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Identifying Merohedral Twinning in the Protein Data Bank

Keiichiro Ono

Mentor: Dr. Hartmut Luecke

Among certain types of protein crystals, we can find the phenomenon called merohedral twinning: a crystal growth disorder in which the specimen is composed of distinct domains whose orientations differ but are related in a particular, well-defined way. Twinned crystals require special consideration during analysis, as they contain a mixture of two or more orientations of a lattice in what is apparently a single crystal. In some space groups, merohedral twinning (a form of twinning in which reflections from the twin components that make up the crystal overlap each other) is not uncommon. This type of twinning is more easily overlooked than other forms of crystal twinning because the diffraction patterns show no abnormalities. In the case of merohedral twinning the intensity of each diffraction spot is actually the sum of the unrelated intensities of the twin components. Failure to detect and properly account for merohedral twinning leads to atomic structures with substantial errors. To investigate whether the presence of merohedral twinning has been overlooked in the past we propose to search the over 10,000 molecular structure files in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). Although this is a biological science research, the experiment is performed on a UNIX workstation. In other words, this is an in silico experiment.

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Effect of Gender on the Release of Endothelial Factors by Acetylcholine and Shear Stress

Kirk Pak

Mentors: Dr. Sue Duckles & Dr. Diana Krause

Clinical studies have shown that the risk of getting cardiovascular disease is greater in men than women before the age of menopause. Gender-specific mechanisms may enhance the release of relaxing substances derived from the vascular endothelium, which may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular function. In endothelial cells, acetylcholine acts on specific receptor proteins to initiate release of several vasorelaxant substances, nitric oxide (NO) and endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF), which act on the surrounding smooth muscle layer to dilate the artery. Shear stress of the endothelial cell layer, caused by an increase of luminal flow, may also act as a stimulus to release these relaxants. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a gender difference in the relative contribution of endothelial factors, NO and EDHF, to vasodilator responses, either agonist or shear stress-dependent. To test the hypothesis that arteries from females would have a greater contribution of NO and EDHF to either agonist or shear stress-dependent vasodilation than arteries from males, inhibitors of NO and EDHF were used to reveal their relative contributions to vasorelaxation in isolated, perfused rat arteries. Changes in smooth muscle contraction were measured as changes in perfusion pressure. Data analysis showed that male arteries depend almost exclusively upon NO for vasodilation, whereas female arteries appear to be able to utilize both NO and EDHF for vascular relaxation. Further experiments will be necessary to determine whether this gender difference in the release of endothelial factors may be attributed to effects of gonadal steroids. The findings of this study have revealed further information that may eventually help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

The Role of Apoptosis in the Immune System Following Trauma/Sepsis

Arnold Pang

Mentors: Dr. Marianne Cinat & Dr. Adnan Din

Apoptosis (programmed cell death) is a highly regulated process involving many complex pathways that ultimately lead to the death of the cell. Under normal conditions, apoptosis is a mechanism that precisely regulates the number of circulating leukocytes (immune cells). Recent research has begun to reveal that changes in apoptotic activity in leukocyte populations contributes to the immunodysfunction and immunosurpression in ICU patients; ultimately leading to the development of organ failure, infection, and death. In this study, we believe apoptosis is differentially regulated in leukocyte populations following trauma/sepsis. 30 Sprague-Dawley rats were separated into two groups and 3 time points were established (2,3, and 4-day-period). Polymicrobial sepsis was induced using the standard cecal ligation and puncture model (CLP), while the sham group received the same surgical procedures, but no CLP was performed. The spleen was harvested at 2, 3, 4 days and apoptotic activity in isolated lymphocytes (immune cells) was measured using the TUNEL assay. Data is currently being analyzed. The findings of this study will improve our understandings in the time course of apoptotic changes in leukocytes following trauma/sepsis in rats.

 

The Rhetoric of Erotic Poetry

Anastasia Paveloff

Mentor: Dr. Victoria Silver

Post-Romantic poetry has denied that lyric poetry is rhetorical, affirming it as the authentic and personal sentiment of the ingenious mind. All uses of lyric poetry are, nevertheless, public and traditional. To that end, rhetoric, the persuasive word, is central to the lyric poem, accounting for its conventional nature in two ways: first, as a speech that observes certain standard topics and strategies; and second, as a speech whose concerns are ethical and political. Through the lyric voice, the erotic poetry of Archilochos, Catullus and Shakespeare, juxtaposes such notionally different worlds as erotics and politics to suggest that they are commensurable, insofar as they challenge a fundamental human assumption—that we are rational beings. Erotic poetry thus asserts the irrationality of human value and action, calling for a temperate response to aphrodisia, a response in which consist moral and political virtue. This civic problem of human irrationalism is the central concern of the erotic poem, not the power of private emotions nor the poet’s autobiography. In that sense, the private sphere of the erotic poem is merely a vehicle for discussion of the nature of politics and the public sphere. The relationship between the lover and beloved is parallel to the poet and the public or political establishment. Drawing on the rhetorical tradition of erotic poetry, Catullus and Shakespeare confirm this association, expressed as the problem of persuasion, which is assent through desire not through understanding. The danger ultimately of erotic and political excess as ethical disorder, is civic turpitude. Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Puttenham each seek to fend off this eventuality in their rhetorical theory.

 

Latinas and HIV/AIDS Prevention

María Pelayo

Mentor: Dr. Leo Chavez

Much social research on AIDS/HIV has abandoned the study of groups over the study of risk behaviors. However, a handful of Anthropologists in Herdt's Culture and Sexual Risk, emphasize the importance of research on groups and risk. They studied the cultural implications for HIV/AIDS prevention programs among peoples in "developing nations" and gay and lesbian communities in the technologically developed world. This current study builds upon their work and uses the group-based approach. In addition, this study takes the health care seeker as the subject and primary source. Fifteen Latinas seeking health care through the agency, Latino Health Access, are presently participating in an in-depth interview consisting of questions on their beliefs on HIV/AIDS, sexuality, and a family-based approach to combating HIV/AIDS. One of the primary questions is whether the women believe that "culture cures" and how. Data analysis will be taking place in conjunction with UCI medical students at the agency, who are gathering data on the Latino community's beliefs on diverse health issues and with the agency's health care workers. The analysis will address the role of cultural beliefs on an HIV/AIDS prevention program for Latinas. The findings in this study are intended to increase our scope of knowledge on Latina beliefs on HIV/AIDS and sexuality, to provide a tool for agencies to structure more effective HIV/AIDS prevention programs for this group, to build on existing anthropological research on HIV/AIDS and to contribute to the limited social research on the AIDS pandemic.

 

The Street Vendors of Santa Ana: A Case Study in Immigrant Informal Economy and Ethnic Politics

Evelyn Perez

Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres

This study examines one of the distinct economy systems with in the Latino immigrant community, the informal economy. This research project focuses on the street vendors located between Spurgeon Street and Ross Street on Fourth Street in downtown Santa Ana, California. In addition to describing the street vendors’ "subculture," this research will look at the recent attempt by the local Santa Ana City Official and business owners to ban street vending in that city. Through interviews, field notes, and documents collection this study applied the triangulation method to connect sources, methods and theories in order to come up with a conclusion that would help us discover the unique experience of Latino immigrants working in the informal economy.

 

The AVID Connection

Julio Perez

Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres

Since the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program began at a local high school in Anaheim, California, there are higher numbers of minority and low-income students attending four-year universities. Can this be credited to the AVID program? And if so, can this program benefit other disenfranchised communities with histories of low educational attainability? This case study evaluates the impact that the AVID program has had on a low-income, immigrant community in the city of Anaheim. The Jeffrey-Lynne community (known as Tijuanita) never had any of its students attend a four-year university until the AVID program had its first graduating class in 1996. Through interviews, surveys and school records, I found that there was a significant increase in students admitted and attending universities. In addition, I compared school, county and state AVID records in which this local high school has an exemplary program. This community is similar to others, yet the AVID program has helped deal with macro issues through a micro approach. AVID is not only a means of facilitating access to higher education, it is also a means of promoting socioeconomic mobility for disenfranchised communities.

 

The Utilization of Breast Cancer Screening Services Among Hispanic Women of Orange County

Xochitl Perez

Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres

Hispanic women are found to have about half the breast cancer screening rates of any other group of minority women (Fulton, Rakowski, & Jones, 1995). My study focuses on what factors effect the utilization of breast cancer screening services among Hispanic women who are 40 years of age and older in Orange County. Previous researchers have studied such factors as perceptions of cancer, acculturation, socioeconomic status, and health care insurance coverage in determining rates of utilization. This study will include acculturation and socioeconomic status (independent variable) as variables in determining utilization (dependent variable). Few researchers have specifically explored these variables together. This study will first determine whether socioeconomic status influences the utilization of breast cancer screening services. It will then measure whether levels of acculturation or socioeconomic status are more significantly associated with utilization. A three way contingency table with trivariate analysis will be used to test each independent variable’s significance to the dependent variable. Chi-square will be used to test for statistical significance and gamma will be used to measure strength of association and direction. Preliminary analysis and findings for this study show that socioeconomic status and utilization of breast cancer screening services are positively associated. Further analysis will determine whether level of acculturation or socioeconomic status are more significantly associated with utilization.

