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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Is There Justice in Mercy? the Retributive Philosophies of Executive Clemency
Executive clemency is assumed to be a mechanism to correct miscarriages of justice brought about by the criminal justice system, yet little empirical research exists to confirm this assumption. This research study examined the types of rationales cited in 799 cases of executive clemency from six states from 2005 to 2012. Rationales based upon retributive philosophies, in which a miscarriage of justice was cited, were further analyzed. This analysis revealed that only seven percent of all clemency decisions from the examined states cited retributive rationales. Of the fifty-six grants of clemency that cited retributive rationales, most were granted in the forms of pardons. The analysis indicated that executive clemency is utilized as a mechanism to correct injustices, specifically in cases of innocence. This study concludes with a discussion of policy implications and the reliance on executive clemency as a fail-safe to the criminal justice system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271818/
Novice Teachers' Stories Represented As a Graphic Narrative
The issue of alternative certification teacher training has greatly affected art education over three decades. As a result of training through alternative certification, many art educators enter the profession unprepared and unable to cope with the realities of teaching. This study attempts to understand and represent the experiences and struggles of four alternatively certified art teachers, including myself. By reading these stories, others within the education community can empathize with and provide support for struggling novice teachers. This creative thesis uses a graphic novel format to represent participants' stories. By combining text and imagery, the graphic novel format provides different meanings, interpretations, and insights into the teachers' lives. This medium offered a unique and rich perspective on the stories of what it is like being an alternatively certified art teacher. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271802/
Data Transmission in Quantized Consensus
In the world of networked system, average consensus is an important dimension of co-ordinate control and cooperation. Since the communication medium is digital, real value cannot be transmitted and we need to perform quantization before data transmission. But for the quantization, error is introduced in exact value and initial average is lost. Based on this limitation, my 16 bit quantization method (sending MSB in 1-4 cycle and MSB+LSB in 5th cycle) reduces error significantly and preserves initial average. Besides, it works on all types of graphs (star, complete, ring, random geometric graph). My other algorithm, distributing averaging algorithm (PQDA) with probabilistic quantization also works on random geometric graph, star, ring and slow co-herency graph. It shows significant reduced error and attain strict consensus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271874/
Leader Developmental Readiness of Generation Y in the Training Industry
Members of Generation Y in the training and development industry will be required to assume leadership roles as Baby Boomers retire, yet little empirical research exists regarding how best to prepare them for leadership. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in leader developmental readiness between generational cohorts in the training industry, specifically Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. Leader developmental readiness provided a definition of developmental readiness for leaders using the five constructs (learning goal orientation, developmental efficacy, self-awareness, leader complexity, and metacognitive ability). A volunteer sample was compiled from members of the ASTD National LinkedIN group (n = 636). Results were analyzed using structured means analysis with maximum likelihood (ML) estimation. Generational cohorts demonstrated differences in leader developmental readiness. Baby Boomers indicated statistically and practically higher metacognitive ability and developmental efficacy than Generation Y. Results demonstrated statistically and practically higher leader complexity in Generation Y and both Generation X and Baby Boomers. These results should inform leader development practitioners as they continue to use existing methods in preparing the different generations for leader development interventions while pointing to possible needs to increase the metacognitive ability and developmental efficacy in Generation Y and ensure accurate perception of leader complexity in those individuals. Further research would be helpful to confirm or refute findings and expand on the target population for enhanced generalizability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271816/
Expression of G-protein Coupled Receptors in Young and Mature Thrombocytes and Knockdown of Gpr18 in Zebrafish
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In this study, a novel method based on biotinylated antibodies and streptavidin coated magnetic beads was used to separate the thrombocyte subpopulations from zebrafish whole blood. DiI-C18, a lipophilic dye, labels only young thrombocytes when used at low concentrations. Commercially available biotinylated anti-Cy3 antibody was used to label the chromophore of DiI-C18 on the young thrombocytes and streptavidin coated magnetic beads were added subsequently, to separate young thrombocytes. The remaining blood cells were probed with custom-made biotinylated anti-GPIIb antibody and streptavidin magnetic beads to separate them from other cells. Further, thrombocytes are equivalents of mammalian platelets. Platelets play a crucial role in thrombus formation. The G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) present on the platelet surface are involved during platelet activation and aggregation processes. So, thrombocytes were studied for the presence of GPCRs. The GPCR mRNA transcripts expressed in the young and mature thrombocytes were subjected to densitometry analysis and pixel intensities of the bands were compared using one way ANOVA. This analysis did not show significant differences between the young and mature GPCR mRNA transcripts but identified a novel GPCR, GPR18 that was not reported in platelets earlier. To study the function of this GPCR, it was knocked down using GPR18 specific antisense morpholino and vivo morpholino. The immunofluorescence experiment indicated the presence of GPR18 on thrombocytes. The results of the assays, such as, time to occlusion (TTO) and time to aggregation (TTA) in response to N-arachidonyl glycine (NAG) as an agonist, showed prolongation of time in GPR18 larval and adult morphants respectively, suggesting that GPR18 plays a role in thrombus formation in zebrafish. In conclusion, our results indicate that GPR18 may be present in zebrafish thrombocytes, it may be involved in thrombus formation and that NAG may be an agonist at GPR18 on thrombocytes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271881/
Transfantasies for Flauto Traverso, Computer Music, and Dance
TransFantasies is an interdisciplinary composition for Baroque flute (flauto traverso), computer music, and dance. A crucial component of the work is an interactive hardware and software environment that provides the opportunity for the players to shape aspects of the work during the performance. This essay discusses the influences that inspired the work and presents an in-depth analysis of notable elements of the composition. Primary issues include compositional models for gesture-based composition, historical performance practices, interactivity, and relationships between music and dance. The final component of the essay details the software component designed to create the composition. It also discusses music technology in current practice and its role in this particular work. At its core, TransFantasies is concerned with those moments where computer-influenced decisions and human behaviors collide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271813/
Blood and Earth: Indivisible Territory and Terrorist Group Longevity
The study of terrorism has been both broad in scope and varied in approach. Little work has been done, however, on the territorial aspects of terrorist groups. Most terrorist groups are revolutionary to one degree or another, seeking the control of a piece of territory; but for the supportive population of a terrorist group, how important is the issue of territory? Are the intangible qualities of territory more salient to a given population than other factors? Are territorially based terrorist groups more durable than their ideologically or religiously motivated cohorts? This paper aims to propose the validity of the territorial argument for the study of political terrorism. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271819/
Accreditation Facilitation Projects: Supporting High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care
High-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) are linked to positive developmental outcomes for children. Systems have been created to define, measure and promote high-quality ECEC. National accreditation status is deemed the gold standard of a high-quality program, yet many centers are unable to achieve this without assistance. With the help of Accreditation Facilitation Projects (AFPs), many low-income centers are able to achieve accreditation. Centers collaborating with an AFP reap many benefits including financial support, ongoing training and mentoring, and guidance through the accreditation process. AFPs invest greatly in the centers they collaborate with and the longer the center takes to achieve accreditation, the more resources an AFP must expend. The purposes of this study were to understand if the educational level of center director, the total enrollment of a center, or the percentage of children receiving government subsidies could predict the time it takes for a center to complete the accreditation process while receiving assistance from an AFP, and to determine if there are differences in attitudes about program accreditation between center directors and early learning specialists who serve as accreditation mentors to the directors. Findings revealed that a) the higher educational level of program directors is associated with a quicker time to program accreditation, b) both the total enrollment of the center and the percentage of children receiving government subsidies do not predict time to accreditation, c) the number of total staff in a center is associated with a quicker time to accreditation, and d) there is no significant difference between the directors' attitudes and early learning specialists' attitudes toward accreditation and accreditation facilitation projects. AFPs looking to streamline their accreditation process and provide accountability to their stakeholders regarding their investments over time can use these findings to choose to collaborate with centers that have directors who have at least a bachelor's degree in order to shorten the time to accreditation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271887/
