UNT Theses and Dissertations - 305 Matching Results

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Bioinspired and biocompatible coatings of poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) and layer double hydroxide composites for corrosion resistance

Description: Hierarchical arrangement of biological composites such as nacre and bone containing high filler (ceramic) content results in high strength and toughness of the natural material. In this study we mimic the design of layered bone microstructure and fabricate an optimal multifunctional bio-nanocomposite having strength, toughness and corrosion resistance. Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), a biodegradable polymer was used as a substrate material with the reinforcement of LDH (Layered double hydroxide) as a nanofiller in different concentrations to achieve enhancement in mechanical properties as well as processing related thermostability. Corrosion resistance was increased by mimicking a layered structured which incorporated a tortuous diffusion path.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Rizvi, Syed Hussain
Partner: UNT Libraries

Biomass-Derived Activated Carbon through Self-Activation Process

Description: Self-activation is a process that takes advantage of the gases emitted from the pyrolysis process of biomass to activate the converted carbon. The pyrolytic gases from the biomass contain CO2 and H2O, which can be used as activating agents. As two common methods, both of physical activation using CO2 and chemical activation using ZnCl2 introduce additional gas (CO2) or chemical (ZnCl2), in which the CO2 emission from the activation process or the zinc compound removal by acid from the follow-up process will cause environmental concerns. In comparison with these conventional activation processes, the self-activation process could avoid the cost of activating agents and is more environmentally friendly, since the exhaust gases (CO and H2) can be used as fuel or feedstock for the further synthesis in methanol production. In this research, many types of biomass were successfully converted into activated carbon through the self-activation process. An activation model was developed to describe the changes of specific surface area and pore volume during the activation. The relationships between the activating temperature, dwelling time, yield, specific surface area, and specific pore volume were detailed investigated. The highest specific surface area and pore volume of the biomass-derived activated carbon through the self-activation process were up to 2738 m2 g-1 and 2.209 cm3 g-1, respectively. Moreover, the applications of the activated carbons from the self-activation process have been studied, including lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturing, water cleaning, oil absorption, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Xia, Changlei
Partner: UNT Libraries

Black Males' Treatment Experiences in Mental Health Court: A Phenomenological Analysis

Description: Mental health courts (MHCs) are part of an umbrella of specialty courts in which court officials, law enforcement, and treatment providers work together to seek alternative solutions to failed traditional approaches to justice. Researchers investigating MHCs indicated that the courts may be helpful in reducing recidivism and introducing offenders with mental health disorders to treatment services. I used the qualitative method of phenomenology to understand the experiences of young adult Black male clients' perceptions of mental health treatment in MHCs. Twelve participants ranged in age from 21-40 years. The research team identified three themes -- (a) helpful treatment factors, (b) relational growth, (c) treatment barriers – and five subthemes: (a) internal growth, (b) relational growth, (c) behavioral growth, (d) factors of marginalization, and (e) interpersonal barriers. Meaning pertaining to findings and implications for research and practice are discussed.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Stare, Bryan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Boosting for Learning From Imbalanced, Multiclass Data Sets

Description: In many real-world applications, it is common to have uneven number of examples among multiple classes. The data imbalance, however, usually complicates the learning process, especially for the minority classes, and results in deteriorated performance. Boosting methods were proposed to handle the imbalance problem. These methods need elongated training time and require diversity among the classifiers of the ensemble to achieve improved performance. Additionally, extending the boosting method to handle multi-class data sets is not straightforward. Examples of applications that suffer from imbalanced multi-class data can be found in face recognition, where tens of classes exist, and in capsule endoscopy, which suffers massive imbalance between the classes. This dissertation introduces RegBoost, a new boosting framework to address the imbalanced, multi-class problems. This method applies a weighted stratified sampling technique and incorporates a regularization term that accommodates multi-class data sets and automatically determines the error bound of each base classifier. The regularization parameter penalizes the classifier when it misclassifies instances that were correctly classified in the previous iteration. The parameter additionally reduces the bias towards majority classes. Experiments are conducted using 12 diverse data sets with moderate to high imbalance ratios. The results demonstrate superior performance of the proposed method compared to several state-of-the-art algorithms for imbalanced, multi-class classification problems. More importantly, the sensitivity improvement of the minority classes using RegBoost is accompanied with the improvement of the overall accuracy for all classes. With unpredictability regularization, a diverse group of classifiers are created and the maximum accuracy improvement reaches above 24%. Using stratified undersampling, RegBoost exhibits the best efficiency. The reduction in computational cost is significant reaching above 50%. As the volume of training data increase, the gain of efficiency with the proposed method becomes more significant.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Abouelenien, Mohamed
Partner: UNT Libraries