 

Activated Platelets Stimulate Cardiac Afferents

Andrew Phan

Mentors: Dr. Liang-wu Fu & Dr. John Longhurst

This study was conducted to demonstrate stimulation of activated platelets on cardiac afferents. Myocardial ischemia activates blood platelets and cardiac sympathetic afferents, which mediate chest pain and cardiovascular reflex responses. When platelets are activated, they undergo a shape change, release the contents of their storage granules, and aggregate together through positive feedback. One of the constituents found in a dense granule, a storage granule, is serotonin. Serotonin has been shown to stimulate cardiac vagal and sympathetic afferents. Therefore, we hypothesized that activated platelets stimulate cardiac afferents. Previous data have demonstrated the exposing the platelets to collagen activated the platelets. Thus, solutions of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and platelet-poor plasma (PPP) were incubated with collagen to activate platelets in vitro. The solutions of PRP+collagen, PRP+Saline, and PPP+collagen were injected at separate times into the left ventricle through a catheter placing in the chamber of left ventricle of cat. We observed that only the PRP+collagen (activated platelets) caused an increase in cardiac afferent activity (n=9 afferents) compared to PRP+Saline and PPP+collagen, which contained insignificant amounts of activated platelets. These data indicate that the activated platelets stimulating the cardiac sympathetic afferents which likely play a role in mediating the sensation of cardiac pain.

 

Ethnicity: A Basis for Political Mobilization

Nhaman Phan

Mentor: Dr. Carole Jean Uhlaner

Within the last three decades, there have been three waves of Vietnamese immigration into the US by those seeking political asylum. This steady increase has enabled the Vietnamese American community of Orange County to become one of the most rapidly growing ethnic communities in Southern California. This current study examines the relationship between Vietnamese ethnic identity and political participation in order to evaluate how ethnicity may serve as a basis to mobilize members of the Vietnamese community to become more active within the public arena. The investigation is a two-fold process. First, assessments are made on the existing levels of ethnic solidarity among members of the community. This is done through observations and interviews with those involved with various group and organizational activities within the community. Secondly, fifteen exploratory interviews were conducted with well-known political and non-political activists within the Vietnamese community. Twelve political activists were selected from two prominent political organizations that are Vietnamese specific, while the other three non-political individuals were identified as cultural and educational activists within the Vietnamese community. The analysis of these interviews are currently underway. Yet, the evaluation of the data will address questions regarding the degree of ethnic solidarity among the community's members, the level of political participation within the community, and how ethnicity serves as a basis to mobilize and motivate greater participatory levels among members of the Vietnamese community to become active within the public sphere. Moreover, there will be a brief discussion on how the three differing waves of immigration may affect the overall findings to the above questions. The results of this study are expected to increase our knowledge of the rate of political participation and how ethnic identity may be used to motivate greater involvement within the public sphere for members of the Vietnamese community.

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The Impact of Domestic Violence

Christina Rahn

Mentor: Dr. Raymond Novaco

The plight of domestic violence survivors is not well understood. This project concerns adult-female clients served by an emergency shelter for domestic violence victims, located in Orange County, California. The target sample was approximately 50 women who had spent a minimum of 25 days in the shelter receiving housing, counseling and assistance. The principal objectives of the project were: (1) to successfully recruit a high proportion of shelter residents for research participation, (2) to conduct interviews and administer psychometric tests to shelter residents at optimal time points during the shelter stay and after the shelter exit, and (3) to track a high proportion of shelter program graduates after their exit from the shelter for interviews and testing at one-month and six-month follow-ups. It was found that approximately two thirds of the shelter program graduates exited to other shelter living, indicating that time in the emergency shelter was insufficient for preparing clients for independent community living. Nevertheless, psychometric testing found that levels of depression, anxiety and trauma symptoms decline significantly in conjunction with the stay in the shelter, and remained so 30 days after shelter exit. However, the absolute levels on these measures of distress were still in the clinical range. It would be advantageous for a post-intervention approach to be a holistic one where the intervention is constructed to begin in the shelter and extend seamlessly to post-shelter residence in a way that facilitates family access to community resources and fosters healthy long-term adjustment.

 

Ph.D. Earnings Across Race and Gender

Daniel Ramirez

Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres

Because of the historical influence of race and gender on socioeconomic mobility, it is important to investigate if income is significantly influenced by one’s race and gender status. This study seeks to determine if race and gender influences the incomes of university professors with Ph.Ds. Surveys that gather information on income and other factors, such as tenure status, will be conducted. A multivariate ANOVA will determine any significant income discrepancies within each department. An analysis of the 1997 national annual median earnings for Ph.D. holders database, prepared by the National Science Foundation, provides the research framework. Although the database was not specific to the academic rank of doctorates, the analysis did show significant earnings variance between gender and racial groups in general. This allows the speculative conclusion that income discrepancies may exist between professors within their academic departments. This study is pertinent because of the implications race and gender may have on earnings within the diverse university faculties in the post 209 (California anti-Affirmative Action) era.

 

Working Memory and Phonological Awareness: Their Effects on Reading Ability and Attitude in Adulthood

Gina Rappleye

Mentor: Dr. Virginia Mann

In order to successfully read an alphabetic writing system, one must be able to break words down into individual units of sound called phonemes, from which language is comprised. Another important aspect of reading ability may be the holding of such units of language in working memory for the appropriate application of rules necessary for understanding written text. Working memory is also implicated in the ability to sequentially connect the content of text within a paragraph. This implies that the effectiveness of working memory may be positively related to a stronger ability to read and comprehend. To date, these observations are predominantly supported by studies of elementary age children. The current study explored the roles of working memory and phonological awareness in reading ability, but looked instead at young adults. This study also incorporated a measure of morphological awareness, which has similarly been shown to have an influence on reading ability in the late elementary grades. Undergraduate volunteers were tested with measures of phonological awareness, working memory, morpheme analyses, reading ability and reading comprehension. Along with these, a motor skill task was given as a control for non-verbal influences in the reading process. The findings are expected to clarify the relationship between working memory, phonological awareness, and the ability of experienced adult readers to read and comprehend written text. These results will help increase our understanding of reading processes, which in turn may help improve methods to successfully teach the skills necessary for learning to read.

 

Hydration Dynamics of a Partially Unfolded Protein

Ali Razmara

Mentor: Dr. Douglas Tobias

The important function of proteins extends from understanding the solvent-protein interface. Discernment of the protein folding mechanism requires knowledge of the structures and dynamics of species populating the folding pathway. There has been considerable interest from both experimentalists and theoreticians in characterizing compact molten globule (MG) and native (N) folded states of proteins. The MG state is an ensemble of compact structures with persistent secondary structure, but disrupted tertiary interactions and extensive hydrophobic core solvent penetration. Recently, 17O magnetic relaxation dispersion (MRD) experiments by Denisov et al. (Nature Struct. Biol., 1999), probing MG hydration, have suggested a picture of the MG state that is contrary to the prevailing one of an expanded, loosely packed protein with significantly greater solvent exposure. In our project, molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulation studies have been performed using barnase protein. Through detailed analysis of hydration dynamics, these MD studies have aimed to reconcile the contradictory views of the MG state derived from MRD data. Our hypothesis is that water molecules reorient faster next to the more "slippery" hydrophobic groups than next to polar/charged groups. From our results, the protein volume expansion implies that hundreds of waters actually penetrate the MG state. This is in contrast to recent MRD data interpretations, concluding that nonnative proteins are more structured and less hydrated than previously believed. However, our MD studies are consistent with the traditional notion that large influx of water actually penetrates the MG state upon volume expansion and hydrophobic residue exposure.

 

A Minority Groups' Lag in Representation, Their Struggle for Power in a Limited Political Sphere and Its Policy Impact on the Community

María Rendón

Mentor: Dr. Judith Stepan-Norris

Studies indicate that representation of minorities in school boards results in greater hiring of minority administrators and teachers. Furthermore, minority student academic performance is positively correlated with the increase of these numbers. The Lynwood Unified School District has been predominately Latino for about twenty years, however, it was not until 1999 that the school board became dominantly Latino. LUSD has undergone dramatic demographic changes within the past thirty years. Once a predominantly white and white controlled district, LUSD was known for its academic excellence. Today, the predominantly Latino district, at one point largely Black, and controlled by Blacks for about ten years, is now ranked as one of the state’s poorest districts academically. Furthermore, the lag of Latino representation in the school board and the Black strong hold of the district have caused racial tension and conflict between both groups. In an attempt to capture the changes that have taken place in the past twenty years, this study will present district demographic trends and interviews will be conducted with teachers who have taught in the district for over twenty years. Furthermore, this study will also attempt to analyze the policy impact the different ethnic groups have had on the student’s educational outcome when in control of the district. The hypothesis is that the academic downturn in the district over the years has been aggravated by the lag of Latino representation and White and Black resistance to relinquish power in the school board. Moreover, it is expected that the Black resistance results from the limited political sphere that exists for minorities in which to exert representation and power within a greater political system that continues to marginalize them. As a result, the focus to implement effective policies to improve Lynwood’s student’s achievement, including the hiring of more Latino administrators and teachers, has been overshadowed by and secondary to minority politics.

