2017 Sturgis Extended Essays

West Gold Stars

East Gold Stars


Our Shining Stars

By IB Coordinators Cindy Gallo (East) & Julie Carman Couhig (West)

Hyannis Kennedy Legacy Trail

The Kennedy Legacy Trail, winding through downtown Hyannis, past Sturgis East and the Kennedy Museum on Main St, recalls the special relationship President Kennedy had with Cape Cod. In this 100 year anniversary of President Kennedy’s birth, it is appropriate to recall his words of inspiration for America’s youth. Affirming the importance of education for the future of our country, President Kennedy addressed Congress in 1961, exclaiming, “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. Our requirements for world leadership, our hopes for economic growth, and the demands of citizenship itself in an era such as this all require the maximum development of every young American’s capacity.” Fifty-six years later, these words still hold true and certainly resonate with our Sturgis Seniors, all of whom have been prepared to be global citizens by the IB program, and nearly 100 students who pushed their personal limits as they undertook the task of writing an Extended Essay.

One of the most challenging, and rewarding, components of the IB Diploma Program, the Extended Essay (EE) is a required task for Diploma Candidates, but may be undertaken by any student. Students explore an area that they have a personal interest in while they learn how to organize their thoughts (and properly cite the thoughts of others) as they construct a 4000 word essay. Each year, Sturgis grads return with stories of how writing the EE helped them handle the workload and writing assignments at University.

Extended Essay Gold Star

A Sturgis tradition, students who complete an EE are awarded a Gold EE Star, representing not only that they completed a 4000 word independent essay, but symbolizing how high they had to reach to accomplish this goal. They not only learned a great deal about their topics, but they realized what they have yet to discover, reinforcing another of President Kennedy’s observations that, “The greater our knowledge increases, the more our ignorance unfolds”(1962, Rice U.).  Sure, the EE made them uncomfortable intellectually, but the process empowered them as they gained the skills that will help them in their future pursuits at University and beyond.

This year 98 students wrote an EE in one of 26 different subject areas; subjects ranged from  the sciences to the humanities. The EE is just one of many challenges that help our students grow as they continue their journey of life-long learning. Congratulations to the class of 2017, you have done the seemingly impossible!  What legacy will you leave?

Reflection on the Extended Essay Process – Marca Daley and Lynn Kelly, EE Coordinators

There are a number of new developments in the EE since 2016, including world studies, which represent key features and need to be understood by coordinators, supervisors and students. In order to help Sturgis faculty gain an understanding of these developments, we offered a professional development workshop in March 2017. Links to the supporting presentations offered at the workshop are provided here:

What’s new in EE from 2016

EE Training & Reflection Sturgis Professional Development Workshop – March 2017

Extended Essay – Approaches to Learning – March 2017

Connor Holmes

For the Extended Essay article this year, we decided to focus on less commonly highlighted subjects including the interdisciplinary subjects of World Studies, Environmental Systems and Societies, and Literature and Performance.

Of special note is the World Studies EE, which provides opportunities for students to explore a range of topics and is special in several ways.  We have used the World Studies subject-specific guidance (provided by IBO), to explain its particularities here.

An EE in world studies gives students an opportunity to undertake an interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance. Interdisciplinary in this context means research that draws on the methods, concepts and theories of two IB Diploma Programme subjects.

Students are required to:

  • identify an issue of global importance
  • identify a local manifestation of the issue of global importance
  • develop a clear rationale for taking an interdisciplinary approach and use the conceptual framework and vocabulary of two Diploma Programme subjects.

This provides an opportunity for students to conduct independent interdisciplinary research that draws on Diploma Programme subjects and integrates them to produce a coherent and insightful analysis of the global issue they choose to investigate.

World studies EEs are registered in one of six special areas or themes: They are:

  • conflict, peace and security
  • language, culture and identity
  • environmental and/or economic sustainability
  • equality and inequality
  • health and development
  • science, technology and society.

Furthermore, in line with the IB’s mission, the world studies EE seeks to advance students’ emerging global consciousness. This comprises:

  • a sensitivity to local phenomena as manifestations of broader developments on the planet
  • the capacity to think in flexible and informed ways in understanding issues of global significance
  • a developing perception of the student’s own identity (self) as a global actor and member of humanity, capable of making a positive contribution to the world.

