The UA Honors Theses Collection provides open access to Honors College theses produced at the University of Arizona, submitted electronically since 2008. Not all students opt to include their theses in the repository, so the collection is not comprehensive.

Honors College theses from the late 1960s to 2005 are not online and are available only in Special Collections. These theses are not listed in the online catalog, but a separate card catalog for them is available in Special Collections.

Individuals trying to obtain a record or copy of their own Honors College theses, such as electronic submissions since 2008 that are not included online, or paper Honors College submissions from 2006-2007, should contact the Honors College..

Important note for students submitting Honors Theses: your thesis must be submitted directly to the Honors College (not to the repository). The Honors College delivers approved theses to repository staff at regular intervals. Check with your Honors College advisors and see Honors Thesis/Capstone for more information.


Please refer to the Dissertations and Theses in the UA Libraries guide for more details about UA Theses and Dissertations, and to find materials that are not available online. Email repository@u.library.arizona.edu with your questions about UA Theses and Dissertations.

Recent Submissions


    Hruby, Victor J.; Miesfeld, Roger; Rios-Monterrosa, Jose (The University of Arizona., 2018)
    The melanocortin receptors are a family of five G-protein coupled receptors, MC1R-MC5R. Recently, it was discovered that inhibition of MC4R impairs cognitive function in Alzheimer’s mice models. Furthermore, activation of MC4R in these mice rescues cognitive function. As a result, MC4R may be a potential drug target to treat Alzheimer’s disease. One of the main obstacles that presents itself is that MC1R, MC3R, MC4R, and MC5R are activated by one of three melanocortin stimulating hormones (MSH); α-MSH, β-MSH, and γ-MSH. Because of this, designing selective, potent agonists has been difficult. To better understand the structural characteristics that lead to MC4R selectivity, nine novel peptides were created, AIM 1-AIM 9. These peptides were made by modifying the sequence of MT-II, a synthetic agonist of all receptors except MC2R. The modifications made were chosen because of their ability to increase MC4R selectivity or decrease selectivity at other receptors. To test their selectivity, cAMP activity assays was performed on each receptor, and the EC50 values were compared to MT-II. Careful pharmacological analysis demonstrated that the compound AIM 9 has high selectivity for the MC4R with an EC50 of 4nM.
  • Role of Eosinophil Derived TGF-β1 in the Asthmatic Lung

    Lee, James J.; Cohen, Zoe; Neely, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2016)
    Allergies and associated asthma represent a subset of diseases that have steadily increased in prevalence and severity in the western world. Allergic asthma is an immunological disorder that results in the physiological presentation of wheezing and shortness of breath caused by constriction of lung smooth muscle and narrowing of the airways. These symptoms occur when the lungs are exposed to an allergen. Current studies have found that 8.3% of the United States population has asthma, with figures showing a steady increase each year. While clinical treatment of asthma has been estimated to be $56 billion dollars, there is currently no cure for asthma. As of now, only the symptoms can be treated due to a poorly understood molecular mechanism for the disease. As this disease continues to grow in prevalence, it is critical to understand the underlying causes of the disease in order to develop new treatment options to target these causes rather than symptoms of asthma. Following this point, there have been an increasing amount of publications indicating that eosinophils are a potential effector cell mediating the marked physiological and anatomical changes that this disease brings. Investigation into the role of eosinophils in asthma pathology is needed to understand how this cell type contributes to the classical physiological dysfunction that is seen in allergic asthma cases.
  • Antigen Specific Eosinophil Mediated Nitration

    Lee, James J.; Elfring, Lisa; Neely, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2016)
    The immune system has two specific branches (i.e., innate immune response and acquired or adaptive immunity) that work together to protect an individual from illness. The innate immune system is the evolutionarily older of the two branches that responds to a wide-array of pathogens with limited target specificity. That is, the innate immune system is capable of destroying pathogens by recognizing common pathogenic moieties or patterns. These immune responses mediate the killing of target pathogens by using an array of methods from engulfing and digesting bacteria to generating reactive molecules to damage larger multi-cellular parasites. The innate immune system is often the first responder to a site of injury or infection and is usually able to successfully target most infections before they become an issue. [excerpt from Introduction]

