Now showing items 1-20 of 11278

    • Alma - OAI Test C

      Jones, Chuckles; Wallace, Wally (2022-10-01)
      This is a test of the emergency broadcast system.
    • Alma - OAI Test #2

      Smith, Smithers (2022-08-14)
      Disco Inferno and the Chocolate Factory
    • Alma - OAI Test Uno

      Doe, Johnathan (2022-09-14)
    • Effect of Calcitriol on the Immunomodulatory Properties and Hyaluronic Acid Metabolic Pathways of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells

      Braley, Katherine; School of Medicine
      Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are non-hematopoietic stem cells which have remarkable immunomodulatory and tissue reparative properties, sparking clinical interest in their use in regenerative medicine. MSC-mediated immunomodulation occurs primarily via production of soluble factors like indolamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), programmed death ligand-1 (PDL-1), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), among others which function to inhibit effector immune cell function while promoting regulatory subtypes. Our lab focuses on the role of hyaluronic acid (HA) metabolism and signaling through HA receptor, CD44, in MSC’s ability to modulate the immune system and promote tissue repair. Data from our lab has demonstrated alterations in HA metabolism, production, and signaling in MSCs that have been primed with an inflammatory signal. Emerging research has suggested that calcitriol, the biologically active form of Vitamin D, may modulate soluble factor production by MSCs in response to inflammation. Taken together, we then hypothesized that calcitriol may also augment HA metabolic pathways. We utilized secretomes from Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB)-activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to simulate the inflammatory microenvironment. In PBMC supernatant-activated MSCs we saw a consistent upregulation in gene expression of CD44, HA synthase isoform HAS-3, IDO-1, and PDL-1. Preliminary data suggests possible alterations in the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid secreted by activated MSCs when treated with calcitriol and PBMC supernatant when visualized by gel electrophoresis, though further replicates are needed. xi On its own, calcitriol was not able to modulate the alterations seen in HA metabolism in activated MSCs, as there was no statistically significant change in HAS3 gene expression between calcitriol and vehicle at 24-hour time-points. Though, calcitriol was shown to decrease total HA production in activated MSCs, as well as partially restore high molecular weight HA in PBMC supernatant- activated MSCs. Calcitriol was not demonstrated to meaningfully alter gene expression of IDO-1 or PDL-1 compared to PBMC supernatant-treated cells, suggesting that calcitriol does not affect MSC activation by inflammatory stimuli. However, optimization of the calcitriol delivery process and exposure time is necessary. Preliminary results following optimization of calcitriol dose and timing demonstrate a significant alteration in expression of HAS3, though further replicates are needed to confirm this effect. Additional studies investigating the effects of secretomes from MSCs treated with calcitriol on immune cell activity, and co-culturing experiments between MSCs and immune cells in the presence of calcitriol may provide more insight into the role of calcitriol and its effect on the immunomodulatory properties of MSCs.
    • Nursing Student Perceptions of Presence in a Virtual Learning Environment: A Qualitative Description Study

      Thrift, Jason R; Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
      Multifaceted approaches to learning are used for educating student nurses. One common teaching modality in nursing education, simulation, provides hands-on experiences in a safe environment to prepare student nurses for professional roles. High quality simulation standards recommend an engaging immersive experience, with physical, emotional, and conceptual fidelity to clinical practice. Presence is the perception of being there in a simulation as if it were real. Studies have reported improved learning outcomes with increased sense of presence. A simulation modality seldom used in nursing education is virtual reality simulation (VR-Sim) a three dimensional, immersive experience. VR-Sim with head mounted visual and haptic enhancements has the potential to increase presence and improve learning. Student perceptions of presence in VR-Sim is unknown. The purpose of this study was to explore student nurses’ perceptions of presence during simulation. A qualitative description design included a VR-Sim of a patient needing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Each participant (N=11) performed two repetitions in the VR-Sim followed by debriefing and a guided interview. The conceptual framework for the study was informed by extant literature including theoretical frameworks. Two research questions guided the study to 1) explore student perceptions of presence in VR-Sim and 2) align findings with current theories of simulation and presence. Braun and Clarke’s (2006) steps for theme development and Saldaña’s (2016) coding informed the data analysis. For Research Question 1, three themes and eight subthemes described participants perceptions of being there in the VR-Sim environment. Findings showed all participants reported experiencing presence during the simulation (Theme: What Brought Me In, What Brought Me Out), but glitches, feel of compressions, and sensing the real physical environment outside the simulation interrupted the experience of presence (Theme: Issues in VR-Sim). Additionally, participants described the experience of learning CPR with the VR-Sim (Theme: Higher Level of Learning). For Research Question 2, the main constructs from the extant theories aligned with the perceptions of participants including ideas about presence, fidelity, individual factors, learning outcomes, and collaboration. The study conceptual model provided a sound framework for continued research of the efficacy of VR-Sim in nursing education.
    • Predictive Analysis of the Immunosuppressive Functionality of Human Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells as Cellular Therapeutics

