AJUR Volume 14 Issue 1 (April 2017)

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AJUR Volume 14 Issue 1 (April 2017)


Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.


pp. 5-10 Identifying Issues Surrounding First Generation Students


Lena Rubio, Candi Mireles, Quinlan Jones, & Melody Mayse
Social Work Department, Tarleton State University
First-generation students compose a subpopulation within the institution of higher education, which exhibits its own set of resources in areas such as academic preparation, support systems, family background, and finances to apply to education. This quantitative study examined gaps and barriers to resources currently available to assist the population. The researchers utilized four pre-developed demographic questions along with a 34-item survey instrument assessing the experiences of first generation students, to gather the data presented in the study. The analysis involved coding and elementary data analysis of demographics and reporting frequencies. The 200 participants in the study identified as first-generation students at four-year universities within the United States. The majority of the participants surveyed were white (69.5%; n= 139), between the ages of 17 and 26 (94.5%; n=189), and from families within the middle-class income bracket of (39.5%; n= 79). The results indicated that most common barrier to participants attending college was tuition-cost (63%; n=126), followed by a lack of information about a college, such as financial aid availability and required documents (34.5%; n=69). Over 64% (n=129) received support or guidance from support networks in the form of parents and/or guardians. The study provided information about the issues encountered by first-generation students, as well as the accessed support networks, and preferred resources.
First-Generation Student; College Retention; Academic Preparation; Financial Assistance; Support Systems

pp. 11-16 A Comparative Analysis of the Fitness of Collegiate Dancers as compared to Collegiate Volleyball and Softball Players


Leanna Miller* & Fred L. Miller III
Department of Kinesiology, Anderson University, Anderson, IN
Few studies directly compare the various fitness components of collegiate dancers and athletes in acknowledged sports. The limited studies that do exist fail to consider certain variables or to assess multiple fitness components. The purpose of this study was to provide a more comprehensive comparison of collegiate dancers and collegiate volleyball and softball players. We used multiple fitness components as an indicator of the comparative physical demands of these activities, to assess whether the physical demands of collegiate dance may warrant a comparable level of medical support as afforded to the volleyball and softball players. Thirty dancers and thirty volleyball and softball players were tested using six different measurements of physical fitness commonly used in athletic assessments at universities. A two-tailed independent t-test was performed to determine differences between dancers and athletes in each fitness component. Three tests revealed significant differences between the groups, with the dancers having a lower percent body fat and greater flexibility, and the athletes having greater relative upper body strength. No significant differences were found in relative leg strength, core strength, or estimated VO2max. The results of the current study suggest that dance provides training adaptations equivalent to traditional intermittent sports and thus support the use of similar levels of medical care for collegiate dancers to that afforded to collegiate volleyball and softball players.
Physical Fitness; Dance; Dance Medicine; Athletics; Dance Health Benefits

pp. 17-24 Adaptation of Esherichia coli to Antiobiotic Cycling via Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms


Samuel E. Hager, Ellen Jensen, Timothy J. Johnson, & David Mitchell*
Department of Biology, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Bacteria are quick to adapt and evolve, especially under the effects of selective pressures from chemical antibiotics. In addition, bacteria may develop resistance to antibiotics from multiple classes simultaneously, making their eradication from the human body particularly challenging. This study aims to demonstrate that bacterial multiple-drug resistance can be developed and retained in a laboratory setting. Escherichia coli B was grown in tryptic soy broth in the presence of a small, increasing concentration of streptomycin. This exposure resulted in a strain of E. coli, which had an increased minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) towards streptomycin, or “resistance.” This resistant strain was then grown in like manner in nalidixic acid and then penicillin G. The result was a strain that became resistant to streptomycin and nalidixic acid, and increasingly resistant to nalidixic acid after penicillin G exposure. Additionally, the bacteria retained resistance to streptomycin and nalidixic acid even after exposure to those chemicals ceased. Genome sequencing and comparison to E. coli B reference strain REL606 revealed the emergence of point mutations with each exposure to an antibiotic. Of particular interest is a mutation associated with the appearance of nalidixic acid resistance. Base pair 4,553,488 was changed from adenine to guanine, resulting in a change from aspartate to glycine in the protein helicase. Previous studies have not indicated mutations to this locus as nalidixic acid resistance conferring. Thus, this mutation may be a novel mutation conferring E. coli B nalidixic acid resistance. Since the region of the mutated helicase is functionally undefined, a mechanism is not apparent. Further research needs to be done to confirm this hypothesis and illuminate a mechanism.
Bacteria; Escherichia coli; Evolution; Antibiotic Resistance; Nalidixic Acid; Streptomycin; Point Mutation; Single-nucleotide Polymorphism; Helicase; Minimum Inhibitory Concentration

pp. 25-34 Constructing the Imaginative Bridge: Third-Generation Holocaust Narratives


Megan Reynolds*
Department of English, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
Reynolds’s research examines the ways in which third-generation Holocaust writers, the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, approach the subject of their own traumatic history and the intergenerational transmission of trauma and memory. Despite the two generational divide that separates the third generation from the preceding two generations of Holocaust writers, the trans-generational transmission of trauma continues to preoccupy contemporary narratives. This research examines the ways the grandchildren of survivors, represented in this paper by Margot Singer and Jonathan Safran Foer, confront and include lost worlds in their narratives as well as their attempts to resurrect these fractured pasts through innovative uses of imaginative leaps. The third generation continues to suffer from the intergenerational transmission of trauma and memory yet discovers innovative ways to share that trauma, evidence of evolving modes of bearing witness.
Holocaust Narratives; Third-Generation; Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma; Literature; Trauma; Memory Studies; Jewish Identity; Grandchildren of Survivors

pp. 35-48 Mathematical Modeling Analysis to Simulate the Dynamics of Immune Cells, HIV, and Tuberculosis


