An Honors thesis is the capstone project for all students who plan to graduate from the Honors Program at USD. The thesis can take many forms – from a scientific experiment or literary analysis to an original novel, play, or music composition – and allows students to explore a topic they are passionate about. Honors students have a thesis advisor, a faculty member that works closely with them throughout their thesis process, and a thesis committee made up of a small number of faculty members and other stakeholders who do work related to the thesis topic. This support network helps guide students through their thesis process to a successful defense and completion of the project.

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Honors Theses from 2020

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The Relationship Between LGBTQ+ Representation on the Political and Theatrical Stages, Brett V. Ries

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The NCAA's Breaking Point for Equal Opportunity: A Title IX Perspective on Name, Image, and Likeness Sponsorship Legislation, Joshua C. Sorbe

Honors Theses from 2019

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The Role of Social Well-Being in Sustainability, Rachel Abele

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Social Discounting: An Examination of the Neural and Behavioral Performance of Individuals Making Altruistic Decisions about Family Members, Chesney Arend

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Assessing the Viability of Using Human Medical Cadavers as Research Subjects in Post-1950 Radiocarbon Dating, Natalie Basta

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Review of Risk Factors Associated with the Development of Iliotibial Band Syndrome in Runners, Kyle Bergeson

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The Biological Basis of Nervous Tissue Repetitive Strain Injuries in eSports Competitors, Katryna Booth-Malnack

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Surveillance of Ranavirus and Bacterial Microbiome Characterization of False Map Turtles (Graptemys pseudogeographica) Along the Lower Missouri River, USA, Madeline McClaine Butterfield

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Application of Leininger’s Culture Care Theory in Family Medical History, Avery Del Grosso

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Music on the Plains: Felix Vinatieri’s Forgotten Legacy, Nicholas Demuth

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Evaluation of Antibodies Induced After Vaccination with H1N1 Vaccine Candidates Created by DNA Shuffling, Baylor DeVries

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Ex Vivo Study of Skeletal Muscle Secretion of Interleukin-6, Anthony Drazick

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The Pathophysiological Implications of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury on Diagnosis and Treatment, Braeden Edleman

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2018 DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY STAKEHOLDER SATISFACTION SURVEY REPORT, Olivia Edoff

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Implementation of Tracking System for Sexual Assault Kits in South Dakota, Regan Enos

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100 Years Later: An Analysis Into Factors That Affected Mortality During The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic, Austin Hacck

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Evaluation of Self-Adjuvanting M2e Vaccine Efficacy in Response to Influenza A Virus Challenge, Dustin Heiden

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Oral Health and Awareness at The University of South Dakota, Hannah Hofmaier

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Are Women Benching Themselves From The South Dakota Judiciary?, Marcus Ireland

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A Traditional Medicine’s Deep Time History and Rethinking Depression, Nathan Jones

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The Effects of Acute Stress on Responses to Nociceptive and Non-nociceptive Stimuli, Danielle Mack

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Euphoria, Candra Mahrt

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Age-Related Changes in two Muscle Enzymes of the Hawk Moth, Connor McMahon

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Human Trafficking in Ghana: A Comparative Analysis, Erica Miller

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An Integrative and Comparative Analysis of Transcriptome and Targetome Data of Medulloblastoma, Blaine Nelson

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The Inconfidêntes – A Play Inspired by the Inconfidência Mineira, Issac Otterman

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Honey Bee and Varroa Destructor Population Dynamics, Karissa Palmer

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Defining the Properties of the OS-33 Osteosarcoma Cell Line and Effects of mTORC1 Inhibition by Rapamycin, Mykayla Palmer

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Nonpharmacologic Interventions for Agitation in Persons with Dementia, Cassandra Pieschke

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Invisible Interactions: Communication Guidelines for Caregivers Facing Dementia-Induced Subjective Realities, Christian Pollema

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Truth, Karina Ramirez

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Music in the Digital Age: An Analysis of Declining Revenue in the U.S. Recorded Music Industry, Ward M. Reesman

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Examining the Early Stages of Adaptive Radiation in Anolis Lizards from Martinique, Patrick Alan Reiter

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Death, Taxes, and Climate Induced Flooding: How Local Governments Can Use Tax Policy to Implement Climate Adaptation Projects, Jacob Selgestad

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Whole Transcriptome Gene Expression and how it Relates to Muscle Performance in Anolis Lizards, Luke Smith

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The Effect of Exercise on College Students' Overall Health, Tanner Steineke