 

The Study of Gene Expression in the Human Pathogen Chlamydia

Melissa Reyes

Mentor: Dr. Ming Tan

Chlamydia is a pathogenic bacterium that is the leading cause of sexually transmitted disease in the United States. We are studying gene expression during the unusual intracellular developmental life cycle of Chlamydia. The long term goal of the laboratory is to identify master regulatory molecules that regulate gene expression as these regulatory molecules may be good therapeutic candidates for inhibition of chlamydial growth and pathogenesis. We have developed an in vitro gene expression system that can transcribe cloned chlamydial genes. This gene expression system utilizes chlamydial RNA polymerase that has been biochemically purified from chlamydiae. My project is to purify recombinant s -subunit, which is the subunit of RNA polymerase that allows the enzyme to recognize specific DNA sequences, called promoters, and initiate transcription. Biochemically purified RNA polymerase contains less than stoichiometric amounts of the s subunit, which is relatively depleted during the purification process. The recombinant s protein will be added to obtain s -saturated RNA polymerase. Our experience in purifying recombinant s protein will also help us when we purify each of the other recombinant subunits of RNA polymerase in the

future. We have overexpressed recombinant s in E. coli using a T7 RNA polymerase expression system. The overexpressed protein was insoluble and likely to be present in inclusion bodies. We have obtained solubilized s protein by optimizing growth and lysis conditions. The recombinant s was tagged at the N-terminus with 6 histidine residues so that it could be purified over a nickel affinity column taking advantage of the specific binding of nickel to multiple adjacent histidine residues. Conditions for purification of the histidine-tagged s were determined by optimization of imidazole, NaCl and glycerol concentrations. Reconstituted chlamydial RNA polymerase saturated with recombinant s will be used in an in vitro gene expression system to study the transcriptional regulation of chlamydial genes and identify specific transcription factors.

 

The Prevalence and Diversity of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Upper Newport Bay, CA

Monica Rhee

Mentor: Dr. Sunny Jiang

Antibiotic resistant bacteria have been found in many rivers, creeks, and ocean waters. Sites in Upper Newport Bay, CA were chosen to isolate, identify, and characterize the bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and to compare the genetic diversity among the antibiotic resistant bacteria. Of the four antibiotic tests (kanamycin, ampicillin, streptomycin, vancomycin), the highest percent antibiotic resistance was found on kanamycin at 47.9% whereas the lowest was found on ampicillin at 0.3%. Furthermore, the percent resistance identified on streptomycin and ampicillin was lower than 3% while the percent resistance identified on vancomycin was 9.8%. Through PCR for 16s rDNA and 16s Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis (ARDRA), distinguishing patterns at bands 100bp for Kanamycin A, D, and F were observed. Kanamycin B, C, and F showed bands that appeared at 400bp. Therefore, Kanamycin A and D were found to be identical whereas Kanamycin B and C were found to be alike. In addition, Kanamycin F had similar characteristics, but was found to be different than compared to Kanamycin A, B, C, and D.

 

The Relationship Between Division of Labor Expectations and Divorce

Shelly Riddle

Mentor: Dr. Wendy Goldberg

Considering the over 50% failure rate of marriages in this country today, it is relevant to consider preventive steps that could spare couples and their children the tumult and pain of divorce. Prior research indicates that discrepancy between couples’ expectations for household division of labor and their actual household task behavior contribute to discord and conflict in the marital relationship (Brines & Joyner, 1999; Kiger, Kiger & Riley, 1996). The objective of this research project is to understand the perceived role of division of labor problems in marital discord and divorce. The sample consists of 15 divorced adults (6 male/9 female) and, as a comparison group, 15 married adults (5 male/10 female). Participants’ ages range from 25 to 43 years and they are primarily middle to upper-middle class. Previously obtained interviews with 50 married/divorced/cohabitating women regarding division of labor in their households were also used to supplement this study. Semi-structured interviews conducted with the participants point to strong associations between division of labor conflict and marital discord. Preliminary analysis of the transcribed interviews suggests that violated expectations around division of labor issues were more likely to be reported by divorced participants than by married participants. Communication about division of labor also appeared to differ between the samples. Analysis of data from the earlier interviews of 50 women substantiates the preliminary results from the current set of interviews. The findings from this project should be of interest to pre-marital counselors, marriage and family counselors, divorce mediators, and couples in crisis.

 

Community Policing Officers' Attitudes and Perceptions

Carlos Rodriguez

Mentor: Dr. John Dombrink

Community policing has gained popularity in the United States and throughout the world. This rising popularity of community policing increases the need to study individual officers within the program, more specifically, Latino officers. Little information exists on Latino police officers, and even less information on Latino officers involved in community policing programs. This exploratory study focuses on understanding Latino and non-Latino police officers’ attitudes and perceptions on community policing. Police officers at the targeted department anonymously completed survey questionnaires and returned them by mail. Participants were then grouped according to both the officer’s assigned police unit and their race. The data was then analyzed within and between the groups in order to find any significant relationships.

 

The Validity of Play Therapy on Latinos

Crisana Rodriguez

Mentor: Dr. Michael Scavio

Play therapy is a creative form of play that is utilized as the child’s medium of self-expression, in pursue of enhancing the child’s developmental skills and social interactions. However, numerous studies indicate that issues of language and culture impact the provisions of appropriate play therapy. The purpose of this study is to determine therapist’s perception of play therapy on Latino children and to determine some of the mechanisms that have been implemented, if any, to increase the validity of play therapy on Latinos. The study procedure will entail interviewing five therapists. The study will be measured qualitatively using seven open-ended questions as guidelines.

 

Differing Risk Perceptions About HIV/AIDS: Effects of Level of Education, Acculturation and Socio-Economic Status

Nancy Rodriguez

Mentor: Dr. Elaine Vaughan

The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has grown at an astronomical rate since it was first reported in 1981. It became apparent in 1989 that AIDS was affecting people of all ages, ethnicity's, gender and sexual orientations. Currently, millions have died and many more are to be infected and the disease has yet to cease its wrath. According to the Center for Disease Control, minorities are at greater risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. Therefore, the current study will attempt to explore Latinos risk perceptions to better understand their increase rate for infection by exploring misconceptions for contracting HIV/AIDS. This prognostic study will assess acculturation level, beliefs, values and risk perception and perceived risk about HIV and AIDS in a sample of Hispanic College students and working-class individuals. Interviews and surveys were administered in Orange County residences and the University of California, Irvine. The population sample consists of 35 Latino College level students and 15 Latino working class individuals. The sample was recruited based on an organization-based network sampling (Bernard, RH, 1988). The interview survey consists of qualitative and quantitative methods. Data Analysis is currently underway. Qualitative and quantitative methodology measures will provide an in depth understanding of the respondents underlying thought processes and how they perceive their risk towards contracting HIV/AIDS. The findings of this study expect to identify factors beyond acculturation level and knowledge about HIV/AIDS.

 

Peer Sexual Harassment as a Weapon of Sexism

Jennifer Rogers

Mentor: Dr. Sue Freeman

Some feminists claim that all oppressions are interconnected and that their root is sexism. I agree that all oppressions are connected and reinforce each other, but I believe that they can only be destroyed by working against all of them, not just against sexism. In Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism, Suzanne Pharr claims that there are three weapons of sexism: economics, violence, and homophobia. I believe that there are more weapons that are hidden under the generalizations of these three categories and that each reinforce the other. As a weapon of sexism, sexual harassment could go under each of these categories. The use of sexual harassment to serve heterosexist ideology is an important aspect of the way people interact with one another, the way they respond to sexual harassment, and whether or not they are willing to classify something as sexual harassment. To understand how students interpret and respond to sexual harassment, I surveyed about 100 undergraduate students at UC Irvine. Most of the respondents to the survey were freshmen undergraduates living in co-ed residence halls. Peer harassment was chosen as a focus for the study because it has been ignored in previous research. I used Louise Fitzgerald’s Sexual Experience Questionnaire (SEQ) as a guide, after getting permission from her to use her revised edition. The results of this study and its comparison to Fitzgerald’s faculty-to-student harassment study increases our understanding of the relationship between sex role ‘norms’ and the use of sexual harassment as a policing agency.

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Chile: Understanding How Democracy Works in Latin America

Gabriela Salazar

Mentor: Dr. Mark Petracca

In the eighteenth century democracy presented itself to the modern individual as a promise of liberty, or more precisely, of autonomy. Ever since its inception, the democratic idea has carried inspirational and motivational ideals for the thousands and millions of people that have courageously fought for its existence in countries all around the world. For developing countries like Chile, as in most other Latin American countries, the authoritative and aristocratic legacies of their past, have often proved burdensome and damaging to their present democratic regimes. In Latin America, the use of military coups to displace governments democratically elected, have often been the rule rather than the exception. Chile for example, went from living over 150 years of democratic continuity, starting with its independence from Spain in 1811, to experiencing a 17- year military dictatorship, brought about by a coup in 1973, which governed the country all the way up to1990. Since 1990, Chile has resumed many of its historical democratic traits such as a vigorous party system and stable electoral alignments. Fair and open periodic elections to choose political leaders have become a clear and essential element of its democratic system. The purpose of this project is to take an incisive look at the Chilean case and to trace how far Chile has traveled democratically in the last 10 years since the end of its military dictatorship. I want to analyze, through the Chilean case, why democracies all over Latin America, to this day, are not yet perceived as being completely democratic; and instead when measured up against democracies like the United States and Britain, Latin American democracies are found to be labeled as "authoritarian and immature" and as "illiberal", all over the democratic literature. All in all, this study hopes to provide some interesting analysis of the way democracies function in the developing world of Latin America.

