2015 Participants

2015 SHCURS Participants

Original Research 

1. John B. Russell and Carolyn R. Simmons

Department: Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering

Title: Analysis of Aspertame in Diet Coke using Liquid-Liquid Extraction and HPLC

2. Jack Howard and Maddie LaForge

Department: Psychology

Title: What Contributes to Grit and Growth Mindset? 

3. Dylan Gardner and Harrison McNab

Department: Psychology

Title: Examining Fitness Extremists' Motivation for Exercising

4. Ashlea Wattenbe

Department: Psychology

Title: Self-Efficacy of Students: Goal Setting and Study Strategies

5. Jasmine Jones

Department: Psychology

Title: Identity Development

6. Abby Massengale

Department: Communication Arts

Title: Playing Like A Girl: Women's Sports and the Media

7. Josh Wimberly, LEAP SOC101 class. Presenters: Raneisha Andrews, Josh Griener-Hickey, James Abraham, Madeline Limber, Hayden Pritchard, and 

Sara Crinnion.

Department: Sociology

Title: Student Experiences of Transition to Spring Hill College

Persistence in college from first to second year is increasingly integral for successful completion of undergraduate studies.  Institutions have placed emphasis on engaging students in various ways to increase the likelihood of retaining students during this critical period. 
Understanding the initial transition period is vital to developing and fostering both interpersonal student characteristics, as well as, institutional policies, practices, and services.  This research project represents a qualitative exploration of the transition to a small, liberal arts college in Mobile, AL for 24 students enrolled in an Introduction to Sociology course paired with a Cohesive Undergraduate Experience module.  The research provides insights into important themes that emerged from student experiences with their academics, social life, the college environment, and career/personal discernment.  Results provide information about the importance of student personal responsibility, the impacts of small classes, the importance of guidance, and opportunities for learning life skills like time management.  Future implications for applying this method of qualitative inquiry in reinforcing student reflection as a learning strategy for both course content and successfully transitioning to college are also discussed.

8. Tiffany Thomas

Department: Psychology

Title: Gender

9. Rachel McMullen

Department: Psychology

Title: Gender  

10. Greg Overbeek and Melvin Lang

Department: Psychology

Title: Student Experiences Study 

Off-Campus Research

21. Taylor Gravolet

Department: Chemistry

Title: Synthesis and Thermoelectric Properties of Polyaniline Doped with Bismuth Antimony Telluride Nanoparticles

Taylor Gravolet1,2 David EschVidal LoiseauKevin Stokes1

1. Advanced Materials Research Institute, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148 USA
2. Department of Chemistry, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL 36608 USA

The thermoelectric properties were explored for a conducting polymer (polyaniline) when doped with bismuth-antimony-tin-telluride (Bi0.4Sb1.58Sn0.02Te3) nanoparticles. The polyaniline was synthesized from aniline doped with hydrochloric acid and oxidized by ammonium peroxysulfate. The Bi0.4Sb1.58Sn0.02Tenanoparticles were synthesized using mechanical alloying (planetary ball-milling) starting with elemental constituents. Varying amounts of dry Bi0.4Sb1.58Sn0.02Te3 nanopowder were added during the polymerization and precipitation of the polyaniline. The precipitated composites were collected, dried, and pressed into a pellet using spark-plasma sintering. The pressed composites’ electrical resistivity and Seebeck coefficient were measured using a commercial instrument (Ulvac ZEM-3).  A correlation was found between an increased Seebeck coefficient and both the increased temperature and increased volume fraction of Bi0.4Sb1.58Sn0.02Te3. Both resistivity and thermoelectric power factor  also increased from pure polyaniline with Bi0.4Sb1.58Sn0.02Te3 doping. The highest Seebeck coefficient produced was 0.170 mV/K measured at 95°C for polyaniline with 30% Bi0.4Sb1.58Sn0.02Te3.

22.  James Kizziah

Department: Biology & Chemisty

Title:Structural Characterization of Grp94 Inhibitors for the Treatment of Glaucoma 

Abstract: A prevalent risk factor for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is increased 
intraocular pressure (IOP), which can result from the aggregation of mutant myocilin in human 
trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells. Glucose-regulated protein 94 (Grp94) should facilitate 
refolding or degradation of these aggregates, but instead it contributes to their formation and 
ultimately speeds the onset of POAG. Pharmaceutical inhibition of Grp94 mediates this aberrant 
interaction by improving clearance of myocilin from HTM cells.  The purpose of this project is 
to structurally characterize the interactions between three members of a new generation of 
inhibitory drugs and the N-terminal domain of Grp 94, Grp94(N41), which will serve to inspire 
the development of more efficient therapies for POAG in the future.