      lipat, ariel joy mann; School of Medicine
      Human Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSCs) of bone marrow carry immunomodulatory and regenerative properties and are being tested as a cellular therapy for inflammatory and degenerative disorders. They are involved with the paracrine secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and the promotion of anti-inflammation in tissue microenvironments by dampening inflammatory T-cells. However, the mechanism of action of MSCs on T-cells has yet to be understood. Here we aim to identify the pattern of chemokine secretion in human bone marrow MSCs and their regulation and functions on T-cell responses and immune suppression. MSCs were derived from healthy human bone marrow aspirates. MSC secretome was collected systematically under defined cell densities and subjected to multiplex secretome analysis with or without exogenous stimulation to identify inherently secreted MSC chemokines. MSC derived chemokines’ immunosuppressive role on T-cells was further determined with a PBMC and MSC coculture and siRNA chemokine transfection strategies. MSC secretome was further tested on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) derived from blood and early phosphorylation of signaling molecules in T-cells were specifically analyzed utilizing PhosflowTM technology in flow cytometry. Of thirty tested chemokines nine (CXCL16, CCL2, CXCL6, CCL7, CXCL1, CCL13, CCL5 CXCL2 and CCL1) are secreted inherently by MSCs suggesting that MSC potency and immunosuppressive potential can be determined by the presence of these chemokines. In addition, MSC mediated blocking of T cell proliferation predominantly inversely correlates with chemokines. Knockdown of chemokines have demonstrated that MSC sourced inherent chemokines do not actively play a role in T cell suppression and thus are the bystander predictors of T cell suppression. The present analysis of MSC’s matrix chemokine responses can be deployed in the advanced potency determination of MSCs. As well, little difference was seen between chemokine levels from intestinal organoid secretome samples from IBD and non-IBD cultures. Seven signaling molecules [PLCγ1, PLCγ2, PKCα, JNK, P38 MAPK, Erk ½, pAkt (pS473)] were analyzed for phosphorylation events in T-cells when stimulated with MSC secretome. Our results provided evidence that MSC derived chemokines and secretome predicts T-cell suppression. These mechanistic understandings will help us to improve MSC based cellular therapy.
    • A Comparison of SUMOylation in HK1 and BL41 Cell Lines

