A Rush of Participants at the Semester’s End

In this last week of classes, my calendar is adorned with different colors. Each one signifies a specific subject that needs attention—work, classes, fundraisers, etc. Sprinkled throughout is a theme of turquoise, a color that reminds me that the Healthy Beginnings Project will be seeing many family participants in the days ahead! Our flyer distribution in the Williamsburg area proved successful; our email inbox, Tribe Responses interest form, and our phone voicemail were met with many mothers who wanted to learn more about the study and sign up with their children. Thanks to funds from the Vice Provost Grant, I was able to ensure that we would have enough gift cards to compensate all of the upcoming participants.

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The Search for Participants

Since May of 2018 I have been involved in the Healthy Beginnings Project, a group of professionals and students whose work focuses on improving child outcomes, especially of children whose mothers are incarcerated. With this focus in mind and practice, Healthy Beginnings team members have established and been involved in various projects. I have been particularly focused on our current study on the William & Mary campus. In the study, mothers and their children ages four to six answer questions about their family and home environment, and participate in a discussion task while observed by research assistants. As a research assistant, I am prepared to run participants through the study. However, preparedness is not enough; one needs participants to run a study!

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La memoria histórica right outside of Madrid

After a quick four days in Torremocha de Jarama, I still cannot believe I was there, let alone that I am now back at William and Mary. It was a whirlwind of a trip, and I am glad to be writing this because everything happened so fast that I have yet to get a chance to reflect on my experience.

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Preparing for a Research Experiment at VIMS

Next week, I begin my research experiment, and it has been nothing sort of a rollercoaster journey getting there. It began last year when I started volunteering at VIMS, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. My mentor, Juliette, has spent the last few years looking at the transmission and evolution of a particular virus found in many fish species. We started talking about the possibility of me conducting a research experiment, but my spring and summer schedule made it impossible at the time, which was quite disappointing. But over the summer, she had another undergraduate student look at the transmission of the virus from dead fish to live fish and found there was a loss of transmission after several days.

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Breathing life into the memory of Spain’s Civil War

Sometimes I find myself wanting to begin this story with my study abroad experience in Spain this past summer, but in reality the independent study I’ve created this semester and my upcoming research trip back to Spain is the culmination of my academic passions of the past four years. This project really began with my early love for Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York and my involvement with Humans of William and Mary. As early as my senior year of high school, I was beginning to hone in on what would become so important to me: the stories that shape us. Then, my sophomore year, during my study-away semester in DC, professor Chitralekha Zutshi introduced me to the field of oral history. Ever since then, any research project for any class I’ve taken revolves around the theme of oral history, and more recently, collective memory.

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Recruiting Study Participants

While we would all love to foresee and plan for every possible hiccup in the research process, we are still human, and thus we must continue to make adjustments all along the way to ensure the validity of our data and the ease of its collection. So, it is no surprise that after beginning a new semester of progress on my study, more concerns have arisen.

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Earthworks of Ijebu-Ode

Sequel to the archaeological survey carried out in Ijebu-Ode 2017, sites were identified and excavated in the 2018 field season. These sites are situated around the vicinity of earthworks. Earthworks are common in West Africa. Some researchers have argued that the functions of earthen architectural features in the form of banks, walls, and ditches vary from simple domestic usage to formal military defense of cities. Others have argued that they are defensive structures employed by elite and non-elites in their respective zones. In patterns, some earthworks appear in packed and clustered forms and are mostly boundary markers between landed property owners. Others are linear and extensive, enclosing a community. In the Yoruba-Edo region of Nigeria, these earthworks vary from small-scale enclosures surrounding modest compounds to walls around towns, and large-scale embankments enveloping urban centers. This year, I examined the Ijebu earthworks, in particular, those enclosing Ijebu-Ode, the capital of Ijebu polity. I report on the most recent survey and excavation carried out in Ijebu-Ode. I draw upon the relationship between Ijebu inner walls and the outer enclosures.Capture   Picture1

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Growing as a Dancer and Choreographer in a Liberal Arts Curriculum

By Hailey Arindaeng

It has been a few weeks since the performance of Evening of Dance, my eighth and final performance with Orchesis Modern Dance Company in Phi Beta Kappa Theatre. After a long journey of growth throughout my dance career at William & Mary, I wanted to take this time to reflect on how my dance experiences have come together and fit into a unique liberal arts education at the College.

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Sea Star Updates

In my last blog post, I spoke a bit about the developing Henricia that Dr. Allen and I have been working with. I am studying this large-egged brooding sea star to investigate the effects of reduced maternal investment. Since he had not worked with this species before, we decided to only observe this first set of embryos since the timeline for their development is still unclear. For my actual experimental data, I am planning to ablate one cell of the developing embryos once it gets to the two cell stage. However, the window of time that an egg spends in the two cell stage is small, so acutely understanding their development is necessary for the actual experiment.

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Investigating the effects of reduced maternal investment in sea stars

Hello! I am currently researching the effects of reduced maternal investment in large egged sea stars. Right now, I am working with the sea star Henricia. Initially, I had planned to use the grant to purchase a different genus of large-egged sea star, Solaster, but the long winter has not provided optimal conditions for our supplier to collect the sea stars from Maine. However, in his last shipment to Allen lab, the supplier provided a several extra Henricia, which allowed us to begin preliminary work on another large-egged sea star while waiting for the Solaster. Additionally, on Dr. Allen’s last trip to Maine, he collected a few individuals of Henricia, and as a result we had plenty to work with!

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