Subscribe to RSS Feed

Away from Eurocentrism and Towards Inclusivity: An Asian History Curriculum for Secondary Education

Kelli Rosenquist, The University Of Montana

It is not uncommon to hear stories about racism in the classroom: textbook companies get sued for biased narratives, teachers refer to slaves as indentured servants, and entire books detail the lack of inclusive education in social studies. I first discovered these incidents doing a research project about America's epidemic of unqualified history teachers for the Davidson Honors College and quickly decided to take action. Upon further research, I discovered that both Montana curriculum standards and Missoula County Public Schools do not require educators to mention minority history in any way. A student can spend four years at a high school and learn only about the U.S. in government, world history, or any other social studies course they take. Drawing from surveys sent out to Montana high schools, interviews with students and teachers, classroom observation, and help from the curriculum and instruction department, I embarked on a journey to develop a comprehensive Asian history curriculum that is accessible to both high school students and teachers. I evaluate status quo curriculum standards, the problems plaguing them, and suggest steps to fix those problems. If even one teacher finds a single lesson plan from this curriculum they like, it will be a step in the right direction to providing the inclusive history education that students deserve.

Chili Pepper Molecule as Potential Treatment for Cough Hypersensitivity Syndrome

Sarah Campbell, University of Montana, Missoula

Approximately 20% of patients with chronic cough, or cough that lasts greater than 8 weeks, do not respond to medical intervention and are said to have refractory chronic cough (RCC). The suggested cause for RCC is a hypersensitive urge-to-cough triggered by an increased expression of sensory receptors in the throat. The evidence-based treatment for RCC is behavioral cough suppression therapy (BCST), however, patients with RCC who cannot suppress their cough are unable to benefit from BCST and remain without a solution.

The goal of our current study is to test a novel treatment for RCC, pairing gradually increasing doses of aerosolized capsaicin, a known cough stimulant found in chili peppers, with BCST for the patients with RCC who do not benefit from BCST alone. The purpose is to present the participants with a cough stimulant dose strong enough to elicit an urge-to-cough (UTC) but weak enough to allow for cough suppression.

The current study is a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial with patients with RCC. Pretesting outcome measures include cough challenge testing recording the baseline dose of capsaicin that elicits five coughs (C5), urge-to-cough testing, cough-related quality-of-life via the Leicester Cough Questionnaire, self-reported cough triggers, and 24-hour cough frequency measured with the Leicester Cough Monitor. Participants attend six therapy sessions where they are exposed to aerosolized capsaicin paired with cough suppression strategies. The treatment group receives progressive doses above their C5 threshold, while actively suppressing cough. The placebo group receives subthreshold doses paired with relaxed throat breathing. The outcome measures are repeated at one-week and three-week post-testing. Our first cohort treatment group data is encouraging, suggesting the feasibility of the combined approach as a treatment for RCC. The treatment group exhibited both decreased cough hypersensitivity scores and better quality-of-life scores. The placebo group did not show similar improvements.

Culture, Heroism, and Revolution: Mythological Concepts in Modern-Day Iranian Society

Julia Troisi, University of Montana, Missoula

There are many aspects of cultural history that can impact a region throughout time. In this paper, I will address the mythological and/or religious foundations for countless themes in modern-day Iran's cultural and political spheres. There are many mythological foundations represented in the modern-day society of Iran. First, I will identify the themes within these mythologies, then, I will address the mythological foundations of characters in the Shahnameh who have been carried throughout time into the present. Next, I will address the traditions and holidays observed in today’s Iranian-speaking world and their ancient roots. Finally, I will address some aspects of Iran's political society and the themes that have been reverberating throughout time.

Dialect Variation in the Treasure State

Noah I. Rummel-Lindig, The University Of Montana

Sociolinguistic research claims that there is a common dialect of English shared by all states between the Great Plains and Pacific coast. This dialect area is referred to as the West and is defined by a lack of easily discernable speech characteristics. (Labov et al. 2006). Researchers, especially those residing or hailing from the West, have objected to this presumed homogeneity and have sought to document variation in the dialects of English on a state or regional scale. Research on dialects within Montana is limited. Bar-el et al.’s (2017) perceptual dialect map tasks revealed that many Montanans believe that there are different dialects spoken in eastern and western parts of the state. Research documenting the actual differences in the speech of Montanans from the eastern and western regions of the state has not yet been conducted. My research attempts to determine which dialect features, if any, distinguish between the east and west, and the location of the demarcation between dialects.

