Three Minute Thesis

Three Minute Thesis Winners

First Place

Alex Heatherly, Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Exercise Science
Effects of a high fat diet on metabolic transitioning, body composition, and 5-km performance in male runners
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Eric O’Neal
College of Education and Human Sciences

The purpose of this pilot study was to observe if following a high fat diet resulted in positive changes in regards to running performance. At the conclusion of testing procedures, analysis of the data indicated a reduction in body mass, body fat percent, and 5km time trial performance.

Bio: Alex Heatherly is currently a master’s student at UNA completing his degree in Exercise Science. He is originally from Cullman, Alabama. Upon completion at UNA, he hopes to pursue further education in order to one day participate in teaching and research.

Second Place

Anna Goggans, Nursing
Stimulant Usage Among Nursing Students
Faculty Mentor: Mr. Will Brewer
College of Nursing

Within the academic community, there is a new “performance enhancer” on the rise. Stimulants (such as caffeine) have been utilized by college students to achieve in academia. Through data representing nursing students, we are able to gain an understanding of its prevalence and effects.

Bio: Anna Goggans is a senior level nursing student within the UNA College of Nursing. Through her clinicals and preceptorship, she has learned a great deal and has established a sound foundation to begin her nursing career. She has recently accepted a nurse residency position at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, GA. Anna also serves as an RA on campus through University Residences and is an active member of Alpha Gamma Delta. This research is Anna’s Senior Honors Capstone Project within the University Honors Program. She hopes to continuously value and implement research in her future profession as a nurse.

Third Place

Vincent "Chuck" Chiriaco, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems
SHA-1 Collision Attacks with Parallel Computation
Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Jerkins
College of Business

Hashing is an essential tool for securing information on the Internet. However, the most common hash function, SHA-1, is no longer safe. Our research investigates existing algorithms for finding collisions and considers parallelizing the attacks. We also constructed a 12 node Beowolf cluster that supports C, C++, and Fortran programs with the OpenMPI library.

Bio: Chuck is a graduating senior in the honors program hoping to save the world one day through a variety of different arts including math, computer science, and caring for people.

People's Choice

Jordan Givens, Biology
Heat-shock protein expression during temperature stress in the Antarctic Nemertean worm Parborlasia corrugatus.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Isaac Sleadd
College of Arts and Sciences

The nemertean worm Parborlasia corrugatus is an important scavenger and predator found throughout Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula. The goal of this study was to investigate SOD-1 expression using western blotting. A 70 kDa SOD-1 related protein was consistently present, and discovered to be heat-inducible in worms exposed to heat stress.

Bio: Jordan Givens recently graduated from UNA with a degree in environmental biology. She conducted original research with Dr. Isaac Sleadd and presented at local and national conferences, most recently the annual meeting for the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biologists. She looks forward to attending graduate school in the future.

All Participants

Aaron Avery, Mathematics and Secondary Education
Bunting in Baseball: Getting it Down to Statistics
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ashley Johnson
College of Arts and Sciences

We researched bunting and the effect that it has on the game of baseball. Using the computer program R we were able to break down bunting situations into situations where bunting actually occurred and situations where bunting could have occurred but did not. We analyzed bunt situations since 2000.

Bio: Aaron Avery is a senior secondary and math major from Cullman, Ala. He played baseball in high school and still coaches a travel baseball team in Cullman. He is a huge Braves and Alabama fan.

Matthew Cooper, Professional Physics, Mathematics
The Silent Chorus
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chong Qiu
College of Arts and Sciences

This research has focused on creating an instrument which can detect the presence of ozone in the mesosphere as well as in the lower atmosphere, with enough accuracy to tell how much ozone is present. This would then lend the ability to discern how intense the ultraviolet spectrum is that day (which causes sunburns).

Bio: Matthew Cooper is a Mississippi native. He has been involved with research projects in the Physics and Earth Science Department, which resulted in two publications, as well as the current research in the Chemistry and Industrial Hygiene Department. He currently plans to attend graduate school at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Jessica Danielowicz, Secondary Education, Language Arts
Learning Styles: Teaching to Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Learners
College of Education and Human Sciences

This project is an analysis of student learning styles and the way in which they affect how material is presented in the classroom. Students were evaluated to find where they fit within the following learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic.

Bio: Jessica Danielowicz is a student in the College of Education studying secondary education in English language arts. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma honors societies, an active member of the honors program, and a Senior Resident Advisor. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Odyssey at UNA, as well as the historian of the Honors Student Organization.

William Taylor Davis, Music Education, Instrumental Music, P-12
Administrator Perceptions of Social Media
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jessica Mitchell
College of Education and Human Sciences

The purpose of this research is to explore the perceptions of administrators regarding teacher-student interactions on social media sites. The methodology consists of a mixed-methods design. Three findings emerged from the research. Implications from this research are not generalizable. These implications include the need for teacher candidates to be familiar with the schools in which they interview.

Taylor Davis is a senior at UNA majoring in Music and Secondary Education. His research interests involve those that pertain to the Teacher Education and Pre-Service fields and also in the field of Music Education. As a student at UNA, Taylor has taught English as a Second Language in China and Haiti. He also plans to attend Graduate School.

