2021 CROW


The Sixth Edition of The CROW was produced and published during the COVID-19 global pandemic. During this time, members of the UWB community have felt the pandemic affect every aspect of their lives, from the health and well-being of their communities to financial and job insecurities. The vast majority of teaching and learning was conducted remotely as well, which has brought new challenges to the student body. Simultaneously, this time has been marked by incidents of racial violence that have had profound impacts on the safety and security of communities of color nationwide. These are impacts we have felt here at UWB as well. We would like to take this time and hold space to acknowledge the hardships and the loss this past year has brought to so many in our communities.

With this Edition, The CROW continues to highlight the incredible dedication of students at the University of Washington Bothell as they conduct, analyze, and synthesize their own research investigations in topics ranging from science and technology, to the interdisciplinary arts, and everything in between. The act of conducting research is a highly-impactful learning practice that engages students outside of the classroom setting and allows them to think more critically about the topics they wish to discover. By taking the initiative to submit their work for review by a Board of their peers, the authors in this journal have taken steps towards becoming active contributors to the academic discourse of their particular field of study.

Due to the events that defined the 2020-21 academic year, we would like to extend special recognition and gratitude to our student writers. In addition to the personal risk each writer might experience in submitting their work for peer review, the students who worked with us this year did so through a unique set of global circumstances. We know submitting during this time must have been difficult, and we appreciate your patience and your effort. We are so excited we can share with you the 2021 Edition of THE CROW!

Your friends on the Editorial Board,

Aaron, Alex, Christine, Dacia, Jordan, Karina, Mickena, Rachel, Rose, Salome, Shahrzad, and Sidra

Popular Christian Music in Trump’s America

Jeanne Macbeth

ABSTRACT: Since election day 2016, experts from various fields of study have weighed in on Donald J. Trump’s political ascendency and enduring support. A growing body of literature recognizes how the “Make America Great Again” movement has grown, in large part, out of a predominantly white, rural and suburban, Christian subculture (Pew Research Center, 2018). This subculture has been in steady decline for decades as the urban population increases (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2015) and younger generations shift the nation towards ethnic, racial, and religious equity (Barna Group, 2020; Parker et al., 2019). In this context, my study examines popular Christian music as an important site of cultural production and consumption among a significant portion of Trump’s base. After pinpointing the 12 most popular Christian songs during Trump’s candidacy and through his pre-Covid-19 presidency, I conducted an inductive rhetorical analysis to identify the main messages, persons, and metaphors contained within the lyrics. I found that God is consistently presented as an ultimate, male authority who defies human reasoning and is worthy of loyalty in every circumstance. In parallel, every song portrays the believer as responding to a range of crises, consistently describing an external locus of control, adherence to individualism, and a high value for loyalty to God as a means of survival. I then utilized well-known New Testament passages and the Nicene Creed to construct qualitative codes for identifying the presence and/or absence of essential Christian themes. Roughly 75% of the songs relate to the power of God and the faith or hope of a believer who is mourning or poor in spirit. Most other Christian themes were mentioned once or not at all. By implication, the primary rhetorical purpose of this music is to affirm a personal theology consistent with authoritarian norms as a strategy for coping with perceived powerlessness.

Thermionic Conversion as The Next Step in The Move to Renewable Energy 

Nathan June 

ABSTRACT: As the world grapples with the consequences of climate change, our energy needs continue to grow and evolve. While the emission of electrons from the surface of a heated material has been a well-understood physical process for over seventy years, obstacles such as material work function and space charge prevented the development of sufficiently efficient converters. Despite these setbacks, theoretical efficiencies and other benefits, such as long operational lifespan and a lack of moving parts, have continued to drive technology interest. With recent advancements in material fabrication and device manufacturing, the thermionic converter is entering a new era. The development of semiconductors, nanotechnology, and combined emission mechanics makes necessary work functions achievable. Simultaneously, introducing interelectrode plasmas, microscale manufacturing, and interstitial gate electrodes is combating space charge. This paper provides a background on the physics of the phenomenon and summarizes the breakthroughs recently achieved in converter design and efficiency. We gradually shape a narrative that offers insight into potential applications and examines how these devices can contribute significantly to our push towards renewable energy and why their research and development must continue.