Brain Computer Interface (BCI) Applications: Privacy Threats and Countermeasures

Description: In recent years, brain computer interfaces (BCIs) have gained popularity in non-medical domains such as the gaming, entertainment, personal health, and marketing industries. A growing number of companies offer various inexpensive consumer grade BCIs and some of these companies have recently introduced the concept of BCI "App stores" in order to facilitate the expansion of BCI applications and provide software development kits (SDKs) for other developers to create new applications for their devices. The BCI applications access to users' unique brainwave signals, which consequently allows them to make inferences about users' thoughts and mental processes. Since there are no specific standards that govern the development of BCI applications, its users are at the risk of privacy breaches. In this work, we perform first comprehensive analysis of BCI App stores including software development kits (SDKs), application programming interfaces (APIs), and BCI applications w.r.t privacy issues. The goal is to understand the way brainwave signals are handled by BCI applications and what threats to the privacy of users exist. Our findings show that most applications have unrestricted access to users' brainwave signals and can easily extract private information about their users without them even noticing. We discuss potential privacy threats posed by current practices used in BCI App stores and then describe some countermeasures that could be used to mitigate the privacy threats. Also, develop a prototype which gives the BCI app users a choice to restrict their brain signal dynamically.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Bhalotiya, Anuj Arun
Partner: UNT Libraries

Brand Management Capability and Brand Performance

Description: Brands are intangible assets that provide companies with the potential to extract higher rents or prices from customers. However, only few organizations are able to build and sustain brands over a long period of time. Brand management capability - the organization's ability to build and sustain brands becomes important for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Despite the importance of brand management capability to organizations, majority of the brand management literature has primarily focused on the consumer perspective of brands. This gap in knowledge about the components of brand management capability impedes firms from replicating brand successes, and makes them reliant on brand managers. More recently, there have been multiple calls in literature to identify marketing-related organizational capabilities, which can provide organizations with a sustainable competitive advantage. The focus on developing marketing-based capabilities comes at a time when marketing is losing its influence in organizations. To this end, the current dissertation uses organizational capability theory and literature on brand management to identify the primary resource (intellectual capital comprising of structural, human, and relational capital), organizational culture type (clan, adhocracy, hierarchy, and market), and processes (strategic brand management, internal branding, and market information processes comprising of information acquisition, information transmission, conceptual utilization, and instrument utilization), that constitute the brand management capability. This dissertation also examines the association among various components of brand management capability and brand performance. A survey-based technique was used to gather data from individuals responsible for managing brands. The data was analyzed using PLS-SEM. The results indicate that human capital, relational capital, market and hierarchy culture types, internal branding, strategic brand management, and instrument utilization are positively associated with brand performance. Structural capital, clan and adhocracy culture types, information acquisition, information transmission, and conceptual utilization are not associated with brand performance. From a research standpoint, this dissertation contributes to the ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Iyer, Pramod P
Partner: UNT Libraries

Business/it Alignment: the Impact of Incentive Plans on the Development of Shared Vision

Description: This study, utilizing Preston and Karahanna’s framework for shared vision development and Agency Theory, explores the impact of vision development factors and factors associated with incentive plans on shared vision and alignment. Results of the study confirm the strong relationship between shared vision and alignment, and indicate that having an effective management team is important with respect to developing and maintaining shared vision and alignment within the organization. Several vision development factors such as using the language of the business, participation on the top management team (TMT), and having knowledge of the business impact shared vision through their influence on teamwork. Also, results of this study suggest that participation on the TMT by the CIO/IT leader is more important than the individual’s position in the organizational hierarchy. In addition, attributes associated with incentive plans such as achievable and clear measures, measures linked to organizational goals, measures that align the interests of the individual with those of the organization, regular plan reviews, and using a balanced scorecard approach with respect to incentive plan design positively impact teamwork and shared vision. For practitioners, this highlights the importance of incentive plans as powerful tools that can be used to reinforce shared vision, effective teamwork, and alignment within the organization. Also, the CIO/IT leader needs to be knowledgeable of the business and must fill the role of both a technologist as well as an enterprise leader. This person must be an evangelist communicating the value and benefits of IT to the rest of the organization.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Johnson, Vess L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Can Imagination Travel the Distance? Investigating the Role of Psychological Distance and Construal Level in Consumers' Elaborative Approach

