of tools and programs toward assessing and producing readable data. However, the scripts that pipeline and assemble such workflows are often not efficiently written. Moreover, there are slight discrepancies in the tools that particular labs use, differing from one to the other, this makes it more difficult to share and scale workflows from other labs. I propose constructing a modular WDL pipeline that will increase both the efficiency and usability, and share-ability of current ancient DNA workflows. 

2021 SCR – Polygons on Elliptic Curves and their Duals
Antonio Midence Ordonez
In this research, we explored polygons of integral and rational vertices, where vertices are points on an elliptic curve. These elliptic curves were in the Weierstrass form. We were able to use programs like Sage, Desmos, and CoCalc to code visual representations of elliptic curves to draw conclusions. We explored how to get different geometric shapes using the vertices, and whether it’s possible to obtain a parallelogram or triangle. We can conclude that various shapes can exist with vertices on an elliptic curve. However, these conditions for each shape are unique and cannot be applied to every case. These conclusions were drawn by using calculus and changing the coefficients of the Weierstrass form, which included finding inflection, and maximum and minimum points.

NHL Win Probability
Devin Basley
Hockey is a fast paced, exciting sport to watch and known for its unpredictability. It is one of the most difficult sports to predict because of the talent differences between teams and “puck luck”. With modeling strategies and data, trying to predict the outcome of a hockey game can be improved. This is useful for teams to prioritize games that they would need to win.  The NHL is a balanced, competitive league and current win probability models accurately predict 60% of games. My model will try to improve accurate predictions for NHL games. Logistic regression is the modeling technique used in this project. 

Dipping Dickcissels, Dunking Blackbirds: Analyzing nestling provisioning behaviors of grassland birds
Jaime Coon, Hannah Grushon, Joshua Angell, Thea Clarkberg, Claudette Roskamp, Ethan King, Molly McKellar & Wendy Tori
Grassland birds are declining more rapidly than any other avian group in North America. To work toward the conservation of these species, it is important to understand reproductive behaviors.  We assessed a previously undocumented behavior referred to as “dipping”, in which an adult bird inserts and removes food from a nestling’s mouth.  Our goal was to describe the behavior, quantify its prevalence, and test different alternative explanations of its function. We also examined the effect of brown-headed cowbirds and invasive grasses on nestling provisioning rates. To do this, we conducted censuses on 15 sites, found 141 nests from 16 bird species, filmed 59 nests and scored 7 video sessions. Our research team is continuing to score videos and analyze data in fall 2021. Our preliminary results suggest that dipping is a more prevalent behavior than previously believed, and that invasive grasses and parasites can have important effects on reproduction.

Developed versus Developing countries: The comparison of car accident fatality rate
Dai Nguyen
Car accident fatality has always been a problem for not only carmakers but also the governments trying to limit its frequency. While the department of transportation of each region and car manufacturers have been trying to update their vehicle safety requirements, the governments also have a part in building the law of transportation, road infrastructure, and citizens’ road safety awareness.
However, one aspect that many people omit from that equation is the state of development of each country is different. From my observation, while most developed countries have the more cohesive infrastructure, newly developing countries are now having the edge of using more state-of-the-art technology in their infrastructure. This leads to my question: Are developed countries have lower car accident fatality rates than developing countries?

Analyzing Activation in Discrete CRH Populations Following Aversive and Appetitive Stimuli in Male and Female Mice
Angel Robert
Chronic stress impacts emotions, thoughts, and behavior; for example, responses to negative stimuli become exaggerated while responses to positive stimuli are diminished. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons respond to stress and reward through context-dependent release from discrete populations. Whether multiple populations of CRH neurons collectively respond to stimuli is unknown. We tested whether aversive or appetitive stimuli would differentially activate CRH populations and alter behavior. We exposed transgenic mice expressing tdTomato in CRH neurons to soiled rat bedding (aversive) or bacon softies (appetitive) after which brains were collected for immunohistochemistry. Next, we visualized the immediate early gene product cFos (a marker of neural activity) in three CRH populations: the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVN), central amygdala (CeA), and paraventricular thalamus (PVT). Behavioral analysis showed that mice exposed to soiled rat bedding tended to increase movement and velocity, which is indicative of anxiety-like behavior. Since PVN responds to aversive rather than appetitive stimuli, we expect more tdTomato+ to be colabled with cFos in the PVN in response to the aversive stimulus. As CEA is responsive to both positive and negative valence, we expect no differences in tdTomato/cFos colabel in this region. Analysis of behavior and CRH responsivity in stress-naïve mice will allow future studies to investigate how chronic stress affects the functionality of the CRH system. 