Physics Through Time: Designing A Water Clock That Can Accurately Tell Time

Sumaiya Sathar

ABSTRACT: Throughout history Muslim civilization has contributed immensely towards so many aspects of life, from the discovery of coffee to the development of sophisticated technology. They have invented time measuring devices, irrigation machines, and entertainment devices, and made many important discoveries in the fields of science, astronomy, medicine, mathematics, geography, architecture, and more. Unfortunately, the contributions of non-European cultures, including those of Muslim inventors, are often overlooked and instead educational institutions tend to focus on the discoveries of European scientists, even if research by Muslim scientists is at the root of many of those discoveries.

This paper aims to highlight some of the contributions of Muslim scientists, specifically in the field of physics where Muslim inventors were well known for the development of various sophisticated time keeping devices. To gain a better understanding of the underlying physics behind water clocks, a literature review was conducted primarily on papers published by the Institute for Science and Technology in Islam and by the Royal Society of London.

The papers investigated the mechanism of the Fez clock, as well as the best vessel shape and hole diameters for the simplest clepsydras. Findings from the papers suggest that the best vessel shape for a clepsydra is a quartic vessel with a 0.5-1.0mm diameter hole and that a float system was present within the Fez clock. It is unknown whether the Fez clock had a quartic vessel in its design, but it is worth noting these findings as the earliest scientists may have conducted such experiments themselves and used the data collected to design the astounding clocks we see now.

Science, Sprits, and Speculation: Edgar Allan Poe and the Metaphysical Battle Between Empirical and Supernatural

Annika G. Rundberg Bunney

ABSTRACT: From 1827 to 1849, Edgar Allan Poe wrote volumes of work that inadvertently documented his downward emotional spiral and internal struggle between wanting to believe fully in the spiritual or the empirical. By analyzing a selection of his works alongside his history, it can be seen that his writing reflects his internal metaphysical struggle. Unable to come to terms with the empirical reality of loss, Poe frequently weaves supernatural features into the worlds he creates, attempting to reconcile the unalterable facts of the natural world with the metaphysical hopefulness of spirituality.

Biologically Active Compounds like Ashwagandha and Ginseng Work as Stress Relievers and Alternatives to Antidepressants

Mehran Serai 

ABSTRACT: With 77% of Americans experiencing stress related symptoms on a daily basis, stress management has become a serious issue (NIMH, 2018). The most common course of treatment for stress management is to prescribe antidepressants. However, antidepressants are known to have a long list of possible side effects that can do more harm than good. Some common side effects of antidepressants include nausea, weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, and blurred vision (Robinson, 2020). As a result, researchers have started to experiment on the role of adaptogens, which are plant derived compounds, in stress management, as they are known to have stress relieving properties. While experimentation is still underway, researchers have concluded that there is “little evidence to suggest that adaptogens can cause immediate side effects” which signifies that adaptogens could be a better form of stress management treatment than antidepressants (Gannon, 2019). This paper focuses on comparing and analyzing the data of two commonly used adaptogens, ashwagandha and ginseng, in stress management using three different stress test scores. The results showed a decrease in stress levels in participants who consumed both ashwagandha and ginseng regularly. However, there were more significant decreases in stress in the group that consumed ashwagandha, which showed that ashwagandha is more effective in reducing stress levels in the body. For example, the group that consumed ginseng showed a statistically significant reduction in the Perceived Stress Score (PSS) test score of 27%. On the other hand, the group that consumed ashwagandha showed a statistically significant 41% reduction in HAM-A scores and a statistically significant 30% reduction in DASS-21 scores. These results provide insight into another possible treatment for stress management that focuses on a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals.

The Price of Oil: Issues in the Oil Rich Niger Delta

Yazzy Ibrahim


ABSTRACT: This paper aims to shed light on the issues occurring in the Niger Delta and provide policy recommendations for the U.S. and Nigerian governments to help address the human rights violations occurring. The Niger Delta is rich in oil and has a long history of exploitation from the fossil fuel industry. A byproduct of this exploitation is the inhuman treatment of the locals in the Delta and extensive environmental damage. Multiple research papers about the Niger Delta have highlighted the faults in managing the exploitation and extraction of oil by the fossil fuel industry and government. As a direct result, thousands of Niger Delta communities have had their human rights violated, such as their right to life, health, the safeguard of land, air, water, and wildlife. Multiple militant groups have strung up due to the lack of governmental intervention, leading to violence and disruption in the area. My findings indicate that the issues in the Niger Delta are a result of the lack of governmental control over how fossil fuel industries, such as Shell, are allowed to operate in the area. I recommend that the U.S. reassess its support in Nigeria to ensure that human rights violations cease and adequate aid be provided to the economy. The Nigerian government needs to revisit its Constitution, human rights, and policy documents to hold companies accountable and do due diligence for the people.


