The Arsenal: The Undergraduate Research Journal of Augusta University

The Arsenal: The Undergraduate Research Journal of Augusta University is a peer-reviewed, online, interdisciplinary undergraduate journal.

Aims and Scope

  • To represent and highlight undergraduate research of academic and scholarly value from a wide range of disciplines at Augusta University
  • To involve undergraduate students in the peer review process under the guidance of faculty mentors
  • To provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to prepare research and scholarly papers for publication
  • To create an outlet for undergraduate research to be presented in a professional environment
  • To create a platform for undergraduate research to gain recognition for their achievements
  • To enhance students qualifications for career and academic goals post-graduation
A section of the journal will be dedicated to listing undergraduate scholarly work that has been presented in non-manuscript format by Augusta University students.

Sub-communities within this community

Recent Submissions

  • URFA 2024 Special Issue

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2024-04)
    Program of the 2024 Undergraduate Research and Fine Arts Conference
  • Empowering Student Leaders Through Experiential Learning: The Arsenal

    Louis, Alex St.; Augusta University
    The Arsenal is a peer-reviewed, open-access, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to publishing manuscripts from undergraduate researchers at Augusta University. The journal is the product of interdisciplinary collaboration between the Center for Undergraduate Research (CURS) and the AU Libraries. In 2015, students at Augusta University began to express their desire to establish an undergraduate research (UR) journal, citing an increase in the UR culture across campus (Johnson et al., 2017). The first issue was published in the Fall of 2016. To date, there have been 19 published research articles and 178 published research abstracts from 204 undergraduate student authors (Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, 2023). The Arsenal is an example of a hybrid publishing model in which students and faculty work together to organize, publish, and maintain the journal (Hart, 2012). Students participating in this process are integral to the success and longevity of the journal, and this process acts as a form of experiential learning. Experiential learning is when an intentional experience creates knowledge (Kolb, 1984; 2012).
  • Pilot Study: The Relationship Between Self-Efficacy and Adherence to an Exercise Program

    Quick, Erin
    Obesity has exponentially increased over the last few decades within the United States. In relation to obesity, several of the top leading causes of death in the United States are directly related to obesity, including cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, and variations of cancer. To combat chronic obesity and comorbidities, current guidelines for management of obesity propose a multi-modal approach, including lifestyle modification and behavioral counseling. In this, self-efficacy is considered to be a reliable predictor of adherence or withdrawal from an exercise program. This study utilized the General Self-Efficacy scale (GSE) to observe an individual’s self-efficacy in relation to adherence to the exercise protocol. The fitness data was collected via provided FitBit, analyzing the participant’s daily active minutes, steps, and calories burned. The individual’s adherence was measured based on whether the individual met their assigned weekly exercise protocol. The individual’s self-provided GSE scale score and rate of adherence were analyzed at the end of the study. It was determined that no participant truly met all their weekly goals; however, some participants had higher step and moderate-to-vigorous (MTV) exercise averages compared to others. The preliminary data was inconclusive between the long-term relationship between self-efficacy and adherence to an exercise program due to limitations within the study; however, predictive conclusions can be drawn. This paper also discusses future practical implications for revision of this study to improve the quality of future results.
  • How Do K-12 Students Behaviorally Engage in Virtual Learning Environments Post-COVID-19?

    Jamil, Jerin
    The effects of post-COVID learning in classrooms have affected how students are engaged, especially with the implementation of virtual learning. This qualitative study aims to investigate how students display behavioral engagement within virtual learning environments during participation in the iBEARS program. The constant comparison method was used to analyze classroom video observation of K-12 students engaging in scientific inquiry virtually with undergraduate mentors. Behaviors were grouped into three primary themes: behavioral engagement, disengagement, and interruptions and constraints. The findings help illuminate behaviors regarding student engagement within virtual learning. Future research is needed to better understand how behavioral engagement in the classroom has changed because of restraints like COVID-19 and how pedagogy and practice can adapt to student success in virtual learning.
  • The Effects of Urbanization on Euchee Creek Macroinvertebrate Populations