Who’s back there? Wildlife Activity in Earlham College’s Backcampus Wetland
Jaime Coon, Christina Bellingham, Sean Campbell, Jack Johnson, Duncan Jordahl & Nathan Brophy
 We used four wildlife cameras set up to continuously monitor animal habitat use, and recorded species, time of day, and habitat location for each sighting. A variety of mammals, birds, amphibians, and arthropods call Earlham College’s Backcampus home. Use of habitat by these animals can vary by species, time of day, habitat type or quality, and can also change over time. Changes over time can be a signal for how animals are doing in a habitat, and can signal whether a species might be over- or under-abundant relative to management goals. In this project, we build upon long-term monitoring of wildlife habitat use in a Backcampus wetland in order to examine changes in habitat use by local wildlife over time (2018-present).We were also curious whether time of day (dawn/dusk, daytime, nighttime), date, and location (upstream or downstream of an old beaver dam) would affect habitat use in Backcampus. We used four wildlife cameras set up to continuously monitor animal habitat use, and recorded species, time of day, and habitat location for each sighting.  Understanding animal habitat use patterns may provide Earlham with information needed to decide how to manage our wetland properties and provide biodiversity baselines to examine change over time. 

Biodiversity Benefits People: Bird Song Diversity, Human Sounds, and Air Quality in Richmond, IN
Jaime Coon, Ethan King, Hallie Raikes, Em Tallisch, Jadie Colvin & Brady Shaw
Birdsong is an important way humans experience soundscapes while spending time in nature, and sound diversity can be used as an index of biodiversity in a given environment. In contrast to birdsong, human sounds tend to have low sonic diversity  – the sound of a car, for example. Instead, when more bird species are singing, the more variable the sound is in a given environment. Birdsong thus represents an ecosystem service to people  – bringing happiness, communion with nature, and a sense of well being. In our study, we examined how song diversity might be related to several related factors: 1) urbanization, 2) air quality, and 3) human-produced sounds.To address these objectives, we took audio recordings and air quality measurements at different levels of urbanization in Richmond, IN, and calculated and analyzed the Acoustic Complexity Index (ACI) to examine song diversity quantitatively. We predicted that birdsong overall would decrease in places with low air quality and high human sound index, both as an effect of high urbanization.This project is an important contribution to our long-term understanding of how the benefits of biodiversity are distributed in Richmond and how these benefits relate to other factors such as urbanization, human-produced sounds, and air quality . 

Summer Internship – Sustainability Intern, Knauf Insulation 
Bibi Mohamed
Knauf Insulation is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of insulation products and solutions. Their headquarters are located in Shelbyville, Indiana. In its manufacturing process Knauf uses more than 50% recycled glass to make their fiberglass insulation. However, less than 10% of that is sourced from Indiana. In the state of Indiana 81% of glass waste is landfilled; meaning that we are not consuming an infinitely recyclable material. My project involved researching the added benefit and cost of implementing a glass recycling project will have on Knauf. 

Did ecology drive body size evolution over the Late Ordovician mass extinction? Evidence from brachiopods and trilobites
Cade Orchard
The Late Ordovician extinction was first of the “Big Five” mass extinctions in Earth’s history. The “Lilliput Effect,” a reduction in body size, occurred in several groups of marine invertebrates over the Ordovician extinction. Whether these size decreases were the result of environmental stressors, selective extinction of larger taxa, and/or other drivers remains unclear. Previous studies have found evidence for ecologically-driven selective extinction during the Late Ordovician mass extinction. These drivers of extinction intensity may have also been responsible for decreases in body size over the event, but this potential relationship has not been explored.  Here, we test whether changes in body size over the Ordovician extinction correspond to the same ecological factors driving extinction intensity (i.e., depth preference in brachiopods and larval ecology in trilobites). Body sizes were collected for Middle Ordovician to middle Silurian orthids, strophomenids, and trilobites using museum collections and published literature. Statistical analyses were conducted to identify trends in body size for 1) strophomenid and orthid brachiopods with regards to water depth preference and 2) trilobites with regards to larval ecology. Preliminary results suggest these ecological factors are not significant controls on body size reduction, although further investigation is merited.

Detection of ancient, environmental sheep DNA from an Icelandic settlement using PCR
Katie Hart
Upon settlement in Iceland (870-1000 CE), humans brought and introduced sheep to the ecosystem. Recent work has shown that ancient, environmental DNA recovered from sediment can yield significant archaelogical findings. 13 soil samples were extracted at increments of 10 cm from a test pit 1.5 meters deep, located adjacent to the foundation of a house from the 10th to 15th century. A sheep pasture was likely located immediately adjacent to the house. We attempted to identify the presence or absence of sheep DNA in each soil sample using PCR targted to the sheep cytochrome B (CytB) gene found in mitochondrial genomes. The presence of sheep DNA in a soil sample indicates that sheep (and, as a result, humans) were present at the test site. Depending on which soil samples, from which layers, show the presence of sheep DNA, we can determine when humans likely began settling at the location. This information can be compared to pre-existing data corresponding with the settlement period of humans in Iceland. If successful, this technique can be applied to many other targets, including walrus, whale, cod, barley, and apples. 