Evaluating the Habitat Requirements of the Golden Orb Mussel (Quadrula Aurea) for Conservation Purposes
Many freshwater mussels are imperiled, due to a number of interrelated factors such as habitat alteration, degradation of water quality, and impoundments. The Golden Orb mussel (Quadrula aurea, I. Lea, 1859) is endemic to the state of Texas and is currently a candidate for the endangered species list, as the number of known populations has been declining in recent years. Little is currently known about Q. aurea aside from basic distribution data. This study is focused on evaluating a combination of macro-habitat and micro-habitat variables to determine their influence on the distribution and density of this species. Macro-habitat variables, including dominant land cover, surface geology, and soil erodibility factor, did not have a significant relationship with mussel distributions. The best model of micro-habitat variables that impacts the Q. aurea distributions is comprised of relative substrate stability (RSS) at moderate flows and current velocity at low flows. For all mussel species in this study, current velocity at low flows is the primary variable that influences distribution. Q. aurea are associated with habitats where larger sediment particles (large gravel and cobble) help to stabilize the substrate in areas with higher current velocities. An understanding of the preferred habitats for Q. aurea can be used to help focus conservation efforts and practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271827/
A New Approach for Transition Metal Free Magnetic Sic: Defect Induced Magnetism After Self-ion Implantation
SiC has become an attractive wide bandgap semiconductor due to its unique physical and electronic properties and is widely used in high temperature, high frequency, high power and radiation resistant applications. SiC has been used as an alternative to Si in harsh environments such as in the oil industry, nuclear power systems, aeronautical, and space applications. SiC is also known for its polytypism and among them 3C-SiC, 4H-SiC and 6H-SiC are the most common polytypes used for research purposes. Among these polytypes 4H-SiC is gaining importance due to its easy commercial availability with a large bandgap of 3.26 eV at room temperature. Controlled creation of defects in materials is an approach to modify the electronic properties in a way that new functionality may result. SiC is a promising candidate for defect-induced magnetism on which spintronic devices could be developed. The defects considered are of room temperature stable vacancy types, eliminating the need for magnetic impurities, which easily diffuse at room temperature. Impurity free vacancy type defects can be created by implanting the host atoms of silicon or carbon. The implantation fluence determines the defect density, which is a critical parameter for defect induced magnetism. Therefore, we have studied the influence of low fluence low energy silicon and carbon implantation on the creation of defects in n-type 4H-SiC. The characterization of the defects in these implanted samples was performed using the techniques, RBS-channeling and Raman spectroscopy. We have also utilized these characterization techniques to analyze defects created in much deeper layers of the SiC due to implantation of high energy nitrogen ions. The experimentally determined depths of the Si damage peaks due to low energy (60 keV) Si and C ions with low fluences (< 1015 cm-2) are consistent with the SRIM-2011 simulations. From RBS-C Si sub-lattice measurements for different fluences (1.1×1014 cm-2 to 3.2×1014 cm-2) of Si implantation in 4H-SiC, the Si vacancy density is estimated to range from 1.29×1022 cm-3 to 4.57×1022 cm-2, corresponding to average vacancy distances of 4.26 Å to 2.79 Å at the damage peak (50±5 nm). Similarly, for C implanted fluences (1.85×1014 cm-2 to 1×1015 cm-2), the Si vacancy density varies from 1.37×1022 cm-3 to 4.22×1022 cm-3 with the average vacancy distances from 4.17 Å to 2.87 Å at the damage peak (110±10 nm). From the Raman spectroscopy, the implantation-induced lattice disorders calculated along the c-axis (LO mode) and perpendicular to c-axis (TO mode) in 4H-SiC are found to be similar. Furthermore, the results obtained from SQUID measurements in C implanted n-type 4H-SiC sample with fluences ranging from 1×1012 to 1.7×1016 ions/cm2 have been discussed. The implanted samples showed diamagnetism similar to the unimplanted sample. To date, to our best of knowledge, no experimental work has been reported on investigating defect induced magnetism for self-ion implantation in n-type 4H-SiC. These first reports of experimental results can provide useful information in future studies for a better understanding of self-ion implantation in SiC-based DMS. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271849/
Modeling Alcohol Consumption Using Blog Data
How do the content and writing style of people who drink alcohol beverages stand out from non-drinkers? How much information can we learn about a person's alcohol consumption behavior by reading text that they have authored? This thesis attempts to extend the methods deployed in authorship attribution and authorship profiling research into the domain of automatically identifying the human action of drinking alcohol beverages. I examine how a psycholinguistics dictionary (the Linguistics Inquiry and Word Count lexicon, developed by James Pennebaker), together with Kenneth Burke's concept of words as symbols of human action, and James Wertsch's concept of mediated action provide a framework for analyzing meaningful data patterns from the content of blogs written by consumers of alcohol beverages. The contributions of this thesis to the research field are twofold. First, I show that it is possible to automatically identify blog posts that have content related to the consumption of alcohol beverages. And second, I provide a framework and tools to model human behavior through text analysis of blog data. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271843/
Design of a Wideband Class J Power Amplifier
A conventional RF power amplifier will convert the low powered radio frequency signals into high powered signals. Along with the expected ability to increase the communication distance, data transfer rates, RF power amplifiers also have many applications which include military radar system, whether forecasting, etc. The main objective of any power amplifier research is to increase the efficiency while maintaining linearity and broadening the frequency of operation. The main motivation for the renewed interest in PA technology comes from the technical challenges and the economics of modern digital communication systems. Modern communications require high linear power amplifiers and in order to reduce the complete system cost, it is necessary to have a single broadband power amplifier, which can amplify multiple carriers. The improvement in the efficiency of the power amplifier increases the battery life and also reduces the cooling requirements for the same output power. In this thesis, I aim to design and build a wideband class J power amplifier suitable for modern communications. For wideband operation of the GaN technology PA, a bandwidth extension design method is studied and implemented. The simulation results are proved to have a good argument with the theoretical calculations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271882/
"Where Do We Go From Here?" Teaching a Generation of Nclb Students in College Classrooms
Since the passing of No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, the United States' secondary education system has undergone significant changes. In this study, I discuss the ways in which the law has encouraged the normalization of standardized testing and aim to answer two primary research questions. RQ1: What do college students and their instructors identify as the key challenges that arise as students educated under NCLB begin college coursework, and how does each group address these challenges? RQ2: What strategies do the actors and spect-actors in a Forum Theatre production arrive at for addressing the challenges faced by college instructors and their students who have completed their secondary education under No Child Left Behind? To answer the initial research question, I conducted focus group interviews with instructors and students at the University of North Texas to understand the challenges each faces in the classroom. To answer the second research question, I compiled narratives from the focus group interviews along with other materials into a performance script that concluded with scenarios based in Augusto Boal's Forum Theatre techniques. In live performance events audience members rehearsed strategies for addressing the challenges that instructors and students face in classrooms through performance. Following descriptions of the performances, I analyze the scenarios through theories of Michel Foucault and Paulo Freire, to understand the productive power of the banking model reflected in the suggestions from the audience. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271859/
Interspecimen Study of Bone to Relate Macromechanical, Nanomechanical and Compositional Changes Across the Femoral Cortex of Bone