This study involves conducting interviews and online questionnaires with people who have grown up in Montana in order to determine whether there are systematic differences in the English spoken in eastern and western Montana. I focus on two aspects of dialect variation: the pronunciation of vowels (in sociolinguistic research vowels shifting and merging alone has defined dialects), and the use of sentence constructions not considered typical of Montana speech but arguably present, such as The car needs washed, and Everyone reads anymore. The collected data will reveal whether or not the perceived differences in eastern and western Montana English are based on actual speech and possibly which parts of Montana are most and least similar and whether certain features are indicative of certain regions, which may lend insight on the construction and bias of perceived social differences.

Explaining Variance in Demand for Secession in Catalonia

Daisy Ward

Recent referenda for independence in the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain have brought the issue of Catalan independence to international attention. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 established Catalonia as an autonomous community within Spain, but the movement for an independent Catalonia has been increasing in strength and influence since 2005. Movements for increased autonomy in the region have existed for hundreds of years, but the demand for secession is a more recent development. This project examines research on nationalism and secessionist movements and analyzes potential explanations as they apply to Catalonia. These explanations include differing economic needs between a state and a region seeking secession and the influence of social crises on this relationship. An examination of the Catalan case indicates additional factors affecting the demand for secession. These include class divisions in Catalonia and changing alliances between Catalan and Spanish elites, immigration to Catalonia, and the influence of the European Union on the prospects of a potentially independent Catalonia. Analysis of these additional factors in the case of Catalonia helps to explain variance in demand for secession across other substate nationalist movements in Europe.

Facing the Addiction Crisis in Missoula: Emergency Intervention and Data Collection

Olivia Hamblin, University of Montana, Missoula
Katie Carroll, University of Montana, Missoula

We are submitting a proposal to the City of Missoula that details our plan on providing additional support for the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), through the implementation of two data collectors. Through working with the program QUEST (Questions for Undergraduates Exploring Social Topics), we researched the issue of drug addiction in Missoula. This research included meeting with government officials who were previously tasked with leading the CIT, utilizing information from various accredited databases, and consulting expert faculty members at the University of Montana. The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a nationally adopted program intended to improve first responder interactions in many mental health and addiction based crises. The CIT has demonstrated efficacy in keeping those with mental illnesses and drug abuse issues out of jail and into more treatment based curriculums. In January 2020, the City of Missoula accepted a grant that created a full-time director position to lead the CIT. Until this point, it was solely run by volunteers. Although this is a step in the right direction, there is a lack of foundational support for this single position. The purpose of the data collectors would be to both support the new director, and to collect essential data that can potentially be used to expose the CIT to more funding. Data collection in other locations has revealed the capability of CIT to aid addiction and mental health crises, and we want data from Missoula to reflect this national standard.

Forging an Image of “Free China”: Human Rights Rhetoric and the Controversy of Chinese State Representation, 1958-1961

Kayla Irish

Given the intricacies of the United States' 'One China' policy and its role in trilateral relations between the United States, the Mainland People’s Republic of China (PRC), and the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan, it is more important than ever to understand the strategies that both Chinese political entities used to garner recognition and support as they developed into modern states. This project explores how the Kuomintang (KMT), the ROC’s ruling party and ally of the United States, portrayed itself as the defender of human rights in relation to its rival, the Mainland Communist PRC, in order to preserve its recognition in the United Nations between 1958 and 1961.

This time period includes competing claims to the moral high ground regarding human rights between the ROC and the PRC and their mutual allies, which highlight two major episodes of repression. The first includes the Chinese Communists’ continual subduing of Tibet in the wake of its anti-socialist and pro-independence uprising in March 1959. The second event, which occurred simultaneously, involved the PRC and the Soviet bloc trying to turn international sentiment against the KMT for the repression of its own political dissidents beginning in February 1947, a period of martial law known as “the White Terror” that continued until July 1987.

Using United Nations records and diplomatic communications between the ROC and the United States, this project demonstrates that in the years surrounding the Tibetan uprising, human rights rhetoric played an essential role in the Kuomintang and the United States’s strategy to create an image of the Republic of China as the legitimate representative of China to other liberal democracies of the “West.” In utilizing the Tibetan uprising as an example of human rights abuse, the ROC representatives in the United Nations emphasized their commitment to Western values and models of human rights.