Social Psychology Replication Projects
Facilitator: Maggie Thomas
  • A Replication of “To nod or not to nod: An observational study of nonverbal communication and status in female and male college students.”
    Anahit Aharonyan, Daniela Joseph, Liesl Nunemacher & William Hughes
  • A Replication of “Weather and helping: Additional evidence of the effect of the sunshine Samaritan.”
    Ayomide Okediji, Mychal Mckelvey & Taye Ogundipe
  • A Replication of “Improving the Response Rate to a Street Survey: An Evaluation of the ‘But You Are Free to Accept or to Refuse’ Technique.”
    Christian Lancianese & Nathan Lancianese
  • A Replication of “Smile and (half) the world smiles with you, frown and you frown alone.”
    Anna Wible, Faith Silver & Indira Delacorte
  • A Replication of “Factors affecting courteous behavior.”
    Alexander Doyle, Nathan Lasersohn & Sean Fitzpatrick
  • A Replication of “Boundaries around social space: Dyadic responses to an invader.”
    Chadha Ben Abderrahmane, Diana Tobon & Eloise Richardson
  • A Replication of “Sex and setting effects on seating arrangement.”
    Hitomi Sakuta, Kate Beld & Reilly Swislosky
  • A Replication of “Weather and smiling contagion: A quasi experiment with smiling sunshine.”
    Albert Rosas, Ariadna Sanchez Villalpando & Chelsea Jones
  • A Replication of “Direct look versus evasive glance and compliance with a request.”
    Dreshawn Jones, Jordan Stolle, Luke Rykard & Morgan Ulrey
  • A Replication of “Hey buddy, can you give me 37 s of your time? Extension of the pique technique to a non-monetary solicitation and test of justification for compliance.”
    Carlos Mcintyre, Misha Feller, Rachel Alma & Samantha Foss

Sentiment analysis of COVID-19 Tweets 
Irisa Shrestha
Nowadays, people use social media to express their feelings and thoughts regarding different topics. During the COVID-19 pan- demic, people have been very active in social media, sharing in- formation, personal experiences, and emotions. Twitter is one of the social media platforms where people are very active. Sentiment Analysis of Tweets can provide really interesting insights about the public’s preferences and sentiments. In this research, I will deter- mine whether the sentiment changes of people’s COVID-19 related Tweets align with significant developments in the COVID-19 time- line.

Kenlee Ray Library & Archives Fellowship
Kate Neal & Rebecca Fischer
The Kenlee Ray Library & Archives Fellowship allows students interested in Library, Archives, & Information Science careers to take a hands-on approach to learning about what it is like to work in the LIS field. During the spring semester, we have met with library staff both inside and outside of Earlham, interacted with readings and videos discussing an array of LIS topics, and taken on an archival exhibit project celebrating Earlham’s 175th anniversary. Our poster discusses all the things we have learned and experienced over the course of the semester, as well as outlines the program for potential future candidates- we are happy to answer any questions you may have about the fellowship! The focus of the poster is the on-going 175th anniversary archival project, which has been guided by Jenny Freed and Christian Adams. 
Dynamic Human Development Index

Stephanie Fallas, Irisa Shrestha & Khoa Nguyen
We developed an interactive website which ranks countries using the Dynamic Human Development Index (DHDI) and compares those results to the Human Development Index rankings compiled by the United Nations.  Part of the aim of the research was to add new dimensions to the understanding of human development and how it is measured. As such this website works as a complement of the HDI website. One of the other main goals of the project was to develop key skills which would help us be competitive in career building and the job market. We used Tableau, Python and Power BI to visualize and analyze the data in creative ways. We made interactive dashboards that allowed the user to choose their preferred three indicators to calculate and rank the countries according to the DHDI index.  The result of our work can be seen at https://dhdi.org/

Women in Wikipedia
Albert Rosas & Krishna Cousins
The Women in Wikipedia project focuses on researching women who have made valuable contributions to their fields, but who lack a Wikipedia article. Our team worked to identify such women and create articles about their lives, work, and accomplishments. As a team, we added to Wikipedia 19 women in the fields of psychology, biomedical engineering, software development, politics, and more so that more people can discover their work.

Disproportionate Burden of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome among American Indians in the United States: Cohort Linked Birth/Death Records, 2013
Johnette Williams
This presentation focuses on the prevalence of SIDS in the American Indian population. It includes data from the Cohort Linked Birth/Death Records, 2013, and analyzes the relationship between SIDS and social determinants of health such as race, maternal age, etc. The study is a cross-sectional, non-experimental design and analyses the data in a stratified random sample and chi-squared model.

Womyn in Outdoor Education
Serena Pisacano & Thea Clarkberg
Our poster is focusing on women in the outdoors. The focus of this presentation will include examples of womyn leadership in outdoor education through history, facts about statistical evidence of sexism in leadership, and some information about the direction the field is heading towards. It also will include ways the field is trying to combat sexism within outdoor education broadly. The purpose of this poster is to bring awareness to the issues womyn face as leaders in a male dominated field including the past, present, and steps moving forward. Its focus will primarily be on positive outdoor role models. Viewers are encouraged to speak with the presenters about their own personal experiences and open dialogue is encouraged to gain the most from this poster. 

