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Vickery Meadow Community Needs Assessment
This study represents a community needs assessment conducted for Trans.lation Vickery Meadow, a community-based organization in a North Dallas community, Vickery Meadow. Vickery Meadow is a community where refugee resettlement agencies place incoming clients, and therefore, there is a focus on immigrants and refugees in this study. Using theoretical conceptions of development, immigration policy, and the refugee resettlement process, this project measured residential perceptions of Vickery Meadow, the operations of Trans.lation Vickery Meadow, and overall community needs. Also included are perceptions of Trans.lation Vickery Meadow members concerning community needs and the operations of Trans.lation. Recommendations are made based upon research and conclusions from fieldwork.
Béla Bartók’s Editorial Input As Seen in His Edition of Piano Sonata Hobxvi:49 in E Flat Major by Joseph Haydn
Béla Bartók (1881-1945), one of the twentieth century’s most significant composers, is also well known as an ethnomusicologist and concert pianist. However, Bartók’s work as a pedagogue and as an editor has received relatively little scholarly attention, despite famous pupils and despite his preparation of numerous critical and educational editions of his own and others’ works. While the critical editions are few, a significant number of Bartók’s editions of piano works have an educational purpose; these editions contain highly detailed performing indications and hold substantial potential for investigating Bartók’s ideas on the performance of works by other composers. Bartók edited nineteen piano sonatas by Haydn for educational purposes between 1911 and 1920. Bartók’s edition of Haydn’s Piano Sonata Hob.XVI:49 in E-flat Major is compared with both the first edition and the facsimile of the manuscript, with a focus on articulation, pedaling, dynamics, fingering, and other significant markings such as indications of expression and ornamentations. This document examines Bartók’s editorial input in this edition as an exemplar of his stylistic principles, and explores the value of Bartók’s Haydn editions as performing editions by critically examining both his editorial contributions and possible execution issues. This study thus provides an understanding of Bartók’s stylistic ideas regarding classical style, and promotes consideration of these editions for contemporary performers.
Tenured/tenure-track Faculty Diversity: Does Search Committee Training Make a Difference?
Diversity impacts organizations, both internally and externally. Responses to changes in demographics come from legal and moral imperatives. As a reflection of the changes in the population demographics in the United States, universities have seen and sought increased diversity in their student enrollment. Many institutions have purposeful plans to increase representation of under-represented groups as well as those students from low-income families. Some schools also recognize the importance of having diversity represented within their staff and faculty positions as a way of creating a supportive environment that also promotes diversity of thought. As schools increase the diversity of their student population, at what level are they increasing diversity among their tenured and tenure-track faculty? The purpose of this study is to examine the impact on full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty diversity compared to enrolled student diversity at institutions that promote, require, or provide access to training for faculty search committees, including diversity/cultural awareness, legal compliance, and process training, and those institutions that do not appear to have any training requirement as documented on their websites. Only tenured/tenure-track faculty were considered as they are the permanent teaching/research positions and generally represent the core faculty of every department at a university.
The Effects of Inbreeding on Fitness Traits in the Critically Endangered Attwater’s Prairie-chicken
The goals of captive breeding programs for endangered species include preserving genetic diversity and avoiding inbreeding. Typically this is accomplished by minimizing population mean kinship; however, this approach becomes less effective when errors in the pedigree exist and may result in inbreeding depression, or reduced survival. Here, both pedigree- and DNA-based methods were used to assess inbreeding depression in the critically endangered Attwater’s prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri). Less variation in the pedigree-based inbreeding coefficients and parental relatedness values were observed compared to DNA-based measures suggesting that errors exist in the pedigree. Further, chicks identified with high parental DNA-based relatedness exhibited decreased survival at both 14- and 50-days post-hatch. A similar pattern was observed in later life stages (> 50 days post-hatch) with birds released to the wild; however, the pattern varied depending on the time post-release. While DNA-based inbreeding coefficient was positively correlated with mortality to one month post-release, an opposite pattern was observed at nine months suggesting purging of deleterious alleles. I also investigated whether immunocompetence, or the ability to produce a normal immune response, was correlated with survival; however, no significant correlation was observed suggesting that inbreeding was a more important factor influencing survival. Pairing individuals for breeding by minimizing DNA-based parental relatedness values resulted in a significant increase in chick survival. This study highlights the importance of using DNA-based methods to avoid inbreeding depression when errors exist in the pedigree.
Silent Voices: the Experiences of Deaf Students in Community College
Most students with hearing loss attend community college, yet very little research on this population of students exists in higher education. This dissertation is one of the first to explore the experiences of mainstreamed d/Deaf students in community college. This research was conducted in order to gain a better understanding of how students who are d/Deaf interact navigate the mainstream postsecondary environment. Purposeful sampling was used to gather data from 19 individuals who attended postsecondary institutions not designed specifically for d/Deaf students. These participants were enrolled in an urban community college district in the southwestern U.S. and were receiving accommodations from their campus accessibility office. The sample included six Black females, one Black male, five Latinos, three Latinas, two White males, one White female, and two females who identified as multiracial. Data were collected through 30-60 minute semi-structured interviews in American Sign Language or spoken English, and a brief demographic survey. The interviews conducted in American Sign Language were then interpreted into English; one participant did not know ASL, and relied on oral communication. The theoretical framework of this study was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory. Individual development does not occur inside a vacuum; utilizing this theory allows for the analysis of how a student interacts with his or her environment, and how the environment affects the student. Findings from this study provide insight on participants’ reasons for enrolling in college, their perception of academic rigor as compared to high school, and familial support during their college experience. Participants reported financial difficulty, despite their utilization of the state’s tuition waiver program for students with hearing loss. The need for communication access, and especially the quality and quantity of sign language interpreters featured prominently in participant responses. Participants also expressed a desire for more interaction between students with hearing loss and the general college population. Finally, participants shared their perceptions of the campus accessibility office and the individuals within it, campus administrative support, and their experiences with teachers and classmates. The results from this study help shed light on the experience of d/Deaf students in community college and provide insight on how to facilitate their success in postsecondary education. The author provides recommended practices for campus accessibility offices to adopt in order to effectively serve this student population, including specialized orientation for students and instructors, specialized advising, utilization of student feedback, and increasing campus and community awareness of services offered.
Psychopathic Traits and Insecure Attachment Patterns in Community-based Subgroups
There is a growing body of research on psychopathic traits in non-clinical populations. This emerging research has documented the prevalence of psychopathic traits in the general population and demonstrated that psychopathy has a similar latent structure as well as similar correlates (e.g., violent behavior, alcohol abuse, and lower intelligence) to forensic/offender samples. Relatedly, there is strong evidence insecure attachment patterns in adulthood are associated with many personality disorders, including psychopathy, but only a few studies have examined the relationship between attachment and psychopathic traits in non-clinical samples (albeit, convenience samples of college students). Thus, two aims of the current study are to: 1) describe and explore the manifestation and expression of psychopathic traits in a large, community-based sample and 2) examine associations between adult attachment disturbances and psychopathic traits in diverse sociodemographic subgroups. Using a cross-sectional design, results showed mean-level psychopathy factor score differences existed only when considering single sociodemographic factors (e.g., age), not an interaction of those factors. Psychopathy factor profiles were also consistent across groups, with higher levels of lifestyle followed by interpersonal, affective, and antisocial traits reported. Regarding the second aim, findings indicated support for the positive association between disturbed attachment patterns in adult relationships and psychopathic traits, although these associations differed in males and females of different age groups. Finally, there was some support for attachment processes acting as a social development pathway toward psychopathy, as insecure attachments in adulthood partially mediated the relationships between age and interpersonal, affective, and lifestyle traits of psychopathy.
