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 Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Return-Entry Risk Communication Following 2012 Hurricane Sandy
Within risk communication, much is understood about pre-event warning related to evacuation and sheltering; however risk communication during the return-entry phase when ending evacuations has been largely under-studied in the disaster literature. Understanding of the return-entry risk communication process is important because returning early or prior to issuance of the all-clear message can make returnees susceptible to post-disaster risks, and also hamper post-disaster activities such as debris removal, traffic management, utility restoration and damage assessments. Guided by the Warning Components Framework and the Theory of Motivated Information Management, this dissertation focuses on risk communication as it pertains to organizational behavior during the return-entry process by examining how local emergency management organizations develop, disseminate and monitor return-entry messages. The data is collected through semi-structured telephone interviews with local emergency management organizations that managed return-entry following Hurricane Sandy. The findings of the study indicate that local emergency management organizations required information on post-disaster threats, damages, and utility and infrastructure condition in order to develop return-entry strategy for their community. Organizations improvised to their existing risk communication measures by adopting creative ways for information dissemination to the evacuees. They also utilized active and passive approach to monitor public response to the return-entry messages. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848209/
Evaluating a Sustainable Community Development Initiative Among the Lakota People on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
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This thesis details my applied thesis project and experience in the evaluation of a workforce development through sustainable constructio program. It describes the need of my client, Sweet Grass Consulting and their contractual partner, the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, in the evaluation of Thunder Valley CDC's Workforce Development through Sustainable Construction Program. My role involved the development of an extensive evaluation package for this program and data analysis of evaluation materials to support Thunder Valley CDC's grant-funded Workforce Development Program. I place the efforts of Thunder Valley CDC in the context of their community, the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Lakota People, and within an historical and contemporary context to highlight the implications of the efforts of Thunder Valley CDC. Using the theoretical frameworks of cultural revitalization and community economic development, I attempt to highlight two important components of Thunder Valley CDC's community development efforts - cultural revitalization for social healing, and development that emphasizes social, community and individual well-being. Thunder Valley CDC's Workforce Development through Sustainable Construction Program is still in its early stages, and so this first year of implementation very much represented a pilot phase. However, while specific successes are difficult to measure at this point, general successes are viewable in the daily operations of Thunder Valley CDC that examplify their stated mision and goals. These successes include initiatives that holistically address community needs; relevancy in the eyes of the community they serve; support for the community and for Program participants' unique challenges; and a cultural restoration and revitalization emphasis that underlies and strengthens all of this. The program thus has the potential to provide a model for community development by challenging dominant "development" paradigms and utilizing community resources and assets for community development that reflects the community's values and worldviews. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848222/
Measuring Culture of Innovation: A Validation Study of the Innovation Quotient Instrument
The ability for an organization to innovate has become one of the most important capabilities needed in the new knowledge economy. The research has demonstrated that an organization’s culture of innovation in particular predicts organizational innovativeness across multiple industries. To provide support to these organizations in their abilities to understand the culture of innovation, researchers have developed instruments to measure culture of innovation, and while many of these instruments have been widely used to inform organizational opportunities for improvement, few of these instruments have been validated or replicated beyond their initial use. The current study employs multiple factor analytic methods to validate the factor structure of the Innovation Quotient instrument developed by Rao and Weintraub and assess the extent to which the instrument is reliable for multiple organizational groups. The results of this study, as well as implications for researchers interested in culture of innovation, are presented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848105/
Single Notch versus Multi Notch Credit Rating Changes and the Business Cycle
Issuers’ credit ratings change by one or more notches when credit rating agencies provide new ratings. Unique to the literature, I study the influences affecting multi notch versus single notch rating upgrades and downgrades. For Standard & Poors data, I show that rating changes with multiple notches provide more information to the market than single notch rating changes. Consistent with prior literature on the business cycle, I show that investors value good news rating changes (upgrades) more in bad times (recession) and that investors value bad news rating changes (downgrades) more in good times (expansion). I model and test probit models using variables capturing the characteristics of the previous issuer’s credit rating, liquidity, solvency, profitability, and growth opportunity to determine the classification of single notch versus multi notch rating changes. The determinants of multi notch versus single notch rating changes for upgrades and downgrades differ. Business cycle influences are evident. Firms that have multi notch rating upgrades and downgrades have significantly different probit variables vis-à-vis firms that have single notch rating upgrades and downgrades. The important characteristics for determining multiple notch upgrades are a firm’s prior rating change, prior rating, cash flow, total assets and market value. The important characteristics for determining multiple notch downgrades are a firm’s prior rating change, prior rating, current ratio, interest coverage, total debt, operating margin, market to book ratio, capital expenditure, total assets, market value, and market beta. The variables that differ for multi notch upgrades in recessions are cash flow, net income, operating margin, market to book ratio, total assets, and retained earnings. The variables that differ for multi notch downgrades in expansions are a firm’s prior rating change, current ratio, interest coverage ratio, debt ratio, total debt, capital expenditure and market beta. The power of the explanatory tests improves when the stage of the business cycle is considered. Results are robust to consideration of rating changes across rating categories, changes from probit to logit, alternative specifications of accounting variables, lags and leads of recessions and expansions timing, Fama and French industry adjustments, and winsorization levels of variables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848118/
The Limits of Arbitrage and Stock Mispricing: Evidence from Decomposing Market to Book Ratio
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of the "limits of arbitrage" on securities mispricing. Specifically, I investigate the effect of the availability of substitutes and financial constraints on stock mispricing. In addition, this study investigates the difference in the limits of arbitrage, in the sense that it will lead to lower mispricing for these stocks, relative to non-S&P 500 stocks. I also examine if the lower mispricing can be attributed to their lower limits of arbitrage. Modern finance theory and efficient market hypothesis suggest that security prices, at equilibrium, should reflect their fundamental value. If the market price deviates from the intrinsic value, then a risk-free profit opportunity has emerged and arbitrageurs will eliminate mispricing and equilibrium is restored. This arbitrage process is characterized by large number of arbitrageurs which have infinite access to capital. However, a better description of reality is that there are few numbers of arbitrageurs to the extent that they are highly specialized; and they have limited access to capital. Under these condition arbitrage is no more a risk-free activity and can be limited by several factors such as arbitrage risk and transaction costs. Other factors that are discussed in the literature are availability of substitutes and financial constraints. The former arises as a result of the specialization of arbitrageurs in the market in which they operate, while the latter arises as a result of the separation between arbitrageurs and capital. In this dissertation, I develop a measure of the availability of substitutes that is based on the propensity scores obtained from propensity score matching technique. In addition, I use the absolute value of skewness of returns as a proxy of financial constraints. Previous studies used the limits of arbitrage framework to explain pricing puzzles such as the closed-end fund discounts. However, closed-end fund discounts are highly affected by uncertainty of managerial ability and agency problems. This study overcomes this problem by studying the effect of limits of arbitrage on publicly traded securities. The results show that there is a significant relationship between proxies of limits of arbitrage and firm specific mispricing. More importantly, empirical results indicate that stocks that have no close substitutes have higher mispricing. In addition, stocks that have high skewness show higher mispricing. Subsequent studies show that the S&P 500 stocks have different levels of liquidity, analysts’ coverage and volatility. These characteristics affect the ability of arbitrageurs to eliminate mispricing. Preliminary univariate tests show that S&P 500 stocks have, on average, lower mispricing and limits of arbitrage relative to non-S&P 500 stocks. In addition, the multivariate test shows that S&P 500 members have, on average, lower mispricing relative to non-S&P 500 stocks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848132/
Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Diffraction of Nickel-Titanium Shape Memory Alloy Wires during Mechanical Deformation