      Suarez, Persia; School of Medicine
      Nearly 96% of the population is infected with Epstein Barr virus (EBV), a gammaherpesvirus that results in a life-long infection. EBV lytically infects B lymphocytes and epithelial cells, and it establishes latency in B lymphocytes. Latent EBV infection often evades the host’s immune system; however, the presence of the EBV genome in certain cancers suggests that the virus is associated with approximately 200,000 new cases of cancer, specifically Burkitt’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL), and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), each year. One cellular process commonly dysregulated in cancers, including EBV-positive lymphomas, is the post-translational modification of lysine residues by the Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO), and SUMOylation inhibitors have been proposed to have potential anti-cancer properties. Our recent work focused on the small molecule inhibitor ML-792, which decreases global levels of SUMOylated proteins in EBV-positive and EBV-negative B lymphocytes. Similar experiments repeated with paired EBV-negative and EBV-positive nasopharyngeal cell line HK1 revealed that ML-792 only inhibited SUMOylation processes in the EBV-positive epithelial cells and not in their EBV-negative counterparts. We hypothesized that EBV may differentially modulate SUMOylation processes in epithelial cells when compared with B lymphocytes. This study aims to elaborate on the role of EBV on SUMOylation in epithelial cells. Paired primary B lymphocytes and epithelial cells were examined to determine the expression of the SUMO machinery. Results showed that EBV infection coincided with increased levels of SUMO-modified proteins and the SUMO-activating enzyme (SAE1 and SAE2), but not the SUMO-conjugating enzyme (Ubc9). Global levels of SUMOylated proteins increased in EBV-positive HK1 cells when compared with their EBV-negative counterparts. However, RNA and protein levels of the SUMO machinery varied greatly, which led us to ask if the confluence of the epithelial cells affected EBV-mediated changes in cells. Results demonstrated that RNA levels of the SUMO machinery significantly increased in sub-confluent EBV-positive HK1 cells, but these changes were not as apparent at the protein level. EBV-medicated changes in the SUMO machinery were more apparent at the protein level in confluent cells. To mimic a more physiological environment, EBV-negative and EBV-positive HK1 cells were also grown using a modified air-liquid interface method to model the human airway. Results showed that the presence of EBV corresponded with increased levels of the SUMO-activating enzyme and the SUMO-conjugating enzyme. Furthermore, the pattern of SUMOylated proteins changed in EBV-positive cells when compared with their EBV-negative counterparts. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that EBV does manipulate the SUMO machinery in epithelial cells, but not to the same extent as it does in lymphocytes. Therefore, additional studies are needed to better understand the effect of EBV on global levels of SUMOylated proteins in epithelial cells, which could identify if SUMOylation inhibitors have a therapeutic potential in the treatment of EBV-positive epithelial cancers.
    • Persistence as Resistance: A Phenomenological Narrative Analysis of the Africultural Coping and Motivational Strategies of African American College Students

      Scott, Miraca Joann; Tift College of Education
      Despite decades of institutional efforts to mitigate African American college student first-year attrition, this population continues to have the lowest graduation rates compared to other races and ethnicities (National Center for Education Statistics, 2021). Historically, the collegiate first and fourth years have received more attention from student success researchers due to their direct connection to institutional enrollment and graduation rates (Gahagan & Hunter, 2006); however, more recent research has indicated that the collegiate sophomore year poses the most significant threat to student retention and graduation rates (Perez, 2020). This qualitative study explored how racial-cultural identity salience, culture-specific coping behaviors, and motivation influenced how Afrocentric African American college students avoided college departure to persist to junior year successfully. Framed within an Afrocentric theoretical framework, a phenomenological narrative methodology was employed to assess students’ perceptions of which coping behaviors and motivational factors helped them overcome challenges experienced during their sophomore year at a southern public, four-year predominantly white institution. Six participants were recruited using criterion and snowball sampling techniques. Data analysis revealed 22 subthemes which were consolidated into six emergent themes: 1) Achievement-oriented Motivation, 2) Soundproofing, 3) Centripetal Autonomy, 4) Centripetal Grouping, 5) Self-Care, and 6) Self-Monitoring. Findings suggest an inextricable link between Black sophomores’ need for intraracial connection, the salience of their racial and cultural identity as African American or Black, and their community-centered motivations for persevering during their sophomore year. Implications for practice include establishing wrap-around support for African American sophomore students, championing and amplifying Black sophomore voices, and integrating culturally-aligned theory into higher education policy. For a representative body of literature, researchers are encouraged to abandon using theoretical models that embody Euro-American values when studying Black students. Implications of this study suggest future studies should be positioned using an Afrocentric theoretical framework to illuminate the needs of African American students.
    • No Longer Remaining Silent: Defining, Addressing, and Exploring Silence Experienced Among Black Female Clergy

      Mitchell, Pamela Shantel; McAfee School of Theology
      This research project is designed to explore a “silence and silencing” that appears to happen to Black Female Clergy serving in ministerial leadership in Protestant Black Churches. Silence covers a range of topics: sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny to name a few and little, if anything is ever said to address these behaviors toward them. Each participant has been seminary trained, licensed, and/or ordained in their denomination and currently or has served in leadership in a Protestant Black church. There is not adequate literature available to explain the gap between Black Female Clergy completing seminary and pursuing senior leadership positions in protestant Black churches. This research study questions whether the silence and silent treatment Black Female Clergy receives serving as pastoral leaders is correlated with this gap. This research study conducted uses a peer group interview method and will take place via Zoom and lasts approximately three (3) hours. Participants received pseudonyms to protect their identity and to increase their potential to openly discuss their individual experiences serving in protestant Black churches. This interview was both audio and video recorded, and the results were transcribed for analysis. Six participants anonymously attended the virtual session and shared subjective experiences with serving as Black Female Clergy in their respective congregations. Participants openly shared some situations they had previously remained “silent” about. The participants were allowed the opportunity to reflect on the instances of silence and how it felt to share among other Black Female Clergy with similar experiences. The feedback from this interview has identified opportunities for pastoral care for Black Female Clergy and StrongBlackWomen in Protestant Black Church congregations.
    • Accumulation and Toxicity of Mercury-Cyanide Complexes

