2022-2023 Senior Honors Theses

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10657/13940

This collection contains theses produced by Class of 2023 Honors students


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Now showing 1 - 20 of 40
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    An Analysis of Colony Movement and The Effects of Movement on Fitness in the Western Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex Occidentalis
    (2023-08-07) Ramsaroop, Maxximus
    Colony movement in ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is well documented and several studies have explored the fitness costs and causes of colony movement in different species. Attempts to describe the purpose or patterns of colony movement have been made on many species within Pogonomyrmex spp. However, research into these aspects of colony movement has yet to be described in P. occidentalis, The Western Harvester ant. This thesis examines the fitness costs, potential causes, and behavioral syndrome associated with colony movement in P. occidentalis. I analyzed Dr. Cole & Dr. Wiernasz's data from 1993-2023 on colony movement, age, size, distances traveled, and survivorship for 6,066 colonies. Moved colonies were found to have a smaller colony size, shorter colony lifespan, and lower rates of survivorship when compared to unmoved colonies using t-tests and a Kaplan-Meier survivorship analysis. Moreover, moved colonies were compared against 1-year-old colonies, and were found to have a larger colony size. Colonies were also found to have a greater tendency to move later in age, and 16.6% of colonies had moved at least once. These results suggest that colonies that move incur fitness costs, as colony size and lifespan are proxies for fitness, and that colony movement is more costly for younger or smaller colonies. Furthermore, because P. occidentalis is notably long-lived, shows high nest fidelity, and their movements are associated with a loss in fitness, they likely exhibit an adventitious nest relocation syndrome. Through this thesis, we can better contextualize P. occidentalis in the greater scheme of animal architects and the decisions they make.
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    CO2 Open Metal Site Selectivity in MIL-100 (Cr): A Computational Study
    (2023-05-02) Fleming, Kevin
    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous organometallic compounds that are of high interest due to their capability to trap industrial greenhouse gases, such as CO2, that contribute to anthropogenic global warming. A promising MOF that has gained the attention of the research community in recent years is the CO2 adsorbent MIL-100 (Cr). This compound consists of two primary structural components: a set of Cr3-?3-oxo clusters referred to as secondary building units (SBU) and organic linkers derived from trimesic acid. Thermally activated SBUs possess coordinatively unsaturated sites Cr sites -- or open metal sites (OMS) -- that can have oxidation states of +2 or +3. Previous experimental work indicated that CO2 molecules bind more strongly to Cr2+ OMS than to Cr3+ OMS at low adsorptive pressures. In this thesis project, two central questions were addressed. Firstly, can the experimentally observed OMS selectivity be verified through density functional theory (DFT) simulations? Secondly, what electronic processes are responsible for OMS selectivity? DFT computations of the binding energy, enthalpy, and Gibbs free energy of CO2 adsorption onto Cr2+ and Cr3+ OMS verify that CO2 exhibits a significantly greater affinity for the +2 OMS. In addition, a comparison of the adsorption charge transfer and optimized binding geometries reveal that this selectivity arises from the energetically favorable chemisorption of CO2 onto +2 OMS – relative to the weaker physisorption of the greenhouse gas onto +3 OMS. The novel methodology utilized for this study -- which addresses the issue of charge delocalization in DFT simulations -- can be implemented in computational investigations of CO2 OMS selectivity for other promising MOFs being considered for carbon capture applications.
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    Geochemical Investigations into a Miocene/Pliocene Tephra Which May Constrain the Timing of Cervidae in North America
    (2023-05-08) Fields, Shawn
    Craigs Hill is an outcrop of Pliocene to present deposits located in Ellensburg, Washington, that sits on a resistant portion of the Miocene Ellensburg formation. Within Craigs Hill, there has been a recent discovery of a paleosol containing cervid fossils of the genus Bretzia. An aliquot of hornblende crystals from a tephra unit directly above the paleosol has been dated to 4.9 ± 0.1 Ma by 40Ar/39Ar analyses, indicating the fossils could represent some of the oldest Cervidae occurrences in North America. Using LA-ICP-MS, 47 zircon grains from the same tephra unit overlying the paleosol were analyzed for their U-Th-Pb isotopic compositions. The youngest cluster of zircons define a Tera-Wasserburg lower intercept age of 4.15 ± 0.10 Ma (2σ; n=18). The U-Pb age data of zircon also show that the tephra unit is not a simple air-fall tephra but was reworked and contains detrital zircons ranging from Pliocene to Proterozoic. The approximately 800,000-year discrepancy in the zircon and hornblende dates could be due to excess argon in the hornblende and/or older detrital hornblende grains included in the analyzed aliquot. The new U-Pb age for the tephra suggests this outcrop may not contain a new early occurrence of Bretzia. The Nd isotopic composition of the tephra magma source was determined from ~150 phosphate minerals that were digested, chemically processed, and analyzed by MC-ICP-MS. The Nd isotopic composition, referenced against present-day CHUR, yielded an εNd value of +6.83 ± 0.20 The εNd values from rocks derived from the Yellowstone and Mt. Adams volcanic centers are between -24.8 to +4.2 and between +5.35 to +7.24, respectively. The εNd value of +6.83 from this study is consistent with values found in the Mount Adams volcanic field. We conclude that the tephra layer of Craigs Hill is most likely related to a Cascade Arc magmatic event at 4.15 ± 0.10 Ma.
