Oral Presentations: UC 326


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Friday, April 15th
9:00 AM

Social norms: Understanding community perceptions of voluntary services and its effect on parental engagement

Emily A. Stiles, University of Montana

9:00 AM - 9:20 AM

Home visiting services seek to promote maternal and child health through education, agency referrals, and interpersonal connection. These evidence-informed services are often voluntary, which poses significant challenges in terms of enrolling, engaging, and retaining clients. According to McCurdy and Daro (2001), attributes such as: client characteristics, health professional attributes, features of the agency, and the neighborhood acceptance of the program may influence a client's decision to enroll. Furthermore, the timing of engagement or contact affects the engagement of home visitors with clients. In addition, sociodemographic factors of: ethnicity, ages of parents and children involved, and educational attainment influence a client's intent to enroll in a given program (Spoth & Redmond, 2000).

While engagement levels are often evaluated based on the client's demographic and sociodemographic factors, research also suggests that social norms play a significant role in a client's decision-making process. Despite this finding, the role of social norms as an influence on enrollment, engagement and retention has not been thoroughly evaluated.

This phenomenological qualitative study evaluates the experiences of five new and expecting mothers in Missoula County to better understand the role of social norms as they relate to enrollment, engagement, and retention in home visiting services. A quasi-snowball sampling method guided this research and in-depth interviews were conducted with each participant. Consistently, participants noted high levels of stigma associated with the receipt of home visiting services, yet they voiced support and recognition of the benefits of these programs. Elaboration of key themes and implications for practice and research will be discussed in the presentation.

9:20 AM

Youth Voting Patterns in Montana

Elizabeth R. Story, The University Of Montana

9:20 AM - 9:40 AM

Grassroot voter registration efforts have been prevalent in Montana college towns and in strategic voter districts, where a larger population of youth becoming registered and encouraged to vote would be advantageous. However, it has been almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of blind voter registration campaigns geared towards passerby, or indiscriminately asking passerby – primarily students – to register to vote, or turnout to vote. Youth targeted voter registration campaigns are usually conducted in college or university settings, where the target potential voter population is mostly in the 18-25 year old demographic. I will analyze the effect of the transient nature of youth, and their effect upon elections and candidate’s campaign policies, specifically in Montana on a county by county basis. I will also compare access to polling stations and polling stations with same-day-voter registration capacity on a state-wide level to determine a correlation between greater access to voter registration and flexible voting day policies with high youth voter turnout. I will analyze voter registration data from the Voter Access Network, as well as include data from voter registration campaigns from the Montana State and the University of Montana campuses, to compare numbers of youth registered to vote, and youth that actually turn out to vote, on a county by county basis. This paper will ultimately clarify the effects of voter registration campaigns on college campuses within Montana, and the political consequences of a concentration of - or a lack of - student voters in the larger community.

9:40 AM

Religious, Racial, or Ethnocultural Prejudice? Assessing Online Islamophobic Sentiment in the American Context

Arif Memovic, University of Montana - Missoula

9:40 AM - 10:00 AM

Empirical inquiry of Islamophobia is an emergent focus in the social sciences. Over half of the peer reviewed literature on the subject has been published in the last five years. Despite increasing interest in Islamophobia, there is no academic consensus for a definition of the term. Moreover, there has been ongoing debate concerning whether Islamophobia is an existing social phenomenon and social problem. These questions are hotly contested by academics, politicians, social commentators in the media, and interested lay persons. Much of the non-academic debate occurs online, specifically in the comment sections of articles and videos published by both local and national newspapers and major news networks. In this study, I performed a content analysis of online commentary pertaining to Islam, Muslims, and Islamophobia in the comments section of articles published by the Washington Post in the spring of 2016, in order to understand the narratives presented by those who believe that Islamophobia is not a social problem and that Islam and Muslims are a threat to the United States and other Western liberal democracies. Although there has been a substantial increase of scholarship pertaining to Islamophobia in recent years, the majority of research has taken place in Europe. Building on this European scholarship, this study is among the first to examine Islamphobic sentiments in the American political context and is, thus, a valuable and timely contribution to multiple literatures.