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Mechanics of bone is widely studied and researched, mainly for the study of fracture. This has been done mostly on a macro scale. In this work hierarchical nature of bone has been explored to investigate bone mechanics in more detail. Flexural test were done to classify the bones according to their strength and deflection. Raman spectroscopy analysis was done to map the mineralization, collagen crosslinking changes across the thickness of the bone. Nanoindentation was done to map indentation hardness and indentation modulus across femoral cortex of the bone. The results indicate that the composition of the bone changes across the thickness of the femoral cortex. The hypothesis is confirmed as increase in mineralization, carbonate to phosphate ratio and collagen crosslinking shows the effect as increased indentation hardness and modulus and decreased deflection. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271868/
Understanding Indian and Pakistani Cultural Perspectives and Analyzing Us News Coverage of Mukhtar Mai and Jyoti Singh Pandey
A foreign country's positive or negative image in the U.S. media can influence public attitudes toward that country. The way U.S. media covers sex crimes from countries like India and Pakistan has a direct effect on the global image of these countries. This qualitative content analysis examined the coverage of two rape victims, Jyoti Singh Pandey and Mukhtar Mai in two mainstream U.S. newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Frames identified in the study include cultural differences, nationality and male patriarchy. The results revealed that while U.S. media was sensitive to both victims, Indian culture was portrayed in a favorable light than Pakistani culture. This study recommends that reporters and newsrooms need to be sensitive in reporting foreign cultures and refrain from perpetuating cultural stereotypes through reporting. The study also recommends developing training and understanding methodology when covering sex crimes so that journalists are aware of the rape myths and narratives that trap them into unfair coverage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271840/
Convergent Validity of Variables Residualized By a Single Covariate: the Role of Correlated Error in Populations and Samples
This study examined the bias and precision of four residualized variable validity estimates (C0, C1, C2, C3) across a number of study conditions. Validity estimates that considered measurement error, correlations among error scores, and correlations between error scores and true scores (C3) performed the best, yielding no estimates that were practically significantly different than their respective population parameters, across study conditions. Validity estimates that considered measurement error and correlations among error scores (C2) did a good job in yielding unbiased, valid, and precise results. Only in a select number of study conditions were C2 estimates unable to be computed or produced results that had sufficient variance to affect interpretation of results. Validity estimates based on observed scores (C0) fared well in producing valid, precise, and unbiased results. Validity estimates based on observed scores that were only corrected for measurement error (C1) performed the worst. Not only did they not reliably produce estimates even when the level of modeled correlated error was low, C1 produced values higher than the theoretical limit of 1.0 across a number of study conditions. Estimates based on C1 also produced the greatest number of conditions that were practically significantly different than their population parameters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271870/
Exploring the Evolutionary History of North American Prairie Grouse (Genus: Tympanuchus) Using Multi-locus Coalescent Analyses
Conservation biologists are increasingly using phylogenetics as a tool to understand evolutionary relationships and taxonomic classification. The taxonomy of North American prairie grouse (sharp-tailed grouse, T. phasianellus; lesser prairie-chicken, T. pallidicinctus; greater prairie-chicken, T. cupido; including multiple subspecies) has been designated based on physical characteristics, geography, and behavior. However, previous studies have been inconclusive in determining the evolutionary history of prairie grouse based on genetic data. Therefore, additional research investigating the evolutionary history of prairie grouse is warranted. In this study, ten loci (including mitochondrial, autosomal, and Z-linked markers) were sequenced across multiple populations of prairie grouse, and both traditional and coalescent-based phylogenetic analyses were used to address the evolutionary history of this genus. Results from this study indicate that North American prairie grouse diverged in the last 200,000 years, with species-level taxa forming well-supported monophyletic clades in species tree analyses. With these results, managers of the critically endangered Attwater's prairie-chicken (T. c. attwateri) can better evaluate whether outcrossing Attwater's with greater prairie-chickens would be a viable management tool for Attwater's conservation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271815/
Traveling Wave Solutions of the Porous Medium Equation
We prove the existence of a one-parameter family of solutions of the porous medium equation, a nonlinear heat equation. In our work, with space dimension 3, the interface is a half line whose end point advances at constant speed. We prove, by using maximum principle, that the solutions are stable under a suitable class of perturbations. We discuss the relevance of our solutions, when restricted to two dimensions, to gravity driven flows of thin films. Here we extend the results of J. Iaia and S. Betelu in the paper "Solutions of the porous medium equation with degenerate interfaces" to a higher dimension. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271876/
Aging Is a Determinant in Anoxia Stress Tolerance in Caenorhabditis Elegans
Oxygen availability is critical for survival for most organisms. The nematode, C. elegans, has been useful for studying genetic regulation of anoxia tolerance due to the oxygen deprivation response mechanisms shared with other metazoans. Studies examining long-term anoxia (72h, LTA) tolerance have only been conducted at adult day 1. To investigate the effect of aging on anoxia tolerance wild-type and mutant strains were exposed to LTA between adult day 1 and day 9. Wild-type isolates and daf-16(mu86) (FOXO transcription factor regulated by insulin-signaling) and aak-2(gt33) (catalytic subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase) strains were anoxia sensitive at day 1 and displayed increased LTA tolerance with aging correlated with reproductive senescence followed by a decline in survivorhsip through day 9. The daf-2(e1370) (insulin receptor homologue of C. elegans), glp-1(e2141) (a lin-12/Notch receptor) and fog-2(q71) (required for spermatogenesis) strains were LTA-tolerant through day 5. I conclude that aging influences LTA-tolerance in a strain- and age-dependent manner. In addition to being LTA-tolerant the daf-2(e1370) and glp-1(e2141) strains have a longevity phenotype that is suppressed by loss of kri-1 or daf-12. While loss of kri-1 did not suppress the LTA-tolerant phenotype of glp-1(e2141) at day 1 the portion of impaired survivors increased at day 3 and by day 5 tolerance was suppressed. Similarly, when exposed to 4 days of anoxia the glp-1(e2141);daf-12(rh41rh611) double mutant had a reduced survivor rate at all ages analyzed compared to glp-1(e2141) controls. To better understand formation of an anoxia-tolerant physiology I exposed adults to one or more 24h bouts. Recurrent bouts increased LTA tolerance in wild-type hermaphrodites in a dose-dependent manner. Bout-treated daf-16(mu86) animals had increased survival rate compared to controls yet maximum survival remained below age-matched wild-type. Anoxia bouts decreased LTA-tolerance in aak-2(gt33) mutants, indicating the requirement for ATP regulation in establishing an LTA-tolerant phenotype. These data support the idea that anoxia tolerance is multi-factorial and influenced by environment, metabolism, food, reproduction, sex phenotype and likely additional factors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271821/
Measuring the Effectiveness of Transfer of Learning Constructs and Intent to Transfer in a Simulation-based Leadership Training Program
The purpose of business training programs is to improve performance, which improved performance changes leadership behaviors based on the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) learned in training. One of the most common criticisms of leadership training is the tendency to focus on teaching theory but not on applying theory into practice, that is, transfer of learning. Research usually ends at the point of identifying, describing, or measuring factors that influence transfer. Ongoing research must identify what constructs in the transfer of learning process should be effectively changed or managed. There is a gap in research on the degree to which performance improvement through KSAs learned in a simulation training program actually transfer to the work environment. Additional research is needed that examines the relationship between transfer of learning and intent to transfer, which are critical outcomes in the field of human resource management and development. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between intent to transfer and four constructs in the transfer of learning process during a simulation-based leadership training program. Participants completed self-report assessments that measured the relationships between intent to transfer and four constructs: ability, motivation, work environment, and learner readiness. A correlational design was administered using a population of mid-level managers in a telecommunications organization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271831/
Secondary Teachers’ Concerns about Response to Intervention: Using the Concerns-Based Adoption Model
