• 3rd Annual 2020 Graduate Student Colloquium

      USI Graduate Studies
      In an effort to make this third annual Graduate Student Colloquium more accessible to our increasingly large number of students, both online as well as those on-campus, we have selected as its theme Accessibility. This theme also reflects the University of Southern Indiana’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, which included “access by design” as one of its three strategic goals. As the university transitions to its third strategic plan, we take this opportunity to celebrate Accessibility in all of its manifestations.
    • Accent Reduction Strategies for Higher Employability

      Morgan, Virginia
      Foreign accents can sometimes have an impact on the credibility of an individual trying to obtain employment. Accents of certain individuals may change the way ones views their intelligence and trustworthiness. There are many strategies that one can take for accent reduction in order to highlight employability. The judgements of those that are interviewing candidates often is reliant upon what they have been exposed to in their own lives. In order to teach those that are interviewing, one must look at those strategies that lessen the gap between the foreign languages at hand. One must look at strategies for not only those that are interviewing, but also the employers and teachers. Many case studies showcase that the majority of those that have an accent are often presented with stating false statements than those that do not. We see this in employment rates where US immigrants have higher unemployment rates. One must look at this correlation between credibility and trustworthiness and accents during the interview process. Language characteristics of the interviewee may allow the future employer to identify the speaker’s ethnicity, creating a blockage in the employability due to lack of knowledge or stereotyping. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is devoted to teaching those with foreign language accents. We can use the levels the ACTFL has created with the accents in individuals looking for employment in order to train those interviewing to fully understand how and why they answer questions the way that they do. Displaying the level that a foreign accent speaker has can allow for proper employability when interviewing for a new position. With these strategies, among others, we can value those that have foreign accents and allow them to highlight their employability and diminish the higher rates of unemployment. "
    • Accessibility, Inclusivity and the Bottom Line

      Head, Jennifer
      Rationale: Corporate culture aspires to maximize the collective productivity and synergy of its employees as a means to achieve desired financial results. Objectives: This poster examines the influence of Critical Disability Theory on corporate values and hierarchies, and the deliberate and balancing force that mindful, sustained cultures of inclusivity and accessibility have on the ultimate success of corporations.  Methods: The methodologies reflected in this research include surveys, interviews, case studies and analysis of public financial results. Results: There is a positive relationship between inclusivity and organizational performance.  Deloitte reports organizations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets and Gompers and Kovvali found venture capital firms with a 10% increase in female partner hires translated to a 1.5% increase in overall fund returns and 9.7% more profitable exits, where the baseline is 28.8% profitable exists for venture capital investments. Conclusions: Active commitment to a culture of inclusivity and accessibility makes a measurable and sustained impact on both productivity and innovation.  The most successful organizations have not only reexamined and adjusted their policies, but have most critically committed to ongoing, purposeful training and exercises reinforcing the tenets of inclusivity.  
    • Accessibility: ADA Compliance through the Professional Practice of Interior Design to Accommodate Americans with Hidden Disabilities

      Anderson, Alyce
      The professional practice of Interior Design encompasses the integration of functional building systems with the aesthetic application of materials. It often requires significant research and the understanding of all facets of human interaction and needs. One key aspect of such functionality relates to the concept of the physical accessibility of building spaces. A major component of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA 1990) existed in an inclusive approach to provide for the populous possessing physical limitations by removing barriers to those disabilities. More recently, a rise in the prevalence of conditions, although considered more hidden and often possessing less-physical limitations, yet still pose accessibility challenges has forced the development of an extensive list of disabilities to be covered under the ADA umbrella. Many of these conditions were included in the updated ADA Amendments Act (2008). Separately, as licensing requirements for the professional practice of Interior Designers has also grown, the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications developed a more expanded definition of the professional practice in 2018. Specifically, as shown on the organization’s website, Interior Designers are tasked with not only addressing code-compliance and physical accessibility but also should consider the mental and emotional needs of people. These expansions blow open the limited understanding of accessibility as previously addressed simply by removing physical barriers towards inclusivity. Many reasonable accommodations for these hidden disabilities require specific boundaries and often fall under federal privacy protections presenting unique challenges to inclusivity. Examples of such conditions include Autism, PTSD, ADHD and food allergies. With such a complex list of more than 55 hidden conditions under the umbrella, the functional practice of Interior Design requires a new approach. Significant research should be conducted to understand the relationship between the protection of this continuously growing segment of the population and the numerous privacy issues that preclude precaution. An approach of identifying the interconnective requirements of the hidden disability population into sets could provide the means of constructing a balanced solution of inclusive sets of boundaries within the construction of public spaces.
    • The Accuracy of EdReady English as a Placement Tool at a Midwestern Community College