      Ford IV, Earl Gilmore; School of Medicine
      Mercury is a heavy metal toxicant found in numerous occupational and environmental settings. A major source of mercury pollution in environmental settings comes from the occupational use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). ASGM utilizes elemental mercury (Hg0) for extraction of gold from ore, which leads to Hg0-contaminated tailings. These tailings are often reprocessed with cyanide (‾CN) to extract residual gold. Hg0 reacts with ‾CN to form mercury-cyanide (Hg(CN)) complexes, which are released into the environment with discarded tailings. These complexes create numerous environmental and health problems. To assess the disposition of Hg(CN)2 complexes in mammalian systems, wistar rats were injected with 0.5 mol/kg mercury chloride (HgCl2) or Hg(CN)2. Each injection solution contained radioactive mercury ([203Hg2+]) and/or radioactive cyanide ([14C]-NaCN). After 24 h, animals were euthanized and organ samples were collected for determination of Hg(CN)2 content and for histological analyses. To assess the disposition of Hg(CN)2 complexes in an aquatic organism, zebrafish (Danio rerio) were exposed to various concentrations of Hg(CN)2 and accumulation in both whole fish and specific organs was measured. The current data show that the disposition of Hg(CN)2 in zebrafish is similar to that when rats were exposed to HgCl2. Interestingly, when rats were exposed to NaCN alone, the uptake was significantly less than that of rats exposed to Hg(CN)2. Experiments using adult zebrafish showed that Hg(CN)2 accumulates readily in fish. Zebrafish embryos exposed to Hg(CN)2 experienced alterations in developmental processes. The current data provide important information about the handling of Hg(CN)2 complexes in mammalian systems and aquatic organisms.
    • Facilitating Transformation Through Narrative Stories at Lakewood Church of Hope

      Burke, Gary; McAfee School of Theology
      This project studied the impact of narrative stories on the life of certain church members at the Lakewood Church of Hope. This unconventional method of ministering to the Members and Guests of LCH to the Lakewood Heights Community will help improve the community's overall spiritual well-being. Through this research, this researcher intended to build stronger spiritual relationships in the Lakewood Heights Community. Initial interviews were conducted with eight men as potential volunteers for this project. Of the eight men, six volunteered to participate in the study. Pre-interviews and post-interviews were recorded and coded to look for keywords and terms. The desired outcome is that the language and terms used at the beginning of the project interviews were expanded in the final interviews as a result of the weekly sessions. The meetings were observed and noted as the volunteers responded to the activities over the course of six weeks. I gave more attention to the language used over the six-week timeline. The results were coded the results and examined for changes throughout the project. In the post-interview, with the hope that they could teach their stories considering the story of redemption, they were asked what their findings or lessons learned in relation to their experiences from this project were. This project opened a door for further research and maybe new methods. The men that chose to be a part of this series have done more than enough to make this a great experience. Many of them were rather reluctant to share their journey. While the men may not have been ready to dive deep into their emotions, they could have been more inspired to uncover things that they had forced themselves to bury with more opportunities of building trust with one another
    • Factors Associated with Cardiovascular Disease Risks in Black Women Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) or Coronary Bypass Graft (CABG) Procedures: A Retrospective Correlational Study

