Systemic Challenges

Recorded five-minute presentations for the Undergraduate Scholarly Showcase in Category E: Systemic Challenges, Projects E-01 through E-19.


E-01: Sexual Assault: A Men's Issue, A Men's Solution?

Cole Williams, Nursing
Project Advisor: Dr. Amy Lind
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I will be using a conceptual framework, initially searching for information about male interventions related to sexual assault on campus. If I am unable to find research that specific, I will breakdown my question into the areas of sexual assault on college campuses, male interventions, and the effectiveness of education versus other forms of prevention. A large portion of both efforts on campus to stop sexual assault, as well as the research on the topic focus on education measures. While education can certainly bring awareness to the issue of sexual assault and rape, the vast majority of individuals know that rape is wrong. Individuals know that crime is wrong, that is why it is against the law, they simply do not care. Education does not change the wishes of individuals. This is similar to abstinence only education, which is not successful in preventing pregnancy and STD transmission. This presentation is required for my course, and I have not completed my research and will reach a conclusion by the April 11th Deadline.


E-02: Women Raped and Murdered, No One Punished: An Examination of Femicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Sydney Holtzapple, Criminal Justice
Project Advisor: Dr. Amy Lind
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Awarded Excellence in Research Communication

Since receiving international media attention in the mid-1990s, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico has become know as one of the most violent cities in the world. Around this time, stories and images began circulating of gruesome killings and disappearances of women in the area. This phenomenon of women being tortured, raped, killed, and disappeared has earned its own classification in Mexico and internationally: femicide. With so many young women being brutalized, and families being torn apart, two questions must be asked: (1) What is the driving force behind these femicides? (2) What is being done to address the problem? In this paper, I will analyze the various causes of femicide, looking at the economic forces encouraging the killing sprees, the political rhetoric that enables it to continue, and the influence of cartels behind the scenes. Following this discussion, I will shift to an evaluation of what is currently being done to address femicide in both Mexico and the United States and ideas of what need to be done moving forward. Ultimately, I argue that the driving force behind femicide in Ciudad Juárez is a combination of relaxed economic regulations, patriarchal political corruption, and cartel influence that come together to form a trifecta of unchallenged power. In this respect, too little is being done to address the ongoing killings of women across the border with no apparent plan set for the future.


E-03: The Gendered Effects of Climate Change

Grace Davis, Environmental Studies
Project Advisor: Dr. Amy Lind
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The consequences of climate change are some of the biggest threats that we face as a society today. Climate change does not only affect our environment but also our economy, politics, healthcare, and international relations. Climate change has the capacity to affect virtually every aspect of our lives. Another issue we are facing on a global level, besides climate change, is the need for gender equality. In many parts of the world women still lack economic, social, and political capital. Causing a divide between men and women, and an imbalance in the resources available to them. These imbalances can be showcased throughout many spheres, including the environment. This is where we can see an intersection between gender and climate change, and the ways in which climate change can affect men and women differently. For women specifically, pre-exiting vulnerabilities can worsen these effects of climate change. In my research I will discuss the many areas in which the subjects of climate change and gender can intersect. Specifically, I will discuss the relationships between migration, poverty, and natural resources in regard to gender and climate change. The outcome of my work is to discuss possible solutions to address the unequal gendered effects of climate change.


E-04: Hollywood's #MeToo Movement: How Society's Elite Ignited Social Change

Sadie Helberg, Film and Media Studies
Project Advisor: Dr. Amy Lind
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Tarana Burke created the term "Me Too" in 2006 to bring women who had experienced sexual abuse and assault together. She wanted to raise awareness and provide resources and support to women. She pushed an inclusive, intersectional approach to sexual abuse knowing the lack of resources for women of color. Nearly 11 years later, the term would be used to ignite a social movement against sexual assault in one of the biggest, most corrupt industries in the United States. Throughout this paper, I question whether the #MeToo movement created substantial change or whether it was a fleeting moment of unity for America's elite. I will examine the history of sexual abuse in Hollywood, highlighting "casting couches" and a toxic culture. Then discuss the time between Tarana Burke creating the term and the reignition of its use in 2017. Followed by taking a look at how #MeToo was brought into Hollywood and what changes were made in the industry afterward. I will finish with an analysis of the impact on other communities and the backlash everyday women face. Was taking down a couple of major Hollywood players enough to change the culture that had been built over more than 100 years? On a grander scope, was it enough to stir change in American culture?


