Past Senior Project Topics - Part 5

MacRae, Jessica

Mentor: Valerie Wright

Second Reader: Lewis Gambill

Even though Elementary Education is the major of this student education in general is still very important to her and she feels like the basis of an education is attendance because you can only teach those students who show up! Because this student feels so strongly about attendance she plans to base her research project on various attendance policies and how affective they are.

To get this information she will compare the attendance records of various schools, K-12, to their policies for attendance. Since attendance policies vary between districts she will narrow it down to just a few school districts and get information for the entire school instead of by grade, elementary, middle and high. After acquiring sufficient information from local schools the student plans to compare the information between the difference districts to see which one seems to have a more affective plan. If time permits and the information is available the student plans to compare the policies of local school districts to those of other states or other countries. The goal of her project is to assess which policy seems the most affective but also provide background information on the individual schools to see if the schools themselves have any impact on the students’ interest in attendance.


Maddigan, Kristi

Mentor: Phil Hatlem

Second Reader: Chuck Fisk

The interdisciplinary project I am working on is in the field of sport management and marketing. My objective is to develop an entire business plan to operate a new sports apparel company. I want to acquire a patent for the apparel and create an entire new line. I will develop the business plan to build a company and a marketing plan to promote the product.

My intentions are to have something I can work on upon graduation. I will get a good understanding of what it takes to develop a business and market a new product in the sport industry. This will also help me in my career in sport marketing, for which I have developed an interest.

To assist me with my project as my mentor, I plan to work with Professor Phil Hatlem (in the Sport Business Department) to learn how a new product can be marketed in the sport industry. The product will be something not yet introduced to the market. The new sports apparel will be called Now and Then for its unique design. The two-sided jersey will represent the players past (amateur) and present (professional) team. I plan to market the apparel to the avid professional and/or amateur sports fan. I plan to enter the market with intentions of finding an up and coming athlete to enter a draft to endorse it.

My inspiration comes from my passion for sports and the industry. I have been involved in sports all my life. I actually thought of this idea back in high school, but never followed it through. With this I eventually want to be the President/CEO of the Boston Red Sox. I know I have a long journey to get there and I need acquire several resources and experience. This will be one of my many accomplishments on the road to success.


Mapp-Yard, Karen

Mentor: Tammy Zacchilli

Second Reader: Chris Cronin

The proposed project is a formal research paper which examines incarceration and its effects on the individual and the family. Within this general topic, some emphasis will be placed on capturing improved methods of preparing the incarcerated for return back to the family and society in general, as well as preparing them for the incarcerated’s return. This is with the hope that overall recidivism rates can be lowered.

This project would allow the exploration of the social issues involved, which plague the very system that they should help. Also, this project provides the opportunity to examine restorative justice and its benefits, as well as to seek key areas in which this can be effected. There must be ways that the effects of the cycle of crime can be broken or minimized in families, and in individuals’ lives, since punitive methods are not really working. This can be seen through overcrowding in prisons, jails, and detention centers, as well as high recidivism rates.

This student will be using the following resources: training in Research Methods (took Research Methods I &II), current literature pertaining to this topic, mainly found in EBSCO, and the expertise of mentor, second reader, and other faculty members.

Incarceration affects not only those who are incarcerated, but also innocent bystanders such as children. The effects, in many cases are long-lasting, and they spiral into a perpetuation of dysfunction. Many times the punitive measures extended to offenders are indirectly passed to children and other family members, for example, through ostracism or labeling. Family members who are not responsible for the guilty party’s actions should not have to pay for the latter’s mistakes. It is hoped that some form of impact can be made to remove the stigma from affected families so that they can actually function in society again.


McPhee, Jelani

Mentor: Linda Bergen-Losee

Second Reader: Thomas Arnold

"To investigate how smoking affects the education and health of young people with particular emphasis on the perception of smoking by public"

Smoking is one of the most prevalent issues that are very detrimental to the lives of human beings. During the 1950’s, people would buy cigarettes and smoke almost everywhere, and advertisements were all over the place. In our modern society, many people are more aware of the dangers of smoking and aware of how injurious it is to our health. This is why smoking has been banned, in all public areas, and cigarette or nicotine producing companies are not even allowed to advertise over the mass media.

