Justin Alvarez, Kayla Cerminara, and Joshua Island Ph.D.
The quantum anomalous hall effect (QAHE) is a phase of matter in which a dissipationless current is made to flow around the edge of a two dimensional (2D) material. Making use of this effect for next generation electronics could lead to faster processors and low power devices. There are very few materials that exist in nature that intrinsically possess the QAHE, however by sandwiching target 2D materials together we can establish this highly sought after phase. By using three 2D materials: graphene, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and chromium tri-iodide (CrI3) forming a van der Waals heterostructure we can create a proximity induced magnetism effect. Here, we took highly sensitive capacitance measurements of graphene on MoS2 devices at low temperatures and high magnetic fields. By taking measurements of the penetration field capacitance vs charge density and polarization of a graphene and MoS2 device at 2 Kelvin and zero external magnetic field, we are able to see the charge neutrality point in graphene and the conduction band of MoS2. Using this method of capacitance measurements we plan to integrate thin CrI3 flakes into our graphene and MoS2 devices to develop a full device to study the proximity induced QAHE.
'Wait, Twilight is a Thing Again?': Examining the Ways in Which Different Social Groups Navigate the Complex Cultural Issues in Twilight
The four books and five movies in the extremely popular Twilight series give readers and viewers a lot to unpack, in both good ways and bad, and have led to fierce debates over the place the series should have in our culture, especially in regard to gender politics. However, most of the discussions of these texts and their cultural impact have tended to lack a robust, intersectional feminist perspective, one that attends to issues not only of gender, but also race, class, and sexuality. This research draws on both fan studies and feminist media studies to examine the various ways that Twilight fans, non-fans, and anti-fans engage with gender, sexuality, race, and other cultural issues in the Twilight series. Utilizing group interviews with participants who are diverse both in terms of marginalized identities and fan/non-fan/anti-fan status, my research draws upon multiple qualitative methods to examine the various ways in which audiences interpret and make sense of these texts and the larger debates surrounding them. I argue that in order to better understand how popular culture and media texts operate, feminist researchers must take into account not only the differing ways in which audiences negotiate meanings, but the limits of their own perspectives and methodologies, and make a conscious effort to diversify and expand their approaches when studying popular media.
Research specifically targeted at youth participation in STEM highlights the importance of community engagements outside of school to bolster interest in STEM. We ask the research questions: (1) How do girls who engage with a day-long STEM event at UNLV perceive hands-on science activities? (2) How did girls’ enjoyment of science activities shift their interest in science topics? The purpose of this study is to identify factors that influence middle school girls’ interests in STEM fields through a day-long STEM event. This research was conducted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 2020 called Girls in STEM Day that hosts middle school girls in local minority populations (n=93). Participants attended two workshops, one that was Biology and Chemistry based, and one Physics and Astronomy based. Students’ interests in the respective science fields were assessed through exit tickets, free response questions answered on notecards. Of the students who attended the Biology and Chemistry, then Physics and Astronomy workshops, 79.7% and 91.2% respectively indicated an increased interest in STEM-based on the hands-on workshop activity and knowledge learned. The authors of this study contribute specific examples indicating middle school girls’ interests in STEM-based on experiences in a day-long STEM event.
Merika Charupoom, Emily Carter, and Erin Breen
Pedestrian and pedal-cyclist fatalities continue to be a concern in Clark County. Road users who are cited for pedestrian violations are given opportunity to an educational resource by attending a 3-hour pedestrian safety class to void their violation points and fines. An interactive dashboard was created to display class participant demographics, analyses of pre-/post-tests, and geospatial mapping of citation locations. Researchers collected participant data from September 2017 to March 2019 (N=1,321) and used Microsoft Excel to create this visualization tool. The components of the dashboard include basic demographics and an analysis of change in pedestrian behavior knowledge using paired t-tests of pre-/post-test data. The geospatial map displays participant citation locations overlaid with the Nevada Department of Transportation’s crash data (fatal and critical injuries), bus stop locations, pedestrian signal types, and school flashers. Analyses of pre-/post-tests shows a significant increase in knowledge of pedestrian behavior after participating in the court class. The significance of behavior knowledge retention across different demographic groups indicates the overall efficacy of the class in educating road users on pedestrian safety. The geospatial map displays citation location overlaid with where pedestrians and pedal cyclists were injured and/or killed. Offering educational resources like pedestrian safety classes enhances knowledge for road users which can foster an effort to help reduce pedestrian fatalities in Clark County. Using resources like geospatial maps and interactive dashboards enables a new sharing platform that can help analyze the efficacy of injury prevention programs.