23.  Nicole Kocher

Department: Biology

Title:Quantifying Behavioral Changes in a Murine Model of Single and Multiple Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Abstract​​​​​​​Traumatic brain injury affects over 2.5 million people in the United States every year. Of these, 75% are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI). In some patients, a single mTBI can dramatically affect memory, communication, cognition, sensation, and can even cause depression, anxiety, and aggression.  Having multiple mTBIs within months/years can cause increased neurological and cognitive deficits. Accruing multiple injuries within a shorter span of time can in rare instances be fatal. The objective of this study was to assess cognitive and behavioral outcomes in a rodent model of single or multiple mTBI with the ultimate goal of understanding pathophysiology and the subsequent development of therapeutic interventions. In this study, adult male C57BL6 mice were anesthetized with inhaled isoflurane and then received either 1 or 3 impact-acceleration mild TBI(s) with a 24 hour inter-injury interval.  Uninjured mice received all experimental manipulations with the omission of the impact.  This study utilized well-characterized behavioral assessments including the Barnes maze for alteration in spatial learning and memory, the Elevated Plus maze to assess anxiety, and the Porsolt Forced-Swim test to evaluate depression-like behavior.  We found no significant differences in cognition between uninjured mice and mice that received concussions. Additionally, mice that received multiple concussions exhibited a trend toward increased anxiety and decreased depression. These results suggest that multiple mild TBI induces changes in behavior that are most associated with emotional disturbances.  Future research will evaluate the underlying pathophysiology and potential treatments to alleviate these clinically-relevant injury-induced behavioral effects. ​ 

Class Projects or Papers

31. Kathryn Mitchell

Department: Psychology 

Title: Meredith Grey and Dysthymia

32. Bridget Nourse, Rachel McNeil, Emily Thrush, and Courtney Nall

Department: Psychology

Title: Introversion Case Study

33. Audrey Sanchez, Armaneé Broussard, and Tatiana Gonzalez 

Department: Psychology

Title: Personality Case Study 

34. Sawyer House

Department: History

Title: Spring Hill College and the Civil Rights Movement

The National Archives in Washington D.C. has etched in stone the phrase "What's Past is Prologue," which means that to better understand the present one must look back into the past. This expression can be applied to Spring Hill College (SHC).  The College has a long history of service, faith, learning, and justice.  The students and faculty of SHC exemplified these four pillars during "The Long Civil Rights Movement."

SHC's faculty played an important role in the Civil Rights Movement.  The College is well-known for being the first college in the state of Alabama to integrate African American students with white students. While the University of Alabama denied admission to Autherine Lucy, on the basis that they could not provide a safe environment for her education, SHC graduated its first African American student, Mrs. Fannie E. Motley with honors.  Father Albert "Steve" Foley S.J., a sociology professor at Spring Hill, led the charge against the Ku Klux Klan in Mobile using legal and social tactics.  While other students took part in Freedom Rides across the South, the students of SHC tackled the race question in a more personal manner.  Though The College did not play a vital role in "The Long Civil Rights Movement", the actions of the faculty and students of the college should be remembered for their quiet integrity in the advancement of African Americans' rights and for their opposition to groups who would subject African Americans to injustice.  

35. Megan Welsh

Department: Education

Title: Traditional v. Digital Read Aloud: Is the Book Really Better than the Movie? 

36. Shea Blanchard

Department: Communications- PR/Advertising

Title: Using Psychographics for Social Media Marketing

37. Rachel Younce, Lauren Schaffer, and Alexandra Sinkus

Department: Education

Title: Improving Comprehension After Reading

For our project in Diagnosis and Adjustment of Reading Instruction class all the students were split into groups and each group had to create an instructional video with one of the topics about reading. Our group decided to choose Improving Comprehension after Reading. As a group we wanted to create an entertaining video as well as instructional. For our video each member came up with a different idea to present. Rachel and her friend Billy the Goat chose Story Mountain which discussed how students should use exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution to comprehend the story. This gives students a visual representation to organize their thoughts. Lauren then presented discussion cards along with help from Herbert the Monster. The two of them talked about a variety of discussion cards and how these help students understand different parts of the story. Alex along with Wynona the Fairy Godmother talked about Venn Diagrams and how they are used in order to compare and contrasts important story elements. 