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    The Broken Canvas
    (2023-05-02) Edson, Aaron
    In a world where art is mystical, where creative forces are supernatural, anything might be imagined and made real. A statue might be brought to life, or a painting be walked into. In the city Aurum, art bleeds from every surface. The very are painted, the buildings sculpted. A gold spire houses the world's best artists – so long as they've been invited. But in this city of color and invention, change is inevitable. Something is on the brink. A scientist finds himself in an ethical dilemma, while an inspector is caught in a conspiracy. Meanwhile, a paint-maker finds himself at ends with the law. In a story that intertwines these characters, one thing is clear: the world may only change for so long behind closed doors.
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    Ensuring Quadrotor Safety Through Geofencing with Run Time Assurance
    (2023-05-09) De la Barcena, Arturo
    Safety assurance in autonomous safety critical aerospace systems has become an increasingly relevant area of study as mission objectives, hardware, and even human lives become endangered when integrating  complex and intelligent control system designs. With this rise of control and mission complexity for autonomous aerospace systems, a balance must be struck between mission objectives and system safety. A recent method of creating this balance has come to be known as online safety assurance techniques or Run  Time Assurance (RTA), a control intervention method designed separately from a  system's primary controller to assure safety in real time. The research presented in this thesis analyzes two RTA intervention methods, a switching-based filter known as the Simplex method, and an optimization-based filter known as the ASIF method, in the control of simulated quadcopters to create an impassible safety cube or 'geofence' in each of the quadcopter's reference axes. The  safety barriers created for the geofence are formally defined using the nascent topic of  Control Barrier Functions (CBFs), independently defined for each flight direction (X, Y,  Z), and implemented with Python, the primary language of the simulated environment.  This thesis will conclude with a comparison of the two RTA methods and the  effectiveness of their implementation on different quadcopter mission objectives.
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    From Destruction to Spectacle: Utilizing District Identity in Gentrifying Neighborhoods in Houston
    (2023-05-09) Campos, Carlos, Jr.
    This thesis will study the two major approaches to gentrification via district revitalization that has occurred in the Midtown and East Downtown districts, in which no cultural identity was used as a reference point for redevelopment and the existing cultural group in the area was destroyed as displacement occurred. I will then focus on the Montrose and East End/Second Ward districts, which presents a spectacle of the culture being displaced as a means to redevelop and create a unique, marketable identity for the district. Through this focus, I aim to connect districts' intensification of the displaced community's culture with broader strategies presented by city-wide growth machines. I examine these changes over time through an in-depth analysis of strategic growth documents created by city, state, and economic elite organizations.
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    Transient Refuge: Bellfort Avenue Community Closet
    (2023-05-01) Biscardi, Gina
    Picture this: the hotel room at the very end of the hall, with the constant rotation of visitors. A truck stop outside of town, alongside a major highway. Think of the local massage spa, with dark windows, tucked away in one of the many strip malls of the city. These spaces, although harmless to some, are where the hidden push and pull factors of human trafficking thrive. It is spatial conditions such as these where vulnerabilities meet exploitation, invading our public spaces and causing an estimated 40.3 million people to be victimized by human trafficking worldwide2. Every situation of trafficking looks different and therefore requires diverse approaches in terms of identification and healing. Transient Refuge poses an adaptive strategy of both physically and metaphorically filling in the gaps of society. By occupying vacant strip mall spaces and redesigning the experience, what was once an unsafe space can be transformed to operate as a Community Closet open to the public, victims, and survivors of human trafficking. This allows victims and survivors to have access to essential needs such as clothing, intentional spaces designed under the Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) model, and connection to the surrounding community and services.
