Honors College Theses

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The capstone experience of the Honors College curriculum is the thesis, conducted across two consecutive semesters. This unique opportunity allows students to conduct scholarly research or a creative project under the direct guidance of faculty mentors.

A thesis project is required of every student who graduates from the University Honors College. The purpose of the thesis or project is to prepare the student for graduate or professional school, to provide an opportunity for the student to complete a scholarly or creative project of significant proportions, and to gain a new perspective on knowledge by becoming a contributor to the recognized knowledge in a particular field of study. This experience provides invaluable preparation and a competitive edge to students applying to graduate or professional schools.

Honors College Thesis Archives Collection is now preserved online through Walker Library’s institutional repository called JEWLScholar and are indexed in the library’s catalog. The thesis archives prior to 2015, are printed copies maintained in Special Collections (4th floor) of the James E. Walker Library and are also indexed in the library catalog.

Use the search box or "browse by" filters on the right side of this page to navigate the Honors Thesis Collection.

To see other Honors College publications, please visit http://jewlscholar.mtsu.edu/handle/mtsu/4362


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 641
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    A New Approach to Research Communication: Sharing Results Through Stories
    (University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University, 2024) Smith, Sydney
    Ever since the format of the formal scientific article emerged, it has constituted the standard mode of presentation for scientific research. This tradition, more effective for doing science than for sharing science, erects a wall of jargon between scientific knowledge and the public, especially for students exploring scientific research for the first time. Moreover, in the face of complex technological issues like global climate change, the public, now more than ever, ought to have the resources to understand the results specialized science research to inform their decisions. Hence, if science is to be communicated effectively, the method of communication must change. One approach supported by science communication research is the narrative form. In this thesis, I put these ideas into practice by giving two presentations of the biophysics research I completed at a Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship at Oak Ridge National Lab. Chapter 1 consists of a traditional scientific paper detailing my research project entitled, “Characterizing the Association of Glucuronoarabinoxylan and Cellulose in the Plant Cell Wall.” In Chapter 2, I share the same research but in an alternative presentation style, a set of short stories.
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    A Study in Scarlet: A Survey of Sexism and Classism Through the Eyes of Rose Dawson in James Cameron’s Titanic
    (University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University, 2023-12) Weiss, Hannah
    This project is an evaluation of how class and gender inform each other when examining Rose Dewitt-Bukater from James Cameron’s 1997 film Titanic. Rose evolves from a young girl who caters to the male gaze and is a manifestation of the patriarchal ideals of the Victorian era to a woman who exhibits elements of both first- and third-wave feminism in her personal life. Rose is a manifestation of the patriarchy in the beginning of the film, and she does so by her upholding of the English Rose stereotype, an ideal that calls for women to be demure and obedient. She adheres to the standards that her upper-class peers have set for her, and she perpetuates these norms by her inability to fully rebel against them. Although she tries to do so, her attempts are futile as she is shut down by her peers. As the film progresses, she begins to showcase her individuality in comparison to her upper-class peers, which is a tenet of the first wave of feminism. She wears looser clothing and her hair down, contrasting the corsets and immaculate up-dos the other first-class women don. At the end of the film, Rose becomes a sexually awakened young woman, showing that she has become a manifestation of fully-fledged feminism. She consummates a relationship with a man who is not her fiancé and returns her heart to him at the end of the film. By evaluating Rose’s character in this manner, one can trace the evolution of feminism during the twentieth century from the first to the third wave as well as teaching women of that time that they are able to gain control of their lives in the same way Rose did.
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    The Interplay of Stereotypes and Emotional Intelligence Around Men and Women
    (University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University, 2023-12) Ward, Cai
    Stereotypes can aid or destroy one’s life. Ultimately, the mind holds the power to determine if we let stereotypes affect our day-to-day life. This is where emotional intelligence can be useful. In this thesis, I highlight how emotional intelligence is something that can change people’s perspectives. I provide the definition of emotional intelligence and then break it down into sections on why it is important. I explain why emotional intelligence is often hard to measure and the many benefits of becoming more emotionally intelligent both in the workplace and in one’s personal life. I list common stereotypes and societal pressures that can become such a pressure on one’s life that people forget to enjoy the little things. I explore stereotypes of men and women and how to retrain the brain. This thesis highlights many actions that can be done to help one increase their ability to deal with one’s emotions as well as the emotions of others. I research many methods that can help one gain power emotionally. Increased selfconfidence and relational skills are key points that one is likely to achieve if one utilizes the tools given in my research.
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    Air Conditioning for Cows? Determining the Effects of Heat and Cold Stress on Dairy Cattle Using Applied Economics
    (University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University, 2023-12) Smith, Elizabeth
    This undergraduate honors thesis uses an ordinary least squares regression model to measure the relationship between temperature and milk output in the dairy industry followed by a partial equilibrium analysis to estimate the welfare impacts of increasing global temperatures. Regression results show that milk output is subject to both heat and cold stress and that there is an optimal temperature for dairy production. However, the average U.S. temperature is currently below the optimal threshold. Thus, rising average temperatures may increase the milk supply nominally as cows spend more time in the thermoneutral comfort zone. However, the increased farm revenue from increased production is offset by lower market prices, resulting in a small negative financial impact for dairy farmers and a $123.1 million increase in consumer surplus. Assuming a warmer base temperature, production would decrease, pushing prices up slightly while cutting $3 million in farm revenue and $50 million in consumer surplus. Keywords: heat stress, cold stress, dairy cattle, applied welfare economics, partial equilibrium, elasticity of demand, climate change, agriculture
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    Demystifying The Great Debates: What Really Happened in the Kennedy-Nixon Presidential Debates of 1960
    (University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University, 2023-12) Robertson, Sydney
    The first televised presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon took place between September 26th and October 21st, 1960. The mythos surrounding the debates has become clouded over time through embellishment and selective memory. The first debate has gone down in history as a significant political blunder and the remaining three debates are often ignored. The research consults debate preparation papers from the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum archives, the John F Kennedy Library and Museum archives, and the Albert Gore Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University. The preparation papers will be compared to the actual text of the debates in order to explore what was really said and what mistakes were truly made.