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Osteobiography of Ancient Egyptian Mummified Remains, 900-790 BC, Cassandra Tester

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The Effect of a Universal Basic Income on Life Decisions: Evidence from a Student Lab Experiment, Tyler Wenande

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International Inequality or American Atrocity?: A Comparative Investigation of Indigent Legal Representation in the United States and the European Union, Sydney Wilson

Honors Theses from 2018

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Who’s Your Perfect Person? A Study about Dating and Dating Factors, Jessica Allen

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Cultural Imagery’s Changing Place in Athletics, Cash Anderson

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Effects of Creative Therapies in Women Experiencing Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Caitlin Bolte

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Association Between Neuromuscular Characteristics of Agility in Jumping Tasks, Lara Boman

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Effect of Relative Humidity on Respiration and Metabolism in the Moss Physcomitrella Patens, Cami Brenner

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Factors Affecting Care Quality in South Dakota Nursing Homes, Brice Cowman

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Victims of Their Own Reluctance: A Legal Analysis of the United States and the Mine Ban Treaty, Ashley Flood

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Preventive Care In Rural Areas: A Cross-Examination Of The United States And Germany, Karlie Hinton

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Sex Ratio Significance and Implications in the Cooperative Breeding Chestnut Crowned Babbler, Kelly Howell

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International Diversification and Performance Prediction in Equity Investing, Tomáš Kameník

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Win Shares & Rookie Contracts in the NBA, Lucas R. Kobat

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Impact Analysis of Loved One Peer Coaching on Persons with the Disease of Addiction, Ally Krupinsky

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The Olympic Model: Mitigating Financial Corruption in Collegiate Athletics, Payton Larsen

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End of Life Care Medication Health Literacy Pertaining to Aging Adult Populations, Hanna Leschisin

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The Old, the Young, and the Dehydrated: comparing dehydration tolerance of ‘Gransden’ and ‘Reute’ ecotypes of Physcomitrella patens, Clay Lippert

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Experiences of participants receiving nutrition counseling in the Siouxland WIC office, Alexandria M. Logan

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The Misspent Youth of South Dakota Native American Students: An Analysis of the Gear Up Grant Program in South Dakota, Anna Madsen

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Sport Motivation of Senior Athletes, Jenna Mammenga

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(Bi)Sexuality and Victim Blame: How Observer Sexuality Affects Attributions Of Blame in a Case of Acquaintance Sexual Assault with a Heterosexual Female Victim, Olivia Mann

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The Development of Incitement to Violence Regarding Freedom of Speech in America with a Short Comparison to Germany's Corresponding Development, Gabrielle Metzger

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Health Risks Associated With High Sugar Sweetened Beverage Consumption and Ways to Reduce Ingestion, Tyler Austin Pahl

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Weightism in Healthcare and Educational Efforts to Reduce Bias in Pre-Health Students, Matthew Preszler

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Identification and Entertainment Education in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar: Bridging Communication Studies and Literary Analysis, Bailey Quanbeck

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Fragmentation Inhibits Pathogen Control of Outbreak Insect Lymantria Dispar, Jessica Romero

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YOUNG SCIENTISTS: Development of an Interactive STEM Program for Students at Vermillion “Beyond School Adventures, Ellen Roufs

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An Exploratory Study of Influential Factors in Prospective Students’ Decision to Apply to the University of South Dakota, Taylor Schoenfelder

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A Nanoparticle Uptake Assay to Demonstrate the Role of FC Receptor Medicated Phagocytosis in Influenza Immunity, Jackson Shriver

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Theatre Beyond Words, Lauren Danielle Stacks

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Willingness to Enact Change: A Grounded Theory Study on Acceptance from a Trans Perspective, Megan Swets

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Efficacy of Hunger Strikes: How Culture Determines Efficacy of Hunger Strikes, Britney Thorns

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Exploring Media Use Among Sexual Minorities, Amy Trivedi

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An Analysis of World Reserve Currency Status on the Value of the U.S. Dollar, Jared Waltz

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The Role of Foreign Direct Investment in the Economic Development of Estonia, Stephan B. Weikert

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The Relationship Between Hegemonic Masculinity and Cognitive Thought Processes in Predicting Aggressive Behavior in Men, Aimee Wieczorek

Honors Theses from 2017

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The Old, the Young, and the Dehydrated: comparing dehydration tolerance of ‘Gransden’ and ‘Villersexel’ ecotypes of Physcomitrella patens, Katherine Bollinger