According to the New York Times Magazine, the average number of deaths from smoking each year is equivalent to two jumbo jets full of people each day. As a result, I am aiming to work on studying how the health of individuals is affected by smoking and what should be done to curb this urgent problem.

The cases of smoking are much higher among young people because they believe that it is a cool practice, or they either succumb to peer pressures and develop an addiction to the drug. The main purpose of this project is to investigate how smoking affects the health and education of young adults. I will also test whether the acceptability of smoking is influenced by a family member.

I will also investigate whether and how smoking affects relationships with others. I believe that smoking affects the mind and body of people, and it breaks down the systems of the body, which places a huge burden on the education of the youth. An unhealthy mind and body cannot function and produce great results. Many people either love smoking or hate it. There is not really any in between. Therefore, my mode of approach involves seeking approval from the IRB (Institutional Review Board) to conduct a survey. This survey will investigate the dangers of smoking on the health and the education of young people as well as how smoking affects relationships. I will distribute the surveys to a random selection of persons on the Saint Leo University campus.I will study the online documents through the use of ‘Proquest’, and scientific journals.

My family consists of two smokers who were diagnosed with cancer two years ago, and this has encouraged me to pursue the topic. According to a new study on smoking by the Adventist News Network, the risk of smoking-related lung cancer is much higher than previously thought. The benefit of quitting-even at age 50 or later-is also higher than had been believed, say researchers at Oxford University in England. The success of this project will be to urge people to refrain from smoking because of the high risk of cancer and negative effects of smoking on relationships.

"Quit-now-the-sooner-the-better."


Moncayo, Angie

Mentor: Donald Pharr

Second Reader: Margaret Ostrenko

Questions come in all shapes and sizes. They also vary in type. This project will ask each candidate convergent questions, evaluative questions, and questions that are convergent or evaluative depending on gender, then observe the distinctive reactions that the candidates will express.

The purpose of this documentary is to observe the different responses the candidates will have to the different types of questions. Convergent questions allow the guilt to be placed on the question, not the responder. Evaluative questions place the guilt on the responder, not the question. It is believed that people with give more genuine answers to the convergent questions.

The candidates will vary in age, sex, race, and religion. Resources shall include oral histories by Studs Terkel and documentaries in the style of Errol Morris.

Every candidate will be asked at the beginning of the interview their personal motto. At the end they will be asked if they have any last remarks.

The convergent questions to be asked are as follows:

  1. If you had to rob a store, which one would it be, a convenience store or a liquor store?
  2. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
  3. If you committed a minor crime, would you choose six months of jail time or to have your little finger cut off?
  4. If you were granted a superpower and given your choice, what would it be?

The evaluative questions to be asked are as follows:

  1. What has been your worst job?
  2. What is your funniest school memory?
  3. What is the greatest mistake you have ever committed?
  4. What is your most memorable lie (best, worst, most embarrassing, etc.)?

Convergent or evaluative questions based on gender are as follows:

  1. Would you feel comfortable asking a woman her age?
  2. Why do so many men own a pickup truck who do not actually need one?
  3. Women often complain about high heels. Who is to blame?
  4. Why don't men like to cuddle?

Human beings are amazing creatures. We are beautifully complicated beings who need to celebrate who we are. This is going to be my venture into humanity and the way people think and react to questions. I hope to gain insight into the creative minds of various people. "Brilliance: When a collection of brilliant minds, hearts, and talents come together . . . expect a masterpiece."


Montanaro, Ashley

Mentor: John Pantzalis

Second Reader: Lynn Wilson

The main purpose of my honors project is to look at the different business cultures. The main focus is to look as the business practices in three countries: China, Russia and Kazakhstan. The project will explore the practices, traditions and rules (both formal and informal) at doing business in these countries. The emphasis will be in providing key insights to U.S. companies that are contemplating doing business there. This final paper will have a description component of what and why happens in these countries’ business environment as well as a normative component with guidelines and advice for U.S. companies that are interested in these markets.

The resources that will be used for this project will include personal interviews, encyclopedias, journals, articles, and books. The interviews will take place with people who have already been engaged in business negotiations with other countries. The encyclopedias, journals and articles will be found either online or in libraries.

I have decided to do this project to help me out in my career. In my life I have always loved business and traveling. I figured that I would live by doing both. This particular project would help me in my career after college. I will be able to learn and begin to train myself for jobs I hope to have someday.


