Undergraduate Research Symposium Sample Abstracts
Eli Harris (URS 2009)
Mentor: Robert Paul, PhD
APRI Measures in Relation to Cognitive Performance in a Population of HIV/HCV-infected Individuals
Individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C (HCV) exhibit more severe cognitive deficits than HIV mono-infected patients. Previous studies have suggested that these greater cognitive difficulties may relate to HCV-related liver disease. However, recent research suggests that HCV-positive patients score more poorly on cognitive tests than do healthy controls even in the absence of liver disease, suggesting that liver disease may not completely explain the HCV-associated cognitive deficits. My researched examined the relationship between a liver disease biomarker (aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index; APRI) and cognitive function among individuals with HIV-HCV co-infection and individuals with HIV mono-infection. I hypothesized that there would be a direct correlation between APRI and cognitive performance. A sample of co-infected individuals naïve to HCV treatment and a comparison group of HIV mono-infected patients underwent neuropsychological evaluation. APRI levels were measured using a blood test. Our results revealed significantly poorer cognitive performance in co-infected patients than in HIV mono-infected patients. APRI values differed significantly between the groups, with higher ratios evident among the co-infected patients. Regression analyses revealed that APRI accounted for significant variance across several tests for both groups. Results also suggest that cognitive performance and APRI differ significantly between co-infected and HIV mono-infected patients but APRI does not selectively relate to cognitive status in co-infected patients. Additional research is needed to explore alternative non-invasive measures of liver integrity that might indicate a direct relationship with cognitive function.
Jess Rosner (URS 2009)
Mentor: Nancy Shields, PhD
Attitudes toward Allowing Concealed Weapons on College or University Campuses: UM-St. Louis 2008
School shootings have been an issue for years, even before Columbine on April 20, 1999, but the media coverage of this event repeatedly brought images of the mass shootings into U.S. homes. Since the school shootings at Virginia Tech and more recently at Northern Illinois University, nineteen states have proposed legislation to allow concealed weapons on college or university campuses, with only Utah passing this law. Allowing concealed weapons on campus is a very controversial topic that has been debated at many U.S. universities and colleges. The purpose of this study is to explore the attitudes of undergraduate students toward concealed weapons and allowing concealed weapons on campus. Thirty-two UM-St. Louis undergraduate class sections were selected to be surveyed; seventeen sections participated, with 119 responses. Students took an online survey that asked questions about their attitudes on guns, gun ownership, concealed weapons, guns on campus, and demographics characteristics. The primary question was, "would you support a law that allows the carrying of concealed weapons on college or university campuses?" The results are reported in the aggregate, and respondents will remain completely anonymous. A majority of responses were strongly opposed to permitting concealed weapons on campus. About half of the students live in a household with a gun. Most students do not know the weapon policy of the university and feel unsafe after dark on campus.
Jonathan Webb (URS 2009)
Mentors: Michael Ohnersorgen, PhD, and Donna Hart, PhD
Issues of Authenticity: Studying a Questionable Museum Artifact
Among the pre-Columbian artifacts displayed at the St. Louis Art Museum is a turquoise and shell mosaic mask associated with Mesoamerica's Mixtec culture (AD 1230-1521), said to represent the rain deity Tlaloc. The mask was acquired with no known context and background. Its supposed pre-Columbian origin has been questioned based on consideration of construction materials and craftsmanship, as well as stylistic differences among masks and other authentic works representing the same deity. To test the mask's authenticity, its resin adhesives were chemically analyzed by gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry to determine whether this mask was made using resources and techniques available to the Mixtec people. The mask was also compared stylistically to representations and descriptions of Tlaloc and other Mesoamerican deities to determine if it does indeed represent Tlaloc. Analysis of resins proved inconclusive, but further testing may aid in the overall process of authenticating the mask. Stylistic analysis suggests that it could be a representation of either Tlaloc or of a Mixtec Ñuhu, and this ambiguity contributes to its suspicion. Techniques used in analyses such as these are helpful to museums in authenticating artifacts of dubious origins, ensuring that history is always portrayed as accurately as possible.
Tabatha G. Kittrell (URS 2009)
Mentors: Mary Vermilion, PhD, and Donna Hart, PhD
Cahokia's Stockade Wall: Social Barrier or Defensive Boundary?
