UNT Theses and Dissertations - 57 Matching Results

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A Silent Cry: Visualizing Data on Sex Trafficking

Description: In this era of globalization, human trafficking is emerging as a major theme, with rapid movement of information, capital and people across international borders. Despite the red alert over the issue, the crime of human trafficking remains highly unreported even in the most developed countries like United States of America. This silence over the issue in this country can be attributed to the lack of awareness about its prevalence in our own back yard and the measures available against it. This silence is further compounded by economic, social, cultural and psychological factors. Acknowledging the need to break the silence over this globalized issue, A Silent Cry is an interdisciplinary response in the form of a documentary film. It combines the strengths of cinema and anthropology attempting to humanize the data available on the phenomena. This document contextualizes the issue dealt in the documentary and along with an insight into its production process.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Singh, Arvind Daman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Grace After Fire: an Analysis of Table Talk: Color Me Camo-realities of Female Veterans

Description: Beginning May of 2013 and ending in September, I worked with Grace After Fire (Grace), a virtual nonprofit organization that focuses on issues related to female veterans. Grace’s mission is to provide female veterans with the means to gain knowledge, insight and self-renewal. Grace’s mission is accomplished through peer support and resource referral. The aim of my thesis project was to conduct an analysis of Grace’s peer support system, Table Talk: Color Me Camo (Table Talk). Because Table Talk is a fairly new program for Grace, just over a year old, the outreach coordinators were eager to learn: 1) if they were indeed meeting their mission of empowering female veterans, and 2) the point-of-view of the peer facilitators who conduct Table Talk. To help Grace gain perspective, I interviewed women who had previously attended Table Talk, as well as peer facilitators responsible for coordinating the peer support system-all of whom are female veterans. The following is their story.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Phillips, Jessica Laureano
Partner: UNT Libraries

In-store Event Needs and Technology Use Among Half Price Books Customers

Description: Half Price Books, Records, Magazines, Inc. (HPB), fills a unique niche by selling a variety of new, used and rare merchandise primarily in their chain of 116 stores in sixteen states and online. The company has noticed increased mobile device use among customers in their stores while sales have declined in recent years. To remain viable HPB is attempting to adapt to market forces in a timely manner while remaining continually interested in growth and innovation. A major part of adapting, growing, and innovating is the adoption and astute utilization of technology in-store and a more complete understanding of their customers’ activities and preferences. The goal is to make Half Price Books a more technologically savvy destination for shopping, community events, and entertainment. One purpose of this study is to give the company a better idea of how customers use technology in searching for merchandise including information searches generated in-store from mobile devices and how customers use the internet to find merchandise prior to and following their experiences in HPB’s stores. Another important purpose is to also determine what kinds of events such as book signings, poetry readings and other special events customers would like to see at Half Price Books, since the company has indicated a strong desire to provide fun and memorable experiences as well as products. The major research aims of this study are (1) To explore how customers use technology in searching for books in relation to two Half Price Books locations in Arlington, Texas and (2) To determine what customers want in terms of in-store events at these same locations.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Wilson, Steven K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Emerging Ed-tech and Accessibility

Description: Recent developments in the field of education have led to a proliferation of educational technologies (or “ed-tech”), yet access to educational content for students with special needs remains a challenge. This research study aims to assess the current state of accessibility in emerging ed-tech and to identify barriers in enabling educational content to be born accessible. Detailed discussions with various ed-tech platforms revealed less of a need for technical tools, but a more prevailing need for knowledge and education around accessibility – what it means and how best to incorporate accessibility into their platforms. The more experienced teams advocate incorporating accessibility into product development right from the design phase, while the younger teams expressed challenges in navigating accessibility laws and the dire need for easy-to-follow guidelines and best practices. A detailed review of educators' content creation processes reveals multiple dependencies in the ecosystem of ed-tech where partnerships and compatibilities are crucial in enabling accessibility throughout the process. Likewise, an urgent need exists for increasing awareness of accessibility among instructors authoring educational content using emerging ed-tech.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Vora, Disha
Partner: UNT Libraries

Opening Doors for Excellent Maternal Health Services: Perceptions Regarding Maternal Health in Rural Tanzania