10:00 AM

Comanagement: Applications And Lessons

Rachel Grabenstein, The University Of Montana

10:00 AM - 10:20 AM

The Badger Two Medicine Area in the Lewis and Clark National Forest has faced conflict over management since the 1980s due to leasing of what is considered sacred land. Recently those leases were cancelled. However questions about how to manage the land still remain. This presentation explores examples of comanagement between the federal government and Native American tribes in an effort to understand what options and obstacles the Blackfeet tribe will face in future management of the Badger Two Medicine Area. I examined the National Bison Range efforts at comanagement in depth and current comanagement situations with other federal agencies, including the Badlands National Park, which has the potential to be the United States' first tribal national park. Background information is provided on both of these topics. This policy piece found that comanagement suffered at both the National Bison Range and Badlands National Park due to poor communication, political and personal issues within agencies, and issues beyond agency control, such as funding. In situations where comanagement has been successful, strong interpersonal relationships and effective communication have played a significant role.

10:20 AM

Student Organizations in Public Administration

Cody Meixner, The University Of Montana

10:20 AM - 10:40 AM

The Associated Students of the University of Montana (ASUM) is a student owned, student funded, and student operated public agency within the University of Montana (UM). Many University student governments operate small operations, with much oversight from their University administrations; however, there are a few throughout the country that command their own budgets, have complete oversight of their personnel, provide large scale public services, and maintain distinct levels of autonomy from their University. This paper will analyze the effectiveness of student owned, student funded, and student operated public agencies such as ASUM, to evaluate the role they play as established public agencies within complex bureaucratic organizations such as Universities. The study of student organizations as legitimate, complex, and thriving public agencies in and of themselves will benefit the field of Public Administration as it evaluates the effectiveness of a system of administration in which young people are elected into high-level managerial and bureaucratic positions. To determine ASUM and other student organizations’ role in society, this paper will rely on evaluations of Woodrow Wilson’s dichotomy between politics and administration, to determine an agency’s effectiveness as it relates to serving a specific population of constituents within a larger community. To further elaborate on the role this dynamic plays in student agencies, an analysis of John Gaus’s work in the field of humanistic public administration will help to analyze the priorities of these student-driven agencies and how they relate to and interact with the priorities of other agencies. My analysis of these scholars as well as the history of ASUM itself, reviews of literature, and methods concludes that, after obtaining degrees of autonomy, student organizations can play vital roles in the administration of legitimate and complex public agencies.

10:40 AM

Creating the Campesino: United States’ Influence on Agrarian Reform during the 1952-1953 Bolivian National Revolution

Carly J. Campbell, University of Montana

10:40 AM - 11:00 AM

Throughout 1952 and 1953, Bolivia experienced a violent National Revolution. The Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR) rose to power on the platform of universal suffrage, nationalization of tin mines, and the breakup of Bolivia’s traditional agricultural system. On August 2, 1953, President Estenssoro of the MNR signed Agrarian Reform into law before a crowd of indigenous leaders, who celebrated the victorious moment. In appearances, the new government had fulfilled its promise of land redistribution, enfranchising the long-oppressed indigenous population.

However, the underlying presence of the United States convoluted reform. Unlike many other Latin American countries during the post-WWII era, the new Bolivian government had both the recognition and financial support of the United States. The relationship between the MNR and the U.S. changed the nature of the revolution, co-opting it in favor of U.S. interests during the beginning of the Cold War. This created a clash between the “official” Bolivian Revolution, and the one enacted in the countryside by an armed peasantry.

The purpose of this research is to reconstruct the moment of indigenous victory on August 2nd. Primary sources are translated accounts of rural Bolivians drawn from ethnographic accounts, as well as many declassified U.S. documents that explicitly draw a money trail. Along with secondary literature, these sources are used as evidence for an analytical historical narrative. It asserts that peasants, or campesinos, were an organized force in their rural communities, driving forward a revolutionary reform process that the MNR withdrew from due to U.S. pressure. As a result, the Agrarian Reform Law was not nearly as beneficial as it seemed. Instead, it illustrates the subversive dynamic between the Bolivian MNR, the U.S. government, and a radicalized native population.

1:40 PM

Stock Splits: An Analysis of Firms Based on Pre and Post-split Nominal Share Price

Cody A. Sevier, University of Montana - Missoula

1:40 PM - 2:00 PM

In the field of Finance, one topic of interest is the nominal share price price puzzle, or why the average nominal share price of common stock has remained around $35 per share since the Great Depression. Stock splits are one tool that firm managers have at their disposal in order to regulate the nominal share price of stocks. In this study, I examine the U.S. stock splits that occurred between the years 2010 and 2015 and try to understand the reasoning behind why a firm partakes in a stock split by analyzing the pre-split and post-split nominal share prices. A chronological list of firms that split their stocks over this time period was obtained using the Yahoo! Finance Splits Calendar. Historical share prices and other relevant variables specific to each firm were accessed using the main Yahoo! Finance website. After running a univariate regression, some statistically significant evidence was found indicating that split factor increases with the pre-split price of a splitting firm. However, an additional regression and graphical results show that pre-split price is the strongest explanatory variable for post-split price. This evidence is not consistent with the idea that firms are splitting to a “normal” range, which is determined by market and industry-wide price averages as well as firm-specific prices, or splitting into an optimal trading range to increase marketability. Instead, these results suggest that firms are following norms or tradition when partaking in a stock split.

