2021 SRSU Undergraduate & Graduate Symposium – Virtual Presentation Schedule
Monday, April 12th, 2021

Click on a Session Time (left row of the schedule below) to jump down the page and view the Presentation Abstracts, Presenter Videos, & Session Recordings for that Session Time.

Noon-12:50

SRSU Symposium Spotlight Event:
2021 Keynote Address 

Welcome and Keynote IntroductionDr. Robert Muñoz
SRSU Vice President for Administrative Services and Chief Operating Officer


Keynote Speaker – Dr. Kevin Urbanczyk
Professor of Geology and Director of the Rio Grande Research Center
To view keynote photo & bio click on “Noon to 12:50” session time at left.
 
WATCH  KEYNOTE EVENT RECORDING

Session
Time
Virtual Room A Virtual Room B
1:00-1:20 Presenter: Kayla Waggoner
Moderator: Dr. Savannah L. Williamson (History, Health)
Title: The Decline of Midwives
(start: 1pm)
Presenter:  Oliver Flores
Moderator: Dr. Kathy Stein (History)
Title: The Inherent Flaws of Marxism
(start: 1pm)

1:30-1:50

Presenter: Kiahna Garcia
Moderator: Dr. Audrey Taylor (Languages & Literature)
Title:An Outcast from a Monstrous Society: Viewing Monsters and Humans in Young Adult Literature and Film
(start: 1:30pm)
 
2:00-2:20 Presenter: Alejandro Chavez
Moderator: Dr. Ryan Luna (Wildlife Management)
Title: “Grassland Birds Community Early Response to a Chemical Shrub Removal Treatment 
(start: 2pm)
 
2:30-2:50 Presenter: Emily Card
Moderator: Dr. Ryan Luna  (Wildlife Management)
Title:“Impacts of Woody Plant Removal on Habitat Characteristics and Wintering Grassland Bird Communities in the Trans-Pecos, TX”
(start: 2:30pm)
 
3:00-3:20
Presenter: Sebastian Correa
Moderator: Dr. Sally Roche (Advanced Composition – English)
Title:Violence in the United States: Are Video Games the Issue?
(start: 3pm)
 
3:30-3:50 Presenter: Monica Cardenas
Moderator: Dr. Sally Roche (Advanced Composition – English)
Title: Significance of Parent-Child Reading
(start: 3:30pm)
 
4:00-4:20 Presenter: Amanda Evans
Moderator: Dr. Chris Herrera (Health and Human Performance)
Title: Motivation in Gen Z High School Athletes
(start: 4pm)
Presenter: Isabella Garcia
Moderator: Dr Chris Ritzi (Biology)
Title: The Reproductive Investment of Native Versus Invasive Cane Toads (Rhinella marina).
(start: 4pm)
4:30-4:50 Presenter: LaErica Barcelona
Moderator: Dr. Chris Herrera (Health and Human Performance)
Title:Developing Female Strength and Conditioning Camp During COVID
(start: 4:30pm)
Presenter: Sydney Turner
Moderator: Dr. Chris Ritzi (Biology)
Title: Phenotypic Adaptations that Promote Invasion Success in Cane Toads (Rhinella marina)
(start: 4:30pm)
5:00-5:20   Presenter: Skyler Scott
Moderator: Dr. Sally Roche (Advanced Composition – English)
Title: The Best Methods to Prevent Memory Loss’”

(start: 5pm)
5:30-5:50    

Noon – 12:50pm Symposium Spotlight Event – Welcome and Symposium Keynote Address

Noon-12:50pm / SRSU Symposium Spotlight Event
Welcome & Keynote Introduction – Dr. Robert Muñoz
SRSU Vice President for Administrative Services and Chief Operating Officer

Keynote SpeakerDr. Kevin Urbanczyk
Professor of Geology and Director of the Rio Grande Research Center

WATCH  KEYNOTE EVENT RECORDING

Keynote Speaker Dr. Kevin Urbanzcyk
Keynote Speaker Dr. Kevin Urbanzcyk

Keynote Bio:
Dr. Kevin Urbanczyk is a professor in the Department of Biology, Geology and Physical Sciences and the director of the Rio Grande Research Center at Sul Ross State University, where he has been teaching since 1991. Dr. Urbanczyk’s research interests include various environmental aspects of the Trans-Pecos region, including watershed studies in Big Bend National Park and in the Big Bend Ranch State Park, ground water studies in the Big Bend Region, and the hydrology, geomorphology and chemistry of the Rio Grande and its tributaries. His research interests also include the geochemistry and eruptive history of volcanic rocks of the Trans Pecos region.