    Pine, Gerald; Husband, Nathaniel Alexander (The University of Arizona., 2016)
    Nasogastric tubes are hollow thermoplastic tubes used to deliver nutrition to the stomachs of patients who cannot ingest food orally. A common medical malpractice event is the introduction of liquid via these tubes into the respiratory tract instead of the stomach, which can result in fluid aspiration that can lead to patient harm or death. Current standard of practice verifies tube placement in a hospital via a chest X-ray or stomach acid pH test. While these procedures are effective, they are not conducive to repeat verification and require the skills of medical professionals. The goal of the project is to develop a cost-efficient and easy-to-use device that informs the user when the tube has been placed in the stomach, not in the airway. The device is small enough for use within existing tubes and can withstand the corrosive gastric environment for up to 30 days. This design uses an open circuit that is closed by ions present in the acidic fluid of the stomach. The closure of the circuit results in a differential voltage signal that provides the user with a “safe to feed” message.

    Duncan, Burris; Pottinger, Heidi; Chavez, Alexis Ariana (The University of Arizona., 2020-08)
    This research is a sub-study of the original ‘Intense Physiotherapies to Improve Function in Young Children with Cerebral Palsy’ study conducted by my advisors Dr. Burris Duncan and Dr. Heidi Pottinger. The sub-study was created to obtain qualitative data from the parents of children who participated in their study at Tucson Medical Center (TMC). The processes for this work included obtaining human subjects-related training to be able to interview the families, recruitment of subjects by Dr. Pottinger, preparation for interviewing parents, conducting live interviews, and analyzing qualitative data with key findings/themes identified. These findings will help to identify areas for improvement for future clinical trials/research with TMC families.
  • The Association Between Perceived Resiliency and Change in Income from Childhood to Early Adulthood

    Killgore, William D.; Gutierrez, Giovanna (The University of Arizona., 2020)
    Background: It is well known that majority of children growing up in low income families will experience some type of adversity and as a result of their environment many will not adapt well when entering adulthood. Yet, there is a small percentage of children that overcome their childhood hardships, adapt well, and develop into successful adults. That small percentage of children are assumed to have some form of childhood resilience which might account for their subsequent success as adults. Specifically, perceived resilience may account for growth and success in adapting to the challenges and expectations of adulthood. Objective: To determine if changing from low income as a child to high income as an adult correlates with a higher perceived resilience. Methods: A correlation study using between subject design was conducted. The Socioeconomic Status (SES) Questionnaire and Dispositional Resiliency Scale-15 (DRS-15) Questionnaire were distributed to 48 healthy participants. The resulting data were analyzed using Pearson r correlation in SPSS 24. Results: As a whole, the sample did not show significant association between the total DRS-15 scores and change in income from childhood to early adulthood (r = .123, p = .404). A subgroup having shown an increase in income (n=7) had a mean total DRS-15 score of 22.86 (SD = 3.36) and four individuals of this subgroup that only came from low-income families had a mean total DRS-15 score of 25.5 (SD = 1.29). According to the total DRS-15 scoring scale, both group's mean total DRS-15 scores can be found in the “low” range of the total Hardiness score. However, the subgroup with increased income (n=7) had a significant correlation with total DRS-15 scores and change in income from childhood to early adulthood, suggesting that as these individual’s total DRS-15 scores increased they were more likely to make more money (r= .727, p = .032). For individuals with declining income from childhood to early adulthood (n=26) there was no significant correlation (r = .089, p = .666). After controlling for childhood income as a possible confounding variable, we still found no significant correlation between individuals with decreased income after leaving home and total DRS-15 scores indicating childhood income had no effect on this association (r = .013, p = .949). On the other hand, after removing childhood income from the correlational study between individuals with increased income after leaving home and total DRS-15 scores there was no longer a significance, suggesting that childhood household income significantly influenced the correlation between income change and total DRS 15 scores (r = -.278, p = .594). Conclusion: These results suggest that coming from low-income families and obtaining higher income as early adults doesn’t correlate with perceived resilience. Yet, for a subset of low-income individuals show a positive correlation between changed income and their total DRS-15 scores. Further studies are recommended to see if the results found in this study are replicable but should take into account the limitations as mentioned in the study or take into account other measurements.

