By Tarek Benzouak, Psychology

Depressive Symptoms of One’s Romantic Partner as a predictor of developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Background: Diabetes is a globalhealth challenge, estimatedto impact 451 million adults worldwide (Cho et al., 2018). Currently, the prevalence of diabetes is projected to rise to 693 million by 2045 (Cho et al., 2018). Depressive symptoms are associated with the onset oftype 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2; Schmitz et al., 2016). Furthermore, spousal depressive symptoms impact DM2 treatment adherence (Anderson et al., 2016). However, spousal depressive symptomshave not yet been examinedwith regards to their association with DM2 incidence. The purpose of this study was to determine ifspousal depressive symptoms are associatedwith the onset of DM2. Spousal depressive symptoms were hypothesized to predict DM2 incidence.

Supervisor: Dr. Rachel Burns

Tarek’s research: PowerPoint | PDF

By Adam Berk, Humanities

The Influence of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Political Thought on "Lord Durham’s Report"

Background: This project considers the ways in which Alexis de Tocqueville’s political philosophy influenced early Canadian political thought. To this end, this paper rediscovers the connection between Lord Durham’s Report on the Affairs of British North America and Alexis de Tocqueville’s political writings, as first described by political historian Janet Ajzenstat in her book The Political Thought of Lord Durham.

Supervisor: Dr. Geoffrey Kellow

Adam’s research: PowerPoint | PDF

by Eddie Cai, Film Studies & Philosophy

The Philosophy of Virtual Reality: Phenomenology, Immersion and Realism

Background: I originally intended to study virtual reality’s (VR) ability to produce realistic, interactive environments for subjects to engage with, but ended up investigating VR’s potential effects on the subjects themselves. I was provoked in this direction by the claim that we could become embodied in completely novel bodies within VR, like lobsters or trees. Thus, my research aimed at investigating the plasticity of embodiment—understood as the feeling of body-ownership (BO)—and its relation to VR.

Supervisor: Dr. Marc Furstenau

Eddie’s research: PowerPoint | PDF

by Bennett Candy, Humanities

Myth, Religion, and Communal Storytelling in Fantasy Roleplaying Games

Background: At the beginning of this summer, I proposed to examine two linked hypotheses about the religious content of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). First, I hypothesized that D&D is structurally similar to the oral storytelling used in some religious traditions; second, I proposed the idea that D&D may, by virtue of its built-in religious game elements (such as gods, clerics, divine magic, and the like), encourage non-religious players to undergo spiritual experiences by proxy.

Supervisor: Dr. Noel Salmond

Bennett’s research: PowerPoint | PDF

by Adham El Shazly, Philosophy

Re-Imagining Society: Social Ontology, Liberalism and Modern Muslim Reflections

Background: One of the products of the modern era is a new conception of individuals and how they relate to society. Underlying this novel conception are three assumptions, all of which still shape most theoretical discussions on personal identity as well as structure our contemporary self-conception. The first of these assumptions is what Rawls calls the “separateness of persons”. Second, that persons are constituted by higher-order cognitive functions. Third, society is a mode of instrumental cooperation that is irrelevant to the constitution of persons.

Supervisor: Dr. Gordon Davis

Adham’s research: PowerPoint | PDF

By Charlotte Frank, Humanities

Conflict and Creation in the Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop and James Merrill

Background: Thanks to the FASS undergraduate research internship program, I have spent the past four months researching the ties between two twentieth-century American poets, Elizabeth Bishop and James Merrill, and the New Criticism. My interest in Merrill and Bishop stems from their friendship and influence upon each other’s poetry, as well as from their complicated relationships, due in part to their homosexuality, to the New Criticism, the dominant school of literary criticism in their time.

Supervisor: Dr. Andrew Wallace

Charlotte’s research: PowerPoint | PDF

by Joe Habr, Philosophy

Inquiry into the Commodification Implications of a Compensatory Plasma Donation System

Background: Recently the ethics of paying plasma donors has become a nation-wide debate in Canada as many commodification theorists and policy makers have challenged Canada’s stance on the issue. For many years Canada’s approach has been consistent with the widely held view that human bodies and their parts are not the kinds of goods that should be bought and sold, and donors should not be paid despite shortages in plasma.

