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.

The University of Southern Indiana’s graduate programs continue to make advanced degrees accessible to students within the community, region, nation, and across the globe. Access to these outstanding programs is provided, in some cases, on campus, via distance learning, or even through a combination of these modes of delivery. We are committed to making an advanced degree accessible to all who are interested in pursuing one. Accessibility, however, need not end there, for we believe it also reflects our collective responsibility as academics to make the products of our scholarly endeavors accessible to as diverse an audience as possible.

This 2019 Graduate Student Colloquium, therefore, provides both online and on-campus students with access to participation, and invites those students interested in participating to make their graduate work accessible to those beyond their academic programs.

Recent Submissions

  • 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.
  • 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.  
  • Nonprofit's Online Accountability: Does Subsector Affect Online Accountability?

    Yaro, Fatin
    Since the big scandals that hit the nonprofit sector (United Way, Red Cross), it has more and more become an expectation for organizations to disclose information online. Those include financial statements, annual reports, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990, just to name a few. The development of the internet and social media has made it easier to be accountable and transparent to the general public. The literature on nonprofits & online accountability has proven that organizations are affected by their size, age, asset, and revenue. An analysis of nonprofit & online accountability by subsector has not yet been conducted. This study aims to investigate how subsector (health, education, arts and culture, and human services) influences how accountable and transparent nonprofits are with their stakeholders and the general public.
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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).
  • Students with Invisible Disabilities in Higher Education

    Johnson, Hannah
    Accessibility is rooted in equality. Spaces become more accessible to marginalized groups when platforms are created, and the impacted populations are given decision making power. Inviting underrepresented communities into the conversation- and giving space for them to speak uncontested- is necessary if we are to achieve true accessibility.  According to Ryan and Bauman (2016) students with disabilities face significant challenges to completing their postsecondary education. Only 16.7% of students with disabilities succeed at earning a bachelor’s degree, compared to 34.9% of the general population. (Deckoff-Jones & Duell, 2018). Measures have been taken by various large universities to increase access for students with disabilities; however too often students with invisible disabilities go without proper accommodations. There are a striking number of cases of students who are unaware of their disability until enrolling in college. All students deserve to attend an institution that provides necessary accommodations without a lengthy waiting period or administrative obstacles. Educators at a university level should be compelled to create an environment conducive to students of all abilities; or be willing to make reasonable accommodations for students with a physical or cognitive impairment. A student’s academic performance should not suffer because of their inability and an educator’s unwillingness to collaborate.  This presentation will offer ideas to faculty, staff, and administration regarding accessibility for students with disabilities in higher education. This collective research focuses on accessibility in the classroom, campus, and engaging administrators to recognize the dire need to increase accessibility measures. This presentation aims to offer insight into helping university students with disabilities to be successful from the perspective of a graduate student with an invisible disability in the social work department.  References Deckoff-Jones, A., & Duell, M. (2018). Perceptions of Appropriateness of Accommodations for University Students: Does Disability Type Matter?. Rehabilitation Psychology, 63(1), 68-76. 
  • 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?
  • The Effects of the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training on Participants’ Teaching