This case study addressed the problem of implementing response to intervention (RTI) in general secondary education. To investigate this problem, one north Texas school's RTI implementation was examined using the theoretical framework of the concerns-based adoption model (CBAM) and defining RTI as the innovation. RTI-related practices were studied for 10 secondary teachers, two from each core subject (i.e., mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies) and the fine arts who had been implementing RTI for several years. Data regarding participants' stages of concern about and levels of use of RTI were collected across three time intervals using the three diagnostic instruments of CBAM (i.e., Stages of Concern Questionnaire, Levels of Use interviews, and Innovation Configuration Checklist matrix), behavioral observations during instruction and RTI meetings, and structured exit interviews of participants. Overall, findings indicated that the secondary teachers were at similar stages of concern and levels of use of RTI. Teachers' RTI concerns scores remained highest in the Self phase and lowest in the Impact phase of concern at all three intervals of data collection. As levels of RTI use increased, observed RTI use increased; however, teachers' RTI levels of use scores remained in the early levels of RTI implementation at all three intervals of data collection. Patterns in teachers' responses during exit interviews suggested that contextual factors unique to this setting (e.g., unexpected changes in RTI protocol, priorities of administrative personnel, and demands placed on teachers) may have influenced teachers' concerns about the teacher's role in, the professional development in, and the sustainability of RTI as an innovation. The literature does not currently address secondary teachers' concerns about and levels of use of RTI in relation to CBAM. Therefore, this study not only fills a gap in literature but also has implications for how teachers are trained and supported in implementing and sustaining the practices of consultation and differentiated instruction associated with RTI. This case study provided insight about the importance and value of teachers' participation and knowledge of RTI to facilitate the change process successfully. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271832/
Optimizing Non-pharmaceutical Interventions Using Multi-coaffiliation Networks
Computational modeling is of fundamental significance in mapping possible disease spread, and designing strategies for its mitigation. Conventional contact networks implement the simulation of interactions as random occurrences, presenting public health bodies with a difficult trade off between a realistic model granularity and robust design of intervention strategies. Recently, researchers have been investigating the use of agent-based models (ABMs) to embrace the complexity of real world interactions. At the same time, theoretical approaches provide epidemiologists with general optimization models in which demographics are intrinsically simplified. The emerging study of affiliation networks and co-affiliation networks provide an alternative to such trade off. Co-affiliation networks maintain the realism innate to ABMs while reducing the complexity of contact networks into distinctively smaller k-partite graphs, were each partition represent a dimension of the social model. This dissertation studies the optimization of intervention strategies for infectious diseases, mainly distributed in school systems. First, concepts of synthetic populations and affiliation networks are extended to propose a modified algorithm for the synthetic reconstruction of populations. Second, the definition of multi-coaffiliation networks is presented as the main social model in which risk is quantified and evaluated, thereby obtaining vulnerability indications for each school in the system. Finally, maximization of the mitigation coverage and minimization of the overall cost of intervention strategies are proposed and compared, based on centrality measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271860/
Effects of a Prototypical Training Program on the Implementation of Systematic Observational Data Collection on Iep Objectives for the Core Deficits of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Legal mandates and best practice recommendations for the education of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) emphasize the importance of systematic, ongoing observational data collection in order to monitor progress and demonstrate accountability. The absence of such documentation in decision-making on instructional objectives indicates a weakness in bridging the research-to-practice gap in special education. Utilizing a multiple baseline design across participants, the current study evaluated the effects of a prototypical teacher training program (i.e., workshop, checklist, in-classroom training with feedback, and maintenance with a thinned schedule of feedback) on the frequency of data collection on core deficits of ASD and the use of data-based decision-making. Results indicate increases in daily mean frequency of data collection following intervention. Maintenance and generalization indicates variable responding across participants. Effect size (Cohen's d) indicates a large, clinically significant effect of the training program. Results are discussed in relation to training models, maintenance, and future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271829/
Examination of the Relationship Between Glucuronic Acid and Vascular Damage in Rats
The goal of this experiment was to examine the role of glucuronic acid in the development of vascular damage in the kidneys and retinas of diabetic individuals. Glucuronic acid was provided to rats in their water at various concentrations in order to increase plasma levels of the compound. Kidneys and retinas were excised and compared to control specimens using microscopy to determine the effect of elevated blood glucuronic acid levels on the occurrence of microaneurysms in renal capillary networks. No differences were seen between the treatment and control groups. Further study needs to be conducted to determine a more suitable time frame for this experiment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271866/
Self-regulated Learning Characteristics of Successful Versus Unsuccessful Online Learners in Thailand
The purpose of this study was to identify the existing level of self-regulated learning (SRL) among Thai online learners, to examine the relationship between SRL and academic achievement based on a) course completion and b) course grades, and to investigate differences in SRL as they correlate to demographic factors. A mixed-methods research design with modified MSLQ online surveys and semi-structured interviews was used during the process of data collection. One hundred eighty-eight of the 580 online learners enrolled in the certificate programs of the Thailand Cyber University Project responded to the surveys; 7 of these also participated in the interview process. The findings indicated that Thai online learners reported high levels of SRL characteristics. Independent sample t-test results revealed that successful learners were higher in SRL learning strategies than those who did not succeed the course. Results from multiple regression analyses indicated that critical thinking and time/study environmental management were significant predictors of academic course grade with a small effect size (R2 = .113). Comparison of mean differences revealed that some SRL characteristics were different among demographic subgroups determined by factors including gender, age range, marital status, and Internet use; female reported a significantly higher level of task value than male; younger learners had a significantly higher level of test anxiety than older learners; married learners reported a significantly higher level of self-efficacy and task value than single learners; online learners who had more Internet experience reported a significantly higher level of self-efficacy, metacognitive self-regulation, and time/study environmental management than those who had less Internet experience. In addition, the qualitative findings confirmed that participants reported the use of learning strategies in four categories, with a high number of references to metacognitive self-regulation and elaboration, and a low number of references to critical thinking and time/study environmental management. Furthermore, the qualitative results revealed that Thai online learners used different tools for social and personal activities, communication, and information searching. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271889/
Specter
This dissertation is a collection of poems preceded by a critical preface. The preface considers the major changes within the elegy from the traditional English elegy—the touchstone poems for this genre being Milton's "Lycidas," Shelley's "Adonais," and Tennyson's "In Memoriam"—to the contemporary elegy and argues that many of these changes showcase contemporary elegists' active refusal and reversal of the time-honored traditions of the form. The preface is divided into an introduction and three sections, each of which recognizes and explores one significant alteration—or reversal—to the conventions of the form as established by early English elegists. The first discusses the traditional elegiac tradition of consolation in which the speaker, after displaying a series of emotions in reaction to the death of a loved one, ultimately finds comfort in the knowledge that the deceased lives eternally in heaven. This convention is contrasted with a common contemporary rhetorical movement in which the speaker not only lacks comfort by the end of the poem, but often refuses any kind of consolation, preferring instead to continue his grief. The second recognizes and explores the traditional elegiac tradition in which the speaker, listing the virtues of the beloved, replaces the real, historical person with a symbol which represents what society has lost due to this death. This convention is contrasted against a common contemporary theme in which the speaker, in an attempt to evoke authenticity, portrays the deceased subject not as a romanticized symbol, but as a real human being. The final section discusses the definition of the traditional elegy as a reaction to the literal death of a loved one and contrasts this with the more fluid contemporary understanding of the elegy as a poem about loss—either a literal or metaphorical death—and a poem which need not display conventional aspects of mourning but rather a wide variety of responses to the problem of loss. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271896/