In summer 2020, national attention on racial injustice brought into focus the culture of policing as a critical area of policy exploration for the United States. The purpose of this study is to examine the culture of policing in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, and specifically within Las Vegas’s largest police force, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD). Through this case study analysis, the racial, social and fiscal aspects of the culture of policing are investigated between the years 2016 & 2020. The research here presents data on disparities within policing found at the national and local levels. The current state of play in Las Vegas is also analyzed, as Black Lives Matter demonstrations and other social justice protests sparked difficult conversations between activists, elected officials, and police officers in the valley. Finally, short-term and long-term policy recommendations for state and local legislators to consider moving forward are provided. As one of the most diverse areas in the United States, the Las Vegas metropolitan area is an ideal case study for understanding the culture of policing, and an ideal laboratory for proposing meaningful, just policy interventions.
Perceptions of Race Relations, Black Lives Matter, and the Shaping of 2020's Politics: How Race Influenced Political Participation in the Year of George Floyd
Olivia Cheche and Elizabeth Maltby Ph.D.
This study aimed to investigate the impacts of Black Lives Matter protests and perceptions of racial discrimination on political participation in 2020. Survey responses from the 2020 Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey are matched with data on protest locations across the United States. From here, linear regressions are ran to determine the effects of the aforementioned two independent variables on political engagement. A third hypothesis tests if Black Lives Matter protests and perceptions of racial discrimination had an interacting effect on individual-level participation. The results of this study show statistically significant results for Black respondents - Black Lives Matter protests and increased perceptions of racial discrimination each had a positive relationship with political participation, but the interaction between these two variables had a negative relationship with participation. This study does not yield statistically significant results for non-Black respondents, indicating that these two concepts had greater impacts on Black communities in 2020.
The following thesis includes a literature review of the immediate and long-term effects of sexual assault on victims in regard to their physical, mental, and emotional health and romantic relationships, followed by a proposed workbook for sexual assault victims/survivors. Being that typical responses immediately after an assault are fear, disbelief, and activation of the sympathetic nervous system, it is to no surprise that long term issues of depression, anxiety, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often arise as well. Thus, a workbook was created with the intention of educating readers about sexual assault and helping victims/survivors to heal from the trauma with the incorporation of writing prompts, therapeutic artwork, self-diagnostic questionnaires, and resources. Ultimately the workbook will be published in English and Spanish, online as a PDF, and distributed to shelters, clinics, and hospitals across Southern Nevada.
Monica Cordova-Medina, LaShawn Tith, and Fitsum A. Ayele
Data censoring occurs when researchers have only partial information about the value of a variable. For example, one study investigated depression among participants taking psilocybin (magic mushrooms). If participants took extra psilocybin outside of the study context, then the dosage is known to be at least as much as a certain value, but it might have been higher. Left censoring occurs when the left-hand side of a distribution is obscured by censoring; right censoring when the right-hand side is obscured. The R package lava can estimate the correlation that would have been obtained between the uncensored variables when provided with the data from the censored variables. We conducted a Monte Carlo study to evaluate the extent to which lava estimates are biased for data sets of 500 cases with various correlations (-.95, -.50, -.05, .25, .50, and .95) and various degrees of left censoring (10% on both variables, 50% on both, 20% on one and 80% on the other, and 95% on both). When there was low to moderate censoring, lava estimates were unbiased. However, when there was 95% censoring on both variables, lava estimates were biased. When the correlation was -.05 or -.50, bias was large and negative (-.24 or -.35, respectively). For other correlations, bias was typically moderate (e.g., -.02 to .06). If researchers are interested in negative correlations between variables that may be left censored, we recommend they minimize censoring to avoid biased estimates.