Description: Much of consumer behavior research focuses on how consumers process and evaluate information to make current decision. In contrast, many consumer choices ares are underpinned by the need to make choices that incorporate the past or future, other places, other people and other situations that are seemingly hypothetical. The imagination provides the chief means by which consumers are able to traverse this psychological distance. Construal Level Theory (CLT) explains how individuals are able to plan for the future, consider the perspective of another individual and even consider situations that are counter to reality. Construal mindsets are enacted when people form mental representations of distant objects, people, or places. In abstract construal mindsets, individuals think generally, in terms of global features of an object, person, or situation. On the other hand, concrete construal mindsets center around the detailed aspects of an object, person, or situation. These two different construal mindsets serve to help people cope with the uncertainty of the future. This is because abstract cosntruals are more likely than concrete construals to remain unchanged as distance from a future object, person, or place reduces. A number of consumer behavior settings require the use of the imagination. Sticking to a weight loss and or fitness plan, planning a vacation trip, saving for retirement and imagining what birthday gift a friend will enjoy all require imagining a psychologically distant state. Marketers generally seek to stimulate consumption by requiring consumers to imagine a consumption setting. This dissertation uses CLT to guide the hypotheses, as CLT explains how individuals deal with psychological distance by adopting a construal mindset. CLT explains differences in information processing associated with adopting a specific construal mindset and suggests how construal mindsets impact consumer information elaboration processes. This study will contribute to CLT by addressing an understudied be related area: ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Dadzie, Charlene Ama
Partner: UNT Libraries

Can Observing Behavior Predict Performance in Conditional Discriminations?

Description: Prompts are implemented often in training procedures, to include conditional discriminations, and this can lead to prompt dependency. The current study extends a prior study that suggested that the effectiveness of supplementary visual stimuli displaying the sample and comparison was dependent on the timing in relation to the selection task, presented as a prompt or feedback, in a match-to-sample procedure. The current research examines if the differences in that effectiveness were due to differences in observing behavior in those two conditions. Measures of observing behavior were determined by making access to the individual visual stimuli contingent on clicking on the visual stimulus and keeping the cursor located on the stimulus. Participants viewed the sample comparison much less than the comparison stimulus in both the prompt and feedback conditions. Latency to select the comparison stimulus was much shorter for the prompt condition suggesting that the participants might have interacted differently with the selection task in the two conditions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Marchini, Kevin Julian
Partner: UNT Libraries

Case Studies to Learn Human Mapping Strategies in a Variety of Coarse-Grained Reconfigurable Architectures

Description: Computer hardware and algorithm design have seen significant progress over the years. It is also seen that there are several domains in which humans are more efficient than computers. For example in image recognition, image tagging, natural language understanding and processing, humans often find complicated algorithms quite easy to grasp. This thesis presents the different case studies to learn human mapping strategy to solve the mapping problem in the area of coarse-grained reconfigurable architectures (CGRAs). To achieve optimum level performance and consume less energy in CGRAs, place and route problem has always been a major concern. Making use of human characteristics can be helpful in problems as such, through pattern recognition and experience. Therefore to conduct the case studies a computer mapping game called UNTANGLED was analyzed as a medium to convey insights of human mapping strategies in a variety of architectures. The purpose of this research was to learn from humans so that we can come up with better algorithms to outperform the existing algorithms. We observed how human strategies vary as we present them with different architectures, different architectures with constraints, different visualization as well as how the quality of solution changes with experience. In this work all the case studies obtained from exploiting human strategies provide useful feedback that can improve upon existing algorithms. These insights can be adapted to find the best architectural solution for a particular domain and for future research directions for mapping onto mesh-and- stripe based CGRAs.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Malla, Tika Kumari
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Castle/Nikki Heat Phenomenon: A Detailed Examination of Female Representation in Entertainment Media