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    About Time: Redressing the Runway
    (2023-05-01) Asuncion, Triciajane
    The fashion industry remains one of the most profitable and significant markets of the global economy. The eminence of the industry often overshadows its own negative impacts that play a role in the social and environmental well-being of the ecosystem. The terms, “back of house” and “front of house” are used in this investigation to indicate the fashion production process the everyday consumer does not see, and the point of sale retail environment that the consumer experiences, respectively. “Back of house” operations such as the exploitation of natural resources and workers, and the production of contamination and pollution, are asked by the extravaganza and glamour of the “front of house.” The selected “front of house” design precedent for exploration and deconstruction is the fashion runway, which displays an idealized image of  commodity. Created for the intention of desire and spectacle, runway shows encourage consumption and even overconsumption, employing allure to conceal the ugly reality of the industry. The architectural design in this thesis incorporates semi-transparent fabric as a front-of-house set design element to tell a narrative on the back-of-house of the fashion industry. As a way to communicate flow, movement, excess, contamination, and suffocation of the industry, the fabric set design transforms with a modeled choreography throughout the duration of the show. The choreography is designed after the movement of workers in the supply chain in order to convey the toll that labor takes on the body. The runway is sited in the fashion capital of Milan, Italy, due to its prestige and history of manufacturing and craftsmanship. The runway show is divided into three acts: (1) Construction, (2) Consumption, and (3) Deconstruction. Within the three acts, the circulatory relationship between the audience and the models changes, as a way to change the perspective of the audience to reveal their influence within the fashion cycle.  Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project and Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle offer philosophical sources in the development of the thesis objective and design. Benjamin's work investigates architecture in its development to host the uprising of modern consumption in nineteenth-century Paris, more specifically, the arch as a symbol and fetishization of commodified goods and experiences (3). He specifies the series of arches as a designed “dreamworld” that cloaks the realities of capitalism (13). Benjamin’s proposal of “dialectical images” suggests that by collaging the past and present into a single moment, its contradictions become apparent (462). Within the runway design, the back of house acts as the “past,” while the front of house acts as the “present,” coming together to uncover the beauty and ugly of the fashion industry. Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle expands upon Benjamin's criticism on consumer culture, where Dubord proposes that everything that was once living has now become mere age reproduction (2). “Spectacle” as defined by Debord is “the autonomous movement of the non-living,” which influences and arbitrates relationships and perceptions amongst humans (2). Furthermore, Debord cites the method of “détournement” as a way to subvert existing mass media images to generate new criticism (8). The use of depicting Milan’s monumental arches in the form of catenary arches within the runway design is a form of détournement to critique the fashion industry. Semi-transparent fabric is used as a metaphorical material to create a transformational runway design that subverts and uncovers the spectacle of runway shows. Generally used as a construction element in fashion, the fabric becomes redefined in the runway show to expose the underbelly of the problematic industry. This is done through the formation of catenary arches with the fabric, juxtaposing the existing traditional architecture of arches in the Brera courtyard. The purpose of transforming the once solid architectural feature of the arches into a new materiality that is light and flexible is to metaphorically see through the façade of the industry and into the production process that the everyday consumer does not understand in the garments they purchase from retailers. Through draping,  stiching, and layering, the fabric is manipulated in a number of ways throughout the runway show, which is transformed with and by a choreography that mirrors the bodily labor of workers. The transformation of fabric explores the material’s spatial and temporal possibilities on the runway, creating moments of tension, movement, and contradiction. Such moments are to convey the negative impacts of the industry on people and the planet, being labor exploitation and environmental degradation. In presenting issues in a theatrical format, the hope is to start a conversation to propose alternative solutions for a more sustainable and ethical practice. The research methodology adapts the architecture design process to produce schematic variations of fabric as a narrative piece in the runway design. Sketches, models, diagrams, and architectural drawings are tested and developed to inquire various design strategies and concepts. The final result is a runway design that incorporates fabric as a set element to redress the essence of the runway, fashioning a critique on the spectacle that challenges and informs the audience about controversies associated with the fashion industry. Benjamin, W. (1999). The Arcades Project. (H. Eiland & K. McLaughlin, Trans.). Harvard University Press. Original work published 1982) Debord, G. (1995). The Society of the Spectacle. (D. Nicholson-Smith, Trans.). Zone Books. (Original work published 1967)