Determining Whether Differences in Morphology Across an Elevation Gradient is the Result of Long Term Environmental Plasticity or Genetic Population Differentiation in Keystone Biocrust Moss: Syntrichia caninervis
Unlike vascular plants, mosses are at higher risk for water scarcity in deserts because they experience higher temperatures and intense solar radiation which are known to limit growth and abundance, and because they lack specialized tissues and structures to transport water internally from below ground. Prior research done in the Mojave Desert on a keystone soil moss species, Syntrichia caninervis, observed differences in morphology related to plant size across three life zones (vegetation communities) influenced by elevation (low-890m, medium-1680m, high-2060m) and a water-stress gradient. Our study used a laboratory common garden by culturing 22 S. caninervis genotypes compiled from each life zone and measuring the resulting adult morphology to determine if phenotypic variation was due to genetic differences in a given population or environmental plasticity. Common garden morphometrics were compared to source field genotypes and included length of shoots, leaves, and leaf points (awns), and leaf length and width. We found that mean field shoot height, awn and leaf length, and leaf width trended upwards with elevation. In garden shoots, we found evidence for genotypic effects as this pattern was largely retained except for shoot height, which is thus a stress-induced trait. Three genotypes lacking field awns developed awns in culture, evidencing plasticity. This research advances moss ecology by confirming phenotypic plasticity for shoot height and awns over an elevation gradient. Second and third generation cultures will be grown in the future to confirm whether the observed life zone trait patterns are genetic or due to long-term plasticity.
Janelle Domantay and Brendan Morris Ph.D.
Awareness detection technologies have been gaining traction in a variety of enterprises; Most often used for driver fatigue detection, recent research has shifted towards using computer vision technologies to analyze user attention in stationary environments such as online classrooms. This study aims to extend previous research on distraction detection by analyzing which visual features contribute most to predicting awareness and fatigue. We utilized the open source facial analysis toolkit OpenFace in order to analyze visual data of subjects at varying levels of attentiveness. Then, using a Support Vector Machine (SVM) we created several prediction models for user attention and identified Histogram of Oriented Gradients (HOGS) to be the greatest predictor of the features we tested. We also compared the performance of this SVM to deep learning approaches that utilize Convolutional and/or Recurrent neural networks (CNN's and CRNN's). Interestingly, CRNN's did not appear to perform significantly better than their CNN counterparts. While deep learning methods definitively performed better, SVMs utilized less resources and, using certain parameters, were able to approach the performance of deep learning methods.
Jessica Farnsworth and Joshua Island Ph.D.
Molybdenum disulfide transistor devices were fabricated utilizing muscovite mica as dielectrics in order to test the hydrophilic behavior of mica. This was done by probing the device for its transconductance plot to show hysteretic patterns. Devices were fabricated using a clean van der Waals technique to stack two-dimensional materials into heterostructures. The devices showed a hysteretic trend in the transconductance curve. We compared the hysteretic behavior from mica with that of another well-known dielectric, silicon dioxide. The devices with mica dielectrics showed larger hysteresis in the gate sweeps than silicon dioxide. Devices utilizing mica as dielectrics are expected to have hysteretic behaviors due to the interfacial water on the mica surface. It is also speculated that water accumulation will continue to grow on the surface as long as the device is in ambient conditions, so the hysteresis may worsen over time. We aim to mitigate water absorption at the surface of mica and suggest future work to accomplish this goal.
Samantha Giannantonio and Laurel Raftery Ph.D.
