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Recent documents in Wyoming Scholars Repository
Updated: 16 hours 45 min ago

The Blue French Horn: Intertwining Origin Stories in How I Met Your Mother

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

This study investigates the intertwining origin stories in the television show, How I Met Your Mother. The TV show follows the main character, Ted Mosby, as he tells his future children about his search for their mother with the help of his best friends – a commonly asked relationship question. While minimal research regarding origin stories exists, this popularized show enables a wider audience and room for investigation. Therefore, this study bases its conceptualization from Sternberg (1986), who proposed love be portrayed in triangles encompassing intimacy, passion and decision/commitment. Through application of intersecting love stories in How I Met Your Mother, origin story research will be expanded to include fictional familial and romantic love. Ted, the narrator, tells the story of how he met the mother to his future children to reaffirm his love for the Mother, while subtly using it to position himself close to another main character, Robin. The narrative analysis demonstrates key components of non-fictional love in a fictional analysis and allows the audience to explore the antenarrative in which Ted re-lives his husband-wife origin story and explores how he ignited a flame for an old love.

The Changing Meaning of Terrorism

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

While terrorism is both a prevalent issue in the United States and worldwide, the United Nations, an organization binding countries around the world, has still not defined the term. There has been a mild attempt to define boundaries in which certain violent acts fall under this term, yet the understanding of the term is still very broad. The goal of this project is to better define what this phenomenon is and how we can use historical examples to help refine a definition and its implications. The project will foremost establish a basic understanding of the way terrorism is interpreted through orthodox, critical, and radical theories. The Ashgate Research Companion to Political Violence compiles a wide array of works from scholars around the world providing insight into these theories. This piece of work, among others, will be complemented with statistical evidence researched through The Global Terrorism database at the University of Maryland, The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, along with the United Nations Action to Counter Terrorism. The theories and evidence will be applied to historical events of the past decade in nations around the world, and a definition, or rather a lack there of, is established.

Vaccines: What You Really Need to Know

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

The first vaccine created was for smallpox in the late 1700s. In the two centuries following many vaccines have been developed to prevent life-threatening diseases, and decrease human suffering. However, there are still many misconceptions about them. These misconceptions have led to a decrease in the use of vaccines, leading to the reemergence of diseases that were once nearly eradicated from first world countries. In this paper we will address ten common misconceptions held by the public in the United States, and present a review of the literature to either support or reject these beliefs.

ELLs in and Outside of the Classroom

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Some people are able to look at language in its entirety, seeing all of its facets—the multiple versions of ourselves expressed in different discourses. Some see it as a tool in communication while, unfortunately, others experience it as a barrier. Wenying Jiang (2000) declares, “Language and culture makes a living organism: language is flesh, and culture is blood. Without culture, language would be dead; without language, culture would have no shape” (328). Here, Jiang (2000) explains that without language, a culture ceases to exist. Language pumps the blood throughout bodies of culture, but interestingly, their interdependency often goes unnoticed. This issue is prevalent for children and adolescents who do not speak English in the United States. Many students with diverse backgrounds and who are English language learners (ELLs) face insurmountable challenges through their schooling and are often mislabeled as unintelligent or disabled. As a future educator with an English-as-a-Second Language endorsement, I aim to advocate for these students and integrate more effective and inclusive teaching strategies for the ELL population. In this portfolio, I will present and reflect my observations from my 45-hour practicum in Natrona County School District, current research on ELLs and examples of effective teaching methods. Overall my portfolio contains 1) reflective journal entries regarding my observations and correlating research topics, 2) lesson plans I have created or adapted and their evaluations, 3) a reflection on professional development and strategies to support colleagues and improve ELL learning, 4) a report on teacher-family relationships and suggested improvements.