Theorizing Atonality: Herbert Eimert’s and Jefim Golyscheff’s Contributions to Composing with Twelve Tones
In 1924, Herbert Eimert’s Atonale Musiklehre was the first published text to describe a systematic approach to composing atonal music. It contains significant contributions to the discourse on the early development of twelve-tone composition. While Eimert uses the term “atonal” to describe his compositional approach, his definition of atonality demands that all twelve tones be present with none repeated, and that they present as complexes not ordered rows. Eimert’s discussion of atonality differs from others of the same period because he focuses on vertical sonorities and introduces “interlocking complexes”, wherein two separate statements of the aggregate can overlap by one pitch or by a set of pitches. Interlocking complexes are an important feature of Eimert’s string quartet Fünf Stücke für Streichquartett, which was published in 1925 and composed at the same time as Atonale Musiklehre was written. In the foreword to Atonale Musiklehre, Eimert clarifies that he is not the originator of the concept of atonality, rather that he absorbed the ideas of Josef Matthias Hauer and Jefim Golyscheff. Twelve-tone complexes appear first in Golyscheff’s 1914 String Trio. He refers to them as “twelve-tone duration complexes” and labels them in the score. As the name “duration complexes” implies, there are examples of serial rotation of rhythm in the Trio, a technique that is not developed further until the 1950s. Combined with the text of Atonale Musiklehre, the compositions of Golyscheff and Eimert from the year immediately following the book’s publication provide insight into the early development of “atonality” and twelve-tone compositional methods. Investigation of these documents that have not been thoroughly discussed in print provides a broader perspective of the development of these methods of composition.
Delaying Evacuation: Risk Communication in Mobilizing Evacuees
Evacuation is oftentimes the best means to prevent the loss of lives when residents encounter certain hazards, such as hurricanes. Emergency managers and experts make great efforts to increase evacuation compliance but risk area residents may procrastinate even after making the decision to leave, thus complicating response activities. Purpose - This study explores the factors determining evacuees’ mobilization periods, defined here as, the delay time between the decision to evacuate and actual evacuation. The theoretical model that guides this research is built on the protective action decision model (PADM). It captures both the social and psychological factors in the process of transferring risk information to mobilization action. The psychological process of risk communication originates from personalized external information and ends with the formation of risk perception, ultimately influencing evacuees’ mobilizations. Design/methodology/approach – Using structural equation modeling (SEM), the model is tested using survey data collected from Hurricane Rita (2005) evacuees in 2006 (N = 897). The residents of three Texas coastal counties (Harris, Brazoria, and Galveston) are randomly selected and telephone-interviewed. Findings – The findings indicate that mobilizations are affected directly by respondents’ concerns of the threats to their personal lives and costs and dangers on their evacuation trips. The perceptions of evacuees can be related to their exposure, attention, and understanding of the risk information. Research limitations/implications – The results suggest that practitioners pay more attention on the residents’ understanding of different types of risks, their abilities to process the risk information, as well as the means information is delivered. Therefore the public authorities should be more active in protecting evacuees’ properties and assets, as well as encourage evacuees to take closer shelters to avoid potential costs on road. Also the community should be more involved in mobilizing evacuation, as long as social cues can assist evacuees to better comprehend the threat information. Originality/value – This study tests the PADM framework empirically and structurally. It also clarifies the definition of evacuation mobilization using a new operation based on the evacuation groups per household.
An Empirical Study of Quality and Satisfaction with a Focus on Creating a Parsimonious Measurement Instrument in an Information Space
Student satisfaction and service quality are interrelated constructs that are associated with improving student retention. This research investigated the relationships between these constructs in the context of an institution of higher education as an information system and sought to reduce the dimensionality of what have traditionally been considered orthogonal factors of these constructs in order to produce a parsimonious model and survey instrument that may be useful in assessing and predicting overall student satisfaction and overall service quality. The methods of analysis used in this study are quantitative in nature and included the use of descriptive univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses; exploratory factor analysis to examine latent dimensions within the data; and multiple linear regressions to measure the predictive efficacy of combinations of variables with respect to overall student satisfaction and overall service quality. It was hypothesized that the statistical treatment of the data would show that some dimensions routinely collapse, leading to possible valuable theoretical implications.
Experiences Learning Interpersonal Neurobiology: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Neuroscience is increasingly part of the national dialogue regarding mental health. The field of interpersonal neurobiology may offer a framework for helping mental health professionals identify and apply the most relevant neuroscience principles to counseling. This study explored mental health professionals’ experiences learning IPNB. I conducted semi-structured interviews with participants (n = 6), all of whom were licensed mental health professionals and had completed a year-long study in the application of IPNB through Nurturing the Heart with the Brain in Mind. I analyzed the data, along with a research partner, according to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) protocol. Four super-ordinate themes emerged from the analysis: (1) learning process as dynamic and engaging, (2) deepening knowledge and understanding of self and others, (3) personal and professional growth, and (4) impact on therapeutic practice. A number of sub-ordinate themes also emerged through the analysis , including experiential learning; learning through group process; influence of the past on the present; increased understanding of the change process; increased compassion, empathy, and acceptance for self and for others; increased confidence; using IPNB to educate clients; using IPNB to conceptualize clients; and using IPNB to select interventions. Finally, I identified three higher-order constructs that appeared embedded within and across themes: learning as ongoing, person of the participant, and person of the instructor. The findings in this study suggest that participants’ learning of IPNB had a significant impact on their personal and professional development, specifically in areas related to characteristics of effective counselors. The findings also suggest that these meaningful changes occurred in a learning environment characterized by emotional engagement, experiential activities, and group process. Limitations to this research, as well as further discussion of the results are included. Implications for future research, clinical practice, and counselor education are also offered.
Control and Automation of a Heat Shrink Tubing Process
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Heat shrink tubing is used to insulate wire conductors, protect wires, and to create cable entry seals in wire harnessing industries. Performing this sensitive process manually is time consuming, the results are strongly dependent on the operator’s expertise, and the process presents safety concerns. Alternatively, automating the process minimizes the operators’ direct interaction, decreases the production cost over the long term, and improves quantitative and qualitative production indicators dramatically. This thesis introduces the automation of a heat shrink tubing prototype machine that benefits the wire harnessing industry. The prototype consists of an instrumented heat chamber on a linear positioning system, and is fitted with two heat guns. The chamber design allows for the directing of hot air from the heat guns onto the wire harness uniformly through radially-distributed channels. The linear positioning system is designed to move the heat chamber along the wire harness as the proper shrinkage temperature level is reached. Heat exposure time as a major factor in the heat shrink tubing process can be governed by controlling the linear speed of the heat chamber. A control unit manages the actuator position continuously by measuring the chamber’s speed and temperature. A model-based design approach is followed to design and test the controller, and MATLAB/Simulink is used as the simulation environment. A programmable logic controller is selected as the controller implementation platform. The control unit performance is examined and its responses follow the simulation results with adequate accuracy.
Assessment of Cognitive Performance in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes
Incidents and awareness of sports-related concussion have grown in recent years, attracting attention in both the academic and popular press. These concussions can lead to the rapid onset of neurological dysfunctions, as well as a variety of subjective symptoms. Although concussive sequelae are typically considered transient, debate remains about the persistent effects of repeated traumatic contact during sport participation. Although research has examined the complications of head trauma found in traditionally popular sports (e.g., football, soccer, boxing), little research has focused on the growing sport of mixed-martial-arts (MMA). Research specifically pertaining to MMA is in nascent stages, but to-date studies suggest that concussive injuries for this sport are prevalent and the training regimens of these athletes may place them at a high risk for concussive or subconcussive head traumas—as well as the accompanying neurological difficulties. The current study is the first to assess cognitive profiles of MMA athletes using an objective neuropsychological assessment instrument. Among 56 athletes (28 MMA athletes and 28 athletes not exposed to head traumas), no neuropsychological differences were found between groups of athletes. Additionally, no aspects of MMA training regimen shared a reliable relationship with neuropsychological performance or subjective concussive symptoms. This suggests non-professional participation in MMA may not typically pose a significant risk for cumulative concussions and associated adverse neuropsychological consequences.