    Weinstein, Randi; Verma, Aashi (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    Statement of Purpose: The intent of this literature review is to help shed some light on how a pregnant woman’s lifestyle choices influence birth outcomes. The lack of outreach, education, and resources to the community result in many birth outcomes that may be avoidable if the right care and attention is provided. By demonstrating through art the results of some of these findings, the hope is that people in the community provide more resources. This project resulted in the production of two art pieces. The first piece of artwork was intended to be done using acrylic medium with color on a 16” x 20” canvas detailing some of the most common adverse birth outcomes that result from the consumption of alcohol in utero. The piece depicts a newborn baby with microcephaly and a cleft palate. Due to lack of access to materials following the COVID-19 closure, the artwork was carried out using a #2HB graphite pencil instead and produced as a sketch, while still depicting the adverse outcomes. The second piece of artwork was intended to be a relief panting depicting low birth weight using acrylic medium with color on a 16” x 20” canvas, as well as a medium matte for the relief. The bones of the baby would be physically protruding through the skin off of the canvas surface due to the relief work. It would be a 3D piece of artwork as well since the bones would be something that a viewer would be able to touch and feel. The low birth weight is a common adverse outcome that is present in almost all lifestyle choices analyzed. This piece of artwork was also ultimately carried out using a #2HB graphite pencil instead and produced as a sketch. The companion. artwork was intended to convey the findings present in this thesis. Many times, information is lost and misunderstood because of jargon, but a picture can convey a lot of information at once. This artwork, included at the end of the thesis as figures 1 and 2, was meant to inform the community about the risks present when partaking in certain lifestyle choices during pregnancy.

    Masconale, Saura; Tucker, Dylan (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    Introduction: Since the court does not have the power of either the purse or sword, it must carry its own power and legitimacy as the third branch. At a time in history when the Supreme Court is accused of being polarized, or at a minimum reflects the current state of a polarized electorate, can the Supreme Court maintain its institutional legitimacy, and would a change in the way that the court hands down decisions further insure its legitimacy and continued respect from the American people and the world stage? In a 2019 paper, Masconale and Sepe propose a “rule of near-consensus for judicial review cases. Near unanimous decisions would provide ‘the people’ with a strong signal that the justices are fulfilling their epistemic mandate.” This paper examines the epistemic and pragmatic divides within the Modern Era of the Supreme Court, and seeks to discover the nature of the divides. This paper attempts to answer two questions: First, are most disagreements among the Supreme Court of an epistemic or a pragmatic nature? I will examine this issue with a review of Riggs’s 1993 longitudinal Court data, and an examination of data from more recent records, as assembled through the Washington law (Spaeth) database. A second question follows: what indications do we have that the Supreme Court has lost its legitimacy as an institution, what are the metrics for such an assumption, and would the Supreme Court be rejuvenated or re-legitimized by requiring unanimous or near unanimous rulings? The justices are the supreme readers of the Constitution, what is it about specific issues that make them dissent? Perhaps they agree on economic activity because they put the nation’s best interests first, or perhaps the Constitution is very clear about economic, judicial, and civil rights cases. But what about criminal procedure? But these same causes also appear to bring about much dissent. Of course these topics come up the most in Supreme Court so they are heavily skewed. But how do we get the justices to agree, and why do they dissent? The Supreme Court is a unique body, and, of course, holds the power of check on the president and congress, through Judicial Review. Who are they-- the supreme readers of the constitution, protectors of minorities, or just the best judges with the greatest track records? We also have to ask, how should they come to their decisions? From their experience as lawyers and judges, through a methodology, or through basic intuition? These are fundamental questions that must be answered before we can have a conversation on why justices agree and disagree. According to Masconale and Sepe, justices should base their decisions on their chosen methodology, and in the end, agree unanimously.