Cahokia Mounds, the largest archaeological site in North America, was the center of the prehistoric Mississippian culture that thrived in the area around present-day St. Louis between the years AD 700 and 1400. The site consists of 2,200 acres and more than 120 human-made earthen mounds. With a population of nearly 20,000, at its zenith Cahokia was the largest Mississippian city north of Mesoamerica. Like other Mississippian mound centers, Cahokia exhibits a wall built around the central portion of the city. Originally erected during the Stirling phase (AD 1050-1150), the function of this wall has puzzled archaeologists. I hypothesized that its primary function was to protect the elite and agricultural surplus stores from attack by neighboring settlements. To ascertain the purpose of the stockade, I analyzed the architecture of the wall and performed a content analysis of pertinent literature based on five variables: (1) the state of warfare during the Mississippian period, (2) the purpose of stockades at Mississippian mound centers similar to Cahokia, (3) the possible correlation between mound center locations and fertile soil, (4) the possible production of surpluses and storage within Cahokia's stockade, and (5) the possible correlation between mound type and location at Cahokia. The content analysis of these variables indicates that Cahokia's stockade wall did serve as protection for the elite, who controlled agricultural stores, against attack by competing settlements because increased political organization had caused competition for resources in the American Bottom.
Presenter: Patrick Bergin, Music Education (URS 2007)
Primary Faculty Mentor: Diane H. Touliatos, PhD
Exploring Peruvian Ethnomusicological Music Through the Eyes and Ears of Gabriela Frank
While composers across the centuries have written music inspired by indigenous cultures, historical figures, and ideals, Gabriela Lena Frank is composing music that clearly and consistently reflects all of these influences. This study explores the effects of this theory through the analysis of her string quartet "Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout": an exploration of traditional Peruvian culture and music compounded with research about Jose Maria Arguedas, a twentieth-century Peruvian writer who championed the ideal of "mestizaje," the coexistence of cultures without the suppression of one another. The synthesis of this research demonstrates that Frank not only is inspired by these details but that they are an essential part of fully appreciating her innovative ethnomusicological compositions. This study is the beginning of a series of essays that will explore the catalog of this young composer and hopefully assist in bringing her compositions to a more mainstream audience.
Presenter: Phillip Lintzenich, Psychology (URS 2007)
Primary Faculty Mentor: Robert H. Paul, PhD
Apathy and Quality of Life in HIV-Infected Patients
Current research has focused on the association between apathy and quality of life in HIV-infected patients. Earlier research has shown significant relationships between the volume of the nucleus accumbens and the ratings of apathy among HIV patients. This suggests that apathy is a direct manifestation of the disease; however, the relationship between apathy and cognitive function has not been examined at great length. Further, it is unclear if patients with clinically-defined apathy differ from patients without apathy on tests of cognition. This study examines the differences on measures of cognitive performance, mood, and immune system status among HIV patients either with or without a clinical diagnosis of apathy. Thirty-one participants were divided into an apathetic and non-apathetic group. All participants were administered a battery of neuropsychological assessments sensitive to HIV-related impairment. All participants completed tests of verbal learning, visual learning, information processing speed, psychomotor speed, and verbal fluency. The clinical diagnosis of apathy was defined using a cutoff score of 38 on the Marin Apathy scale, a self-report measure of apathy symptoms. Overall, HIV patients with a clinical diagnosis of apathy had a lower immune system status and performed more poorly on cognitive tests than patients without a clinical diagnosis of apathy-though, the differences between the groups were statistically significant only for the test of verbal learning. These findings suggest that apathy accounts for only a modest degree of variance in cognitive function in HIV patients.
Presenter: Maureen Moore, Secondary Education (URS 2007)
Primary Faculty Mentor: Peter Acsay, PhD
Ferries of Missouri have a long, but unappreciated history, partly because the history of Missouri waterway highways has been virtually unexplored. The focus of this study is to create a written account of the ferries that were used in Missouri in the late 1700s through the 1800s and to consider how they affected St. Louis. This research explains the structural changes of the passenger and cargo ferry from its beginnings (as a dugout canoe) to becoming overtaken by steam-operated transportation devices. My research also addresses the cause of the decline in the St. Louis ferries: Why did this main source of transportation throughout the Mississippi Valley become overshadowed by steam boats? Research methods included analyzing primary documents and ferry building diagrams, reading books about ferries from the United States and the dissertation on the Wiggins's Ferry, and interviewing collectors and other researchers. The primary documentation of diaries, fees schedules, and first-hand accounts from owners have been starting points from which to gather information about the owners and passengers, the dangers, and what cargo they were transporting on board the ferries as well as their travel destinations. The decline of the ferries highway system is still under review, but the research now points to the idea that the railroads and the implementation of bridges were the biggest contributive factors.