Living In Between: Multiracial Households Navigating Racial Segregation in Housing
Nora Taplin-Kaguru, Claudia González Niño, Justice Vaughn, Gabriela Quiroz, Ima Varghese Mac, Greta Shaffer & Nora Taplin-Kaguru
In this study we examine how people who are multiracial or belong to multiracial households navigate the lasting effects of racial segregation while existing in a medial racial space.  While some recent research shows that multiracial people often live in more racially diverse neighborhoods (Clark et al. 2018, Holloway et al. 2005) and actively seek them out in the housing process (Wright et al. 2013). Most research on housing decisions in the racially structured housing market assumes or focus on monoracial households and individuals and households. In this project we investigate how and why multiracial households decide on neighborhoods with particular racial compositions. We find that multi-racial households prioritize diverse neighborhoods and experience challenges finding neighborhoods with the diversity they seek.

The Future is Green, Black, and Brown: Exploring Intersectional Environmentalism through my College Journey as a Bonner and ENSU Major
Kiara Kamara
This presentation is focused on how Kiara Kamara’s journey through the Environmental Sustainability major related to the Bonner Program. This lecture will explore the importance of self-compassion and bridging knowledge from the classroom to the service sites Kiara worked at during their time at Earlham.

Bonner Presentation of Learning: Community, Advocacy, and the Power of Dialogue
Evan Saito
The term “lobbyist” carries negative connotations, and rightly so. The policy decisions that impact our communities are often influenced by lobbyists representing private interests instead of our input. However, when framed by community dialogue, the tools utilized by lobbyists can have powerful impacts beyond policy. In this presentation, I discuss my four years as a Bonner Scholar, in which I learned about alternative approaches to lobbying. First, I reflect on two of my service sites, the Amigos Richmond Latino Center, and the Tibet Policy Institute. I demonstrate how each organization taught me to engage in advocacy that prioritizes grassroots engagement with the community. Second, I reflect on the organization that I founded, the Richmond Advocacy and Leadership Program (RALP). I discuss how I combined the learning experiences from my previous service sites to formulate the model with which RALP was established. RALP operates as a grassroots think tank that centers on community dialogue to elevate the voices of local stakeholders to form goals and strategies. Additionally, RALP provides workshop resources and policy research to support civic engagement efforts. To conclude, I discuss my vision for replicating and scaling up this model.

Could a Dog Save Your Marriage?
Quentin Berry
Around the world, marriage is an integral piece in the life of society. In the United States, many movies seem to overromanticize this marriage as a “happily ever after” event in someone’s life. However, divorce rates have increased over the past 40 years (Cohen et. al, 2010). This trend details that marriages aren’t as successful as people hope. So what makes a marriage long-lasting? Some research has come out highlighting religion, communication, and similar ideals as ways in which relationships last longer (Karimi et. al, 2019). While these factors contribute to healthy marriages, there is little evidence on how pets impact the propensity of a lasting marriage. This study hopes to collect data on how a pet can lengthen or derail a marriage. I hypothesize that married couples are more likely to stay together when pets are present in the marriage. Pets could be a factor identical to how some people wait to have kids as a form of solidarity and trust with their partners, and they seem to be sign of stability in many households.  But pets can also destabilize relationships as things get more stressful with obligations surrounding it. So this study hopes to clarify the impact of pets on married relationships. The data of this study will provide psychologists with information on how to further stabilize couples’ relationships through the owning of pets. 

Ancient Chinese Travelers and the World
Zuoting Wen, Gloria Aligbe, Minh Doan, Fonsi Lecessi, Mollie Lyon, Jessica Mohler, Eli Seibert & Lucas Suarez-Findlay
Students of CHIN 340 will introduce life stories of several premodern Chinese travelers and the world they lived, traveled, observed, and wrote about. Utilizing historical records, cartographies, maps, literary works, and modern renditions of their stories, posters in this presentation aim to provide a succinct introduction to how Chinese people perceived the environment around them and transferred their empirical observations into a long-lasting textual tradition. Students will also explain why these travelers stood out from their contempories and how their travelogues and reports shaped their readers’ geographical consciousness. Put together, these posters highlight several historical moments and help the audience to see the unfolding of world history from an East Asian point of view. It is our hope that this presentation can momentarily take your mind to historical scenes where people worked to figure out the structures of the earth and the order of the human world. The technical challenges in devising a time machine never stopped lovers of history from revisiting epic journeys of the ancient people. That is why we would like to invite you to join us.

