English 105 Independent Research Project Conference Abstracts and Sources


Tuesday, 4/28

Elton Kativhu

Health benefits of Organic Food; reduces the risk of exposure to pesticide residue

The primary issue that this paper deals with the health benefits of consuming organic food. Organic in this case refers to food that goes from the field to the store without any pesticide, genetically modified nutrients or scientifically engineered hormones used, thus anything else that has one or all of the implements used is non-organic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BebNsezt6r0


Holzman, David C. "PESTICIDES. Organic Food Conclusions Don't Tell the Whole Story." Environmental Health Perpectives 120.12 (2012): A458. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Web. 25 Apr. 2015. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23323080

Hood, Ernie.  ".Organic Food for Thought: Lessening Children's Pesticide Exposure Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 111, No. 3 (Mar., 2003) , p. A166 Published by: The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3455587

Lu, Chensheng, Kathryn Toepel, Rene Irish, Richard A. Fenske, Dana B. Barr and Roberto Bravo.  "Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children's Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 114, No. 2 (Feb., 2006) , pp. 260-263 Published by: The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3436519

Shepherd, Richard, Maria Magnusson and Per-Olow Sjödén.  "Determinants of Consumer Behavior Related to Organic Foods."   Ambio Vol. 34, No. 4/5, MAT 21 / Food 21 -- A Sustainable Food Chain (Jun., 2005) , pp. 352-359 Published by: Springer on behalf of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4315614

Maegan James

Theatre as a Tool to Reduce Stigma of Mental Illness

      This paper focuses on portrayals of mental health within theatre, and how accurate, modern portrayals within theatre can impact the general public’s associations with mental illness and reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Research has indicated  that at least two theatre productions have been successful with this. Surveys were collected from audience members after they viewed the shows, and their perceptions of mental illness had shifted. The study of this can help determine if theatre will be helpful in resolving the problems of stigma that people suffering from mental illness face.   


Expo, 2010 Nsw Health, and 15 October 201. • UNSW School of Public Health & Community Y: n. pag. 15 Oct. 2010. Web. http://www.hssevents.health.nsw.gov.au/__documents/nsw-health-awards/2010/pdf-expo-presentations/lisa_woodland_blignault_woodland_nsw_health_expo_final.pdf

Michalak, Erin E., James D. Livingston, Victoria Maxwell, Rachelle Hole, Lisa D. Hawke, and Sagar V. Parikh. "Using Theatre to Address Mental Illness Stigma: A Knowledge Translation Study in Bipolar Disorder." International Journal of Bipolar Disorders. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215813/.

Sam Meir-Levi

Bridging the Social Capital with the Tal Law

            The Tal Law, or Hoch Tal, is a law passed in Israel in 2002, aimed towards the ultra orthodox Jews of whom are exempt from enlisting in the army.  There is a draft required in the State of Israel, all citizens must enlist in the army except for Arab Israelis and ultra orthodox Jews, also known as Haredim.  As many Israeli’s would consider the draft a “burden” they neglect to realize how beneficial it really is, and not just for the obvious reason of protecting the country and it’s people.  Giving a society a common norm actually brings this diversified population together and bridges the social capital as well.

Works Cited

Bick, Etta.  “The Tal Law: A Missed Opportunity for: “Bridging Social Capital” in Israel.” Journal of Church and State. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

Bryant, Christa Case. “Mass ultra-Orthodox protests in Jerusalem against military service.” Christian Science Monitor 02 Mar. 2014: N.PAG. Academic Search Complete. Web. 26 Apr. 2015


Markia Moton

West African Dance Modern Changes

     Africa is home of a lot of epic music. Rhythms that will make you want to move to its beat and dance that will make you want to join in and learn. Africa is home of many traditional clothing and much more. Many people think of Africa to be one of the worst places to visit. But in reality they only would say that because they don’t know any better. Africa music should make someone want to move to the beat. Through out this research paper, I will explain the tradition African dance and how it affects the mind body and soul. I will also explain what is the difference between traditional West African Dance and Modern West African Dance.

     There are so many categories in the arts. This paper will focus on the Dance aspects of the arts.   In the article  "Black Dance and the Fight for Flight: Sabar and the transformation and cultural Significance of dance from West Africa to Black America (1960-2010)" the author Angela Fatou Gittens states  “ The arts have commonly served as incubators and outlets for foundational concepts of many of the era’s movements.” (50) This states that the Arts serves as a primary source for want to know about a certain era. It is a good way to get into the deeper and personal lives of the people who lived through those times.  The arts makes it fun to learn about the differect aspects of a culture because you will learn things such as you could learn about the type of music that is involved, who came up with the music, why was the music made and what type of audience did the music draw. In the case of West African Dance movents such as the “civil rights, Black Power movement, pan’africanism” (50) are movements that has a huge influence on the African heritage. It helps shapes the stories behind dances and it also shows their Pride.


Gittens, Angela Fattou.  "Black Dance and the Fight for Flight: Sabar and the transformation and cultural Significance of dance from West Africa to Black America (1960-2010)

McNee, L. (2000).  Selfish gifts: Senegalese women’s autobiographical discourses Albany, NY: State University of New York.