The Effects of Social Structure on Social Movements in Turkey
The main objective of this study is to provide an in-depth analysis the association between a set of social structural factors and the certain types of social movement events in Turkey. The changing nature and significance of social movements over time and space makes this study necessary to understand and explain new trends related to the parameters that constitute a backdrop for social movements. Social movements are a very common mechanism used by groups of people who decide to take action against an unfair socio-political system, usually an authoritarian government or dictatorship. This kind of reactions, seen in history before, gives birth to a more multidimensional understanding of the relationship between society and state policies. Understanding social movements depends on understanding our own societies, and the social environment in which they are developed. An effective way of understanding this type of social movements is to recognize the perceived concerns of discontented groups in relation to cultural, ideological, economic, and political institutions and values. Social movement events included in the study refers to collective activities organized by two or more people with the purpose of protesting public policies or of increasing public awareness about certain social issues related to human rights and freedoms, environment, feminism, etc. All these types of events are chased by police forces, and their concerns, statements, and activities are recorded.
The Measurement and Enhancement of Rapport Between Behavioral Therapists and Children with Autism
Rapport has been acknowledged as an important variable in therapeutic contexts. The current evaluation defined and assessed rapport quality between children with autism and behavioral therapists based on behavioral correlates. In addition, the author evaluated the effects of an operant discrimination training procedure to enhance rapport levels for therapists with low levels of rapport. More specifically, the current study evaluated: (a) if the discrimination training procedure would establish therapists’ social interactions as a discriminative stimulus and (b) if social interaction would function as a conditioned reinforcer for novel responses. Results suggest that the discrimination training procedure was successful in conditioning social interaction as a reinforcer for all child participants, and as a result, rapport increased.
A Stimulus Control Analysis of the Misinformation Effect
This paper explores research on the misinformation effect and hypothesizes a new explanation for the occurrence misinformation effect. Current psychological theories states the misinformation effect occurs when memories are skewed by the presentation of new information after an initial event. This effect has been tested in a multitude of ways, including testing words lists, pictures, colors, and change blindness. Socially, the misinformation effect has been used to explain the inaccuracies of eyewitness testimony. The current judicial system relies on the fallible memory of people and has wrongfully imprisoned numerous innocents. The purpose of this research is to show the misinformation effect is not a problem with memory storage and retrieval, but rather a product of selective stimulus control.
A Textual Analysis of News Framing in the Sri Lankan Conflict
The purpose of this study is to investigate how local and foreign newspapers used the war journalism and peace journalism frames when covering the Sri Lankan civil war, and to uncover subframes specific to the conflict. The first part of the thesis provides an in- depth literature review that addresses the history of the conflict and media freedom in Sri Lanka. The newspaper articles for the textual analysis were selected from mainstream Sri Lankan and U.S newspapers: the Daily News (a state sponsored newspaper) and Daily Mirror from Sri Lanka, and the New York Times and Washington Post from the U.S. A total of 185 articles were analyzed and categorized into war journalism and peace journalism. Next, subframes specific to the Sri Lankan conflict were identified. The overall coverage is dominated by the peace journalism frame, and the strongest war journalism frame is visible in local newspaper articles. Furthermore, two subframes specific to the Sri Lanka conflict were identified: war justification subframe and humanitarian crisis subframe. In conclusion, the study reveals that in the selected newspapers, the peace journalism frame dominated the coverage of the Sri Lankan civil war. All in all, while adding to the growing scholarship of media framing in international conflicts, the study will benefit newspaper editors and decision-makers by providing textual analysis of content produced from the coverage of war and conflict during a dangerous time period for both journalists and the victims of war.
Babel: a Composition for Rock Band, Soprano Quartet, and Chamber Ensemble—music and Critical Essay
Babel is a work for rock ‘n’ roll band (two electric guitars, electric bass, drum set), four soprano singers, and a twenty-one instrument mixed chamber ensemble. The 50-minute composition is based on the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11:1-9, and the four-movement structure is derived from the form of this narrative. The first movement, “building rebellion,” establishes man’s intent to build a grand city and tower in a rebellion against God, while the second movement, “seeing/coming down,” describes the all-seeing God’s knowledge of man’s rebellion and God’s descent to the city. Movements three and four, “confusion” and “scatter,” depict the actions of God, confusing humankind’s language and scattering him over the earth. This project fuses rock ‘n’ roll influences with contemporary classical improvisation, creating a work that is sonically and dynamically excessive. One compositional goal was to use small amounts of material as the impetus for directed improvisation, which would be developed to create intricate and evolving textures. Each movement’s score is confined to a single page of music per part, necessitating highly graphic and aleatoric notation. The musical history and musicianship of each player greatly shapes the sonic outcome of Babel. Rigorous structure was mixed with extra-musical associations to create intricate layers of musical and metaphorical meanings. Every decision regarding form, pitch, rhythm, and improvisatory state is linked to a meaningful mathematical, philosophical, or theological idea. Out of the intention to illustrate a multi-layered, Biblical text interpreted in vastly different ways, came a complex work of art that challenges, yet welcomes, performers and listeners of all kinds.
Supervisors, Trainees, and Client Outcomes in the Training Clinic: Toward an Understanding of Relational Factors
Estimates of healthy years of life lost due to mental illness are increasing, calling greater attention to the provision of effective psychotherapy services. Hypothesized to be the key mechanism through which competencies are developed in trainee clinicians and subsequent client outcomes, clinical supervision is deserving of greater attention. Drawing on a sample of supervisors, trainees, and clients from a training clinic, the present study sought to clarify the relational factors that could facilitate the asserted supervisor-client outcome link and to better understand if, and how, clinical supervisors influence client outcomes. With the exception of supervisor openness to experience, supervisor factors did not predict meaningful variance in client outcomes. Trainee extraversion and openness to experience predicted significant variance in leader-member exchange and supervisory working alliance. Dispositional trainee factors (e.g., personality) appear to impact trainee perceptions of the supervisory relationship. Implications for training and development are discussed, in addition to directions for future research.
Retail Change and Light Rail: an Exploration of Business Location Changes Accompanying Commuter Rail Development in Denton County, Texas
Within the past few decades, commuter rail routes in several major metropolitan areas have been implemented to provide an alternative to automobile transportation. Urban planners in these cities are looking to commuter rail to mitigate congestion and pollution. However, research on the impacts of commuter rail development on the surrounding retail landscape is still needed. In metropolitan Dallas-Fort Worth, the Denton County Transportation Authority recently opened its new A-Train light rail service linking suburban Denton and downtown Dallas. This thesis examines urban changes that occurred in the years before and after the A-Train line's 2011 opening, with a focus on restaurant and retail development in the vicinity of the A-Train stations in Denton County. This analysis evaluates changes in retail density and type, the population surrounding stations, and municipal initiatives that shape the retail landscape of station vicinities. This was done by gathering field data, retailer listings, population data, and conducting interviews with local businesses and city planners. The findings suggest that A-train stations have had a differential impact on the surrounding landscape, depending on the existing retail landscape, the types of retailers present, and the current state of municipal infrastructure that promotes accessibility. Overall, results suggest that urban planners play a vital role in harnessing the potential of commuter rail to promote nearby retail growth.
Evaluating the Role of Design in the Apparel Industry in the United States
The purpose of this study was to better understand the role of design in the product development process in the apparel industry in the United States, looking for variations in how design is used in the industry. In order to obtain a snapshot of the fashion design industry, creativity, originality, innovation, and product development were examined, as well as corporate culture and strategic orientation. The study also sought to examine pedagogical strategies based on these findings. A mixed methods approach, consisting of an on-line survey and interviews, was employed. The findings suggest variations in the role of design based on the time design-department employees spent on creative tasks. These variations were examined and industrial and pedagogical implications are explored. The significance of this study relates to the findings of the importance of creativity in the product development process of the apparel industry in the United States, as well as considerations for pedagogical strategies.
