Penn McNair Research Journal

McNair Scholars participate in research training and scholarly experiences through the four modules and other related activities, which include performing research under the guidance of a faculty mentor, and attendance at professional meetings and national conferences. Penn McNair Research Program students should complete this Author Agreement: and submit it with their thesis. Once received, the electronic version of the thesis will then be uploaded onto this site.
Journal Volumes

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 17
  • Publication
    Influence of Climate on Malaria in China
    (2011-12-16) An, Grace
    Malaria is the fifth leading cause of death from infectious diseases worldwide, after respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases, and tuberculosis. With half the world’s population living in areas at risk of malaria transmission, it remains a public health issue in many countries, including China. To understand the epidemiology of the disease, it is important to study the climate and environmental factors such as temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, and altitude, because these factors influence the life cycles and development of both the malaria parasite and mosquito vector. Global warming and climate change can increase the areas at risk of malaria incidence and affect transmission rates. As temperatures get warmer, incubation periods for the parasite and mosquito development can shorten, and malaria transmission can occur at higher elevations, infecting populations that have not been exposed to the disease. While control measures and efforts have been undertaken to eliminate malaria in China, the disease still exists in concentrated areas. Changes in temperatures and rainfall could reverse control efforts if the disease spreads from the seven provinces in which it has been concentrated.
  • Publication
    The Ecological Sensibility of New Yorkers: A Survey Conducted July–August 2010 in New York’s Central Park
    (2011-12-16) Guerin, Ayasha
    New Yorkers are estimated to have some of the smallest ecological footprints in America, as the urban landscape of Manhattan has proven to be one of the best energy-saving devices for its overcrowded population. However, the ecological footprint index does not gather information about individuals’ ecological sensibility, which many eco-critics have argued has an important influence on an individual’s environmental impact. This study set out to investigate the ecological sensibility of Manhattan’s urban dwellers with a survey that questions participants’ consumption behavior, understanding of waste and resource sites, perceptions of environmental impact, and understanding of the word ―sustainability.‖ Results suggest the prevalence of some environmentally responsible behaviors versus others, ignorance as to the locations of waste and resource sites, and more individual concern than guilt about the current state of the environment. Finally, study results suggest that there is no generally understood definition of sustainability among New Yorkers.
  • Publication
    Wind Power: Harnessing History to Meet the Energy Demand
    (2011-12-16) Sholler, Daniel
    Five miles from the shore of Mashpee, Cape Cod, rays of sun reflect off the rolling ocean back into the Massachusetts atmosphere. A powerful and quiet 25-knot wind ripples the small waves over Horseshoe Shoal, home to Nantucket Sound‘s most valuable wind resource site. For over 10 years, a battle has been waged by Cape Wind, a private company under New England energy developers Energy Management Inc., over the construction of America‘s first offshore wind farm on these waters. Strict environmental permitting, objections from individuals concerned about sound and visual pollution, and difficult financial conditions have each played a major role in preventing construction from getting under way.
  • Publication
    Fast Rhythmic Bursting Cells: The Horizontal Fiber System in the Cat’s Primary Visual Cortex
    (2007-11-14) Lee, Jin
    One of the cellular mechanisms underlying the generation of gamma oscillations is a type of cortical pyramidal neuron named fast rhythmic bursting (FRB) cells. After 58 cells from 21 cats' primary visual cortices were filled with Neurobiotin, the brains were cut, and the cells were photographed. From all cells, 1 non-pyramidal and 4 pyramidal cell (3 regular spiking (RS) cells & 1 FRB cell) were confocaled, reconstructed with Neurolucida, and analyzed with NeuroExplorer. All 5 cells showed a linear correlation (>0.94) between length and number of intersections. Their polar histograms indicated that the FRB cell has triple dendritic length, twice the number of dendritic tree orders and mean length compared to the 4 other cells. We propose that FRB cells are key elements of the horizontal fiber system that links cell populations with similar feature selections throughout the primary visual cortex.
  • Publication
    What Is a Good Friend: A Qualitative Analysis of Desired Friendship Qualities
    (2011-12-21) Roberts-Griffin, Christopher P
    Interpersonal attraction leads to friendships and romantic relationships. Research has focused on three specific factors that contribute to interpersonal attraction: the propinquity effect, similarity, and attractiveness. These factors have been found to have a significant effect on who we befriend; thus it was hypothesized that individuals should highlight these factors above others when describing what they desire in a close friend. The present study analyzes similarity, proximity, and attractiveness in regards to friendship selection examining qualitative data collected on the website Each participant provided data on what qualities they looked for in close friends, and each description was analyzed and coded. It was found that participants do consider these factors when analyzing their own attraction to individuals; however, qualities such as trust, honesty, and supportiveness were highlighted to a greater extent. Similarity, proximity, and attractiveness were not the most mentioned factors in the self-reported data, thus not supporting the hypothesis proposed. It is then suggested that similarity, proximity, and attractiveness can also work in negative ways: Individuals can come to dislike a person in the presence of these factors. Similarity, proximity, and attractiveness are important when selecting close friends, but other factors account for more.
  • Publication
    Bilingual Education in California: Is It Working?
    (2007-11-16) Trujillo, Monica
    The topic of bilingual education has received heightened attention over the past few decades. How to educate children with limited English skills, or English learners (EL), is a highly controversial and debatable issue that deserves attention because of the vast numbers of English learners in the United States today. ELs are students for whom English is a second language and who come from homes in which a language other than English is spoken. Currently, there are about 5.5 million ELs in U.S. public schools (U.S. Department of Education, 2004). Their numbers have been growing dramatically over the past few decades, making them one of the fastest-growing student populations in the United States (Slavin & Cheung, 2004, p. 52). For example, from 1980 to 2000 the EL population doubled from 6 percent to 12 percent in the United States (Morse, 2002). Of this population, the majority of students are Spanish speakers (79%). This makes bilingual education largely a Latino issue.
  • Publication
    Linking Health and Economic Development: HIV/AIDS Prevalence as an Indicator of Economic Growth
    (2007-12-19) Chia, Luis
    Today we are witnessing what may amount to the biggest health and development challenge the world has ever faced. Having caused the deaths of 20 million people globally since its discovery in 1981, HIV/AIDS is unique in its devastating impact on the social, economic and demographic foundations of development. Today, the number of people infected with HIV in the world has already reached an estimated 39.4 million, with over 95% of them living in the developing world. Like clockwork, as every minute passes, 6 people die from AIDS, amounting to a daily loss of 8500 lives. Despite increased funding, political commitment, progress in expanding access to HIV treatment, and major developments in the fight against HIV and AIDS, including anti-retroviral medicines, rates of infection are still on the rise. Time and time again, the AIDS epidemic has outpaced the global response. Thus, if we are to turn the tide, effective intervention strategies are needed now.
  • Publication
    Beyond Sound Bites, Stereotypes, and Blame-Placing: A Historical Analysis of the Interethnic Violence at South Philadelphia High School
    (2011-12-16) Nelson, Nichole
    ―Asian students say black students routinely pelt them with food, beat, punch and kick them in school hallways and bathrooms, and hurl racial epithets….‖1 This quote from the January 22, 2010, edition of USA Today describes Asian students’ account of their experience with violence and harassment at the hands of a group of predominantly African-American students at South Philadelphia High School. Various media outlets reported that a group of primarily African-American students attacked approximately 30 Asian students in the high school lunchroom. Subsequently, Asian students boycotted the school for more than a week and returned to school on December 16, 2009. Shortly thereafter, the School Reform Commission began hearings to investigate the series of events and hear the Asian students’ testimonies.
  • Publication