Presenter: Lana Kerker, Anthropology (URS 2007)
Primary Faculty Mentor: Pamela Ashmore, PhD
Secondary Faculty Mentor: Donna Hart, PhD
Feeding Ecology, and Ranging Behavior of Howler Monkeys in a Fragmented Forest
The fragmentation of tropical forests is one of the biggest threats to the conservation Neotropical primate species. Primates living in remnant forest fragments face the threat of becoming isolated genetically and separated from adequate food sources. This study examines the ranging behavior of 4 groups of mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in a 48-hectare forest fragment at the La Suerte Biological Field Station in Limon, Costa Rica. I used instantaneous focal animal scan sampling to collect 70 hours of data at 3-minute intervals on the activities and feeding behaviors focal animals as well as their nearest neighbors if applicable. I also recorded group composition every hour and the spatial location of each group. I found 2 groups of howlers with home ranges entirely within the forest and 2 groups that travel in and out of the forest via a riparian corridor that connects the study site with unprotected forest fragments outside the field site. The howlers fed on a minimum of 6 out of the possible 24 food sources available in the forest. These data will be used by the La Suerte to aid in the construction of a new forest corridor that will connect this small fragment with a larger, nearby fragment. This corridor will allow for possible gene flow among the groups of howlers on the field site and will increase their available food resources.
The URS committee is proud to announce that Lana has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar, one of the most prestigious awards for undgraduate research. She will spend eleven months in Madagascar conducting ground breaking research on Howler monkeys.
Presenters: Victoria Ashton &d Eric Bretsnyder, Biochemistry & Biotechnology
Primary Faculty Mentor: Teresa Thiel, PhD
Characterization of the Ava4049 gene of Anabaena
Anabaena variabilis is a type of cyanobacteria with some similarities to plants. It performs photosynthesis in order to provide itself with energy. We are interested in characterization of the additional capability that many Anabaena strains have, of nitrogen fixation. This is the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen into a nitrogen compound similar to fertilizer. In Anabaena, nitrogen fixation is catalyzed by the protein nitrogenase. The usual form of nitrogenase uses the metal molybdenum to help it fix nitrogen. Anabaena also contains a type of nitrogenase that uses the similar metal vanadium called V-nitrogenase. Our gene of interest is ava4049, which in the A. variabilis genome encodes a hypothetical protein. We have determined that this gene weakly resembles the V-nitrogenase gene. In order to determine the function of this gene we used an antibiotic resistance gene to disrupt its function. The altered DNA was then added back into an Anabaena cell, creating a mutant strain that can be used to indicate the function of the ava4049 gene. We expect that this gene is involved with nitrogen fixation because of its similarities to other V-nitrogenase genes, and the function of the gene will be represented in the phenotype of the mutated Anabaena.
Presenter: Julie Yaeger, Anthropology (URS 2007)
Primary Faculty Mentor: Pamela Ashmore, PhD
Secondary Faculty Mentor: Donna Hart, PhD
Buried in the Ashes: A Comparative Analysis of Cremation Patterns of Animal and Human Bones
In the western world, once death occurs people choose either to be buried or to be cremated. My research investigated what happens to bones during the process of cremation and made comparisons to historic data on human cremations. Color transformations, chemical changes, and stress fractures from heat illustrate the process of cremation. I placed animal bones in fires of varying temperatures. I then measured mass, length, and color of the bones and degrees Celsius. I used four types of burning methods: placing bones directly in fire, in aluminum foil, on a screen above the fire, and on a screen after the fire was extinguished. These experiments showed that there are both similarities and differences between human and animal cremations. Each of the four types of burnings yielded significantly different results. Data from my experiments with animal bones were compared with published studies of human cremations. These experiments have implications on both forensic anthropology and zooarchaeology.