Honors Program Web and Mobile Application

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

The University of Wyoming Honors Program provides its students with access to special coursework, scholarships, and priority class registration. Administrative overhead is generated as a result of providing these services. Currently, students are advised of scholarship opportunities and Honors Program events via email. Priority registration occurs through the use of paper sign-up sheets to collect student information. Students currently do not have a method of saving general information for use with Honors Program-specific scholarship applications. The goal of this project was to provide a comprehensive platform that addressed the administrative needs of Honors Program staff. We chose to use a LAMP stack due to its flexibility. A web interface was created in a self-hosted CentOS 7 virtual environment using the PHP MVC framework Laravel, powered by a MySQL database. The interface allows for administrators of the site to add/edit/delete items such as News Articles, Web Pages, Program Events, and Scholarship Opportunities. The interface allows administrators to send alerts and notifications to the student base. Registration events can be created and posted so that priority registration and event attendance can be tracked and associated with either a student’s login information or a one-time code. The application utilizes QR codes as a method of quickly registering a student as having attended an event. We also created a side-by-side Android mobile application to allow students to quickly and easily access the data from the web interface via our web API and allow for the administrators to update students via push notifications.

Mysterious Symbols in the North: An Analysis of Scotland’s Pictish Symbol Stones

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

During the Roman occupation and conquest of regions that today form England and Scotland, Roman generals and historians wrote of the people they found living in these frozen regions of the world. The Romans referred to these populations as Pictii or the ‘painted people’, but provided little information about them. Nearly two thousand years after the disappearance of Pictish culture from historic records their symbol inscribed stones endure in the archaeological record, inspiring scholars to investigate and seek meaning in these symbols. The distribution of some common Pictish symbols throughout Scotland may help provide insight into their culture. In this study I investigate several characteristics of Pictish symbols, their distribution, and relationships.

How Telling is Author Voice? Further Associations Between Personality and Writing

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Just as everyone has a unique personality, so too does everyone have a unique style of writing. The differences in writing styles are so pervasive that individuals’ writing styles persist across writings on different topics, and writing styles are distinguishable in samples from several different domains (e.g. academic publications, diary entries, and school assignments; Pennebaker & King, 1999). Indeed, the consistency of writing styles is on par with individuals’ responses to questionnaires (Pennebaker & King, 1999). Existing research into differences in style focuses largely on formal writing samples, such as letters (Broehl & McGee, 1981), published books (Foster, 1996), and the aforementioned academic publications, diary entries, and school assignments (Pennebaker & King, 1999). Yet these analyses do not capture the breadth of people’s writing. Individuals often write informally, as when they make personal notes. The present study aims to address this issue through a novel application of linguistic analysis, thereby supporting the ecological validity of studies examining associations between writing styles and personality characteristics. In this study, 86 cohabiting couples completed self-report questionnaires that assessed multiple personality characteristics. Each couple-member then wrote for 10 minutes about a time when they felt emotionally vulnerable, with many writing in list formats. Afterward, couples had conversations about their vulnerabilities and completed further questionnaires. Writing samples were later digitized and analyzed using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC; Pennebaker, Francis, & Booth, 2001) software. Finally, correlational analyses were used to examine the associations between writing tendencies and their personality characteristics.

Even birds speak different dialects: How different are they?

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Birdsong is known to be variable geographically in many species, and we have anecdotally observed this effect in Wyoming populations of the House Wren (Troglodytes aedon). This variation may be due to gradual divergence in song dialects between geographically distinct breeding populations, genetic variation among populations, or habitat-driven differentiation based on sound transmission properties of the environment. In this project, we collected 944 wren calls from three different locations around Wyoming, tested the similarity of various acoustic environments and modeled call similarity against distance and acoustic environment type. These comparisons were made using time-frequency analysis, clustering, and summary statistics. The geographic distribution of these song dialects is shown to be quite diverse, with some locations showing great consistency and others showing as much internal dialect variability as exists between locations. We found that between locations dialects can be distinguished by differences in rate of singing, minimum pitch attained, and the proportion of the song spent in pauses between phrases. These findings may help answer important questions about population diversity, boundaries for mating, and migration patterns.