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Undergraduate Library Research Award (ULRA): 2018 ULRA Winners

Upperclassman Winner

Taylor Todd

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Holley Hansen

Project Title: Who Rules the Rulings? Disputant Strength and Legal Preparedness in World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Proceedings​

Project Abstract: The World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) offers member states a legal mechanism by which they can peacefully arbitrate trade disputes. The DSB has the potential to promote equality and justice in the international trade system, yet critics have
raised concerns about potential biases that may undermine the legitimacy of this institution. We argue that while member state power and influence shape the early stages of the proceedings, rulings are determined by factors that strengthen the legal argument of either side. In particular, we hypothesize that cases involving more wealthy countries are may be more likely to reach the panel stage of proceedings, but the panel is more likely to rule in favor of member states that present more elaborate legal arguments. Using the WTO Dispute Settlement Data Set (Hoekman et al. 2016), we construct a dyadic dataset of all WTO consultations from 1995-2012 and analyze the factors that determine whether cases reach the panel stage of settlement proceedings and, once at this stage, what determines whether the DSB rules in favor of the primary complainant or the respondent (defendant).

Underclassman Winner

Jonathan Harrington

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Karen Maguire

Project Title: 1889 Oklahoma Land Run: The Development of Guthrie’s Business Community​

Project Abstract: Guthrie was the first capital of Oklahoma, and was one of the most important early cities in Oklahoma Territory. This makes it an
important case study for the history and development of Oklahoma’s economic and business communities. In this paper, we examine the occupational characteristics of Guthrie directly after the land run: how many worked in general categories (professionals or skilled laborers, for instance,) as well as how many worked in individual occupations. We then examine the implications of our results, and compare them to Stillwater in 1890 and modern day Guthrie.

Upperclassman Honorable Mention

Stephanie Berson

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Emily Graham

Project Title: Eucharistic Devotion and Bodily Miracles in the Lives of Christina Mirabilis and Lutgard of Aywieres

Project Abstract:  In the 12th and 13th centuries, the mystics Christina Mirabilis and Lutgard of Aywieres were born in the Low Countries during a
flourishing period of female piety and mysticism. Christina Mirabilis is remembered for her resurrection and the violent penance which followed while Lutgard is noteworthy for her vision of the sacred heart where she exchanged her heart with that of Christ. Both of these women emphasized the female, human body as a source of pain, nourishment, and blessing. Notably, their bodies became vessels of the divine, as both Christina and Lutgard secreted oils and milk which served as food as well as healing ointment, resembling the breast milk of the Virgin Mary and the edible body and blood of Christ. This use of food metaphor and restrictive eating reflected the habits of many other contemporary women who used food to access the divine. This paper will examine Christina and Lutgard’s hagiographies, both written by Dominican friar Thomas of Cantimpre, for instances of food abstention. This paper investigates the similarities and differences in their hagiographies and how the use of flesh and food cemented their sanctity and holiness amongst their peers.

Upperclassman Honorable Mention

Nick Koemel

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shawn Wilder

Project Title: Metabolic and Behavioral Responses to Prey Nutrient Content​

Project Abstract:  Predators often consume a diverse selection of prey and prey can vary widely in a number of traits including: size, defenses, activity level, and nutritional content. Prey traits can impact predator performance by affecting the amounts and types of nutrients gained from prey. The degree to which prey nutrient content influences ecologically relevant predators is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to test how diet affected the physiology and behavior of a spider. Spiders estimated annual consumption of 400-800 metric tons of insects, thus making them important in environmental nutrient distribution (Nyffeler, M. & Birkhofer, K. 2017). Using the wolf spider Hogna carolinensis, we hypothesized that higher protein intake would result in lower metabolic rate due to less energy intake. Further, we also expected the high protein group to exhibit increased activity levels and aggression in an attempt to achieve adequate nutritional and energy intake. Our results demonstrate that diet had relatively little effect on predator metabolism but more of an effect on activity level. These findings suggest that diet regulation should be analyzed by studying multiple potential responses together, including metabolism and behavior, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of diet on organism performance and fitness.