Presenter: William Chapman-Kramer, History (URS 2007)
Primary Faculty Mentor: Peter Acsay, PhD
Flying South: The St. Louis Hawks' Departure to Atlanta
From 1955 to 1968, the Hawks represented St. Louis in the National Basketball Association. During these thirteen years, they were very successful. However, despite this success, the team was sold in 1968 and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. As a result of this puzzling move, the history of the St. Louis Hawks provides a good framework for examining the reasons why professional sports teams are bought and sold and moved. In order to investigate this paradox, this research relies on memoirs of team players, books that detail team history, contemporary and retrospective news articles, and interviews with individuals personally associated with the organization. Findings suggest that economic conditions, the lack of an adequate sport's arena, and volatility in player salaries all contributed to the sale and removal of the Hawks from St. Louis.
Presenter: James Carroll, Chemistry & Biochemistry (URS 2007)
Primary Faculty Mentor: Janet Braddock-Wilking, PhD
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Preparation of 1,1-Dihydrido-2,3,4,5-tetraphenylstannole
This study involves the preparation of 1,1-dihydro-2,3,4,5-tetraphenylstannole (compound 2) with the chemical formula, C28H22Sn. Compound 2 contains two tin hydrogen bonds where the tin atom is part of a five-membered ring. The importance of the study of compound 2 relates to previous studies in this research group on a similar five-membered ring where silicon is in the position of the tin. The goal of this research project is to determine whether or not the presence of tin in the ring has an effect on the reactivity of compound 2 with a platinum(0) complex in comparison to the related silicon compound. A variety of organic and inorganic reactions and techniques such as use of an inert atmosphere (an atmosphere under argon gas) are involved in the preparation of compound 2. The use of an inert atmosphere is required to prevent decomposition of several of the compounds in the reaction sequence in the presence of air or water. The first is a reaction of diphenylacetylene (C8H10) with lithium in ether solvent at a low temperature (-78°C) to create 1,4-dilithio-1,2,3,4-tetraphenybutadiene. This product is reacted with tin (IV) tetrachloride to get 1,1-dichloro-2,3,4,5-tetraphenylstannole (compound 1). The silicon analog to compound 2 was prepared by a similar sequence by a former undergraduate researcher in the group. To date, the reactions to prepare compound 1 have been performed. Compound 1 will need to be separated and isolated from other products that are formed in the reaction, and its structure will need to be verified by instrumentation. Once its structure is confirmed, the isolated sample of compound 1 will then be purified by a standard recrystallization technique. The next step is then to prepare compound 2 through reaction with LiAlH4. Once compound 2 has been prepared, and its structure has been confirmed, its reaction with a platinum(0) complex will be studied.
Presenter: Stefanie Malone, Psychology
Main Faculty Mentor: Kamila S. White, Ph.D.
Subjective Worry about Heart Functioning and Objective Cardiac Risk in Patients with Non-Cardiac Chest Pain
Frequently when a patient has a chief complaint of chest pain, the diagnosis is non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP). The current study investigated objective risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) in relation to patients' subjective heart worry (e.g., anxious preoccupation with heart functioning) in an otherwise low-risk population. Data was collected as part of a larger investigation of NCCP. Participants were two hundred thirty-one patients seeking medical attention at an urban, academic medical facility with a chief complaint of chest pain and discomfort. Patients meeting inclusion criteria were given an assessment battery (e.g., structured clinical interview, self-report questionnaire, and medical record review) at four data points. The sample contained a near equal gender distribution, 56% female and 44% male, and the average age was 50 (SD=10.3). A series of analyses examined objective CAD risk and subjective worry. All patients had at least one CAD risk factor, and the average was 4 (SD=1.56) in a range of 1-9. Family history was the most common risk factor present (46%), followed by physical inactivity (42%), hypertension (35%), body mass index in obese range (33%), diabetes (10%), and tobacco use (8%). The study found that CAD risk is significantly associated with general anxiety and subjective heart worry.
Presenter: Megan Bonacker, Anthropology
Main Faculty Mentor: Pamela Ashmore, Ph.D.
Sec. Faculty Mentor: Susan Brownell, Ph.D.