Organizational Identity and Community Values: Determining Meaning in Post-secondary Education Social Media Guideline and Policy Documents
With the increasing use of social media by students, researchers, administrative staff, and faculty in post-secondary education (PSE), a number of institutions have developed guideline and policy documents to set standards for social media use. Social media platforms and applications have the potential to increase communication channels, support learning, enhance research, and encourage community engagement at PSE institutions. As social media implementation and administration has developed in PSE, there has been minimal assessment of the substance of social media guideline and policy documents. The first objective of this research study was to examine an accessible, online database (corpus) comprised of 24, 243 atomic social media guideline and policy text documents from 250 PSE institutions representing 10 countries to identify central attributes. To determine text meaning from topic extraction, a rotated latent semantic analysis (rLSA) method was applied. The second objective of this investigation was to determine if the distribution of topics analyze in the corpus differ by PSE institution geographic location. To analyze the diverging topics, the researcher utilized an iterative consensus-building algorithm.Through the maximum term frequencies, LSA determined a rotated 36-factor solution that identified common attributes and topics shared among the 24,243 social media guideline and policy atomic documents. This initial finding produced a list of 36 universal topics discussed in social media guidelines and policies across all 250 PSE institutions from 10 countries. Continually, the applied chi-squared tests, that measured expected and observed document term counts, identified distribution differences of content related factors between US and Non-US PSE institutions. This analysis offered a concrete analysis for unstructured text data on the topic of social media guidance. This resulted in a comprehensive list of recommendations for developing social media guidelines and policies, and a database of social media guideline and policy documents for the PSE sector and other related organizations. Additionally, this research stimulated important theoretical development for how organizations socially construct a semantic structure within a community of practice. By assessing the community of practice, comprised of PSE 250 institutions that direct social media use, a corpus of documents provided unstructured data to evaluate the community. The spontaneous participation and reification process of the social media guideline and policy document corpus reaffirmed that a corpus-creating community of practice can instinctively form a knowledge-sharing organization that provides meaning, values, and identity. These findings should stimulate further research contributions, and provides practitioners and scholars with tools to measure, understand, and assess semantic space for other artifacts developed within a community of practice in other industries, organizations, or distributed associations.
Evaluating the Feasibility of Accelerometers in Hand Gestures Recognition
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Gesture recognition plays an important role in human computer Interaction for intelligent computing. Major applications like Gaming, Robotics and Automated Homes uses gesture recognition techniques which diminishes the usage of mechanical devices. The main goal of my thesis is to interpret SWAT team gestures using different types of sensors. Accelerometer and flex sensors were explored extensively to build a prototype for soldiers to communicate in the absence of line of sight. Arm movements were recognized by flex sensors and motion gestures by Accelerometers. Accelerometers are used to measure acceleration in respect to movement of the sensor in 3D. Flex sensors changes its resistance based on the amount of bend in the sensor. SVM is the classification algorithm used for classification of the samples. LIBSVM (Library for Support Vector Machines) is integrated software for support vector classification, regression and distribution estimation which supports multi class classification. Sensors data is connected to the WI micro dig to digitize the signal and to transmit it wirelessly to the computing device. Feature extraction and Signal windowing were the two major factors which contribute for the accuracy of the system. Mean Average value and Standard Deviation are the two features considered for accelerometer sensor data classification and Standard deviation is used for the flex sensor analysis for optimum results. Filtering of the signal is done by identifying the different states of signals which are continuously sampled.
The Use of Optical Metrology in Active Positioning of a Lens
Precisely positioned optical lenses are currently required for many highly repetitive mechanics and applications. Thus the need for micron-scale repetition between opto-mechanical units is evident, especially in industrial manufacturing and medical breakthroughs. In this thesis, a novel optical metrology system is proposed, designed, and built whose purpose is to precisely locate the center of a mechanical fixture and then to assemble a plano-convex optical lens into the located position of the fixture. Center location specifications up to ±3 µm decenter and ±0.001° tilting accuracy are required. Nine precisely positioned lenses and fixtures were built with eight units passing the requirements with a repetitive standard deviation of ±0.15 µm or less. The assembled units show satisfactory results.
Explaining the Relationship Between Borderline Personality Features and Suicidal Ideation
Researchers have previously identified substance use and borderline personality disorder as factors that increase risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This study explored the relationship between these factors in samples of students and individuals seeking outpatient treatment. Supplemental data collected via the internet (MTurk) also looked at experiential avoidance (EA) with the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth. The Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Scale for Suicide Ideation, and Personality Assessment Inventory- Borderline Features Scale elicited information regarding severity and/or frequency of substance use, suicidal thoughts, and borderline features respectively. Additionally, the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire was administered to the UNT sample. The UNT sample analyses indicate substance use moderates, strengthening, the relationship between borderline features and current suicidal thoughts. However, severity of suicidal thoughts was lower for individuals high in both borderline features and substance use disorder symptoms compared to those low in borderline features and high in substance use symptoms. The MTurk sample analyses suggest substance use functions as a mediator. A robust relationship existed between substance use severity and EA, showing substance use as a behavioral marker for EA. In conclusion, concurrent treatment of substance use and borderline personality features would be beneficial in reducing risk for suicidal thoughts. Further investigation into the role and utility of addressing EA is warranted.
Kinetic Studies on C‐h Bond Activation in the Reaction of Triosmium Clusters with Diphosphine and Amidine Ligands
The reaction of 1-(diphenylphosphino)-2-(diphenylphosphito)benzene (PP*) and Os3(CO)10(ACN) has been investigated. A combined experimental and computational study on the isomerization of 1,2-Os3(CO)10[μ-1,2-Ph2P(C6H4)P(OPh)2] (A) and 1,1-Os3(CO)10[μ-1,2-Ph2P(C6H4)P(OPh)2] (B) and reversible ortho-metalation exhibited by the triosmium cluster B are reported. The subsequent conversion of cluster B to the hydrido cluster HOs3(CO)9[μ-1,2-PhP(C6H4-η1)C6H4P(OPh)2] (E) and the benzyne-substituted cluster HOs3(CO)8(µ3-C6H4)[μ-1,2-PhP(C6H4)P(OPh)2] (N) has been established. All of these new clusters have been isolated and fully characterized in solution by IR and NMR spectroscopy; in addition, X-ray diffraction analyses have been performed on the clusters A, B, J, and N. The ortho-metalation reaction that gives cluster E is shown to be reversible, and the mechanism has been probed using selectively deuterated PP* isotopomers. Kinetic and thermodynamic isotope data, in conjunction with DFT calculations, are presented that support the existence of an intermediate unsaturated cluster in the ortho-metalation reaction. Due to interest in the coordination chemistry of formamidines, the non-symmetric amidine ligands PhNC(Me)NHPri, PhNC(Et)NHPri, and (2,4,6-Me3C6H2)NC(Me)NHPri, have been synthesized, and their reaction with Os3(CO)10(MeCN)2 has been investigated. Of the twelve new clusters prepared in section, seven have been structurally characterized by X-ray crystallography.