Dialogismo En El Cancionero De Miguel De Unamuno: Dialéctica De La Voz Poética
The present research is centered on Miguel de Unamuno's Songbook which is studied through the prism of the theory of dialogism elaborated by Mikhail Bakhtin. This study overcomes the limitation of Bakhtin's theory which extends solely to narrative genres, and argues that dialogism can also be applied to poetry. In this thesis I seek to rectify the critical oversight of this significant and original work of Unamuno and show that Songbook has panoply of innovative techniques aimed at creating the multiple poetic voices and dialogical interaction. Strong links are established between Bakhtin's theory, Unamuno's aesthetics and the postmodernist episteme of "the death of the author" which heralds the new era of fiction writing. I give a detailed analysis of Songbook's poetry based on Bakhtin's theory and incorporate the pragmalinguistic view of poetic discourse as a communicative act that involves a constant interaction between the addresser and the addressees. I find different types of dialogical expression in accordance with the number and the nature of different addressees at which the poet aims his discourse. This study shows that poetic tools forged by Unamuno are born of the need to express a conflictive inner world that is opposed to any type of dogmatism and monologism. Through the detailed analysis of the poetic discourse of Songbook it is demonstrated that Unamuno's innovations and experimentalism confer him a position of the precursor of postmodernism. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271897/
Middle Voice Construction in Burushaski: From the Perspective of a Native Speaker of the Hunza Dialect
This study is about voice system in Burushaski, focusing especially on the middle voice (MV) construction. It claims that the [dd-] verbal prefix is an overt morphological middle marker for MV constructions, while the [n-] verbal prefix is a morphological marker for passive voice. The data primarily come from the Hunza dialect of Burushaski, but analogous phenomena can be observed in other dialects. This research is based on a corpus of 120 dd-prefix verbs. This research has showed that position {-2} on the verb template is occupied by voice-marker in Burushaski. The author argues that the middle marker is a semantic category of its own and that it is clearly distinguished from the reflexive marker in this language. The analysis of the phenomenon in this study only comes from the dialect of Hunza Burushaski, so a lot of research remains to be done on the other three dialects of Burushaski: Yasin dialect, Nagar dialect and Srinagar dialect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271839/
Investigating Postpartum Depression in Southern Rural Egypt and Effects of Sertraline on Fsh and Lh Gene Expression on Fathead Minnows Using Rt-pcr
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Postpartum depression (PPD) is a major health problem that affects many women worldwide. In Egypt, PPD is neglected despite the expected high prevalence rate among women during the transition period after the Egyptian revolution. This research investigated the prevalence, risk factors, and interventions of postpartum depression in southern rural Egypt. Interviews were conducted with 57 participants recruited from public and private hospitals. Questionnaires and the Arabic version of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale were administered. The prevalence of PPD is 73.7%. PPD is associated with low income and age at childbirth. Most participants regarded screening mothers after childbirth for PPD as effective; in comparison to, antidepressants that were regarded by most participants as ineffective. Women in southern rural Egypt prefer high number of pregnancies, so investigating the influence of sertraline, an antidepressant medication, on female hormones becomes important. In this research, fathead minnows were exposed to 3 and 10 ppb sertraline for 7 days. Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction was used to detect the change in gene expression of the Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Results showed that a down regulation at the 10 ppb was evident on the LH and to a lesser extent on FSH. Our results increased levels of sertraline inhibited GnRH which influenced expression of LH and FSH. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271865/
Drawing Boundaries and Revealing Language Attitudes: Mapping Perceptions of Dialects in Korea
Perceptual dialectology studies have shown that people have strong opinions about the number and placement of dialect regions. There has been relatively little research conducted in this area on Korean, however, with early studies using only short language attitude surveys. To address this gap in research, in the present study, I use the 'draw-­?a-­?map' task to examine perceptions of language variation in Korea. I ask respondents to draw a line around places in Korea where people speak differently and provide names, examples, and comments about the language spoken in those areas. With the resulting data, I use ArcGIS 10.0 software to quantitatively identify, aggregate, and map the most salient dialect areas and categories for subjects' perceptions. I also perform a content analysis of the qualitative data provided by respondents using 'keywords.' During this process, I categorize comments and labels given by respondents to find emerging themes. Finally, I stratify perceptions of respondents by demographic factors, e.g., age, sex, and urbanicity, that have often been found to be important in language variation and change. An analysis of these data suggests that Koreans' perceptions of dialect regions are not necessarily limited by administrative boundaries. In fact, the data reveal not only perceptions of dialect variation unassociated with geographic borders, but they also tap into the way people connect ideas about language and place. Results from this study have implications for language attitudes research, perceptual dialectology methodology, and the relationship between language and place in Korea. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271835/
Solid Lubrication Mechanisms in Laser Deposited Nickel-titanium-carbon Metal Matrix Composites
A Ni/TiC/C metal matrix composite (MMC) has been processed using the laser engineered net shaping (LENS) process from commercially available powders with a Ni-3Ti-20C (atomic %) composition. This processing route produces the in-situ formation of homogeneously distributed eutectic and primary titanium carbide and graphite precipitates throughout the Ni matrix. The composite exhibits promising tribological properties when tested in dry sliding conditions with a low steady state coefficient of friction (CoF) of ~0.1 and lower wear rates in comparison to LENS deposited pure Ni. The as deposited and tribologically worn composite has been characterized using Auger electron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), dual beam focused ion beam SEM (FIB/SEM) serial sectioning and Vickers micro-hardness testing. The evolution of subsurface stress states and precipitate motion during repeated sliding contact has been investigated using finite element analysis (FEA). The results of FIB/SEM serial sectioning, HRTEM, and Auger electron spectroscopy in conjunction with FEA simulations reveal that the improved tribological behavior is due to the in-situ formation of a low interfacial shear strength amorphous carbon tribofilm that is extruded to the surface via refined Ni grain boundaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271864/
First Amendment Constraints of Public School Administrators to Regulate Off-campus Students' Speech in the Technology Age
In a world where students and teachers both rely on technology in the process of education, understanding the constraints of public school administrators to regulate off-campus student's speech is a vital issue. This dissertation focuses on ways to evaluate legal analysis of cases involved in off campus speech. The methodology of legal analysis is used to identify judicial reasoning concerning established legal principles pertaining to the constitutional right of public school students to freedom of expression, and the application of those principles to off-campus student expression delivered by electronic means. This research produces a number of key findings: Many lower court cases have favored with the students unless the school district could prove substantial disruption to the learning environment or a true threat existed due to the off campus speech. In addition, it is crucial for the districts to have concrete policies in place to educate the students about acceptable usage of technology. The main conclusions drawn from this research are that current approaches to punishing students for their offensive off campus speech does not uphold in the courts and administrators must be resilient to speech that may be unpleasant to them. This research also includes several recommendations for administrators such as guidelines on how to write their acceptable usage policy. It also provides a chart with a summary of critical cases of importance to administrators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271894/
Effects of Processing Techniques on Mechanical Properties of Selected Polymers
The mechanical properties of a polymer represent the critical characteristics to be considered when determining the applications for it. The same polymer processed with different methods can exhibit different mechanical properties. The purpose of this study is to investigate the difference in mechanical properties of the selected polymers caused by different processing techniques and conditions. Three polymers were studied, including low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), and NEXPRENE® 1287A. Samples were processed with injection molding and compression molding under different processing condition. Tensile and DMA tests were performed on these samples. The acquired data of strain at break from the tensile tests and storage modulus from the DMA were utilized to calculate brittleness. Calculated brittleness values were used to perform analysis of variance (ANOVA) to investigate the statistical significance of the processing technique and condition. It was found that different processing techniques affect the brittleness significantly. The processing technique is the major factor affecting brittleness of PP and NEXPRENE, and the processing temperature is the major factor affecting brittleness of LDPE. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271805/