    Reiners, Peter; Sigat, Ryan Owen (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    Within the Colorado Plateau, many oxidized Paleozoic and Mesozoic sandstones have been bleached by migrating hydrocarbons and other reducing fluids. These fluids reduced iron and other elements in the red sandstones; in some cases, reprecipitating them as pyrite and in other cases dissolving and mobilizing them over large distances to form concentrated deposits. We aimed to simulate and characterize the geochemistry of sandstone bleaching by reducing fluids, specifically water and oil. XRF and ICP-MS analyses were used to understand the element mobility associated with these fluid-rock reactions. Our geochemical analyses suggest the mobilization of all major elements (especially Ca, Na, Mg, Fe, Ti, and Mn) in the most altered rock aliquots, consistent with dissolution of albite, carbonates, and the dissolution of hematite coating which causes the red discoloration of bleached sandstones. Our mass balance calculations show that 88.9% of the mass of major elements removed from the rock are missing and not accounted for in the analyzed fluids. The colloidal phases precipitated in our mixture could be the oversaturated and enriched phases that host the missing elements. We also performed (U-Th)/He geochronology of the Fe-oxide deposits of the Upper Triassic Shinarump Member to constrain the timing of paleo-fluid migrations. We obtained ages ranging from 23 Ma to 153Ma,with ~3-5% (2σ) uncertainties. Based on the distribution of our ages and eU concentrations, we theorized that there were 1 or 2 formation ages of the Fe-oxide and that the wide distribution of the ages is caused by U mobilization. These theorized ages - ~87 Ma and 144 Ma – coincide with a period of rapid subsidence (~90-70 Ma), the onset of the Sevier Orogeny (~140 Ma), and a Late Jurassic early-phase movement of the Moab Fault.

    Bever, Thomas; Blizzard, Brooke (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    Written language was once believed to be an entirely separate function from spoken language, as they are processed in two distinct regions of the brain; however, psycholinguistic research has now begun to uncover the link between the two. Research in the field indicates that orthographic features such as the number of characters that comprise a word have a positive effect on the speech duration of that word. Building on this, the idea of visual complexity also plays a role in how we process and produce language. This paper provides an analysis of two tasks, each originally a part of a study to determine which orthographic features affect speech production. The analyses in this paper focus on the pixel composition, an aspect of visual complexity, of the orthography and images used to teach participants an alien language. The results of these analyses are considered in the context of two prevailing hypotheses, the on-line activation hypothesis and the phonological restructuring hypothesis, regarding when and how orthography interacts with spoken language psychologically.

    Rankin, Lucinda; Vianson, Bianca (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    Widespread studies indicate that stress is prevalent amongst numerous different majors, particularly in STEM, and is linked to lower retention rates and changes in the overall well-being of students. The Physiology Department has developed a new course, Physiology 101, to help lessen some of the stressors of an incoming freshman while engaging them earlier within the Physiology and Medical Sciences Major to increase overall retention rates. This study reviews feedback across the fall semester from 2 groups to look at changes in behaviors and attitudes of 100 students within the pilot Physiology 101 course and students who are PSIOM majors but not enrolled in the course. Results revealed that the 101 course, using a format divided between lecture and small group activities, helped engage students by enriching their understanding of broader concepts and problem-solving skills in physiology, knowledge of different career path options, importance of interacting with one another, and essential professional skills such as public speaking and networking. An additional key component was the integration of senior Physiology group leaders to provide these freshmen, help in preparing for their futures, career and academic advice, and feedback on improving professional development skills. This pilot provided critical feedback on the potential success of this course and insights for future improvements.