Description: The worldwide maternal mortality rate is excessive. Developing countries such as Tanzania experience the highest maternal mortality rates. The continued exploration of issues to create ease of access for women to quality maternal health care is a significant concern. A central strategy for reducing maternal mortality is that every birth be attended by a skilled birth attendant, therefore special attention was placed on motivations and factors that might lead to an increased utilization of health facilities. This qualitative study assessed the perceptions of local population concerning maternal health services and their recommendations for improved quality of care. The study was conducted in the Karatu District of Tanzania and gathered data through 66 in-depth interviews with participants from 20 villages. The following components were identified as essential for perceived quality care: medical professionals that demonstrate a caring attitude and share information about procedures; a supportive and nurturing environment during labor and delivery; meaningful and informative maternal health education for the entire community; promotion of men’s involvement as an essential part of the system of maternal health; knowledgeable, skilled medical staff with supplies and equipment needed for a safe delivery. By providing these elements, the community will gain trust in health facilities and staff. The alignment the maternal health services offered to the perceived expectation of quality care will create an environment for increased attendance at health facilities by the local population.
Date: May 2014
Creator: McLendon, Pamela Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Product Management: the Decision Process

Description: This thesis builds upon several theoretical ideas. The first of which is the anthropologists’ transition into the corporate context and the particular type of skills and value that someone with anthropological training can bring to operations management. As anthropology is relatively new and unfamiliar to corporations, anthropologists are often hired without explicit knowledge of how they will address organizational problems. Frequently, this incremental relationship building between the anthropologist and the organization leads to shifting project goals which come only after the anthropologist is able to reveal initial findings to someone who has the power to grant the anthropologist further access to employees and company information. This refocusing comes from a building of trust that is crucially important for the anthropologist’s ability to identify social issues, which is the anthropologist’s expertise. In order to develop the context of this project the following paragraphs will explain in more detail and expand into particular cases in which anthropologists have helped organizations to identify and manage social, organizational problems. As a relationship needs to be built between the anthropologist and the organization, here I argue that there needs to be continual relationship building between anthropological, design, and management theories to optimally solve organizational problems.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Pahl, Shane D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identifying Opportunities for the Revitalization of Downtown Bloomsburg

Description: American downtowns were once the place to see and be seen, but the introduction of the shopping mall in the late 1950s challenged this notion and gave the American consumer a different place to spend their time and money. The prevalence of shopping malls has slowly been declining across the country since the beginning of this century, leaving room in the American retail landscape for downtowns to reclaim their status as community and retail centers. Towns across the U.S. are turning to national and local organizations to assist them in revitalizing their downtown districts. Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. (DBI), a non-profit organization located in the small town of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, has been working since 2006 to revitalize its town’s downtown and main street area. The unique findings presented here were derived from a four month long ethnographic study of downtown Bloomsburg merchants and shoppers and are meant to be used by DBI as a supplemental guide for further revitalization of the town.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Schlieder, Victoria Mae
Partner: UNT Libraries

What Is Needed to Enable a Cultural Shift in the Market Research Department at the Gangler Company?

Description: 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.
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Davis, Brooke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Youth-led Environmental Awareness: Initiatives Towards a Jain Faith Community Empowerment

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Otterbine, Joseph R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Vickery Meadow Community Needs Assessment

Description: 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.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Jay, Sarah, 1986-
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Assessment of a Hospice and Palliative Care Partnership Program

Description: This project attempts to describe how a hospice and palliative care partnership program works. Through the assessment of one such program, the researcher sought to find out the essential components of the partnership including how the two partner organizations interact and work together. Data was collected using various methods: document review of organization documents such as newsletters, annual or quarterly reports, brochures and other available literature e.g. materials on organizations’ website and on social media; in-depth interviews with stakeholders of both organizations that included staff and board members; observation of staff working; and participant observation during organization events. The findings of the research shows that in order for organizations to have an effective partnership program in place, both partners need to have strong leadership in place, possess a willingness to learn from each other, maintain regular communication, and visit each other regularly. With this in place, several outcomes of the program are likely such as: increasing advocacy for hospice and palliative care, increasing visibility of the organizations both nationally and internationally, and provides an opportunity for organizations to network with other organizations in their locality in order to achieve partnership objectives. The study further reveals that global collaborations in the field of hospice and palliative care began with the advent of the international hospice movement. The assessment of this hospice partnership demonstrates how organizations can establish working relationships and the results likely to come out of such an initiative.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Munene, Grace N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Caring for Cancer: Understanding the Access and Perceptions of Psychosocial Cancer Services in North Texas