E-05: Sexual Double Standards in the Western World

Anna Breetz, Political Science
Project Advisor: Dr. Amy Lind
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In the Western world there are many different stereotypes based on gender and what society thinks certain people should do based on how they identify or look. There are many different aspects of life that men and women both participate in, but the women are treated differently or looked down upon. From parenthood, to the workplace and the overwhelming pay gap, to even sports and the difference in funding. There are "gender differences in ethical judgements" (Vermeir and Kenhove 2007). These double standards arise from as early as elementary school when there are dress codes that are strictly forced on girls and not boys which then plays a role in how these kids grow up and assume there is different treatment based on someone's gender. One of the most dangerous gender stereotypes are those around anything that can be categorized as sexual. Whether this is sex in general, sexual assault, etc. women are often viewed more negatively, as liars, or given degrading names. In this paper, we are going to tear apart these standards, look at how they negatively affect society, and what we can do to rid them.


E-06: Intersectionality of Second Wave Feminism and Black Women in the U.S.

Chloe Maune, Social Work
Project Advisor: Dr. Amy Lind
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The second wave feminism started in the 1960s and lasted about a decade. The effort was to gain equality for women's rights. It faced a lot of criticism for not including any marginalized groups and being mostly white women focused. The movement did not consider the idea of intersectionality and how different women encountered different issues. This decade in politics had a lot of movements for equal rights for women, race, etc. This included the Civil Rights Movement. The movement and equality that Black women fought for during the second wave impacted the critical race theory which is still very relevant today.


E-07: Domestic Violence in the Time of COVID-19: How the Delivery and Access of Mental Health Care Services Were Impacted and How They Adapted

Abby Lendon, Psychology
Project Advisor: Dr. Bonnie Fisher
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The COVID-19 lockdown presented millions of Americans with challenges to their financial, social, mental, and physical well-being and safety. For many, the lockdown led to an increase of mental and physical violence in the home. As domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for mental health resources also increased. This project is a systematic review of the existing studies on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health services for DV/IPV victims in the United States and how those services adapted to the challenges they faced. Article collection was done in a two-stage process. Peer-reviewed articles published between 2020 and 2022 were accessed via Google Scholar and PubMed in January and February 2022 using the following keywords: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, therapy, mental health services, service delivery, COVID-19, pandemic, hotlines, and mental health treatment. A total of 23 articles were selected from the search results based on keywords and reviews of the abstracts. Seven supplemental articles were hand-selected from reference lists. Further content analysis of findings will be conducted to identify 1) themes of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health services, and 2) themes for therapeutic approaches used to treat DV/IPV victims.


E-08: Institutional Racism Within the Child Welfare System

Grace Ottley, Social Work
Project Advisor: Dr. Gary Dick
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Awarded Excellence in Research Communication

Families of color encounter institutional racism in many aspects of life. Caseworkers want to believe that they are unbiased and nonjudgmental, however, children of color are disproportionately targeted within the child welfare system as they are more likely to experience multiple placements and less likely to be reunified with their family. According to Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services (2021), over 2,600 children were in HCJFS custody and of those children 49% of them are Black in the year of 2020. This demonstrates that there are more Black families involved with Children's Services and states that even though the conditions of the household may be the same as White households, they have more screened-in calls than White families on a national scale and in Hamilton County. This carries into how many Black children versus White children have to be taken into Hamilton County Children's Services custody. Active caseworkers at HCJFS were surveyed about their demographics, institutional racism, diversity, and what needs to be reformed within the child welfare system. The findings revealed the majority of the subjects were able to identify institutional racism, how it affects their clients, as well as what can be done to change it. It is imperative for caseworkers to be aware of one's own biases and how to communicate with clients who are different from them in an effective and respectful manner. Caseworkers must push aside their biases and be culturally aware in order to advocate and form a trusting relationship with their client.