Cells communicate by producing molecular signals that activate a signal-specific pathway to elicit a response in neighboring cells. Signaling pathways share similar elements that include the signal and receptor, and intracellular components to relay the signal and effect a change in gene expression. Two signaling pathways, the Wnt pathway and the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) pathway, which contribute to the establishment of body plans for all multicellular animals, have been thought to be independent of one another. However, recent evidence suggests that the Wnt and BMP pathways share a signal transducer that has a necessary function in both pathways. This hypothesis has not yet been tested with the definitive genetic method of using a genomic deletion. This is a progress report of such a definitive test. I am testing whether Mad is required in both the BMP and Wnt signaling pathways using the Mad[KO] allele to generate Drosophila embryos that lack Mad. Whether Mad is required for Wnt responses will be determined by examining the denticle belt patterns of exoskeletons from embryos that lack Mad. The denticle belt pattern will be compared to that of embryos that lack the signals necessary for either the BMP or the Wnt pathway. The results obtained will provide critical evidence for whether Mad functions only in the BMP signaling pathway, or both BMP and Wnt signaling pathways.
Tahner Green and Kimberly Nehls Ph.D.
If Americans include insects as part of their diets, global pollution will decrease. Insects use less water to farm, produce 85% less methane than regular barn animals, and are packed with nutrition. As I analyzed the world population, I discovered that 80% of the world already eats bugs as part of their diets. It’s especially popular in underdeveloped countries. Spreading the popularity to America will be difficult, as the most consumed meat is Chicken, Cows, and Pigs. These animals are mass produced and cause a huge impact on the environment. In conclusion, if we work together to bring insects in American meals, we can decrease global warming and create a sustainable environment.
Emily Huerta and Bing Zhang Ph.D.
Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are bursts of radio waves detected at great distances from space. Some FRBs are observed to repeat while some others not. One important question concerning astrophysicists today is whether all FRBs repeat. Recently, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) published a master catalog of FRB detections for both repeating and non-repeating FRBs. This is the largest FRB database published to date. With the data in this catalog, we investigate whether repeaters and non-repeaters may show up as statistically different categories in certain parameter space. We focus on the FRB arrival time and fluence and study the repetition behavior in the fluence ratio vs. waiting time two-dimensional space for each pair of bursts for repeating FRBs as well the lower limits of both parameters for non-repeaters. From this graph we can determine if repeaters and non-repeaters indeed occupy different phase spaces, which can shed light on whether they have distinct origins or rather form a continuum in terms of repetition rate, i.e. the apparent non-repeaters are simply repeaters with slower repetition rates.
Syeda Jamshed and John P. Tuman Ph.D.
As the fastest-growing ethnic group in southern Nevada, Asian Americans comprise 8.6% of Nevada’s population and 10.28% of Clark County’s population. Despite the rapid growth of the Asian American community in southern Nevada, Asian Americans are constantly facing obstacles that inhibit them from moving up the socioeconomic ladder mainly due to the lack of opportunity, policies, and resources. This research paper examines whether education influences socioeconomic advancement of Asian Americans, and whether the relationship between the two variables is conditioned by other factors, including social capital. A secondary goal is to examine whether the relationship between education and social mobility varies among different sub-groups of Asian Americans, including South Asians. Lastly, the thesis offers simple, tangible solutions to these problems. The research methodology of the thesis drew on analysis of recent, empirical studies by scholars who have examined and documented the determinants and levels of socioeconomic levels and educational attainment of Asian Americans in the United States. The thesis also provides an empirical analysis that are based on data from the Asian American Survey, which is a representative sample that includes data on educational attainment, social capital, and various ethnic and immigrant groups, including different Asian American sub-groups. The main findings of the research thesis indicated that education provides critical skills for social mobility as it provides individuals more leverage in the labor market in order to earn a higher salary.
Out of Anger and Deception: A Feminist Rhetorical Criticism of Toxic Relationships in Steven Universe
Julianna Jovillar and Emma Bloomfield Ph.D.