This year, many of our diploma candidates chose to write an extended essay using the parameters outlined above.   As you can see from the samples, topics are diverse, even within a particular theme.  The students’ abstracts explain how the local manifestation of their chosen issue has global significance, and how exploring the topic through two or more lenses adds both breadth and depth to their understanding of the issue.

Environmental Systems and Societies and Literature and Performance are similarly interdisciplinary, but without the requirement that the research focus on an issue of global significance.  Environmental systems and societies allows students to examine the cross-section of science and human impact.  Literature and performance provides a platform for students to compare the expression of universal themes between a work literature as performed in the arts.  Each of these allows students to apply their knowledge and understanding to the real world in a unique way.

Also unique by not being commonly chosen as subjects for extended essay are Latin and Physics.  The two samples illustrate how the content of these subject areas shape the students’ question and approach.

Words of Advice from Seniors:

There were common threads within the student advice: those dealing with with topic choice, time management and student motivation were most evident.  Here are a few suggestions from seniors who had just completed the process.

  • Encourage students to pursue a subject they enjoy, rather than a subject they think would be easy.
  • In presenting the EE mention how this can is an opportunity to really explore something you love and interests you. As my EE was a chance to meet with a real business man and talk about his business and all of the things that go with it and it gave me a basis for what I want to do when I’m older.
  • I think that because the EE is a project designated for outside of school time, it has to be mostly student initiated and so either the student will be motivated to do it or not.
  • Even if it can be difficult to write an EE on a subject that you yourself have to research in depth (perhaps it falls out of a course syllabus) it’s a lot better to be passionate about what you are writing instead of being bored and feel like writing the EE is a chore. ALSO, start the EE a lot earlier and be more strict with deadlines (it would be nice to finish them in November rather than February).
  • Dedicate a larger time frame to choosing a topic and narrowing down the topic. Too often you get into the research process and realize that the topic/question isn’t right for the EE. I’d recommend having juniors do a lot of background reading on their general topic so their specific question can be more effective because they have background knowledge.
  • I think there must be stricter and earlier deadlines and better coordination between all teachers so that students have ample time and support to complete the essay and complete these tasks in an allotted time that is not packed with other assessments.
  • Do it earlier
  • I REALLY REALLY wish I had started earlier!! In the starting stages, I think it’s important to be around your mentor and advisor to be able to ask questions as you go along. I had NO idea how to do research (which is a lot harder than it seems!) and wasted all summer reading books cover to cover because I was writing notes on everything, not knowing how to refine historical research.
  • Make sure your citations are correct as you go and not when you’re done with the essay and decide to go back and work on citing.


Filmed at at the Daily Paper (March, 2017) during EE completion Celebration Breakfast

The suggestions offered by these seniors is excellent advice, and juniors would be well-advised to learn from their predecessors’ experiences.

The Role of Sturgis Libraries in the Extended Essay Process

By Daniela Milne, East Librarian

Sturgis East Library

As librarians, the Extended Essay is one of our favorite pieces of the IB program.  The EE allows students to explore their passions and develop research skills serving them through college and beyond.  Our students are often both fascinated and terrified by this project and most find it difficult to know where to begin.  Our role as librarians is to support, encourage, and give students the research skills and resources they need to be successful.  

Students are allowed to spend a maximum of five hours with their supervisor, but there is no limit to the amount of time they can spend receiving assistance from their librarians.  Because of the diversity of student topics, we have the unique challenge of researching and obtaining books and  journal articles from around Massachusetts, the country, and occasionally the world. Students are encouraged to use the books and databases available through Sturgis but also to make their own connections through interviews, relevant organizations, contacting experts and utilizing resources in their hometown.

Sometimes what our students need is a quiet focused place and an extended time to research.  So, in addition to information literacy instruction, we also host several writing/research workshops, affectionately called EE Slams in our Libraries. Those who attend the work sessions have the advantage of entering the summer with quite a bit of their preliminary research done. Usually we hold work sessions in the Fall, so students can get a jump on research before all their other class responsibilities take precedence , and then repeat this in the Winter in order to wrap up the essay research.  

We are grateful for the Cape Cod Community College’s Wilkens Library, which has provided research space and writing support for students over the summer. Generally, students will visit the college’s Wilkens Library in the Spring, and, following that exposure to the facility, are welcome to use the college library at their leisure during the summer.  We hope that many students will take advantage of this opportunity to have helpful librarians, resources, and a quiet work space ready made over the vacation.