Description: It is estimated that nearly 14.5 million Americans are living with cancer today. A commonly overlooked component to quality cancer care, as defined by the Institute of Medicine, is the role of psychological and social support. Better known as psychosocial support, these needs reflect a broad spectrum of obstacles or assets in an individual’s personal life that may help or hinder their healing experience. Some psychosocial examples include coping skills, transportation to medical appointments, or appropriate knowledge to mitigate the physical impacts of the cancer process. Research has shown that by addressing these potential needs, a better health outcome may be achieved for cancer patients. Through participant observation at local psychosocial service establishments and through semi-structured interviews with service providers and adults diagnosed with cancer living in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, this thesis research seeks to explore how local cancer patients are learning of psychosocial services available to them, what barriers may exist in accessing these services, and what individuals may be doing to address their psychosocial needs, both formally or informally. Results yielded recommendations for local psychosocial providers to adjust their marketing of services and kinds of services offered as well as yielded recommendations for future academic research.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Quirk, Lisa Erin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Toward Sustainable Community: Assessing Progress at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

Description: Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, an intentional community of roughly 70 members in Northeastern Missouri, is working to create societal change through radical sustainable living practices and creation of a culture of eco-friendly and feminist norms. Members agree to abide by a set of ecological covenants and sustainability guidelines, committing to practices such as using only sustainably generated electricity, and no use or storage of personally owned vehicles on community property. Situated within the context of a sustainability study, this thesis explores how Dancing Rabbit is creating a more socially and ecologically just culture and how this lifestyle affects happiness and well-being.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Jones, Kayla Brooke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Participant Perspectives: Investigating the Experience of Low-Income Schizophrenics in Clinical Research Trials

Description: The continued investigation into the experiences of individuals with schizophrenia who participate in biomedical research trials is necessary in order to understand participants’ perspectives, motivations, attitudes, values, and beliefs. As important stakeholders in the clinical research process, participant feedback is significant and can help shed light on, not only their experiences, but also deepen understandings when it comes to clinical trial participants’ perceptions of informed consent and personal autonomy. Conducting ethical research demands the exploration of these issues and specifically targeting this vulnerable group helped to address a gap in the literature. This study was conducted for InSite Clinical Research and gathered data in the form of in-depth semi-structured interviews and a short survey instrument with 20 low-income adults diagnosed with schizophrenia that participate in clinical research trials. Findings indicate overall positive research experiences, with motivations aligning with previous research when it comes to trial participation including: altruism, personal benefit, access to medications, financial incentives, and psychosocial treatment. Learning about their illness and themselves, autonomy, and debriefing were also particularly important within this group. Unique to this sample were findings of friendship. Trust in the research staff was identified as a major underlying value and shaping factor impacting informed consent decisions. These conclusions have implications for recruitment and informed consent practices at InSite Clinical Research.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Green, Asha M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Grand Canyons: Authoritative Knowledge and Patient-Provider Connection

Description: In 2011, African Americans in Tarrant County, Texas experienced an infant mortality rate of 14.3 per 1,000 live births. The leading cause of infant mortality in Tarrant County is prematurity and maternal nutritional status. Both maternal under-nutrition and over-nutrition are known risk factors for premature birth. Improving maternal nutrition, by reducing rates of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and by increasing consumption of essential prenatal vitamins and nutrients, is a road to decreasing preterm birth in African Americans. This qualitative study, based on both anthropology and public health theory, of the nutrition behavior of a group of African American expectant mothers and the experience of their health care providers and co-facilitators had a goal to provide a foundation for future development of nutrition behavior research and education for this specific population. The main finding of this study was the substantial gap of lived experience and education between the patients and their providers and co-facilitators, which hinders delivery of care and the patients’ acquiescence to nutrition recommendations. The discrepancies between the authoritative knowledge of the providers and the bodily knowledge of expectant mothers were responsible for the ineffectiveness of nutrition recommendations.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Fowler, Rebecca
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community Development at Heronswood Botanical Garden