His academic background includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from Sul Ross. He earned his Ph.D. from Washington State University where he focused most of this academic preparation on the geochemical aspects and field relations of volcanic rocks in western Texas and northeastern Oregon. Dr. Urbanczyk is directly involved in both the Analytical and the GIS laboratories at Sul Ross, where these facilities are used for both teaching and research. For environmental research purposes, he specializes in modern technology, including the use of LiDAR and UAVs for developing elevation models and multispectral imagery, and object-based image analysis for mapping land cover associated with river systems.

At the state level, he has contributed to the development of Groundwater Availability Models for the Texas Water Development Board, has been a member of the Basin to Bay Expert Science Team for the Upper Rio Grande for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and is one of the Directors of the Brewster County Groundwater Conservation District. He served as the program director for the USDA funded Sustainable Agricultural Water Conservation Rio Grande Basin research project and he is actively involved in binational research and conservation projects on the Rio Grande/Bravo along the U.S.-Mexico border in the Big Bend Region. Since 2008 Urbanczyk has contributed to a multinational twelve-river monitoring project coordinated out of Hungary.

He is co-advisor for the Sul Ross Geology Club and the Sul Ross Hancock Hill Club. He encourages students to assist with maintaining the trail system on Hancock Hill and coordinates numerous field trips and river excursions on the Rio Grande for educational and public service purposes.

Urbanczyk is a founding board member of the Big Bend Trails Alliance, and also serves on the board of the Friends of Big Bend Ranch State Park. He and his wife Amelie, executive director at Alpine Montessori School, have two children, Pruitt and Walt, who both attend Alpine High School.

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1:00 – 1:20pm Session Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

1:00-1:20pm / Virtual Room A – Moderator: Dr. Savannah L. Williamson

Presenter: Kayla Waggoner
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Savannah L. Williamson (History, Health)
Title: The Decline of Midwives
Virtual Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Graduate
Abstract:The history of the decline of midwifery in the United States directly corresponds with the rise of the medical profession. A profession was formed upon a foundation of specializations and authorized by the patients themselves. Midwifery in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-centuries held cultural sway in rural communities where modern hospitals were not yet common. Midwives were often mothers who had experienced their own child labor and who relied on traditions to ensure a safe experience for both mother and child. Rapid scientific discoveries of modern painkillers, sterile and safe medical processes and procedures, as well as an increase in medical education and experience requirements meant that many women, when given the opportunity, sought to experience childbirth with one of these professionals. The rise of specialized medical professionals, who were educated in the field of obstetrics, meant that mortality rates during childbirth significantly diminished. As American physicians and medical professionals educated the public on these new, safer practices, they also sought to eliminate the traditional midwife for the safety of birthing mothers. Less than a century has passed and, while childbirth-related deaths has diminished, many women have adopted a frightened misunderstanding of the labor process. Cultural significance has been placed on pain and fear, leaving many women to demand painkillers without question. This research seeks to illuminate the shift from midwives to specialized doctors and nurses in the child-birthing process as well as the increase in fear that is continually perpetuated within the culture of the United States

PRESENTER VIDEO
ALTERNATE PRESENTER VIDEO (19 min)
SESSION RECORDING


1:00-1:20pm / Virtual Room B – Moderator: Dr. Kathy Stein

Presenter:  Oliver Flores
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kathy Stein (History)
Title: The Inherent Flaws of Marxism
Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Undergraduate
Abstract: “Karl Marx’s philosophical and political theories have been more influential than those of almost any other thinker in history, directly leading to the restructuring of innumerable political systems, and the loss of tens of millions of lives. His views on the historical progression of humankind, the core components of economic systems, and the social interactions between the divisions of civilization are fundamentally inaccurate, yet his ideas have proven to be enormously popular. Even to this day, there are debates over the validity of his claims. This document explains why Marx’s ideas have become so pervasive, before arguing that much of his theory is wrong. This is accomplished by first providing a brief biographical evaluation of Karl Marx, outlining some of the fundamental aspects of Marxist theory as well as their respective flaws, analyzing the real-world application of Marxist theory, and ending with some speculation on the appeal of his views and why they persist even in the modern era.”

