Stephanie Barsoum

Stephanie Barsoum

Mentor

Alana Jackson

College

College of the Arts

Major

Microbiology and Cell Sciences

Minor

Health Disparities in Society

Organizations

N/A

Academic Awards

N/A

Volunteering

ReadingPals

Research Interests

The effects of music/auditory stimulation on the brain and nervous system, and the mechanisms by which they can be used as a therapeutic for neurological impairment. Also, the associations between music and identity, how it can be applied to those with neurodegenerative disorders, and how/if therapeutics that emulate the effects of music on the brain can be created.

Hobbies and Interests

Writing/producing my own music and criminal psychology

Research Project

Efficacy of a music program in reviving the identity of incarcerated women: A mixed methods, randomized control trial

This research project involves the implementation of a music program at a women’s correctional facility. The intentions of this program are to discern the positive effects of music on one’s perception of self. Acclimation to prison culture involves a loss of identity as inmates lose their sense of autonomy. They no longer retain control over when to wake up, eat, spend time outside, or sleep. Additionally, by dressing the same and being identified by an inmate number, they are further reduced to what society perceives them as: criminals and convicts. This music program seeks to shift this perception, and revive the sense of self-worth and accomplishment within incarcerated women. Twenty-six participants will be divided evenly into intervention and control groups. The intervention group will meet once a week over 8 weeks for approximately 40 minutes to engage in prepared musical activities. Before and after the intervention period, both groups will be given surveys and asked questions about identity-themed metrics such as self-esteem, life satisfaction, and life motivation. The participants will be provided with instruments such as electronic keyboards, steel drums, xylophones, and percussive drums. Towards the end of the program, we will work to write a collaborative original song that the women can perform for everyone if they would like. Through writing their own lyrics, these women will be able to emotionally express themselves, which is a therapeutic method utilized to help improve mood. Data will be collected and analyzed to measure the extent to which the music program improved self-perception and revived a sense of identity.