Follow the Leader: A Study of Mimicry in Social Situations
Alice Torres 
From hunter-gatherers forming groups to teenagers forming cliques, we see that humans are social creatures. Through a day full of simple and complex interactions, we all engage in forms of social mimicry but are not always aware of it, especially when it comes to situations we are not familiar with. This is known as “The Chameleon Effect” (J.A. Bargh, M. Chen, & L. Burrows 1998). Mimicry has many causes such as people just spending too much time together (J.A. Bargh, M. Chen, & L. Burrows 1998) or an evolutionary trait that helps us to always keep learning and evolving (C. Wood 2020) but the main reason is so that they have a sense of familiarity and acceptance, especially in unknown situations. To test this hypothesis, the study conducted will gather participants and individually place them in an emergency scenario that’s new to them. They’ll be surrounded by people from the study who’ll all do the same thing. Their behavior will be reviewed and in the end, they’ll be asked why they reacted the way they did. The hope is to prove that people don’t desire to stand out and rather like to “fit-in” with the rest, making them look for social clues as to what others around them are doing and mimicking them. By understanding this phenomenon, we can dive deeper into the social signaling and etiquette of our everyday lives as well as tackle problems such as the bystander effect.

Personality Tests as a Tool for Self Improvement
Risa McFee
Humans have endlessly put effort into the study of personality in an attempt to understand themselves and others and continue to do so to this day. One way to do so is through personality tests, in fact, the personality tests industry is estimated to be worth almost $500 million and is expected to continue to rise (Harell, 2017). However, it takes only one glance on the internet to notice the controversy of the validity and reliability of many personality systems, with multitudes of articles on both sides of the debate. One problem that adds to this debate is that many personality systems do not accurately measure what they advertise, with one study finding that many personality systems end up measuring cognitive ability instead of personality or vice versa (Kyllonen & Kell, 2018). With such confusion dominating the environment, under what conditions do personality tests actually promote self improvements in their takers? I would argue that, in order for a personality test to have a genuine and productive impact on its takers, it must openly communicate and be very specific about what it measures so that its takers are presented with a result they can organize their view of themselves around.

Perfecting the Human Genome: Ethical Concerns and the Catholic Perspective on CRISPR
Alena Hornak
The discovery of CRISPR technology has revolutionized gene therapy and promises a new future for molecular science. CRISPR allows for precise rewriting of DNA and offers the potential to cure genetic diseases and improve human well-being. However, it also raises several ethical concerns as we could alter the human germline and approach human perfectionism. The potential applications of CRISPR are particularly alarming among the Catholic community where such genetic alterations are seen as immoral. This presentation will address the Catholic and scientific view on gene editing and extend beyond to the potential impacts and social injustice of human perfectionism. 

Concurrent sessions details

Learn more about the presentations and panels happening during the concurrent sessions.

LBC 211A/B

Commercializing The Geckskin

Tsitsi Makufa
Environmental Sustainability, Global Management

Felsuma is a private, investor-funded startup commercializing the Geckskin technology, licensed exclusively from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Felsuma has developed a portfolio of Geckskin devices with Grip & Peel capability, wherein solving the (allegedly) coveted four performance facets in load-bearing, removable adhesives that have never before been solved in one device. However, they have failed to capitalize on that capability to find a niche market where the need is clearly defined so that their value proposition is evident. My project is to determine if there is a need and to determine a value proposition for the product portfolio to potential customers through conducting research as the Marketing Consultant Intern.


LBC 201

Critique and the Redemptive Power of Despair: Between Hegel and Adorno

Daniel Oni

I propose to explore the philosophical problem of “critique” and its relation to despair while also examining the problem of the status of the subject. These twinned angles converge on what I aim to show in this thesis: that despair is not only essential to, but also intrinsic to, any critical philosophy. In contemporary discourse, despair has come to be seen as deeply detrimental to thought and as something to be excised from our lives perfunctorily. In purportedly critical discourse, despair is seen as paralyzing, narcissistic, resignatory. It can be said that, for example, Habermas and his inheritors—Axel Honneth, Seyla Benhabib, and Rainer Forst, amongst others, see despair as a symptom of the impotence of thought and critique must be rescued from despair. However, I wish to argue the opposite: it is the avoidance of despair in how we think about our world, or in our attempts to critique it, that testifies to thought’s impotence. In other words, the effacement of despair’s relationship to critical thought serves no other purpose than to blunt the sharp edge that critique ought to bring to bear on its situation. It is also this sharp edge that animates what is the secondary— but nonetheless important— contention of this thesis viz., the philosophical problem of redemption.


LBC 101

Putting Fun in Stress Management

Hannah Lipps
Counseling Services

This hands-on workshop will invite participants to re-imagine the ways they interact with daily stressors. The goal of this workshop is to empower participants to take charge of the stress in their lives and use it as a motivator, not a deterrent.


LBC 124

What To Do Until Peace Breaks Out: Peace Corps and Peace Corps Prep

Jennifer Seely
 African and African American Studies; Comparative Languages and Linguistics; French and Francophone Studies; International Studies; Law and Social Justice; Public Health; Community Engagement; Center for Career Education (i.e. internships); Center for Global Education

Did you know that Peace Corps Volunteers have returned to the field in 2022? Come learn about the Peace Corps and the Peace Corps Prep Applied Minor at Earlham College at a hands-on, open-house session and you’ll get a unique opportunity to see examples of Volunteers in action. You can also answer some trivia questions and win some PC swag!