Navarro, Ana

Mentor: Kim Higdon

Second Reader: Valerie Wright

For this project I will be working with my mentor Dr. Kimberly Higdon, a professor in elementary education program here at Saint Leo University. The objective is to demonstrate and offer teachers new ideas and methods to use throughout the 90 minute reading block In Pasco County, and many other schools throughout the nation, there is a 90 minute reading block scheduled in every regular school day. During this time, students are expected to do various activities that center around reading. This could be puzzles, games, computer programs, and other strategies. However, during this time the teacher is also expected to meet individually with small groups. To ensure that all the requirements are being met during the 90 minutes, the most comment practice is literacy centers. Throughout the school year teachers are also expected to introduce new centers to maintain students’ interest and to relate with the theme and other curriculum objectives. Because of this, teachers are often struggling to create ideas. Although there are resources out there that give ideas on Literacy Centers, there is always room for new methods. Some people who have written extensively include Debbie Diller. There are also many websites that provide information.

To better prepare current teachers, specifically those at San Antonio Elementary School, we plan to develop new ideas and train the teachers through a series of three mini-workshops. After training the teachers on our Literacy Center ideas, classrooms will be observed for how and if the teachers are applying what they learned. We hope to see that teachers are applying new and effective strategies to improve the 90 minute reading block. The summer will be used as a planning period to develop a way to measure and observe the classrooms and teachers. The project will be presented as a PowerPoint and will be presented at a professional conference as well as Academic Excellence Day.

From this project I hope to gain a lot. In many of the education classes that we take now there is a focus gaining ideas. The more that we know going into teaching the better off we will be. This is one of the reasons I see this project to be so beneficial. This project will allow me to gain ideas as well as the experience in preparing a study and professional conference.


Nunes, Nicholas

The student intends to create and compile a series of poetry, attempting to embody certain beliefs of the Romantic era of literature. It is intended to portray the beauty and aesthetics of the universe through observation and imagination. The poetry is intended to express oneness of being and embody intrinsic Zen ideals meshed with cosmic appreciation for the realm of possible experiences.

The features of Romantic literature that are meant to be embodied are aspects such as appreciation and interconnectedness with nature, along with the integral connectivity of the ethereal spirit that binds the universe and its components. Romantics use setting and nature to pervade and saturate the universe they create through poetry. William Wordsworth, in his Preface to Lyrical Ballads asserted that “poetry is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, recollected in tranquility.” Whereas, Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his essay On Poesy or Art, professes that poetry is the “mediatress between, and reconciler of nature and man.” Both of these aspects are intended to be melded within this new composition of poetry.

Many authors are integral components of the poetic vision that is intended to be expressed by this project. Influences of the greatest magnitude include such authors as William Blake, S. T. Coleridge, William Wordsworth, E. A. Poe, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickenson, John Keats, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, Pablo Neruda, and some others. The poets mentioned are the idyllic predecessors that influence this project, and the student’s life.

Much like the poets mentioned, it is intended to construct a preface to and an explanation of the pieces presented as an honors project.


Oathout, Kyle

Mentor: Margaret Ostrenko

Second Reader: Bruce Hammond

The subject of this Senior Honors Project is the study of graduate students and their language use on a discussion board during an 8 week semester of class for learning language as supported by Bloom’s Taxonomy. To facilitate this, the technology of NVivo 8 to separate the posts by levels of learning as coded for in Bloom’s Taxonomy.

It is hoped for that this project will demonstrate the usefulness of a tool that can be used to determine if students on discussion boards are able to use them to effectively give voice to their learning language over the course of the term. That this tool could be demonstrated with ease of use for others to reproduce the results and thus better observe individual progress and address any issues that arise during the process.

The resources to be called into service during the course of this project will include at least one copy of NVivo8, the wits of Dr. Ostrenko, Dr. Hammond, and associated minds of the communication field; the discussion boards for the graduate level classes, the class members themselves, and at least one computer for data processing and organization; the time and dedication of the student whose project this is.

A lifetime of conversations which have led to misunderstanding because of an inability to state what the student wanted in such a way as to get it across without offense has led to a deep interest in language and learning. It is the student’s hope that this would be the first step into a deep understanding of learning and communication of what has been learned so that the student might be able to effectively communicate such without the ancillary details that lead to misunderstanding.