An Assessment of the Dental Health of a Sample Population from a Nineteenth-Century Cemetery Collection
The goal of this project is to document and evaluate the dental health of a sample of adult individuals from the Second Catholic Cemetery collection housed at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The study sample consists of eighteen individuals, six females, and twelve males, ranging from twenty-five to forty-five years of age. A dental inventory was completed for all individuals noting the existence and location of caries and ante mortem tooth loss. These data indicated that compared to males, females exhibit a significantly higher rate of tooth decay. Consequently this disparity between die sexes needs to be explored. Related projects have yielded differences in the frequency of tooth decay between males and females, carbohydrate-based and protein-based diets, and high- and low-status individuals. Further investigating this inconsistency will provide additional information about the lives of people in early nineteenth-century St. Louis. This research explores the relationship between diet and gender and their contribution to varying rates of dental decay with consideration of relevant theories, historical documents, and contemporary dental health literature.
Presenter: Gretchen M. Haupt, Anthropology
Main Faculty Mentor: Donna Hart, Ph.D.
Sec. Faculty Mentor: Susan Brownell, Ph.D.
Anthropology & PLHC
Racial Perception: A Cognitive Analysis of the Categorization of Skin Color
A great deal of knowledge exists on the biology of skin color, but relatively little research has been conducted concerning how individuals use varying shades of pigmentation to organize other humans into the socially constructed categories known as races. Few studies have approached processes of racialization via skin color from a cognitive perspective. This thesis will explore the cognitive processes of categorization implemented by freshmen in the Pierre Laclede Honors College to divide a color continuum into groups that represent their understanding of four broad racial skin color categories (white, black, Asian, and Native American). It is necessary to understand the ways culture can affect an individual's concept of race, so we may improve diversity education in a country where skin color is so hugely important. While culture does have an effect on the overarching schema used by students to assign a person to a racial skin color category, it is also a highly individual practice resulting from an accumulation of personal experiences that may be shared between members of an age, ethnic, or religious group, or they could be entirely unique.
Presenters: Jeanne Pitts and Florencia Lopez-Leban , Biology
Main Faculty Mentor: Wendy M. Olivas, Ph.D.
The Deciding Factors in Determining the Lifespan of Messenger RNA
Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a vital component of living cells. Messenger RNA carries a copy of the genetic information from DNA to the machinery that translates that information into proteins. Each type of protein has to be made at a precise time and in a specific amount for cells to function properly. Thus, the lifespan of an mRNA molecule plays a fundamental role in the control of how much protein can be made at any given time. Previous studies have shown the importance of the eukaryotic family of Puf proteins in the regulated degradation of specific mRNA molecules. However, it is not known how Puf proteins accomplish this task. In this project, we looked specifically at the yeast Puf3 protein, which has been shown to bind and stimulate the decay of COX17 mRNA. By analyzing proteins that physically interact with Puf3, we found several interactions with known mRNA decay factors, suggesting that Puf3 acts to recruit the mRNA decay machinery to the mRNA. We further tested the role of one of these factors, Dhh1, and found it was essential for Puf3 mediated decay of COX17. The results of this study shed light on how Puf proteins degrade mRNA to control cellular protein production
Presenter: Kara Marie Kinzel, Chemistry
Main Faculty Mentor: Joyce Corey, Ph.D.
Sec. Faculty Mentor: Janet Braddock-Wilking, Ph.D.
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Preparation of Silaanthracene and Reactions of This Heterocycle with a Platinum(O) Complex
This study involves the preparation of a compound containing a Si-H bond and the resultant products associated with the reaction of that compound with a platinum [Pt (0)] complex. A series of inorganic and organometallic reactions was performed in order to obtain a target ring heterocycle, 9,10-dihydrosilaanthracene, containing two Si-H bonds. Activation of the Si-H bond by transition metal complexes is useful in the preparation of new silicon-containing compounds. A Pt (0) complex was selected for the initial attempts to promote the reaction of the Si-H bond. The focus of this part of the study involves the reaction of Silaanthracene and the Pt (0) complex (Ph3P)2Pt(C2H4) under varying conditions. The reaction at room temperature has been studied by NMR spectroscopy, which identified a monomeric Pt-Si complex that reacted further to give a dinuclear platinum complex containing two silicon units. The crystalline dinuclear complex was isolated and the structure confirmed by X-ray crystallography. The formation and isolation of this compound indicates that the goal of generating a new silicon-containing compound •was achieved, and future research using different heterocycles in similar reactions will provide a better understanding of methods used to form new silicon-containing compounds.
Presenter: Grace Wade, History
Main Facility Mentor: Andrew Hurley, Ph.D.