Creating Value by Enhancing Innovative Capability: the Role of Absorptive Capacity and Institutional Framework
Innovations as a source of economic wellbeing and social prosperity has been well researched, albeit primarily done in the context of developed economies. However, of late, interest in the effect of innovation on economic performance and quality of life has been renewed as the world observes the rise of emerging economies, and at the same time, the prolonged recession in the more developed economies (i.e. North America and European countries). There has been a marked increase in the quantity and quality of research and development, spawn by innovative companies from emerging economies that are making their mark in global marketplace. These phenomena challenge the traditional concept that innovation flows from the resource rich developed countries to less developed countries, and that the latter are at a disadvantage in terms of knowledge, technology and competitiveness. Existing studies on national innovation highlight the relationships between innovative capability and its outcomes; however, few have tried to explain the determinants of a nation’s innovative capabilities. Using a sample of 95 countries and panel data analysis covering 28 years of observation, this study attempts to model the determinants of innovative capability at national level, and focuses on absorptive capacity and institutional framework as the main determinants of innovative capability. Further, this study identifies different aspects of absorptive capacity: creation and exploitation of innovation. Findings offer support on the importance of various sources of external knowledge in the creation of innovation, with FDI inflow and High Technology Export as the strongest sources. Corruption as institutional factor has negative effect on innovative capability, whereas openness shows no effect. National absorptive capacity moderates the effect of external knowledge on innovative capability, except on FDI outflow in which a negative effect on trademark application as a measure of innovative capability. The findings suggest that innovative capability and moderating role of absorptive capacity enhance economic wellbeing. Findings show that economic wellbeing increases happiness and income inequality (as the measures of quality of life); same thing as innovative capability, which also increases both happiness and income inequality. This study demonstrates that for happiness, higher education and better infrastructure (as the measure of foundational absorptive capacity) decrease the level of happiness. Higher education and ease access to information may increase expectation, which lead to unhappiness when the expectation is not met. For income inequality, negative effect of the moderating role of absorptive capacity means that higher education and better infrastructure contribute to lowering income inequality. Based on these findings, a nation should continue to attract FDI and trade in high technology because these sources of knowledge contribute to innovative capability. Policy makers can develop country positioning and country’s marketing activities by using the combination of the improvement of national factors and policy reforms. The upgrading of national factors helps to achieve higher economic wellbeing and quality of life in general.
Still on the Sidelines: the Female Experience in Sports Media
This qualitative study aims to analyze the lived reality of women working in sports media today. Through systematic analysis of 12 in-depth interviews, the findings of this study suggest that the adoption of technological advancements in news media and all associated outlets have created a leveling effect for women due to the demand for highly skilled individuals who can handle the digital demand of modern news production. This study suggests that longtime gender disparities in sports media are experiencing a bit of a reprieve due to the massive digital audience and the need for professionals who can deliver information quickly and efficiently and with accuracy. However, the persistent symbolic annihilation of women as well as hegemonic hiring practices that emphasize aesthetic appeal have created a difficult path for women to move off the sidelines and into roles with more creative and analytical breadth, even with a rapidly increasing demand for jobs in the media industry.
A Biopsychosocial Model of Dietary Restraint in Early Adolescent Boys
The current study replicated and extended previous research by examining empirically the direct and indirect influence of social pressure (to lose weight and diet), social body comparisons, internalization of the thin ideal, body dissatisfaction, self-esteem, and cardiorespiratory fitness on self-reported dietary restraint in a diverse sample of middle school boys (n = 663); Mage was 12.49 years (SD = .99). With IRB approval, parental consent, and child assent, during annual FITNESSGRAM testing, participants completed questionnaires that measured the study’s constructs. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) was determined by the boys’ performance on the PACER running test. The proposed model was examined using structural equation modeling (SEM). Because measures demonstrated univariate and multivariate normality, the maximum likelihood procedure within EQS to examine the measurement and structural models was used. Fit was determined using a two-index procedure. Participants were randomly split into exploratory (Sample A - 331) and confirmatory (Sample B - 332) samples. For Sample A, the measurement and structural models fit the data well. The structural model was confirmed in Sample B, with the same paths being significant and nonsignficant. For both Sample A and Sample B, 35% of the Dietary Restraint variance was explained. These findings support a multifactorial approach to understanding boys’ self-reported dietary restraint, and illuminate the negative influence of sociocultural weight pressures and salutary effects of CRF on early adolescents’ psychosocial well-being and dietary behaviors.
Environmental Imagination: the Constitution and Projection of a Sustainable Ethos
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This dissertation provides a theoretical analysis and examination of the role of imagination in the formation of an environmental ethos. The majority of ethical theories in environmental thought largely neglect the role that imagination plays in both the relationships that humans form with their environment, and the subsequent role that imagination plays in constituting the way that those relationships are understood ethically. To explore the role of imagination in constituting and subsequently projecting such an ethical way of being, this dissertation selectively analyzes the history of imagination in philosophy, cognitive science, and environmental thought. In addition, this dissertation also explores the role that images play in forming collective responses to environmental disasters, and the further role that imagination plays in overcoming the moral motivation gap.
Workplace Supportiveness, Family Obligations, and Advancement for Caucasian Male Student Affairs’ Middle Managers
In higher education, the field of student affairs, as demonstrated in previous research, suffers from high turnover, and often, the choice to leave the student affairs field seems to coincide with starting a family and simultaneously taking care of elder family members. Previous research has demonstrated that care-giving commitments hinder women in the advancement of their career and given the changing culture of shared care-giving responsibilities, the previous findings may now be true for men as well. This study focused on Caucasian male middle managers’ perceptions of the student affairs work environment in relation to their families and workplace supportiveness and advancement. I interviewed eight Caucasian, male student affairs middle managers about their perceptions about workplace supportiveness of family obligations in the student affairs field. The participants placed high importance on family and were no longer willing to risk family life for career success. All eight men talked fondly of their family obligations and were willing to change career paths to demonstrate how much they valued their families. In addition, these men frequently commented on the desire to represent cultural change. Therefore, student affairs divisions should implement supportive informal benefits across the board to all professional full time employees for increasing long term stability in the field of student affairs.
Faculty Attitudes Towards Institutional Repositories
The purpose of the study was to explore faculty attitudes towards institutional repositories in order to better understand their research habits and preferences. A better understanding of faculty needs and attitudes will enable academic libraries to improve institutional repository services and policies. A phenomenological approach was used to interview fourteen participants and conduct eight observations to determine how tenure-track faculty want to disseminate their research as well as their attitudes towards sharing research data. Interviews were transcribed and coded into emerging themes. Participants reported that they want their research to be read, used, and to have an impact. While almost all faculty see institutional repositories as something that would be useful for increasing the impact and accessibility of their research, they would consider publishers’ rights before depositing work in a repository. Researchers with quantitative data, and researchers in the humanities are more likely to share data than with qualitative or mixed data, which is more open to interpretation and inference. Senior faculty members are more likely than junior faculty members to be concerned about the context of their research data. Junior faculty members’ perception’ of requirements for tenure will inhibit their inclination to publish in open access journals, or share data. The study used a novel approach to provide an understanding of faculty attitudes and the structural functionalism of scholarly communication.
The Relationship Between Institutional Expenditures and Student Completion of Momentum Points: a Community College Perspective
This study investigated the relationship between community college institutional expenditures and student success in reaching momentum points. The 3 years of student cohorts of a large community college district in Texas formed the population. Student characteristics and institutional context characteristics served as control variables. Institutional financial data functioned as the independent variables. Student success variables (milestones and momentum points) served as dependent variables. Because each of the three cohorts contained over 10,000 students and displayed equivalent characteristics, the random sample of 7,634 students was drawn from the combined cohorts. Institutional financial variables predicted the milestones of reading readiness (χ2 = 315.10, df = 17, n = 3,495, p < .001) and writing readiness (χ2 = 296.64, df = 17, n = 3,149, p < .001). Financial variables contributed to the completion of English-1301 (χ2 = 1004.14, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), college-level math (χ2 = 615.24, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), 30 college-level credit hours (χ2 = 833.85, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), and reenrollment the second fall semester (χ2 = 375.41, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001). Student services expenditures provided high odds for completion of English-1301 (odds ratio = 4.85 x 1014), college-level math (odds ratio = 5.24 x 1018), 30 college-level credits (odds ratio = 1.60x1015), and for re-enrollment in the second fall semester (odds ratio = 7.32 x 1014). Instructional expenditures and operations & maintenance expenditures also predicted student enrollment in the second fall semester. Student services’ influence on student engagement and success should inform decisions about programs for improving student success. Institutional policymakers may utilized these expenditure results support momentum point attainment. Finally, the influence of full time enrollment on student completion of milestones and momentum points in every regression model suggested resources for encouraging full-time, uninterrupted college enrollment are needed. Additional implications and recommendations are provided.