2:00 PM

Faunal Analysis of Togiak Archaeological and Paleoecological Project: How Ecology Affects Indigenous Subsistence Practices in the Arctic Wetlands

Dougless Skinner

2:00 PM - 2:20 PM

The Togiak Archeological and Paleoecological Project (TAPP) is an initiative to learn about the ancient life-ways of the Yup'ik indigenous peoples of Togiak, Alaska. TAPP is a collaborative project driven by the Togiak community and their interests in understanding and documenting their own past lifeways at the Old Togiak Village. Thirty-five core samples were collected from a series of pre-colonial house structures at the Old Togiak Site in the summer of 2015 and analyzed at the University of Montana. Faunal remains recovered from the cores were examined during this time along with stone tools, botanical remains, pollen, and a variety of other data. The fauna represent just one aspect of the relationship between indigenous tradition subsistence use of animal resources and ecological setting. My research will be based on a combination of faunal analysis and localized Yup'ik perspective. The fauna at the Old Togiak Site range from shellfish; including blue mussel and native little neck clam, to fish; such as char and sockeye salmon, to birds; including snowy owls and mergansers, and mammals; including lemmings and river otters. Analysis includes identification of species, modification such as cooking, cutting, weathering (exposure to surface elements), establishing association with the radiocarbon (14C) dates as well as spatial distribution across the village and the 69 identified semi-subterranean houses. I will use the faunal analysis to create a picture of past environmental possibilities at the Togiak Village over the last thousand years, and seek to understand interactions between the land use and environment. This research is vital to increasing the understanding of indigenous life-ways a in a dynamic ecological environment.

2:20 PM

We Gon’ Be Alright: An Anthropological Analysis of the Musical Reactions of the Black Community after the Killing of Michael Brown

Joel Weltzien, University of Montana, Missoula

2:20 PM - 2:40 PM

Music is an art form linked to identity, both of the self, and of one’s role in culture and society. In many social movements, music has been one of the tools used to unite a group in its message by allowing individuals to express themselves via a larger social unit. My presentation uses anthropological theories to examine this phenomenon through one of the latest and more pressing issues in our culture, the racial conflict in the US following the killing of Michael Brown, in which an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer, who was not charged for any crime. Artistic voices of the black American community, including D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and J. Cole, used music to address and begin a discourse about the oppression and violence against black Americans at the hands of white police officers. My presentation will detail how these musical responses share certain traits, and how they unite the listeners by representing and embodying the various emotional and social states associated with grief, unity, and resistance to oppression My presentation examines the musical responses of these prominent artists in an attempt to discover the commonalities contained in the music, and how they affect the listener. My methods used will be a two-part analysis, the first being an examination of the lyrical content of the pieces, the second aspect being a sonic analysis of the musical components of the pieces, based on the concept of Thomas Turino’s 3 categories of semiotics: symbol, icon, and index. This presentation will illustrate how people of America have responded, both as the self-identifying individual and the social self as defined by Dr. Turino, to the killing of Michael Brown and the events that followed.

2:40 PM

Las Dos Caras de Buenos Aires: Wealth Inequality in Argentina

Conor Hogan, University of Montana, Missoula

2:40 PM - 3:00 PM

The growing wealth gap in Argentina is affecting virtually every aspect of the society. Tensions between classes are tangible, especially as the political ideology is shifting to the right, and many of the poorer citizens feel abandoned by previous, quasi-socialist governments. In such a volatile period, any efforts to bridge the gap between the lower, middle, and upper class is more important than ever. During my stay in Argentina, I volunteered with a program called Fundacion Si, a program that allowed students and professionals to provide sustenance and assistance to the homeless community of Buenos Aires. We met twice a week, and would split into groups of three, then walk a predetermined route and offer food to people living on the sidewalk. But more than just food, we also provided a human link for these people who so often feel abandoned, as well as medical or legal aid. During my time volunteering, I compiled a series of vignettes documenting conversations I had with some of these people. These vignettes comprise the bulk of my project/research.