Glacial Lake Outburst Flood Hazards: A Study of Risk and Response in Northern Pakistan

Zoe K. Tyson, University of Montana, Missoula

Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) have contributed to a number of disasters in the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya region in the past few decades. GLOFs are associated with the long-term retreat of glaciers as a result of climate change and the release of glacial waters due to the failure of an ice dam or terminal moraine. When these floods occur in inhabited areas, the risk of loss of life and property is very high. Glacial melting accelerates with a warming climate and increases the risks associated with GLOFs; mitigation, community-based responses, and appropriate preparedness are needed. This study examines GLOF hazards and mitigation with a specific focus on Northern Pakistan as an area at particularly high risk of GLOFs. The glaciers in the mountains of the HKH that dominate the region are melting, loading more water into the glacial lakes. Northern Pakistan itself is heavily glaciated and has 33 glacial lakes that are deemed capable of causing hazardous GLOFs. This paper reports on research that seeks to establish the physical risk of GLOFs using scientific data and literature and will summarize the glacial surveying and GLOF monitoring that is underway. The paper will also analyze the response and mitigation-related dimensions of GLOFs and will draw upon government documents, non-governmental organization reports, regional analyses, and relevant news articles published in Pakistani English language newspapers. This paper highlights the importance and difficulties of GLOF early warning systems along with the importance of integrated GLOF management. It also seeks to situate the case of GLOF hazards in Northern Pakistan as part of a broader regional context.

HIIT-ing the Books: University Student Time Allocation and Exercise

Teigan Avery, University of Montana

A growing body of economic literature examines behavioral change in a variety of contexts, including exercise habits (Duckworth and Milkman). These studies are informed by the theory of restraining forces, that is forces that raise the cost for individuals to engage in optimal behavior. These forces have been identified and changed, known as nudges, in many realms of behavior including exercise. Despite the benefits of physical exercise, such as a 40-50% reduction in all cause mortality, only half of the students surveyed by this study met CDC suggested exercise requirement of 5 hours—5% responded that they do not exercise at all (Morris et al.). The societal costs of insufficient exercise are estimated at $117 billion per year in America alone (Carlson et al.). The central question of this study is how do students frame exercise and allocate time for it? Understanding how students frame their time consumption can enlighten policy responses to the problem of physical inactivity. This study adds to the behavioral revolution in economics by offering insight about university student exercise habits, specifically.

This paper uses data from a survey sent via email to the student membership of the University of Montana Recreation Center which generated ~440 observations analyzed using ordinary least squares regression and ordered logit. Preliminary results indicate the median student engages in sufficient number of hours of exercise. For both exercise and studying, students claim they would be most willing to give up personal and social time. Students were least likely to give up study time in order to exercise more often. These responses suggest novel behavioral interventions that could induce students to exercise more often that could be replicated in society.

Incomplete: The Prevalence and Impacts of Spinal Cord Injuries for Individuals

Reece G. Brandon, University of Montana

Throughout the fall of 2019, I have created a video documentary in partnership with the New Directions gym on the campus of University of Montana. This is a specific location for patients currently undergoing treatment at the University's physical therapy clinic to perform their prescribed exercise in an assisted and supervised manner. Because the clinic is one of the only ones in the area that focuses with an emphasis on nervous system ailments - strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, amputations, etc. - the patients there typically have something in that list. The patients’ difficulties, although surely difficult, are not overshadowed by their motivation and will to continue and improve with every visit. Specifically speaking, my project focuses on the impact that spinal cord injuries may have on an individual, and I have worked closely with a cast of both patients and physical therapists to help create it. I have interviewed the patients on camera, asking them to share their stories to a broad audience, and have followed up with the physical therapists to demonstrate how effective rehabilitation can be when people are diagnosed with the complicated condition of a spinal cord injury.

