Session D: 3:30PM – 5PM

Social Sciences. Session D – Oral Presentations, Conference Room, Sill Center

SESSION D (3:30PM – 5PM)
Location: Conference Room, Sill Center



Post Now, Eat Later: Social Policy for Eating Disorders
Alyssa English, Utah Tech University
Aspen Marshall, Utah Tech University

Faculty Mentor Danelle Larsen-Rife, Utah Tech University

SESSION D 3:30-3:45PM
Sill Center
Social Sciences

Eating disorders are increasingly prevalent among adolescents. Adolescence is a time of relatively rapid physical, mental, and emotional change, and is a prominent time to develop a mental health disorder. Nearly all diagnoses of eating disorders occur between the ages of 12 and 25 (Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, 2022). Disordered eating brings harmful side effects and may result in death. Among mental health disorders, death from eating disorders is second only to opioid overdose (ANAD, 2022). The growth of technology has increased use of electronic devices and social media platforms, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media has increased awareness of eating disorders, however the lack of regulation of social media permits the promotion of eating disorders. There is an association between screen time and social media use and eating disorders in adolescents (Wilksch et al., 2020). Parents spend less time with their children during adolescence resulting in a potential lack of awareness of their social media use and disordered eating behaviors (Marceau et al., 2014). Due to limited understanding of eating disorders, treatments that are available are not entirely effective (McAleavey, 2008). Thus, it is important to prevent the onset of eating disorders and intervene early. Most treatments for eating disorders do not focus on prevention, rather they attempt to reduce symptoms of eating disorders in general. This paper will synthesize the literature on eating disorders and propose a prevention and intervention program implemented through the education system, including parent education and public service announcements. Instituting mental health wellness checks for adolescents in schools is a proactive approach to prevent eating disorders before they become entrenched. Prevention and intervention may reduce the incidence and severity of eating disorders.



“Finite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”: A Study of Women in the Original Star Trek Fandom
Hayley Anderson, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor Rebecca de Schweinitz, Brigham Young University

SESSION D 3:50-4:05PM
Sill Center
Social Sciences

When asked for the motivations behind the Star Trek convention of 1972, the first exclusive fandom convention, organizer Devra Langsam responded with, “…[so] we can talk about Star Trek, and nobody would look at us funny and say, ‘That’s not real science fiction…'” (Langsam, 2017) While scholars, including Michael Jindra and Erin Hanna, have noted the impact of the early Star Trek fandom on shaping the series and modern fan activities, few have studied the fandom’s activities, such as fanzines and exclusive conventions, as a women’s group excluded from the broader science fiction fandom. This research involves examination of the themes and practices  of Star Trek fanzines, mainly published and consumed by women. I will discuss how certain conventions developed by the fandom, such as creative writing within the series and the creation of fan art, have become commonplace within fan culture. For example, Star Trek fanzines featured the first creative fan-written stories set within this fictional universe. Previously, science fiction fanzines featured only original work or essays. These differences distinguished the fandom from its predecessors but also made it a target for exclusion. Interviews from fanzine publishers and authors will reveal the backgrounds and experiences of these Star Trek fans throughout their time with the series. In examining these sources, I will reestablish women’s presence as a driving force within fandom and illuminate causes for their exclusion.
Reference List:
Langsam, Devra. “Interview with Devra Langsam, July 25, 2017.” By Megan Genovese. Media Fan Oral History Project (July 2017): 18.


Geraldo the Fearless: The Unsung Hero of Portugal
Jacob  Badal, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor Cacey Farnsworth, Brigham Young University

SESSION D 4:10-4:25PM
Sill Center
Social Sciences

It is well known that Western Europe has enjoyed a longstanding fascination among scholars and students. So much so that calls to move beyond the region towards a global focus in academia are increasing daily. Yet, much of Western Europe’s history beyond England, France, and Germany remains unexplored. Spain has enjoyed a resurgence of interest, but Portugal has largely been ignored. Indeed, many do not even consider the two Iberian nations and their entangled histories with Islam and North Africa as part of Europe proper despite their many contributions to the western tradition. Even more isolating is the fact that much of the recent effort at recovering the Portuguese past remains confined to studies within the Portuguese language. This piece, therefore, aims at tackling both lacunae by examining the deeds and achievements of an important but forgotten hero of an often-forgotten nation, Geraldo the Fearless. Geraldo the Fearless was a marauding knight who lived on the edge of conflict between the young Kingdom of Portugal, the Spanish kingdom of Leon, and the Muslim realms with his band of motley knights. Working with the King of Portugal, Geraldo launched an offensive campaign against the neighboring Christian and Muslim kingdoms, rapidly conquering many cities in the Muslim South, causing new alliances, and creating political turmoil in a bid to conquer Badajoz. Later, Geraldo continued his mission in Morocco, where he attempted to take possession of several cities with the assistance of the Berber tribes for the Kingdom of Portugal. This article utilizes numerous Portuguese, Spanish, Latin, and Arabic sources to methodically gather the many pieces required to recreate a comprehensive view of Geraldo and his life. Moreover, this research, by employing additional evidence, attempts to infer events and fill historical gaps. By creating a clear narrative of the life of Geraldo, it then becomes possible to fully see his influence on Portuguese history as a critical lens into the forming of the Portuguese Empire and its later imperial expansion. Had Geraldo succeeded in his designs, the borders of Spain and Portugal would have been drastically different; furthermore, if he had succeeded in Morocco, Portuguese expansion out of Europe would have begun nearly 240 years earlier. An earlier Portuguese conquest of North Africa would likely have tipped the balance of power in the Iberian Peninsula, which could have elevated Portugal to a more prominent role among the other European monarchies. As intriguing as it is to consider hypotheticals, there is no way to know what would have occurred for sure. What is certain is that Geraldo the Fearless rose from obscurity and left an indelible mark on Luso-Hispanic history before disappearing once again.


Using Facebook and Reddit to code support group member posts: What we can learn about the needs of patients with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
April Law, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor Lisa Petot-Rincon, Utah Valley University

SESSION D 4:30-4:45PM
Sill Center
Social Sciences

Many patients with chronic illnesses feel that they lack resources when it comes to finding knowledgeable specialists, helpful consumer products, and support for loved ones. This research project aims to bridge the gaps of understanding between patients and their families and medical professionals by observing common patient complaints and requests for advice on social media platforms. By coding these responses and looking for commonalities, manufacturers may also benefit by learning to create better products that serve the needs of chronically ill patients. Similar studies have been performed for other areas of research. Sutter et al. (2021) used Facebook and Reddit to code for food parenting posts. They categorized food parenting styles that were coercive, structured, or autonomy supportive. They found a correlation between food parenting styles and children’s unhealthy eating habits and adiposity (Sutter et al., 2021). A social media study was conducted in Canada to determine social levels of hesitancy toward COVID-19 vaccines (Rotolo et al., 2022). Most Canadian citizens have been vaccinated, and researchers believe that the results of this study can help guide educational attempts for unvaccinated citizens (Rotolo et al., 2022). Perry and Park (2021) performed a qualitative analysis of Twitter feeds to search for major themes of suicidality and found that while intrapersonal and interpersonal factors were amply expressed, about half of the tweets expressed suicidality when discussing social issues such as health and politics. This study will compare posts from Facebook and Reddit to search for commonly used keywords among patients in support groups for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). After posts are qualitatively coded, a statistical analysis will be performed. By discovering the most discussed support group topics, doctors, manufacturers, and loved ones can better understand the needs of patients with POTS.


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Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research 2023 - Program Copyright © 2023 by Office of Undergraduate Research is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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