Faculty Research Presentations

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Wednesday, April 20th
11:00 AM

Social Media, COVID-19, Misinformation, and Ethics: A Descriptive Study of American Adults' Perceptions

Tammy Swenson-Lepper, Winona State University, Communication Studies Department
Heidi J. Hanson, Winona State University, Student Co-Author

College of Liberal Arts

Communication Studies

11:00 AM - 11:20 AM

Social media users' perceptions of the ethics of social media posting about the COVID-19 virus, vaccines, and masking has received little attention in the scholarly literature. This descriptive study examined US 41 residents' perceptions of misinformation and ethics in social media related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants (N=161) responded to an online survey that asked them to describe their perspective on the ethics of postings about the COVID-19 pandemic and their views of misinformation and fake news surrounding COVID-19, the vaccines, and masking. The study found, consistent with the Third Person Effect, that most people believe their friends and family are more likely to share misinformation than they are. The most important ethical issues they discussed related to social media postings about the pandemic were misinformation, freedom of speech and other civil rights, lack of tolerance, politicizing COVID-19, and the rights of the individual versus the needs of the community.

11:20 AM

Fighting Plague and Heresy in Early Modern Bavaria

Erik Heinrich, Winona State University

College of Liberal Arts


11:20 AM - 11:40 AM

Dr. Heinrich will speak about his recent research project dedicated to understanding the links between efforts to fight the plague and fight heresy within one early modern state, ducal Bavaria. He will present work from a forthcoming article on the topic. It examines how physicians, clerics, and political leaders worked together between 1520 and 1650 to devise the first public health policies for plague in Bavaria, as well as tackle the other perceived threat to health, the heresies of the Protestant Reformation. This study reveals much about the nature of early modern politics and how the first public plague mandates were colored by concerns about the soul amid an atmosphere of religious tension.

11:40 AM

Determination of Rate Constants for Hydrogen Abstraction by Phenyl Radicals from Fatty Acid Esters

Thomas Nalli, Winona State University, Chemistry Department
Breanna M. Murray, Winona State University, Student Co-Author
Kevin Plaisance, Winona State University, Student Co-Author
Emily Barthel, Winona State University, Student Co-Author
Cameron Scheithauer, Winona State University, Student Co-Author
Travis Vatland, Winona State University, Student Co-Author
Rick W. Dorn, Winona State University, Student Co-Author

College of Science & Engineering


11:40 AM - 12:00 PM

Radicals are molecules that contain an unpaired electron in place of a bond. As such they are generally very reactive and only exist as short-lived intermediates in chemical reactions. Phenyl radicals (C6H5•) are well known reactive intermediates that rapidly undergo typical radical reactions such as hydrogen abstraction and double bond addition. Their H-abstraction reactions with lipids and other biomolecules are of particular interest, yet rate constants (kH) for these have not been previously reported. We used the visible photolysis of p-fluorophenylazoisobutyronitrile (FPAIN) to generate p-fluorophenyl radicals, which were allowed to react with a fatty acid ester (FAE) in competition with abstraction of iodine from an iodoarene (m-iodobenzotrifluoride, ArI). The relative yields of the competitively formed products, fluorobenzene and p-fluoroiodobenzene were measured by integration of the fluorine-19 nuclear magnetic resonance (19F NMR) spectrum allowing the relative rate constants (kH/kI) to be determined. A literature derived value for kI (kI = 2.2 x 108M-1 s -1 ) then serves as a kinetic reference point for determining kH. We also report the results of high-level density functional theory (DFT) calculations that support the supposition that the reactivities of p-fluorophenyl and unsubstituted phenyl radicals are very similar.

12:00 PM

Accelerated Tensile-Tensile Fatigue Testing of Long Fiber Thermoplastic Materials

Eric Kerr-Anderson, Winona State University, Composite Materials Engineering Department
Sara E. Johnson, Winona State University, Student Co-Author

College of Science & Engineering

Composite Materials Engineering

12:00 PM - 12:20 PM

Fatigue characterization is one of the most time consuming and expensive tests that a material must undergo prior to adoption into critical industries and/or uses. Most fatigue testing is conducted by alternating between a low tensile load and a high tensile load until the material fails, which yields a cycle count to failure for a given loading scenario. Compiling a graph with multiple loading scenarios generates a failure threshold that is used to design a part for the number of loading cycles expected to witness during its service life. The studies presented attempted to determine testing methodology to reduce the required testing time from 3 weeks to 1 week by taking advantage of Cumulative Damage Theory. Several methods were examined, and it was concluded that there may be a path that could be used to generate such time savings.