Student Honors Theses

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    Inspiring Freedom: Works by the Philosophers Who Influenced the American Revolutuion
    (2022-12) Howard, Noah; Westacott, Emrys; Grove, Allen; Ryan, Melissa
    Rather than just looking back and seeing the face-value of what our Founding Fathers believed, it’s important to look deeper and understand exactly what they believed, where they obtained these ideas, and, most importantly, why they believed what they did. The author shows the origin of these ideas, rather than just the embodiment of them. This will enable us to obtain a stronger sense of the philosophies of our nation and, therefore, help us ensure that our citizens, government, and policies of both, will not only be reminiscent of our founding ideals, but also remain so in the future. Additionally, we can be more confident that, as we make changes to our nation’s policies, they will not only highlight our original ideas, but even expand upon them.
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    Yemen's Regional War
    (2022-11-29) Jordan, Mackenzie; Sluyter-Beltrao, Jeff; Kless, Andrew; Myers, Robert; Hallberg Yanda, Heather; Von Stackelberg, Peter
    This thesis shows the importance of history and how condensed countries have complex issues and tensions. The main point has been to highlight the nature of the war in Yemen and the dire need for understanding, attention, and answers. This thesis has demonstrates, statistically and factually, that Yemen’s civil war is intricate and complex, through themes of historical tensions, the impact of the Arab Spring, understanding the Houthis, labeling a regional war, and simplifying the legality behind war crimes and crimes against humanity. Throughout this thesis, and writing it, the importance of early history and tensions can easily be seen. Understanding a conflict means understanding past relationships, past motivations, and past tensions which are usually repetitive throughout conflicts. Knowledge is key when reporting, investigating, and understanding the complexity of serious and detrimental wars that experience war crimes, crimes against humanity, and terminology that takes away from the locality of the war. This thesis is aimed at forcing scholars, journalists, and humanitarian organizations to begin looking at issues as complex as Yemen through a new and uncomfortable lens: new terminology is crucial to begin understanding an under-studied and misrepresented country.
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    That's Classified!
    (2022-12-13) Hart, Emily; Lowry, Michele; McGowan, Garrett; Rossington, Ann
    When collecting post-blast explosive residue examinations, it is important to ensure that all samples taken from the scene are taken with residue collection supplies that have been exposed to as little prior contamination as possible. Swabbing and sampling residue collection supplies are exposed to different environments during storage before implementation in the post-blast scene. The goal of this thesis is to provide a reference study on background levels of explosive residues on evidence collection supplies prior to their use in post-blast scenes in order to assist the forensic community and to assist in the interpretation of crime scene data. The ultimate goal is how clean is “clean.”
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    A Journey Through Cultural Cinema
    (2022-12) Hageman, Larissa; Schlegel, Nicholas; Schultz, Pamela; Kless, Andrew
    The author has always been drawn to international films for their art form, creativity, and deep immersion into a world much different than their own. “A Journey Through Cultural Cinema” discusses and reveals the beauty and layers of deepness present in selected international films from all over the world in a variety of genres. Analysis of their universal themes of hope, relatability, and the cultural curiosity they prompt from international audiences is presented in this thesis.
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    Constructing Ancient Korean Celadons for Modern Firing Cycles
    (2022-12) Dunham, Grace; Carty, William; Lee, Hyojin; Kelleher, Matt
    Ancient sherds and samples collected from Gangjin and Gimjae celadons (Koryŏ period, 918-1392 CE) were previously analyzed to determine the firing conditions and to evaluate the body and glaze chemistry. Those results show that ancient samples were fired with three- or four-day long soak time at temperatures between 1000°C – 1200°C. The firing conditions of ancient Korean celadons produce a deep glaze-body interaction zone that is responsible for the optical characteristics of the glaze. To mimic the optical effects of ancient Korean celadons in modern firing cycles, the depth of the glaze-body interaction can be obtained using a two-layer glaze system. A two-layer glaze system was created that mimics the microstructure observed in the glaze-body interaction zone of the ancient samples. Color analysis by spectrophotometry, as well as chemical content and distribution mapping via SEM/EDS were used to evaluate the two-layer glaze system. Analysis of these data indicate similar optical effects and chemistry as presented in ancient Korean celadon samples.