    Floyd, Kayla
    This study aims to determine the effects of urbanization on freshwater streams. Fresh water is a vital resource for a variety of species including humans. Euchee Creek in Evans, GA was selected as the primary focus for this study because the creek travels through several neighborhoods, a golf course, a housing construction site, and a paved walking trail. This study assessed several biological and chemical factors to determine the water quality at selected sample sites along the creek over four seasons. Abundance and diversity of macroinvertebrate populations inhabiting creeks have been shown to serve as good biomarkers because some macroinvertebrates are more sensitive to changes in water quality. This study did not find definitive evidence of water quality issues in Euchee Creek, but the limited abundance and diversity found in some of the macroinvertebrate samples suggest that there may be water quality issues present and that further studies are warranted.
  • Mentor Science Identities and their Influence on Student Relationships with Science: A Qualitative Exploration of the iBEARS Program

    Hilson, Melvin
    Science identities are a central entity in science education and STEM careers such as research and teaching (Nutall et al., 2018). In the realm of pedagogy, there are multiple factors that have an influence on the effectiveness and salience of identities and learning content. According to research done by Robinson et al. 2018, science identities can be destabilized and solidified given certain experiences and factors. This holds great importance because they affect the salience and effectiveness of certain programs and types of pedagogy. The strengthening of science identities through formal mentoring programs has been correlated with higher GPAs and an increased likelihood of persisting in the field of science (Piatt et al., 2019). Science identities are important in the field of science education, and more research placed into this field of study increases the likelihood of students pursuing careers in science (Carlone &Johnson, 2007). Our qualitative study focuses on conceptualizing science identity and its components within undergraduate mentors and K-12 students, with the goal of increasing the understanding of science identity to enhance the efficiency of classroom pedagogy and its outcomes.
  • Arsenal: Volume 5, Issue 2 (Spring 2023)

    Nicosia, Steven; Moratin, Jordan; Preston, Makayla; Koehler, Elana; Tran, CJ (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-06)
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences and Coping in Nursing Students: A Pilot Study

    Nicosia, Steven; Department of Prelicensure Programs, College of Nursing (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-06)
    This article presents a pilot study sought to describe the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), problem-focused coping mechanisms, and emotion-focused coping mechanisms among undergraduate nursing students, as well as any relationships between ACEs and these coping mechanisms.
  • The Role of bHLH Transcription Factor Bmal2 in Arterial Endothelial Circadian Rhythms and Remodeling: Sex Dependent Effects in Mice

    Moratin, Jordan; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Honors Program (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-06)
    Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of mortality in humans (Murphy, Kochanek, Xu, & Arias, 2020). An important influence in the progression of artery disease is the long-term effect of disruptions in daily patterns or circadian rhythms. Not sleeping well at night and daytime sleepiness both associate with cardiovascular disease. In addition, a cardiovascular system that does not rest well at night is also bad. A blood pressure reading that does not decrease at night, called non-dipping hypertension, worsens cardiovascular disease. One important impact of broken rhythms is to cause disease in arteries. Thus, understanding the mechanisms that control 24-hour daily patterns is important. One key component gene of circadian rhythm is the transcription factor Bmal1. Vascular disease is a progression that begins as an adaptation to hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia, whereby blood vessels change their structure in response to these changes in the bloodstream through a process called vascular remodeling. Remodeling is a process whereby arteries, arterioles, and even veins change their size and cellular structure (muscularity). Using mouse models of genetic disruption, our lab previously found that Bmal1 has an important role to control vascular remodeling, and when Bmal1 was disrupted, a vascular disease phenotype occurred. The lab also found that the endothelial cell layer of arteries contributes to the disease in Bmal1 knockout (KO) mice. These observations seemed the same in both males and females, thus, were sex independent. Bmal2, is a paralog of Bmal1. Bmal2 interacts with Bmal1 and is more selectively expressed in the endothelium. However, the role of Bmal2 in remodeling is not clear. To understand the role of Bmal2 in vascular disease, I have implemented a widely used experimental animal model of arterial ligation to induce vascular remodeling. I have ligated the left common carotid artery (LC) in two groups of mice, control wild-type (WT) mice (no genetic mutation) and the experimental Bmal2-KO (global knockout) mice. After two weeks, I isolated the LC and fixed the arteries in optimal cutting temperature (O.C.T.) compound and conducted histological processing (cut cross sections with a cryotome and staining with hematoxylin and eosin). I then quantified the changes in structure in the artery using the ImageJ program on digitized microscope images. My findings show that inward remodeling and wall-hypertrophy in male Bmal2-KO mice are similar to wild-type mice. The inward remodeling observed in the male WT and male Bmal2-KO mice is consistent with the normal response of what has been observed in this ligation model, inward accompanied by wall hypertrophy. However, I saw something different in the female Bmal2-KO mice undergoing the ligation for two weeks. Female Bmal2-KO mice exhibited robust inward remodeling that was accompanied by intimal hyperplasia. My data suggest that there are sex-specific differences in remodeling controlled by Bmal2.
  • Mathematical Modeling of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2

