Past Senior Project Topics - Part 2

Gillette, Meghann

Mentor: Danielle Hassan

Reader: Carol McLeish

This is a disciplinary project involving Elementary Education. Specifically how Literature can be used to help students deal with traumatic and problematic events in the classroom. Literature is often used to introduce aspects of an idea to students before it is taught. On many occasions, students will read about and become interested in a character who has gone through an event that they to have gone through in their lives. In some cases, it can make handling this event easier to live with.

In this project, I intend to write a book on such a subject, with the end goal of it being published for use in public schools. The subject of the book is still, as of yet, unknown to me. However, I am considering such topics as Homosexuality in the family, and substance abuse in the family. I feel that my knowledge and background experiences will prove fruitful for my story.

For this project, I would like to use student input and in put from several of my Professors who have experience in this field. In addition, I would like to utilize the sources that my Professors and mentors have already provided for me. I will need some one to edit and comment on my work, for which I would like to employ friends with small siblings and relatives. Finally, I will need to send my work to a publishing company.

I love literature myself and have spent many hours tucked safely away in its arms as a child, youth, and young adult. Even in college now, I will turn to literature and reading to find answers to my problems. What has inspired this project also is my desire to work with children, and to help them deal with the darkness in their lives so that they may live them as happily as possible. Because children, even though it is not acknowledged, experience much in their short lives. I know this from experience. I also know that not all adults will admit to this.

Gooding, Candice

This is a disciplinary project in the field of mycology in which I seek to conduct an on campus fungal air quality study to determine what fungi are present and whether they contribute to common respiratory ailments among students. I hope to be able to identify several of the common species of fungus that are present in certain common student areas and see if there is a connection with ailments among the student population. I anticipate that certain areas would prove to have more viable fungal spores that can cause infection.

In order to conduct this research I would be using materials available in the Biology laboratory and setting up culture plates at various locations where I think would be a good place to test the quality of air. I would be following guidelines from previous experiments conducted of a similar nature and working with the aid of my mentor to see ensure that everything is in place.

I chose to undertake this particular project because I have a great interest in the field of Mycology ever since I took the course with Mrs. Bergen Loosee in the fall semester 2006. I would like to prove to myself and others that I can use the knowledge and experience gained from taking the class and apply it to real life situations and conditions.

Gruenbaum, Dane

Mentor: James Mooney

Reader: Jerome Williams

With all the recent hype about biodiesel being the promising fuel of the future to replace fossil fuels derived from the ground many questions exist to examine if this is really a feasible alternative. One of which being the potential for degradation of the fuel in a variety of conditions. Depending on the type extent and mechanism of this degradation as compared to traditional fossil fuels the implications can mean biodiesel is little more than a pipedream.

It is my assumption that under certain adverse circumstances the degradation will be severe i.e. higher temperatures and water contents, and under others it will be milder yet still notable. While previous experiments have suggested the aforesaid, none as of yet have suggested the economic implications or identified the organism/mechanism that is responsible.

I plan to use all the previous literature I can access including similar experiments published recently in Bioresource Technology as well as the Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society. I would plan to use all of the spectroscopic equipment the department of math and sciences has to offer including the NMR spectrophotometer, the gas chromatograph, the IR spec (if available) etc. to measure decomposition as well as culturing techniques in the microbiology lab, to test for the presence of any microbes that could be responsible for the degradation.

Talking with Dr. Mooney who was an industrial analytical chemist for over twenty years the potential for this issue arose. The good deal of promise that comes with biodiesel as well as the exorbitant funding going towards corn subsidy and biodiesel research makes this an interesting and innovative topic that needs to be considered to determine under what conditions biodiesel is really a viable fuel source alternative, based on its ability to be treated/stored as traditional fossil fuels are.

Herbert, Rhenese

This is a disciplinary project in the field of Accounting. The project is designed to examine the type of fraudulent accounting practices within the last decade. Fraudulent accounting is the intentional misrepresentation of an entity's financial statements.

