“True solace is finding none:” Grief Through the Seasons of Gretel Ehrlich’s The Solace of Open Spaces

Senior Capstone Experience by Rebecca Kanaskie ’21 Submitted to the Department of English Advised by Dr. Katherine Charles Description:  “A ‘place’ is made only by ‘slow accrual’ of births, lives, and death. A place comes about because stories and memories emerge from experience on that land” (MacDonald 501). In tandem with a research project funded by the Douglass Cater Society…

What Came Before and What Comes After XLNet

Senior Capstone Experience by Michelle Ly ’21 Submitted to the Department of Computer Science Advised by Dr. Kyle Wilson Description: This paper presents an overview of XLNet’s state-of-the-art system in the field of Natural Language Processing and specifically text generation. I look at previous language models Transformer-XL and BERT in order to understand the foundations that XLNet is built…

Friend of the Indian: The Origins and Purpose of Native American Education

Senior Capstone Experience by Alejandro Mendoza ’21 Submitted to the Department of History Advised by Dr. Carol E. Wilson Description: During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the United States embarked on a crusade to remove and disassociate American Indians from their land. As a result, many historians are quick to cite the brutal removal and slaughter of hundreds of…

The Effects of Mutated SOD1 on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and how siRNA Treatment Could Lead to a Cure

Senior Capstone Experience by Nathaniel Neuland ’21 Submitted to the Department of Chemistry Advised by Dr. James Lipchock Description: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is an incurable muscular dystrophy disease. The degradation of motor neurons and central nervous system leads to declining physical ability until the lungs are no longer…

The Fountain of Youth: Is Aging Reversible?

Senior Capstone Experience by Kylie Peets ’21 Submitted to the Department of Biology Advised by Dr. Mala Misra Description: Aging is a major risk factor for some of the most common chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and cancer, yet there is little emphasis on treating aging itself in the medical field. Many…

Direct Anthropogenic Actions and Their Negative Effects on Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor)

Senior Capstone Experience by William Reid ’21 Submitted to the Department of Environmental Science Advised by Dr. Jill Bible Description: Little penguins (Eudyptula minor) live exclusively on the Australian continent on the coasts of Australia and New Zealand. Humans have historically interacted with little penguins in negative ways, but the contemporary urbanization of society has greatly increased the harmfulness…

Visions of the Future for “Third Century America” at the 1976 Bicentennial Exposition on Science and Technology

Senior Capstone Experience by Katy Shenk ’21 Submitted to the Department of History Advised by Professor Janet Sorrentino Description: In 1976, the White House organized a science and technology exposition in conjunction with the Bicentennial celebration, or the 200th anniversary of the American Revolution. While the majority of Bicentennial programming focused on the past, this…

The Potential for European Green Crab (C. maenas) Invasion of the Chesapeake Bay

Senior Capstone Experience by Samina L. Soin-Voshell Submitted to the Departments of Biology and Environmental Science and Studies Advised by Dr. Jillian Bible and Dr. Martin Connaughton Description: The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) is a small shore crab native to the Northeastern Atlantic, but successful as an invasive species around the world, including along…

A Review of the Genetic, Epigenetic, and Toxicological Causes of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Analysis of Current Treatments

Senior Capstone Experience by Maggie Witham ’21 Submitted to the Department of Biology Advised by Dr. Mindy Reynolds Description:  Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder of the reproductive endocrine system that affects 6-20% of pre-menopausal women worldwide. Disruptions in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG axis) and its upstream control counterparts are thought to lead to the development of PCOS. The…

Evolution of Privacy, Data Policy and Internet Advertising in the United States

Senior Capstone Experience by Tatiana Baughman ’20 Submitted to the Department of Business Management Advised by Dr. Caroline Le Bon Description: My research examines social media advertising in the context of social norms and government policies over the years. It serves to inform people about the history of data collection, and hopefully bring attention to the use of personal…

STEMI Treatment Analysis and Current Research

Senior Capstone Experience by Jameson Brown-Padien ’20 Submitted to the Department of Biology Advised by Dr. Aaron Krochmal Abstract: “S-T segment myocardial infarctions (STEMI) are a common root cause of cardiac arrest. The condition is characterized by its altered electrocardiographic recording in which the S and T waves of the heart’s composite rhythm are elevated; indicative of lower left…