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    Development of a Two-Parameter Model to Describe Particle Size Distributions
    (2021-05-10) Ciccarella, Mark A.; Carty, William; Lee, Hyojin; Keenan, Timothy J.
    Particle size distributions present a unique challenge for analysis and presentation and simply reporting the D50 value fails to capture any information that describes the width of the distribution. By fitting the particle size distribution to a statistical model, it is possible to describe a distribution with a two-parameter model, similar to that obtained from a Weibull analysis of mechanical testing data. In fact, as is demonstrated in this thesis, many native particle distributions actually fit a Weibull distribution, but when the distribution is scalped, as is common for industrial powders, the distribution is better described with a log-normal model. Both of these distribution types can be described by a mean and a modulus, and thus a two-parameter model. The two-parameter model can then be plotted on x-y coordinates to allow the tracking of particle size distributions for milling studies or for quality control purposes.
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    The Influence of Brand Loyalty on Equestrian Helmet Buying Decisions
    (2022-04-20) Johnson, Emma; Freyn, Shelly; Costich, Olivia; Shattan, Theresa
    With consumers constantly exposed to brands, it is very important for businesses to ensure their brand stand out in the marketplace. Building brand loyalty creates a competitive advantage through increased customer recommendations, repeat purchases and overall, expenditures on the branded products. This study looks at the role of brand loyalty in the helmet market of the equine industry. There are many helmet brands that offer different features in look, fit, comfort, and safety and vary in price from about $23-$1,000+. Secondary research was conducted, and hypothesis were developed about how these factors and the nature of the sport influence helmet purchases: • Brand loyalty plays a strong role in consumer purchases of equestrian helmets. • Style trends in the show ring change over time and have a stronger influence over helmet purchases. • Helmet trends vary slightly by region due to prominent trainer and competition judge influence. • Different disciplines have their own trends that are accepted and popular for competition. • Safety rating of helmets can be a deciding factor for which brand or model of helmet to purchase. Based on these findings, primary research in the form of a focus group was conducted. Eight participants from the Alfred University equestrian teams participated. The group was fairly homogeneous; all had similar riding experience at similar levels. To address the research focus of brand loyalty and various helmets. there was diversity in their primary styles of riding. Key themes from the focus group included: • Safety is a popular topic of discussion but is not the greatest factor when considering helmet purchases. • Look is one of the primary factors in helmet purchases, but it is subjective, and it is inconclusive how different brands view overall look. • Other activities of brands, like customer service, selling online, and offering other products, do not play a strong role in helmet selection. • When a consumer is satisfied with a helmet, they are more likely to buy that brand again. • Media plays a big role in the development of helmet trends. Footage of high-level competitions and the social media of professional riders show use of new helmet styles allowing new looks to slowly trickle down to lower levels, where they are pushed by trainers and early adopters. Although extensive conclusive research is required to confirm these findings, some implications were still developed for the helmet industry. For example, helmet purchases appear to be strongly influenced by appearance and fitting in with current helmet trends. Businesses may want to focus on evolving helmet trends by working with influencers, sponsoring top riders, and working to get their helmet style exposed and widely available to be adopted by riders. Additional research was also discussed along with other key findings that could be further tested.
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    Textured and Colored Glazes
    (2022-05-07) Raposas, Christine; Kelleher, Matt; McConnell, Walter; Hopp, Johnathan
    I focused my honors thesis research on three types of ceramic glazes, lichen, lava, and gloop. These became especially interesting to me after I took a glaze class a few years ago. I decided to take the glaze class because I absolutely hated glazes, but started enjoying ceramics. I didn’t like how with glazes, unlike a painting, I couldn’t see exactly how they were going to look after being fired. I figured I would learn a little more about them so it wasn't a dreaded part of working with clay. Instead, it became what I’ve been most focused on for the past few years.