Exploring Memristor Based Analog Design in Simscape
With conventional CMOS technologies approaching their scaling limits, researchers are actively investigating alternative technologies for ever increasing computing and mobile demand. A number of different technologies are currently being studied by different research groups. In the last decade, one-dimensional (1D) carbon nanotubes (CNT), graphene, which is a two-dimensional (2D) natural occurring carbon rolled in tubular form, and zero-dimensional (0D) fullerenes have been the subject of intensive research. In 2008, HP Labs announced a ground-breaking fabrication of memristors, the fourth fundamental element postulated by Chua at the University of California, Berkeley in 1971. In the last few years, the memristor has gained a lot of attention from the research community. In-depth studies of the memristor and its analog behavior have convinced the community that it has the potential in future nano-architectures for optimization of high-density memory and neuromorphic computing architectures. The objective of this thesis is to explore memristors for analog and mixed-signal system design using Simscape. This thesis presents a memristor model in the Simscape language. Simscape has been used as it has the potential for modeling large systems. A memristor based programmable oscillator is also presented with simulation results and characterization. In addition, simulation results of different memristor models are presented which are crucial for the detailed understanding of the memristor along with its properties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271817/
Parallels Between the Gaming Experience and Rosenblatt's Reader Response Theory
The world of literacy has expanded alongside technology, and new literacies are being used as an alternative or an addition to traditional text. By including video gaming as literacy, the connection can be made between students' multimodal world outside of school with the world of literacy they encounter in school. This study took two approaches of a content study and a case study. A collective case study was used to examine the gaming experience of participants with three commercial video games falling into three separate genres: Sims FreePlay (simulation); Halo 1 (first person shooter); and World of Warcraft (role playing game). The 15 gamers were placed into three sets of five participants for each video game, and interviews were conducted to explore the gaming experience in relation to stance and transaction, which are major components of Louise Rosenblatt's reader response theory. Limited research has been conducted regarding reader response theory and the new literacies; by using the reader response lens, the gaming experience was compared to the reading experience to add the new literacies to the existing literature on reader response. As a way to look at both the text and the experience, a content study examined three mainstream video games to establish literacy content by using Zimmerman's gaming literacy theory. Even though this theory is useful by detailing elements found in video games and not traditional literature, literary value cannot be fully assessed unless the theory is developed further to include other components or discuss how the depth of the components can relate to literary value. The literature does not currently contain substantial research regarding how to assess the literary value of video games, so this study begins to add to the present literature by demonstrating that at least for these games the presence of the components of the theory can be evaluated. This analysis of both the game and the experience demonstrated substantial parallels between the gaming experience and the reading transaction as well as looking at the viability of using gaming literacy theory to evaluate literacy value. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271890/
Listening to the Freshman Voice: First-year Self-efficacy and College Expectations Based on High School Types
This quantitative study used Astin's I-E-O theory to explore the relationship between a college freshman's high school background and academic self-efficacy. The Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement was used to measure academic self-efficacy across four types of high schools. Student gender and precollege experiences (dual-credit and communication assertiveness) were used as control. A total of 15,400 first-year students were included in this study. An ANOVA was used to examine the differences between groups, and ordinary least-square analysis was used to study the factors that affect academic self-efficacy. Results showed statistically significant difference in academic self-efficacy between public and private religious high school graduates. Specifically, graduates of public high schools had statistically higher academic self-efficacy than graduates of private religious high schools (p < .001). Additionally, females and participants of dual-credit courses also tended to have higher academic self-efficacy. Finally, analysis revealed that a first-year student's communication confidence is highly correlated to their academic self-efficacy. Results confirm in-coming first-year students perceive higher education engagement differently based on traits attributed to their precollege experiences. Results point to criteria colleges may be able to use in identifying freshmen at risk for low academic self-efficacy and, therefore, for problems in retention and degree completion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271863/
The Character of Environmental Citizenship: Virtue Education for Raising Morally Responsible Individuals
Surely, moral education is not merely intended to result in theoretical knowledge, but instead attempts to change people's behavior. However, when examining and evaluating current trends in moral education, it appears that hitherto moral education has fallen short of its goal to make people better. In this paper, I try to determine what has caused this perceived failure of moral education and conclude that approaches that focus on teaching moral reasoning skills rather than on teaching actual moral content, i.e., values and virtues, are generally ineffective for moral improvement. However, a more traditional form of moral education, namely character education, appears to be a viable alternative to the moral reasoning methods. Since character education can be regarded as the practical application of virtue ethics, I first describe and evaluate virtue ethics and defend it against potential criticisms. I then examine what methods are effective for teaching virtues, and how such methods can potentially be incorporated into the curriculum. Since virtues cannot be taught through theoretical instruction, the acquisition of good habits constitutes the necessary foundation for the establishment of good moral character. Some methods that have been suggested for laying the foundation for virtue are the use of stories, role play, as well as the inclusion of physical and outdoor activities, etc. Furthermore, habituation constitutes the basis for the acquisition of good habits, and as such it requires the application of rewards and punishment by a caring tutor, who at the same time can serve as a role model for virtuous behavior. Finally, I extrapolate if and how character education can be employed to make people more environmentally conscious citizens. I conclude that environmental virtue or character education is the most effective method of environmental education, since it affects how an individual understands, views, and subsequently interacts with the natural environment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271857/
Creating Captain America: a Frame Analysis of the Pat Tillman Epic
Pat Tillman—an Arizona Cardinals player who sacrificed everything to serve his country but died in Afghanistan—was initially touted as a true American hero who was killed by enemy fire. In reality, however, the Tillman narrative was based on nothing but military propaganda. This research focused on how mainstream U.S. newspapers used news frames, overall story tone, and news sources before and after the official acknowledgement of the true cause of Tillman's death as fratricide. As hypothesized from C. Wright Mills' "lesser institutions," Antonio Gramsci's hegemony, and Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky's propaganda model, the newspapers generally decreased both direct and indirect references to news frames involving "lesser institutions" (e.g., NFL, Arizona State University) and ideological values (e.g., heroism, patriotism) after the revelation, but they were not critical of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars or the Bush administration at all. In addition, they increased their dependence on official sources and decreased family and friend sources after his cause of death was changed. The results as a whole indicate that in the Tillman saga, the revelation of his true cause of death introduced a significant disruption to the propaganda information system, causing news frames to decrease, but the third filter of the propaganda model—reliance on official sources—was strong enough to overcome that disruptive event and continue to protect the power elite. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271804/
Prek-6 Teachers' Beliefs About Inclusive Practices in the United States and South Korea: Cross Cultural Perspectives