A Sampling of Sturgis 2017 Extended Essays 

Briannah Baptista, Environmental Systems and Societies

Research Question: To what extent does regulation and monitoring of freshwater bodies help in the restoration of eutrophic ecosystems?

Abstract: My research consists of an investigation of the ability to restore eutrophic waters through the regulation and management of freshwater waterbodies by governmental systems. Eutrophication, or nutrient impairment, is damaging many sources of freshwater around the world. Many governments are now taking steps to protect these sources and to restore damaged ecosystems. I specifically wanted to see if governmental action can be taken to restore eutrophic ponds. My main research question was: To what extent does regulation and monitoring of freshwater bodies help in the restoration of eutrophic ecosystems? To focus this investigation, I looked at a case study of White Island Pond in Massachusetts. This pond had a long history of nutrient impairment and in 2013 was given an aluminum water treatment by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). For the case study, I had a separate research question: how successful was the 2013 aluminum treatment at repairing White Island Pond to the acceptable Class C waterbody standard? I decided to take water samples of the pond to test for various water quality parameters to judge the success of the 2013 aluminum treatment at restoring the pond. The 2013 aluminum treatment was successful at restoring the pond to the recommended Class C quality and the pond has been able to maintain a satisfactory water quality for the past 3 years since the treatment. I concluded that governmental regulation can be successful in restoring eutrophic bodies of water; and that further monitoring and management of freshwater by local and federal governments can help restore water bodies during this time of water scarcity around the world.

Rose Blackwell, World Studies: Conflict, Peace and Security

Explored through the IB subjects of Politics and Human Rights

Title: Ethics of American Airstrikes in Syria

Research Question: To what extent can US airstrikes against ISIS in Syria be justified from a political and human rights perspective?

Abstract: This essay examines the extent to which American airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria can be justified from both a political and a human rights perspective.  The question, “To what extent can US airstrikes against ISIS in Syria be justified from a political and human rights perspective?” is first discussed in terms of politics, examining the positive and negative effects of airstrikes, as well as the reasons for Assad’s opposition to airstrikes and the legitimacy of his concerns. The conclusion reached is that the political gains do not outweigh the negative diplomatic effects of the Airstrikes. The essay then discusses the question in terms of human rights, where it will look at human rights regulations pertaining to airstrikes internationally and in both America and Syria. It will discuss the issue in terms of cultural relativism and universal rights, eventually concluding that American airstrikes should be viewed in the context of cultural relativism, and that they do not fit modern human rights standards.  The scope of this essay is the region of Syria specifically, from 2008 to 2016. It concerns the American-led coalition under the Obama administration, ISIS, and the Syrian Government, defined as the Assad Regime. The essay primarily uses newspaper articles from various sources and official declarations by the United Nations and other organizations. These sources show both current information, as the topic in question changes daily, and the long-standing policies already in place. The essay concludes that American airstrikes against ISIS in Syria can not be justified, as they do little to halt the spread of ISIS and create political tension. Furthermore, the United States ignores the cultural implications of its intervention, and frequent errors conflict with human rights policies both internationally and in the United States.

Michaelann Ferro, World Studies – Equality & Inequality

Explored through the lenses of History and Social and Cultural Anthropology

Title:  Significant Factors of LGBT Acceptance

Research Question: What are significant factors that contribute to LGBT acceptance in the United States and Russia?

 Abstract: This extended essay examines the question, “What are significant factors that contribute to LGBT acceptance in the United States and Russia?” The introduction describes both the definitions of LGBT and acceptance and what it entails. There is also explanation as to why this topic is worthy of investigation with term definitions of the two IB disciplines that will be used: history and social and cultural anthropology. To better understand both the United States and Russia as nations, historical context within the LGBT community are provided. To relate to the topic of equality and inequality, the scale of LGBT acceptance strongly correlates to these people’s social equality. The acceptance of this community is needed to achieve full equality within the nations. The two countries are exemplary in examining the variations of acceptance with the United States being more accepting and Russia being the opposite. The benefits of using these two countries is their different governments which brings challenges to the LGBT community.

The two parts of the essay are sectioned off by the two IB disciplines which will both analyze the factors that attribute to LGBT acceptance in history and social and cultural anthropology. In the conclusion, questions are raised about how acceptance can be affected through various other aspects that were not able to be explored. The significant factors established is the people’s nationalism for their country but also their individualistic choices.