    Coletta, Dawn; Vo, Shayla (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic and metabolic disease that continues to rise in prevalence in the United States and worldwide. It is characterized by an inability for the body to respond to insulin and insome cases effectively produce insulin, thereby resulting in impaired glucose metabolism. The pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes and its associated risk factors is complicated. For individuals that exhibit risk factors such as obesity, prediabetes, and history of gestational diabetes, lifestyle intervention regarding physical activity and nutrition are shown to be effective in preventing overt T2D development. Diabetes prevention programs (DPP) are supplemental to the patient education provided by clinicians. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a National Diabetes Prevention Program curriculum that is used by many local DPPs. By interviewing program coordinators of diabetes prevention programs in Tucson, Arizona, I consolidated the information using a patient education brochure that could be distributed to the public for education and awareness.

    Brush, Adrianna; Zeider, Kira (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    This two-fold project was centered around the improvement of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering’s undergraduate lab space. The main focus of the project was to design, build, and test a hydraulics friction loss experiment for senior environmental engineering students. The lab will help students to understand pressure losses in a common industrial pipe system by running tests on three 16-foot sections of pipe of different materials and sizes, as well as a fittings board with an elbows line, a valve line, and a cavitation line (illustrating the brief vaporization of liquid in a pipe). Additionally, a flow visualization section will allow students to gather qualitative data on how different flow regimes act in pipes. The second part of the project was to research and design a new cold-water system for the undergraduate lab space. The current system needs to be replaced so a lift can be installed down to the basement area. The goal was to create a tankless system with three plate and frame heat exchangers running in parallel to provide cooling duty to three experiments. A process flow diagram of the process was created, and the sizes of the heat exchangers were found using ASPEN.

    Plemons, Eric; Sherwood, Austin (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    Transgender people endure unique struggles compared to their cis gendered heterosexual counterparts in American society. In addition to high levels of anxiety and depression and an increased likelihood to experience violence, trans people have significantly higher smoking rates. Used as a coping mechanism, smoking puts trans people at risk for adverse health outcomes. Additionally, when done concurrently with gender-affirming care, these harmful effects may compound to create even worse health disparities. For these reasons, there is a need for a trans-specific smoking cessation intervention to specifically help trans people quit smoking. There are currently no American trans-specific smoking cessation interventions in the literature. Therefore, this thesis provides a list of best-practice recommendations to guide the design of such an intervention.

    Barr, Sandra; Terry, Lauren (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    This thesis is an exploration of the development of anatomy and physiology and its application in art history. Medical imagery and understanding of the human form hold a significant place in art across history, as knowledge of the skeleton and musculature via masters like Leonardo da Vinci, and artists such as Giotto incorporating the teachings of physicians into their works demonstrate how knowledge of the subject led to groundbreaking advancements in technique and realism. I study and articulate the human form across various eras in art, beginning with the Hellenistic turning point from archaic to classical on through the High Renaissance and finishing with the Baroque. The purpose of the thesis is to demonstrate a critical and often overlooked bridge between the humanities and the sciences. In many ways, the two depend on one another, as the human form in paintings falls short and abstract without knowledge of the human anatomy and physiology, and medicine cannot be taught without the technical skills of an artist accurately portraying the vasculature, skeleton, musculature, etc in medicinal textbooks. The thesis will be presented a literature review with supportive visual components based on my findings, as I explore works of art through museums, textbooks, online learning tools, and academic journals.

    Mugmon, Matthew; Troyani, Joshua (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    This thesis examines the historical and musical context of the Antiphonarium, a Dominican chant book from the sixteenth century current housed in the University of Arizona Special Collections Library. Designed to be read by both laypeople and experts, this thesis first explores the history of the Dominican Liturgy before 1529 and the general structure of Gregorian chant notation and performance. It then examines the Antiphonarium specifically, focusing on its physical characteristics, its formatting and notation, and its writing and art styles. An analysis of three important chants from the Antiphonarium is also included, highlighting the historical and musical depth contained within the chant book. Finally, it briefly looks at the modern significance of the Antiphonarium, and of Gregorian chant music more generally. The purpose of this thesis is to provide insight into the significance of the Antiphonarium and chant books like it. By providing historical and musical context, as well as physical and musical analysis, it shows that chant is an historically and aurally rich music, and that the ancient chantbooks that contain it deserve careful study and attention.