The educational practice known as inclusion, which is based on values of equal opportunity and diversity, enables students with disabilities to attend the same general education classes as typically developing peers. Inclusion is a legal requirement in the United States and South Korea, but factors facilitating inclusion likely differ across countries. The purpose of the study was to examine PreK-6 school teachers' beliefs about inclusive practices in the United States and South Korea and to present a more informed direction for the future of inclusive education in both countries. Seventy-four teachers from the US and 54 from South Korea participated via email for this study employing surveys. Teachers provided their beliefs about inclusion items on the My Thinking About Inclusion (MTAI) scale, a 28-question instrument, and also provided information about their own gender, years of experience, education level, and teaching practices. A statistically significant difference was found between the teachers of the two nations for the full survey scale. The teachers' training area (i.e., general education or special education) in the US was significantly associated with the belief toward inclusion, and special education teachers in both countries were more agreeable to inclusion than general education practitioners were as shown by the MTAI scale. A strong relationship between accommodation and preparedness for disabilities was found. Most of the barrier factors to practicing inclusive education were considered substantial obstacles, but more so for South Korea teachers than US teachers. University coursework was the least preferred method for improving inclusive practices according to teachers in both countries. Based on the outcomes of the two nations' teachers' beliefs about inclusion, the author suggests that supportive practices, including collaboration between educators, professional development, partnerships with parents and families, and peer supports, be implemented within the two countries for the upkeep of inclusive practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271836/
The Hoax
The HOAX is an examination of abusive power and lack of regulation in the homeowners' association industry; a business and quasi-government system whose key selling point is the protection of property values. The documentary follows an investigative reporter, homeowners, and HOA reform activists as they illustrate shocking evidence of financial and psychological hardships throughout Texas and Nevada. A few of these people, including the filmmaker, are the subject of adverse actions from various players in this quasi-governmental system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271822/
Motivating Factors for Philanthropy at a Ministry Preparation Graduate Institution
A qualitative case study was conducted to determine whether major donors to an institution of higher education that existed to prepare ministers and missionaries were perceived by the institution's leaders as motivated by organizational effectiveness, financial efficiency, or evaluations by donor watchdog agencies. The case study was conducted with the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics. The interview process was utilized to gain information individually from the president, a development consultant, an academic dean, and a former development director. Each participant was asked a series of 19 questions during the interview process. The results indicated that the leaders perceived that organizational effectiveness was a philanthropic motivator for major donors and measured it by the accomplishments of those who were trained at the institution. The results also indicated that the ministry preparation institution's leaders perceived financial efficiency to provide philanthropic motivation to major donors, though to a lesser degree than organizational effectiveness, and measured it by stewardship of funds. The results further indicated that the ministry preparation institution's leaders perceived that donor watchdog agency evaluations, specifically those of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar, provided philanthropic motivation for major donors. Additional research recommendations included studying how to report about organizational effectiveness in a manner meeting the needs of major donors and what motivates major donors of other education and nonprofit organizations, organizational effectiveness and/or financial efficiency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271886/
Home Literacy Practices in Diverse Families: Parental Involvement in Kindergarten Children's Literacy Development
Although prior research has shown that parental involvement positively affects a child's literacy development, attention should also be directed to the factors that keep parents from being involved in their children's education. The study reported in this dissertation examined five factors: socioeconomic status, level of education, employment, culture, and language that may be influential in parental assistance of their children's literacy development in the home. The data sources for this investigation included interview responses and a demographic survey. Data from 17 parents, each from a different household, and each with a child in kindergarten were obtained and used for the study. For analyses of these data, content analysis was used to identify similar themes among the interview responses and the demographic survey. Results indicated the following: (1) the time parents spent assisting their child with literacy activities was affected by long work hours, (2) parents with a yearly income of $25,000 or less were unable to provide additional literacy materials for their children, (3) lack of multicultural literature caused culturally diverse parents to feel devalued, and (4) parents who did not speak English fluently lacked the strategies to assist their children in completing English literacy homework. The findings suggest there are significant factors in the home environment that impact the quality and amount of literacy activities that parents provide for their children. In order for teachers to support parents in providing for their children's literacy development, they need to be aware of these factors. In addition, teachers should be culturally sensitive by including multicultural literature in the curriculum. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271820/
Seeking Information After the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: a Case Study in Mass-fatality Management
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which killed an estimated 316,000 people, offered many lessons in mass-fatality management (MFM). The dissertation defined MFM in seeking information and in recovery, preservation, identification, and disposition of human remains. Specifically, it examined how mass fatalities were managed in Haiti, how affected individuals sought information about fatalities, and what needs motivated them. Data from 28 in-depth, partially structured interviews, conducted during two field visits ending 21 weeks after the earthquake, were included in a case study. The data analysis revealed the MFM was severely inadequate. One interviewee, a senior UN official, stated, "There was no fatality management." The analysis also indicated a need to learn whereabouts of the deceased motivated individuals to visit spots the deceased were last seen at. It sought to illumine information-seeking practices, as discussed in the works of J. David Johnson and others, by developing a new model of information flow in MFM. In addition, it reaffirmed Donald Case and Thomas Wilson's theoretical proposition – that need guides any seeking of information – in the case of Haiti. Finally, it produced recommendations regarding future directions in MFM for emergency managers and information scientists, including possible use of unidentified body parts in organ transplants. Overall, the dissertation, which was supported by two grants of the National Science Foundation, attempted to add to relatively scanty literature in information seeking in MFM. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271823/
The Impact of a Community College Teacher Education Program on the Success Rate of Minority Teacher Certification Students
The relationship between the mission of community colleges and the increasing teacher shortage has become more transparent as many community colleges have implemented teacher education programs to address community needs, the shortage of qualified teachers, and the lack of diversity among teachers. As the community college's teacher education role has increased, many community colleges have responded by adding associate of arts degrees and certificate programs specific to teacher education to tackle the shortage of teachers and the lack of diversity among teachers in the nation's classrooms. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of one community college's pre-service teacher education program in transferring minority students to a university teacher education program and the likelihood of the students graduating with both bachelor's degrees and teacher certification. This longitudinal ex post facto causal-comparative mixed methods case study involved tracking a cohort of minority students over a 6-year period. Data were gathered from existing teacher education program records for native and transfer students at one community college and two four-year institutions. Unstructured interviews were conducted with administrators over the community college's program. For data analysis, ?2 and Phi Coefficients were conducted to compare the minority students' university transfer and graduation rates to native university students' transfer and graduation rates. Results of the study demonstrated that the minority students were graduating at an observably higher rate than both the native to university students and their respective ethnic peers who began college at two-year colleges at the national level. This study's findings might help community college teacher education programs to increase enrollments of minority students and to address the needs of surrounding communities. The findings contributed to the relatively scarce literature regarding minority teacher preparation in community colleges. The study's findings might also be useful to community colleges looking toward or already implementing similar pre-service teacher education programs. Overall, the results indicated that pre-service teacher education programs at the community college level can be effective at producing transfer students who successfully graduate from four-year teacher education programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271877/
Automated Treetop Detection and Tree Crown Identification Using Discrete-return Lidar Data