    Amioka, Shoke
    PURPOSE OF MY PROJECT The aim of this study is to clarify how the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training could affect participants’ teaching. As a graduate of the teacher training course, I observed and analyzed my teaching demonstration that I did during the course. I also observed my current teaching at Beginning Japanese courses at University of Southern Indiana to analyze how my teaching style has changed and/or maintained the principles that I learned through the teaching training over. I am going to interview 7 participants who took part in the same teacher training course as trainee teachers in 2018 at Washington University in St. Louis to see what principles of the teacher training institute they have maintained or not maintained in their workplace. The result of my project will become valuable recourse to see the effectiveness of the course of the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training and to find areas that should be improved. The WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training Institute The WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training Institute is a full-time intensive program which are held each summer at Washington University in St. Louis (ALLEX Foundation, n.d.). The course has mainly three goals. The first goal is “to instill an understanding of developments in language teaching (particularly Japanese language teaching,) that view language as meaning-making activity that involves reflective performance (AELLEX Foundation, n.d.)”. The second goal is “to give ample opportunities in practice teaching with abundant constructive feedback (AELLEX Foundation, n.d.)”. The last goal is “to prepare participants to assume responsibility for an elementary language program at an American institution (AELLEX Foundation, n.d.)”. The seven participants and I completed the two-month program in August 2018, as preparation for a teaching assignment at different schools in the U.S. The seven-week summer teacher training program was taught by master university instructors and experts in Japanese pedagogy. The summer program emphasized the teaching of Japanese specifically to native-English speakers, an important perspective rarely studied by language teachers trained in Asia where most language students are from nearby Asian countries and have very different language backgrounds from students in the American university classroom (ALLEX Foundation, n.d.). TOPICS COVERED IN The WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training Institute The curriculum of the full-time-intensive summer program included a lecture component (covering such topics as the basic principles of effective Japanese language pedagogy, classroom teaching techniques, the linguistic analysis of Japanese, and language testing); an observation component (during which participants observe and analyze actual Japanese language classes taught by master instructors); and a demonstration component (during which participants teach actual Japanese class sessions, which are videotaped and later critiqued by program faculty members) (AELLEX Foundation, n.d.). There were mainly two unique characteristics in the Beginning Japanese program they offered to Japanese language learners. The focus of the course was to train students to function successfully in the Japanese culture, using Japanese as your primary language. The program focused on teaching them how to present themselves in a way that is comfortable for Japanese people. The course aimed to help students to develop skills in Japanese to cross ethnic, cultural, ideological and national boundaries and to gain an understanding of Japanese interpersonal behavior and related thought patterns. The students were expected to build a basic Japanese language proficiency but also demonstrate a level of cultural understanding suitable for correct performance of assigned tasks in Japanese (e.g. how to appropriately make a request). The other unique feature the program had was the class format. There were two types of class. ACT classes are conducted entirely in Japanese, which means no English was allowed. In ACT classes students perform in Japanese, utilizing knowledge and skills they learned at home. Students’ performance will be graded hourly and feedback as to how to further improve your performance will be provided by the instructors on a regular basis. On the other hand, FACT classes were usually held twice a week and support your performance in ACT classes. FACT classes are conducted primarily in English to discuss mechanics of the course, connections between sentence patterns and cultural interactional strategies, strategies for communicating in Japanese, and other components of the learning materials. There are frequent quizzes in FACT classes. RESEARCH QUESTIONS What principles of the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training Institute have the graduates maintained in different educational institutions where they work? What principles of the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training did the participants have to change or adjust in order to meet their students’ needs or schools’ policies? How are the trainee teachers now feeling about the teacher training course? What areas they think should be improved or appreciate. METHODOLOGY Review ALLEX Philosophy and principles. Analyze my teaching demonstration which was videotaped in the WUSTL-ALLEX course. (five times in total) Analyze my current teaching which was also videotaped in JPN102 Beginning Japanese Spring 2020. (seven times in total) Interview seven graduates from the WUSTL-ALLEX course to analyze their teaching. Collect data. Results Discussion Conclusion including suggesting what areas of the teacher training course should be appreciated and what areas should be improved for the program’s development. BIBLIOGRAPHY ALLEX Foundation. (n.d.). Curriculum. Retrieved February 2020, from ALLEX Founation: ALLEX Foundation. (n.d.). ALLEX Foundation. Retrieved Feburuary 2020, from ALLXT Foundation: ALLEX Foundation. (n.d.). ALLEX Foundation. Retrieved February 2020, from ALLEX Program Overview: Banni, E., Ikeda, Y., Ohno, Y., Shinagawa, C., & Takashiki, K. (2011). GENKI ? An Integrated Course In Elementary Japanese Seond Edition (Vol. 1). Chiyodaku, Tokyo, Japan: The Japan Times, Ltd. Matthew , C. B., & Warnick, P. J. (2006). Performed culture : an approach to East Asian language pedagogy. Columbus, Ohio, USA: The Ohio State University Press.
  • 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. "
  • Let’s Talk About Sex: Examining the Teens’ Sexuality in Netflix’s TV-series Sex Education

    Apkhazishvili, Salome
    Sex Education, a recently aired teen comedy (2019) is another revelation of Netflix’s ideology, create product that genuinely fits the millennial interests. An appealing title, and the highly saturated sex scenes is something that instantly grabs attention to binge watching it; however, this is an invitation to spark discussion on the way teens think and talk about sex, by whom and which circumstances they get educated about sexual health and intimate relationships, and what are the consequences of absence the proper sex education. By applying the close textual analysis, this paper examines the dominant narratives represented in this TV-show. Overall, the analysis reveals the ways teens look at their, and others’, sexual life, the needs they have to cross the border from teen to adolescence with less pain. The show also emphasizes the major players in sex education, and, ultimately, gives us a close-up shot of the issue.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Service-Learning: Perspectives of Assistive Technology for Participation in Unified Games

    Williams, Emma; Arvin, Tara; Koester, Kelsey
    How can students with significant physical disabilities participate more independently in school sponsored unified games and adaptive physical education classes? That is the question that occupational therapy (OT) students from the University of Southern Indiana (USI) were assigned to answer. OT students were asked to use their clinical skills, assistive technology training, and imagination to design equipment that students could access more independently to participate in track and field type activities. Special education staff from the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation in southern Indiana contacted USI faculty with their needs and developed a service learning opportunity with amazing benefits for both parties. For the middle school students, the unified game events are aligned with the Indiana organization and include manual wheelchair races, power wheelchair races, standing long jump, softball throw, kickball, and baseball. For the elementary school students, the school district has developed 10 stations for the event including basketball activities, scooter activities, kicking activities, obstacle course, balancing act, throw/catch, scarf juggling, parachute play, tic-tac-toe, and animal walks. At first glance, this list of activities seems extremely challenging for children with limited motor skills. However, with the addition of assistive technology, problem solving skills, and creativity, the community and university worked together to even the playing field. Join us as we share the innovative equipment we designed; and the successes and failures we experienced along the way to break down barriers for students with significant physical disabilities. Our poster presentation will examine the implementation of the project including the following: Assistive technology (AT) equipment designed Building and modifying the AT equipment Trials with the AT equipment Outcomes of inclusive participation with our created devices