Within in the bibliography, the sources used to research this question are differing but mostly consist of analytical books that take into many aspects of the country’s to evaluate the LGBT community and their acceptance. Most of the sources provided are cited in text, however there are sources that are in the bibliography that were used as reading material to gain more background knowledge on the subject.

Rebecca Gutman, World Studies: Conflict, Peace and Security

Explored through the lenses of Social and Cultural Anthropology and History

Title:  The Effects of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on the Public’s Perception Towards Refugees

Research Question: How has the public’s perception of immigrants fluctuated in response to the cultural changes in Munich due to the recent refugee crisis?

Abstract: This extended essay focuses on the question: How has the public’s perception of refugees fluctuated in response to the cultural changes in places like Munich, Germany? In other words, have people’s attitudes towards refugees entering their country shifted due to the effects of the Syrian Refugee Crisis? This investigation specifically focuses on the specific impact that the crisis has had on the culture of Munich and Germany in general and also the changes that have come to existence in order to deal with the ongoing cultural impacts. Later on, this question is also connected to findings from Massachusetts, U.S. This investigation also includes analysis of the impact on people’s personal security, privacy, and trust in refugees. These impacts have caused societies like in Munich to change its ways whether that means stricter security in public or changing school dress codes. Change in a society can be very scary for some people and make them feel unsafe or feel that these implemented changes are unfair. In the concluding words of my essay I discussed how I feel that public perception has definitely changed because there are more people who do not want to allow refugees into their countries and there are also more people who are fearful of refugees which is clear in the analysis of my surveys for Massachusetts and Munich. However, despite the claim that more people are becoming fearful and unaccepting of the refugees, I also discussed how a large population of people who are welcoming to the refugees is still very much existent today which is also extremely vivid in the responses to my surveys.

Connor Holmes,  World Studies – Health and Development

Explored through the lenses of Social and Cultural Anthropology and World Religions

Title: The Role of Culture in the Development of Female Reproductive Health Practices in Central America, as Evidenced in Nicaragua

Research Question: Considering the impacts of gender roles and religion on health practices in Central America, which is the most significant cultural factor in female reproductive health in the region?

Abstract:  Considering the impacts of gender roles and religion on health practices in Central America, which is the most significant cultural factor in female reproductive health in the region?  Traditional gender roles in the region manifest in the societal phenomenon of machismo.  Religion in Central America is predominantly Catholic.  These two cultural aspects are explored utilizing the International Baccalaureate academic disciplines of Social and Cultural Anthropology and World Religions, respectively.  This paper defines women’s reproductive health by the standards put forth by the World Health Organization, which are themselves in line with those of the Western medical community.

The research methods of this investigation relied heavily on the use of academic internet search engines, primarily JSTOR.  Consequently, the majority of the works cited are academic publications pertaining to the state of one or more aspects of female reproductive health in Central America.  Primary sources referenced include anthropological studies and surveys conducted in the region that include thorough analysis of the state of female reproductive health.  Secondary sources referenced are primarily academic journal articles that rely on the data collected by other organizations to draw conclusions regarding female reproductive health in Central America.

The study concludes that Catholicism in Central America negatively influences female reproductive health policies to a greater extent than machismo, thus is more significant.  While machismo threatens 40% (2 of 5) of the factors that determine female reproductive health, Catholicism threatens 80% (4 of 5) of them: access to male and female contraception, access to sexual and reproductive education, agency to plan a family, and access to safe and legal abortion.  Conclusions of this study suggest that for the international health community to achieve further improvements in regards to global female reproductive health, they must come to understand the influences of culture on the practices of given societies.

Mary Kane, World Studies

Explored through the IB Subjects of Environmental Systems and Societies and Economics

Title: Impacts of the Palm Oil Industry in Borneo

Research Question: How will resource exploitation by the palm oil industry in Borneo impact the environment, economy, and society?