CST 103

Mathematics of the Lights Out Puzzle

Wisdom Boinde, Igor Minevich
Computer Science, Mathematics

The Lights Out Puzzle is an interesting mix of mathematical and computer magic. The rules are easy to learn, but solving the puzzle can be quite difficult. Moreover, there are numerous questions one can ask about the puzzle, such as how many solutions there are, that lead to explorations all over the mathematical realm. In this research, we have extended some of the theory that was developed for the 2-color puzzle to multiple colors and discovered many key pieces to the puzzle along the way, including one construction that creates beautiful patterns.


CVPA 150

Making Music with Computers

Facilitator: Forrest Tobey
Presenters: Jen Astorga, Meesh Feller, Nicola Gacy, Rene Gaundreau, Tra-Vaughn James, Daniela Joseph, Avin Newswanger, Mehmet Ali Schubel, Doug Wagner, Egan White

The spring Making Music with Computers class will share their work, including scoring for videos and collaborative spoken word compositions.


CVPA 216

Testing Glazes: Same Glazes, Different Clays and Kiln Atmospheres

Facilitator: Judy Wojcik
Presenters: Amal Tamari, Caleigh Zolman

The use of glazes in the different atmospheres at cone 6 (2269 degrees F) that gas and electric provide results in a variety of surfaces. During the five weeks, we tested and studied seventeen glazes in both the gas and electric kilns, and wanted to discern which ones created an optimal glaze, provided a solid base, and would potentially allow for further research with the glazes independently and with underglazes. We mixed 100 grams of each of the glazes, extruded test tiles of white stoneware, commercial stoneware, and Brooklyn red bodies, and dipped each tile in slips and glazes according to a set number system that we created. Through our research, we were able to assess these glazes and found multiple new glazes and colorants that we continue to test. We were able to dive further into understanding how our current glazes work, and developed the skills to mix and assess new glazes throughout this process.


AWC 2225A/B

Video Analysis and Team Building; Two ways to improve athletic performance

Patrick Morrow, Arantxa Rosainz
Athletics, Wellness, and Physical Education; Computer Science; Data Science; Exercise Science; Graduate Programs in Education; Human Development and Social Relations; Mathematics; Psychology

We’ll be looking into how video analysis affects reaction time for baserunners in baseball. Analyzing the teaching method of video and the implications it has on the players who receive it. As well as evaluating the effects of team building activities on intrinsic motivation in student athletes.

LBC 211A/B

Sociology/Anthropology and Media and Communications Senior Thesis Presentations

Facilitator: Nora Taplin-Kaguru
Presenters: Minh Doan, Jessenia Fanini, Aza Hurwitz, Daniel Oni
Sociology/Anthropology; Media and Communications

The female bodies on TikTok and women’s performative attempts to regain bodily autonomy
Presenter: Minh Doan

Women experience slut-shaming regularly as a part of the sexual harassment in the digital space. Focusing on the video-based platform Tik Tok, this study investigates how female users react against the social constraints over their bodily autonomy and implement its features to regain lost control. Qualitative analysis was conducted over 10 videos that center on slut-shaming and the sexualization of the female bodies. The discussion hereby suggests a fantasy of freedom created both as a coping mechanism against the constant censorship and motives for the hyper-sexualization of the female bodies on Tik Tok.

Celebrating Hair: The Intergenerational Transmission of Beauty Among Black Women in America
Presenter: Jessenia Fanini

This thesis examines the hair care narratives and intergenerational-relational experiences of Black women in America. There is much deserving literature surrounding the oppression, hardships, and enslavement that has been brought upon Black populations, women especially, through White supremacist frameworks. By exclusively framing African descendants as a struggling population, academics continue to view the Black community through a Eurocentric lens. Thus, this project aims to balance that energy by reframing Black women in an Afrocentric thought that reclaims their personhood and agency. Many of the women interviewed explained their journey in hair reclamation, another large component of celebrating Black hair as explored through this thesis. Through integrating a collection of oral stories from interviews with ten Black women with existing socio-historical accounts, this research applies an Afrocentric and decolonial approach to celebrating Black women’s relationships with their hair as learned and influenced by the generations of Black women who have come before them.

The Anonymous Bricks
Presenter: Aza Hurwitz

What does it mean to be the paint on a wall? Or the painter of a wall? This presentation will explore ways humans interact and respond to street art and the spaces it inhabits. Looking at and questioning where the ‘art’ actually takes place and who creates it.