The Effect of Plasma on Silicon Nitride, Oxynitride and Other Metals for Enhanced Epoxy Adhesion for Packaging Applications
The effects of direct plasma chemistries on carbon removal from silicon nitride (SiNx) and oxynitride (SiOxNy ) surfaces and Cu have been studied by x-photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and ex-situ contact angle measurements. The data indicate that O2,NH3 and He capacitively coupled plasmas are effective at removing adventitious carbon from silicon nitride (SiNx) and Silicon oxynitride (SiOxNy ) surfaces. O2plasma and He plasma treatment results in the formation of silica overlayer. In contrast, the exposure to NH3 plasma results in negligible additional oxidation of the SiNx and SiOxNy surface. Ex-situ contact angle measurements show that SiNx and SiOxNy surfaces when exposed to oxygen plasma are initially more hydrophilic than surfaces exposed to NH3 plasma and He plasma, indicating that the O2 plasma-induced SiO2 overlayer is highly reactive towards ambient corresponding to increased roughness measured by AFM. At longer ambient exposures (>~10 hours), however surfaces treated by either O2, He or NH3 plasma exhibit similar steady state contact angles, correlated with rapid uptake of adventitious carbon, as determined by XPS. Surface passivation by exposure to molecular hydrogen prior to ambient exposure significantly retards the increase in the contact angle upon the exposure to ambient. The results suggest a practical route to enhancing the time available for effective bonding to surfaces in microelectronics packaging applications.
Effects of Sertraline Exposure on Fathead Minnow (Pimephales Promelas) Steroidogenesis
Sertraline is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is widely used for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Due to the abundant therapeutic use of sertraline, low levels have been detected in municipal wastewater effluents suggesting that aquatic organisms may be exposed. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the steroidogenic effects of sertraline on larval (FHM) and adult female fathead minnows (FFHM), Pimephales promelas. Larval FHM were exposed to 0.1, 1, and 10 µg/L sertraline for 28 days and analyzed via RT-qPCR for differential expression of 11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD), 20β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (20β-HSD), aromatase (CYP19), and nuclear thyroid receptor alpha (TRα). FFHM were exposed to 3 or 10 µg/L sertraline for 7 days with the brain and ovary excised at exposure termination. Juvenile FHM exposed to 0.1 μg/L sertraline had a significant upregulation of both 20β-HSD and TRα. FFHM exposed to 10 µg/L sertraline had a significant upregulation of 11β-HSD expression in brain tissue, while no steroidogenic changes were observed in the FFHM ovary. Similarly, in FFHM brain tissue, CYP19 and 20β-HSD expression levels were significantly higher in fish exposed to 10µg/L sertraline compared to control. The significance of these findings with respect to survival, growth and reproduction are currently unknown, but represent future research needs.
Sexual Orientation and the Advanced Placement Art History Survey
This two-part study included a content analysis of an AP art history text and a survey together with interviews with AP art history teachers that embraced both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. The first phase of the study examined one of the more popular art history survey texts in the AP art history program, Gardner’s Art through the Ages, in terms of how inclusive it is in addressing issues of sexual orientation and, particularly, same-sex perspectives. In addition, the text was examined for evidence of sexual orientation ignored – particularly same-sex perspectives ignored and for heteronormative hegemonies. The second phase investigated the understandings and opinions of AP art history teachers toward the inclusion of sexual orientation and same-sex perspectives in their curriculums and classrooms. Recent recognition of gay, lesbian, and same-sex perspectives in the study of art history has challenged art educators and art historians to begin to consider opening up their curriculums and writings to include these perspectives. These ignored perspectives produce important understandings that enrich and deepen the discourse of art history. The inclusion of gay and lesbian content and same-sex perspectives to the study of AP art history, not only effectively serves the needs of AP art history teachers, but it provides a more equitable and comprehensive visual arts education to students. The implications of this study are broad and complex. If students are to be well and comprehensively educated in the history of the visual arts, including discussions about the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian artists as well as artworks depicting same-sex perspectives is important. Similarly, their teachers must be well-informed and believe that including such material in the curriculum is important. There is definitely a need for designing more balanced and equitable AP art history programs that include gay and lesbian artists as well as same-sex perspectives. From a multicultural art education perspective, this study reveals that gays and lesbians are marginalized in a major AP art history survey text. It illuminates how an AP art history survey text and AP art history teachers’ attitudes and knowledge base on same-sex perspectives inform their curriculums, specifically concerning what’s important to teach in an AP art history classroom. If approved AP art history survey texts as well as the influential annual AP College Board art history exam included issues of sexual orientation, particularly same-sex perspectives, it would encourage more AP art history teachers to include gay and lesbian artists and same-sex perspectives in their curriculums.
Religiosity As a Coping Resource for Depression and Disease Management Among Older Diabetic Patients
Compared to the general population, diabetic patients experience a higher prevalence of depression, which can often exacerbate diabetic symptoms and complicate treatment. Studies show that religion is associated with both better physical health and better psychological functioning; however, studies incorporating religion and depression among diabetic individuals are scarce. The present study addressed this gap in the literature by examining archival data from the 2008 and 2010 data waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Cross-sectional findings confirmed that stronger religiosity was positively correlated with perceived diabetes control and positive diabetes change, and negatively correlated with total number of depressive symptoms and total number of weeks depressed. Longitudinal findings confirmed that stronger religiosity in 2008 was positively correlated with perceived diabetes change in 2010 and negatively correlated with total number of depressive symptoms in 2010. Logistic regression and multiple regression analyses were performed to test four moderation models. Results showed that religiosity significantly moderated the relationship between perceived diabetes control and total number of weeks depressed. More specifically, for diabetics with low levels of religiosity, whether they believed their diabetes was under control or not did not make a significant difference in the total number of weeks depressed. However, high levels of religiosity served as a buffer against the duration of depressive symptoms but only for diabetics who perceived to have their diabetes under control. Understanding how these constructs jointly influence diabetes management and psychological functioning is critical in that medical professionals may utilize such knowledge to enhance treatment outcomes.
Microchannel Radiator: an Investigation of Microchannel Technology with Applications in Automotive Radiator Heat Exchangers
Microchannels have been used in electronics cooling and in air conditioning applications as condensers. Little study has been made in the application of microchannels in automotive heat exchangers, particularly the radiator. The presented research captures the need for the design improvement of radiator heat exchangers in heavy-duty vehicles in order to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel economy. A method for analyzing an existing radiator is set forth including the needed parameters for effective comparisons of alternative designs. An investigation of microchannels was presented and it was determined that microchannels can improve the overall heat transfer of a radiator but this alone will not decrease the dimensions of the radiator. Investigations into improving the air-side heat transfer were considered and an improved fin design was found which allows a reduction in frontal area while maintaining heat transfer. The overall heat transfer of the design was improved from the original design by 7% well as 52% decrease in frontal area but at the cost of 300% increase in auxiliary power. The energy saved by a reduction in frontal area is not substantial enough to justify the increase of auxiliary power. The findings were verified through a computational fluid dynamic model to demonstrate the heat transfer and pressure drop of microchannel tubes. The results confirmed that heat transfer of microchannels does improve the thermal performance of the radiator but the pressure drop is such that the net benefit does not outweigh the operating cost. An additional CFD study of the new fin geometry and air-side heat transfer predictions was conducted. The results of the study confirmed the theoretical calculations for the fin geometry.