38. Duncan Herrington

Division: Nursing 

Title: Focul Segmented Glumerulosclerosis

39. Jamie Doran

Division: Nursing 

Title: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

40. Nicole Littleton

Division: Nursing 

Title: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

41. Hunter Windham

Division: Nursing 

Title: Type I Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) is a disease known to affect the pancreas which is responsible for secreting the hormone insulin. With this disease, the body’s immune system attacks the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas ultimately destroying them all. The purpose of this is to provide an overview of the anatomy, pathophysiology, and treatment options for T1DM utilizing the resources from the textbook Nutritional Foundations and Clinical Applications and from the following websites: The American Diabetes Association, My Fitness Pal, and The Mayo Clinic. The onset of T1DM is usually sudden and often occurs in early childhood. The causes are still not clearly understood but multiple genetic and environmental factors seem to contribute. Symptoms that coincide with this disease include polyuria, polyphagia, and polydipsia. Complications of T1DM are caused by inadequate levels of insulin in the body. Medication and diet therapy are two ways to actively treat this. There will need to be lifelong insulin therapy by either subcutaneous injections or an insulin pump. It is important to incorporate fruit, vegetables, and protein into the patient’s everyday diet. Carbohydrates and concentrated sweets should be limited. By following proper medical and diet recommendations T1DM can be controlled. A patient with this disease should be able to live a normal lifestyle with few problems. 

42. Tess Mayer

Division: Nursing 

Title: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the colon of the GI tract, an important location of absorption and secretion in the human body. This complication can be caused by a variety of factors, differing from patient to patient. The purpose of this project is to provide an overview of the pathophysiology, treatment options, and diet therapy for a patient with IBS with information obtained from the following medical websites: The Mayo Clinic, Hopkins Medicine, The Cleveland Clinic, and patient.co.uk.  There are three particular types of IBS: diarrhea predominant, constipation-predominant or alternating diarrhea and constipation. Symptoms frequently associated in a patient with IBS include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea. A common therapy involved in treating IBS includes a diet high in fibrous foods. Other treatment options include antidiarrheals, smooth muscle relaxants, and SSRi’s. Foods that need to be avoided in someone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome are caffeine, chocolate, and sorbitol, as well as foods high in fructose and saturated fats. When increasing fiber, someone with IBS would want to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, along with an increase in fluid intake, which is significant because it could cause the symptoms to be more severe if fluid balance is not maintained.  Although there is no cure for IBS, treatment options mentioned above are available to maintain the symptoms. Aside from the common side effects, a patient suffering from any of the three types of IBS should be able to live a normal lifestyle. 

43. Rachel Davison

Division: Nursing 

Title: Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis of the liver is chronic liver damage where the cells of the liver become necrotic. The purpose of this project is to provide an overview of the pathophysiology, causes and treatments of Cirrhosis. The main effect of this disease includes severe irreversible liver damage. The liver weighs about 3 pounds; the liver is the body’s second largest organ. The liver is responsible for many essential functions related to digestion, metabolism, immunity, and the storage of nutrients within the body. The liver is a vital organ and without it the body cannot function properly. Circulatory complications are mainly caused by tobacco use, alcohol use, steroid use, and obesity. Other causes and methods of prevention are cessation of drinking, weight loss, and the implementation of a new diet according to gathered medical information from WebMD. Diet therapy includes reduced intake of water if swelling is present, and portions of proteins, fruits and vegetables based on weight. As a result of the fluid and sodium restriction, patients can experience healthy weight gain and decreased swelling. Rehabilitation for alcohol abuse is also a positive treatment. 

44. Hailey Adams

Division: Nursing 

Title: Multiple Sclerosis

45. Jada Carter

Division: Nursing 

Title: The Study of Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is the inflammation of the large intestine that is caused by the formation and impaction of diverticula. These formations that cause diverticulitis can lead to other complications such as hospitalization, abscess, intestinal fistula, and hemorrhage. The purpose of this project is to discuss the pathophysiology, anatomy, and diet therapy of this disease. Information regarding the disease was obtained from Grodner, Roth, and Walkingshaw’s Nutritional Foundations and Clinical Applications: A Nursing Approach, and the websites of Everyday Health and Mayo Clinic. Diverticulitis is ultimately caused by a long-term low fiber diet. A person with diverticulitis should follow a gradually introduced, high fiber diet. This diet should include between 25-38g of fiber a day, which should include 5 cups of fruits and vegetables, and 6 oz of whole grains. This high fiber diet should only be followed after tolerating a liquid only diet. Overall, diverticulitis can be controlled, but not cured, by making food choices changes and following a strict fiber diet.