      Jefferson, Andrea
      Hailed as paragons of opportunity, community colleges have transformed the landscape of higher education with their affordability and open admissions policies. Before many students can enroll in college-level courses at their local college, they must first take a placement test.  The results of these tests can relegate students to non-credit, remedial courses that do not count toward their degree.  The accuracy and equity of such tests is paramount to upholding the open access policies of community colleges. This paper explores the use of a new placement test, EdReady English, at a campus of a Large Midwestern Community College to determine how effectively it functions to place students into their first credit-bearing English course.
    • Administrative Motivation in the Growth of Virtual Education in Indiana

      Herrin, Staci
      Virtual education has grown exponentially in past years. During the 2019-20 school year, more than three-quarters of all states had some sort of virtual education program which caters to students in grades K-12. The National Educational Policy Center reports that more than 480,000 American students in 40 states attended virtual or blended instruction schools in 2019-20. (Molnar et al., 2021). While virtual education has been growing in recent years, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures caused districts to create virtual education programs. While this number is not yet quantified, it is reasonable to assert that virtual education was more prevalent in the United States and in Indiana than ever before. There is a significant body of research exploring the challenges experienced by many virtual students. There is, however, less understanding as to why school districts continue to promote and expand virtual education in light of data that shows a lack of success in these types of programs. The purpose of this mixed-methods sequential explanatory study was to understand the decisions made by Indiana public school K-12 district superintendents and virtual program administrators when choosing whether or not to implement a virtual education program. All public school superintendents in Indiana were surveyed, as were those individuals designated by their district as a virtual program administrator. Survey topics included perceived limitations, benefits, and challenges of virtual education in Indiana. Individual follow-up interviews were conducted with volunteer participants. Throughout the study, it quickly became evident that COVID-19 was a primary cause for the recent expansion of virtual education. This phenomenon impacted not only students, but also their teachers and the school districts that they attended. This study provides a snapshot of the state of virtual education in Indiana during 2020-21 school year, including the perceptions of school administrators and the impact of COVID-19. While the pandemic may have spurred the growth of virtual education, the benefits and challenges experienced in schools are the same as those felt by educators and students in previous years.  
    • Advanced Care Planning: An Option for Quality End-of-Life Care

      Oliveira de Almeida, Taynara
      What is it? It would be inconceivable to any American to be forced to do something or be subjected to any treatment they disagree about. This is not the reality to many Americans, however, who face their last moments. Unfortunately, many Americans are still subjected to treatments, procedures, and medication they have not authorized. Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a process about reflection of goals and values and communicating them to family or friends to guarantee a patient’s wishes can be met if they are incapable in a life threating illness or an unexpected event. ACP is for every patient, their family, and the healthcare professionals involved in their care (McMahan, Knight, Fried & Sudore, 2013; Howard, et al., 2015; Respecting Choices, 2011). Legality According to the Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights (2006), no interest should overcome the well-being of an individual. The Declaration of Human Rights (1998), states that no one should go under inhumane or degrading treatment. The right to choose what treatments patients would like to receive or not is also defended by the bioethical principle of autonomy and the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) (1990), a federal law that should be complied in order to people can control decisions that affect their health. Benefits Allowing patients to choose what care they would like to receive in their final moments of life guarantees dignity. By preventing unwanted treatments and procedures and guaranteeing their most important wishes. Preventing them to go under treatments that are not beneficial for them and guaranteeing they will have things that are really important to them (Houben, Spruit, Groenen, Wouters,  & Janssen, 2014). It is not possible to scientifically prove the benefits of ACP, but considering that ACP proposes a dialogue between a patient and those involve in their care, it shows benefits their relationship and prevents disagreements when the time to call for actions arrives (Kolarik, Arnold, Fischer & Tulsky, 2002, Sudore, et al., 2017). Howard, M., Bernard, C., Tan, A., Slaven, M., Klein, D., & Heyland, D. K. (2015). Advance care planning: Let’s start sooner. Canadian Family Physician, 61, 663–665. https://doi.org/10.7748/nop.29.4.19.s20 Houben, C. H. M., Spruit, M. A., Groenen, M. T. J., Wouters, E. F. M., & Janssen, D. J. A. (2014). Efficacy of advance care planning: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 15(7), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2014.01.008 Kolarik, R. C., Arnold, R. M., Fischer, G. S., & Tulsky, J. A. (2002). Objectives for Advance Care Planning. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 5(5), 697–704. https://doi.org/10.1089/109662102320880516 McMahan, R. D., Knight, S. J., Fried, T. R., & Sudore, R. L. (2013). Advance care planning beyond advance directives: Perspectives from patients and surrogates. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 46(3), 355–365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2012.09.006 Organização das Nações Unidas. (1998). Declaração Universal dos Direitos Humanos. Brasília. Respecting Choices. (2011). First Steps ACP Interview Tool. United States of America. Sudore, R. L., Lum, H. D., You, J. J., Hanson, L. C., Meier, D. E., & Pantilat, S. Z. (2017). Defining advance care planning for adults: a consensus definition from a multidisciplinary delphi panel. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 53(5), 821–832. The Patient Self-Determination Act. A matter of life and death. - PubMed - NCBI. ([s.d.]). Retrieved February 17th ,2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10141946 UNESCO. (2006). Declaração Universal sobre Bioética e Direitos Humanos. Lisboa. U.S. Congress: Patient Self-Determination Act. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), Pub L 101- 508 (1990).
    • Adverse Childhood Experiences and Life Effects