The Pedagogy of Robert Dick
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Robert Dick is best known as a leading proponent of contemporary music and extended techniques for the flute; however, his teaching is informative on a broader level that encompasses technical and musical aspects of traditional playing as well as contemporary practices. This dissertation is intended to serve as a resource for flutists, providing a detailed documentation of his approach to playing and teaching the flute. Dick’s highly integrated pedagogy—informed by his traditional training, revolutionary work in documenting and codifying extended techniques on the flute, and his equal personal involvement in performance, composition, and improvisation—provides a strong basis and clear trajectory, musically as well as technically, to his students. The primary research material for this document is the author’s personal collection of detailed notes from her studies with Dick. Additionally, as no pedagogy exists in a vacuum, a number of sources including historical treatises and more recent published documentations of flutists’ pedagogies provide context and support. Such publications are of current and continuing educational value; considering Dick’s contributions to the development of flute playing and his integrated approach to teaching the flute, a document that accurately and thoroughly addresses his pedagogy is a logical addition to this literature.
Youth-led Environmental Awareness: Initiatives Towards a Jain Faith Community Empowerment
This project employs participatory action research methods in efforts to create a community specific environmental curriculum for the high school age youth at the only Jain faith community in the North Texas region. Aligned with the community’s goals, the youth led in deciding, creating, and carrying out initiatives that were aimed at increasing the level of awareness about environmental issues amongst community members. The research done by the youth aimed at looking at environmental issues through the lens of Jain doctrine. The final creation of a curriculum as a living document to be used by the youth in efforts to promote critical thinking skills and class discussion continues the participatory model. The curriculum encourages experiential and interpretative learning, which grants ownership of the topics to the youth themselves and ultimately empowering them to learn more and spread the importance of being environmentally friendly.
Ethnic Similarity and Rivalry Relations
Research on ethnicity and conflict treats the concept of ethnicity as defining the actors in these conflicts, whereas research on the construction and maintenance of ethnic identity explores why ethnicity unifies individuals into a single social group. What happens when this unifying concept is divided between two enemy countries? How does this situation influence peace settlements over territorial issues, armed conflict, and economic relations between these countries? To answer these questions, I create a continuous measure of ethnic similarity between rivals. I find that ethnic similarity can facilitate cooperation and exacerbate conflictual interactions between rivals, but governments will seek to limit interactions with their rival when the cross border ethnic groups are minorities. In addition, I create categorical predictors of ethnic similarity, which reveal nuances in these relationships. Specifically, rivalries sharing a pan-ethnic identity are more likely to engage in conflict regardless of actual ethnic similarity, and dyads with a majority in one country sharing ethnicity with a minority in another country are less likely to fight once in a state of rivalry. This is because a quid pro quo exists between these rivals where one rival can reduce oppression of the minority in exchange for the other rival not supporting secessions by their co-ethnics. These pairs of rivals also are more likely to attempt peace settlements. Contested nations, which are rivalry-dyads with similar ethnic majorities, are both the most likely of the ethnically similar rival categories to engage in militarized interstate disputes, but also engage in larger amounts of interstate trade.
Laser Surface Alloying of Refractory Metals on Aluminum for Enhanced Corrosion Resistance: Experimental and Computational Approaches
Aluminum (Al) and its alloys are widely used in various technological applications, mainly due to the excellent thermal conductivity, non-magnetic, ecofriendly, easy formability and good recyclability. However due to the inferior corrosion resistance its applications are hampered in various engineering sectors. Besides, the corrosion related failures such as leakage of gas from pipeline, catastrophic breakdown of bridges and fire accidents in processing plants further puts the human life in jeopardy. Within the United States over $ 400 billion dollars per year are spent over research to understand and prevent the corrosion related failures. Recently, the development of transition metal(TM) aluminides (AlxTMy, where, TM = Mo, W, Ta, Nb, Cr, Zr and V) has received the global attention mainly due to high strength at elevated temperatures, light-weight, excellent corrosion and wear resistance. In light of this, surface modification via laser surface alloying (LSA) is a promising engineering approach to mitigate the corrosion and wear problems. In the present study the attempts are made to study the Al-Mo, Al-W, Al-Nb, and Al-Ta systems as a potential corrosion resistant coatings on aluminum. The refractory metal (Mo, W, Nb, Ta) precursor deposit was spray coated separately on aluminum substrate and was subsequently surface alloyed using a continuous wave diode-pumped ytterbium laser at varying laser energy densities. Microstructural analysis was conducted using scanning electron microscopy and further X-ray diffractometry was carried out to evaluate the various phases evolved during laser surface alloying. Corrosion resistance of laser alloyed coatings were evaluated using open circuit potential, cyclic potentiodynamic polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements were performed in 0.6 M NaCl solution (pH:6.9±0.2, 23˚C). Open circuit potential measurements indicate the more stable (steady state) potential values over long periods after laser surface alloying. Cyclic polarization results indicated reduction in the corrosion current density, enhancement in the polarization resistance, and increase in coating/protective efficiency with increase in laser energy density compared to untreated aluminum. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements also indicated an increase in charge transfer resistance after laser surface alloying of refractory metals on aluminum. Additionally, first principle calculations of thermodynamic, electronic and elastic properties of intermetallics evolved during LSA were also thoroughly investigated to correlate the corrosion performance of intermetallic coatings with these properties. The present study indicates that novel Al-Mo, Al-W, Al-Nb, and Al-Ta intermetallics has a great potential for light weight structural applications with enhanced corrosion resistance.
A Century of Overproduction in American Agriculture
American agriculture in the twentieth century underwent immense transformations. The triumphs in agriculture are emblematic of post-war American progress and expansion but do not accurately depict the evolution of American agriculture throughout an entire century of agricultural depression and economic failure. Some characteristics of this evolution are unprecedented efficiency in terms of output per capita, rapid industrialization and mechanization, the gradual slip of agriculture's portion of GNP, and an exodus of millions of farmers from agriculture leading to fewer and larger farms. The purpose of this thesis is to provide an environmental history and political ecology of overproduction, which has lead to constant surpluses, federal price and subsidy intervention, and environmental concerns about sustainability and food safety. This project explores the political economy of output maximization during these years, roughly from WWI through the present, studying various environmental, economic, and social effects of overproduction and output maximization. The complex eco system of modern agriculture is heavily impacted by the political and economic systems in which it is intrinsically embedded, obfuscating hopes of food and agricultural reforms on many different levels. Overproduction and surplus are central to modern agriculture and to the food that has fueled American bodies for decades. Studying overproduction, or operating at rapidly expanding levels of output maximization, will provide a unique lens through which to look at the profound impact that the previous century of technological advance and farm legislation has had on agriculture in America.
The Relationship Between Registration Time and Major Status and Academic Performance and Retention of First-time-in-college Undergraduate Students at a Four-year, Public University
This quantitative study utilized secondary data from one large four-year, state university in the southwestern US. The relationship between registration time and academic performance was examined as well as the relationship between registration time and retention of first-time-in-college (FTIC) undergraduate students during their first semester of enrollment at the university. The differences between decided and undecided students were tested regarding students’ academic performance and retention of the same population. The study population for the fall 2011 semester included 6,739 freshmen, and the study population for the fall 2012 semester included 4,454 freshmen. Through multiple and logistic regression models, registration time was shown to statistically have a relationship with academic performance and retention (p < .05). Later registrants showed to have a negative relationship with GPA and were less likely to return the following spring semester. The explained variance (R2) for both measures of academic performance and retention along with descriptive statistics are also presented. A Mann Whitney U test and chi square test indicated that a statistically significant association between decided and undecided students exists for academic performance and retention (p < .05). Decided major students performed better as measured by semester GPA performance and were more likely to return the following spring semester. Recommendations and implications are issued regarding future research, policy, and practice.