Feeling the Burn: An Analysis of Job Burnout and Preventative Solutions


Jeff Liao

ABSTRACT: Job burnout occurs when an employee works under high stress for long periods of time and feels no sense of accomplishment. Given the cost of replacing employees, human resource managers around the world currently face a challenge in preventing occupational burnout from developing in employees. This study aims to determine the causes of job burnout, the effects of job burnout on the brain, and what companies are doing to address it. Through multiple studies, it was found that there were different reasons employees had for burnout depending on what life stage they were in. Young employees were concerned about lack of personal resources and were the most likely group to suffer burnout. Middle-aged professionals were typically exhausted by trying to maintain work-life balance. Late-career employees frequently cited caregiving concerns and personal health issues as reasons for burnout. Neurological changes included an enlarged amygdala and the thinning of the frontal cortex, both of which result in a weakened ability to control negative emotion and decision-making. To combat burnout, HR managers can tailor their administrative policies and employee assistance programs to match the needs of each life stage. They can foster employee resilience, encourage a positive team climate, and increase job resources in order to prevent employee burnout. South Shore Hospital is an example of fostering employee resilience through a stress management toolkit. Through these solutions and pairing them with burnout assessments such as the Maslach Burnout Inventory, Human Resources managers can reduce turnover rates, increase work engagement, and improve employee health.


A Hot Dutton Issue

Marina Burandt


ABSTRACT: Danielle Dutton is an American writer and publisher that utilizes style in fresh and exciting ways to juxtapose old-fashioned concepts and feminist modernity. I will examine multiple published works of writing by the author in order to determine which stylistic elements are being used, and how they affect the writing as a whole

Murderers and Mad Scientists: Deconstructing the Tropes of Genre Fiction with Feminist Narratology

Joe Lollo


ABSTRACT: This paper aims to combine genre theory and feminist literary criticism to examine how female writers of genre fiction utilize the concepts of narratology and characterization to critique the patriarchal systems that created the genre and character archetypes they fall under. Through the specific deconstruction of tropes in Gillian Flynn’s neo-noir Gone Girl and Larissa Lai’s cyberpunk novel The Tiger Flu, the authors show how narratological concepts, combined with the subversion of tropes and character archetypes, can be combined with feminist knowledge to critique gendering in noir and science fiction and shape new literary canons for female writers.

The Cerebrum of Culture: A History of America and Television from 1980-present

Karenna Blomberg


ABSTRACT: What is the actual impact TV has had in this ever-evolving, modern entertainment landscape? Has this impact changed or lessened over the years? Television programming has made many cultural contributions from the small - like the hair and fashion trends inspired by “Friends” in the 1990s - to the more significant - like the growth in popularity of dark and dramatic TV (ex. “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones”) corresponding with the death of the concept of the nuclear family and other similar cultural norms in the late 90s to early 00s. This is particularly important to demonstrate in an age in which television programming is considered to be a fairly unstable medium, torn completely between streaming and broadcast. TV has had strong influences over other mediums of culture; films, books, even future generations of TV, as well as influence over the American way of life. However, the reverse is also true; American culture, in many ways, has controlled the specific directions TV has gone in, with fan engagement being important to the future of a show in much deeper ways than any other medium. In fact, since shows like “Hill Street Blues” kicked off the redefinition of the drama in the 1980s, television and American culture have had an incomparable and crucial connection of immediate influence and imitation in ways both minute and great.

Analyzing the Trans-Hemispheral Movement of Acipenser Species by Their Mtdna Phylogenetic Relationships

Catherine Gohar, Anirudh Prasad, Madhav Rajkondawar, and Luis Cruz Reyes


ABSTRACT: Taxonomic naming of organisms leads to species which are connected by their evolutionary ancestors. The family of Acipenseridae has existed for over 200 million years through the delicate evolution of descendants. Within this time, the genus of species within it has diversified and spread across the world. Several years ago, however, groups of sturgeons became threatened while others remained relatively stable. This study focuses on the percent of genetic similarity in mitochondrial coding genes for the Acipenser genus of sturgeons, between the eastern and western hemispheres to ask why some sturgeons might be threatened. We hypothesized that our Principal Coordinate of Analysis will show a genetic crossing of the Acipenser species through the mixing of western and eastern species in one cluster. We imported FASTA files for the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of all 17 Acipenser species and sorted the DNA sequences into different protein CoDing Sequences (CDS) in a Python program. By utilizing Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST), the Python program compared two species at a time to get the percent similarities. With this data, we were able to make a multidimensional scale (MDS) of species similarity using a dissimilarity symmetric matrix. This matrix was then used to create a Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCoA) in XLSTAT. The PCoA plot helped us learn that the species were instead separated into two clear clusters, one of only eastern species and another of both western and eastern species. Our alternative hypothesis was supported, and we note that sturgeons of the Eastern hemisphere, especially the Atlantic coast, appear to crossbreed less often. This might have resulted in lower genetic diversity and correlates with eastern-hemisphere sturgeons being threatened by human and environmental causes.