      Tyler, Katie; Wagler, Makayla; Weishaar, Bailey; Salm, Karissa
      Our group researched the impact of adverse childhood experiences on life effects. Research shows adverse childhood experiences may lead to social, emotional, and cognitive impairment; adoption of health-risk behaviors; disease, disability, and social problems; and early death. Our research primarily focused on risk behaviors/ substance use, mental health, life opportunities, and intergenerational impact and relationships.
    • Aging in Place

      Sleziak, Sarah; Wilson, Kasie; Jackson, Kassidy
      This presentation analyzes the topic of aging in place in the United States and investigates the role occupational therapy currently plays in its execution as well as demonstrates future opportunities for further impact. The presentation defines aging in place as well as its key terms and presents on challenges and barriers facing older adults attempting to age in place in society today. Through review of current literature, this presentation provides examples of current occupations older adults need and want to perform while aging in place and possible occupational therapy interventions that can promote successful performance of those occupations. Additionally, this presentation discusses the use of smart home technology in aging in place, provides examples of said technology, and examines older adult’s perceptions regarding perceived benefits versus concerns. The presentation seeks to provide increased awareness to the general public about the geriatric population’s needs during the process of aging as well as provide knowledge and resources to the geriatric population to ensure older adults understand what aging in place truly means and the consequences related to that decision.
    • Alumni Panel Discussion

      McBeath, Cameron; Epley, Jacqui; Ahlbrand, Justin; Greene, Jennifer; Elpers, Ashley; Artis, Danielle; de Dieu SOME, Kountiala Jean; Kasparov, Vladimir; Millay, Joy
      Alumni Panel Discussion Cameron McBeath '16 MSW'18 Jacqui Epley '15 MAE'18 Justin Ahlbrand '13 MSSM'17 Jennifer Greene '04 MALS'09 Ashley Elpers '05 MHA'21 Danielle Artis '15 MALS'20 Kountiala Jean de Dieu SOME MASPC'18 Vladimir Kasparov '01 MBA'05 Joy Millay MPA'18
    • Assessing the Place of African American Vernacular English as a Dialect: Meriting Inclusion in the TESOL Classroom

      Wright, Jordan
      Previous literature has opened discussion as to whether African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is a valid dialect that should be included in formal English education, namely, in TESOL classrooms. This literature review was conducted in order to demonstrate the value of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) as a component of American English and culture. This review will outline multiple studies and a variety of research that supports the validity of AAVE as both a dialect and a necessary complement of Standard American English. There are multiple elements that serve as crucial pieces in this review.  First, research will examine the racialization of AAVE and its history to support its validity and value as a dialect and cultural component of American English. It will also outline the connection between linguistic prescriptivism and language-based racism that permeate American language, culture, and society. Next, it will outline how AAVE affects and complements Standard American English (SAE) through several studies like Danika Johnson’s (2013) study on the impact of AAVE on ELL student writing. This section also looks at the linguistic elements that separate AAVE as a unique component of SAE, rather than a completely isolated dialect. Finally, this review will examine the benefits of including AAVE as part of the TESOL curriculum and how it could be implemented effectively in a TESOL classroom (Kubota and Lin, 2006). As the political culture and climate of the United States continues to change, cultural and linguistic practices represent a major part of the path toward inclusion. The existing path includes linguistic bias and does not recognize AAVE as a crucial part of American language and culture. To reframe the new direction of American English language teaching and learning, this unique dialect should be included on that path.
    • Canada's Reputation and Emigration in Early American Slave Narratives