Abstract: The following research is aimed to explore the question: How will resource exploitation by the palm oil industry impact the environment, economy, and society of the dual-power island of Borneo, split between Malaysia and Indonesia. The research utilizes the disciplines of environmental systems and societies and economics to analyze the impacts of the palm oil industry on Borneo. The three main sections of the investigation include: environmental, economic, and social impacts. These sections assess the sustainability of the industry based off of the potential and existing benefits versus the negative impacts on the preservation of the rainforest ecosystem and indigenous culture. This essay provides a detailed overview of this controversial issue through multiple aspects. The environmental aspects regard deforestation, biodiversity loss, carbon emissions, and water pollution, while the economics section investigates the value of the industry for the local economy, as well as benefits from high net profit value, economic development, and employment. As for the component of social impacts, most emphasis is held on local health, and the loss of and conflict with indigenous cultures. As a result to the assessment of impacts on the environment, economy, and society in Borneo, I came to the conclusion that the practices of the industry are unsustainable.

Taylor Martin-Graham,  World Studies – Language, Culture, and Identity

Explored through the lenses of Business and Management, Anthropology

Title: Exploration of the Relationship Between Sport’s Sponsors and Culture from both Business and Anthropological Perspectives

Research Question​: To what extent do different cultures and well-known sports sponsorships have an impacting relationship?

Abstract: For centuries sports have been closely linked to cultures around the world, some of them standing the test of time. To support these efforts in the sports, there must be finances to back up the leagues and projects, which is where the role of sponsors come in. There needs to be some sort of commitment to a cause that can link the two worlds together, otherwise it would not be such a success. So I asked: To what extent do different cultures and well-known sports sponsorships have equally impacting relationships? Or do they have an impact on each other?

This question is answered by exploring the deeper foundations where the brands gain both from a business perspective and from a cultural one in term of the communities they direct their demographic too. Three different sports leagues in three different nations are observed, and their connections through anthropological and business views are analyzed. Each finding has reasons why the relationship would be beneficial to a business, followed by in what way they have connected to their identifying culture. Finally, another sport is looked at to express all the faults that this relationship could have if not treated like a balance, or in effort not to eliminate one or the other. Lastly, solutions are analyzed regarding why a relationship of this sorts would be beneficial.

The conclusion of this essay contains ways in which people can help create this relationship despite it being evident or not. By reaching for ways sponsors like these can connect with local people, it is sure to pressure the business world into changing and following a more strict moral code of ethics. This form of corporate social responsibility has proven to help sponsors like these to market their company more favorably and can draw in more opportunities.

Ashlynne McNally,  Literature and Performance

Title: Omissions and Alterations in the Film Adaptation of the Novel The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

Research Question: When adapting the novel The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey into a film, why did director J. Blakeson choose to omit characters and alter the relationships between Cassie and Ben, Cassie and Evan, and Ringer and Teacup?

 Abstract: Director J. Blakeson’s adaptation of the novel The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey is, for the most part, an accurate portrayal of what was originally written in the novel. However, Blakeson chose to alter some of the relationships from the novel, and also chose to omit characters that were important in the lives of the main characters, Ben Parish and Cassiopeia Sullivan. Blakeson’s alterations in his film adaptation of the novel, The Fifth Wave, fascinated me. I want to understand why Blakeson chose to alter the plot of the novel in his film adaptation. For this reason, I will be researching why director J. Blakeson, when adapting the novel The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey into a film, chose to omit characters and alter the relationships between Cassie and Ben, Cassie and Evan, and Ringer and Teacup. I will also be researching why Blakeson chose to omit characters from the novel in his film adaptation.

In order to research this question, I compared Blakeson’s film adaptation of the novel The Fifth Wave with the original novel by Rick Yancey. I used credible outside sources about common decisions made by other directors, in order to infer why Blakeson would have chosen to have his film adaptation be different from the original novel. My essay concludes that J. Blakeson chose to alter the relationships between Ben toward Cassie, and Cassie toward Ben, in order to appeal to the audiences that would be viewing the film. The essay also concludes that Blakeson chose to omit characters and lessen the importance of relationships between characters due to the time constraint that is placed on films. 

Allison Palmer, World Studies – Health and Development

Explored through the lenses of Ethics and Social/Cultural Anthropology

Title: Special Care Newborn Units as an Effective Solution to Decrease the Use of Treatment Rationing Practices in Rural India

Research question: What are the causes and implications of neonatal treatment rationing in rural India and how can this issue be addressed?