PRESENTER VIDEO SESSION RECORDING

 

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1:30 – 1:50pm Session Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

1:30-1:50pm / Virtual Room B – Moderator: Dr. Audrey Taylor

Presenter: Kiahna Garcia
Faculty Mentor: Audrey Taylor (Languages & Literature)
Title: An Outcast from a Monstrous Society: Viewing Monsters and Humans in Young Adult Literature and Film
Poster/Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Undergraduate
Abstract:In most literature and films, monsters serve as cautionary tales or reflect the collective anxieties of a society. However, in the young adult genre, monsters are portrayed with more humanizing qualities, while humans are revealed as the real monsters. This talk examines the changing relationship between monsters and humans in Y.A. works like Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, Emil Ferris’s graphic novel, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, and the animated film Shrek (2001).”

PRESENTER VIDEO SESSION RECORDING

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2:00 – 2:20pm Session Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

2:00-2:20pm / Virtual Room A – Moderator: Dr. Ryan Luna

Presenter: Alejandro Chavez
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mieke Titulaer (Wildlife Management)
Title: “Grassland Birds Community Early Response to a Chemical Shrub Removal Treatment”
Poster/Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Graduate
Abstract: “Grassland-obligate bird species (GOBS) are a group of specialized birds that live in pristine grasslands. In North America, these species are declining dramatically especially in their wintering grounds in the Chihuahuan desert grasslands. Habitat changes such as shrub encroachment are one of the causes for GOBS declines. We used a paired treatment-control design to conduct bird surveys in the winters of 2019 and 2020 in shrub-invaded areas before and after a chemical shrub removal treatment and open grassland control areas in a private property in Marfa, Texas. The objective of this work is to compare grassland bird populations and diversity indexes between the two habitat types in early stages of a shrub removal treatment. We performed 78 (800m) transects per strata from January 1st to February 28th, 2019 and 2020. We estimated bird density using distance sampling for species with more than 45 detections and effective diversity using Hill´s numbers. Our results show a greater abundance of GOBS in the control strata with little change after the restoration (control: 366 bird/km2, 95% CI: 345-412 birds/km2), treatment (35 birds/km2, 95% CI: 24-94 birds/km2). In contrast, shrub dependent species such as Black-throated sparrow decreased significantly after the treatment (p < 0.05). Effective number of species estimated was lower after the treatment in the shrub invaded site (2019: 54, SE = 8.36; 2020: 43, SE = 6.07). We expect to see an increase of GOBS in the treated sites as the restoration takes effect.”

PRESENTER VIDEO SESSION RECORDING

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2:30 – 2:50pm Session Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

2:30-2:50pm / Virtual Room A – Moderator: Dr. Ryan Luna

Presenter: Emily Card
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mieke Titulaer (Wildlife Management)
Title: “Impacts of Woody Plant Removal on Habitat Characteristics and Wintering Grassland Bird Communities in the Trans-Pecos, TX”
Poster/Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Graduate
Abstract: “Grassland birds are one of the most imperiled avian groups in North America, having experienced consistent and rapid declines over the past half-century. Habitat loss, caused by agriculture expansion, urbanization, desertification, and non-native species invasion, is a major factor attributed to these population declines. Approximately 90% of migratory grassland bird species that breed on North America’s Great Plains spend the winter in the Chihuahuan Desert. However, the encroachment of woody plants into grasslands in this ecoregion degrades and changes suitable habitat into desert shrublands, contributing to the decline of grassland bird species. To evaluate how grassland birds respond to habitat restoration efforts, I am conducting bird and vegetation surveys on three ranches in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas that together contain three strata types: shrublands treated with herbicide to remove woody plants, shrubby untreated plots, and grasslands. The objectives of this project are to 1) estimate grassland bird abundance in all three strata types, and 2) assess how treatment for woody plant removal influences habitat characteristics and the structure of wintering bird communities. This information will help us understand if woody plant removal is an effective way to restore grassland ecosystems and wintering grassland bird assemblages in the Trans-Pecos. In addition, we will be able to track changes in vegetation structure and composition to better predict the abundance and distribution of wintering grassland birds in this region.”

