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  • Xenophobia in Rome and how it affected the early Christians

    Dowling, Abigail; Maylock, Nicholas (2021)
    One thing that everyone believes they know about ancient Rome is that the Christians faced persecution during this time. The treatment, or mistreatment, of the early Christians stems from a larger wave of xenophobia occurring in Rome in and around the first century. Remnants of this wave are present in the writings of the time, despite the common conception that once the Romans conquered a people, those people would be effortlessly absorbed by the Empire. This common misconception is spurred on by the Pax Romana, or Roman Peace, a term referring to the time of relative peace under the Roman Empire. The peace was held with military control and taxation of the Roman territories. Despite being at peace, Roman citizens, especially the ones living in the city of Rome, thought of themselves as better than the provincial citizens and outsiders. This Roman Xenophobia encapsulated dislike not just towards foreign groups, but also foreign ideologies. This paper will explore how xenophobia in Rome affected different groups, and where it was present in literary works. In addition, it will take a look at Christianity as seen by the Romans and show how it falls into the category of xenophobia and not religious persecution.
  • Trust and Perceptions of Autonomous Vehicles in Latin America

    Saravia, Antonio; Marroquin, Andres; Sadd, Luke (2021)
    Beliefs or perceptions about new technologies can affect their adoption and impact on economic progress. In this research project we examine if horizontal or interpersonal trust is associated with positive perceptions of autonomous vehicles (AVs). Using a representative survey from Latin America, we find that that is, indeed, the case for that region. We also find that individuals who are male, favor globalization, support foreign investment, and approve of democracy are more likely to perceive AVs positively. Our results are consistent with the literature on the ethics of artificial intelligence claiming that the factors that determine horizontal trust can be mapped into factors that determine trust in automation and AVs.
  • NGOs in Haiti: How Greed Feasts on the Country of Haiti

    Bennett, Stephanie; Bartlett, Emily (2021)
    This paper will examine the effects of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Haiti. After the earthquake in 2010, there was a spike in the number of NGOs in Haiti, and many of those NGOs remain in Haiti even a decade after the natural disaster. NGOs have a strong influence over the lives of many Haitians, and many NGOs profit a great deal from their presence in Haiti. In order to examine how NGOs created such a strong foothold in Haiti, this paper will analyze Haiti�s history and the racist narrative of Haiti that �more developed� countries use to keep Haiti under their control. Next, this paper will examine specific NGOs such as Fonkoze and Partners In Health in order to understand why they came to Haiti, how they operate, and why they are still in Haiti after so long. By examining the legacy of foreign involvement in Haiti, as well as the influence of NGOs currently in Haiti, this paper seeks to understand the presence of NGOs in Haiti and offer a replacement of NGOs with Haitian-led initiatives.
  • Small Drug Molecules that Resemble Bacterial Signaling Molecules Act as Competitive Inhibitors with Intramolecular Communication Signals at Bacterial Receptor Sites

    Goode, David; Hensel, Linda; Kaimari, Abdulraheem; Malik, Samad; Patel, Prachi (2021)
    Contemporary studies have discovered that bacteria are multilingual, having both intraspecies and interspecies communication capabilities. Through quorum sensing, bacteria quantify their density and unanimously agree on carrying out a certain response (Bassler 2009). Biofilms are virulence factors that form once a bacterial quorum is reached within the host, preventing the host�s immune system from detecting and ultimately eradicating these pathogenic bacteria (Hensel 2020). This study tests certain drugs that could potentially prevent successful bacterial communication, as biofilms impact various industries including medicine, dentistry, and agriculture for years (Urry et al. 2017). The Crystal Violet assays reveal that Glu-8, Gly-8, Gly-30, and Sar-6 drugs had 84.84, 71.48, 62.48, and 58.23 average percent inhibitions in B. subtilis respectively. Glu-8 had 37.20 average percent biofilm inhibition in S. mutans, while Glu-8 in S. aureus was a major biofilm accelerator in the second trial (-31.63%) and inhibitor in the first (29.33%). None of the drugs demonstrated biofilm inhibition in the Congo Red assays. Similarly, none of the tested drugs demonstrated any bacteriostatic effects when added to their bacterial cultures in the Disk Diffusion plates. Likewise, none of the drugs in the Use-Dilution plates were bactericidal. Although Glu-8 in B. subtilis and S. mutans and Sar-6 in B. subtilis were consistent biofilm inhibitors, further Crystal Violet trials are necessary to determine their biofilm inhibition ranges, and to determine whether Glu-8 is an inhibitor or accelerator in S. aureus. Accordingly, the combination of Glycine (Gly) and o-Bromobenzoic acid (bromine attached to the benzene functional group) resulted in an effective biofilm inhibitor without any bacteriostatic or bactericidal effects. Therefore, Glu-69 and Gly-69 should be tested in the future to analyze the effect of two bromines on a benzene ring. By doing so, certain functional groups could be characterized by their success in mimicking bacterial signals and ultimately inhibiting intraspecies communication. The aim is also to test Gly-10 to confirm that bromine attached to a benzene ring in the drug is what causes successful mimicking of endogenous intraspecific ligands, and not the bromine alone.
  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Entrepreneurial Well-Being: Examining Psychological Capital

    Forrester, Juanita; Waldman, Isaac (2021)
    For entrepreneurs, the global pandemic that swept through the United States in 2020 introduced a new set of uncertainties and challenges. Stay-at-home restrictions took a toll on the economy, and a drastic decline in consumer spending forced many small businesses to shut down or pivot to adapt to a changing society. This study seeks to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the subjective well-being of surviving entrepreneurs across several sectors of business. We focus specifically on the role of psychological capital, which includes hope, resilience, optimism, and efficacy, as a personal asset that supports entrepreneurs� overall well-being in the face of ongoing obstacles. We predict that for entrepreneurs, psychological capital mediates the relationship between pandemic-related stressors and subjective well-being. We explore these predictions by surveying a sample of local entrepreneurs. Preliminary results and implications for entrepreneurial well-being will be discussed.

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