    Preston, Makayla; Department of Mathematics (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-06)
    The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 2019, and as of August 29, 2022, this virus was responsible for about 6 million confirmed deaths and about 450 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally. In this project, we used mathematical modeling to investigate the impact of post-exposure prophylaxis in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The disease-free equilibrium of our model is derived, and the basic reproduction number is computed, using the next generation matrix approach. We studied the elasticity indices of the reproduction number with respect to each parameter and identified parameters that are most sensitive in increasing the reproduction number and those that are most sensitive in decreasing the reproduction number. Numerical simulations suggest that an increase in the modification parameter for the transmission rate of breakthrough cases results in more infectiousness for those not on prophylaxis when compared to individuals on prophylaxis. The outcomes of our contour plot suggest the possibility of eradicating the virus from the population under different combinations of the proportion of individuals who recently came in contact with an infectious individual and have been administered an antiviral drug such as REGEN-CoV. Results of numerical simulations and contour plots highlight the importance of post-exposure prophylaxis on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the population.
  • The Euphemism of Escape in Never Let Me Go

    Koehler, Elana; Department of English & World Languages (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-06)
    Among scholarly discussions of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005), the idea of the clones’ manipulation in order to fulfill their roles in the organ transplantation system is pervasive. Many posit that the clones begin to place their sense of self and identity within their roles as organ suppliers. However, I argue that there is a lack of discussion and significance attributed to the role of the potential outlets of “escape” and their role in the clones’ submission to exploitation. I posit that the clones’ belief in the possibility of “escape” from this system, whether this comes in the form of relationships, identity, or future plans, is essential to the continued function of the system itself. Employing a Marxist lens in the form of Althusser’s ideas of ideological state apparatuses (ISA) and interpellation as described in his work Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (1971), I highlight the ways in which the clones are distracted from the horrors of their roles in the overall system by false feelings of agency and individuality provided by these “escapes.” Ultimately, by overlooking the role of these outlets for “escape” from the ISA in the interpellation of the clones, we are in turn failing to acknowledge the ways the ISAs around us ensnare our participation by manipulating us into creating our sense of individuality and identity around the parameters of the system. While the clones form relationships and begin to characterize themselves, they do so only through their participation in the ISA and through their sense of fulfillment thereof. This in turn perpetuates the system and prevents any mass forms of rebellion, escape, or overturning of the ISA.
  • Matching Data from Heterogeneous Databases for Integrated Assessment of Research Productivity

    Tran, CJ; Department of Computer Science; Honors Program (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-05)
    The following article presents a thesis of a general matching framework.

    Adams, Hannah; Osborne, A. B.; Department of Art and Design (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-03)

    Adaramola, Tumi; Lee, Maynard; Department of English & World Languages (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-03)

    Ajala, Priscilla; Kress, Taylor; Belin de Chantemele, Eric; Department of Chemistry and Physics, Department of Vascular Biology Center (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-03)

    Amerson, Ashland; Singh, Anita; Flinn, Ryan E.; Stepleman, Lara M.; Department of Psychological Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-03)

    Balyan, Vaani; Bhat, Keshu; Derhei, Aiden Van; Chen, Raymond; Ouellette, Logan; Gossman, Taitum; Nasanally, Sai; Aikhionbare, Karen; Arora, Vishal; Rajpurohit, Surendra; et al. (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-03)

    Berger, Ford; Spence, Meghan; Cannon, Jennifer; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-03)

    Blincoe, Parker; Rattansi, Shazeen; Sheen, Geoffrey; Mettenburg, Don; Rueggeberg, Fred; Department of Biological Sciences, Dental College of Georgia (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-03)

    Boothe, Khaylie; Dong, Guangkuo; Kogan, Schuyler; McCluskey, Lynnette Phillips; Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (Augusta University Libraries, 2023-03)

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