Senior Project Abstracts – Class of 2019

Project in French

Jessica Cooper

The Effects of Cultural Education Differences on the Treatment and Recovery of Sports-Related Concussions in Student Athletes

Concussions are a rising concern in current health topics, specifically those pertaining to sports. The general understanding of concussions to the public is low, and reactions evoked to those injuries can be influenced by the choice of words used to describe the injury. Differing language [both written and spoken] is seen to be used among different audiences, such as: scientists, and the general public, as well as differences present in English and French, depending upon the targeted audience, potentially as a result of cultural normatives. The concussed brain not only presents itself through behavioral symptoms but primarily microscopic metabolic changes in the brain cascade, making the identification of injury much more complicated. Brain injury caused by sports affects multiple spheres of life external to athletics, including performance in the classroom, behaviors, and mood. As a result of this, a strict protocol catered to each individual is necessary to ensure a rapid and efficient return to regular activity. Execution of the most effective protocol requires an understanding of what fully encompasses a concussion, including all parties surrounding a student athlete, including: professors, and parents. The present study analyzed the cultural differences present in the United States and the Québec region of Canada surrounding concussion education, and how these differences influence reporting, and success of healing of concussions.

Majors: Neuroscience, French

Project Advisors: A. Knupsky (Neuroscience); B. Lewis (French)

Projects in Spanish

Casey Baker

La lucha femenina: Un análisis de las mujeres y de algunos elementos temáticos históricos en dos películas sobre la Guerra Civil española y el régimen de Francisco Franco

During two distinct eras, the Spanish Civil War and the rule of Francisco Franco, the role of women changed and stood out in the history of Spain.  The objective of this thesis is to analyze two films and arrive at conclusions as to whether the movies have captured historical elements or have taken creative freedoms from the actual events.  This thesis has four chapter[s] and with each chapter three themes serve as elements of analysis.  Religion, women who comply and defy traditional rules, and maternal relationship act as the three themes for discussion.  The first chapter analyzes the interpretations of Libertarias (1996).  The following chapter compares the historical elements of the movie to the actual events.  Chapter three serves as an analysis of La voz dormida (2012).  The fourth chapter acts as a comparison of the historic elements of the movie to the events that actually occurred [in] history.  This analysis reveals that the two movies indeed capture and divert from historical elements.

Major: Spanish

Project Advisors: T. Herrera (Spanish); Barbara Riess (Spanish)

Hannah Maria Davis

Voseante: Una exploración del tratamiento argentino

The goal of this paper is to investigate and analyze the role of the Argentine voseo and the contexts in which it is used. Along with descriptions of the grammatical forms of the Argentine voseo, this paper focuses on the social factors which affect Argentine address and the connotations communicated by each form of address, vos, tú, and usted. Particular attention is paid to the social factors surrounding the speaker and receptor. In this paper, descriptions of the voseo from academic papers are compared with observations of a recent Argentine movie, Relatos salvajes, which, through six separate stories, presents a wide variety of characters, social dynamics, emotions, and situations to analyze. Throughout this paper, it becomes evident that the voseo is the dominant form of familiar address in Argentina, with a slight bias toward being used more by men than by women. On the contrary, the tuteo is nearly nonexistent. The primary arena in which the tuteo is encountered is education and the academic world as a whole. Consistent with this, the rare appearances of the tuteo may imply intelligence and a high level of education or a lack of passion.

Major: Spanish

Project Advisors: B. Riess (Spanish); T. Herrera (Spanish)

Daniel Lahti Larson

Una crítica teórica del volunturismo mediante Pedagogía del oprimido: hacia unas implicaciones para los voluntarios que quieran enseñar inglés en países hispanohablantes

Since the 1960s, the work and pedagogy of Paulo Freire has greatly impacted literacy movement worldwide.  Due to neoliberalism, being literate in English, the “lingua franca” of international business, has established a global industry of volunteer tourism in which English is taught in ‘developing’ countries.  This senior thesis utilizes the pedagogy of Paulo Freire to analyze the phenomenon of teaching English through short-term voluntourism projects.  This analysis refers to multiple Freirean concepts which respond to the central question of this thesis: how can Freirean pedagogy serve as training material for volunteers who want to teach English in Spanish-speaking countries?  Dialogue, the problem-posing educational method, and critical consciousness are emphasized as Freirean concepts that volunteers should consider before participating in voluntourism projects.