PRESENTER VIDEO SESSION RECORDING

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3:00 – 3:20pm Session Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

3:00-3:20pm / Virtual Room A – Moderator: Dr. Sally Roche

Presenter: Sebastian Correa
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sally Roche (Advanced Composition – English)
Title: Violence in the United States: Are Video Games the Issue?
Poster/Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Undergraduate
Abstract: “This research paper began with the question about whether or not video games are to blame for an increase in violent crime.  This presentation will discuss the claim and evidence condemning video games as the leading cause of violent crimes, the psychology of violent crimes, the evidence supporting my claim on media as a whole, and a solution for managing content in media.  I conducted qualitative research to discover that this question about video games contributing to violence can be expanded into questions about how other kinds of media contribute to the increase in violence.   Many of my sources reinforced the hypothesis that violent crime among teens is more than just a problem stemming from video games and can be rooted in modern media culture.  I was also able to find what could be a viable cause for the spike in violent crime: the deterioration of the mental health of individuals.  This research question is important because it can help us understand why adolescents become involved in violent crimes. By defaulting to video games as a cause, we ignore the real causes and then make no meaningful change in reducing violence in adolescents. “

PRESENTER VIDEO SESSION RECORDING

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3:30 – 3:50pm Session Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

3:30-3:50pm / Virtual Room A – Moderator: Dr. Sally Roche

Presenter: Monica Cardenas
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sally Roche (Advanced Composition – English)
Title: Significance of Parent-Child Reading
Poster/Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Undergraduate
Abstract: “What is the significance of parent-child reading? All children come from different homes with different experiences and they enter school at different levels.  My research question asked if children’s success depends not on educational background but on parents’ actions.  Using a qualitative research method, I found that most sources documented how parents can determine children’s success by providing their first literary exposure and experiences of oral language.  As Ece Demir-Lira et al. noted, everyday conversations are limited compared to literature-focused discussions (2019). Reading at home can provide children opportunities to discuss, connect, and ask questions about books.  Shared reading with parents can focus on enjoyment, as Levy & Preece mention, free of pressure or judgment (2018) which helps motivate children to read. Parents can model to show purpose and enjoyment. Parents can also serve as a positive influence by recommending texts and aiding in access. Most research concluded that parents are a significant influence in their children’s reading; however, there were some different perspectives and approaches.  Head Zauche et al. stated that social economic status plays a role in language exposure and the “single most important action a parent can take . . . is to talk with their children”; they argued that books are not necessary for academic success (2017).  My presentation claims that children’s success does depend on parents’ actions, specifically the ways parents provide their children with meaningful, purposeful, authentic literature experiences at home.”

PRESENTER VIDEO SESSION RECORDING

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4:00 – 4:20pm Session Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

4:00-4:20pm / Virtual Room A – Moderator: Dr. Chris Herrera

Presenter: Amanda Evans
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chris Herrera (Health and Human Performance)
Title: Motivation in Gen Z High School Athletes
Poster/Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Graduate
Abstract: “Motivation among athletes at all levels to push until they are successful is being questioned throughout the entire country. With so much information and instant answers at the fingertips of this generation, motivation has become an increasing problem for all generations of athletes, especially Gen Z. Research has shown successful techniques for motivation for Gen X and Gen Y, which can potentially be applied to Gen Z. These techniques apply not only in sports, but in school and life as well. With observation and information gathered from Gen Z student-athletes in high school, this study aims to observe and gather information through surveying, electronic journaling, and focus groups. The results will help coaching staffs at all divisions find motivation techniques for their Gen Z athletes. Student-athlete in the study will also implement a motivational model—the 4 M’s of Motivation—to help achieve success by setting mission, move, momentum, and mindset. The 4 M’s can help student athletes get a sense of control over their actions, so they can achieve success.”

PRESENTER VIDEO SESSION RECORDING


4:00-4:20pm / Virtual Room B – Moderator: Dr. Chris Ritzi

Presenter: Isabella Garcia
Faculty Mentor: Dr Crystal Graham (Biology)
Title: The Reproductive Investment of Native Versus Invasive Cane Toads (Rhinella marina).
Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Undergraduate
Abstract: “Invasive species have profound impacts in four main areas: competition, hybridization, predation, and the spread of parasites and diseases. This research investigated the life history of native versus invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina, formerly Bufo marinus), to determine whether invasive populations invest more in reproduction so that they can effectively spread and colonize faster. Comparisons between native versus invasive clutch sizes and egg sizes were conducted to investigate whether invasive cane toads alter their resource allocations to invest in more significant numbers of smaller eggs, allowing the species to colonize and spread more rapidly. Results showed significantly higher numbers of eggs in invasive (Australia, Bermuda, and Hawaii) versus native (Guyana and French Guiana) female cane toads; however, there was no difference in egg size between populations. Findings from this research showed varied outcomes from the hypothesis, as results correlated to show significantly higher numbers of eggs in invasive ranges. However, there was a significant finding that differed from what was proposed in egg size comparison between populations, suggesting that there is less focus on egg size than on egg number in the competition for fitness under stressful conditions.”