Description: As entertainment reflects a culture's ideology, it is important for researchers to study its messages and subsequently its potential meanings. Entertainment has the power to inform and persuade, creating models for behavior with which the public interacts. The entertainment texts for the purpose of this study are the Castle television series and the Nikki Heat novels. Together, they create a unique multi-layer fictional world. By using postmodern, feminist, communication, and entertainment theories, the results of this study provide a tightly focused lens which views a narrow aspect of entertainment media. Each text was thoroughly examined using textual analysis, Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis, and conversation analysis. Contrary to expectations, the results indicated that the Castle and Nikki Heat texts support hegemonic ideology, particularly through the use of exaggerated stereotypes, strict gender roles, imagery, and narrative choices that help perpetuate rape culture. The discussion outlines how these results can be interpreted through the dominant messages presented in the texts. This research is intended to serve as a foundation for future research regarding entertainment media.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Skinner, Katharine Virginia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Catalytic Properties and Mechanical Behavior of Metallic Glass Powders

Description: Lack of crystalline order and microstructural features such as grain/grain-boundary in metallic glasses results in a suite of remarkable attributes including very high strength, close to theoretical elasticity, high corrosion and wear resistance, and soft magnetic properties. By altering the morphology and tuning of composition, MGs may be transformed into high-performance catalytic materials. In this study, the catalytic properties of metallic glass powders were demonstrated in dissociating toxic organic chemicals such as AZO dye. BMG powders showed superior performance compared to state of the art crystalline iron because of their high catalytic activity, durability, and reusability. To enhance the catalytic properties, high energy mechanical milling was performed to increase the surface area and defect density. Iron-based bulk metallic glass (BMG) of composition Fe48Cr15Mo14Y2C15B6 was used because of its low cost and ability to make large surface area by high energy ball milling. AZO dye was degraded in less than 20 minutes for the 9 hours milled Fe-BMG. However, subsequent increase in ball milling time resulted in devitrification and loss of catalytic activity as measured using UV-Visible spectroscopy. Aluminum-based bulk metallic glass (Al-BMG) powder of composition Al82Fe3Ni8Y7 was synthesized by arc-melting the constituent elements followed by gas-atomization. The particle size and morphology were similar to Fe-BMG with a fully amorphous structure. A small percentage of transition metal constituents (Fe and Ni) in a mostly aluminum alloy showed high catalytic activity, with no toxic by-products and no change in surface characteristics. Al-alloy particles, being light-weight, were easily dispersed in aqueous medium and accelerated the redox reactions. The mechanism of dye dissociation was studied using Raman and Infrared (IR) spectroscopy. Breaking of -C-H- and - C-N- bonds of AZO dye was found to be the primary mechanism. Mechanical behavior of individual BMG particles was evaluated by in situ pico-indentation in a scanning electron ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Garrison, Seth Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Challenge the Silence

Description: This collection of personal essays about incest, abuse, and depression explores the lasting effects of an invisible childhood. The essays follow the protagonist from the age of five to her early twenties. Her brother, at a young age, becomes sexually abusive of her and her sisters, and her parents fail to protect their daughters. The family is divided as the older girls strive to defend their little sisters, while their parents attempt to excuse their son. When her brother is finally sent away, the protagonist is left to salvage what remains of her relationships with her parents.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Peterson, Erica
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characteristics of Mothers among Counselor Education Faculty

Description: Pre-tenured faculty in higher education and as well as mothers have reportedly struggled with low wellness levels, high demands, little social support, and an imbalance of work and home life. Mothers in higher education and in counselor education have reported struggling with work-life balance, high scholarly productivity, and long hours as well as the emotional and physical energy demands of working with counselors-in-training. A search of the professional literature revealed a paucity of quantitative research regarding demographic characteristics, wellness levels, and social support levels of mothers among counselor education faculty (MCEs). Participants for this study were faculties of counselor education programs recruited from the Holland List of Counseling Programs and from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs online directory. A total of 180 MCEs participated (aged 29-63, with mean age 40.6 years; 83% Caucasian, 8% other, 5% African American, 3% Hispanic, <1% Asian). Results showed that faculty rank did not account for a significant difference among wellness scores of MCEs and that reported social support, tenure or non-tenure track, number of children in the care of MCEs, number of children under age 8, number of publications, and teaching workload accounted for 14% of the variance in wellness levels of MCEs. Specifically, reported higher teaching workload (β = -.194, rs2 = .35, p = .012) and higher social support (β = -.258, rs2 = .36, p = <.001) were found to be significant predictors of lower wellness levels among MCEs, both with small effects. Based on these results, MCEs may benefit from advocating that their departments and universities adapt to their unique needs to improve their levels of wellness and social support through mentoring, which, in turn, may result in not only their own increased productivity but also their students' increased wellness levels.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Jimenez, Kyrstin Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characteristics of Primary Cilia and Centrosomes in Neuronal and Glial Lineages of the Adult Brain

