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Graduate School Student Success

 

David Marra photoDavid Marra is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology department. This January, he participated in the Nonlinear Datapalooza: A New Kind of Conference for a New Kind of Science located at Chapman University in Orange, California, which was put on by the Society of Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences. At this conference, David worked with methodological experts to learn how to use recurrence quantification analysis to analyze physiological synchronization. David then used this method to analyze galvanic skin response data that was collected in an experiment at Marquette University. He wanted to explore the extent that unconscious, physiological arousal of an individual synced with other team members in a simulated emergency response situation. This newly learned data analytic technique will open new doors for future projects and future analyses in social and biological sciences.

 

Xan Bozzo photoAlexander Bozzo, Ph.D. student in Philosophy, recently presented a research paper at the American Philosophical Association's conference in St. Louis, MO. His paper, entitled Berkeley's Semantic Argument, focuses on George Berkeley, an 18th century Irish bishop, who defended the philosophical positions of idealism and immaterialism. In short, these are minority positions in philosophy that claim that everything we perceive (tables, mountains, books, etc.) cannot exist when not perceived by someone. That is to say, the "physical world" is really nothing more than ideas (indeed, ideas in God's mind). In his paper, Alexander shows that a widely misunderstood passage in Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge is valid, despite its falling short of soundness. This is a significant contribution because it provides a charitable read of an important thinker, and helps elucidate a number of other central disputes within Berkeley scholarship. Alexander is currently writing a dissertation on David Hume; in particular, the role of clear and distinction perception in Hume's theory of causation. He hopes to teach philosophy at the college level upon finishing his degree at Marquette.

 

Anthony Correro photoThis March, 2nd year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student Anthony Correro will present his research at the Association for Psychological Science conference in Amsterdam. His poster presentation, entitled A Study of Weak Associates: Does Arousal Attenuate False Recognition? studies the effects of emotional arousal on memory. Participants learned lists of words, then watched an anxiety-provoking film clip or a neutral film clip. Broadly, arousal led to better memory for words that were studied and led to a reduced tendency to claim that misleading words were studied. Further, arousal after learning reduced the retrieval of weak false information. This study is significant because it provides evidence for the depth to which emotional arousal modulates memory. In his career at Marquette, Anthony has also received several other academic awards and honors, including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, International Convention of Psychological Science Travel Grant, and Psi Chi Unrestricted Travel Grant. 

 

Wendy Fall photoThis fall, second year English M.A. student Wendy Fall presented her research at the Midwestern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference in Kansas City, MO. Wendy's paper, entitled The Patriotic Plagiarist: Matthew Lewis and The Case of the Borrowed Tales, presents strong evidence that although Matthew Lewis borrowed German and French stories for his novel The Monk, he twisted them to suit his strictly nationalistic purposes by infusing them with anti-Catholic and Francophobic rhetoric. Critics’ responses were inflammatory because they reacted that way to any foreign material at the time of the French revolution, and by reacting so explosively, they may have inadvertently added to the book’s readership. The Monk made Lewis a star because it capitalized on the hysterical paranoia in England against the Catholics and the French. Chapbooks, plays, and novels imitating The Monk were central to the development of the Gothic literary movement, which was the founding cornerstone of today’s market for horror, dark fantasy, and terror. My research will, therefore, provides useful insight into the bases of cultural trends marking the rise and decline of the popularity of the Gothic aesthetic. Upon graduating from Marquette, Wendy will pursue her Ph.D. in English in hopes of a career in academia.

 

Matthew Costello, Ph.D. student in Marquette's History department, has been the recipient of two prestigious fellowships in the past year for research for his dissertation. The first was from the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) in Richmond, VA; the second was from the United States Capitol Historical Society in Washington D.C.  Matthew also won the award for best presentation at the NIU Graduate Student History Conference this past November for his presentation entitled, Cultivators of Legend:  Black Guides and White Tourism at Mount Vernon.  This presentation features some of the research that he conducted with the aid of the VHS Fellowship.

 

Mia Michael, History master's student, had the honor of presenting her research at two conferences this fall. The first was the History of the Future conference in St. Louis. Here, Michael presented a paper entitled Flight to Freedom: Soviet Jewish Émigrés' Visions of their American Future and Impressions of American Culture, which relied primarily on the oral histories of twenty-five Soviet Jewish émigrés who settled in New York City during the 1970s and in Boulder, Colorado during the 1990s after fleeing the religious, economic, and social repression of their Soviet government. Her purpose was to explain émigrés’ prospects about their futures in America and also examine their encounters with American culture. Later, at the History Graduate Student Association Graduate Conference at Loyola University, Chicago, Michael presented a paper entitled Journey to America: A Comparison of Child and Adult Immigrant Perceptions and Experiences. This research examined the perceptions and experiences of European adult and child immigrants who were processed at Ellis Island in New York City during the first half of the twentieth century. 

 

Peter Borg, History Ph.D. student, attended the Urban History Associations Conference this fall in Philadelphia. Peter had the honor of organizing a "Race and Religion" panel as well as presenting his own research from his dissertation, entitled Christianity at a Crossroads: Milwaukee's White Urban Churches in the Age of Suburbanization.

 

This fall, Cory Haala, Master's student in Marquette's History department, presented his research at the Northern Great Plains History Conference. The conference took place in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Upon graduation from Marquette, Cory hopes to pursue his Ph.D. in 20th-century Midwestern political history.

 

Dylan Snyder, a 4th year Ph.D. student in Biomedical Engineering, presented a research poster at the Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington D.C. this November. Dylan's research, entitled The Role of the Cortex in the Control of Arm Stability, is focused on the human brain and how it uses sensory information to control the body. More specifically, how the brain uses sensory information to control, arm stability. Previous research has focused on how the brain produces arm movement but how the brain controls arm stability is less understood. Past research in his lab has shown that applying vibration to the forearm flexor tendons can improve arm stability post-stroke. Even though the application of tendon vibration is known to improve the function of a stroke victim’s paretic arm, the mechanism behind the improvement is unclear. During his time here at Marquette, Dylan has built a passive robotic device that will allow him to investigate how the brain controls arm stability and explore the mechanisms behind improved arm stability with applied tendon vibrations. Once the mechanisms of arm stability and tendon vibration are better understood, it may be possible to transfer this knowledge into the clinical setting to improve current neurorehabilitation techniques and to develop therapeutic devices.

After completing his degree from Marquette University, Dylan plans to enter into industry and design neurological devices meant to restore or enhance function.

 

 

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