      Sutton, Paula Renee; Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
      Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death among adults in the United States (US) with a high prevalence among Black women. Black women have higher incidences of known CVD risks and higher CVD-related mortality than women of other races. To reduce CVD risks, factors associated with CVD risks should be investigated. Although some sociodemographic, biophysiological or physical, and psychological factors have been found to be associated with CVD risks, the associations of these factors with each CVD risk have been rarely examined in Black women. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of CVD risks (smoking, obesity, HTN, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and alcohol use) and the associations of sociodemographic (i.e., age and health insurance payor), biophysiological/physical (i.e., metabolic/infectious/autoimmune [MIAs] conditions [kidney disease, thyroid disease, hepatitis, and systemic lupus erythematous] and antihypertensive/antidiabetic/lipid-lowering medication use), and psychological (i.e., depression) factors with each of the CVD risks in Black women who had percutaneous coronary intervention or coronary artery bypass graft procedures. In this retrospective, correlational study, variable data were collected from a convenience sample of 137 Black women (mean age: 64 years) based on electronic health records (EHRs) of a large healthcare system. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression using the Enter method were used to analyze the data and address the purpose of the study. Participants had a mean of 3.6 total CVD risks. There was high prevalence of hypertension (95.6%), hyperlipidemia (95.6%), and obesity (59.1%). Those with MIAs (p = .010) or on lipid-lowering medications (p = .020) were less likely to smoke. Participants on antidiabetic medication were more likely to be obese (p = .013). Older age was associated with hypertension (p = .024). Antidiabetic medication use was associated with diabetes (p <.001) and lipid-lowering medication was associated with hyperlipidemia (p = .029). No factors were associated with alcohol use. Further studies are needed to examine the relationships of those factors used in this study in larger sample studies with prospective, longitudinal study designs. Then, development and delivery of interventions targeting those factors affecting CVD risks are needed for Black women with multiple CVD risks.
    • The Impact of Time on Complicated Bereavement in Individuals Bereaved by Suicide Death

      Blackshear, Mindie M.; College of Professional Advancement
      Grieving is a natural process all people go through. However, the grieving process can become halted and unhealthy. This complicated bereavement can be a result of losing a loved one to suicide death. The goal of this study was to grasp the impact time since death has on the severity of complicated bereavement developed by those suffering from the death of a loved one via suicide. Utilizing the Prolonged Grief-13 Revised (PG-13-R) assessment and sample groups divided by time since death, an ANOVA was performed on the data to compare the between-group variance. Results of the ANOVA was utilized to understand the impact of time on complicated bereavement in people bereaved by suicide. The results of this data analysis will be reported and discussed. Further, implications and recommendations for on future research and upon the clinical field will be expanded upon.
    • Ablation of Dorsomedial Striatum Patch Compartment Results in Modification to Reward-Driven Behaviors in Rats

      Ahn, Jamin Paul; School of Medicine
      The striatum is a neural structure that plays a critical role in cognitive functions, behavioral decision-making, and reward generation. The striatum exhibits a heterogeneous composition, containing neurons belonging to the patch compartment—which is thought to be involved in habitual reward-related behaviors—surrounded by neurons belonging to the matrix compartment—which is thought to be involved in adaptive motor control. Additionally, the striatum is further subdivided into the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) and the dorsomedial striatum (DMS), each with their own patch and matrix compartments. The DMS has been associated with goal-oriented behavior seen during the initial stages of addiction. Conversely, the DLS has been associated with habitual behaviors seen during late-stage addictive behaviors that are inflexible. It is thought that drug addiction is initially mediated by the DMS before DLS activity becomes predominant. Previously, it has been shown that the patch compartment of the DLS is necessary for development of habitual behavior, but the role of the patch compartment of the DMS is less clear. Our study intends to demonstrate that selective ablation of DMS patch compartment neurons results in a significant impact on the initial development of reward-driven behaviors during the early stages of drug seeking behavior. Since patch compartment neurons express a high level of mu-opioid receptors compared to the surrounding matrix, we used dermorphin-saporin to target patch compartment neurons in the DMS and DLS for ablation. Following infusion in the DMS or DLS with dermorphin-saporin or vehicle-only infusions, rats were trained to self-administer cocaine on a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, starting with fixed ratio of 1 and ending with a fixed ratio of 5. Ablation of the patch compartment of the DMS resulted in an increase in early-stage lever pressing, suggesting that the DMS patch compartment contributes to reward-driven behaviors in a way that offers support for the parallel model of DLS/DMS activity. Future studies may investigate the relationship between DMS and DLS patch/matrix compartments through measuring or inducing activity in the DMS patch while the animal undergoes behavioral training. Methods for such a study may include optogenetics, Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs), or microelectrode arrays.
    • Manipulation of the SUMO Activating Enzyme (SAE) by the Viral Oncoprotein, LMP1