Accurate estimates of tree and forest biomass are essential for a wide range of applications. Automated treetop detection and tree crown discrimination using LiDAR data can greatly facilitate forest biomass estimation. Previous work has focused on homogenous or single-species forests, while few studies have focused on mixed forests. In this study, a new method for treetop detection is proposed in which the treetop is the cluster center of selected points rather than the highest point. Based on treetop detection, tree crowns are discriminated through comparison of three-dimensional shape signatures. The methods are first tested using simulated LiDAR point clouds for trees, and then applied to real LiDAR data from the Soquel Demonstration State Forest, California, USA. Results from both simulated and real LiDAR data show that the proposed method has great potential for effective detection of treetops and discrimination of tree crowns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271858/
Student Engagement As a Predictor of Intent to Persist Among Latino Students at Community Colleges in Texas
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of student-faculty interactions, student-staff interactions, and student-peer interactions of Latino students to their intent to persist toward graduation in community colleges in Texas. Parental educational level (for both mother and father), first generation status, gender, and English as a second language served as additional predictor variables. The existing data used for this investigation were collected by the Center for Community College Student Engagement and included longitudinal data from the years 2012, 2011, and 2010. Data from 12,488 randomly selected Latino students enrolled in Texas community colleges were obtained and used for the study. The research design method was non-experimental using extant data. To assess the relationships between student engagement variables and Latino student intent to persist, correlations and logistic regression were used. Though no relationship was found between intent to persist and student-faculty interactions (r = -.017, p = .066, n= 11,824) or student peer interactions, (r = -.012, p = .208, n = 11,766), a positive relationship was found between intent to persist and student-staff interaction (r = .048, p = .000, n = 10,794) with an extremely small effect size (r2 = .002). Among the variables of parental level of education, first generation college student status, gender, and English as a second language status, only mother's educational level emerged as a significant predictor for intent to persist, R2 = .048, ?2 (8, N = 7,862) = 62.606, p < .0001. The findings suggest the possibility that staff availability and accessibility is important for Latino student persistence. In order to retain Latino community college students, knowledgeable staff able to facilitate students' successful navigation of the educational system is recommended to be a part of the community college's student success strategies. In addition the findings regarding parental education indicate that community colleges would be well advised to offer programs that engage and include parents as students proceed toward achieving their academic goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271803/
Genetic Interest Assessment
Genetics is becoming increasingly integrated into peoples' lives. Different measures have been taken to try and better genetics education. This thesis examined undergraduate students at the University of North Texas not majoring in the life sciences interest in genetic concepts through the means of a Likert style survey. ANOVA analysis showed there was variation amongst the interest level in different genetic concepts. In addition age and lecture were also analyzed as contributing factors to students' interest. Both age and lecture were evaluated to see if they contributed to the interest of students in genetic concepts and neither showed statistical significance. The Genetic Interest Assessment (GIA) serves to help mediate the gap between genetic curriculum and students' interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271807/
Using a Multimodal Sensing Approach to Characterize Human Responses to Affective and Deceptive States
Different ways to measure human affective and deceptive reactions to stimulus have been developed. One method is a multimodal approach using web camera, thermal imaging camera and physiological sensors data to extract different features in the human face (verbal and non-verbal behavior) such as breathing rate, heart rate, face temperature, skin conductance, eye tracking, language analysis and facial expressions among others. Human subjects from different ages and ethnicity were exposed to two different experiments were they watched videos (affection recognition) and others answered an interview session (deception recognition). With the data collected from videos (thermal and visual), different regions of interest (ROI) of the face were selected as well as the whole picture. The ROI were determined based on the most sensitive parts of the face where larger changes of temperature or other physiological features are recorded. It was also analyzed the language (written and spoken) in order to obtain the verbal modalities. The data has been compared among the subjects to determine whether the deceptive and affective reactions of a person can be predicted using multimodal approach. From the multiple data obtained, a characterization of reactions is proposed when subjects are exposed to different stimulus, positive or negative, as well as deceptive behavior and later on recognize if the person is happy, sad, nervous, anxious, telling the truth, lying etc. Using the multimodal approach we were able to predict automatically, with higher accuracy than the baseline, affective and deceptive states of a person. In the affective state recognition, the classifier software differentiated affective state versus neutral state with 92.85% accuracy. Then it differentiated Positive State, Negative State and Neutral State with 57.14% accuracy. Additionally, it differentiated Positive State versus Negative State with 73.21% accuracy. Finally, the classifier was able to predict Deceptive State (people lying) and Non Deceptive State (people telling the truth) with 72.72% accuracy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271869/
Arvo Pärt and Three Types of His Tintinnabuli Technique
Arvo Pärt, an Estonian composer, was born in 1935. Most of the works at the beginning of his career were for piano in the neo-classical style. After that, he turned his interest to serial music and continued creating works with serial techniques throughout the 1960s. After his "self-imposed silence" period (during the years 1968-1976), Pärt emerged with a new musical style, which he called tintinnabuli. Although, this technique was influenced by music from the medieval period, the texture and function of its musical style cannot be described easily in terms of any single musical technique of the past. This study explores the evolution of Arvo Pärt's tintinnabuli technique in its first decade 1976-1985, which is divided into three different types. It provides musical examples from the scores of selected works, Für Alina, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Cantate Domino canticum novum, Missa Sillabica, Stabat Mater and Es sang vor langen Jahren, and their analyses with supporting interpretative sketches. The goal of this thesis is to provide the reader a basis for understanding and recognizing the different types of Pärt's tintinnabuli technique. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271844/
Accomplished Teachers' Instructional Decisions About Shakespeare
Teachers' decisions are a powerful influence on student learning and it is important to fully document accomplished teachers' instructional decisions, as well as to investigate possible influences on those decisions. Shakespearean dramas are central to high school curricula across the U.S. and pose particular instructional challenges, therefore teachers' decisions about teaching these texts are of particular interest. There is limited empirical research, however, about these instructional decisions. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe how four accomplished high school English teachers working on a single campus make instructional decisions about teaching a Shakespearean play. Specifically, research questions addressed teachers' decisions regarding the teaching of a Shakespearean play and various influences on those decisions (self-reports and inferences from the data). Case study methodology was used, including an inductive analysis of individual teacher interviews, classroom observations, focus group, instructional artifacts, and researcher's journal. The findings revealed that instructional activities described by these teachers addressed support for meaning-making during four stages of reading instruction: (a) before, during, and after; (b) before; (c) during; and (d) after. Comparison of these cases suggests that, although each teacher brings personal preferences and unique background knowledge to her instructional decisions, all make decisions to promote student engagement and student construction of meaning. Regarding influences on these teachers' decisions about teaching the Shakespearean play, four categories were identified: (a) response to students; (b) aspects of the text; (c) response to contextual constraints and supports; and (d) personal preferences and background experiences. Individual teacher differences are clearly a strong influence, even among this group of colleagues on the same campus. Also, two influences not reported explicitly by the teachers suggest a complex integration of these influences. One is their intuitive thinking, which deserves a closer investigation in future research. The other proposes that each teacher's decisions are influenced by her instructional interaction working model (IIWM), a conceptual framework that shapes each teacher's conversational patterns, non-verbal behaviors, and other interactional patterns. Further research should explore the use of such a model to describe and explain the complexity of teachers' decisions, particularly when teaching complex, challenging tasks and texts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271873/
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