Academic Showcase

The Academic Showcase taking place at the Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Welcome Center on Friday, November 5th from 1:00 – 5:00 PM will feature a diverse collection of oral presentations, posters, and manned tables highlighting teaching, research, and community-based work carried out by some of Stetson’s dedicated teacher-scholars. The showcase is meant to be engaging and provide the attendee with a sampling of a few examples of the world-class learning opportunities available to our students.

In-person attendees are required to wear facial coverings and follow physical distancing guidelines. Virtual attendees may join the session at any time to watch the oral presentations.

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Oral Presentations | Lynn Presentation Room | 1 - 5 p.m.

1 - 1:30 p.m. "A Novel Bio-Inspired Routing Protocol for Wireless Ad-Hoc Network" presented by Hala ElAarag, PhD, Professor of Computer Science

In this research, we developed a novel bio-inspired algorithm modeled after the slime mold Physarum Polycephalum. Though Physarum Polycephalum lacks a brain of any kind, it can solve mazes and develop efficient networks through simple, repeated behaviors. To improve the performance of routing algorithms in wireless ad hoc networks, we designed the Optimized Physarum Link State Routing (OPLSR) Protocol. We based the mathematical model of OPLSR on the behavior of Physarum Polycephalum to determine the node’s willingness to forward packets sent from neighboring nodes. We tested our novel protocol using NS3 network simulator.  We compared OPLSR to the Optimized Link State Routing (OLSR) Protocol, the most used routing protocol in wireless ad hoc networks, and Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector Routing (AODV) protocol in multiple network environments. Our exhaustive simulations use six important performance measures to show that OPLSR protocol outperforms OLSR and AODV protocols in various network conditions.

1:30 - 2 p.m. "Creating Inclusive Experiences in our National Parks" presented by Nathan Wolek, PhD, Professor of Digital Arts and Music Technology

Young Sound Seekers is a community outreach program that creates opportunities for blind and partially-sighted youth to learn about natural soundscapes and audio field recording. Students from age 13 to 25 visit the Canaveral National Seashore in Florida once a month for lessons and activities designed to enhance their appreciation of the natural environment and its soundscape. The project is a partnership between Stetson University and Atlantic Center for the Arts and was developed with financial support and logistical cooperation from the United States' National Park Service. This session will share some of our lessons about the importance of inclusive design from the first year and a half, as well as preview some of the upcoming projects we have planned.

2 - 2:30 p.m. "CRISPR in Butterflies: An Undergraduate Lab Experience to Inactivate Wing Patterning Genes During Development" presented by Lynn Kee, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology

CRISPR is a technique increasingly used in the laboratory for both fundamental and applied research. We designed and implemented a lab experience for undergraduates to carry out CRISPR technology in the lab, and knockout the wing patterning genes optix and WntA in Vanessa cardui butterflies. Students obtained spectacular phenotypic mutants of butterfly wings color and patterns, awakening curiosity about how genomes encode morphology. In addition, students successfully used molecular techniques to genotype and screen wild-type caterpillar larvae and butterflies for CRISPR edits. Student feedback suggests that they experienced a meaningful process of scientific inquiry by carrying out the whole CRISPR workflow process, from the design and delivery of CRISPR components through microinjection of butterfly eggs, the rearing of live animals through their complete life cycle, and molecular and phenotypic analyses of the resulting mutants. We discuss our experience using genome editing experiments in butterflies to expose students to authentic research experiences probing geneto-phenotype relationships.

2:30 - 3 p.m. "Comrade Actress?: Re-Thinking Theater History in Eastern Europe" presented by Mayhill Fowler, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Stetson's Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

This talk tells the story of two actresses Sofia Fedortseva (1900-1988) and Hanna Babiivna (1897-1979), from a place that is today Ukraine, but that was formerly the Austro-Hungarian Empire and then Poland. These small-town girls became leading Soviet actresses, crossing borders, frontlines, and cultures as they experienced the full weight of the Soviet century, including the gulag, the war, and yet also the enormous flourishing of avant-garde theater. Their lives break the geographic categories so persistent in theater history, which divides into European, Russian, and various national theater histories. The recent global turn interrogates these categories, but “global” generally comprises the western empires or the decolonizing postwar world, and not the multiethnic borderlands of Eastern Europe. Ultimately, why are actresses so understudied? Their lives shift our focus from the avant-garde to the everyday, from repression to survival, from male directors to the women whose long careers made that vision possible. This talk is part of a larger book project, Comrade Actress: Soviet Ukrainian Women on the Stage and Behind the Scenes. My talk will tell you their story, and not only how their story shapes our understanding of East European history, but also why such stories are crucial for developing our students’ global citizenship and for creating connections for Stetson with today’s Ukraine.

3 – 3:30 p.m. "Painting Requests from Tomoka" presented by Luca Molnar, MFA, Assistant Professor of Art

In January 2020, Stetson Community Education Project students incarcerated by the state of Florida at Tomoka Correctional Institute submitted requests for paintings. These requests were fulfilled by DeLand campus painting students, completing a circle of collaboration and connection that culminated in an exhibition of the work at pop-up gallery Fresh as Fruit.

4 - 4:45 p.m. "Video Games, Music, and Society: Ludomusicological Approaches" presented by Peter Smucker, PhD, Associate Professor of Music Theory and Director of Music Theory

This 45-minute presentation explores the field of ludomusicology, which is broadly defined as the study of “music at play” but is often associated with the study of music and sounds in video games. This presentation has three parts. In the first I answer the question, “what is ludomusicology?” by briefly outlining the evolution of the field. Additionally, I show its interdisciplinarity and relevancy for today’s liberal arts education through multiple examples of music in games. In Part 2, two Stetson students, Juliana Bolaño (BME ’22) and Enrique Collazo (BME ’22) reflect on their involvement with ludomusicological research and what it means to them personally, generationally, and more broadly in society. In Part 3, I present some of my current research in progress, titled “Currencies, Values, and Exchanges of Game Sounds,” which examines how game sounds might generate value for different classes of society, and suggest a music-theoretical framework for the analysis of game sounds.