      McKinnon, Ashton Taylor; School of Medicine
      As a ubiquitous virus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infects 95% of the global population. Although typically asymptomatic, its latency has been shown to cause a variety of different types of cancers, such as Burkitt’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Latent Membrane Protein-1 (LMP1) has been shown to be the principle oncoprotein of EBV by facilitating dysregulation of many pathways through both direct interactions and downstream modulation. This project focuses on the direct interactions of LMP1 with the SUMOylation process. SUMOylation is characterized by the addition of a Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) to a target protein. This helps to facilitate cellular growth and proliferation, protein stabilization and turnover, amongst other cellular processes. We hypothesize that LMP1 directly manipulates the SUMO Activating Enzyme/SUMO E1 (SAE) through a variety of mechanisms. This project investigates the interactions of SAE and LMP1 utilizing immunoprecipitations. Our results show that SAE modulation occurs through interactions in a C-Terminal Activating Region (CTAR) -2 dependent manner. Another aspect is understanding the effect LMP1 has on SAE stabilization. This is done by treating LMP1-expressing cells and non-expressing cells with cycloheximide over a set time course. Western blot data shows a steady decrease in the amount of SAE present in non-LMP1-expressing cells, while SAE remains relatively stable in LMP1-expressing cells. Lastly, the lab is interested in how LMP1 affects protein trafficking. This utilizes immunofluorescence to tag proteins of interest in whole cells and visualize them using confocal microscopy. In addition, we use cellular compartmentalization to detect cytosolic and nuclear proteins in comparison to whole cell lysates. Immunofluorescence results show more SAE present in the cytosol of LMP1-expressing cells, while in negative counterparts, we see SAE primarily in the nucleus. This is confirmed in western blot data from compartmentalization experiments. Our findings suggest that LMP1 is capable of interacting with a variety of different proteins, including direct interactions with enzymes involved in the SUMOylation process, specifically SAE. Future work aims to elucidate how LMP1 can affect other enzymes in the SUMOylation process.
    • Finding Community and Connection in the Shadow of COVID-19 at Forest Hills Baptist Church Youth Group, Raleigh, North Carolina

      Pate, Kirby E; McAfee School of Theology
      The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world in dramatic and unexpected ways. Closures, cancelations, and quarantines altered our lives and the ways in which we viewed the world. The effects of this season had the greatest impact on our young people, who experienced increased levels of anxiety and isolation. In Church life, Youth Ministry programing and activities across the country were halted or significantly altered because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without the ability to host traditional programming, and the inability to provide a sense of belonging and connection through virtual activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the students in Youth Ministry programs became disengaged and disconnected from congregations life. When Churches were able to open their doors and resume regular ministry programming, the problems surrounding Youth Ministry and virtual platforms did not disappear. The Church was open, but young people were no longer showing up. As the world continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Youth Ministry and the Church are in need of programming and experiences that re-engage and welcome back students who no longer feel like they belong. This thesis explores the shifting cultural landscape of postmodernity and seeks to reimagine how to create community and connection among young people in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This project sought to create ministry practices that increased the perceived sense of belonging among students through the structured experience of visual art and storytelling. Five participants between the ages of fourteen and eighteen volunteered to participate by sharing their stories as an act of worship through visual art with the congregation at Forest Hill Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC during the Fall semester of 2022. This research project included six sessions that were designed for students to share their stories and create individual pieces of visual art. Once the six sessions where completed, the students shared their artwork with the congregation as an act of worship. Following the completion of the project each participant completed an individual questionnaire and participated in a group interview. The questions and interview were designed to determine if structured experiences could create ministry practices that increased student perceive sense of belonging within a congregation. The themes that emerged from the questionnaire and survey indicated that students who experienced safety, celebration, and intergenerational community.
    • James P. Wesberry Collection

      Wesberry, James P., 1906-1992
      Ten Hollinger boxes.
    • Coleman D. Clarke Papers

      Clarke, Coleman Daniel, 1911-1996
      1.25 Linear Feet. One box.
    • William Jones Carswell Collection

      Carswell, William Jones, 1902-1994
      3.75 linear feet in three full Hollinger boxes and two records center boxes.
    • Henry J. Stokes, Jr. Collection

      Stokes, Henry Jerome, Jr., 1910-1983
      2.5 Linear Feet. Two boxes of paper materials in decent condition.