Masters Theses

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    Assaying dopamine with saccharide carbon dots
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2023) Ogunsanya, Peter ; CHUSUEI, Charles ; Chong, Ngee S ; Wang, Chengshan
    ***SEMINAR REMINDER*** Department of Chemistry College of Basic and Applied Sciences Monday, November 20th, 2023 Science Building, Room 1191, 3:15 pm Assaying dopamine with saccharide carbon dots Peter Ogunsanya M.S Thesis Defense, CHEM 6800 Dr. Charles Chusuei, Chair Dr. Ngee Sing Chong Dr. Chengshan Wang ABSTRACT Dopamine, also known as 4-(2-aminoethyl) benzene-1,2-diol (DA), is a neurotransmitter produced by brain neurons. It serves a crucial role in transmitting neurological signals. Dopamine exerts a substantial influence on various physiological systems in the human body, including the metabolism, central neurological system, renal system, and hormonal system.1 Insufficient levels of dopamine can lead to many neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia, and a high level of dopamine excretion is a biomarker for the electrochemical detection of DA. This work explores the deposition of Saccharide carbon dots (namely lactose, glucose, and galactose) onto the surface of a glassy carbon electrode. This is followed by the deposition of a 2 wt% Nafion solution. The purpose of this process is to detect dopamine within two concentration ranges: 0.01mM – 0.1mM and 0.1mM – 1Mm. Cyclic voltammetry was employed to measure the relationship between current and concentration. At a concentration of 1mM, the lactose carbon dot exhibits the highest oxidation peak height, followed by glucose and then galactose. Studies on the selectivity between dopamine and the two other analytes—d-glucose and uric acid—that could obstruct neuroblastoma screening mechanisms during excretion were conducted. The results indicate that lactose CDs' reaction to GCE was largely selective for dopamine at the oxidation potential, with little to no response to either of the other analytes. The average size of the carbon dots, with a diameter of (156 ± 7) nm, was determined using scanning electron microscopy. This result provides an understanding of the uniformity of the carbon dots, with a diameter greater than the average size of carbon dots (>10nm), this also explains the discrepancy between the Raman results from Chusuei et al. and the behavior of carbon dots.2 REFERENCES (1) Zhang, Y.; Liu, F.; Xiao, F.; Wu, Q. Effects of an Ingredient of Bupleurum On Dopamine D2 Receptor-Mediated Signaling in Human Neuroblastoma Cell Line. Eur. Psychiatry 2015, 30, 1617. (2) Chusuei, C. C.; Clark, C. J.; Pandey, R. R.; Williams, E. T.; Shuxteau, C.; Seven, E. S.; Leblanc, R. M. Graphene Defects in Saccharide Carbon Dots Govern Electrochemical Sensitivity. Electroanalysis 2021, 33 (11), 2261–2266.
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    Black Labor vs White Wealth in Collegiate Basketball
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2023) Jackson, Titus ; Sickler-Voigt, Debrah C ; McCormick, Janet ; Belcher, Don ; Treadwell, Aaron
    Abstract The purpose of this ethnographic study is to explore the landscape of college basketball from a former player’s perspective and to focus on labor and wealth in the sport. As history appears to repeat itself, my intent is to show readers this type of ideology has been around for over 400 years. Race has always been a present feature in American society, as we are structured in race hierarchy from white to dark—beginning when the first slave arrived in this country. This hierarchy story has been passed down from generation to generation in the African American community as it took passage during the beginning of slavery. As a young Black kid growing up in the south, I could identify how members of my community would both see and learn this hierarchy rather quickly. This was especially true during the 1970s when I was a kid. Reflecting on these truisms, one of the things I find most frustrating about us as African American athletes is how as a collective whole, we often underestimate our abilities and talents. We must learn to understand that we are more than just figures that can run and jump for sports. As we are doing most of the labor in college-run programs that produce revenue in the billions; we constantly see a distinction between labor and wealth as it pertains to those who are making the decisions and money. Based on my findings and experience, revenue continues to soar year after year. With so much money that is earned through college basketball, there should be no excuses for former players like me not to graduate with a meaningful degree and seek employment from the very system that is profiting from Black talent. Yet many college players do not graduate with meaningful degrees or, if they do graduate, the education behind that degree is lacking because of the culture that still exists between sports, the people in charge, and the African American athletes who are the force behind the profits. Puzzling over this conundrum led me to develop the guiding question for this study: Why do African American male basketball players continue to lag in getting a quality education and professional positions within college athletics? We keep hearing it is going to getting better; however, that rhetoric is often used as a cover-up because the issues are the same from when I played college basketball over 30 years ago.