St. Louis' Railroads: The Failure of Funding in the 1850s
Most historians agree the source of Chicago's trade superiority over St. Louis can be attributed to St. Louis' weakness in railroad development during the 1850s. The point where historians diverge is in the explanation why St. Louis was less successful. Despite numerous early histories labeling the river as being the source of the problem, this study suggests that a poor financial environment is a much more likely explanation. To determine this, extensive study was focused on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, chosen for its representation of East-West trade in Missouri. Railroad records of expenditures revealed a gross underestimation of cost for building the railroad, which contributed to slow growth from delays. The examination of city newspapers, as well as city government documents, unveiled a lack of federal funding and private investment on behalf of both the city and state. Likewise, they revealed the economic climate of the two, outlining a decade of crisis in which the railroad bond system met frequent devaluations and decreased interest on part of the public. Overall, this study reveals a less conspiratorial explanation for St. Louis' failure in early railroad development and fits well into the current trend that similar research has taken on the issue.
Presenter: Rachel Ann Wamser, Psychology
Main Faculty Mentor: Matthew Kliethermes, Ph.D.
Center for Trauma Recovery
Factors in Premature Termination in Child Trauma-focused Therapy
One hundred participants who received child trauma-focused therapy were examined for factors correlated with premature termination of therapy. Participants were divided into continuing families (N = 62) and terminating families (N = 38). The following factors were compared between the two groups for significance: non-biological parents, race, marital status of parent, number of children in family, behavior problems, services received before treatment, and distance from the clinic. The study found that race, number of children in family, and services received before treatment were statistically significant in families that dropped out of treatment early.
Presenter: Brian Dick, Economics
Main Faculty Mentor: Anne Winkler, Ph.D.
Up in Smoke
Currently, around forty-five million Americans (23% of the population) are smokers. Clearly, cigarettes have penetrated American society, and they have become a huge controversy today. The regression model estimated in this study attempts to explain variation in the amount of cigarette smokers in different IB states with eight independent variables. The results of the model show that only the state taxes on cigarettes have a significant effect on the percentage of smokers in that state. Specifically, it demonstrates that state taxes on a pack of twenty cigarettes have an elasticity of -0.038 in regard to the smoking rate, evaluated at their means. Overall, the model is relatively sound with a high R2 and no signs of heteroskedasticity, but there are signs of multicollinearity, which can weaken the statistical significance of the estimated coefficients. Even though the overall model is rather firm, it is still a work in progress due to the lack of significance in many of the estimated coefficients of the independent variables.
Presenter: Dale Downs, Astrophysics
Main Faculty Mentor: Bruce Wilking, Ph.D.
Sec. Faculty Mentor: Erika Gibb, Ph.D.
Physics & Astronomy and Astronomy
Classical T-Tauri Stars and Herbig AeBe Objects
Our study of Classical T-Tauri Stars and Herbig AeBe objects was conducted using infrared spectroscopy. We measured spectral lines in the atmosphere surrounding the young stars and the interstellar gas and dust between the Earth and the stars. This study allowed us to better understand the stars and rate at which they are accumulating matter. Our data was collected using an instrument called SpeX on the Infrared Space Telescope in Mauna Kea, HI. We collected infrared data between the 0.8 and 2.4 micron wavelengths in the SXD setting. Data reduction was completed using Spextool that combines images, flatfields, subtracts dark noise, and corrects for Earth's atmosphere. After reducing the data, we measured the brachet-gamma hydrogen line. Integrating this line gives us the flux of the object. We are able to report accretion rates for several stars using an observed relationship between flux and mass accretion.
Presenter: Mercedes Wurm, Sociology
Main Faculty Mentor: Teresa Guess, Ph.D.
A Look at Communism and Public Housing
Public Housing has been researched for as long as it has been instituted. Public Housing began in the late thirties due to the need for the underclass to have housing and employment. This socialist approach to the problem would have worked better had the planning, managing, and controlling of the public housing buildings had also been socialist in approach. It was through the fear of communism that the programs were initiated and because of the fear of communism that they were almost abandoned. An analysis of scholarly articles reveals that public housing units are not built with the needs and desires of the future residents in mind. Moreover, the management of the buildings lacked consideration for the tenants in favor of higher profits. The governmental policies governing public housing are unclear and cumbersome, resulting in a blurred vision for the future of public housing and what should be done to resolve the poor designs, inadequate collaboration between residents and management, and the disparagement between human housing for the underclass and corporate profit.