 

Reacting to Columbine: Examining School Violence Prevention Programs

Amanda Self

Mentor: Dr. John Dombrink

Violence on America’s school campuses has become a more pressing problem in recent years. The violent, fatal rampages of their fellow students have recently threatened children at all grade levels. Schools, parents, and communities have formed partnerships to combat these acts of violence and have begun to focus on early prevention. A great deal of research has been conducted concerning what works and what doesn’t work, and a number of strategies have been recommended. But what are schools really using? The current investigation seeks to determine what programs and strategies schools are actually utilizing in their fights against violence. Interviews with school officials and violence prevention program representatives will allow for analysis of what Orange County schools are finding useful as they attempt to prevent violence on their campuses. Furthermore, this project will allow us to understand the true effects that Columbine and other brutal on campus murders have had on the ways in which school administrators ensure the safety of their students.

 

Characterization of a RF Plasma Source

Akhil Shah

Mentor: Dr. Roger McWilliams

A RF source in the shape of a ring, eleven inches in diameter, was used to create an Argon plasma. The source operates at neutral Argon pressures of 10-4 Torr, and does not require a magnetic field. We have measured the electron temperature and ion densities at various frequencies between 10-100 MHz, at an input power of 73 Watts. Subsequent measurements of the spatial variation of ion density show non-uniformity and average densities on the order of 1011 cm-3. These measurements were made with the standard techniques of Langmuir probes. An additional experiment to investigate the control over ion energies and density was preformed by incorporating the use of another RF source, called a Helical Resonator. The Helical Resonator was operated simultaneously with the Ring source, but at much lower power and frequency settings. The plasma is initially created by the Ring source and then stimulated with the Helical Resonator. Using Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) we were able to obtain Ion velocity distributions or equivalently Ion temperatures for the different combinations of power and frequency settings of the two sources.

 

Home Literacy, Interest and Phonological Awareness as Predictors of Reading Ability

Sheela Shah

Mentor: Dr. Virginia Mann

Phonological awareness is the ability to compare and manipulate small units of sound within words and letters. Since the English alphabet is a phonological system, which represents phonemes, it may be essential to have a basic phonemic awareness in order to read. The present study investigates the relationships between phonemic awareness, language-processing skills, and home environment in order to determine what factors predict young children’s later reading ability. This study will compare 45 kindergartners’ home literacy environments (measured through parental questionnaires) with the kindergartners’ performance on pre-reading tasks of phoneme awareness, letter/sound knowledge, and working memory. Through data analysis, results from the different pre-reading tasks will be compared to answers on the parental home literacy questionnaires in order to determine which factors influence young children’s reading ability.

 

Hydra are Thermotactic

Farah Shamszadeh

Mentor: Dr. Hans Bode

In a previous study, thermotaxis was observed in all sections of the Hydra which included the whole head, the body column, the tentacles, the whole animal minus the foot, the head plus 1/3 tentacle and the 2/3 tentacle. All sections move toward heat and away from cold. The nature of the movement of the whole animal and various sections was examined using time-lapse video equipment in the continuation of the thermotaxis study. The whole animal was observed to move by two methods. In one method the animal may bend its head over to the floor and allow its foot to float up and then bring its foot down again closer to the head resulting in a movement in a direction. In the other method, the animal twists its body so that it moves across the floor very slowly. The pattern of movement of the whole head starts with a series of 3-5 contractions and is followed by the relaxation of a tentacle. This tentacle adheres itself to the floor of the petri dish, and pushes itself off a direction. The pattern of movement of the body column starts with a contraction at one end. This contraction moves forward and in doing so moves the body column in a direction.

 

The Role of Signal Transduction in the Vascular Effect of Simulated Microgravity

Sarah Sheibani

Mentor: Dr. Ralph Purdy

Simulated microgravity reduces the maximal contractile response to norepinephrine (NE) in the abdominal aorta of male wistar rats. In the present study, the role of alterations in several second messengers mechanisms for NE was assessed after 20 days of hindlimb unweighting (HU). Following the HU treatment, isometric contraction was measured in aorta rings and NE dose response curves were obtained in the presence of various antagonists. The contractile contributions of voltage operated calcium channels (VOCC), arachidonic acid metabolites, protein kinase C, phospholipase C and MAP Kinase pathways were inhibited using nifedipine, indomethacin, calphostin C, NCDC, and genistein, respectively. NCDC blocked contraction equally in both the control (C) and HU tissues. Similarly, calphostin C caused a complete inhibition of contraction in the C and HU arteries. In contrast, nifedipine, indomethacin, and genistein caused a decrease in contractility in the C, but not HU aortas. To further assess the role of the MAP Kinase pathway in HU induced hyporesponsiveness, PD98059, a MEK inhibitor, was utilized. PD98059 reduced contraction in both the C and HU tissues. The results of this study indicate that PKC is an early step in signal transduction, linking tissue stimulation with NE to all subsequent steps mediating contraction. Alterations in pathways involving non-receptor tyrosine kinases, VOCC, and arachidonic acid metabolites may be involved in the observed HU effect.

 

A Dental Health Promotion for the Niños of Medio Queso

Jennette Silao

Mentor: Dr. Sharon Stern

A dental health promotion was conducted in an attempt to decrease the number of cavities among the children in a rural community of Costa Rica with limited access to dental facilities. The health promotion focused on educating 2-5 year old children in proper dental care, and understanding the importance of nutrition. The health promotion was evaluated by comparing 2 different educational techniques: song for 3 children, information for 3 children, and 2 children in the control group. There was an increased incentive for the children to brush their teeth, but with a small sample size the data was statistically insignificant. This study showed, in general, that the motivating factor of toothbrush behavior changes was influenced by family interaction, peer influence, and individual personalities of accepting information.

 

International Extradition: A Case Study in the United States and Mexico

Heather Smith

Mentor: Dr. Mark Petracca

Despite the bilateral extradition treaty in force between them since 1978, the US and Mexico have had many problems when attempting to acquire jurisdiction of criminals in the respective state. These problems often lead to delays of up to two years in the processing of extradition requests, which in turn lead to delays in the trial of the accused. The recent cases of Jose Luis Del Toro and David Alvarez, American citizens accused of crimes in the US, who then fled to Mexico, have helped to depict US frustrations over the Mexican capital punishment policy. Conversely, instances of Mexican extradition requests, such as Mario Ruiz Massieu and the Palacios-Valdez cases illustrate Mexican frustration over US evidence gathering requirements. While many authors have suggested a broad range of solutions for extradition problems in general, few attempt to isolate the specific problems between states. This study takes an in depth look at the specific problems in international extradition arrangements, arguing that delays in the processing of extradition requests are the result of specific problems between the US and Mexico. The findings of this study are expected to isolate the key problems in recent, controversial extradition cases between the US and Mexico and increase our understanding of the US/Mexican extradition relationship as a whole.

 

Use of Unconventional Therapy by Immigrants from India Residing in Southern California

Radhika Sood

Mentor: Dr. Sibylle Reinsch

The purpose of the study is to determine the extent and patterns of use of unconventional therapies by immigrants from India residing in Southern California. Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Medicine are two of the most widely utilized unconventional therapies in India. In order to determine the extent of use of these therapies among immigrants from India, we conducted a survey of 60 adults 18 years of age or older (mean = 41) in 1999. Potential participants were recruited at temples, recreation sites and college campuses. We asked respondents to report any medical problems and details of use of conventional medical services and unconventional therapies in the past year. Approximately 47% of the participants reported using at least one unconventional therapy in the past year. The most frequently used unconventional therapies were Homeopathic and Ayurvedic medicine. The majority used unconventional therapies for chronic, as opposed to life-threatening medical conditions. Digestive problems and arthritis were two health conditions most commonly treated by unconventional therapies. Among those that used unconventional therapy, 57 % also sought treatment for the same condition from a medical doctor. However, only 29% of those using unconventional therapies informed their medical doctor about their use of the unconventional therapy. The frequency of use of unconventional therapy also varied with the number of years in the U.S. Immigrants who had lived in the U.S. for 15 or more years showed the highest frequency of use. Also, we found that 97% of the respondents paid out-of-pocket for unconventional therapies.

 

Multimedia Over High Speed Networks: Coexistence with Data Streams

Edward Stecker

Mentor: Dr. Tatsuya Suda

The Internet and the protocols that it uses, mainly TCP/IP and ATM, were created many years before every company was doing "e-commerce," and "surfing" meant going out into the ocean. With the Internet’s traffic growing exponentially and data pipes pushed to the maximum data limit, network providers are constantly struggling for more bandwidth. The data that one wants to transmit must share the medium, and sometimes wait for room due to the overwhelming demand for network bandwidth and the continual limited supply. With the advent of many new high-speed networks, the behavior of data flowing through the network is not well understood. The research being conducted intends to study transmitted data’s behavior in high-speed networks for congested and non-congested situations. First one must understand the interactions of protocols, hardware, and software. They all influence the data in numerous ways. My research is currently trying to grasp and understand the numerous combinations of operating systems, hardware, and testing programs in the local testbed. The interaction of TCP/IP over ATM is currently being examined due to anomalies in throughput. This testbed is comprised of a mixed environment ATM network with Microsoft NT and Sun OS computers, with Fore and Cisco ATM switches. This testbed is mixed because enterprise networks are also rarely homogenous. Once the behavior of one data stream is understood, more data streams are added to increase congestion. Data steams with different contents will then be studied, especially video due to its demands for quality and timeliness.

