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Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity

2016 Award Recipients and Project Abstracts

Alexandra Bookless, Framing and Mounting an Art Exhibition (Attention to Detail)
Anna Bullock, Evaluating perceived severity of Alaska Native victim rape
Jessica Rohlfing, Parents on a glass cliff: Gender stereotypes in leadership selection

Alexandra Bookless

Framing and Mounting an Art Exhibition (Attention to Detail). Mentor: Jeremy Kane

In the Fall semester of 2015 Alexandra Bookless was awarded a solo art exhibition at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council (JAHC). Associate Professor of Art Jeremy Kane provided the following narrative of about Alex's work and the show: 

This was an honor as her Professor to see her compete in the jurying process with professional, local artists and to be awarded a solo show during her last year of study at UAS.

Her artwork was representational of her experiences while living in the Yukon and Alaska and she really captured the feeling of the north.  Her goal was not only to educate and present her artwork, but to educate, inspire, and reflect positively to her peers in the arts community, the University community, as well as the general community of Southeast Alaska. The URECA grant helped make this possible and allowed her to invest in the proper materials to exhibit her art in the best possible way.  Alex’s show was a great success and was considered by myself and the director of the JAHC to be an incredibly well put together display of paintings, drawings and ceramics. Congratulations to Alex!

Here are a few of Alex's words describing her experience and motivation to apply and obtain the URECA grant:  “With this project, I had the unique opportunity of delving deeply into a learning and teaching activity. I was able to create an outstanding exhibition in which the artwork was well framed and finished with admirable craftsmanship and which represented and supported the businesses, operations, and facilities of our local community. I hope that I was able educate and motivate my peers in the arts to push their ideas and visions to a point where they can reach extraordinary achievement. Furthermore, I wanted to represent my peers and the University in a way which reflects the value and significance of what is and can be done within Southeast Alaska. I wanted to make it clear that the work which I’ve benefited from and put in at the University has borne fruit; I want people to be made aware of the legitimate and great education and standard which the University’s art program, environment, and instructors have instilled.”

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Anna Bullock

Evaluating perceived severity of Alaska Native victim rape; Mentor: Amanda Sesko   

Amanda Sesko will mentor student Anna Bullock’s investigation titled Evaluating perceived severity of Alaska Native victim rape. American Indian and Alaska Native women make up a large 34.1% of reported victims of rape. In fact, women living in Alaska have a four time greater chance of being raped than the national average—61% of which are Alaska Native women (Fuchs, 2013). While these numbers are particularly high for Alaska Native women, they are rarely represented (or “invisible”) within the literature that investigates the effects of race for experiences and perceptions of rape.  Research investigating the effects of race for perceptions of severity of an acquaintance rape, has almost exclusively focused on Black and White individuals. This work generally shows that rape severity is rated as highest when 1) the rape is interracial (Hymes, Leinart, Rowe & Rogers, 1993), 2) the victim is a White female (George & Martinez, 2001), and 3) the perpetrator is a Black male (Varelas & Foley, 1998). The current work build on this research by investigating 1) how race matters for perceptions of rape severity for Alaska Native women compared to White and Black women, and 2) the role of gender of the victim for evaluations of rape severity. To test this Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) participants will be randomly assigned to read a scenario in which a victim (who is male or female, Alaska Native, Black or White) has reported being raped by an acquaintance of the opposite gender (who is Alaska Native, Black or White). After reading the scenario participants will then rate the severity of the rape and the legitimacy of the claim. Anna predicts the race and gender of the victim will matter: Female rapes will be rated as more severe than male victim rapes, and White victim will be rated as more severe than both Alaska Native and Black victims. In addition, when the victim is a White female the rape will be rated as more severe than if she is an Alaska Native or Black female, and this will be particularly the case when the rape is interracial. But, when the victim is male, the rape will be rated as more severe when he is Alaska Native compared to White or Black, and White male victim rapes will be rated as more severe than Black male victim rapes, and this will be particularly likely when the rape is interracial.

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Jessica Rohlfing

Parents on a glass cliff: Gender stereotypes in leadership selection. Mentor: Amanda Sesko  

Amanda Sesko will also mentor student Jessica Rohlfing’s project titled Parents on a glass cliff: Gender stereotypes in leadership selection. The primary objective of this research is to expand existing research on the glass cliff—the concept that within precarious business situations, women are selected over men for leadership positions (Ryan & Haslam, 2005), thus finding themselves in a “slippery” and unstable situation. Other research has shown that being a parent further complicates females’ ascent into achieving high status positions. Fuegen, Biernat, Haines, and Deaux (2004) have shown parents to be publicly judged as less agentic and less committed to their job, but fathers are held to more lenient standards than mothers and childless men. In the current work, Jess investigates perceptions and social judgments of mothers and fathers in the workplace compared to non-parents when a company is in a crisis. To test this, participants will complete a study through’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) in which they read a newspaper article about a retiring CEO for a company that is either economically successful or in economic crisis. They will then read resumes and personal statements of both a women and a man, each of which is either a parent or non-parent., and then evaluate each applicant.  Jessica hypothesizes that in the context of success, male applicants will be perceived as better leaders, and perhaps more so if he is a father. In the crisis context, however, female applicants will be perceived as a better leaders overall. However, what is less clear is how parental status may influence perceptions of females and males as good leaders in crisis situations. It is possible that children will heighten the sense of both male and female applicants as communal and nurturing (traits better suited for crisis), and thus make them even more desirable for the position. If this is the case, fathers will now be seen as desirable for the crisis situation.

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