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    Horror, Not Just Horrible: A Reconsideration of the Thematic Unity of Monsters in the Beowulf-Manuscript through the Lens of Horror
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2023) Norton, Brittney A. ; McDaniel, Rhonda ; Brantley, Will
    In 1953, Kenneth Sisam argued that monsters provide a thematic unity to the various works in the Beowulf-manuscript, (The Passion of St. Christopher, Wonders of the East, The Letter of Alexander to Aristotle, Beowulf, and Judith), and many scholars have agreed. Sisam, however, excludes Judith from this unity and does not define “monster” in his argument, leaving these interpretations too vague to be helpful. There must be a fuller understanding of “monsters” in order to understand a potential thematic unity, and the theories behind the genre of Horror provide a structure and language with which to explore monstrosity more fully. Using certain theories behind the modern Horror genre, I construct a list of criteria necessary in order to define “monster” more specifically and then apply these characteristics to the humanoid beings in the five texts of the Beowulf-manuscript. A dichotomy arises between monstrous appearance and monstrous behavior, and this project explores how these avenues have, in the past, been merged inappropriately and inaccurately. Through this approach, one may read these Old English works as Horror and evaluate the monstrosity of characters spanning from Grendel (a commonly accepted monster) to Holofernes (the one character Sisam argues is absolutely not monstrous). I use the biological factors and behavioral characteristics that define the monstrous to give scholars the theoretical structures and vocabulary needed to distinguish between humans, monsters, and marvels.
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    The Things We Leave Behind: A Study of Material Culture and Silenced Voices
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2023) NeeSmith, Amy ; West, Carroll V ; van Zelm, Antoinette ; Martin, Brendan
    The Singletons were a pioneer family of Bedford County, Tennessee that eventually took part in the Civil War with a son, Robert, serving on the Confederate side and an enslaved individual, George, serving on the Union side. Just prior to the beginning of the Civil War, the Singleton family lost their patriarch and thus became a home operated exclusively by women until the year 1900. During the immediate years after the Civil War and through Reconstruction, George, the formerly enslaved individual, became a husband, father, landowner, and Civil War pensioner, exemplifying the radical changes possible for African Americans in America after emancipation. The white Singletons left behind household items found within the home, as well as letters written by many generations of family members, some that even mention George. Through careful study of these objects, written letters, and local, state, and federal records historians can uncover more about life after the Civil War on rural, middle-class farms and how relationships between former master and former slave changed during this time. This research can be applied to public history literature by presenting general audiences with the material in the historic home and through various other approaches.
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    Public Historians and Family Collections: Issues of Engagement, Interpretation, and Preservation
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2023) Condrey, Morgan Elizabeth ; West, Carroll V ; Valanzola, Ashley
    In their various roles within communities, public historians increasingly encounter inquiries from families about “what do we do with this stuff?” Families have collected and preserved objects, papers, and images of significant events, with most being only of significance to them. But there are always collections that may have a greater audience. Helping families navigate the different pathways collections may take for their future preservation and interpretation is a fundamental role for public historians. Many families are wary of sharing their personal collections with institutions that may strike them as distant. Applying key principles of public history theory and practice, the public historian can help families find various methods of both sharing and preserving their records. In this thesis I will discuss the role of the public historian in both preserving and interpreting family collections with the intention that it remains with the owner. Using the Horace Stegall World War Two Collection as a case study for the practice and process, this thesis will offer an example/guide for public historians to help build relationships with families and bridge the divide. In addition to this guide, I will offer my interpretation and narrative of the collection requested of me by the collection’s owner. Within this thesis I will offer a unique perspective as both a relative to the owner of the collection and a public historian.