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    Optical Properties of Sugar Glass
    (2022-05) Quintas, Jocelyn; Clare, Alexis; Moncke, Doris; Powers, Angus
    Sugar, like silicates, can be heated to molten temperatures and become glass once cooled. Confectioneries use a mixture of several sugars to create hard candies, and a sugar glass is another name for this. Sugar glass, like traditional glass, cools and solidifies into a transparent material. Depending on ingredients used or the range the sugar was cooked for, its properties change. If the sugar syrup was left too long and went past its hard-crack stage, then the resulting sugar would be caramel, with a sugar concentration of 100%. For this study, optical properties of sugar glass were investigated. Optically, the sugar glass behaved similarly to that of commercial glass. Light, from a blue and red laser, could interact with the surface of the glass to generate predictable outcomes. The glass could interact with its own version of a sheet of light with the help of a cylindrical lens. It is achievable to create a diffraction grating out of sugar glass because of its similar behavior to that of glass. The diffraction grating sheet’s grooves transferred over to the sugar glass when used as a mold. Waves of visible color, at its respective wavelength, were observable when shining white light. However, because of the grating’s defining qualities, that of specific sized and spaced apart grooves, it was not achievable using homemade diffraction grating molds. It would require proper tools to embed such surface topography.
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    Constructing Light
    (2022-05-06) Poklop, Natalie; Kelleher, Matt; Willard, Adero; Brown, Cory
    Through the past four years, ceramics has gone from a practice to ease my mind to a practice that activates it. I have begun to question what motivations drive me to do ceramics and what need it fulfills in my life. I have asked myself: What does it mean to be in control? Is it I or the material around me that has the power in decision making? Who has control when viewing an object? I constantly wrestle with my primal need for complete control, with clay being a medium that allows me very little of it. I find myself battling for control at the pottery wheel or through the firing of a wood kiln. In these instances, I need to ask myself how control will benefit the outcome. I work to challenge my belief that control leads to quality work. I am learning to understand how moments of uncertainty and giving into unknown outcomes is what can lead to my own creative satisfaction. Throughout my thesis work, I have used the idea of light to process this need for control and learned to find the intersection between fighting for control and embracing the unplanned.
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    Analysis of Gender in Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun
    (2022-05-05) Peterson, Sabastian; Reginio, Robert; DeGraff, David; Grove, Allen
    Upon starting Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer, the reader will be immersed in what seems like a distinctly patriarchal story. The beginning of the series concerns a member of a violent all male organization pining for the love of a woman. Although it is not a particularly “action packed” story compared to many other novels within the world of speculative fiction, it certainly has its share of sex and violence, all of which comes from a masculine point of view. However, as one continues the series, the ways in which the author criticizes patriarchy and toxic masculinity become more apparent. Severian’s journey is largely about moving his identity away from the guild he was once a part of. He can only become the planet’s savior after abandoning the cruel ideology that was imposed upon him throughout most of his life. The story is about an immoral person gradually donning a new identity in order to defeat the violent and power-obsessed aspects of himself. However, this does not mean that the story is completely free of misogyny. Particularly towards the end of the series, the implications of the narrative reveal a rather traditional view of gender roles. Within Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun, the character of Severian, the organization he belongs to, and his interactions with other characters serve to point out how patriarchy pushes men towards toxicity and cruelty. The text argues that men must eschew certain “masculine” characteristics such as the need to exert power and seek domination in order to dismantle oppressive systems that restrict people’s autonomy. However, it also argues for a worldview where it is “right” for people to embody traditionalist roles based on their gender.
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    A Qualitative Analysis and Quantitative Methodology Used to Examine Crumb Rubber Pellets from Artificial Turf Fields for the Presence of Lead
    (2022-04-26) Morling, Karina; McGowan, Garrett; Honeck, Jason; Glover, Liam
    University of Washington’s Associate Women’s Head Soccer Coach, Amy Griffin, has created a list of 268 athletes that have been diagnosed with cancer after playing on an artificial turf field at some point in their athletic career. Griffin believes that crumb rubber pellets that are a component of the artificial turf fields could be the reason behind why so many of her past athletes have developed cancer. Numerous investigations have been published in the literature that discuss possible components of crumb rubber pellets that could be carcinogenic to humans. Heavy metals are one of the groups of substances that have been researched in past studies. The purpose of this investigation was to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze the amount of lead present in three different samples of crumb rubber pellets collected from various colleges’ artificial turf fields. The three samples were collected from Alfred University’s, Alfred State College’s, and Brockport State College’s athletic fields. The samples were qualitatively analyzed by means of scanning electron microscopy, and quantitatively analyzed by means of flame atomic absorption spectroscopy. Both the quantitative analysis of the Alfred University sample and the qualitative analyses of all three of the three school’s samples showed there to be no lead present within the crumb rubber pellets. Further investigations are warranted, as only a small sample of pellets from the artificial turf fields were analyzed, and the samples did indicate that there were trace amounts of other heavy metals present.