      Sellers, Rachel
      Canada regularly makes appearances in the literature, news, and even the popular culture of the United States (U.S.). Canada appears in Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), it plays an even larger role in Hulu’s television adaptation of Atwood’s novel, it appears in episodes of The Daily Show, and in other media readily consumed by the American public. Being one of only two countries to share a border with the United States, it is easy to recognize why references to Canada appear sporadically in narratives written about the United States. By exploring American Literature specifically, Americans’ varying attitudes toward its northern neighbor are apparent. The reputation of Canada is depicted both positively and negatively. One example is how early American literary narratives, especially slave narratives, depict Canada as the North Star, the Promised Land, and the terminus of the Underground Railroad. Canada’s influence and significance on the literary history of the U.S. – especially before, during, and immediately following the U.S. Civil War – is underestimated and sometimes disregarded. The ultimate purpose of this paper is to identify and examine these covert representations and illuminate the ways in which Canada became unofficially regarded as, and possibly remains to this day, a safe haven for fugitive slaves, immigrants, and outcasts of U.S. society. I will use the history of the United States in conjunction with the texts Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriett Jacobs, Blake; or, the Huts of America by Martin R. Delany, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe to illustrate early Americans’ attitudes toward Canada and how these attitudes were formed. These texts will show how slaves were empowered and inspired by the mere existence of Canada. Themes of resistance, marronage, and identity aid in the formation of Canada’s reputation. Furthermore, I will show evidence that these attitudes and themes persist in American culture today.
    • Collaborative Media Literacy: Co-using of Mobile Smartphones among Teens and Adults

      Apkhazishvili, Salome
      Answering the question of how many smart technologies an average American family owns takes time to count, re-count and name the exact number. Among many smart technologies, there are, at least, two smartphones in each family. The STATISTA chart shows that from 2011 through 2019 smartphone ownership in the USA increased from 35% to 81%. Even more interesting is what the Pew Research Institute study says about the decreasing level of the generational divide. When it comes to smartphone ownership, 90% of Gen Xers (ages 39-45 this year) have it, compared to millennials (ages 23-38 this year) whose percentage rate is 93%. A smartphone appears to bridge a generational divide. Yet, there is a less qualitative research on it. This thesis project examines parent-child communication when it comes to smartphone regulation. By interviewing the parents of 10-17 years old kids, the goal is to reveal the major concerns and advantages a smartphone pose in digital parenting. At the same time, this qualitative study aims to investigate what parents and kids learn from each other when it comes to smartphone usage. In the age of increasing the presence of smartphones in our lives, the major question goes to the validity of the parental mediation model that was initially created to handle TV-challenge, but does it works with the smartphone as well?
    • Conformity to Gender Norms

      Sullivan, Daniel
      Gender roles and gender ideology can reflect attitudes that society have placed on what it may mean to be masculine or feminine. The sport industry has been characterized to more closely adopt a conventional masculine approach. In this construct, female athletes, as well as male, can be faced with challenges while attempting to navigate conventional gender norms. The purpose of this research case study is to evaluate whether athletes that identify as either female or male differ from their student peers regarding conformity to feminine and masculine gender norms. Twenty-eight student-athletes from a Midwest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) college responded to a four-point Likert type scale survey on gender norms; of which, sixteen identified as male and twelve identified as female. Results indicated from a calculated mean perspective both male and female athlete identifiers rated similar from a conventional masculine perspective in terms of questions associated with winning and differed the most from a conventional feminine perspective in terms of questions associated with body image / thinness. Interestingly, this cohort of male identifiers responded higher in terms of the importance associated with romantic relationships (a conventional feminine norm), while the female identifiers responded higher in terms of self-reliance (a conventional masculine norm). A limitation of this study is that all participants identified as student-athletes and none as studentonly, therefore all comparisons are made between male and female identified athletes.
    • Data-Driven Decision-Making: Rural Public High School Teachers' Perceptions of Data-Driven Instruction

      Hasenour-Bolling, Amber
      Research is well-established in urban school districts regarding teachers’ engagement in and perceptions of data-driven instruction.  However, little research has been conducted on teachers’ perceptions of using data to inform instruction in rural school districts.  Thus, this quantitative study examined rural public high school teachers’ perceptions of data-driven instruction in Indiana in terms of what types of data they use to support instruction, their attitudes toward data use, their competence in using data to drive instruction, and support systems that help or hinder their ability to effectively participate in data-driven instruction.  Additionally, this study examined possible relationships among demographic variables of rural public high school teachers and their corresponding perceptions of data-driven instruction. 
    • Does GPA accurately measure student achievement based off college graduation rates?