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Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are a new generation material which exhibits unique nonlinear deformations due to a phase transformation which allows it to return to its original shape after removal of stress or a change in temperature. It shows a shape memory effect (martensitic condition) and pseudoelasticity (austenitic condition) properties depends on various heat treatment conditions. The reason for these properties depends on phase transformation through temperature changes or applied stress. Many technological applications of austenite SMAs involve cyclical mechanical loading and unloading in order to take advantage of pseudoelasticity, but are limited due to poor fatigue life. In this thesis, I investigated two important mechanical feature to fatigue behavior in pseudoelastic NiTi SMA wires using high energy synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction (SR-XRD). The first of these involved simple bending and the second of these involved relaxation during compression loading. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was performed to identify the phase transformation temperatures. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images were collected for the initial condition of the NiTi SMA wires and during simple bending, SEM revealed that micro-cracks in compression regions of the wire propagate with increasing bend angle, while tensile regions tend to not exhibit crack propagation. SR-XRD patterns were analyzed to study the phase transformation and investigate micromechanical properties. By observing the various diffraction peaks such as the austenite (200) and the martensite (100), (110), and (101) planes, intensities and residual strain values exhibit strong anisotropy depending upon whether the sample is in compression or tension during simple bending. This research provides insight into two specific mechanical features in pseudoelastic NiTi SMA wires. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848138/
Taking the Irish Pulse: A Revitalization Study of the Irish Language
This thesis argues that Irish can and should be revitalized. Conducted as an observational study, this thesis focuses on interviews with 72 participants during the summer of 2013. All participants live in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. This thesis investigates what has caused the Irish language to lose power and prestige over the centuries, and which Irish language revitalization efforts have been successful. Findings show that although, all-Irish schools have had a substantial growth rate since 1972, when the schools were founded, the majority of Irish students still get their education through English-medium schools. This study concludes that Irish will survive and grow in the numbers of fluent Irish speakers; however, the government will need to further support the growth of the all-Irish schools. In conclusion, the Irish communities must take control of the promotion of the Irish language, and intergenerational transmission must take place between parents and their children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848143/
The Effects of Programmed Reinforcment and Chained Mastery Criteria on Yoga Pose Performance in Two Young Children with Autism
Community exercise can offer many benefits for children, including the opportunity to engage in physical activity and interact with peers in a social setting. Children with autism do not engage in as many community activities as their typical peers. This study examines conditions to teach young children to complete yoga poses to mastery. The effects of prompting, programmed reinforcers, and a chaining criteria were evaluated using a comparison design with two baselines and one intervention condition, replicated across two children with autism. Both children mastered performance of all four targeted yoga poses. The findings are discussed in the context of previous research on the benefits of yoga. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848146/
Acceptance Theories for Behavior in Conducting Research: Instructors in the Rajabhat University System, Thailand
Responding to globalization and its effects on education and research development, the Thai government decided to push all public universities to become autonomous and establish a system of quality assurances. The establishment of quality assurances has had a large impact on many Thai instructors, especially in new public universities. Thai instructors are now forced to more focus on conducting research because the number of research publications is regarded as one of the main criteria for quality universities. The purpose of this study is to investigate the key factors, at the individual and university levels, which impact on the instructors' behavior in conducting research of the full-time instructors in the faculty of Management Science from the Rajabhat Universities in Thailand. The current study will help explain how and why the instructors accept or refuse to conduct research and provide insight into the salient factors motivating the instructors to produce more research by conducting HLM. Data were collected from 694 participants at 37 institutions via a questionnaire survey. The findings revealed that there was no difference among these 37 universities on behavior in conducting research. The key factors statistically influencing behavior in conducting research of the instructors were facilitating conditions, academic degree, social influence, and usefulness as well as ease of conducting research that the instructors perceived. This study gained 46% of effect size. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848155/
Oral History of Bonton and Ideal Neighborhoods in Dallas, Texas
The Bonton and Ideal neighborhoods in Dallas Texas, developed in the early 1900s, experienced physical and social decay throughout the 1980s. Neighborhood organizations and resident activism were vital to the rebirth of the community in the 1990s. Current revitalization efforts taking place there have been a source of contention as the neighborhood continues to overcome inequalities created by decades of racialized city planning initiatives. This thesis focuses on how the structuring structure of whiteness has historically affected, and continues to affect, the neighborhoods of Ideal and Bonton, as well as acts to identify how black residents have navigated their landscape and increased their collective capital through neighborhood activism. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848166/
Modeling the Role of Boundary Spanners-in-Practice in the Nondeterministic Model of Engineering Design Activity
Boundary spanners-in-practice are individuals who inhabit more than one social world and bring overlapping place perspectives to bear on the function(s) performed within and across each world. Different from nominated boundary spanners, they are practitioners responsible for the 'translation' of each small world's perspectives thereby increasing collaboration effectiveness to permit the small worlds to work synergistically. The literature on Knowledge Management (KM) has emphasized the organizational importance of individuals performing boundary spanning roles by resolving cross-cultural and cross-organizational knowledge system conflicts helping teams pursue common goals through creation of "joint fields" - a third dimension that is co-jointly developed between the two fields or dimensions that the boundary spanner works to bridge. The Copeland and O'Connor Nondeterministic Model of Engineering Design Activity was utilized as the foundation to develop models of communication mechanics and dynamics when multiple simultaneous interactions of the single nondeterministic user model, the BSIP and two Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), engage during design activity in the Problem-Solving Space. The Problem-Solving Space defines the path through the volumes of plausible answers or 'solution spaces' that will satisfice the problem presented to the BSIP and SMEs. Further model refinement was performed to represent expertise seeking behaviors and the physical and mental models constructed by boundary spanners-in-practice during knowledge domain mapping. This was performed by mapping the three levels of communication complexity (transfer, translation and transformation) to each knowledge boundary (syntactic, semantic and pragmatic) that must be bridged during knowledge domain mapping. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848187/
Social Participation and Depression among Elderly People in Greece
The researcher had two objectives: first, explore how social involvement changes by age among Greek elderly, and second, examine the relationship between social involvement and depression by age among study participants, controlled for education, marital status, and gender. The researcher used data from the 2004 Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) database subjecting a sample of 2,898 elderly aged 50 or older to analysis in terms of the study questions. Approximately 43% of the participants (n = 1,244) were males and 57% were females (n = 1,654). Study results showed Greek elderly participated more in religious activities and less in non-religious activities with increasing age. The study results showed the level of education did not have an effect on the level of religious or non-religious participation. Marital status could influence Greeks’ tendency to participate in religious activities, however, it did not have an effect on non-religious participation. Women are more likely to participate in religious activities than the men. The gender of the participants did not have an effect on non-religious participation. Older Greek elderly were more likely to be depressed than the younger elderly. Participation in religious activities was not shown to relate to decreasing the risk of depressive symptoms; while participation in non-religious activities increased it. Further elaboration showed that caring for family increased the risk of depressive symptoms. Participation in other non-religious activities did not show significant relationships to depressive symptoms. The study findings imply those caring for others are in need of social and mental health support services; and the quality of available social activities need significant improvement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848194/
Megachurches and Economic Development: A Theoretical Understanding of Church Involvement at the Local Level