Rumana Ahmed & Mahbubur Rahman
Department of Biology, the City College of the City University of New York, New York, NY
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL
The dynamics of immune cells, HIV, and tuberculosis can be described by a system of differential equations. We developed the formulations for this dynamical system. To evaluate the system as time goes to infinity, we investigated the equilibrium solutions. We established the criteria for stability based on the characteristics of the Jacobian matrix associated with the dynamical system. To investigate the bifurcation of the solution, we developed phase plane diagrams for the sets of assumed values of the parameters. we have investigated the curves for different values of the starting conditions of immune cells and the antigens. Along the curves, we observed the growth and decay processes. The stability of the system has been established by examining the phase plane diagrams as the solution approaches the equilibrium point. Based on phase diagrams, both stable and unstable systems have been simulated and examined in this study. Finally, we developed and evaluated the graphs for the unsteady variations of immune cells, HIV, and tuberculosis to see how the antigens grow because of the diminishing effects of immune cells in the system as time increases.
Mathematical Biology; Infectious Disease Modeling; Dynamical System; Simulation of Immune Cells and Antigens

pp. 49-60 Gender and Sexuality in Medieval Islamic Mysticism: A Comparative Study of Ibn ‘Arabi and al-Ghazali


Emily Dovel*
History Department, University of Portland, Portland, OR
Mysticism, defined as a direct experience with God that cannot occur through intellectual knowledge, has the potential to offer women opportunities disallowed by a patriarchal society. Because mysticism exists outside of religious institutions and hierarchies, female mystics could receive opportunities for public expression often prohibited by Medieval Islamic societies. Islamic Mysticism, or Sufism, has a long history of prominent female mystics. However, Sufi thought in the 12th and 13th centuries was certainly affected by the misogynistic influences of the greater society. In order to explore the ideological conflict within medieval Sufism, between the potential for gender egalitarianism within mysticism and the influences of patriarchy, this paper examines the theology of two prominent Sufi mystics, Ibn ‘Arabi and al-Ghazali, and proposes some explanations for the large disparity between the two Sufis’ opinions on gender and sexuality. Specifically, al-Ghazali fully supports the subjugation of women, and even equates the perpetuation of patriarchy to religious piety. This paper argues that, living under the politically turbulent and authoritarian reign of the Seljuks in Iraq, during the late 11th and early 12th centuries, al-Ghazali was particularly disinclined to question traditional orthodoxy, particularly with regard to gender. Ibn ‘Arabi, by contrast, accepts the spiritual, intellectual, and legal equality of women to a remarkable extent. Raised in Muslim Spain in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, Ibn ‘Arabi was exposed to female mystics as teachers and experienced little political pressure to conform to traditional doctrine. Further, Ibn ‘Arabi subscribes to Oneness of Being theology in which the created, material universe is an emanation of God, and is ultimately part of the same divine being. As such, unlike many religious thinkers within patriarchal societies, who tend to reject worldliness—along with women and female sexuality—in an attempt to reach God, Ibn ‘Arabi believes that all things material—including women and the human body—are ultimately connected to divinity.
Islam; Sufism; Gender; Sexuality; Theology; Medieval History

pp. 61-77 Breaking the Chain of Silence: Political Activism and Social Justice in Omar Offendum’s Syrian-American Hip-Hop


Harry Olafsen, Mohammed Ali, Mikayla McCord, and Dr. Roxana Cazan*
Department of Literature and Languages, Saint Francis University, PA
Pre-Medicine Track, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA
Department of Business, University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC
Dissatisfied with the decisions of the Western political class to remain uninvolved in helping settle the conflict in Syria, many hip-hop, rap, and pop artists from Syria and the surrounding region have been creating and performing politically charged music that promotes liberty, and justice in the Middle East. One artist in particular, Omar Offendum (in the United States), writes and brings to the stage his hip-hop music in a way that continues and enhances this political-artistic movement across the Atlantic. Employing rhymes and rhythms that foster commotion and make noise, Offendum breaks the global indifference accumulated around the topics of the Syrian war and the unsolvable debates about allowing a certain number of Syrian asylum seekers to apply for refugee status in Western nations. He underscores that apathy is not an option for those who oppose the oppressor. In this paper, we argue that Offendum’s music constitutes an effective tool of political propaganda that can raise social consciousness of the needs of Syrians today and inspire social justice. Because the political-ideological space that feeds his creative act is set in a civil-rights-conscious U.S., Offendum often appeals to a heritage, reminding the listener of the activism of the Black Panthers, the legacy of Malcom X, and the freedom battles of Rodney King and his followers. In many of his songs, Offendum uses Arabic, both as a means of highlighting the authenticity of his hybrid identity and as a method of marking a cultural space for a diverse audience to come together. In this paper, we offer a brief historical look at the role of hip-hop in the struggle for civil rights in the US in order to locate the legacy Offendum’s music builds on and to assess its power. We then perform a close analysis of three of his most famous songs and conclude with a brief discussion of the impact of Offendum’s on social media platforms globally.
Hip-Hop; Activism; Social Justice; Omar Offendum; Social Consciousness; Syrian War; Syrian Refugees; Civil Rights