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    Ethnic Identity and COVID-19 Psychological Consequences: An Evaluation of Distress Tolerance as a Potential Moderator Among Latinx Persons
    (2023-05-10) Argueta, Salma
    Background: As a multifaceted disease, the COVID-19 virus has engendered a range of mental health consequences among Latinx. Ethnic identity has been established as a protective factor against negative mental health symptoms in prior-non COVID-19 work, but has not been evaluated within the COVID-19 context. Moreover, potential interpersonal factors such as distress tolerance may further inform the dynamic between ethnic identity and mental health symptoms occasioned by the COVID-19 virus among Latinx persons. To empirically evaluate these relationships, the moderating role of distress tolerance was evaluated between Latinx ethnic identity and COVID-19 related fear, sleep disturbance, and emotional vulnerability related to COVID-19. Methods: The current study sought to test the role of distress tolerance as a potential moderating factor between ethnic identity and COVID-19 related fear, emotional vulnerability, and sleep-related anxiety symptoms among 182 Latinx adult persons (70% male; Mage = 35.3 years; SD = 9.36; age range: 18-72 years). Results: Indeed, results were in line with expectations in that among Latinx individuals, ethnic identity worked synergistically with higher (versus lower) levels of distress tolerance to decrease risk across all four criterion variables. Conclusions: Overall, the current work provides initial empirical evidence that distress tolerance potentially mitigates the adverse psychological effects among Latinx persons during COVID-19.
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    Project Frida: Models of Resilience
    (2023-05-09) Palacios Dorantes, Regyna
    Disasters heavily affect low-to-middle-income countries as the lack of proper infrastructure fails to respond to the frequency with which disasters occur and the devastation they bring. A longstanding socio-economic system is what keeps communities functioning despite the evident disconnection from the post-disaster aid that is provided by humanitarian organizations. This research will focus on analyzing three post-disaster scenarios located in third-world countries where temporary shelters were provided and thought of as the solution. Within the inconsistencies of the aid provided three elements emerged from survival needs and day-to-day activities in the community. The proposed solution focuses on designing a system identified as the Workshop. The Workshop provides a longstanding solution to post-disaster scenarios as it grows from the existing. Communities possess the opportunity to rebuild their autonomy with this system and become models of resiliency
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    The Future of Work: An Overview of Knowledge, Skill, Ability, and Other Characteristic Demands and Workplace Profiles in the Current and Future Workforce
    (2023-05-04) Musemeche, Nicolas
    The occupational demands of the workforce are seldom static over time. As technology, culture, and the economy evolve, the areas of competence expected from the typical worker can be expected to evolve as well. However, few studies have attempted to ensure the public has an up-to-date understanding of these demands. This study addresses this concern by consolidating the available occupation and employment data to determine the most in-demand categories of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other person characteristics (KSAOs). Further, the present study has identified several workplace profiles based on how attributes cluster together. Key findings of the present study suggest that the competencies relating to communication and customer and personal service, as well as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are among the highest demanded KSAOs in the current and future workforce. In sum, the findings of this study provide vital career guidance information which could benefit individuals, career counselors, policy makers, and institutions alike.
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    Blurring the Borderlands: Strategies to Creating Spaces of Extraterritoriality on the U.S. - Mexico Border
    (2023-05-05) Medina, Andrew
    The U.S. - Mexico border has been a topic of contentious debate and political intervention. The flow of people, culture, language and knowledge has been obstructed by the installation of physical barriers and harmful reforms. This project look to mend these broken ties by crafting spaces of extraterritoriality and autonomous zones in the border region. Cy re-ttoling existing infrastructure and terraforming of the landscape, the project critiques the strategies set in place at the border that is anti-people.
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    Behind The Wall: Re-Defining The Monastic Enclosure
    (2023-05-01) Martinez-Gallardo, Luis
    How to design a monastery for a contemporary order of monks that, due to inefficient enclosures based on outdated models, fail to remain faithful to the fundamental ideal of living a truly cloistered life.
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    YouTube Kids: Understanding Gender and Emotion through Modern Media.
