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Honors Students’ Research Projects Explore Topics From Media Coverage to Mental Health

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Five Cal State Fullerton University Honors Program students, four of whom are 2021 graduates, presented their research projects at the 2021 Western Regional Honors Conference this spring.

Sandra Pérez, program director and professor of modern languages and literatures, shared that the senior projects hold a very special place in honors students’ academic journey. 

“Because they have at their core the pursuit of meaningful learning, these projects represent the creative and intellectual gems of the Class of 2021. They encompass personal joys, challenging journeys and learning in its most ideal form.”

Asha Bhattacharya

“Leadership Emergence: Promotion Mindset, Prevention Mindset or Both?”

Asha Bhattacharya

Abstract: Existing studies indicate the importance of promotion mindsets in creating leadership emergence and also point out that prevention mindsets hinder leadership emergence. This makes it seem that the two mindsets work in opposing ways in explaining leadership emergence. In line with previous studies, I find that the prevention mindset is negatively associated with leadership emergence. Interestingly, it is the interaction of the promotion and prevention mindsets that has a statistically significant and positive impact on leadership emergence. My findings suggest that a combination of promotion and prevention mindsets is most conducive to an individual’s leadership emergence in a group setting. Since previous research suggests that women possess more of a prevention mindset, my findings indicate that organizations can take corrective action by teaching promotion mindset techniques to their prevention mindset employees. Such measures will increase female leadership emergence, resulting in greater numbers of women leaders and a reduction of the wage gap between men and women.

Shannon Patrick

“Does Negative Media Coverage of Policy Impact Hiring and Retention in Orange County?”

Shannon Patrick

Abstract: This study addresses major concerns surrounding media coverage of U.S. policing. Prolonged negative media representation of police has led to issues of distrust and skepticism of officers by the public that has spread across the country, threatening the legitimacy of the police, eroding officer morale and making it harder for officers to do their jobs. As a result, we are beginning to see fewer officer candidates across the country than in the past, due to what some believe to be sheer disinterest in the field. Additionally, on the same, countrywide scale, more officers are quitting before they reach the age of retirement. This study analyzes the alleged effect of heightened negative media representation using existing data, and hypothesizes that the issues with hiring and retention can be traced directly to negative media representation of police following major incidents such as the tragedies of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Madeeha Sheriff   

“Mental Health of CSUF Honors Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Madeeha Sheriff

Abstract: College undergraduates are at high risk for their mental health being affected due to the constant stress that comes along with being an undergraduate student. Since COVID-19 hit, undergraduate students are struggling even more. Honors undergraduate students are a group that is at higher risk of their mental health being affected amid the pandemic. Due to the lack of research on the honors undergraduate population during COVID-19, this study serves to show how honors students are being affected by levels of stress, depression, anxiety, coping mechanisms and social support. Honors students received a Qualtrics Survey with the following scales: DEMO, DASS 21, Brief Cope, PAS and MSPSS. Once the survey has been taken by 100 honors students, the data will be exported and analyzed by the SPSS statistics software. The purpose is to uncover and share honors students’ experiences with mental health during this difficult time.

Courtney Wong

“Speech Therapy for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Individuals”

Courtney Wong

Abstract: The United States is home to over 66 million non-native English speakers. This paper is written to highlight learning English as a second language, give speech-language pathologists and audiologists insight as to why there is a growing need for bilingual professionals in their field, and explain why it is important to learn how to work with interpreters/translators. This information is necessary when the clinician and patient do not share the same native language and therapy is conducted in the patient’s native language. This paper includes sections on the process of English learning as a second language, how English differs from Cantonese, the characteristics of a successful bilingual SLP and interpreter/translator relationship, and how they work together to provide the best treatment for the patient. Findings of this paper conclude there is not a sufficient number of SLPs able to provide speech-language therapy to those needing it in another language. However, they can learn to work with an interpreter/translator who will assist them with the patient. Suggestions for future directions are outlined and include formal training in graduate programs for individuals who are bilingual, mandatory multicultural classes and language classes as an elective.

Alexa Vega Rivas*

“How Do the Effects of Trump’s Immigration Policies Influence White and Latino Support for the American Dream?”

Alexa Vega Rivas

Abstract: The Trump administration brought forth an increase in policing of migrants crossing the border. These policies have expanded U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers and led to an increase in deaths among migrants. Across two experimental studies, we aimed to understand how these oppressive policies toward immigrants, mainly from Latin American countries, influence participants’ beliefs in the American dream. In the first experiment (N=70), we compared a group of participants primed with two news clips of immigrants’ death due to ICE detention centers with a control group. Our results indicated that white participants decreased their belief in the American dream, whereas Latinx participants increased their belief. In the second experiment (N=147), we compared an experimental group primed with the two news clips of immigrants’ deaths to a control group. We replicated the interaction effect from the first experiment. A further analysis indicates a significant increase in white people’s belief that race is salient in determining success in the U.S. No such increase occurred in the Latinx participants in our sample. Our results provide a clue as to why some Latinx people came to support Trump’s policies.

Watch presentation (video)

*Junior-level student

Karen Lindell