Science Crossing Boundaries

Katie Fankhauser - Local Awareness of Global Climate Change: A Study of Three Communities in Senegal, West Africa 

A large majority of Senegalese rely on environmental resources for their survival. This direct and daily interaction with nature would seem to make the people conscious of even the most minute changes in their surroundings. Yet, global polls show belief in climate change is seriously depressed in this country, which is, itself, particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming. This research aims for a more accurate portrayal of belief and examines the reasons behind the persistent low rates.

Jay Patel - Unity in Psychology

There has been a recent call to unify psychology. This idea has global policy implications. In this talk we will explore why unification can lead to bad results. We will look at models used in the sciences, why all psychology is not the same and why this can be good.

Taylor Patterson - Effects of Incident Radiation on Monarch Caterpillar Development

The development of the Monarch butterfly caterpillars has temperature dependencies that limit when development can take place. Within a certain ambient temperature range, development can take place, but temperatures below and above this range are termed developmental zeroes, temperatures at which development cannot take place. This project investigated the effects of incident radiation, provided by lamps, on rates of development to determine if the Monarch caterpillars are able to obtain energy from incident radiation, which may affect the range of ambient conditions caterpillars can successfully develop under.

The Americas

Ryan House - The Peruvian Connection: Developmental Disabilities in Kansas and Peru

Volunteering at a school for children with different abilities in Lima, Peru, caused Ryan to become interested in working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Incidentally, this school in Peru has strong ties to the University of Kansas, and these connections allowed him to be a part of specialized research projects both in Kansas and Peru. His research integrates biological and behavioral sciences and focuses on autism spectrum disorders and self-injurious behaviors.

Jeff Miller - La Sala

Though Costa Rica has long been a hub of foreign and domestic sex tourism in the Americas, sex work remains legally ambiguous in the eyes of the State and a target of derision by society at large. For over twenty years, the women of La Sala worked with state officials to create a safe space for sex workers and provide them access to health and psychological services. Within the last five, they’ve claimed the space as their own and, without government funding, have set out to organize sex workers across the country into a formal collective. In these efforts, La Sala seeks to spread its message of sexual health and safety to all involved in the trade, achieve state recognition of sex work as labor, and redefine popular notions of an industry for which so many generations of women have been made to feel shame.

Sarah Stern - Beyond gangs, drugs and violence: Photographing everyday life in Rio's largest favela

This project chronicles the experience of living day-to-day in Rocinha through photographing the favela. The photographs from the book will be showcased. While the media is quick to cover the drug and gang problems of the communities, few people actually stick around long enough to show the normalcies of the place.

Education and the Global Economy

Josh Dean - Identifying Factors Affecting Student Transition from Primary to Secondary Education in Selected Developing Countries

The percentage of pupils in Sub-Saharan Africa who successfully transition from primary (ISCED 1) to lower secondary (ISCED 2) education ranges from 36% in Tanzania to 98% in Seychelles. Beyond the range of transition rates, there is enormous variation in how much each country has improved in the last ten years. This paper examines the wide variation in transition rates as calculated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) from 1999-2010 in selected developing countries. Six case studies are conducted comparing the educational and economic policies of four countries that have shown significant improvement (Senegal, Uganda, Niger and Gambia) to two countries without improvement (Morocco and Ghana). This approach allows in-depth analysis of the specific policies, while providing the ability to control for factors that may not be represented in a more quantitative analysis.

Shenji Pan - The Migration of Apparel Industry: Where did it come from and where it is heading to?

The research project tries to learn from the historical movement of apparel industry about possible key drivers for industrial migration, and then attempts to predict the future migration by incorporating quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis. Econometric forecasting models, such as ARMA and VAR models, will be used to predict future migration.

Matt Werner - Closing the STEM Gap

Our world has a ferocious appetite for skilled professionals in STEM disciplines, and developed countries are not able to sate this hunger. The United States has been unable to produce enough STEM professionals for even its own needs, let alone those of the international marketplace it is a player in. As a part of the SELF Fellows Program at KU, I travelled to Germany and Switzerland to see the differences in awareness and attitude related to STEM fields, and presented to local high schools to see what they already know and what we can do to help.

Narrating Global Issues

Alexandra Chase - Assessing Attitudes Toward Torture

Attitudes toward torture have been shown to be influenced by a variety of factors. This talk will discuss the role of religion and media in attitudes toward torture, as well as ethical considerations in conducting research with human subjects on the topic of torture

Sarah McCabe - The Darkening Age: Exploring controversial issues and their global implications in young adult literature

Dark themes — such as rape and abuse, eating disorders, self-mutilation, and suicide — have become more prevalent in contemporary young adult literature. This discussion will explore arguments for and against the inclusion of controversial issues in this genre, as well as examining young adult books that feature these themes and whether these books apply to teenagers in a global context.

Amy Sinclair - Herbal Remedies in 20th Century Slavic Folklore

Until the 1930s, the Russian village midwife, or повитуха (povitukha), was the only professional available to aid women in childbirth in rural Russia. She had no formal medical training, but learned her trade from observation and experience. The midwife was endowed with mystical abilities unique to her profession, and she was integral to traditional folkloric rituals involving childbirth. However, until the 1930s, almost half of the children born in rural Russia died before they reached one year of age, and the mortality rate among women in childbirth was the highest in Europe. When Joseph Stalin became the General Secretary of the Soviet Union, he instituted massive health care reforms that changed these statistics drastically. Considering Russia’s vast land mass and lack of infrastructure, this was no easy feat. How did Stalin institutionalize and modernize medical practices in Russia? How did this affect the childbirth ritual in Russia, and the povitukha in particular? And what is the childbirth ritual like in modern-day Russia? By delving into folkloric and medical history studies, my research seeks to answer these questions and more.


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