    Troutman-Robbins, Stephanie; Walters, Mekaela (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    This thesis is comprised of candid photographs that virtually explore the relevance of community literacy and engagement. More specifically, this paper will delineate how the researcher navigated new experiences and academic challenges within a community-serving organization. While the organization, Wildcat Writers, is the main focus of this research, personal reflection will be the primary mode of composition. This stylistic choice was made in order to provide a creative alternative to traditional research. After participating in several events, meetings, and courses, the researcher feels compelled to provide insight into how artistic projects make meaning in academia. However, it is also important to note that more traditional aspects of research, such as literature review, will also be present within this thesis. The intent of this project is ultimately to amplify the presence, history, and personal impact of the University of Arizona’s Wildcat Writers outreach program. In light of current events, the thesis will conclude with a reaction piece to the pandemic in order to portray how this research has adapted in response to historically unprecedented events.

    Sacoman, Julianna; Terry, Lauren (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    This thesis examines how students in the Physiology department at the University of Arizona both experience and cope with burnout compared to non-physiology majors. A literature review was chosen to identify and summarize findings that explore the physiological consequences of burnout and its related factors, as well as University of Arizona student wellness statistics and current resources. A retrospective qualitative survey was created and issued to students (n = 419) from various undergraduate level classes across the university. The survey contained questions collecting demographic information, self-reported mental health and academic impact assessments, and individualized scores generated for the three factors of burnout. The Maslach Burnout Inventory © license was obtained and reproduced to score student levels of burnout by its three core aspects: exhaustion, cynicism, and lack of professional efficacy. A one-tailed statistical analysis (t-test) was performed to determine if the results were significant. The study found that Physiology students (n = 219) did not experience measurably higher rates of burnout compared to other non-physiology students (n = 200), but that there were reported differences in general school-related attitudes by Physiology majors and other majors.

    Kroeger, Sue; Stewart, Cassandra (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    This research will address how health outcomes can improve for adults with cerebral palsy by evaluating their experiences in the healthcare setting. The focus will be on patient-provider interaction, and specifically how provider attitudes and knowledge of disability affect care. Important factors to consider are conceptualizations of disability (i.e., social and medical models of disability) and how stigma shapes perception and treatment. Any intervention to improve healthcare experiences for people with cerebral palsy should address disability stigma and the complex physical and cognitive effects unique to cerebral palsy. The questions addressed in this research include: ● What is disability stigma? ● What is the difference between impairment and disability? ● How do we define and conceptualize disability, disabled people, and the disability experience? ● What is cerebral palsy physiologically? ● How do patients with cerebral palsy define their experience with healthcare providers? ● What prior programs have been implemented that are designed to improve relations between providers and disabled people? ● How can this information be applied to remove physical, cognitive, and attitudinal barriers in the healthcare setting?

    Milczarek-Desai, Shefali; Vega German, Diana (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
    This paper explores the impacts of detention on migrants through the eyes of an interpreter who functions as a bridge between lawyers and asylum-seekers. It first outlines the history and law behind asylum and detention in the United States and then discusses the mental and emotional struggles asylum-seekers face when they are detained. Specifically, the paper shows how new traumas lived within the confinement of the detention center walls can cause migrants to become retraumatized. It does this by interspersing an interpreter’s experiences with detained asylum-seekers throughout the paper. This paper also illustrates how an interpreter, as a shadow of the client, lives vicariously through the client’s thoughts, actions, memories, and emotions. This creates long-lasting mental and emotional impacts for interpreters as well. The paper concludes with a discussion on possible alternatives to the use of detention facilities. Through the use of statistics and facts, this paper will demonstrate how these alternative programs, rather than detention facilities,are better solutions to our country’s immigration crisis.

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