 

The Maintenance of Professional Self-Conception as an Artist Under a Highly Structured Authoritarian Working Condition

Jennifer Su

Mentor: Dr. Samuel Gilmore

A renowned orchestra plays a familiar tune from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The beautiful melody played by talented musicians flows smoothly into the audience’s ears. Outwardly, these musicians portray confidence and enthusiasm in their music. Yet inwardly, these individuals talents are restricted to the stipulations of the conductors and regulations of the orchestra. Karl Marx states that laborers are often treated unfairly by the bourgeoisie. Like laborers and bourgeoisie, the relationship between the orchestral musicians and the symphonic organization administration reflects the idea that orchestral musicians are "cultural workers." Music historian Wolfgang Schulz states that musicians often complain about their working conditions. They describe these problems as "lack of space," "hardly the proper atmosphere for relaxation," and "heating and stale air during performance" (1981). In addition, a study done by Sociologist Edward Arian focuses on musicians’ alienation and tedium due to routine work (1971). The structure of the working environment constrains musicians’ individual artistic-interpretation. This research uses observation and ethnographic interviews to examine professional musicians’ interaction with their conductors and managers as well as their colleagues. The intent is to help better understand how the authoritative organization in the symphonic orchestra affects musicians’ artistic and professional self-concept.

 

Codon Pair Bias and Secretory Leaders in Yeast, E. coli and B. subtilis

Sanjay Swamidass

Mentor: Dr. George Gutman

Codon pair usage is extremely biased in genetic sequences. Research has suggested that codon pair bias in E. Coli, at least, is related with the speed of protein translation: over-represented codon pairs (ORCP) translate slower and under-represented codon pairs (URCP) translate faster. If codon bias were related with translational speed, ORCP and URCP distribution should be related with any co-translational event, including protein folding and some types of protein processing. As of yet, no studies have examined any relationships between codon pair bias and any aspects of protein structure or processing. We hypothesized that a pause in the translational rate would be found downstream of secretory leader sequence cleavage sites in order to promote interactions between the ribosome and Signal Recognition Particle (SRP). We derived a statistic from the codon pair bias values that was independent of amino acid sequence. We examined the distribution of this statistic relative to each signal cleavage site, along each DNA sequence of the secretory proteins of Yeast, E. coli and B. subtilis. Our analysis shows a statistically significant abundance of ORCPs just at the signal peptide cleavage site in Yeast and a statistically significant abundance of URCPs before the cleavage site in both E. coli and B.subtilis. This variation in codon pair usage could increase the efficiency of translocation by increasing the time window during which the ribosome is in a translocationally competent position relative to the signal peptide. We are now designing an experiment to verify the predicted effect synonymous codon variation might have on translocation efficiency.

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Functional Analysis of Different Isoforms of a Transcription Regulatory Protein, TCF-4

Tuong Ta

Mentor: Dr. Marian Waterman

The principle focus of the laboratory is to study the structure, activity and expression of Lymphoid Enhancing Factor (LEF)/ T Cell Factor (TCF), a relatively new family of transcription factors. Little is known about the newest family member, TCF-4 except that it is expressed in normal colon tissue as well as in colon cancer cell lines. TCF-4 is proposed to play a role in WNT/Wingless signaling, a regulatory signal that directs cell patterning and cell fate decision during development. Misregulation of WNT/Wingless signaling is correlated with the onset of colon cancer, but whether TCF-4 mediates these effects is not yet known. Several known as well as novel isoforms of TCF-4 from a human testes cDNA library were identified and characterized. The alternative 3’ tails of these isoforms were each cloned into full length TCF-4 to replace the known "E-tail". These chimeric clones were expressed in vivo and transcription activity was recorded. Data analysis is currently underway. Planned analyses include examining whether or not these novel isoforms activate transcription, and if they do, how each alternative 3’ region will affect transcription efficiency. The study of TCF’s and other transcription factors are expected to increase our understanding of the role different isoforms play in carcinogenesis.

 

Teacher Influence on Minority Students' Academic Success

Rosaura Tafoya-Estrada

Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres

The study will examine the University of California (UC) eligibility rates for minority students attending schools that have a high concentration of minority students and high concentration of teacher’s with Master’s degrees or higher. The research question is: How are teacher qualities associated with minority students’ academic success? The researcher hypothesizes that teacher training at the Master’s level or higher is not related to the teaching skills that prepare minority students for higher education. A student survey is to be used to access the relationship between degree status and teacher’s ability to motivate students. A crosstabulation will be conducted between teacher motivation and UC eligibility, while controlling for teacher educational and credential degrees. In addition a regression analysis will be conducted to determine the strength of the relationship. The researcher suspects that as teacher motivation goes up, UC eligibility for minority students will also rise. Similarly, as teacher motivation goes down, minority students UC eligibility will drop. Findings will provide insight to better understand the phenomenon of the lack of minority student eligibility to the UC system. The results will shed light on factors that affect the student enrollment at post-secondary institutions and will assist the educational administration to create programs that will increase the existing numbers.

 

Emotional Functioning in Epilepsy

Pany Tehrani

Mentor: Dr. Linda Nelson

The psychological or emotional effects of epilepsy have been of interest to psychologists for some time. Emotional assessment of people with epilepsy is imperative for diagnosis and/or treatment of any disorders. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2), a test that includes both neurological and psychological questions, has been widely used by psychologists as a diagnostic tool for assessment in epileptic patients. Traditionally, individuals with neurological problems tend to score high on measures of emotional functioning, especially depression. Hence, one might attribute this high score to a purely psychological disorder. However, since many symptoms of depression are physical in nature, it is crucial for clinicians to recognize whether these physical symptoms reflect psychological or neurological (directly resulting from seizures) problems. During the course of the investigation, the MMPI-2 was administered to 20 subjects diagnosed with epilepsy in order to analyze emotional functioning. Once all of the 20 subjects complete the test, data analysis will begin. The completed data will then undergo a statistical correction procedure removing all of the neurological item responses. This new, corrected data will then be compared to the original and assessed for a significant difference. Results of this study are expected to demonstrate whether the many symptoms found to be emotional in epilepsy patients are primarily neurological manifestations of their disorder or psychological.

 

Laser-Induced Fluorescence Characterization of the Helical Resonator Plasma Source

James Thomas

Mentor: Dr. Roger McWilliams

Plasma physics has seen increasing interest in recent years due to its application for thin film deposition and semiconductor processing. Studies have been done of one promising plasma source utilizing the technique of laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) as a diagnostic tool. A helical resonator plasma source has been constructed and its operation characterized. Source resonance characteristics and ion temperature have been measured. Power transferred to the plasma has been determined as a function of frequency and pressure by measurement of forward and reflected power to the source. The source has particular frequencies at which power transfer is maximal. LIF was used to measure ion temperature as a function of pressure in the 10-4 range. In the 10-4 range, minimal variation of ion temperature occurs. Some theory regarding LIF and helical resonator plasma sources is also presented.

 

Neural Systems Supporting Speech Perception: An fMRI Study

Kimberley Tomlinson

Mentor: Dr. Gregory Hickok

Although we speak and comprehend speech everyday without giving it a second thought, it is an amazingly complex task. Interestingly, speech perception seems to be supported by different brain mechanisms than those which support the processing of other types of stimuli (Liberman et al., 1967). This experiment compares the activated regions in the brain for speech and environmental sound stimuli to clarify which regions are specifically involved in the perception of linguistic stimuli versus the processing of sequences of events that bear semantic information alone. In this study the participants were instructed to listen to both normal sentences and corresponding environmental sound events (ESEs). The ESEs are composed of several environmental sounds which create a ‘sentence’ similar to speech in that it conveys meaning. For example, the sound of someone knocking and then the sound of a door opening correspond to the sentence, "Someone knocked and the door was opened." Data analysis is currently underway. The environmental sound stimuli is expected to activate regions in the more superior temporal lobe, such as the superior temporal gyrus. The sentence stimuli is expected to activate regions more inferior than the sound stimuli, even extending into the middle temporal gyrus. Such results will provide evidence that the processing of linguistic stimuli in more inferior temporal regions is driven by the linguistic quality of the sentences and not merely the fact that they communicate information about a sequence of events.

 

Vietnamese Americans: Protest and Minority Politics

Diep Tran

Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres

This study examines how participation in the Orange County Little Saigon Protest (LSP) of 1999 changed Vietnamese American political participation—both electoral (voting) and non-electoral (e.g., protesting, campaigning, etc.). The study focuses on the Vietnamese American communities of Orange County that has a population of several hundred thousand Vietnamese American residents. I compare the protesters subsequent political participation with non-participants. I also examine gender differences in political participation. Survey questions to protesters and non-protesters address: (1) political behavior before and after the LSP and, (2) the demographic characteristics of the respondents. Interviews are used to explore the viewpoints of the protest leaders. Data will be analyzed using Chi-square to test significance, Lambda and Cramer’s V to test for correlation between the independent variable (participation in LSP) and dependent variables (subsequent political participation). It is predicted that participating in the LSP leads to increased political participation both electoral and non-electoral for protesters. The LSP initiated enormous political energy within the Vietnamese communities beyond Orange County. It was a unique event that increased the political power of the Vietnamese American communities. Thus, it is important to study and document the Little Saigon Protest as a major politicizing event for the Vietnamese American communities of Orange County.