Why do megachurches participate in economic development, and who benefits from their participation? Frumkin's framework for understanding nonprofit and voluntary action and extra-role behavior are theories tested to answer these questions. My research employs a mixed-methods research design conducted in two phases. In phase one, I analyze 42 responses to an online survey to provide data about the prevalence and nature of economic development activities offered by megachurches in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Phase two involved 23 semi-structured telephone interviews with megachurch leadership to provide data that explains the rationale for why megachurches offer economic development activities and who benefits. Evidence from this research demonstrates that megachurches are participating in economic development for reasons consistent with both demand-side and supply-side arguments. Findings also show that megachurches take on extra-role behaviors for in response to community expectations and the values of members and staff. Implications for understanding partnership decisions and collaborations between faith-based organizations and local governments are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848127/
Female Friendship Films: A Post-Feminist Examination of Representations of Women in the Fashion Industry
This thesis focuses on three fashion industry themed female friendship films: Pret-a-Porter/Ready to Wear (1994) by Robert Altman, The Devil Wears Prada (2006) by David Frankel, and The September Issue (2009) by R.J. Cutler. Female interpersonal relationships are complex – women often work to motivate, encourage and transform one another but can just as easily use tactics like intimidation, manipulation, and exploitation in order to save their own jobs and reputations. Through the lens of post-feminist theory, this thesis examines significant female interpersonal relationships in each film to illustrate how femininity is constructed and driven by consumer culture in the fashion industry themed films. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848090/
A Re-examination of the Dilution of Auditor Misstatement Risk Assessments: An Experimental Study of the Impact of Client Information Type, Workload, and PCAOB Guidance on Dilution
Many external parties such as investors, creditors, and regulatory agencies, use a company’s financial statements in their decision-making. In doing so, they rely on audit opinions on whether financial statements are fairly stated. However, evidence suggests that there are factors in the audit environment that influence auditor judgments. For example, nondiagnostic client information dilutes auditor judgments when compared to judgments based on diagnostic information alone, especially for less experienced auditors (Hackenbrack 1992; Hoffman and Patton 1997; Glover 1994; Shelton 1999). High time pressure conditions mitigate this effect by refocusing auditor attention toward relevant client information, therefore reducing the impact of nondiagnostic information (Glover 1994, 1997). This research study examines other common audit environment factors to determine if they too influence audit judgment results. An online questionnaire of 149 auditors, CPAs and other accounting professionals indicate that the inclusion of nondiagnostic client information results in a significant change in auditor judgments. The direction of this change follows a theorized pattern; risk assessments that were initially high are reduced, while those that were initially low are increased. Significance was not consistently found for a workload and PCAOB effect on auditor judgment. However, a comparison of the absolute value of dilution effect means across conditions reveals some trending for the proposed unwanted effect of high workload, and the beneficial effect of PCAOB guidance. These results have important implications for auditing research and practice. It extends previous archival research on workload effects and uses a unique questionnaire design to reexamine workload pressures in a behavioral setting. The results of hypothesis testing on workload pressure and PCAOB guidance, although lacking consistent statistical significance; exhibit trends that agree with proposed theoretical relationships. Tests on the effects of nondiagnostic information show strong statistical support for previous studies in the area of psychology and audit. This study’s greatest contribution suggests that audit pressures do not produce equivalent effects on auditor judgment; time pressure improves audit judgment, while workload pressure does not (Glover 1994, 1997). These results can be explained by examining the relationship between stress and audit judgment performance (Choo 1995, Yerkes and Dodson 1908). Different types and different degrees of audit pressures may correspond to different levels of audit pressure. Low to moderate levels of audit pressure, such as the level of time pressure used in Glover’s (1994, 1997) study improve audit performance. Higher audit pressures, such as high workload during an auditor’s busy season, may lower audit performance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848096/
Do contingency-conflicting elements drop out of equivalence classes? Re-testing Sidman's (2000) theory
Sidman's (2000) theory of stimulus equivalence states that all positive elements in a reinforcement contingency enter an equivalence class. The theory also states that if an element from an equivalence class conflicts with a programmed reinforcement contingency, the conflicting element will drop out of the equivalence class. Minster et al. (2006) found evidence suggesting that a conflicting element does not drop out of an equivalence class. In an effort to explain maintained accuracy on programmed reinforcement contingencies, the authors seem to suggest that participants will behave in accordance with a particular partitioning of the equivalence class which continues to include the conflicting element. This hypothesis seems to explain their data well, but their particular procedures are not a good test of the notion of "dropping out" due to the pre-establishment of equivalence classes before the conflicting member entered the class. The current experiment first developed unpartitioned equivalence classes and only later exposed participants to reinforcement contingencies that conflicted with pre-established equivalence classes. The results are consistent with the notion that a partition developed such that the conflicting element had dropped out of certain subclasses of the original equivalence class. The notion of a partitioning of an equivalence class seems to provide a fuller description of the phenomenon Sidman (1994, 2000) described as "dropping out" of an equivalence class. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848078/
Competing Models of Hegemonic Masculinity in English Civil War Memoirs by Women
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This thesis examines the descriptions of Royalist and Parliamentarian masculinity in English Civil War memoirs by women through a close reading of three biographical memoirs written by Margaret Cavendish, duchess of Newcastle; Lady Ann Fanshawe; and Lucy Hutchinson. Descriptions of masculinity are evaluated through the lens of Raewyn Connell's theory of hegemonic masculinity to understand the impact two competing models of masculinity had on the social and political culture of the period. The prevailing Parliamentarian hegemonic masculinity in English Civil War memoirs is traced to its origins before the English Civil War to demonstrate how hegemonic masculinity changes over time. The thesis argues that these memoirs provide evidence of two competing models of Royalist and Parliamentarian masculinities during the Civil War that date back to changes in the Puritan meaning of the phrase “man of merit”, which influenced the development of a Parliamentarian model of masculinity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc848084/
Creating Community in Isolation: the History of Corpus Christi’s Molina Addition, 1954-1970
“Creating Community in Isolation: The History of Corpus Christi’s Molina Addition, 1954-1970” examines the history of the Molina Addition in Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas, and its serving district, the West Oso Independent School District, from 1954 to 1970. Specifically, this essay begins with an analysis of the elite-driven campaign to annex the blighted Molina Addition in September and October 1954. The city intended to raze the neighborhood and develop middle-class homes in place of the newly annexed neighborhood. Following the annexation of the Molina Addition, African American and ethnic Mexican residents initiated protracted struggles to desegregate and integrate schools that served their area, the West Oso Independent School District, as detailed in the chapter, “The West Oso School Board Revolution.” The chapter examines the electoral “revolution” in which Anglo rural elites were unseated from their positions on the school board and replaced by African American and ethnic Mexican Molina Addition residents. The third chapter, “Building Mo-Town, Texas,” focuses on residents’ struggle to install indoor plumbing, eliminate pit privies, construct paved roads, and introduce War on Poverty grants to rehabilitate the neighborhood. This chapter also offers a glimpse into the social life of Molina youth during the 1960s. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822818/
“No Paper Cowboys”: Stories
Equilibrium is paramount in the crafting of a story, and for every writer this sense of balance is different. The writer must manage a balance of showing and telling, of denotation and connotation, and forever strive to find the perfect word in both the denotative and connotative sense, so that the reader and writer can meeting in a living story—both in the ink on the page and the remaining white space. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822819/
Nonlinear and Quantum Optics Near Nanoparticles
We study the behavior of electric fields in and around dielectric and metal nanoparticles, and prepare the ground for their applications to a variety of systems viz. photovoltaics, imaging and detection techniques, and molecular spectroscopy. We exploit the property of nanoparticles being able to focus the radiation field into small regions and study some of the interesting nonlinear, and quantum coherence and interference phenomena near them. The traditional approach to study the nonlinear light-matter interactions involves the use of the slowly varying amplitude approximation (SVAA) as it simplifies the theoretical analysis. However, SVVA cannot be used for systems which are of the order of the wavelength of the light. We use the exact solutions of the Maxwell's equations to obtain the fields created due to metal and dielectric nanoparticles, and study nonlinear and quantum optical phenomena near these nanoparticles. We begin with the theoretical description of the electromagnetic fields created due to the nonlinear wavemixing process, namely, second-order nonlinearity in an nonlinear sphere. The phase-matching condition has been revisited in such particles and we found that it is not satisfied in the sphere. We have suggested a way to obtain optimal conditions for any type and size of material medium. We have also studied the modifications of the electromagnetic fields in a collection of nanoparticles due to strong near field nonlinear interactions using the generalized Mie theory for the case of many particles applicable in photovoltaics (PV). We also consider quantum coherence phenomena such as modification of dark states, stimulated Raman adiabatic passage (STIRAP), optical pumping in $4$-level atoms near nanoparticles by using rotating wave approximation to describe the Hamiltonian of the atomic system. We also considered the behavior of atomic and the averaged atomic polarization in $7$-level atoms near nanoparticles. This could be used as a prototype to study any $n-$level atomic system experimentally in the presence of ensembles of quantum emitters. In the last chapter, we suggested a variant of a pulse-shaping technique applicable in stimulated Raman spectroscopy (SRS) for detection of atoms and molecules in multiscattering media. We used discrete-dipole approximation to obtain the fields created by the nanoparticles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822820/