Supervisor: Dr. Vida Panitch

Joe’s research: PowerPoint | PDF

by Victoria Hawco, Humanities

Adam Smith’s Theory of Morality and Sympathy via the Interactive Art form of Video Games

Background: As artistic forms, video games are able to participate in ongoing conversations on the modern world and its morality through their unique engagement with their audience. This discussion of the ways morality functions in society fulfills the same purpose as Adam Smith’s 1759 work The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

Supervisor: Dr. Micheline White

Victoria’s research: PowerPoint | PDF

by Vegas Hodgins, Cognitive Science

Visual Identification of Primary Language Spoken by Canadian Anglophones, Francophones, and French-English Early Bilinguals

Background: This study examined the ability of two groups of Canadians (monolinguals (n = 12) and French-English bilinguals (n = 12) to distinguish anglophone and francophone faces. This ability was hypothesised to be possible based on previous studies that showed evidence for bilinguals gaining cognitive advantages in the realm of language-related processing tasks, including face processing (Fu et al., 2007, Matsumoto and Assar, 1992, Pascalis et al., 2014, Sebastián-Gallés et al., 2012, Weikum et al., 2013).

Supervisor: Dr. Karen Jesney

Vegas’ research: PowerPoint | PDF


By Stacie Kerr, Child Studies

Exploring Ontarian Child and Family Policy in a Neoliberal Context

Background: Neoliberalism is a multi-faceted phenomenon that is embedded in Canada, Ontario, our province’s child care system, and child care policy documents on a global scale. Although neoliberalism has been shown to shape child care policy globally, specific research in an Ontarian context is scant. This paper will address this gap in the literature by offering a critical discourse analysis of Ontario’s Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework, and by discussing ways in which the neoliberal discourses identified in this document uphold or infringe on the rights of children as outlined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Supervisor: Dr. Carol Rowan

Stacie’s research: PowerPoint | Video


By Stephanie Lonz, Environmental Studies

Environmental Impact of the 2017 Park’s Canada Discovery Pass on Banff/Jasper/Yoho National Parks

Background: As part of the Canada 150thcelebrations, the federal government waived the entrance fee for all national parks in 2017 through its Discovery Pass program prompting increased visits to these parks. However, in its 2016 ecological impact report, Parks Canada determined that more than one third of assessed ecosystems in Canada’s national parks were in declining health. The purpose of this research was to determine whether free access to our national parks was good environmental policy.

Supervisor: Dr. John Milton

Stephanie’s research: PowerPointPDF


By Joy McLeod, Psychology

A Biopsychosocial Perspective on Women’s Cardiovascular Disease

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the main cause of death and disability globally (Puska, Norrving, & Mendis, 2011). The general public, as well as many physicians, believe that CVD is a “man’s disease,” yet 2-3 women die of heart disease for every 1 man (Gulati, Shaw, & Bairey Merz, 2012). It is the leading cause of premature death for women over the age of 55, and when considering all diseases, women are more likely to die from heart disease than any other type of disease (Heart and Stroke Foundation, 2018).

Supervisor: Dr. Chris Davis

Joy’s research: PowerPointPDF


By Kim Nguyen, Psychology

Individual Differences in Children with Early Emerging Reading Abilities

Background: Many parents report teaching their young children about reading and writing. The main goal of this research was to examine whether parents’ instructive or directive feedback is more effective in enhancing their young children’s spelling abilities. Directive feedback is manifested by high levels of control and low levels of independence, whereas instructive feedback offers more room for exploration and self-learning. In the present study, it was hypothesized that instructive feedback would lead to greater improvement in child spelling skills. 

Supervisor: Dr. Monique Senechal

Kim’s research: PowerPointPDF


By Charlotte Smith, Sociology

Youth Homelessness: A High School Experience

Background: Youth homelessness has possibly been one of the most underestimated and overlooked social issues within contemporary Canadian society. Young people represent one of the fastest growing sub-populations among the Nation’s homeless population (Rachlis, et al. 2009). In 2014, between 35,000 and 40,000 young Canadians experienced homelessness (Gaetz et al. 2016). In Canada’s capital city, 844 youth (aged 24 and under) occupied a shelter bed for at least one night during 2016 (Bulthuis, 2017). 

Supervisor: Dr. Jacqueline Kennelly

Charlotte’s research: PowerPointPDF


By Patricia Wallinger, Global and International Studies

Public Attitudes Towards Basic Income

Background: This summer research project started with the goal of gaining insight on opinions elicited by currently available information about the Basic Income (BI) pilot. The premise was that policy changes create public anxiety related to self-interest. The hypothesis of this research was that low income1 working people who are just above the cut-off criteria of the Ontario pilot may perceive as unfair that BI is not conditioned to recipient’s participation in the labor market.

Supervisor: Dr. Cristina Rojas

Patricia’s research: PowerPointPDF