 

Understanding the Stereoselectivity of Nucleophilic Addition to Tetrahydrofuran Oxonium Ions

Michelle Tran

Mentor: Dr. Keith Woerpel

Tetrahydrofurans are important compounds due to their appearance in numerous biologically active compounds. These natural compounds serve as antibiotics as well as cytoxic, antitumor, or antiparasitic agents. The stereochemistry at carbon-1 of a tetrahydrofuran is a factor that determines the biological activity. This stereochemistry can be set in a reaction of a nucleophile with an oxonium ion intermediate. Our goal is to refine the model that we developed to predict reactions involving oxonium ions. Investigations of oxonium ions with one, two, and three substituents on the remaining carbon positions result in high stereoselectivity, depending on the type of substituent. For example, trans disubstituted furan oxonium ions show high selectivity. We would like to understand whether these substituents are axial or equatorial in the conformation leading to products. We wonder whether oxonium ions possessing fused alkyl rings, which must be equatorially positioned, would give results consistent with previous studies of non-fused systems. A six-membered ring system has been previously prepared, but due to its limited flexibility in the bicyclic system, the nucleophilic addition showed poor selectivity. To allow flexibility and rotation, eight-membered rings are currently being fused to oxonium ions in hopes of yielding substrates with high stereoselectivity. The chemistry of eight-membered rings with oxonium ions have not been thoroughly investigated due to the difficulty in forming the precursors to the desired product. The strain energy of the most stable conformer of cyclooctane is higher by 10.5 kcal/mol compared to the cyclohexane used before. As a result, the fusion of an eight-membered ring onto a furan is more challenging. Our progress will be discussed.

 

Effects of Estrogen on Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Activity on Rat Cerebral Microvessels

Mimosa Tran

Mentor: Dr. Diana Krause

Estrogen has been shown to confer protection against cardio and cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke and ischemic attack. A projected pathway is estrogen’s involvement in enhancing endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) to generate nitric oxide (NO), a vasodilatory molecule. The objective of this experiment was to test the effects of estrogen on ovariectomized female rat cerebral microvessels. Based on the findings in our laboratory that estrogen increases eNOS protein in microvessels and functional nitric oxide in rat cerebral arteries, we hypothesized that estrogen increases eNOS activity in ovariectomized female rat cerebral microvessels. Microvessels were isolated by homogenization and centrifugation after being taken from brain tissue from two animal groups (ovariectomized (O) and ovariectomized with estrogen pellets (OE)). A similar experiment was perfomed in the absence of pial vessels to validate endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity in the microcirculation. eNOS activity was measured by quantifying the conversion of radioactive L-[14C]arginine to L-[14C]citrulline which correlates with simultaneous release of NO. eNOS activity was observed in the presence appropiate co-factors and was also inhibited by the specific NOS inhibitors, N-nitro-L-arginine methy ester (L-NAME) and N-nitro-L-arginine (LNNA). The results support our hypothesis and show the greatest eNOS activity for ovariectomized female rats with chronic estrogen treatment. Estrogen increase eNOS protein in rat cerebral microvessels. This effect of estrogen presumably contributes to the neuroprotective action of this hormone.

 

Outcrossing Rates in Schiedea globosa

Phuong Tran

Mentor: Dr. Stephen Weller

Outcrossing rates, biparental inbreeding, and genetic variability among populations were investigated in Schiedea globosa (Caryophyllaceae), a subdioecious species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands of O`ahu, Moloka`i, Maui, and Hawai`i. The goals were to examine whether population size affects outcrossing rates and level of biparental inbreeding, and also to determine whether founder effects or genetic bottlenecks are responsible for the differences in genetic variability among populations. To measure outcrossing rates, allozyme variability was investigated in progeny of females from a large population of S. globosa occurring on West Maui. Ritland’s (1990) maximum likelihood estimation procedure was used to estimate outcrossing rates and detect level of biparental inbreeding. The outcrossing rate based on 31 maternal families was 0.773, compared to the value of 1 expected for progeny of females. Biparental inbreeding is unlikely to explain this result, based on the similarity of single and multi-locus estimates of outcrossing rates. Genetic variability at 9 allozyme loci was reduced relative to O`ahu populations of S. globosa, suggesting that a founder event leading to reduced genetic variability occurred during colonization of Maui. Differences in genetic variability among the Maui populations were evident at one locus, suggesting that a genetic bottleneck had occurred in some West Maui population as well.

 

Neocolonial Legitimization: The Mapuche Other/Subject in the Poetry of Leonel Lienlaf

Rick (Quang Anh) Tran

Mentor: Dr. Lucia Guerra Cunningham

Although the literary image of Aracuano Indians has been relevant since the 16th century (Ercilla, La Aracuana), the Mapuches have been the most discriminated group in Chile. In fact, the Chilean nation was formed by the systematic elimination of the Indians. The Guerra de Arauco lasted until 1888 seventy years after the nation was consolidated. The Mapuches were the only Indians in Latin America not yet subdued. They were relegated to Southern Chile, and there has been no serious attempt by the Chilean state for a national project. In the last ten years or so, the Mapuches have organized themselves politically with their own agenda, declaring a separate nation from Chile. Part of this movement is the emergence of the Mapuche writers, an extraordinary fact since their culture is oral. I am interested in studying the product of two Mapuche poets: Leonel Lienlaf and Elicura Chihuailaf. I will focus on the position of the speaker’s poetic voice in relation to white hegemony; the way the poetic speaker constitutes himself as a subject (Mapuche worldview, religion, traditions, symbols and memory); and finally, the insertion of this poetic product in the larger Mapuche culture which at the moment is trying to legitimize and make itself visible in Chilean culture. To achieve these goals I will draw upon various critical discourses with an eye on postcolonial theory. The project ultimately attempts simultaneously to examine the application of theory to practice and to observe whether Mapuche poetry can elucidate in some way postcolonial theory.

 

The Prevalence and Diversity of Antibiotic Bacteria in San Diego Creek, CA

Vinh Tran

Mentor: Dr. Sunny Jiang

The prevalence of antibiotic resistance bacteria is steadily rising among clinical isolates, thereby limiting the treatment options for bacterial infection. To determine the prevalence and diversity of antibiotic resistant bacteria, a total of 27 antibiotic resistance bacteria were isolated from San Diego Creek (Orange County, CA). All isolates were screened for plasmid DNA and diversity of isolates were determined by using amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA). Of the 27 isolates examined, most bacteria isolates were resistant to Vancomycin (75%) and Ampicillin (53%). Isolates were generally sensitive to Kanamycin (92.5%) and Streptomycin (96.5%). All 27 of the isolated antibiotic resistance bacteria contained plasmids. The genetic diversity of the antibiotic resistance bacteria is currently being analyzed. The results of this study suggest prevalence and diversity of the resistance bacteria in San Diego Creek, CA.

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Trends in Attitudes of Elementary Pre-Service Teachers

Tigran Unciano

Mentor: Dr. Stephen Campbell

The purpose of this study was to generate a profile of pre-service teachers, describe how they perceive six core academic topics and describe their level of technological literacy by analyzing biographical data. Subjects were pre-service teachers enrolled in "Teaching Mathematics in Elementary School" at UC Irvine. Data was collected via a survey that was distributed to subjects at the commencement of the course. Data were analyzed for central tendencies and frequencies of response to illustrate trends in pre-service teachers’ perceptions of core academic subjects. In general, the major findings of this study are that the majority of pre-service teachers are 1) female 2) recent college graduates 3) between the ages of 21 and 25 years 4) majors in the Humanities or Social Sciences 5) tend to have a highly negative attitude towards Science, moderately negative attitudes towards Social Science, Math and History a moderately attitude towards Literature and a more positive attitude regarding Writing. This study also finds positive correlations between perceptions of enjoyment and usefulness, and negative correlations between perceptions of enjoyment and difficulty, within certain topics. Other significant correlations were found across different topics regarding perceptions of enjoyment, difficulty and usefulness as well as correlations between different topics across the different dimensions of enjoyment, difficulty and usefulness were found. In conclusion, the study makes preliminary inferences regarding possible connections between pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards academics and their level of math anxiety. The implications of these connections to the quality of mathematics instruction are also discussed.