Description: The overall main goal of this research is to assist with the planning and creation of an ethnobotanical addition at the Heronswood Garden, a botanical garden located in northwest Washington state recently purchased by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. Methods included a three month long ethnographic study of Heronswood Garden as an official intern, and conducting a needs assessment that primarily employed participant observation and semi-structured open-ended interviews with all garden employees. Information revealed through the research includes causal issues behind a lack of community participation at the garden, elaboration on the solutions to various issues facilitated by negotiating and combining the views and opinions of the garden’s employees, and author reflections on the needs assessment report and the project as a whole. This research connects itself with and utilizes the methodologies and theories from applied anthropology, environmental anthropology, and environmental science to provide contemporary perspective into the subject of preserving or preventing the loss of biodiversity, language diversity, and sociocultural diversity.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Cherry, Levi Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessing Workplace Design: Applying Anthropology to Assess an Architecture Firm’s Own Headquarters Design

Description: Corporations, design firms, technology, and furniture companies are rethinking the concept of the ‘workplace’ environment and built ‘office’ in an effort to respond to changing characteristics of the workplace. The following report presents a case study, post-occupancy assessment of an architecture firm’s relocation of their corporate headquarters in Dallas, TX. This ethnographic research transpired from September 2013 to February 2014 and included participant observation, employee interviews, and an office-wide employee survey. Applying a user-centered approach, this study sought to identify and understand: 1) the most and least effective design elements, 2) unanticipated user-generated (“un-designed”) elements, 3) how the workplace operates as an environment and system of design elements, and 4) opportunities for continued improvement of their work environment. This study found that HKS ODC successfully increased access to collaborative spaces by increasing the size (i.e. number of square feet, number of rooms), variety of styles (i.e. enclosed rooms, open work surfaces), and distribution of spaces throughout the office environment. An increase in reported public transit commuting from 6.5% at their previous location to 24% at HKS ODC compares to almost five times the national public transit average (5%) and fifteen times the rate of Texas workers (1.6%) and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metro Area (1.5%). This supports the real estate decision and design intent of the office that relocating near public transit would increase use (nearly six times that of reported use at 1919 McKinney, 6.5%). Additional findings and discussion relate to HKS ODC’s design enabling increased access to natural light and improved air quality, increased cross-sector collaboration, increased connection to downtown Dallas and engagement with the larger Dallas architectural community, as well as the open office environment encouraging education between all employee levels. Discrepancies between designed ‘flexibility’ and work away from the desk are explored along with the role of ...
Date: December 2014
Creator: Ramer, S. Angela
Partner: UNT Libraries

Space in Space: Privacy Needs for Long-Duration Spaceflight

Description: Space exploration is a uniquely human activity. As humans continue to push the limits of exploring the unknown, they have sought knowledge supporting the sustenance of life in outer space. New technologies, advancements in medicine, and rethinking what it means to be a “community” will need to emerge to support life among the stars. Crews traveling beyond the Moon will rely on the development of new technologies to support the technological aspects of their missions as well as their quality of life while away from Earth. Likewise, through advancements in medicine, scientists will need to address remaining questions regarding the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body and crew performance. Space explorers must learn to utilize these new technologies and medical advancements while learning to adapt to their new environment in space and as a space community. It is important that researchers address these issues so that human survival beyond Earth is not only achievable but so that life among the stars is worth living and sustaining. This thesis addressed these issues in an attempt to extend the trajectory of space exploration to new horizons.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Aiken, Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Needs Assessment for Parent Literacy Program

Description: Latina/o students do not perform at the same level of achievement as their peers, and often lack of parent presence is mistaken for apathy towards their children’s educational success. This research examines the strategies Latina/o parents take in navigating the school system and advocating for their students. A local nonprofit organization with the goal of achieving educational equity for Latina/o parents will utilize these findings and recommendations to develop curricula for a parent literacy program.
Date: May 2014
Creator: González, Miranda Andrade
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Intervention of Human Modifications on Plant and Tree Species in the Landscape of the LBJ National Grasslands