      Mashiana, Hashmat
      There has been an ongoing emphasis on utilizing standards and assessments to dictate college readiness. The purpose of this study is to explore some of the different variables that influence college success from GPA. The study seeks to answer the research question, Does high school GPA accurately measure student achievement based off college graduation rates? The goal is to analyze the demographics of high school graduates and determine whether there is an influence on GPA and college graduates.  
    • Everyone Deserves to Play! Adapting Toys for Switch Access

      Collins, Kaysie; Daugherty, Bailee; Day, Lauren; Healy, Lara
      Play experiences provide children with practice for skills they require later in their child and adult life (Hamm, 2005). Children learn from interactions with peers and through independent play. Toys provide a way for children to problem solve and engage in their environment (Hamm, 2005). Children with significant disabilities including, those that hinder their ability to communicate, often struggle to express their needs and engage in play. By using assistive technology, these children have more opportunities to independently experience and learn from their environments (Schaefer and Andzik, 2016). According to Schaefer and Andzik (2016), switches are simply devices that are used to complete electrical circuits so that another powered device can be activated. These can range from lights to toys with an electrical system. These switches are activated by small body movements in order to create an easier way for equipment to be used. Some have even been adapted to be triggered by a breath of air (Schaefer & Andzik, 2016). The skills required for using a switch take time and practice. Learning this skill through play provides more independent switch use as an adult (Schaefer and Andzik, 2016). Switches are a form of assistive technology that can be attached to battery operated items to activate them in an alternative way. The University of Southern Indiana occupational therapy faculty educated occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant students on the purpose and process of adapting battery-operated items. This education and training included “Adapting a Toy for Switch Access without Soddering” from the robotics team at Ivy Tech. At the training, students learned how a simple circuit works, the toy evaluation process, the process of splicing wires, and the final toy modification process. The students received printed instructions, along with hands-on training, for future use. A total of 50 toys were switch adapted by the OT and OTA students. After completion of the training, the adapted toys were delivered to the Warrick County School Corporation. Learning how to adapt battery operated items using switches is a skill that students will be able to use in future professional occupational therapy practice. References Hamm, E. M., Mistrett, S. G., & Ruffino, A. G. (2005). Play outcomes and satisfaction with toys and technology of young children with special needs. Journal of Special Education Technology, 21(1), 29-35. doi:10.1177/016264340602100103 Schaefer, J. M., & Andzik, N. R. (2016). Switch on the learning. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 48(4), 204-212. doi:10.1177/0040059915623517
    • Feeding Techniques in the NICU

      Grierson, Madison; Mckinley, Ashley; Cramer, Abby; Antey, Sarah
      Providing adequate nutritional support in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is highly important for developing infants. NICU feeding includings a variety of areas such as lactation, tube feeding, and differing strategies such as cue-based and volume-driven feeding. This presentation dives further into the differing strategies with an emphasis on the benefits and drawbacks. The research showed an increased move to cue-based feeding due to increased benefits for the infants. Cue based feeding shows an increase in positive experiences for the infant with an increased client-centered approach .
    • Hawiyah, A Milestone Project: Maintaining Arabic as a Heritage Language in the USA, Flipping CELTA as a Teaching Approach

      Elrefaey, Azza
      Even though Arabic is the seventh-most frequently spoken language in the United States, it has been unsuccessful in gaining Heritage status since its Americanization process in the late 60s (Naff, 1983, Bale, 2010). Moreover, there has been no systematic approach to teaching Arabic at the institutional and communal levels. For decades, learning Arabic in weekend schools was primarily based on the Grammar-Translation method with little success in raising proficiency levels of spoken Arabic. This presentation outlines my project, The Hawiyah (Identity) Milestone Project, which addresses the need for a research-based approach to Arabic as a second language, the pedagogical challenges, the mobilization of Arabic educators and communities, and the raising of Arabic to the status of a Heritage Language in the United States. This research shows that a combination of CELTA and the Flipped Classroom model not only increases language proficiency and cultural understanding, but it supports the development of Arabic as a Heritage Language in the United States.