 

Pieces of the Puzzle: The Unwilling Narrators in Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White and Their Function in the Creation of Suspense

Jaime Untz

Mentor: Dr. Robert Newsom

A pioneer in the area of detective fiction, Victorian novelist Wilkie Collins presents the reader with a suspenseful, but frustrating narrative structure in one of his best known mystery novels, The Woman in White. Collins style of narration is unique because he presents the events of the mystery through the eyes of various narrators, whose testimonies are given in a specific order. The reader is taken through the events of the story as if it were a trial and the different narrators were witness presenting their testimony. The structure of the narratives cause suspense for the reader because they release key pieces of information so slowly that the reader is left in suspense. Two of the narratives, those of Frederick Fairlie and Count Fosco, create more suspense for the reader than any of the others because they provide a hindrance to the release of information. Fairlie’s self-centered attitude causes him to show a lack of concern for the endangerment of his niece and therefore he does not want to be bothered with having to tell what he knows. The fact that Fosco is at the heart of the mystery causes him to deceive the amateur detective, Walter Hartright, and to threaten him so that he does not have to tell him the truth. Collins’ uses both these narrative to withhold information from the reader in order to create suspense and therefore a better mystery.

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Development and Application of the Type Two Intramolecular Nitroso Diels-Alder Reaction

Jesse Vargas

Mentor: Dr. Kenneth Shea

The type two intramolecular Diels-Alder cycloaddition utilizing N-acylnitroso dienophiles provides an efficient entry into bridged [n,3,1] oxazinolactams. In contrast to the bimolecular counterpart, the reaction is completely regioselective. Structural characterization of the cycloadducts allows for evaluation of the olefin distortion and the degree of pyramidalization of the bridgehead oxazinolactam. The use of the type two intramolecular Diels-Alder reaction as a facile entry into the synthesis of medium ring amines and amides is being investigated.

 

Studies on Xenopus laevis Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors

Herman Villalba

Mentor: Dr. Ricardo Miledi

Acetylcholine(ACh), one of the main neurotransmitters in the central and peripheral nervous systems, elicits varied physiological responses by activation of muscarinic (mACh-R) and nicotinic receptors. The mACh-R family is made up of five different, yet similar, receptors encoded for by five separate genes (m1-m5) which belong to the G-protein coupled receptor family of receptors. In order to express, and by so doing, have a means to analyze the electrophysiological signals of, the Xenopus m4 receptor, the following procedures were followed. The m4 cDNA was excised from the plasmid pTZ-m4 and directionally subcloned into the expression vector pCDNA3. This new recombinant vector was injected into the nucleus of Xenopus laevis oocytes and expression of the receptor was studied by its capacity to activate calcium dependent chloride channels through the activation of G-protein coupled cascades. Moreover, the cRNA of the gene was synthesized via in vitro RNA transcription using the T7 polymerase. This m4 cRNA was then injected into Xenopus oocytes as well. It was found that injection of m4 cRNA produced a receptor that coupled to G-proteins and activated oscillatory chloride currents on the membrane of the oocytes. Thus demonstrating for the first time that the cloned cDNA can form functional receptors. More experiments will be necessary to fulfill the electrophysiological and pharmacological properties of this receptor.

 

The Impact of Teachers' Degrees and Motivations on High School Students' University of California Eligibility

Maria Villegas

Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres

This study will be looking at the impact of teacher degree and motivations on students’ UC eligibility. The study will further examine teachers’ intrinsic motivations to teach. Intrinsic motivations will be defined as internal reasons for teaching--altruistic purposes. Teachers that have higher levels of intrinsic motivation are more likely to influence students' academic success. The degree of the teachers’ examined in this study will range from having a bachelor’s degree along with emergency certification to a master’s degree. Students’ UC eligibility will be assessed by whether or not they are qualified for admittance to the University of California system. This study will examine the state of California specifically Los Angeles County. The first hypothesis is that the higher the teachers’ degree the more likely students of those teachers will be high performers. The second hypothesis is that highly intrinsically motivated teachers will be linked to students that are higher performers and more likely to encourage their students to move on to higher education.

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Photolithographic Techniques for Fabricating Micromachined Silicon Oscillators

Randall Waldrep

Mentor: Dr. Peter Taborek

Photolithography is utilized in the semiconductor industry to produce nearly all of our modern electronic equipment—from simple printed circuit boards to Pentium processors. However, solid-state materials such as silicon need not be limited to applications based solely on electronics. We describe photolithographic techniques for fabricating monocrystalline silicon mechanical oscillators chemically etched from conventional silicon wafers. The oscillators operate in a static magnetic field and are driven by the Lorentz force on a photolithographically defined conducting film carrying an AC current. Electrodepositable photoresist application techniques were explored in applying the conducting film to the substrate. The oscillators are being developed for use as detectors of superfluid mass in adsorption experiments.

 

T Cell Epitope Mapping of the Paraflagellar Rod Protein 3 (PAR 3) of Trypanosoma cruzi

Zhu Wei

Mentor: Dr. Jerry Manning

The parasitic hemoflagellate, Trypanosoma cruzi, is the causative agent of American trypanosomiasis, also known as Chagas disease. Previous studies have shown that the paraflagellar rod (PFR) proteins derived from the parasite are able to elicit protective immunity associated with T-helper type 1 response. PFR consists of four component proteins, PAR 1, 2, 3 and 4. One of the four distinct proteins, PAR 3, was the focus of the present investigation. Via recombinant polypeptide techniques, six overlapping fragments of PAR 3, designated PAR 3A-F and each ~110 amino acid residues in length, were designed, purified, and mapped for epitope(s) by co-culturing with PFR-immune T lymphocytes and macrophage-like IC-21 cells. Recognition by PFR-immune T cells and the degree of activation by the recombinant polypeptides were compared indirectly through quantitating nitric oxide (NO) production. Two polypeptides, PAR 3D (a.a. 289-398) and PAR 3E (a.a. 387-498), resulted in high levels of nitrite production (22.5m M, 7.0m M nitrite, respectively), compared to the no-antigen control (~1.0m M nitrite). With these findings, smaller overlapping synthetic peptides spanning PAR 3D and 3E may be constructed and subjected to similar investigations to map the epitope(s) that are responsible for the protective immune response against T. cruzi.

 

The Negative Effects of the Media on the Self-Esteem of Women

Amie Whitaker

Mentor: Dr. Bernard McGrane

Advertising in today’s society is an extremely influential and integral part of American culture. This advertising, that is seen on television and in magazines, that lets people know about a new product, is the same advertising that is detrimental to the self-esteem of women around the country. Women are constantly bombarded with images of perfect bodies and are forced to be held up to this ideal. These unnatural and essentially impossible images to attain are constantly in the minds of women who, when they look in the mirror, see only fat, unattractive bodies, when in fact they are normal healthy individuals. This is a constant problem in our society, where approximately 5 million people have an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, and 4 out of 5 women are dissatisfied with the way they look. Even the most physically perfect individuals admit they are dissatisfied with something about their bodies or appearances. Millions of Americans struggle daily with a poor self-image and a troubled relationship with food, ostensibly in pursuit of the perfect body. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that embraces the idea of thinness. Models with tall, skinny bodies and drastically underweight actresses – women who have lost pronounced amounts of weight although they already had enviable figures – seem to represent a standard of beauty and success that many women feel is ideal. The purpose of the research is to make both women and men and especially society, aware of the potentially irreversible damages of advertising on society’s women.

 

How Parents Think About Their Deceased Infants

Jennifer Whitson

Mentor: Dr. Roxane Cohen-Silver

The way we think about the people we love may affect us just as strongly as the loved ones themselves. Parents who lost an infant to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (N=124) were interviewed at 3 weeks, 3 months, and 18 months after their baby died. They were asked to compare their baby to others along five dimensions (i.e., happy, easy going, intelligent, beautiful, perfect) and rate him/her on the five items using a 5-point scale with endpoints of "much less" to "much more" than other children. The modal response for four of the five items was 5, and means were all above 4, indicating that, in general, parents thought of their babies in extremely positive terms. Those parents who rated their babies the highest overall spent more time thinking about their baby, about the dreams and plans they had for him/her when he/she grew up, and found themselves longing to hold and care for their baby more often. Prior work has found that the amount of time one thinks about a deceased loved one is associated with distress. Thus, the way bereaved parents think about their baby after his/her death may be associated with how they adjust to their unexpected loss.

 

The Utility of New Countywide Spinal Immobilization Criteria: The Paramedics Perspective

Warren Wiechmann

Mentor: Dr. Federico Vaca

Assessment of county EMS resource utilization and quality of service has contributed to recent revision of prehospital spinal immobilization protocol (SIP). A new countywide SIP allows for greater clinical judgment by the paramedic on scene. We believe that paramedic perception of acceptance and use of the new SIP will be faced with hesitancy and uncertainty. The design of the study was that of a prospective, cross-sectional survey. Full-time active county paramedics completed a self-report survey. Enrollment (2/99-6/99) took place prior to new SIP implementation. The survey consisted of a series of demographic questions, six multiple choice and two free response questions. Questions were intended to assess paramedic attitudes and opinions of the new SIP. Of the 114 paramedics surveyed, 69 (61%) were satisfied with the old SIP and 23 (20%) were neutral. When asked whether the new SIP would be an effective tool for safe spinal clearance in the field, 49 (43%) paramedics agreed and 25 (22%) were neutral. Forty-five paramedics (40%) felt that the new SIP would be used regularly by local paramedics and 25 (22%) were neutral. Forty-eight paramedics (42%) agreed with the statement that the new SIP would change the current practice of local paramedics and 31 (27%) were neutral. Thirty-five (31%) paramedics agreed with the statement that the new SIP would allow for more effective cost containment, while 39 (34%) were neutral. Two of the most common free-responses against the new SIP were the perceived increased liability associated with clearance and excessive documentation. Our data suggests that there is a lack of agreement among paramedics with regard to perception of acceptance of then new countywide SIP. Approximately one-third of paramedics surveyed had doubts about the new SIP with reference to effectiveness, cost containment, paramedic use and perceived increased paramedic liability.