Self-definition and College Adaptation in Students From the Ronald E Mcnair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program
While a great deal of psychological research is conducted on college students, less has been done on their adaptation to college. These young adults, as they develop ego identity and differentiate themselves from parents and families, must adjust to the social and academic environment of college. Psychosocial adjustment predicts college retention better than academic predictors do. First generation college students face greater than typical challenges adapting to college. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program exists to aid first generation, lower income undergraduate student who wish to pursue a doctoral degree. Self-definition scored from thematic apperceptive technique stories reflects an individual’s relative freedom from social role constraint. This study examined the role of self-definition and familial understanding and acceptance in this population as predictors of successful adaptation to college. While neither was found to be a significant predictor, family understanding and acceptance was found to be a more defining characteristic of this sample than was self-definition. This suggests that when social support is sufficient, individuals do not need to rely on self-definition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822821/
Accurate Energetics Across the Periodic Table Via Quantum Chemistry
Greater understanding and accurate predictions of structural, thermochemical, and spectroscopic properties of chemical compounds is critical for the advancements of not only basic science, but also in applications needed for the growth and health of the U.S. economy. This dissertation includes new ab initio composite approaches to predict accurate energetics of lanthanide-containing compounds including relativistic effects, and optimization of parameters for semi-empirical methods for transition metals. Studies of properties and energetics of chemical compounds through various computational methods are also the focus of this research, including the C-O bond cleavage of dimethyl ether by transition metal ions, the study of thermochemical and structural properties of small silicon containing compounds with the Multi-Reference correlation consistent Composite Approach, the development of a composite method for heavy element systems, spectroscopic of compounds containing noble gases and metals (ArxZn and ArxAg+ where x = 1, 2), and the effects due to Basis Set Superposition Error (BSSE) on these van der Waals complexes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822822/
An Initial Study of Binary and Ternary Ti-based Alloys Manufactured Using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (Lenstm)
In this study an initial assessment of the composition – microstructure – property relationships in binary and ternary Ti – based systems are made possible using LENSTM technology. Laser Engineering Net Shaping (LENSTM), a rapid prototyping, directed laser deposition methodology of additive manufacturing (AM) was used to create bulk homogenous specimens that are compositionally graded. Compositionally graded specimens were made possible by incorporating elemental blends of powder during the LENSTM process. While there have been numerous studies assessing the influence of common elements (e.g., V, Mo, Al, and Cr) on the resulting microstructure in titanium alloys, other elements have been neglected. A systematic study of the Ti – Fe – Al ternary system based upon varying compositions of the eutectoid former, Fe with Al to stabilize the a and b phases respectively has also been neglected. This research effort focuses on exploiting the LENSTM process by rapidly assessing the composition – microstructure – property relationships in a combinatorial approach for the Ti – W, Ti – Fe, and Ti – Fe – Al systems. Compositionally graded specimens of Ti – xW (0<x<40wt.%(14.79at.%)), Ti – xFe (0<x<35wt.%(36.37at.%)), and Ti – xFe – yAl (0<x<40wt.%(36.37at.%)), y=5,10, 15wt.%) have been heat treated to also assess the influence of thermal history on microstructural features such as phase composition and volume fraction. Lastly, a Ti – xMo (0<x<40wt.%(24.96at.%)) compositionally graded specimen was deposited to re-assess the Mo-equivalency nature of W, as well as assess the role of phase separation in microstructural evolution at temperatures above and below the invariant point (~695°C) of the Ti – W binary system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822823/
Effect of Alloy Composition, Free Volume and Glass Formability on the Corrosion Behavior of Bulk Metallic Glasses
Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) have received significant research interest due to their completely amorphous structure which results in unique structural and functional properties. Absence of grain boundaries and secondary phases in BMGs results in high corrosion resistance in many different environments. Understanding and tailoring the corrosion behavior can be significant for various structural applications in bulk form as well as coatings. In this study, the corrosion behavior of several Zr-based and Fe-Co based BMGs was evaluated to understand the effect of chemistry as well as quenched in free volume on corrosion behavior and mechanisms. Presence of Nb in Zr-based alloys was found to significantly improve corrosion resistance due to the formation of a stable passive oxide. Relaxed glasses showed lower rates compared to the as-cast alloys. This was attributed to lowering of chemical potential from the reduced fraction of free volume. Potentiodynamic polarization and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) techniques helped in quantifying the corrosion rate and polarization resistance. The effect of alloy composition was quantified by extensive surface analysis using Raman spectroscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and auger spectroscopy. Pitting intensity was higher in the as-cast glasses than the relaxed glasses. The electrochemical behavior of a Zr-Ti-Cu-Ni-Be bulk metallic glass subjected to high strain processing was studied. High strain processing caused shear band formation and an increase in the free volume. Potentiodynamic polarization and EIS showed a strong correlation between the enthalpy of structural relaxation and corrosion rate and polarization resistance. Pitting was observed to preferentially occur on shear bands in the processed samples, while it was stochastic in unprocessed glass. The corrosion analysis of Co-Fe glasses showed an increase in corrosion current density when Fe content was increased from 0 to 7 at%. The corrosion resistance improved when Fe content was further increased to 15 at%. Similar trend was seen in EIS studies. The improved corrosion resistance at 15 at% Fe can be attributed to the large supercooled region that facilitates the formation of completely amorphous alloy, in contrast to lower Fe containing alloys, where short range ordering may deteriorate the corrosion resistance. Porous metallic glass structure was developed by electrochemical dealloying via cyclic voltammetry. Mechanical properties and changes in electrical conductivity were measured as a function of depth from surface by nano-indentation and nano electrical contact resistance technique. The nanoporous layer was found have hardness of 0.41 GPa and elastic modulus of nearly 22 GPa. The resistivity of the nanoporous layer continuously decreased when moving towards the substrate as the indentation depth increased which is attributed to the gradient in pore size. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822824/
A High-fat Meal Alters Post-prandial Mrna Expression of Sirt1, Sirt4, and Sirt6
Sirtuins (SIRT) regulate the transcription of various genes involved in the development of diet-induced obesity and chronic disease; however, it is unknown how they change acutely following a high-fat meal. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a high-fat meal (65% kcals/d; 85% fat recommendation), on SIRT1-7 mRNA expression in blood leukocytes at 1, 3, and 5-h post-prandial. Men and women (N=24) reported to the lab following an overnight fast (>12H). Total RNA was isolated and reverse transcribed prior to using a Taqman qPCR technique with 18S rRNA as a normalizer to determine SIRT1-7 mRNA expression. An additional aliquot of serum was used to measure triglycerides. Data was analyzed using a RM ANOVA with P<0.05. Triglycerides (P<0.001; 124%) peaked at 3-h. SIRT 1 (P=0.004; 70%), and SIRT 6 (P=0.017; 53%) decreased expression at 3-h. SIRT4 (P=0.024) peaked at 5H relative to baseline (70%) and 3-h (68%). To our knowledge, this is the first study to report that consumption of a high-fat meal transiently alters SIRT mRNA expression consistent in a pattern that mirrors changes in serum triglycerides. Decrease in expression of SIRT1 and SIRT6 combined with an increased SIRT4 would be consistent with an increase in metabolic disease risk if maintained on a chronic basis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822825/
Parameter Estimation of Microwave Filters
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The focus of this thesis is on developing theories and techniques to extract lossy microwave filter parameters from data. In the literature, the Cauchy methods have been used to extract filters’ characteristic polynomials from measured scattering parameters. These methods are described and some examples are constructed to test their performance. The results suggest that the Cauchy method does not work well when the Q factors representing the loss of filters are not even. Based on some prototype filters and the relationship between Q factors and the loss, we conduct preliminary studies on alternative representations of the characteristic polynomials. The parameters in these new models are extracted using the Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm to accurately estimate characteristic polynomials and the loss information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822826/
The Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment: the Washburne Lead Mine Regiment in the Civil War
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Of the roughly 3,500 volunteer regiments and batteries organized by the Union army during the American Civil War, only a small fraction has been studied in any scholarly depth. Among those not yet examined by historians was one that typified the western armies commanded by the two greatest Federal generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. The Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry was at Fort Donelson and Shiloh with Grant in 1862, with Grant and Sherman during the long Vicksburg campaign of 1862 and 1863, and with Sherman in the Meridian, Atlanta, Savannah, and Carolinas campaigns in the second half of the war. These Illinois men fought in several of the most important engagements in the western theater of the war and, in the spring of 1865, were present when the last important Confederate army in the east surrendered. The Forty-fifth was also well connected in western politics. Its unofficial name was the “Washburne Lead Mine Regiment,” in honor of U.S Representative Elihu B. Washburne, who used his contacts and influences to arm the regiment with the best weapons and equipment available early in the war. (The Lead Mine designation referred to the mining industry in northern Illinois.) In addition, several officers and enlisted men were personal friends and acquaintances of Ulysses Grant of Galena, Illinois, who honored the regiment for their bravery in the final attempt to break through the Confederate defenses at Vicksburg. The study of the Forty-fifth Illinois is important to the overall study of the Civil War because of the campaigns and battles the unit participated and fought in. The regiment was also one of the many Union regiments at the forefront of the Union leadership’s changing policy toward the Confederate populace and war making industry. In this role the regiment witnessed the impact of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Of interest then, are the members’ views on the freeing of the slaves. Also of interest are their views on the arming of the slaves into black regiments, and on the Copperhead, anti-war movement in the Union. With ample sources on the regiment, and with no formal history of the unit having been written or published, a scholarly, modern study of the Lead Mine regiment therefore seems in order, as it would provide further insight into the Civil War from the Union soldiers’ perspective and into the sacrifices the men made in order to preserve their country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822827/
Parent-adolescent Attachment, Bullying and Victimization, and Mental Health Outcomes
Traditional and cyber bullying have been identified as universal problematic issues facing adolescents, and research is needed to understand correlates associated with these phenomena. Structural equation modeling analyses examined associations between attachment to parents, traditional and cyber bullying or victimization, and mental health outcomes among 257 high school students (Average age 15.9 years). Key patterns emerged, including associations between maternal attachment and mental health outcomes; victimization and mental health concerns; and bullying and victimization in both traditional and cyber contexts. The role of attachment to mothers and fathers varied by context. Findings extend the literature by identifying risk factors in adolescence associated with bullying and victimization, as well as suggesting appropriate prevention and intervention strategies to increase adolescent well-being. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822828/
Deformation Micro-mechanisms of Simple and Complex Concentrated Fcc Alloys
The principal objective of this work was to elucidate the effect of microstructural features on the intrinsic dislocation mechanisms in two FCC alloys. First alloy Al0.1CoCrFeNi was from a new class of material known as complex concentrated alloys, particularly high entropy alloys (HEA). The second was a conventional Al-Mg-Sc alloy in ultrafine-grained (UFG) condition. In the case of HEA, the lattice possess significant lattice strain due to the atomic size variation and cohesive energy differences. Moreover, both the lattice friction stress and the Peierls barrier height are significantly larger than the conventional FCC metals and alloys. The experimental evidences, so far, provide a distinctive identity to the nature and motion of dislocations in FCC HEA as compared to the conventional FCC metals and alloys. Hence, the thermally activated dislocation mechanisms and kinetics in HEA has been studied in detail. To achieve the aim of examining the dislocation kinetics, transient tests, both strain rate jump tests and stress relaxation tests, were conducted. Anomalous behavior in dislocation kinetics was observed. Surprisingly, a large rate sensitivity of the flow stress and low activation volume of dislocations were observed, which are unparalleled as compared to conventional CG FCC metals and alloys. The observed trend has been explained in terms of the lattice distortion and dislocation energy framework. As opposed to the constant dislocation line energy and Peierls potential energy (amplitude, ΔE) in conventional metals and alloys, both line energy and Peierls potential undergo continuous variation in the case of HEA. These energy fluctuations have greatly affected the dislocation mobility and can be distinctly noted from the activation volume of dislocations. The proposed hypothesis was tested by varying the grain size and also the test temperature. Activation volume of dislocations was a strong function of temperature and increased with temperature. And the reduction in grain size did not affect the dislocation mechanisms and kinetics. This further bolstered the hypothesis. The second part deals with deformation characteristics of Al-Mg-Sc alloy. The microstructure obtained from the severe plastic deformation (SPD) techniques differ in dislocation density, grain/cell size, and in the grain boundary character distribution. Therefore, it is vital to understand the deformation behavior of the UFG materials produced by various SPD techniques, as the microstructural features basically control the deformation mechanisms. In this study, a detailed analysis was made to understand the deformation mechanisms operative in various regimes of a stress-strain in UFG Al-Mg-Sc alloy produced via friction stir processing. The stress-strain curves exhibited serrations from the onset of yielding to the point of sample failure. The serration amplitude and frequency was higher in UFG material as compared to CG material. Furthermore, the microstructural features that result in the serrated flow were investigated along with the avalanche characteristics. The presence of both ultrafine grains and Al3Sc precipitates were the necessary conditions to reach the critical stress required to push the grain boundary into a critical state to set off an avalanche. The microstructural conditions that did not satisfy both the requirements did not exhibit deep serrations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822829/
Let Her Be Shorn: 1 Corinthians 11 and Female Head Shaving in Antiquity
In 1 Corinthians 11:3-15, Paul writes that if a woman is to be so immodest as to wear her hair uncovered while praying or prophesying in a Christian assembly she might as well shave her head. Paul instructs the Corinthians that it is “one and the same” for a woman to have her head shaved and for her to unveil her hair. There is a large body of works cataloging the modesty standards in Hellenistic Greece but Paul’s reference to head-shaving remains obscure. This thesis looks to find the best explanation of Paul’s instructions. Research in this topic began as an investigation of a popular modern view. It can be found in conversation or a simple Google search, that women in Ancient Greece with their head shaved were prostitutes. Beyond being prostitutes, they were probably temple prostitutes. The evidence does not bear this out as there is no artwork depicting prostitutes, or indeed any women, with their heads shaved. Instead prostitutes are shown in Greek erotic art with both long and short hair, some with and some without head coverings. Literary sources do offer several different examples of women who had their hair cut off. There are examples of women shaving their hair off in Lucian’s The Syrian Goddess, Tacitus’ Germania, Plutarch’s Lycurgus and Roman Questions, several Talmudic sources, and On Fortune II, formerly attributed to Dio Chrysostom. By examining these sources in tandem with 1 Corinthians 11, the most probable impetus behind Paul’s writing relates to punishments for adultery. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822830/
Identification of Hox Genes Controlling Thrombopoiesis in Zebrafish
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Thrombocytes are functional equivalents of mammalian platelets and also possess megakaryocyte features. It has been shown earlier that hox genes play a role in megakaryocyte development. Our earlier microarray analysis showed five hox genes, hoxa10b, hoxb2a, hoxc5a, hoxc11b and hoxd3a, were upregulated in zebrafish thrombocytes. However, there is no comprehensive study of genome wide scan of all the hox genes playing a role in megakaryopoiesis. I first measured the expression levels of each of these hox genes in young and mature thrombocytes and observed that all the above hox genes except hoxc11b were expressed equally in both populations of thrombocytes. hoxc11b was expressed only in young thrombocytes and not in mature thrombocytes. The goals of my study were to comprehensively knockdown hox genes and identify the specific hox genes involved in the development of thrombocytes in zebrafish. However, the existing vivo-morpholino knockdown technology was not capable of performing such genome-wide knockdowns. Therefore, I developed a novel cost- effective knockdown method by designing an antisense oligonucleotides against the target mRNA and piggybacking with standard control morpholino to silence the gene of interest. Also, to perform knockdowns of the hox genes and test for the number of thrombocytes, the available techniques were both cumbersome or required breeding and production of fish where thrombocytes are GFP labeled. Therefore, I established a flow cytometry based method of counting the number of thrombocytes. I used mepacrine to fluorescently label the blood cells and used the white cell fraction. Standard antisense oligonucleotide designed to the central portion of each of the target hox mRNAs, was piggybacked by a control morpholino and intravenously injected into the adult zebrafish. The thrombocyte count was measured 48 hours post injection. In this study, I found that the knockdown of hoxc11b resulted in increased number of thrombocytes and knockdown of hoxa10b, hoxb2a, hoxc5a, and hoxd3a showed reduction in the thrombocyte counts. I then screened the other 47 hox genes in the zebrafish genome using flow sorting method and found that knockdown of hoxa9a and hoxb1a also resulted in decreased thrombocyte number. Further, I used the dye DiI, which labels only young thrombocytes at specific concentrations and observed that the knockdown of hoxa10b, hoxb2a, hoxc5a, hoxd3a, hoxa9a and hoxb1a, lead to a decrease in young thrombocytes; whereas hoxc11b knockdown lead to increase in number of young thrombocytes. Using bromodeoxyuridine, I also showed that there is increase in release of young thrombocytes into peripheral circulation in hoxc11b knockdown fish which suggests that hoxc11b significantly promotes cell proliferation rather effecting apoptosis. In conclusion, I found six hox genes that are positive regulators and one hox gene is a negative regulator for thrombocyte development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822768/