E-09: The Global Pandemic That Continues in Foster Care

Christopher Strasser, Social Work
Project Advisor: Dr. Anjanette Wells
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The global pandemic may to be nearing an end within the United States, the impacts and residual effects are still present. Within the foster care system both the case managers as well as the foster children themselves have clearly felt the impact Covid has brought. These children face many adversities while growing up in foster care, especially during the pandemic affecting their social skills and home interactions (Seay 2019). The inability for the case managers to effectively address and handle these problems also stem from the pandemic. This mixed research study is compromised of the impacts both for the foster children as well as the case managers. The two intertwin creating a positive relationship. As one starts to grow worse so will the other. The research focuses on the sample size of foster care agencies within Ohio. Foster children ranging from 0-16 years old and case managers from 21+ years old. The study is aiming to explore the impacts of Covid on these two population groups. The limitations within this study include: time and sample size.


E-10: The Influence of Organizational Factors on Job Satisfaction in Intellectual and Developmental Disability Care Providers

Rachel Travers, Social Work
Project Advisor: Dr. Anjanette Wells
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People often think of "burnout" as a consequence of employment in the developmental disability field. Caregiver burnout is a major issue to study because it can result in abuse, neglect, exploitation, and so on for vulnerable populations. But what is it about working as a caregiver for individuals with disabilities that makes an employee satisfied or dissatisfied? This descriptive, mixed methods study will look at the organizational factors at a developmental disability day center that contribute to direct care provider job satisfaction/dissatisfaction in order to develop recommendations to improve employee satisfaction. The study used data obtained from a modified annual employee satisfaction survey at a day center/childcare provider for clients of all ages with developmental disabilities. The survey utilized Likert scale questions as well as open ended questions. Results of the study showed that the majority of participants responded positively to questions addressing various aspects of the organizational factors being studied, indicating that employees at this organization are satisfied.


E-11: Socio-Ecological Factors That Influence Readmission on Dual Diagnosed Patients

Ashley Thompson, Social Work
Project Advisor: Dr. Anjanette Wells
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There are a variety of socio-ecological factors that play into recidivism on an inpatient unit. "Dually diagnosed patients pose a particular challenge to psychiatric treatment, since they tend to have a more chronic course of illness, higher rates of relapse and rehospitalization, lower rates of treatment completion, and more complicated service needs than those with substance use problems only," (Strahler, 2009). The goal for recovery programming is to focus on the person's recovery, and not the mental illness. Coping skills, goal setting in treatment, and using a recovery-oriented approach when working with patients on the unit (Koval, 2016).   This research focuses on a sample of recidivism data that tells the agency information about what brought patients back to the IPU. The research is utilizing secondary data from Community Mental Health Center's Inpatient Unit. The research uses purposive method of sampling and aims to explore the impact of socio-ecological factors with samples that consist of patient demographics or socio-ecological factors that influence recidivism. Preliminary results indicate that homelessness is a strong factor among dually diagnosed patients being re-admitted within 30-90 days to the IPU. The limitations to this study is the data collected is purely based off of secondary analysis, so access to other sources were limited and/or deemed unethical for this study.


E-12: How Do Adult-Onset Offenders Differ From Juvenile-Onset Offenders?

Lucy Buckhout, Criminal Justice
Project Advisor: Dr. Sarah Manchak
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Awarded Excellence in Research Communication

Most individuals who violate the law do so for the first time as a juvenile or young adult. Only a small proportion of those in the criminal justice system had their first offense later in adulthood (i.e., "adult-onset offending"). Research suggests that adult-onset offenders are unique in the types of crimes they commit and their risk for future recidivism. The predominant model for offender rehabilitation-the Risk-Needs-Responsivity Model (RNR)-was developed and studied predominantly for persistent, or repeat, offenders who typically began offending in their youth, yet it is often applied to adult-onset offenders without careful consideration of its appropriateness or utility. Using a mixed methods approach with existing data collected from individuals on probation, this study first compares juvenile-onset (0-17) and adult-onset (18+) offenders on (a) index offense, (b) RNR-informed criminogenic risk factors traditionally used to predict reoffending, and (c) individuals' perceptions and thoughts about their involvement in the criminal-legal system. This study can help to improve the field's understanding of the unique and shared risks and attitudes of adult-onset and juvenile-onset offenders. This, in turn, can inform individualized treatment and more judicious allocation of resources.