 

Creative Exploration in Falling

Timothy Wilson

Mentors: Dr. Mary Corey & Dr. Janice Plastino

The first part of my research was an intensive workshop with a professional choreographer, Joe Goode. During the workshop, which concentrated on the effects of text on movement based art, I learned Mr. Goode's choreographic process. From this, I am generating a creative dance work to be performed at the undergraduate dance concert, Physical Graffiti. I would like to present several excerpts from this work in progress. The performance would be under ten minutes and will be danced by four dancers. I will also talk about the conception and creative process. While the work falls within the realm of dance, the generative process propels it towards other aspects of human life. Most noticeable of these are acting and psychology. Both come into play when the dancers are required to explore different emotions. Mr. Goode stresses that for the final product to be engaging the raw material must be captivating. To create "felt" material, performers need to honestly and emotionally invest themselves, while creating the material. In keeping with what I learned at the workshop, I presented the dancers with a number of challenges. They were both in writing and movement and dealt with the verb "to fall" and the idea of falling. Each challenge, as it was resolved, became the material for the dance. I then reviewed the material and, much like the construction of clothing, I wove pieces together. The result is a string of often-conflicting material, which revolves around a central story line or idea.

 

Amelia Opie, 1769-1853: The Autobiographical Roles of a "Woman of Letters"

Sandra Woffington

Mentor: Dr. Robert Folkenflik

Amelia [Alderson] Opie was one of the most prolific and popular female writers of the Romantic Period during which the "English popular novel" arose and flourished, yet her voluminous "tales," poems and notoriety have nearly vanished. Recent studies mostly reexamine Opie’s best known novels, The Father and Daugher and Adeline Mowbray. However, while fictional works can enlighten the present-day researcher as to social expectations and practices during an author’s historical era, examining the author as a subjective "self" in that era requires autobiographical study. Three Opie biographers portray disparate images of the author: as a "domestic heroine;" as a conflicted woman desirous of both social privilege and of her later chosen Quakerism; and as a liberated coquette making conquest after conquest. Biography is problematic in that it attempts to reconstitute a subject through events and secondary perspectives, often influenced by a biographer’s historical present and without undertaking autobiographical study. This research investigates Amelia Opie from her own words, from her autobiographical sketches, letters and journals—those printed in the biographies and originals. Opie portrays her "self" as a member of a troubled society and gender class and as woman who aptly negotiates, both overtly and covertly, between the poles of her desire and the poles of social acceptability. She depicts herself as an actor in her own "romance of real life." She plays the roles accepted by society: socialite, wife of a prominent artist, widow and Quaker, and roles that fewer women dared to play: unescorted traveler, abolitionist, feminist sympathizer, political dissenter, a "blue-stocking" and a "woman of letters."

 

15-DeoxyD 12, 14-prostaglandin J2, A Specific Ligand for Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor-g , Induced Neuronal Apoptosis

Serena Wong

Mentor: Dr. David Cribbs

Transcription factors are important proteins involved in regulation of gene transcription. PPAR’s(peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma) PPAR-gamma (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma) is a nuclear transcription factor that has recently been found to cause cell differentiation in monocytes and macrophages when activated through ligand binding. However, little is known about the effects of PPAR’s in neurons. We investigated the expression and role of PPAR-gamma in primary cultures of neurons. Incubation of cortical neurons with the specific PPAR-gamma ligand 15-Deoxy-D –prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2), induced morphological changes. Morphological changes, particularly neurite degeneration, was observed in cortical neurons as low as 1 uM 15d-PGJ2 and was maximal at 10 uM 15d-PGJ2. The morphological changes associated with incubation of cortical neurons with 15d-PGJ2 were largely prevented following pretreatment of neurons with general caspase inhibitor, ZVAD. The expression of PPAR-gamma protein was confirmed in tissue sections by immunohistochemistry and in cortical neurons by immnocytochemistry, using specific antibodies for the PPAR-gamma protein.

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Immortality in Drosophila

Puya Yazdi

Mentor: Dr. Michael Rose

Demographic data from sexually reproducing populations has indicated a roughly exponential increase in adult mortality with age, followed by a late-life plateau in mortality. The initial exponential phase has long been explained as a result of the fall of the force of natural selection acting on age-specific mortality. Recently, extensions to this evolutionary theory have been developed that explain the late-life plateau in mortality as a consequence of the force of natural selection plateauing at zero. In this study, we tested this theory by calculating the mortality rate of two sets of differentially selected lines of Drosophila melanogaster, where five lines were selected for earlier reproduction (ACO) compared to the other five lines (CO). This expanded theory predicts that the ACO flies will have their plateau occur before the CO flies, because they have an earlier last age of reproduction. Our results support this prediction: the ACO plateau occurred before the CO plateau.

 

Simulated Microgravity Induces Vascular Hyporesponsiveness to Norephinephrine: Role of Protein Tyrosine Phosphorylation

Shirley Young

Mentor: Dr. Ralph Purdy

Simulated-microgravity causes vascular hyporesponsiveness to norepinephrine (NE) in rat abdominal aorta. Microgravity was simulated in male Wistar rats by 20-day hindlimb-unweighting (HU). Preliminary studies showed that alterations in the MAPK pathway may contribute to the reduced vascular contractility caused by HU. Previously, genistein, a general tyrosine kinase inhibitor, was shown to reduce the contractile response in control (C) but not HU arteries, where as PD98059, which blocks the step immediately prior to ERK activation (MEK), markedly reduced the contractile response in both C and HU arteries. The present study addressed the role of tyrosine kinase proteins in HU-induced vascular hyporesponsiveness. Protein levels were determined in abdominal aorta rings using Western blot analysis. Total ERK1/2 protein mass was significantly increased in HU compared to C arteries. In contrast, phosphorylated ERK1/2 protein mass was increased in C compared to HU-tissues. Genistein caused a marked reduction in phosphorylated ERK1/2 in C but not in HU-arteries. In conclusion, HU eliminated a tyrosine kinase-dependent second messenger pathway for contraction. Based on the reported effects of PD98059, that pathway bypasses MEK to phosphorylate ERK1/2, and to mediate contraction by phosphorylating an unknown protein. Elimination of that pathway may have triggered a compensatory mechanism responsible for the observed increase in total ERK1/2. These results indicate that a genistein-sensitive non-receptor tyrosine kinase may be involved in HU-induced vascular hyporesponsiveness to NE. Supported by NASA Grant #NAG9-1149.

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The Belmont Learning Center: Ethnic and Environmental Politics

Rosa Zavala

Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres

Since the 1990 census the effect of California's shifting demographics in politics, schools, and the workplace are being felt. The growing presence of Latinos in our overcrowded schools, playgrounds and community facilities all lead to governmental action. As a result of this, in 1996 the Los Angeles School Board began construction of the most advanced and equipped school in the nation. Little did they know that what they believed as being the solution to overcrowded schools and the haven for low income Latinos in the downtown area, would become the focus of mismanagement and controversy. The half completed multi million-dollar project sits atop an abandoned oil well, which is leaking highly toxic methane gas and hydrogen sulfide. This has led to a heated debate between ethnic and environmental interest groups. What one sees as an educational and economic advancement for the community, the other sees as an erroneous safety hazard. Although, last January the school board voted to abandon the project, the future of the complex is yet uncertain. The conflicting interests of the various parties involved give rise to various uncertainties. Not only did they cause the downfall of Ruben Zacarias, who was once the highest-ranking Latino official in Southern California but also of four of the five board members that supported the school's construction. Continued analysis of the Belmont controversy is still pending. The findings of this controversy are expected to help us understand the dynamics between ethnic and environmental politics in this rapidly changing nation.

 

Coercive Diplomacy: Kosovo as a Case Study

Oliver Zlomislic

Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres

On 24 March 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) initiated a coercive strategy in order to stabilize the deteriorating situation in Kosovo, a province in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). Seventy-two days later, on 3 June 1999, the leader of the Serb-dominated FRY government, Slobodan Milosevic, capitulated to NATO. This marked the end of Europe’s first NATO war and reestablished the credibility of the allied force in a period of severe skepticism. NATO’s war in Kosovo provides an ideal case study for the application of coercive diplomacy in contemporary international conflict. The basic premise of coercive diplomacy, that diplomatic measures focus on stopping or undoing acts of aggression with limited or no use of force, establishes a framework for the analysis of conditions of successful policy, yet proves to be absent the implementation of coercive diplomacy as an actual policy. Using the ultimatum variant as part of the allied strategy, my study will focus on the various problems of credibility, division, dissent, and international opinion, which threatened the success of coercive diplomacy. Analysis will determine if coercive diplomacy was in fact successful, regardless of NATO victory in Kosovo. The conditions upon which coercive diplomacy was likely to succeed or fail, as well as the economic, political, and diplomatic impact of NATO diplomacy are currently being investigated through a number of interviews, historical research, and data analysis. Furthermore, my findings attempt to provide a method to operationalize coercive diplomacy through quantitative methods of management and historical trends.

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