Messiaen’s Musical Language: Technique and Theological Symbolism in Les Corps Glorieux, “Combat De La Mort Et De La Vie”
One of the most important ways to understand Olivier Messiaen’s musical language is through the lens of the theological ideas that many of his works convey. He considers expressing his Christian faith to be the primary purpose in his music. Through his idiosyncratic technique, Messiaen gives power and life to his religious music that he combines with his interest in literature, musical analysis, poetic imagery and symbolism, his love for theatre, and his compositional and organ abilities. The abundant studies of Messiaen’s works deal with the intricacies of his musical language, yet most of these studies barely discuss his theological ideas. Nevertheless, technical analysis of his music poses immense challenges, especially in the domains of melody and harmony. Although my approach is unconventional and do not follow any existing system, I base my technical and theological analyses mainly from Messiaen's technique, his commentaries and his references to the Scriptures. The “Combat de la mort et de la vie” is the heart of Les Corps glorieux in both technical and theological aspects. It is an intricate musical artwork where Messiaen demonstrates his melodic and harmonic developments using his idiosyncratic language, and through symbolism portrays the most complex of all drama according to Christian theology—the story of Jesus Christ's Passion and Resurrection. My research can relate directly to a more informed and convincing performance of the work, and can contribute a different perspective to the study, understanding, and appreciation of Messiaen's theologically inspired works. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822769/
The Effect of Post-exercise Ethanol Consumption on the Acute Hormonal Response to Heavy Resistance Exercise in Women
The purpose of this study was to examine the hormonal response to acute ethanol ingestion following a bout of heavy resistance exercise in women. Eight resistance trained women completed two identical acute heavy resistance exercise tasks (AHRET). From 10-20 minutes post-AHRET, participants consumed either a grain ethanol or a placebo beverage. Blood was collected before (PRE) and immediately after the AHRET (IP) and then every 20 minutes for five hours. Blood collected after beverage ingestion was pooled into 3 batches (phases: 20-40 minutes, 60-120 minutes, and 140-300 minutes post-exercise) and analyzed for serum total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (FT), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), human growth hormone (GH), cortisol (COR), and estradiol (E2) concentrations. Circulating concentrations of TT were significantly greater at P20-40 than at PRE, P60-120, and P140-300. Circulating concentrations of FT were significantly greater at P20-40 than at all other times. Circulating concentrations of GH were significantly greater at IP than at PRE, P60-120, and P140-300. Circulating concentrations of COR were significantly greater at P20-40 than at all other times. Additionally, COR concentrations at P140-300 were significantly lower than at all other times. Circulating concentrations of IGF-1 were significantly greater at P20-40 than at P60-120 and P140-300. Circulating concentrations of E2 were significantly greater at P20-40 than at all other times. In summary, the present study demonstrated an acute modulation of the neuroendocrine milieu following a heavy resistance exercise bout in women. Ethanol ingestion appeared to have no significant effect on the characteristics of acute hormonal augmentation in TT, FT, GH, COR, IGF-1, or E2. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822770/
Characterization of Ti-6al-4v Produced Via Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing
In recent years, additive manufacturing (AM) has become an increasingly promising method used for the production of structural metallic components. There are a number of reasons why AM methods are attractive, including the ability to produce complex geometries into a near-net shape and the rapid transition from design to production. Ti-6Al-4V is a titanium alloy frequently used in the aerospace industry which is receiving considerable attention as a good candidate for processing via electron beam additive manufacturing (EBAM). The Sciaky EBAM method combines a high-powered electron beam, weld-wire feedstock, and a large build chamber, enabling the production of large structural components. In order to gain wide acceptance of EBAM of Ti-6Al-4V as a viable manufacturing method, it is important to understand broadly the microstructural features that are present in large-scale depositions, including specifically: the morphology, distribution and texture of the phases present. To achieve such an understanding, stereological methods were used to populate a database quantifying key microstructural features in Ti-6Al-4V including volume fraction of phases, a lath width, colony scale factor, and volume fraction of basket weave type microstructure. Microstructural features unique to AM, such as elongated grains and banded structures, were also characterized. Hardness and tensile testing were conducted and the results were related to the microstructural morphology and sample orientation. Lastly, fractured surfaces and defects were investigated. The results of these activities provide insight into the process-structure-properties relationships found in EBAM processed Ti-6Al-4V. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822771/
Culturally Proficient Leadership: Teacher Perceptions of Elementary School Principals in Urban, Title I Schools
This study examined elementary teachers’ perceptions of their principal’s level of cultural proficiency. Practices for Developing a Culturally Competent School Environment, a survey Camille Smith and adapted by Dr. Mack T. Hines, was completed from a sample size of 119 teachers. The survey contained 35 items, including six constructs: valuing diversity, assessing the culture, managing the dynamics of difference, institutionalizing cultural knowledge and resources, adapting to diversity and inclusiveness. Teachers rated their principal using a Likert scale which consisted of 1 = never uses, 2 = rarely uses, 3 = sometimes uses, 4 = frequently uses, and 5 = always uses. Teachers of various races, ages and years with their principal participated in this study. The study reveals that these variables do not make a statistically significant difference in the teachers’ perception of how proficient they are in valuing diversity, a assessing his/her own culture and institutionalizing cultural knowledge. This quantitative study reveals the variances of statistical significance of teacher demographics: age, gender, years served under current principal and accountability rating of the school. Cultural proficiency is important to the development and maintenance of the necessary relationships among students, teachers, principals and the school community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822772/
Exploring Student Learning on a Short-term, Faculty-led Study Abroad Course Through a Student Development Lens
Embarking on a study abroad experience is thought to be a transformational experience for students, and previous researchers have tended to find that the potential benefits of study abroad experiences, including greater conceptual and behavioral intercultural competence, are greater with longer periods abroad. The purpose of this study was to create an intentional learning experience for students who embarked on a short-term study abroad in rural areas of China and to apply faculty intervention of a student development approach to student learning to create a high-impact learning environment for students centered on a service-learning project. This qualitative study gathered primary data from students and instructors during the course through a collection of observation and field notes, student journals, pre- and post-construct tests, and final presentation. Follow-up interviews were conducted 10 months after course completion. Six students participated in this course and study who were from a variety of disciplines and classifications. Five students were female; one was male. Four students were undergraduates; two were graduate students. Student ethnicities included three Caucasians and African American, along with two international students from Mexico and Iran. Key outcomes of this study were that when short-term study abroad faculty members applied creative interventions, students were transformed with regard to their beliefs, perspectives, and behaviors and that when they guided students through a process of reflection and analysis, students exhibited exponential personal development. In addition, the ability to challenge or support students in reaching higher levels of personal development is a privilege that faculty must earn over time and through an authentic demonstration of care for students’ wellbeing. Short-term study abroad faculty members can use the results of this study to maximize the developmental impact of such programs on student participants. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822773/
Biological Applications of a Strongly Luminescent Platinum (Ii) Complex in Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenging and Hypoxia Imaging in Caenorhabditis Elegans