Abstract:  This investigation explores the causes and implications of neonatal treatment rationing and the ways this issue can be addressed. It analyzes first the methodology used in treatment rationing practices through both an ethical and social lense. It also aims to explain how viewing treatment rationing with an interdisciplinary approach provides a more extensive understanding of the experience of a clinicians working not only within a different culture, but under restraints. In order for the neonatal mortality rate to decrease, the ethical and cultural limitations that doctors face daily must be addressed. This paper references a detailed survey conducted in eight Special Care Newborn Units in different districts in India with the some of the highest rates of mortality per 100 births. All data from this the SCNU centers was collected by the researchers and observers of the SCNU in its trial years. This being said, neonatal mortality is such a large concern that it can only be diminished with extensive effort over a long period of time, so the SCNU will not be the single solution. Yet, any steps that are able to better patient outcomes, improve ethical decision making and lessen limitations on clinicians in any way is a step in the right direction and will be considered successful.

Success is being defined as any improvement in health outcomes for as many patients as possible. Through evaluation of the restrictions of treatment rationing and observing statistics from before to the establishment of the SCNU, this investigation concluded that the SCNU model was successful for their goals and are a viable option to be used in other areas of the world that are confronted with similar disparities.

Nathan Pappalardo,  Physics

Title: Analysis of the 2016 Mars Retrograde

Research Question: Analyze the apparent motion of a planet during retrograde

Abstract: The purpose of this essay is to analyze the apparent retrograde motion of Mars during its 2016 retrograde. This will be done by using data obtained from an outside source to graph the orbits of the Earth and Mars on a Cartesian plane, and to show the apparent motion of Mars as observed from the Earth. The scope of these calculations will be limited to the time frame of the retrograde motion, as well as being limited to only 2 dimensions. Although this will make the resulting graph less accurate, it is necessary due to the limitation on length of this essay and the very small angle of inclination that is actually present.

Additionally, an experiment will performed to document the retrograde motion of Mars from 16 June 2016 to 14 July 2016, during the second half of the retrograde. The results of this experiment will be compared to a map of the predicted motion of Mars, and will be used as evidence to support the calculated retrograde. This experiment will be limited in scope because it is being used to confirm the calculated retrograde, not as the main focus of the essay. However, the experiment will still be explained in detail and the process of astrophotography will be elaborated on.

The calculated retrograde motion represents the actual retrograde of Mars in 2016 with a large degree of accuracy and is supported by the experimental data. Although there was a fair amount of uncertainty, the representation of retrograde motion is both accurate and clear, and is successful in its attempt to visually represent retrograde motion.

Isabelle Racette, World Studies – Environmental and Economic Sustainability

 Explored through the lenses of Environmental Systems, Economics and Biology

Title: The Bottom Line of Factory Farming: Weighing the Economical, Environmental and Health Effects of America’s Food System

Research Question: How effective is factory farming system for American food systems when weighing the effects it has on the economy, health of consumers, and the environment?

Abstract: I will be assessing “how effective is factory farming when weighing the effects it has on the economy, health of consumers and the environment?”

In terms of the parameters of the research I investigated factory farms through three lenses: Economics, Environmental, and Social. These three lenses thoroughly cover the overall impact that factory farming has on our planet and population. Through economics I assess the efficiency of the input to output ratio of food and food security in America’s food system, which is the ability to have safe and easily accessible food. Through biology, I study the effect this system has burdened on our population with diseases and overall health. Lastly, through the environmental effects, I determine the toll of greenhouse gases and water consumption that are used by the farms and their addition to global warming. Much of the factors of these three lens overlap and is it hard to define lines of which effect belongs to a certain lens. To sort the results of factory farms I determined where it originates from. For example, if a health factor arose from gas emissions then this effect belongs to the environmental lens.

After exploring the effects of factory farms, it is obvious that the negative outweigh the positive effects. Factory farms show little benefits in terms of the economic lens by food security and keeping the cost of food low, making it accessible to impoverished families. However factory farms have no beneficial outcomes in terms of the social and environmental lenses by promoting unhealthy lifestyles and no work benefits for their employees, while releasing detrimental greenhouse gases and polluting drinking water and demolishing habitats because of production.

Kathryn Rheinhardt,  World Studies – Language, Culture, and Identity

Explored through the lenses of Psychology and Economics

Title:  An exploration of the values and consequences of educating women.

Research Question:  What are the values of closing the education gap between men and women in the developing world and do these values outweigh the consequences?