Although American children’s animated series, Steven Universe, is often praised for its diverse and queer representation, people often overlook that the show also portrays toxic relationships. This portrayal moves the narrative along and frames the characters as learning and growing from their traumas. In this study, I have evaluated the portrayal of the toxic and abusive relationship of Lapis Lazuli (Lapis) and Jasper in Steven Universe using feminist rhetorical criticism. Informed by rhetorical theories of gender, hierarchies, and power dynamics, my analysis shows there is an issue of consent displayed between the characters, as well as blatant physical and verbal abuse. Additionally, other characters’ comments about the relationship provide explicit acknowledgment that the relationship is harmful and abusive. Power dynamics are also apparent in the simultaneous framing of a relationship between two females and the distinctive presentation of Lapis as feminine and Jasper as masculine, which mirrors but also complicates gender roles. The results indicate that the depiction of abuse through Lapis and Jasper is nuanced and accurate, enabling Steven Universe audiences, likely children and young adults, to recognize toxic relationships that are often missing from children’s media. As children are the primary audience of this show, it is implicated that Lapis and Jasper’s portrayal acts as a lesson for younger generations, introducing them to toxic relationships early on as a way of educating them on what to identify as unhealthy and presenting them in a way that challenges traditional gender roles and power dynamics between men and women.
Qualitative Analysis of Different Educational Physical Activity Interventions and Policies for Older Asian Americans in the United States
Raisa Kabir, Manoj Sharma, and Sayeda Tazim Zaidi
Physical activity (PA) provides numerous positive health benefits and minimizes chronic diseases and mental health issues, especially in older adults. The national survey data indicated that only 27.3% to 44.3% of older adults meet the recommended physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes/ week. There are limited data on PA behavior among older AA adults as very few to no local/national surveys are targeted for older AA and their marginalized subgroups. This qualitative analysis aimed to understand and review the effectiveness of physical activity interventions targeted for and done among older Asian American adults. The study included a comprehensive review based on publications from the last five years (2016 to 2021) which included literature on all physical activity interventions with older AA adults. Data were abstracted for study designs, associated conditions, subgroups focused, theoretical frameworks, sample sizes, intervention strategies, and physical activity outcomes. A total of nine intervention studies met the inclusion criteria based on age, ethnicity and racial group, year of publication, United States-based, and English-only publication. Four used randomized controlled designs, three used pre-test post-test designs, one used cross-sectional survey, and one used a single group repeated measures design. The studies included in this paper did not use behavioral theories and utilized small sample sizes. It is crucial to develop long-term effective interventions that will increase physical activity and decrease sedentary behaviors in older AA. To achieve such goals, there needs to be more research addressing and utilizing theory-based physical activity promotion intervention with larger sample sizes.
Sarem Khilji and Elizabeth Stacy Ph.D.
Plants rely heavily on innate immunity toward pathogens due to the fact that many of them do not contain specialized adaptive immune system cells. In order to mount proper immune responses, plants must come up with several broad defense mechanisms. One such mechanism in these plants, nucleotide-binding domain & leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins, are key players when it comes to intracellular immune-related functions. While the biological functions and protein structure of NLR genes are similar across species, variation in NLR gene numbers and sequences among closely related plant taxa can play a key role in diversification and the evolution of reproductive isolating barriers. In this study, we examine variation in NLR genes within Hawaiian Metrosideros (Myrtaceae), an incipient adaptive radiation of woody taxa that show partial isolating barriers. By using NLR annotating software tools, examining the number of NLR genes through code, mapping these genes to their respective chromosomes, and looking at synteny between taxa, we hope to glean insight into the evolution of NLRs in Metrosideros and how variation of these NLR-mediated mechanisms may potentially confer reproductive isolation within taxa. Preliminary results suggest that pubescent Metrosideros taxa may have a greater number of NLR sequences than glabrous taxa while also varying in their distribution across chromosomes. Future synteny analysis will provide a framework for examining variation of these homologous genes and help to establish if gene order is a significant factor of NLR variation among different species.
Development of Novel Synthetic Methods of Lysine-Specific Demethylase 1(LSD1) Inhibitors as Anti-Cancer Reagents
Citlally Lopez, Lilian Huynh, and Jun Yong Kang Ph.D.