    (2023-05-04) Lyles, Lauren
    Through emotion socialization, children learn what emotions are, how to express them, and how to respond to them from the models they observe (Eisenberg et al., 1998; Gottman et al., 1996). Modeling of emotional displays is often gendered: American stereotypes of masculinity and femininity include emotional display rules, which are reflected in media (Oliver & Green, 2001). Masculine characters display more anger, while feminine characters showed more positive emotions, fear, and sadness (Oliver & Green, 2001). YouTube Kids is more interactive than traditional media, providing a more responsive media context of emotion socialization that has not been previously studied, and I endeavored to explore how these videos function as contexts of emotion socialization during middle childhood. We coded gender and emotion content to determine whether gendered patterns of emotion were present. I created two ghost users, to span the middle childhood range (6- to 12-years-old) and analyzed the top twenty recommended videos. Teams of independent researchers coded at the character and video levels. Each video received a gender global rating, as either completely feminine; mainly feminine with some masculinity; equally feminine and masculine; no gender-typed content; mainly masculine with some femininity; or completely masculine. Gender presentation of each character was coded as only feminine; both masculine and feminine; neither feminine nor masculine; or only masculine. Each video also received a global rating for emotion, for both positive and negative emotionality on a three-point Likert scale (0-2). Emotion coding for each character also used a three-point Likert scale (0-2) to indicate the extent of prototypical emotions such as pride, love, excitement, happiness, positive surprise, negative surprise, shame/guilt, anger, fear, and sadness/distress. Paired t-tests revealed there were significantly more positive emotions than negative emotions displayed within these videos (t (301) = 20.49, p < .001). There was a non-significant trend for video gender rating to interact with the within-subjects factor of positive vs negative emotionality, F (2, 17) = 3.14, Wilks' lambda = 0.73, p = .069. Though this finding must be interpreted with caution, this trend suggests that the disparity between positive emotionality and negative emotionality differed according to the video’s gender rating. When emotion and gender are observed at the character level, there was a significant difference in positive and negative emotions displayed by characters according to their gender presentation (F (3, 298) = 4.46, Wilks' lambda = 0.96, p = .004) with feminine characters displaying more positive emotions than their masculine and non-gendered stereotypes. Tentative findings suggest emotionality is gendered in YouTube Kids videos, but replication research is required to clarify these findings. Media has potential to be an avenue to reduce gender boundaries on emotions by promoting equal representations of people and their sentiments. However, current findings suggest videos on YouTube Kids may perpetuate gender-stereotyped emotionality.
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    Understanding the Effect of Cytokines on bEND.3 Cells in the Blood Brain Barrier in Neuropsychiatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
    (2023-05-09) Imran, Shanzeh
    Neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) is an autoimmune condition that can develop as a result of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). NPSLE can occur in between 12-90% of all people with SLE and can manifest as symptoms as insignificant as headaches or as detrimental as cognitive impairment and cognitive decline. The development of NPSLE has been attributed to the degradation of the blood brain barrier (BBB), a vascular network around the brain that mediates the movement of molecules into and out of the brain. In NPSLE the permeability of the BBB increases, allowing pro-inflammatory cytokines and other immune cells to cross into the brain, causing damage to neurons and sections of the brain. In this study, we attempted to investigate the mechanisms with which BBB breach can happen by screening serum from NPSLE patients for elevated protein biomarkers, and then using those to determine their effects on bEND.3 cells in the BBB through cytotoxicity assays. Cytokines IL-2, IL-17 and TGF-? were found to be elevated and therefore, MTT assays were used to determine the amount of cell death experienced by bEND.3 when exposed to these cytokines for different periods of time. The results showed vague trends and patterns but generally remained inconclusive. On the whole, shorter exposure times and lower concentrations of cytokines induced greater cell death. In some cases, results exhibited cell proliferation instead of cell death, by having cell viability percentages larger than that of the untreated control. Flow cytometry revealed the bEND.3 cells had been contaminated by RAW 264.7 macrophages, shedding light on the nature of the strange results. While the results on the effect of cytokines on bEND.3 remains inconclusive, the data presents some possibilities about the role of cytokines in cell proliferation of immune cells.