On Late Capitalism and the Whimsical as an Aesthetic Form
Presenter: Daniel Oni

Although the study of capitalism and culture is not new, analysis of aesthetic form has remained confined to the traditional categories of the sublime and the beautiful. These categories still undergird most critical projects even in the so-called postmodern turn. Nevertheless, these categories are not sufficient for thinking through capitalism and culture today because of massive structural transformations in all domains of capital- production, exchange and consumption. It is to this effect that I intend to make a case for the whimsical as an aesthetic category that has not only emerged to prominence in and through capitalism’s transformations but will also more adequately illuminate the dynamic between capital and culture today.


LBC 315 A/B

Tips and Stories from Recent Fellowship and Award Recipients

Sumin Park, Feven Naba, Wisdom Boinde
Center for Career Education 

Panelists will share their tips and stories behind recent scholarships and awards they secured for the summer of 2022.  The student panelists will discuss their proposals and application process for the following award/scholarship: 1. Davis Peace Prize 2. DAAD RISE scholarship.


LBC 101

What We Cannot Know: Trauma, Art, and 9/11

Katelyn Goodpaster

“What We Cannot Know: Trauma, Art, and 9/11” is the culmination of Katelyn Goodpaster’s undergraduate thesis work in philosophy. This talk will explore the concept of knowledge through the lense of 9/11. Through the discussion of art and qualia, Goodpaster demonstrates the potential power of visual art to communicate the ineffable. This talk will challenge listeners to question not just what they think that they know, but to also question what it means to know.


LBC 201

Working with the Sierra Club to connect with Minnesotans on Environmental Justice

Eloïse Boigenzahn
Environmental Sustainability

I will be speaking about my experience with Sierra Club North Star Chapter as a Communications Intern, describing what my tasks were and what I learned from the experience. My responsibilities were reaching out to legislators, posting updates on the Sierra Club North Star social media pages on fight for climate justice, and experimenting with how to best reach our audience.


CST 103

The Give and Take of Teaching Middle School

Ashley Awbrey, Riley Patrick Green, Colin Kimiecik
Graduate Programs in Education

Three MAT students present their final action research done during their school year at various middle schools in Wayne County. All three follow a common theme of the difference between the presence and absence of non-traditional learning tools in the classroom. One seeks to find the effects of abstract learning versus hands-on learning. One looks to find the differences between textbook and non-textbook learning. The last introduces fidget toys in order to find how their presence affects learning and attention.


AWC 2225A/B

Three Coaches Share Ways To Improve Athlete Mentality

Casey Monahan, Drew Fitzgibbon, Nate Baker
Athletics, Wellness, and Physical Education; Exercise Science; Graduate Programs in Education

We will have three twenty-minute presentations, exploring athlete mentality and how it can impact an athlete’s performance. One will look at how guided visualization can impact a player’s confidence in their sport. Another will explore whether reviewing oneself over video will aid in self-belief. The third will explore the impact of different types of short-term goal setting and their impact on improving athletic performance.


CVPA Atrium, 1:45 – 2:15 p.m.

Javanese Gamelan Ensemble

Facilitator: Marc Benamou
Guest Musician: Heri Purwanto
Performers: Ariel Anurantha, Chadha BenAbederrahmane, Jarred Costa, Neon Guzman-Delgado, Owen Kaplan, Bridget Lewis, Yara Matar, Avin Newswanger, August Nord, Leigh Siler, Madeleine Spellman

Please join us for a preview of the Earlham Javanese Gamelan Ensemble’s May 7th concert. We will be joined by master musician Heri Purwanto on both occasions. Our May concert will feature our full bronze gamelan—with its many melodic layers of tuned percussion, along with a plucked zither, bowed lute, and bamboo flute. Here we will be using a more portable ensemble called larasmadyå, which consists of unison choral singing accompanied by frame drums, a pair of tubular bells called kemanak, and a double-headed drum. The ensemble meets twice a week and includes both beginners (MUSG 127) and returning students (MUSG 327). Mr. Purwanto, who taught at Earlham from 2014-6, is currently a visiting artist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

LBC 101

Interactive Language “Tasting” Event

Facilitator: Candice Quiñones
Presenters: Elizabeth Edmonds, Ian Gorley, Guru Sahai Khalsa, Jessica Mohler, Connor Newlin, Myra Robinson, Lucas Suarez-Findlay, Luz Tafradjiyski Mostacero, Alden Thompson Vought, Karol Zetzsche Silva
Comparative Languages and Linguistics

Join us for mini-lessons in a variety of different languages taught by the students taking part in the TESO/CLL 344: Studies in Language Learning and Teaching course. Participants will enter and rotate between stations for 10-minute, interactive, mini-lessons each in a different language until they have completed the circuit of presentations.