Cancer is the malignant growth and division of abnormal cells. The proliferation of cancerous cells is harmful to the human body since it interferes with many biological processes. Lysine-specific demethylase 1(LSD1) protein levels are expressed at high levels in many types of cancers such as teratocarcinoma, embryonic carcinoma, and embryonic stem cells. Gene expression in cancerous cells can be repressed by lysine-methylation on histones which ensures the maintenance of a tightly organized histone. Targeting LSD1 protein levels can significantly impair the growth of cancer due to the methylated histones being unable to participate in gene expression. Lysine-specific demethylase 1(LSD1) inhibitors prevent the proliferation of cancer by targeting the high concentrations of lysine-specific demethylases vital for cell proliferation. CBB3001 is a LSD1 inhibitor which has been able to inhibit the growth of cancer, warranting further investigation. The aim of this research project is to synthesize CBB3001 by developing efficient synthetic methods and to then create a CBB3001 derivatization library. The researchers involved will synthesize CBB3001, a LSD1 inhibitor, by developing several synthetic pathways with variability along specific steps to produce CBB3001 derivatives. CBB3001, and its derivatives, show great promise in functioning as anti-cancer reagents for many types of human cancers.
High Precision In-Situ Raman Spectroscopy on a Novel Room-Temperature Superconductor, Carbonaceous Sulfur Hydride, Under Pressure and Cryogenic Temperatures
Faraz Mostafaeipour, Keith V. Lawler Ph.D., and Ashkan Salamat Ph.D.
Superconductivity is an incredible quantum phenomenon that historically only occurred at low temperatures. Recently, room-temperature superconductivity was discovered and will have various benefits and advantages in application, such as revolutionizing the energy grid, making medical imaging more accessible, and solving problems in related sciences. We have experimentally investigated carbonaceous sulfur hydride (CSH), a novel room-temperature superconductor, at varying cryogenic temperatures and pressures through high precision Raman spectroscopy. The current understanding of the material lacks information about the chemical structure and stoichiometry. Investigating the temperature and pressure space of its Raman spectra will give insight on important details about its structure, chemical composition, and phase diagram while other investigative methods are not suitable. CSH was synthesized in a diamond anvil cell (DAC) and taken to 12 GPa at ambient temperature. Raman scattering data for CSH’s vibrational spectra was collected on warm up from 10K to 293K at a pressure of 28 GPa. Various thermal broadenings, a temperature induced phase transition in the lattice mode region of the spectra, and present C-H modes at low temperatures are observed.
Annular spike nozzle engines have long been the holy grail of rocket engine design, promising superior performance in a smaller footprint when compared to conventional bell nozzles. However, flaws inherent to the design of spike nozzles have prevented widespread adoption and testing. As a result, research on potential applications has been quite sparse. This project aims to further spike nozzle research by investigating rarely tested materials that literature suggests have potential for use in a spike nozzle design. The goal of the overall research project is to examine 3D printed polycarbonate component longevity under conditions representative of a small satellite in orbit. A literature review concluded that spike nozzle overheating challenges might be less relevant in situations that value availability and safety over peak efficiency. A series of computational fluid dynamic simulations were performed to compare the theoretical performance of equivalently massed 50% hydrogen peroxide catalytic aerospike and DeLaval thrusters under low Earth orbit conditions. It was found that polycarbonate aerospikes might present mass savings over conventional DeLaval nozzles in these conditions.
Drew Nemeth, Jake Pettitt Ph.D., and Brendan O'Toole Ph.D.