Phosphorescent transition metal complexes make up an important group of compounds that continues to attract intense research owing to their intrinsic bioimaging applications that arise from bright emissions, relatively long excited state lifetimes, and large stokes shifts. Now for biomaging assay a model organism is required which must meet certain criteria for practical applications. The organism needs to be small, with a high turn-over of progeny (high fecundity), a short lifecycle, and low maintenance and assay costs. Our model organism C. elegans met all the criteria. The ideal phosphor has low toxicity in the model organism. In this work the strongly phosphorescent platinum (II) pyrophosphito-complex was tested for biological applications as a potential in vivo hypoxia sensor. The suitability of the phosphor was derived from its water solubility, bright phosphorescence at room temperature, and long excited state lifetime (~ 10 µs). The applications branched off to include testing of C. elegans survival when treated with the phosphor, which included lifespan and fecundity assays, toxicity assays including the determination of the LC50, and recovery after paraquat poisoning. Quenching experiments were performed using some well knows oxygen derivatives, and the quenching mechanisms were derived from Stern-Volmer plots. Reaction stoichiometries were derived from Job plots, while percent scavenging (or antioxidant) activities were determined graphically. The high photochemical reactivity of the complex was clearly manifested in these reactions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822774/
The Countess of Counter-revolution: Madame Du Barry and the 1791 Theft of Her Jewelry
Jeanne Bécu, an illegitimate child from the Vaucouleurs area in France, ascended the ranks of the Ancien régime to become the Countess du Barry and take her place as Royal Mistress of Louis XV. During her tenure as Royal Mistress, Jeanne amassed a jewel collection that rivaled all private collections. During the course of the French Revolution, more specifically the Reign of Terror, Jeanne was forced to hatch a plot to secure the remainder of her wealth as she lost a significant portion of her revenue on the night of 4 August 1789. To protect her wealth, Jeanne enlisted Nathaniel Parker Forth, a British spy, to help her plan a fake jewel theft at Louveciennes so that she could remove her economic capital from France while also reducing her total wealth and capital with the intent of reducing her tax payments. As a result of the theft, her jewelry was transported to London, where she would travel four times during the French Revolution on the pretext of recovering her jewelry. This thesis examines her actions while abroad during the Revolution and her culpability in the plot. While traveling to and from London, Jeanne was able to move information, money, and people out of France. Jeanne was arrested and charged with aiding the counter-revolution, for which the Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced her to death. Madame du Barry represented the extravagance and waste of Versailles and of Bourbon absolutism, and this symbolic representation of waste was what eventually inhibited Jeanne’s success. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822775/
Small Town Retail Change in East Texas: an Analysis of Retail Growth, Decline, and Spatial Reconfiguration
In recent years, small towns have experienced declining levels of retail activity attributable to a variety of factors. Previously conducted research identifies a number of these factors such as changing population dynamics, continuously evolving retail practices, locational factors, and an assortment of other macroeconomic factors. Although retail decline is common for many small towns, there are some small towns that have been able to maintain their viability in an ever-changing economic climate. The primary purpose of this research is to better understand what spatial and socio-economic characteristics contribute to retail growth and decline in a series of small towns. This research highlights a selection of small towns across a 14 county area within east Texas. The selection of small towns includes a number of towns with an increasing number of retail establishments as well as a number of towns with decreasing retail establishments over the 14 year study timeframe. Contained within this research is a discussion of small town economic and retail development, as well as findings regarding spatial and socio-economic characteristics as they relate to retail growth and decline in small towns. This research finds that locational characteristics do have an effect on retail growth and decline. The research also supports the literature, which states retail growth and decline is more pronounced within certain retail categories. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822776/
Identification of Genes Involved in Flocculation by Whole Genome Sequencing of Thauera Aminoaromatica Strain Mz1t Floc-defective Mutants
Thauera aminoaromatica MZ1T, a floc-forming bacterium isolated from an industrial activated sludge wastewater treatment plant, overproduces exopolysaccharide (EPS) leading to viscous bulking. This phenomenon results in poor sludge settling and dewatering during the clarification process. To identify genes responsible for bacterial flocculation, a whole genome phenotypic sequencing technique was applied. Genomic DNA of MZ1T flocculation-deficient mutants were subjected to massively parallel sequencing. The resultant high-quality reads were assembled and compared to the reference genome of the wild type genome. We identified nine nonsynonymous mutations and one nonsense mutation putatively involved in EPS biosynthesis. Complementation of the nonsense mutation located in an EPS deacetylase gene restored the flocculating phenotype. The FTIR spectra of EPS isolated from the wild-type showed reduced C=O peak of the N-acetyl group at 1665 cm-1 as compared to the spectra of MZ1T floc-deficient mutant EPS, suggesting that the WT EPS was partially deacetylated. Gene expression analysis also demonstrated the deacetylase gene transcript increased before flocculation occurred. The results suggest that the deacetylation of MZ1T EPS is crucial for flocculation. The information obtained from this study will be useful for preventing viscous bulking and wastewater treatment system failure, and may have potential applications in the biotechnology sector for the controlled removal of cells. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822777/
Photo-induced Toxicity of Deepwater Horizon Spill Oil to Four Native Gulf of Mexico Species
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in the accidental release of millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Photo-induced toxicity following co-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one mechanism by which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from oil spills may exert toxicity. Blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) are an important commercial and ecological resource in the Gulf of Mexico and their largely transparent larvae may make them sensitive to PAH photo-induced toxicity. Mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), an important fishery resource, have positively buoyant, transparent eggs. These characteristics may result in mahi-mahi embryos being at particular risk from photo-induced toxicity. Red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and speckled seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) are both important fishery resources in the GoM. They spawn near-shore and produce positively buoyant embryos that hatch into larvae in about 24 h. The goal of this body of work was to determine whether exposure to UV as natural sunlight enhances the toxicity of crude oil to early lifestage GoM species. Larval and embryonic organisms were exposed to several dilutions of water accommodated fractions (WAF) from several different oils collected in the field under chain of custody during the 2010 spill and two to three gradations of natural sunlight in a factorial design. Here, we report that co-exposure to natural sunlight and oil significantly reduced larval survival and embryo hatch compared to exposure to oil alone. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822778/
An Accelerometer-based Gesture Recognition System for a Tactical Communications Application
In modern society, computers are primarily interacted with via keyboards, touch screens, voice recognition, video analysis, and many others. For certain applications, these methods may be the most efficient interface. However, there are applications that we can conceive where a more natural interface could be convenient and connect humans and computers in a more intuitive and natural way. These applications are gesture recognition systems and range from the interpretation of sign language by a computer to virtual reality control. This Thesis proposes a gesture recognition system that primarily uses accelerometers to capture gestures from a tactical communications application. A segmentation algorithm is developed based on the accelerometer energy to segment these gestures from an input sequence. Using signal processing and machine learning techniques, the segments are reduced to mathematical features and classified with support vector machines. Experimental results show that the system achieves an overall gesture recognition accuracy of 98.9%. Additional methods, such as non-gesture recognition/suppression, are also proposed and tested. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822779/
Examination of Sexual Differences in the Acute Effects of Haloperidolon Licking
Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychiatric condition affecting almost one percent of the US population. Typical antipsychotics (e.g., haloperidol) have been in use for several decades and are generally very effective in treating the emotional and cognitive effects of schizophrenia, but are used as the last line of treatment due to their severe extrapyramidal motor side effects under chronic exposure. The present study was conducted to investigate the role of sex in determining the oromotor side effects of typical antipsychotics via measuring different behavioral dimensions of male and female Sprague-Dawley rats licking sucrose after haloperidol treatment. The results showed a stronger sensitivity in female rats than male rats within total licking responses and inter-lick intervals. The present results suggest closer attention needs to be paid to the role that sexual hormones play in the motor slowing and behavior-reducing effects of antipsychotics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822780/
A Practical Edition of the Twenty-four Caprices for Solo Violin by Sir William Herschel