I also wrote several short stories/poems/journal style pieces based off of my experience playing rugby, a sport generally associated with the upper class in Argentina, for an especially wealthy club. Many of my teammates (and best friends) belonged to some of the most historically powerful, rich families in the nation, and spending time with them allowed me a glimpse into the opinions and lifestyle of the ultrawealthy in Argentina. To contrast my experience working with the homeless, I will read an excerpt from two of these pieces, which demonstrate this other pole of lifestyle in Buenos Aires. Taken together, my hope is that the pieces represent the humanity I found in everyone, the fundamental characteristics of people, regardless of income or social status.

4:00 PM

The Refugee Crisis and the European Union; Realism, Liberalism, and the Structure of Integration in Europe

Brendan Hooks, University of Montana, Missoula

4:00 PM - 4:20 PM

How will the current migration and refugee crisis affect the European Union (EU)? Will it evoke a cooperative response among member states or unilateral, nationalist actions that exacerbate existing political issues and weaken the structure of political and economic integration? This question is of great importance regarding the future of this humanitarian crisis as well as the present and future of international relations. The Eurozone currency union is one of the largest markets in the world. Moreover, European states are historically the most important military and economic allies of the United States. The handling of the refugee crisis has serious implications for the future of the war in Syria. As the world looks ahead to new and evolving threats to security and prosperity, a strong Europe is vital to successful policy and action. This paper seeks to answer a question of the effects of crisis on cooperation. I approach this question from a theoretical and historical standpoint. I apply two established theories of international relations - structural realism and neoliberal institutionalism - to three different crises in the recent history of the European Union; the crises of Russian aggression in the East, debt in the South, and refugees across the continent. I divide each crisis into early, middle, and late stages and examine each stage by using scholarly papers, government and institutional documents and news sources to determine which theory best explains the policies associated with each stage of each crisis. I finish with the prediction that the future of the migration and refugee crisis will not be one of integrated cooperation resulting in effective policy, but of lopsided unilateral action.

4:20 PM

The Role of Capacity Building in Emergency Humanitarian Response: An Ebola Case Study

Mary O'Malley, University of Montana, Missoula

4:20 PM - 4:40 PM

The appalling death toll of the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa exposed a large number of emergency response inadequacies within the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Health Regulations (IHR) that govern the WHO and its member states. The weight of these inadequacies necessitated a review of the IHR. This currently ongoing process has identified many key areas of growth for the IHR and new strategies for the WHO; however, the current discussion does not encompass the very valuable idea of capacity building within emergency humanitarian response. Capacity building is commonly defined as strengthening a country’s human, scientific, technological, organizational, institutional, or resource ability to respond to a crisis. The current IHR review places a great emphasis on capacity building in advance of an emergency response event. This paper posits that including steps to promote capacity building while in the midst of a crisis, specifically those steps that connect domestic partners with foreign emergency response teams, would provide a strong addition to the capacity building measures already under discussion. It would also reinforce the permanency of quickly built emergency structures, like clinics, or organizations, like domestic medical teams, which are not always maintained after the crisis situation ends. By examining the 2014 Ebola outbreak and its repercussions through a combination of scholarly sources, appropriate news items, and minutes and proceedings from the IHR Review Proceedings, this paper supports the importance of capacity building as an integral part of emergency responses to humanitarian crises. Specific attention will be paid to the lifespan and usage of construction projects and organizational changes made during the Ebola outbreak. This paper also provides recommendations for the incorporation of this concept in proposed adaptions to the IHR as well as a set of more general recommendations for usage by other humanitarian emergency response actors.

4:40 PM

Is Montana’s “24/7 Sobriety Program” Deterring Drunk Drivers?

Jessica C. Stevens, University of Montana, Missoula

4:40 PM - 5:00 PM

Nationally and at the state level policy makers are continually seeking ways to effectively deter drunk drivers and lower the risk and social costs they impose on society. Alcohol related accidents account for nearly $60 billion in damages in the United States each year. Montana is no exception to this problem. In 2008, Montana was ranked the deadliest state based on per capita Driving under the Influence (DUI) fatalities. To combat this issue Montana piloted the “24/7 Sobriety Program.” The predominant goal of the program was to increase the likelihood and severity of punishment for repeat offenders as well as to address the underlying issue of alcohol dependence and heavy drinking with forced abstinence, education and treatment. According to previous studies on DUI deterrence, increasing the risk of arrest and surety of penalty will increasingly deter individuals from driving drunk. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether Montana’s “24/7 Sobriety Program” is a more effective deterrent of drunk driving than previous Montana DUI policies. To answer this question a Differences-in-Differences regression analysis is conducted to compare the number of drunk driving arrests in Montana counties utilizing the “24/7 Sobriety Program” with those Montana counties not using the program so as to determine the deterrent effect of the program.