Poster Presentations | McGraw Atrium | 1 - 5 p.m.

"The Use of Stonehenge and the Salisbury Plain in Sustainability Education" presented by Kim Reiter, PhD, Associate Professor of History

Stonehenge is a creature of environmental relationships we will never fully understand. The upper level course “Stonehenge” was designed as a microhistory using techniques developed in new approaches to sustainability education, including a holistic, supradisciplinary methodology that introduces students to the use of systemic resolution to reveal the systemic and interactional complexity of a sustainability situation in a specific physical and temporal context. Utilizing an examination of the environmental and human history of the Salisbury Plain through 9000 years, students are introduced to systemic resolution, systemic synthesis, temporal thinking, social learning, and diverse alternatives to sustainability situations. The course combines archaeological, environmental, historic, religious, social, and folkloric data to explore both a dynamic British prehistoric landscape and a modern cultural focal point in sustainability and ownership.

"Development of Methods to Extract Long Distances in Proteins using Nuclear Magnetic Spectroscopy (NMR)" presented by Matthew Shannon, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Structure determination of proteins, or folded polymers of amino acids, is a crucial step in order to understand their function. Many spectroscopic methods besides NMR currently exist to determine the structures of proteins such as X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM; however, these methods subject samples to conditions that are not representative of their native, physiological aqueous state at physiological conditions. In NMR, samples are studied in vitro at temperature, pH, and concentrations that tend to mimic in vivo conditions. To determine the structures of proteins using NMR, short distances (< 0.5 nm) can be determined by measuring Nuclear Overhauser Effects (NOEs) and dipolar couplings between atomic nuclei (e.g., 1H, 13C, and 15N are the NMR active nuclei that comprise over 99% of the atoms in proteins). To unambiguously determine the structures and interactions of proteins more precisely and accurately, it is advantageous to have novel methods to measure longer distances (> 1 nm). Herein, we show that imidazole, the sidechain of the amino acid histidine, can chelate to paramagnetic metal ions (e.g., Cu2+, Mn2+, and Co2+). These paramagnetic ions can either cause NMR signals to broaden (Cu2+ and Mn2+) or shift (Co2+). The extent of peak broadening (i.e., paramagnetic relaxation enhancements) or peak shifting (i.e., pseudocontact shifts) can be used to calculate accurate, precise long distances.

"Amyloid-β-Induced chemotaxis behavior and neuronal morphology in transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans" presented by Lynn Kee, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology; Jordan Ogg, Student

Understanding the molecular and genetic basis of Alzheimer’s Disease is crucial for the development of treatment options. Using a small nematode, C. elegans as a model, the Alzheimer ab peptide was expressed in this organism. Results of the study reveal that C. elegans expressing the ab peptide in neurons exhibited altered chemotaxic behavior compared to normal C. elegans or a strain that expressed the peptide in muscle.

Stetson's College of Law - Academic Highlight

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Stetson University College of Law invites you to view this brief video introduction to our law school. Dean Michèle Alexandre will deliver a short greeting, followed by two independent videos. The first video describes the paths we paved and legacies we built. As many of you know, Stetson Law is Florida’s first law school and we have been preparing lawyers and leaders since 1900. This short 2-minute video, with amazing aerial and interior views of the campus, will give you a sense of Stetson Law, and that our guiding principles has been, and continues to be, one of innovation and excellence. The second video is a compilation of admitted student testimonials. Students tell fascinating stories about why they chose Stetson Law.  In a quick 6-minute compilation video, you will receive a wonderful overview of Stetson University College of Law.

Table Presentations | Lobby | 1 - 5 p.m

Center for Community Engagement

Staff from the Center for Community Engagement will share examples of student, faculty, and community partner projects that integrate student learning and community impact and will share new project opportunities that seek student and faculty involvement.

Community Education Project presented by Pamela Cappas-Toro, PhD, Co-Director; Andy Eisen, PhD, Co-Director; Chris Morrissey, Transition Researcher and Academic Specialist

The Community Education Project is an interdisciplinary higher education in prison program, established by Stetson faculty members in 2015. CEP is committed to offering quality liberal arts education and research opportunities to incarcerated people in Florida prisons. Access to a liberal arts education offers incarcerated individuals meaningful opportunities for personal growth and intellectual engagement, which benefits our community as a whole.

The following will be shared with attendees:

  • CEP History Research Collective- We will share a published interview with two students about their research on slavery and Indian Removal in East Florida, entitled “Not Forgotten: Recovering Florida’s Silenced History of Enslavement from Prison”. This piece was published in the blog of the Organization for American Historians.
  • More Than Our Blues- Published in 2019, MTOB is CEP’s first literary journal which includes different genres such as poetry and short stories from all the students in our program. We will have copies of the book on display.
  • CEP’s Learning Landscape- We will share photographs of CEP’s community garden, which is connected to the Food Studies Program we are developing at Tomoka. We will share a copy of CEP student, John Kingham’s forthcoming article in Gastronomica, The Journal for Food Studies: “Uncontrolled Movements: An Overview of Abdicated Control in Florida’s Prison Food Spaces.”
  • Language Partners Program- We will share a copy of a forthcoming co-written chapter from Dr. Cappas-Toro and students, Antonio Rosa and Ken Smith, that will be published in a special volume of the Modern Languages Association entitled: “Teaching Literature and Writing in Prisons.”