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    The ABCs of Cinematic Beauty
    (2022-05) Torthe, Talulla; Kuplen, Mojca; Schlegel, Nicholas; Schultz, Pamela
    Some films have a special allure, a spark that evokes a deep feeling of pleasure in the viewer. It is my objective, through The ABCs of Cinematic Beauty, to put into writing what gives some films that spark—what make these films, in my opinion, undeniably beautiful.
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    Garden Variety
    (2022-04-25) McDonald, MacKenzie; Sikora, Linda; Smythe, Meghan; Green, Jason
    My honors thesis is my BFA exhibition: Garden Variety (figure 1). The exhibition is a garden; a landscape constructed from sculptures that are as subversive as they are sweet. The subversive power of decorative arts employs tongue-in-cheek commentary on consumerism and outdated societal notions of femininity in this body of work. The glorification of banal objects like topiaries and plastic flamingos question the role they play in our material lives. Landscapes of astroturf and glossy majolica evoke imposed ideals and standards of unrealistic beauty. Using kitsch themes and camp aesthetic a dichotomy of perfection vs reality is presented. I’m inspired by the rich history of terracotta with its architectural, sculptural, and functional past. I use terracotta as a vehicle for expression; creating dream-like spaces with fragmented references to an American suburban eutopia. Bilateral symmetry is employed throughout the exhibition as a deliberate means to construct a distinctive space reminiscent of classical architecture and suburban ubiquity.
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    The Destiny We Should Not Be Destined To
    (2022-05-07) Lafferty, Katherine; Deutsch, Andrew; Livingstong, Judy; Souther, Eric
    During lockdown, one of the only things that was still consistently there was nature. Nearly every day I would take a hike around a local park/nature reserve. Once we were able to come back to school, the obvious thing to make art about was COVID. However, I discovered a new subject matter I could revolve my art around: nature! It felt so obvious. I loved spending time outside, so it made sense to create art appreciating it. Around this time was also when I realized I enjoy making ambient sound pieces. The idea I can make people think of things and experience emotions without creating visuals for them was very exciting. That eventually translated into my visual art this year, where I began to create the abstract artworks I’ve been holding myself back from creating. Beginning to use nature as a subject matter was very fulfilling, but also left me with a sense of guilt. I felt like I was taking nature for granted. It heals me, gives me happiness, and brings me closer to my friends. What do I do? I drive a car, buy single-use plastic, and order things online. Nature is trying to be kind to us, but we are not treating it the same way.
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    Forced Intimacy
    (2022-05-10) Joyner, Grace E.; Wixted, Kevin; Weiss, Maureen; Uzor, Augustine
    My artwork speaks to a dramatization of personal history through metaphor and figurative storytelling. My creative investigation is based upon the need to process personally challenging experiences. In these installation-based paintings I explore themes of introspection and trauma, through representational depictions of nature, and landscape using unrealistic color. The installation is in an unconventional space that limits the movement of the viewer, a location that necessitates proximity, and rotation around a defined space. This forced perspective placed on the viewer mirrors the mental process of introspection, and how perspective changes throughout a journey.
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    Grass Fed
    (2022-04-26) Johnston, Sally; Vajda, Kathy; Scheer, Joseph; Porter, Karen
    The way we consume meat currently in America is ruled by capitalistic greed and profit without concern for the effects that it has. Meat products are pushed out at an enormous rate for people to consume every day, and so much is wasted. Americans eat more meat than we should and we are made to be so disconnected from the food we consume. We are sold perfectly plastic wrapped meat in sterile aisles which separates us from the reality of what the animals go through during their processing before they get to us. Animals are slaughtered by the millions, by real people put through horrific conditions, in order to end up on our tables. One way that corporations separate us from our food is through advertisements and packaging. The intent of my artwork is to break down the perceptions of meat and show the reality of what actually occurs in order for us to get our food. By showing my work in a repetitive nature I hope to mimic the mass quantities and greed that go into our food production. If I can show people the realities of meat production my hope would be not to necessarily make people not consume meat but think about the ways in which we receive our food and the problems within the system created to get it from a living animal to a meal on our table.