E-13: Examination of Addressing Grief Among Loved Ones of Death By Suicide

Audrey Cissell, Social Work
Project Advisor: Dr. Anjanette Wells
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The grief that follows death after suicide has been researched very little despite the increasing number of suicidal ideations, planning and attempts of suicide within the past five years (Koenig, 2020). The Cincinnati Police Department's Victims Advocate Liaison Unit (VALU) was created to work within the Homicide unit to be an aid and resource for the victims and loved ones after a loss of a loved ones to a traumatic death. Suicide has become the 10th leading cause of death in the United States (CDC, 2021). This qualitative study was conducted within the Cincinnati Police Department's Victims Advocate Liaison Unit to learn how to better aid these families after the loss of a loved one to death by suicide. The research focuses on families from 2020. The study used a survey given over the phone to these individuals. The study has found that most individuals did not receive support from VALU but most found some elsewhere. Most did agree that resources from the VALU office would be helpful as they navigate this confusing time.


E-14: Health Literacy in Criminal Justice Involved Populations

Jordan Harrison, Criminal Justice
Project Advisor: Dr. Kimberly Sperber
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Individuals involved in the corrections system present with health related problems at a much higher rate than those in the general population. This issue may be due, in part, to low "health literacy" among this population. Health literacy is defined as the extent to which an individual can understand healthcare information and subsequently make informed health decisions. While the rationale exists to assess whether low health literacy contributes to the poor health issues found among correctional populations, very little research has examined this issue. Thus, the current study draws on data collected from 11 community-based correctional facilities in the state of Ohio to examine the health literacy demonstrated by the individuals serving time at these institutions. Beyond assessing the level of health literacy, a series of t-tests and bivariate correlations will be computed to examine whether differences exist between individuals of different criminogenic risk levels, races, and genders. There are several implications of this exploratory research, such as training correctional staff to address health needs of correctional clients, and broader interventions to improve health literacy of these populations through correctional programming.


E-15: Urban Renewal's Impact on Philadelphia

Brooklyn Knight, Criminal Justice
Project Advisor: Dr. Jaime Argueta
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After World War II, the government established the Housing Act of 1949, which provided federal funding for cities to clear out run-down neighborhoods and replace them with high-end housing. To do this, the government evicted low-income residents, offered landlords money for their properties, and seized properties through the legal framework of eminent domain. The totality of these events resulted in the program called Urban Renewal. The Urban Renewal Program are federal policies, such as the Housing Acts from 1949 till 1968, to improve economic conditions and living conditions. Urban Renewal resulted in displacement of people due to the program pricing people out. At the same time, the United States started seeing a large increase in homicide rates. In Philadelphia, PA, homicide rates were consistently above the national average between 1954 and 1974. This project examines the association between Philadelphia's homicide rates and Urban Renewal Policy. Using secondary data analysis of the Uniform Crime Reports and Urban Renewal Project Directories, I will determine whether (a) additive renewal policies and (b) the amount spent on urban renewal policies has a corresponding impact on murder rates. This research is important because Urban Renewal gives us the outline to cities and how the opportunity for criminal events are presented in certain hot spots. As the Routine Activities Theory explains, there has to have an opportunity for crime. Thus, Urban Renewal helps us understand how those opportunities were formed.


