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9th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference Award Winners
Author: Jeremy Dalton
Posted: June 19, 2012

Four PSU students were recognized for outstanding presentations at the 9th annual Undergraduate Research Conference, on Wednesday, May 23 at Portland State University. Each student received a $50 award for their innovative work in the following four categories:

Social Sciences

He’s Just a Man: Power Imbalance Between Female and Male Characters in American Media by Wenona Kimbro

This paper describes the occurrence and context of dismissive, condescending, or infantilizing linguistic behavior as used by female characters toward male characters in stable heterosexual partnerships portrayed in American television. This study is based on grounded theory, and the data-processing method is a qualitative application of discourse analysis. The discourse data is drawn from three American sitcoms: Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, and Rules of Engagement. Discussion of the findings examines the extent to which they reinforce gender stereotypes which rely on power imbalance.

Psychology & Philosophy

Representations of the Soviet Reader: A Case Study by William Holden

This is an examination of three articles published in the U.S.S.R. in 1969. Included in these publications are letters from Soviet citizens, expressing their opinions on important cultural issues of the time. I will discuss the contours of discourse embedded in these letters, ranging from traditionalist to contentious, in order to show the ways in which a particular spectrum of readers’ opinion is represented. Over the course of these three articles, a particular narrative of readers’ opinion is formed, culminating in the representation of a readership that conforms to state-sanctioned opinions on controversial socio-cultural problems.

The Arts

Joseph Beuys and the Transcendental Black Metal Band, Liturgy by Jim "Pong" Kelsheimer

The black metal band Liturgy through the direction of Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, has attempted to elevate the genre from dark bars and rock venues into the white walls of the art world.  Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s work I argue, with Liturgy and para-Liturgy combines extreme heavy metal music with Joseph Beuys’ inspired Contemporary art to express a Nietzschean transcendence from the nihilism and reactionary visual art ghetto traditionally found within the genre of black metal.

Sciences & Sustainability

A Predisposition to Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in the Absence of the 8-Oxoguanine DNA Glycosylase (OGG1) by Rick Rollins

The current data indicate a novel role for the OGG1 DNA gylcosylase in the maintenance of energy homeostasis at both cellular and organismal levels. When subjected to oxidative stress via high-fat diet, Ogg1-knockout mice develop an altered cellular substrate metabolism, a fat-sparing phenotype, and an increased susceptibility to obesity and related disorders. Understanding the role of OGG1 within this unique context may contribute to the direction of research within the realm of oxidative stress-initiated diseases.