Sir William Herschel (1738–1822) was a prominent musician and composer in the 18th century England. He worked as a concert director in several cities. In addition, he was a master of various instruments, and an active solo performer. Herschel composed numerous orchestral and solo works. His music, however, is hardly known today. Many of his compositions remained unpublished, among them the Twenty-Four Caprices for Solo Violin. These caprices are one of the earliest technical studies for the instrument, which must be brought to the intermediate violin students’ and violin teachers’ attentions. The purpose of this study is to create a practical edition of the Twenty-Four Caprices for Solo Violin, and to make it available for violinists by publishing them. The dissertation will look into the performance practice of Hershel’s caprices. Based on a thorough research of the violin methods, the edition will provide fingerings, bowings, and practicing suggestions which are useful for students who wish to improve violin technique. The author of this study strongly believes that these neglected technical studies are extremely beneficial works for violinists, and they deserve to be made public. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822781/
The Role of Spirituality in Ethnic Minority Patients with Copd
COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is the sixth leading cause of death for low-to middle income countries (Downs & Appel, 2006; GOLD, 2011). COPD is a largely preventable disease due to the lifestyle factors that heavily contribute to disease onset and severity. Although traditionally COPD research has focused on health outcomes related to risk factors, compliance, comorbid psychological and physical conditions, and treatment interventions, a growing body of research suggests religious and spiritual factors may play an equally important role in health outcomes for several medical conditions, including pulmonary disease. However, studies of this kind have not specifically examined COPD nor have they examined the role of religious and spiritual beliefs in COPD management among ethnic minority patients. As such, the current study aimed to examine whether spiritual ethnic minority patients with COPD hold religious fatalistic attitudes and less active religious problem solving . A sample of 35 ethnic minority patients from the Louis. B. Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center (LSCVAMC) Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic in Cleveland, OH. were recruited to participate in the study. Due to the acknowledgeable limitations of the present study, results are preliminary but convey associations between religious health fatalistic beliefs and religious problem solving approaches. Implications and areas of future study are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822782/
Václav Philomathes’ Musicorum Libri Quattuor (1512): Translation, Commentary, and Contextualization
The Czech-born music theorist, Václav Philomathes, wrote the Musicorum libri quattuor in 1512 while attending the University of Vienna. This didactic treatise became one of the most widely published theory treatise of its time with 26 copies of five editions remaining today and covers the topics of Gregorian chant practice, Solmization, Mensural Notation, Choir Practice and Conducting, and Four-voice Counterpoint. Of particular note, is the section on choir practice and conducting, of which there is no equivalent prior example extant today. This dissertation provides a Latin-English translation of Philomathes’s work, as well as produces a critical commentary and comparison of the five editions while positioning the editions within the context of the musico-theoretical background of early-to-mid-16th century scholarship in Central Europe. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822783/
Self-efficacy, Academic Engagement, and Student-teacher Relationships for Ninth-grade African American Male Students’ Algebra I Achievement: a Structural Equation Model
The purpose of the current study was to discern the effects of three latent constructs – self-efficacy, academic engagement, and student-teacher relationships on Algebra I achievement among ninth-grade African American male students. A nationally representative sample from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS09) was used in the study. Study participants were 697 African American males enrolled in ninth grade in the fall of 2009 across the United States. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analytical procedures were performed to test the hypothesized relationships of Bandura’s social cognitive theory (SCT) theoretical assumptions. The results indicate that the three latent variables directly or indirectly were related to Algebra I achievement among ninth grade African American male students. Moreover, the results revealed that self-efficacy and student-teacher relationships constructs had direct significant impact on Algebra I academic performance; nonetheless, the relationships were not strong. These two latent variables had small effect sizes of 5% and 1%, respectively. Combined, self-efficacy, academic engagement, and student-teacher relationships explained only 8% of the variance in the Algebra I achievement among African American males across the United States (R2=.08). The magnitude effect of these factors on Algebra I achievement was minimal. Overall, these findings suggest that the self-efficacy and student-teacher relationships latent variables had a negligible effect as predictors of Algebra I academic success among ninth grade African American male students. A summary of the results are presented and future research is recommended. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822785/
Expertise Revisited: Reflecting on the Intersection of Science and Democracy in the Case of Fracking
This dissertation aims to explain the conditions under which expertise can undermine democratic decision making. I argue that the root of the conflict between expertise and democracy lies in what I call insufficiently “representative” expertise – that is forms of scientific research that are not relevant to the policy questions at hand and that fail to make visible their hidden values dimensions. I claim that the scholarly literature on the problem of expertise fails to recognize and address the issue correctly, because it does not open the black box of scientific methodologies. I maintain that only by making sense of the methodological choices of experts in the context of policy making can we determine the relevance of research and reveal the hidden socio-political values and consequences. Using the case of natural gas fracking, I demonstrate how expert contributions – even though epistemically sound – can muddle democratic policy processes. I present four case studies from controversies about fracking to show how to contextualize scientific methodologies in the pertinent political process. I argue that the common problem across all case studies is the failure of expertise to sufficiently represent stakeholders’ problems and concerns. In this context, “representation” has three criteria: (1) the operational research questions on which the qualified experts work are relevant to stakeholders’ problems and concerns; (2) the non-epistemic values and consequences of epistemic choices of experts are compatible with social and political values and priorities; and (3) hidden values attached to facts are fully transparent and openly debated. In the conclusion, I propose a normative version of this representation theory that can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of expertise for democratic policy making. Instead of the value-free science ideal, I propose a new ideal to legitimately allow non-epistemic values in scientific reasoning without compromising the soundness of research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822786/
High School Contemporary a Cappella: a Descriptive Phenomenology
This study examines the phenomenon of contemporary a cappella music making found in high school settings as curricular and extra-curricular offerings. Past music and music education literature has focused exclusively on contemporary a cappella at the collegiate level. Through application of a descriptive phenomenological method and incorporation an educational-sociological lens, this study advances an understanding of the educational benefit and social value of membership in contemporary a cappella at the high school level. Six recent members from three regions of the United States provided data through individual open-form interviews in which questions were derived from the participants’ own speech. I incorporated phenomenological reductions and processes to negate researcher bias during data collection, analysis, and the formation of a general structure and constituent meanings of membership in high school contemporary a cappella. Participants utilized traditional music skills, individual talents, conceptions of popular culture and music, and in-group socialization to facilitate music making and reify membership. Expressing the value of group membership, individuals acted to benefit the group by cultivating social bonds, developing and fostering personal/shared connections to songs, identifying and purposing individual talents and skills, and gaining an understanding of each members’ unique contribution to membership. Discussion includes implications for music education and suggestions for future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822787/
Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of Aqueous Polymeric Hybrid Composites and Nanomaterials of Platinum(ii) and Gold(i) Phosphorescent Complexes for Sensing and Biomedical Applications
The two major topics studied in this dissertation are the gold(I) pyrazolate trimer {[Au(3-R,5-R’)Pz]3} complexes in aqueous chitosan polymer and phosphorescent polymeric nanoparticles based on platinum(II) based complex. The first topic is the synthesis, characterization and optical sensing application of gold(I) pyrazolate trimer complexes within aqueous chitosan polymer. A gold(I) pyrazolate trimer complex, {[Au(3-CH3,5-COOH)Pz]3}, shows high sensitivity and selectivity for silver ions in aqueous media, is discussed for optical sensing and solution-processed organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) applications. Gold(I) pyrazolate trimer complexes are bright red emissive in polymeric solution and their emission color changes with respect to heavy metal ions, pH and dissolved carbon dioxide. These photophysical properties are very useful for designing the optical sensors. The phosphorescent polymeric nanoparticles are prepared with Pt-POP complex and polyacrylonitrile polymer. These particles show excellent photophysical properties and stable up to >3 years at room temperature. Such nanomaterials have potential applications in biomedical and polymeric OLEDs. The phosphorescent hybrid composites are also prepared with Pt-POP and biocompatible polymers, such as chitosan, poly-l-lysine, BSA, pnipam, and pdadmac. Photoluminescent enhancement of Pt-POP with such polymers is also involved in this study. These hybrid composites are promising materials for biomedical applications such as protein labeling and bioimaging. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822788/
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