Multi-Class Image Classification Using Machine Learning

Senior Capstone Experience by Robert Clark ’20 Submitted to the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science Advised by Dr. Kyle Wilson Short Description: Dr. Wilson and I created an image classifier to classify images of traffic signs, with a final validation accuracy of 94.1%. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the utility of image classifiers, help readers…

Ni pa’ Buitres, ni Corruptos: [Lack of] Democratic Legitimacy and the Anti-Austerity Social Movement of Puerto Rico

Senior Capstone Experience by Gaviota Del Mar Hernández Quiñones ’20 Submitted to the Department of Political Science Advised by Dr. Christine Wade Abstract: “Since 2006, the Puerto Rican debt crisis has severely crippled the local economy, causing politicians to implement austerity — or structural adjustment reforms — to the already outdated economic and development model of Puerto Rico. Nevertheless,…

Viney Intricacies: Medusa & Eve’s “Wanton” Gardens in Paradise Lost

Senior Capstone Experience by Sophia Grabiec ’20 Submitted to the Department of English Advised by Dr. Katherine Charles Description: “Milton’s gardens operate as portals into his ideological understandings of Puritan and Catholic paradigms & constructions of women figures. “ Contributor Bio: Sophia graduated in the spring of 2020 and is now an M.A. student in Georgetown…

Dream or Scheme: The Operations, Internal Communications, and Appeal of the American Dream in Multi-Level Marketing Companies

Senior Capstone Experience by Jenna Follin ’20 Submitted to the Department of Business Management and Department of Communication and Media Studies Advised by Dr. Caddie Putnam-Rankin and Dr. Alicia Kozma Description: “This thesis explores what Multi-level Marketing Companies (MLMs) are, how they function, and how these companies impact both their customers and distributors. The study…

Spatial Analysis of Economic Recovery in Appalachia in the Post-Recession Period: A Senior Capstone Experience

Senior Capstone Experience by Lauren Frick ’20 Submitted to the Department of Economics Advised by Dr. Lisa Daniels Abstract: “This study describes how economic trends in Appalachia from 2007 to 2019 differed from the nation during an unprecedented period of economic expansion. We used summary statistics to compare trends in unemployment, per capita market income, and poverty in the Appalachian…

We’re Here and We’re Queer: An Ethnographic Study of the Queer Community at Washington College

Senior Capstone Experience by Emily Kreider ’20 Submitted to the Department of Communication and Media Studies Advised by Dr. Alicia Kozma Description: The following project, centered in queer theory, explores the concept of metronormativity, its historical context, and its impact on the lives of queer rural youth. It examines how cultural bias towards urban settings has otherized rural areas to…

The Impact of Restored Mangrove Forests on Fishery Populations and Biodiversity

Senior Capstone Experience by Max Lambert ’20 Submitted to the Department of Environmental Science and Studies Advised by Dr. Jillian Bible Description: “As mangroves are being destroyed around the world, numerous efforts have been undertaken to restore mangrove forest. This paper analyzes the data surrounding mangrove restoration, examining if restored mangrove forests are an effective…

An In-Depth Look at Cytoreductive Surgery Paired with Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy

Senior Capstone Experience by Alexandra Lee ’20 Submitted to the Department of Biology Advised by Dr. Jennie Carr Abstract: “Cytoreductive surgery paired with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is a relatively novel technique used to treat various forms of cancer, including ovarian cancer, gastric adenocarcinoma, and peritoneal carcinomatosis. Cytoreductive surgery is performed by surgically removing visible tumor…

The Biological Effects of Proton Minibeam Therapy on High-Risk Tumors

Senior Capstone Experience by Ellie Lienert ’20 Submitted to the Department of Physics Advised by Dr. Karl Khem Abstract: “It is fairly typical for most cancer patients to undergo radiation therapy at some point during their cancer treatment and recovery process. Radiation therapy targets malignant tumor sites with a high energy concentration in the form…