Explicating the Managerial Processes of Dynamic Capabilities and Investigating How the Reconceptualized Construct Influences the Alignment of Ordinary Capabilities
In the last three decades, strategic management scholars have explored the organization’s need to reconfigure its capabilities to leverage opportunities in a changing environment. The first objective of this study was to identify the underlying elements of the managerial processes of dynamic capabilities, and to offer a reconceptualization of the dynamic capabilities construct. The second objective of this investigation was to determine how the reconceptualized dynamic capabilities construct could influence the alignment of ordinary capabilities. Findings from this investigation indicate that organizational processes and managerial processes are unique components of dynamic capabilities. In addition, these organizational processes were found to be significantly and positively correlated with the alignment of ordinary capabilities. Furthermore, managerial processes were found to moderate the relationship between organizational processes and one type of ordinary capability alignment (i.e. innovation-operations capability alignment). Taken together, the findings of this study support the notion that dynamic capabilities are context specific, and that understanding how they influence the organization’s ability to change is complex. The developments and findings in this study offer a reconceptualized and empirically tested framework for the capability alignment process, thereby providing a more comprehensive picture of the underlying processes.
College and Career Readiness: Psychosocial Predictors of Achievement and Persistence
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if traditional indicators of college readiness were better predictors of students’ first semester college GPA and persistence to the second year of coursework compared to non-traditional indicators of college readiness. Specifically, this study analyzed the predictive validity of high school class rank and ACT/SAT scores compared to that of the psychosocial skills measured by the ACT Engage on students’ first semester college GPA and their likelihood of enrollment in the second year of college coursework. Methodology: Linear and logistic regression models were used to examine the effect of gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, high school rank, Texas Success Initiative college readiness scores, SAT or ACT scores, and the ten themes of the ACT Engage Inventory (dependent variables), on students’ first semester college GPA and rate of persistence to the second year (independent variables). A sample of 4,379 first semester college freshmen participated in this study. Findings: Results indicated that high school rank, ACT/SAT scores and psychosocial skills measured by the ACT Engage theme academic discipline were accurate predictors of college performance. Results regarding the predictive power of traditional academic and non-traditional psychosocial predictors of persistence were less definitive. Students qualifying for federal financial assistance and female students showed the greatest likelihood of not returning for the second year of college. Research Limitations: One limitation of this study occurred because separate ethnicities were not evaluated as independent variables. Additionally, further research should occur regarding the relationship between the independent variables of gender and socioeconomic status and the dependent variable persistence. Practical Implications: Due to the predictive power of high school class rank, college entrance exam scores, and the psychosocial skill of academic discipline, educators and policy makers should design targeted preparation and support initiatives around improving students’ skills in these areas. Recommendations for such initiatives were provided. Value of Paper: This paper is valuable to educators at the secondary school and university levels because results can be used to design preparation and support programs in order to improve students’ performance and persistence at the college level.
Sexual Behavior During the Emerging Adult Years: Attachment and Social Support Perspectives
The purpose of this study was to better understand sexual development during the transition to adulthood. Previous research was extended by testing models that examined direct effects of romantic attachment and social support on emerging adults’ sexual outcomes, as well as models that examined the mediating role of sexual motivations in those associations. Undergraduate students (n = 290, 66% female) completed questionnaires that assessed romantic attachment, social support, sexual motives, risky sexual behaviors, and health-promoting sexual beliefs. Results indicated romantic attachment strongly predicted sexual functioning, such that higher levels of attachment insecurity were associated with fewer health-promoting sexual beliefs and more risky sexual behaviors. Attachment anxiety was most closely associated with sexual outcomes for females, while attachment avoidance was a stronger predictor of sexual outcomes for males. Furthermore, coping but not intimacy motivations were found to partially mediate the link between attachment anxiety and health-promoting sexual beliefs for females. Although overall relationships between social support and sexual outcomes were not significant as hypothesized, links between specific support sources and sexual outcomes emerged during further analysis. Conclusions underscore the usefulness of attachment theory as a framework for understanding sexual behavior and provide further support for the importance of considering gender differences when examining the interplay between the attachment and sexual systems. Practical implications for sexual health prevention and intervention efforts are discussed.
Acute Effects of the Antibiotic Streptomycin on Neural Network Activity and Pharmacological Responses
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The purpose of this study is to find out that if antibiotic streptomycin decreases neuronal network activity or affects the pharmacological responses. The experiments in this study were conducted via MEA (multi-electrode array) technology which records neuronal activity from devices that have multiple small electrodes, serve as neural interfaces connecting neurons to electronic circuitry. The result of this study shows that streptomycin lowered the spike production of neuronal network, and also, sensitization was seen when neuronal network pre-exposed to streptomycin.
What Is Needed to Enable a Cultural Shift in the Market Research Department at the Gangler Company?
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This thesis investigates how to create an environment for organizational change within the Market Research Department at the Gangler Company (a US-based consumer products company). I explore what is influencing the current cultural environment and which of those influencers can be shifted to encourage organizational change toward the “ideal” culture that the organization has identified. Using new institutionalism as the theoretical approach, I discuss the significance of institutional forces (such as the economy and the rise in technology) on the cultural elements (i.e. behaviors, ideas, material artifacts and social structures) in the Market Research Department. Lastly, I show that by understanding those institutional influences, I can better assess what cultural elements can be shifted and which cannot. Of the cultural elements that are able to be shifted, I recommend three interventions that the organization should employ: 1) from a contrive culture to a culture of candor, 2) from a culture of division to a culture of cohesion, and 3) from a culture of knowing to a culture of learning.
Development and Evaluation of a Large-scale Pyramidal Staff Training Program for Behavior Management
Training and empirically evaluating caregivers’ implementation of behavior management skills is a particularly challenging task in large residential contexts. A pyramidal training approach provides an efficient and effective way to conduct large-scale competency-based behavior skills training. The purpose of this project was to develop and evaluate a large-scale pyramidal staff training program for behavior management skills. One hundred nine caregivers and 11 behavior service professionals at a large, residential care facility participated in this project. Interobserver agreement was utilized to develop and refine measurements systems to detect caregiver acquisition of skills, behavior service professionals’ ability to score caregiver performance and behavior service professionals’ ability to deliver a specified portion of the curriculum. Pre- and post-test probes were conducted utilizing standard role play scenarios and checklists to evaluate caregiver acquisition of three specific behavior management skills. The results supported the following conclusions: first, interobserver agreement measures were useful to develop a reliable measurement system, to refine some curriculum elements, and to evaluate measurement conducted by behavior service professionals. Second, behavior skills training (BST) resulted in caregiver acquisition of all three behavior management techniques. Third, the pyramidal training approach was effective to teach behavior service professionals to deliver BST and accurately measure the performances of trainees.
Synthesis of Tethering Group on Borylazadipyrromethene Dyes to Apply to Photogalvanic Dye-sensitized Solar Cells
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This is my thesis research on the preparation of borylazadipyrromethene (azaBODIPY) dyes bearing an anchoring group, such as a carboxylic acid group, at the β-pyrrolic position of the azadipyrromethene scaffold. Carboxylate groups form covalent bonds to oxide semiconductors such as TiO2 (n-type) or Cu2O (p-type) in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) or photogalvanic dye-sensitized solar cells (P-DSCs). Oxide-binding azaBODIPY dyes can be used to investigate the rate and mechanism of electron injection from the dyes to the semiconductors. Two different types of azaBODIPY (difluoroboryl and dialkynylboryl) were prepared by following previously developed methods. To convert difluoroborylazaBODIPY to the final dyes having a carboxylic acid in the β-pyrrolic position, several distinct synthetic routes were designed, adopting various reactions, such as halogenation, Sonogashira coupling, Knoevenagel condensation, Grignard reagents, Vilsmeir-Haack, and Steglich esterification. Some of these reactions were successful, but the overall synthesis to the targeted final molecule couldn’t be accomplished. Even though further studies on the synthesis of oxide-binding azaBODIPYs are needed, at least my thesis research suggests what reactions can be implemented to complete this synthesis in the future. Proton NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and carbon NMR were commonly used to confirm the synthesized compounds, and sometimes crystallographic information was obtained by XRD (X-ray diffraction) whenever crystals of sufficient size and quality were grown. NMR spectra, interpreted by SpinWorks 3 software, and crystal structures will be introduced in each chapter.