Interactive Storybook Reading through Preschool Collaborations to Improve Literacy and Academic Readiness

Maria Ann Begger, University of Montana, Missoula

Early exposure to language-rich environments, including early exposure to literacy, has been linked to academic success. Participating in shared storybook reading with children before they enter elementary school yields lasting results throughout their education. However, for some toddlers are not provided adequate exposure to language-literacy experiences they are at-risk for language-literacy deficits. For these children, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and preschool teachers can work together to support emergent and early literacy skills. Using a multilinguistic structured approach in reading intervention has been documented effective for children who. exhibit difficulty learning to read. This approach includes simultaneous delivery of multiple linguistic skills (i.e., phonemic awareness, letter-sound correspondences, orthographic representations, meaningful units, word order, and word meaning). However, limited research exists to support an educationally collaborative service delivery model using a structured literacy approach for students’ emergent literacy skills in a classroom-based environment. Members of the Promoting Language Literacy Acquisition-Interaction in Youth (PLLAY) Lab will participate in a collaborative project with local preschool teachers through the Bringing Early Awareness to Reading: Collaboration Using Books and Stories (BEAR CUBS) training program. PLLAY Lab members will work collaboratively with two preschool teachers to model and provide feedback during shared storybook reading using a structured literacy approach for 6 weeks. A single-subject research design will be used for two dependent variables: teacher facilitation of shared storybook reading and student interaction with the teacher and storybook. We will draw conclusions about the benefits of collaborative practice between SLPs and preschool teachers on toddlers’ language development and storybook interaction following the BEAR CUB training program. These conclusions can inform future collaborative practices between SLPs and preschool teachers to deliver the most effective shared storybook experiences to yield greater use of multiple linguistic skills to better prepare at-risk toddlers for academic readiness.

Loss for Words: An Investigation of the English Nature Vocabulary

Margaret C. Luthin

This research assesses the state of English nature vocabulary in Montana, defined here as words and terms relating to local species, weather, and topography. Studies have shown declining nature knowledge amongst English speakers as well as a marked decrease in the usage of nature words in English popular culture throughout the 20th century, and while research across disciplines points to a growing disconnect between humans and their environment, researchers have yet to investigate the role of vocabulary and language attrition in humans’ changing experience of nature. This study develops a new survey instrument to gather vocabulary data from Montanans, aiming to gauge depth and diversity of nature terminology knowledge as well as attitudes about language and environment. Demographic information gathered in the online survey is used to analyze trends in the data based on age, community type, and other participant features. Analysis of this data is based on UNESCO’s (2013) Language Vitality Assessment model, a framework designed to quantify language loss and investigate the drivers of language change; the project is also informed by research on environmental literacy and education. I propose that extending the language model to nature vocabulary will cast light on how vocabulary attrition or dynamics may be compared to well-established processes of language change, thereby advancing our understanding of language attrition. The project is the first quantitative assessment of nature vocabulary in the United States, and the survey instrument has potential for further development and use in other states.

The Journey Home

Roy W. Savage Jr, University of Montana, Missoula

My PowerPoint Presentation is called "The Journey Home"- A Military Veteran's Timeline. The focus of my project was to discern the amount of emotional and physical trauma that military members are exposed to. In doing so, I want to help people understand the complexities of going from military service and returning to civilian life...a place you don't recognize and people who no longer recognize the person you were before you left. It is important to understand that each phase has a certain level of "shock" associated with transitioning into military service, culminating in the return home and uncertainty.

The right job for me: The motivation, support network, and emotional fortitude of crisis workers

Meg E. Denny, University of Montana, Missoula

Professionals who perform crisis work frequently function as first responders, but even when they enter the scene at a later time, they are still exposed to many of the risk factors identified for the development of PTSD and other trauma reactions (Lepore, 2005). Individuals come to these roles from a variety of backgrounds and with various levels of experience. Given that such work is often low-prestige and of average pay, there is significant value in identifying the motivation driving individuals to do the work, as well as how they view their jobs and support systems. Identifying these elements can assist with outreach and recruitment to attract dedicated and driven workers, as well as lowering rates of burnout and emotional damage. Using a short, custom-made, anonymous questionnaire loosely based on elements from the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) and the Job Satisfaction Scale (JSS), crisis workers from a nonprofit organization in the Northwestern United States (N=10 planned) were asked to assess their feelings of self-worth regarding their jobs, their current emotional state, their support systems, and their reasons for pursuing this line of work. This is an exploratory study intended to identify rough spots within the work environment of these professionals. Knowing how they were recruited, their training, and their current mental and emotional state will be valuable to both the nonprofit organization in question and to the larger research effort focused on supporting the mental health and well-being of those in crisis.