46. Treston Tyrues

Department: Communication Arts

Title: Cheering on Cheerleading: A Promotional Campaign

47. CaraJean Robertson


Title: Redefining Gender Roles: The Image of the New Woman in Virginia Woolf's to the Lighthouse

Service Projects

51. Kiva Talty

Service: Globalizing Food Course 

52. Jane Carriere and Tiffany Thomas

Department: Psychology

Title: Combining Wellness and Psychology 

53. Megan St. Germain and Erinn Vogel

Department: Communication Arts

Title: Putting the "Fun" in Fundraising: The Effectiveness of a 24-Hour Online Giving Event

54. Katherine Abalos

Department: Psychology

Title: Positive Behavior Support


61. Rachel Failla 

Department: Communication Arts

Title: Millennials' Engagement with News on Twitter

62. Diego Juncadella and Briana Vaughn

Department: Communication Arts

Title: Building Relationships to Ensure Career Development

63. CaraJean Robertson

Title: Editing PAX, Spring Hill College's Peace and Justice Magazine

64. Mike Short

Department: Communication Arts

Title: Recruitment Video for Spring Hill College 

65. Demi Jordan, Germain McCarthy, and Jabu Thompsom

Department: Communication Arts

Title: The Frisbee Project: Localizing College Students After Graduation


71. Jolene Bruard  (In Eichold)

Department: Fine Arts

Title: Peculiar Curiosities

I am a history major with a strong interest in ceramics. I began working on a short research paper on the Black Death for my Medieval Civilization History class two years ago and it initiated this body of work. Don’t Breath is based on World War I gas masks designs. I wanted to humanize this face jug. The figure is wearing a gas mask so I incorporated a hand that holds the hose. My pieces, while informed by traditional southern folk jugs, have a more modern sensibility and deal with ominous aspects of the human mind and suffering.


Recently, I became a vegetarian and my some of my works are based on research I have done on factory farming and atrocities inflicted on animals. I gave Inhumane, Pigs Have Feelings Too, human characteristics in hopes make people more empathetic about the brutal treatment of pigs and other animals in factory farms. This piece shows a mother pig in a farrowing cage that does not have enough space for her to even turn around. The humanoid piglet speaks of thumping, where runts of the litter are held by their back legs and killed by slamming their heads on concrete. They do not always die; sometimes they run around severely injured, covered in blood. The piglet’s tails are cut off and they are castrated without any anesthesia to prevent them from biting each other’s tails and to make them less aggressive.


Firmly Planted Nightmares represents chaos and insanity. The face is ominous and looks like it will eat the viewer while tearing them up with its pointy teeth. I am very pleased with the plant that I found for this work. It flows over the piece and is uncontained and visually out of control. It is literally chaotic. I have inverted the typical face jug, the neck of the jug is at the bottom of the piece by the feet. This also conveys a life that is out of control and upside down. It is humorous but sinister.


72. Dallas Elliot (In Eichold)

Department: Fine Arts

Title: My Humans

My work displays human emotion and personality through portraiture. My goal is to communicate to the audience who it is they are observing in my paintings. My subjects are usually people I have adopted into my own make-shift family, and whose characters I know intimately.  My subjects are sometimes people I barely know, but their effect forever impacted my heart. They are the strength that I work daily to attain in my life, and a physical sign of the goodness that I believe inhabits this earth. I show what I feel is important in humanity with my work.

My process is extremely important in my work and to myself. I learn patience and control while I work, and I feel that these characteristics are necessary to succeed in life. I frequently use glazes that require repeated drying before applying thin, transparent layers that illuminate my paintings and give the illusion of depth. I strive to achieve something of quality with every piece that I create, and am constantly reminded that not all plans are brought to fruition simply because they are willed into existence. My work is my anchor and reality, and my paintings reflect this value.

 Light and texture play important roles in my paintings. The tactile qualities of fabric and skin are emphasized in my portraits. Each have a unique way of interacting with shadow, and my aim is to capture each variation.  I am drawn to the way different surfaces feel beneath my fingertips, and I want to convey this through my work. I use thin, opaque layers of paint to build up the surfaces while still retaining the clarity necessary to display the richness of skin and fabric.

73. Cora Crawford (In Eichold)

Department: Fine Arts

74. Erin Claxton

Department: Sociology

Title: Body Dysmorphia

75. Jake Favier

Department: Fine Arts