Description: Primary cilia are sensory organelles that are important for initiating cell division in the brain, especially through sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling. Several lines of evidence suggest that the mitogenic effect of Shh requires primary cilia. Proliferation initiated by Shh signaling plays key roles in brain development, in neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus, and in the generation of glial cells in response to cortical injury. In spite of the likely involvement of cilia in these events, little is known about their characteristics. Centrosomes, which are associated with primary cilia, also have multiple influences on the cell cycle, and they are important in assembling microtubules for the maintenance of the cell’s cytoskeleton and cilia. The cilia of terminally differentiated neurons have been previously examined with respect to length, incidence, and receptors present. However, almost nothing is known about primary cilia in stem cells, progenitors, or differentiated glial cells. Moreover, it is not known how the properties of cilia and centrosomes may vary with cell cycle or proliferative potential, in brain or other tissues. This dissertation focuses first on neurogenesis in the hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ). The SGZ is one of the few brain regions in mammals that gives rise to a substantial number of new neurons throughout adulthood. The neuron lineage contains a progression of identifiable precursor cell types with different proliferation rates. This present study found that primary cilia were present in every cell type in the neuronal lineage in SGZ. Cilium length and incidence were positively correlated among these cell types. Ciliary levels of adenylyl cyclase type III (ACIII) levels relative to ADP-ribosylation factor-like protein 13b (Arl13b) was higher in neurons than in precursor cells and glia, and also changed with the cell cycle. G-protein coupled receptors, SstR3, MCHR1, and Gpr161 receptors were only found in neuronal cilia. The levels ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Bhattarai, Samip Ram
Partner: UNT Libraries

Child Rescue As Survival Resistance: Hidden Children in Nazi-occupied Western Europe

Description: The phenomenon of rescue organizations that devoted themselves specifically to hiding and saving Jewish children appeared throughout Nazi-occupied Western Europe (France, Belgium, and the Netherlands). Jewish and non-Jewish rescuers risked their lives to save thousands of children from extermination. This dissertation adds to the historiographical understanding of Holocaust resistance by analyzing the efforts of these child rescue organizations as a form of “survival resistance.” Researching the key aspects of traditional resistance (conscious intent, extensive organization, and effective turn-out) demonstrates that, while child rescue did not present armed resistance, it still was a form of active resistance against the Nazi Final Solution. By looking at rescuers’ testimonies and archival sources (from Yad Vashem, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Centre de documentation juive contemporaine, and Kazerne Dossin), this dissertation first outlines the extensive organization and intent of Jewish rescue groups, such as the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) and Comité de défense des Juifs (CDJ), in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The second part looks at rescue organization and intent by Catholic, Protestant, and humanitarian groups. The dissertation concludes by discussing the effectiveness of organized child rescue. In the end, the rescue groups saved thousands of children and proofs that Child rescue in Nazi-occupied Western Europe was a valid--not to mention heroic--form of survival resistance.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Decoster, Charlotte Marie-Cecile Marguerite
Partner: UNT Libraries