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    Pythagoras to Plato: The Intersection of Three Disciplines
    (2022-05) Backer, Lilith; Westacott, Emrys; Petrillo, Joseph; Singer, Sandra
    The purpose of this thesis is to compare the philosophy of the Pythagoreans and the philosophy of Plato in order to determine the extent to which Plato was influenced by Pythagoras.To do so we will be analyzing writings about Pythagoras and his followers to piece together what makes Pythagoreanism distinct, and then compare it to the philosophical beliefs we find in Plato’s writings, particularly Timaeus, Phaedo, Republic, and Meno
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    Thick Film Silver Circuit Conductor Adhesion to Vitreous Substrates
    (2022-05) Baldwin, Grant L.; LaCourse, William; Stohr, Darren; Wang, Xingwu
    Alumina (Al2O3) is currently the industry standard substrate for thick film circuit conductors. Recently developed high speed/precision femto-second lasers can fabricate fine diameter thru-vias on fine pitches in glasses and fused silica. Thru-via interconnects with these miniaturized dimensions are not possible using alumina substrates. Miniaturized glass thru-via substrates needed for mobile communication products (next Gen cellphones) require high conductivity metallic circuit traces that are well bonded to the glasses. The conductors were assessed by comparison for resistivity shifts and tested for mechanical adhesion variation. Sputter coating of silver onto borosilicate slides through various intensities was done to determine adhesion capabilities as well as baseline resistivity measurements. Application of silver paste onto both borosilicate and quartz glass was attempted to determine adhesion and resistivity values. Various methods of attaining adhesion to the glasses was explored such as, painting of paste, sputter coating foundation, and a combination of the two. The sputter coating offered lower resistivity values and as good as adhesion while the silver paste displayed higher resistivity values due to less silver content in paste and thermal stress issues leading to cracking. The microelectronics industry is challenged with the development of copper (Cu) and silver (Ag) adhesion to vitreous glasses and fused silica. Thick film circuits are used in almost all electronic industry applications and would benefit from these discussed technical improvements.
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    Compositional Testing of Refractory High Entropy Allys to Provide Oxidation Resistance in Air at 1000˚C
    (2022-05-02) Brewer, Thomas; Wang, Kun; Clare, Alexis; LaCourse, William
    The refractory high entropy alloy that consists of refractory and oxidation-resistant elements is a rather new material that has shown excellent resistance to oxidation at both high temperatures and long periods of time. However, an abundance of research has not been conducted to examine all the potential chemical combinations that could provide such oxidation resistance due to the large compositional space. For this research, six high entropy alloys of the theorized chemical compositions: WTaNbTiAlCr, WTaNbTiAlCrMo, WNbAlTiCr, WTaNbAlCr, WMoNbAlTi, and WMoNbAlCr were created to examine the oxidation resistance that different sequences of elements provided. A powder metallurgy process was utilized to form all the samples. High energy planetary ball milling was used to uniformly mixed or even pre-alloyed powders, which would allow for high densification and full alloying of the powders during the spark plasma sintering process (SPS). Post sintering and polishing, as fabricated microstructure, hardness, elastic modulus, and phase identification were investigated to rule out any samples with undesirable properties. Upon review of X-ray diffraction (XRD)and scanning electron microscopy(SEM)results, the samples comprised of WTaNbTiAlCr, WNbAlTiCr, and WMoNbAlTi were the only samples to form a single densified phase. Subsequently, oxidation tests of 2, 12, and 24 hours at 1000°C were conducted on separate sample specimens. A single composition, WTaNbTiAlCr, provided the best oxidation resistance along every timeline, while the two other samples showed severe/full oxidation at 12 and 24 hours.