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    The utilization of CRISPR-Cas9 to establish novel ?X?2 knockout cell lines in mice
    (2023-04-24) Lim, Daniel
    The ?X?2 integrin functions as an important mediator of the complement system, and undergoes inactive to active state by switching its conformation from bent closed to extended open, contingent on binding of different ligands. This extended open conformation has higher affinity for cognate ligands including iC3B, an important molecule of the complement cascade. Thus, the extended open conformation leads to an inflammatory response, and the bent closed conformation suppresses inflammation. Despite the importance of this integrin in mediating the inflammatory response of the human immune system, there have not been studies of the ?X?2 integrin locked in alternate conformational states in a mouse model due to the lack of cell lines. My project has been to create Cas9-plasmid to knock out ?X and ?2 genes from any mouse cell line. By designing specific oligonucleotides that Cas9 can utilize to make double stranded cuts in the genes for ?X and ?2, novel cell lines can be created from wild-type DC2.4 and RAW264.7 mouse cells through transfection. These novel cell lines can then be used for future research, such as how the ?X?2 integrin in an alternate state can affect the pathophysiology of diseases such as cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
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    "We Have to Survive": An Ethnographic Field Study Of Tourism And The Bedouins In Wadi Rum, Jordan
    (2023-04-25) Haddad, Tatiana
    This study examines the existing tourism industry in Wadi Rum, Jordan, through a critical lens as informed by the critiques and voiced needs of the indigenous Zalabia and Zawaideh Bedouin. The major components of this project consist of an examination of cultural shifts undergone by the Bedouin in response to commercial tourism in Wadi Rum, an analysis of environmental degradation related to tourism in Wadi Rum and the way it affects the traditional Bedouin lifestyle, the oppression of Bedouin voices and lack of positive regulation by the local governing body, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority. Project material was largely gathered through in-depth interviews with members of both Bedouin tribes over a series of several weekends. Interviews were conducted with camp owners, operators, guides, traditional shepherds, and government employees, with the intention of uplifting Bedouin critique of tourism development in Wadi Rum and suggestions for environmentally and culturally friendly tourism methods. Through these interviews, the study found that there exists a system of consistently supported suggestions for counteracting overdevelopment in Wadi Rum, as well as a burgeoning awareness of the need for sustainable Bedouin-owned and operated 'traditional' Bedouin tourism. The aim of this study is to promote awareness, support, and implementation of Bedouin-sourced modes of ecotourism in Wadi Rum.
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    Mediated Interfaces
    (2023-05-09) Gallardo, Rodrigo
    The goal of this thesis is to facilitate the establishment of human connections across digital and physical do-mains. The development of public space at the bound-ary of the digital and the physical sphere challenges the commonly held belief that these realms are dichoto-mous. Through an in-depth analysis of the relationship be-tween architecture and the human body, this research delves into the ways in which the evolution of media has impacted and shaped the formation of architectural spaces and our experiences of space and place. This research recognizes the imperative of harmonizing the digital and physical spheres within architectural design, in order to foster a mutually beneficial relationship between humanity and technology. By exploring the interplay between the human body, media, and archi-tecture, this thesis seeks to re-conceptualize the disci-pline of architecture, considering the ways in which technology and the human body interact and shape our perceptions of space.
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    Walk It Like You Talk It: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Magic of Meaning Theory in Major Corporations LGBTQ+ Pride Advertisements
    (2023-05-02) Foret, Caitlyn
    Millennial advertising audiences are more pro-LGBTQ+ and care more deeply about queer issues than prior generations. Corporate brands have responded to this demographic shift by implementing LGBTQ+ issues into their marketing strategy thus boosting cultural influence and increasing profits. Through utilizing corporate social responsibility and the magic of meaning theory, corporations that produce pride advertisements such as Target, Nike, and CVS have gained popularity and increased profit when they produce pride campaigns with consistent communication and implementation of CSR. This thesis analyzes the implementation and communication of LGBTQ+-related affairs of several corporations that produce pride advertisements, including their donations to politicians and pro-LGBTQ+ or anti-LGBTQ+ causes, physical or monetary contributions to LGBTQ+ activism, and the authenticity of their social media, corporate communication, and advertising campaigns. This research concludes with an analysis of how corporations should approach CSR related to social causes like LGBTQ+ activism as a result of the findings in the case studies of three corporations.
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    Covid-19's Effect on International Trade and Productivity
    (2023-05-08) Samperio, Alexandra R.
    In this paper, I aim to analyze the long-term effects from the Coronavirus epidemic in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Through the mechanism of international trade, my research aims to bridge the gap between the data we know and our expectations for the future. Within this research paper I begin with an augmented gravity trade regression using aggregated and sectorized data. I employ a case study to assess relative changes in the degree of Covid stringency. Relying on Arkolakis et. al (2012) and preliminary assumptions, I translate Covid's effect on trade into an effect on welfare and ultimately productivity. I conclude my research with a Solow model simulation and predict the components of growth for the next 50 years. Based on my research, I conclude that long term growth experiences a close to instantaneous drop in the level of inputs and outputs of growth.