El Cine De Terror Español Como Espejo De La Cultura Española

Description: This study traces the history and culture of Spain as seen through the lens of the nation´s production of horror cinema. Starting from the boom of Spanish horror film in the early 1960s, the thesis compares and contrasts the political and social aspects of Spanish society throughout three distinct eras of the 20th century: 1962 – 1975 (the boom of Spanish horror film through the Franco dictatorship), 1975 – 1999 (the transition to democracy through the end of the 20th century) and 2000 – present (the 21st century). Movies as diverse as Gritos en la noche (1962, Jesús Franco), ¿Quién puede matar a un niño? (1976, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador) and Angustia (1987, Bigas Luna) are framed by culturally-related anectodes as well as correlations to their respective social environments. Special attention has been paid to the production and release of each film, especially in regards to censorship during the Franco dictatorship. The results show that Spanish horror cinema has acted as a true mirror to culture, society and politics in its native country throughout the 20th century and that this trend will likely extend in to the future.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Donahue, Tyler
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clocks and Mirrors

Description: The essays featured in this collection highlight the gaps, as well as parallels, between mental illness and the human condition. In "Appearances," the narrator struggles with her own visual identity especially after reflecting on her Mom's own lengthy history with the mirror. In "Migrations," the lyrical voice of the narrator carries the reader through the typical day of a clinically depressed female character. Lastly, "Attempting the Fall," addresses the issues society has with mental illness by following the narrator from her suicide attempt to the mental ward.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Thies, Jaclyn Michele
Partner: UNT Libraries

Collective Security and Coalition: British Grand Strategy, 1783-1797

Description: On 1 February 1793, the National Convention of Revolutionary France declared war on Great Britain and the Netherlands, expanding the list of France's enemies in the War of the First Coalition. Although British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger had predicted fifteen years of peace one year earlier, the French declaration of war initiated nearly a quarter century of war between Britain and France with only a brief respite during the Peace of Amiens. Britain entered the war amid both a nadir in British diplomacy and internal political divisions over the direction of British foreign policy. After becoming prime minister in 1783 in the aftermath of the War of American Independence, Pitt pursued financial and naval reform to recover British strength and cautious interventionism to end Britain's diplomatic isolation in Europe. He hoped to create a collective security system based on the principles of the territorial status quo, trade agreements, neutral rights, and resolution of diplomatic disputes through mediation - armed mediation if necessary. While his domestic measures largely met with success, Pitt's foreign policy suffered from a paucity of like-minded allies, contradictions between traditional hostility to France and emergent opposition to Russian expansion, Britain's limited ability to project power on the continent, and the even more limited will of Parliament to support such interventionism. Nevertheless, Pitt's collective security goal continued to shape British strategy in the War of the First Coalition, and the same challenges continued to plague the British war effort. This led to failure in the war and left the British fighting on alone after the Treaty of Campo Formio secured peace between France and its last continental foe, Austria, on 18 October 1797.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Jarrett, Nathaniel W
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community-based Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Developing, Testing and Validating Conceptual Models

Description: The field of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) suggests that transactions, collaboration, and value are important in the supply and delivery of products and services to meet the need of impoverished end-consumers. In many cases, the application of LSCM is paramount in most strategic decision-making efforts. Therefore, this research explores the applications of LSCM processes and activities within the community-based context. The methodology used to address the research questions consisted of a hybrid of mixed methods. This mixed methodology provides three essays that investigate the application and development of LSCM in the community-based context. The essays address the flow of charitable products and services through supply chains. The dissertation does not pay close attention to the first-tier suppliers’ suppliers, which is looking at the originating flow of goods and services (raw materials, manufacturing, etc.). However, the dissertation puts a focus on products and services supplied to focal organizations and how these products are then passed on to end-consumers. Essay I looks at the transaction (costs) that ensue from the supply of charitable products. Essay II analyzes a social service ecosystem and investigates how the network of organizations enable the distribution of charitable products and services. Lastly, Essay III examines the delivery of valuable services to the end-consumers, and what tools Community-Based Enterprises (CBEs) should focus on to develop and retain end-consumers in impoverished communities. The research provides conceptual models that review some fundamental LSCM achievement gaps in supplying, delivering and providing social services to end users within impoverished communities. The dissertation draws upon literature from the fields of economics, marketing, social science, and logistics and supply chain management. The dissertation uses the primary research method of unstructured and semi-structured interviews, case studies, written survey instruments and system dynamics within three studies. The studies resolve to look into the term ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Obaze, Yolanda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community College Student Retention and Completion based on Financial Expenditures and Hispanic-Serving Status