Major: Spanish, Community and Justice Studies

Project Advisors: B. Riess (Spanish); H. Moore Roberson (Community and Justice Studies)

Taylor Looney

Las perspectivas del aprendizaje de un idioma en el aula: la perspectiva conducta, innatista y interaccionista

Este tesis explica las perspectivas del aprendizaje de un idioma en el aula: la perspectiva conducta, innatista y interaccionista. El final capítulo aplica cada perspectivas en un lesson plan en el aula.

Major: Spanish

Project Advisors: T. Herrera (Spanish); B. Riess (Spanish)

Faith Riegel

¿Pero Que Son la “Memoria, Verdad y Justicia”?: Narratives and Political Ideology in the Post-dictatorial Memory of the Argentine “Dirty War”

This paper describes an interdisciplinary investigation of the post-dictatorial memorialization of the Argentine “Dirty War”. The Spanish portion of the paper reviewed the distinct narratives about the “Dirty War” that have been formed in Argentine society post-dictatorship. Moreover, the chapter in Spanish analyzed the representation of the “Dirty War” in the movies The Official Story and Clandestine Childhood. The film analysis revealed complex moral portrayals of the “Dirty War” that simultaneously reflect and challenge the narratives dominant in their respective time periods. The experimental part of the study exposed American college students to brief accounts of the “Dirty War”. By keeping factual information constant but altering the valence of the language, the researcher created two distinct ideological narratives (Haidt, Graham & Joseph, 2009), a “two demons” narrative and a “genocide” narrative. The effect of the participants’ political ideology and the narrative to which participants were exposed on the participants’ moral judgments and emotional reactions was measured. Although liberals had significantly higher negative emotional reactions to the Argentine dictatorship than a “nonliberal” group comprised mostly of moderates, the results mostly did not support the hypotheses that political ideology and valenced language would influence moral judgments and emotional reactions. Significant results were limited, but the interdisciplinary method used holds promise for future study of attitudes about the “Dirty War” as well as attitudes about other polarizing issues.

Majors: Psychology, Spanish

Project Advisors: Aimee Knupsky (Psychology); W. Hernández (Spanish)

Emily Smith

Impedida por “La Raza Chilena”: La integración de los inmigrantes andinos en Chile (1990-2019)

This project examines the unprecedented increase of immigration to Chile over the past five years, specifically from Latin American and Caribbean countries. Through providing historical context, the transformation that Chile has undergone in order to become a migrant-receiving country is explained. By studying two of the most predominant immigrant groups in the country: Colombians and Peruvians, common attributes, stereotypes, and difficulties of integration are revealed. This project distinguishes the three most influential factors of integration in Chile: immigrant attributes, institutions, and society. The goal of this project is to understand Chile’s new role in the context of immigration and to suggest that the national myth of identity is a hindrance to the integration of immigrants, due to the discrimination that it provokes. I conclude in this project that Chilean society has the most significant impact on immigrant integration, as it influences an immigrant’s ability to successfully utilize social services, form personal connections, and feel a sense of belonging in the country. In order for the situation to improve, institutions must provide the necessary foundations for immigrants to be successful. At the same time, the education system needs to be reformed to promote the value of multiculturalism, which will consequently allow Chilean society to embrace its new identity as a migrant-receiving nation.

Majors: International Studies, Spanish

Project Advisors: S. Mattiace (International Studies); W. Hernández (Spanish)

Barry Alden Tevrow, Jr.

The Impact of Studying Abroad on Allegheny College Spanish-Language Learners

The purpose of this research was to examine the impacts that studying abroad had on Allegheny College Spanish-language learners. The literary analysis in Spanish of this research examined the perceived personality traits of principal characters in the films L’auberge Espagnole (2002) and Julia Ist (2017). The purpose of the conducted research was to examine what key factors influenced a positive and successful study abroad experience, including interpersonal relationships and the role of personality. This study sought to find whether key personality traits (extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism) were correlated to improved language proficiency and/or retrospective emotions regarding the experience. Participants (N=9) completed an interview discussing how time was spent abroad and how they had changed before completing a questionnaire consisting of self-report evaluations of perceived improvements in the target language and emotions. The questionnaire also included some demographic information and some open-ended questions in which participants were given the chance to write about their experiences abroad and why they were impactful. Participants then completed a Big Five Personality Inventory (John, Donahue & Kentle, 1991). The results of this study did not support the hypothesis that extraversion and language improvement were positively correlated. Although significant results were limited, this interdisciplinary research has promising directions for future research.

Majors: Psychology, Spanish

Project Advisors: A. Knupsky (Psychology); T. Herrera (Spanish)