Description: An analysis utilizing both ArcGIS and ethnographic interviews from private land owners and environmental professionals examined how man-made landscape changes affected plant and tree species in the LBJ National Grasslands in Wise County, Texas north of Decatur. From the late 1800s to the Dust Bowl Era the land was used for crop production and cattle grazing resulting in erosion and loss of soil nutrients. The research indicated by 2001 that cattle grazing and population increase resulted in land disturbance within the administrative boundary of the national grasslands. Participants expressed concern over the population increase and expansion of 5 to 10 acre ranchettes for cattle grazing common in modern times. Recommendations for the future included utilizing and expanding the resources already existing with environmental professionals to continue controlling erosion.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Lang, Brett M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ideal Learning Spaces: the Student Perspective

Description: Classrooms, libraries, student unions, and university campuses shape students’ learning experiences. These physical learning spaces set the stage for college student engagement and academic performance. Most of the research about the role of physical spaces in learning lacks the student perspective. The goal of this study was to offer a student-centered vision of ideal learning spaces. Students are the learners for whom learning spaces are designed, and this thesis examines the way students of one summer class at Oklahoma Baptist University conceptualized and interacted with their learning spaces. Data collection included surveys of the students, a focus group with members of the class, participant observation in the classroom, and interviews with students and the professor. Students viewed physical spaces as the backdrop for human action and chose spaces that supported their learning styles and goals. Students described supportive spaces as warm, purposefully crafted spaces, and full of other people who were seriously pursuing the same goals. This thesis explores the ways students conceptualized and interacted with learning spaces as a network of support for their learning and provides recommendations for the design of learning spaces that facilitate this support.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Sidler, Elizabeth D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Burner Project: Privacy and Social Control in a Networked World

Description: As mobile phones become increasingly ubiquitous in today’s world, academic and public audiences alike are curious about the interaction between mobile technologies and social norms. To investigate this phenomenon, I examined how individuals use technology to actively manage their communication behaviors. Through a three-month research project on usage patterns of Burner, a mobile application, this thesis explores the relationships among technology, culture, and privacy. Burner is a service that equips individuals with the means to create, maintain, and/or dissolve social ties by providing temporary, disposable numbers to customers. The application offers a way to communicate without relying on a user’s personal phone number. In other words, Burner acts as a “privacy layer” for mobile phones. It also provides a valuable platform to examine how customers use the application as a strategy for communication management. This thesis represents a marriage of practice and theory: (1) As an applied enterprise, the project was constructed as a customer needs assessment intending to examine how the service was situated in the lives of its users. The findings have successfully been applied to my client’s company strategy and have led to a more informed customer approach. (2) As an academic endeavor, this research contributes to existing scholarship in anthropology, computer-mediated communication, privacy, and design. The results provide rich fodder for discussions about the impact of mobile communication and services.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Shade, Molly
Partner: UNT Libraries

Operationalizing a Reading Culture at Rio Hondo Junior High

Description: A rural Rio Grande Valley school has continuously performed below the state average on the reading portion of the State Assessment of Academic Readiness. One of the concerns expressed amongst teachers and staff is the student’s lack of desire to read for pleasure or for academic purposes. This study examines the attitudes of students and staff in towards reading by focusing on the school’s reading culture. A mixed methods approach consisting of interviews, participant observation, a focus group, and a survey was employed in this study. The study found that the teachers and students maintained two polarizing perceptions of their reading culture. Based on these findings the following recommendations were made: create a literature-centered curriculum, increase and vary the selection of school library books, and align teachers’ perception with the students’ perception to create a unified reading culture.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Manning, Victoria Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Critical Medical Anthropology Approach to Advocating for Social Justice and Policy Change in Pesticide Use and Practice to Reduce Health Risks Among Hispanic/Latinos in Central California

Description: This mixed methods research was conducted in the fall of 2014 to understand the perceptions and experiences of health risks and health outcomes due to pesticide exposure among community members (n=13) - concerned community members, agriculture workers and teachers- that live in the Central California agriculture counties of Monterey, Santa Cruz, Tulare, Fresno and Madera. This research explored: 1) The crops growing in participants’ communities, and how exposure to pesticides used in these crops pose potential health risks to participants and their communities 2) How pesticide exposure is impacting Hispanic/Latino communities in Central California, particularly those that are most vulnerable including school children, agriculture workers, and community members 3) The major public health concerns of impacted communities 4) Feelings of empowered to advocate for community health and environment and 5) What impacted communities wish to see on behalf of government and agribusiness to protect public health from pesticide exposure and toxins.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Romero, Mariel Sintora
Partner: UNT Libraries