Description: Despite declining community college funding being allocated increasingly on the basis of student success, U.S. community college student retention and completion rates over the past decade have either remained steady or decreased, especially for Latino students. Using descriptive statistics and multiple regression models with secondary data procured from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), I analyzed student success rates—full time student retention and completion rates—based on community college financial allocations and Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) status. To equitably analyze community colleges in the sample (n = 909), I separated them into four groups based on institutional size as defined by the Carnegie Classification. Descriptive results indicated that instructional divisions spent an average of 43% of the college's total allocated budget—often more than three times the allocated budget of any other division. Regression results indicated that instructional expenditures had the most consistent impact on student success regardless of college size and that scholarship expenditures and academic support expenditures generally had a negative impact on student retention and completion rates. Regarding Latino student success in particular, findings indicated that the manner in which colleges allocated their funds impacted only small and medium-sized community colleges. Of the nine different types of institutional expenditures, only student services expenditures and public services expenditures had a statistically significant impact on Latino student success. Additionally regression analysis indicated that community college HSI status did not have a large impact on overall full-time student retention and completion rates but did have a significant impact on full-time Hispanic student retention and completion rates for all institution sizes. Findings of this study confirmed that HSI status does impact Latino student success in public community colleges. This finding is consistent with prior studies on the positive impact of instructional expenditures on student success rates. Further research on the specific elements within ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: DaSilva, Jose E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Analysis of Digital and Paper Restaurant Menus Based on Customer Perception and Nutritional Labeling

Description: The restaurant industry is a highly customer-driven field. Therefore, it is imperative that restaurateurs consider customer expectations with regard to restaurant menus. The purpose of this experimental study is to examine the effects of menu format (i.e., paper or digital) and amount of nutritional information (i.e., extensive, brief, or none) on customer perceptions of the effectiveness, perceived ease of use, and information quality of the menu. Furthermore, this research intends to test the effect of these three menu attributes on the outcomes of value and satisfaction in order to assess the competitive advantage of one format over the other. The Cognitive Appraisal and Information Processing Theories provide structure to the proposed conceptual framework and give credence to the findings. This study also fills gaps in the present research by not only ameliorating weaknesses of extant studies, but also by examining several different aspects of restaurant menus simultaneously within a single study.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Moody, Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries

Competing Models of Hegemonic Masculinity in English Civil War Memoirs by Women

Description: This thesis examines the descriptions of Royalist and Parliamentarian masculinity in English Civil War memoirs by women through a close reading of three biographical memoirs written by Margaret Cavendish, duchess of Newcastle; Lady Ann Fanshawe; and Lucy Hutchinson. Descriptions of masculinity are evaluated through the lens of Raewyn Connell's theory of hegemonic masculinity to understand the impact two competing models of masculinity had on the social and political culture of the period. The prevailing Parliamentarian hegemonic masculinity in English Civil War memoirs is traced to its origins before the English Civil War to demonstrate how hegemonic masculinity changes over time. The thesis argues that these memoirs provide evidence of two competing models of Royalist and Parliamentarian masculinities during the Civil War that date back to changes in the Puritan meaning of the phrase “man of merit”, which influenced the development of a Parliamentarian model of masculinity.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Du Bon-Atmai, Evelyn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Compostable Soy-Based Polyurethane Foam with Kenaf Core Modifiers

Description: Building waste and disposable packaging are a major component in today's landfills. Most of these are structural or thermally insulative polymer foams that do not degrade over a long period of time. Currently, there is a push to replace these foams with thermoplastic or biodegradable foams that can either be recycled or composted. We propose the use of compostable soy-based polyurethane foams (PU) with kenaf core modifiers that will offer the desired properties with the ability to choose responsible end-of-life decisions. The effect of fillers is a critical parameter in investigating the thermal and mechanical properties along with its effect on biodegradability. In this work, foams with 5%, 10%, and 15% kenaf core content were created. Two manufacturing approaches were used: the free foaming used by spray techniques and the constrained expansion complementary to a mold cavity. Structure-property relations were examined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), thermal conductivity, compression values, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), and automated multiunit composting system (AMCS). The results show that mechanical properties are reduced with the introduction of kenaf core reinforcement while thermal conductivity and biodegradability display a noticeable improvement. This shows that in application properties can be improved while establishing a responsible end-of-life choice.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Hoyt, Zachary
Partner: UNT Libraries