Racial Oppression Adaptations in Education

Jakob Johnson


ABSTRACT: In post civil-rights America, popular opinion is that racial oppression has either completely disappeared or is insignificant compared to a hundred years ago. But how accurate is this assumption? Sensoy and Diangelo’s Is Everyone Really Equal explores the fascinating phenomenon of how oppression can change its appearance to blend in with the times (Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2017, ch. 7). This essay explores how oppression has made itself degrees more invisible to the everyday person, highlighting specific examples in the educational system. In our attempts to be antiracist, we have fallen into several pitfalls that inevitably do more harm than good. Businesses, in order to appear antiracist, market their antiracism rather than practice it. We have implemented items in the classroom that seem progressive while actually doing nothing to inform about systems of unequal power. By focusing on individual acts of racial oppression and antiracism, we obscure overall patterns of racial oppression and maintain the system at an invisible level. These new and modern forms of oppression demonstrate that older forms have been transformed and concealed rather than eradicated.

Using Computer Programming to Search for Trends in The Atmospheric Compositions of Extrasolar Planets

Shushmitha Radjaram, Hielen Enyew, and Karina (Aria) Xin-Yi Li


ABSTRACT: Since the discovery of extrasolar planets (planets orbiting another star) in the early 1990’s, more than 4,350 exoplanets have been confirmed to exist as of February 2021 according to the NASA Exoplanet Archive. Given the large amount of new data generated on exoplanets, our research team has been searching for trends between exoplanets’ atmospheric compositions and their physical and orbital properties. We have developed computer programs to automate the steps in our process of searching for these trends. These steps include gathering exoplanets’ physical and orbital property measurements, identifying planets within our search scope, studying the atmospheric composition of exoplanets, and searching for potential trends. In addition to developing programs, we place a heavy emphasis on the documentation of our programs and processes. By providing extensive documentation, we strive to make our programs and processes easily understandable and usable for the astrophysics research community. Our team aims for our results, programs, and documented research processes to be published on forums such as GitHub, together with research journals.

Diet Composition and Species Richness in the Gut Microbiome

Jacqueline Monteza, YeJi Oh, Erin Nicholson, & Mehran Serai


ABSTRACT: The gut microbiome plays a very important role in the health of human beings by helping to control digestion and benefiting the immune system. Furthermore, the role of the human gut microbiome stretches its involvement in human metabolism, nutrition, and physiology. The role of diet in the human gut microbiome, in particular, has been linked to regulating the risk of several chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Researchers now know that diet plays a significant role in shaping the gut microbiome, with studies showing that dietary alterations can induce large, temporary microbial shifts within a short period of time. Monitoring how a change in diet can affect the overall diversity and stability of the human gut microbiome can help researchers understand the extent of microbiota plasticity. The purpose of this paper is to examine the microbiota richness in the human gut microbiome present in a plant-based diet versus a meat-based diet. In order to compare the results of the existing literature on diet and microbiome change, we conducted a meta-analysis of four studies using raw meta-data from the QIITA database, an open-source microbial study platform.

The data from studies previously conducted were extracted from the QIITA database and were analyzed by running alpha diversity significance and beta diversity significance tests in the QIIME2 server, a software for microbiology analysis. The results for the study that evaluated the microbiome richness and the total number of microbiomes in the gut in a high-fat versus a low-fat group showed that there was a statistically significant difference among the diets with clustering shown in the data. The analysis of a study that examined changes in the microbiome of the gut induced by the consumption of a meat-based versus a plant-based diet indicated a statistically significant decrease in species richness in those that consumed a meat-based diet. The results for the study that evaluated the microbiome richness in a high meat versus a high polysaccharide diet showed that there was a statistically significant difference among the diets, with clustering and dispersion shown in the data. Conversely, a study that evaluated the microbiomes of young children that ate a high versus low number of daily servings of animal protein showed insignificant differences between the two groups due to confounding variables. These findings can further contribute to existing data on how a change in diet can affect the types and abundance of microbiota present in the human gut microbiome.