Chellie Hogan, The Politics of Immigration Enforcement
The Politics of Immigration Enforcement
Faculty mentor: Dr. Keith Malone
College of Business

Illegal Immigration is a fiercely debated topic both at the national and state level. Although many laws have been established to regulate illegal immigration, critics suggest that immigration law is not being consistently enforced. This research attempts to explain the observed state-to-state variation in deportation proceedings by examining the relationship between these proceedings and various political and economic factors.

Bio: Chellie Hogan is senior Economics major from Hartselle, Alabama. After earning her undergraduate degree, Chellie plans to begin a graduate program in Economics this fall, with the ultimate goal of attaining a Ph.D. in Economics. Chellie serves as a College of Business Ambassador as well as President of Phi Beta Lambda.

Jacob Jackson, Political Science
Democracy and Human Rights: a case study
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leah Graham
College of Arts and Sciences

The expectation of scholarship is a linear relationship between democracy and human rights (Henderson, 1991; Poe and Tate, 1994). Specifically we expect that as a country becomes more democratic, it will raise its standards on human rights. I test and trace this process over time in Brazil, Cuba, and Guatemala.

Bio: Jacob Jackson is from Sheffield, Ala. He is a junior at UNA, and is majoring in political science with a minor in legal studies. After his time at UNA, he hopes to enroll in a dual-degree program to obtain both a J.D. and a Ph.D. in government. After that, he hopes to teach law and government at a university. Outside of school, he works at Foodland Plus in Muscle Shoals. He also likes to travel.

Alyson Mavromat, Mathematics and Secondary Education
Effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction at UNA
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Stenger
College of Arts and Sciences

Many students struggle with introductory mathematics courses. My research explores whether supplemental instruction (SI) is an effective means to help students succeed in college mathematics. Beyond success in a single class, I investigate whether SI has long term effects on student retention through increased engagement in college life.

Bio: Alyson Mavromat graduated from Scottsboro High School in 2012 and is currently a senior at UNA. She works for UNA's Mathematics Department as a math fellow and tutors high schoolers in math throughout the week. After graduation in December, she hopes to get a job teaching middle or high schoolers math.

James McKee, Physics
Searching for Micrometeorites in Rain water
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Mel Blake, Dr. Richard Statom, Dr. Chong Qiu
College of Arts and Sciences

When small bits of dust from comets hit the earth's atmosphere, they create a brief flash of light that we see as a meteor. About two tons of material is added to the Earth everyday from these events. The particles become part of the dust in the air that water condenses upon to fall as rain. So rainwater contains meteorites. We are conducting a pilot study to search for micrometeorites in rainwater and determine the best collection method and conduct preliminary analysis. In the future we hope to involve high school students in this project as a citizen science outreach program.

Bio: James McKee is a physics major who is interested in astronomy as a career. He is from Harvest, Ala.

Ahn Nguyen, Geography
Law Enforcement Return on Investment (ROI): A GIS Analysis
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Francis Koti
College of Arts and Sciences

This study examines the relationship between crime rate and law enforcement spending in cities. Crime data obtained from the FBI was assembled in ArcGIS software. Statistical tests were run to determine relationships. Results indicate that there is no significant relationship between large law enforcement spending and low crime rate in small-sized cities.

Bio: Anh Nguyen is a geography major looking to graduate with a BS in Geographic Information Systems in the Fall 2016. A native of Vietnam, Anh has spent the last nine years in the U.S. She loves to travel and experience new cultures and places.

Nealey Sims, Professional Physics
Gemstone Holography
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brian Thompson
College of Arts and Sciences

We have set up a platform using three different color lasers to create multicolor reflection holograms. With this platform we have created holograms of opal, reproducing its opalescence that can’t be captured in a photograph. We plan to create holograms of different gemstones that display other unique optical properties.

Bio: A senior obtaining a degree in professional physics at UNA, Nealey Sims is most interested in large-scale planetary processes (earthquakes, volcanism, structural phenomenon, etc.) that can be studied using seismic waves, gravity, and magnetic data. Nealey will be starting a graduate degree in geophysics this fall.

Rachel Suddreth, Political Science and German
Haiti and Dutch Indonesia: A comparative study of the economic ramifications of colonial legacy on states through the "gift" of futured or futureless language
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leah Graham
College of Arts and Sciences

This research is to determine the effects of a Colonizer’s language and structure on the Colonized. I propose that states that were colonized by a country that speaks a futureless language will have a more stable and better developed economy than a state that was colonized by a futured language speaking country.

Bio: Rachel Suddreth is from Birmingham, Ala. She is a senior at UNA and is double majoring in German and Political Science. After graduating she hopes to go on to graduate school for a Masters in Anthropology

Tyler Yasaka, Computer Science and Information Systems
Improving Learning with Simple Immersive Virtual Environments
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jason Watson
College of Business

In our study, we investigate the potential of using head-mounted stereoscopic displays (HMDs) to aid in the learning of new information. The results of our study improve understanding of how new VR technology can be used to help improve learning where chaotic physical environments are difficult to avoid.

Bio: Tyler Yasaka is a Computer Science major and HCI/UX minor. He will be graduating in May and plans to start working full time as a software developer at PartCycle Technologies.