Abstract: This essay examines the question, “What are the values of closing the education gap between men and women in the developing world and do these values outweigh the consequences?” This essay starts out my giving a background on women’s education in developing countries and the education gap that exists. It states that the culture of a country or region determines the extent to which gender contributes to a woman’s identity. The essay then states that while there has been an effort to close the gap, there is still a plethora of barriers. The body of the essay addresses both the values and consequences of educating women, primarily through an economic and psychological lense. Values include the fact that educated women boost their income and the income growth of the country, infant mortality rates fall when girls’ education level climbs, educated women are better able to plan their future families, educated mothers raise educated children and educated women tend to be healthier than uneducated women. Consequences include economic viability, potentially harming families, and education preventing mothers from looking after their children. By the end of the essay, the conclusion that is reached is that the values of educating women outweigh the consequences, but cultural perspectives must still be taken into account. In addition, further exploration of this topic is needed to determine more of the values and consequences in other fields as well as assess the influence of radical groups. If it continues to become widely accepted that the gender gap between men and women in developing countries should be closed, current efforts to create parity should be further embrace and developed.

Molly Rowland, Latin

Title: The Aeneid as a Portrayal of Roman Ideals to Promote Augustus’ Political Agenda

Research Question: To what extent does the depiction of Roman ideals establish the Aeneid as a pro-Augustan piece of propaganda?

Abstract: This investigation will explore the question “ To what extent does the depiction of Roman Ideals establish the Aeneid as a Pro-Augustan Piece of Propaganda? ” The Aeneid was written in the Golden Age, specifically during Augustan era, 43 BC-18 Augustus was the first emperor of Rome. He focused on moral revival during his rule, using the arts to spread his ideology. Virgil generally takes a positive view on Augustus, which is why pro-Augustan points will be more prominently seen in the Aeneid. The Aeneid, as the origin story of Rome, explores traditional Roman views and ideals promoted by Augustus. The question will be examined by analyzing quotes from the Aeneid and comparing them to Roman ideals promoted during Augustus’ rule. Through the Lex Romani, a legal document defining marriage, and other means Augustus created a commentary on the current moral situation of the Romans. Augustus had negative views towards the Romans’ loose morals and tried to combat them by creating art and legislation promoting his ideals. Four important traditional values were military duty, divine duty, piety, and honor. These four ideals were the core of Roman life and appear repeatedly the Aeneid, developing the epic poem as a pro-Augustan propaganda. However there are classicists that suggest that it is critical of Augustus as saying the Aeneid symbolizes the violence and tyranny of the regime (Grebe 35). To the extent that Roman ideals are emphasized heavily in the Aeneid, it is a piece of pro-Augustan propaganda. The ideologies Augustus imposed onto his people are glorified and shown as exemplary in this poem. By showing these specific traits, Virgil and Augustus are able to help revive morals and emphasize Augustus’ political agenda.

Delaney Wood, World Studies – Health and Development

Explored through the lenses of Biology and Psychology

Title:  The Neurobiological Impact of Traumatic Stress

Research Question: To what extent does a biological understanding of traumatic stress aid in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the United States?

Abstract: The occurrence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not a new phenomenon. However, particularly in the healthcare setting, cases of PTSD have grown increasingly common. In the United States especially, where the rate of PTSD is the highest in the world, a new approach to prevention, treatment, and research of PTSD must be devised. Thus, for the scope of this essay, the cause of PTSD, traumatic stress, and its impact on PTSD patients will be addressed. Moreover, the research question “To what extent does a biological understanding of traumatic stress aid in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the United States?” ​aims at revealing the crucial relationship between the neurobiological impact of trauma and the symptomatology presented in PTSD. In itself, a neurobiological approach to PTSD is interdisciplinary as it integrates psychology (symptomatology and the study of human behavior) and biology (the scientific basis for trauma) in order to determine treatment options as well as potential options for PTSD prevention.

Overall, I have concluded that the crucial role neurobiology plays in the development of abnormal behavior demonstrated by those with PTSD aids in the treatment of PTSD to a great extent. The unique biological basis of the disorder provides new options for PTSD treatment. Pharmaceutically, due to the physiological basis of the disorder, drug therapy can be utilized to restore balance to otherwise dysregulated physiological pathways. There is hope for finding a cure for PTSD, an otherwise incurable disorder, due to the plasticity of the brain. Biologically, new neural connections can be stimulated and thus the neuroanatomical structures and pathways that are impacted by traumatic stress rebuilt. Thus, I have concluded that the biological perspective is crucial to PTSD treatment and a better understanding of the long term impact of exposure to traumatic stress.


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