LBC 211A/B

Sociology/Anthropology and Media and Communications Senior Thesis Presentations

Facilitator: Nora Taplin-Kaguru
Presenters: Martha Barefoot-Yeager, Zaid Daana, Lucas Mulhall
Sociology/Anthropology; Media and Communications

Betwixt and Between: Exploring the Power of Transformative Experiences and Returning to the “Real World”
Presenter: Martha Barefoot-Yeager

For my thesis I have explored transformative experiences and rituals and what happens when those transformations are not acknowledged by your community after their completion. Starting with anthropological literature on stages of rites of passage, I found that those structures did not match with my moments of ritual in my youth. Using a combination of auto ethnography and interview data, I looked specifically at study abroad and summer camp experiences as key sites of transformation. Exploring themes of nature, place, and daily life, my thesis explains why experiences like study abroad and summer camp are so powerful and why talking about them post return is a challenge.

Social Media Intifada
Presenter: Zaid Daana

The presentation will consist of multiple videos as example of how Palestinians employed social media during the May 2021 Anti-Sheikh Jarrah evictions social media movement. Moreover, the presentation will try to explain the importance of social media as a tool for Palestinians in the midst of anti Palestine propaganda in the mainstream media.

Invasive, Vicious and Sweet: Honeysuckle Stories
Presenter: Lucas Mulhall

Honeysuckle is a pervasive plant that resists removal. What kinds of relationships do people have with honeysuckle, and the difficult and potentially impossible task of eradicating it?


LBC 201

Student Motivation in the Classroom

Allison Nash, Henry Wildes, Charis Williams
Graduate Programs in Education

A series of three presentations exploring motivation in secondary school classrooms. Allison Nash is presenting on how technology and free writing impacts motivation in the English Language Arts (E.L.A.) classroom. Henry Wildes is presenting on how music affects student motivation in the Physical Education (P.E.) classroom. Charis Williams is presenting on using choice as a tool for student motivation and engagement in the Social Studies/History classroom.


CST 103

Action Research: An Application of Educational Video through Viewpoints in a Ceramics Class

Isaac Lipkowitz, Padgett Yoder Gustavson
Art; Graduate Programs in Education

Within the context of ceramics education, the wheel can prove a daunting process to understand and persevere through. The aim of this action research was to examine if the use of a viewpoint driven demonstrational video helped bridge the gaps between seeing, understanding, and doing. Based on the theory of the Japanese craft philosopher Soetsu Yanagi, the video served to supplement the learners’ understanding of intended learning goals, and to allow the participants “to see and at the same time comprehend.” The video demonstration was contrasted with a traditional live demonstration in terms of student experience, confidence, and overall success in replicating the techniques shown.

Joseph Moore Museum

Connecting to the Richmond community through informal education: Spotlight on Joseph Moore Museum’s Great Discoveries students
Facilitator: Heather Lerner
Presenters: Abby Shuck, Cade Orchard, Cole Morse, Hannah Grushon, Jenn Baker, Kiyomi Johnson, Megan Steinhiser, Nathen Peck
Archaeology; Art, Nature and Conservation; Biology; Data Science; Earth and Environmental Science; Graduate Programs in Education; Museum Studies; Outdoor Education; Community Engagement

How do museum collections and museum outreach impact the teaching and learning of the Earlham community? Students from the Great Discoveries in Natural History Collections class will share their path at Earlham using museums and museum collections. We will answer this question through examples from (1) experiential learning, informal STEM education by taking people outdoors and creating a non-answer-driven learning environment (2) using Earlham collections for paleontology research in combination with other institutions’ collections (3) uniquely adapting to the background knowledge and interest of a live and ever changing audience of the campus and broader community (4) creating access to our biodiversity collections through digitization and connecting with other institutions (5) learning from anthropologically significant artifacts (6) learning how museums are run and how to prepare new specimens for the collection. Following short student presentations, the students will take questions as a panel.


CVPA 143

Theatre for Social Change: Art & Action
Facilitator: Lynne Perkins Socey
Presenters: Sarah Cohen, Austi Jenkins, Mike Martin, Katie Zack
Arts and Advocacy; Arts Management; Creative Writing; Earlham School of Religion; Film Studies; Graduate Programs in Education; Human Development and Social Relations; Media and Communications; Museum Studies; Peace and Global Studies; Psychology; Sociology and Anthropology; Theatre Arts; Community Engagement

Stories brought to life for audiences through theatre, film, and television can raise awareness, amplify underrepresented voices, reflect changes in societal attitudes and/or catalyze community conversations. But Forum Theatre, Verbatim Theatre, Arts-in-Education, Theatre of the Oppressed, Socio-Drama, and drama therapy practices can also support individuals, small groups and/or communities with shared interests as they problem-solve through play. Theatre for Social Change course students will share what they’ve learned through their research, experiential learning, and community service projects this semester. (Audience interaction encouraged – but not required.)

Support your classmates. Win new luggage for your next Epic Journey adventure!

Every student who attends the poster session and any one or more of the concurrent sessions will be entered into a drawing for luggage. You will receive one entry for each session you attend. Attend all four sessions and receive a fifth bonus entry!

Muslim student iftar for Ramadan

Students, faculty and staff who are observing Ramadan on April 28 are invited to a special community iftar at 8:30 p.m. in Comstock Room, Runyan Center.


Contact us at [email protected] with any questions about this event.