At the end of this project, I hope to find a downward trend in accounting fraud and link this downward trend to the regulations that was implemented by the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). I will use the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) as one of the main resources I intend to use to obtain statistics on the number of fraudulent cases. SEC is the government regulation board that oversees the accounting industry. In conjunction with SEC, I intend to use reputable magazine from the accounting industry for example (CPA Journal and Accounting Horizons) to cover the literature of the project. The inspiration for this project came from a research paper I did on Cendant Corporation's fraudulent accounting. Since accounting fraud is perhaps one of the greatest challenges for accountants, I think this project will provide the avenues to fortify my knowledge in this area of accounting. Also, I will acquire some of the skills that are necessary for a post undergraduate program.

Kubasek, Stephen

Mentor: Art Kirk

Reader: John Pantzalis

Alicia Ridley and I are undertaking a joint project. Our project descriptions are therefore identical. Saint Leo University has been committed to serving the community around it since 1889. This is largely due to the roots the University has in Benedictine values. It has become a major goal of Saint Leo to become a leading Catholic Institution of international consequence. In order to do this the school has encouraged its students to travel abroad and has recruited students from all parts of the world.

Previous to this academic school year 2006-2007, Saint Leo University Ministry has been taking students on alternative spring break trips. These trips began seven years ago and have continued to evolve and grow. With growth being a major factor at Saint Leo, it has become clear that programs such as the alternative spring break program should be taken under the advisory of a committee. Furthermore, the program should have students playing leadership roles in developing, organizing, and perpetuating the program.

After the 2006 spring break trip, Dr. Kirk appointed Stephen Kubasek with Sam Cibrone as co-chairpersons for the new committee to oversee the alternative spring break program. The hopes are for the program to grow and attract a larger more diverse group of people. Also, the intention was to draw more students to the program by emphasizing the desire to serve others. Thus, was born the name SERVE (Students Engaged in Rewarding Volunteer Experiences).

From this project we hope to develop a program that can be predominantly run by students and can prove to be self developing. Our goal is to have students plan and execute trips every year. The committee is meant only to serve in an advisory and policy making capacity. Furthermore, the program is intended to introduce students to faculty and staff they would have previously never been in contact with to build stronger community.

The major resources the programs will be utilizing are the talents and abilities of its leaders as well as the committee members. Moreover, the program will also require time as a major resource. As the fundraising chair of the committee, Alicia Ridley will spend most of her time and efforts toward coordinating donors and financial income for SERVE; she will also oversee a coffee fundraising coordinator and a solicitation letter coordinator (two of our biggest fundraising endeavors). Stephen Kubasek will act in a leadership capacity to promote and coordinate increased student involvement in SERVE. Both students will be acting as leaders in recruiting and promoting the program. Furthermore, both students will be working to research the effectiveness of the program and ways to implement necessary changes. A major result that will be achieved through this project is that a handbook / manual will be created with policies, procedures, documents, and suggestions to be used for executing successful trips in the future. This handbook will be the direct result of trial and error, feedback, and experience gathered from numerous individuals involved in the program beginning from Spring 2006.

Millhouse, Cassandra

Juvenile Justice Turnover Rates

The following is a description of a proposed senior honors project which will involve the field of psychology, more explicitly industrial organizational psychology. The proposed idea is to study the turnover rate of individuals who staff juvenile justice facilities, as well as the reasons behind said turnover rates. It is expected that the reasons for turnover rate will include burnout, perceived support, economic situations, as well as intentions. It has also been postulated that the individual sites themselves may have an affect on the turnover rate as well. In order to conduct this project, multiple sites will be contacted and asked to participate. The ideal number of sites will be 3-5, and will range in security levels. This variable will be taken into consideration when analyzing the data. Employees will be asked to complete a self report measure on their happiness with their jobs as well as job sites. Confidentiality will be maintained. If possible, past employees will be contacted about the reasons why they left the specific organization. This project was inspired by a desire to work within the juvenile justice system as a possible counselor or advocate. The reason behind studying turnover rates is to understand fully what may lie ahead of me. It is also, secondly, to compare institutions and determine if one is better suited to the field thru examination of the worker's perceived weaknesses of the workplace.