PRESENTER VIDEO SESSION RECORDING

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4:30 – 4:50pm Session Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

4:30-4:50pm / Virtual Room A – Moderator: Dr. Chris Herrera

Presenter: LaErica Barcelona
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chris Herrera (Health and Human Performance)
Title: Developing Female Strength and Conditioning Camp During COVID 
Poster/Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Graduate
Abstract: “The special project I chose to undertake was to develop a Strength and Conditioning (SAC) Camp targeted to incoming 7th – 12th grade female athletes who are feeding into Katy High School.  Due to the complexities and restrictions of the COVID-19 Virus, there were many safety precautions that needed to be made.  
Katy High School always has a large turnout for SAC Camp each year.  Each Summer, approximately 950 athletes register for the six-week camp.  This includes males and females in grades 7-12.  Due to the large volume, the sessions are targeted to various age groups.  However, in the past, males and females were completing the same workouts.  The volleyball players were doing the same lifts and outside stations that the football players were doing.  I felt the females athlete needed to have more sport specific and overall core training than the males.   
The Girls Coordinator and I recruited our feeder junior high school coaches to work the camp alongside the high school female sport coaches.  This allowed the JH Coaches to learn the “Katy System,” which they could implement in their athletic programs.  We had six rotating stations where the athletes were divided up by primary sports and ended with a 30-minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) session, which integrated all groups into one.  Combining the groups together at the end helped build camaraderie between athletes in all female sports at Katy High School.   
The first female athlete targeted SAC camp was a huge success.  Enrollment has already begun for Summer 2021.

PRESENTER VIDEO SESSION RECORDING


4:30-4:50pm / Virtual Room B – Moderator: Dr. Chris Ritzi

Name: Sydney Turner
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Crystal Graham (Biology)
Title: Phenotypic Adaptations that Promote Invasion Success in Cane Toads (Rhinella marina)
Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Undergraduate
Abstract: Invasive species present many phenotypic changes reflecting selection pressures operating on them during the process of invasion. One very well know model invader is the cane toad and the morphological changes seen in invading populations. Changes in the hind limbs specifically are studied to account for their ever-increasing rate of range expansion in Australia. Here, we study the morphological differences in the hind limbs of toadlets bred under standard conditions in the laboratory but sourced from replicate native and invasive populations. Parent toads were collected from the invasive populations (Bermuda, Hawaii, Australia) and two native populations (French Guiana and Guyana). Toads were bred in the lab to produce 8 clutches of invasive tadpoles and 5 clutches of native tadpoles. Tadpoles were then reared into metamorphs and preserved for measurements. 160 invasive and 88 native toadlets were measured; specifically, the body length, femur, tibia-fibula, tarsus, and 4th metatarsus to investigate limb length relative to body size. Results showed that invasive toadlets had significantly longer femurs than the native toadlets. No significant differences were found between populations in any other aspects of hind limb morphology (tibia-fibula, tarsus, and metatarsus).”

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5:00 – 5:20pm Session Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

5:00-5:20pm / Virtual Room B – Moderator: Dr. Sally Roche

Presenter: Skyler Scott 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sally Roche (Advanced Composition – English)
Title: The Best Methods to Prevent Memory Loss’”
Presentation: Pre-recorded video presentation with live follow-up – Undergraduate
Abstract:Memory loss, most commonly linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, can be developed by any human regardless of genetic history. Although scientists and researchers have found that there is no guaranteed way to prevent memory loss, various methods can help reduce our chance of developing memory loss. This research presentation investigates the best methods to prevent memory loss, provides a biological background, and presents methods for preventing memory loss.  Medically and scientifically based scholarly sources and case studies were used for this investigation. These medical and scientific sources and case studies discussed topics related to hippocampus health, flavonoid intake, physical activity, and mental activity.  The hippocampus is the portion of the brain that is the center of emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous system and flavonoids are plant chemicals found in most fruits and vegetables that are linked to health benefits.  The sources and case studies found a strong correlation between a healthy hippocampus and the prevention of memory loss. Although there is no specific method to guarantee our safety against memory loss, scientists and researchers have found that an increase in flavonoid packed foods, clean eating, maintaining physical health by exercising, and keeping an active mental life are the best methods to prevent memory loss. Extensive research concludes that an overall healthy lifestyle maintains and increases the overall health of the hippocampus.”

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5:30 – 5:50pm Session Presentations – Student Information and Abstracts

5:30-5:50pm
There are no presentations currently scheduled for this time period.

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