Volet, Jean-Marie.  Review of Selfish Gifts: Senegalese Women's Autobiographical Discourses by Lisa McNee   Research in African Literatures, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Autumn, 2002), pp. 203-204


Thursday, 4/30

Megan Hopkins

Dance and Movement Therapy in Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder

            Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be loosely described by the DSM-IV as a disorder in which the individual has deficits in social communication and interaction combined with “restrictive, repetitive patterns of behavior” (Autism np.) Currently, psychologists are studying the positive effects gained by those with autism through dance movement therapy.

            Doctors in Spain conducted an experiment evaluating the effects of music and dance movement therapy on sixteen participants diagnosed with ASD. The participants were all taken from the same care center and divided equally into a control group and experimental group (Atencia-Dona and Mateos-Moreno 2). The experimental group received 36 sessions of carefully structured music and dance therapy. Each session was carried out in the same fashion. Patients participated in multiple activities that were constructed to stimulate areas of difficulty while maintaining a freedom so as not to push the patients to hard and allow for growth. These exercises included initiating simple movements, imitating aspects in nature, portraying emotions, and imitating simple dance movements (Atencia-Dona and Mateos-Moreno 3). At the conclusion of the study, it was found that both the control and experimental groups had improved. However, the experimental group showed significantly more improvement, especially in the areas of interaction disorder, instinct, and emotional disorder (Atencia-Dona and Mateos-Moreno 6-7). Since the control group was receiving the same level of care and therapies in all other areas as the experimental group, the results suggest that music and dance movement therapies create high improvement in the three areas mentioned above.

            In Germany, a study was conducted on the effects of dance movement therapy on those with ASD focusing on the technique of mirroring. It was hypothesized that patients would have increased “psychological well-being,” that is “more positive affect, vitality and coping, and less tension and anxiety,” due to mirroring having the effect of strengthening a connection between the patient and their partner (Koch et al. 3). Similar to the experiment conducted earlier in Spain, the therapy sessions were contained a series of exercises repeated weekly. However, there were fewer activities per session than that in Spain allowing for more focus on each exercise. In addition there were more assistants, which was needed for one-on-one mirroring activities with the patients. Almost all of the exercises included mimicking a partner or leader, whether that be through movement or verbally. The session would end with a reflection, allowing patients to give feedback and express themselves (Koch et al. 4). The results of the study showed “improvement in body awareness, self-other awareness, psychological well-being, and social skills” (Koch et al. 9).

            Each of these studies display that dance movement therapies are effective in treating Autism Spectrum Disorder. The fact that these studies showed consistent results on an international scale strengthens the findings of both experiments. Koch et al. discussed the limitations of their findings that included the small sample size used for their study (9). The Spanish experiment also utilized a very small pool of patients. Since small group sizes create an intimate and safe environment, this could be integral to the effectiveness of therapy. In order to see results on a grander scale, multiple groups could be used at once. Each group would carefully follow the same therapeutic structure. This way, the effectiveness of the therapy would not be compromised, but a larger sample size could be used to examine the effects of movement dance therapy.


Works Cited

"DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria." Autism Speaks. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.

Koch, Sabine C., Laura Mehl, Esther Sobanski, Maik Sieber, and Thomas Fuchs. "Fixing the Mirrors: A Feasibility Study on the Effects of Dance Movement Therapy on Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder." Autism (2014): 1-13. Sage Journals. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

Mateos-Moreno, Daniel, D.Phil., and Lidia Atencia-Doña, D.Phil. "Effect of a Combined Dance/movement and Music Therapy on Young Adults Diagnosed with Severe Autism."The Arts in Psychotherapy 40 (2013): 465-72. ScienceDirect. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.


Marcella Apollonia

The Helpfulness of Art Therapy on Children ages 8 to 15 living in foster care: Primarily Children suffering from Trauma.

            Arts- based methods are particularly useful in work with at-risk and traumatized children who do not have the skills to express   through normal talk therapy (Cadell, Coholic and Lougheed, 2009). Research has shown that traditional talk therapy is essential for psychological treatment. However, qualitative research has shown that arts-based and experiential methods help children improve self esteem and develop coping abilities without having to directly talk about traumatic events at first (Cadell et al, 2009).  Vija B. Lusebrink's research will help this project explain exactly how the brain works when children experiment through art rather then traditional talk therapy. Arts-based methods are essential to the process of working through trauma. However, it has not yet been proven to specifically solve the root cause, but is a palliative part of the psychological process (Isquith, Maerlender,  Racusin, Sengupta, and Straus, 2005).

Keywords: Trauma, Child Care, Arts-based methods, Talk therapy.


 Coholic, D., Lougheed, S. and Cadell, S. "Exploring the Helpfulness of Arts-Based Methods with Children Living in Foster Care". .. Traumatology, Vol 15(3), Sep, 2009. pp. 64-71

Lusebrink, V.B. "Art Therapy and the Brain: An Attempt to Understand the Underlying Processes of Art Expression in Therapy."  Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 21(3) pp. 125-135