Noesen, Alison

Mentor: Chuck Fisk

Reader: Laurel Cobb

This is an interdisciplinary project involving the fields of business and accounting, as well as some political science in governmental actions and policies targeted towards the accounting field. The purpose of this project is to study the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its affect on the accounting field; more specifically, why the act was passed, how the act negatively affected small businesses, and what changes are currently improving its effectiveness. This project will study these affects.

If done properly, at the end of the project I will have a thorough understanding of the purpose of SOX. I will understand how it came about and most importantly, how it has hurt small businesses rather than benefited them. I will be knowledgeable of the changes SOX is currently undergoing in an effort to improve financial reporting.

Experts say that SOX has been too harsh on small businesses. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX for short) was passed five years ago in response to various corporate accounting scandals. Unfortunately, the act caused financial reporting to be very strenuous, which ended up financially hurting small businesses who could not afford the extra auditors and accountants needed to properly report by SOX standards.

What inspired this project was my interest in accounting and how it is used in the real world, outside of the classroom. I want to learn more about how governmental accounting standards are enacted and are then modified to better meet business needs. Every corporation must abide by SOX standards, regardless of the line of business. Because every business is affected by SOX, it is necessary to have a firm grasp on its purpose and affects. Everything is changing in accounting. The field has grown immensely with advancements in technology, corporate scandals, and the enormous need for accountants in this era. I feel that studying SOX will provide me with a knowledgeable background in real world accounting today along with a strong overview on how accounting is always changing and how every decision affects the entire field. Because the field is constantly evolving, I want to make sure I can understand what is happening and be knowledgeable on accounting issues. A professor who first interested me in accounting suggested that I research SOX because it is a very popular topic within the accounting field.

Peterson, Paul

The project will be an ethical inquiry into the concepts of justice, professionalism, violence, and spirituality. This inquiry will make both practical conclusions for everyday life and conclusions that have a wider bearing on the interpretation of history.

Ridley, Alicia

Mentor: Art Kirk

Reader: John Pantzalis

Stephen Kubasek and I are undertaking a joint project. Our project descriptions are therefore identical.

Saint Leo University has been committed to serving the community around it since 1889. This is largely due to the roots the University has in Benedictine values. It has become a major goal of Saint Leo to become a leading Catholic Institution of international consequence. In order to do this the school has encouraged its students to travel abroad and has recruited students from all parts of the world.

Previous to this academic school year 2006-2007, Saint Leo University Ministry has been taking students on alternative spring break trips. These trips began seven years ago and have continued to evolve and grow. With growth being a major factor at Saint Leo, it has become clear that programs such as the alternative spring break program should be taken under the advisory of a committee. Furthermore, the program should have students playing leadership roles in developing, organizing, and perpetuating the program.

After the 2006 spring break trip, Dr. Kirk appointed Stephen Kubasek with Sam Cibrone as co-chairpersons for the new committee to oversee the alternative spring break program. The hopes are for the program to grow and attract a larger more diverse group of people. Also, the intention was to draw more students to the program by emphasizing the desire to serve others. Thus, was born the name SERVE (Students Engaged in Rewarding Volunteer Experiences).

From this project we hope to develop a program that can be predominantly run by students and can prove to be self developing. Our goal is to have students plan and execute trips every year. The committee is meant only to serve in an advisory and policy making capacity. Furthermore, the program is intended to introduce students to faculty and staff they would have previously never been in contact with to build stronger community.

The major resources the programs will be utilizing are the talents and abilities of its leaders as well as the committee members. Moreover, the program will also require time as a major resource. As the fundraising chair of the committee, Alicia Ridley will spend most of her time and efforts toward coordinating donors and financial income for SERVE; she will also oversee a coffee fundraising coordinator and a solicitation letter coordinator (two of our biggest fundraising endeavors). Stephen Kubasek will act in a leadership capacity to promote and coordinate increased student involvement in SERVE. Both students will be acting as leaders in recruiting and promoting the program. Furthermore, both students will be working to research the effectiveness of the program and ways to implement necessary changes. A major result that will be achieved through this project is that a handbook / manual will be created with policies, procedures, documents, and suggestions to be used for executing successful trips in the future. This handbook will be the direct result of trial and error, feedback, and experience gathered from numerous individuals involved in the program beginning from Spring 2006.