E-16: Violence in the Virtual Machine: The Ukraine War and Shifting Media Flows

Michael Stevens, Film and Media Studies
Project Advisor: Dr. Nancy Jennings
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The conflict in Ukraine is a focal point for deconstructing media flows and how we perceive history. This event evinces both quantitative and qualitative shifts in the processing of information. By delineating the contested space between mass media and social media, a broader narrative evolves on the increasing relevance of mass-personal communication as both witness and author of history. The discursive flow of the event also raises questions about how educators should approach historical trauma in lesson planning. Two paths emerge, each eliciting resistance and the desperate recognition of the impact social media has on shaping truth. Historical trauma can offer constructive discourses on conflict and cruelty, and the sociological forces determining these events.


E-17: Antisemitism as a Bias Crime and the Interaction of Bystanders

Joseph Valentine, Criminal Justice
Project Advisor: Dr. Brittany Hayes
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Awarded Excellence in Research Communication

Research conducted in 2020 by the FBI found that crimes against Jewish individuals and community members accounted for 54.9% of all religious hate crimes in the United States that year (AJC, 2021). While the beginning of 2021 showed promising reductions in these religious hate crimes, it was short lived. The New York Police Department reported 11 anti-Semitic incidents in February of 2021, but that number more than quadrupled to 56 in February 2022 (NYC, 2022). Furthermore, the Anti-Defamation League, an agency tasked with tracking and reporting cases of anti-Semitism throughout the country, saw a 75% increase in reports from their 25 regional offices across the nation (ADL, 2021). The purpose of this study is to determine if bystanders are more or less likely to be present during antisemitic incidents than anti-muslim incidents, and what actions bystanders may have. In this study, data were extracted from the Bias Homicide Database. The database is used for collecting and coding incidents of hate crimes between 2000-2022, in which an individual was arrested, and charged. This study may help inform us if the presence and/or actions of a bystander during anti-faith-based hate crime will influence the outcome of that crime.


E-18: Impacts of Colonialism on Gender in Indigenous Latin America

Nicholas Selack, Chemistry and Biological Sciences - Biomedical Studies Concentration
Project Advisor: Dr. Amy Lind
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Struggles for gender and sexual minority rights in Latin America have been embroiled in hatred and pitted against a centuries old system of heteronormativity that is a direct consequence of European colonization. I will analyze how the establishment of the Christian religion was not only a tool but also a weapon of this heterosexual normalization. I explore a few examples of indigenous groups that occupy third-gender spaces and how the institution of religion has worked to create a framework against these “abnormal” and “perverse” cultural practices within indigenous communities. The long history and superpower of the church in Latin America have also created social systems that continue to work against gender and sexual minorities. I also describe how this perfect storm of history, power, and fear lends the church the ability to manipulate government and people. Relations of post-colonial colonizers and the post-colonial colony are also of interest as the dynamic of discussion surrounding issues in Latin America often center colonial powers, while shifting blame of these issues onto local peoples and governments.


E-19: Factors that Affect a Successful Mentorship within Diverse Individuals

Skye Troutman-Gillespie, Social Work
Project Advisor: Dr. Anjanette Wells
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Mentor relationships are meant to create successfully and beneficial relationships. Understanding the factors that can affect a successful mentorship for diverse individuals questions different characteristics.  Mentoring creates relationships to guide and grow into a better version of yourself for both mentee and mentor. Within the literature research articles displayed, characteristics for gender, ethnicity/race, economic status and age are questioned to develop the factors that affect a mentor/mentee relationship with different diverse factors. Overall, diversity within a successful mentorship has many concerns based off of evidence research and studies tested and completed. Results have shown and provided answers that explain factors and how it does or does not play a difference into the success of a mentor relationship. Raised questions were often proven to not be a negative factor but more or less a comfort with different diversity aspects. The different types of mentoring are also necessary to consider for a successful and important connections for mentoring; being aware of the type of mentoring should also be considered for mentoring. The desire to have an impactful and successful mentorship despite common concerns and different diverse backgrounds, mentoring successfully is in arms reach with awareness of difference aspects to create beneficial mentoring relationship among and characteristic. Although questions are raised for diverse individuals’ factors of diversity do play an effect on mentor relationships but doesn’t determine a successful relationship; despite different backgrounds learning, inspiring and guiding can come from anyone and a successful relationship can happen within diverse individuals with different backgrounds.