With a burgeoning commercial space industry in the United States, more reliable and cost effective methods for qualifying critical flight components are required in order to reduce the costs of spacecraft development programs. Electronic payloads designed to undergo high acceleration loading during military and civil rocket flight have proven especially difficult to properly flight test prior to operational use. This paper describes the design, construction, flight testing, and post-flight analysis of a single stage launch vehicle with an intended apogee of 50,000 feet and maximum velocity in excess of Mach 2 with a simulated electronic payload. Software suites including OpenRocket, RasAero, and AeroFinSim were utilized in order to confirm rocket stability, a projected flight outline, and structural integrity of the airframe and fin composition/attachment that commonly fail during supersonic flight regimes. The airframe was primarily constructed of G12 filament wound fiberglass tubing in addition to a composite fin can centered around CNC’d G10 fiberglass cores with a wet carbon fiber layup by hand. Flight roll control was achieved via the onboard reaction wheel, which was constructed of 3D printed components and inertial measurement sensors. The completed vehicle experienced a successful flight to 42,000 ft, maximum velocity of Mach 2.2, and maximum acceleration of 16 G. The airframe and all components were safely recovered and in working order post-flight. A successful test of the simulated electronic payload was performed and a low cost flight verification method was established.
Efforts to understand the development of Multiracial identity have gained traction in recent years, with studies focusing on different socialization factors to explain the common struggles that Multiracial individuals face. This online cross-sectional study sought to understand the association between microaggression experiences and Multiracial identity. I recruited 140 adults who were proficient in English and identified with two or more races to explore the relationship between racial microaggressions, challenges in Multiracial identity, and how they are racialized by others—street race. Microaggressions are subtle, ambiguous, or unintentional slights that can cause stress in marginalized individuals. For this study, Multiracial identity turbulence (MIT) is when individuals with two or more races feel indifferent, uncertain, or insecure about their racial identity. I hypothesized that MIT would positively correlate with microaggression experiences (H1) and also with observed microaggressions happening to family members (H2). It was expected that participants who indicated their street race as “White” would report less microaggressions than others (H3). Lastly, I expected that individuals who responded differently to the self-perceived race and street race measures would have higher levels of MIT (H4). Although H1 and H2 were not supported through correlational analyses, creating categorical groupings revealed a two-way interaction between identity types and street race on microaggression experiences. H3 had no significant support, but presented some interesting outcomes that deserve further exploration. These findings may promote a holistic understanding of the diverse and nuanced experiences of Multiracial individuals for families, researchers, and mental health practitioners working with this population.
The Las Vegas Valley has become home to a large Salvadoran and Guatemalan population with no clear understanding of the reason for its growth. Upon arrival to the United States, many Latin American immigrants will often struggle with the language barrier and the lack of resources at their disposal. This study aims to uncover what factors and advantages made the Guatemalan and Salvadoran communities choose to stay in Las Vegas Valley, as well as the contribution these populations have made to this metropolitan area. I will first examine published scholarship that uncovers the reasons on what initiatives made central Americans migrate to Las Vegas and what programs could have been used to flourish this population. I will then compare the collected scholarship to oral history interviews from the Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada to determine whether or not a similar relationship can be formed. The comparison leads to believe that many similar points were connected but there is still a disconnect with the interviews. An aspect in particular, that was not adequately addressed, is that of the subjective influence of the American Dream. Throughout the past 30 years, the Las Vegas Latin community has grown immensely and is believed to continue to expand with the ever-evolving metropolitan culture.
Elia Del Carmen Solano-Patricio
The Washington Post publishes and regularly updates a dataset regarding the use of deadly force by police since 2015. This study extracts data for five Mountain West states (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah), and presents a regional perspective on the total number of individuals shot and killed by police, including demographic variables such as race, gender, and age. Two additional variables are included in this examination: the presence or absence of mental illness in the decedent, and the presence or absence of a body-worn camera in incidents of deadly police force. Collected from January 1, 2015, to March 17, 2021, these data are exclusive to deaths resulting from a police officer shooting an individual while on-duty. In-custody deaths, non-shooting deaths, and deaths occurring while an officer is off-duty are not included. Between 2015 and March 17, 2021, 808 individuals were shot and killed by police in the Mountain West. Within the region, New Mexico ranks first for police shootings per million people, followed by Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada. In all five Mountain West states, a majority (more than 95%) of individuals shot and killed by police were male, and a majority (70%) of decedents were between the ages of 18 and 44. Most fatal encounters did not involve the presence of mental illness in the decedent, nor the use of a body-worn camera on the part of the police.